Monday, March 30, 2015

Air Canada, Airbus A320-200, C-FTJP, Flight AC-624: MacGillivray Law to file class action lawsuit • Second lawyer, Ray Wagner, says his firm is considering a class action lawsuit as well

A Nova Scotia law firm says it will be filing a class action lawsuit representing passengers on board Air Canada Flight 624 that crash-landed Sunday morning in Halifax and a second firm confirms they are meeting with a passenger Tuesday.

MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law says it was instructed to file a lawsuit by an individual who is seeking damages for physical and psychological trauma. The firm says it has also been consulted by a number of other passengers on the flight.

Ray Wagner with Wagners - a Serious Injury Law Firm, confirmed Monday evening that he is meeting with a passenger from the flight Tuesday and has been in contact with another passenger.

He also said he is working with two law firms out of Toronto that have experience with lawsuits dealing with airline crashes. 

MacGillivray Law says their class action will likely be against Air Canada, Halifax International Airport Authority and Nav Canada.

MacGillivray Law says it believes Air Canada has already contacted some passengers with a compensation package, with more details expected about it later this week.

Story and comments:  http://www.cbc.ca

Medical and Safety Experts Say They Lack Tools to Identify Suicidal Pilots • Experts say regulators and carriers don’t have dependable, scientifically tested methods to pinpoint suicide hazards

The Wall Street Journal
By ANDY PASZTOR,  SHIRLEY S. WANG and  SUSAN CAREY
Updated March 30, 2015 9:17 p.m. ET


Pilot suicide has long been recognized as a potential danger in aviation, but medical and safety experts say they still lack reliable tools to identify or track aviators at greatest risk of hurting themselves or others.

To be hired, commercial pilots typically must pass psychological screening, personality tests and physical examinations. But once they start flying passengers, the experts say, neither regulators nor carriers have dependable, scientifically tested methods to pinpoint suicide hazards unless individual pilots come forward voluntarily or exhibit obvious signs of mental disorders picked up by supervisors or fellow employees.

As a general rule, “tests work to screen out people before they get the job, but the science isn’t there yet to predict” suicidal personalities after that, according to Terry von Thaden, chief executive of Illumia, an advisory firm that assesses the corporate culture of airlines and other companies. “There simply aren’t any good predictors.”

Investigators are examining the background, including mental-health issues, of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who prosecutors believe intentionally flew an Airbus A320 into a French mountain range last week, killing himself and 149 others. Mr. Lubitz is suspected of withholding information from the airline about his mental condition and treatment. A German prosecutor Monday said he had undergone psychotherapy because of suicidal tendencies before obtaining his commercial-pilot license.

In the U.S., each time someone seeks a medical certificate to start or continue flying, he or she must answer questions from the Federal Aviation Administration about health conditions ranging from fainting spells to diabetes to epilepsy. The form also asks about “mental disorders of any sort,” and names depression, anxiety, substance dependence or abuse, and suicide attempts among other specific examples. In addition, pilots are required to list all health professionals they have seen for the past three years, by name, address, type of doctor and reason for the visit.

Once pilots are hired, however, experts say periodic medical checks often have only a cursory focus on mental health issues and therefore generally aren’t useful in predicting suicidal tendencies.

Guohua Li, director of Columbia University’s Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention, described current medical standards for airline pilots as “outdated, inadequate and inconsistent,” especially regarding mental health assessment. “These standards need to be updated, strengthened and made internationally compatible.”

One complication experts cite: changes in employee-management relations at U.S. carriers, which now make it harder for senior supervisory pilots to be aware of personal, financial or psychological stresses that may particularly affect specific aviators.

In the past, chief pilots at each employee base viewed a big part of their role helping to “manage, mentor and support their people,” according to John Marshall, another consultant who previously ran the safety organizations at Delta Air Lines Inc.

As a result, chief pilots sometimes could offer counseling or support. “That function has kind of evaporated,” Mr. Marshall said.

A full-scale psychiatric assessment of every airline pilot each year, however, would be time consuming and put most pilots under unnecessary stress. Extensive examinations needed to pick up suicidal tendencies could take several hours and “wouldn’t make sense for the airline industry as a whole,” said Rob Bor, a specialist in clinical aviation psychology in London.

Predicting suicidal behavior becomes especially difficult if there are negative consequences for speaking up, such as airline pilots who almost certainly would be grounded if they acknowledged such thoughts, according to Dr. Matthew Nock, a Harvard University professor who studies this area.

Previous history of psychiatric diagnosis isn’t enough to judge current suicide risk, according to an FAA report on suicides by private pilots published last year. A pilot’s current physical and mental state—including sleep pattern, mood, energy level and concentration—needs to be considered, according to the report. But according to experts, regular medical checkups for U.S. airline pilots on average last about half an hour, and physicians performing those federally-mandated exam often aren’t trained and don’t feel competent to delve deeply into mental health issues.

Some large U.S. carriers, including Southwest Airlines Co., have contract provisions that allow the company to send pilots for additional physical or mental screenings if the situation warrants. And most airlines rely to some extent on the observations of other pilots and flight attendants about the stress level, flying performance or behavior of a pilot. Fellow aviators can make confidential safety reports, or, in the extreme, report the questionable behavior to their union safety officials or the company.

Before the current debate over mental health issues affecting cockpit crews, some experts already were devising enhanced techniques to help physicians spot pilots with depression, anxiety or other disorders. The Aerospace Medical Association developed more-detailed assessment tools and posted them on its website, part of a campaign to shed light on psychological hazards the organization says have received short shrift from for FAA-designated medical examiners.

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

Bell 206L-1: Accident occurred March 30, 2015 in Saucier, Harrison County, Mississippi

Stephen Stein, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, concerning the helicopter crash in Harrison County on Monday. Stein said his team arrived Tuesday morning to begin their on scene investigation and to gather perishable information.




A pilot from Blanchard, Okla., and a U.S. Forest Service worker from Wiggins were unable to get out of a crashed helicopter after it caught fire in the De Soto National Forest, but another forest worker managed to get out and survive, authorities said,

The pilot killed in Monday's crash in the Success community in north Harrison County has been identified as Brandon Ricks, 40, of Blanchard, Okla. The U.S. Forest Service worker killed was Steven W. Cobb, 55, of Wiggins.

Harrison County coroner Gary Hargrove said both were found inside the Bell 206 L1 helicopter after the crash was reported about a mile from Airey Town Road at 2:57 p.m.

Autopsies show Ricks died of smoke inhalation and Cobb of blunt force trauma, Hargrove said.

Authorities said the helicopter is owned by T&M Aviation of Oklahoma.

The details were released Tuesday in a press conference at the Mississippi Highway Patrol complex in Biloxi.

The survivor's name has not been released.

Hargrove said the man underwent surgery Monday night at the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile. His condition was downgraded from critical to serious but authorities have not been able to talk with him yet.

The helicopter crashed along a 30-foot path and hit a number of trees, said Stephen Stein, air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. The crash site is east of Mississippi 67 and U.S. 49.

The wreckage will likely be removed Wednesday outside the view of the media and the public.

Officials have said the pilot and forest workers had been monitoring a controlled burn of about 800 acres along the Harrison and Stone county lines.

Stein said the helicopter had taken off from the Wiggins Airport. It is unclear if the pilot was communicating with anyone before the crash.

A NTSB team arrived at the crash site Tuesday along with team members from the Federal Aviation Administration, inspectors, aircraft engineers and manufacturers' representatives, he said.

The team will gather and document the scene with photographs before turning over the wreckage to a secure facility for further investigation, Stein said.

Part of the initial investigation includes questioning witnesses. Stein said the Forest Service and Harrison County Fire Service have been helpful with that, as well as other aspects.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the NTSB at witness@ntsb.gov or (202) 314-6000.

"Once the wreckage has been recovered, we will begin to investigate the man, the machine and the environment," Stein said.

Investigators will compile information about the pilot, his training and flight proficiency, and they'll examine the aircraft, its component history and maintenance records. Stein said the probe also will consider lighting and weather conditions, environmental factors and archived radar data.

A preliminary report with initial findings will be available on the NTSB website within five to 10 business days.

Stein said it could take up to 12 months to complete the investigation. About 60 days later, the NTSB board will release a brief report and probable-cause report.

"During the course of the investigation, if we find any systematic deficiencies at all concerning the man, the machine or the environment, the board will move to issue a safety recommendation … designed to prevent future similar accidents," Stein said. "Safety is our primary mission."

He said the helicopter was built in 1980.

"On behalf of the NTSB, I'd like to offer deepest sympathies and most sincere condolences to the families and friends of those involved in the accident," Stein said.

Mario Rossilli, Forest Service public affairs spokesman, said members of the state agency feel the loss.

"It has hit a lot of us really right here," he said, placing his hand over his heart. "We're coping."

Greta Boley, Forest Service national director for Mississippi, said the agency appreciates a show of concern and prayers from across the nation and in South Mississippi

"We are hurting right now," Boley said.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com


WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

 HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - We now know the names of the victims in that fatal helicopter crash that claimed two lives in Harrison County Monday.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said the pilot, Brandon Ricks, 40, of Oklahoma died of smoke inhalation. The other man killed in the crash, Steven W. Cobb, 55, of Wiggins died of multiple blunt force trauma. 

Hargrove said Cobb worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Ricks worked for T & M Aviation out of Oklahoma. 

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and representatives from the helicopter company that crashed in the Desoto National Forest are all in Harrison County. They're digging through the wreckage, learning as much as they can about the Monday afternoon helicopter crash that killed two people.

Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan is assisting the investigators with their initial assessments. "It's a thorough, long-term investigation to look at all factors and interview everybody who may have information," Chief Sullivan told WLOX News.

The helicopter was assisting with a prescribed burn near the Harrison County/Stone County line when it suddenly crashed into a wooded area off Highway 67. Nearby witnesses said right before the crash, they heard the helicopter overhead, and it sounded like it was having engine troubles.

Rescue crews rushed one victim to an ambulance, and then to a Life Flight helicopter. At last check, that person was in serious condition at USA Medical Center in Mobile, Alabama.










SAUCIER -- Two people are dead and one is severely injured after a U.S. Forest Service helicopter crashed Monday near the intersection of Airey Tower and Martha Redmond roads.

Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan confirmed two of the helicopter's occupants died in the crash, and authorities are still working to remove their bodies from the wreckage.

"We received a call at 2:57, I believe," Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said. "And the call that we received of course was that a helicopter was down."

The crash site is roughly a mile southwest of Airey Tower and Martha Redmond roads.

Sullivan said he believes the aircraft was a contract helicopter being used by forestry personnel to monitor a control burn in the area.

"There were crews on the scene immediately," he said. "These guys who work forestry are professionals. They train in first aid, they train for eventualities like this, so from that standpoint, that's an asset to the person that was injured."

He said the sole survivor of the crash suffered severe trauma and was taken by helicopter to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.

Eddie Baggett, prescribed fire specialist for the Forest Service, said the three on the helicopter were contract workers.

"We lost radio contact and somebody called me on the radio and said we may have an incident," Baggett said. "Usually, I'm talking to them all the time. We've got an ambulance on the way."

Baggett lost contact with the crew shortly before 3 p.m.

A LifeFlight medevac helicopter arrived near the scene about 4 p.m. and landed in a clearing just off Martha Redmond Road. EMT units with American Medical Response were seen transporting one of the victims into the helicopter.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be leading the investigation, Sullivan said.

The controlled burn today involved 800 acres right at the Harrison and Stone county lines.

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















Horry County airports finding ways to increase revenue

Horry County Council members are exploring more competitive airplane fuel prices, a more aggressive approach to leasing land owned by Horry County and improving facilities at the county’s four airports as talks of selling three of its airports have subsided.

The Horry County Department of Airports saw a $152,000 loss last year operating its three smaller airports — Grand Strand Regional in North Myrtle Beach, Conway and Loris. The department also runs the area’s largest airport, Myrtle Beach International, which is the only one that operates at a profit.

“With the exception of Myrtle Beach, they’re all losing money,” said Council Chairman Mark Lazarus at the council’s spring budget retreat last week. “The decision has got to be made at some point, do we really want to keep Conway? Is it a necessary component? Or do we want to give the opportunity there for private developers? We’re building T-hangars there now, so you’re going to see some incomes come up there.

“We’re going to have to figure out the right model for Loris, if we continue, or do we sell Loris? We may look at selling Loris and Conway and operate with all of our forces into the two other ones.”

But a report from Pat Apone, director of the Department of Airports, changed the tone of the conversation as she outlined the department’s recent strides to get the smaller airports making a profit.

Councilman Al Allen, who is also a pilot, said he has seen the changes at Conway airport, including an adjustment to make fuel prices more competitive with Columbus County (N.C.) Municipal Airport, which is known for its low airplane fuel prices.

“They have done an excellent job at the Conway airport and I’ve seen a lot of changes compared to our past leadership in the airports,” Allen said. “They are starting to attract some of that traffic away from the [Columbus County] airport and they are folks who are flying, looking for the cheaper fuel when they come there that see there is so much more to offer when they come to Conway airport than in Whiteville (N.C.) They don’t have a maintenance facility, they don’t have any hangars available and we have all of that.”

In North Myrtle Beach, the airport was built during World War II by the Air Force, and was first known as the “Wampee Flight Strip.” It was closed after World War II and turned over for local government use by the War Assets Administration, according to the city of North Myrtle Beach.

Aviation company Ramp 66 had run the 427-acre airport since 1978. In 2013, the county signed off on a plan to buy back the last seven years of the lease on the airport and took back management. Money used to buy out the contract came from $2 million the airport received from a sale of land. The move came after Ramp 66 was not able to find a private buyer. So, the county stepped in and used existing fuel and hangar contracts to obtain lower costs with the Grand Strand Airport. It also plans to see reduced liability insurance offered to governments by the state.

Shortly after acquiring the Grand Strand Airport, it began the North Ramp Apron reconstruction project and installed LEED lighting on the hangars to enhance safety and security.

Councilman Harold Worley said the county knew what would face when it took over control of Grand Strand.

“We chose to move forward with those renovations to bring those levels of services up and not necessarily to make money, but to give the highest level of services to try to bring in more business and economic development partners,” Worley said.

Apone said a recent uptick in military fueling sales has traditionally helped two of its airports.

“Both of these airports, [Myrtle Beach International] and Grand Strand, both have a history of making money off of military sales,” she said.

The county’s airport department has a tract of land near Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach and an 80-acre piece of land in front of the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Lazarus said he’d be interested in hearing what the airport could do with it.

“Come back to us with a plan,” Lazarus said. “I think we’ll be very receptive to it. You’ve got a lot of properties to deal with. You’re also taking the initiative of looking at leasing versus selling property in North Myrtle Beach, which would give us a continual revenue stream to help support the North Myrtle Beach airport, which I think is a good thing. We’re getting a lot of interest in that.”

“This administration is taking much better initiative, to me, than our prior administration has and I appreciate that,” he said.

Apone took over the department in September 2013 after the contract of Mike LaPiere, former director, was not renewed.

Lazarus said he was pleased with the direction the airport was going.

“I think the consensus is not to seek private industry to come in and operate, but maybe look at the private industry to build their own hangars and maybe lease some space,” Lazarus said. “I think they’re in the right direction.”

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

Amazon Hires Pilot-Union Executive for Drone Program • Sean Cassidy, former member of a TSA aviation-security advisory committee, to join Amazon

The Wall Street Journal
By GREG BENSINGER And  JACK NICAS
March 30, 2015 8:34 p.m. ET


In the latest sign of the importance of its drone program, Amazon.com Inc. has hired the former number-two executive at the Air Line Pilots Association to help with the project.

Sean Cassidy, an Alaska Air Group Inc. pilot and former member of a Transportation Security Administration aviation-security advisory committee, is joining Amazon to oversee “partner relationships,” according to his LinkedIn page.

An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed the hiring but declined to comment further.

Mr. Cassidy adds heft to the drone project, known at Prime Air. Amazon hopes to use drones to make unmanned deliveries within about 10 miles of a warehouse.

The Federal Aviation Administration this year issued proposed rules that would bar Amazon and other companies from testing drones beyond their line of sight, a setback to commercial applications.

The FAA recently approved an Amazon request to test drones outdoors in the U.S., but Amazon says the permission applies to an antiquated drone model.

To push for more open skies in the U.S., Amazon has threatened to move more of its drone operations overseas. Amazon recently let the Guardian newspaper visit its testing site in Canada, where regulations are more lax, and has been adding staff in the U.K.

Mr. Cassidy will be based in Washington, D.C., according to a copy of a letter he sent to colleagues from his union email account, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

As an executive of the pilots union, Mr. Cassidy was sometimes critical of drones. In February 2014, he told Politico, “We have to do everything possible to battle the idea that this is no different than flying a paper airplane in your backyard.”

Mr. Cassidy didn't respond to an email seeking comment. His hiring was previously reported by Politico.

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

Team Aerodynamix: Van's RV-6, N722DK and Van's RV-8, N8JL: Accident occurred March 29, 2015 at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (KTCL), Alabama

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA172A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, AL
Aircraft: MERIAN RICHARD F RV 8, registration: N8JL
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA172B 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, AL
Aircraft: KIGHT DANIEL H RV 6, registration: N722DK
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 29, 2015, about 1330 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-8, N8JL, and an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-6, N722DK, collided in midair while maneuvering over the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The RV-8 was substantially damaged and the RV-6 sustained minor damage. Both airplanes subsequently landed without further incident. The airline transport pilot of the RV-8 and the commercial pilot of the RV-6 were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed no flight plan had been filed for the local demonstration flight.

Both airplanes were part of "Team Aerodynamix" an air show team that was participating in the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.

According to initial information, at the time of the accident, two other airplanes were flying in formation at an altitude of 500 feet above runway 04/22, while the pilot of the RV-8 intended to circle around the two airplanes from behind. An additional group of team airplanes were flying in the opposite direction. While circling in a counter-clockwise direction, the RV-8 converged on the two airplanes flying in formation, and the propeller of the RV-6, which was flying on the right side of the formation, and the right elevator and horizontal stabilizer of the RV-8 made contact.

The pilot of the RV-6 reported that he was flying straight and level and focused on the airplane flying in formation on his left side, when the airplane began to experience a sudden severe vibration. Postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed that portions of the propeller were missing.

The pilot of the RV-8 reported that the maneuver had been practiced many times previously. He began rolling to the left while positioned about 4 to 5 airplane lengths behind the two airplanes. During his third roll, his airplane had overtaken the airplanes flying in formation during the final one-fourth to one-half of the roll. He observed one of the airplanes pass off his left and heard a "bang" at that time. Postaccident inspection of the RV-8 revealed that the outboard one-third of the right horizontal stabilizer, and the outboard two-thirds of the right elevator were separated.

The pilot of the RV-8 reported 4,000 hours total flight experience in single-engine airplanes, which included 2,000 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot of the RV-6 reported about 750 hours of total flight experience, which included about 150 hours in make and model.

JOHN M. HORNBECK III: http://registry.faa.gov/N722DK

JERRY L.  MORRIS:  http://registry.faa.gov/N8JL


Tuscaloosa County, AL (WBRC) -   The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an accident that occurred at the Tuscaloosa Air Show on Sunday.

Officials say two aerobatic aircraft, an RV8 and RV6, touched during a performance. Both aircraft landed safely.

One of the stunt planes lost part of its propeller after the mid-air collision, Lt. Andy Norris with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. 

No injuries or fatalities were reported. Deidre Stalnaker, a Tuscaloosa City spokesperson, says the accident happened around 1:20 p.m.


The event went through a brief delay after the accident.

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






Sunday, March 29, 2015

Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, N80462: Accident occurred March 29, 2015 near Cedar Mills Airport (3T0), Gordonville, Grayson County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N80462

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Gordonville, TX
Accident Number: CEN15LA183
Date & Time: 03/29/2015, 1600 CDT
Registration: N80462
Aircraft: BEECH 35
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 29, 2015, about 1600 central daylight time, a Beech 35 single-engine airplane, N80462, impacted terrain, after departing the Cedar Mills Airport (3T0), Gordonville, Texas. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and two passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross-country flight which was destined for the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (TYR), Tyler, Texas.

The pilot reported that he performed a soft field takeoff from the turf runway, and the airplane lifted off at an indicated airspeed of 80 mph. As the airplane neared the departure end of the runway, the pilot noticed the airplane was not climbing as expected, the indicated airspeed seemed unreliable, and the controls felt mushy and near stall speed. The airplane impacted trees and the roof of an unoccupied home. The airplane then impacted terrain, about 50 ft from the house and came to rest upright after impacting two propane storage tanks. There was no release of propane and there was no postimpact fire at the main wreckage.

Two witnesses observed the airplane depart from the runway. They stated that the airplane traveled quite a distance, or halfway down the runway before it became airborne. They added the right wing dropped, with one witness stating that he thought the airplane, "was going to crash right there". The witness stated he didn't think the engine speed was right and the airplane was slowly gaining altitude. The other witness reported that the airplane wasn't gaining any altitude and the engine sounded "strong" and did not cut out.

In a post-accident interview, the pilot stated that that it took longer than expected to get airborne because the ground was soft, but the engine was developing full power. Adding that he thought that a gust of wind hit the airplane, causing the right wing to dip and lose airspeed. He added that the windsock showed light and variable winds. The runway was lined with thick trees on both sides. He added that he considered doing a downhill takeoff toward the lake, but because of the possibility of a tail wind after passing tree line, he chose to do a soft field takeoff in the other direction.

The engine and airframe were examined by an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and technical representatives from the engine and airframe manufacturers. The exam noted that the landing gear was in the down position and the flap actuator corresponded to flaps up (retracted) position. The constant speed, two-bladed propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. One blade was twisted and bent rearward beginning about 8 inches from the hub. The other blade had chordwise scratching with a portion of the blade tip broken off. The engine received thermal and impact damage; however, no preimpact abnormalities were noted with the engine or airframe.

A review of aircraft maintenance records revealed the last annual inspection was conducted on November 21, 2014. The last weight and balance sheet was completed on June 18, 2013, with an airplane empty weight of 1,765 lbs. The maximum gross weight of the airplane is 2,500 lbs. Using the pilot's listed weight and 28 gallons of fuel on-board, the remaining useful load for the remaining three passengers and any cargo would be about 379 lbs.

The automated weather reporting station located about 10 miles southeast of the accident site recorded wind from 210 degrees at 9 knots, gusting to 15 knots.

3T0's runway 7/25, is described as a turf/grass runway 3,000 ft long by 60 ft wide. Runway 7/25 is surrounded by trees on three sides, and a lake on the departure end of runway 7. The chart supplement notes: 40 ft and 80 ft trees north and south of runway 25's centerline.

A review of the airplane's pilot operating handbook (POH) revealed that take-off performance charts did not have a correction factor for grass/turf runways. The POH was not required to have the correction factors.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/16/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2014
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2165 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1513 hours (Total, this make and model), 2044 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N80462
Model/Series: 35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: D-62
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/21/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 19 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4608 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: E-228-8
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 225 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGYI, 749 ft msl
Observation Time: 1555 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 136°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 15°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots/ 15 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gordonville, TX (3T0)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: TYLER, TX (TYR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: CEDAR MILLS (3T0)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 640 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Wet
Runway Used: 25
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  33.837500, -96.816111 (est)

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA183 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Gordonville, TX
Aircraft: BEECH 35, registration: N80462
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 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 29, 2015, about 1600 central daylight time, a Beech 35, single-engine airplane, N80462, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain during initial climb at Cedar Mills Airport (3T0), Gordonville, Texas. The pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight which was destined for Tyler Pounds Regional Airport (TYR), Tyler, Texas.

The pilot reported that during his soft field takeoff from the turf runway the airplane had lifted off at an indicated airspeed of 80 mph. As the airplane neared the departure end of the runway the pilot noticed the airplane was not climbing as expected, the indicated airspeed seemed unreliable, and the controls felt mushy and near stall speed. The airplane then impacted trees and the roof of an unoccupied home. The engine separated and fell inside the home which resulted in a structure fire that substantially damaged the home. The airplane impacted terrain about 50 feet from the burning home and came to rest upright after impacting two nearly full propane storage tanks. There was no release of propane and there was no postimpact fire at the location of the main wreckage. Several persons at another nearby home witness the impact and responded immediately to assist the four occupants to exit the wreckage.



GORDONVILLE, TX -- Four people were injured when their plane crashed Sunday afternoon in Grayson County.

The single engine plane clipped a home in the 300 block of Greenbriar Road in Gordonville just after four Sunday afternoon.

It was a typical Sunday afternoon for the Brattain family in the Shady Shores area.

"My father in law had just broken the water meter in front of the house,” said John Brattain. “So we had water spraying everywhere."

When all of the sudden

"I'm looking up over the top of the house and I see a wing or something flash,” said Brattain. “And I hear a crash, a boom."

That boom was a plane landing in the backyard of John Brattain's in laws.

Troopers say it was carrying four people: a man, a woman and two kids.

"I though it was coming through our house,” said Brattain. “It freaked me out."

After seeing his family was not hurt, John quickly sprang into action.

"I started yelling there's people, there's people!” said Brattain, who pulled the male passenger from the wreckage. “Call 911, there's a plane crash, there's people."

The plane had landed in between two propane tanks.

"I saw a guy hanging out the window of the plane,” said Brattain. “He had Plexiglas all over his head and neck. I really thought he wasn't with us."

Brattain's family then joined in and helped all four passengers out of the plane, when yet another problem arose.

"We noticed the house behind us started to catch on fire," said Brattain.

The plane's prop engine had broken off in the nearby building, the wreckage eventually starting a small fire.

Brattain quickly shut off the power and fought the fire with a neighbor until the fire department showed up.

"It didn't hit me how bad the plane was,” said Brattain. “All I saw was people and they were alive. And that's it, I just wanted to get the people out. It's a miracle their alive.”

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman, the female and male passengers are in serious condition tonight. We're told the two children's injuries are not as severe. 

The names of the victims are not being released. 

According to FAA records, the single engine plane is registered to Robert Gentry of Tyler, Texas.

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














GORDONVILLE, Texas -- A plane crashed into a house in Gordonville on Sunday, sending the four passengers to the hospital -- two were seriously injured.

It happened just after 4 p.m. a few miles from the Cedar Mills Airport, where the plane had taken off from.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the plane was a Beechcraft B35 aircraft.

The pilot has been identified as Robert Gentry and a passenger as 51-year-old Karen Christian.

The family, whose backyard became the scene of a plane crash, said they were enjoying their Sunday when the incident happened.

What they did next helped save the lives of the four people on board.

"I ran around the side of the house I thought the guy was dead hanging out the window of the plane."

Trooper Mark Tackett said the engine and propeller came off the plane, which struck an unoccupied home before the plane landed in a backyard.

"I looked out the window as it hit right there in my backyard," Rhonda Brogdon said. "I could see the wing hit the ground."

Brogdon and her family jumped into action. Pulling Christian and two teenagers from the plane.

"I jumped on the plane and helped the lady out of the plane," Belinda Burris said. "Her legs were broken and she was pretty beat up and my mom came and helped me get her out of there."

John Bratron, a family member of the homeowner's said he wasn't just worried about injures from the crash, the house the plane hit, had caught fire and the flames were creeping closer to Gentry.

"I had to get them out of it because there was fuel all over the plane," he said.

After everyone was safely outside of the plane, Braton and his family set their sights on the fire.

"I kicked in the front door went in and started spraying water on the fire," Braton said.

Christian was flown to the Medical Center of Plano with serious injures. Gentry was also taken to a nearby hospital with serious injures. The two teenagers had only minor injures.

Burris says without the help of her family things might not have ended the same.

"It wasn't a second guess for them," Burris said. "They just stepped in and made sure that they could do everything they could do, and I just wish that you know if I was ever in an accident that people would be like that for me."

Story and video:  http://www.kxii.com

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The 911 calls have been released surrounding a plane crash over the weekend that injured several Tyler residents. Bob Gentry, his girlfriend, Karen Christian, his daughter, Annie Gentry and her boyfriend, Collin Howell, were all aboard the small single engine Beechcraft 35 plane. It crashed in a backyard near Gordonville, just after taking off from Cedar Mills Airport Sunday afternoon.

Initial Call transcript:

Dispatch: “Grayson County 911. What is your emergency?”

Caller: “We've got a plane crash on Greenbriar in Gordonville. We need an ambulance, please hurry.”

Dispatch: “One sec, let me get you to Whitesboro. Where is it?”

Caller: “In Gordonville.”

Dispatch: “I know, where in Gordonville?”

Caller: “375 Greenbriar.”

Dispatch: “Okay, just a moment. We have an airplane crash 375 Greenbriar. I'm getting it over there. I'm getting you to Whitesboro, okay? Stay on the line. A small plane? How many people? Can you tell?”

Caller: “I don't know. We're running down there right now.”

Dispatch: “Okay.”

Caller: “Please hurry.”

Second call transcript:

Dispatch: “Grayson County 911. What is your emergency?”

Caller: “Yeah, we're in Sherwood Shores ma'am, we need people out here, nobody's showed up.”

Dispatch: “We've got them on the way, sir. They're volunteers and the closest ambulance is Whitesboro. They should be there in just a couple of minutes.”

Caller: “Tell them that we've got a house that's on fire now, too.”

Dispatch: “They realize that. We have transferred the information to Whitesboro. I can give you back to them again, just a moment.”

Caller: “Okay.”

Dispatch: “But they are aware.”

Caller: “We need ambulances bad.”

Dispatch: “We know, sir. We've got air ambulances on hold, too. Just let me get you to Whitesboro, just a moment.”

Caller: “Okay.”

Third call transcript:

Dispatch: “Grayson County 911.”

Caller: “We need the fire department and the ambulance out here to the paramedics out here to Sherwood Shores.”

Dispatch: “Where at?”

Caller: “We're on Greenbriar.”

Dispatch: “Oh, the plane crash?”

Caller: “Yes, ma'am.”

Dispatch: “They're on their way, sir.”

Caller: “Okay, well, we have some people that are injured real severely.”

Dispatch: “I understand that sir. We've got people en route.”

Caller: “Okay, thank you.”

The teens made it out uninjured and both adults are recovering from non-life threatening injuries. The FAA is still investigating the crash. 

The engine and propeller broke off when the plane hit the home, but an FAA spokesperson said that was likely not the cause of the crash. The pilot, Bob Gentry, is described as a highly experienced pilot who earned his commercial license as well as his instrument rating.

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N6842W: Fatal accident occurred March 29, 2015 near Brandywine Airport (KOQN), West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA171
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 29, 2015 in West Chester, PA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-140, registration: N6842W
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 29, 2015, about 1334 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N6842W, registered to and operated by a private individual, crashed shortly after takeoff from Brandywine Airport (OQN), West Chester, Pennsylvania. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal, local flight. The airplane was destroyed by impact and a postcrash fire, and the certified flight instructor and private-rated pilot were fatally injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The purpose of the flight was a flight review for the airplane owner, who had reportedly not flown since 2011. One witness on the airport reported hearing a rough running engine during a check of one magneto during an engine run-up, but the condition cleared up during a second magneto check after leaving the engine operating at a higher rpm for a period of time.

A takeoff from runway 27 was initiated, but by one witness account, the takeoff was aborted and the airplane was taxied off the runway at the second turn off. The witness did not hear any abnormal engine sounds associated with the aborted takeoff. The airplane was taxied to the approach end of runway 27, and no engine run-up was heard being performed. During takeoff, several witnesses reported hearing sputtering from the engine at a point when the airplane was about midpoint of the runway. The witness descriptions varied likely based on their locations in relation to the airplane whether the airplane was on the runway or just above it when the sputtering occurred. One witness who was located south of the runway described the sputtering as significant, while a second witness described it lasting 3 to 4 seconds while the airplane was only 2 to 3 feet above ground level. The nose of the airplane was observed to lower and engine power was heard to be restored.

The flight continued, and by several witness accounts, the airplane began to climb and the sputtering or popping sounds resumed. The airplane at that time by witness accounts was either ¾ down the runway, or west of the runway over 202. One witness did not observe any smoke trailing the airplane during the second sound of pops, and he could not tell if the engine continued to run. The airplane was observed struggling "to maintain altitude" with one witness stating the airplane never climbed higher than 200 feet. The airplane was observed by several witnesses in a left turn that steepened to what one witness described as wings vertical. The airplane was then observed to pitch nose down, and impacted the back yard of a residence. A postcrash fire began about 10 seconds after impact, which was extinguished by fire rescue.


Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


Joseph Deal, left, and Richard Poch
~



West Goshen police on Wednesday identified the two people killed in Sunday’s small plane crash in the township.

Richard Poch, 67, of West Chester and Joseph Deal, 64, of Drexel Hill, were killed in the crash, police said. Both men held active pilot certifications issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Shortly after taking off from the Brandywine Airport and flying over Route 202, the plane crashed into a field behind a residence in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane around 1:34 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Officials believe the purpose of the flight was to conduct a flight review, which is required of FAA-certified pilots every two years to keep their pilot certificates active. Poch, who was a retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, was also a certified flight instructor.

During a flight review, the pilot under review typically flies the plane, while the certified flight instructor observes and ascertains the pilot’s skills, so it’s assumed that Deal was flying the aircraft when it crashed.

Witnesses at the airport reported hearing the plane’s engine sputtering intermittently, and seeing the plane make a sharp turn before losing sight of it.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently investigating the crash, and a preliminary report is expected to be released next week, said Tim Monville, a senior air safety investigator with the NTSB.

Witnesses at the airport reported hearing the plane’s engine sputtering intermittently, and seeing the plane make a sharp turn before losing sight of it.

A sputtering engine might be caused by a problem in the fuel supply system, but an engine malfunction wouldn’t necessarily result in an aerodynamic loss of control, Monville said.

According to Richard Shaw, a retired certified flight instructor who lives in Chester Springs and used to own a Piper PA-28 Cherokee similar to the one Deal and Poch were flying, that type of plane is known for having problems with the fuel sump. If the sump isn’t pulled out correctly in a secure position, it can cause the engine to suck in air and sputter while flying in a nose-up position, such as during a takeoff, Shaw said.

It is not yet clear who owned the plane that crashed. The plane was almost completely consumed by a post-crash fire, and no registration markings were clearly visible on the plane, officials said.

“Joe was a kind soul and a wonderful man. … His passion for adventure was only outweighed by his love of family and friends, and his dedication to helping others,” Deal’s family said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with the instructor’s family and our sincere gratitude goes out to all the first responders and law enforcement involved.”

Deal was a Delaware County native and a graduate of Drexel University.

Poch’s family was not available for comment. His funeral services were held at Temple Sholom in Broomall at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Source:   http://www.dailylocal.com

More than 72 hours after a plane crashed in West Goshen Township, killing its two occupants Sunday afternoon, the Chester County Coroner’s Office has not yet publicly released the identity of the victims. 

Positive identifications of the victims were expected by Tuesday evening, said an employee at the Chester County Coroner’s office. The victims’ families would be notified after positive identifications have been made, but the victims’ names likely wouldn’t be released to the public until sometime on Wednesday, the employee said.

The autopsies of the victim’s bodies were performed Monday afternoon, and forensic dental examinations were expected to be completed by Tuesday evening, said Chief Joseph Gleason of the West Goshen Police Department. Due to the severity of the conditions of the bodies, positive identifications of the victims could not be made without forensic dental examinations, Gleason said.

After the victims’ families had been contacted and notified of their deaths, the West Goshen Police Department, along with the Chester County Coroner’s Office, would issue a press release with the identities of the victims; the press release would also be posted to the township’s website, wgoshen.org, Gleason said. “My priority is that the families are the first to know,” he added.

The National Transportation Safety Board was continuing its investigation into the crash, and investigators were examining the plane’s engine in a garage at the West Goshen Police Department, Gleason said.

The small plane had taken off from the Brandywine Airport and flown over Route 202, before crashing in a field in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane, near the Harrison Hills Apartments senior living complex, at about 1:34 p.m. Sunday.

Officials believe that both victims were pilots, and the purpose of the flight was to conduct a flight review, which is required of FAA-certified pilots every two years to keep their pilot certificates active.

Witnesses at the airport reported hearing the plane’s engine sputtering intermittently, and seeing the plane make a sharp turn before losing sight of it.

A sputtering engine might be caused by a problem in the fuel supply system, but an engine malfunction wouldn’t necessarily result in an aerodynamic loss of control, said Tim Monville, a senior air safety investigator with the NTSB. 

Investigators look for evidence at the scene of a fatal plane crash in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane in West Goshen on Monday.


West Goshen >> While the identities of the two people who died in a plane crash Sunday afternoon have yet to be determined, it’s believed that both victims were pilots, and the purpose of the flight was to conduct a flight review.

Tim Monville, a senior air investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, and Chief Joseph Gleason of the West Goshen Police Department spoke to reporters Monday afternoon in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane near the site of Sunday’s plane crash.

“At this point, we understand that the purpose of the flight was a flight review,” Monville said. Pilots who hold an active U.S. pilot certificate, issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, are required to undergo a flight review every two years; the flight review, which is commonly referred to as a Biennial Flight Review, or BFR, consists of a minimum of one hour of ground training and one hour of flight training with a certified flight instructor, according to faa.gov.

The small plane had taken off from Brandywine Airport and had flown over Route 202 before crashing in a field, county officials said Sunday. The West Goshen Police Department received a call about the accident at approximately 1:34 p.m. Sunday, Gleason said.

Police officers who initially responded to the crash site were unable to get close to it because it was an active-fire scene, Gleason said. West Chester Good Will and West Whiteland fire companies responded and extinguished the blaze. As a result of the fire, the victims’ identities could not be determined at that time, Gleason added.

Monville, who is assigned to the NTSB’s office in Ashburn, Virginia, said the NTSB was also notified of the accident Sunday afternoon. Monville arrived at the scene of the crash at about 7:10 a.m. Monday morning to begin the investigation, and was assisted by the West Goshen Police Department and representatives of the FAA, he said.

It’s believed that the two victims of the crash, who have not yet been identified, were FAA-certified pilots, Monville said. Autopsies of the bodies were scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, and the identities of the victims will likely be released Tuesday, Gleason said.

The plane was almost completely consumed by a post-crash fire, making it difficult to identify the plane and who owns it, Monville said. “I’ve not even seen an airplane data plate yet that would give a serial number yet, and there is no obvious registration marking on it (the plane),” he added.

“With respect to both occupants, we will be getting their backgrounds, along with investigating the maintenance of the airplane, who maintained it last,” Monville said.

Monville said he would be meeting with representatives of the airplane and engine manufacturers as part of the investigation, which the NTSB will be in charge of.

Upon completion of an investigation, the NTSB can issue safety recommendations but has no legal authority to implement those recommendations, Monville said.

According to a witness account, an engine run-up was performed by the pilot to conduct safety checks prior to takeoff, and the plane became airborne at the midpoint of the runway, Monville said. Another witness reported hearing the plane’s engine sputtering, and then regaining power before sputtering again, and observing the plane bank left before losing sight of it.

“Based on the accounts of a sputtering engine, we’re going to check the fuel supply system,” Monville said.

Although it’s believed that the plane’s engine was malfunctioning, that doesn’t necessarily mean the crash was caused by a stalled engine; more radar data would need to be gathered to determine that, Monville said.

“An engine malfunction, whether catastrophic or a minor power loss, does not equate to an aerodynamic loss of control,” he said. “As long as you maintain a certain airspeed, depending on the bank angle, the airplane will still be capable, should be capable of flying.”

The site of the crash is less than half a mile from the western edge of the runway; the plane went down near Harrison Hills Apartments, a 55-plus senior living complex.

There is no information available about the plane’s flight plan yet, but the FAA is looking into that, Monville said.

The NTSB will be investigating the site of the crash for the next several days, and a preliminary report will likely be issued next week, Monville said.

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



West Goshen Township Police Chief Joseph Gleason, left, and Tim Monville, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, walk from the site of a fatal plane crash in 1000 block of Saunders Lane in West Goshen on Monday. The plane crash, which occurred Sunday afternoon, killed the two people on board the plane. 



Investigators look for evidence at the scene of a fatal plane crash in the 1000 block of Saunders Lane in West Goshen on Monday. The crash, which occurred Sunday afternoon, killed the two people on board the plane.






WEST GOSHEN TWP. -- Two people are dead after a small plane crashed in West Goshen Township. It happened around 1:40 p.m. on Sunday after the aircraft took off from the Brandywine Airport. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, it was a Piper PA-28 aircraft that crashed at the intersection of Saunders Lane and Andrew Drive. The FAA says the aircraft departed from the Brandywine Airport. 

Federal Investigators are on the scene along with West Goshen Township police.  Authorities have confirmed that the pilot and a passenger, both males, are dead. According to local authorities, the plane sputtered in the air before losing control and crashing down. The cause is not yet clear.

"I didn't see anything but I did hear a bang earlier-- I guess when it happened. I looked up and I saw a pick-up truck coming up this road and then I saw three people get out and run into that yard--apparently a plane crash," a witness told FOX 29.

 FOX 29 reached out to the Brandywine Airport, West Goshen and Chester County officials; however, the identities of the victims have not yet been released.

The FAA is on the scene interviewing neighbors as part of the investigation.

This is a developing story, please stay with FOX 29 for updates.



FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

 WEST GOSHEN TWP. -- Two people are dead after a small plane crashed in West Goshen Township. It happened around 1:40 p.m. on Sunday after the aircraft took off from the Brandywine Airport. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, it was a Piper PA-28 aircraft that crashed at the intersection of Saunders Lane and Andrew Drive. The FAA says the aircraft departed from the Brandywine Airport. 

Federal Investigators are on the scene along with West Goshen Township police.  Authorities have confirmed that the pilot and a passenger are dead. According to local authorities, the plane sputtered in the air before losing control and crashing down. The cause is not yet clear.

"I didn't see anything but I did hear a bang earlier-- I guess when it happened. I looked up and I saw a pick-up truck coming up this road and then I saw three people get out and run into that yard--apparently a plane crash," a witness told FOX 29.

 FOX 29 reached out to the Brandywine Airport, West Goshen and Chester County officials; however, the identities of the victims have not yet been released.

The FAA is on the scene interviewing neighbors as part of the investigation.



Two people were killed when a small plane plummeted to the ground near a suburban Philadelphia airport Sunday afternoon, police said.

The plane -- a Piper -- crashed into a wooded area near Saunders Lane and Andrews Drive in West Goshen, Chester County killing both people on board around 1:45 p.m., officials confirmed.


It had taken off a short time earlier from the Brandywine Airport, which is roughly two miles from the crash site, police said.


Witnesses on the ground heard the plane's engine stuttering moments after it was in the air and then the plane crashed and burst into flames, investigators said.


Fire crews rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze. 


The identities of the victims have not been released and it's unknown at this time what caused the plane to crash.


Local authorities are investigating and the National Transportation and Safety Board is expected to take part in the probe.


Sources: 


http://www.myfoxphilly.com

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com

http://6abc.com

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com