Friday, March 20, 2015

Cessna 310Q, N7770Q: Incident occurred March 20, 2015 at St. George Municipal Airport (KSGU), Utah

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA129
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 20, 2015 in St. George, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 310Q, registration: N7770Q
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 March 20, 2015, about 1930 mountain daylight time (MDT), a Cessna 310Q, N7770Q, sustained substantial damage follow a main gear collapse during rollout at St. George Municipal Airport (SGU), St. George, Utah. The owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The local personal flight departed St George, Utah, about 1845. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot reported that during rollout on runway 19, the left main landing gear collapsed. The airplane veered left and exited the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and left horizontal stabilizer. 

The airplane was recovered for further examination.

N7770Q LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N7770Q





ST. GEORGE – A plane crashed at the St. George Municipal Airport Friday evening after it experienced a mechanical failure.

The incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m., when a pilot was landing a twin-engine Cessna 310 on runway 19 and the left main landing gear collapsed, causing the plane to skid off the runway, Airport Operation Supervisor Brad Kitchen said.

Two people were in the six-seat aircraft when it crash-landed, but both walked away uninjured. The plane, however, may be totaled due to the potential extent of the damage, Kitchen said.

“There’s extensive damage to the aircraft,” he said. “Structural damage to the rear-left side of the aircraft and left wing as well as the engine and prop.”
A Cessna 310 crashed at the St. George Municipal Airport due to mechanical failure while landing, St. George, Utah, Feb. 21, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, City of St. George, St. George News

A Cessna 310 crashes at the St. George Municipal Airport due to mechanical failure while landing, St. George, Utah, March 20, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Brad Kitchen, City of St. George, St. George News

The Federal Aviation Administration was contacted about the incident and then, in turn, contacted the National Transportation Safety Board in order to gain permission for airport personnel to move the damaged aircraft.

Another plane crash previously occurred at the airport Feb. 21 when an experimental single-engine aircraft was hit by a crosswind while landing on runway 19. The pilot was ejected from the aircraft when it crashed but was uninjured with the exception of a few scratches.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by the authorities and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Story and photos: https://www.stgeorgeutah.com




Kansas City Council approves $1.75 million settlement in aviation lawsuit

The Kansas City Council has approved a $1.75 million settlement in an air cargo company’s lawsuit that claimed water damage to its premises on KCI property.

K.C. Air Cargo Services filed its lawsuit in 2013, alleging the city had allowed subsurface water from Kansas City International Airport land to migrate onto its leased property in the northwest portion of that land, with an address of 992-1044 Mexico City Avenue.

The company has leased those premises since 1986 and used its warehouse there for loading, unloading, handling and storage of items shipped via aircraft. For many years, cargo planes used a concrete aircraft apron on the leased premises to reach the shipping warehouse.

But the lawsuit claimed that water leaking from airport property had significantly damaged the concrete apron and the city repeatedly refused to meaningfully investigate or remedy the problem.

The city’s law department recommended the settlement, and the City Council approved it Thursday. City Attorney Bill Geary said he and the risk management committee had determined the settlement was in the city’s best interest.

Attorney Christopher Shank, representing the company, said Friday that he and his client hope the settlement resolves the water issues, and they had been told a city water line nearby had finally been taken out of service.

“There is a cash payment to us to compensate us for the damages we have suffered over time due to this condition,” Shank said.

The company’s lease with the city will also be amended to redefine its property boundaries and reduce the rent payments. The existing lease expires in 2017.

The settlement money will come from the aviation department’s unappropriated fund balance, or “rainy day fund.” Geary said the payment to the cargo company will not adversely affect funds to provide airport services.

Source: http://www.kansascity.com

New charge laid against pilot: Maule M5-235C, VH-HOG



A fresh  charge has been laid against a Goonengerry pilot who crashed his aircraft into the Clarence River killing a Murwillumbah girl last April.

Kayla Whitten, 11, was killed on April 12, 2014, when the Maule M-5 plane she was in struck a powerline and crashed into the Clarence River at Ewingar.

Following an investigation, 54-year-old John Patrick Crumpton was charged with manslaughter, causing reckless grievous bodily harm, flying an aircraft below 500 feet and reckless wounding.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on the incident released in January found that after hitting powerlines, the plane flipped and came to rest with the cabin upside down and underwater.

Both the pilot and Kayla's father, 36, were sitting in the front row and escaped through a forward door but could not free Kayla from the back of the flooded cabin.

Her body was eventually removed through a cockpit door but repeated resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.

Lismore Local Court this week heard a fresh charged had been laid against Crumpton under the Section 20 A1 of Civil Aviation Act.

Crumpton was charged with operating an aircraft reckless to endangering the life of a person.

The court heard there had been progressive discussions between the crown prosecutor and Crumpton's barrister Peter O'Connor.

Magistrate David Heilpern adjourned Crumpton's matters until April to allow for further negotiations between the defence and prosecution.

It is anticipated Crumpton will be committed for sentence at his next appearance.

Story and photo:  http://www.northernstar.com.au

Investigation number: AO-2014-068

Investigation status: Completed

What happened

On 12 April 2014, a Maule M-5 aircraft, registered VH-HOG, collided with a powerline spanning the Clarence River, approximately 50 km west-south-west of Casino, New South Wales. The pilot was accompanied on the private category flight by two passengers, an adult and a child. The aircraft departed controlled flight after the wirestrike and impacted the water, coming to rest inverted with the cabin submerged.

The pilot and front-seat adult passenger escaped the cockpit through one of the forward doors and attempted to free the rear-seat child passenger from the flooded cabin. After repeated attempts by the pilot to open the rear-right cabin door, the rear-seat passenger was recovered through a cockpit door. Sustained attempts to resuscitate the rear-seat passenger were unsuccessful.

What the ATSB found

The aircraft was capable of normal operation prior to the wirestrike. The weather conditions in the vicinity were suitable for visual flight.

The wirestrike and resulting loss of aircraft control was an unintended consequence of the pilot’s spur of the moment decision to fly at very low level along the river, in an unfamiliar environment and below the minimum stipulated height for flights over unpopulated areas. The pilot reported seeing the powerline cables just before the collision, but with insufficient time to avoid a wirestrike. The pilot did not hold an approval to conduct low-flying operations and had not completed any training to identify the hazards associated with such operations. The powerline was not fitted with visual warning markers, nor was there any requirement for such markers in this case.

The submerged, flooded and inverted cabin increased the difficulty experienced by the occupants in exiting the aircraft. Furthermore, impact damage sustained by the right wing likely rendered the rear-right cabin door unusable as an emergency exit, delaying the recovery of the rear-seat passenger.

http://www.atsb.gov.au

Man shot and arrested at Louis Armstrong International Airport (KMSY), New Orleans, Louisiana



A man wielding a machete and a can of wasp spray entered Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Friday and was shot by a TSA officer as he threatened the agents.

The FBI responded to the scene along with local law enforcement, an FBI spokesman said. The man with the machete was identified as Richard White, a taxi driver, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said in a press conference tonight.

The TSA agent fired three shots, one of which grazed a bystander. Two other people received minor injuries fleeing the scene. The suspect had wounds to his chest, face and thigh, officials said. A TSA officer was sprayed in the face with the wasp repellent.

Police said they know of no connection between the suspect and anyone else at the airport and did not believe he was a traveler

Flights from the affected concourse were redirected to other terminals and operations continued except at Concourse B, which was closed for the investigation.

An officer said the suspect has been taken away from the scene, and would not comment on that person's condition.

Springfield-Branson National Airport (KSGF) cuts ribbon on new general aviation facility



SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

City leaders helped cut the ribbon Friday morning at the Springfield-Branson National Airport’s new General Aviation facility.

The expansion project redeveloped about 12 acres of airport property and made it “development ready” for new general aviation airplane hangars. The general aviation complex (GA for short) is that part of the airport which caters to business/corporate aircraft.

The expansion helps fix a shortage of GA hangar space, which has existed for several years, by making ground ready for eight new hangars. Having land available for hangar construction is important for future economic development — adequate GA facilities is something business prospects often look for.

“General aviation is one those community assets that’s out of sight and out of mind,” says Tom Hilmes, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “But it’s of vital importance to the business community — especially when it comes to economic development. Businesses that consider moving here often want to know if the airport has a place to hangar their corporate aircraft.”

Funding for the project came courtesy of a $5 million aviation grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The airport will provide $565,563, making the total cost of the project approximately $5.6 million. MoDOT aviation grants are funded by taxes on aviation fuel sold in Missouri.

Story and photo:  http://www.ky3.com

As American complains about Gulf carriers, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW) benefits




Every morning around 11 a.m., the south departure hall in Terminal D at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport fills up with hundreds of passengers heading to Dubai and beyond.

They’re waiting to board Emirates airline’s double-decker A380, which flies daily from DFW to Dubai, a route created as a result of the U.S. government’s “Open Skies” agreement with the United Arab Emirates. These flights and others have helped DFW log double-digit growth in international traffic in the past four years.

“Open Skies has been a grand slam for this region, and we wouldn’t want to see anything that would take away from Open Skies to afford us the ability to grow internationally,” airport CEO Sean Donohue said.

Now American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines want the government to re-evaluate agreements with the UAE and Qatar that allow the Persian Gulf carriers to fly unfettered into the U.S.

The three U.S. carriers allege that Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have received over $42 billion in government subsidies and loans, giving them an unfair competitive edge.

“There’s no question U.S. carriers can compete against any airline in the world, but we can’t be expected to compete against foreign governments and their bottomless resources,” American CEO Doug Parker said recently at an aviation conference in Washington, D.C.

By not having to worry about making money, the airlines allege, the Gulf carriers have added flights all over the globe — including at DFW — and spent lavishly to attract business customers with in-flight services like personal chefs, nannies and shower spas.

“We are working as hard as we can to upgrade the service on our aircraft,” said Andrew Nocella, American’s chief marketing officer, noting that the Fort Worth-based airline is spending $2 billion on lie-flat seats, new interiors and better entertainment offerings. “We’re really proud of it, but we’re not in a position to offer showers. That’s something we just can’t get to make economic sense for our business.”

Competing against the Gulf carriers is exactly what American has to do. All three airlines now offer flights to the Middle East from North Texas, and traffic on those routes has more than doubled. At the same time, traffic to Europe from DFW is down almost 8 percent.

As the war of words heats up between the U.S. and Gulf carriers, American and DFW Airport are finding each other on opposite sides of the battlefield.

The allegations


Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has been replacing older aviation treaties with Open Skies agreements that lessen the red tape for airlines when they want to launch new routes.

But the U.S. carriers say the Gulf airlines have expanded their networks to American cities to stimulate the UAE and Qatar economies without any benefit to the U.S.

“The routes that these subsidized airlines operate to the United States have not meaningfully increased passenger traffic. They merely serve to displace the market share of U.S. airlines and to shift good U.S. aviation jobs overseas,” the three airlines said in a presentation to the Obama administration.

Gulf carriers serve 13 U.S. cities with about 22 daily flights. American carriers have only two daily flights to Dubai, in the UAE, and none to Abu Dhabi, also in the UAE, and Doha, in Qatar.

The U.S. airlines allege that the $42 billion in subsidies include interest-free government loans, free land, subsidized airport charges and government assumptions of fuel-hedging losses.

“The airlines from Qatar and the UAE aren’t bound by normal market forces, particularly the need to make profits,” Parker said. “The competitive playing field must be level, and this one decidedly is not.”

Speaking at the same conference, Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan rebutted the allegations and noted that many airlines have had government bailouts and loans and — in the case of U.S. carriers — have had debt discharged during bankruptcy or have shifted pension obligations to the government.

“As one of the newest national airlines anywhere in the world, we’ve had to create everything from scratch. Everything. Our product, our operations, our infrastructure,” Hogan said.

Gulf trio at DFW

At DFW, the Gulf carriers have been a significant part of the airport’s growth in recent years.

Emirates launched daily service to Dubai in February 2012 and last fall almost doubled its capacity on the route by switching to an Airbus A380. Qatar Airways started daily service to Doha in July, and Etihad began flying three times a week between DFW and Abu Dhabi in December.

In 2014, DFW’s international passenger traffic grew 7 percent to 7.1 million, and Gulf carriers made up 20 percent of that growth. And with fare sales that Emirates has been offering on its Dubai route, its passenger count is up 50 percent in January from the previous year.

“We are a massive proponent of Open Skies because it’s meant so much for this region,” Donohue said. “If it wasn’t for Open Skies, we wouldn’t have all this international service, and that includes American. It’s not just the foreign-flag carriers.”

American says that it’s a big supporter of Open Skies, too, but that Qatar and the UAE are violating the trade agreements by subsidizing the Gulf airlines.

It’s all about India

U.S. airlines are worried that the Gulf carriers will continue to grow in the U.S. and take a larger share of the lucrative international business market.

Oil workers heading to rigs off West Africa or businessmen traveling to India can more conveniently connect through the Gulf states, allowing those carriers to siphon off connecting traffic that used to move through Europe.

“If they’re going to serve 20 destinations in the U.S., it will be every big city and every big hub, and that will direct a lot of traffic that used to be carried by the U.S. airlines and their joint-venture partners,” airline industry analyst Bob Mann said.

At DFW, traffic to Europe has dropped 6 to 8 percent in the last three months from a year earlier, while traffic to the Middle East has more than doubled.

In 2014, both KLM and Lufthansa increased their passenger counts at DFW — by 2.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. British Airways, which flies daily to London, saw its passenger traffic drop 2.5 percent last year.

Nocella said American Airlines is seeing a decline in passengers on its flights from DFW to London and has talked with its Oneworld alliance and joint business partner British Airways about the decrease in traffic on trans-Atlantic routes.

“That drop is getting worse over time,” Nocella said. “We have served India very efficiently via London for many, many years, and we’d like to continue to do so on an equal playing field.”

Original article can be found here: http://www.star-telegram.com

EXCLUSIVE: DHL, logistics companies ink leases at large speculative development near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Arizona




One of the largest speculative industrial developments ever in Phoenix has secured three national tenants.

Logistics companies DHL Global Forwards, DLS Worldwide and Pilot Freight Services have leased more than 151,100 square feet at the Airport I-10 Business Park.

The 58-acre development is south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport near 24th Street and Interstate 10.

The speculative industrial project is slated for a total of five buildings comprising close to 924,000 square feet.

The first 600,000-square-foot phase is under construction now and and is 35 percent preleased. That includes a previous 63,500-square-foot lease by Anixter International Inc., a cable and electronic wire distributor.

Airport I-10 is being developed by Wentworth Property Co. and Clarion Partners.

“Airport I-10 was designed to give modern industrial tenants a home in the heart of Phoenix’s industrial distribution network. We couldn’t be more pleased with the companies that have committed to space here,” said Wentworth Property Company Principal James R. Wentworth.

The industrial real estate market has outperformed offices in the Phoenix since the end of the recession. The Sky Harbor area — thanks to its access to the busy airport and Interstate 10 — is one of the most popular locations for warehouses, manufacturing and other industrial uses.

In the three new leases, JLL Executive Vice Presidents Pat Harlan and Steve Sayre and Associate Kyle Westfall represented the developers. On the tenant side, Mike Gordon of Cresa represented DLS. John Werstler, Jerry McCormick and Cooper Fratt of CBRE represented Pilot. Jim Wilson of Cushman & Wakefield represented DHL.

“Modern companies want modern buildings. This is making all types of users more sophisticated about what they look for in an industrial location,” said Harlan. “They are requiring the kind of improved function that you get from features like higher clear heights, better overall building layout and better truck maneuverability.

Original article can be found at:  http://www.bizjournals.com

New jet flight path breaks neighborhood quiet

A Happy Valley resident of 40 years, Patrick Lovejoy is annoyed with the new flight path of planes from Los Angeles to San Francisco flying directly overhead every few minutes.



SANTA CRUZ >> In a rural area of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a new flight pattern for planes heading to San Francisco International Airport is drowning out the nighttime symphony of owls, crickets and frogs that Patrick Lovejoy listens to every night.

“They’re starting their descent and changing the speed of the jet engines and the wing flaps,” said Lovejoy, who lives east of Scotts Valley. “This goes on until after midnight, at dawn. I don’t mind an occasional flight, but it’s going on every 10 minutes. It’s really getting on my nerves.”

The recent change, which happened March 5, is permanent, so annoyed neighbors will have to get used to it. It’s part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen plan unveiled in 2012 to modernize and simplify air traffic control operations for Bay Area and Sacramento airports, said an FAA spokesman. The program implements satellite-based navigation and reduces fuel use and carbon emissions through shorter flight routes.

Lovejoy’s home near Happy Valley Road sits underneath the new flight path, which cuts through Capitola and near Scotts Valley northward from the Monterey Bay. Certain planes are continuing to use the older route that passes over the Westside of Santa Cruz and southern San Lorenzo Valley.

“In terms of the distribution on where flights are flying over, it’s roughly the same as before,” said San Francisco International Airport spokesman Doug Yakel. “Aircraft are still flying over the same regions, though the path is still new.”

He added that the planes on the new route are flying at a slightly higher altitude and couldn’t firm whether planes begin their descents here.

Though the differences between the flight patterns are small, it’s a big nuisance to some residents who are now affected.

SFO has received 10 noise complaints from the area since the new change.

“That is above the norm,” Yakel said. “We only average one or two complains from this region over a month-long period.”

Lovejoy said he fears that eventually the FAA will phase out the older path, shifting all the traffic on the new route above his house.

“It already bothers me now,” he said. “I’m so tired of hearing it. It’s so repetitious. If it doesn’t bother anyone else, I guess I’m going to have to live with it.”

Most of the public outreach about the project in late 2012 happened in the San Francisco Bay Area. No public meetings were held around Santa Cruz. However, the FAA notified local, state and federal officials.

“If it’s creating problems then I’m interested in investigating it,” said Supervisor John Leopold, adding that he hasn’t heard any complaints so far. The new flight path is above areas of his district.

Story and comments:  http://www.santacruzsentinel.com

Cessna 182Q Skylane, N735KF: Fatal accident occurred March 17, 2015 in El Paso, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA174 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in El Paso, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N735KF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot was conducting a visual flight rules aerial observation flight and returning to his home base. Radar and weather data showed the airplane maneuvering in instrument flight rules conditions before radar contact was lost. Examination of the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted rocky, mountainous terrain in a slight left-wing-low attitude at high airspeed, consistent with controlled flight into terrain. It is likely that the mountainous terrain was obscured by clouds and low ceilings at the time of the accident, which prevented the pilot from seeing the terrain. Although the wreckage was significantly fragmented and damaged by fire, no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airframe or engine were noted that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to continue a visual flight rules flight into known instrument flight rules conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On March 17, 2015, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182Q single-engine airplane, N735KF, was destroyed after impacting mountainous terrain while maneuvering near El Paso, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Brentco Aerial Patrols, Inc, Canton, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The airplane departed from a private airstrip near Hobbs, New Mexico, at an unknown time, and was destined for the El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas.

According to company representatives, the airplane departed Snyder, Texas, approximately 0755, to perform a pipeline patrol aerial observation flight with a final destination of ELP. At 1056, the company dispatcher received a telephone call from the pilot who requested weather information for the southeast New Mexico and El Paso areas. The dispatcher informed the pilot that El Paso was reporting light rain. The pilot told the dispatcher he was going to depart, and "if he was going to make it, he had better get into the air."

Radar data showed the accident airplane about 30 miles northeast of ELP and traveling southwest at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl). About 25 miles northeast of ELP at an altitude of 5,850 feet msl, the airplane was observed to make a left turn towards the south and then execute a right turn back toward the north. After maneuvering to the north for approximately 2 miles, the airplane made a left turn at an altitude of 6,150 feet msl toward the west and radar contact was lost. 

After company personnel determined the airplane had not arrived at ELP, a search ensued with local authorities. The airplane wreckage was located by local authorities in mountainous terrain near the last radar contact about 0900 on March 18, 2015.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 70, held a commercial pilot certificate, with airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument ratings. The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued on February 4, 2015, with a time limitation of "Not valid for any class after 11/30/2015" and "Must have available glasses for near vision."

According to the company, the pilot had accumulated 13,274 total flight hours, and 4,800 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot successfully completed a company flight review on November 7, 2014.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1977 Cessna 182Q, serial number 18265479. The airplane was powered by a Continental O-470-U reciprocating engine and a McCauley controllable pitch propeller. The airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on March 10, 1977.

According to the company, the airplane underwent its most recent annual inspection on December 2, 2014, at a total airframe time of 15,742 hours and a total engine time of 837 hours since major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot did not receive an official weather briefing from Lockheed Martin Flight Service or any other official source. Prior to the flight, the pilot had a conversation about weather with the company dispatcher.

McGregor Range Base Camp (M63) was the closest official weather station to the accident site and had an automated weather observing system (AWOS) whose reports were not supplemented. M63 was located 11 miles west-northwest of the accident site at an elevation of 4,209 feet. 

M63 weather at 1230 was reported as wind from 010 degrees at 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots, 6 miles visibility, light rain, few clouds at 1,300 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 2,000 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 2,900 feet agl, broken skies at 3,700 feet agl, temperature of 13 degrees C, dew point temperature of 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury. 

M63 weather at 1256 was reported as wind from 010 degrees at 10 knots, 10 miles visibility, light rain, few clouds at 1,400 feet agl, a broken ceiling at 2,400 feet agl, broken skies at 2,900 feet agl, temperature of 13 degrees C, dew point temperature of 10 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury. 

El Paso International Airport (ELP) was located 4 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas, and had an automated surface observing system (ASOS), whose reports were supplemented by a human observer. ELP was located approximately 22 miles west-southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 3,962 feet. 

ELP weather at 1151 was reported as wind from 140 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, light rain, few clouds at 2,700 feet agl, broken ceiling at 4,000 feet agl, overcast skies at 5,500 feet agl, temperature of 16 degrees C, dew point temperature of 10 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated station with a precipitation discriminator, rain ended at 1114, rain began at 1147, sea level pressure 1015.8 hPa, occasional clouds topping mountains west through northwest, one-hourly precipitation of a trace, 6 hourly precipitation of 0.01 inches, temperature 16.1 degrees C, dew point temperature 10.0 degrees C, 6-hourly maximum temperature of 16.7 degrees C, 6-hourly minimum temperature of 15.6 degrees C, 3-hourly pressure increase of 0.3 hPa. 

ELP weather at 1251 reported the wind from 090 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 7 miles, light rain, few clouds at 2,700 feet agl, broken clouds at 3,000 feet agl, sky overcast at 3,800 feet agl, temperature 16 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.

The observations from M63 and ELP indicated ceilings were likely between 6,000 and 8,000 feet msl around the time of the accident with light rain moving across the area and a gusty north to east surface wind. This was consistent with a cold front moving southward across the area at the accident time. In addition, the ELP observations indicated clouds topping and obscuring the mountainous terrain to the southwest through northwest of ELP. The mountains to the east of ELP were too far away to be included in the ELP observations, however, with clouds obscuring mountains and topping mountains to the west of ELP it was likely that the mountains and terrain near the accident site were also obscured due to clouds and precipitation at the accident time.

Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMETs) Sierra and Zulu were issued at 0845, with an update to AIRMET Sierra at 1215, and valid at the accident time for the accident site for below 15,000 feet msl. They forecasted mountains obscured by clouds and precipitation, ceiling below 1,000 feet agl with visibility below 3 miles in precipitation and mist, moderate icing between 12,000 feet and flight level 260, and moderate icing between 10,000 feet and flight level 210.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane wreckage was located in rocky, mountainous terrain at a measured elevation of about 6,195 feet msl. The airplane was fragmented and debris was scattered in a diameter of about 300 feet. The main wreckage consisted of the empennage, aft fuselage, left wing and engine. A postaccident fire consumed a majority of the fuselage, left and right wings, and empennage. Several small trees and vegetation displayed cut limbs in a pattern consistent with the airplane impacting in a slightly left wing low attitude.

The left wing, destroyed by thermal and impact damage, was separated from the fuselage. The flap and aileron were destroyed and remained partially attached to the wing. The right wing was separated from the fuselage and found fragmented and embedded within large rocks in the mountainous terrain. The flap and aileron were destroyed and remained partially attached to the wing.

The forward fuselage was fragmented and located within the debris field and displayed multiple areas of thermal damage. The cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed. The tachometer faceplate displayed a tachometer reading of 0711.0 hours, and the RPM indicating needle was captured at 2,400 RPM, which was at the end of the green arc and red line. The left and right cabin doors were separated and crushed with their respective locking pins engaged. One seat frame was located in the debris field and displayed thermal damage to the frame and seat cushion material. The three landing gear assemblies and tires were separated and located in the debris field.

The empennage remained attached to the aft fuselage. The left and right horizontal stabilizers were crushed and displayed thermal damage. The elevators remained attached to their respective horizontal stabilizers. The vertical stabilizer remained attached to the empennage and displayed minor crush damage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. 

Flight control continuity was partially established to all flight control surfaces. Several of the flight control system components were destroyed by thermal and impact damage. The flap position could not be determined due to thermal damage. 

The engine came to rest near the main wreckage. The number 1, 3, and 5 cylinders were separated from the engine. The number 6 cylinder head was separated from the remaining cylinder. The forward portion of the crankcase was fragmented. Both magnetos were separated from the engine and located within the debris field. The carburetor was separated from the engine, and the mixture, throttle, and fuel lines remained attached. The engine and its accessories displayed thermal and impact damage.

The propeller separated from the engine crankshaft at the propeller flange. The propeller flange was bent, twisted, and thermally damaged. The propeller hub was fragmented and portions of the hub were located within the debris field. Both propeller blades were separated from the hub. One propeller blade was bent, twisted, and the outboard 8 inches of the blade tip was missing. One propeller blade outboard section was located within the debris field. The inboard portion of the blade and blade hub were not located. The outboard portion of the propeller blade was bent, twisted, and contained leading edge gouges.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Medical Examiner of El Paso, Texas. The listed cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries as a result of a single airplane accident.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing on the pilot. The tests were negative for all screened drugs and alcohol.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in El Paso, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N735KF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On March 17, 2015, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182Q single-engine airplane, N735KF, was destroyed after impacting mountainous terrain while maneuvering near El Paso, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Brentco Aerial Patrols, Inc, Canton, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The airplane departed from a private airstrip near Hobbs, New Mexico, and was destined for the El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas.

According to company representatives, the airplane departed Snyder, Texas, approximately 0855 central daylight time, to perform a pipeline patrol aerial observation flight with a final destination of ELP. At 1156 central daylight time, the company dispatcher received a telephone call from the pilot who requested weather information for the southeast New Mexico and El Paso areas. The dispatcher informed the pilot that El Paso was reporting light rain. The pilot told the dispatcher he was going to depart, and "if he was going to make it, he had better get into the air."

Preliminary radar data showed the accident airplane about 30 miles northeast of ELP and traveling southwest at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet mean sea level. Approximately 25 miles northeast of ELP, the airplane was observed to make a left turn towards the south and then execute a right turn back toward the north. After heading north for approximately 2 miles, the airplane made a left turn toward the west and radar contact was lost. 

After company personnel determined the airplane had not arrived at ELP, a search ensued with local authorities. The airplane wreckage was located by local authorities in mountainous terrain near the last radar contact location approximately 0900 on March 18, 2015.

At 1251, the ELP automated surface observing system, located approximately 22 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the wind from 090 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 7 miles, light rain, few clouds at 2,700 feet, broken clouds at 3,000 feet, sky overcast at 3,800 feet, temperature 16 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.

BRENTCO AERIAL PATROLS INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N735KF


From 2009 War Eagles Museum newsletter: The Museum’s latest acquisition is a 1942 Stinson L-5 Sentinel, one of the most important observation aircraft of World War II and the Korean War. El Pasoan “Doc” Nelson (left) was its former owner and restorer.  Waldo Cavender (r.) delivered it to the Museum from El Paso International Airport.



NTSB Identification: CEN15FA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in El Paso, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N735KF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On March 17, 2015, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182Q single-engine airplane, N735KF, was destroyed after impacting mountainous terrain while maneuvering near El Paso, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Brentco Aerial Patrols, Inc, Canton, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The airplane departed from a private airstrip near Hobbs, New Mexico, and was destined for the El Paso International Airport (ELP), El Paso, Texas.

According to company representatives, the airplane departed Snyder, Texas, approximately 0855 central daylight time, to perform a pipeline patrol aerial observation flight with a final destination of ELP. At 1156 central daylight time, the company dispatcher received a telephone call from the pilot who requested weather information for the southeast New Mexico and El Paso areas. The dispatcher informed the pilot that El Paso was reporting light rain. The pilot told the dispatcher he was going to depart, and "if he was going to make it, he had better get into the air."

Preliminary radar data showed the accident airplane about 30 miles northeast of ELP and traveling southwest at an altitude of approximately 6,000 feet mean sea level. Approximately 25 miles northeast of ELP, the airplane was observed to make a left turn towards the south and then execute a right turn back toward the north. After heading north for approximately 2 miles, the airplane made a left turn toward the west and radar contact was lost. 

After company personnel determined the airplane had not arrived at ELP, a search ensued with local authorities. The airplane wreckage was located by local authorities in mountainous terrain near the last radar contact location approximately 0900 on March 18, 2015.

At 1251, the ELP automated surface observing system, located approximately 22 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the wind from 090 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 7 miles, light rain, few clouds at 2,700 feet, broken clouds at 3,000 feet, sky overcast at 3,800 feet, temperature 16 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.

BRENTCO AERIAL PATROLS INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N735KF

Allegiant flight out of Austin canceled due to mechanical issue

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Allegiant Air flight in Austin bound for Las Vegas had to be canceled after a mechanical issue was discovered on Thursday night.

According to an Allegiant spokesperson, Flight 453 had to return to the gate shortly after push-back due to an issue involving an air duct.

A passenger on the plane sent photographs from inside the plane showing some damage to a part of the plane’s ceiling.

The flight has been rescheduled for Friday, March 29 at 1:59 p.m.

Allegiant says the aircraft will remain on the ground until their maintenance team corrects the issue.

Story and photo:  http://kxan.com

Cessna 150F, M Air ZEDT Corporation, N8254S: Accident occurred March 20, 2015 in Masscotte, Florida

M AIR ZEDT CORPORATION: http://registry.faa.gov/N8254S

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA165
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 20, 2015 in Masscotte, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N8254S
Injuries: 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 March 20, 2015, about 0830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8254S, experienced a total loss of engine power near Grass Roots Airpark (06FD), Masscotte, Florida. The private pilot subsequently made an off airport forced landing to a wooded area and incurred minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The airplane was operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, the airplane taxied to the end of the runway 36 and visibility was limited due to the fog in the area. Then he heard the airplane depart the airport to the north. Following the accident, the witness talked to the pilot and stated that the pilot told him that after he departed the airport, the engine "sputtered, came back up, and then quit." According to another witness, the pilot stated he unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine. Subsequently, the airplane landed in woods, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, and both wings.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane landed in a wooded area about a half-mile northeast of the runway. The left fuel tank was ruptured and an undetermined amount of automobile gas was draining from the tank. In addition, the right fuel tank was not ruptured and it contained an undetermined amount of automobile gas.

Examination of the engine revealed that engine continuity and thumb compression was confirmed on all cylinders by rotating the crankshaft. Both magnetos were tested, sparked on all towers, and no anomalies were noted. The spark plugs were removed from the cylinders, were light grey in color, and no anomalies were noted. The carburetor was fractured from the engine; but, examination of it revealed no anomalies. The fuel inlet screen was removed from the carburetor and no debris was noted.

The 0804 recorded weather observation at Leesburg International Airport (LEE) , Leesburg, Florida, located approximately 11 miles to the north of the accident location, included calm wind, visibility three-quarters of a mile, mist, vertical visibility 900 feet , temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 19 degrees C; barometric altimeter 30.07 inches of mercury.




GROVELAND -- 

A small plane crashed in a wooded area of Groveland Friday morning. 

The pilot was able to walk away from the crash unharmed.

The plane crashed around 8:40 a.m. near Indigo Road and the Royal Highlands subdivision.

According to a new release from the Professional Firefighters of Lake County, residents heard the plane engine sputter out and then crash.

Emergency crews from Lake County Fire Rescue, Lake County Fire Rescue Special Operations Squad, Groveland and Lake EMS responded to the area and searched for over an hour when pilot walked up to rescue personnel.

 “While our firefighters were searching the wooded area for the report of the downed plane for about an hour, the pilot actually ended up walking out to them” reports Lt. Brian Gamble, Vice President of the Professional Firefighters of Lake County. “It is amazing that he was able to walk away from the wreckage.”

Investigators said the pilot, who was the only person on board, dropped a ping on his iPad before getting out of the crumpled plane and it allowed search crews to locate the crash site.

The pilot refused transport to the hospital.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Story and photo gallery: http://www.mynews13.com





GROVELAND -- A pilot was able to walk away from his plane crash in a wooded area this morning. 

Lake County firefighters were alerted to the crash about 8:40 a.m. after golfers of the Royal Highlands subdivision in Groveland spotted the two-seat Cessna plane “sputter out" and then crash, said Lt. Brian Gamble, Vice President of the Professional Firefighters of Lake County.

Firefighters had been searching the wooded area of Indigo Road for the downed plane for about an hour, when the pilot walked up to firefighters and deputies on the street, Gamble said.

The pilot had climbed out the crumbled aircraft but left his iPad in the plane that allowed searchers to find it.

Assistant Fire Chief Jack Fillman, with the Lake County Fire-Rescue, said the plane crashed into some pine trees and sustained significant damage.

“It is amazing that he was able to walk away from the wreckage,” Gamble said.

The pilot apparently had engine failure, crashed into the trees but sustained only minor scratches, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Fred Jones.

Gamble said the pilot had just left the nearby Grassroots Airport Park and was heading to Naples. The identity of the pilot, the only occupant of the plane, has not been released.

The crash investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.







Harvey Field Airport (S43), Snohomish, Washington: Future might include a longer runway

SNOHOMISH — Bigger airplanes are flying into Harvey Field more often these days.

That's one reason a new 20-year plan is in the works for the privately owned airfield's future development. A new plan could include an option to extend the runway and reroute Airport Way to make room.

The airport handles more than 100,000 general-aviation flights annually. It is located just south of Snohomish but is part of the city's urban growth area.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that regulators are interested in the length of the runway because Harvey Field is busier and is accommodating larger airplanes. The planning process will help the FAA determine whether the airport runway complies with regulations for the planes that use it most frequently.

But that's not the only reason for updating the plan. Airports are required by the FAA to have up-to-date plans that anticipate future growth and ensure aircraft facilities are up to date. And it urges public involvement in that planning.

Harvey Field owner Kandace Harvey has hired Jviation, a Denver-based aviation development consultant, to oversee the planning process. A 27-member committee includes officials from Jviation, the FAA, the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation division, Snohomish County, the city of Snohomish, local diking districts and neighbors of the airport.

An open house is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 1 at Harvey Field.

“We want the community to be involved,” said Harvey, whose family has run the airfield since 1944. “It's very important to us.”

The airport planning process is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016.

The planning includes a look at businesses and how the airport affects the local economy. Harvey Field has 125 employees and is home to several businesses, including the Snohomish Flying Service, Skydive Snohomish, Aerial Balloon Co. and the Buzz Inn restaurant.

A group of pilots, meanwhile, is looking into FAA safety and design standards.

The FAA is providing $502,513 to cover about 90 percent of planning costs and preliminary engineering to evaluate the viability of different layouts. Harvey Field's owner and the Washington State Department of Transportation are to split the remaining cost of about $55,835.

One trigger for a new plan was that Skydive Snohomish is routinely using a larger plane than before. The company's Cessna 208B Caravan — a single-engine turboprop that carries up to 18 passengers — now makes more than 500 takeoffs and landings a year. That increased use by that bigger plane might indicate that Harvey Field's runway needs to be extended, according to FAA guidelines.

The airport also has seen more twin-engine airplanes flying in recently, Harvey said.

Harvey Field has about a half-mile of paved runway. But pilots can't safely use the southernmost 250 feet because they have to clear Airport Way. At the north end of the runway, 452 feet can't be used because planes have to fly above trains on BNSF Railway tracks. That leaves 2,048 feet of usable runway.

Because the railway isn't going to move, Harvey said, rerouting Airport Way to make more space for the runway will be considered.

Snohomish city manager Larry Bauman said one of the biggest questions is where money to move that Snohomish County-owned road would come from, if necessary. He thinks it is “highly likely” that the runway will need to be extended.

Because noise has long been a concern around the airport, the group is looking into that issue as part of the planning process, too. People living around avenues I and J in Snohomish are particularly sensitive to airplane noise, Harvey said.

Several years ago, Harvey Field put in place a voluntary noise reduction plan. It encourages pilots turn to the west as soon as safely possible after takeoff to reduce noise over the city.

Another concern is flooding. Harvey Field is in the Snohomish River Valley flood plain. Harvey said there hasn't been any major flood damage at the airport since the dikes were built in 1995. But a group of experts and airport neighbors is looking into flooding and water issues as part of the airport planning process.

Owen Dennison, the city planning director and member of the airport committee, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency strictly limits what can be done with land in the flood plain around the airfield. People previously have expressed concern that developing the area around Harvey Field would increase flood risk.

The consultants recently submitted details about the property and a 20-year forecast for the airfield to the FAA for approval. The next step will be determining the airport's future needs based on the forecast.

Story and comments:  http://www.heraldnet.com

Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO) lawsuits abound

In the battle for the Santa Monica Airport, legal attacks are picking up.

Next week, City Council will consider what to do after a key 1984 agreement between City Hall and the Federal Aviation Administration expires on July 1.

City attorneys couldn’t offer a lot of guarantees but they did say — if council decides to make any big moves like shortening the runway or banning planes that release a lot of emission — that lawsuits are likely.

Perhaps to underline the point, they updated council on the status of all the pending litigation surrounding the airport in the last year.

“This has been an extremely litigious year,” they said in the report.

City Hall v. FAA

In 2013, Santa Monica sued the FAA, seeking to determine who will control the airport’s 227-acres of land once several key agreements expire. A judge threw the case out after the FAA motioned to have it dismissed.

City Hall is appealing that decision in the Ninth Circuit.

“Based on experience in the Ninth Circuit, staff and outside counsel do not expect a decision until sometime in late 2016,” city attorneys said in the report, “after which the case may go back to the federal trial court or the losing party may petition the United States Supreme Court for review.”

Measure D lawsuits

Two lawsuits were filed against City Hall and the backers of a pro-SMO measure that flamed out at the polls last year.

Anti-airport activists said that the measure never should have been allowed on the ballot. Both lawsuits were dismissed and a judge ordered the filers to pay the aviation interest’s attorneys fees.

Part 16

In July, national aviation associations and individuals — like actor Harrison Ford, who recently crashed his plane on a golf course adjacent to the Santa Monica Airport — kicked off an administrative proceeding in front of the FAA claiming that the disputed end date of another agreement (not the 1984 agreement) expires in 2023, years later that City Hall has asserted.

City attorneys have made arguments against the petition and are awaiting a key decision, which was due on March 13. The FAA will review that decision and a final decision would likely be issued later this year or early next year.

Landing fees

Top Gun, an airport user claims in a lawsuit that, among other things, the City Hall contractor that administers landing fees — which went up a few years ago — is charging aircraft just for entering the SMO airspace but don’t land. Top Gun also filed an injunction, seeking to temporarily halt the charging of landing fees. This was denied. The suit is ongoing.

Crashes

In 2013, a plane flown by local builder Mark Benjamin veered off the runway, crashing into a hangar, and killing all four people on board.

The family of one of the passengers is suing Benjamin’s family and City Hall, claiming that the airport constitutes a dangerous condition on public property. That case is being handled by City Hall’s insurance company. Additionally, City Hall is suing for property damages and expenses from the crash.

Another crash, which occurred in 2011 when a pilot trainee crashed a plane into a resident’s garage in Sunset Park, resulted in a lawsuit that was just settled. The aviation company that was training the pilot paid the homeowner in the settlement and made a small contribution to City Hall’s insurance carrier.

Story and comments:  http://smdp.com

Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, N228LL: Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2014 in Erie, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA467
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 31, 2014 in Erie, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/10/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46 350P, registration: N228LL
Injuries: 5 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 private pilot was inbound to the airport, attempting to conduct a straight-in approach to runway 33. Due to the prevailing wind, traffic flow at the time of the pilot's arrival was on runway 15. Another airplane was departing the airport in the opposite direction and crossed in close proximity to the accident airplane. The departing traffic altered his course to the right to avoid the accident airplane while the accident airplane stayed on his final approach course. The two aircraft were in radio communication on the airport common traffic advisory frequency and were exercising see-and-avoid rules as required.

Witnesses reported that as the airplane continued down runway 33 for landing, they heard the power increase and observed the airplane make a left-hand turn to depart the runway in an attempted go-around. The airplane entered a left bank with a nose-high attitude, failed to gain altitude, and subsequently stalled and impacted terrain. It is likely the pilot did not maintain the necessary airspeed during the attempted go-around and exceeded the airplane's critical angle of attack. The investigation did not reveal why the pilot chose to conduct the approach with opposing traffic or why he attempted a landing with a tailwind, but this likely increased the pilot's workload during a critical phase of flight. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and exceedance of the critical angle of attack during a go-around with a tailwind condition, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. A contributing factor to the accident was the pilot's decision to continue the approach with opposing traffic.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 31, 2014 about 1150 mountain daylight time, a Piper Malibu PA-46-350P airplane, N228LL, was substantially damaged when the airplane impacted terrain near the Erie Municipal Airport (EIK), Erie, Colorado. The airplane was owned by The Real Estate School, LLC, Erie, Colorado and privately operated. The private pilot and four passengers on board were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Colorado.

Multiple witnesses located at and around EIK saw the accident airplane on final approach to runway 33 while another airplane was departing runway 15. Witnesses stated the two airplanes crossed in "close proximity." The airplane continued down runway 33 and they heard an increase in engine power "as if to go-around." A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane as being at a low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude. Witnesses said it appeared the "airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall," and "it did not accelerate or climb." The airplane continued in a "rapid descent" until impacting the terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 67, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on June 30, 2014, with the limitation: must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 1,300 total flight hours, with 60 hours in the previous 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not located during the investigation.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, manufactured in 1994, was a six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number 4622164, and was powered by a Lycoming Engines TIO-540 engine, rated at 350 horsepower. The engine drove a metal, 2-blade Hartzell HC-I2YR-1BF/F80 variable pitch propeller.

According to the airplane's logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was accomplished on December 4, 2013, at a Hobbs time of 2,808.8 hours. According to the airplane tachometer, the airframe's total time was 2,910.7 hours at the time of the accident.

Additionally, the airplane was equipped with two fuel tanks, which hold 61 gallons per tank, of which; 1 gallon is unusable for each tank. Refueling records obtained from a fuel vendor revealed that the airplane had been most recently refueled the morning of August 31, 2014, with 12.98 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at their location at EIK. Additional fuel receipts from EIK were obtained, which showed that the airplane was refueled on August 15, 2014 with 73.54 gallons, on July 18, 2014 with 39.01 gallons, and on July 13, 2014 with 67.24 gallons.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station is located at EIK. At 1135, an automated weather observation system (AWOS) reported wind from 160 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles; temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 10 degrees C; and an altimeter reading of 29.95 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Erie Municipal Airport is a non-towered airport operating in Class-G airspace underneath of Class-B airspace. The airport is equipped with one runway. Runway 15/33 is 4,700 feet in length and 60-feet wide. The reported field elevation of the airport is 5,119 feet mean sea level.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft impacted the edge of a culvert about 350 yards west of runway 33 at EIK. The initial impact point to the main wreckage was about 180 feet at a 300-degree heading. Several components of the aircraft; including the radar pod, forward baggage door and vertical stabilator with attached rudder surface, were located within the debris field west of the initial impact site. The main wreckage came to rest inverted, on a heading of approximately 158 degrees. 

The fuselage sustained crushing damage to its belly skins along most of its entire length. The engine and baggage compartment were partially separated from the forward fuselage pressure bulkhead assembly. The tail section completely separated from the aft section of the fuselage at the rear pressure bulkhead assembly but remained attached to the fuselage by control surface cables. 

The external fuselage skins exhibited wrinkling and creasing along both sides. The roof section was partially crushed inward near the right forward side window and emergency exit window. The emergency window was pushed inboard and partially separated from the window frame. The rear fuselage, in the area of the rear bulkhead section where the tail section separated, sustained extensive impact damage.

The main cabin area of the fuselage remained mostly intact. All six seats remained attached to the floor. Some of the seat bottom cushions were reportedly removed by first responders.

Continuity of the forward control cables was established. The primary aileron cables remained attached to both of their respective aileron quadrant assemblies. Both elevator control cables remained attached to their respective quadrant sectors. Both rudder cables remained attached to their respective rudder quadrant sector.

The fuel selector valve found to be in the "off" position. The cockpit fuel valve lever was also found in the "off" position. First responders reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that the fuel selector valve was placed into the "off" position during rescue activities.

The fuel gascolator bowl assembly was upside down when it was disassembled. The upper bowl housing exhibited a trace amount of fuel. The bowl did not contain any fuel, and was free of contaminates. The fuel filter assembly exhibited minor particles, but was otherwise mostly free of contamination. No evidence of any water contamination was observed.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. The wing sustained ground impact damage. Both the flap and aileron surfaces remained attached to the wing. The aileron cable assemblies remained attached to the aileron quadrant drive sector at the aileron surface. The flap actuator assembly was observed in the retracted position. The pushrod remained attached to the flap surface bellcrank assembly. The landing gear was observed in the retracted position.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage although it was broken at the main spar. The wing sustained ground impact damage but was otherwise mostly intact. The wing exhibited a downward bow and was partially separated about 5 feet outboard of the fuselage. Both the flap and aileron surfaces remained attached to the wing. The aileron cable assemblies remained attached to the aileron quadrant drive sector at the aileron surface. The flap actuator assembly was observed in the retracted position. The flap interconnect pushrod separated at the flap drive idler arm assembly due to impact. The landing gear was observed in the retracted position.

The rear fuselage section sustained some ground impact damage and remained mostly intact up to the rear pressure bulkhead assembly. The horizontal tail section separated from the rear fuselage at the rear bulkhead and remained attached to the fuselage by control surface cables. The vertical surface, with attached rudder surface, separated from the rear fuselage and was located in the debris path near the initial ground impact area.

Visual continuity of the tail surface control cables was established. Both elevator control cables remained attached to the elevator sector assembly.

The rudder surface torque tube assembly separated where it attaches to the rudder sector control. The rudder sector control sustained impact damage and both rudder control cables remained attached to the rudder sector control.

One propeller blade was broken off mid span, with chord wise polishing and some lengthwise scratches. The second blade was relatively straight with leading edge and chord wise polishing. 

The engine was removed from the airframe and subsequently examined at the recovery facility. The examination of the engine revealed the sparkplugs appeared "worn out-normal" as compared to the Champion Aviation Check-a-Plug Chart AV-27. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and produced spark at all leads. The crankshaft was rotated by hand and compression was established at all cylinders. Engine drive train continuity was established throughout the engine crankcase. The cylinders were borescope inspected and no anomalies were noted. The oil pickup screen, oil filter and propeller governor screen were all found free of debris. The intake plenum was found crushed upward and cracked open. The left turbo charger was free to rotate but stiff; impact damage was noted. The right turbo charger was also free to rotate. The exhaust tubes were found crushed upwards. 

Fuel was noted in the fuel servo, lines, and flow divider. The flow divider diaphragm was found intact. The fuel injectors were found clear. Fuel was discharged from the engine driven fuel pump when rotated by hand.

No evidence of any preexisting mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engine was found.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A post mortem examination was conducted under the authority of the Office of the Coroner, Weld County, Colorado on September 1, 2014. The cause of death for the pilot was attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aeromedical Institute performed toxicology examinations for the pilot which was negative for carbon monoxide, alcohol and drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The annunciator panel from the accident aircraft was removed by the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC., to be examined for the presence of any stretched light bulb filaments. Stretched light bulb filaments are indicators the light bulb was illuminated at the time of the accident. Each annunciator light was x-rayed to determine the status of the two bulbs inside. No stretched filaments were found in any of the annunciator lights.

Additionally, an Apple iPad tablet computer was located within the wreckage. The tablet was subsequently sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division, Washington, DC. for further examination.

An exterior examination revealed the device had sustained extensive structural damage. The internal board was removed from the damaged device and installed in a surrogate iPad. The device was successfully powered on. However, the unit was protected by a 4-digit passcode and after possible passcodes were unsuccessfully tried, the device reported "iPad is disabled." No further recovery attempts were made.

For further information, see the Personal Electronic Device Report within the public docket for this accident.

OTHER INFORMATION

The NTSB's air traffic control (ATC) investigator reviewed radar data provided by the 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron (RADES) located at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The radar data was recorded from the Denver ASR-9 (DEN).

There were no audio re-recordings available for this accident. According to radar data and witness statements, moments before the accident N228LL was on approach to runway 33 at EIK and passed in close proximity to N573MS who had departed runway 15 (opposite direction) at EIK. According to witness statements, the pilots of both aircraft were transmitting on the local common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) which was not recorded (see witness statements in the public docket). Both aircraft were operating under visual flight rules (VFR) in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and were not in communication with ATC while operating within class G airspace at an airport without an operating control tower.

Radar data indicated that the accident aircraft was inbound to runway 33 and was flying an approximately straight course to the runway with no observed significant deviations from that inbound heading. Radar data indicated that N573MS departed runway 15 at EIK and shortly after becoming airborne, made an abrupt deviation to the west (to the pilot's right).

According to radar data, the closest proximity between N228LL and N573MS occurred when the aircraft were separated by approximately 0.12 nautical miles (729 feet) laterally, and 200 feet vertically (and increasing). The flight track of N228LL indicated nothing out of the ordinary after passing N573MS, and it continued to approach EIK on course for runway 33 at a normal rate of descent. Witness statements indicated that N228LL appeared to be going around, however the aircraft never reached an altitude high enough for radar coverage and therefore any attempt at a go around was unable to be corroborated via recorded radar data.

According to the Piper Malibu Pilot's Operating Handbook, Section 4.33 Go-Around under Normal Procedures, states:


"To initiate a go-around from a landing approach, the mixture should be set to full RICH, the propeller control should be at full INCREASE, and the throttle should be advanced to full power while the pitch attitude is increased to obtain the balked landing speed of 80 knots-indicated airspeed (KIAS). Retract the landing gear and slowly retract the flaps when a positive climb is established. Allow the airplane to accelerate to the best angle of climb speed (81 KIAS) for obstacle clearance or to the best rate of climb speed (110 KIAS) if obstacles are not a factor. Reset the longitudinal trim as required."

REAL ESTATE SCHOOL LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N228LL 

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA467
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 31, 2014 in Erie, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46 350P, registration: N228LL
Injuries: 5 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 August 31, 2014 about 1150 mountain daylight time, a Piper Malibu PA-46, N228LL, was substantially damaged when the airplane impacted terrain near Erie Municipal Airport (EIK), Erie. The airplane was owned and operated by The Real Estate School, LLC, Erie, Colorado. The private pilot and four passengers on board were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In statements provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-In-Charge (IIC), witnesses saw the accident airplane on final approach to runway 33 while another airplane was departing runway 15. Witnesses stated the two airplanes crossed in "close proximity." The airplane continued down runway 33 and power was applied "as if to go-around." A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane at low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude. Witnesses said it appeared the "airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall," and "it did not accelerate or climb." The airplane continued in a "rapid descent" until impacting terrain.

At 1135, the EIK automated weather reporting facility reported wind from 160 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 10 degrees C, and an altimeter reading of 29.95 inches of mercury.

The main wreckage contained all primary structural components and flight control surfaces. The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.




Four wrongful-death lawsuits have been filed over the fatal plane crash in Erie last August in which Tori Rains-Wedan and her three sons were killed.

The lawsuits filed in Weld County District Court name as defendants pilot Oliver Frascona, who was also killed in the crash, and another pilot, Joe Lechtanski, who was taking off at the Erie Municipal Airport as Frascano was coming in to land, the Daily Camera reports.

Relatives of Rains-Wedan filed suit on behalf of her and her three sons. Lechtanski declined to comment to the newspaper.

The lawsuit alleges both pilots were at fault because Frascona crashed while trying to avoid Lechtanski’s plane.

Frascano, 67, was a partner in the Boulder law firm of Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein PC. Rains-Wedan, 41, was the owner of Educated Minds, which offers continuing education classes to real estate brokers. With her on the plane were 15-year-old Mason Wedan and 11-year-old twins Austin and Hunter Wedan.

The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t completed its investigation into the crash.

Story, comments and photos:   http://www.dailycamera.com


Oliver E. Frascona, Esq.