Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, 8R-GAB, Trans Guyana Airways/Sky West Charter: Incident occurred January 10, 2015 at Matthews Ridge (SYMR), Region One/Barima-Waini, Guyana

Passengers on a Trans Guyana Airways flight are thanking their lucky stars after poor weather caused the plane to land hard at the Matthews Ridge airstrip in Region One.

The plane, according to Kit Nascimento, a spokesman for the company, sustained damage and will be unable to fly until repairs are conducted.

The Cessna Grand Caravan, bearing registration 8R-GAB, left Ogle, to arrive at the Matthews Ridge airstrip at 08:28hrs.

In it were 12 adult passengers and two infants. The weather was bad with visibility poor.

The plane had a hard landing and the left wing was damaged. There also appeared to be damage to the undercarriage of the aircraft.  There were no injuries reported.

According to Nascimento, a team of officials from the company and investigators from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) were scheduled to leave but bad weather caused the flight to the Region One area to be postponed.

The plane will have to be left there until repairs are concluded and deemed airworthy before it takes to the skies again.

Fish and Game official found not guilty of unlawful moose kill

A Homer District Court judge found state wildlife biologist Jason Herreman not guilty of illegally hunting a moose on the Kenai Peninsula.

Thirty-four-year-old Herreman, assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, was charged with using illegal means to take the moose and unlawful possession of game in September.

Herreman told authorities he wounded a moose during an Aug. 23 hunt near Anchor Point but lost it. He came back the next day to track down the injured animal with help from a spotter in an airplane. It is illegal for planes to help spot and kill game in Alaska.

The law on using planes to recover wounded animals is less clear. Lawyer Myron Angstman said Friday in a phone interview that he had planned to present two arguments.

Angstman initially argued in Herreman’s bench trial -- a trial without jurors in which the judge decides the verdict -- that the radio his client used to communicate with the pilot “was of no aid whatsoever.” The lawyer said the law stipulates that a crime is committed if those communications serve as an aid.

Judge Margaret Murphy “decided that it did not give aid,” Angstman said. “Therefore, she was not required to go on to our second argument.”

He planned to also argue that state law allows hunters to use any reasonable means to track down and salvage a wounded animal. He previously told Homer News that salvaging an animal using radios and aircraft should be considered against the alternative of not salvaging the animal at all, which could be considered wanton waste.

Angstman said it was an interpretation that needed a resolution in court. However, he did not have a chance to make the argument.

“We never got that far,” he said. “Since there was no help from the radio the judge found him not guilty.”

Assistant attorney general Arne Soldwedel filed the charges against Herreman and tried the case. He said in an email that another state prosecutor covered Friday's hearing and all he was sure of was the verdict. He declined to comment on the outcome of the case before reviewing the judge's ruling.

Angstman said he is satisfied with the decision, and Herreman is “feeling good.” It is still up in the air as to whether Herreman will get his job back; Fish and Game placed Herreman on unpaid leave.

Original article can be found at:

Delayed Chinese passengers force open plane doors 'for fresh air'

Passengers on a flight to Beijing opened three emergency exits "to get fresh air" just moments before take-off after becoming irritated at delays caused by snow.

Police are investigating 25 people over the incident on the China Eastern Airlines flight, whose leg from Kunming in Yunnan province to Beijing was subsequently cancelled.

Snow and rain had caused a three-hour delay to the first leg of flight MU2036, which departed from Dhaka in Bangladesh for Kunming, on Friday night.

Some of the passengers who were continuing to Beijing became annoyed after learning the second leg would also be delayed for more than two hours, from 8.45pm to around 11pm, the China News Service reported.

Some initially refused to reboard the plane and demanded compensation, but were talked around and all boarded by 1.40am.

However, they became unruly and used "strong language" when airport staff took more than an hour to clear snow off the aircraft. When the flight began taxiing after being cleared for take-off at 3.17am - almost seven hours behind schedule - they allegedly opened three emergency exits, forcing it to stop.

Some reports cited a Weibo user's post - subsequently removed - that said a fiery dialogue between the pilot and passengers had made them even angrier.

According to the post, air conditioning had been turned off at about 3am, and some passengers had found it hard to breathe. They asked to get off the plane for fresh air, but the crew members refused.

The post said the pilot then shouted: "Are you going to die soon? If not, just wait."

The plane began to move soon after, catching some passengers off guard and causing them to fall over, it said.

Reports by state media said all crew members acted according to procedures and did not use unsuitable language.

Story and Photos:

Robinson R22 Beta, Vertical Solutions Helicopter Company LLC, N348VH: Fatal accident occurred January 10, 2015 in Catano, Puerto Rico

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

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items -   National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Vertical Solutions Helicopter Company LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 10, 2015 in Catano, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/26/2017
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N348VH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The student helicopter pilot was on a solo training flight in the airport traffic pattern. He had completed eight approaches via a right downwind approach to the runway, when the air traffic controller advised him that he was number three for his next approach. About 1 minute later, the student pilot requested a left 360-degree turn. The controller then instructed him to hold at his current location and expect to be number four in sequence. During the next 6 minutes, the controller made three attempts to have the student pilot report the traffic to follow on final approach in sight, and the student pilot advised that it was hard for him to hear the controller’s instructions due to wind noise. The controller then advised the student pilot to follow an airplane on short final approach, and the student pilot reported the traffic in sight. About 1 minute later, the controller advised the pilot of another airplane to follow the helicopter on the approach. The airplane pilot observed the helicopter ascend in a series of right, 360-degree turns for about 100 to 200 ft. As it climbed, white smoke consistent with a rapid increase in engine rpm and an engine overspeed trailed the helicopter. When the helicopter climbed to an apex of about 800 ft, the ends of both rotor blades coned upward to where the tips were nearly vertical, consistent with a low rotor rpm condition. The helicopter then entered a right, spiraling descent until it impacted the water.

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. The main rotor blade elastomeric teeter stops were missing, consistent with low rotor rpm blade flapping. Although the temperature and dew point were conducive to carburetor icing, its formulation likely would not have allowed the helicopter to climb as high as it did just before the accident. More likely, the student pilot became distracted while he attempted to track other aircraft in the traffic pattern and sequence the helicopter for the approach, which led to his failure to maintain rotor rpm. Toxicological testing performed on specimens from the pilot identified butalbital in liver (1.24 ug/g) and in muscle (0.468 ug/g). Estimated corresponding blood levels were likely below the therapeutic window for butalbital, and unlikely to have been directly impairing at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot’s failure to maintain rotor rpm while maneuvering in the airport traffic pattern, which resulted in the helicopter’s uncontrolled descent to the water. Contributing to the accident was the student’s distraction with other aircraft operating in the traffic pattern. 


On January 10, 2015, at 1032 Atlantic standard time, a Robinson R-22 Beta, N348VH, operated by Vertical Solutions Helicopter Company, LLC, was destroyed when it impacted waters of San Juan Bay, off shore Cataño, Puerto Rico. The student pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that originated at Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (TJIG), Isla Grande, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The solo instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the student pilot's flight instructor, the student pilot arrived at the hangar about 0800 and began his preflight inspection of the helicopter. Upon completion of the inspection, they spoke for about 20 minutes about the weather conditions at the airport, whether he had all of his documents on him, how long he would fly and what he would be practicing on the flight. They then wheeled the helicopter outside and the student pilot made final preparations for the flight.

About 0845, the student pilot started the helicopter and about 10 minutes later shut it down and walked to the hanger. He explained that the tower controller had said that his request to make right closed traffic patterns could not be accommodated at that time and to try again later. About 0920, the flight instructor phoned the tower to see if the flight could go and got an affirmative response, so he sent the student pilot back out to continue the flight.

The helicopter departed the ramp about 0930 and remained in the traffic pattern for approximately 1 hour. As the flight instructor was sitting in the hangar, he noticed that it was taking longer than normal since he had heard the helicopter go by. He stepped outside and visually located the helicopter in a left holding pattern south of the airport, which was standard procedure when the tower needed sequencing for other aircraft, then he went back inside. A few minutes later, the flight instructor still had not heard the helicopter, so he went outside again, but was unable to locate the helicopter. He then noticed a ports authority vehicle driving towards the police hangar, and about 1 minute later, he observed one of the police helicopters starting. At that moment, the flight instructor suspected a problem. He then called the control tower controller, who told him that he had seen the helicopter spinning and that it impacted the water by Cataño Point.

According to a pilot of a low-wing airplane that was approaching the airport, about 3 to 4 miles on a straight-in approach to runway 9, with the helicopter number two to land. The tower controller asked the pilot if he had the helicopter in sight, after which, the pilot saw an aircraft about ½ mile ahead, about the 2:30 positon (off the right side) of his airplane. The pilot originally thought he saw a radio-controlled (RC) helicopter, because it was emitting white smoke from the back, as did the RC helicopters he was used to flying. He then saw it make a series of right 360-degree turns "around the rotor head," with the fuselage vertical, and realized it was a helicopter. While turning to the right, the helicopter climbed 100 to 200 feet, reaching an estimated 800 feet. As it did, the ends of both rotor blades coned upwards to where the blades tips were vertical, with the major bending occurring about ¼ blade span from the ends of the blades.

The witness then saw the helicopter's nose drop; it then entered a descent, and spiraled downward to the right three or four times until it impacted the water. It hit the water heading east, nose and right side down. Upon impact, the tailboom separated from the airframe toward the west.

The witness also recalled that the white smoke he originally saw during the climb emanated from the back of the helicopter to a distance of about 1 ½ tailboom-lengths aft of the boom, and that it dissipated once the helicopter began its descent.

According to a police detective, a witness on the ground in Cataño also saw white smoke emanating from the back of the helicopter. However, instead of the helicopter turning, he saw it swinging from side to side like a pendulum as it descended.

A witness who was interviewed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that he heard the engine shut down twice, and after the second time it shut down, the helicopter descended into the water.

Radar data was received from the FAA; however, it was insufficient to construct an accurate plot of the helicopter's positions and altitudes prior to the accident.

Radio transmissions, as noted in the FAA air traffic control Aircraft Accident Package, included:

At 0948, the pilot advised ready for takeoff. The local (tower) controller issued the wind and a takeoff clearance, which the pilot acknowledged.

At 0951, the pilot reported south of the tower and the controller issued the wind and a clearance for the option. The helicopter subsequently completed a series of eight approaches via right downwind to runway 9 through 1023.

At 1024, the pilot reported south of the tower. The controller issued the wind, an option clearance, and instructions to be number three following a Cessna Caravan on final approach. The pilot advised that he was looking for traffic.

At 1025, the pilot requested a left three-sixty [turn] on the right downwind. The controller instructed the pilot to hold south at his current location and expect to be number four in sequence, which the pilot acknowledged.

At 1031, the controller made three attempts to have the pilot report traffic to follow on final approach in sight. The pilot advised it was hard to hear due to wind. The controller then instructed the pilot to follow a Cessna on short final, and issued the wind and a clearance for the option. The pilot reported traffic to follow in sight.

At 1032, the controller advised another pilot to expect to follow a helicopter on a right base. That pilot reported the helicopter in sight and later that he saw the helicopter go down in the Cataño area.

There were no further transmissions from the helicopter.


The student pilot, age 59, held an FAA third-class medical certificate dated October 2, 2014. As of his latest logged flight, on January 9, 2015, the pilot indicated 91.7 hours of total flight time.


The helicopter was powered by a derated Lycoming O-320 series engine driving a two-blade rotor system. The latest 100-hour inspection was completed on December 21, 2014, at a Hobbs time of 2,735.7 hours. Engine total time at that time was 3,965.2 hours, 1,765.2 hours since overhaul.

A company log, that listed each flight, indicated that as of January 9, 2015, the Hobbs meter indicated 2,745.4 hours. At the time of the accident, the Hobbs meter indicated 2,746.3.

The helicopter had an engine rpm governor. According to the Pilot's Operating Handbook, "the governor maintains engine RPM by sensing changes and applying corrective throttle inputs through a friction clutch which can be easily overridden by the pilot. The governor is active only above 80% engine RPM and can be switched on or off using the toggle switch on the end of the right seat collective. The governor is designed to assist in controlling RPM under normal conditions. It may not prevent over- or under-speed conditions generated by aggressive flight maneuvers."

According to a Robinson Helicopter Company representative, a rapid increase in engine rpm along with a slight overspeed can create white smoke out the exhaust, especially in a higher time engine. This requires the pilot to override (or turn off) the governor." Also, "a rapid increase in engine RPM along with raising the collective will result in a nose right yaw and a quick ascent."


Weather, recorded at TJIG at 1045, included scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, wind from 100 degrees true at 12 knots, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 22 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.16 inches of Mercury.
For the ambient temperature and dew point, a carburetor icing probability chart found in FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35 indicated "serious icing [at] glide power."


The helicopter was recovered from San Juan Bay in the vicinity of 18 degrees, 26.53 minutes north latitude, 66 degrees, 07.16 minutes west longitude. The tailboom was initially not recovered.

The wreckage was subsequently taken to a secure facility where it was examined. Cabin crush patterns were consistent with a nose-down, right-side-down water entry. The doors were not installed for the flight.

The instrument console was found separated from the lower console, but tethered by wires. All five flight instruments had water inside of them. The keyed ignition switch was in the "Both" position and the rotor RPM gage indicated 76%. Other instrument indications moved as the wreckage was moved. The clutch switch was in the "Engaged" position, and the "Master Battery" and "Alternator" switches were in the "On" position.
The cyclic was found jammed in the neutral position with the friction off. The collective was jammed about two-thirds of the way up with the friction off. The left tail rotor control pedal was jammed forward and the right tail rotor control pedal was jammed aft. The removable controls (in case a second pilot was onboard) were found stowed under the left seat.

The fuel mixture knob was jammed in the "Full Rich" position, and the throttle grip was jammed in the "Idle" position. The carburetor heat control was jammed .20 inches up from full down (heat off) position. The carburetor heat control wire sheathing was stretched, and the mounting bracket was separated from the air box. The carburetor heat sliding door was deformed and jammed open 1.7 inches, or about 70% heat on.

Both drive V-belts remained on their sheaves and appeared undamaged. The sprag clutch was operated without any anomalies noted.

The engine cooling fan was bent slightly and the upper half of the scroll sustained impact damage. The lower half of the scroll was not recovered. There was a single scuff mark on the edge of the cooling fan inlet adjacent to the scroll lip and several static contact marks on the leading edge of two of the fins. The exhaust system was bent and deformed with the tailpipe up and around the lower sheave and starter ring gear. The alternator cooling fan was deformed on one side, but with no rotational scoring noted. The alternator belt remained in position. The forward face of the upper sheave had a scuff mark adjacent to the lower frame tube. The aft face of the upper sheave had no contact marks. There were no rotational scoring marks noted at any observed contact points.

The engine did not exhibit any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Approximately 3 gallons of water and oil were drained from the oil sump. The cooling fan was rotated and crankshaft continuity was confirmed with no anomalies noted to the valve train or accessory gears. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all four cylinders. Visual examination of the rocker arms, push rods, valve caps, valve stems, valve springs and lower spark plugs revealed no anomalies. Both magnetos produced spark after internal components were dried.

All oil lines and fittings were secure with no indications of the oil system being compromised. Visual inspection of the oil screen and oil filter element revealed no debris.

The fuel mixture arm on the carburetor was separated from its shaft and the accelerator pump shaft was slightly bent. Carburetor removal and disassembly revealed no preexisting anomalies. The float bowl was full of liquid consistent in appearance with 100LL aviation fuel and water. The brass floats were undamaged. The gascolator bowl was also full of liquid consistent with 100LL aviation fuel and a small amount of water. Recovery personnel had also noted a fuel-type sheen on the water's surface and an odor of fuel at the crash site.

The forward flex coupling was undamaged, and the intermediate flex coupling was bent and disconnected at the yoke consistent with overload. The main rotor driveshaft was rotated by hand more than 360 degrees with no anomalies noted. Oil was visible in the main rotor gearbox sight gauge.

One main rotor blade was bent slightly upward about 7 feet from the tip, and bent downward and aft slightly about 3 feet from the tip. It had several creases running mostly chordwise from the trailing edge. The trailing edge was bent upward near the tip. There were no visible contact marks on the leading edge. The pitch control bearing rotated smoothly.

The other main rotor blade was bowed upward at midspan. There were no visible contact marks on the leading edge although there was a scuff mark on the upper skin near the tip that appeared to be yellow paint. The paint could not be matched to specific point on the helicopter; however, the only yellow paint on it was on the main rotor blades. The pitch control bearing rotated with resistance.

Both main rotor blade elastomeric teeter stops were missing, consistent with low rpm blade flapping.

On February 27, 2015, the operator learned that portions of the tail had washed onshore about 2 weeks earlier, and that local police had put them in a storage yard. FAA was then able to take photographs and provide them to the investigation team. Review of the photographs did not reveal any preexisting mechanical anomalies.

Instrument warning panel light bulbs were analyzed for filament stretching (bulb illuminated at impact.) Filament stretching was confirmed by the NTSB Materials Laboratory on three of the six bulbs submitted: the ALT bulb, the GOV OFF bulb and the OIL P bulb. The three that did not have filament stretching were the T/R CHIP bulb, the LOW RPM bulb and LOW FUEL bulb.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot at El Instituto de Ciencias Forenses de Puerto Rico, San Juan Puerto, where the cause of death was determined to be "severe body trauma."

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research team, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Results noted no ethanol, but did find 1.24 (ug/ml, ug/g) of butalbital detected in the liver, 0.468 (ug/ml, ug/g) of butalbital detected in muscle, and losartan detected in the liver.

According to the FAA Aerospace Medical Research web site, butalbital is a short- to intermediate-acting barbiturate. It is commonly used in combination with other drugs such as acetaminophen and caffeine to treat mild to moderate pain, migraines and tension headaches. Losartan is used in the treatment of hypertension.



Excerpts include:

"Rotor stall due to low RPM causes a very high percentage of helicopter accidents, both fatal and non-fatal. [It] can occur at any airspeed and when it does, the rotor stops producing the lift required to support the helicopter and the aircraft literally falls out of the sky.

Rotor stall is very similar to the stall of an airplane wing at low airspeeds. As the airspeed of an airplane gets lower, the nose-up angle, or angle-of-attack, of the wing must be higher for the wing to produce the lift required to support the weight of the airplane. At a critical angle (about 15 degrees), the airflow over the wing will separate and stall, causing a sudden loss of lift and a very large increase in drag.

The airplane pilot recovers by lowering the nose of the airplane to reduce the wing angle-of-attack below stall and adds power to recover the lost airspeed. The same thing happens during rotor stall with a helicopter except it occurs due to low rotor RPM instead of low airspeed. As the RPM of the rotor gets lower, the angle-of-attack of the rotor blades must be higher to generate the lift required to support the weight of the helicopter. Even if the collective is not raised by the pilot to provide the higher blade angle, the helicopter will start to descend until the upward movement of air to the rotor provides the necessary increase in blade angle-of-attack.

As with the airplane wing, the blade airfoil will stall at a critical angle, resulting in a sudden loss of lift and a large increase in drag. The increased drag on the blades acts like a huge rotor brake causing the rotor RPM to rapidly decrease, further increasing the rotor stall. As the helicopter begins to fall, the upward rushing air continues to increase the angle-of-attack on the slowly rotating blades, making recovery virtually impossible, even with full down collective.

When the rotor stalls, it does not do so symmetrically because any forward airspeed of the helicopter will produce a higher airflow on the advancing blade than on the retreating blade."

La flota de Vertical Solutions. A la extrema izquiera, el helicóptero accidentado.
 (Vertical Solutions Helicopter Company/Facebook)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A helicopter crashed Saturday morning in waters near Puerto Rico's capital, killing at least one person, police said.

Authorities said the accident occurred near the ferry terminal in the coastal community of Catano. 

They identified it as a Robinson helicopter that belonged to Vertical Solutions, a local tour and charter company. 

The helicopter apparently was being used as part of a training exercise when it crashed, said officers.

Police initially said two people died but later said there was only one victim. 

They identified him as 59-year-old Javier Acosta Rosa of the northern Puerto Rican municipality of Bayamon.

Authorities said officials with the Federal Aviation Administration were recovering the helicopter from the water. 

The Catano ferry crosses the San Juan Bay and is popular with tourists and locals alike who seek to travel between historic Old San Juan and the Bacardi rum factory in Catano. 


Coroner officials remove the body of the helicopter pilot recovered from the waters in the coastal community of Catano, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Authorities said the pilot died in a helicopter crash that occurred near the ferry terminal in Catano, during a training exercise when it crashed, police said. They identified it as a Robinson helicopter that belonged to Vertical Solutions, a local tour and charter company, but did not provide the pilot's name. 

Search and rescue crews surround the body of a helicopter pilot recovered from the waters in the coastal community of Catano, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Authorities said the pilot died in a helicopter crash during a training exercise that occurred near the ferry terminal in Catano. They identified it as a Robinson helicopter that belonged to Vertical Solutions, a local tour and charter company, but did not provide the pilot's name. 

Cataño - Las autoridades informaron el sábado que un hombre que realizaba su segundo vuelo de práctica a solas y quien estaba próximo a graduarse como piloto de helicópteros, falleció cuando la nave que manejaba se estrelló en la bahía de San Juan.

El hombre fue identificado por la Policía como Javier Acosta Rosa, de 59 años de edad y residente de Bayamón. Hoy realizaba su segundo vuelo de práctica a solas como parte de su entrenamiento para licenciarse como piloto de helicópteros en la escuela de aviación Vertical Solutions Helicópter Company, ubicada en Isla Grande.

Rolando Pauda Meléndez, director del Negociado de Aviación de la Autoridad de Puertos, explicó que a eso de las 10:13 A.M, el piloto solicitó autorización para despegar a la torre de control, recibiendo el permiso a las 10:33 A.M. "Según la información que tenemos en discusión con la torre de control y la Administración Federal de Aviación (FAA, por sus siglas en inglés) él despega, da unas vueltas de práctica y permanece en un holding position justo en la entrada del aeropuerto de Isla Grande, esperando a que otras aeronaves aterricen. En ese proceso es que se reporta (la precipitación del helicóptero) desde 500 pies de altura hacia el agua”.

El helicóptero era un Robinson color naranja, modelo R22 Beta y con número de cola N348VH. Fue construído en el año 1992 y tiene capacidad para dos pasajeros. Éste es uno de tres helicópteros de la flota de Vertical Solutions, según muestran las imágenes de la página de Facebook de la empresa.

"Nosotros estamos en proceso de investigación con la compañía operadora. Esta investigación va a ser profundizada por la FAA, sobre el mantenimiento y la situación de la aeronave. Lo que sabemos es que un estudiante que sólo llevaba dos vuelos solo tuvo un accidente. Así que es muy prematuro saber si estamos hablando de un problema mecánico o si la experiencia del piloto (fue) un factor trágico”, expresó Pauda Meléndez.

Informes de prensa inicialmente reportaron que eran dos los tripulantes accidentados pero una revisión del registro de vuelos confirmó que sólo Acosta Rosa viajaba en el Robinson.

Cuando la nave golpeó el agua, el piloto salió a flote, aunque se desconoce si murió en el impacto o después, en la superficie. Ya que el accidente ocurrió a pocos metros del paseo tablado de Cataño, fueron muchos los que atestiguaron el suceso. Dos samaritanos divisaron a Acosta Rosa flotando en el mar y se lanzaron al agua para ayudarlo.

"Entre un muchacho y yo nos dimos a la tarea de tirarnos al mar sacarlo de ahí con vida. Cuando veníamos de camino hacia la orilla, nos percatamos que no tenía vida. Como la marea estaba tan fuerte, el muchacho y yo estábamos ya sin fuerza”, recalcó Luís Rosado Pacheco, quien labora para el Municipio de Cataño.

El caballero relato, mientras aun sus piernas sangraban por las heridas que recibió durante el rescate, que no pudieron sacar el cuerpo del agua. También, al llegar a la pared del paseo tablado, las marejada los golpeó repetidamente contra el muro. Si no es por la ayuda de otros ciudadanos, Rosado Pacheco pensó que ambos iban a morir ahogados.

"Yo temí por (mi vida). Yo le dije al señor, ‘si tu estás viendo esto, sácame de aquí porque de verdad ya no puedo más'. Nosotros hicimos esto para salvar una vida, no para tener mérito y decir lo que hicimos. Fue por salvar una vida que si estuviera vivo, estaría bien agradecido de lo que hicimos por él”, sentenció el hombre.

El otro samaritano fue identificado como Gustavo Díaz Allende, quien tuvo que ser transportado a una institución hospitalaria para recibir atención médica por sus heridas. No se ofrecieron más detalles sobre el individuo.

Por lo pronto, las autoridades continúan con las operaciones de salvamento de la aeronave, que se encuentra a unos 20 pies de profundidad en aguas de la Bahía de San Juan. La fiscal Liza Báez es la persona a cargo de la investigación a nivel local y ya ordenó el levantamiento del cuerpo. Paralelamente, la FAA y la Junta Nacional de Seguridad del Transporte (NTSB, por sus siglas en inglés) conducen una investigación de rigor para dar a conocer la causa exacta por la que ocurrió el accidente.

Intentos por contactar a la gerencia de Vertical Solutions resultaron infructuosos. Cuando NotiCel se comunicó con compañía, colgaron el teléfono al identificarnos. Una segunda llamada fue contestada por un sujeto que no se identificó y, en inglés, se limitó a referirnos a la FAA para cualquier pregunta.

Dnevnik: Experts Say Bodies of Fallen Presidential Plane were Selectively Burned

No investigation into the crash of Macedonia's presidential plane has been able to explain the strange and selective fire after the plane crashed, says Skopje daily Dnevnik.

After the latest investigation by Bosnian authorities was wrapped up, the Government hired Zoran Dorevski PhD, an expert in Criminology and Safety. 

According to Dorevski,  not the first, or the latest investigation explained how the fire was created and extensively burned the bodies of 8 Macedonian diplomats (including the president and security personnel) in such a short time. Ought to be noted, no fire, no explosion of any kind was reported by witnesses.

In his final investigative analysis given to the Government, Dorevski states the fire reached temperatures over 1,100 C. He is certain the plane's fuel cannot reach this temperatures, but it could if certain chemicals are added to it. The fire, says Dorevski, lasted only few seconds.

"Some of the passengers have their torso burned badly, yet their extremities are untouched. Their inner organs were also untouched. This points to the fact the fire was extemely intense and very short lasting. For the same reason there are documents and personal items of the passengers sitting next to them that were undamaged" - says Dorevski.

He reminds that the first and second report state that not all passengers were dead from the plane crash. Some were killed from the crash, other from the "fire". Dorevski disagrees with the findings in both reports.

- There is a strong possibility some of the passengers were alive prior to the fire. According to the official Coroner Report passenger #6 had smoke in his lungs, passenger 4 had oxygen in his lungs. The strength of the fire and its direction are in contradiction with both chemical and physical laws when it comes to plane crashes and fires during those crashes, says Dorevski.

Another fact that jumped at Dorevski was the fact that one passenger in the back of the plane was terribly burned, yet the passenger sitting across was barely touched by the fire.

"There are indeed spots in the plane where all you can do is simply scratch your head. In the back of the plane we see a passanger badly burned yet another passenger sitting less than two feet across is barely touched by the fire. Another selective fire we see with the passenger next to left wing. He is badly burned, yet the wing is not touched, the passenger sitting ahead of him is also untouched, yet the very next passenger is badly burned. Then once again we see selective, but much weaker fire in the cockpit. 

"From what I could see, the fire started near the last seat fetching 1,100 degrees C, then it drastically reduced its strength as it moved towards the first seat, then we see 1,100 degrees C at the first seat. Then the fire is drastically reduced in strength in the cockpit."  

Dorevski did not wish to comment on the first report nor the fact that NATO had access to the plane crash for 24 hours before letting Bosnian authorities access to the crash site.  

 Dnevnik in a 2011 report pinpointed to the following facts:

- The pilot Marko Krstevski carried his passport in his left pocket, his ID around his neck and the wallet in his back pocket. His family received all items undamaged, smelling of cologne while Krstevski's body was badly burned.

- The coroner concluded that MFA's Mile Krstevski was alive prior to being burned as the medical examiner found oxygen in his lungs. The examiner added Krstevski appeared to be defending himself as his body was found in 'defensive' position with his hand extended and fist formed in a 'punch' (medical examiner words).

- A scarf always worn by Dimka Boskovic around her neck to cover a surgery scar was returned to her family undamaged yet her body was 100% burned. Precisely the same thing occured with another female passenger Anita Lozanovska. Her silver jewelry was returned to the family while her body was burned. The silver would have melted at those temperature, unless the fire was selective. 

- The president's economic advisor Risto Blazevski had burned body, but his coat was only slightly damaged.

- The paint of the plane (very sensitive to even small fire) is not damaged at all, but the bodies in the plane mysteriously burned.

- The location of the fire is localized only to the bodies. There is no other fire damage to the plane. //Dnevnik

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♥♡ Jim Inhofe is a small-plane-flying, global-warming-denying senator. And now he’s got a gavel.

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) takes a reporter on a flight above Tulsa in his experimental aircraft. His faith and his conservatism shape his views on climate change, which he says is the work of God, not man. 
(Ben Terris/The Washington Post)

The Washington Post
By Ben Terris 

At the end of last year, with most of his colleagues stuck in Washington for an important Senate session on a Saturday, Sen. James M. Inhofe was in Tulsa getting spurs fastened onto a pair of boots.

“They’re ostrich,” said Inhofe (R-Okla.), the country’s most prominent climate-change denier, referring to his footwear. “Probably some endangered species; I have a reputation to maintain.”

Inhofe could have been wearing Birkenstocks and it wouldn’t have put a dent in his notoriety. The senator cemented his status as public enemy No. 1 for environmentalists long ago, topping it off with his 2012 book on climate change, “The Greatest Hoax.” This year he takes over the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — the panel most associated with climate policy oversight — and says he plans to continue his role as a “one-man truth squad” on the issue.

Spurs on, Inhofe mounted a spotted horse named Speck and prepared to join the Tulsa Christmas parade. He may be 80, but he looked the part of a cowboy, with his leathery face and glacial blue eyes. He even speaks with a gravely Midwestern twang, as if Clint Eastwood were hosting “A Prairie Home Companion.” Inhofe hadn’t ridden in this parade since before 2010, when, in a nod to inclusiveness, the city changed the name of the event to the Parade of Lights. “If Jesus isn’t invited, then I’m not coming either,” he sniffed. This wasn’t a joke to him. Since the 1980s, his faith has affected nearly every aspect of his life, including how he does his job.

After years of public pressure, the parade organizers changed the name back in 2014. Inhofe returned to ride through the streets of Tulsa as the conquering hero, missing a couple dozen votes — including a big one to fund the government — in the process. “I won,” he said. “Jesus won.”

But Speck wasn’t having any of that. The horse lurched forward, careening through a downtown parking lot past a group of people putting on costumes from the Disney movie “Frozen.”

“Rein it in, James,” shouted a woman nearby. “Rein it in!”

The advice was of little help. Before Inhofe could regain control, the horse smashed into the side of a parked minivan with the words “Merry Christmas” painted on its back window. The crash dented the brand-new vehicle, forcing Inhofe’s staff to exchange information with the owner as the senator galloped on to the parade.

This is how Democratic activists like to think of Inhofe: as a doddering caricature of conservative values who, given a platform such as the chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, will regularly supply punch lines to the opposition. They see him as an untethered radical off in a world apart even from his conservative colleagues; a Don Quixote with Jesus as Sancho Panza, on a quest to rein in overzealous lefties. Their hope is to use him as a foil. Their worry is that his maneuvering could cause a lot more damage when he is wielding a gavel than when riding a horse.

Climate change is certain to be a major issue for Congress in the next couple of years. Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democratic environmentalist, topped the list of campaign donors in the past election cycle; there’s still the Keystone XL pipeline to figure out; and a number of new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency are set to take effect this year. On all this, Inhofe aims to take center stage.

“Expect huge and enormous fireworks in the committee,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the committee. “[Inhofe’s] going to go after everything, and I’m going to stop him dead on the floor of the Senate. . . . The biggest denier of all is the chairman of the environment committee — that’s a cruel joke.”

In 2003, Inhofe became the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee for the first time, after nine years in the Senate. He put his mark on the post with a floor speech in which he said catastrophic global warming is a hoax.

In his speech and his subsequent writing, Inhofe argued that the debate over global warming was “predicated on fear rather than science.”

The vast majority of scientists believe in human-caused climate change — as many as 97 percent, according to an oft-cited study in the journal Environmental Research Letters. But Inhofe thinks that number is greatly exaggerated and has a genuine distrust of government-sponsored climate research. He likes to say that we may just be in a cycle of relative warming, and that as recently as the 1970s we were being warned of a looming ice age. Plus, as he writes in his book, “God is still up there, and He promised to maintain the seasons and that cold and heat would never cease as long as the earth remains.”

He’s well aware that his view is out there by Senate standards.

“You know, I’m known for doing things that nobody else will do,” he said in an interview. “When you do things that people won’t do because it’s politically stupid, it’s good to have peace with it.”

And yet, as easy as he is for opponents to mock, Inhofe is a much more complicated figure than he is portrayed as. In a number of ways, his colleagues see him as a throwback to a Senate that Democrats and Republicans pine for. “Earmarks” and “compromise” aren’t necessarily dirty words for a senator who, unlike the newer legislators of tea party bent, happily fights for government spending back home.

He also happens to pal around with people on both sides of the aisle. Inhofe will go as far as to say that he considers Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), a potential presidential candidate too liberal to call himself a Democrat, his “best friend” in the Senate.

“On a personal level, I like him,” Sanders said in a statement provided by his spokesman. Even Boxer said she kind of views them as siblings who just happen to see the world completely differently. When Boxer got the committee chairmanship in 2007, Inhofe gave her a mug. It featured a picture of the Earth, with icicles that melted when hot coffee was poured in. When Inhofe holds his first hearing, he said, he will wear a polar bear tie that Boxer gave him.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t think his views are dangerous,” she said. “I think he’s waaaay out of the mainstream, but we can still be friends. And on other issues, I imagine we are going to be able to get things done.”

So which is it? Is the senior senator from Oklahoma a made-to-order quote machine for Democratic fundraising, or a chairman with the ability to legislate? Inhofe may just be the rare breed of senator who manages to be both.

“Philosophically his colors are bold, but his politics are transactional in the best sense of the word,” said a fellow Oklahoma Republican, Rep. Tom Cole.

Inhofe has been elected to the Senate five times, and he won with the highest percentage of his Senate career (68 percent) in last year’s election. And it all began because he loves a good fight.

As a developer in the late 1970s, Inhofe purchased an abandoned building. The only eyesore, he said, was an ugly fire escape that he wanted to move to a less visible outside wall. A city official told him that it would take about two months to even find out whether that was possible.

“I told him that I was going to run for mayor and fire him,” he wrote in his book. “So I ran for mayor and I fired him.”

As mayor he could almost be described as moderate: He proposed a city tax increase, supported solar and wind power, and appointed the first black city commissioner. Even his dining room table was bipartisan. His wife, Kay, was born to a staunch Democratic family. She couldn’t even vote for her husband in his first election because she wasn’t a registered Republican.

“We were always having dinner with my grandfather, who was a Democrat for years,” said Molly Rapert, Inhofe’s daughter (she is a Republican, but for a time dated former Arkansas senator Mark Pryor, a Democrat). “It was all so civil. It took me a long time to realize that not everyone debated politics this way.”

Having battled with the government as a businessman (he often tells the story of going to 26 government bureaucracies to get one permit for a condominium project), Inhofe trained his attention on an effort to pare back regulations.

In Oklahoma, where roughly 1 in 4 jobs is tied to the energy industry, this often involved environmental issues.

These days, the oil and gas industry is his top source of campaign money. But don’t tell him he’s been bought: “Anytime someone asks me how much money I get from the oil industry, I always tell them the same thing,” he said, smiling. “Not enough.”

If he appears to see climate change policy as a scheme to overregulate businesses, primarily energy businesses, Inhofe is at least equally influenced by his religious beliefs.

In his view, God created resources for man to use, and while climate change may occur as a result of natural cycles, he does not believe human action can be the primary driver.

“The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous,” he said in a 2012 radio interview.

“Oh, he’s a true believer, through and through,” Boxer said. But it wasn’t always that way; Inhofe’s outspoken faith was an evolution.

“Dad grew up a passive Christian but really became an active Jesus person in the mid-1980s,” Rapert said, citing a series of trips to Africa as a turning point. “That respect he has for his faith has played a big role in how he sees events around him. Whenever I’ve talked with him about [climate change], I know the underlying core is the reliance on Jesus. It’s always with him.”

Inhofe says the teachings of evangelist Bill Bright, who founded the Campus Crusade for Christ, allowed him to truly become a man of faith.

But he’s quick to argue that the way the news media write about his religion is off-base. Yes, he says, he believes that it’s arrogant for people to think they can change the climate, but no, he doesn’t try to win debates by evoking God.

“I’m mature enough to know that it doesn’t win arguments,” he said. “I have never pointed to Scriptures in a debate, because I know that would discredit me.”

So, instead, he tries to focus more on cost-benefit analysis than on Scripture.

He’ll start with the highway bill, a piece of legislation that he and Boxer have previously worked well on together (their 2012 compromise measure got 85 votes in the Senate). From there he’ll move on to rolling back new EPA regulations. He plans hearings on new limits on greenhouse-gas emissions by power plants and refiners, and new ozone standards. He also wants a crack at changing the Endangered Species Act.

It’s an ambitious agenda, but it’s not just the goal of a lone crusading climate-change denier. What is really worrisome to environmentalists is that while Inhofe’s rhetoric may be more extreme than that of his Republican colleagues, their objectives appear to be the same.

David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the focus on Inhofe is a red herring.

“In the end, I don’t see any difference between Senator Inhofe and Senator McConnell when it comes to these issues,” he said.

There is one instance, however, when a burdensome regulation is worth it for Inhofe. And it involves turtles. For decades, he has vacationed off the coast of Texas on South Padre Island, among the few homes to the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.

Inhofe remembers the nights he used to volunteer to help hatching sea turtles make their way to the ocean, protecting them from predators. In 2003, Inhofe co-sponsored a bill to force shrimpers to put turtle excluders on their boats to keep from accidentally catching them in their nets.

“It was very inconvenient for them, taking up all that room that they could use to catch more shrimp,” he said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “The Chamber of Commerce was mad, the infamous Tom DeLay was really mad because it was in his district. And people say I’m not concerned about the environment.”

Asked what made sea turtles more worthy of burdensome regulations than other objects of environmental concern, Inhofe looked wistfully at a painting of a sea turtle in his office.

“You know, you’d really just have to see a Ridley sea turtle to understand.”

Inhofe, who has been in politics since the late 1960s, likes to say that he’ll stop running for office when he gets too old to fly a plane upside-down. So, on the morning of the Tulsa Christmas parade, he took me up in his “experimental” two-seater to show he was nowhere near that point.

The senator was essentially sitting in my lap; the only thing between us was the back of his seat, which bore this sign: “Passenger Warning. This aircraft is amateur built and does not comply with the federal safety regulations for standard aircraft.”

“He’s a really good flier. He just likes taking risks, so he might show off for you,” his communications director, Donelle Harder, said earlier.

“I recently vomited while flying in ‘the Rocket’ with him,” said an Inhofe field staffer, Michael Junk.

For all the casual talk about adventurous flying, in late 2013, Inhofe’s son Perry, shortly before his 52nd birthday, died in a crash near where we were about to take off. He was flying solo at the time. Heading to the hangar before our flight, Inhofe’s wife, Kay, worried about the fog cover. “I’ve already been through one crash,” she told him.

But Inhofe has never thought about giving up his hobby.

“Not at all,” he said. “We were really an aviation family.”

As with everything else for Inhofe, his faith allowed him to get through the loss.

“I know it’s just a wink in time we’re here and then I’ll be with Perry, and he can explain to me what happened,” Inhofe said. “When you [accept Jesus] you get peace, you just don’t feel anxiety.”

Inhofe is 15 years older than the legal age limit for commercial pilots, and he has already gone under the knife for heart surgery, all of which seemed especially relevant as we screeched down toward the small runway at the private airport outside of Tulsa.

I closed my eyes when it seemed clear that there was not enough real estate to get the plane off the ground, but at the last second, we shot up into the air. Inhofe is always game to put on a show, often more in control than he appears.

“That’s how I cut ribbons at ribbon-cutting ceremonies,” he said with a smirk.

Ben Terris is a writer in the Washington Post's Style section with a focus on national politics.

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Cirrus SR22, N383GM: Fatal accident occurred January 09, 2015 in Tooele County, Utah

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

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:

Robert L. Moody:

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 09, 2015 in Tooele, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/26/2017
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N383GM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The noninstrument-rated private pilot departed during the late afternoon and flew over the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake. According to data recovered from the airplane’s avionics system, which did not capture altitude, the duration of the flight was about 9 minutes. During the final minute of the flight, the airplane conducted a gradual left turn at an engine power setting of about 2,200 rpm. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted the lake. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

Local meteorological observations indicated that restricted visibility and fog were forecast throughout the area about the time of the accident. It is likely that the pilot encountered these conditions inflight and lost visual reference to the ground and/or horizon. Given the pilot’s lack of an instrument rating and of recent instrument flight experience, the loss of visual reference likely resulted in spatial disorientation. 

Toxicological testing on the pilot revealed the presence of bupropion, an antidepressant; hydrocodone, an opiod analgesic; and diphenhydramine, a sedating antihistamine. The investigation was unable to determine if the use of bupropion or the cognitive effects of any underlying depression contributed to the accident. Because the hydrocodone was found in the urine but not the blood, it no longer caused systemic effects and played no role in the accident. However, it is likely that the effects of diphenhydramine impaired the pilot’s cognitive and psychomotor performance at the time of the accident, and contributed to his spatial disorientation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The non-instrument rated pilot’s decision to depart into low visibility conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientation and a loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impaired performance due to his use of the sedating antihistamine, diphenhydramine.


On January 9, 2015, about 1615 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N383GM, sustained substantial damage when it impacted water about 7 miles north of the Bolinder Field-Tooele Valley Airport (TVY), Tooele, Utah. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, who was the sole person on board, was fatally injured. Visual flight rules (VFR) meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight departed South Valley Regional Airport (U42), Salt Lake City, Utah about 1605 for an unknown destination.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT) for the missing airplane after a family member was concerned that the pilot had failed to return from the local flight. A search ensued, and the following morning, the county police department reported that the airplane wreckage was located in the Great Salt Lake.

The airplane was equipped with an Avidyne Entegra Multifunctional Display (MFD). Each display included a compact flash (CF) memory card that had a flight data log feature that stores periodic information such as engine parameters and flight track data. Specifically, the MFD records GPS position, engine performance data (such as RPM, engine temperatures, outside air temperature, fuel flow), and some electrical bus conditions. The pilot's display, CF card, was recovered and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for the download of the data. (A published report on the recorded flight data obtained from the accident airplane is available in the public docket).

The CF card contained partial data for the accident flight, however no altitude information was recorded. The data revealed that the airplane took off at 1605:30. There was a short interruption of GPS data just after takeoff and the first recorded position placed the airplane about 1.3 miles northwest of the departure end of runway 34, at U42, at 1608:30. The airplane's ground track continued northwest until it crossed the eastern shoreline of the Great Salt Lake at 1612:06. The airplane then turned more in a westerly direction over the southern portion of the lake. At 1613:42, the final minute of the data recording showed the airplane's engine speed and manifold pressure fall from 2400 to 2200 rpm and from 23 inches to 18 inches of mercury, until the data stopped recording at 1614:48. 

Radar data revealed that the airplane turned left to a heading of approximately 210º magnetic and flew this heading for approximately 3.0 nautical miles at an average ground speed of 170 knots, during the final minute of flight. No airplane altitude information was available since the airplane's transponder was not turned on. While the destination of the flight was undetermined, the airplane's heading was consistent with a flight towards TVY.


The pilot, age 69, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He was issued a third-class airman medical certificate on May 3, 2013, with no limitations stated. The pilot stated during the examination that he had accumulated a total of 650 flight hours. Additionally, according to the pilot's logbooks, he had logged 65.1 hours in the last 90 days. 

The pilot did not possess an airplane instrument rating. However, he started to work on obtaining an instrument rating in 2013, accumulating about 12.7 hours in flight training. No further instrument training was identified after June, 2013.


The four-seat, low-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number (S/N) 0555, was manufactured in 2003. It was powered by a Continental-IO-550-N engine, serial number (S/N) 687430, rated at 310 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with a Hartzell propeller. A review of the maintenance logbooks revealed that the annual inspection was completed on November 21, 2014, at an airframe total time of 1,145.1 hours. The airplane's weight and balance during the accident flight, was calculated to be within prescribed weight and center of gravity limitations.


Weather conditions recorded at the Salt Lake City International Airport, located about 21 miles east of the accident site, revealed that at 1553, conditions were wind 280 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 3 statute miles, hazy, temperature 37 degrees Celsius, dew point 32 degrees Celsius and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury. 

For the area of the accident site, there were no forecast Center Warning Advisory (CWAs) or Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMETs). However, several reports advised of reduced visibility by the lake shore. An Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) issued at 1345, and valid during the accident time, indicated visibility below 3 statute miles (SM) and mist and fog. The local National Weather Service issued a short term forecast at 1050, that indicated dense fog near the accident location. "Dense fog is most pronounced near the shore of the Great Salt Lake from Western Salt Lake County through Grantsville." Further at 1526, a Dense Fog Advisory was issued for the area to include the shores of Great Salt Lake along the Wasatch Front, but not specifically the accident location. However, the report advised about the accident area. "The Salt Lake/Tooele Valleys … fog should remain more patchy...though still could be locally dense near the lake." At 1630, about 15 minutes after the accident time, a hazardous weather outlook was issued, that identified dense fog along the southern shores of Great Salt Lake. Reference the weather factual report in the public docket for additional information.


Examination of the accident site by the NTSB, investigator-in- charge, revealed the airplane impacted the water about 7 miles west of the Great Lake State Parks Marina. Most major components of the airplane were contained within 15 feet of the main wreckage site. The main wreckage consisted of the wings, fuselage, and tail section floating in the water. The wreckage was anchored in place by control cables and airplane wiring attached to instrument panel and firewall, which were resting at the bottom of the lake. Miscellaneous wreckage debris was located on the lake surface, within about 1 mile of the main wreckage. The airplane was observed partially submerged in the water at a heading of about 055 degrees magnetic and situated in water about 8 feet deep. The airplane's fuselage was rolled on its right side.

The engine had separated from the main fuselage and was not located. All flight control surfaces were located, with the exception of the left aileron. The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) safety pin was observed in the activation handle holder and the CAPS was observed not activated.

The examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.


The pilot did not communicate with any FAA facility, therefore no Air Traffic Control communications recordings were available.


The State of Utah Department of Health, Office of the Medical Examiner, conducted an autopsy on the pilot on January 11, 2015. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was "drowning." 

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to CAMI's report, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs were tested, and had positive findings for Bupropion, Dihydrocodeine, Hydromorphone, and Losartan.

Bupropion is a prescription antidepressant medication also used as an adjunct for smoking cessation. It is commonly marketed with the names Wellbutrin and Zyban. Hydrocodone, metabolites are Dihydrocodeine and Hydromorphone. Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. It is available over the counter under the trade names Benadryl and Unisom. Diphenhydramine carries the following FDA warning: may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). Hydrocodone is a prescription opioid analgesic and a Schedule II controlled substance. It is most commonly marketed in combination with acetaminophen with the names Lortab and Vicodin. Losartan is a prescription medication for hypertension, commonly marketed with the name Cozaar.

The positive findings were reviewed by the NTSB's Chief Medical Officer. Reference the Medical Factual Report in the public docket for additional information.


Further examination of the airframe revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. See the examination report in the public docket for additional information.

The airplane's Pilot's Operating Handbook states, to remove the CAPS safety pin during the pre-flight of the airplane. 

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook, page vii, "many accidents are the result of pilots who lack the necessary skills or equipment to fly in marginal visual meteorological conditions (VMC) or IMC and attempt flight with outside references." Further, on page 3-9 of the handbook, warns that "flying into fog can create an illusion of pitching up." The FAA Pilot's Flying Handbook, page 3-8, states that "if the natural horizon were to suddenly disappear, the untrained instrument pilot would be subject to vertigo, spatial disorientation, and inevitable control loss. Finally, the handbook on page 17-15, states "accident statistics show that the pilot who has not been trained in attitude instrument flying …lose control of the airplane in about 10 minutes once forced to rely solely on instrument reference."

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 09, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N383GM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On January 9, 2015, about 1615 mountain standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp. SR22, N383GM, sustained substantial damage when it impacted water about 7 miles north of the Bolinder Field-Tooele Valley Airport, Tooele, Utah. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, who was the sole person on board, was fatally injured. Visual (VMC) meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local personal flight departed South Valley Regional Airport (U42), Salt Lake City, Utah about 1607.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board, investigator-in-charge, revealed that most major components of the airplane were contained within 15 feet of the main wreckage site. The wreckage was found in about 8 feet of water.

Weather conditions recorded at the Salt Lake City International Airport, located about 21 miles east of the accident site, at 1553, were wind 280 heading at 6 knots, visibility 3 statute miles, hazy, temperature 37 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury. 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with privileges for airplane single-engine land. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on May 3, 2013, with no limitations stated. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 650 total flight hours.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.


Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Dr. Robert LaVon Moody and his wife Stacey. 
Photo courtesy the Moody family.

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A man died after a plane crashed into the Great Salt Lake early Saturday, and crews working with boats have recovered the man’s body.

According to a press release from family members, the pilot is 69-year-old Robert LaVon Moody, a local doctor who owns the Biorestoration Medical Clinic and Spa, and he was an avid pilot who loved flying.

“We are devastated at the sudden loss of our beloved family member, Dr. Robert LaVon Moody,” said Megan Reardon, the man’s sister. “He was a cherished husband, father, brother, and son – he was the light of our family. We ask for the public’s prayers and support at this time for Dr. Moody’s wife, Stacey, their children and our family.”

At approximately 12:45 a.m., Tooele County Sheriff’s Office received a call about the possible downed aircraft. The family stated they called authorities when Moody did not return when expected.

At about 2:30 a.m., the Division of State Parks and Recreation launched boats into the Great Salt Lake to search for the wreckage, said Lt. Eric Stucki with Utah State Parks.

Officials say the single-engine plane took off from South Valley Regional Airport or Airport No. 2 in West Jordan. Family called police when the pilot didn’t arrive at his destination.

Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and Tooele County Search and Rescue were also involved in the search.

The press release from the man’s family included the following statement:

“Dr. Robert Moody was adored by many including his patients, colleagues and staff. He had a profound love for his family. His passion in life was helping his patients by improving their lives and overall health through innovative medicine. He assisted many patients through his long career in medicine. His practice included both local and national clientele. He lost his life doing something he truly loved, flying. Dr. Moody also had a deep love for politics. He delighted others constantly with serenades on piano and guitar. Details and full obituary will be released shortly. The family wishes to thank local law enforcement, search crews, family and friends for their support during this difficult time. Dr. Moody’s family asks for privacy, no interviews will be given at this time.”

Original article can be found at:

Courtesy of Lt. Eric Stucki with Utah State Parks

TOOELE COUNTY — A doctor from the Draper area died when a single-engine plane he was piloting crashed near the Great Salt Lake.

Dr. Robert LaVon Moody, 69, is believed to have been the only occupant of the plane when it crashed, according to the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office.

The wreckage was found Saturday morning near Eardley Spit, an area just off Stansbury Island. Investigators believe heavy fog may have affected Moody's vision, contributing the crash.

A statement from Moody's family said the doctor went out on a solo flight Friday. When he did not return as expected, family members called law enforcement officials to report him as overdue.

Moody's plane was found following an extensive search along the Wasatch Front, the statement said.

"We are devastated at the sudden loss of our beloved family member," wrote Megan Reardon, Moody's sister. "He was a cherished husband, father, brother and son — he was the light of our family."

Moody was the owner and clinical director of Biorestoration Medical Clinic + Spa, 12340 S. 450 East, in Draper. There, he worked to help patients by "improving their lives and overall health through innovative medicine," the family statement said.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site Saturday working with crews from the Tooele County Sheriff's Office to recover the plane.

Funeral arraignments for Moody were pending Saturday afternoon, his family said.

"We ask for the public's prayers and support at this time for Dr. Moody's wife, Stacey, their children and our family," Reardon wrote.

Original article can be found at:

Great Salt Lake • The Utah pilot of a light plane was killed when his craft crashed into the Great Salt Lake, officials said Saturday.

The wreckage of a small plane and the body of the man were recovered about 7 a.m. following a several-hour search, said Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer. 

The pilot’s identity was not immediately disclosed, but officials confirmed he was a Utahn.

There was no evidence of any passengers aboard, said Wimmer.

Tooele County Sheriff’s deputies were first notified about 12:45 a.m. the single-engine plane, which took off from Airport No. 2 in West Jordan, was missing. 

The plane’s destination was unknown.

State Parks crews launched boats about 2 a.m. and Tooele County searchers covered the lake shore. The first debris was discovered about 5 a.m.

The wreckage was located a couple hours later about seven miles from the Great Salt Lake Marina just off Stansbury Island in an area called Eardley Spit, known to locals as Grantsville Bay, said Lt. Erick Stucki, with the State Division of Parks and Recreation.

"We’re trying to recover as much debris as we can," Wimmer said, adding that will aid the investigation into the crash. "I expect to have crews out all day."

State Parks has three vessels out participating in the recovery operation, while Tooele County has three crews involved.

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(KUTV) One body has been recovered after a small plane crashed into the Great Salt Lake Saturday morning.

The plane went down approximately seven miles from the Great Salt Lake Marina near Stansbury Island. The FAA is on scene to investigate, and crews are on the water recovering floating debris.

Officials have learned that the airport took off from Airport Number 2 in West Jordan. Family members of the deceased man became concerned after midnight and called a remote airport in Erda to see if he had landed; since he did not, a search then began early Saturday morning.

The man was the only person in the plane, and his identity will be released pending notification of kin.

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