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 ➤

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:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

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


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.


Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Flight planning/navigation - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Awareness of condition (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

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
State: Kentucky


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.


(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.


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.