Thursday, April 16, 2015

Metal fatigue causes plane crash • Five recommendations including tightening regulations made: Aerocomp Comp Air 8 Turbine, OH-XDZ, Suomen Urheiluilmailijat ry, accident occurred April 20, 2014 near Jämijärvi airfield (EFJM), Satakunta, Finland

Ismo Aaltonen is head investigator at Finland’s Accident Investigation Board



Investigators have determined that a fracture resulting from metal fatigue caused the crash that claimed the lives of eight skydivers in Jämijärvi in April 2014, reported news agency Xinhua.

Eight of the 10 skydivers on board the small passenger plane were killed in the crash in Jämijärvi of southwest Finland on April 20, 2014.

The aircraft was a Comp Air 8 built from components purchased as a kit from the US manufacturer. 

The hobbyist builders in Finland had made changes in the wings without asking for a written permission from the Finnish transport safety authority, according to the final investigation report published on Thursday.

The fatigue based fracture had formed over a longer period of time and could not be detected in regular maintenance.

While the leading investigator Ismo Aaltonen said on Thursday the accident was not the fault of the pilot, it was believed the pilot had only limited experience in flying an efficient turbo prop and had not received enough training.

The pilot and two skydivers were able to exit the aircraft before it crashed, but eight others were killed in what was considered the deadliest air crash in this Nordic country in the last 30 years. 

News agency STT adds: The Safety Investigation Authority has issued five recommendations after concluding investigations into the Jämijärvi plane crash.

The Transport Safety Agency-Trafi has been advised if necessary to limit the seating capacity of aircraft built for recreation and the use of parachutes.

Furthermore, the agency has been asked to ensure that Suomen Ilmailuliitto ry - Finnish Aeronautical Association prepare a model of instructions which includes training programs and testing intended for skydivers.

In addition, Trafi has been asked to ensure the experience and training of supervisors and examiners involved in construction work of recreation aircraft meet the requirements in construction work as well as the changes in the regulation requirements.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has also been advised to draft a comprehensive theoretic guideline and flight training requirements for parachuting.

On the part of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the psychosocial support preparedness, resources, responsibilities, and competent management in the aftermath of a serious accident should be provided irrespective of where the accident has taken place or where the involved parties hail.

The same recommendation was issued to the ministry after the Kauhajoki school shooting in 2008.

Eight people died after a light aircraft crashed near Jämijärvi Airfield in April last year.

Original article can be found here: http://www.finlandtimes.fi

Veli-Pekka Nurmi spoke on the investigation report at the press conference on Thursday.


Ismo Aaltonen, the head of the Jämijärvi plane crash investigation committee disclosed the report at a press conference in Helsinki on Thursday.


 Head of the aviation investigation team Ismo Aaltonen works at the crash site near the Jamijarvi airport on April 21.





A parachute hangs from a tree close to the wreckage of experimental aircraft next to Jamijarvi Airfield, southwest Finland on April 21.




Little remains of the Comp Air 8 airplane.

Emirates Airlines’ pioneering first officer: Capt Ahmed Al Shamsi

Capt Al Shamsi confers with his colleagues.
 Courtesy Capt Ahmed Al Shamsi



A career in medicine or engineering was the choice facing Ahmed Al Shamsi in 1980. But a friend’s suggestion and the appeal of a short training period led Emirates’ groundbreaking first officer to discover his passion for aviation.

Sometimes it is the smallest decision that changes a life forever. And so it was that a friend’s suggestion in 1980 changed Capt Ahmed Al Shamsi’s life.

The then 18-year-old was wondering whether he should train to become a doctor or an engineer. The friend suggested a different path, in aviation.

The teenager did not know much about the options available to him in higher education. He was also not aware about the specialisations in medicine or engineering. Back then, there was a much greater emphasis on the sciences.

“How about we try aviation?” said the friend. “It’s only two years [for the training].”

The relatively short training period, rather than the desire to fly, drew the teenager’s attention and led him to change his mind about his academic options.

“Studying engineering or medicine would take me six to seven years,” Capt Al Shamsi says he remembers thinking at that time.

“But I can start working in aviation in only two years. The fewer years, the better. That was my mentality.”

Today, aged 53, he is one of the most senior captains at Emirates Airline, as well as being the first Emirati officer at the carrier.

The father of three says his earlier plans did not include becoming a pilot. At high school, he was among the top students in his class and he performed well in the science stream.

After graduation, it was time to choose a career path that would probably govern the rest of his life.

Like most teenagers then, Capt Al Shamsi did not have a clear vision of his future. For him, he had to make all the decisions himself because there was no one to seek career advice from.

“My mother was a great supporter, but when I mentioned I wanted to be a pilot, she feared for my life,” he says.

He then decided to train overseas because of the high standards of pilot training.

“It didn’t matter which country as long as it was abroad,” says Capt Al Shamsi with a laugh

So at the age of 18, he left home and flew to study at a flight school in California, in the United States.

He initially struggled to adapt to the new environment and people, but the school soon became his second home.

There were also some misconceptions about flight training, thanks to the febrile imagination of a friend.

“A friend told us that the instructor would ask us to spin the jet several times to see if our head would spin. This was a form of testing our ability to endure being in the air,” says Capt Al Shamsi. The friend also insisted that Capt Al Shamsi would be required to sleep in a black room after becoming a pilot. “It would help us to sleep calmly at night,” the friend said.

But Capt Al Shamsi was sceptical about those claims.

“He [the friend] exaggerated the whole thing,” says Capt Al Shamsi with a laugh.

“Nothing like what he had said happened in our training.”

After a period of pilot training, Capt Al Shamsi was permitted to fly solo.

For his first flight, he flew a Piper Cherokee, a light single-engine propeller aircraft often used for training.

However, there was something wrong about the plane that Capt Al Shamsi would only discover when he was in the air.

“This particular aircraft was recently released from repair,” he says. “I was the next person to touch it.”

After some time in the air, he began to feel heat rising from the cabin floor. “My feet were itching and burning,” he says. When he tried to land the aircraft, he found that the controls were not working well.

“Every time I tried to land, it [the aircraft] would skid to the right for some reason,” he says.

The problem could not be fixed, even with the help from instructors on the ground.

“I made a plan in my mind,” says Capt Al Shamsi, in explaining his decision to follow his instincts. “So I have to land exactly on the centre line.”

Landing far to the left, he swung the aircraft to the right as he hit the brakes until the aircraft stopped – safely – on the centre line of the runway.

“I have been blessed on many occasions,” says Capt Al Shamsi.

Since his first solo flight, flying has become an inseparable part of his life, a passion that has deepened with time.

After graduating from the flight school, Capt Al Shamsi worked for Gulf Air, Bahrain’s national carrier, for nine years.

In 1987, he became the first Emirati first officer to join Emirates Airline, two years after the airline’s founding.

In the early days of Emirates, “we would fly short distances, such as Mumbai, Muscat, Istanbul, and Karachi”, he says.

“Over time, the stress and traffic in aviation have increased tremendously.

“Before, our flights were slow and the distances were short, so our thinking was slow as well.

“But in this day and age, the stress has increased, so has the number of passengers. One has to be aware and cautious of many things simultaneously.”

On the allegedly intentional crash of a Germanwings flight last month by its co-pilot that killed all 150 people on board, Capt Al Shamsi says he was distressed when he heard about that.

Flying is much harder than people think, he says, adding that “this field needs discipline, seriousness and sincerity”.

“As a captain, when I have a doubt about anything, whether it has to do with baggage or passengers, I don’t take off until I clarify every doubt I have,” he says.

Capt Al Shamsi says he has learnt a lot from his career, including discipline, patience, and getting along with people from different cultures.

“I was faced with some situations while flying, but I knew how to react. Thank God, I have retained a good standard all the way through,” he says.

With 35 years of experience in aviation, the Emirates pilot has lost count of the many sunrises and sunsets he has witnessed all these years.

“Seeing the northern lights is really exquisite. It creates a beautiful scenery,” he says.

Besides flying, his other passion is the pursuit of knowledge.

When one of his daughters asked about his retirement, “I told her that I would retire when I know everything. There is no end to self-knowledge”, he says.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.thenational.ae

Capt Ahmed Al Shamsi at the helm of an aircraft. He survived a first solo flight that was plagued by a faulty repair and a hair-raising landing. 
Courtesy Capt Ahmed Al Shamsi

Police accidentally transmitted live operation data • Sensitive information was broadcast to the world as aircraft signal was left on during major operation

Flight tracking of a police aircraft, during a nighttime operation in which Israeli security forces arrested 29 suspected Hamas members (screen capture: planefinder.net)


 


The Israel Police accidentally released sensitive information Tuesday when its aircraft broadcast flight data during a military operation carried out in the West Bank city of Nablus.

During the nighttime operation, Israeli security forces arrested 29 suspected Hamas members, some of whom have been imprisoned in Israel in the past. The police’s aircraft accompanied security personnel, which included members of the IDF, police and Shin Bet security service, during the evening raid, giving aerial support to the men on the ground.

The IDF deactivates the broadcast function on its aircraft during operation, but the police for some reason did not, Haaretz reported Thursday. Aviation enthusiasts quickly picked up on the aircraft’s signal, which continued to broadcast throughout the operation.

Hamas militants, logged on to the various websites or apps that allow individuals to track flights around the world, could clearly have seen that the flight took off in central Israel at precisely 00:32 a.m., circling around Nablus and the Palestinian village of Asira a-Shmelya.

They would even have been able to notice the make of the plane, a small Cessna aircraft. Older data revealed that the police aircraft was active in Tel Aviv during protests, in the West Bank, and over the Bedouin city of Rahat, all while its signal was available to the public.

Such services rely on a network of hundreds of feeders around the world that receive and share Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast transponders, providing callsign, GPS position, speed and altitude data.

Although the sites normally only provide data on civilian airliners and business jets, military aircraft are also equipped with similar transponders.

Israeli police are not the first to forget to shut off their flight signal, disclosing sensitive operational flight information.

During the 2011 raids on Libya, Canadian aircraft involved in the campaign were clearly visible on the tracking sites. Last August, a plane taking part in a US operation in Afghanistan that resulted in the killing of seven Taliban militants could be tracked for over nine hours.

Police declined to comment.

Source:  http://www.timesofisrael.com

Pitts S2E Special, N75BH: Fatal accident occurred April 14, 2015 in Lebec, California

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Lebec, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/02/2016
Aircraft: ROBERT C. HANSON PITTS S2E, registration: N75BH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The airline transport pilot was conducting a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-county flight. When he did not check in after a planned stop, the pilot’s family reported him overdue, and an ALNOT (alert notice) was issued. The wreckage was located the next day in a remote area. Data retrieved from a handheld GPS unit revealed that, after takeoff, the airplane attained a maximum altitude of 2,500 ft above ground level (agl) and then descended to about 200 ft agl above an interstate. The airplane then turned east as it approached a mountain range. The final portion of the recording identified the airplane in a climbing left turn, starting from about 100 ft agl, climbing to 900 ft agl before descending in a right turn. The airplane impacted mountainous tree-covered terrain on a ridgeline. The wreckage distribution path was about 500 feet long and the airplane was heavily fragmented.

Weather conditions at the departure airport were VFR; however, an AIRMET (Airman’s Meteorological Information) for instrument meteorological conditions was in effect for the area at the time of the accident; witnesses reported low clouds in the area on the morning of the accident. No record was found that indicated that the pilot contacted a flight service station for a weather briefing.

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

It is likely that the pilot encountered adverse weather along the flight route as the airplane approached the mountain range, which forced the pilot to maneuver from his course and change altitude in an attempt to remain in visual conditions. The flight likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions as it continued further into the mountains, and, during the pilot’s likely attempted to return to the interstate, he did not maintain sufficient clearance from rising terrain. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient clearance from rising terrain. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 14, 2015, about 0811 Pacific daylight time (PDT), an experimental amateur-built Robert C. Hanson Pitts S2E airplane, N75BH, collided with trees and mountainous terrain about 3 miles northeast of Lebec, California. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) were reported in the area of the accident. The accident flight originated at the Meadows Field Airport (BFL), Bakersfield, California, about 0748, en route to Blythe Airport (BLH), Blythe, California. No flight plan was filed, and there is no record that a weather briefing was obtained.

Family members reported that the pilot recently purchased the airplane, and it was being flown to his home in Missouri when the accident occurred. When the airplane did not arrive in Blythe, a concerned family member notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA subsequently issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 1502 Pacific daylight time.

On April 15, about 1000, the airplane's fragmented wreckage was located by a worker in a remote area of a private ranch, about 40 miles south of the Meadows Field Airport.

Witness stated that on the morning of the accident the weather conditions were poor, and there were dark, low clouds in the area. One witness reported seeing an airplane similar to the accident airplane flying low over the interstate, and stated there were low, dense clouds in the area.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 36, held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane multiengine land rating, commercial pilot certificate, and a flight instructor certificate with a single-engine land rating. He held type ratings in an Airbus A-320, Beechjet BE- 400, Canadair CL-65, Falcon DA-50, Falcon DA-7X, Hawker HS-125, and a Mitsubishi MU-300. His most recent first-class medical was issued July 1, 2014, and identified the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses.

A partial copy of the pilot's logbook was made available for review. The pilot had about 8,200 total flight hours. He had recently purchased the Pitts S2E, N75BH. Logbook records indicate that the pilot had logged 6.2 hours, all dual received time, in a similar Pitts S2E airplane. Two weeks before the accident, the pilot received an endorsement of training in a Pitts S2E that included normal and crosswind taxi, takeoff and landings, and simulated engine out emergency landings.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, bi-wing, fixed gear, amateur built airplane was powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine. A review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent conditional inspection was completed on April 13, 2015, at 226.07 tachometer hours. The tachometer was observed at the accident site with a time of 226.09 hours. The Hobbs hour-meter was never observed at the accident site.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest weather reporting facility was Sandberg (KSDB), about 10 miles southeast of the accident site. At 0813, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) reported, in part: Wind from 340 degrees at 25 knots, peak gusts to 35 knots; visibility 1 statute mile; clouds and sky condition, 200 feet overcast; temperature 6 degrees C; dew point 4 degrees C; altimeter 30.18 inHg. 

Witnesses located near the accident site, at the time of the accident, reported that weather conditions were much worse than that being reported at the airport. An AIRMET (Airman's Meteorological Information) and current observations indicated marginal visual meteorological conditions (MVMC) to instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) conditions existed prior to departure. There is no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing from Lockheed Martin Flight Service.

Additional information can be found in the Weather Study Report in the public docket for this report.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted mountainous tree covered terrain on an approximate heading of 090 degrees. The first observed impact point were trees on a ridgeline about 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl). At the initial ground impact point, the propeller was mostly buried in terrain; it was about 350 feet from the first observed point of impact point. The debris field from the first observed point of impact to the main wreckage was about 500 feet.

Portions of the left wing were found in trees, and fragments of wing fabric were scattered down the hillside. The main wreckage, including the cockpit and engine, were in an open field below the ridgeline.

The wreckage was later recovered to a hangar facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board examined the wreckage at the hangar facility on April 17, 2015. 

Examination of the wreckage revealed extensive fragmentations of the airplane's structure. The left wing sustained significantly more damage than the right wing. All pieces of the flight control system were identified; the connecting rods were bent and buckled. Outboard portions of each wing tip were accounted for. The wings wooden spar was fragmented, along with portions of the ailerons. Smaller components in the trees were unrecoverable. 

The engine separated from the airframe during the accident sequence, and extensive impact related damage was noted throughout. The propeller hub detached from the crankshaft flange; the propeller blades remained primarily intact, the end of one blade was found separated. The propeller blades were bent back with chordwise striations. Engine drive train continuity was established by manually rotating the crankshaft with a rod welded onto the crankshaft. The crankshaft rotated freely, and the valves moved approximately the same amount of lift in firing order.

Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation. Additional examination information can be found in the wreckage examination report with accompanying pictures located in the public docket for this accident.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on April 21, 2015, by Kern County Coroner's Office, in Bakersfield. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt force trauma.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Forensic Toxicology Laboratory detected ethanol in the muscle (19 mg/hg), but not in the liver. After absorption, ethanol is quickly distributed throughout the body's tissues and fluids fairly uniformly. This is consistent with postmortem production, and it is unlikely that ethanol played a role in the accident.

In addition, pheniramine was detected in the liver. Pheniramine is a sedating antihistamine used in cold and allergy products. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A Garmin GPSMAP 396 was recovered from the wreckage and was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, where it was successfully downloaded. Review of the device revealed the airplane's flight path, altitude, and groundspeed. 

The data revealed that at 0750 the airplane began its takeoff roll from BFL. The airplane reached a maximum altitude of about 2,500 feet above ground level (agl), until descending over the interstate to about 200 feet agl, before turning east towards the Tehachapi Mountains. The final portion of the recording identified the airplane in a climbing turn, starting from about 100 feet agl, climbing to 900 feet agl before the airplane began a descending right turn before the recording stopped at 0811.

Additional information and all figures can be found in the Electronic Devices Factual Report located in the public docket for this accident. 

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA147 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Lebec, CA
Aircraft: ROBERT C. HANSON PITTS S2E, registration: N75BH
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On April 14, 2015, about 0815 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Pitts S2E airplane, N75BH, was destroyed when it collided with trees and mountainous terrain about 3 miles northeast of Lebec, California. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) were reported in the area of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The accident flight originated at the Bakersfield Airport, Bakersfield, California about 0748, en route to Blythe, California. 

Family members reported that the pilot recently purchased the airplane and it was being flown to his home in Missouri when the accident occurred. When the airplane did not arrive in Blythe, a concerned family member notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA subsequently issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 1502. 

On April 15, about 1000, the airplane's fragmented wreckage was located by a worker in a remote area of a private ranch. 

On April 16, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examined the wreckage. The on-scene investigation revealed that the airplane impacted a mountainous tree-covered ridgeline, at an elevation of about 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The debris field was about 500 feet long from the first observed point of impact. All of the airplane's major components were found at the wreckage site. 

On April 17, investigators from the NTSB examined the engine and airframe at the facilities of Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona; the examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

The closest weather reporting facility was Sandberg (KSDB), about 10 miles southeast of the accident site. At 0813, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) reported, in part: Wind from 340 degrees at 25 knots, peak gusts to 35 knots; visibility, 1 statute mile; clouds and sky condition, 200 feet overcast; temperature, 6 degrees C; dew point, 4 degrees C; altimeter, 30.18 inHg. Witnesses located near the accident site, at the time of the accident, reported that weather conditions were much worse than that being reported at the airport.

http://registry.faa.gov/N75BH    

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.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The name of the pilot who died in an April 15 crash on Tejon Ranch has been identified. 

Wednesday, the Kern County coroner's office released the name of the pilot, 36-year-old Ryan Scott Ward of Saint Charles, Missouri.

The wreckage was found by a Tejon Ranch employee doing maintenance on the water system. The crash site was in rugged terrain, in a canyon. First-responders had to get there on foot and requested off-road vehicles, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are conducting an investigation.


=======


Tejon Ranch, LEBEC, CA (Wednesday, March 15, 2015 at 11 a.m.) — Authorities have arrived at Tejon Ranch after a private plane crash has been located about 5 miles east of Interstate 5, inside the ranch. 

One fatality (the pilot) has been reported. 

Crews at the scene reported that the occupant had been ejected from the aircraft.

According to Kern County Sheriff’s Sergeant Mark Brown, the crash probably occurred “days ago.”

[Update] According to Tejon Ranch spokesman Barry Zoeller, a ranch maintenance worker who was out checking water systems discovered the wreckage in the Silver Springs area of the ranch on Wednesday and reported it to his supervisor, who then reported it to authorities. National Transportation Safety Board personnel were at the scene. The plane was reported to have been enroute from Bakersfield to Blythe, on the California/Arizona border.

Source:  http://mountainenterprise.com



The FAA says the plane that crashed was a Pitts Biplane. The Mountain Enterprise newspaper reports the crash site is about 5 miles east of I-5. A ranch maintenance worker discovered the wreckage on Wednesday and reported it to his supervisor, who then reported it to authorities.

The Kern county Sheriff's Office is reporting a small plane crash near Lebec.

The wreckage is in an area east of El Tejon School on Tejon Ranch, according to KCSO.

Kern County Fire is also responding to the scene. They say there was a report of a small plane that had been missing for several days. 

KCSO says the wreckage is spread over a wide area and it appears the pilot is dead. 

Source:  http://www.kerngoldenempire.com




BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A person is dead after investigators with the Kern County Sheriff's Office found debris of what they believe to be a plane crash near Lebec.

A spokesperson with the KCSO said the location of the crash was about four to five miles east of El Tejon Elementary School inside a steep canyon area.

The wreckage was in such steep terrain that emergency vehicles weren't able to reach it, except for a KCSO helicopter. The KCSO spokesperson said the site was also on private property.

Officials with the Kern County Fire Department said the plane went missing for about two days.

Barry Zoeller, VP of Corporate Communications for the Tejon Ranch, told us one of their ranch hands was checking on the water systems for the cattle, when he stumbled upon the wreckage debris. 

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were notified of the crash. A spokesperson with the FAA later told 23ABC the plane was headed from Bakersfield to Blythe, located about two hours east of Palm Springs. 

The identity of the person has not been released. 

Source:  http://www.turnto23.com



 A Pitts biplane that was reported missing Tuesday crashed near El Tejon Middle School and at least one person has died, officials said Wednesday.

The plane was being flown from Bakersfield to Blythe, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. The FAA does not identify crew or passengers in airplane crashes, he said.

Gregor said he could not release the plane’s tail number until next of kin of the person killed is notified.

A man checking water troughs for cattle saw the wreckage of the plane Wednesday morning, said Tejon Ranch spokesman Barry Zoeller.

He notified his supervisor, who called authorities, Zoeller said.

There was at least one fatality in the crash, said sheriff’s department spokesman Ray Pruitt.

No other details were available, including exactly when the plane crashed, but sheriff’s deputies secured the site for investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA, Pruitt said.

The crash site was in a steep canyon about four to five miles east of El Tejon Middle School, Zoeller said.

The NTSB was on scene Wednesday but had no additional information, a spokesperson said.

Source: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - An investigation is underway after an airplane's wreckage was found Wednesday morning on Tejon Ranch.


Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane - a Pitts S2E biplane - had been reported missing around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

He said it was heading from Bakersfield to Blythe, a city to the east of the Palm Springs/Coachella Valley area.

Ray Pruitt of the Kern County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the pilot is dead and that investigators believe he or she was the only person inside the plane.

It's unknown whether the pilot died before or after the crash.

The wreckage was found by a Tejon ranch hand doing maintenance on the water system, according to Tejon spokesman Barry Zoeller.

"It's unfortunate, and our thoughts and prayers obviously go out to the pilot's family," he said. "I've been at Tejon Ranch now 11 years, and this is only the second time that a plane has crashed on our property in that period of time."

Pruitt explained that the crash site was in rugged terrain, in a canyon. First responders had to get there on foot and requested off-road vehicles to get there.

"It's an area where people generally aren't," said Zoeller, who attempted to get a first-hand look. "It was too far away. All you could catch are glimpses of the wreckage."

The crash site is about 5 miles off Interstate 5.

KCSO could not release any information about the pilot.

http://www.bakersfieldnow.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Remains of Missing American Pilot Retrieved: Cessna 172, N9784L

Administrative and security officials from Tombel Subdivision in Kupe-Muanenguba Division of the South West Region are still making their way out of the dense Equatorial forest near Eboko Bajo village where they went to collect the remains of a missing American pilot still stuck in the wreckage of his ill-fated small aircraft. 

The Cessna 172 went missing on Sunday June 22, 2014, while on a flight from the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Nigeria, to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, via the Douala International Airport.

The officials started off from Eboko Bajo village on the 35-km, 30-hour long round trek into the dense forest on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at mid-day after travelling through Kumba and Konye in neighbouring Meme Division; a distance of over 100 km. This was informed by the inaccessible nature of the terrain from Tombel to Eboko Bajo, which is about 100 km in a straight line. Tombel is located about 150 km from Buea, the South West Regional headquarters.

The officials include the Divisional Officer for Tombel Subdivision, Ayuk Edward Takor, the Gendarmerie Company Commander for Kupe-Muanenguba, Captain Mahok, Dr Njoh of Tombel District Hospital, the Commander of the Tombel Gendarmerie Road Safety team, Lt. Akam Sylvestre and the Commander of the Tombel Gendarmerie 'Post, 'Adjudant Chef' Ngoulouré Oumarou. However, because of the difficult nature of the terrain in the dense Equatorial forest on the Kupe-Muanenguba mountain range, only the gendarmes, Dr Njoh and some villagers - a team of 12 - continued to the site of the crash, reaching it at 60 am on Monday, April 13, 2015.

Talking to Cameroon Tribune on phone from deep inside the forest yesterday, April 13, 2015, Ngoulouré Oumarou explained that the wreckage was found by local hunters from Eboko Bajo village on April 9, 2015. This information was confirmed by the Member of Parliament for Tombel and Bangem, Hon. Nhon Ngujede Ngole Robert. The plane hit and broke a tree branch, with debris scattered all over, Ngoulouré explained. He added that upon receiving the news of the discovery, the local village chief sent another team back into the forest to confirm the information before reporting to the authorities.

According to 'Adjudant Chef' Ngoulouré, Nalovoka Oliver, Motia Ivo and third person known only as 'Alhadji,' made the discovery while on a hunting trip. They confirmed that the pilot of the aircraft was William Fitzpatrick, according to papers found on the spot. His insurance papers were also found in the wreckage, with his skeleton still in the cockpit. Fitzpatrick was the only one on board the plane with insignia 'Ecogarde African Parks No. 9748N,' Ngoulouré disclosed.

Information from the US Embassy in Cameroon shows that the pilot collected the newly-acquired plane from Dakar, Senegal, on June 19, 2014, where it had earlier been flown from America. The plane was to be used for conservation and anti-poaching surveillance activities in and around Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo Brazzaville. A US citizen and experienced pilot with more than 25 years' experience, William Fitzpatrick joined African Parks as Odzala's resident pilot in November 2013.

Source:    http://allafrica.com


Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II, C-GSKC, Carson Air: Fatal accident occurred April 13, 2015 in the North Shore Mountains near Vancouver, Canada



A report on a cargo plane that crashed in the mountains north of Vancouver suggests it might have broken up in mid-flight.

Carson Air flight 66 had just taken off from YVR on Monday and was bound for Prince George when it lost altitude rapidly and disappeared off radar.

The Transportation Safety Board says the twin-engine plane dropped 1500 metres in less than 20 seconds and the crew didn’t declare an emergency.

North Shore Rescue ground search crews found aircraft wreckage in steep and heavily wooded terrain southeast of Crown Mountain.

Thirty-four-year-old pilot Robert Brandt and 32-year-old co-pilot Kevin Wang were killed.

Investigators say wreckage dispersal and the lack of terrain damage is consistent with an in-flight break-up.

The TSB released crash site images of wreckage in the North Shore mountains yesterday.

The plane was not equipped with cockpit voice or flight data recording systems.

In 2013, the Transportation Safety Board made a recommendation calling for cockpit voice or flight data recording systems on smaller aircraft.





Kevin Wang, 32, died in B.C. on April 13 when the small cargo plane he was co-piloting crashed in the North Shore Mountains. Wang lived in Yellowknife and worked at N.W.T.'s Air Tindi until he left last month to take a job with Vancouver-based Carson Air.




Andrew Sweet and Kevin Wang worked together at Air Tindi.



Air Tindi president Alasdair Martin says Kevin Wang was 'a very reliable young man' and that his death has shaken the close-knit community at the airline.


Kevin Wang, one of two pilots killed in a plane crash in B.C. on Monday, was a Yellowknife resident and pilot at N.W.T.'s Air Tindi until he left last month to take the job with Vancouver-based Carson Air.

Wang, 32, was originally from Vancouver, but had worked at Air Tindi for the past five years.

He was co-piloting a twin-engine Swearingen SA-226 plane from Vancouver to Prince George when it was reported missing shortly after 7 a.m. on April 13.

The aircraft was found in the North Shore mountains, and both Wang and pilot Robert Brandt, 34, were found dead at the scene.

Wang's former co-workers and friends at Air Tindi, many of whom worked alongside him for years until his departure, are struggling with the news.

"It's still quite surreal," said pilot Andrew Sweet. "When we chatted last, he had just gotten the job at Carson. He was really excited to be home with his wife and family, and the next day he's gone."

Sweet said he spent a lot of time with Wang during his time in Yellowknife, including rotations in Cambridge Bay and late-night trips to McDonald's.

"It's definitely left an empty space in my life and many lives that he knew," he said.

Sweet said while there are many questions that won't be answered until an investigation is completed, he said he's thankful he was able to work with and know Wang.

"We are all pilots, but some are very good at what they do, and Kevin was one of those guys," he said. "He knew what he was doing in the sky. He was a professional."

New opportunity

Wang came to Yellowknife in 2010, starting as a pilot-in-waiting on the ramp with Air Tindi and working his way up to flying the Twin Otter and most recently the King Air 350 used for medevacs.

Alasdair Martin, president of Air Tindi, said he spoke with Wang just before he left last month. He said Wang had fond memories of his time in Yellowknife, but was eager to move on to the new opportunity and stage in his life.

"He was popular; he did a very good job," he said. "A very reliable young man.

"Because he had a lot of friends here, a lot of people are fairly distressed or upset about what's happened. We're obviously trying to look after people who are a little shook up about having heard Kevin's died, and make sure everyone's safe to fly, provide any support we can."

Evan Woolridge, an Air Tindi pilot who graduated with Wang from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2009, said they both came to Yellowknife to get their wings.

Commuted to Vancouver

"He was a really quiet guy, but he was somebody who was always real happy around work and never complained about anything, just took it all in stride, which I think a lot more of us could have learned how to do," Woolridge said.

Wang juggled chasing his career goals in Yellowknife with being a good partner to his wife, who remained in Vancouver. He commuted to Vancouver whenever he wasn't working.

"It was hard for them to be apart," Sweet said. 

The B.C. coroner's office and the Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Source:  http://www.cbc.ca

BC fishing guide business being sued after fatal helicopter crash: Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II, C-FCTD

An American family is suing a BC fishing guide business after a man was killed in a helicopter crash two years ago that his loved ones blame on a “high-speed low altitude” thrill ride.

In a notice of civil claim filed in BC Supreme Court, Washington woman Julie Monson, on behalf of her three children, is suing company BC’s Finest Fishing, and Randal Killoran, for negligence.

The suit alleges her husband, 51 year old Michael Monson, died in a helicopter crash, during a group heli-fishing trip on the Homathko River, North of Bute Inlet.

It claims the pilot conducted a dangerous thrill ride flight down the river, without his clients wearing seatbelts.

It says the main rotor blade struck ground, and the rotorcraft rolled upside down.

The family is suing for loss of care, guidance, affection, companionship.

Five other people escaped.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Source:  http://www.cknw.com

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cessna 162 Skycatcher, N30283: Accident occurred April 13, 2015 in Shelter Island, New York

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

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

National Transportation Safety Board -  Aviation Accident Data Summary:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

SMC AVIATION INC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N30283

 NTSB Identification: ERA15LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 13, 2015 in Shelter Island, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/21/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO 162, registration: N30283
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The pilot reported that he conducted a preflight inspection, including a flight control check, and taxied the airplane to the runway for takeoff. After he took off from the turf runway, the light-sport airplane immediately began banking right, and the right aileron did not respond to control inputs. The airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain before coming to rest near the runway. Witness reports and photographs indicated that the airplane became airborne about midfield of the 1,400-ft-long runway and corroborated that the airplane then banked right before impacting terrain.


Examination of the airframe revealed no evidence of preaccident malfunction or failure, and flight control continuity was confirmed. During an engine test run, the engine started and operated normally. Although the right aileron control cable located behind the cockpit instrument panel was found separated, the cable exhibited tensile overload signatures consistent with impact damage. Further, given that the pilot reported that he checked the flight controls before departure, the flight control cable likely fractured due to tensile overload during impact. Based on the evidence indicating that the airplane immediately banked right after takeoff and then descended to impact, it is likely that the pilot did not maintain adequate airspeed and exceeded the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in in an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:


The pilot's failure to attain adequate airspeed after takeoff and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at too low an altitude to recover.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 13, 2015, about 1800 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 162, N30283, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain immediately after takeoff from Klenawicus Airfield, Shelter Island, New York. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 with an intended destination of Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to eyewitness reports and photographs, the airplane departed to the south of the turf runway, became airborne about midfield, banked to the right, and subsequently impacted the ground. None of the eyewitnesses reported hearing or seeing any abnormalities prior to the impact.

According to the pilot, after conducting a preflight inspection and calculating the weight and balance of the airplane, the airplane was started and taxied to the runway for takeoff. He utilized the "proper short field configuration," set the aircraft trim, applied "maximum [engine] power," and released the brakes. At lift off speed the airplane climbed "appropriately" but immediately began a roll to the right that did not respond to any control inputs. He decided to climb above the trees prior to impacting the terrain. He further reported that he suspected that the "right aileron [was] not responsive to control input."

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the pilot and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land with a rating for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and single-engine sea, commercial pilot certificate with ratings for helicopter, and a flight instructor certificate with rating for airplane single-engine and multiengine, and instrument airplane. His most recent medical certificate was issued on October 22, 2013 and the class of medical was listed as "pending." At the time of the accident, the pilot was utilizing his driver's license in-lieu of a medical certificate, The pilot reported 18,997 total hours of flight experience and 41 of those hours where in the accident airplane make and model.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate on July 12, 2011, and was registered to SMC Aviation Incorporated on July 17, 2013, and the pilot was listed as the "president." The light sport airplane, serial number 16200094, was a high wing, metal covered airplane, with a fixed tricycle landing gear, and was configured for two occupants. It was powered by a direct drive, horizontally opposed, carbureted, air-cooled, four-cylinder Continental O-200D engine and driven by a McCauley propeller model 1L100LSA6754. A review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection was completed on August 1, 2014, at a recorded aircraft total time (ACTT) of 119.7 hours. The most recent maintenance logbook entry was dated April 10, 2015 and indicated an ACTT of 138.9 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1755 recorded weather observation at East Hampton Airport (HTO), East Hampton, New York, located approximately 8 miles to the southeast of the accident location, included wind from 190 degrees true at 4 knots, visibility 40 miles, temperature 54 degrees F, dew point 44 degrees F and barometric altimeter 30.28 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The airport was privately owned and at the time of the accident did not have a control tower. There was one runway designated N/S. The turf runway was 1,400 feet long and 200 feet wide. The airport was about 24 feet above mean sea level.

WRECAKGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

According to a FAA inspector that responded to the accident location, the airplane impacted the ground and came to rest in a sparsely wooded area adjacent to the runway, on its main landing gear. Examination of the airplane revealed flight control continuity to all flight control surfaces from the cockpit and the gust locks were found stowed in the baggage compartment. A smell of aviation fuel was noted at the scene. Photographs provided by the FAA inspector revealed that the fuselage and wings were buckled, the engine was canted in the positive direction and remained attached to the airframe. The composite propeller blades exhibited minimal trailing edge delamination and no chordwise gouges were noted.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The engine was examined, by NTSB personnel, at the engine manufacturer facility. The examination revealed impact damage to one of the engine mounting legs, oil sump, the right magneto ignition harness, and impact crush damage around the intake manifold. The engine was mounted in an engine test cell, started, idled with no hesitations noted, and operated throughout the test requirement range. The engine was accelerated and decelerated three times and no hesitation was noted. For a detailed report on the engine examination please reference the "Engine Examination Report" located in the docket associated with this accident.

The airplane was examined by FAA personnel and airframe manufacturer personnel, at a storage facility. The examination revealed that all flight control components of the airplane were accounted for during the wreckage examination. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the respective flight control surface, through disconnected turnbuckles, to facilitate recovery. The aileron control cable connected to the right cockpit control stick exhibited tensile overload.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to the Cessna "Skycatcher Pilots' Checklist" section N, "Before Takeoff" checklist one of the items to be checked are the flight controls and they are to be "Free and Correct."

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 13, 2015 in Shelter Island, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO 162, registration: N30283
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On April 13, 2015, about 1800 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 162, N30283, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain immediately after takeoff from Westmoreland Airport (49NY), Shelter Island, New York. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 with an intended destination of Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to eyewitness reports and photographs, the airplane departed to the south on the turf runway, became airborne about midfield, banked to the right, and subsequently impacted the ground. None of the eyewitnesses reported hearing or seeing any abnormalities prior to the impact.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that responded to the accident location, the airplane impacted the ground and came to rest in a sparsely wooded area adjacent to the runway, on its main landing gear. Examination of the airplane revealed flight control continuity to all flight control surfaces from the cockpit and the gust locks were found stowed in the baggage compartment. A smell of aviation fuel was noted at the scene. Photographs provided by the FAA inspector revealed that the fuselage and wings were buckled, the engine was canted in the positive direction and remained attached to the airframe. The composite propeller blades exhibited minimal trailing edge delamination and no chordwise gouges were noted.

The engine was retained for further investigation.




A Cessna 162 Skycatcher crashed at Klenawicus Field at about 6 p.m. Monday evening.

The pilot, the only person on board, was removed from the mangled aircraft by Shelter Island Fire Department personnel to a waiting Suffolk County Police Department helicopter to be medevacked to a facility for treatment at about 6:50 p.m.


The plane was resting near trees and thick brush off the airstrip on the western edge of the field with a completely wrecked front end and the engine exposed. One wing was badly damaged.


Details remain sketchy, but Rita Gates, who lives on Ginny Lane, said at the scene that she heard a plane taxiing for take off and then a loud sound.


“It was like a boom,” Ms. Gates said.


Farther down the field, Amanda Gutiw, was making dinner at her home on Emerson Lane when she heard a “really loud sound,” she said as she stood in her backyard looking at the crash site. “It’s hard to describe,” Ms. Gutiw said.


Firefighters and other emergency personnel remained at the scene.


The numbers on the Cessna’s fuselage indicate it is registered to SMC Aviation, Inc. at Republic Airport in Farmingdale. SMC, according to its website, seems to be a full service aviation company.


Original article can be found here: http://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com



A s Cessna 162 Skycatcher crashed on Shelter Island Monday evening and at least one person has been injured, a fire official said.

The plane crashed at about 6:20 p.m. at the Klenawicus Airfield, a Shelter Island fire official said.

The plane crashed on takeoff and landed on the side of the grassy airstrip, said Sgt. Jack Thilberg of Shelter Island police.

The sole occupant has serious injuries and will be airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, he said.

The airfield is operated by the Shelter Island Pilots' Association and is located just south of Burns Road and north of Congdon Road on Shelter Island.

A helicopter has been dispatched to take the injured person to the hospital.