Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, N597JG, Knoxville Flyers: Accident occurred May 19, 2015 near Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knox County, Tennessee

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

Knoxville Flyers Incorporated: http://registry.faa.gov/N597JG

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Nashville FSDO-19

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

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

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA217 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 19, 2015 in Corryton, TN
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N597JG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 May 19, 2015, about 1650 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N597JG, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Corryton, Tennessee. The student pilot and certificated flight instructor (CFI) were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Knoxville Flyers Incorporated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight, which departed Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (DKX), Knoxville, Tennessee, at 1430.

According to the CFI, his student was performing flight maneuvers when he heard a loud "bang" from the area of the engine. This was accompanied by engine roughness and a reduced rpm. The CFI took control of the airplane and the student pilot completed the engine restart checklist in an attempt to resolve the engine roughness. The engine continued to lose power and the airplane began losing altitude. The CFI declared an emergency and informed air traffic control that he would be conducting an off-airport landing. He then performed a forced landing in a field, and during the landing sequence the firewall was damaged.

A detailed postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the nose gear mount attachment and firewall was buckled. No further damage was noted on the airframe. An examination of the engine revealed the No. 4 cylinder head was fractured circumferentially on the head at the outboard barrel thread. The cylinder was removed and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination. Detailed examination of the cylinder's fracture surfaces revealed that portion of the fracture surface had relatively smooth fracture features with curving crack arrest lines, features consistent with fatigue.

Examination of the cylinder revealed that there were markings cast on the cylinder near the exhaust port opening that read ECI and AEL85099 IR. A stamp near the intake port opening read 51932-14. A review of the maintenance logbooks revealed that the engine was overhauled on February 7, 2008. On May 1, 2014, the engine had a time of 1,012.5 hours since overhaul. No anomalies were reported following a compression check performed during the annual inspection. The last engine service (oil change) prior to the accident was entered May 13, 2015, with a recorded time of 1509.7 hours since overhaul.

A review of Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-26-12, effective February 4, 2010 required repetitive inspections or inspection and early replacement of cylinders with certain ECI part number AEL85099 heads installed on Lycoming 320, 360, and 540 series engines including the Lycoming O-360-A4M engine installed on the accident airplane. The serial number for the cylinder head in this accident was outside the range of serial numbers listed in AD 2009-26-12, and therefore was not subject to the inspection and replacement requirements.   

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Knox County Tuesday afternoon. 

The plane landed in the 7900 block of Washington Pike in Corryton around 4:45 p.m.

Rural/Metro officials say the plane, carrying a flight instructor and pilot in training, had just taken off from Downtown Island Home Airport. Neither were injured.

Pilot Bobby Gintz says they were flying at about 4,000 feet and practicing maneuvers when they had an engine failure. They had only five minutes to find a place to land.

The Piper PA-28 aircraft is registered to Knoxville Flyers, Inc, according to the FAA. Officials say the plane will need some work, but will fly again.

Philadelphia law firm unsuccessful in keeping National Transportation Safety Board from posting plane crash findings, loses wrongful death suit: Grumman American AA-5, N6511L, fatal accident occurred March 13, 2005 in Chesapeake, Ohio

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia law firm seeking injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order against the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has had its requests denied by a Philadelphia federal judge.

The Wolk Law Firm filed the complaint on May 4 on behalf of its clients Rebecca Hetzer Young, Anise Gothard Nash and Elizabeth Lampe, who are currently involved in a pending and separate wrongful death case in the Greene County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio, Young v. Elano Corp.

Young, Nash and Lampe represent the surviving family members of three individuals killed in a Grumman AA-5 aircraft crash at Ohio’s Lawrence County Air Park on March 3, 2005.

The crash claimed the lives of the plane’s pilot Michael Young, plus passengers Ginny Young and Charles Lampe, and is the event serving as the basis for the Young v. Elano Corp. litigation.

The complaint brought by The Wolk Law Firm sought a 30-day enjoinment towards the NTSB from publishing its “Probable Cause Determination” regarding the 2005 crash on its website, www.ntsb.gov beginning May 4, feeling it would be “irreparably harmful” to the plaintiffs and the case of Young, Nash and Lampe, effectively denying them their right to a fair trial.

The 30-day enjoinment time limit, the plaintiffs said, would last for the duration of their clients’ wrongful death trial in Ohio.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs contacted the NTSB to remove the “Probable Cause Determination” when it was first published on April 7, and allegedly received a refusal to remove the information from the government agency one week later.

The plaintiff allege the NTSB’s “brief” investigation into the 2005 crash was unsatisfactory and arrived at incorrect conclusions with respect to the reasons for the crash by allegedly inviting the engine manufacturer to participate in the investigation, ignoring physical evidence and eyewitness accounts of engine malfunction and inferring toxicology conclusions without referring to proper evidence.

Court records indicate the motion for a temporary restraining order was thrown out by Eastern District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel on May 6 following a telephone conference with all parties involved. As a result of the temporary restraining order motion being denied, the plaintiffs dismissed their litigation five days later.

Meanwhile, the wrongful death trial in the crash that claimed the lives of Michael Young, Ginny Young and Charles Lampe has concluded.

The trial resulted in a defense verdict. Jurors found the defendants were not negligent, did not negligently design a muffler and did not negligently fail to warn about dangers associated with the muffler.

The plaintiff was represented by John Joseph Gagliano of The Wolk Law Firm in Philadelphia.

The defendant was represented by Thomas F. Johnson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, also in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:15-cv-02459

Source:  http://pennrecord.com


NTSB Identification: NYC05FA058
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, March 13, 2005 in Chesapeake, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5, registration: N6511L
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

Witnesses observed the airplane approach to the runway; however, it appeared to be high, and as it passed over the runway, it executed a go-around. The airplane continued around the traffic pattern, and returned to land a second time. The second landing attempt appeared to be fast, and the intended touchdown point was "far down the runway." The pilot then applied power, and the airplane became airborne, with a nose high attitude. The airplane continued in a nose high attitude, and cleared the 30-foot high trees located at the end of the runway. The tail of the airplane then began to wobble, the right wing dropped, and the airplane descended to the ground about 1/4 mile from the airport. A postcrash fire consumed a majority of the main wreckage. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any abnormalities with the airframe or engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during the aborted landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall.


On March 13, 2005, at 1506 eastern standard time, a Grumman American AA-5, 6511L was destroyed when it impacted terrain, shortly after takeoff from the Lawrence County Airpark (HTW), Chesapeake, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A witness, who was at the airport, stated that he observed the accident airplane approach runway 26. The airplane appeared to be high, and as it passed over the runway, it executed a go-around. The airplane continued around the pattern, and returned to approach runway 26 a second time. The second landing attempt appeared to be fast, and the intended touchdown point was "far down the runway." The witness looked away from the airplane, and seconds later, he heard the engine power being applied. The witness then observed the airplane become airborne, with a nose high attitude, and clear the trees located at the end of the runway. The airplane continued in a nose high attitude and the tail began to wobble, followed by the right wing dropping. The airplane then descended behind the tree line out of the witnesses view. 

A second witness, who was monitoring the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency at HTW with a handheld radio, also observed the accident airplane approach runway 26. The airplane appeared to be fast, and as it passed the mid-point of the runway, it was still 25-30 feet above the ground. The airplane passed out of the witness's sight; however, the witness then heard the pilot in the accident airplane transmit, "…Guys we're going to crash…" 

A third witness heard an airplane rev its engine, and looked up to observe the accident airplane in a steep climb. The airplane then made a right hand bank, before stalling, and subsequently descending nose first to the ground.

The accident occurred during the hours of darkness, at 38 degrees, 25.11 minutes north longitude, 82 degrees, 30.17 minutes west latitude, at an elevation of 561 feet. 


The pilot held a private pilot certificate for single-engine land airplanes. His most recent application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on January 11, 2004. The pilot reported that he had accumulated about 250 hours of total flight experience on the medical application.


The weather reported at an airport 4 miles south of HTW, at 1451, included calm winds, clear skies, and 10 statute miles of visibility. The temperature was 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dew point 27 degrees Fahrenheit.


Approximately 30-foot tall trees were located about 200 feet from the departure end of runway 26.


The wreckage site was located in a field, consisting of soft terrain, about 1/4 statute mile from HTW, on an approximate magnetic heading of 280 degrees. The accident site was disturbed prior to the arrival of Safety Board personnel on March 14, 2004, due to emergency rescue procedures. In addition, the area had been doused with water and firefighting agents to contain the postcrash fire.

Next to the impact crater was a section of the right wing, the right flap, and the right wing tip.

The main fuselage was located about 65 feet from the impact crater, oriented on about a 260-degree magnetic heading, and was consumed by the postcrash fire. All crew and passenger seats were destroyed and separated from their attachment points. 

All major control surfaces of the airplane were accounted for at the accident scene.

The engine was separated from the main fuselage. The propeller remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades were twisted, and exhibited chord-wise scratches and leading edge nicks.

The left wing remained attached to the main fuselage and was consumed by the postcrash fire. 

The postcrash fire also consumed the empennage.

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit area to all of the flight control surface locations. The rudder and stabilator control stops were examined, and did not reveal any abnormalities.

The overhead canopy and right wing aileron were located about 20 feet beyond the main wreckage. 

The engine was recovered from the accident site and examined. The crankshaft was rotated via the propeller. Compression and valve train continuity was confirmed to all cylinders. The top and bottom spark plugs were removed and examined. Their electrodes were intact. The number 1 and 3 cylinder top and bottom sparkplugs were light gray in color, while the number 2 and 4 cylinder top and bottom sparkplugs were oil soaked. Both the left and right magnetos could not be tested due to impact and fire damage.


The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. 


Wreckage Release

The airplane wreckage was released on March 17, 2005 to a representative of the owners insurance company.

Beech 55 Baron, N5816S: Accident occurred May 18, 2015 in Saltville, Virginia

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA215 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 18, 2015 in Saltville, VA
Aircraft: BEECH 95 B55 (T42A), registration: N5816S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On May 18, 2015, at 1238 eastern daylight time, a Beech 95-B55 (T42A), N5816S, was destroyed during collision with terrain near Saltville, Virginia. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane departed Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Daytona Beach, Florida, about 0920, and was destined for Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (MFD), Mansfield, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

Preliminary radar and air traffic control information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 1214:05, the airplane was in cruise flight at an altitude about 9,000 feet when the pilot contacted Tri-Cities Approach Control. The air traffic controller acknowledged the pilot and issued the altimeter setting. At 1220:02, the controller asked the pilot his on-course heading; the pilot responded 356 degrees. The controller advised the pilot of scattered areas of unspecified weather of unknown intensity about 40 miles directly ahead of the airplane. The pilot stated he would like to deviate east if possible. The TRI air traffic controller approved deviations left and right as necessary, and instructed the pilot to maintain 9,000 feet. At 1232:16, the air traffic controller switched the pilot to the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZID) and the pilot acknowledged the communications transfer. There were no further communications between the accident airplane and air traffic control.

Radar data depicted an easterly deviation off course, along with a gradual descent, before radar contact was lost.

A search was initiated, and the airplane wreckage was discovered in heavily wooded, mountainous terrain on May 19, 2015.

At 1235, the weather recorded at Tazewell County Airport, 8 miles north of the site, included scattered layers at 2,900 feet, 3,600 feet, and a broken ceiling at 8,000 feet with 10 miles visibility. The wind was from 210 degrees at 5 knots. The temperature was 24 degrees C, and the dewpoint was 18 degrees C. The altimeter setting was 30.26 inches of mercury. A Center Weather Advisory issued at 1204, valid west of the airplane's flight track, forecasted areas of heavy to extreme precipitation in isolated thunderstorms.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued July 2, 2013. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed he had accumulated 2,852.3 total hours of flight experience, 167 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1965, and was equipped with two Continental Motors Inc IO-470, 260 hp reciprocating engines. The airplane's maintenance records were not recovered; however, a maintenance invoice revealed that its most recent annual inspection was completed August 15, 2014, at 4094.9 total aircraft hours.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The initial impact points were an approximate 50-foot-tall tree and a deep ground scar collocated near the peak of a mountain, at an elevation of about 4,400 feet. . The airplane fragmented outside the crater, and was contained in an arc that reached about 50 feet beyond the crater on an approximate 192 degree magnetic heading, and widened to about 60 feet at its widest point.

Control continuity could not be established due to extensive impact damage, however; parts associated with both wings, left and right wing flaps, and left and right ailerons were identified. Sheet metal and cabling associated with the horizontal and vertical stablizers, as well as the elevators, were also identified.

The propellers were separated from their respective engines, and all propeller blades exhibited similar twisting, bending, leading edge gouging, and chordwise scratching. One tree trunk displayed deep, angular cuts with paint transfers consistent with propeller contact.

The wreckage and some personal electronic devices were recovered for examination at a later date.

The investigation of the plane crash that killed two people on Monday in a remote area near Saltville may take some time as the debris field is described as substantial and only being cleared during daylight hours.

According to Corinne Geller, public relations director with the Virginia State Police, the crash scene has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which began removing the wreckage on Thursday.

“They were going to have to remove by helicopter due to the terrain,” said Geller. “Cause remains under investigation.”

Geller said investigators are still waiting on positive identification of the victims whose bodies were taken to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke, but an Ohio newspaper identified the people on board the Beech BE55 as George and Pamela Ihrig Fonseca of Mansfield, Ohio. The couple was reported to have been flying from their winter home near Daytona Beach, Fla., back to Ohio.

The plane left Florida Monday morning and was reported missing at 2:20 p.m. The wreckage was discovered early Tuesday afternoon where the plane had crashed into Flat Top Mountain east of Saltville.

The Saltville Rescue Squad building served as a staging area for searchers and local people assisted in locating the crash scene once it was spotted from the air. On board the Virginia State Police helicopter conducting the spotting was a member of the Black Diamond Search and Rescue Council and a Virginia State Police lieutenant, stated a news release from the Virginia State Police.

The terrain is difficult, rocky with dense foliage, so recovery of the wreckage is taking place only during daylight hours, reported a spokesman with the NTSB.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) Conservation Police assisted with the ground search using ATVs.

Weather conditions at the time of the crash are being studied as part of the investigation, stated Lt. Ed Murphy with the Virginia State Police as the pilot of the aircraft may have been trying to avoid isolated storms in the flight path. A preliminary report may be released in the next couple of weeks.

George and  Pam Ihrig Fonseca
The husband and wife aboard a six-seat plane that crashed into the side of a mountain in Virginia were both aviation enthusiasts and pilots, a family member said.

George Fonseca and his wife, Pam Ihrig Fonseca, were on their way back home to Mansfield, Ohio, aboard their Beech BE-55 plane early Monday, said niece Kayla Ihrig of Pennsylvania. The Fonsecas encountered bad weather over the rugged and remote mountains of southwest Virginia, just east of Saltville, according to the Virginia State Patrol.

The plane crashed into the side of a mountain called Flat Top, which is quite steep, Virginia State Police Lt. Ed Murphy said. A search helicopter spotted the wreckage about 12:35 p.m. the next day.

“They were aviation enthusiasts,” Ihrig said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “They took flying very seriously. It was a huge shock to everyone.”

The couple had left the Spruce Creek Fly-In near Port Orange — where they have a home with a hangar on Lazy Eight Drive that backs up to a taxiway — just before 9 a.m. Monday and were expected back in Mansfield about five hours later, according to the flight plan they had filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. They were supposed to land at the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport, FAA officials said.

The FAA had put out a statement saying that the pilot lost contact with air traffic controllers at Tri-Cities Airport in Tennessee at 12:40 p.m. Monday. The aircraft was flying about 7 miles northeast of Tazewell County Airport, Richland, Virginia, when contact was lost.

“The crash site is located on the western side of Flat Top Mountain towards the top elevation,” Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman with the Virginia State Patrol, wrote in an email. She described the debris field of wreckage as “extensive.”

Ihrig said her aunt Pam also had her pilot’s license, but she’s not certain whether Pam or George Fonseca was flying the plane Monday. She said the couple had four planes and enjoyed restoring Word War II-era aircraft. They flew back and forth between their residences in Mansfield and the Fly-In.

Ihrig also said the Fonsecas “traveled more than anyone else I ever met.” The couple owned a staffing company in Mansfield and when the couple failed to show up at their office, people became concerned and someone called Fonseca’s son, Ihrig said.

“Once we heard they were missing, family members drove (to the site) from Missouri and Pennsylvania,” Ihrig said.

Geller of the Virginia State Patrol said officials with the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA were at the scene investigating on Wednesday.

Source:  http://www.news-journalonline.com

George Fonseca