Sunday, March 8, 2015

Calls for unity at helicopter-noise press conference called by Rep. Lee Zeldin

East End residents and governments are united in a full court press in opposition to helicopter noise.

That was the message of officials gathered today for a press conference called by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) at Southold Town Hall.

Zeldin, a freshman congressman who’s been named vice chairman of the aviation subcommittee of the House transportation and infrastructure committee, said the issue is one of the most important he faces because it is negatively impacting the quality of life of thousands of East End residents.

It was Zeldin’s first in-district press conference, he said.

“It’s not necessary for helicopters to be buzzing your home while you and your family are trying to enjoy your backyards,” Zeldin said. “The people of the East End are proposing reasonable solutions.”

Zeldin wants to see the Federal Aviation Administration enforce the 2,500-foot minimum altitude rule already in place — especially when helicopters are transitioning over land, which is when they have been decreasing altitude significantly — and mandate several “transition access points” to ensure they are not all flying in a single path over one area of the North Fork. The congressman sent a letter to FAA administrator Micheal Huerta this week spelling out his concerns and demands.

Zeldin and other officials said the problem in the past has been getting the FAA to listen — and do something about it.

Meetings and discussions have proved unfruitful, County Legislator Al Krupski said today. He has been involved with the helicopter noise issue for many years, previously in his capacity as Southold Town councilman, he said.

Zeldin believes his efforts can produce results because of his appointment as aviation subcommittee vice chairman. The FAA is up for reauthorization, he said, “so there will be a lot of dialogue” with the agency.

East Hampton Town is currently considering stringent restrictions on helicopter departures and arrivals at the town-owned airport, which is the destination for most of the Hamptons-bound helicopter traffic originating in NYC.

The town airport had 8,400 helicopter arrivals and departures in 2014 — a 47-percent jump over 2013, according to East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell. The helicopter operations resulted in two-thirds of the 22,000 complaints the town got about airport operations last year, Cantwell said. That’s more than the complaints received by Logan and O’Hare airports in 2014, he said.

The East Hampton Town Board will hold public hearings on four proposed local laws on Thursday, March 12 at 4:30 p.m., Cantwell said. The proposed local laws would ban all helicopters on weekends, implement a mandatory night curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., impose an extended curfew for noisy aircraft, from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. and limit operations of “noisy” aircraft to one round trip — per week during the summer season, told the crowd of about 25 people gathered in the Southampton Town Hall meeting room this afternoon.

The new laws will restrict an estimated 75 percent of helicopter operations at the municipal airport, Cantwell said.

If the new laws are adopted by the East Hampton Town Board, there will surely be litigation that will likely tie up their enforcement, Zeldin said. That’s why it’s imperative the FAA act swiftly to enforce the existing altitude rule and adopt mandated transition access points before the start of the summer season.

“We are at a really critical point,” N.Y. State Assemblyman Fred Thiele said at today’s press conference. “This has gone many years without resolution. East Hampton has taken the bull by the horns,” Thiele said. “But if you think this is going to be an easy fight, you’re wrong… The people of the East End must stick together.”

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell praised the first-term congressman for making the longstanding helicopter noise issue “his first order of business” in Washington.

“The FAA holds the keys to the kingdom,” Russell said. Zeldin is right to hold the FAA to the fire, he said.

Zeldin said he has not heard any unreasonable proposals coming from East End residents. If the FAA doesn’t act to enforce minimum altitude requirements, East End residents will continue to press for the North Shore “all-water” route that will require helicopters to fly east over the Sound out to Orient Point and go around Orient Point to approach the South Fork, rather than “transitioning” over land on the North Fork.

“They are flying over Sound Avenue or even south of Sound Avenue and crossing over land to get to the bay,” Riverhead Councilman John Dunleavy said. “Our citizens are the same as everybody else and the town favors regulation to stop the nuisance,” he said.

Gabrielsen said he does not support multiple transition points over the North Fork but thinks instead the all-water route that takes the aircraft around Orient Point is the preferred route.

The councilman said Riverhead has not gone on record supporting the all-water route around Orient Point, which was first proposed by Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter in 2010. Gabrielsen said he thinks the town should do so now.

Story:  http://www.riverheadlocal.com


Story and video:  http://longisland.news12.com

Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon, N7698S: Accident occurred March 08, 2015 near Kosciusko-Attala County Airport (KOSX), Mississippi

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 08, 2015 in KOSCIUSKO, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2015
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N7698S
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.

Two witnesses reported observing the airplane fly over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. One witness said that the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip before it turned back at a lower altitude and then “buzzed” over the lake. He said that, when the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot appeared to be having fun and was smiling and that the passenger was waving out the window. The pilot then pulled the airplane straight up, likely to clear a stand of 50-ft-tall pine trees, and the airplane suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground. The witness said that the engine was operating normally before impact. Another witness, who was a retired airline pilot and an active aerobatic pilot, said that the pilot flew the airplane over the lake on a southwesterly heading. Although he did not recall the airplane's altitude, he could see the pilot in the cockpit when he passed by. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through 90 degrees, the left wing dropped. The pilot appeared to try to recover from the “cross-control stall” by lowering the airplane’s nose and fully deflecting the rudder control. The airplane's wings leveled out momentarily before the airplane suddenly nosed over. The witness reported hearing the engine power go to full throttle before the airplane impacted the ground. He added that the airplane did not have sufficient altitude to recover and that it did not spin before it hit the ground. Postaccident examination of the airplane, the witness accounts, and a review of postrecovery photographs of the engine and propeller revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that, during the low altitude flyby, the pilot inadvertently entered an aerodynamic stall while trying to avoid trees and did not have sufficient altitude to recover.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to make a low pass over a lake near trees and his subsequent failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering at a low altitude to avoid trees, which resulted in an inadvertent cross-control aerodynamic stall from which he was unable to recover.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 8, 2015, around 1650 central daylight time, N7698S, a Bellanca Decathlon 8KCAB, single-engine airplane, impacted terrain shortly after it made a low pass over a small private lake near Kosciusko, Mississippi. The private pilot and the pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed the Kosciusko-Attala County Airport (OSX) at an undetermined time and was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane flying over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. The witnesses were on the beach of the lake and the pilot knew the landowner. According to one witness, he said the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip. The airplane then returned, but this time it was a lot lower and it "buzzed" the lake. The pilot pulled the airplane straight up to clear a stand of 50-foot–tall pine trees, when it suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground on the opposite side of the tree line. The witness said the airplane and engine were operating normally and the pilot was "just having fun." When the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot was grinning from "ear to ear" and the passenger was waving out of the window. The witness said it wasn't windy or raining at the time of the accident.

Another witness was a retired airline pilot and active aerobatic pilot on the airshow circuit. He owned the land the airplane had flown over and knew the pilot well. The witness said the pilot flew over the lake on a south-westerly heading but did not recall the airplane's altitude. He could see the pilot in the cockpit and he was smiling. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through 90-degrees, the left wing dropped. The witness said the pilot tried to recover from the "cross-control stall", by lowering the nose of the airplane and making a full deflection of the rudder control. The airplane leveled out momentarily before it suddenly nosed-over. At the same time, the witness heard the engine power go to full throttle before it impacted the ground. The witness said the airplane did not have the altitude to recover and did not spin before it hit the ground.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class medical was issued on April 21, 2014. At that time, he reported a total of 1,614.5 flight hours, of which, 31.6 hours were in the previous six months.

The pilot rated passenger held a private pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA Third Class medical was issued on May 1, 2013. At that time, he reported a total of 136 flight hours, of which, 70 hours were in the previous six months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Bellanca Decathlon KCAB is a two-seat, fixed-gear airplane that was designed for flight training and personal use and is capable of sustaining aerobatic stresses between +6g and -5g. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on April 27, 2014, at a total time of 1,775.0 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Weather reported at Greenwood-Leflore Airport (GWO), Greenwood, Mississippi, about 37 miles northwest of the accident site, at 1653, was reported as wind from 010 degrees at 5 knots, visibility 6 miles, light rain, mist, ceiling 600 overcast, temperature 9 degrees Celsius, dewpoint 7 degrees Celsius, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.24 inches of Hg.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted the day after the accident. The airplane was pointed nose down with the tail almost vertical in the air. The engine was partially buried in the soft ground about 1-2 feet. Both wings exhibited leading edge impact damage, and the wood spars and ribs were fractured. Flight control continuity was established for the ailerons to the wing root. The cockpit area was crushed. The empennage and tail section were intact. The outboard section of the left horizontal stabilizer exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity for the elevators and rudder was established to the aft cockpit area. 

A review of photographs taken of the engine and propeller after of the airplane was recovered revealed no obvious mechanical problems that would have precluded normal operation of the engine. The two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine and the spinner was twisted and crushed. One blade was bent aft and the second blade was bent aft at the tip.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

Toxicological testing was completed on both the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger by the FAA's Toxicological laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

The pilot tested negative for all items tested. The pilot rated passenger tested positive for Diphenhydramine, which was detected in his Urine and 0.032 (ug/ml, ug/g) Diphenhydramine was detected in his blood (Cavity).

Autopsies were completed on the pilot and pilot rated passenger by the Mississippi Medical State Medical Examiner, Jackson, Mississippi. The cause of death for both the pilot and the pilot rated passenger was blunt force trauma. 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 08, 2015 in KOSCIUSKO, MS
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N7698S
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 March 8, 2015, around 1650 central daylight time, N7698S, a Bellanca 8KCAB, single-engine airplane, crashed shortly after it made a low pass over a small private lake near Kosciuko, Mississippi. The private pilot and the pilot rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed the Kosciuko-Attala County Airport (OSX) at an undetermined time and conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Several witnesses observed the airplane flying over a private airstrip that was adjacent to a small lake. The witnesses were on the beach of the lake and the pilot knew the landowner. According to one witness, he said the airplane initially made a high pass over the airstrip. He then returned, but this time he was a lot lower and he "buzzed" the lake. The pilot then pulled the airplane straight up to clear a stand of 50-foot–tall pine trees, when it suddenly nosed over and dropped straight down into the ground on the opposite side of the tree line. The witness said the airplane and engine were operating normally and the pilot was "just having fun." When the airplane passed over the lake, the pilot was grinning from "ear to ear" and the passenger was waving out of the window. The witness said it wasn't windy or raining at the time of the accident.

Another witness was a retired airline pilot and active aerobatic pilot on the airshow circuit. He owned the land the airplane had flown over and knew the pilot well. The witness said the pilot flew over the lake on a south-westerly heading but did not recall the airplane's altitude. He could see the pilot in the cockpit and he was smiling. The airplane then began a climbing right turn. As the airplane turned through a 90-degrees, the left wing dropped. The witness said the pilot tried to recover from the "cross-control stall", by lowering the nose of the airplane and making a full deflection of the rudder control. The airplane leveled out momentarily before it suddenly nosed-over. At the same time, the witness heard the engine power go to full throttle before it impacted the ground. The witness said the airplane did not have the altitude to recover and did not rotate before it hit the ground.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted the day after the accident. The airplane was pointed nose down with the tail almost vertical in the air. The engine was partially buried in the soft ground about 1-2 feet. Both wings exhibited leading edge impact damage, and the wood spars and ribs were fractured. Flight control continuity was established for the ailerons to the wing root. The cockpit area was crushed. The empennage and tail section were intact. The outboard section of the left horizontal stabilizer exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity for the elevators and rudder was established to the aft cockpit area.

ROBERT M. WINSTEAD: http://registry.faa.gov/N7698S


Allen Ross, pilot in Attala County plane crash


KOSCIUSKO, Miss. - A deadly plane crash in Attala County leaves a community grieving over the loss of Allen Ross and Mark Deason. The plane crashed near County Road 1103 on March 8.

"He was a good pilot. I know if he would have had a chance to save that airplane, save himself, that he could because he always said that life was number one when he flew," says a somber Les Clark as he remembers his friend of nearly 40 years. 

A black ribbon now hangs on the front door of the Kosciuscko Water and Light Company where Ross worked as a lineman for nearly 30 years. "We're all grieving here. We are one big family as Kosciuscko Water and Light. It's just like losing a member of the family," adds Clark, who's also the general manager for the utility company.

Clark says Ross was a selfless man; he would but coats for those who couldn't afford one and even pay for others utility bills when times were tough.

 People who knew Ross say flying was his passion. He belonged to the Central Mississippi Light Flyers Club. Deason, Ross's passenger the day of the crash, was wanting to learn to fly.  

"It's heartbreaking you know because I knew them both real well. It's just heartbreaking," says David Moss, a cousin of Deason's.

Now the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating what caused an experienced pilot like Ross to go down. 

"We just don't understand what happened in this situation right here and we may never know," says Clark. 

  WJTV News Channel 12

 ATTALA COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The Attala County Sheriff's Department has confirmed the names of the two men killed in a plane crash Sunday afternoon.

Attala County Sheriff Tim Nail identified the pilot as Allen Ross and passenger Mark Deason. Nail said Ross is a resident of Kosciusko and Deason was formerly a resident of Attala County.

Authorities said the bodies of both men were found in the wreckage.

We were told the Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon took off from the Kosciusko Airport and crashed around 4:50 p.m. on County Road 1103.

At this time, we are not sure what caused the plane to crash or where it was headed.

Sheriff Nail said sheriff's deputies have been assigned to watch the crash site overnight. He said he expects the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to arrive around 1 p.m. Monday.

We were told officials from the Attala County Sheriff's Department and Attala Fire Department were among those at the scene of the crash.  The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and MHP are investigating the deadly crash.








Mayor Landrieu, St. Charles Parish resolve dispute over Aviation Board seat

A long-running legal dispute between New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the St. Charles Parish Council over the parish’s appointment to the New Orleans Aviation Board may be over.

Officials in St. Charles last week signed off on a settlement in which Landrieu has agreed to dismiss — with prejudice — a lawsuit he filed against the parish in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The dispute involved a 1985 pact that gave St. Charles a 15.5 percent share of sales tax revenue from the airport, plus the right to appoint a representative to the nine-member Aviation Board, in exchange for allowing an airport runway to extend into the parish.

In 2014, the Parish Council unanimously nominated Gary Smith Sr. to serve on the board, reclaiming a post held for many years by his father, Henry, who died in September 2011.

The Parish Council, however, had first nominated Neal Clulee, a politically active Hahnville resident, for the seat. Landrieu balked at accepting that appointment, saying Clulee did not have wide enough support in St. Charles, but an attorney general’s opinion requested by St. Charles officials said the mayor was required to accept the Parish Council’s appointment, pending approval by the New Orleans City Council.

The new settlement stipulates that when the term of the parish’s appointment to the board — which operates Louis Armstrong International Airport — is over, the St. Charles Parish Council will submit to the mayor the names of three possible replacements. The mayor will consider the candidates and determine which, if any, will then go to the New Orleans City Council for approval.

If the mayor decides none of the three is suitable, or if the City Council does not approve a candidate, the Parish Council will then submit three more names to the mayor. From that second list, the mayor will choose one to go before the council.

“In all cases, the parties agree to proceed with the nomination and selection process with all reasonable diligence and speed,” according to the settlement, which leaves the rest of the 1985 pact in place.

Landrieu’s lawsuit against the council and Parish President V.J. St. Pierre had contended that he did not need to accept the parish’s nominee. The mayor had maintained after Clulee’s appointment that the lawsuit was necessary to “put consensus candidates on this important board.”

St. Charles officials spent tens of thousands of dollars in the legal battle, which gained importance as they sought to maintain their share of the airport’s sales tax revenue.

By agreeing to dismiss the suit with prejudice, Landrieu agreed not to refile it or something similar.

Source:  http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, N21522: Incident occurred March 08, 2015 in Cady Township, Wisconsin


A Cottage Grove man survived a single-engine airplane crash on Sunday in western Wisconsin. 

Douglas Vetter, the 20-year-old pilot of a plane flying from Appleton, Wis., to a Minnesota destination, safely guided his plane to a crash landing in Cady Township, Wis.

Scott Knutson, chief deputy for the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, said local authorities were alerted  to a plane losing power at 3:17 p.m. as it approached Boyceville, Wis. He said a witness reported seeing the plane’s engine sputtering before going out as it made a gliding descent below a treeline.

Vetter landed the plane, a 1975 Piper Warrior II, in a field near 290th Street and County Road N in Cady Township.

He was not injured in the crash, which left the plane with what Knutson described as “moderate” damage.

“It is extremely fortunate it turned out that way,” Knutson said, adding that it was not immediately clear where Vetter’s destination was.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Firefighters and EMS personnel from Spring Valley responded, along with units from United Fire Hammond, Baldwin and Woodville stations.

http://www.swcbulletin.com

PAUL HOVE: http://registry.faa.gov/N21522


 SPRING VALLEY -- St. Croix County authorities were on the scene of a plane crash in the Town of Cady mid-afternoon Sunday.

The single occupant/pilot was uninjured and the aircraft appeared to have suffered only minor damage, according to radio transmissions from the scene.

Conversations between the Dispatch Center and deputies indicated the airplane encountered engine problems and the pilot advised an air traffic controller in the Twin Cities area that he'd be making an emergency landing in a corn field.

Officers arrived at about 3:20 p.m. A deputy at the scene described the location as south of CTH N and about 500 yards west of 290th Street.

Upon arrival, the pilot was out walking around and wasn't complaining of any injuries.

Firefighters and EMS personnel from Spring Valley responded, along with units from United Fire Hammond, Baldwin and Woodville stations.

Federal Aviation Administration personnel were notified and the scene was secured, pending the arrival of an agency official.

Original article can be found at: http://www.rivertowns.net

Star Marianas sees constructive dialogue with military

Star Marianas Air Inc. president Shaun Christian sees a silver lining following the near collision incident between military aircraft and his airline.

He said, “Since there is no radar coverage at the Saipan and Tinian Airports, we feel it is important to use this experience as an opportunity to open a constructive dialog with the military so that we can better coordinate their activities to ensure they are properly de-conflicted with civilian traffic to ensure the safety of all aircraft operating in the NMI. This is especially important as the number of civilian aircraft flights operating between Saipan and Tinian continue to increase.”

Christian said Star Marianas Air averages more than 137 flights per day.

He anticipates that this will grow as Tinian develops further.

Moreover, Christian told Variety there was a similar incident on Rota recently; however, this did not fall within the definition of near mid-air collision.

“We did encounter a few other operational occurrences during the most recent military exercise that included another C-130 operating in close proximity to our aircraft without making radio announcements on the civilian Common Traffic Advisory Frequency or CTAF. The distance between the aircraft did not fall into the category of a near mid-air collision, but it certainly got our pilot’s attention.”

The most recent military exercise was the multilateral annual exercise Cope North which involved the participation of the U.S. Air Force, Philippine Air Force, Japan Self Defense Force, Korean Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Christian himself had encountered a similar incident.

“I also personally had an occurrence in Rota a few weeks ago where an Australian C-130 entered the active runway while I was on approach to landing without making any radio announcements or checking for any traffic in the flight pattern resulting in me having to go around,” he said.

He clarified, however, that there was no violation of any regulations as Rota’s airport is “uncontrolled” and technically aircraft not equipped with radios are allowed to operate from the airport without making any communications.

Christian said the standard operating procedure “is that if you have a radio, you check for traffic in the pattern before taxiing onto a runway.”

The pilot involved in the incident last Feb. 25 sent a report to the FAA, Sen. Jude Hofschneider, Flight Standards District Office, FAA Air Traffic Supervisor

In his report transmitted to the authorities, the Star Marianas Air pilot stated that the incident occurred during a flight on Wednesday [Feb. 25] afternoon around 5 p.m.

“I was flying passengers in one of our twin engine aircraft and was about 1 mile off shore coming across the channel toward Tinian, south of the approach to runway 7’s ILS into Saipan. I was at 1500 feet which is the standard altitude and routing flown by all Star Marianas aircraft per our FAA approved procedures and was still in the Saipan tower’s airspace.”

He said it was in the Delta airspace.

While in this airspace, he spotted a C-130 coming directly at the plane coming from the North Field at the same altitude and within the Delta airspace.

“The aircraft was being followed by another C-130 which was slightly off the lead C-130’s left wing and both had nose high altitude and were climbing in my direction; directly through the standard altitude and routing that is flown by all inter-island aircraft,” the pilot’s report read.

The pilot said he called the tower to report that the C-130 was coming at him within about 300 feet and inquired whether the tower knew of the aircraft being there.

The pilot said the tower had not known that the aircraft had just called the tower.

Christian told Variety yesterday that their pilot had been in contact with FAA in Renton, Washington office.

He said it was verified after reviewing the Saipan tower tapes that the C-130 was communicating with Saipan tower at the same time the pilot reported the close encounter, on a military band UHF channel that is not able to be heard by civilian aircraft which utilize VHF radio frequencies.

Variety learned that military aircraft more often use UHF frequencies which civilian aircraft don’t have.

“We understand that they are currently looking into the occurrence, but we do not have any details as to what their investigation will entail,” added Christian.

The pilot recommends that the military aircraft should refrain “from climbing through the standard civilian flight path between the islands.”

He recommended that altitude should be kept at or below 500 feet until cleared of the standard routing.

The military is also asked to use VHF frequencies. 

Source:  http://www.mvariety.com

Cookman FOLGORE S 5 T, C-GBAR: Incident occurred March 08, 2015 in Surrey, British Columbia



A small experimental plane crashed landed in Surrey this morning, but the two people inside escaped without injury.

The plane went down on a dyke next to the Serpentine River near the King George airpark around 10:30 a.m.

According to Staff Sgt. M.A. Hedderson, two males from Port Coquitlam were inside the plane. They were taking off when the plane dipped to the right, with the landing gear eventually catching in the bushes. It was reportedly upside down, but crews were able to turn it over before fuel leaked out.

There was visible damage to the plane, and the Transportation Safety Board has been made aware of the crash.

Story and photo:  http://globalnews.ca

Five years after a plane crash killed three Tesla executives, a day care center that was destroyed in the accident is reborn: Cessna 310R, Air Unique, Inc., N5225J

EAST PALO ALTO -- Every morning, after the children had finished their pancakes and juice, the instructors at Eppie's Day Care formed the little ones into a prayer circle to give thanks for all their blessings. But on Feb. 17, 2010, Lisa Jones had not yet walked from her home into the converted garage that served as a reception area for the kids, because it was not yet 8 a.m. and only one of her "little ducklings" had arrived.

What the heavens rained down on Jones' nursery school five years ago was not a blessing. It was an airplane.

A twin-engine Cessna taking off moments earlier from Palo Alto Airport in dense fog had struck a PG&E transformer tower, then plummeted toward her Beech Street home, shearing off a wing on the roof before bursting into flames. All three of the plane's passengers were killed instantly, and Jones' life slowly began to unravel.

Her home, and the life she had known, were gone. What followed was an odyssey with 10 stops, as Jones and her teenage daughter moved constantly from place to place, sometimes staying in housing so temporary it was demolished as soon as they left.

For 17 years, Jones had taught the children in her charge about life's limitless possibilities, and now her own life came to a halt. "It felt," she recalled recently, "like you were dead."

Last week, Eppie's Day Care reopened for the first time in five years, but nobody came. This followed an epic struggle to help Jones realize her dream to rebuild the little schoolroom just as it was on the day of the accident.

The three men who died on the plane were employees of Palo Alto-based Tesla. They were on their way to Southern California to work on the company's new electric car, the Model S, which was behind schedule.

Pilot Doug Bourn was a Tesla engineer, and when the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that the crash was caused by pilot error, Jones filed suit against his estate as well as Tesla in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The suit was filed five months after Tesla offered its stock on Wall Street for the first time at $19 a share. When the day care center reopens Monday -- one child is coming, with two more due by mid-week -- Tesla stock will trade at 10 times its IPO price. The Model S has been twice named Consumer Reports' car of the year, and in true Silicon Valley fashion, many of the company's employees are now millionaires.

"I think Lisa was initially very hopeful that there would be some resolution based on the fact that it was a Tesla plane that had crashed into her house," said Maryan Ackley, a longtime friend of Jones, "and that there would be some form of financial settlement."

Bourn's insurance company had initially promised to make the day care center a top priority, but even as her neighbors received settlements, Jones' case dragged on. "There would be delay after delay," Ackley said. "I don't fault Tesla. Their insurance company did what any insurance company would do -- they fought it tooth and nail."

Attempts to reach Tesla representatives for comment were unsuccessful.

Without revealing its terms, Jones characterized the settlement she finally received as "disappointing." And without adequate insurance of her own, she was able only to pay off her mortgage, with nothing left to rebuild her business.

Ackley had been close to Jones since their children were in kindergarten together at Sacred Heart School in Atherton. So she and her husband, Stephen -- co-founder of the real estate firm Pacific Peninsula Group -- stepped in to spearhead a fundraising drive. "Here's someone doing her best to raise a family and run her day care," Maryan Ackley said, "and out of the sky falls a plane."

The father of another member of the Kindergarten Mafia, David Dollinger of Dollinger Properties, offered a $125,000 matching grant, and the Ackleys called in favors from subcontractors and the Redwood City nonprofit Rebuilding Together. In all, cash and in-kind contributions amounted to nearly $400,000, Maryan Ackley said, and many families whose lives had been touched by the day care center stopped by to help put the place back together.

Through it all, Jones' daughter Diaja, now 17, kept going to Sacred Heart, where she became president of her freshman class. At one point, mother and daughter were forced to live with Jones' brother in Elk Grove, just outside Sacramento. "I was commuting back and forth every day getting my daughter to school," Jones said, "leaving at about 3:30 every morning."

It didn't make it any easier than many of the students at Diaja's school were children of Tesla employees. "I was really surprised -- and hurt, especially with Tesla," Jones said, sitting amid the gleaming splendor of the restored day care center. "They made it seem like I was a crab, just trying to grab money. All they had to do for me was come out and put my house back. They could've hired a contractor to do that."

In the meantime, she learned she has friends she never knew cared about her, a lesson she hopes to pass on to the children in her school when they come back.

"I'm pinching myself," Jones said, "to make sure that I finally am here."

Source: http://www.insidebayarea.com

NTSB Identification: WPR10FA136
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N5225J
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

The pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility instrument meteorological conditions, and shortly after takeoff, struck a power pole and power lines before impacting terrain. Review of recorded air traffic control tower (ATCT) transmissions revealed that the pilot was initially given his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees and climb to 3,000 feet. Shortly after verifying his IFR clearance, the pilot received his IFR release from the ATCT controller and was informed that the runway was not visible to the controller. The controller further informed the pilot that takeoff was at his own risk. Shortly after, the controller notified the pilot that he had two minutes for his IFR release, before it expired. The pilot stated that he did not hear a "cleared for takeoff" instruction from the controller. The controller responded that he could not clear the pilot for takeoff, due to not having the runway environment in sight and that "the release is all yours and it's at your own risk sir." The pilot acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to take off. One witness, who was adjacent to the accident site, reported that she observed an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” left of her position. The witness stated that she continued to watch the airplane fly in a level or slightly nose up attitude until it impacted power lines. 

Accident site evidence was indicative of a level impact with a power pole about 50 feet above ground level (agl) and at a high airspeed. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. Examination of the airframe, engines and propellers disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Weather conditions reported five minutes prior to the accident were wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 1/8th mile, fog, and vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. Weather conditions recorded by the ATCT 11 minutes after the time of the accident were visibility 1/16th mile, fog, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. 

Local law enforcement provided recordings from a sound recording system, which captured the accident sequence. The recordings were coupled with airport surveillance radar to interpolate a flightpath for the airplane. The interpolated flightpath indicated an approximate 45-degree left turn shortly after departure to the area of initial impact with the power pole and power lines. A sound spectrum study determined both engines were operating near full power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.

 Doug Bourn





This undated photo provided by Tesla Motors on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 shows pilot Doug Bourn, 56, a senior electrical engineer and a five-year employee of the company. Bourn and two other colleagues were killed on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, after the Cessna 310 they were on crashed in East Palo Alto, Calif.



This undated photo provided by Tesla Motors on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 shows Andrew Ingram, 31, an electrical engineer and a two-and-a-half-year employee of the company. Ingram and two other colleagues were killed on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, after the  Cessna 310 they were on crashed in East Palo Alto, Calif. 



 This undated photo provided by Tesla Motors on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 shows Brian Finn 42, a senior interactive electronics manager of the company. Finn and two other colleagues were killed on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010, after the Cessna 310 they were on crashed in East Palo Alto, Calif.



Incident occurred March 08, 2015 in Middletown, Rhode Island

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – A small plane was damaged upon landing Sunday morning in Middletown, but the pilot was not hurt.

The Middletown Fire Department responded to the airport at about 11:40 a.m. for a report of an aircraft crash.

When firefighters got there, they found that a Cessna 172 had sustained damage to its front landing gear, right wing and propeller while landing.

The pilot had gotten out of the plane under his own power and was not hurt.

It’s not yet clear if the landing gear buckled up on landing; the incident remains under investigation.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration database, the aircraft is registered to Interstate Aviation of Plainville, Connecticut. 

A worker at the Interstate Aviation office had no information on the incident.

Original article can be found at: http://wpri.com

Eastern Kentucky University: Path to aviation career

Do you want to fly airplanes? Studies suggest almost 500,000 pilots are going to be needed over the next 20 years.

Eastern Kentucky University now boasts the nation’s first FAA-approved 1,000-hour power, 2+2 degree pathway, and it is easily accessible across the commonwealth, thanks to EKU’s partnerships with four institutions in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System: Southeast, Ashland, Owensboro and Hazard.

Those four community and technical colleges were selected because of their proximity to airports, which obviously play a critical role in the arrangement, as well as the colleges’ interest in adding aviation coursework opportunities for their students.

The bottom line is that graduates of the EKU aviation program now have a quicker, more convenient and less expensive path to the airways as licensed pilots, with a four-year college degree to further enhance their career opportunities.

In 2013, after multiple revisions were made to the university’s bachelor’s degree program in aviation (professional flight concentration) to meet the FAA’s eight new academic requirements, the FAA granted EKU special authority. This authority allowed Eastern to designate its Aviation-Professional Flight baccalaureate graduates as eligible to take the restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) check ride at 1,000 total flight hours, instead of waiting until they reached 1,500 total aircraft hours.

The FAA has also recently added EKU’s Aviation-Aerospace Technology (AT) degree to its federal register of approved “1,000-hour power” degrees. This 2+2 AT degree was originally designed as a degree-completion concentration for Kentucky community college students completing their two-year studies in airframes and power plants (A&P), air traffic control (ATC), and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). In order to extend degree-completion flight opportunities to community college students interested in pursuing their FAA flight certificates at a KCTCS campus, minor changes were made to the AT concentration.

Now, with this most recent FAA approval, community college students in Kentucky and across the U.S. can complete their FAA private pilot through instructor pilot certificates and ratings, their associate degree, their bachelor’s degree, and simultaneously earn their 1,000-hour power certificate, all by partnering with EKU Aviation.

Students participating in the 2+2 aviation partnership will earn an associate degree at one of the four partnering community and technical colleges, where they complete their lower-division college courses taught by community college faculty. Simultaneously, they will take lower-division aviation courses taught by local instructors hired through EKU. Ultimately, they will complete the upper-division baccalaureate degree courses by taking entirely online courses through Eastern.

“It’s our goal to have partnerships with all community colleges co-located with a regional airport,” said Ralph Gibbs, director of EKU’s Aviation Program. “I’d love to see Kentucky become the state of choice where people go to get an aviation degree in flight.”

For more information, contact Ralph Gibbs at donald.gibbs@eku.edu or 859-622-1014 or 859-358-5301 or visit www.aviation.eku.edu.

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

Dating show star criticized for Cathay Pacific cockpit pics

Ng Tsz-yan, a Hong Kong woman known for her appearance on a matchmaking TV show in China, has been criticized by internet users over photos and videos that she took from a jump seat in the cockpit of a Cathay Pacific flight, reports out Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

Although she has deleted the images and videos and Cathay Pacific Hong Kong said her actions did not violate its regulations, she has become a controversial topic in Hong Kong and mainland China again and widely reported upon by local news outlets. Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department has also asked the airline to explain the matter.

On Feb. 26, Ng took flight CX465 from Taipei to Hong Kong and photographed and filmed with her smartphone from the cockpit seat, including a selfie, and uploaded them during the flight and while the airplane was landing. One of her captions said: "My flight was full. Even seats reserved for employees were all taken. Fortunately the pilot was so nice and even let my sat on the seat behind him! It is really cool to experience taking off and landing in the cockpit!"

Her posts went viral immediately and comments from internet users in China and Hong Kong included: "It must be so nice to be a beautiful woman"; "Beautiful women ride in the cockpit and the ugly ones are locked in the cargo compartment." Some also questioned if "any passengers can seat the cockpit as long as a flight is full" and "what if the beautiful woman is a member of a criminal gang and a martial arts expert?"

Ng first came into the spotlight when she took part in the matchmaking TV show You Are the One between March and May 2013 as the "most beautiful flight attendant" and paired off with male contestant Wu Jiang. Around a month later, however, she posted a photo of herself with another contestant, Chen Chujie, saying he was the man she fell in love with on the show.

In response to the criticism, Ng said airline employees and their immediate family members in good health are allowed to take the seat if the pilots agree and "if your immediate family members are a staff member of the airline, you can ask the person to apply for the jump seat for you. If your flight happens to be full and the pilot agrees, you can definitely do the same thing," according to the state-run China News Service (CNS).

Although Cathay Pacific said she did not violate any regulations, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Air China, Xiamen Air and Spring Airlines all told CNS that their passengers are not allowed to take the jump seat even if they apply in advance. Staff of Xiamen Air and Hainan Airlines said the cockpit is a highly sensitive area. Only crew members on duty can access the cockpit and their access remains strictly limited, they said.

It is not clear whether Ng was still a crew member for Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong airline did not offer clarification on this point.

Story and photos:  http://www.wantchinatimes.com

Waterloo Air Show cancelled indefinitely say organizers

WATERLOO REGION — The Waterloo Air Show announced on Friday night that the annual show is cancelled "indefinitely."

The message appeared on the air show's Facebook page and read: "It is with great sadness that we have made the decision to cancel the Waterloo Air Show indefinitely."

A statement from show producers David White and Richard Cooper, also on Facebook on Saturday, said: "Volunteers were informed last night there just hasn't been enough support for the event in the region. Financially we could not make the event self sustaining and after investing heavily in it for four years we could not justify continuing accepting the losses."

It went on to say that there are "just not enough people paying to see the show" and "not enough sponsors."

For the past seven years the air show featured aviators, jet planes and the popular Canadian Forces Snowbirds at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau.

The show almost shuttered in 2012 when White and Cooper faced debt. They took to regional council seeking a bail out but assistance was denied, partly because it is a private business and not a non-profit organization.

The Waterloo Air Show's Facebook page has flooded with messages of condolence and disappointment from fans across the region.