Monday, April 20, 2015

Directorate General of Civil Aviation asks airlines to videotape pre-flight alcohol test

NEW DELHI: The Directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for airlines to videotape pre-flight breath analyzer tests conducted on crew members. 

DGCA chief M Sathiyavathy made this rule to ensure that airlines conduct this test sternly and full perfectly sober crew members — in the right frame of mind — enter the cockpits. This is being seen as fallout of the Germanwings crash. 

"We got this order about 10 days back and have started recording the pre-flight tests of our crew. We are the first airline to do so on all our crew," said an Air India spokesman.

Among other airlines, SpiceJet is also learnt to have started recording these tests. 

Pilots, cabin crew and even engineers are by regulation bound to stop consumption of alcohol, sedatives or narcotics at least 12 hours before their flights. The decision to record pre-flight breath-analyzer tests comes amid reports of some crew skipping it. 

The DGCA relaxed the punishment for drunk flying and endangering passenger safety last year. A pilot now loses his or her flying license only when caught flying in an inebriated state for the third time. Earlier it would happen on the second instance itself.

The DGCA also diluted the punishment for flight crew reporting to work high. While the action against crew found high for the first time on work remains license suspension for three months, the subsequent offenses have been watered down. 

"In case of a repeat violation....the license/approval of the crew member shall be suspended for a period of three years. In case of a second repeat violation... the license/approval of the crew member shall be cancelled," DGCA rules on "action on positive tests" say. 

Before this dilution, pilots would have their license suspended for three months when caught drunk for the first time at work. And if the same person was caught again, his or her flying license would be suspended for five years. This effectively meant an end to pilots' flying career as all their recencies would expire in five years and then they would have to begin from scratch to fly again — a virtually impossible task. 

The move comes following the Germanwings crash to ensure that crew operating flights is perfectly fit to do so. The regulator is planning to have a multi-phase monitoring of mental health of pilots that will begin right from the time a Class 12 pass science side student (the minimum requirement in India) wants to join a flying school. Only those found mentally fit at that stage, will be allowed to take flying classes. 

Original article can be found here:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Drone hovering around fire raises questions

LINCOLN, Neb. —A drone hovering around a three-alarm fire in Lincoln last week raised questions from authorities.

A police officer asked the pilot to ground the quadcopter at the request of the fire department, which he did. But Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong said later he didn't know if they had the authority to do it.

"I wouldn't say there was a violation on that," Peschong said.

The pilot, Jase Robak, has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration to fly his drone commercially. That could take up to three months if he is approved, but Robak has the freedom to fly it now so long as he doesn't sell the video he shoots.

The FAA allows hobbyists to fly unmanned aircraft systems for recreational purposes. They have to follow rules, like flying under 400 feet, flying within line of sight, staying away from large stadiums during games and not endangering people.

"You don't really have to do anything to be a hobbyist," Robak said. "You can just go to the store, and buy one and fly it around."

That's a concern to Matt Waite, who started the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's drone lab three years ago. He sees problems with allowing amateurs to operate drones while restricting businesses.

"They'd have liability insurance," Waite said. "They'd have training. They'd have a reason to be good at what they do."

He said that since the FAA doesn't have staff to enforce its rules, it's asking local law agencies to determine what's a violation and report them to the FAA.

"This is going to show up more and more," Peshong said. "And what can we do, what can't we do?"

Robak said his drone cost about $1,500. He said that while he was at the fire, he saw another person with a drone.

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

Van's RV-7A: Brothers building plane in backyard shed

Don Crittenden tinkers with the beginnings of an airplane. 



Colin Crittenden helps his brother Don build a plane.



In the backyard shed of an unassuming house on Lane Lane, two brothers pore over much more complicated versions of Lego instructions, before selecting a part and a tool and getting to work.

There are maps on the wall, "so we can see where we're going once it's built", and the plane's emerging fuselage dominates the room.

The wings are finished, as is the tail. The completed elements will hang on the walls until the plane is mostly finished and transported to the airport. "Yeah we can't put the wings on in the shed, the shed's not big enough," said Don Crittenden.

Retirement wasn't sitting well with the former charter pilot who stopped flights several months ago. "I've had aeroplanes for a number of years and I got a bit lonely without one," he said. "You can't golf every day."

So he started work on a Van's RV-7A in his back shed. The plane comes in a kit that hobby plane-makers can buy direct from the manufacturer, the sheets of aluminium that make up the bulk of the two-seater plane come pre-drilled with more than 12,000 rivets.

It's a two year job all up, about 2000 hours, and Don has recruited his brother Colin to help out with the beginning. "It's the sort of project you can't really rush," said Don.

Both have had their pilot's license for nearly 50 years. Don worked as a commercial pilot, while Colin was an engineer before retirement. Colin's now the go-to man for a lot of people building a plane, and this marks his 21st Van's build. "It's interesting work, else I wouldn't do it," said Colin.

As kids, they weren't into Lego but both had a Meccano set. "Which would you believe, I've still got," said Colin. The sets are made up of small sheets of metal with lots of pre-drilled holes, and young makers can create things like small cars, robots and motorbikes but are otherwise only limited by their imagination.

For Don it was a natural progression to build his own plane, a hobby he is not alone in taking up. A few years ago the aviation authority reported on the trend of amateur built planes, suggesting that price was a major contributing factor.

For example, the report says, in 2009 you would pay US$297,000 for a four-seat Cessna 172SP Skyhawk, compared with US$110,000 for the similar Van's RV-10. Hobbyists building from kits like the latter can also buy parts gradually over many years, making the price more accessible.

A representative from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will come and inspect the plane and Don must take photographs and keep a diary throughout the process to prove that he did build it. Aviation rules say that 51 percent of the plane must be amateur-built if the builder wants to do their own maintenance.

And when the plane is done? "I was sort of planning on going across the country, and keeping Asia on my right. That might be interesting when we get it all done," said Don.

"[And] probably go over to Port Macquarie two or three times a year."

Original article can be found here:  http://www.abc.net.au


The plans to make the Vans RV-7/7A.



Colin Crittenden takes a break from plane building.


One of Colin Crittenden's completed planes at Broken Hill Airport.

Cessna 180 Skywagon, N9247C: Accident occurred April 14, 2015 in Whittier, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC15FA021 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Whittier, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N9247C
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 private pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight in instrument meteorological conditions. The airplane was not certificated for flight into icing. A review of radar data and radio communications recordings revealed that, after an air traffic controller issued the pilot a descent from 10,000 to 8,000 ft mean sea level (msl), the pilot reported that he was having engine trouble and had encountered possible icing. The pilot subsequently declared an emergency, and 3 minutes later, radar contact and communication with the airplane were lost. A day after the accident, search and rescue personnel found the remains of the pilot along the eastern shoreline of Culross Island. The left main landing gear strut and tire were also recovered. The rest of the airplane was not located, and it is presumed to have sunk in Prince William Sound.

A review of weather information revealed that marginal visual flight rules conditions prevailed along the flight route due to low ceilings and that occasional instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed due to low ceilings and visibility in snow showers. Moderate icing was forecast between 4,000 and 10,000 ft above ground level. It is likely that the airplane encountered IMC and potential icing conditions below 10,000 ft msl. A pilot in an airplane about 6 minutes behind the accident airplane reported that, before descending from about 9,500 ft msl, he noticed a slight buildup of ice on the left engine cowling. Given this statement, the weather reports, and the accident pilot’s report that he was having engine trouble, it is likely that the airplane flew through an area favorable for the formation of induction or carburetor icing, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. 

A mechanic reported that the pilot had told him that when he applied carburetor heat, the control felt "mushy." The mechanic instructed the pilot to inspect the control arm for any damage because it could prevent the carburetor heat from operating correctly. Before the accident flight, the mechanic sent a text message to the pilot asking if he had checked the carburetor heat control, and the pilot replied that he had not but would do it that day. Therefore, although it is possible that damage to the carburetor heat control arm may have limited the amount of carburetor heat available to eliminate any possible carburetor ice, it could not be determined if this occurred because the airplane could not be examined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to continue flight into known icing conditions, contrary to the airplane’s limitations, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to icing.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On April 14, 2015, about 1330 Alaska daylight time (AKD), a wheel-equipped Cessna 180 airplane, N9247C, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with ocean waters, about 18 miles east of Whittier, Alaska, following a reported loss of engine power. The airplane was being operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) cross-country personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. The instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed along the route of flight, and the airplane was operating on an IFR flight plan. The flight departed the Wasilla Airport, Wasilla, Alaska, about 1205, en route to the Valdez Airport, Valdez, Alaska.

According to a family member the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to attend a business meeting.

The airplane was equipped with a Spidertracks flight tracking system, which provides real-time aircraft flight tracking data. The flight tracking information is transmitted via Iridium satellites to an internet based storage location, at 2-minute intervals. The airplane's last known location was near the eastern shoreline of Culross Island, at an altitude of 69 feet, traveling at 80 knots, on a heading of about 270 degrees. 

An alert notice was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Kenai Flight Service Station at 1336 and a search was conducted by personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers, and Alaska Air National Guard, as well as a Good Samaritan vessel. 

On April 15, about 1700, searchers located the remains of the pilot along the eastern shoreline of Culross Island. Also recovered was the left main landing gear strut and tire belonging to the accident airplane. The rest of the airplane has not yet been located, and it is presumed to have sunk in the ocean waters of Prince William Sound.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 53, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single engine land rating and instrument rating. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on August 06, 2013, and contained the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses for distant vision and possess glasses for near vision.

No personal logbooks were located for the pilot but according to a copy of FAA Form 8710-1, Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application, located at the home of the pilot, he had accumulated about 1605 total flight hours in airplanes as of July 11, 2014.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Cessna 180, manufactured in 1955, and equipped with a Continental Motors O-470 series engine. The airplane was certified and current for flight under instrument flight rules, but was not certified for flight into known icing. 

The colors of the airplane included a primary base color of white with blue and gold accent lines, white wings, and a blue propeller spinner.

At the time of its last annual inspection, completed on August 15, 2014, the airplane had 8,281.5 hours in service.

In a statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, a mechanic said the pilot discussed that when he applied carburetor heat, the control felt "mushy." The mechanic instructed him to inspect the control arm (item 34 in the Cessna Illustrated Parts Catalog) on the air box for any damage as it could prevent the carburetor heat from operating correctly. About 0830 on the day of the accident, the mechanic sent a text message to pilot to ask if he had checked the carburetor heat control, to which the pilot replied that he had not, but would do it that day. 

The Cessna 180 Owner's Manual states, in part: "The carburetor air heat control is located to the left of the throttle. The push-pull control operates the carburetor air intake butterfly valve which proportions the hot and cold air entering the carburetor. Pulling the control out provides heated air for the carburetor while pushing the control all the way in provides only cold air for the carburetor."

A detailed diagram of the engine air intake system from the Cessna Illustrated Parts Catalog is located in the public docket for this accident.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The forecast for the Portage Glacier area was for Marginal Visual Flight Rules conditions to prevail due to low ceilings and occasional IFR conditions due to low ceilings and visibility in snow showers. Moderate icing was forecasted between 4,000 feet agl and 10,000 feet agl with the freezing level beginning about 1,000 feet agl.

The closest weather reporting facility is Portage Glacier, Alaska, about 34 miles west of the accident site. At 1253, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) from the Portage Glacier Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) was reporting in part: wind from 120° at 11 knots, gusting 26 knots; sky condition, vertical visibility 500 feet agl; visibility, 1/4 statute miles; temperature 32 degrees F; dew point 28 degrees F; altimeter, 29.54 inHg.

A detailed weather study is located in the public docket for this accident.

COMMUNICATIONS

A post accident review of archived FAA radar data and radio communication recordings revealed that, about 1315, the on-duty Anchorage (ZAN) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) radar controller cleared the airplane for the LDA/DME H instrument approach to the Valdez Airport (VDZ). The airplane was about 60 miles southwest of VDZ, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Shortly after the pilot began a descent from 10,000 feet msl to 8,000 feet msl, he advised the ARTCC controller of an engine problem. 

As a result of static and background noise on the air traffic recording, a variety of filters were applied to clarify the audio by the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC. The transcription from that recording can be found in the public docket for this accident.

At 1316, after determining from the pilot that he did not have the VDZ weather, the ZAN controller issued the 1256 weather observation. One minute later, he cleared N9247C for the LDA/DME-H approach to VDZ with a restriction to cross the PEPPI intersection at or above 8000 feet. At 1318, the pilot reported leaving 10,000 feet for 8,000 feet.

At 1319, the pilot of N9247C stated that he was having trouble with his engine, but the transmission was blocked by other aircraft on the frequency. The controller acknowledged N9247C's descent from 10,000 to 8,000 feet, but did not acknowledge the pilot's report of engine trouble.

At 1321, the pilot transmitted, "Four seven charlie is declaring an emergency I have a problem with my engine I think I've been through the light stuff (unintelligible) descending for PEPPI for four thousand." The controller acknowledged the emergency call, then asked the pilot for the number of souls on board and if his engine was out or if he was able to continue. The pilot responded, "…I have windmilling power and (unintelligible) I'm in pretty poor shape. I still maintain forward airspeed. Descending for PEPPI at four thousand."

The controller replied, "…Roger, you're coming in a little bit scratchy right now. Right now I am showing you over an island you're about to head out over a little bit of water uh are you going to try to continue to Valdez or somewhere else along your route?" The pilot responded that he was going to try to get below the cloud deck at his current location, circle over the island, and see if he had room to land on the beach. The controller acknowledged and asked again how many souls were on board the aircraft. The pilot responded that one soul was on board.

At 1323, the controller advised the pilot that he was no longer in radar contact but that he was last observed northeast bound with the island behind him. The pilot acknowledged with "four seven charlie copy." There were no further communications between N9247C and air traffic control (ATC).

At 1325, Empire 922, an ATR-42-300, heard transmissions from N9247C. They relayed to the ZAN controller that the accident airplane reported that he was at 5500, had not broken out of the clouds and the prop was wingmilling, having not fired yet. The controller advised Empire 922 that he could not hear N9247C and asked the crew to continue relaying N9247C's transmissions. They agreed to do so. 

At 1325, the ZAN controller asked Yukla 02, an E3 airborne early warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, if they could help locate a mode 3 transponder code of 2221, the transponder code assigned to N9247C, at their 4 o'clock position and 40 miles at low level. Yukla 02 advised that they would help out.

At 1330, the pilot of Empire 922 advised the controller that he was receiving a strong emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal on frequency 121.5. The ZAN controller acknowledged Empire 922 and relayed to Juneau (JNU) FSS that N9247C had "crash landed." The ZAN controller asked the JNU controller if JNU was in contact with any other aircraft or helicopters in the area that could assist, but there were none.

At 1331, the controller asked Empire 922 to attempt to establish communications with the pilot of N9247C via the emergency frequency [121.5]. At 1332, Empire 922 advised ATC that they had not re-established communications with N9247C and that they were no longer hearing the ELT. Two minutes later, Empire 922 advised ATC that they had tried to reach N9247C on frequency 121.5 without success.

No further radio transmissions were received from the airplane and an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was broadcasting shortly thereafter for about 20 seconds.

A detailed air traffic aircraft accident package is located in the public docket for this accident. A NTSB detailed air traffic control study is also located in the public docket for this accident.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The only wreckage recovered to date is the left main landing gear strut and tire. The strut separated from the airplane with the gear box still attached. Sharp angular fractures exist on the forward and aft surface. The inboard surface separated at the rivet line with the outboard surface exhibiting a flat fracture surface. The fractures are consistent with damage that would occur during an impact sequence as opposed to tidal activity and impact with underwater objects after submersion.

Corrosion is present on the entire structure consistent with exposure to salt water.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute performed toxicology examinations for the pilot on May 08, 2015, which were negative for alcohol and drugs.

A postmortem examination conducted by the Alaska State Medical Examiners Office attributed the cause of death to be drowning with contributing factors of hypothermia and blunt force head injury.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The accident took place about 1330 AKD and originally the search was focused on the east side of Perry Island, as that is where the last radar return was observed. About 1440, the search was refocused to the east side of Culross Island, about 7 nautical miles west of Perry Island after receiving the last known coordinates from the Spidertracks data. 

The conditions of Prince William Sound at the time and location of the accident was water temperature 42 degrees F with 1-4 foot seas. When the pilot was located on Culross Island, it was noted that he was not wearing a life jacket or other personal floatation device.

A February 2008 NATO Research and Technology Organization publication titled Survival at Sea for Mariners, Aviators and Search and Rescue Personnel described the four stages of cold water immersion as:

• Stage 1: Initial immersion responses or cold shock (3-5 min.) • Stage 2: Short-term immersion or swimming failure (5-30 min.) • Stage 3: Hypothermia (= 30 min.) • Stage 4: Post-rescue collapse or circum rescue collapse In this publication, it is stated that during stage 1, "death from cold shock is not uncommon," and it takes place "within 3-5 minutes of immersion." It further states that swimming in "cold, dense water" is very dangerous (stage 2). As the body becomes exhausted, the person transitions to a more vertical position before total submersion.

A US Coast Guard article from January 6, 2015, titled A Lifejacket Buys You Time, states that it takes at least an hour for the full effects of hypothermia to set in and another hour after loss of consciousness for the heart to stop. It further states that without a lifejacket or other flotation device, drowning will occur prior to death from hypothermia.

A new Ameri-King Corporation AK-451 406MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) was installed in the airplane on February 04, 2015. The ELT is designed to transmit GPS/NAV data immediately on 406MHz, 243MHz and 121.5MHz frequencies. The 406MHz is stated to last for 24 hours with the 243MHz and 121.5MHz lasting a total of at least 78 hours. Shortly after the last communication was received from N9247C, an ELT began broadcasting a signal on 121.5MHz. Based on the Spidertracks data, the ELT was activated in the air with the signal broadcasting for about 20 seconds before it was no longer received. The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (AKRCC) reported never receiving a 406MHz signal. Currently, ELTs are not certified, nor required to be certified, for operation during or after submersion.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A pilot in an airplane about 6 minutes behind the accident airplane stated that while at 9,500 feet msl, in-flight visibility varied between 1 and 10 miles and was restricted by suspended ice crystals. The temperature was about 0°F. The pilot stated that prior to descending from 9,500 feet msl, he noticed a slight build-up of ice on the left engine cowling.

NTSB Identification: ANC15FA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 14, 2015 in Whittier, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N9247C
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 1330 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 180 airplane, N9247C, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with ocean waters, about 18 miles east of Whittier, Alaska, following a reported loss of engine power. The airplane was being operated as an instrument flight rules (IFR) cross-country personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. The instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed along the route of flight, and the airplane was operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight departed the Wasilla Airport, Wasilla, Alaska, about 1205, en route to the Valdez Airport, Valdez, Alaska. 

A postaccident review of archived Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data and radio communication recordings revealed that, about 1315, the on-duty Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) radar controller cleared the airplane for the LDA/DME H instrument approach to the Valdez Airport. At that time, the airplane was about 60 miles southwest of the Valdez Airport, at an altitude of about 10,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Shortly after the pilot began a descent from 10,000 feet msl, he advised the ARTCC controller of an engine problem. The pilot stated his intentions to descend below a cloud layer and land on a nearby island. Shortly after, radar contact with the airplane was lost. A radio communication from the accident airplane was relayed through another airplane in the area that he was at 5,500 feet msl, and still in the clouds. No further radio transmissions were received from the airplane and an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal was broadcasting shortly thereafter for approximately 20 seconds. 

The area that the airplane descended into was a portion of the Prince William Sound, consisting of remote inland fjords, coastal waterways, and steep mountainous terrain. 

The airplane was equipped with a Spidertracks flight tracking system, which provides real-time aircraft flight tracking data. The flight tracking information is transmitted via Iridium satellites to an internet based storage location, at two minute intervals. The airplane's last known location was near the eastern shoreline of Culross Island, at an altitude of 69 feet, traveling at 80 knots, on a heading of about 270 degrees. 

An alert notice was issued by the FAA Kenai Flight Service Station at 1336 and a search was conducted by personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Air National Guard, as well as a Good Samaritan vessel. 

On April 15, about 1700, searchers discovered the remains of the pilot along the eastern shoreline of Culross Island. Also recovered was the left main landing gear strut and tire belonging to the accident airplane. The rest of the airplane has not yet been located, and it is presumed to have sunk in the ocean waters of Prince William Sound.

The closest weather reporting facility is Valdez Airport, Valdez, Alaska, about 60 miles northeast of the accident site. At 1256, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) from the Valdez Airport was reporting in part: Wind, calm; sky condition, few clouds at 6,000 feet AGL, broken at 7,500 feet AGL, overcast at 9,000 feet AGL; visibility, 10 statute miles; temperature 37 degrees F; dewpoint 14 degrees F; altimeter, 29.64 inHg. 

The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors O-470 series engine.

DALE A. CARLSON: http://registry.faa.govN9247C



Dale Carlson, 53. 
Photo courtesy of Gene Carlson.




WASILLA -- The Wasilla pilot killed in a Prince William Sound plane crash April 14 had hoped to descend below the clouds and land on an island before he went down, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. 

Searchers late the next day found the remains of 53-year-old Dale Carlson and parts of his wheel-equipped Cessna 180 near Culross Island, an area of remote fjords and steep terrain about 18 miles east of Whittier.

A flight tracking system aboard Carlson’s plane showed his last known location near the island’s eastern shore, at an altitude of 69 feet and traveling at 80 knots, according to a preliminary report the federal safety agency released last week.

The day of the crash, Carlson took off from Wasilla for the Valdez airport around noon, the report says. He was about 60 miles southwest of Valdez and cleared for instrument approach at 1:15 p.m. when he began his descent. Carlson was an experienced, instrument-rated pilot on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. 

As he dropped below 10,000 feet, Carlson told an Anchorage air-traffic controller that he was experiencing engine problems, according to the report.  

The 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center received a mayday call from Carlson near Perry Island, the Coast Guard said last week. He reported engine failure and said he was going to try to set the plane down.

Carlson told the air-traffic controller he intended “to descend below a cloud layer and land on a nearby island,” the NTSB report said. Shortly after that, controllers lost radar contact with the plane. Another pilot picked up a radio transmission that Carlson was at about 5,500 feet and still in the clouds. An emergency locator transmitter signal broadcasted for about 20 seconds shortly after that.

Searchers discovered the plane’s left main landing gear strut and tire last week, the report says. The rest of the plane is presumed to have sunk into the Sound.

Carlson’s family told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman they plan to use any memorial donations to buy GPS devices for new pilots.

Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S, N608MR: Accident occurred April 20, 2015 in Lakeland, Florida

MOONEY INTERNATIONAL CORP: http://registry.faa.gov/N608MR

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA191 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 20, 2015 in Lakeland, FL
Aircraft: MOONEY INTERNATIONAL CORP M20TN, registration: N608MR
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 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 20, 2015, about 1440 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20TN, N608MR, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power while on final approach to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument rules flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight had departed from the Stuart Airport (SUA), Stuart, Florida, about 1340.

The airplane was removed prior to the investigative team's arrival; however, photographs provided to the investigative team revealed that the airplane came to rest near the aft end of a boat, that was on a trailer. The airplane forward of the aft baggage compartment bulkhead, was engulfed in flames. A video, taken by the pilot immediately after exiting the airplane, revealed fire beginning predominately forward of the wings but engulfing the wings within a few seconds of the start of the recording. The accident flight path was oriented on a 060 degree heading and the debris path began with three tire marks, approximately 20 feet in length and 200 feet to the west of the main wreckage resting point. The airplane became airborne, impacted a palm tree about 5 feet agl, as evidenced by an imbedded pitot tube in the tree trunk, impacted an archway over an entrance gate that was about 15 feet in height, struck another palm tree, and then impacted the ground coming to rest on an approximate heading of 260 degrees. The accident location was about 6,100 feet and 76 degrees from the runway 27 threshold, the intended landing runway.

According to the pilot, he had been vectored around some weather and was at 2000 feet above mean sea level (msl). He was given clearance to descend to 1600 feet msl and was placed on the final approach course at the final approach fix for the RNAV runway 27 approach. In order to configure for landing he reduced the power, extended the landing gear, and extended the flaps to the 33 degree flap setting. Once he was established at his planned approach speed, he utilized the veneer knob, on the throttle, to add power; however, the engine failed to respond. He then utilized the throttle lever and applied full power; however, the engine did not respond. He switched fuel tanks, checked his magneto switch, and fuel pump in an attempt to get the engine to respond; however, none were successful. Due to his configuration he elected to make an off airport landing and turned the airplane to the right, towards a vacant field. He further stated that the time from the first attempt to apply power and the accident was less than a minute.

Postrecovery examination revealed that the airplane was thermally damaged forward of the baggage compartment aft bulkhead. Impact damage was consistent with the airplane impacting the ground in a right wing, nose down attitude. The left wing was segmented into three sections and the right wing was segmented into two sections about midspan. Examination of the propeller blades revealed that the engine was not under power at the time of the impact and that the propeller was most likely windmilling. Examination of the fuel vents revealed that there was no obstruction to the fuel venting system. Examination of the engine revealed crankshaft and camshaft continuity from the propeller flange to the rear accessory pad, and thumb compression was noted on all cylinders, except for Cylinder No. 5 which had sustained impact damage.

A fuel receipt located at a fixed base operator at SUA revealed that, on the morning of the accident, the airplane was fueled with 20 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel. According to the pilot, the 20 gallons was a "top off" and would have provided him with full fuel tanks.

The engine was retained for further examination.


AN INVESTIGATOR CLIMBS INSIDE the melted fuselage of an airplane that crashed and burned near Village Road and Pipkin Creek Road in Lakeland on Monday at about 3:30 p.m.



Firefighters and investigators look at the melted fuselage of a an airplane which crash and burned near the intersection of Village Rd. and Pipkin Creek Rd. approximately 3:30 pm in Lakeland. Monday, April 20, 2015.





LAKELAND -- The pilot of a small plane escaped in the nick of time after the aircraft crashed in a Lakeland neighborhood. 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office says about 3 p.m. a single engine plane started having mechanical problems in the air before crashing into the neighborhood, near the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

People living along Pipkin Creek in Lakeland captured the dramatic scene- a plane down and on fire in their quiet neighborhood.

Julie Richmond said she was home when a man started frantically banging on her door.

"He just said ‘there's a plane crash, plane crash.’ So I just went out there and I opened the door and I ran out and he said "call 911" and I called 911,” she said.

The sheriff's office says the pilot, 55-year-old Richard Simile of Auburn, Alabama radioed he was having mechanical problems.

They say he tried to land at Lakeland Linder Airport but didn't make it. Instead, he narrowly missed an open field and came down by a row of houses and a horse farm.

"All the horses in the horse farm were just running around going absolutely insane so the first thing we did was we pulled in and got the horses under control and then we came out here and there was just pieces everywhere, just the plane was just spread out everywhere,” said Logan Schmidt, witness.

The pilot managed to get out of the plane and walked away with minor injuries but witnesses say as soon as he escaped, the plane caught on fire.

"The plane was trashed. The whole front end was all done. Just mangled,” said Keaton Dixson, witness.

No one on the ground was hurt but the back end of a boat sitting next to the plane was badly damaged, as well.

"I'm just glad nobody got hurt. I'm glad he got out fine and I'm glad, because that's my friend's house, the boat, and everything and I'm glad they weren't home and it did not crash into any house,” Richmond said.

We reached the pilot by phone and he declined to comment.

Officials say the crash was not related to the Sun N' Fun International Fly-In and Expo which starts Tuesday.

Original article can be found here: http://www.baynews9.com



























































LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) - A pilot survived a crash that caused his small plane to burst into flames in a Lakeland neighborhood on Monday afternoon.

The pilot walked away from the crash with only minor injuries.

Photos taken shortly after the crash appear to show the crashed plane and a nearby boat on fire. The boat was parked on a street near where the plane crashed.

Polk County Sheriff's Office and Lakeland Fire Department responded to the crash which happened around 3 p.m. in the 3900 block of Pipkin Creek Road.

First responders arrived on-scene and discovered that the pilot and sole occupant, walked away from the crash with only minor injuries. The pilot's is 55-year-old Richard Simile, from Auburn, Alabama, who was practicing for the Sun 'n Fun fly in, which begins Tuesday at Lakeland Linder Airport.

The plane is a Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S. The pilot told first responders that he was heading westbound when he lost power and the crash occurred. After he exited the plane, it caught fire.

Lakeland Fire responded to extinguish the fire. The FAA is already on-scene and will investigate the cause of the crash.

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

A pilot walked away from a small plane crash in Lakeland Monday afternoon with no major injuries.

Around 3:00 p.m. Monday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene of an airplane crash in the 3900 block of Pipkin Creek Road.

When first responders arrived on-scene they located the pilot, who was the sole occupant of the plane.

The pilot, who walked away from the crash with only minor injuries, is identified as 55-year-old Richard Simile, from Auburn, Alabama. The plane is a Mooney M20TN Acclaim Type S.

Simile told first responders that he was heading westbound when he lost power and crashed. He was able to get out of the plane on his own, then the plane caught fire.

The Lakeland Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire. The FAA is investigating the cause of the crash.

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

Piper PA-32, HI-957, Sky High Aviation Services: Fatal accident occurred April 20, 2015 in eastern Dominican Republic








































































Punta Cana, Dominican Republic  -   Seven people died, the pilot and four tourists when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Punta Cana Airport 9am Monday, headed to Samana, local media report.

The plane crashed at the Cocotal residential are of the Bavaro-Punta Cana region (east), where firefighters doused the ensuing blaze.

Tourism police local commander Duran Infante said the crash site was cordoned off with five bodies recovered. He said seven people were in the aircraft.

None of the victims have been identified.

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


Cae avioneta en campo de golf de Punta Cana; se reportan siete muertos 

 PUNTA CANA.- Una avioneta que había salido desde el Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Cana con destino a Samaná, se estrelló este lunes en un campo de golf del residencial Cocotal, en la provincia La Altagracia.

El accidente ocurrió aproximadamente a las 8:15 de la mañana, donde se generaron tres explosiones luego de que la avioneta se estrellara.

Según las informaciones preliminares, las condiciones de la nave y el fuego que se observaba en el lugar, se ha informado que ningún tripulante quedó con vida. 

El vocero de la Policía Nacional informó a través de su cuenta de Twitter que siete personas perdieron la vida. 

http://www.elnuevodiario.com.do

Pitts Model 12, N12DR: Accident occurred April 18, 2015 near Falconhead Airport (37K), Burneyville, Love County, Oklahoma

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA205 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Burneyville, OK
Aircraft: DOUGLAS RIPLEY PITTS MODEL 12, registration: N12DR
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

On April 18, 2015, about 1810 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Ripley Pitts model 12 airplane, N12DR, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Falconhead Airport (37K), Burneyville, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed about 1800.

The pilot reported that after a short local area flight he reentered the traffic pattern to practice landings on runway 18 (4,400 feet by 75 feet, asphalt). He stated that while on the downwind leg he reduced engine power to initiate a descent to the runway. During the base leg he determined that the airplane would need additional engine power to land at his preferred touchdown point on the runway; however, the engine did not respond as he advanced the throttle. He then fully advanced both the throttle and propeller controls with no noticeable increase in engine power. Believing that the airplane did not have enough altitude to safely glide to the runway, the pilot made a turn toward a nearby open grass field for a forced landing. He stated that the airplane's main landing gear collapsed after encountering soft turf during the landing. The forward fuselage, firewall, engine mount, and both lower wings were substantially damaged during the impact sequence.

DOUGLAS E.  RIPLEY:   http://registry.faa.gov/N12DR

LOVE COUNTY — A Burneyville man was treated and released from Mercy Hospital Marietta following an emergency aircraft landing near Burneyville Saturday evening.

The Department of Public Safety reported a 2013 Pitts Model 12, piloted by Danny Stanton, 67, attempted to land at Falconhead Airport but because of engine failure, conducted an emergency landing in a field nearby. 

While attempting to land, the landing gear got caught in the mud, which caused the landing gear to collapse. 

The accident took place at 6:10 p.m. on private property.

Stanton was taken by private vehicle to Mercy Hospital Marietta, treated and released.

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct a follow-up investigation.

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


Pilots to start air race from Anderson County Regional Airport (KAND), South Carolina

ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Pilots of fixed wing propeller driven aircraft will depart on a cross country air race from Anderson County Monday morning.

The Race to the Sun is a 400 nautical mile race with one turn point that will begin at the Anderson County Regional Airport and end at Gilbert Field in Winter Haven, FL.

Racers will enjoy a breakfast together at the airport before the race begins.

Pilots will get into their planes at 10 a.m. and the engines are expected to start at 10:30 a.m. 

Organizers said when the lead plane is ready, all planes will taxi and launch for the race start.

FOX Carolina will stream the departure live. Click here to watch, when available (Mobile and app users click here).

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