Friday, March 27, 2015

Piper J4A Cub Coupe, N30341: Fatal accident occurred March 27, 2015 near Pine River Regional Airport (KPWC), Cass County, Minnesota

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

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N30341 

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 27, 2015 in Pine River, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/2016
Aircraft: PIPER J-4A, registration: N30341
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The private pilot was making a local personal flight. One witness who saw the airplane just after it became airborne reported that it sounded normal but that it was flying at a low altitude and a slow speed over the runway. Several witnesses reported seeing the airplane flying around treetop level with the wings "wobbling" back and forth. According to these witnesses, the airplane banked to the left, its nose rose, and then the airplane entered a descending spiral. Examination of the accident site, which was located about 0.25 miles from the departure end of the runway, indicated that the airplane impacted the terrain in an open field in a nose-down attitude. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he did not have a current flight review nor had he logged any flights in the past 1.5 years. A postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any failure or malfunction of the flight controls, even though its annual inspection was overdue by 1 year 8 months. Debris was found in both the engine's oil and fuel screens; however, the amount of debris was not enough to have caused a loss of engine power. No airframe or engine anomalies were observed that would have precluded normal operations. The witness observations and the airplane's nose-down attitude at impact are consistent with the pilot allowing the airspeed to decrease to the point where the wing's critical angle-of-attack was exceeded. As a result, the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall and departed controlled flight. It is likely that the pilot's lack of recent flight experience contributed to his failure to maintain adequate airspeed. If he had obtained a flight review or refresher training before making the flight, the accident may have been prevented.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot' failure to maintain adequate airspeed after takeoff, which resulted in the airplane's wing exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to conduct the flight without obtaining a flight review or refresher training. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 27, 2015, at 1835 central standard time, a Piper J-4A airplane, N30341, collided with the terrain shortly after takeoff from the Pine River Regional Airport (PWC), Pine River, Minnesota. The private pilot and passenger were both fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident. 

A pilot who had landed at the airport just prior to the accident reported she heard the airplane as it took off and that it sounded "normal for an older plane." She stated the airplane was very low above the runway with the wings wobbling back and forth. This witness also stated the ground speed was very slow, perhaps 20 miles per hour. She stated the wings stopped rocking for a bit, but the airplane remained slow and just above the treeline as it crossed Highway 1 at the south end of the runway. The witness stated she looked away and heard an unusual noise just before the airplane impacted the ground. 

Another witness reported seeing the airplane flying toward the south just after it took off. This witness reported it was very noticeable that the airplane was "wobbling" back and forth at a low altitude. Once the airplane reached Highway 1, it banked to the left and the nose rose. The nose then descended and the airplane entered a nose dive to the ground. 

Numerous witnesses reported seeing the airplane at a low altitude, with the wings "wobbling" before it banked left and descended to the ground. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 43, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land rating, issued on June 13, 2000. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on September 27, 2013. This certificate did not contain any limitations. The pilot also held an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate. 

The pilot's logbook was reviewed during the investigation. The logbook contained entries from August 26, 1999 through September 29, 2013. The pilot's total flight time was listed as 428.1 hours with 6.7 hours in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot's family stated the last time he flew, that they were aware of, was in 2013 and that the pilot was good about logging his flight time. 

The most recent flight review signoff in the pilot's logbook was dated April 6, 2012. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1940 Piper J4A, serial number 4-1168. It was a single engine, high wing, two-place airplane with fixed conventional landing gear. The fuselage and wings were fabric covered. The airplane was previously owned by the pilot's father and the pilot became a co-owner of the airplane in July 2011. The pilot had signed off as having performed the most recent annual inspection on the airplane and engine. 

The tachometer time at the time of the accident was 1,273.86. A review of the aircraft logbook showed the last annual inspection was conducted on July 9, 2012, at a tachometer time of 1,267.2 hours and aircraft total time of 2,860.2 hours. The airplane had been flown 6.66 hours since this last inspection. According to the logbook, the annual last inspection was dated August 1, 1991.

The airplane was equipped with a 65-horsepower, Continental A65-8F engine. The engine logbook contained an entry dated July 9, 2012, stating that the engine was disassembled and overhauled. The tachometer time was listed as being 1,267.2 hours with a 0 time since overhaul. 

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Weather conditions recorded at PWC at 1834 were: Wind from 150 degrees at 4 knots; visibility 10 miles or greater; ceiling 8,000 feet overcast; temperature 0 degrees Celsius; dew point -13 degrees Celsius; altimeter 30.13 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted an open field about 1/4 mile from the departure end and 20 degrees to the left of the extended centerline of runway 16. Damage to the airplane and ground scars indicate the airplane was in a nose down, left wing low attitude when it impacted the terrain. Both wings, the forward fuselage, and cockpit sustained impact damage. 

The nose of the airplane impacted the terrain pushing the engine, firewall, and instrument panel rearward into the cockpit area. The floor of the cockpit was crushed upward. The fuselage, aft of the cockpit seats, was intact with minor bending of the tubular frame. The empennage was intact. The right wing was bent downward, but it remained attached to the fuselage. The outboard leading edge of the right wing was flattened aft by impact forces. The inboard leading edge of the wing at the fuselage was crushed aft. This area contained yellow paint transfers indicating that it contacted the engine cowling where the transfer of red paint was visible. The lift struts remained attached to the fuselage. The remainder of the wing sustained little impact damage. 

According to local authorities, the left wing of the airplane was partially separated from the fuselage attach point. Both lift struts were separated from the fuselage. First responders removed the wing and cut the aileron control cables to gain access to the occupants. The left wing sustained impact damage along the entire length of the wing. A ground scar was visible that correlated with the left wing tip. The outboard section of the left wing was bent up and rearward.

The fuel tank was ruptured. First responders reported that fuel was leaking from the tank. There was an odor of fuel around the accident site the day after the accident. 

Flight control cable continuity was established from the cockpit flight controls to their respective flight control surfaces. 

The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft. One propeller blade was bent aft was lying under the engine. The other blade was straight. Both blades exhibited minor chordwise scratches. Neither blade exhibited any twisting. 

The fuel selector was in the on position.

The rear of the engine sustained impact damage. The firewall was crushed into the rear of the engine. The oil tank, magnetos, and exhaust tubes and muffler sustained impact damage. Half of the housing case on each magneto was missing which prevented testing the magnetos. However, a visual inspection revealed that other than impact damage, the magnetos appeared capable of normal operation. 

The top spark plugs were removed from the cylinders. The number 4 spark plug was fractured from impact damage. The plugs appeared to be normal with light carbon deposits. The oil dipstick indicated just below 4 quarts of oil in the oil sump which was crushed, but not ruptured. The oil screen was removed and a moderate amount of metal particles were on the screen and inside the screen housing. There was no indication that the engine suffered from a lack of lubrication. 

The propeller was turned by hand. Thumb compression and suction were noted on all of the cylinders. Continuity was established from the front of the engine rearward to the magneto drive gears. Continuity was also established to the cylinder valve springs and rocker arms. 

The carburetor was removed from the engine and examined. The throttle valve control arm linkage remained intact and attached to the carburetor. The throttle plate was intact and operable. 

The metal float was secured and intact. Approximately 1 ounce of fuel was drained from the carburetor bowl. The fuel was pale yellow in color, which appeared to be automotive fuel. The fuel did not contain any debris. The thumb screen was removed. Both the screen and the screen housing contained debris, although not enough to have completely blocked the fuel flow. 

The exhaust system sustained impact damage. The muffler sustained impact damage which matched the impact damage on the surrounding muffler shroud.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy of the pilot was performed on March 28, 2015, at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, Saint Paul, Minnesota. The autopsy report attributed the death to multiple traumatic injuries. 

A Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results for tests performed were negative with the exception of:

Ephedrine detected in Urine

Ephedrine NOT detected in Blood (Cavity)

Pseudoephedrine detected in Urine

Pseudoephedrine detected in Blood (Cavity)



NTSB Identification: CEN15FA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 27, 2015 in Pine River, MN
Aircraft: PIPER J-4A, registration: N30341
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 27, 2015, at 1835 central standard time, a Piper J-4A airplane, N30341, collided with the terrain shortly after takeoff from the Pine River Regional Airport (PWC), Pine River, Minnesota. The private pilot and passenger were both fatally injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. 

A pilot who had landed at the airport just prior to the accident reported she heard the airplane as it was took off and that it sounded "normal for an older plane." She stated the airplane was very low above the runway with the wings wobbling back and forth. This witness also stated the ground speed was very slow, perhaps 20 miles per hour. She stated the wings stopped rocking for a bit, but the airplane remained slow and just above the treeline as it crossed Highway 1 at the south end of the runway. The witness stated she looked away and heard an unusual noise just before the airplane impacted the ground. 

Another witness reported seeing the airplane flying toward the south just after it took off. This witness reported it was very noticeable that the airplane was "wobbling" back and forth at a low altitude. Once the airplane reached Highway 1, it banked to the left and the nose rose. The nose then descended and the airplane entered a nose dive to the ground. 

The airplane impacted an open field about 1/4 mile from the departure end and 20 degrees to the left of the extended centerline of runway 16. Damage to the airplane and ground scars indicate the airplane was in a nose down, left wing low attitude when it impacted the terrain.



John Witt


Stacy Sundquist



For 43-year-old John Witt, Friday's ill-fated flight from the Pine River airport was just one of many flights in his lifetime.

Witt was an experienced pilot, his mother Barbara Witt said, and he spent several years working as an airplane mechanic. He first worked as an apprentice under his late father, Tom Witt, and later took over the family business Witt's Aircraft Repair Services.

Witt was piloting his vintage Piper J-4A Cub aircraft when it crashed in a field one-quarter mile south of the airport at 6:35 p.m. Friday night. The crash killed him and a passenger, 32-year-old Stacy Sundquist, a single mother of three about to embark on a new phase of her nursing career.

"I know he died doing what he loved to do," Barbara Witt said. "He was afraid of heights, but yet, he could hop in a plane and go up a few thousand feet and it didn't bother him one bit."

Several witnesses reported the single-engine passenger plane took off from the airport on a course headed south and shortly after takeoff appeared to be "low and slow."

The plane crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The wreckage was removed Sunday to an NTSB facility in Minneapolis. An FAA official reported the entire investigation will likely take about a year to complete.

Although the Piper Cub was in the family for 50 years and was restored recently to its original appearance, Barbara Witt said her son rarely flew it, preferring instead to fly his Piper Tri-Pacer.

Witt's love for flying began early. After attending high school in Rockford, Minn., he joined the U.S. Air Force with dreams of becoming a pilot. He spent six or seven years in the service, Barbara Witt said, although his dream never quite came to fruition. Instead, he worked packing bombs into planes.

His time in the Air Force gave him his first taste of traveling. He visited England, Idaho and Alaska, but it was the latter locale he loved the most.

"He thought that it was magnificent," Barbara Witt said. "He just loved to go hunting and fishing up there."

As an over-the-road trucker later in life, Witt visited all corners of the country and parts of Canada, but he always returned to Pine River, where the other modes of transportation he loved awaited. Besides flying, Witt also enjoyed riding both a motorcycle and a bicycle. His enjoyment of trail riding stemmed from working as a baggage hauler with the Jaunt with Jim Klobuchar bike ride (now called the Tour of Minnesota).

"He would go on the Paul Bunyan Trail and ride to Hackensack, Walker," Barbara Witt said. "He really liked that, going out and just riding."

His mother said she was the only one who knew of his plans to fly Friday night.

"He told me, 'I'm gonna go flying for awhile so I'll see you later,'" she said. "I said, 'OK.' Well, I never saw him later, because that happened."

Sundquist, according to her sister, Jacki Cox, was nervous about the flight. She'd never flown with Witt before and feared crashing.

"My last text message to her, five minutes before they crashed was, 'It's going to be OK,'" Jacki Cox said.

Despite her fears, Jacki Cox and her husband Mike described Sundquist as outgoing and fun, always up for adventure. She was a mother of three children - Alexis, 14; Andrew, 11; and Hunter, 3 - and loved to help people, her sister said. She worked as a licensed practical nurse and had recently acquired a new position, but never got the chance for her new start.

"She was in the process of doing training right now," Mike Cox said. "She loved her job."

Sundquist grew up in Pine River and attended high school there, the daughter of Diane Sundquist and Brett Sundquist of California. She and sister Jacki did not become close until later in life, having grown up separately.

It was especially within the last year, Jacki and Mike Cox said, their families became nearly inseparable. The sisters enjoyed going to the casino together, but most of their activities revolved around having fun with their children - visiting Itasca State Park, having picnics, going swimming and going to the fair.

"The last couple months, we had really good times," Mike Cox said.

Jacki Cox has three small children of her own, and she and her husband said they are working on plans to care for Sundquist's kids.

"She told us over and over, like she knew something was going to happen, if anything ever happens she wanted us to take care of her kids for her," Mike Cox said. "We told her likewise, if anything ever happens to us."

Members of the Pine River community have rallied around the Witt and Sundquist families, with funds set up in both their names. Witt's fund will support funeral costs, while Sundquist's fund, "Stacy's Angels," is intended to be long-term savings for her children. To donate to Witt's fund, visit www.gofundme.com/qbrpxw, or to Sundquist's fund, visit www.gofundme.com/StacysAngels.

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


PINE RIVER, Minn. -- Two people are dead after a small passenger plane crashed in a field south of the Pine River Regional Airport Friday night, the National Transportation Safety Board reports.

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said their identities are being withheld pending notification of family and he expects to release more information Sunday.

According to the NTSB, the crash of the Piper J4A Cub Coupe aircraft was reported at 6:35 p.m. Friday. 

Several witnesses reported the plane took off from the airport on a course headed south and appeared to be “low and slow” before crashing one-quarter mile away. 

Burch reported fuel was leaking from the aircraft after impact, but did not ignite.

The plane reportedly was engaging in a local flight, with departure and landing planned in Pine River.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registry, the plane involved is registered to John M. Witt of Pine River. It is a fixed wing single-engine airplane manufactured in 1940.

Investigators from the FAA and NTSB were on scene Saturday documenting the wreckage. 

Once the on-scene investigation is complete, the NTSB will remove the wreckage to a facility in Minneapolis for further investigation.

An FAA official reported its investigation will roll into the NTSB investigation, and it will be close to a year before it is complete.

Pine River is about 66 miles south of Bemidji along Highway 371.

Bandit Flight Team ready for fly over of STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway

NASCAR is known for its high speeds, devastating crashes and dramatic finishes, but the racecars won’t be the only vehicle testing the sound barrier before the Sprint Cup STP 500 at Martinsville this weekend.

For the first time the track has enlisted the North Carolina-based Bandit Flight Team to perform a fly-over at the track prior to the race.

Martinsville Track President Clay Campbell first saw the crew at an NC State game, as the team is contracted for fly-overs before every Wolfpack home football game, and wanted to add the experience to the Martinsville race weekend.

“I’m excited to see the Bandit Flight Team perform here for the STP 500,” said Campbell. “I saw them last year at a NC State football game and their timing was perfect at the end of the National Anthem. Soon after that we got in touch with them and got them booked for Martinsville. Since they are all from the Raleigh, NC area it’s an easy flight to Martinsville race morning. I’m confident our fans are going to be impressed!”

This isn’t the team’s first fly-over for a NASCAR event. The Bandit Flight Team has already done a flyover at the Dover International Speedway, in addition to fly-overs at Durham Bulls baseball games, the Rockingham Dragway, the Raleigh Christmas Parade and Rally for the Cure.

The seven-man team will fly a combination of a Nanchang CJ-6 Chinese Air Force Trainer, a Yakovlev Yak-52 Russian Air Force Trainer and a Van’s Aircraft RV7.

While the planes won’t reach the speeds of the military jets some fans are accustomed to, lead pilot Jim Kilpatrick says that’s part of the fun.

“We are slower so they will see us longer, there are more airplanes and we’ll stay on target a little bit longer,” said Kilpatrick. “The crowd really likes that. We have smoke systems on the airplane, so you’ll see smoke come out. It’s a nice mix of smoke and noise that makes for a good show.”

Kilpatrick, a former Air Force pilot, says the point of emphasis for his team is to time their entrance with the ending of the national anthem.

“It’s a punctuation to the national anthem. At the end there just needs to be something there to get you standing up and applauding, and a fly-over does that.”

 “When they say, ‘home of the brave,’ and you look up, we’re right there,” said Kilpatrick. “It’s great because the people on the ground are changing their time, and we’re able to change while maneuvering with all these airplanes flying all around. When you coordinate all of that and have it work out, yeah, that’s a lot of fun.”

It takes a lot of preparation to hit that mark, not to mention all the work the team does to fly in perfect formation.

“We fly off each other’s wings – we’re about three feet off each other’s wings,” said Kilpatrick. “We don’t just go out and do this. We’ve been practicing like crazy.”

 “At first when you bring [someone new] in, you start flying off the wings straight and level, and when you get comfortable with that you add turns, climbs and banks. If they’re not formation qualified we have one of our guys in the back seat with him till he gets trained. Then we’ll start adding more advanced maneuvers and formations. That takes a lot of practice and a lot of time.”

But it’s not really work for the crew. This is a part-time job that each member does because they love it. For Kilpatrick that love started at a young age, and just grew after his time in the military.

“When I was a young guy at 22 years old flying over the desert in Arizona in a fighter jet at 500 mph, it’s a kick in the pants,” said Kilpatrick. “It’s a big high; it’s wonderful. ”

Kilpatrick says there are other rewards as well.

“When they introduce us at the NC State game we get a standing ovation from 60,000 people,” said Kilpatrick. “That’s really nice, it’s great feedback.”

On Sunday at Martinsville the Bandit Flight Team will get things started with what they expect to be another perfect exclamation point as part of a timeless tradition.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.godanriver.com

Questair Venture: Kit planes will be built in Mississippi



The John Bell Williams Airport in Bolton and Raymond is now the home of the country's only manufacturer of the Questair Venture, a small, high-performance kit plane.

Meanwhile, a world record was set for the largest number of Questair Ventures in one place as owners of the tiny plane from all over the country gathered for a "fly-in" to celebrate the opening of the facility.

In a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airport on Friday, owners Dan Myers of Madison and Jim Cook of Clinton talked about the history of the planes and the future of the manufacturing facility.

"I showed him the airport, showed him Hinds Community College, showed him the school over here has the resources, the students, and it was a no-brainer for us to choose Hinds Community College to help us continue to build the airplanes and have the manufacturing facility here," Myers said. "The main reason was the kids, the students. We can give them hands-on training, and they can help us because it is an aluminum airplane and these guys need to learn things like how to buck rivets and get turned upside down in a plane."

Hinds County Economic Development Director Blake Wallace said the acquisition of the Questair facility is a big win for everyone.

"This is fantastic. This is a long time coming for John Bell. The smaller type industries like this are the ones we have targeted for this airport, so we're happy to have this here," Wallace said. "So this is a great day for Raymond, a great day for Hinds County and a great day for Hinds Community College."

Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher said the facility will bring in an industry that "really is a fascinating industry."

"It brings in a little different spin," he said. "They're small and fast and aerodynamic and sleek. They're the sports cars of the sky, and that's what make them neat to see as they fly by and at the speeds they go. So it's just something different, and it's innovative. And I think they're going to do well here."

Hinds County District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer said he's excited not only about the prospects for the county but about the airplanes themselves. He said the John Bell Williams Airport has been making great strides forward, most recently with a runway expansion to help accommodate larger planes and that the facility is a perfect addition.

"This is a huge day for the airport in Hinds County, and this is an asset that we have in Hinds County that's going to be more and more utilized," he said, adding that it's a lot of fun to see the planes at work. "I just saw this red aircraft over here, which is probably a million dollar plane, fly about 300 mph at about 100 feet off the ground, and that was exciting."

The Venture is a low-wing, all-metal monoplane licensed under the FAA's amateur-built category. Owners of the kit who want to fast-track the building, which can take up to four years, can go through the facility at J.B. Williams and have it done in about a year, Myers said.

"The person can come in and do hands-on training, and they help build their own airplane and get it built within probably one year," he said. "Then we'll do flight training, get them ready to fly it. But it's not an airplane for your first-time builder, and it's not an airplane for the low-time pilot."

The company will also support the more than 100 known Venture kit and plane owners with components, parts and technical support.

"We're passionate about this airplane and are excited to carry on its legacy that began when it was initially launched at Oshkosh in 1987," Cook said. "To continue the work of Venture creators Ed MacDonough and Jim Griswold, both well-respected in aviation, makes our mission all the more worthy."

"I go to Oshkosh. I've been there several years," said Mississippi Department of Transportation Aeronautics Director Tommy Booth. "To see these little planes up there year after year, and now to have them here in Mississippi, it's a great point of pride."

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

Hearing slated for Bob Hope Airport (KBUR) noise program update

Bob Hope Airport will hold a workshop and public hearing on Monday on its proposed revision of a noise compatibility program for homes around the airfield.

The public workshop portion, where residents will be able to view displays and speak individually with the project team, will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m. The public hearing will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Buena Vista Branch Library, 300 N. Buena Vista St.

Due to a reduced number of aircraft operations and the use of quieter aircraft, the recently updated noise exposure map contours for the airport have decreased since they were last developed in 2000.

Based on the decreased contours, the Federal Aviation Administration is requiring the airport to revise the eligibility boundary for its program where residents can have their homes soundproofed to reduce the impact of noise from the airport.

Residents can also submit written comments after the hearing and they must be submitted before April 17 to be included with the transcripts of the hearing and be considered in evaluation of the program.

Comments can be sent to Mark D. Hardyment, director of transportation and environmental programs, Bob Hope Airport, Part 150, Bob Hope Airport, Part 150 NCP Comments, 2627 Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505, or email at mhardyment@bur.org.

Source: http://www.burbankleader.com

Dreamliners' missing seats prompt Boeing to park 787s in desert

CHICAGO — Boeing is temporarily storing two new 787 Dreamliner jets in California's Mojave Desert, usually a resting place for decrepit aircraft, as it works through a seat shortage that has caused production hiccups since late 2014.

The measure is intended to help Chicago-based Boeing speed Dreamliner deliveries to American Airlines and resolve snarls caused by late-arriving premium seats from France's Zodiac Aerospace. Seatmakers are struggling to keep pace with surging airline demand for luxury berths as costly as Ferraris.

For Boeing and Airbus Group, on-time lie-flat seats are crucial because they can require extensive rewiring, ductwork changes and reinforced cabin floors. When deliveries run late, planemakers may be forced to remove fittings such as galleys and lavatories so the berths can be installed, said Gary Weissel, managing officer with Tronos Aviation Consulting Inc.

"There is frustration," Weissel said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. As planemakers boost output to work through a record order backlog and airlines refurbish older jets, "you have this huge volume of seats required."

Boeing's parked 787s were to have been the third and fourth for American Airlines Group Inc., said Matt Miller, a spokesman for the carrier. Since the jets are still awaiting the Zodiac seats, they will need the same laborious retrofits that delayed the handover of American's first two 787s to early 2015 from late last year.

"It's slow, it's a real problem," American Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said last week in Washington after a U.S. Chamber of Commerce speech. "We can all complain about seat manufacturers, but we can't fly the airplanes without proper seats. It is really disappointing."

One of the jets is stored in arid Victorville, California, and "the other will be down there shortly," Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, said in a phone interview.

Airlines and lessors often use storage yards in Arizona and California's Mojave Desert to park older planes in reserve or for parts, because the low humidity lessens corrosion.

Boeing also sent 787s to Victorville temporarily for flight tests and repairs while resolving production setbacks that contributed to a three-year delay in the plane's 2011 commercial debut, said Uresh Sheth, who tracks Dreamliner output on his AllThings787 blog. The jets being stored for American left the factory on Nov. 24 and Dec. 23, Sheth said Friday in an email.

To lessen the disruption for Fort Worth, Texas-based American, Boeing decided to set aside the mostly completed jets for now and focus on 787s later in the production schedule that could be delivered without major rework, Miller said.

Boeing is flight-testing a 787 for American that Miller expects to be delivered within weeks, and loading premium berths onto another Dreamliner for the carrier as the jet is assembled in the planemaker's wide-body factory in Everett, Washington.

The two stored jets will eventually be flown back to the Seattle-area plant when ample seats arrive, Miller said. He said American doesn't expect the juggled deliveries to affect the 787's planned early June debut on overseas routes. American, the world's largest airline, is taking 42 Dreamliners for its wide- body fleet.

First-class cabin seats typically cost $150,000 to $300,000, Weissel said, for their blend of custom cabinets, in- flight entertainment, massage motors and cushioning to protect passengers in a crash. "These are incredibly complicated machines," he said.

The lingering seat shortages are creating headaches for Boeing and Airbus as the planemakers work to increase production of the 787 and Airbus's A350. Those jetliners, the first to incorporate carbon composites in their hulls, are popular with carriers for their fuel-savings and with passengers for higher cabin humidity that lessens the effects of jet lag.

The Dreamliner has been the most affected by delays at Plaisir, France-based Zodiac as seat orders overwhelmed the company's engineering resources, CEO Olivier Zarrouati said during a March 19 earnings call.

"The best sell is obviously and most significantly impacted -- the 787, for instance," Zarrouati said. "And basically delays follow a similar pattern to our sales pattern."

Boeing has sent about 150 employees to Zodiac's plants to help resolve seat manufacturing and delivery issues, said Howard Rubel, a New York-based analyst with Jefferies. He described the setbacks as "temporary" and expects fixes to be completed by May.

"We have a plan with Zodiac and we're currently working together on improving that," Pat Shanahan, Boeing's senior vice president for airplane programs, said by e-mail. "Between the Boeing personnel on site and Zodiac's own team, progress is being made."

Original article can be found here: http://www.chicagotribune.com

Officials putting final touches on Keesler air show




BILOXI -- Keesler Air Force Base's air strip was bustling with activity Friday as officials there worked on final preparation for the weekend's air show and open house.

Staff set up exhibits of aircraft old and new, and one by one, performers took to the sky for rehearsals. After rain Thursday grounded some incoming aircraft, exhibitors were still flying in on Friday as well.

Beginning Saturday, tens of thousands of people will fill the base to watch planes soar and tour exhibitions on the ground.

"This is a way for us to showcase our Air Force and showcase our airmen," Brig. Gen. Patrick Higby said. "It's to tell our community thank you, inspire our airmen to be greater airmen and inspire the community to think of the Air Force as a partner."

There will be 16 aerial demonstrations and 27 exhibits along the runways.

On the air strip Friday, Col. Mark Novak, along with his crew, was preparing his Douglas A-26 for the next day's show.

Novak, a retired air force pilot, said he enjoyed doing the air shows because they kept him active and involved with the Air Force community.

The plane was a model used in the final years of World War II and during the Korean War and in Vietnam, he said.

"It's part of the commemorative Air Force," he said. "We remember the men who flew and the women who built the aircraft and we teach the next generation about them."

There will be performances throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, but the two headliners will be the Army Golden Knights parachute team, which will perform mid-morning both days, and the Air Force Thunderbirds, which will fly mid-afternoon.

The performance at Keesler will be the Thunderbirds' first air base show of the 2015 season.

The Thunderbirds, though a demonstration team, nonetheless are a microcosm of the Air Force, Higby said,

"because we think of just the jet and the pilot.

"But none of these jets will launch without a whole team of airmen that do everything from forecasting the weather to pulling the maintenance on the avionics to pulling maintenance on the engine to fueling and defueling the jet. It is a total team effort."

Watching that team effort, Higby hopes, will inspire both the military men and women stationed at Keesler and potential recruits who attend the open house.

This will be the first air show at Keesler in four years after budget cuts put open houses on pause, and officials said they are excited to have the public back.

Several officers recalled their own experiences as children going air shows and how they were inspired.

"I was excited," Command Chief Harry Hutchinson said. "It was the first time I'd seen an aircraft flying. I was very young but I can tell you, I still remember it."

Doors for the airshow will open at 9 a.m. and performances will start at 9:45 a.m.

There will be no parking on base but shuttles will run most of the day. Officials recommend visitors avoid bringing large bags but small items, small umbrellas and small strollers are allowed. Because it is a secure base, no weapons may be brought on base.

Officials said they just want the surrounding Coast community to see what goes on at Keesler every day.

"It is a display of air power," Hutchinson said. "Air power is what we do and we do it very well."

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

Bob Cornell: There wasn’t a plane he couldn’t fly

Obituary
Bob Cornell
1940-2015

We lost our cowboy Bob on March 19th, 2015 to lymphoma. Bob Cornell was a man’s man, who was blessed with five daughters; however, along with the daughters, it was the sons and grandchildren he acquired through those marriages that made his world complete. His family was his pride and joy. He went out with a valiant fight, spending his final weeks driving “Hannah’s Hoe” to clear some space in his beloved apple orchard, preparing for a new barn. 

There wasn’t a hat that didn’t fit, from Captain’s to Cowboy’s. There wasn’t a plane he couldn’t fly, a horse he couldn’t ride, a boat he couldn’t sail, or a tractor he couldn’t fix with a few colorful words and some duct tape.

He gave his children and grandchildren his love for the outdoors, spending family time in the Trinity Alps at his beloved Mountain Meadow Ranch. He developed lifelong friends at the ranch and his antics became legendary up and down Coffee Creek Rd.

He made life-long friends from high school, college, flying, farming, and in and around all towns. As his good friend Jeff Toothaker said, “He made a friend wherever he went.” The stories heard over the years will forever be in our memories. His intense presence in our lives will be profoundly missed; however, he gave us wings - may we fly as high and as brightly as he did.

Bob Cornell was born on November 24th, 1940 in Bishop, Ca to Wilton and Hazel Cornell. He grew up in Bishop and graduated from Bishop High School in 1958. Bob attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1964 he was hired by United Airlines and started his career in aviation. He enjoyed flying professionally for 37 years, retiring in 2000, but continued flying general aviation, out of both Bishop and Watsonville, before, during, and long after his professional career ended. 

He was part of the Retired United Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Thee Club Club, and the Quiet Birdmen. A recent hobby he took on was motorcycle riding. He loved to take road trips “with the boys,” as he would say.

Bob passed peacefully at his home in Aptos surrounded by family and his good friend Jeff Toothaker. 

Bob was preceded in death by his Grandparents, Bessie and Elworth Taylor and Marie and Herman Cornell. He was also preceded in death by his father Wilton Cornell. 

Bob Cornell is survived by his beloved wife Hannah Cornell, his sister Marjorie Schaefer, his mother Hazel (Taylor) Cornell, and five daughters, Susan Cornell, Marjorie Duffner, Jennifer Ward, Kirsten Bula, and Bobbi Cornell. Bob Cornell is also survived by his six Grandchildren, RJ Duffner, Taylor Duffner, Mackenzie Duffner, Jackson Ward, Gabriella Ward, and Grace Bula. He is also survived by his Aunt Betty Nikolaus, and cousins Dennis Nikolaus, and Kris Nelson.

Bob is also survived by his son-in-laws, whom he considered his own, Dirk Duffner, Brent Ward, Brendon Bula, and future son-in-law Brent Colasurdo.

The family would like to thank all the people who supported us during our Dad’s battle with cancer. We feel so fortunate that so many helped him fight the fight. We would like to thank all of the doctors who cared for Bob, especially Dr. Karen Harrington, Dr. Wu and nurse practitioner Kellye Campos, for never giving up hope. 

A celebration of Bob’s life is planned on Saturday, April 25th 2015 beginning at 3:00 p.m.at the Benito and Azzaro Pacific Garden Chapel, 1050 Cayuga St. Santa Cruz, Ca 95062, to be followed by a reception at the Cornell family home in Aptos. Bob Cornell will be laid to rest in Bishop, Ca.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be sent to The Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, P.O. Box. 4072 Pittsfield, Ma. 01202, or your local Hospice organization.

Source:  http://www.register-pajaronian.com

Incident occurred March 27, 2015 at Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH), Houston, Texas



HOUSTON -- An Austin-bound plane made a safe emergency landing at Bush Intercontinental Airport Friday afternoon.

The US Airways Express Flight 5568 reported low oil pressure and engine trouble so it was diverted to Houston. 

Emergency crews were readied on the tarmac, but the plane landed without incident.

Houston Fire Department officials say one engine wasn't working, but the plane suffered no obvious damage.

Passengers were being placed on other flights headed to Austin.




HOUSTON -   A US Airways plane with engine trouble landed safely Friday evening at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

US Airways Flight 5568 landed with only one functional engine shortly after 6 p.m. 

The engine in question had an oil pressure issue.

The aircraft stopped just off the runway and was surrounded by fire trucks.

The plane then taxied toward a gate.

The FAA said the flight was headed to Austin, but was diverted to IAH due to the problem.

We're told there were at least 80 people on board.

Story, comments and photo: http://www.click2houston.com

Pilot Sues JetBlue for Allegedly Letting Him Fly While Mentally Unfit • Clayton Osbon, whose behavior diverted a flight three years ago, says the airline had evidence of his condition

JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon, shown in chair in March 2012, sued the airline, saying it permitted him to fly despite what he claims was evidence of his mental-health problems. 
Photo: Reuters




The Wall Street Journal
By Jack Nicas
March 27, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET

A JetBlue Airways Corp. pilot whose erratic behavior diverted a U.S. flight three years ago sued the airline on Friday for permitting him to fly despite what he claims was evidence of his mental-health problems.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, relates to a New York-to-Las Vegas JetBlue flight on March 27, 2012, in which the pilot, Clayton Osbon, told his co-pilot that “we need to take a leap of faith” and that “we’re not going to Vegas,” among other bizarre actions, according to federal investigators. The co-pilot locked Mr. Osbon out of the cockpit and diverted the flight to Texas, where federal authorities charged Mr. Osbon with interfering with the flight crew.

A federal judge in Texas later found Mr. Osbon, 52 years old, not guilty by reason of insanity.

The suit comes as European authorities investigate the mental health history of a Germanwings co-pilot who they allege deliberately crashed a jet into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. The Germanwings co-pilot was being treated for depression, which he concealed from his employer, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing a person familiar with the investigation.

Mr. Osbon’s suit claims breach of contract and negligence by JetBlue for allowing him to fly on the day of the incident despite evidence that he was suffering from mental-health issues. He is seeking more than $14 million from JetBlue.

JetBlue said in an email that while it couldn’t discuss the specifics of the case, “we stand behind the heroic actions of the crew, who followed well-established safety and security procedures.”

Mr. Osbon said in the filing that he suffered from a “complex partial brain seizure” and that his actions before the flight—including missing the preflight meeting and struggling to complete the preflight checklist—should have made clear he was mentally unfit to fly.

Mr. Osbon was one of JetBlue’s first pilots, hired shortly after the airline formed in 2000. Shortly after the incident, then-JetBlue CEO Dave Barger said that he knew him “personally for a long period of time and there’s been no indication of this at all in the past.”

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Incident occurred March 26, 2015 in Wellford, Spartanburg County, South Carolina



WELLFORD, SC (FOX Carolina) -   Five passengers are safe after a single-engine plane landed on Highway 29 in the Wellford Area on Thursday evening. 

Spartanburg County dispatchers confirmed that the plane landed near Wild Oaks Drive.

Witnesses said it was a Cessna and that the people on board are accounted for and safe. 

Several people watched as it landed on the usually busy highway.

Wellford police confirmed all 5 passengers were safe and said the plane was completely in tact. 

The pilot told FOX Carolina they were headed to the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston when they had engine trouble and decided to land at Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, but they were not able to make it and landed on the highway. He said they are a skydiving team coming from Ohio. 

The pilot said he was able to land without touching any nearby trees. 

FOX Carolina has a crew at the scene. 

Watch an interview with the pilot on The Ten O'Clock News. 

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





Air Tractor AT-400, N136DB, Devil Dusters Inc: Accident occurred March 26, 2015 at Levelland Municipal Airport (KLLN), Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N136DB


NTSB Identification: CEN15LA182 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, March 26, 2015 in Levelland, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2015
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 400, registration: N136DB
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff on a postmaintenance test flight, the flight controls felt “stiff.” The pilot flew a traffic pattern and intended to conduct a precautionary landing on the runway. However, after the pilot turned the airplane to the final leg in the traffic pattern, the airplane started to roll left. While attempting to level the wings, the pilot observed the left aileron traveling up and down. During the landing, the airplane bounced twice, rolled left, and then cartwheeled. 

The airplane had undergone extensive maintenance throughout the year before the accident, and, during this maintenance, maintenance personnel reinstalled the ailerons. The accident flight was the first flight following this maintenance. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the hardware that attached the long aileron pushrod to the aileron bellcrank was not present, and the hardware was not found at the accident site; therefore, it could not be determined whether new or existing hardware was installed during the recent maintenance. However, given that the flight control malfunction occurred immediately following the extensive maintenance, it is likely that maintenance personnel either did not install the attachment hardware at all or did not install it properly, either of which would have resulted in the loss of airplane control and subsequent impact with terrain.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The in-flight separation of the left aileron's attachment hardware at the connection between the long aileron pushrod and the left aileron bellcrank. Contributing to the accident was maintenance personnel’s improper installation of, or failure to install, the left aileron attachment hardware.

On March 26, 2015, about 1455 central daylight time, an Air Tractor Inc., AT-400 airplane, N136DB, was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing on runway 35 at the Levelland Municipal Airport (KLLN), Levelland, Texas. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which without a flight plan.. The airplane was registered to and operated by Devil Dusters Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a post maintenance test flight. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, he was asked by HSI Turbine to "test fly" his airplane which they had just rebuilt. During a ground run of the engine an issue with the throttle linkage was found and corrected. The pilot conducted a preflight of the airplane and did not note any issues. After restarting the engine, the pilot went through his preflight checklist including verification that the flight controls were free and correct. The pilot did not discover any discrepancies during the preflight check and the takeoff roll was uneventful.

As the airplane leveled out on the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern, the flight controls felt "stiff." The pilot elected to land the airplane and have the flight controls examined. During the downwind and crosswind legs of the pattern the flight controls continued to feel stiff. After turning to the final leg in the traffic pattern, the airplane started to roll to the left. The pilot attempted to level the wings at which time the flight controls "became loose" and the pilot observed the left aileron "flopping" up and down. The right aileron continued to work correctly.

While trying to land on runway 35, the airplane bounced and rolled to the left. On the second bounce the pilot added power to try and regain control of the airplane. The airplane immediately rolled to the left and the left wing impacted the ground. The airplane cartwheeled and came to rest to the west of runway 35. The empennage, fuselage, and both wings were substantially damaged.

According to the pilot, he had purchased the airplane as a "wreck" in Minnesota. It did not have an engine or propeller and had damage to the right wing and landing gear. He brought the airplane to HSI Turbine during the summer of 2014 to have it repaired. According to the owner of HSI Turbine, the right wing was sent to Air Tractor to be repaired. Several mechanics and mechanic's assistants worked on the airplane and during interviews, they recalled that it was a long project that they worked on sporadically over the winter and spring. All of the mechanics and assistants reported using the maintenance manuals provided by Air Tractor to guide all of their work. All of the mechanics and assistants reported using the existing hardware on the airplane to reinstall the wings and flight controls.

One assistant recalled helping to remount the wings on the airplane and recalled that was in October or November of 2014. Another mechanic recalled installing the ailerons in January of 2015. The maintenance on the airplane was signed off on just prior to the accident flight. Work orders for the airplane, provided by HSI Turbines, indicated that "new hardware" had been used for the installation of the horizontal stabilizer, elevator, rudder, and wings. Specific work on the ailerons was not documented in the work orders provided.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration and an investigator with Air Tractor examined the wreckage of the airplane. Control continuity to the elevator and rudder was confirmed. Separation points were consistent with overload. Control continuity was established to the right aileron control. All of the hardware was installed correctly and separation points were consistent with impact forces and methods used to recover the wreckage from the accident site.

Control continuity was established from the left aileron control, inboard to the long aileron pushrod. The hardware to connect the long aileron pushrod to the aileron bellcrank was not present. The mounting surface on the aileron pushrod was not damaged or elongated, consistent with the hardware not being present prior to the impact sequence. An examination of the remaining wreckage and accident site did not locate the missing hardware.

According to the Air Tractor AT-400 Owner's Manual and Parts Manual, an AN24-19A clevis bolt and an AN364-428 nut should be used to connect the pushrod to the bellcrank. The hardware should be torqued between 30 and 40 inch pounds.

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA182
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, March 26, 2015 in Levelland, TX
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 400, registration: N136DB
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On March 26, 2015, about 1455 central daylight time, an Air Tractor Inc. AT-400 airplane, N136DB was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing near Levelland Municipal Airport (KLLN), Levelland, Texas. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The post maintenance flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident, the airplane had not been operated or flown for 8 or 9 months due to major repair and maintenance. The preflight inspection and ground run-up did not detect any mechanical anomalies. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot felt a binding in the flight controls. The pilot elected to return to the airport and while maneuvering to land on runway 35, noted that the flight controls felt free and the left aileron was "flapping." During the landing the airplane bounced. The pilot added power and the airplane rolled to the right and impacted the ground. The empennage, fuselage, and both wings were substantially damaged.   





LEVELLAND — Becky Crockett said her husband was in Levelland getting work done on his small, single-engine plane before it crashed Thursday afternoon.

“He was just taking the plane out to check it out because it had gone in for some work,” said Becky Crockett during a telephone interview from New Mexico. “He said that an aileron (flap on the wing) was loose or had come off and he was trying to put it down as safely as he could but it didn’t go as softly as he would have liked.”

The pilot, who officials identified as 57-year-old Donald R. Crockett, of Artesia, New Mexico, was coherent when he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Levelland, said Cpl. John Gonzalez with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Crockett was the sole occupant of the plane, which crashed about 3 p.m., a mile south of Levelland on Highway 385.

The pilot was awaiting more test results from doctors Thursday evening, but Becky said her husband is doing well.

“They don’t know if they’re keeping him or moving him to another hospital for possible cracked vertebrate,” she said. “We’re just waiting to hear from him, what he wants us to do and what he needs us to do.”

Gonzalez confirmed Crockett had previously departed the airport when he noticed something was wrong and tried to land the aircraft at the airport in Hockley County.

“He turned around and tried to come back to land and apparently he was coming in for final approach,” Gonzalez said. “That’s when he came in and landed there and that’s where he crashed.”

An investigation report from DPS revealed the plane fell from the sky onto a field east of Highway 385. The plane skid west and struck a fence before skidding across U.S. Highway 385 to the west.

Pieces of the mangled plane could be seen on both sides of the highway Thursday afternoon.

FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Isham Cory said the plane had bounced off of a runway before sliding into the ditch.

The airplane is registered to Devil Dusters Inc. out of Artesia, New Mexico, according to the FAA. Crockett’s wife said he is president of Devil Dusters Inc.

William J. Fitzgerald, an aviation safety inspector with the FAA, was at the scene of the crash Thursday afternoon taking photos for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Fitzgerald said an NTSB official will be en route to Lubbock Friday to continue investigating the crash.

He said the aircraft Crockett was in is “notoriously rugged,” and pilots are required to wear helmets while flying.

“The pilot did remarkably well surviving that,” Fitzgerald said.

Becky Crockett said her son-in-law was with her husband at the hospital Thursday evening.

“(My husband) was concerned, of course, with what might be the problem but he sounded really good,” Becky said. “We’re appreciating everybody’s prayers.”

Story, video and photo gallery:   http://lubbockonline.com



LUBBOCK, TX -- Officials confirmed that a plane went down one mile south of Levelland along U.S. Highway 385 near the municipal airport. The pilot, Donald R. Crockett, 57, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. DPS said Thursday evening the current status of the pilot was not known. The tail number of the plane indicated it was owned by a company called Devil Dusters in Artesia, New Mexico. 

Levelland Police issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

Today (March 26th, 2015) at 2:58 p.m. the Levelland Police Department received a 911 call in reference to a plane crash just south of the city of Levelland, Tx. near the Levelland Municipal Airport.

We're happy to report that the pilot was attempting to get himself out of the wreckage at the time the officers arrived. The pilot (who's name is being kept until DPS has released it) was taken to the E. R. for injuries but was reported at that time to be doing well.

The road will be closed on South Highway 385 just South East of the RV Park until Texas DPS has opened the roadway.

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