Saturday, February 14, 2015

Henry 1: Man arrested after helicopter pursuit outside Sebastopol, Sonoma County, California

A 24-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of a minor crime spree after leading police on a hide-and-seek chase through a field just outside Sebastopol, police said.

Jacob Cyrus Sullivan of Sebastopol was arrested before noon after he was tackled by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Mahoney, said Lt. Greg Miller.

Sullivan is suspected of stealing a car on the outskirts of Sebastopol on Friday night and then losing control of the car near Canfield Road south of Sebastopol and crashing into a fence, Miller said.

The car became stuck and could not be driven, so the car’s driver went to a nearby residence where he attempted to break into two cars, Miller said.

A neighbor around 8:30 a.m. spotted the suspect and confronted him, Miller said. The man escaped into a nearby field, but the woman was able to strip a backpack he had been carrying.

“She ripped the backpack right off of his back,” Miller said.

Sheriff’s deputies and the Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Henry 1, were dispatched, along with a K-9 unit from the Santa Rosa Police Department. But the suspect was able to hid along Blucher Creek, where it is heavily shaded by trees and brush, Miller said.

The search was called off after two hours. But by 11:30 a.m., a resident on Cunningham Road that borders the field saw a man running and his description matched the suspect, Miller said.

Police again began stetting up a perimeter and Henry 1 took flight. Pilot Paul Bradley was able to quickly land the helicopter in the field and Mahoney jumped out and sprinted across the field and tackled Sullivan as he tried to climb a fence, he said.

Sullivan was arrested on suspicion of auto burglary and one charge of resisting arrest, Miller said. Police also discovered in the backpack a stolen computer taken during a recent Rohnert Park burglary, so Sullivan faces an additional complaint of possession of stolen property. In addition, police found drugs in the backpack as well, though no compliant has been filed as deputies were conducting tests Saturday afternoon, Miller said.

In addition, the CHP booked Sullivan on one compliant each of vehicle theft and hit and run, Miller said. At the time of his arrest, Sullivan had a felony warrant for evading police and violation of probation, he said.

Sullivan was being held in the Sonoma County Jail on Saturday.

Miller said it is unusual that a deputy would get off Henry 1 to follow a suspect on foot during a chase as opposed to allowing those in police cars responding to a pursuit. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities to do that,” he said.

But Miler said some circumstances Saturday made it a viable option. Those factors included having an open field to land the helicopter, that the perimeter had not been established by the time Henry 1 arrived, and that there was additional tactical flight officer on board the aircraft besides Mahoney to help the pilot in the chase.

Original article can be found at:

♥♡ Spaceport America holds first-ever Valentine's Day fly-in

LAS CRUCES >> Spaceport America hosted 10 private pilots and 24 of their guests Saturday in a first-ever fly-in event held at the spaceport on Valentine's Day.

Visiting aircraft at the event ranging from a large twin-engine, 6-passenger Cessna aircraft to a two-seat, homebuilt RV 4, parked on the spaceport apron around the iconic "Gateway to Space" terminal-hangar building, according to a news release.

Spaceport America Executive Director Christine Anderson and her staff took the group of pilots and their passengers on a special morning tour of the Spaceport Operations Center and then during a luncheon updated the group on the spaceport's progress. The spaceport guests were treated to a private tour of the terminal-hangar building given by Jonathan Firth, Virgin Galactic senior vice president, before departing in mid-afternoon.

"Today's unique event gave our spaceport staff a chance to share a glimpse of the future of the commercial space industry with members of the aviation community and also allowed them an opportunity to work together on a large airfield operations mission," Anderson said. "We look forward to doing more community outreach projects like this with the public in the near future."

Virgin Galactic is the spaceport's main tenant.

Spaceport America, located in southeastern Sierra County, has logged more than 5,000 visitors to date who've toured the spaceport by taking public tours offered by the Follow The Sun tour company, according to the news release. Follow The Sun will be expanding their tours from three to five days a week to accommodate the new "Spaceport America Visitors Experience." The new experience will include a visit to the on-site Gateway Gallery, featuring many interactive displays, exhibits and the new Spaceport America Visitor Center in Truth or Consequences.

 Original article can be found at:

For Alaska pilots, sometimes winter survival means not taking off

Last November, during a National Transportation Safety Board hearing on the March 2013 fatal accident of the Alaska State Troopers Helo-1 helicopter, investigators discussed the survival gear carried onboard the rotorcraft by pilot Mel Nading. It included what the troopers' relief pilot told investigators was “enough gear where we could live comfortably for several days, food, shelter, sleeping bags and all that stuff.”

This equipment would have been adequate for the two troopers aboard the helicopter and the stranded snowmachiner they rescued on the night of the crash to make camp and wait out the weather. But Nading ultimately elected not to stay on the ground after picking up their passenger, and the helicopter crashed a few minutes after takeoff in poor weather.

A pilot’s decision to postpone departure is always fraught with complications, both real and imagined. This is a particular concern in the Alaska wilderness during winter. There will be a level of discomfort when choosing to stay on the ground in the Bush, regardless of the gear you might have, and that alone can be enough to propel some to depart -- or not land somewhere to wait out weather -- against their better judgment.

“Everyone wants to be comfortable; it’s human nature,” said Brian Horner, president of Learn to Return Training Systems in Anchorage. “You have the choice to try to go home to a hot meal and your family or misery. It’s hard to pick misery.”

In the winter, choosing misery is especially difficult, as it means not only being uncomfortable but potentially freezing to death as well. It’s not the kind of decision that can be spontaneously made; the mindset needed to successfully hunker down must begin hours before, when the pilot leaves home.

 “There are three necessary components to winter survival,” explains Harry Kieling, of the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation. “The right clothes, the right training and the right attitude: 'I am a survivor.' Without all of those, your chances are greatly diminished.”

The emphasis on clothing is a key part of the decision-making process, even before a pilot leaves home.

“If you aren’t wearing the right clothing when you get into the airplane, you are as much as saying you are not going to spend the night out there -- you are almost forced to make a bad decision,” Kieling said.

In some cases, those clothes on your back might be all that you can reach. This is particularly true if the aircraft has been damaged in a crash.

Further, if a pilot is debating whether to take off or stay grounded, just the need to search for and put on more clothing in the cold -- even if the aircraft is perfectly fine -- could tip the scales toward the decision to depart. It may seem such a small thing wouldn't matter, but pilots around Alaska must make decisions like these every day.

“Get-home-itis” is the excuse often pointed to by professionals seeking to understand why pilots will depart against the more reasonable decision to stay put. It has reached syndrome status for some researchers, and is often discussed when exploring the reasons behind accidents that occur in forecasted poor weather conditions.

This attitude, which demands throwing all caution -- and instruction -- to the wind and getting home at all costs, is not exclusive to aviation. It can be found in the wilderness world as well, among climbers, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Horner's been there, and admits “I’ve made a bad decision to stumble down a mountain when I shouldn’t have.”

He traces some of the drive to get home to 21st-century media realities. Odds are if you're overdue, he says, “you’re going to end up on the news.” This can be hard enough to swallow for those on a private adventure or out with a few friends, but is even more complicated when you are hired to do a job.

“A lot of last words from pilots are ‘I’ll get you home,'” said Horner.

Those are the words people always want to hear, and far easier to say than "this is all about to get really unpleasant."

That makes the hard decision to stay one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, but there are ways to make the choice easier.

“You can overcome the reluctance to stay the night,” points out Kieling, “but you have to address that training with the same commitment as choosing outerwear, boots and mittens (gauntlets) and everything else you have with you." He stressed the need for gauntlets as absolutely critical.

Practice is something pilots are accustomed to; repetitive stall recoveries, touch-and-go's, steep turns, instrument scans -- all are part of flight training. But we rarely think of survival as something to train for.

“Most people try out their survival gear in their living room or on the deck or lawn,” Horner said. A more effective simulation would be just like practicing stall recovery -- practice under similar conditions. Taking a winter survival course of any kind allows pilots to move from the unknown to the familiar when it comes to survival. None of this comes with the level of fear or panic that real survival entails, but it gets you closer, which might make all the difference.

For Horner, it always comes down to preparedness.

“Put as much energy into learning good decisions as preparing your gear,” he stressed. Kieling echoed the sentiment, adding that pilots need as much confidence in their actions on the ground as they do when they fly.

“You have to know that at 20 below you can survive out there,” Kieling said.

Two years ago, Sam Egli of Egli Air Haul was in exactly the position that so many pilots dread. He had to tell his two passengers, a geophysical crew retrieving some equipment, that they would not be taking off from Mt. Mageik as planned. For two days, hunkered down in their iced-over helicopter in exceedingly uncomfortable conditions, they waited out the harsh September weather until rescue could arrive.

Their predicament, of course, was heavily covered in the news -- but the coverage was all overwhelmingly positive. In November 2013, Egli was honored by the Safety Foundation with its inaugural “Right Stuff” award for his “superior decision making skills and moral courage in his decision to stay put on the edge of a volcano in a very exposed location rather than attempt to fly out in icing conditions.”

No one will ever know what exactly prompted Mel Nading to take off in Helo-1; it is likely a combination of reasons ranging from internal and external pressures to possible fear or panic or a deep desire to get home. And although that element of the accident, along with so many others like it, will remain a mystery, it can still serve as a lesson for other pilots. Decisions on the ground can be the most important that you will make -- treat them with a high degree of respect and train for them as if your life depends upon it.

Story and photo:

Aerial view of Mount Fairweather and the Fairweather Glacier on a rare nice day. When it comes to wintertime flying, some of the most important decisions a pilot can make can come on the ground, or before they ever leave the house. 
Scott Dickerson

NTSB Identification: ANC13GA036
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Saturday, March 30, 2013 in Talkeetna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2015
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS350, registration: N911AA
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

The Safety Board's full report is available at The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-14/03.

On March 30, 2013, at 2320 Alaska daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopter, N911AA, impacted terrain while maneuvering during a search and rescue (SAR) flight near Talkeetna, Alaska. The airline transport pilot, an Alaska state trooper serving as a flight observer for the pilot, and a stranded snowmobiler who had requested rescue were killed, and the helicopter was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS) as a public aircraft operations flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed in the area at the time of the accident. The flight originated at 2313 from a frozen pond near the snowmobiler's rescue location and was destined for an off-airport location about 16 mi south.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to continue flight under visual flight rules into deteriorating weather conditions, which resulted in the pilot's spatial disorientation and loss of control. Also causal was the Alaska Department of Public Safety's punitive culture and inadequate safety management, which prevented the organization from identifying and correcting latent deficiencies in risk management and pilot training. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's exceptionally high motivation to complete search and rescue missions, which increased his risk tolerance and adversely affected his decision-making.

Divers discover wreck of Korean War-era plane off San Diego coast

SAN DIEGO — Divers discovered a Korean War-era plane submerged off the coast of San Diego.

Dennis Burns found the plane offshore Mission Beach in a very shallow area, about 60 feet deep.

“We dove through a lot of rock piles and trash cans and then one day we found an airplane,” said Burns.

“When he came up he was completely overwhelmed,” said Dr. Ruth Yu.  “Even before he could get his mouthpiece off he was saying, ‘It’s a plane, it’s a plane! I found a plane.'”

The aircraft has been positively identified by its official identification plate from the Bureau of Aeronautics as the A-1 Skyraider, or AD-4L, that crash-landed in 1953.

The war plane has been underwater for more than 60 years. It was found with four massive 20-millimeter cannons, two on each wing, and hundreds of other artifacts littered around the wreckage.

“It was just incredible that a wreck like that could lie so close to a populated area and not be found,” Yu said.

Burns and Yu discovered another treasure: the pilot’s family.

“Just today I was talking to the daughter of the pilot whom, on the day of the crash, her mother was eight months pregnant with her and her father was out flying airplanes over the ocean and landing them in the ocean and they’re just beside themselves,” Burns said. “They’re wanting to come out and dive on the plane themselves.”

Burns went on to say even after the pilot Charles Kelly crashed the plane, he went on serving his country.

“They took him in an ambulance to the hospital and checked him and he went back to duty that afternoon as if nothing happened,” said Burns.

Burns and Yu have traveled the world looking for treasure, but little did they know, the biggest trove was at home.

“I was stunned that the greatest thing I’ve ever dove was in my backyard,” said Burns.

The couple is working with the San Diego Aerospace Museum to determine how they can share their discovery, while at the same time preserving it.

“We might do like a wet exhibit where we’ll be able to show the underwater video or something,” Yu said.

Story and video:

Incident occurred February 13, 2015 near Jespersen Ranch, Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Oregon

A small, single-engine Cessna plane crash landed in a field about 8 to 10 miles east of Klamath Falls just off State Highway 140 Friday afternoon.

Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah said the plane apparently ran out of fuel and had to ditch in a field near the Jespersen Ranch.

“No one was hurt and there’s no damage, except the plane is up to its belly in mud,” Skrah told the Herald and News. “It might take a while to get it out of there.”

The crash landing happened about 4:15 p.m. Friday.

The pilot was not identified.

Original article can be found at:

All hands on pecs: Ryanair flight forced to divert

A man removes his top and poses like the Hulk on a flight

A Ryanair flight to Dublin was forced to make an emergency landing after this drunk passenger stripped off his shirt and began punching the walls of the aircraft.

Brave passengers on the flight, which departed from the Latvian capital Riga, managed to wrestle the man to the ground and tie him up during the air-rage scare on Tuesday.

Footage of the incident emerged yesterday, and Ryanair last night confirmed it has now banned the man from ever flying with the airline again.

The mid-flight scare was sparked when the clearly drunk man began posing like the Incredible Hulk as he stood between aisles at the back of the plane.

After stripping off his shirt, he then began punching walls on the plane.

However, the 90-second incident soon came to an end when fellow passengers wrestled the man to the ground and subdued him.

The pilot on the plane was forced to land the aircraft in Aarhus, Denmark, where the man was taken off and arrested by police.

A statement from Ryanair last night said: “This flight from Riga to Dublin diverted into Aarhus after a passenger became disruptive in-flight.

“On arrival, police removed (and detained) this passenger before the aircraft departed to Dublin.

“We are fully assisting the police with their investigations and the individual has been banned from travelling on our airline.”

The statement added: “We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behaviour at any time and we sincerely apologised to other customers for any inconvenience caused.

“The safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.”

Peter Hallstrom, from East Jutland Police in Denmark, said: “A plane was diverted because of a drunk person, so we had to arrest him.

“He was outspoken and provocative on the plane, but did not exercise any violence against anyone.”

The man was arrested and spent the night in custody in Denmark, while the plane then continued on to Dublin.

It is the fourth in-flight incident to affect Ryanair flights this week.

On Monday, a plane flying from Krakow in Poland to Shannon Airport was forced to make an emergency landing in Germany after a drunk man sparked a bomb scare.

The 33-year-old man was detained after police boarded the flight, which had made an emergency landing at Berlin Schonefeld Airport.

The passenger is reported to have made threats on the late-night service, claiming several times that he had a bomb.

German Special Forces personnel attached to the Federal Police service carried out a detailed search of the Boeing 737-800 jet after all the passengers had disembarked and were taken to the terminal.

No bomb was found during the search, which lasted several hours.

The flight was later cleared to depart and arrived in Shannon Airport shortly before 5am on Tuesday, five hours behind schedule.

Also on Monday, two Ryanair flights were forced to make unscheduled landings after passengers on board became ill.

A flight from Brussels to Tenerife was diverted to Nantes, France, and a Dublin-bound flight from Bucharest in Romania diverted to Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany.

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Cessna 150M, Aero Services LLC, N827CH: Accident occurred February 14, 2015 in Layton, Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA103
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 14, 2015 in Layton, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/03/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N827CH
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

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

The private pilot reported that the airplane departed with about 8 gallons of fuel on board for a cross-country flight. While the airplane was en route and about 1,200 ft above ground level, the engine lost power. The pilot then completed the emergency procedures to restore power without success. The pilot chose to make an emergency landing on a golf course. During the landing sequence, the pilot intentionally impacted a tree with the airplane's right wing to reduce forward speed, after which the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The pilot reported that, due to a headwind that the airplane encountered en route, there was insufficient fuel to reach his destination airport. 

A postaccident examination of the engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would precluded normal operation. It is likely that the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion because the pilot did not account for an increased headwind.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot’s inadequate preflight and in-flight fuel planning, which did not account for the increased headwind.

On February 14, 2015, about 1020 mountain standard time, a Cessna 150M, N827CH, was substantially damaged following loss of engine power, which resulted in a forced landing and impact with terrain near Layton, Utah. The private pilot was not injured, while the sole passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to Aero Services LLC, Centerville, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which was operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Logan-Cache Airport (LGU), Logan, Utah, about 0940, with the planned destination being Sky Park Airport (BTF), Bountiful, Utah.

In a statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that about 15 miles north of BTF the engine rpm started dropping off from 2,400 rpm, and the airspeed was decreasing from 80 mph. The pilot stated that he then began using emergency procedures to restore engine rpm; rich mixture, added carburetor heat, and pumped the throttle lever, but he was not able to restore engine power. The pilot then elected to make an emergency landing to a golf course. During the approach and landing sequence the pilot intentionally impacted a tree with the airplane's right wing to reduce speed. The airplane subsequently came to rest inverted in a sand trap on the golf course.

In a statement submitted to the NTSB IIC, the owner of the airplane reported that in a voice mail that was left for him by the accident pilot, the pilot stated that he had departed LGU for BTF, and that he had dipped the tanks, which indicated 8 gallons total for the flight. The accident pilot further stated that there were headwinds that day, and the fuel he had onboard was not enough to make it back [to BTF].

Under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, an examination of the airframe was performed by a Textron Aviation Senior Air Safety Investigator on February 17, 2015. The results of the examination revealed no anomalies with the airframe, inclusive of the airplane's fuel system, that would have precluded normal operation. (Refer to the Summary of Airframe Examination, which is appended to the docket for this report.)

Under the supervision of a FAA aviation safety inspector, on December 1, 2015, an examination of the engine was performed by a licensed FAA airframe and powerplant mechanic. As a result of the examination, the mechanic reported that engine compression was checked by turning the propeller by hand, as well as valve train continuity, with no anomalies reported. Additionally, the ignition system was inspected and tested. Solid blue spark was observed on all 8 ignition leads, and the magneto timing was found to be set to the manufacturer's specifications. The mechanic observed that all spark plugs were examined and appeared to be in nearly new condition, with some normal carbon deposits observed below the electrodes, but none across the electrodes. Examination of the carburetor revealed that the finger screen was clean with no debris noted, and that the needle and seat were observed without any faults detected. Further, there was no accumulation of any sediment or corrosion in the bottom of the float bowl. Additionally, an inspection of the oil filter revealed no metal or abnormal indications observed. The mechanic reported no anomalies with the engine that would have precluded normal operation. 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA103
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 14, 2015 in Layton, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N827CH
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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

On February 14, 2015, about 1020 mountain standard time, a Cessna 150M, N827CH, was substantially damaged following a forced landing and impact with terrain near Layton, Utah. The certified private pilot was not injured, while the sole passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Aero Services LLC, Centerville, Utah, and operated by Bountiful Flight, Woods Cross, Utah. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight, which was operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Logan-Cache Airport (LUG), Logan, Utah, with the planned destination being Sky Park Airport (BTF), Bountiful, Utah.

In a statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that about 15 miles north of BTF the engine rpm started dropping off from 2,400 rpm, and the airspeed was decreasing from 80 mph. The pilot stated that he then began using emergency procedures to restore engine rpm; rich mixture, add carburetor heat, and pump throttle lever, but he was not able to restore engine power. The pilot then elected to make an emergency landing to a golf course. During the approach and landing sequence the pilot intentionally impacted a tree with the airplane's right wing to reduce speed. The airplane subsequently came to rest inverted in a sand trap on the golf course.

The airplane was recovered to a secured storage facility for further examination.  


LAYTON — Out of all the places to be on a beautiful Saturday morning, Dustin Volk wishes he wasn't inside. 

Volk is the golf pro at Valley View Golf Course, 2501 E. Gentile Street. Being inside handling operations and paperwork is part of his normal, everyday job. But at about 10:30 a.m., "normal" stopped.

"Customers just came running in and said a plane crashed on the practice green," Volk said.

He went outside, saw a small airplane upside down near a sand bunker on the practice chipping green, and ran to see if those inside were OK.

"The one guy we helped get out, the passenger, he seemed to be pretty OK. The pilot was a little bit more in pain and kind of pinned," Volk said. "He had blood coming from his head. We got him unbuckled and waited for the ambulance."

Emergency crews with the Layton Fire Department took the passenger to the hospital in fair condition. The pilot was treated at the scene, released, and explained to emergency crews what happened.

"They left the Woods Cross airport this morning and flew to Logan. They had breakfast there and then started flying back," said Doug Bitton, with the Layton Fire Department. "Around 5,000 feet, they experienced difficulty."

For some reason, the engine stopped working. A witness hiking near Weber Canyon told crews he heard the plane sputtering.

Witnesses at the golf course said they didn't hear anything until the plane clipped trees near the driving range and crashed.

"So far, what we can tell is that it wasn't a mechanical problem. Our airplanes are sound, They're fine. It was most likely pilot error," said Jason Clark, who owns Bountiful Flight — the company that owns the single engine Cessna plane that crashed.

Clark said he rented the plane to the pilot, did a pre-check on it, and wants people to know the crash had nothing to do with his flight school or his flight instructors.

"We've never had an accident in the past. We never had an incident of any kind. We do more inspections on these airplanes than are even required for the FAA. We go over and above what we need to do to make sure these airplanes are safe," Clark said.

He thinks the plane ran out of gas, but he's waiting for the investigation to know for sure.

No matter what happened, though, it's amazing nobody was seriously hurt; those inside the plane and outside.

"It could have been really bad. One customer said just 5 minutes earlier, he was in the bunker hitting shots out to the chipping green," Volk said.

The FAA and the NTSB were handling the investigation Saturday.

LAYTON — A small plane crashed at Valley View Golf Course on Saturday, sending at least one occupant to the hospital.

He was in fair condition at McKay-Dee Hospital Center.

The pilot was treated and released on scene with minor injuries, according to Layton police.

National Transportation Safety Board officials said they didn't know what caused the crash, but they have ordered the plane to be retrieved for investigation.

The plane, a small, single-engine Cessna, was rented in Bountiful, took off from the Bountiful Skypark Airport on Saturday morning and landed in Logan.

After the crew of two men had breakfast, they departed Logan and headed back to Bountiful when they crashed at the Layton golf course, 2501 E. Gentile. The plane landed upside-down near a sand trap on the course.

The names of the crew were not released Saturday.


LAYTON — Two men suffered just minor injuries when their plane crashed into a golf course Saturday morning.

The plane — which has been identified by Layton city as a single-engine Cessna — went down at the Valley View Golf Course at 2501 E. Gentile Street just after 10 a.m.

Both the pilot and his male passenger made it out of the aircraft with minor injuries, according to Layton police. The pilot was released at the scene, while the other man was taken to McKay Dee Hospital in fair condition, police said.

The men were flying the plane — which was a rental — from Logan to Woods Cross at the time of the crash, police said. NTSB officials have ordered the owners to recover the Cessna for investigators, according to Layton city officials.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

 LAYTON, Utah — Two people were extricated from a single-engine Cessna airplane after it crashed on a Layton golf course Saturday morning.

According to Layton City tweets, the crash occurred at Valley View Golf Course, 2501 E. Gentile Street.

The condition of the occupants in the aircraft is unknown at this time.

A FOX 13 News crew is on scene. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Lancair T360, ZU-YUM: Fatal accident occurred February 14, 2015 near Parys, Free State, South Africa

Cape Town -Paramedics and other emergency personnel are on the scene of a light aircraft crash in the veld close to the R59 near Parys.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Santi Steinmann reports that "A man and his five-year-old son has tragically lost their lives during a light aircraft crash near the R59 near Parys this afternoon."

The man was found outside the aircraft but the child was still inside. 

"They were declared dead" on the scene says ER24 spokesperson Chitra Bodasing. 

Paramedics received the call for assistance at 15:45 following the crash. 

A large area was covered with aircraft debris following the crash.

Exact detail surrounding the cause of the crash and preceding events are the the subject of a Civil Aviation Authority investigation.

Story and photo:

Johannesburg -  A man and a child were killed when their light aircraft crashed in a veld in Parys on Saturday, private emergency services ER24 said.

The child was found inside the aircraft. 

The adult outside the aircraft, said spokeswoman Chitra Bodasing.

The crash was close to the R59.

Both were declared dead on the scene.

Story and comments:

Piper PA-28R-180 Arrow, N3918T: Incident occurred February 13, 2015 in Haviland, Kiowa County, Kansas


HAVILAND, Kan. -  A small plane made an emergency landing on Highway 54 in Kiowa County near Haviland Friday night.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the engine stopped working and the pilot landed on Highway 54 around 11:30 p.m. 

When troopers arrived to the scene, they found the plane in a ditch. 

No one was hurt, and no damage was done to the plane.

We do know the plane that went down is a single-engine plane that is registered out of Missouri.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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Cirrus SR20, G-VGAG: Accident occurred November 12, 2014 at London Southend Airport

A pilot from Billericay badly damaged his plane after it bounced on landing at Southend Airport, the Gazette can reveal.

The incident saw the single engine propeller plane, a Cirrus SR20 that was built in 2005, bounce on the runway when it landed just before 10.40am.

Although the pilot powered up the engine to try and go around again for a better landing, his aircraft rolled to the left and its wing hit the runway.

Still in the air, it then carried on turning left before landing on a patch of grass.

It then carried on across a taxiway before finally stopping on another grassy area, 380m from the start of the runway.

An Air Accident Investigation Branch report said: “Neither the pilot or his passenger was injured but the aircraft sustained damage to its left wing, landing gear and propeller.

“The surface of the taxiway was also damaged, principally through propeller strikes and failing landing gear components.”

When contacted by the Gazette, the pilot, who was 68 when the incident happened on November 12 last year, said it was his first incident in 30 years of flying.

He had a total of 2,344 hours total flying time, of which 796 were experience flying the incident aircraft’s type.

Original article can be found at: 

Accident Report:

Air Accidents Investigation Branch report

AAIB investigation to Cirrus SR20, G-VGAG

Published:    12 February 2015

Date of occurrence:    12 November 2014

Aircraft category:    General aviation - fixed wing

Report type:     Bulletin - Correspondence investigation

Aircraft type:     Cirrus SR20

Location:    London Southend Airport

Registration:    G-VGAG

Loss of control on landing, London Southend Airport, 12 November 2014.


The pilot reported that the aircraft was being landed on asphalt Runway 24 when the accident occurred. The weather was fine, with a surface wind from 190° at 14 kt, and the runway surface was damp. The aircraft bounced after a firm touchdown and the pilot applied full power with the intention of flying a go-around. However, the aircraft rolled to the left and its wing struck the runway. The aircraft deviated to the left and landed on the grass beyond the runway edge. It continued across taxiway ‘B’ before coming to a rest on the grass beyond, 380 m from the runway threshold. Neither occupant was injured but the aircraft sustained damage to its left wing, landing gear and propeller. The surface of the taxiway was also damaged, principally through propeller strikes and failing landing gear components.

Mifflintown Airport (P34), Pennsylvania: Aero Club helps members reach new heights

The Mifflintown Airport Aero Club has been spotted in the skies over central Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and counting.

Its slogan, "Convenient Flying at Economical Rates," holds true as the club makes it possible for an individual to have access to a small, single engine aircraft to use for travel or just for fun.

The Aero Club was formed in the fall of 2005 and began to recruit student pilots, as well as seasoned aircraft operators, to get the organization off the ground.

The club owns, operates and maintains a Cessna 172, single engine airplane.

Eric Stosius of Loysville presides as club president and Klaus Sperlich of Mifflintown is treasurer. Together, they are arranging different trips and educational opportunities that the community can get involved with in hopes that it will spark new interests in aviation.

"I've wanted to do this all my life, but I never thought it would happen. I never had the means to own and operate an aircraft myself, and neither have a lot of people," Stosius said.

"By forming this club, we have made it possible for the common person to go flying," Sperlich said. "We also take advantage of a local aircraft maintenance facility, Gullwing Aviation LLC, which allows us to learn more about the plane just by being involved when it's time for an inspection. 

"There are no flight instructors within the club, but there are local instructors available if someone wants to take up flying," Sperlich added. 

Over the years, the Cessna 172, tail number N4484L, has flown north as far as Toronto, Canada, and Buffalo, N.Y. It also has made countless trips to the Midwest and down to Florida.

In addition to day-to-day activities, the club helps those in need. On one trip in particular, Stosius and Sperlich flew to a small airport in New Jersey right after Hurricane Sandy to deliver coats, blankets and cleaning supplies. 

"I remember that Staten Island was a mess, so we landed in New Jersey and handed off everything that we brought to a local policeman who took it to a church organization in the area. It was surprising how much stuff we packed into that little plane," Stosius said.   

Locally, club members use N4484L to fly to the Mifflin County Airport, just outside of Reedsville, to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association's breakfast on the second Saturday of every month. There, pilots from all over the state meet and converse with other aircraft enthusiasts.

The breakfast also is open to the public. Members of the airport board invite those with an interest in aviation because it is a great opportunity to see different models of airplanes in flight. 

The Aero Club is looking forward to hosting its annual family picnic this fall, where pilots and aircraft enthusiasts also are welcome.

The Aero Club meets at the Mifflintown Airport, off of the Arch Rock Road exit of Routes 22/322, two miles above Mifflintown at 600 Airport Drive.

For more information about the club, readers may call Stosius at 461-5928 or visit the website,

Story and photo:

Klaus Sperlich is at the controls of a Cessna 172, N4484L over Juniata County farmland.

Scientists go high and low for data on drought-fighting 'sky rivers'

Finally, it had arrived: the long band of atmospheric water vapor from the tropics that scientists were eager to examine from every conceivable angle.

"This is the big blockbuster event," Cmdr. Mark Sweeney said shortly before he guided a federal research plane named Miss Piggy into a puffy, pewter-colored blanket of clouds that spread across Northern California.

The P-3 Orion aircraft was part of an unprecedented research effort that sampled and measured two atmospheric river storms that gave half the state a welcome soaking a week ago. Four planes, a ship, ground equipment and even space satellites collected a mountain of data as the sky rivers rolled in from the Pacific Ocean.

Atmospheric rivers form all over the globe. But there has been growing interest in the West Coast storms as scientists recognize the vital role they play in the yo-yo water supply of the nation's most populous state. Their presence or absence can break or make a drought. Knowing when and where they will arrive and how much rain and snow they are likely to dump is crucial information for water managers.

A strong sky river can carry a load of water vapor equivalent to more than 10 times the flow of the lower Mississippi River. When the ribbons of moisture slam into California's coastal ranges and the Sierra Nevada, they rise and condense into rain and snow, delivering on average 40% of the state's annual precipitation. Atmospheric rivers have ended roughly a third or more of state droughts since the middle of the last century, according to a recent study.

The pair of storms that barreled into Northern California over the course of four days weren't big enough to bust the current prolonged drought. But they dumped as much as 15 inches of rain on the mountains of Shasta County. After a parched January, they pushed precipitation totals back to normal levels for this time of year in the northern watersheds that supply some of the state's most important reservoirs.

Miss Piggy, a federal "Hurricane Hunter" plane loaded with sophisticated meteorological instruments bolted to the floor, took off from McClellan Airfield at 7 a.m., just as the pastel colors of the rising sun were being swallowed by the gray clouds of the advancing storm front.

On board were four research scientists and the blue-suited flight crew from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For the next seven hours they would fly through, under and above the sky river, traveling roughly 2,000 bumpy miles back and forth over the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Range and the Sacramento Valley.

All the while, radar equipment mounted on the aircraft's exterior measured precipitation and cloud thickness. Probes attached to the wings measured the number and size of liquid cloud droplets. Another of the plane's radar devices measured the height of ocean waves.

At various points over the Pacific, the NOAA crew loaded two types of disposable instruments into a chute and released them with a whoosh from Miss Piggy's belly.

Dropsondes, compact cylinders outfitted with sensors that transmit data back to the plane in real time, measured temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity and winds as they parachuted 8,000 feet to the white-capped sea.

Larger cylinders called airborne expendable bathythermographs, or AXBTs, opened up when they hit the water, unfurling probes that transmitted the temperature at the ocean surface and more than 1,000 feet below it.

All that was just one part of the scientific attack mounted that day. "This is an unprecedented interrogation of an atmospheric river event in landfall," said Ryan Spackman, an atmospheric chemist and NOAA contractor from Boulder, Colo., who was the lead researcher on the flight.

Three other federal research planes were also in the air. One sampled the composition of atmospheric aerosols, tiny particles at the center of every cloud droplet. The other two aircraft recorded conditions at higher altitudes than Miss Piggy, which mostly flew through the river's core.

On the Pacific, a NOAA research vessel, the Ronald H. Brown, collected weather and ocean data about 230 miles offshore. A space satellite measured surface winds over the sea, and the International Space Station focused a laser beam on the clouds to discern how dust aerosols were mixing over the ocean. Meanwhile, a ground-based network of instruments sampled conditions at various locations.

Scientists involved in the effort say no atmospheric river in history has been as thoroughly poked, dissected and analyzed as the one that hit Northern California on Feb. 6.

The view didn't change much as Sweeney directed Miss Piggy along a rectangular fight path that started over the Pacific west of the Bay Area and then shot inland to the northeast. Rivulets of water slid across the portals as the plane cut though pale clouds, flying alternately at 8,000 and 10,000 feet above the soggy landscape.

For one long stretch over the ocean, Sweeney spiraled down to 1,000 feet, bringing the swells of the dark, choppy Pacific into view.

For the researchers monitoring instruments on board, riding the river as it made landfall was a thrill of their careers. "Flying the dream," Spackman wrote in a message to other mission scientists.

The complex choreography of research craft was years in the making — part of an ongoing federal-state project called CalWater that is studying atmospheric rivers and the role that aerosols play in California's snow and rainfall. The first phase ran from 2009 to 2011. The second phase was launched last year and will extend to 2018.

This year's field campaign, which began in January and will end in March, is costing roughly $10 million, most of it provided by the federal government.

Scientists from NOAA, the Department of Energy, NASA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the state Department of Water Resources and other agencies are trying to better understand how atmospheric rivers evolve as they encounter the state's up-and-down topography. They are also researching how the composition of aerosols, which can be natural or man-made, influences the amount of rain and snow that clouds release.

The rich array of data being collected "will give us all the pieces of the puzzle to really start to take our understanding of things to the next level," said project co-leader Kim Prather, a Scripps scientist who is studying aerosols this winter at a Bodega Bay site.

The researchers hope to improve forecasting that can help California water managers plan for big storms that could cause flooding or suddenly swell reservoirs. They hope to also better understand how climate change will affect atmospheric rivers and the state's water supply.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Miss Piggy landed at McClellan in a steady rain. Spackman was smiling as the flight crew and researchers gathered for a short debriefing before walking down the stairs onto the wet runway.

"We made history," he said.

Story, photo gallery, video and comments:

Plane Carrying Mizzou Coach Lands Safely • Engine Trouble Forces Pilots To Use St. Clair Regional Airport (K39), Missouri

Kim Anderson
A small, twin-engine airplane carrying University of Missouri men’s basketball Coach Kim Anderson had to make an unscheduled landing at St. Clair Regional Airport on Wednesday night.

According to information from the St. Clair Fire Protection District, the plane was having engine trouble, but was able to land safely and without incident at the local facility.

One of the craft’s two engines had stopped working. Initial reports were that the plane had experienced total engine failure.

There were no injuries or damage to the plane. Fire Chief Les Crews said three people were on board, the two pilots and Anderson.

According to published reports, the pilots were Larry Marshall and Jim Mallette.

Anderson was on a “scouting” trip to Illinois when the incident occurred. The plane had left from Columbia earlier in the afternoon.

The dispatch for an “alert” at the airport went out at 5:22 p.m.

“I was nervous,” Anderson told The Missourian when recalling the ordeal. “A lot of things were going through my mind. After the right propeller stopped working, I was fixated on the left one.

 And, thankfully, it was working well.”

At one time, Anderson said he thought the plane would have to make an emergency landing on Interstate 44, which runs parallel to the runway located on the north side of St. Clair.

“I really didn’t know how dangerous of a situation we were in,” he said. “But I’ve been on enough planes to know that when one of your two propellers shuts down, it isn’t good.

“When we first came down out of the clouds, I saw the interstate. But then I saw all of the flashing (emergency) lights (at the airport). It looked like there were 1,000 lights flashing. 

Obviously, it wasn’t that many, but there were people already there waiting for us.”

Initial Call

Crews told The Missourian that one of the pilots radioed St. Louis approach control, saying the plane had an engine problem.

The information was relayed to Franklin County dispatch and then to Central County dispatch. Central is the emergency service St. Clair uses.

“They put us on an alert for the airport,” Crews said. “That means there is a plane with difficulties coming in.”

Emergency personnel immediately responded to the scene. Crews said as he arrived, he saw the twin-engine plane come over the tree line to the west of the airport and land safely.

“We were trying to get any additional information on the plane and situation,” the chief said. “Then, we saw it come in and land.

“The pilots did an outstanding job,” Crews said. “They landed as if there wasn’t even a problem.”

Anderson agreed.

“They were solid,” he said. “They never panicked. They were great.”

The coach said he never had flown with the pilots before.

“But, I would again,” he said.

Anderson also said the pilots told him that if the first attempt to land would have been aborted for any reason, there probably would not have been a second chance.

“Apparently, you need both engines to take off,” he said.

Firefighters drove to the far north end of the runway where the plane had taxied after it landed and checked everything. Personnel then assisted with bringing the craft to the hangar area.
State, county and St. Clair law enforcement also were on the scene.

St. Clair Ambulance District Chief Jamie Clayton drove Anderson and the pilots back to Columbia. They stopped for a bite to eat in Union on their way back.

“Everyone there (St. Clair) was great,” Anderson said. “Les and Jamie especially, but everyone there was unbelievable.

“You’re lucky to have these people in your city.”

Anderson is in his first year coaching the Tigers.

Original article can be found at:

Iredell County Board of Commissioners approves zoning change at Lake Norman Airpark (14A), Mooresville, North Carolina

Despite vocal opposition from nearby residents, the Iredell County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request for the Lake Norman Airpark in Mooresville.

The IOMAX Corp. had asked the county to rezone 6.21 acres covering three hangars it owns at the airpark off Perth Road to heavy-manufacturing conditional district.

Under the new zoning, IOMAX, which equips new crop-duster planes at the airpark with intelligence and surveillance equipment for the U.S. government and its allies, would have the right to use the property for other specified purposes should its aviation business become unprofitable.

Those uses include race shops, equipment rental and utility-company offices.

Neighbors opposing the rezoning did not object to the current use by IOMAX but were concerned about future uses that could draw the public into the airpark.

In response to those concerns, IOMAX agreed to remove dance studios, restaurants, recreational facilities and martial-arts training facilities as possible future uses.

“It’s not a perfect plan for everyone,” said IOMAX’s Lee Moritz, “but we’ve made additional concessions to our neighbors, and we believe it’s a step in the right direction.”

The neighbors don’t agree: “Other permitted uses, such as a race shop, only benefit IOMAX to the detriment of the homeowners, both our quality of life and the value of our property,” said Russell Jones, who lives on Normandy Road adjacent to the airpark.

Rezoning opponents also were frustrated with their inability to provide more input on the final rezoning agreement. In January, county officials asked the company and residents to meet to try to work out differences.

“We were told our input would be used but it wasn’t,” said May Frost, who submitted a petition against the rezoning to the commissioners at their Feb. 4 meeting.

Jones agreed, saying, “They simply filed an amended zoning request and never talked, much less negotiated, with any of us.”

IOMAX officials said efforts to schedule a meeting with residents were complicated by previous travel commitments among their officers.

In the end, the commissioners seemed satisfied the rezoning would protect the county and provide one consistent zoning district for the three hangars on the property rather than the mix that exists.

“With the understanding that the company will submit a safety plan approved by the office of emergency management should aviation use cease, I believe enough of the residents’ concerns have been addressed to approve this legislation,” said Commissioner Thomas Bowles, whose motion was approved unanimously.

The rezoning previously had been approved 8-0 by the county Planning Board.

Original article can be found at:

Alva Regional Airport (KAVK), Oklahoma: Airport Board Monthly Meeting for February 2015

Published on February 10, 2015 
 The airport manager describes fuel sales. 
Board agrees new computers are needed. 

Incident occurred February 13, 2015 at St. George Municipal Airport (KSGU), Utah

ST. GEORGE – An RV-6 experimental plane sustained some damage Friday night after its brakes caught fire on the runway of the St. George Municipal Airport, said Brad Kitchen, airport operations supervisor.

Referring to the pilot, Kitchen said, "He taxied onto Runway 1 and blew a brakeline."

Kitchen said the right wheel pant and the right brake assembly caught fire.

"It's probably $1,000 in damage," he said, adding, "There was no structural damage."

Two men were aboard the plane at the time, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said, adding the pair got out of the aircraft unhurt.

A series of dispatch reports alerted fire crews that the blaze was just underneath the aircraft's fuel tank.

St. George Fire crews were dispatched to the airport at 8:30 p.m. The St. George Police also responded.

Story and photos:

Bell 407, Med-Trans Corporation, N445MT: Accident occurred January 02, 2013 in Clear Lake, Iowa

VENTURA | Icing was the probable cause of a Mercy Air Med helicopter crash near Ventura that killed three people on Jan. 2, 2013, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

A report released by the NTSB Thursday stated, "It is likely that the pilot inadvertently encountered localized icing conditions, which resulted in his subsequent in-flight loss of helicopter control."

The helicopter was carrying pilot Gene Grell, nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau and paramedic Russ Piehl. They were on their way to pick up a patient in Emmetsburg when the helicopter crashed into a farm field.

According to the final NTSB report, observations from the nearest Automated Surface Observing System, located about 7 miles east of the accident site, indicated visibility appeared to be adequate for nighttime helicopter operations and did not detect any freezing precipitation.

Although an advisory for icing conditions was current for the route of flight, and several pilot reports of icing conditions had been filed, "none of the reports were in the immediate vicinity of the intended route of flight," the report stated.

Witnesses and first responders reported mist, drizzle and icy road conditions at the time of the accident, according to the report.

The helicopter had heated ports but the rotor blades were not equipped with ice protection, according to a preliminary NTSB report released in August 2014.

"The helicopter was not certified for intentional flight into known icing conditions," that report stated.

Lair-Langenbau's husband, Jay Langenbau, two minor children and her parents, Gerald and Karen Lair, filed a lawsuit in Cerro Gordo County District Court in July 2013. It was moved to federal court the next month.

The defendant in the case is Med-Trans Corp., Lewisville, Texas, which operates the helicopter service under contract to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.

The family is alleging negligence on the parts of Med-Trans Corp. and pilot Grell for taking off in icy conditions.

A jury trial has been set for Nov. 9 in the U.S. Courthouse in Sioux City.

The suit claims Med-Trans knew that Bell 407 helicopters were not safe to operate in certain weather conditions, including icing.

Story and photo:

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 02, 2013 in Clear Lake, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2015
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER 407, registration: N445MT
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

GPS tracking data revealed that, after departure, the helicopter proceeded westbound about 600 ft above ground level (agl), following a roadway. About 6 minutes after liftoff, when the helicopter was about 3/4 mile south of the accident site, it turned right and became established on a northerly course. The helicopter subsequently turned left and appeared to be on a southerly heading at the final data point. Shortly before beginning the left turn, the helicopter entered a climb, reached an altitude of about 1,800 ft agl, and then entered a descent that continued until impact. Weather observations from the nearest Automated Surface Observing System, located about 7 miles east of the accident site, indicated that the ceilings and visibility appeared to be adequate for nighttime helicopter operations and did not detect any freezing precipitation. Although an airmen’s meteorological information advisory for icing conditions was current for the route of flight, and several pilot reports of icing conditions had been filed, none of the reports were in the immediate vicinity of the intended route of flight. Witnesses and first responders reported mist, drizzle, and icy road conditions at the time of the accident. It is likely that the pilot inadvertently encountered localized icing conditions, which resulted in his subsequent in-flight loss of helicopter control. A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed no preimpact failures or malfunctions. The engine control unit recorded engine torque, engine overspeed, and rotor overspeed events; however, due to their timing and nature, the events were likely a result of damage that occurred during the impact sequence. Evidence also indicated that the cyclic centering, engine overspeed, and hydraulic system warning lights illuminated; it is also likely that their illumination was associated with the impact sequence. Further, the engine anti-ice status light was illuminated, which was consistent with the activation of the anti-ice system at some point during the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadvertent encounter with localized icing conditions and his subsequent in-flight loss of helicopter control.

Here is the full text of the report:


Gene Grell

 Shelly Lair-Langenbau

Russ Piehl