Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fairfax One: ‘Ambulance in the Air’ • Close-up look at Fairfax County’s police helicopter

PFC Nick Taormina, a paramedic and police officer, talks about the Fairfax One helicopter.



Members of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) recently toured Fairfax County’s heliport, got to speak with a pilot and saw the Fairfax One helicopter up close.

It’s a twin-engine, Bell 429 and does both police and medivac missions for the county. And one of its pilots, PFC Nick Taormina, is a paramedic as well as a police officer.

“We go on several thousand police missions a year,” he said. “We try to find criminals, such as burglars, and search for missing children and adults. The aircraft has a camera, a spotlight and an advanced navigation system.”

It’s also equipped inside with a cot and medical equipment, including a defibrillator and a medical monitor that displays the patient’s vital signs. Said Taormina, “It’s like an ambulance in the air.”

Each time the helicopter flies, it’s staffed with a crew of three — the pilot and two flight officers — and all the flight officers are paramedics. “Paramedics take a year of classes to be certified,” said Taormina. “Then they undergo training with the aircraft for three months before they can go up in the air.”

Also inside the helicopter are various radios to communicate with fire and police personnel, air traffic control and hospitals. “We’ll alert a hospital about the condition of a patient we’re bringing in,” said Taormina. “Working together as a crew is key.”

Two mechanics are on duty to keep Fairfax One in tip-top shape. “And we have a second aircraft because we work 24/7,” said Taormina. “So one gets maintained while the other flies. We can get into the air two minutes after getting a call. We use road maps to find houses and exact addresses.”

He said they fly pretty low, at an altitude of about 1,000 feet, so they can see well with their camera. Certain factors determine when the helicopter is used to whisk people to hospitals, rather than an ambulance.

“It depends on the time of day — for example, if there’s an accident on I-66 in rush hour — and the severity of the injuries,” explained Taormina. “If there’s a burn injury, for instance, it’ll take us just 10 minutes to get to the Washington Hospital Burn Center in D.C.”

When having to land in a spot with heavy traffic, he said, “The Fire Department will close off the roads and establish a landing zone for us, although sometimes the police do it, too.”

The aircraft averages 160 mph and can fly in 35-knot ground winds. Two crews a day are assigned to it, each working a 12-hour shift. There are five or six pilots, plus 10 police flight officers.

“We’re involved in mutual aid with jurisdictions including Spotsylvania, Winchester, Prince William, Loudoun and even West Virginia,” said Taormina. “We’re the only police medivac helicopter from the Potomac to Richmond.”

Each crew receives two to three hours of flying time a day, going on four to five missions. The average call lasts an hour or two. “But we could be flying as much as 10 hours on a particularly busy day,” said Taormina. “We usually burn a gallon of gas a minute and, at any given time, we normally have 100 gallons [in the tank].”

He’s been with the Fairfax County Police Department’s helicopter division since 2008. The toughest part of his job, he said, is any accident involving really young children. Best, said Taormina, is “being able to fly around the area, loving aviation and doing both police and medivac work.”

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

Up for sale: Davis Islands house ABC rebuilt after fatal plane crash • Beechcraft 65-A90-1 King Air, Dynamic Aviation Group, N7043G



TAMPA — Seven years after Ty Pennington led the chorus of “Move that bus,” catapulting a corner house on Davis Islands into the national spotlight, the rebuilt structure is on sale with the owners asking a cool $889,000 for the two-story, four-bedroom home with a view of Hillsborough Bay.

The house has been on the market for a little over a week, said Century 21 real estate agent Gary Garrett, who said there should be no problem selling a house like this.

“It’s an excellent time to sell,” Garrett said.

No offers have been made yet.

“But we do have an awful lot of people looking at it,” he said.

Built in 1983, the home at 629 E. Davis Blvd. was reincarnated after an airplane from the nearby Peter O. Knight Airport slammed into it in June 2006, killing the pilot, severely injuring the copilot and destroying the house.

Owned by Thomas and Cynthia Tate, the house was chosen by “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” an ABC television show that gave hapless homeowners new digs for free.

The Tates, through some misfortune and paperwork glitches allowed their homeowners insurance to lapse, so Pennington, the frenetic host of the show, set his sights on making over the plane-damaged Tate house.

Thomas Tate was reluctant to discuss his decision to sell when reached Tuesday afternoon. He wanted to keep the sale out of the news

“Our kids are grown,” Tate said, “and we’re down sizing.”

Though the house came to the Tates free of construction costs, it does cost between $11,700 and $13,700 a year in taxes, according to records at the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser’s Office, which assessed the property at $368,039 with a fair market value of $657,844.

On the real estate website Zillow, which factors in comparable nearby sales, the house is valued at $734,000 to $1.2 million.

The rebuilt, 3,477-square-foot, two-story structure has ceramic tile and hardwood floors and is situated on a 78-by-110 foot lot. The project was unveiled in January 2007.

The property comes with one unusual feature: A memorial near the front steps of the house bearing the names of Steve Huisman, 41, of Bradenton, the pilot killed in the crash, and co-pilot Sean Launder of Sarasota, who was severely burned. A National Transportation Safety Board report blamed the crash on pilot error and a problem with propeller controls on the twin-engine Beech aircraft.

The landing gear was not deployed, a witness told the NTSB, when the plane struck a fence on the north side of the airport, then trees, a car and the house..

The property is listed on Century 21’s website, which gives details of the home, including the grim history:

“The moment you see this beautiful Davis Islands Mediterranean four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home you will appreciate the architecture, location and lush landscaping. Great views of the airport, walking path and water views of Hillsborough Bay and the channel. Featured on “Extreme Home Makeover” to replace the home destroyed in a freak plane accident.”

Story:   http://tbo.com

NTSB Identification: MIA06FA117
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, June 12, 2006 in Tampa, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Beech 65-A90-1, registration: N7043G
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 first officer reported that during cruise flight, both propeller secondary low pitch stop (SLPS) lights illuminated, indicating the SLPS system prevented both propellers from going below the low pitch hydraulic mechanical stop. The right occurred first, then the left approximately 1 minute later. Emergency procedures to correct the condition were ineffective. The right propeller feathered at some point during the flight, and the first officer reported that while operating single engine, they experienced a problem with the propeller governor. The flight proceeded direct to an airport with short runways approximately 3.2 nautical miles (nm) northwest of their present position, rather than to an air carrier airport located 8.5 nm away. The captain entered a close-in right base to runway 35 (2,688 feet long runway), while flying at 155 knots (51 knots above single engine reference speed). He turned onto final approach with the landing gear and flaps retracted, but overshot the runway. The airplane contacted a taxiway near the departure end of intended runway, and then collided with several obstacles before coming to rest at a house located past the departure end of runway 35. A postcrash fire consumed the cockpit, cabin, and sections of both wings. Postaccident examination of the airframe, engines, and propellers revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. No determination was made as to the reason for the annunciation of both SLPS lights.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The poor in-flight planning decision by the captain for his failure to establish the airplane on a stabilized approach for a forced landing, resulting in the airplane landing on a taxiway near the departure end of the runway. Contributing to the accident were the failure or malfunction of the primary hydraulic low pitch stop of both propellers for undetermined reasons, the excessive approach airspeed and the failure of the captain to align the airplane with the runway for the forced landing.

Robinson R44, HQ Aviation LLC, N30242: Accident occurred March 22, 2015 in Orlando, Florida

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA164
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 22, 2015 in Orlando, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2016
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N30242
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

Approximately 5 minutes after the pilot departed he told air traffic control that he wanted to return to the airport, but did not specify a reason. The pilot was unable to make it back to the airport and collided with trees, powerlines, and a residence. Post-accident examination of the helicopter found that the lower swashplate left forward attachment ear had no rod end hardware present. A review of the helicopter's maintenance logbook revealed there were no entries regarding the repairs to the main rotor system; however, the helicopter's journey log revealed that several flight tests had been conducted due to a track and balance issue with the main rotor blades. According the mechanic who performed the most recent maintenance to the swashplate, he did utilize the manufacturer's maintenance manual; however, he did not complete the work and the chief mechanic later completed the job. The chief mechanic did not make any entries into the logbook because he "forgot."

The inflight loss of control was most likely caused by the detachment of the left front push-pull tube from the lower swashplate due to the liberation of the attachment bolt. The cause of the bolt liberation could not be conclusively determined because the attachment hardware could not be recovered.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
An inflight loss of control due to the likely detachment of the forward left servo control tube upper rod end attachment bolt.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On March 22, 2015, about 1430 eastern daylight time, a Robinson Helicopter Company R44 II, N30242, impacted a two-story residence while maneuvering near Orlando, Florida. The private pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to a private individual and operated by HQ Aviation. The local flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed from Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida, shortly before the accident.

A review of voice transcriptions obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the pilot contacted the ORL air traffic control tower to request his takeoff clearance. The pilot received a clearance, for a downtown departure leaving from the operator's helipad. Approximately 5 minutes later the pilot contacted the control tower and stated that he wanted to return to the operator's ramp. There were no other transmissions made by the pilot.

Multiple witnesses reported hearing a loud helicopter flying low, which caught their attention. As they looked in the direction of the sound they observed the helicopter descending into a tree. One witness watched the helicopter's main rotor blades break apart as it descended through the trees. The helicopter subsequently impacted a power line transformer before colliding with the residence and erupted in flames. The witnesses called the local authorities and attempted to extinguish the fire.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 48, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter. A review of his logbook revealed he had a total flight experience of 124 hours, including 13 hours during the last 6 months. The pilot possessed a third-class medical certificate dated September 6, 2013, with no limitations or restrictions. Further examination of the pilot's logbook revealed he was signed off on August 9, 2014 for the special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) No. 73, which required him to have special training to operate the Robinson R-44.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The helicopter was a Robinson Helicopter Company model R44 II that was manufactured in 2007. It was powered by a Continental IO-540-AE1A5 engine, rated at 235 horsepower. The Hobbs meter was destroyed and per the journey log the last known recorded airframe total time was 1,267.5 hours on the day of the accident flight. The last annual inspection of the airframe and engine occurred on October 31, 2014, at an airframe total time of 1,092.1. The last recorded 100 hour inspection noted under discrepancies "rotated TR pitch links" on December 28, 2014, at an airframe total time of 1,186.1 hours. This was also the last maintenance entry made in the airframe logbook.

Though no recent maintenance entries were noted in the helicopter maintenance logbook, there were entries in its journey log (flight log of every flight) that several maintenance flights were conducted in support of attempts to track and balance the main rotor blades. The maintenance flights were identified by (MX or MTX) in the journey log. The first flight was conducted by another pilot on March 1, 2015, and the pilot stated that the MX flight was conducted for a track and balance of the main rotor blades. The next MX flight was conducted on March 6, 2015 and March 11, 2015, by another pilot who stated the flight was conducted for a track and balance of the main rotor blades. The last MX flight was conducted on March 15, 2015, and was signed off by the operator to show that the work was completed.

In a telephone interview, the mechanic who performed the most recent track and balance of the rotor blades stated he performed the job in accordance with the R44 Maintenance Manual section 10.230, the tail rotor in accordance with section 10.240 and the fan in accordance with section 6.240. He said that he did not complete the work and the chief mechanic later completed the job. The chief mechanic stated that he was not clear where the previous mechanic had finished the previous day. Further interviews with the chief mechanic, revealed that he performed the last check and reading of the track and balance of the main rotor blades. He also mentioned that he replaced the belt tensioning actuator gear motor on March 10, 2015, but "forgot" to make all of the entries in the helicopter's maintenance logbooks.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at ORL, at 1453, included winds from 240 degrees at 10 knots; 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 4,900, temperature 30 degrees Celsius (C), dew point temperature 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

Examination of the accident site revealed that the helicopter came to rest on the top floor of a two-story residence, about 3 miles northwest of ORL, and on a 360 degree magnetic heading. The wreckage debris field was about 50 yards in circumference. All flight control surfaces were located at the accident site. Examination of the wreckage revealed that a post-impact fire was concentrated within the second story of the building where the helicopter came to rest. A postcrash fire had consumed a majority of the wreckage. The main rotor mast, head, and gearbox were found separated from the main wreckage and within the debris field.

Examination of the cockpit and cabin section revealed that the instrument console was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The collective and anti-torque pedals were found within the wreckage. The mixture was found within the wreckage in the full rich position and impact damaged. Examination of the flight control system revealed that is was fire and impact damaged. At the lower swashplate, the left forward attachment ear had no rod end hardware present, and could not be located. The rod end was present at the top of the left push pull tube, which was found within the wreckage.

The swashplate and push pull tube with the attached rod end were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination. The examination of the lower swashplate attachment lug bolt holes were examined for indications of damage or deformation. The side of the lug that butted up against the rod end was referred to as the "rod end-side" of the lug and the other side was referred to as the "opposite side." The rod end-side of the front left push-pull tube attachment lug exhibited an outward deformation along the outer lower portion of the bolt hole. There were no other notable features on the front left lug nor were there any signs of deformation on any of the other lugs.

Examination of the hydraulic control servos revealed that they were intact and the two forward servos had bends in their shafts and could not be moved. The aft servo piston was free to move when force was applied. The tail rotor pitch change slider was free to slide along the tail rotor gearbox output shaft.

Examination of the driveline revealed that the drive belts were completely burned away but displayed belt residue in the grooves of the upper and lower sheaves. The belt tension actuator was fractured between the anti-rotation scissors. The upper and lower actuator bearing were fire damaged. The lower bearing did not rotate when force was applied. The upper bearing rotated but dragged when force was applied. The sprag clutch was fire damaged and did not rotate. The forward flex coupling, main rotor gearbox input arm and main rotor gearbox was fractured. Further examination of the main rotor gearbox revealed that it was fire damaged. The main rotor gear box did not rotate and the mast tube was fractured. The main rotor shaft was bent and fractured. The droop stops and droop stop tusk were intact and in place. There was scoring on the main rotor hub just inboard of the pitch change housings.

Both main rotor blades were accounted for at the crash site. One main rotor blade was intact and impact damaged. The rotor blade was bent downward and approximately 33 inches from the coning bolt and the spar was fractured. The blade was distorted over the span of the blade and scored on the lower surface.

The opposite main rotor blade was fractured and scored on the lower surface. Examination revealed it was bent upward from the coning bolt and approximately 12 inches further outboard bent downward. The spar was fractured in two areas on the rotor blade; 70 and 104 inches from the coning bolt. The blade spar had a forward bend at the outboard separation. A section of the skin and honeycomb separated from the spar at the bend. The main rotor blade was sent to the NTSB Material Laboratory for further examination, and examined for indications of fatigue failure. The pieces consisted of an approximately 95-inch long section of blade from the outboard tip to a fracture through the spar at the inboard end and a smaller piece of the blade consisting of the trailing edge, upper and lower skins, and honeycomb core. The small piece was separated from the rest of the blade by a chordwise fracture approximately 80 inch from the blade tip and a longitudinal fracture that proceeded inboard just aft of the spar. The deformation and fracture features on the blade were visually examined. The blade exhibited an aft bend that extended from the blade tip to the approximate position of the chordwise fracture, buckling of the upper and lower skins, and a comparatively severe forward bend at the inboard end. The fracture at the inboard end of the spar was located at a circular hole in the spar and exhibited 45° inclined fracture surfaces, consistent with an overstress fracture. No evidence of fatigue was observed.

The intermediate flex coupling was intact but impact damaged. The tail rotor driveshaft was separated a few inches forward of the tail rotor driveshaft damper. The tail rotor driveshaft damper bearing was fire and impact damaged and was not free to rotate. The friction linkage was intact, but separated from the tail cone and the linkage pivots were fire damaged.

The tail boom was separated from the main fuselage, and displayed fire damage. The tail rotor control tube was fractured at the fuselage, and remained attached to the tail rotor gearbox. The vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer were impact damaged and remained attached to the tail boom. The tail rotor blades were undamaged and remained intact to the gearbox. The aft flex coupling was intact. The tail rotor gearbox was intact and free to rotate, and contained blue oil.

Examination of the fuel system revealed that it was fire and impact damaged. The main fuel tank was not recovered. The auxiliary tank was distorted and the fuel cap was not recovered. The fuel tanks were not bladder-style tanks and were ruptured. The main fuel tank flexible outlet line was breached, but intact on the fuel valve. The fuel valve was in place and in the partially closed position. The gascolator was intact and was removed for examination and no debris was found in the fuel screen. The remaining fuel lines were fire damaged, but the fittings remained.

Examination of the engine revealed that when rotated by the cooling fan, continuity to the rear gears and valve train was confirmed. Compression and suction were observed on all four cylinders. Further examination of the engine revealed that the bottom of the sump was fire damaged and the fuel servo was not observed or recovered. The flow divider was intact and the fuel injector nozzles were removed and examined. The fuel injector nozzles were unobstructed. The engine driven fuel pump remained attached to the engine and was impact damaged. Examination of the magnetos revealed that they both remained attach to the engine. The left magneto was impact damaged, but when rotated by hand it sparked on all towers. The right magneto was fire damage and did not rotate. The top spark plugs were removed and top spark plugs and the electrodes were undamaged. The bottom spark plugs were not removed and examined using a borescope. The bottom spark plug electrodes were undamaged an oil soaked. Examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the State of Florida District Nine Medical Examiner, Orlando, Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot, with negative results for drugs and alcohol.

















NTSB Identification: ERA15FA164
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 22, 2015 in Orlando, FL
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N30242
Injuries: 3 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 22, 2015, about 1430 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R44 II helicopter, N30242, impacted a two-story building while maneuvering near Orlando, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to a private individual and operated by HQ Aviation, Orlando, Florida. The local flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed from Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida, shortly before the accident.

Multiple witnesses reported hearing a loud helicopter flying low which caught their attention. As they looked in the direction of the sound they observed the helicopter descending into a tree canopy. One witness watched the helicopter's main rotor blades break apart as the helicopter descended through the trees. The helicopter subsequently impacted a power line transformer before it collided with a building and exploded into fire. The witnesses called 911 and attempted to extinguish the fire.

Preliminary review of air traffic control radar data and voice transcription revealed that the pilot requested a downtown departure. The helicopter departed ORL on a westerly heading and approximately 5 minutes into the flight the pilot requested to return to the airport. This was the last recorded transmission from the pilot.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in charge revealed that the helicopter impacted the top of a two-story building about 3 nautical miles northwest of ORL on a 360 degree magnetic heading. The wreckage debris field was about 50 yards in circumference. All flight control surfaces were located at the accident site. Examination of the wreckage revealed that a post-impact fire was concentrated within the second story of the building where the helicopter came to rest.

The cockpit section of the helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and post-crash fire. The main rotor mast, head and gearbox were found within the wreckage debris field.


A preliminary report on a College Park helicopter crash that killed three people was released by the National Transportation Safety Board Tuesday. 

The report said that several witnesses reported hearing a loud helicopter flying low.

According to the report, witnesses said they saw the Robinson R44 helicopter flying low and descending into a tree canopy just before the March 22 crash.

One witness reported that the helicopter's main rotor blades broke apart as it descended through the trees, according to the report.

According to the report, the helicopter struck a power line transformer before hitting a house and exploding into fire around 2:40 p.m.

"The impact was a very solid, 'Boom,' and then dead silent," neighbor Donn Carr told a Channel 9 reporter shortly after the accident.

The report said that the helicopter piloted by Bruce Teitelbaum, took off from Orlando Executive Airport and about five minutes later Teitelbaum requested to return to the airport. That was the last communication from the helicopter, the report said.

Teitelbaum, his wife, Marsha Khan, and passenger Harry Anderson died in the March 22 crash. No one in the house was injured in the crash.

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




































Zodiac CH601 XL, N623HS, Light Sport Ventures LLC: Fatal accident occurred March 31, 2015 in Pleasanton, Linn County, Kansas

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA187
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Pleasanton, KS
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DVLPMT CO CH601XL, registration: N623HS
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 31, 2015, about 1540 central daylight time, an Aircraft Manufacturing and Development CH601XL N623HS, collided with trees on takeoff and crashed at a private airstrip in Pleasanton, Kansas. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post-impact fire. The airplane was registered to Light Sport Ventures LLC, Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by the pilot of Stilwell, Kansas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident

There were two witnesses to the accident --- the airport owner-manager (who is a retired airline pilot and flight instructor), and an airplane mechanic. Both witnesses stated they observed the airplane lift off in a nose-high attitude. They were unsure if the tail struck the ground. They said the airplane appeared to be "behind the power curve" and never did get out of ground effect. There was a slight right crosswind and the airplane drifted left of the extended runway centerline before colliding with trees at the end of the runway. The airplane fell to the ground inverted and caught fire.

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.

http://registry.faa.gov/N623HS


 

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Two men from the metro area that died in a plane crash Tuesday near Pleasanton, Ks., had a love of flying. 

Friends and neighbors of 57-year-old Brian Decker say they’re stunned to learn that he was a passenger on that plane.

Also killed in the crash was the pilot, 67-year-old Herbert Siegel of Stillwell, Ks. Siegel had been a prominent dentist in Kansas City for more than 30 years.

Patients traveled from as far away as Higginsville, Mo., and Smithville, Mo., to see him.

Decker was a hard-working home builder from Independence. He too was a pilot. And the two men also shared a love of horseback riding.

“My wife called me this morning and told me Brian had passed away in this airplane wreck it shocked the hell out of me,” said Mike Sambursky, who’s known Decker for 35 years. “I’m still kind of shocked over it because you don’t expect it. One day you’re here, and one day you’re not.”

The Zodiac 2-seater aircraft belonged to Siegel and is considered a kit plane. Friends say Siegel called the plane “Ducky” after his mother. FAA records indicate this model has had issues, and the government required modifications before it could be certified to fly.

The FAA says the plane crashed shortly after takeoff when it hit a tree. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause.











PLEASANTON, KS (KCTV) -    Two people have been killed in a small plane crash near Pleasanton, KS, Tuesday afternoon.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is on scene and says it happened on South Ross Lane near East 1175th Road in the Linn County city. 

The National Transportation Safety Board said the crash involved a Zodiac CH601XL.

The publisher and editor of the Linn County News said the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from a private airstrip. Jackie Taylor arrived at the scene about 4:30 p.m. to find the Kansas Highway Patrol and other agencies battling flames.

She said it's a small community and everyone knows everyone, especially in the flying community. 

“Everyone's freaking out that it's someone they know,” Taylor said. 

The type of aircraft that crashed is a Zenith model, an experimental plane. It's a small aircraft that someone would build themselves. The FAA has to approve it and comes out to inspect it at various points during the building process, especially before the first flight. 

A local pilot says it takes about a year or longer to build an experimental plane such as this type. She said they are very safe and not much different than an aircraft coming off the assembly line. 

Pleasanton is located just over 60 miles south of the Kansas City metro. 

Source: http://www.kctv5.com




PLEASANTON, Kan. —Two people have been killed in a plane crash in Linn County, Kansas.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said it happened in a rural wooded area just north of the city of Pleasanton Tuesday afternoon.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the crash involved a Zodiac CH601XL. 

Zenith Air's website describes the model as recreational kit aircraft that seats two people.

The FAA said the plane took off from a private airstrip, struck a tree and crashed. It did not have any information about the people on board.

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

Federal Aviation Administration Fines Southwest $328,550 Over Two Safety Issues • Dallas-based airline says it followed proper procedures

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday proposed fining Southwest Airlines $328,550 for not properly inspecting a plane that lost cabin pressure and made an emergency landing and, in a second case, putting off repairs and not accurately logging them.

The airline said it did nothing wrong.

On May 13, 2013, a Southwest jet made an emergency landing in Baltimore after losing pressure during a flight from Boston to St. Louis.

But according to the FAA, mechanics never conducted a mandatory inspection to check for damage and to replace used oxygen bottles. The same plane went on 123 flights before the inspection was completed on June 3.

In a separate case, on March 18, 2013, an Air Tran Airways plane operated by Southwest experienced a problem with ice and water coming from its galley vent, the FAA said.

Over the next few weeks, crews deferred fixing making repairs by improperly claiming an exemption and did not follow FAA-approved maintenance procedures, which include detailing the issue in the plane’s logbook. The plane flew several times before the problem was fixed, the safety agency said.

In the first case, the government fined the airline $265,800. In the second incident, the fine was $62,750.

In a written statement, Southwest said it did not violate FAA rules.

“Upon discovery, each repair was appropriately addressed in accordance with applicable regulations,” the statement said. “These items were fully resolved some time ago.”

Asked if the airline would appeal the fine, Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said, “Southwest has requested a meeting with the FAA to discuss each proposed penalty.”

Just last year, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Southwest over $12 million in penalties, which was the second-largest fine ever imposed by the FAA.

In that case, the airline was accused of flying 44 planes on more than 30,000 flights in violation of safety rules.

At the time, Southwest said it looked forward to defending its safety record in court.

The case, filed in federal court in Seattle, is still pending.

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

Piper PA-46-500TP, N53369: Incident occurred at Sterling Municipal Airport (KSTK), Colorado



Pilots are known for saying "any landing you can walk away from is a successful landing."

And that was the case Sunday night when a small, Sterling-based aircraft went off the runway at the Sterling Municipal Airport a little before 8 p.m.

According to City Manager Don Saling, the small plane was returning from a trip to Wyoming and experienced a flat tire on its nose gear while landing. Saling said the plane ended up going off the west side of the runway, and the propeller hit the ground, but neither the pilot or one passenger on board was injured.

Saling said the airport had to close the runway overnight until equipment from Greeley arrived to move the plane. 

The runway was swept clean before reopening at about 10 a.m. Monday morning.

The Sterling Fire Department, Sterling Police Department, Logan County Ambulance and Logan County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, along with airport manager Pat O'Brien. 

Photographs were taken of the accident scene to be sent to the National Transportation Safety Board, but Saling said that because there were no injuries, he didn't anticipate an in-depth investigation would be required.

Story and photo:  http://www.journal-advocate.com

N53369 LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N53369

Regis#: N53369
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Highest Injury: None
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

AIRCRAFT LOST CONTROL AND VEERED OF RUNWAY.

Report details planned Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport (KBRO) expansion



The Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport recently released a draft environmental assessment for a new passenger terminal and runway expansion.

Contractor CH2MHill prepared the 164-page assessment, which details the planned airport expansion.

The Brownsville-South Padre Island airport’s terminal would expand from about 35,000 square feet to about 55,000 square feet, according to the assessment. Along with the new terminal, the airport would add a new parking lot with 400 to 600 spaces — replacing the current 236-car lot.

“We have a total of four gates,” said Director of Aviation Larry Brown. “When we are done with the new terminal it will be about twice the size it is at the present time.”

Workers would also lengthen the runway from 7,000 feet to 12,000 feet, which would allow the airport to handle larger aircraft and four commercial passenger planes at once, according to the assessment.

The Brownsville-South Padre Island airport counted more than 100,000 enplanements during 2013, according to the latest data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“I just come down here for the winter because this is the warmest place to be,” said Richard Rainsbarger, who vacations in Port Isabel every year.

American Airlines and United Airlines already serve the Brownsville-South Padre Island airport, and Allegiant Air plans to begin limited service to Las Vegas.

“It’s a small airport, but it’s growing,” Brown said.

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


Just Aircraft Highlander, N376CG, G-DAWG LLC: Accident occurred March 31, 2015 in Walhalla, South Carolina

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA174
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in Walhalla, SC
Aircraft: G-DAWG LLC JUST ACFT HIGHLANDER, registration: N376CG
Injuries: 2 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 31, 2015, about 1435 eastern daylight time, an experimental Light Sport Just Aircraft Highlander, N376CG, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain at a private airfield near Walhalla, South Carolina. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local business flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a witness, the accident flight was one of several flights performed to demonstrate the performance characteristics of the airplane to a potential buyer and his friend. The witness indicated that on the accident flight, the airplane was landing toward the east with a tailwind, and travelling faster than normal as it approached the runway. As the airplane descended toward the runway surface, the witness observed an increase in engine power, and the airplane subsequently "ballooned". Shortly thereafter the pilot "added full power" and the airplane began to climb and flew over a 2-story building located about 100 ft east of the runway, along its extended centerline. The airplane then struck trees adjacent to the north side of the building before it impacted the ground in a wooded ravine.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for single engine land, single engine sea, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on July 3, 2013. He reported 6,500 total hours of flight experience on that date.

Satellite imagery and geographical information system data indicate the turf field was approximately 450 ft long by 60 feet wide, and oriented roughly east-west. The elevation at the west end of the field was about 900 ft, and the east end about 950 feet.

The nearest weather reporting station was located at Oconee County Regional Airport, about 10 miles east of the accident location. About the time of the accident, it reported clear skies, visibility 10 miles, winds from the west at 12 knots gusting 21 knots, temperature 79F, dewpoint 36F, altimeter setting 29.92.

http://registry.faa.gov/N376CG

The man and woman who were injured in the crash of a small plane near Walhalla on Tuesday have been identified. 

Gary Schmitt, a partner in Just Aircraft, and one of his customers, Ladonna Patterson, were hurt when the two-seat, single-engine plane crashed shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday about 3 miles south of Walhalla. Their identities were released by an employee at Just Aircraft.

Just Aircraft has manufactured light sport aircraft at its Oconee County plant since 2004, according to the company’s website.

The plane carrying Schmitt and Patterson clipped some trees and went down in a wooded area as it approached the runway at Just Aircraft, which is at 170 Duck Pond Road, according to Oconee County Fire Chief Charlie King.

Schmitt and Patterson were flown in separate helicopters to Greenville Memorial Hospital after the crash.

Patterson was listed in good condition on Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said. No information was available on Schmitt’s condition.

http://www.independentmail.com




WALHALLA, S.C. —A small plane crashed in Walhalla Tuesday afternoon, injuring two people on board.

Charlie King, fire chief of Oconee County, said 911 dispatchers received a call around 2:29 p.m. regarding reports of a crash of a small plane at 170 Duck Pond Road. 

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, Oconee County Emergency Services, Fire and Rescue units and paramedics from Oconee Memorial Hospital were dispatched. 

The first fire units arrived on the scene around 2:36 p.m., King said.

When officers and officials arrived on scene, a small two-seat plane was discovered down an embankment in a wooded area behind Just Aircraft. 

First responders were able to rescue a man and a woman from the airplane.  Both were injured, but were alert and talking with officials at the scene.

Two EMS helicopters, Life Line from AnMed and MedTrans for Greenville Memorial Hospital, transported the injured man and woman.

King said it is believed that the plane was coming in for a landing and clipped some trees on its approach and crashed in the wooded area.   

The area was secured and the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

Story and photo:  http://www.wyff4.com


Mooney M20K 231, N231DC: Accident occurred March 31, 2015 near Hawley Municipal Airport (04Y), Minnesota

Officials at the Hawley Municipal Airport say they will reopen fuel pumps on Wednesday and start selling fuel again. They voluntarily closed the pumps after a single engine plane stalled mid-air after filling up on Tuesday. The pilot made an emergency landing on Highway 10, crashing into a car.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. FAA spokesperson tells Valley News Live that testing the gas is part of the investigation and they can't reveal how long the test will take. They said a report should be released in a few weeks. Preliminary reports take about ten days and a formal report can last up to a year.

Hawley Airport Manager Lisa Jetvig says they received a call from the FAA saying they took three samples of fuel from the plane and all came back with no contamination.

"They (FAA) saw no reason to test the fuel at the station, since they found no contamination in the samples," said Jetvig.

Airport officials say they made 23 fuel sales in March and were a little busier. Jetvig attributes the sales to the weather.




Incident  Description: A single engine private plane took off from the Hawley airport heading west with Minot, ND being a destination. At about 1000 feet, the engine quit and the pilot had to turn and find an emergency landing spot. Passenger in the plane along with the pilot located a clear spot on Highway 10 eastbound at MP 19. The plane made a successful emergency landing on Highway 10 eastbound. The Ford Fusion was eastbound on Highway 10 in front of the plane. After the plane landed, it caught up to the Fusion. The driver noticed a plane behind her in her mirror as it was catching up to the car. The plane prop struck the rear of the driver’s side before she could drive into the ditch. No injuries were reported, and the plane was pushed off the roadway into a residential driveway. The NTSB and FAA are investigating. The FAA inspector from Fargo is already on-scene. The State Patrol was assisted by Clay County Sheriff's Department, Hawley Police Department, and the FAA. 

Report: https://app.dps.mn.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N231DC


 
A plane ended up landing on the highway after stalling mid-air near the Hawley Municipal Airport on Tuesday. After landing on the highway, the plane clipped a vehicle on Highway 10.


The Minnesota State Patrol says it happened about one mile west of the Hawley Airport. The plane took off from the airport heading west toward Minot, North Dakota.

The pilot tells Valley News Live his engine failed when the plane hit about 1,000 feet and he was trying to find a safe spot to land. He and his passenger spotted an open space on Highway 10, where they landed.

After the plane landed, it caught up to a vehicle driving on Highway 10. The driver of the vehicle says she saw the plane catching up to her in her mirror. The plane's prop hit the car before she could drive into the ditch.

The State Patrol crash report says the plane is a 1979 Mooney Aircraft Corp M20K. The vehicle belongs to Clay County.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist says no one was injured in the crash. Officials say, considering the circumstances, this is one of the best outcomes they could have hoped for.

The NTSB and FAA are investigating what caused the plane to stall. That includes testing fuel and fuel lines on the plane.

Story and video:  http://www.valleynewslive.com



It's not every day that the Minnesota State Patrol responds to a report of a small plane colliding with a car on a highway.

But that was what happened on U.S. Highway 10 east of Moorhead Tuesday morning, after a small plane was forced to make an emergency landing.  The plane had to land shortly after taking off from the Hawley Municipal Airport.

A woman said she noticed the plane in her rear view mirror, but was unable to move out of the way before the propellor sideswiped the car.  The incident left about ten slices in the side of the car, which is owned by the Clay County Health Department.

No one was injured.

Pilot David Gowan of Minot, North Dakota, tells KFGO Radio the incident happened after he took off from the airport in Hawley, where he picked up a passenger and refueled his 1979 single-engine Mooney.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

Source:  http://www.wdio.com


A plane trying to land at the Hawley, Minnesota Municipal Airport hit a vehicle on Highway 10. The Minnesota State Patrol says it happened about one mile west of the Hawley Airport in the eastbound lanes of Highway 10.

The State Patrol crash report says the plane is a 1979 Mooney Aircraft Corp M20K. Pictures from the scene show the vehicle belongs to Clay County.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist says no injuries have been reported. The pilot, who is from Minot says his engine failed in the air and he was trying to find a safe spot to land. He attempted to land on Highway 10 and says he did his best to avoid vehicles.

Officials say, considering the circumstances, this is one of the best outcomes they could have hoped for.




HAWLEY, Minn. - Authorities are on the scene of a downed plane that grazed a car headed east on Highway 10 west of here before landing on the highway.

Pilot Dave Gowan said he had just fueled up at the Hawley airport and was beginning his ascent to head home to Minot when his engine suddenly quit.

Lacking other options, Gowan said, he aimed for the highway - but grazed a car that was headed east below, hitting it with the small aircraft's propellor.

Both Gowan and the car's driver, a female Clay County employee, were unhurt in the crash.

The plane, a Mooney, has been towed to a nearby farmyard while Gowan awaits repairs.

Source:  http://www.wday.com



Illinois state airplane sale hitting turbulence again

This 1999 Beechcraft King Air airplane is among several the state of Illinois is trying to sell via online bidding. No bids have met the minimum $2.5 million reserve, and bidding closes Wednesday afternoon.




SPRINGFIELD — Another attempt to finish liquidating half of the state's fleet of airplanes appears to be headed down the same flight path as before.

With online bidding scheduled to close Wednesday afternoon, only one of the planes has received a bid, potentially leaving the state stuck with four of the planes it is trying to jettison.

Although some buyers could be waiting until the last minute to submit bids, the apparent lack of interest has Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration planning to investigate other ways to get rid of the aircraft.

"The governor is committed to selling the airplanes," said Meredith Krantz, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans to sell the planes last year. Under state law, equipment no longer needed by the state — from old police cars to out-of-date electronic devices — is offered to other units of government before it is sold to the public.

No local governments stepped forward.

In September, the planes were offered to the public via the state's surplus equipment bidding website, known as iBid.

After that first round of the eBay-style auction, only two of the smaller planes sold.

Unlike most auctions on the state's surplus equipment website, bidders seeking the airplanes must meet a base price level.

The minimum bid for a 1999 Beechcraft King Air 350, used to shuttle officials between Chicago and Springfield, is set at $2.5 million. No bids meeting that amount had been entered as of Tuesday morning.

The only plane receiving a bid through Tuesday was a 1978 Cessna Skylane with more than 1,400 hours on its single engine. The four-seater was previously used by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

It will cost a buyer more than $66,800.

Krantz said the state may consider other modes of selling the planes if the latest auction is unsuccessful.

"Maybe iBid is not the best platform to sell them," Krantz said.

Grounding the state's air fleet has been a popular topic among some lawmakers, who say the state doesn't need to spend millions of dollars maintaining multiple planes.

State Reps. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, and Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, both have campaigned on the issue of making do with fewer taxpayer-funded airplanes.

When the sales were announced, Quinn said the state could save as much as $7 million by reducing the air fleet.

Story and photo:   http://qctimes.com