Friday, May 29, 2015

Incident occurred May 29, 2015 in Caledonia, Kent County, Michigan



CALEDONIA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Now that two people have been safely rescued from a helicopter that crashed into some treetops, emergency crews are figuring out how to remove the aircraft.

The crash was reported around 11:45 a.m. Friday in the 6900 block of 76th St. SE, near Thornapple River Dr.

The two people aboard are Consumers Energy contractors who were inspecting some high-voltage lines. They were uninjured in the crash but needed help getting down. Crews cut down trees to make room for bringing in a Hydaker-Wheatlake Power Line Supply Co. bucket truck to rescue them. There was some concern that it might be necessary to have a Coast Guard helicopter airlift them; that turned out not to be the case.

The pilot is 55-year-old Ken Wilson from Dolan Springs, Arizona. His passenger was 27-year-old Raymond Osan III from Stockbridge, Michigan. While waiting to be rescued, they were able to climb out of the helicopter and hold onto the treetops.

Another helicopter might be used to remove the aircraft; crews have been brainstorming how they'll get it out. The crashed helicopter is not in an area where it's posing a threat should it fall. It is heavily damaged, though.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash, trying to determine the cause.

Story, photo gallery and comments:  http://www.wzzm13.com














New York-bound passenger jet reports near-miss with drone



A commercial airliner narrowly missed colliding midair with a drone at 2,700 feet as it neared New York's LaGuardia Airport Friday morning, just hours after a string of incidents involving lasers pointed at planes, according to federal officials.


The pilot reportedly had to swerve upward over Brooklyn's Prospect Park in order to avoid the drone as the plane neared the airport. The incident followed several earlier instances of pilots reporting they had lasers pointed at them near New York airports.

"The flight crew of Shuttle America Flight 2708 reported climbing 200 feet to avoid an unmanned aircraft while on final approach to LaGuardia Airport at about 11 a.m. today," the Federal Aviation Administration said. "The crew ... reported that the unmanned aircraft was operating in the vicinity of Prospect Park in Brooklyn at an altitude of about 2,700 feet."

The plane later landed safely, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the case.

The frightening encounter came hours after five pilots reported being targeted by a green laser pointed at their cockpits near the city. Four planes, including another Shuttle America flight, were reportedly at approximately 8,000 feet when the lasers were pointed at them four miles northwest of Farmingdale, N.Y., Thursday night. The FAA notified the New York State Park Police about those cases.

In addition, Sun Country Airlines Flight 249 reported a green laser illuminated the aircraft when it was 14 miles southwest of JFK Airport at around 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The FAA notified the New Jersey State Police last night.

Lasers and drones are perhaps the two biggest threats faced by the airline industry, according to Phil Derner Jr., an aviation research and consulting expert who runs nycaviation.com. But while drones are typically unwittingly flown in restricted airspace, people who point lasers at planes nearly always act with criminal intent, he said.

"People use the drones for photography, and they can truly do amazing things," Derner said. "They typically don't realize that, in New York for instance, nearly the entire city is Class Bravo restricted airspace," meaning drones can't be flown above a few hundred feet.

Like bird strikes, the danger presented by drones is that they will get near a plane and be sucked into an engine, he said.

"Drones are stronger than birds and people are flying them in restricted airspace more and more," Derner said. "It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, one of these hits an aircraft." 

When laser beams hit a cockpit window, the glass acts like a prism and disperses the blinding light throughout the cockpit, he said.

"It is very, very dangerous," Derner said. "You either have to have some sort of criminal intent or be one of the stupidest people on the planet to point a laser at an aircraft."

It was not the first time in recent weeks that drones have been spotted dangerously close to planes in the vicinity of LaGuardia. On May 5, a drone was spotted near two planes as they landed at the airport. One was seen outside a window by a passenger aboard an Air Canada flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Less than 10 minutes later, the pilot of a United Airlines flight reported seeing the same drone in restricted airspace as he made his final approach. In both cases, the drone was flying at about 1,000 feet, according to the FAA.

Story, video and comments: http://www.foxnews.com

Incident occurred May 29, 2015 at Pennridge Airport (KCKZ), Perkasie, Bucks County, Pennsylvania



PERKASIE, Pa. (CBS) — Officials are investigating after a small plane made an emergency landing at the Pennridge Airport in Perkasie, Bucks County. 

Officials say the plane was having issues and was forced to make an emergency landing. 

There are no reported injuries at this time. 

It is unclear how many people were on the plane.

The incident is under investigation. 

Original article can be found here: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pilot says Xcel Energy at fault in accident: Aero Vodochody L-39C, N6175C

National Transportation Safety Board

Raymond Davoudi, a San Diego restaurateur, was the passenger flying with pilot Brian W. Evans on May 28, 2015 in the Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros that sheared through power cables in De Beque Canyon.


Brian W. Evans, seen climbing out of a plane, had his commercial pilot certificate suspended for 180 days.


The jet pilot and passenger who flew up De Beque Canyon at an estimated 300 mph said in court papers that Xcel Energy was at fault for an accident in which the jet snapped seven power cables.

Pilot Brian Evans and his passenger, Raymond Mez Davoudi, each named the energy company in separate responses to a federal suit filed by an Aspen man who claims he suffered damage to his hands and hearing as a result of the incident on May 28, 2015.

An Xcel Energy spokesman said the company isn't a party to the suit and was unable to comment on it.

Steve Centofanti was driving west on Interstate 70 when he saw the jet, a Warsaw Pact-era trainer, approaching — apparently straight at him.

Centofanti suffered lost feelings in his hands from gripping his steering wheel "in a panic fearing for his life and the lives of his passengers."




He also suffered hearing damage from the roar of the jet when Evans turned it skyward after it struck the cables near the Grand Valley Diversion Dam.

Centofanti's vehicle, as well as others, was struck by cables that whipped through the air as they were slashed by the jet.

Responses to the lawsuit filed by Evans and Davoudi said Xcel Energy was a "necessary and indispensable" party that Centofanti had failed to include in the suit.

Xcel should have marked the cables, and should be liable for any damages awarded to Centofanti, lawyers for Evans and Davoudi said.

Evans is a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot and Davoudi is a San Diego restaurateur who, according to postings on his Facebook page, eagerly accepted Evans' invitation to fly with him in the jet, a Vodochody L-39C, from Idaho to Alabama.

The Federal Aviation Administration revoked Evans' pilot's license after the incident, noting that Evans had flown the jet at less than 500 feet and that pilots are not to operate aircraft "in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."




Colorado State Patrol reports noted that a truck driver on Interstate 70 that day could have been fatally injured by whipping cables. Another driver, Steve Reynolds of Glenwood Springs, suffered extensive damage to his car from the slashed cables.

The jet suffered extensive damage in the incident but Evans was able to circle Grand Junction for some 45 minutes before landing without incident at Grand Junction Regional Airport, from which it had taken off earlier that day.

"Xcel Energy is not a party to these particular proceedings and therefore cannot comment on them," the company said in a statement. "Our transmission system in the area was repaired, and our primary concern today is the continued operation of our system to ensure safe and reliable service to our customers."

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.gjsentinel.com



L-39 N6175C from Matt Cawby on Vimeo.
L-39 N6175C taxi test at Paine Field May 8, 2010.






Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah 

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

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

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

Location: Grand Junction, CO
Accident Number: GAA15CA096
Date & Time: 05/28/2015, 1225 MDT
Registration: N6175C
Aircraft: AERO VODOCHODY L39
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis

According to the pilot, while flying over a river at an altitude of about 100 feet above water and ground level, at 250 knots, the airplane impacted unmarked power line wires that spanned the river. The power line wires are clearly identified on the Visual Flight Rules Sectional Aeronautical Chart. The pilot immediately established a climb and returned to the airport without further incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the nose, left wing, and vertical stabilizer.

The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and subsequent failure to remain clear of power line wires while maneuvering at low altitude.

Findings

Aircraft
Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Flight planning/navigation - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Awareness of condition (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute
Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
  
Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 45
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/17/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/05/2014
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2944.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 458.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 2902.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 135.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 94.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 37 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)
  
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AERO VODOCHODY
Registration: N6175C
Model/Series: L39 C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 432942
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/09/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10362 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 32 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Fan
Airframe Total Time:  at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: IVCHENKO
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: AI-25TL
Registered Owner: XP Services Inc.
Rated Power: 3800 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Tactial Advantage Inc.
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GJT, 4858 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 70°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: GRAND JUNCTION, CO (GJT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: GARDEN CITY, KS (GCK)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1220 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G
  
Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.122500, -108.526667 (est)

Grumman AA-5B Tiger, N28314: Incident occurred May 28, 2015 in Bardstown, Nelson/Washington County line, Kentucky

Date: 28-MAY-15 
Time: 16:55:00Z
Regis#: N28314
Aircraft Make: GRUMMAN
Aircraft Model: AA5
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA FSDO: FAA Louisville FSDO-17
City: WILLISBURG
State: Kentucky

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A HIGHWAY, NEAR WILLISBURG, KY

http://registry.faa.gov/N28314


BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WLKY) —A Chester, South Carolina, man who bought a plane in Indiana was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday on a Kentucky highway Thursday.

Robert Kinion, 57, said he had just bought the Grumman American AA-5B Tiger, and was heading home when the plane started to have engine trouble. Kinion said he tried to take the plane higher, but it would not gain altitude.

He called Kentucky State Police for help and asked for the nearest airport.

Kinion said he couldn't make it that far, so he looked for another place to land.

The Bluegrass Parkway was too busy, so Kinion landed on Highway 555 just north of the Bluegrass Parkway in Washington County, Kentucky.

Kinion said there were two cars on the road when he landed and he thought he might hit them, so he circled, then lost altitude. As he landed, Kinion said he almost hit one car, but it pulled over.

Source:  http://www.wyff4.com




(WHAS 11)—KSP are on the scene of an aircraft making emergency landing on Highway 555 at the Nelson/Washington County line.

The small aircraft signaled they were in distress then landed 15 mile east of Bardstown.


The plane made an emergency landing and the pilot is out of the plane and okay.


There are no injuries, no damage, and no crash.


KSP Trooper Jeff Gregory tells WHAS that a wrecker has been called to take the plane to the airport to figure out what went wrong.


Source:  http://www.whas11.com 



MIT flight being investigated



The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the flight of the noisy, low-flying aircraft that passed over area towns Tuesday, May 19.

The plane, a Gulfstream II private jet, was flying a 33-minute "data collection mission" out of the MIT Lincoln Lab's hangar on the Hanscom Air Force Base, said lab spokesperson David Granchelli. It was flying at 1,000 feet above Mean Sea Level, he said in an email, adding, "with rising terrain the above ground level could be less than 1000ft."

According to FAA regulations, pilots generally cannot fly within 1,000 feet of the tallest object in an area.

A flight path report, which MIT confirmed is accurate, appears to show the aircraft flew in circles around the area, crossing six or seven times over communities.

Arlington's Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said it is protocol for Hanscom officials to notify towns before low-flying plane events. 

The mission was "associated with a [Department of Defense] program" and therefore a plan for it was not given to officials in surrounding communities, Granchelli said. "The FAA and the pilots did not deem this a safety risk."

According to the a statement from the lab, weather was to blame for the unusually low flight.

"The weather made it difficult for the aircraft to achieve an altitude higher than 1,000 ft in the traffic pattern," the statement reads. "Typically, the Laboratory’s aircraft fly at higher altitudes to minimize noise disturbances, but because of the importance of this data collection to the program it supports, the decision was made to conduct the mission. Lincoln Laboratory, a federal R&D Laboratory that develops technology for national security, would like to assure local communities that it will continue its longstanding policy to plan aircraft flights that avoid causing undue noise.”

An FAA spokesperson said the agency opened an investigation into the flight shortly after a number of reports from towns in the plane's flight path, which touched Lexington, Arlington and parts of other communities.

Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan said the number of complaints his department received about the planes was unusual, but said  residents shouldn't be concerned.

"Clearly the flight was authorized and this may just be a break in communications," Ryan said. 

Source: http://lincoln.wickedlocal.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beech V35B Bonanza, N31FS: Incident occurred May 27, 2015 at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport (KFTW), Texas



A small airplane reporting a problem landed safely Wednesday at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport. 

The issue that required an emergency landing was not known, but airport fire crews were on standby while the plane circled above the runway and then landed without incident.

The plane is a Beech V35B Bonanza registered to Strickland Corp. of South Dakota, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The pilot was the lone person on board the plane at the time.

Source: http://www.nbcdfw.com

Hiller UH-12E, N138HA, Slikker Flying Service, Inc : Fatal accident occurred May 27, 2015 in Wasco, Kern County, California

Jay Psomas 


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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, California

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

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

Slikker Flying Service, Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N138HA






NTSB Identification: WPR15LA168 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Wasco, CA
Aircraft: HILLER UH 12E, registration: N138HA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 27, 2015 about 0815 Pacific daylight time, a Hiller UH-12E, N138HA, impacted an onion field during agricultural application operations near Wasco, California. The pilot was fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Slikker Flying Service, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an agricultural flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from a refueling truck about 0813. 

The truck operator reported that the pilot had just finished spraying a small field. The helicopter was filled with fuel and about 30-40 gallons of water to clean out the spray system. The pilot took off and departed the immediate area about 15 ft above the field. The truck operator cleaned the fuel/spray truck and was getting into the truck when he observed a plume of black smoke about ¼ mile away over a field crest. He drove toward the fire and observed the helicopter engulfed in flames. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter, and a Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate dated February 18, 2015, with no limitations. The pilot's logbook was not recovered. During the pilot's last medical examination, he reported 1,136.2 total hours of flight experience, 277 of which were accrued in the previous 6 months. The pilot was hired by the operator in February 2014. 

The pilot initially survived the accident but succumbed to his injuries about one week later. No autopsy or toxicology testing was performed. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 0754, automated weather observation at Bakersfield Kern County Airport (BFL), located about 25 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, included wind from 290° at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 18°C, dew point 8°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The helicopter impacted the onion field in a right-skid-low attitude. The field was disturbed between the first point of impact and the main wreckage. Throughout this area were bearings and portions of the tail boom and windscreen. The helicopter came to rest on its right side. The cabin area was destroyed and sustained heavy thermal damage. The tail boom was fracture-separated about mid-span and was found partially underneath the main wreckage.

The helicopter's main cabin was mostly consumed by the postcrash fire; however, the majority of the airframe remained intact. The cyclic, collective, and pedals were all found loose within the main wreckage; all exhibited signs of heat distress. The left side of the spray boom was fracture-separated in an aft direction. The tail boom was fracture-separated about mid-span, consistent with main rotor blade contact. 

Control continuity from the cabin controls to the main rotor system was established. There was no evidence of binding or restrictions on the intact portions of the control linkages. The control linkages located underneath the seats and behind the cabin firewall exhibited breaks and evidence of heat distress. The observed fracture surfaces that were not consumed by the postcrash fire exhibited signatures consistent with overload. 

Both main rotor blades remained attached to the main rotor hub. Both blades were deformed opposite the direction of rotation. The tips of both blades were fracture-separated and were not located. 

The angled tail rotor drive shaft remained connected to the main transmission tail output flange, but it was separated at the aft end. The shaft and shaft housing were deformed about 90° to the left. Separated, deformed, and heavily fragmented pieces of the tail rotor drive shaft exhibited signatures consistent with overload. The aft portion of the tail rotor drive shaft remained attached to the severed aft tail boom structure and was connected to the tail rotor gearbox; when rotated, the tail rotor blades rotated normally. 

The tail rotor blades remained installed at the tail rotor hub. The first blade exhibited a fracture at its leading edge near the root end of the blade and was deformed in the opposite direction of normal rotation. The second blade exhibited downward, chordwise bending near its inboard end. 

The main transmission and engine remained mounted to the airframe. The main rotor mast exhibited evidence of contact with the main rotor hub. 

The spark plugs were removed from the engine and exhibited normal operating signatures and evidence of sooting. The rocker covers were removed and there was no evidence of heat distress. The dual carburetor was removed from the engine and disassembled. There was no evidence of blockage. The interior of the right carburetor was dry, and the floats exhibited cracks. The interior of the left carburetor was wet with possible corrosion byproducts. Both magnetos were removed from the engine and rotated freely. The fuel tank was ruptured and contained no fuel. The fuel screen did not exhibit evidence of blockage or contamination.

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA168
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Wasco, CA
Aircraft: HILLER UH 12E, registration: N138HA
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 27, 2015 about 0815 Pacific daylight time, a Hiller UH-12E, N138HA, impacted an onion field during spray operations near Wasco, California. The pilot (sole occupant) died, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Slikker Flying Service Inc under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an agricultural flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from a refueling truck about 0813.

The refueler reported that the pilot had just finished spraying a field when he stopped at the refueling truck to partially fill the hopper with water. After filling the hopper, the pilot took off to empty the hopper. The refueler turned away to prepare for leaving, and when he turned around, he saw smoke rising from the field. He mentioned that he did not hear any abnormal noises from the helicopter prior to seeing the smoke. 


A helicopter went down Wednesday morning in a agriculture field west of Wasco near highway 46 and Wildwood Road. The pilot suffered burns and was airlifted to San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield.



The pilot of a crop-dusting helicopter was critically injured Wednesday morning when the rotorcraft crashed in an onion field west of Wasco. 

The helicopter crashed at 7:37 a.m. about a mile north of Highway 46 just west of Wildwood Road, sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said. 

A co-worker in the area didn’t see the helicopter go down, but noticed a plume of smoke rise from the crash site afterward.

The pilot suffered burns to 80 percent of his body and was airlifted to San Joaquin Community Hospital, He’s listed in critical condition.

Firefighters said representatives of Vince Crop Dusters Inc., the company operating the helicopter, said the aircraft was in a “wash down” phase and only carrying water at the time of the crash. 

Federal Aviation Administration investigators from Fresno will take over the investigation.

Source:  http://www.bakersfield.com

Federal Aviation Administration Group to Review Mental-Health Screenings for Pilots: In wake of Germanwings jet crash, advisory group will consider changes to screening process

The Wall Street Journal 
By ANDY PASZTOR
May 27, 2015 7:18 p.m. ET


Following the lead of European regulators reacting to the presumed suicidal co-pilot who brought down a Germanwings jet, the Federal Aviation Administration has set up an advisory group to consider possible changes in mental-health screening of U.S. commercial pilots.

The industry-government committee, which also includes labor and medical experts, can look at everything from potential regulatory changes to voluntary efforts by unions and airlines, the agency indicated Wednesday.

The move, however, comes after international groups representing pilots and carriers have warned against overreacting to the Germanwings tragedy, which killed all 149 people aboard the Airbus jetliner that went down in the French Alps in March.

The European Aviation Safety Agency formed a similar study group last month, and German regulators have launched a separate effort to re-examine mental-health assessments of airline pilots. The aviation arm of the United Nations also indicated it would re-evaluate international mental-health standards.

It isn’t clear whether any of those groups will end up urging major changes to existing screening procedures. Strict privacy laws in Germany allowed Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot, to keep his mental problems hidden from management of the airline, which is a unit of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Safety and medical experts have stressed the difficulty of devising a new regulatory system—even one mandating more-frequent and in-depth screenings—that can reliably identify suicidal tendencies among pilots.

Given the current limitations of testing and medical science, many psychiatrists and psychologist believe such a goal is unreasonable. The public has to “recognize this is a complex medical challenge,” according to Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, president of the top policy-making council of the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization.

The FAA has tasked its advisory committee with filing a report by the end of the year regarding pilot fitness related to emotional and mental-health issues. In a release, the agency said U.S. pilots “undergo robust medical screening,” but added that “recent accidents in other parts of the world” prompted a review of the issue.

In the U.S., airline pilots undergo routine medical screening by FAA-approved examiners once or twice a year, depending on their age. But such checks typically include only perfunctory efforts to determine mental health, generally putting the onus on pilots to self-report problems such as depression, drug or alcohol abuse and changes in medication, according to pilots and physicians. The system has remained largely unchanged over decades, except for FAA decisions several years ago allowing aviators to keep flying while on certain antidepressant drugs.

Whatever the FAA group eventually recommends, unions and carriers already have strongly urged against swift or dramatic changes.

Tony Tyler, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, the airline industry’s primary global trade group, last month warned that regulators in Europe appeared to be embracing “immediate reaction rather than careful consideration.”

Around the same time, leaders of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, representing 100,000 commercial aviators world-wide, also called for a more measured approach by European authorities, asserting they should wait for a final crash report before considering changes.

At the end of his tenure as president of the association, Don Wykoff told the group’s annual conference in Madrid: “We need to advocate together for things that work, not knee-jerk, ineffective quick fixes that only make some feel better in the short term.”

Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association for North America—which is participating in the FAA’s new group—said in an interview last month that after some accidents, “there can be an urge to do something quickly, right now,” but often the results “are either ineffective or completely useless.”

As an alternative to stepped-up federal screening requirements, over the years Mr. Canoll and other pilot leaders have urged continued reliance on voluntary, union-run programs to pinpoint and confidentially assist pilots with emotional or psychological problems.

Such an approach, according to proponents, is more likely to prompt pilots to acknowledge personal difficulties and seek help. Many airline officials agree that mandating tougher screening requirements may end up being counterproductive, making pilots more prone to hiding mental-health problems from managers.

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

Bellanca 8KCAB Super Decathalon, N102EC: Accident occurred May 27, 2015 at Richard I. Bong Airport (KSUW), Superior, Wisconsin

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

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

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

JOSEPH G. GENENBACH: http://registry.faa.gov/N102EC

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA242 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Superior, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2015
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N102EC
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.

The pilot reported that, while climbing after a touch-and-go landing, the airplane began an uncommanded left bank. The pilot perceived that the ailerons were jammed and attempted to regain control of the airplane; however, he was not successful, so he performed a forced landing to the airport property. A postaccident examination of the airplane found a 9-volt battery jammed in the aileron bell crank. The pilot reported that the battery was the same brand he used for his headset and that he had changed the batteries in flight several days before the accident flight. It is likely that the pilot dropped the battery during that flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A stuck aileron due to a battery that had become jammed in the aileron bell crank.

On May 27, 2015, about 1405 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8KCAB airplane, N102EC, experienced a loss of control authority and impacted terrain during a forced landing near the Richard I Bong Airport (SUW), Superior, Wisconsin. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan.

According to the pilot, the flight was normal until after the second touch and go landing. The airplane was in a climb from the runway when it began an uncommanded left bank. He perceived that the ailerons were jammed and attempted to regain control of the airplane but was not successful. Additionally the pilot could not get the airplane to climb, so when the airplane was about 100 feet above ground level he performed a forced landing to the airport property. The airplane's forward fuselage was substantially damaged during the forced landing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector found a 9-volt battery jammed in the lower right aileron bellcrank. The pilot reported that the battery was the same brand that the he used for his headset. He had previously changed the batteries in flight several days earlier, but thought that he had accounted for all of the batteries.


NTSB Identification: CEN15LA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Superior, WI
Aircraft: BELLANCA 8KCAB, registration: N102EC
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On May 27, 2015, about 1405 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8KCAB airplane, N102EC, experienced a loss of control authority and impacted terrain during a forced landing near the Richard I Bong Airport (SUW), Superior, Wisconsin. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan.

According to information provided by the pilot, the flight was normal until after the second touch and go landing. The airplane was in a climb from the runway when it began an uncommanded left bank. The pilot attempted to regain control of the airplane but was not successful. In addition, he could not get the airplane to climb so when the airplane was about 100 feet above ground level, the pilot conducted a forced landing to the airport property. The airplane's fuselage was substantially damaged during the forced landing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector found a 9-volt battery jammed in an aileron bell crank.




Two people walked away uninjured after their single-engine plane crash-landed at the Richard I. Bong Memorial Airport in Superior on Wednesday afternoon.

The Superior Fire Department responded to the crash at 2:14 p.m., and the first crews on the scene found a small plane in a field behind the Upper Deck Restaurant.

The pilot reported having mechanical difficulty before the crash, fire officials said.

The red, white and blue plane’s tires left tracks in the mud leading from the runway to the plane’s resting place in the field. Its right landing gear assembly sat in pieces on the ground nearby, while the left landing gear assembly was dug into the mud, still attached to the plane. 

The blue tip of the left wing dangled from the rest of the plane. 

Mud splattered the sides of the plane and the propeller.

The names of those on board the plane were not released. According to the plane’s FAA registration, it’s a Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon and owned by a Texas man.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.

Corey Winn was watching planes take off and land while eating lunch at the Upper Deck with a few friends when he saw the Bellanca 8KCAB Decathlon return to the runway a few minutes after it had taken off. As the plane was going down the runway, it was going side to side and then dipped to the left, Winn said.

When he saw the wing dip, he said, he knew the plane was going to crash off the runway. A woman in the restaurant told people that the plane crashed and people went outside to see if the occupants were hurt. Winn said they saw two people walking away from the wrecked plane.

“I’m just glad they’re OK,” he said.

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









Cessna 337F Super Skymaster, N1732M: Accident occurred May 27, 2015 at Melbourne International Airport (KMLB), Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1732M

Location: Melbourne, FL
Accident Number: ERA15LA224
Date & Time: 05/27/2015, 1625 EDT
Registration: N1732M
Aircraft: CESSNA 337
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 27, 2015, at 1625 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 337F, N1732M, was substantially damaged when it struck a building and a communications antenna while taxiing at the Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was destined for Dayton, Ohio. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a police report, the pilot requested a taxi clearance from the north ramp area to runway 9L. The tower controller advised the pilot that his clearance to Dayton, Ohio had expired, and instructed him to return to the ramp. The pilot's speech was "slurred" and he did not follow any of the controller's instructions. The pilot then taxied west on taxiway kilo toward the departure end of runway 9L. The airplane then went off the end of the taxiway and immediately turned right toward a building that was located about 200 feet away and abeam the taxiway end. The airplane impacted the building and an adjacent communications antenna.

At 1626, the controller contacted the airport police and urged them to respond quickly because he "felt that the pilot may be intoxicated and they heard the screams of a young child onboard." The police arrived on scene at 1640 and detected an odor of alcohol from the pilot. A search of the airplane revealed an unopened bottle of wine, one opened bottle of liquor about half full and an opened "water" bottle that contained a clear liquid with an odor of alcohol. After the pilot refused to take an alcohol breathalyzer and field sobriety test he was taken into custody and charged under Florida State Statute with "Operation of an aircraft while intoxicated or in a careless or reckless manner."

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest against a small building located along the airport perimeter fence. The leading edge of the left wing sustained substantial damage, and the front engine propeller tips were bent forward and gouged. The aircraft examination was completed by an airframe and powerplant mechanic and supervised by the airport operations director. Examination of the flight control systems, nosewheel steering, and brake system revealed no anomalies that could have precluded normal operation.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land (limited to centerline thrust) and instrument Airplane. He also held a third-class medical certificate, which was issued on November 13, 2014 with a limitation of "must wear corrective lenses." At that time, he reported 1,238 total flight hours experience.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/13/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1238 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1732M
Model/Series: 337 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 33701332
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4630 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: IO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 210 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMLB, 27 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 113°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3600 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 19°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Melbourne, FL (MLB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Dayton, OH
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1625 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: MELBOURNE INTL (MLB)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 33 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 28.106944, -80.659722 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA224
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Melbourne, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 337F, registration: N1732M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On May 27, 2015, at 1625 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 337F, N1732M, was substantially damaged when it struck a building and a communications antenna while taxiing at Melbourne International Airport (MLB), Melbourne, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was destined for Dayton Ohio. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a police report, the pilot requested a taxi clearance from the north ramp area to runway 9L. The tower controller advised the pilot that his clearance to Dayton, Ohio had expired, and instructed him to return to the ramp. According to the controller the pilot's speech was "slurred" and he did not follow any of the tower's instructions. The pilot then taxied west on taxiway kilo toward the departure end of runway 9L. Photographs of tire marks show that the aircraft veered off the left edge of taxiway kilo about 250 feet before the taxiway end. The airplane then went off the end of the taxiway and immediately turned right toward a building that was located about 200 feet away and abeam the taxiway end. The airplane impacted the building and an adjacent communications antenna. At 1626 the controller contacted the airport police and urged them to respond quickly because he "felt that the pilot may be intoxicated and they heard the screams of a young child onboard". The police arrived on scene at 1640 and detected an odor of alcohol from the pilot. A search of the airplane revealed an unopened bottle of wine, one opened bottle of liquor about 2/3 full and an opened "water" bottle that contained a clear liquid with an odor of alcohol. After the pilot refused to take an alcohol breathalyzer and field sobriety test he was taken into custody and charged under Florida State Statute with "Operation of an aircraft while intoxicated or in a careless or reckless manner".

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane came to rest against a small building located along the airport perimeter fence. The leading edge of the left wing sustained substantial damage, and the front propeller tips were bent forward and gouged. The aircraft examination was completed by an airframe and powerplant mechanic and supervised by the airport operations director. Examination of the flight control systems, nosewheel steering, and brake system revealed no anomalies that could have precluded normal operation.


The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land (limited to centerline thrust) and instrument Airplane. He also held a third-class medical certificate, which was issued on November 13, 2014 with a limitation of "must wear corrective lenses". At that time he reported 1,238 total flight hours experience.



Melbourne International Airport authorities said the 57-year-old Satellite Beach pilot who rode his plane across the grass before striking a communication tower shed "smelled like alcohol."

His 10-year-old son, also aboard the Cessna 337F Super Skymaster as it was preparing to fly to Dayton, Ohio to visit an aviation museum, suffered minor injuries but refused treatment from paramedics.

Police later found a half-empty bottle of cognac along with a plastic water bottle filled with clear contents and the smell of an alcoholic beverage, reports show.

Christopher Hall, described as an engineer, was charged with reckless operation of a vessel and child abuse without harm after airport police attempted to talk with him following the incident, reports show.

Hall, who is the principal engineer for the Satellite Beach-based Wireless Systems Engineering, posted a $4,000 bond about 9 a.m. and walked out of the Brevard County Jail Complex and got into a waiting car. Hall has an extensive career in the cellular, digital processing and flight testing arenas, according to his resume.

The incident – being reviewed by the FAA – happened about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the airport as air traffic control tower workers attempted to guide Hall's aircraft. One of the controllers told airport police that Hall failed to heed their instructions and that his speech was "noticeably slurred," reports show. He was planning to fly the craft to Ohio, taking his son to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, according to friends.

It was not immediately known if he filed a flight plan, although private pilots are not necessarily required to do so, according to the FAA.

According to Florida Today news partner Local 6 ClickOrlando, air traffic control officials could be heard on audio captured in the moments leading up to the incident. At one point, the air traffic controllers ordered Hall to roll the aircraft back to its hangar but he refused, officials reported.

"Okay, 32 Mike, where are you going, sir?" a controller asked Hall, referring to the tail number of the plane. Moments later the controller asked, "Skymaster 32 Mike, is everything alright, sir?"

Air traffic controllers also ordered Hall to turn off his engine. Moments later the left wing of the airplane crashed into a small tower shed at the end of the runway, bringing the journey of Hall and his 10-year-old son to a sudden stop.

Airport authorities said the Cessna was registered to Wireless Systems Engineering based in Satellite Beach. "We are proud of our airport operations team, especially the experienced and alert (air traffic control) professionals who denied runway access to the aircraft," said Lori Booker, a spokeswoman for the airport in a statement.

Police and fire crews quickly responded to the air strip and found the airplane sitting up against a shed next to the fence. Another person helped the child get out of damaged aircraft and reported smelling alcohol on Hall's breath. Both Hall, described as flushed and sweating, and his son sat down on a nearby golf cart and waited for authorities to arrive.

"There were minor injuries reported," said Lt. Pete Mercaldo, of the Melbourne Police Department.

Police said Hall, whose eyes were also bloodshot according to reports, seemed disoriented and refused to supply his identification card or to take a field sobriety test. An unidentified witness at the scene of the incident told police to check inside of the computer bag on board the plane to explain what happened.

Hall's wife, a local anesthesiologist, according to an associate, was contacted in Hawaii where she had taken a trip with her daughter. It was not immediately known if the Department of Family and Children were contacted but authorities turned the child over to a longtime family friend. The wife is now preparing to fly back to the mainland, friends say.

"It was a surprise to me," said Dr. Kevin Simmons, an anesthesiologist and a longtime friend of the Hall family. "(Hall's) an engineer, very meticulous, sometimes compulsive and stubborn. But I was not aware of any problems," he told FLORIDA TODAY.

The boy, in his custody, 'is fine,' said Simmons. "Obviously, he's a little shaken but he's okay."

Inside the aircraft, police found an opened, half-empty bottle of cognac and an unopened bottle of wine while a plastic water bottle filled with an liquid that smelled like alcohol, reports show. The child was turned over to a family friend.

The Federal Aviation Administration district office and local law enforcement officers are investigating the cause of the incident.

Melbourne International Airport remains open with regular flights as scheduled.



FOX 35 News Orlando

     
MELBOURNE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - The pilot of a Cessna 337F Super Skymaster aircraft that veered off the runway at Melbourne International Airport while preparing to take off, has bonded out of jail.

An airport police spokesperson said the pilot later identified as Christopher John Hall was intoxicated. 

Officials say two people including Hall was on board the plane when it ran off Taxiway K and went through a ditch, before hitting a satellite dish. 

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on the northwest corner of airport property. 

Officials say no one was injured.

The aircraft registration number is N1732M.  

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Hall bonded out of the Brevard County Jail around 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning. 


The pilot of the Cessna 337F Super Skymaster was taken from the airport around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday and was headed to be booked at the Brevard County Jail.