Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beech A36 Bonanza, Island Airways Inc., N5626D: Fatal accident occurred June 28, 2015 in Plainville, Massachusetts

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama 
Ram Aircraft; Waco, Texas 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

ISLAND AIRWAYS INC: http://registry.faa.govN5626D 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 28, 2015 in Plainville, MA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N5626D
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On June 28, 2015, at 1745 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, registration N5626D, was destroyed when it impacted a residence and terrain following a total loss of engine power near Plainville, Massachusetts. The commercial pilot and two passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was consumed by post-crash fire. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated at Lancaster Airport (LNS), Lancaster, Pennsylvania about 1612, and was destined for Norwood Memorial Airport (OWD), Norwood, Massachusetts. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Review of preliminary radar and voice communication data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the flight was preparing to conduct an instrument approach procedure for landing at OWD. The flight was about 15 miles from OWD at an altitude of 3,300 feet mean sea level when the pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control, stating that the airplane was experiencing an "engine problem." The pilot queried the controller about the nearest airport, and was given radar vectors. About 30 seconds later, the pilot advised that he was unable to maintain altitude, and subsequently stated, "we got a real bad vibration we're losing engine." The controller advised that there was a highway to the right of the airplane's position and about 2.5 miles away, to which the pilot responded, "we have no engine we're [in instrument meteorological conditions] I need help." The controller provided vectors toward the highway, which the pilot acknowledged. Shortly thereafter, the pilot stated, "we're gliding." At this time, radar data showed the airplane at an altitude about 1,450 feet. The last recorded radar return, about 40 seconds later, showed the airplane in a right hand turn at an altitude of about 700 feet and groundspeed of 66 knots, about 1/10 mile from the accident site.

Several witnesses reported hearing an airplane engine making noise and then stopping or going silent. They could not see the airplane due to the low cloud ceiling. One witness, who was located across the street from the accident site, described first hearing a "low moan buzzing sound" and when he looked up, observed the airplane over the trees at the rear of his property with its wings wagging back and forth. As it passed over his house, it was "wobbling" in a straight line. He then lost sight of it, and heard a "boom" seconds later. Another witness located adjacent to the accident scene described hearing what sounded like "a broken fan" before the airplane impacted the house.

The airplane impacted the corner of the roof and the backyard deck of a residence, and came to rest upright, parallel to and about 15 feet from the rear wall of the home, oriented on heading of 320 degrees. The airplane and much of the residence were consumed by post-crash fire.
Flight control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit area; the left rudder cable and the left aileron cable turnbuckle exhibited overload fractures. The right flap actuator was consistent with the right wing flap in the retracted position. The left flap actuator was consumed by fire. The landing gear and actuators were found in the extended position. First responders reported detecting a strong odor of fuel when they arrived on scene.

Preliminary examination of the engine revealed that the crankcase was breached over the #6 cylinder barrel. Two additional puncture holes were found in line with the #1 cylinder connecting rod, located between the left and right magnetos. The oil sump was fractured and partially melted away. Fragments consistent with bearing material, connecting rods, lifters and crankcase material were found in the oil sump and outside the engine crankcase. The engine was retained for further examination at a later date.

The 1735 recorded weather observation at KSFZ (8 miles southwest of the accident site) included: wind from 010 degrees at 9 knots; overcast sky at 800 feet above ground level; visibility 10 miles; temperature 14 degrees C; dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.70 inches of mercury.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Boston FSDO-61

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Firefighters helped Aaron Rice, left, owner of the house at 25 Bridle Path in Plainville, remove some items from the house Monday. The Providence Canteen assisted firefighters at the scene, and they deserve your help, Betsy Shea-Taylor writes. 

After a small plane crashed last Sunday into a Plainville home, setting it afire, first responders included a truck carrying food and water to support fire crews, police and others affected. The Special Signal Fire Association, or Providence Canteen, is a fixture at emergencies in the greater Attleboro area but may be unfamiliar to most residents.

It's always there to help, and can always use help. We'll touch on that later.

The crews of this volunteer corps, a 501(c), tax-exempt nonprofit, work with scant fanfare but the service is invaluable to firefighters and to victims awaiting Red Cross assistance. Dehydration, in particular, is a major concern for firefighters carrying heavy packs into danger and engulfed by heat.

Providence Canteen, which works out of facilities in Providence, has been around for 48 years, its genesis a two-man crew with a station wagon answering about 30 calls a year. The service of ferrying refreshment to fire scenes has grown into three trucks making about 550 runs a year throughout Rhode Island, into Southern Massachusetts and parts of Connecticut.

The canteen has volunteers on alert 24/7 and 365 days a year.

"I was a volunteer fireman at age 16," said Joseph Phillips, operations chief, in an interview just hours before he hit the road to the Plainville air crash that drew dozens of firefighters from several communities. (Three family members on the plane died; everyone in the house escaped.)

"My dedicated service is in my heart," said Phillips. "People sometimes say 'you get nothing out of it.' But you're giving back what you know without any reservation."

Phillips later joined the Providence Police Reserves, and then worked for 18 years as a police dispatcher. His background reflects those of many canteen volunteers; for instance, director is Paul O'Rourke, a Providence Police Department retiree, who has been a volunteer for 40 years.

The Providence Canteen responds not only to fires but also to floods, search and rescue operations, drills, haz-mat incidents and other crises.

It set up at Ground Zero at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, and served 2,500 people, said Phillips. It also helped after a Florida hurricane years ago and in Springfield, after tornadoes leveled homes.

The service relies on several retailers for items such as coolers, bread, water, meat and so on. The canteen frequently prepares chili and beef stew on its truck burners, as it did during its response to Plainville last Sunday.

The Providence Canteen has responded to crises in Norfolk and Bristol counties. When supplies run low, volunteers dig into their own pockets.

This is where you come in, as a business or as an individual: To support this important work, make out a check to the Special Signal Fire Association and mail it to SSFA, PO Box 25009, Providence RI 02905

Help those who stand ready to help you and your neighbors.


PLAINVILLE — The engine used in the aircraft that crashed into a Bridle Path house, killing the plane’s three occupants, was part of the same family of engines that suffered a series of crankshaft failures in 1999.

An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board probing the wreckage of Sunday’s crash reported finding a hole in the crankcase of the engine, although the NTSB has yet to assign a cause for the accident.

Dr. Joseph Kalister, the pilot; his wife, Betty; and their daughter, Nicole, were killed when their single-engine Beechcraft lost power and crashed into a house at 25 Bridle Path.

Just before the crash, Kalister radioed air traffic controllers that he was losing power, had a bad vibration and that he finally lost engine power.

Shortly after that, the plane crashed into the house about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, bursting into flames.

Four occupants of the dwelling, Aaron Rice; his wife, Carol; their two sons and family pets managed to escape unharmed.

The Kalister family was from Knoxville, Tenn., and was coming to Massachusetts to visit Northeastern University in Boston, where Nicole was enrolled as a freshman. The plane was bound for Norwood Municipal Airport, about 15 miles from the crash site.

According to FAA registration records, the aircraft was powered by a Continental IO 550 engine, a 280-horsepower, six-cylinder powerplant. The IO 55O is among a family of engines manufactured or rebuilt from 1998 to 2000 that was subject to an FAA emergency airworthiness directive because of metal defects in a connecting rod journal.

“This condition, if not corrected, could result in crankshaft connecting rod journal fracture, which could result in total engine power loss, in-flight engine failure and possible forced landing,” the 2000 FAA directive reads.

The FAA reported finding at least 13 cases of crankshaft failure beginning in late 1999.

The remedy called for by the FAA at the time was to take a core sample from the crankshaft propeller flange to check for defects and to replace any crankshaft that turned out to be unserviceable.

It is not clear when the engine in the Kalister plane was manufactured or whether it was among those subject to the inspection and repair directive.

Representatives of Teledyne Continental, the manufacturer, did not return a phone call from The Sun Chronicle Wednesday.

Local aircraft repair technicians were reluctant to speculate on the cause of the crash.

“There could be a thousand possibilities,” one mechanic said.

Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch of Savvy Aviator Inc. wrote on the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s website that crankshafts usually fail because of one of three factors: early failure because of improper materials used in manufacture, failures due to the airplane’s prop striking a foreign object or oil starvation and/or bearing failure.

However, he wrote that catastrophic failures due to prop strikes have declined as the danger from such causes has become more recognized.

NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said it is too soon to speculate on what might have caused the aircraft to lose power, and that the engine will be sent to the manufacturer for inspection. The airplane’s maintenance and inspection records will also be looked at, he said.

“Since the investigation is still in the preliminary stage and the information provided is factual only, we tend not to elaborate on what impact these facts will have on the investigation,” Holloway wrote in an email. “Any additional information at this point from the NTSB would be speculative and we do not speculate but go where the facts lead.” 


Tennessee doctor Joseph Richard Kalister his wife Betty.

Nicole Kalister

Betty Kalister (left), Joseph Richard Kalister, and daughter Nicole Kalister (right) were killed in the crash in Plainville.

 Joseph Richard Kalister his wife Betty. 

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy updates the media on the current state of the investigation of a Beech A36 Bonanza plane crash into a home on Bridle Path in Plainville Sunday killing all three family members on board.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy gives the media an update on the Beech A36 Bonanza plane crash that killed 3 people on board in Plainville, Massachusetts.
 June 30, 2015

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator Doug Brazy gives an update on the crash of a Beech A36 Bonanza into a Plainville, Massachusetts home on June 28, 2015.

A Plainville fire lieutenant looks out of 25 Bridle Path in Plainville where a plane crashed into it Sunday. 

Aaron Rice talks about the plane crashing into his house in Plainville. 

Aaron Rice told reporters he and his wife and their two sons were home at the time of the crash.

Aaron Rice, owner of the house at 25 Bridle Path in Plainville, where a plane crashed on Sunday.

Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Plainville Fire Chief Justin Alexander and Massachusetts Fire Marshal Stephen Coan speak during a press conference Sunday night..

Plainville’s fire chief, Justin Alexander, spoke with the media. 

Plainville firefighter Joe Rabuffo holds one of three rescued cats from the house struck by a plane in Plainville Sunday night.

Accident occurred June 28, 2015 near Lake Mathews, California

CORONA -- A single-engine plane hit a cellular telephone tower Sunday, killing a man and hospitalizing a woman near Lake Mathews.

The orange-and-black aircraft crashed about 12:15 p.m. at the base of the tree-like tower and inside a utility enclosure on a hilltop along the 20300 block of Farley Avenue. The area is less than a mile southwest of Lake Mathews.

The man died in the plane.

The woman was ejected during the crash, but remained conscious and summoned authorities, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Richard Owens.

Aside from the survivor, there are no known witnesses, Owens said.

All major portions of the plane appeared to be at the crash site, he said, though some pieces appeared to have landed in a small, damaged tree just feet from the cell tower. Nearby electric lines appeared intact and undamaged.

There was no fire, fuel leak or smell of gasoline, said Owens.

The wreckage continued to dangle from the cellular tower hours after the incident as authorities waited for utility workers TO arrive and switch off the tower's electrical supply.

The cause the crash remained unclear. Federal crash investigators were scheduled to arrive about 7 p.m. to begin their investigation.


Quicksilver MXL, N4496G: Incident occurred in Hendron, McCracken County, Kentucky

HENDRON, KY - A plane crash Sunday in McCracken County left the pilot injured. According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Office, the crash happened at approximately 12:50pm in the 7100 block of Old Houser Road near Hendron.

When deputies arrived, they found a yellow ultralight plane with significant damage underneath the power lines on Old Houser Road. Sixty-one-year-old Terris Sullivan of McCracken County told police he was flying the ultralight and was attempting to land in a field.

Sullivan said his approach was too fast and he was accelerating into a climb to circle back around when the wind caught the ultralight, pushing the plane to the right and down. Sullivan said he knew he wasn’t going to be able to clear the power lines so he attempted to go underneath the lines and the ultralight clipped the telephone cables causing him to crash.

Sullivan suffered minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital by private vehicle.


A McCracken County man managed to walk away from a plane crash Saturday afternoon.

McCracken County deputies and firefighters with the Hendron Fire Department were called to the 7100 block of Old Houser Road for a report of an ultralight plane crash.

Deputies located a yellow ultralight plane with significant damage underneath the power lines on Old Houser Road. 

61 year-old Terris Sullivan of McCracken County said he was flying the ultralight plane and was attempting to land in a field. 

He said his approach was too fast and he was accelerating into a climb to circle back around when the wind caught the ultralight, pushing the plane to the right and down to the ground. 

Sullivan said he wasn't going to be able to clear the power lines so he attempted to go underneath the lines and the ultralight clipped the telephone cables causing him to crash. 

He suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for those injuries. 


‘Then it seized up and died’: Vance pilot describes safely landing his plane after in-flight emergency

Capt. Eric Clements stands next to a T-6A Texan II aircraft on the flight line June 16 at Vance AIr Force Base following an interview about landing his disabled aircraft.

T-1 instructor pilot, Capt. Ben Johnson, gestures as he talks about emergency procedures during an interview Tuesday June 23, 2015

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE — It was April 7, a warm, cloudless early spring day, when Capt. Eric Clements, an instructor pilot with the 8th Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, stepped to a T-6A Texan II, tail number 722, for a routine flight.

But the flight turned out to be anything but routine. By the time that day ended, Clements had glided his powerless airplane back to a safe landing at Vance after an engine failure, an incident ultimately resulting in the grounding of Air Education and Training Command’s entire T-6 fleet.

Clements was alone, flying an Individual Development sortie, which instructors are required to fly several of each year to keep up their proficiency.

The Sheridan, Wyo., native took off without incident and flew a few patterns, repeatedly landing and taking off again from Vance, then headed up to Kegelman Air Force Auxiliary Field near the Great Salt Plains. Pilots simply call it, “Dogface.”

After doing a few more landings and takeoffs from Dogface, Clements piloted the single-engine turboprop trainer to the military operations area, or MOA, about 25 miles north of Vance.

It was in the MOA, an area designated by the Federal Aviation Administration for exclusive military use between specified altitudes and during certain hours, where Clements intended to practice some aerobatics.

“That’s where I started having some oil pressure problems,” Clements said.

Clements was practicing putting the aircraft in a spin and recovering.

“Right on my first turn I got a low oil pressure light,” he said.

Clements immediately stopped the maneuver. The aircraft’s oil pressure was fluctuating, so he took immediate action, getting on the radio and declaring an in-flight emergency, climbing to 19,300 feet above sea level and turning back toward Vance. The idea was to get as high as possible as soon as possible, since a stricken T-6 is supposed to be able to glide two miles horizontally for every 1,000 feet of altitude.

“On the way back to Vance my oil pressure continued to drop and went down to pretty much nothing,” Clements said. “Then the engine started damaging itself and then it seized up and died.”

Clements had been through engine failures before in his primary aircraft, KC-135 Stratotankers. But KC-135s have four engines, the T-6 only one.

Suddenly, Clements’ aircraft had become a glider. He’s not sure how close to the airfield he was by then, but he knows he was high enough to make it safely back.

“I was really close to the airfield when it actually died,” Clements said. “I could have gone 36 miles, but I only needed 25.”

Once he reached Vance, Clements guided the aircraft through a 360-degree turn, then executed a spiral pattern before safely landing the stricken aircraft.

“It was beautiful,” he said with a smile. “It was really one of my better ELPs (emergency landing patterns) I had ever done.

“We do ELPs all the time, so in theory we’re pretty good at them. It was kind of nice to have it validated.”

Clements has executed hundreds of emergency landing patterns, but never with a real live dead engine.

Since he teaches students to handle emergencies such as the one he faced, Clements was asked what grade he would give himself for his work that day.

“I would have graded myself an excellent,” he said. “I want to be humble and stuff, but it was actually pretty textbook.”

The book says in the event of an emergency, to climb to a high-enough altitude that “No matter what, if my engine did fail, I could guide it back.

“When the engine did fail, I did all the procedures you are supposed to, and I did really good energy management to get back,” he said, “so it worked out real nice.”

The goal was to be at 4,300 feet above sea level (3,000 feet above the ground) when the powerless aircraft flew back over the airfield.

“If you get to that position, you can just basically roll your flaps and gear and it will all work out just perfectly doing a spiraling pattern down to land,” Clements said.

Besides all the emergency procedures he had learned, and taught, only one thought went through Clements’ head after the engine failed.

“Don’t land short,” he said with a grin. “Because I recognized the low oil pressure problem right away and put myself on a really, really high profile, I had more than enough energy to make it back, so it really wasn’t scary.”

When he returned home that evening, Clements downplayed the excitement of his day for his wife, Amy, and 5-year-old daughter, Morgan.

“I don’t necessarily like to worry my wife or anything, so I just said ‘Hey, had a little engine problem today and did an ELP,’” Clements said. “Then I explained more about it.

“She was in the Air Force, so she completely understands the gravity of the situation after I kind of broke it slowly (to her).”

Story and photo gallery:

Capt. Eric Clements gestures during an interview June 15, 2015 as he talks about landing a disabled T-6 aircraft.

T-38 instructor pilot, Capt. Kyle Rainwaters, talks about emergency procedures during an interview Tuesday June 23, 2015.