Friday, June 19, 2015

Vans RV-7A, N174BK: Accident occurred September 20, 2013 in Hamilton Township, New Jersey

http://registry.faa.gov/N174BK 

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA424
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 20, 2013 in Hamilton Township, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2015
Aircraft: BROWN ROBERT K RV7A, registration: N174BK
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.

After taking off, the pilot climbed the experimental amateur-built airplane to 6,500 feet mean sea level in visual meteorological conditions; the airplane remained in level flight for about 13 minutes and was traveling about 130 knots indicated airspeed. The airplane then suddenly lost about 3500 feet in altitude, accelerated to about 220 knots, and reversed direction within a 10 second period. Moments later, the airplane was observed traveling in a northwesterly direction at a low altitude, almost completely upside down at one point, with pieces of the airplane falling to the ground. Recorded radar data revealed that the airplane had entered a steep descending and accelerating left turn, and portions of the empennage separated from the airplane. The airplane continued on a descending, turning flight path until it impacted terrain. A postimpact fire ensued. The wreckage path was about ½-mile long and contained three distinct areas of debris. The first area contained the lower half of the rudder. The second area contained the vertical stabilizer, the rudder balance weight, the left horizontal stabilizer, the left elevator, the left wingtip, the left elevator balance weight, and the cockpit canopy—all of which had separated from their mounting locations. The third area contained the main wreckage (the fuselage, engine, and wings), which struck the top of a tree, fell to the ground, and came to rest inverted. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of an inflight fire, explosion, flight control failure, bird strike, or any preexisting structural anomaly. Review of the airplane’s design revealed that at an aerobatic gross weight of 1,600 pounds, the airplane complied with the +6/-3G standards of the FAA’s aerobatic category. It had a maximum maneuvering speed of 124 knots and a never exceed speed of 200 knots. At the time of the inflight breakup, the airplane was traveling 20 knots above the published never exceed speed. A friend of the pilot noted that he had seen the pilot recover after falling out of a maneuver at low altitude before, and that it was not uncommon for the pilot to sometimes fall out of a maneuver (loop and/or roll). Review of a video taken by his friend revealed that, during that flight, the pilot performed a left roll. During that maneuver, the pilot allowed the nose to drop and the airplane lost approximately 1,000 feet of altitude.

The accident airplane’s abrupt and sudden maneuvering, which exceeded its design limitations, is consistent with the pilot’s loss of control after attempting an aerobatic maneuver. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper aerobatic maneuver that resulted in a loss of control, exceedance of the airplane's design limitations, and a subsequent in-flight breakup of the airplane.


HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 20, 2013, about 1651 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur built Vans RV-7A, N174BK, was destroyed during an inflight breakup and impact with terrain after a rapid loss of altitude and increase in airspeed near the Township of Hamilton, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, which departed Cross Keys Airport (17N), Cross Keys, New Jersey about 1640.

According to radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane departed 17N at approximately 1640. Turn to an approximate magnetic heading of 120 degrees and climb to an altitude of 6,500 feet above mean sea level (msl). Approximately 13 minutes later, the airplane turned right to a southeasterly heading. It then rapidly lost altitude while reversing direction before descending through 300 feet msl where it was lost from radar as it descended below the floor of radar coverage.

According to witnesses, moments later the airplane was observed traveling in a northwesterly direction at low altitude, almost completely upside down at one point, and "pieces" of the airplane were observed falling to the ground. It then impacted in a wooded area and a fire ensued

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to NTSB records, the pilot had been involved in a previous accident in the Township of Hamilton, New Jersey (NYC08CA042) on November 21, 2007, while flying a Cessna 172N, N172MG when the engine sputtered while in cruise flight and stopped producing power. The pilot then performed a forced landing to trees, resulting in substantial damage. Neither he nor his two passengers were injured. Examination of the fuel tanks by a FAA inspector revealed they were intact, and no evidence of fuel, fuel spillage, or fuel odor was identified at the scene. The pilot stated that he departed his home airport with full tanks earlier in the day and recorded 3.2 hours on the Hobbs meter. Several stops were made during the day, which involved six takeoffs and climbs to altitude. The Safety Board determined that the probable cause of that accident was the pilot's inadequate fuel consumption calculations which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on July 11, 2013. He reported that he had accrued approximately 400 hours of total flight experience on that date, 85 hours of which was in the previous six months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident aircraft was a tricycle landing gear equipped, two seat, low wing airplane of conventional metal construction. It was equipped with a Superior Air Parts IO-360-B1AA3, horizontally opposed, 4-cylinder, air cooled engine which produced 180 horsepower, and a MTV-A5-B, three bladed constant speed MT-Propeller.

The airplane had not been built by the pilot but had been built by a previous owner.

At an aerobatic gross weight of 1,600 pounds, the airplane complied with the +6/-3G standards of the FAA's aerobatic category. It had a maximum maneuvering speed of 142 mph (124 knots), and a never exceed speed of 230 mph (200 knots).

The maximum maneuvering speed of 142 mph (124 knots) was the maximum permissible speed at which full and abrupt control inputs could be applied. Any speed in excess of the maximum maneuvering speed with full control application could result in G-loads in excess of design limits.

The never exceed speed of 230 mph (200 knots) was the maximum permissible speed under any condition. Any speed in excess of this could result in structural damage. Full control application at the never exceed speed would produce a load of approximately +15.0 G.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane had received its special airworthiness certificate on June 6, 2006. The airplane was purchased by the pilot on March 27, 2011.

The airplane's most recent conditional inspection was completed on March 15, 2013. Shortly afterwards, the rudder on the airplane was damaged while the airplane was tied down on a parking ramp when the rudder came into contact with a rudder stop which punctured the right lower, side of the rudder. The damaged rudder was removed by the owner and reskinned in accordance with FAA Advisory Circular 43.13-1B and Van's Aircraft design drawings, and was returned to service on April 18, 2013.

At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued approximately 461 total hours of operation.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Atlantic City, New Jersey, located approximately 6 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, at 1654, included: winds 200 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 10 miles; clear skies, temperature 22 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of mercury.

Visual meteorological conditions prevailed along the route of flight and atmospheric data for use in determining the upper air profile in the area of the accident site was gathered on behalf of the NTSB by the United States Army Aberdeen Test Center from a high resolution weather forecast model (4DWx), developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) that the Army Test and Evaluation Center (ATEC) Meteorology Teams use on a daily basis.

The model continuously merges data gathered from the Army's ranges as well as from sources such as FAA aircraft reports, air traffic control radar, satellites, National Weather Service weather radar, and upper-air and surface observations. Since data continues to be assimilated, when a new forecast is being developed, 4DWx "compares" its previous forecast with the observations and adjusts or "nudges" its forecast towards the observations. So, although the data provided by the program was model data, it included observations to produce and interpolate the upper air profile over a given point.

This data was generated from an altitude of 10,504 feet msl down to 66 feet msl at a point above the geographic location of the accident site. This data along with recorded radar data, and airplane characteristics, was later used to develop an airplane performance history for the accident and indicated that at 1700, at the airplanes initial maneuvering altitude of 6,500 feet, the weather conditions included: winds 125 degrees at 3 knots, temperature 10 degrees C, and a barometric pressure of 23.64 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examination of the wreckage path revealed that it was approximately 1/2 mile long and contained three distinct areas of debris.

The first area contained the lower half of the rudder.

The second area contained numerous pieces all of which were separated from their mounting locations. This included the vertical stabilizer (which was found in the top of a tree), the rudder balance weight, the left horizontal stabilizer, the left elevator, the left wingtip, the left elevator balance weight, and the cockpit canopy.

The third area contained the main wreckage (the fuselage, engine, and wings), which had remained attached to each other until striking the top of a tree, falling to the forest floor and coming to rest inverted, where they were further damaged by exposure to a postcrash fire.

Examination of the debris fields and main wreckage revealed no evidence of an inflight fire, explosion, or bird strike, and all of the major components of the airplane were recovered.

After collection and examination of the flight control system components, control continuity was established from the flight controls in the cockpit to the breaks in the system which displayed evidence of tensile overload and from the breaks in the system to the flight control surfaces.

Examination of the cockpit revealed that both magneto switches were in the on position, the alternator/battery master switch was on, the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) Switch was on, the throttle was full forward, the propeller control was in the fine pitch/high rpm position, the mixture was full rich, and the wing flaps were in the up (zero degree) position.

Examination of the engine did not reveal any evidence of any preimpact malfunction or failure. The propeller hub had separated from the crankshaft during the impact sequence and the face of the fracture on the crankshaft flange displayed a 45-degree cupped shear lip and evidence of torsional rotation.

One propeller blade had remained attached to the hub, and the other had separated from its mounting location. Both propeller blades displayed leading edge gouging and chordwise scratching, and the separated blade also displayed S-bending. The propeller governor was impact damaged but remained attached to the engine.

Drive train continuity was established from the back of the engine to the front of the engine, and all of the valves were observed to be functional.

Oil was present in the rocker boxes and in the galleries of the engine. The oil pump displayed impact damage but could be operated by hand. Examination of the inside of the oil filter revealed no evidence of debris.

The engine driven fuel pump was functional and the fuel manifold valve contained trace amounts of fuel. The throttle body injector was intact, its throat was unobstructed, and the diaphragm assembly was undamaged.

The electronic magnetos were still attached to the engine however they were fire damaged and were unable to be operated. The electrodes on all of the spark plugs were intact, and appeared normal and gray in color with the exception of the No. 4 cylinder's top spark plug which was oil fouled and the No. 4 cylinder's bottom sparkplug which was fire damaged.

The fractured pieces of the empennage and aft fuselage were examined on scene without any evidence of prebreakup or preexisting damage being discovered. They were later reexamined as part of a structures study.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the State of New Jersey, Office of the State Medical Examiner. Cause of death was multiple blunt injuries.

Toxicological testing of the pilot was conducted at the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The specimens were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Radar Performance Study

A radar performance study utilizing the radar data provided by the FAA revealed that, just before the accident occurred, the airplane flew generally to the southeast for 20 nautical miles before entering a steeply descending, accelerating left turn where portions of the empennage separated from the airplane. The airplane continued on a descending, turning flight path until it crashed about 20 seconds later.

An airplane performance history was developed using the recorded radar data, airplane characteristics, and atmospheric data. The performance history indicated that the airplane had been flying in a generally southerly direction about 6,500 feet altitude and 130 knots indicated airspeed (KCAS) when it entered a nearly inverted attitude, lost about 3500 feet in altitude, accelerated to about 220 KCAS (253 mph), and reversed direction in 10 seconds.

Examination of primary radar returns indicated that pieces of the airplane first began to separate from the airplane at approximately 1651:17 and had separated by 1651:20. Radar data indicated that the airplane however continued to "fly" to the northwest while descending and decelerating and turning south to the accident site.

Examination of data revealed that the most efficient way to achieve the maneuver was to roll nearly inverted and pull 2.5 Gs.

Trajectory Study

A trajectory study also was performed. In the study, two potential breakup scenarios were evaluated.

The first set of conditions was established at the point just before the airplane started into a rapid descent at 1651:08. The airplane was flying level at 6,500 feet msl, tracking about 180 degrees true, and 140 KCAS.

The second set of conditions was generally established at a point in the Radar Performance Study where the airplane would break up and the pieces would fall in the debris field. At that point in the flight path, airplane was descending at a 48-degree flight path angle, through about 4,500 feet msl, 220 KCAS, and tracking 040 degrees true.

The best fit of trajectory data however, was obtained using 220 KCAS and tracking 000 degrees true. This was not surprising, as a radar performance study "flies" an airplane simulator model through the radar data points and it is recognized that significant maneuvering may occur between the radar points. Thus, a rapid change in flight path before and after the breakup is not an unusual event. The airplane continued to maneuver until it impacted terrain about 1651:40.

The ballistic trajectories of the parts from the second set of conditions were better grouped at the initiation point, thus indicating that the breakup occurred at the lower altitude and higher speed.

The trajectory study also showed that the airplane likely broke up at the lower altitude during a rapid descent and high airspeed, about 220 KCAS. The flight conditions at the breakup were consistent with the Radar Performance Study. The positions of the calculated initiation points were tightly grouped; the range of calculated initiation points was less than 0.2 nm (except for one part). The range of calculated initiation points for the high, cruise type of breakup was about 0.6 nm.

Structures Study

Most of the airplane was found at the main crash site. Major portions of the empennage, including the left horizontal stabilizer, left elevator and tab, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and counter balances were found in a small grouping about 0.6 nautical miles from the main crash site. The left wing tip and canopy were also found in the separate grouping of parts.

The performance and trajectory studies indicated that the airplane broke up at a high speed and low altitude near the grouping of empennage parts that were found separate from the fuselage.

All fractures exhibited characteristics consistent with static overload. No evidence of multiple dynamic loading fractures was found, nor evidence of fatigue characteristics or other preexisting damage.

The damage to the left horizontal stabilizer was also consistent with downloading. The damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder was consistent with loading to the left (when looking forward).

Service Bulletin (SB) 14-01-31 and SB 14-02-05

Vans Aircraft had issued SB 14-01-31 to address fatigue cracks that had been found in the horizontal stabilizer forward spar area on some airplanes. The cracks were in the radius where the spar web transitions into a flange.

Van's Aircraft had also issued SB 14-02-05 to address cracking near the rivets attaching the nut plates that hold the elevator rod ends to the E-702 Spar and E-610PP or E-611PP Spar Reinforcement Plates.

As part of the investigation, both areas specified in the service bulletins were examined for any preexisting damage.

Examination of the radius where the spare web transitions into a flange did not reveal any evidence of fatigue cracking. The right radius was free of any cracking, either from static overload or fatigue, and the left flange was partially separated from the web with one end of the fracture at the junction of the web and radius. The fracture surface was granular and at 45-degrees to the surface of the web.

Examination of the elevator spar web near the elevator attach points also did not reveal the presence of any cracks near the rivets which attach the nut plates that hold the elevator rod ends.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

An interview with a friend of the pilot revealed that the pilot had been up in a Pitts Special with someone a couple of times who had shown him some basic aerobatics. The friend stated that he and the pilot would fly over Atlantic City, in formation and when the pilot would want to do an aerobatic maneuver that he would pull away from him and then do the maneuver.

The friend also stated that he had seen the pilot recover after falling out of a maneuver at low altitude before, and that it was not uncommon for the pilot to sometimes fall out of a maneuver (loop and/or roll). He further added, that knowing the pilot, that there was a possibility that he may have fallen out of an aerobatic maneuver on the accident flight.

Review of a video that was taken during a previous flight from another airplane by his friend revealed that during that flight, a left roll was performed by the pilot. During the maneuver, it was observed that the pilot allowed the nose to drop and that the airplane lost approximately 1,000 feet of altitude.




HAMILTON TWP. — Anthony Kelly was pushing the envelope of his Vans RV-7A when an aerobatic maneuver led to the breakup of his amateur-built plane over a rural section of Hamilton in Atlantic County in September 2013, federal investigators have concluded.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in findings released this week, said the 44-year-old pilot was fatally injured after exceeding his aircraft's design limitations following what it called "an improper aerobatic maneuver that resulted in a loss of control."

Kelly, an air traffic controller at Atlantic City International Airport from Sewell, had practiced aerobatic flying, according to a friend of the pilot, who told investigators he had gone up with someone in a Pitts Special—a light aerobatic biplane flown in competitions—who taught him some basic aerobatics.

The friend said that the two would sometimes fly over Atlantic City in formation, before Kelly would pull away and do a loop or roll. Sometimes, though, he told the NTSB that Kelly would fall out of the maneuver, losing altitude before recovering. In a video taken from another plane in a previous flight, the friend noted a left roll led to a drop in the nose, causing the airplane to lose approximately 1,000 feet of altitude.

The RV-7A is a fast, two-seat, single-engine, low wing plane capable of aerobatic maneuvers sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. Kelly, who did not build the aircraft, bought it from a previous owner in March 2011, investigators said.

According to the NTSB report, Kelly, who had approximately 400 hours of flight time, had been involved in a previous accident in November 2007 while flying a Cessna 172N, when he miscalculated the amount of fuel he had in his tanks and ran out of gas. The Cessna crashed into some trees near Atlantic City Airport, but the pilot and two passengers were not injured.

On the day of the fatal accident, Kelly took off by himself into clear skies on the afternoon of September 20. Departing from Cross Keys Airport, the red-and-yellow plane climbed to 6,500 feet. It remained in level flight for about 13 minutes, before suddenly dropping 3,500 feet and accelerating to 220 knots within a 10-second period.

Moments later, the airplane was seen almost completely upside down at low altitude. 

Recorded radar data showed that it had entered a steep descending and accelerating left turn, while pieces of the tail separated from the fuselage. The plane crashed in a wooded area near the Atlantic City Expressway, bursting into flames.

The NTSB said wreckage was strewn along a half-mile stretch leading to the impact point, where the plane struck the top of a tree, fell to the ground, and came to rest upside down.

According to the NTSB, Kelly's plane had a maximum maneuvering speed of 124 knots and a "never-exceed speed" of 200 knots. At the time of the inflight breakup, investigators said the airplane was traveling 20 knots above the published never-exceed speed.

In its finding of probable cause, the NTSB said the airplane's abrupt and sudden maneuvering,exceeded its design limitations, which it found consistent with the pilot's loss of control after attempting an aerobatic maneuver.

Story, video and photo:  http://www.nj.com


 














Allegiant Airlines pilots concerned about plane safety (with video)

SANFORD, Fla. —Allegiant Airlines pilots claim the airline is cutting corners on safety after mechanical problems forced a flight to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

Pilots from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union sent a letter to shareholders, claiming the airline is ignoring Federal Aviation Administration recommendations on important safety programs.

Citing a report by the Aviation Mechanics Coalition, an airline mechanics union, pilots claim between January and March of this year, there were 38 instances of mechanical issues with Allegiant. Issues include failing engines, pressurization problems, smoke in the cockpit, inoperable radar systems and failing windshield anti-ice devices.

The pilots are in the middle of contract negotiations with the airline, but they claim their safety complaints are not related to the negotiations.

“The pilots are very concerned,” union representative Chris Moore said. “They relayed to me that they're never sure what kind of aircraft they're going to get or what's going to break.”

The report found pilots were "forced to fly aircraft that barely passes acceptable safety standards,” and it found 55 percent of mechanics have less than four years’ experience in the field.

“In our opinion, there are just a disproportionate number of air returns and gate returns for such a small fleet of aircraft,” said Moore.

Pressurization problems forced the flight to make an emergency return landing in St. Pete this week.

Last week, passengers leapt onto evacuation slides after smoke filled the cabin.

In October, a landing gear issue forced a flight to return to Sanford, and in September a flight to Michigan was forced to make an emergency landing due to a cabin pressure problem.

Last year, Allegiant flew more than 5,400 flights.

Statement from Allegiant:

Allegiant is in ongoing negotiations with our pilots, who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The report issued by the TAMC was commissioned by the Teamsters and was not conducted by Allegiant mechanics, who are not represented by the union. In our view this is just another tactic employed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in an effort to manipulate the public by raising unfounded concerns about the safety of our operations. Allegiant’s safety record is among the best in the aviation industry. In fact, as a result of the threatened strike by the Teamsters, Allegiant recently completed a period of heightened surveillance by FAA. Throughout this process, the FAA did not find any safety issues with our operations

Allegiant is fortunate that our unique network allows for our aircraft to be inspected and serviced by our mechanics every night. In addition to the routine maintenance and service on individual aircraft, Allegiant has two separate programs in place – an analysis and surveillance program and a reliability program – to continually monitor and share data with the FAA regarding the overall health of the fleet. Neither Allegiant nor the FAA have identified abnormal trends.

Story and video:  http://www.wesh.com

Cessna 180A, N9699B: Accident occurred June 19, 2015 near Polson Airport (8S1), Montana

AIRCRAFT: 1957 Cessna 180 SN#32996 N9699B

ENGINE(S):   Continental O-470K SN# 47942-7-K

PROPELLER(S):  McCauley 2A34C66-OP

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE(S):   TT unknown     TSMOH 1395.8  (A&P OH on 6/22/1969)         

PROPELLER(S): TT unknown                 

AIRFRAME:  Logs indicate 1873.8 TTSN  (unverified)                     

OTHER EQUIPMENT  Collins 351 Nav, KT76 transponder, PM1000 intercom. Docking station not included.         

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Lost power short of destination airport on 6/14/2015 and forced landed in a field   

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Propeller bent, upper and lower cowlings damaged, engine mount and firewall, right main gear torn out, both wings damaged, aft fuselage buckled, horizontal bent, all flight controls damaged.                     
LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Polson, Montana at Stene Aviation (locked in a hangar)    

Salvage bid here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N9699B.htm


MATTHEW T. SCHANTZ:  http://registry.faa.gov/N9699B 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA191
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 19, 2015 in Polson, MT
Aircraft: CESSNA 180A, registration: N9699B
Injuries: 3 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 June 19, 2015 about 1340 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 180A, N9699B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Polson, Montana. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Cavanaugh Bay Airport (66S), Coolin, Idaho, at 1140, with a planned destination of Polson Airport (8S1), Polson.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that during approach, about 3 miles from the airport, the engine lost all power. The pilot continued his descent while maintaining the best glide airspeed and performing the engine restart procedures. Despite his efforts the engine would not restart, and he initiated a forced landing to a small field. During the landing, the right main gear collapsed, subsequently resulting in substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. The pilot further stated that he had 26 gallons of fuel on board prior to departing 66S.

The airplane wreckage was removed from the accident site and transported to a secure facility for further examination.















A family of three walked away from their plane after it crashed Friday afternoon in Polson.

The family — a couple and their small child— were in a Cessna 180 when it crashed in a small field between Rocky Point Road and Flathead Lake near the Polson Airport.

The family was not injured, and the child was strapped in a car seat, Polson fire department assistant chief Pete Bishop said.

Bishop said he was driving away from his home on Flathead Lake when he saw the plane flying overhead. He said he could not hear the plane’s engine and it appeared the plane may have lost power.

“They went over the top of me and then the pager went off,” Bishop said.

The airplane is registered to Matthew Schantz of Larkspur, Colo. The pilot  and his wife declined to be interviewed. The plane was loaded with what appeared to be camping gear.

High winds were prevalent in Polson Friday afternoon, with gusts reported by the National Weather Service at 30 mph.

Friday’s crash was the third airplane crash near Polson in the last six months. In December one man died when a Piper Cub crashed near Irvine Flats. Last month a crop duster airplane crashed on Irvine Flats. The pilot was not injured in that crash.

Source:  http://leaderadvertiser.com

Thursday, June 18, 2015

North Wing Apache Sport, N51311: Fatal accident occurred June 18, 2015 near Taos Regional Airport (KSKX), New Mexico

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Albuquerque, New Mexico 

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/N51311





NTSB Identification: CEN15FA277
14 CFR Part 103: Ultralight
Accident occurred Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Taos, NM
Aircraft: NORTHWING DESIGN APACHE SPORT, registration: N51311
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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 18, 2015, about 0738 mountain standard time, a North Wing Apache Sport powered-lift aircraft, N51311, impacted terrain following a loss of control during initial climb after takeoff from Taos Regional Airport (SKX), Taos, New Mexico. The sport pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the aircraft sustained substantial damage. The aircraft was registered to the pilot/owner and was being operated as a 14 Code of Regulations (CFR) Part 103 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident near the accident site, and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight, which departed about 0736. 

Several witnesses who were working on the departure end of runway 22 reported seeing the aircraft take off from the runway, climb to about 500 ft, and then enter a right turn. The witnesses stated that the aircraft seemed to "fall out of the sky" and stall before it collided with terrain adjacent to and right of the departure end of the runway. One witness stated that he heard the engine revving before impact. See figure 1 for an overhead image of SKX and the accident location.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 69-year old pilot held a sport pilot certificate for powered-lift aircraft. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had 540 total flight hours, all of which were in powered-lift aircraft and 300 hours of which were in the accident aircraft. According to logbook entries, the last time that the pilot had flown the accident aircraft was August 9, 2014. The most recent entry in the pilot's logbook was dated September 8, 2014, in which he flew another aircraft of the same make and model. Interviews with a family member and a friend of the pilot confirmed that this was pilot's last flight before the accident flight. The family member stated that the pilot kept meticulous records. According to an entry on the last page of his logbook, the pilot had successfully completed a flight review in accordance with 14 CFR Section 61.56(a) on November 22, 2014. The entry was signed by a flight instructor, but the number of flight hours for that flight were not recorded. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, powered-lift aircraft, serial number 4608087, was manufactured and owned by the pilot since 2003. The aircraft had a special airworthiness certificate classifying its operation in the experimental light sport aircraft category. 

The aircraft was powered by a rear-mounted engine, Rotax model 582 UL. According to a friend of the pilot, the aircraft was in good condition, was well maintained by the pilot, and had been stored in an airport hangar since it was new.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

SKX is a public airport located about 8 miles northwest of Taos at an elevation of 7,094 ft mean sea level. SKX's principal runway is 4/22, which is 4,083 ft long and 75 ft wide and surfaced with asphalt. A postaccident examination of the runway revealed no abnormalities, and no aircraft parts were found along the takeoff path.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0713, the routine aviation weather report for SKX was calm wind, no ceiling, clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 18°C, dew point 8°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.35 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On-site examination of the aircraft, including the flight controls, structure and engine, revealed no evidence of any mechanical anomalies. Grounds scars and the orientation of the wreckage were consistent with the aircraft impacting the ground in a nose-low attitude. No manufacturing anomalies were noted with the aircraft. The wooden propeller assembly was shattered and exhibited signatures consistent with the engine producing power at the time of impact. See figure 2 for a photograph of the accident site and wreckage. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsy

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Office of the Medical Investigator, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was reported to be "multiple blunt force injuries," and the manner of death was reported to be "accident."

The autopsy identified significant coronary artery disease with 80% stenosis of the proximal left anterior descending coronary artery, as well as increased interstitial fibrosis (scarring) of the wall of the heart. The thickness of the right ventricular wall was significantly increased at 0.7 cm (average thickness is 0.3 cm). In addition, there was evidence of arteriosclerosis in the kidneys and extensive emphysema in the lungs. 

Toxicology

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory performed toxicology testing of specimens from the pilot. The testing detected sildenafil, its metabolite desmethylsildenafil, and zolpidem in the urine and blood (0.003 ug/ml of zolpidem in blood). In addition, 0.0036 ug/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 0.0105 ug/ml tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) were identified in the cavity blood. THC-COOH was also identified in the liver (0.0219 ug/ml) and brain (0.0012 ug/ml).

Sildenafil is a prostaglandin inhibitor used to treat erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension and is not impairing. Zolpidem is a short-acting prescription sleep aid and is a Schedule IV controlled substance that carries the warning, "May impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)." Therapeutic levels of zolpidem are typically between 0.0250 and 0.3000 ug/ml.

THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, and THC-COOH is its inactive metabolite. THC concentrations typically peak while smoking, whereas THC-COOH concentrations typically peak about 9 to 23 minutes after the start of smoking. Significant performance impairments are usually observed for at least 1 to 2 hours after using marijuana, and residual effects have been reported up to 24 hours.

Medical History

Attempts were made to locate the pilot's primary physician and obtain his personal medical records, but according to the pilot's wife, the physician had recently retired and left town. Therefore, no personal medical records were made available for review. The pilot's wife reported that he had shortness of breath and often used an inhaler to treat it.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The wreckage was released to the owner's representative.


Herbert "Buzz" Waterhouse (right).



The pilot of a weight-shift-control aircraft was killed Thursday morning (June 18) in a crash near Taos Regional Airport shortly after 7:30 a.m.

New Mexico State Police confirmed the pilot to be Herbert "Buzz" Waterhouse, 69, of Arroyo Hondo.


Witnesses told state police the aircraft, an Apache Sport, took off from the airport flying west and appeared to circle around.

A crew from Kit Carson Electric Cooperative at a nearby construction site heard the engine make a revving sound and saw the aircraft flying back towards the airport before nosediving, according to state police Lt. Edwardo Martinez.

“It just went straight down,” he said.

The aircraft crashed west of the airport approximately 1/4 mile south of U.S. Highway 64.

Waterhouse appears to have died on impact, according to Martinez.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene Thursday afternoon to open an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Waterhouse is known locally for having owned and operated a prominent local bar, The Alley Cantina. He bought the restaurant with his wife, Ruth, in 1996 and sold it to three longtime employees in 2013.







Cessna 152, N4717L, Above All Aviation Inc: Incident occurred June 17, 2015 in Nipomo, San Luis Obispo County, California

Date: 17-JUN-15
Time:     20:21:00Z
Regis#:     N4717L
Aircraft Make:     CESSNA
Aircraft Model:     152
Event Type:     Incident
Highest Injury:     None
Damage:     None
Flight Phase:     LANDING (LDG)
FAA FSDO:     FAA San Jose FSDO-15
City:     NIPOMO
State:     California

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD, NEAR NIPOMO, CA

ABOVE ALL AVIATION INC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N4717L




A single-engine plane conducted an emergency landing in a private South County field early Wednesday afternoon but no injuries were reported, officials said.

A Cal Fire spokeswoman said that the private Cessna 152 was able to land safely in the field at about 1:25 p.m. about a mile north of Willow Road in Nipomo.

It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the plane or where it was from or headed.

The CHP and two Cal Fire engines responded to the field and shortly after called off a rescue unit and emergency medical personnel.

Source: http://www.sanluisobispo.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Incident occurred June 17, 2015 at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE), Florida

St. Petersburg, Florida -- An Allegiant Air flight from St. Petersburg to Pittsburgh was forced to return Wednesday afternoon after the jet developed a problem with pressure.

Flight 866 developed the problem soon after departure.

The plane landed safely and passengers are being unloaded.

Allegiant released the following statement on the incident:

"At Allegiant, the safety of our passengers and crew is always our number one priority. Flight 866 with scheduled service from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) to Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) departed at 4:08 p.m. local time and returned at 5:07 p.m. due to a maintenance issue. Our maintenance team is evaluating the aircraft at this time. We are working now to determine next steps for rescheduling the flight and to accommodate passengers."

This is the second time in a little over a week that an Allegiant flight leaving the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport and had to return due to an issue with the plane.

Source:   http://www.wtsp.com


Incident occurred June 17, 2015 at General Mitchell International Airport (KMKE), Milwaukee, Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE — A plane from the 128th Air Refueling Wing landed without incident at General Mitchell International Airport Wednesday, June 17th after experiencing an “in-flight emergency.”

Major John Capra with the 128th Air Refueling Wing tells FOX6 News the KC-135 aircraft was out on a routine mission on Wednesday morning, and was returning from delivering troops to the United Kingdom.

About an hour and 30 minutes from Mitchell Airport, as the plane was headed into Milwaukee, the aircraft’s crew noticed a warning on a gauge on the aircraft’s dashboard — related to one of the four jet engines.

An in-flight emergency was declared.

As a precaution, one of the four engines that powers the aircraft was shut down in an effort to not damage the engine in question while in flight.

The crew brought the aircraft into Milwaukee under the power of three engines. Major Capra tells FOX6 News the aircraft could fly with just one of its four engines if need be.

Just after 11:15 a.m., the plane landed without incident at Mitchell Airport.

The plane was then impounded, and it will be inspected by the 128th Air Refueling Wing’s quality assurance crew before jet engine technicians inspect it.

Major Capra says 128th Air Refueling Wing flight crews take part in multiple training sessions every year to prepare for the various scenarios that could arise while in flight.

Source:  http://fox6now.com



Monday, June 15, 2015

Rans S-10 Sakota, N693MP: Accident occurred June 15, 2015 near Poolsbrook Aerodrome (NY72), Manlius, Onondaga County, New York

http://registry.faa.gov/N693MP

NTSB Identification: ERA15CA242 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 15, 2015 in Kirkville, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/2015
Aircraft: PENELL MARK A RANS S-10 KIT, registration: N693MP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the takeoff roll from the 1,400-foot-long runway, the airplane encountered water on the runway and "was not able to gain enough momentum." During the initial climb the airplane was unable to clear the surrounding trees. Therefore, the pilot elected to maneuver the airplane in order to avoid striking the trees. During the turn, the airspeed decreased and the pilot made an off airport landing to a nearby golf course. According to a witness, the airplane was about 40 feet off the ground when it began the turn. In addition, it looked like the airplane "turned too tight," and that the "wings never leveled out" prior to impacting the ground. During the off airport landing, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He further stated, "it was my fault, not the [airplane's]." At the time of the accident the wind was from the northwest at 4 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering during the initial climb, which resulted in a loss of lift and subsequent off airport landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to abort the takeoff after recognizing the airplane's slow acceleration.

NTSB Identification: ERA15CA242 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 15, 2015 in Kirkville, NY
Aircraft: PENELL MARK A RANS S-10 KIT, registration: N693MP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the takeoff roll from the 1,400-foot-long runway, the airplane encountered water on the runway and "was not able to gain enough momentum." During the initial climb the airplane was unable to clear the surrounding trees. Therefore, the pilot elected to maneuver the airplane in order to avoid striking the trees. During the turn, the airspeed decreased and the pilot made an off airport landing to a nearby golf course. According to a witness, the airplane was about 40 feet off the ground when it began the turn. In addition, it looked like the airplane "turned too tight," and that the "wings never leveled out" prior to impacting the ground. During the off airport landing, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He further stated, "it was my fault, not the [airplane's]." At the time of the accident the winds were from the northwest at 4 knots.
  
FAA FSDO: FAA Albany FSDO-01



KIRKVILLE, N.Y. -- A single-engine plane crashed Monday evening near the second hole of a Kirkville golf course, according to Onondaga County 911.

At 7:18 p.m., someone called 911 to say a plane had crashed at Poolsbrook Golf Course, 6241 N. Poolsbrook Road in Kirkville.

Kirkville and Fayetteville volunteer fire departments and Onondaga County Air 1 responded to the scene.

The pilot, reportedly a 52-year-old man, is alive and not trapped, according to 911. The pilot complained of neck and back pain, officials said.

Story, comments and photos:  http://www.syracuse.com


Airports look to share airwaves: Private frequency proposed for North Little Rock Municipal (KORK), Camp Robinson (KRBM)

The North Little Rock Municipal Airport and the Camp Robinson airfield are considering getting on the same wavelength in the interests of safety.

One is a civilian airport and the other is an Arkansas Army National Guard airport. They have two separate and distinct missions but are separated by just 2.5 miles.

But pilots at the respective airports cannot communicate with each other because the airports use different radio frequencies. Officials at both airports believe that if the airports shared the same frequency, it would increase safety for pilots.

“Our concern is we never want to see somebody hurt,” said Maj. Stephen Brack, who is an instructor pilot for the Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters based at Camp Robinson airfield. The aircraft is a twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter.

Brack and other pilots spoke at a public hearing the North Little Rock Airport Commission held last week to allow pilots to voice their support or objection to a proposal to have both airports use a new radio frequency that only they would share. The commission is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its regular monthly meeting Thursday.

Both airports lack an air traffic control tower, unlike larger airports such as Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field, which is on the south side of the Arkansas River. The controllers in the tower use vocal communication, radar and other equipment to control aircraft in the vicinity of the airport as well as on the airport’s ramps, taxiways and runways.

Most small airports, such as North Little Rock and Camp Robinson, don’t have enough traffic to warrant a control tower. Without controllers advising them of the positions of other aircraft, pilots at small airports rely on announcing their own positions and intentions on the airports’ respective radio frequencies to keep fellow pilots informed.

Special circumstances at the two small airports north of the river call for closer coordination and a radio frequency only those two airports can share, proponents of the change say.

Bob Connor, a retired airline pilot who has been flying out of North Little Rock for the past six years, said airspace restrictions often require pilots at North Little Rock to take off to the south and turn to the west.

Flying to the north often has to be restricted whenever military training is taking place on a large swath of Camp Robinson property. Last week, for instance, mortar training was conducted at the camp. Mortars fire explosive projectiles with short ranges but high arcs, with their projectiles reaching 5,000 feet or higher, well within the altitudes of the small aircraft that use the North Little Rock airport.

To the south is Clinton National airspace, which many pilots of small planes avoid because it is controlled by the Clinton National controllers.

Some aircraft based at North Little Rock that go west fly in the vicinity of the Camp Robinson airfield, where training and other missions are conducted, often right over the field.

Brack said that three times in the past year, he has been in a helicopter on final approach to Camp Robinson while practicing an emergency landing procedure using autorotation — which allows a helicopter to land without engine power — when he has had to abort the approach because of conflicts with aircraft from the North Little Rock airport.

Lesser conflicts are almost a daily occurrence, he added.

“What ends up happening, I’m standing on the ramp, as recently as today, there was an airplane that could not have been — it must have been at pattern altitude or slightly above it — but transitioned right over the center of the airfield with one aircraft getting ready to take off from our ramp and enter the traffic pattern and another a few minutes before that had departed,” Brack said.

Jerry Holmsley, who has been flying in and out of the North Little Rock airport for 30 years, agreed with Brack.

“I think as a safety issue the folks at Camp Robinson are spot on, that we absolutely without a doubt need to be on the same frequency,” he said.

Harry Barrett, the longtime owner of Barrett Aviation, which services general aviation aircraft and offers flight training at the airport, opposed changing the airport’s frequency, which is at 122.8, the common traffic advisory frequency for many small airports.

“We’ve had that frequency for as long as I can remember, and everybody in this whole area knows our frequency, and I think it’s going to lead to confusion,” he said at the hearing. “People are not going to be on it.”

When the new airport at Conway opened, it used a different frequency than the old airport.

“Right now, they are still having confusion over at Conway because they’ve changed their frequency,” Barrett said.

He also said that because other small airports in central Arkansas share the frequency, it is easy to keep track of traffic at other airports, especially when a pilot might be flying to them.

“When you take off out of North Little Rock and you can hear somebody’s traffic, if you’re going over to Bryant or to Carlisle or somewhere over there, or Stuttgart, you can hear traffic rather than have to switch later and miss a call,” Barrett said. “When you get out of here, you can hear other traffic in the area, so it kind of gives you a headsup to what’s going on at other airports.”

But to other pilots, that radio traffic they hear from other airports is a distraction.

Don Adamson, the owner of 92nd West Aviation, which is opening a flight school at North Little Rock, said that “122.8 is a very cluttered frequency.”

“Sitting on the ground … you can’t hear all of the radio calls. But at 1,200 feet in the air, at pattern altitude, you hear the whole state.

“Whoever is 122.8, you can hear them, at least on my radio, in my airplane. I say ‘hi’ to buddies in Saline County and that’s 40 miles away from Carlisle.”

The confusion at Conway is overblown, he said, adding that an official at the new airport said, “Yes, there’s some teething problems, but it’s working.”

Connor’s research shows that there were nine airports within 40 miles of the North Little Rock airport that shared the 122.8 frequency.

“On the ground you don’t hear it that much, but at pattern altitude, you hear all of the airports surrounding,” he said. “When you’re trying to make a position call coming into this airport [and] somebody else is talking in Saline County or Country Air, you can’t hardly get a word in.”

Brack said that clutter was why Camp Robinson wanted a “discreet” frequency that only the two airports would share — 123.075 has been proposed.

“We just want to see us get on the same page,” he said. “You do get a lot of traffic chatter on [122.8]. And if you’re doing flight training in a traffic pattern, teaching traffic pattern stuff, the more congestion on that radio that there is, the more difficult it makes to get good, quality training in.”

With a discreet channel, Brack added, “You can monitor the frequency so you can be prepared. You don’t have to make a radio call, but you can monitor so you know what’s going on over there.”

Source:  http://www.arkansasonline.com