Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mark Darling: Distraught pilot says he survived "suicide crash" without a scratch

CBS4's Jennifer Brice talks with Mark Darling.


Travis Darling (credit: CBS)



EATON, Colo. -- It's hard to imagine anyone walking away from the Jan. 25 plane crash on Rabbit Ears Pass, but the pilot who did talked to CBS station KCNC about how he stayed alive, and he has a message about life and survival.

It wasn't Mark Darling's first plane crash. The first happened years ago and left him with broken bones and in very bad shape. The circumstance of his latest crash is very different because it was not an accident, and Darling has no injuries -- not even a scratch.

"It's just a mashed up ball of aluminum," Darling said of his plane.

A picture of mark Darling's plane illustrates why his survival is a miracle. But within minutes of Jennifer Brice beginning the interview with him, he went another direction.

"Can I stop?" he asked Brice. "This really isn't the story."

When the camera turned back on, Brice continued her interview.

"Did you intentionally fly the plane into the mountain?" Brice asked.

"Yes I did," Darling responded.

Darling was flying over Steamboat Springs where he raised his family. He was overcome with grief thinking about his late son Travis, who died in a car crash two years ago.

Darling wanted to die.

"I make a bad decision at this point. I turn the airplane east toward the mountains," he said. "I say my last goodbyes... I closed my eyes and I wait for the impact."

"I can hear the plane just getting demolished," he said. "(It) started busting through the trees ... I do not have a bruise from the seatbelt, not a scratch on me."

Darling survived the crash but was on the mountain in the cold with no survival gear. Because he didn't file a flight plan, nobody in the aviation world would have known he crashed or where the plane went down.

He has been flying his entire life, but Darling chose not to file that flight plan because he does not have a pilot's license anymore -- he lost it years ago.

He says it was his son's voice that encouraged him and guided him to his phone.

"He's like, 'Dad, you are not going out like this. You're going to get yourself up and you're going to build a fire and you're going to get yourself out of here,'" Darling said.

Darling fought the extreme cold. He now wanted to survive. He searched for his cell phone to no avail. That's when he says his son spoke to him again.

"He says, ;dad.. just walk to the other side of the plane. He says just reach down in the snow. And I grab my phone' At this point, I'm like 'oh my God."

Darling called his sister, then 9-1-1.

Seven hours after crashing, he was rescued -- and is choosing to tell his story to help other grieving people have hope.

"I've never felt more alive in my life," he said. "I don't know what direction it's going to lead me in but, heck yeah, I'm along for the ride now."

Darling says he has not yet spoken to the NTSB who is investigating the crash. He is concerned about the ramifications of intentionally flying a plane into a mountain and not having a pilot's license, but said he will deal with whatever comes his way.

Story, video and photos:   http://www.cbsnews.com

http://registry.faa.gov/N8368U

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 25, 2015 in Routt County, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA 172F, registration: N8368U
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On January 25, 2015, about 1100 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172F airplane, N8368U, impacted terrain in the Routt National Forest, Colorado. The private pilot was seriously injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross country flight.

The airplane impacted sparely wooded, mountainous terrain at an approximate elevation of 10,000 feet. Both wings were crushed and impact damaged. The fuselage was crushed and distorted. The empennage separated from the aft cabin but remain attached to the airplane via control cables. The right elevator was crushed. The airplane has been retained for further examination.

At 1115, an automated weather reporting facility at the Steamboat Springs Airport (KSBS), located 16 nautical miles to the northwest of the accident site, reported wind from 080 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, an overcast ceiling at 2,500 feet above ground level, temperature 32° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 23° F, and altimeter setting of 30.40 inches of mercury.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03






 Members of Grand County Search and Rescue, Routt County Search and Rescue and Grand County EMS extract the victim of a small plane crash via snowmobile near Rabbit Ears Pass on Sunday and take him to a waiting ambulance. He was then placed aboard a medical helicopter and transported to a Front Range hospital. His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Pilot blamed in fatal New Jersey crash after plane struck ground in fog

American Champion 8KCAB Decathlon, N469J: Accident occurred January 15, 2014 in Holland, New Jersey 


HOLLAND TWP. – Joseph Borin flew into the ground last year because he kept flying into deteriorating weather he was not trained to handle, federal investigators have concluded.


In a newly released report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the 71-year-old Readington man was ferrying his newly purchased American Champion 8KCAB Decathlon back to New Jersey when he found himself locked in a dense fog, hitting a stand of trees as the terrain below began to rise.


Borin, who died in the crash, was not instrument-rated, according to the report.


The NTSB said an examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any mechanical malfunctions or failure, and found the orientation and length of the wreckage path consistent with a controlled flight into the ground.


The board said the January 2014 crash in Holland Township highlighted the danger of "scud running," a potentially deadly practice in which pilots without instrument training lower their altitude to avoid clouds and continue to fly. As the ceiling continues to lower, so does the pilot, some times with fatal consequences.


An experienced pilot, Borin had logged 4,000 hours of flight time.


Borin had been returning to Alexandria Airport in New Jersey after purchasing his aerobatics-capable, single-engine aircraft in Wisconsin. The plane had basic flight instrumentation, including an altimeter, vertical speed indicator, airspeed indicator, and turn coordinator, but the NTSB said it was not equipped for instrument flight. It carried a single communications radio and transponder, but no navigation radios.


A handheld GPS device recovered from the wreckage had detailed the track of the aircraft, which maintained an altitude of between 2,000 and 3,000 feet for most of the flight until just before the crash.


According to the NTSB, the weather conditions forecast in the vicinity of Alexandria Airport before the Borin's departure had been consistent with visual meteorological conditions safe for him to fly. However, by the time he was within 50 miles of the airport, the forecast and actual weather conditions had deteriorated.


The weather the day of the crash had been marked by light winds, overcast clouds, with visibility restricted in fog. One witness interviewed by the board said she had heard the low-flying airplane pass over her dairy farm and saw the silhouette of an airplane, but could not identify it because of the dense fog. She said the fog was so low, the plane was flying at an altitude less than the height of some nearby high voltage transmission towers.


Moments later, Borin's plane struck the ground.


The crashed aircraft was found by searchers in Holland Township on Jan. 15, about four-and-a-half hours after the witness from across the Delaware River in Bucks County, Pa., called to report hearing the low-flying plane she believed had crashed.


The NTSB said a handheld tablet computer along with a device capable of receiving in-flight weather updates had been recovered from the wreckage, which could have been used to track the changing weather conditions during the flight.


"The pilot also could have used outside visual references and could have tuned the onboard communications radio to weather reporting stations located along the route of flight," said the board, noting that Borin could have diverted his flight to allow weather conditions to improve rather than continuing to his planned destination.


Story and photos:  http://www.nj.com

NTSB Identification: ERA14FA093

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in Holland, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/27/2015
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 8KCAB, registration: N469J
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 pilot had recently purchased the newly-manufactured airplane from the factory and was returning to his home airport when the accident occurred. The weather conditions initially forecast in the vicinity of the destination airport before the pilot’s departure generally were consistent with visual meteorological conditions; however, by the time the pilot was within 50 miles of the destination airport, the forecast and actual weather conditions had deteriorated to instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Shortly before the accident, a witness observed the airplane as it flew low above the ground in visibilities of about 150 yards in dense fog. The airplane subsequently impacted the tops of trees located near the peak of rising terrain before impacting the ground. The orientation and length of the wreckage path were consistent with a controlled flight into terrain impact sequence. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. The accident airplane was not equipped for flight IMC, nor did the pilot hold an instrument rating. A handheld tablet computer along with a device capable of receiving in-flight weather updates was recovered from the wreckage. It could not be determined if the pilot had used the device to observe the changing weather conditions during the accident flight; however, the pilot also could have used outside visual references and could have tuned the onboard communications radio to weather reporting stations located along the route of flight and noted that weather conditions ahead had deteriorated to IMC. Upon encountering IMC, the pilot could have diverted the flight to allow weather conditions to improve rather than continuing to the planned destination.


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


The pilot’s continued visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, resulting in controlled flight into trees and terrain.


http://www.ntsb.gov

 http://registry.faa.gov/N469J


Joseph “Joe” Borin




Joe Borin, standing next to a plane during one of Alexandria Field's summer camps, was a mentor to young people interested in aviation. He died January 15, 2014  when his plane crashed in a rural part of Hunterdon County.
 / Photo courtesy Alexandria Field 


Joe Borin, seen here with his granddaughter Annie Rose, was an avid pilot. The Readington Township resident died January 15th when his small plane crashed in Holland Township in Hunterdon County 



The Hunterdon Prosecutor held a press conference at the municipal building in Holland Township on January 16, 2014 following a pilot that died in a plane crash.



Dennis Diaz, air safety inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board, discusses the January 15th, 2014  plane crash in Holland Township in the township municipal building. 






 The Hunterdon Prosecutor held a press conference at the municipal building in Holland Township on Jan. 16, 2014  following a pilot that died in a plane crash.

Edgar County Airport (KPRG): Inconsistencies in excuses for plane crash…

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

As I was cleaning out old boxes and filing papers today, I came across some notes from a “TIPS” meeting I attended last October in Springfield.

One of the items mentioned by the IDOT – Div of Aeronautics was that there was funding available for airports that needed to provide protection from animals, and in particular deer. This money could be used for fencing, or other abatement measures.

What answer did the Edgar County Airport provide for that offer? No Thanks! We don’t have a deer problem and do not expect to need any deterrent measures for deer. We have never had this problem and do not expect to.

Imagine that… Just days after an unreported airplane crash at the Edgar County Airport, with rumors of “a deer ran out in front of it on landing” to “we were testing the generator and were not flying” to “Jerry Griffin was not in the plane” to “Jerry Griffin was a passenger” to “Jerry Griffin was the flight instructor for the owner’s daughter who came in on a hard landing” to “nobody saw anything and nobody knows how the plane got from the runway into the hangar after it crashed“.

One thing that we already proved a lie, was Jerry Griffin stating the crash happened in June or July before he was the airport manager – but the receipts for fuel purchased showed the airplane involved in the crash was fueled up in August – after he was the manager.

Questions are still out there, and answers are slowly trickling in…but the main questions still need an answer” Why lie? and Why keep it a secret?

I suspect both answers will lead to the need to keep things from the insurance company so they will still pay out on the claims.

Original article and comments:   http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com

National Transportation Safety Board: Pilot taking selfies may have led to plane crash that killed 2 near Front Range Airport (FTG), Watkins, Colorado



WATKINS, Colo. — National Transportation Safety Board investigators say a pilot and his passenger might have been taking selfies on board before a deadly plane crash in Adams County.


The NTSB released the report on the crash that killed two people near Front Range Airport on May 31. The report says it’s likely a cellphone distracted the pilot before he lost control of the plane and crashed.

According to the report, the Cessna 150 crashed in a field near East 48th Avenue and Manila Road as it was doing nighttime takeoffs and landings.

Investigators say they found a GoPro camera nearby and video showed the pilot and his passenger taking selfies at low altitudes, even using the flash.

The pilot and owner of the plane was 29-year-old Amritpal Singh of Aurora. The report also says Singh did not meet the requirements to be flying at night with passengers.

The name of the passenger was never released.

Story and video:  http://kdvr.com



 NTSB Identification: CEN14FA265
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 2014 in Watkins, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/27/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N6275G
Injuries: 2 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 airplane departed on the local night flight in instrument flight rules conditions with 7 miles visibility and overcast clouds at 300 ft above ground level (agl). Radar data showed that the airplane departed the runway, made one flight around the traffic pattern, and landed 6 minutes later. The airplane departed again to the west, did not remain in the traffic pattern, and reached an altitude of 740 ft agl. The airplane made a left turn, which tightened as the airplane descended about 1,900 ft per minute. The airplane impacted a field and bounced one time before it came to rest upright. 

An onboard recording device (GoPro) was found near the wreckage and the files were recovered. Based on the available information, it is likely that the GoPro files were recorded on May 30 and May 31, 2014, with the final GoPro file recorded during the 6-minute flight in the traffic pattern. The accident flight was not recorded. The GoPro recordings revealed that the pilot and various passengers were taking self-photographs with their cell phones and, during the night flight, using the camera’s flash function during the takeoff roll, initial climb, and flight in the traffic pattern. 

A postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Based on the wreckage distribution, which was consistent with a high-speed impact, and the degraded visual reference conditions, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane. The evidence is consistent with an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin into terrain. Based on the evidence of cell phone use during low-altitude maneuvering, including the flight immediately before the accident flight, it is likely that cell phone use during the accident flight distracted the pilot and contributed to the development of spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control. A review of the pilot’s logbooks did not show that he met the currency requirements for flight in instrument meteorological conditions or night flight with passengers.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s loss of control and subsequent aerodynamic stall due to spatial disorientation in night instrument meteorological conditions. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to his cell phone use while maneuvering at low-altitude.  

NTSB Report: http://www.ntsb.gov

SINGH AMRITPAL: http://registry.faa.gov/N6275G

Monday, February 2, 2015

Builders' body chief gets bail

NASHIK: A local court on Saturday granted bail to Builders' Association of India's Nashik chapter president Vilas Birari in connection with the liquor party organised on January 31 at the revamped Ozar airport terminal building.

Birari was in custody of the Dindori police for three days for the probe into the party organized to bid farewell to P Y Deshmukh, the chief engineer of the public works department, Nashik, on his retirement. After his three-day police custody ended, he was remanded in judicial custody. Following this, his lawyers moved the bail application.

Birari was charged with violating various sections of the Bombay Police Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act 1995.

The party was allegedly organized by Birari and three others on Saturday. Residents of the nearby Janori village had reported the matter to the police. The police, who raided the place, found several liquor bottles at the airport terminal.

Nashik state excise officials said permission for serving liquor had been sought for a stipulated time - from 9 pm to 11 pm. However, the party continued beyond 11 pm.

Earlier, the police had launched a suo motu inquiry into the case as no complaint was lodged and Birari and three others. During the course of investigation, the police found involvement of J S Jagtap, the manager of Dingore Decorators, in organizing the party.

The Dindori police said further investigation was on.

The police said the accused were booked for organising a public entertainment programme without the necessary permissions and creating nuisance in a public area by shouting under the influence of alcohol. Loud music was played beyond midnight, violating the directives of the Supreme Court with respect to hampering peace of a public place.

Outgoing district collector Vilas Patil had said he would propose disciplinary action against the PWD officials and employees involved in the late night party at Ozar Airport. The Ozar airport is in control of the PWD.

"There were some permissions in place and there were some violations as well. We are looking into the exact things and have asked the PWD as well as the police to look into the same to get the detailed information. The same would be forwarded to the additional chief secretary of PWD and the other senior officials. If there are others involved we will recommend disciplinary action against them," Patil had said.




A party held in the newly-built Ojhar airport on the night of January 31 is the subject of an investigation by the Nashik rural police. Police are checking if the party was in breach of the high-security status of the airport, which is located in the campus of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Police said the party, held on the lawns adjacent to the airstrip, was a send-off for a superintendent engineer of the public works department. The party was reportedly organised by the Builders' Association of India, Nashik branch.

The airstrip belongs to HAL and defense aircraft like SU-30 MKI and MiGs take off and land there.

Around 2 am that night, residents of local village Janori tried to stop the vehicles of those coming from the party. Among those who attended the party were officials of PWD, the builders' association and others, it is said. Next morning MP Harishchandra Chavan, who visited the airport, saw alcohol bottles and leftover food thrown in the open. After a call from the MP, superintendent of police (Nashik rural) Sanjay Mohite ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Speaking to dna, Mohite said, "We need to ascertain if there is any criminal violation of the law. The other aspect is the public venue. The airport is a public place and we need to ascertain if it can be used for such a purpose even if permissions were taken. Then there is the use of the DJ and loud music and we need to see if the Bombay Police Act was violated in this matter. In case there is any criminal violation, the police will take necessary action and in case there is any other flaw, it is for the administration to look into the matter. We are registering statements of the participants, organisers and villagers."

President of Builders Association of India (Nashik branch) Vilas Birari said that the party was not illegal and that they had taken permission from the state excise and PWD department to give a send-off to the superintendent engineer on his retirement. Birari added that no untoward incident had taken place during the party.

Namdeo Umbarsare, Sarpanch of Janori village, told dna that villagers had objected to the loud party with alcohol, dance and music, because the villagers had given their land for the purpose of the airport and not for such entertainment activities.

The Ojhar airport facility and its passenger terminal was built by the PWD department last year at a cost of Rs 84 crore.

Story and photo:  http://www.dnaindia.com

CNN investigation finds security gap at airports • Most workers not screened daily

 (CNN)The vast majority of airport employees with direct access to the tarmac and airplanes do not go through any daily security screening, and only two of the country's major airports have systems in place that require all employees with secure access to pass through metal detectors, a CNN investigation has found.

CNN was given exclusive access to one of those, Miami International Airport, and on a recent afternoon, employees lined up at a checkpoint where they passed through a metal detector as they reported to work.

They gathered their belongings, swiped their badges and opened a door that leads down to the airport's secure ramp area.

"One of the greatest vulnerabilities for this airport and probably any other major airport like MIA is the insider threat," Lauren Stover, the airport's security director told CNN.

Miami has four checkpoints for employee screening, five vehicle access gates manned by airport workers, random background checks of employees and a mandatory security awareness class for all employees among a myriad of other security measures.

The only other major airport that conducts full employee screenings is Orlando, Florida, according to interviews with aviation officials.

No federal rules for employees

There is no federal requirement that the baggage handlers, mechanics, cleaning crews and other employees with access to the airfield and other secure areas get screened as passengers do. They are typically subject to a criminal background check and might get randomly screened while at work. By contrast, those who work at the gates, such as restaurant employees, pass through TSA security checkpoints.

It's an issue that will be discussed on Tuesday at a hearing of a House Homeland Security subcommittee and follows a high-profile case in Atlanta.

Federal agents broke up a gun smuggling operation at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in December, arresting a Delta baggage handler and passenger. The baggage handler brought the guns to work, entered the gate area and passed the weapons onto a passenger who had already gone through security. The passenger transported guns on about 20 Delta flights from Atlanta to New York last year, according to the arrest affidavit.

Atlanta, unlike Miami and Orlando, does not use metal detectors to screen workers with access to secure areas. A spokesperson told CNN, "We have expanded random inspections and increased our police presence."

In addition, the general manager of Atlanta's airport is expected to announce security changes at the upcoming hearing, according to a source familiar with his testimony.

Delta declined to discuss specifics, but a spokesman said "safety and security are always Delta's top priority."

'Back of the airport' employees

CNN contacted 20 major airports across the U.S. to ask about security protocols for the so-called "back of the airport" employees.

A spokesperson for Seattle Tacoma International Airport said employees with access to restricted areas do not have to pass through metal detectors but do carry badges verified by biometric scanners.

Representatives of other airports, such as Los Angeles International Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, said some employees with restricted access pass through metal detectors while others do not.

"Not all employees are required to go through metal detectors," Sgt. Karla Ortiz with the Los Angeles Airport Police told CNN. "There are several layers of security that are in place and part of that is training everyone that we are all responsible in ensuring the safety of our airports."

Representatives from eight airports deferred CNN's questions on metal-detector screenings for employees to the Transportation Security Administration, which did not provide further information on the topic. Logan International Airport in Boston, Philadelphia International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston did not respond to CNN's repeated requests for comment.

Even Miami's strict security protocol could be vulnerable, according to Stover.

"It's not 100 percent foolproof, and we know that people are going to exploit the vulnerabilities that they can find," she said. "We're not just looking for terrorist activity. We have a range of threats."

Last year, the airport confiscated 209 employee ID badges for security violations. The airport has nearly 34,000 employees with ID badges, and 33,150 who have access to restricted areas.

Airport police, emergency responders and federal law enforcement are the only ones who do not go through the checkpoints, Stover said. Miami began screening all employees through checkpoints after a 1999 drug smuggling plot in which dozens of ramp and food workers were arrested. A 2007 firearm and drug smuggling case in Orlando's airport led to full employee screening as well.

Senator: 'A gaping loophole'

In response to the investigation of the smuggling that brought firearms from Atlanta to New York, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, called on the TSA to require all airline and airport employees to undergo physical screening every time they enter secure areas of airports.

Schumer referred to the lack of physical screening as a "gaping loophole in airport security" in a letter addressed to TSA Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway.

"When guns, drugs, and even explosives are as easy to carry on board a plane as a neck pillow, then we have to seriously -- and immediately -- overhaul our airport security practices," Schumer said in January.

In a statement, the TSA said it was "taking these recent incidents very seriously and has taken immediate steps to enhance site security at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other major U.S. airports.

"TSA is implementing or considering a range of measures, including additional requirements for employee screening; conducting additional, randomized security countermeasures at employee access points; and introducing additional security patrols by TSA teams of law enforcement and screening professionals to specifically address these concerns.

"Additionally, TSA has created a working group with representation from airport security partners to further develop plans for improving security."

The TSA identified workers with access to secure areas of airports as one of the greatest potential threats to aviation, according to a 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office.

The report said costs for full screening of airport and airline employees could range from $5.7 billion to $14.9 billion for the first year of implementation. The entire TSA budget for 2015 is $7.3 billion.

Wayne Black, a Miami-based security expert told CNN, "We have a saying in our business: Budget driven security will always fail.

"You don't have to be a security expert -- a fifth-grader can tell you if you are checking at the top end, at the front end of the airport, you've got to be checking the back end of the airport," he said.

Story and video:  http://www.cnn.com

Welcoming a new era in aviation: Dennis F. Cantrell Field Airport (KCWS), Conway, Arkansas



The last plane flew out of the old Dennis F. Cantrell Field on Saturday, decommissioning the old airport.

William Otto piloted the Cessna 180 that had belonged to his grandfather, Dennis Cantrell, and had been at the airport since 1957. Passengers on the flight were Otto’s mother, Pat, and brother, Bryant.

“Fortunately we get to be the last ones to fly out of here, and that will start a new era at the new airport,” William Otto said.

Pat Otto and Bryant Otto were also honored as the first to touch down at the new airport when it opened in September. William Otto was unable to attend with them as he had work obligations.

The old airport was named after Cantrell in the late 1970s after he had managed it for many years. Pat Otto said she practically grew up at the airport, as did her sons.

“My mom and dad had the airport all those years. The three of us were here seven days a week. That was before cell phones or even pay phones, really. You had to be here.”

According to the Log Cabin Democrat archives, Cantrell leased the municipal airport from the city in 1947 and maintained that agreement with the city until 1986.

William Otto said, “After his retirement, he maintained a hangar and had a presence on the field until 2001.”

Cantrell died in 2002 at the age of 94.

His three descendants who participated in the ceremonial decommissioning flight discussed the role of flight in their lives. William Otto pilots a corporate jet as his profession. Bryant Otto sells aviation fuel for Satterfield Oil and flies around the country to see his customers. Pat Otto enjoyed the fact that everyone in her family — her mother, Marjory; her father; her two sons; herself and her husband, Bill, all learned to fly. She noted that she and her two sons were all taught by Cantrell himself.

Pat Otto said her father wanted the airport to be the best it could be, and making it so was his way of promoting the community.

“He played a huge role in Faulkner County and the state. His forte was maintenance. He wanted it to be as updated as it could be so businesses would come and locate here,” she said.

William Otto added, “He was a big fan of promoting Faulkner County.”

The family said they were moved that the city of Conway named the new airport Dennis F. Cantrell Field, even though Dennis Cantrell was not directly involved in its formation.

“The three of us are very humbled that they carried the name forward,” Pat Otto said. “My dad was very much involved in the formation of the first airport, and we can leave this and help open the new one.”

William Otto added, “For everybody who has put their time and efforts in promoting aviation, this officially opens a new chapter in aviation.”

Story and photo gallery:   http://thecabin.net

Prosecutors Seek Three-Year Sentence for Daughter of Korean Air Chairman • Cho Hyun-ah Indicted in January on Charges of Violating Aviation-Safety Laws

The Wall Street Journal

By In-Soo Nam

Updated Feb. 2, 2015 9:37 a.m. ET


SEOUL—Prosecutors on Monday demanded three years in prison for the daughter of Korean Air Lines Co. ’s chairman for her violation in December of aviation-safety laws by changing flight plans as part of an angry protest over cabin service.

“An airplane is deemed in flight the moment the door of the plane is closed and starts moving toward the runway. It’s clear that she violated the law when she ordered a return,” a prosecutor said during the final hearing on the case at the Seoul Western District Court.

Cho Hyun-ah triggered one of South Korea’s biggest backlashes against family-run conglomerates on Dec. 5, when she allegedly assaulted a flight attendant over the way she was served macadamia nuts in the first-class cabin, and made the plane return to the gate in a New York airport just before takeoff to eject the in-flight service chief.

Ms. Cho was indicted last month by prosecutors on charges of violating aviation-safety laws for a delay and change of flight plans. She has also been charged with assault on a plane, coercion and interference with duty.

Ms. Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges except for one—a charge of assault against the flight attendant who had served her the nuts.

At Monday’s testimony, the chief steward, Park Chang-jin, said Ms. Cho treated him and the flight attendant who served her the nuts like “feudal slaves” when she forced them to kneel before her in the first-class cabin.

“She was like a beast that found its prey, gritting its teeth as she became abusive, not listening to what I had to say at all,” Mr. Park told the court, while trying to fight back tears.

Ms. Cho said she regretted treating them harshly on the plane, but defended her actions as the result of her devotion to work and argued that the cabin-crew members had erred in the first place by not following proper procedures.

The “nut rage” incident, as it has been dubbed, has rekindled anger at the sprawling chaebol —a term used to describe South Korea’s powerful family-controlled business empires that have for decades dominated the economy but are increasingly seen as stores of wealth for dynasties with a patchy regard for the law.

During Monday’s court hearing, prosecutors sought a two-year prison term for a Korean Air executive, identified only by his surname Yeo, who has been charged with obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and coercion after he allegedly tried to persuade cabin-crew members to lie about the incident to government investigators.

Prosecutors also demanded two years in prison for a Transport Ministry official surnamed Kim who has been indicted on a charge of leaking classified information to Mr. Yeo.

Lawyers for Messrs. Yeo and Kim told the court they denied the charges against them.

 Story, photo and comments: http://www.wsj.com

Flight Design CTLS, N911TS, County of Tulare Sheriffs Office: Fatal accident occurred February 10, 2016 near Visalia Municipal Airport (KVIS), Tulare County, California

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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 airplane, which was owned and operated by the local county sheriff's department, was on a low-altitude observation flight. According to GPS data recovered from the airplane, about 1 minute before the accident, the airplane was flying westbound (heading 242°) over a highway, about 500 feet above ground level (agl), and at a groundspeed of 52 knots. The GPS data and witness observations indicated that the airplane entered a left turn. According to the witnesses, the airplane's wings then dipped left and right, and the airplane descended to ground impact. The witnesses heard the engine operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A postcrash fire ensued, which destroyed the airplane. 

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane's estimated weight at the time of the accident was about 152 lbs over the airplane's maximum gross weight. Because of the higher gross weight, the airplane's stall speed in a 30° banked turn was 3 knots higher than it would have been at the airplane's maximum gross weight. This resulted in a stall speed of about 48 knots calibrated airspeed, which was near the airplane's recorded groundspeed of 52 knots.

The sun position at the time of the accident was on a bearing of 241° and was 13° above the horizon, indicating that the pilot was looking directly into the sun before the left turn began. Another pilot who flew in the vicinity shortly after the accident reported that when flying westbound over the highway, he was looking straight into the sun, there was a lot of haze, and he could not distinguish the tops of the hills to the left of the highway from the sky. It is likely that the accident pilot was partially blinded by sun glare and did not see the hills rising above him on his left. After he entered the left turn moving away from the sun line, it is likely that the rising terrain suddenly came into view, and he increased the airplane's bank angle in order to avoid the terrain and exceeded the wing's critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. The altitude the airplane was operating at was too low to allow for a recovery.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude in hilly terrain, which resulted in the airplane's wing exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's inability to recognize the rising terrain due to the sun glare and the pilot's operation of the airplane in excess of its gross weight.

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1446 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area at a low altitude, then depart to the southwest. While flying in a westerly direction the airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 45, held an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, issued on October 11, 2007, with ratings for airplane multiengine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument helicopter, and private pilot privileges for gliders. He held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land issued on June 29, 2014. He held a first-class medical certificate issued on April 2, 2014, with no limitations. Examination of the pilot's civilian logbook revealed that he had 3,675 total civilian flight hours, 3,526.4 hours in single engine airplanes, 1,002.6 hours in the Flight Design CTLS, and his most recent flight review was conducted on December 8, 2015.

The passenger was a Sheriff Deputy who had been employed by the Tulare County Sheriff for about 27 years and had been assigned to the air unit for about a year. His duties as a crew member onboard the airplane was to act as an observer and operate the video camera equipment.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number F-11-02-05, was manufactured in 2011. It was powered by a Rotax 912ULS normally aspirated 100-hp engine and equipped with a Sensenich ground adjustable 3-bladed composite propeller. Review of the maintenance logbooks showed that the most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on February 3, 2016, at a total aircraft time of 3,103.9 hours, and a total engine time of 1,103.9 hours.

The basic aircraft was configured as an aerial observation aircraft with the following additional equipment. In the luggage compartment a FM transceiver, mini PC, video interface system, GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver, Airlink wireless modem, and a 12V to 28V DC converter. Located on the cabin roof was the GNSS antenna. Located in the cabin was an ARS mapping system, 15-inch LCD monitor, and camera control joy stick. On the bottom of the airplane was a spotlight. Located on the right wing was the video camera pod. Maintenance records showed that the most recent weight & balance performed on August 27, 2015, documented an empty weight plus 90 kg of fuel of 511 kg. Two crewmembers plus 4.5 kg personal gear for each, and a 2.3 kg survival kit added an additional 175.5 kgs. The total weight of the airplane at takeoff was 686.5 kgs. The maximum gross weight as stated in the manufacturers pilot operating handbook is 600 kgs. The center of gravity (cg) was calculated to be 0.448 m (meters) which was within the forward limit of 0.282 m and the aft limit 0.478 m. The airplane had been airborne for 90 minutes before the accident and would have burned about 6 gal of fuel (16.4 kg) which would equate to an aircraft weight at the time of the accident of 669.6 kg.

The Flight Design Pilot Operating Handbook states the following concerning aerodynamic stalls:

"Stalling speed for the CTLS with a weight of 600 kg (1320 lbs) is 72 km/h (39 kcas)with the flaps set at 35°, 77 km/h (42 kcas) with the flaps set at 0° and 90 km/h (44 kcas) with flaps set at -12°. Approaching stall is indicated by a sluggishness around the vertical axis. The controls become "soft" about 5 km/h (3 kts) above stall speed. Release the aft pressure on the stick to increase airspeed. Close to stall the aircraft can only be controlled by rudder and stabilizer. In a stall, the effectiveness of the ailerons is greatly reduced.

When the nose drops during a stall, the aircraft will lose approx. 50 m (165 ft)
altitude. Thus, near the ground a safety minimum speed of approx. 115 km/h (62 kts) should be maintained."

Aviation Circular 23-8C Flight Test Guide states that the following formula can be used to calculate the stall airspeed when the airplane's weight is different than the specified weight, Vs=Vstv(Ws/Wt) where Vs= new stall airspeed, Vst= standard stall airspeed, Ws= new weight, Wt = standard weight. Since the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident is known to be 669.6 kg, the standard weight is 600 kg, and the stall speed with zero flaps of 42 kcas (knots calibrated airspeed), results in a corrected stall speed of 44.4 kcas.

Flight Design provided additional aerodynamic stall information in the form of a stall speed, bank angle, and gross weight table. At a weight of 600 kg and 0° flaps the calculated stall airspeed while in a 15° angle of bank turn is 43 kcas. The stall airspeed in the same configuration at 30° angle of bank is 45 kcas. Using the formula in AC 28-8C to determine stall speeds for the airplane's higher weight of 669.6 kg results in a zero flap stall airspeed at 15° angle of bank of 45.3 kcas, at 30° angle of bank the value is 47.6 kcas, and at 45° angle of bank value is 52.7 kcas.

METEOROLGOICAL INFORMATION

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300° at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg. A visual inspection of radial velocity observations close to Hanford, CA, located 45 miles west-north-west from the accident site, for altitudes near 1000' msl revealed a wide variety of wind magnitudes, generally below about 7 knots, coming from the northwest or north-northwest. North American Mesoscale model sounding was obtained for the accident area valid at 1600 PST, which identified a wind from about 290° true at 3-4 knots applicable for an altitude of about 1600' msl.

Sun position at the time of the accident was determined by using the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Solar Calculator. The Sun's position on February 10, 2016, at 1617, as viewed from the accident location was on an azimuth of 241° true and elevation of 13° above the horizon.

A pilot who had flown over the accident site shortly after the accident occurred stated that he was flying out of Springville around 2,000 feet, towards Lake Success, and that the angle the road (Highway 190) was lined up on was straight into the sun and there was a lot of haze. He could not distinguish the tops of the hills from the sky because of the (sun) visibility.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

A Garmin GPSMAP 496 portable GPS receiver was recovered from the wreckage. The device was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory and the data contained within the unit was recovered. The data contained 10 tracklogs from February 4, 2016, through February 10, 2016. The accident flight was recorded starting 1446:36 Pacific standard time (PST) and ending 1614:11 on February 10, 2016. The aircraft departed Visalia Municipal Airport to the northwest at 1456 and turned northeastward. The aircraft briefly orbited a location in the vicinity of Ivanhoe, CA, at 1504, at an altitude of about 550 feet above ground level (agl) and continued eastward. The aircraft proceeded to make a touch and go at Woodlake Airport at 1515. The aircraft continued generally northward following the Friant Kern Canal until reaching a point east of East Orosi, CA, at 1530. The aircraft proceeded southward, briefly orbiting a location approximately 2.5 nautical miles northeast of Farmersville, CA, before continuing southeast. At 1601, the aircraft orbited a location on the northwest corner of Lake Success before continuing eastward. The aircraft maneuvered over a location northeast of Lake Success. At 1613:47 the aircraft was heading 249° true, at 1613:49 heading was 231°, at 1613:59 heading was 230°, and at 1614:00 heading was 242°. The track made a left turn and the last recorded position was at 1614:11 while the aircraft tracked 114.8° true at a GPS altitude of 1,096 feet (400 feet agl) and groundspeed of 52 knots.

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located on a steep 20° slope covered with green grass, flowering yellow mustard plants, and uneven rock-boulders underneath the vegetation. The wreckage area was 80 feet in length on a bearing of 010° magnetic. The airplane wreckage was inverted pointing from tail to nose on a bearing of 190° magnetic. The airplane structure had been subjected to a post-crash fire that completely consumed the airplane leaving only the black carbon fiber cloth remnants of the airframe. The wings and tail remained attached to the fuselage. The initial point of ground impact consisted of the indentation of the left main landing gear tire and the left wing tip. Immediately forward of the tire indentation was a 4 foot by 4 foot area of disturbed earth containing fragments from the fiberglass nose cowling. The initial impact was consistent with a high vertical energy component and very little forward velocity energy component.

The horizontal stabilator was partially fire damaged, leaving the outboard sections of the stabilator structure minimally damaged. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were consumed by fire. Both left and right flaps were attached to their respective hinge fixtures. The flap position could not be determined. Both ailerons were in place on each wing and balance weights present. The aluminum push rods connecting the ailerons through the wing to the cockpit were mostly destroyed, however the bell cranks in the wing and hinge points on the aileron were present with the control rod ends attached at each location. The aileron control mixer located in the aft cabin area was located and all attaching hardware was present and fixed in place. The aluminum push rods between the aileron mixer and bell cranks in the wing root were not located (presumed destroyed by fire). The rudder cable ends were located in the cockpit area and the attached turnbuckles were present with rudder bar attaching hardware present and cotter keyed. The cables were traced back to the tail where they remained attached to the rudder horn. The elevator push-pull cable turnbuckle in the cockpit area was separated from the rod end on the control stick torsion tube angle joint. The fractured end of the rod was bent, the fracture surface was angled at 45° and rough, consistent with overload. The push-pull cable was traced to the tail and remained attached to the stabilator bell crank. The balance weight remained attached to the bell crank.

The engine was a Rotax 912ULS, SN: 6783279. External examination revealed extreme heat damage. Fire sleeves that covered the fuel lines and oil lines were fragile and crumbled when touched. Scat tubes disintegrated when touched. All 4 cylinders were attached to the engine case. The reduction gear box remained mounted to the front of the engine. No holes or evidence of uncontained failure was observed. The 3-bladed ICH model propeller hub was attached to the propeller flange. One blade remained attached to the hub. Both carburetors were present and heat damaged. Both throttle and mixture cables remained attached to each carburetor. The accessory section on the back of the engine was destroyed by fire. The oil-air separator was detached from the engine. The oil tank was not attached to the engine. The oil cap was on the oil tank. The top spark plugs of each cylinder were removed and exhibited very light wear, light gray in color, with no mechanical damage observed. The ignition control box was mostly destroyed by extreme heat. The valve covers were removed. All valve arms, push rods, valve springs, were movable when pushed on. The engine crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. No unusual damage or wear was observed.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot February 11, 2016, by a Microcorre Diagnostic Laboratory pathologist who had been retained by the Tulare County Coroner. The listed cause of death was "blunt force injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration Forensic Toxicology Research Team, at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and listed drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Some witnesses reported seeing a yellow single engine airplane in the vicinity at the time of the accident. The Tulare County Sheriff investigated and identified the pilot of a yellow Howard DGA15 airplane based out of Bakerfield, CA, who said that he had flown over the accident site sometime after the accident and observed first responders on-scene. He had not witnessed the accident.

Accelerated Stall Information

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) states the following concerning accelerated stalls.
"At the same gross weight, airplane configuration, and power setting, a given airplane will consistently stall at the same indicated airspeed if no acceleration is involved. The airplane will, however, stall at a higher indicated airspeed when excessive maneuvering loads are imposed by steep turns, pull-ups, or other abrupt changes in its flightpath. Stalls entered from such flight situations are called "accelerated maneuver stalls," a term, which has no reference to the airspeeds involved.

Stalls which result from abrupt maneuvers tend to be more rapid, or severe, than the unaccelerated stalls, and because they occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds, and/or may occur at lower than anticipated pitch attitudes, they may be unexpected by an inexperienced pilot. Failure to take immediate steps toward recovery when an accelerated stall occurs may result in a complete loss of flight control, notably, power-on spins."

COUNTY OF TULARE SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N911TS 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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 February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, while flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1440 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov





Following the fatal crash of a Tulare County Sheriff’s Office airplane, the Kings County Sheriff’s Office has grounded its recently acquired plane.

Sheriff One, a Flight Design Composite Technology Law Enforcement (CTLE) aircraft, crashed around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday along Highway 190 near Lake Success, just west of Porterville. The crash killed the pilot, 45-year-old Hanford resident James Chavez, and Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, of Visalia.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said the plane had assisted in catching a man brandishing a weapon prior to the crash. There was no distress call and the plane’s parachute was not deployed prior to the crash, the department said.

The plane logged more than 3,000 hours of flight time since it went into operation in mid-2011.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office bought a Flight Design CTLEi aircraft in 2014 for about $471,000. Sheriff David Robinson said the plane, known as Sky King 1, is a newer, fuel-injected version of the one that crashed Wednesday.

Like the Tulare County plane, Sky King 1 features a parachute system that allows for safe landing in the event of engine failure.

For the safety of his pilots, Robinson said Sky King 1 has been grounded until more is known about the crash. He said he hopes to get the plane back into operation quickly.

Megan Rapozo, public relations officer for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. She said there is no set timeline to determine the cause.

“We’ll be waiting for their results along with everyone else,” Rapozo said.

As of Thursday, the FAA’s preliminary accident and incident report website said the aircraft “crashed under unknown circumstances and caught fire.”

Robinson said the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the research and the purchase of Sky King 1. Chavez was one of two pilots who helped train pilots for Kings County’s air program.

“He knew all of our pilots and worked with every single one of them,” Robinson said.

Chavez was hired as a pilot for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and had volunteered for more than a year prior. The sheriff’s office said he was hired for his extensive aviation experience and exceptional piloting skills. He had previously served in the California National Guard, Navy Reserve and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Aerosquadron.

Robinson said Chavez was “truly an expert” with the CTLE aircraft.

Ballantyne started with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1989. He became a deputy observer for Sheriff One, using high-tech equipment to guide deputies on the ground during pursuits.

“It’s just tragic,” Robinson said.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that flags at the state Capitol would be flown at half-staff in honor of Ballantyne and Chavez.

“We are grateful for these men, who made the ultimate sacrifice doing what they did everyday – serving and protecting their community,” Brown said in a statement.

Source: http://hanfordsentinel.com COUNTY OF TULARE SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N911TS 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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 February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, while flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1440 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov


James Chavez, 45, left, and Tulare County sheriff's Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, were killed Wednesday in a plane crash. 
(Tulare County Sheriff's Department)






Two Tulare County Sheriff’s Department employees, one a deputy and the other a pilot, died Wednesday afternoon when the Sheriff’s Department’s airplane crashed into the side of a mountain just east of Eagle Feather Trading Post above Success Lake.

Undersheriff Robin Skiles confirmed late Wednesday that Sheriff 1, the small fixed-wing aircraft owned by the department, had crashed killing both men aboard.

Skiles said killed were pilot James Chavez, 45, and Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, who was the observer in the plane. Skiles said the men were the first two hired to man the aircraft.

“It’s a very sad day for the Sheriff’s Department,” Skiles said. Both he and Sheriff Mike Boudreaux went to the crash site.

The Federal Aviation Administration earlier in the day confirmed a single-engine flight aircraft crashed.

Eyewitness Karen Ramirez of Springville said she saw the plane crash and burst into flames.

“I was coming up (Highway 190) and I saw him by Success Valley,” she said as she waited at the Trading Post to speak with investigators.

She said the plane was flying very close to the hills and was right along the hillside when she saw the wing come off and the plane slam into the ground, exploding on impact.

“It was a clip and boom. It was that fast,” she said.

Omero Bravo, a community service officer with the Tule River Tribal Police, said he heard the explosion.

“It was a like a zip, plow, boom,” he said. “There was a big old fireball and a bunch of black smoke.”

Ramirez, still shaken by what she had seen, said, “It’s so upsetting. Terrible, terrible, terrible. I couldn’t believe it.”

She said she called 9-1-1 at 4:14 p.m. She said she did not hear anything before the crash to indicate the plane was having engine trouble.

Skiles said they learned of the crash almost immediately and within a few minutes learned they no longer had contact with the plane or could not locate it on GPS.

Smoke from the crash site billowed for more than 45 minutes. A Tulare County fire engine could be seen moving down the hill to the crash site and people could be seen at the site. Fire and sheriff’s department personnel kept arriving at the scene for up to an hour after the crash, and a command post was set up at the Trading Post for the department’s search and rescue team.

The department purchased the small Flight Design CTLE aircraft in 2012. It is able to fly at low speeds and hardly makes any noise. Ramirez described the plane as small, almost looking like an ultralight aircraft.

The California Highway Patrol closed Highway 190 at the Trading Post and it appeared the roadway was going to be closed for several hours. It was not known where it was closed farther up the hill, but the plane went down just east of the Trading Post about 1,000 feet off the highway. Scores of people on their way up the hill were turned around and if they needed to get to River Island Country Club or higher, were told to take the Frazier Valley Road out of Strathmore.

The Sheriff’s Department has already purchased a second aircraft, but has not taken delivery of it.

The plane only carries two people — a pilot and an observer — and is equipped with an infrared camera and heat sensor.

The plane is also equipped with a ballistic parachute, but Ramirez said she did not see a parachute deploy.


Source:  http://www.recorderonline.com



TULARE COUNTY, Calif.-- Late into the night Wednesday investigators were still on scene near the town of Springville, trying to figure out what caused a plane crash that killed two employees of the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

The crash happened near Highway 190 and Success Valley Drive in Tulare County around 4 p.m.

On board the plane called "Sheriff One" were deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, and 45-year-old pilot James Chavez.

Karen Ramirez was driving home when she saw the sheriff's plane flying close to the hillside. 

"And I thought, 'oh he's going to hit.' And sure enough he hit and it just exploded," Ramirez says.

Ramirez pulled over and called 911 after seeing the plane go down. 

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said the plane was in the Springville area helping deputies with an arrest. 

"They were assisting officers in tracking down a suspect wanted for brandeshing a firearm, as I understand they arrested that suspect, the detail was over and the plane was leaving the area."

There is no indication yet as to what caused the crash.


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


Sheriff One - the 2 seater plane that crashed. The plane had 3000 hours of flight time with no prior issues.


Two people were killed when a single-engine plane crashed Wednesday near Springville in Tulare County.

Witnesses told authorities they saw the aircraft on fire.

Witness Shawn Winter, a resident of Springville, was driving down the hill to pick up his daughter from school when he saw something on the hillside.

“I saw the black color of smoke. There was a big old ball of flame,” he said.

It’s not clear whether the plane was ablaze in the air, or crashed or landed and began burning, emergency medical services officials say.

The crash occurred about 4:15 p.m. near Eagle Feather Trading Post and Highway 190.

The CHP reports the Highway 190 closure from just west of Pleasant Oak Drive on the east and Eagle Feather Trading Post on the west. The closure is expected to last indefinitely and could extend to Success Valley Drive, the CHP reported.

Lester Lawton, who lives on on Success Valley Drive, said the plane crashed just off the highway on the hill behind Eagle Feather Trading Post.

“I couldn’t even see an airplane. I could see a black spot on the ground on the hill,” he said. “It didn’t look like there was remains left.”

Story and photo: http://www.fresnobee.com




The Fresno Bee is reporting that two people have been killed in a plane crash in Tulare County on Wednesday.

FAA officials said at around 4:15 p.m., a single-engine GMBH plane was crushed under unknown circumstances around 10 miles east of Porterville.

The plane was caught fire after crashing, according to the FAA.

The FAA and NTSB is investigating this crash.

According to CHP's Central Division, SR190 is closed in both sides from East of Success Valley Dr. and Pleasant Oak Dr. No word yet on when it will reopen.

Story, video and photo:  http://www.turnto23.com





TULARE COUNTY (KFSN) -- The FAA and NTSB are investigating a plane crash in Tulare County. 

According to authorities, the plane burst into flames after hitting a mountain near Highway 190 and Pleasant Oak.

The FAA said the plane was a single-engine Flight Design. It went down under unknown circumstances around 4:15 p.m.

According to CHP a section of Highway 190 is closed east of Success Valley Drive and Pleasant Oak Drive due to the crash.

The condition of anyone who may have been on board is unknown.

Tulare County Sheriff's Office will be holding a press conference at 8:00 p.m.

Story, video and photo:  http://abc30.com

Flight Design, Composite Technology Law Enforcement (CTLE): Supervisors could approve sheriff’s plane purchase

(Photo: Tulare County Sheriff’s Department)


More than three years after buying a new sheriff’s plane, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors could approve a more than $208,000 contract to buy a second one.

The county Sheriff’s Department is asking the county Board of Supervisors to waive the bid and allow a contract to purchase the single-engine Composite Technology Law Enforcement aircraft.

That’s because the manufacturer, Airtime Aviation, is the only company manufacturing a small plane with the built-in camera and searchlight systems sheriff’s officials want.

In addition, the Sheriff’s Department already has a CTLE-model aircraft, delivered in late 2011, and having people fly the same sort of aircraft tends to improve safety, according to as sheriff’s report prepared for the superiors.

This also will help with maintenance, as local maintenance people already are familiar with the aircraft, the report continues.

The cost of the new plane will be $208,530.

That plane has features that include cameras which can remain focused on a single object while the plane circles, a built-in video screen that allows the pilot and a passenger to see what the camera sees and a spotlight with a mile-long range.

It also runs on on automobile fuel, which is less costly than aviation fuel.

The new plane will cost about $50,000 more than the last one, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Williams said in a written statement.

“The new aircraft will have the fuel injected engine, providing more power and more efficient fuel use as well as less maintenance. It also has more safety features such as wingtip-mounted landing and anti-collision lights and a navigation radio to allow use of the aircraft in times of reduced viability,” he wrote.

It also will include “photo” windows that can be opened so somebody in the plane can stick a camera lens out to take high-resolution photos of objects and people on the ground without the distortion of shooting photos behind plexiglass windows, Williams continued.

In a presentation to the board last year, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said his department’s current plane — with a call sign of “Sheriff One” — is being flown most days of the week and has been instrumental in search-and-rescue operations, as well as in monitoring criminal activity from the air.

Adding a second plane would enhance those capabilities, he said.

The department is planning to hire a civilian pilot to fly the second plane and handle light maintenance on it.

As part of the purchase agreement, the county would have to put up 50 percent of the new plane’s costs down in advance, and an additional 30 percent when the plane is shipped from Germany — where it will be assembled — with the remainder due once the Sheriff’s Department accepts delivery.

Estimates are that the single-engine plane will be delivered in late February, 2016, and the cost — which includes $17,204 in sales tax for a out-of-state purchase — will come from the Sheriff’s Department’s current budget.


Story and photo:  http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department owns this light sport aircraft, featured on the cover of the California State Sheriffs’ Association magazine in 2012. The Modesto Police Department is interested in buying one of its own as its latest crime-fighting tool. The aircraft has a high-definition camera with night-vision capabilities and a spotlight. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department 

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department owns this light sport aircraft. The Modesto Police Department is interested in buying one of its own as its latest crime-fighting tool. The aircraft has a high-definition camera with night-vision capabilities and a spotlight. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department 


The Modesto Police Department wants its own high-tech crime fighter in the sky.

Police Chief Galen Carroll is expected on Tuesday to ask the City Council to approve spending as much as $660,000 for what is called a light sport aircraft that seats two and is equipped with a spotlight and a high-definition camera with long-range scope and night vision that records what it sees.

Carroll said the aircraft would be flown by volunteer pilots and police officers who are pilots. He envisions the airplane being in the sky five to six hours a day, five days a week, patrolling the city, conducting traffic enforcement, and helping with crimes in progress and special operations.

“I see this as being a force multiplier,” Carroll said. The department’s staffing is at its lowest level in many years, with 219 officers allocated in the current budget year.

The proposed purchase comes after voters last week rejected a sales tax increase the city put on the ballot to pay primarily for more public safety after city officials said the city did not have the money to adequately protect Modesto. Measure G was expected to bring in $14 million annually to the city’s roughly $115 million general fund, which primarily pays for police and fire services.

“I know naysayers will say we are wasting money,” Carroll said. “But we are trying to protect the city with the limited resources we have. This is another way of being smart with the taxpayers’ money. We have been researching this for close to a year. … We did not live or die on Measure G. We still have a department to run and a city to protect.”

Modesto already has air support through the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Adam Christianson said his department’s helicopter is in the air 25 to 30 hours a week, primarily Fridays through Sundays. He said the helicopter covers the county but spends the majority of its time in Modesto. He said his department does not charge Modesto.

The Sheriff’s Department and Police Department talked about expanding the helicopter’s coverage, but Modesto would have to pay for that. Carroll said those costs would be too high. Christianson said it costs $650 an hour to operate his department’s helicopter. Based on that, it would cost the Police Department $845,000 a year for 25 hours of coverage each week. A city report states it will cost about $75,000 a year to operate the aircraft.

Still, Christianson said it appeared Modesto was trying to provide a service his department already provides. “It does seem duplicative to me,” the sheriff said, though Carroll disagreed. “We want a regular air patrol that’s not provided now,” he said. “If we had that service, we would not be looking to duplicate a free service we already have.”

Carroll said his department is not competing with the Sheriff’s Department and said there will be times when his officers need the Sheriff’s Department helicopter. “I’m looking at this more as a patrol car that happens to fly,” he said.

The Police Department wants to purchase a Flight Design CTLEi aircraft from Airtime Aviation in Tulsa, Okla. The city did not seek bids because, according to a city report, Airtime is the only U.S. dealership that sells this type of aircraft equipped with the camera and computer system. Flight Design is based in Germany.

Carroll said the airplane flies at 1,000 feet (the Sheriff’s Department helicopter flies at 500 to 1,000 feet), can circle as slowly as a helicopter and is very quiet.

The report states that the city would pay for the aircraft and its high-tech gear with $194,000 in state asset forfeiture funds; $166,00 from its traffic safety fund; $100,000 in the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Funds it receives from the state; and $200,000 from the general fund.

The city report states the sheriff’s departments in Kings and Tulare counties have purchased Flight Design CTLEi airplanes. As part of their due diligence, Modesto police met with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

“Our aviation unit has been a great success, and we feel that the light sport aircraft is a safe and cost-effective platform for law enforcement aviation,” Tulare sheriff’s Lt. Rob Schimpf said in an email. “With the cost being a fraction of that associated with larger aircraft, such as helicopters, we are able to operate our plane in a proactive patrol capacity.”

Schimpf’s department recently purchased a second plane.

Carroll also met with Modesto’s Airport Advisory Committee, the members of which are pilots and/or from the aviation industry, for feedback. Councilman Bill Zoslocki, who serves on the committee and is a longtime pilot, said committee members liked what they heard.

The City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.modbee.com