Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hawaii experts warn of commuter pilot shortage under Federal Aviation Administration regulations

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -    Before stricter FAA rules took effect in 2013, officials say co-pilots only needed 250 hours to fly smaller carriers like Mokulele. Now they need nearly as much training as first officers on larger airlines like Hawaiian. Under current FAA regulations, co-pilots or first officers must have an Airline Transport Pilot certificate -- which for the most part requires 1,500 hours of flying time. But experts are now saying the very guidelines intended to keep pilots and passengers safe are contributing to a commuter pilot shortage.

"You're going to see a reduction of flights and that's going to be impacting everyone," said Rob Moore, the chief flight instructor at Galvin Flight Services.

"It's gonna really hurt folks' way of getting around," said Mark Jones, who owns Moore Air, a local flight school.

Aviation experts say pilots used to get their hours and experience by flying for smaller commuter airlines, like those that travel inter-island, but now that the hourly requirement for commuters and major airlines are nearly the same -- fewer pilots are taking those jobs, hoping instead to fly with bigger carriers that have better benefits.

"Why stay in the bush league? Why not go straight to the majors if you can? And apparently a lot of people are doing that and its leaving a dearth of pilots at the commuter level," explained Brant Swigart, who owns Hawai'i Air Power Labs.

Officials say this shortage of commuter pilots will directly impact inter-island travelers.

"Anything that hurts aviation in Hawaii is going to hurt Hawai'i in general," Swigart said.

"They're not going to be able to fly all the flights that they're flying now, so there will be less flights. There will be less supply, but the demand will be larger than what's available so the cost will get higher for us to fly inter-island," said Jones.

According to the Air Line Pilots Association, the average starting salary for a first officer at a regional airlines is approximately $22,000 a year. Experts say pilot certifications used to cost about $50,000 but under new FAA training regulations the price tag is going up.

"Now you add on there that you have to have x number of hours in a level C simulator and a requirements for extra ground -- it's driving up the cost more to get your certificate and so it's going to get to be even more expensive for people to become a pilot," said Moore, explaining that's exactly why qualified pilots are seeking positions with major airlines as quickly as possible so they can build their seniority and paychecks.

"You already see on the mainland,  there are regional airlines canceling routes because they can't fill their cockpits with pilots -- and you are going to see some of that hit here," said Peter Forman, an aviation consultant.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Island Air for comment, but the company declined.

A spokesperson for Hawaiian Airlines says this has not been a problem for them and experts agree -- saying as a destination carrier, they will likely never experience a pilot shortage.


JetBlue Airways will fly Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale starting in April, launches service with $23 one-way fares

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The battle to control the skies between Cleveland and South Florida will heat up this April, when JetBlue Airways begins flying to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a city already served by low-cost carriers Spirit and Frontier.

The top-rated airline announced Thursday plans to expand service in Cleveland – before the carrier's initial service even begins. Last month, JetBlue said it would begin flights between Cleveland and Boston on April 30.

On tap that same day: nonstop flights between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale.

JetBlue will start flying to Fort Lauderdale just weeks after United Airlines pulls its nonstops between the two cities, part of its ongoing plan to eliminate its hub in Cleveland (United is also canceling nonstop service, starting in April, between Cleveland and Tampa and Fort Myers).

United's departure was largely seen in the industry as a reaction to the entrance into the Florida market by Frontier and Spirit airlines, both low-cost carriers that charge extra for carry-on bags, drinks and other amenities. Frontier started flying between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale in June; Spirit starts service between the two cities next month.

John Checketts, JetBlue's director of route planning and revenue management, said the two low-cost carriers don't give Clevelanders traveling to Florida enough choice.

"We respect them as competitors," said Checketts. "But we also know that customers have a strong desire to fly on an airline that is going to be a better experience."

JetBlue is among the nation's most highly-rated airlines by frequent travelers, who laud the carrier's complimentary in-flight entertainment, snacks and generous legroom.

The daily flight leaves Cleveland at 11:35 a.m., arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 2:35 p.m. The return flight leaves Fort Lauderdale at 8 a.m., arriving in Cleveland at 10:50 a.m. Flights will be on 150-seat Airbus A320s.

To celebrate the announcement, the airline is offering $23 one-way fares for travel between April 30 and June 18 on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturdays. The introductory fares must be purchased by Friday. After the sale, fares will start at $79 one way, according to a spokesman.

Checketts credits the airline's expansion in Cleveland in part to early support from the Greater Cleveland community.

"We've been nothing but pleased with the level of support we've seen from the community," said Checketts. "We've got reasonable fares and a very high quality product. I think that's resonating with the Cleveland folks."

JetBlue is Fort Lauderdale's largest airline, with up to 74 flights a day. Depending on departure times from Fort Lauderdale, Clevelanders should be able to travel on JetBlue farther south, to destinations including San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nassau in the Bahamas and elsewhere.

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More pilots, attendants to be hired by NetJets

An improved economy has led to an increase in business and private-aviation flights. As a result, Columbus-based NetJets plans to hire 187 pilots and as many as 50 flight attendants to meet this growing demand.

“Due to the strength of our business, . . . we were able to not only recall pilots who were furloughed in 2009 because of the economic downturn, but grow our business to the point where we can open the door for new team members as well,” NetJets Chief Operating Officer Bill Noe said in a statement.

NetJets doesn’t disclose revenue, but officials said the number of hours its planes were in the air rose 7 percent in 2014 after a 6 percent jump in 2013.

The company has about 2,600 pilots in the U.S., with 222 based in central Ohio. About 50 of its 256 flight attendants are based here.

“It’s hard to say where the new pilots will be based. Our pilots can live anywhere,” said NetJets spokeswoman Christine Herbert.

The company furloughed about 500 pilots in 2009. Since then, “We’ve recalled all the ones who were still available,” she said.

NetJets and its pilots union have been in talks for a new labor agreement since May 2013, and “ there’s nothing new to report,” Herbert said. The parties are operating under the terms of the expired contract.

Business aviation is on the upswing nationally, and NetJets was in a good position to take advantage, said one industry expert.

“The economy has been strong enough for long enough to justify more corporate flights and private aviation flights,” said Scott Liston, executive vice president of the consulting firm Argus International Inc.

Flight activity was up 3.7 percent in November compared with the previous year, according to Argus data. This was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year growth.

“NetJets is regarded as a market leader,” Liston said. “That’s a result of their continuously updating their fleet and their commitment to safety and service.”

NetJets has a fleet of more than 700 jets worldwide and is in the midst of a 10-year plan to buy up to 670 aircraft for $17.6 billion to refresh its fleet.

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Cessna 152, N965AA: Incident occurred in Sanger, Denton County, Texas

Regis#:    N965AA
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 152
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)



SANGER, Texas - A student pilot and flight instructor have escaped injury after their plane had engine trouble, clipped a power line then landed on a North Texas highway.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says the emergency landing happened on FM 455 just west of Sanger.

Sgt. Lonny Haschel (HASH'-el) says the single-engine Cessna 152 was damaged in the accident. Haschel says the plane was then pushed into a driveway to avoid traffic on the two-lane road near Sanger, just north of Denton.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane had some type of engine problem. Further details weren't immediately available.

About 50 homes and businesses served by CoServ Electric lost power due to the line accident. A spokesman says electricity was restored within about 90 minutes.


Department of Transportation extends support for Cape Air Albany flights

Cape Air will continue to fly from Massena to Albany and Boston for another two years, and from Ogdensburg to Albany and Boston for another four years, after the U.S. Department of Transportation renewed their contracts under the Essential Air Service program.

Cape Air, which uses nine-passenger Cessna 402 aircraft on the routes, received strong support from local officials, with the Ogdensburg City Council voting unanimously “to endorse Cape Air as the provider of choice.”

Cape Air’s reliability and its community support also gave it an edge in Massena, according to the USDOT.

Cape Air will provide three daily round-trips between Albany and Massena, and between Albany and Ogdensburg, with each of the flights continuing on to Boston.

Ogdensburg subsidies will total $2,419,820  in the first year of the four-year contract, rising to $2,721,968 in the fourth year. Massena subsidies will total $2,608,773 in the first year and $2,713,124 in the second year.

Cape Air operates a maintenance base at Albany International Airport. Hyannis Air Service, operating as Cape Air, is based at the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, Mass.


Sen. Shumer calls for screening of airline, airport workers

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for daily federal screening of airport and airline workers.

Currently, the Transportation Security Administration only requires pilots and flight crews to go through metal detectors. All other workers are only subject to background checks and regular security threat assessments.

“Why we would screen a pilot or a flight attendant but not somebody who loads baggage onto the plane or cleans the plane is beyond me,” Sen. Schumer said.

This comes after five men, including an airline baggage handler, were arrested in December 2014 for allegedly smuggling more than 150 guns through New York and Atlanta airports since May.

“Carrying guns and other contraband onto airplanes should not be a walk in the park,” the senator said. “Gun runners, drug smugglers, even would-be terrorists can use this giant loophole, god forbid. And we have to close it as soon as we can.”

The office of Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson conducted the seven month-long investigation. He said the lack of physical security checks to airport and airline employees allowed defendants Mark Henry and Eugene Harvey to run the gun running ring on nearly 20 commercial flights undetected.

“We can sit here and stand here now and tell you how many guns, but we think one gun on the plane is too many let alone 150,” Thompson said.

Thompson and the senator believe the TSA should immediately require all U.S. airports to screen its entire staff.

“Something is wrong with just doing background checks if this could happen and happen repeatedly,” Schumer said.

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy agrees with Schumer’s proposal and said it’s unfortunate the people who are supposed to protect U.S. air travelers had a large lapse in security.

“I don’t think it would add too many delays and certain there’s no baggage, no pun intended,” she said. “If they’re workers, they are there for the day and can quickly walk through their own security.”

Schumer told the Associated Press that “the basic response from TSA is that screening would be too complex to do, because many employees go back and forth between secure and unsecure locations.”

Albany International Airport released the following statement about Sen. Schumer’s proposal:

“We look forward to working with Senator Schumer, our airlines, the TSA and law enforcement agencies to further assess our current security practices and to meet any new challenges that we may face.”

TSA did not return any calls for comment. Schumer said he doesn’t think the extra screening will be expensive and the added assurance will be worth it.

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Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, Aeroflight Executive Services Inc., N66886: Accident occurred April 09, 2014 near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

Piper PA-31-350, N66886
Location: Field near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire
Date of occurrence: 09 April 2014
Category: Commercial Air Transport - Fixed Wing


The aircraft was on a ferry flight from Seattle in the USA to Thailand via Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and across Europe. However the flight crew abandoned the aircraft in Greenland late in December 2013 after experiencing low oil pressure indications on both engines. This may have been due to the use of an incorrect grade of oil for cold weather operations. The aircraft remained in Greenland until 28 February 2014, when a replacement ferry pilot was engaged. Although the engine oil was not changed prior to departing Greenland, the flight continued uneventfully to Wick, in Scotland. Following some maintenance activity on the right engine, the aircraft departed for Le Touquet in France. However, approximately 25 minutes after takeoff, the engines successively lost power and the pilot carried out a forced landing in a ploughed field. Examination of the engines revealed that one piston in each engine had suffered severe heat damage, consistent with combustion gases being forced past the piston and into the crankcase.

A stricken plane suffered successive engine failures before crash landing near the A90, air accident investigators revealed today.

Eyewitnesses watched in horror as smoke billowed from the private aircraft before it came down in farmland next to the busy A90 dual carriageway near Stonehaven.

The pilot risked his life in the accident in April last year to bring the twin engine aircraft to a controlled skid through the muddy field - before emergency services arrived on scene.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said an examination of the aircraft revealed that pistons in each engine had suffered heat damage.

The AAIB report concluded: "Ultimately, it was not possible to establish why pistons in both engines had suffered virtually identical types of damage, although it is likely to have been a 'common mode' failure, which could include wrong fuel, incorrect mixture settings (running too lean) and existing damage arising from the use of incorrect oil in cold temperatures."

The pilot of the small plane managed to avoid a disaster when he glided the aircraft down over the road and landed it on its belly in the mud on April 9 last year.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang as the aircraft passed over the town of Stonehaven, heading from Wick to France.

They watched in horror as smoke came from the aircraft as it descended towards the busy A90 around rush hour.

The pilot had been on the second leg of a journey from Canada to deliver the eight-seater plane to its new owners in Thailand.

The pilot was put in a neck brace and taken to hospital for treatment having managed to initially walk away from the wreck of the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain.

He was uninjured in the accident.

Original article can be found at:

Federal Aviation Administration Sets Standards for Safety-Data Analysis by Carriers • Rule Seeks Complementary Safety-Data Collection and Analysis Across U.S. Airlines

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor

Updated Jan. 7, 2015 2:46 p.m. ET

Federal aviation regulators on Wednesday set out industrywide standards for airline safety-data analysis programs, calling such steps the key to reaching the “next level of safety” for U.S. carriers.

The final rule issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, in the works since 2010, establishes criteria for proactive efforts to identify and reduce hazards before they cause accidents. Nearly all scheduled U.S. cargo and passenger airlines already are heading down this path, with the biggest carriers relying on sophisticated risk-mitigation systems that collect voluntary incidents reports, cull data from routine operations and then target areas for safety improvement.

But now, airlines will have to demonstrate that details of their individual safety-management systems comply with the FAA’s principles and guidelines, and that findings from the data can be shared across the industry. Initial plans must be submitted by the middle of 2015, and final versions must be in place by 2018.

The FAA rules don’t apply to charter or on-demand operators, and they don’t cover any maintenance facilities.

Illustrating the difficulty of quantifying benefits from the rule, the FAA estimated industry compliance costs at $135 million through 2023. That compares with a range of $104 million to $241 million that the FAA projects will be the overall benefits from avoiding accidents or incidents.

“We’re not telling airlines how to meet this requirement,” FAA chief Michael Huerta told reporters, but the goal is to foster a strong safety culture focused on getting ahead of accidents. Airlines will have to designate a single executive responsible for overseeing the programs.

Unlike other major FAA regulatory moves that sometime prompt criticism and even legal challenges by industry players, the head of the leading airline trade group participated in Wednesday’s news conference and announced his support. Nicholas Calio, chief executive of Airlines for America, or A4A, which represents the country’s largest carriers, said the intent of the rules “are not new to our members.”

The association representing the nation’s regional carriers also announced its “strong support” for the rules.

In 2010, Congress passed legislation giving the FAA a July 2012 deadline for adopting a final rule. International safety standards also call for countries to issue rules establishing safety management systems.

In addition to setting up formal procedures to gauge and reduce risks, the rules call for airlines to promote safety to employees. According to the FAA, 59 carriers that already have been voluntary reporting programs for pilots and other employees are expected to expand them. Some 50 other carriers are expected to use government-supplied computer systems to start processing voluntary reports.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters that he considers the FAA’s rules a linchpin for enhancing safety in other modes of transportation.

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Pierre Regional Airport (KPIR) saw only 9,174 boardings in 2014; feds could cut $850,000

Only 9,174 passengers boarded Great Lakes Aviation aircraft last year at the Pierre Regional Airport to fly to Denver or Minneapolis, according to figures released Tuesday by Mike Isaacs, airport manager.

That’s not only a big plunge from previous years — 34 percent below the five-year average of 13,872 boardings — it’s well below the crucial level of 10,000 annual “enplanements.” Coming in beneath that level could cost the city nearly all of the $1 million in federal subsidies each year to maintain the airport, Isaacs and city commission members say.

Mayor Laurie Gill said Tuesday after the numbers were announced that they were the lowest she’s seen in 15 years on the city commission and threaten the airport’s future.

The airport receives $1 million in federal funds to small community airports each year. But those funds are pegged to seeing that at least 10,000 passengers use the airport annually.

Isaacs said it’s a firm federal line: “If enplanements are 9,999, we get $150,000 (in airport subsidies).”

Gill said that would be a back-breaker.

“That’s not enough, long-term, every year to keep that airport open,” the mayor said.

The figures from the feds that Isaacs released Tuesday are not official and won’t be for several months, but there’s no reason to think “we’re going to find another 826 passengers” in the data, said Commissioner Jeanne Goodman.

From 2009 through 2013, the airport saw an average of 13,872 passengers annually while airline configurations changed, including Mesaba, Delta and Allegiant as well as Great Lakes, ranging from 15,184 in 2011 to 11,565 in 2012.

In 2013, Great Lakes reported 14,010 enplanements while Allegiant reported 148, for a total of 14,158; Great Lakes reported 11,565 in 2012.

In 2011, Delta reported 10,646 and Great Lakes 4,538, for a total of 15,184.

“We have had one year of troubled air service,” she said. She said while Great Lakes has been pressured, like many airlines, by the new federal regulations 18 months ago requiring more pilot training, the inconsistent service including canceled flights has been too much to bear for too many. Boardings averaged only 765 each month last year, compared with 1,180 in 2013. In December, only 673 passengers boarded Great Lakes in Pierre, including Mayor Gill.

She returned Jan. 3 from visiting family in Phoenix, flying to Denver where she got on the Great Lakes plane for Pierre. The flight was fine, except she had to re-book it after Great Lakes cancelled her reservation in November, part of many such cancellations, Gill said. “At least I got back the day I wanted to,” she said.

But for many it doesn’t work, she said.

“The way this has played out for us, we’ve got a community that has decided they are going to drive somewhere else to fly.”

The city will ask the DOT for a waiver from the rule of 10,000 hoping to keep the $1 million airport subsidy, Gill said.

But that would only be good for a year and it’s a one-time deal, meaning the long-term problem of falling passenger numbers has to be solved, Gill and Goodman said.

That’s why the city a month ago recommended to the feds that a charter airline company, Aerodynamics Inc., be authorized to begin scheduled commercial flights to Denver from Pierre under the Essential Air Service subsidy program.

ADI proposed flying 12 round-trip flights a week from Pierre to Denver if EAS funding of $2 million comes through as part of a program to subsidize air service to and from isolated communities.

Gill said Tuesday night she hasn’t heard yet from DOT, although she had expected to know by now.

Although questions have been raised by some in the community, and also in other communities, about the fitness of ADI, Gill said it’s the federal government’s job now to make that decision.
It’s possible the DOT will award the EAS subsidies to Great Lakes rather than ADI, she said.

Isaacs said Pierre has a history of higher numbers of air travelers and that the region near Pierre could provide thousands more, making 20,000 enplanements a year a reasonable goal given better airline service.

In other business, the city commission heard complaints from retired city employees who were told recently their health insurance costs would increase up to 88 percent.

A group of six former city employees who retired before they reached the age of 65 continue to receive subsidized premium rates under the city’s health insurance plan. Five of them attended Tuesday’s meeting to say it was unfair they were given only a week’s notice their monthly insurance costs would be greatly increased. City commissioners said errors in previous calculations meant the retirees had not been paying as much as they should be paying, so a correction is needed. But the commission tabled the issue for a week to discuss ways to phase in the increases to make them less painful for retirees.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Utah officers help suicidal woman on flight back from New York

SALT LAKE CITY — Before the flight got off the ground, one of the flight attendants acknowledged all of the police officers on the plane and noted to passengers, "You will never have a safer flight." 

Turns out all of those officers were needed.

A little more than 30 minutes into the flight, as Unified detective Cody Stromberg noted, "It was very much a street fight at 30,000 feet."

Three Unified police officers flying home late Sunday into early Monday after attending the funeral of slain New York police officer Wenjian Liu were unexpectedly called into duty on a Jet Blue flight to Salt Lake City.

A couple who were having a heated disagreement had to be separated.

The 32-year-old Long Island woman was reportedly intoxicated before getting on the plane and was having an intense dispute with her husband, said Unified police detective Robert Odor. At one point, the flight attendant, knowing that Odor was a police officer and that he had an open seat next to him in the front row, asked if it would be OK if they moved the woman next to him.

As soon as she sat next to him, Odor said he could tell she "was obviously having emotional distress." Then the woman started taking prescription medication out of her backpack and putting pills into her mouth.

About 30 minutes later, when the woman started writing in a notebook and putting a second bottle of pills in her mouth, Odor decided he needed to take action.

"She started writing a note on a spiral notebook. It was in large letters. It was kind of in shaky writing. And what it turned out to be was a suicide note. So I was reading it as she was writing it. She tried to take the remainder of the pills, I don't know how many. She tried to take the whole bottle. So at that point I intervened and took the bottle away from her, took the note away from her," he said.

"There's a fine line between intervening with someone's medication and knowing that they're overdosing. She wrote on the note how many pills she had taken."

But as soon as Odor grabbed the notebook and pills, the woman became violent.

"She was yelling, she was kicking at us, she was quite combative," he recalled Monday. "She's emotional, she's crying, she's kicking, I mean she was quite distraught to say the least."

Several officers, and a doctor from the Huntsman Cancer Institute who was also on the flight, tried to get the pills out of her mouth. The woman bit down on the doctor.

"We had to actually open her jaw so she would let go of his hand," Odor said.

As Odor and Stromberg held the woman down, Unified Police Sgt. Terry Wall attempted to talk to her, letting her know that she did matter. Wall is a Crisis Training Intervention specialist who is typically called into action when officers have to deal with a mentally ill person.

"Each individual has a stake in what goes on in the world and we need her here," Wall told her.

The woman's husband tried to walk to the front while the officers were trying to restrain her, but "she was very adamant he was not anywhere near her," Stromberg said, noting that "he was clearly making it worse" by being there. The husband was asked to go back to his seat.

Over the next 90 minutes, as the flight was being diverted to Chicago, the two officers held the woman as Wall talked to her. They felt that handcuffing her would have further exacerbated the situation.

One of the problems they faced was that she would calm down so much that she would fall asleep and become semi-comatose, he said. The officers, fearing the worst, kept waking her which would cause her to get angry again.

But the time the plane landed in Chicago where paramedics were waiting, Wall said the woman's cries of, "I want to die, I want to die. Let me die," had significantly changed.

"She was very calm and asking for help at that point. She wanted her stomach pumped and she wanted her daddy, is what she kept saying," he said.

The woman also wanted her husband.

By the end of it she was asking for him again. We had got her calmed down so much that she wanted to take her life in a different direction," Wall said.

In Chicago, the officers got cleaned up and the flight crew bought them snacks in the airport. Most of the passengers applauded with appreciation for the officers as the woman was taken off the plane.

"I can only speculate what would have happened if we hadn't noticed that and the flight would have continued for four more hours," Odor said.

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15-year-old sole survivor of plane crash Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

15-year old Joel Hutchison is a gifted straight A Freshman at Shawnee High School in Lima, Ohio. To meet him in person you'd never imagine the trauma he endured as 7-year old. That's when the small Cessna plane his father Jeff was piloting crashed in the waters just off the shores of Kelly's Island on September 3rd, 2007. Joe's father and his 9-year old brother Jeremy were both killed in the crash. “I stood on the plane wing and I looked to see where everyone was, and my dad was floating in the water about 15-feet away,” says Joel. “I knew Jeremy was gone because there was no response and I didn't see him anywhere.” 

Joel says the plane went underwater and he was left to tread water about a mile from the shore.  “Luckily, my dad told to me to yell for help before he went under,” says Joel.  “At that point, I was decently sure I'd never see them again.” 

Island Resident Chuck Herndon and his wife saw the crash from shore.  Chuck grabbed his row boat and headed out with a flashlight to help any survivors.  “I heard a small voice crying for help and I said keep screaming.” Says Herndon.  “I don't even know how I did it myself, the chances of like almost no wounds on me besides some small scrapes, I don't understand it myself, and it really is a miracle.” Says Joel.  

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  NTSB Identification: CHI07FA290
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, September 03, 2007 in Kelleys Island, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 172C, registration: N1301Y
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 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 non-instrument rated pilot departed to the east from the island airport at night. Witnesses reported seeing the airplane descend into Lake Erie shortly after takeoff. A resident of the island used his rowboat to rescue the surviving passenger. Post accident inspection of the airframe and engine failed to reveal any mechanical failure/malfunction that would have resulted in the accident. The departure end of the runway is approximately 200 feet from the lakeshore. The closest ground reference would have been the Ohio shoreline located about 10 miles south (to the right of) of the airplane's position.

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 due to spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident were the water and dark night conditions which resulted in the lack of ground references during the takeoff.

AutoGyro Calidus, N50NE, Airgyro Aviation LLC: Accident occurred January 06, 2015 in Grand Junction, Colorado and accident occurred May 20, 2016 in Fruitland, Utah


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA114 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 20, 2016 in Fruitland, UT
Aircraft: MICHAEL BURTON Calidus, registration: N50NE
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

On May 20, 2016, about 1100 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Michael Burton (AutoGyro GmbH) Calidus, N50NE, collided with mountainous terrain near Fruitland, Utah. The gyrocopter was registered to the builder and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured, and the gyrocopter sustained substantial damage. The cross-country personal flight departed Duchesne Municipal Airport, Duchesne, Utah, about 30 minutes prior, with a planned destination of Spanish Fork Airport-Springville-Woodhouse Field, Spanish Fork, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that they departed from Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, earlier that morning and stopped at Duchesne for fuel. They then departed west towards Spanish Fork on a route over the Wasatch Mountain Range. As they approached the last ridge, about 200 ft above its peak, they encountered a strong downdraft and the gyrocopter descended 500 ft and into a box canyon. Unable to out climb the terrain, the pilot guided the gyrocopter over a river at the base of the canyon until he could see a landing spot on the shore. As he approached the site and initiated the landing flair, the right wheel struck a bolder and the gyrocopter rolled over, coming to rest in the river.

A witness, who was fishing in the river, called 911 after climbing to a peak where he was able to receive cell phone reception. Due to the remoteness of the site, the pilot and passenger were not recovered until later in the evening.

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - A man and woman have been rescued after a Autogyro GMBH Calidus went down in the Uinta National Forest. 

The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said the crash happened sometime around 11 a.m. 

The office received a call from a fisherman at 11:30 a.m. alerting them of the crash.

Chief Deputy Jared Rigby with WCSO said, "He saw this gyrocopter go down. That it clipped the trees and that it went into the Strawberry River."

The fisherman would rush to the area to help get the pilot and his passenger to safety. 

He told deputies he was able to get the man out from the pilot seat but had a harder time with the woman on the passenger side. 

"He said that they had to move the aircraft around a little bit in order to help get the female passenger out because she was, she was pinned in," said Chief Deputy Rigby. 

The fisherman got the two to the shore of Strawberry River. Then he had to hike out two miles to get to cell service along U.S. 40. Once he did he called for search and rescue. 

"This is a really rugged area from what I’m being told. They are not able to get any vehicles in there," the Chief Deputy added.

Search and Rescue teams called in two medical helicopters to hoist the man and woman out of the area.

"The injuries I’m being told are minor to moderate and so I think that these folks thus far have been very fortunate," said Chief Deputy Rigby.

The two were taken to the Utah Regional Valley Medical Center to be treated for their injuries. 

Search and rescue teams said the woman may be suffering from a possible broken leg and injured back. 

The man suffered from hypothermia. 

"It really sounds like these people are truly fortunate to have that fisherman there and if infact he did see this aircraft go down, to be right there to help them, especially if they were stuck in that aircraft in the water," he added. 

The FAA and NTSB have been notified of the crash. It's still unclear why the gyrocopter went down. 

The Wasatch Health Department was called in because the crash happened on the Strawberry River and fuel could have been leaked into the water.

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WASATCH COUNTY, Utah -- A Autogyro GMBH Calidus crash about two miles south of the Soldier Creek dam in Wasatch County has left a pilot and a passenger injured.

Search and Rescue crews were called to the downed aircraft just before noon in the Strawberry River.

Jared Riby with the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said the man and woman have a few broken bones but no life-threatening injuries.

Deputies said a fisherman in the area heard the Autogyro GMBH Calidus having difficulties and saw it go down.

Officials said he went to check on the victims and then had to hike out to get cell service to call emergency crews.

Riby said the crash site is in a difficult area to reach and the only way crews could get to the victims was by air or on foot.

Rescue crews treated the pair and worked to get them out in a medical helicopter.

Authorities have not said what led to the crash.

The names of those involved have not been released.

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WASATCH COUNTY — Two people were injured when a Autogyro GMBH Calidus crashed in Wasatch County Friday.

The two people, who sustained “minor to moderate injuries,” were in the Strawberry River for about five minutes, according to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. The cause of the crash, which occurred in a remote location in the Soldier Creek area, is not yet known.

A fisherman saw the Autogyro GMBH Calidus crash into the water, according to the sheriff's office. He reportedly called emergency services after finding a spot with cell service and helped guide the search crew to the crash site.

The male pilot and female passenger were in the water for about five minutes after crashing into the river around 11:30 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.

"Life Flight sent two medical helicopters, hoisted the two patients out of the area, and are transporting them to Utah Valley (Hospital)," the department reported.

The Wasatch County Search and Rescue team and medical services responded to the crash. The two people were transported to the hospital by a medical helicopter.

Their injuries are not expected to be life threatening, although both people are being treated for hypothermia, according to the sheriff's office. One person had a possible broken leg and injured back, while the other only sustained minor injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety board will be involved in investigating the cause of the crash, according to the sheriff's office.

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NTSB Identification: CEN15CA128 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 06, 2015 in Grand Junction, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/10/2015
Aircraft: BURTON CALIDUS, registration: N50NE
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 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 stated that during a flight to the destination airport, the gyrocopter was in a slow climb at about 60 knots due to higher terrain that he knew was approaching along the route. As the gyrocopter approached a ridge, the pilot noticed that more altitude was needed, so he turned left of course along the ridge while continuing the climb, expecting to turn right at an area that he saw had lower terrain. The pilot said that things were still going well, but the climb rate had decreased somewhat. As the gyrocopter approached the area of lower terrain, the gyrocopter started to descend quickly with a best rate of climb speed of 52 knots. The gyrocopter descended lower than the surrounding trees and "brushed" the tree tops, tipping the gyrocopter forward and to the right. The pilot saw a small clearing and applied corrective control input to maintain an upright attitude of the gyrocopter and to reach the clearing. Just before entering the clearing, the gyrocopter contacted oak brush with its rotor blades, which sustained substantial damage. The gyrocopter landed in the clearing and slid with minimal forward speed to a stop. The aircraft fuselage had a fractured nose and collapsed nose gear. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot stated that if he had turned right at the approach of the ridge where the terrain was lower, he could have gone around the south end of the ridge. He said he should have expected a down draft on the lee side of the ridge and could also have executed an escape route earlier by turning away from the ridge before the area of down flowing air.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with terrain that was along the planned route of flight.


MESA COUNTY,Colo. Gyroplanes while considered experimental aircraft must still go through heavy regulation and inspection before ever being able to get off the ground, and the pilots that fly them must go through training before they can fly one.

On Tuesday night a Gyroplane carrying 2 passengers crashed leaving both men injured. But many are questioning the safety behind these unique aircrafts that are a mix between a helicopter and an airplane.

The two men in the crash were 53 year old Mike Burton of Pleasant Grove Utah, and 30 year old Josh Humphries from Payson Utah. The men were on their way back to Utah from Montrose when the crash happened.

Records on file with the FAA said the plane was registered to Mike Burton through Air-Gyro Aviation in Utah. Records show Burton built this Calidus 2 seater aircraft himself.

Troy Atwood is a Gyroplane pilot who said he is close friends with Mike Burton the pilot involved in the gyroplane crash Tuesday night.

Atwood was in another gyro-plane last night, flying ahead them, when the crash happened.

“The aircraft was performing properly, the motor wasn't putting out enough energy and he started to climb over that mountain and the mountain came up faster than he could climb and it was like a box canyon so there was nowhere for him to turn around," said Atwood.

The group was on their way back from a plane demonstration trip to Telluride and Montrose.

They'd started back to Utah, taking off from the Montrose airport around 3:30pm for what was expected to be a 3 hour flight.

The plane ran into trouble about an hour later, but Atwood had to keep flying even after the crash.

"It was pretty difficult but I've been in this business for a long time and I knew Mike and Josh would be okay because, it's Mike," said Atwood.

Gyroplanes are regulated a lot like any fixed wing aircraft, and these planes just like any other have to be licensed and registered.

Dick Knapinski with the Experimental Aircraft Association says that a lot of inspection and training goes into planes like Gyroplanes, before they can ever leave the ground.

"Anything with an air number or an N number that is registered with the FAA is under the same specifications for inspection, recurrent training and so forth, pilot training the same as a fixed wing aircraft," said Knapinski.

The requirements for a kit Gyroplane or one that you build yourself are a little bit more in-depth, once the plane is build it has to go through a federal inspection with the FAA.

"the FAA designated inspector will come and not only inspects the aircraft as it is but they also look at what's called a builders log how the aircraft went together, what timeline was used, what techniques were used," said Knapinski.

These aircraft's are required to go through inspection every year or every 100 hours of flight whichever comes first and pilots of these Gyroplanes must still complete training to fly one similar to that of another pilot.

The FAA and many pilots that fly these aircraft do consider them to be safe.

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PAYSON — "Crashed." 

That was the text Norky Humphreys received Tuesday afternoon at her home in Payson from her husband, Josh Humphreys.

"You are kidding right?" Norky Humphreys replied.

But he wasn't.

Josh Humphreys was flying back to Utah from Telluride, Colorado, with veteran pilot Mike Burton in their gyroplane — a kind of helicopter, airplane combination — when it crashed in a remote area near Glade Park shortly before 5:30 p.m., according to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

Both Humphreys and Burton survived. Rescuers took them to a hospital in Grand Junction where they were treated for back and neck injuries not considered to be life threatening. The two were being picked up by co-workers and driven back to Utah Wednesday.

Burton, of Pleasant Grove, is a pilot with Airgyro Aviation. On Monday, he was in one of two gyroplanes that flew to Telluride to show off the new aircraft to clients. Humphreys was there to film the event for the company.

On their way home, the two aircraft stopped in Montrose, Colorado, to fuel up. Shortly after takeoff again, the Burton and Humphreys gyroplane got caught in a downdraft and didn't have the turbo chargers needed to get over the mountain, according to Troy Atwood, who was in the gyroplane ahead of them.

Rescue teams reached the crash site on snowmobiles shortly after 8:20 p.m.

Humphreys reportedly had to hike a quarter-mile away from the crash site to get cellphone reception while Burton stayed with the aircraft. Humphreys tried calling his wife before texting her.

"He told me, 'I'm OK. We're fine. But we crashed,'" she said.

But reception was lost shortly after. After Humphreys texted that he had crashed, he again lost reception.

"Baby, answer the phone please, I am freaking out," Norky Humphreys texted back.

Finally, Josh Humphreys got reception again and Norky got the word she was waiting for.

"We're fine," the text said.

"I'm feeling fine now, but it was scary," Norky Humphreys said Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

Humphreys said the crash will not deter either man from flying a gyroplane again.

MESA COUNTY, Colo. UPDATE: 53-year-old Mike Burton, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, was piloting the gyroplane that crashed Tuesday night on Glade Park. Burton was transported to an area hospital via CareFlight helicopter.

The passenger of the plane was 30-year-old Josh Humphries, of Payson, Utah. Humphries initially refused medical services, but he was eventually transported via snowmobile to a waiting ambulance, which then took them to the hospital.

Inquiries have been made of the hospital Burton and Humphries were taken to, however they have not released any information regarding their conditions.

As darkness descended upon the Grand Valley, authorities rushed to the scene of a gyroplane crash Tuesday night.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, two Utah men were traveling back to Spanish Fork, Utah when the gyroplane crashed on Glade Park.

The initial call came in around 5:30 p.m. and was made from a person inside the aircraft. Delta County Dispatch was able to determine that there were two men on board the gyrocopter-type aircraft, and the caller was able to provide an approximate GPS location of the crash.

After staging in the area, officials with the Glade Park Fire Department determined they would need help finding the crash victims.

They called in the CareFlight helicopter to perform a search using night vision equipment.

CareFlight was able to locate the crash site – a remote, canyon-laden area approximately 12 miles southeast of the Glade Park Fire Station – however they were unable to land.

Heavy snow on the ground in the area meant a snowmobile rescue effort was required to reach the scene. A ground rescue team used the snowmobiles to reach the crash sight and begin treatment and removal of both victims.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. the ground team found a place for the CareFlight helicopter to land and requested transport of one man to an area hospital.

The second man initially refused medical services, but he was eventually transported via snowmobile to a waiting ambulance, which then took them to the hospital.

Authorities with the Glade Park Fire Department, Grand Junction Fire Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, and Mesa County Search and Rescue all respond to the incident.

Flatbread Will Shutter Its Vineyard Operation: Martha's Vineyard Airport (KMVY), Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Flatbread, the popular wood-fired pizza franchise near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport that has hosted fundraisers, family dance parties and concerts, will not reopen this summer, owner Jay Gould has confirmed.

“The season is too short for us. We do very well in July and August, but it’s not enough,” Mr. Gould told the Gazette in an email early Tuesday.

Mr. Gould, who owns the building along with Brion McGroarty, the owner of MV Wine and Spirits next door, said he hopes someone may want to take over the restaurant as a new franchise owner. “As an independent franchise it may be financially viable without all our corporate overhead. This would be our first choice,” he wrote.

Flatbread has been operating since 2010 in the space that formerly housed the Hot Tin Roof and Outerland nightclubs. For the first two years Mr. Gould partnered with Nectar’s, the Burlington, Vt., nightclub, but in 2012 the music promoter bowed out and Flatbread took over as the sole owner. Mr. Gould is the chief executive officer of the Flatbread Co., a franchise of the American Flatbread Company in Vermont.

The first Flatbread pizza restaurant under Mr. Gould’s ownership opened in Amesbury in 1998; Flatbread restaurants can now be found from the Hamptons to Maui. The pizza is baked in a handmade clay wood-fired oven using organic flour and ingredients sourced from local farms. The environment is deliberately casual and all Flatbreads host weekly fundraisers for local organizations.

But in his email Mr. Gould said the extreme seasonality of the Vineyard has been an obstacle.

“There was only one problem — the short season — and this is something we cannot fix,” he wrote. “We loved the Island and in a way it was the perfect place for Flatbread — and as most of us at Flatbread are surfers and beach lovers, having a store on the Vineyard seemed great. We were only open in the summer and the Island has an abundance of local and organic farms. Using local and organic food was something we pioneered 16 years ago before it became popular.”

He concluded on a note of thanks:

“We would like to thank our fantastic local Island crew and Tina Miller our manager, Julia Celeste our assistant manager and Karen Dutton our kitchen manager. We would also like to thank all of our Island supporters.”

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Beech V35B Bonanza, N246JT, J & J Air LLC: Accident occurred January 06, 2015 near Hickory Regional Airport (KHKY), North Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA092 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 06, 2015 in Long View, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2015
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N246JT
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 Minor.

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

The pilot reported that, during initial climb, he heard a big “bang,” which was followed by a total loss of engine power. He subsequently performed a forced landing straight ahead into trees. Teardown examination of the engine revealed that the lower rear crankshaft counterweight had separated. During a subsequent examination, all four snap rings from the lower rear crankshaft counterweight were found loose in the engine, and one of the rings was found broken in half. Three of the lower rear counterweight retaining plates were found, but the fourth retaining plate was not recovered. Two snap rings that were still in place on the upper rear crankshaft counterweight were examined. The examination revealed that the width between the snap ring ears on one of the snap rings did not meet the manufacturer-prescribed width, indicating that the snap ring was not properly seated. After that snap ring was removed and its groove was cleaned of deposits with a wire brush, it seated properly when reinstalled. A review of maintenance records revealed that, about 16 years before the accident, the engine had been rebuilt and had accumulated about 1,600 hours since it was rebuilt and that, about 8 years before the accident, a top overhaul was performed on the engine. The crankshaft was inspected about 6 months after the factory rebuild in accordance with an airworthiness directive (AD); however, there likely would have been little to no deposits in the crankshaft so soon after the factory rebuild. Before the issuance of the AD, the engine manufacturer had issued a mandatory service bulletin, which included a warning that the “failure to properly install counterweight retaining plates and snap rings may result in engine damage and possible failure.” It is likely that the lower rear crankshaft counterweight snap rings were not properly installed; however, it could not be determined when or by whom they were improperly installed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The improper installation of the lower rear crankshaft counterweight snap rings by unknown maintenance personnel, which resulted in the separation of the counterweight and a subsequent total loss of engine power during initial climb.

On January 6, 2015, about 1710 eastern standard time, a Beech V35B, N246JT, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing into trees in Long View, North Carolina, following a total loss of engine power during initial climb from Hickory Regional Airport (HKY), Hickory, North Carolina. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the three passengers incurred minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV), Greenville, North Carolina.

The pilot stated that during initial climb, about 300 feet above ground level, he heard a loud bang followed by a total loss of engine power. He subsequently performed a forced landing straight ahead into trees.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the fuselage. The inspector also noted a hole in the engine case near the No. 2 cylinder.

A teardown examination of the engine was performed at a recovery facility, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination revealed that the lower rear crankshaft counterweight had separated and the No. 1 connecting rod separated. Oil was present throughout the engine and there was no evidence of lack of lubrication. The No. 2 cylinder, crankshaft, and camshaft could not be separated from the engine case half for examination due to rotational damage that occurred following the separation of the crankshaft counterweight. Those components were then forwarded to the manufacturer's facility for further examination as the teardown examination could not be completed at the recovery facility.

The subsequent examination at the manufacturer's facility was also performed under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination revealed that all four snap rings from the lower rear crankshaft counterweight were found loose in the engine, and one of the rings had separated in half. Three of the lower rear counterweight retaining plates were found, but the fourth was not recovered. For comparison purposes, two snap rings were examined on the upper rear crankshaft counterweight. According to the manufacturer's mandatary service bulletin (MSB 99-3C), the minimum width between the snap ring ears must be 0.179 inch or more; a smaller width was indicative of a snap ring that was not properly seated in its groove. For one of the two upper rear counterweight snap rings, a 0.179 inch gap gauge could not be inserted as there was less than the prescribed space between the snap ring ears. However, when that snap ring was removed and its groove was cleaned of deposits by a wire brush, the snap ring then seated properly when reinstalled. Subsequently, the 0.179 inch gap gauge fit between the ears of the reinstalled snap ring.

Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on July 16, 2014. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 3,394 total hours of operation. The engine was a factory rebuild in 1998 and had accumulated 1,561 total hours at the time of the annual inspection. The airplane flew about 46 hours from the time of the inspection, until the accident.

Maintenance records show the engine received a top overhaul in 2006. The maintenance records also revealed that the crankshaft was inspection in June, 1999 in accordance with airworthiness directive 99-09-17. Continental Engines Service Bulletin MSB 99-3C states, "WARNING Do not use plates that have a loose fit. Failure to properly install counterweight retaining plates and snap rings may result in engine damage and possible failure."


NTSB Identification: ERA15LA092 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 06, 2015 in Long View, NC
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N246JT
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 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 January 6, 2015, about 1630 eastern standard time, a Beech V35B, N246JT, operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing into trees in Long View, North Carolina, following a total loss of engine power during initial climb from Hickory Regional Airport (HKY), Hickory, North Carolina. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the three passengers incurred minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV), Greenville, North Carolina. 

The pilot stated that during initial climb, about 300 feet above ground level, he heard a loud bang followed by a total loss of engine power. He subsequently performed a forced landing straight ahead into trees. 

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the fuselage. The inspector also noted a hole in the engine case near the No. 1 cylinder. 

The engine was retained for further examination.

BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A teenager from North Carolina is speaking out after he survived a plane crash in Long View Tuesday afternoon wh ere three other people, including the pilot, were injured.

A single-engine plane crashed in Hickory on Tuesday evening, injuring the pilot and three passengers on board.

Cody Good heard a noise outside his home just after 5 p.m. Tuesday evening. "Just a big ole bang." Cody rushed outside to see what it was and saw a mangled plane in the woods across the street.

Nineteen-year-old Brian Teague was back out at the crash site Wednesday morning with a bandage on his nose and a limp in his step.

"Its just kind of a miracle that everyone made it out alive," he said while looking at the area.

Teague was headed to Spartanburg with three other people from the Hickory Regional Airport when the plane ran into issues.

"We got about 300 feet off the ground and the engine just gave out and there was not place to go," he said.

According to Teague, the pilot, Jayson Jarvis did "everything perfectly." He even credits Jarvis for saving their lives.

"If it wasn't for him we probably wouldn't be here today," he said.

Teague says Jarvis was able to control the airplane once the engine failed and was able to maneuver the plane away from nearby homes.

He says everyone on the plane remained calm during the incident.

"There's not much you can do at that point," Teague said. "We were just all told to brace."

Since the plane was so low to the ground, he said it only took second to hit the ground.

"It happened so fast. but at the same time it was such a slow descent. It felt like it took forever to get from here to the crash site," he said. "It was just a very abrupt impact and there wasn't a whole lot [of time] to think about anything. I mean, of course you think about your family and what could happen, but it didn't. And he did a good job of putting it where he did."

Jarvis was seriously injured in the crash and was later airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte.

Teague says another passenger in the plane was able to pull him and another person on board out of the plane. People from nearby homes came out to the crash to help the men.

"It hasn't really changed my perspective on what I want to do with my life. I really enjoy [flying]," he said. "It is a freak accident. Anything can happen at any time. You are not guaranteed tomorrow. I'm going to keep flying."

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LONG VIEW, N.C. — A plane crash Tuesday evening next to a house in Long View sent four people to local hospitals with varying severity of injuries.

The mangled single-engine Beechcraft was taking off from Hickory Regional Airport with four people on board — officials were not releasing names at the scene — when it fell. Three of the passengers were taken by ambulance to different hospitals and the fourth was airlifted to the Charlotte area.

The initial call came in about 5:15 p.m. The caller said a plane crashed into his yard.

Marc Bailey was at the scene a few hours after the crash was reported. He said he saw from his office window the plane taxi off the runway. Bailey, a pilot himself, said everything looked fine at take off.

Moments later, Kristy Hammonds said she heard the plane crash into a wooded area next to a house at 3710 First Ave. NW. Hammonds lives across the street from where the accident happened. One of the plane’s wings was torn completely off and the fuselage was scrunched and ripped apart.

Terri Byers, a spokeswoman for the Hickory Fire Department, could not confirm at the scene why the airplane went down. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the wreck, she said, which could start as early as Wednesday.

The end of Hickory’s runway is about half a mile from where the plane ended up. It was so close that other planes could be seen taking off from the same runway. The father of one of the passengers said the plane that crashed was en route to the Greenville-Spartanburg airport when the engine failed.

Several different departments responded to the call, including Catawba County EMS, Long View Fire Department, Long View Police Department, Hickory Fire Department and Burke County EMS.

The plane is owned by Jayson Scott Jarvis, according to the FAA’s website. A phone message for him was not returned Tuesday night. Jarvis recently received “inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database,” according to an online report. Jarvis is listed as a "certified registered nurse anesthetist" in Hickory on multiple websites.

Brian Teague

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - Four people were injured when a plane crashed in Long View Tuesday. The crash happened around 5 p.m. near the Hickory Regional Airport and involved a single-engine plane. 

Officials say there were four people on board at the time. 

The pilot was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries. The other three on board were injured but are expected to be okay.

One of the people on board the plane, which was en route to Greenville-Spartanburg, told officials that the plane's engine quit right after takeoff when the aircraft was about 300 ft in the air.

The pilot attempted to bring the plane back in and was reportedly able to just miss several houses before crashing into a tree.

The names of the people on board have not been released.

HICKORY, N.C. -- Authorities say a plane has crashed near the Hickory Regional Airport.

The call came in just before 5:15 Tuesday evening; authorities say a plane crashed in a small field near a house, south of the Hickory Regional Airport in Long View. Catawba County EMS has been called to the scene at the request of Burke County.

The FAA says four people were on board. One person has been airlifted from the scene.

The FAA says Beech BE-35 aircraft lost power on departure from Hickory Regional Airport before it went down in the residential area.

The airport is located in both Catawba and Burke Counties; the crash happened on the Burke County side.

The FAA is investigating, while the NTSB will determine probable cause.