Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cape Air tests the waters on float plane routes • New York-Boston service in development, with Cape destinations a further possibility

HYANNIS – After about eight years of research into potential new services, Cape Air is looking at the water.

Founder and CEO Dan Wolf confirmed that the company is exploring a scheduled float plane route between Boston Harbor’s Fan Pier in the city’s Seaport District and New York Skyports Inc.’s seaplane base on the East River in Manhattan, at 23rd Street.

Avoiding the airport commutes will shave an hour and 15 minutes off the city-to-city trip, according to Wolf.

“And it opens the door to limited service on the Cape and Islands,” he said. “Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Hyannis all have great facilities.”

Wolf said Cape Air is now in the process of working with the Federal Aviation Administration to secure certification of the route on a scheduled basis, a six- to nine-month process that the company hopes to complete by the end of this year.

“The New York seaplane base has always been there on demand,” Wolf said. “This would be the first scheduled New York-Boston service.”

The plan is operate these flights year-round, starting in the fall of 2016. Because they are daylight-only flights, the initial schedule will be four round-trips per day, increasing to six per day in the summer, Wolf said.

The company also is looking into acquiring three new Cessna Caravan amphibian planes, which have the same seating configuration of Cape Air’s familiar nine-passenger, two-engine Cessna 402s.

Each of the new planes comes with a price tag of $3 million to $3.5 million.

“This is a big investment for Cape Air,” Wolf said.

Earlier this year, Cape Air, which is the nation’s largest independent regional airline, struck up a support agreement with a resort operator in the Bahamas as a way to begin building float plane experience.

“A lot of training is required to do this efficiently and safely,” Wolf said, adding that the training was for both pilots and mechanics.

The resort uses three float planes to shuttle guests back and forth from Miami to its beachfront hotel and casino on North Bimini Island, according to Resorts World spokeswoman Heather Krasnow.

It operates a fourth float plane on the island for shore excursions, she said.

Cape Air also is working on a fleet update plan to swap out its 402s for new models over time and add additional planes to support expanded service.

Currently, the company is looking at what the Chinese aviation corporation AVIC may have to offer. It’s also is in what Wolf called “exciting discussions” with the Italian company Tecnam about ordering approximately 100 planes over seven years once the company goes into production with the kind of aircraft Cape Air is looking for – twin-engine prop planes.

“There is now no viable twin-engine replacement being manufactured in the US,” Wolf said. “For Cape Air to be around in 20 years we need replacement planes. Twin engine is important for safety, and we want reciprocating as opposed to jets. We won’t settle for less.”

Source:  http://www.capecodtimes.com

Spearfish works to expand Black Hills Airport-Clyde Ice Field (KSPF), South Dakota



SPEARFISH | After spending nearly $1.5 million to acquire land adjacent to Black Hills Airport/Clyde Ice Field, the city of Spearfish is awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to take over sponsorship of the airport from Lawrence County.

Following an executive session April 7, the Spearfish City Council unanimously voted to purchase 165 acres of land off Rainbow Road east of the airport for $1.465 million, City Administrator Joe Neeb said.

Reportedly once owned by Deadwood entrepreneurs Seth Bullock and Sol Star, the land was sold by Jane Carlstrom after four generations of her family had farmed and operated a dairy on it.

“This advances our efforts for growth and economic development,” Neeb said. “We believe the airport is an economic driver for the city and generates more than $12 million in annual economic impact for the state. Much of this land will be dedicated to a new crosswind runway, while we hope to develop the remainder for aviation-industry-type businesses.”

Neeb said the initial purchase was paid for with unrestricted funds from city coffers, but the city anticipates that the FAA and the state will assume as much as 95 percent of the costs of the acquisition.

City and airport officials have previously said the expansion of Clyde Ice Field was critical to the future growth of Spearfish. The state’s busiest general-aviation airfield, tucked on the eastern flank of the Northern Black Hills, it has gotten even busier in recent years due to the Bakken oil boom in western North Dakota, Niobrara developments in Nebraska and increasing production in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, officials said.

In addition, mounting business activity in Spearfish and second-home owners who flock to the Northern Hills throughout the year are increasingly using the facility, Airport Manager Ray Jilek explained. He said the airport has 10 on its waiting list who are seeking hangar space, and two additional parties who sought cover for larger corporate aircraft.

“We need to make sure we can provide for these guys before they go somewhere else for their aviation needs,” Jilek said Friday morning, minutes after greeting U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who had just landed at Clyde Ice Field.

At certain times the Spearfish airport is hit by crosswinds that prevent small- and medium-sized aircraft from landing on its existing 6,401-foot runway, forcing them to be diverted to one of two existing turf runways, Jilek explained.

But because of snow, frost and moisture, those turf runways are unusable eight months of the year, and the planned 4,000-foot surfaced crosswind runway would alleviate that problem, he said.

Optimistically, Jilek said he hoped construction on the crosswind runway would be underway in two to three years.

Spearfish Mayor Dana Boke said the process of changing sponsorship of the airport, designing a new runway, acquiring the necessary property, and gaining FAA approval required a great deal of patience.

“There’s a lot of hoops to jump through in order to be ready for the federal government to come in and do what they need to do,” Boke said Friday. “This is a multi-year process, and we are doing what we need to do so that when they say, `Go,’ we are ready to go.

“But that’s what we do to keep our airport vital and relevant to the needs of our community,” she said.

Source:   http://rapidcityjournal.com

Gov. Ducey consolidating Arizona's airplane fleet, selling 3

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is consolidating the state's fleet of aircraft in a move designed to save money and make the use and maintenance of airplanes more efficient.

The state will sell three of 10 existing aircraft and transfer all of them to the Department of Public Safety. That move will save on hangar and maintenance costs.

The state is adding two nearly new planes it is getting for free from the federal government. The $10 million twin-engine M-28 Sky Truck aircraft are used by the military and can haul cargo or up to 14 passengers.

The governor's office says the state expects to make about $800,000 by selling the three oldest planes in its fleet. That also will cut maintenance costs because they are expensive to operate.

Source:  http://azdailysun.com

Friday, July 10, 2015

Top US air traffic controller Jeff Griffith aghast at Australia airports

When there are three or four or five (planes), it gets complicated’: Jeff Griffith at Sydney’s Bankstown Airport. 
~


As a young air-traffic controller, Jeff Griffith learned to work fast.

The year was 1969 and he was in the US Air Force operating a mobile radar unit at a major combat airbase at Phu Cat, at the height of the Vietnam War, often under mortar and rocket fire.

“When the airplanes were coming in over there, they didn’t stop. They were usually low on fuel, or had battle damage,” Mr Griffith said.

He went on to a top career with the US’s Federal Aviation Administration, including serving as chief controller at what was then the world’s busiest airport, Chicago’s O’Hare, and later deputy director of air traffic control.

Since leaving the FAA in 2002, Mr Griffith has been executive vice-president of the Washington Consulting Group, which provides air traffic control services in the US and internationally. In 1996, and again in 2003 and 2004, the federal government brought him to Australia to advise on how to introduce the American air traffic control system, in which commercial aircraft are always dire­cted by air traffic controllers.

It never happened — to this day Australia has a hotchpotch system where some airports are designated to be under controlled airspace, and others are not.

This week The Weekend Australian brought Mr Griffith back to Australia and commissioned him to re-examine what had happened to airspace management after a gap of 11 years.

He flew in the cockpit of a Beech­craft Duchess light twin-engine­ aircraft flown by Sydney flying instructor Aminta Hennessy and in a Cessna Citation corporate jet flown by air charter operator Brad Edwards from Armidale, in northeast NSW.

As the aircraft flew around controlled airspace above 8500 feet and uncontrolled airspace below it at regional airports, Mr Griffith talked with the pilots and listened to their radio discussions with air traffic controllers and other pilots.

He is amazed that at an airport such as Ballina, in northern NSW, which has 435,000 passengers a year with big commercial airline traffic along with considerable general aviation, pilots on their landing approach must still talk to each other to work out where each one is and how to avoid crashing into each other.

In the US, they would be kept well separated by air traffic controllers almost right to the runway. “At these smaller airports with this uncontrolled airspace airplanes are flying in the clouds with no separation being provided by air traffic controllers, and that’s accordi­ng to regulation,” Mr Griffith said. “That works with two airplanes, but when there are three or four or five, it gets complicated.

“At those kinds of airports in the US, we have controlled airspace down to 700 feet above the ground and we provide separation to aircraft all the way through their approach and landing.”

Another thing that astounds Mr Griffith is that, unlike the US, where airport ground staff including firefighters, aircraft mechanics, flying school instructors, and check-in staff use the Unicom radio service to advise pilots of local air traffic and weather, ­regulations here prohibit all but ­serving and former air traffic controllers from providing such information.

Ahead of a flight from Sydney’s Bankstown Airport to Bathurst, 200km to the west, Ms Hennessy rang a friend who runs a flying school at Bathurst.

“She said there’s a bit of fog around but it looked like the sun would come out and it would burn off,” Ms Hennessy said. “We could both be put in jail for that,” she added, a slight embellishment in that the penalty is a fine, but still it would have broken the rules.

Story, comments and photo: http://www.theaustralian.com.au

Sonex Aircraft, 19-7093: Fatal accident occurred July 08, 2015 at Lethbridge Airpark, Victoria, Australia

Australian Transport Safety Bureau won't investigate plane death




Transport authorities will not be looking into the death of a light plane pilot at Lethbridge.

The 85-year-old Altona North man died when the Sonex plane crashed after making several attempts to take off on Wednesday.

Witnesses say they saw the man slumped behind the controls not long before the accident.

He was the only person on board the light aircraft.

It is understood the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will not be investigating.

Source: http://www.bayfm.com.au

Cessna T206H Turbo Stationair, XB-MBC: Accident occurred July 09, 2015 east of Torreon, Coahuila , Mexico

 


Three people on a flight out of McAllen died when their plane crashed in the Mexican state of Coahuila around 7 p.m. Thursday, according to the Mexican newspaper El Mañana

The pilot, Abraham Garcia, co-pilot Roger Fuentes and passenger Castro Aureliano Barajas were killed after the plane crashed near the side of a toll road. The crash’s cause was not in the initial El Mañana report.

The plane, belonging to a Mexican airline, was headed to Francisco Sarabia International Airport  Coahuila, according to El Mañana.

The flight departed from our airport last night to Torreon and we received a report that it crashed due to a mechanical failure in the municipality of Matamoros in Coahuila,” aviation director for McAllen-Miller International Airport Elizabeth Suarez said Friday.

Bob McCreery, president of McCreery Aviation, a McAllen-based private aviation group said he could not comment on the crash since he did not know the details and was not familiar with the pilots.

McCreery said the group landed at their terminal about mid-afternoon Thursday and left later that day.

The office of the attorney general of Coahuila released a statement late Friday afternoon confirming the crash.

"At 7:21 p.m. we received a report that a small place crashed on the side of an road near toll-road Torreon-Salitillo," the statement read. "The plane, a Cessna 206, registration XBMBZ, departed from McAllen and was en route to the city of Torreon."

No other information was immediately available from the attorney general's office.

Representatives for Francisco Sarabia International Airport were not available to comment Friday afternoon.

Source:  http://www.themonitor.com


Torreón, Coah, 

Tres personas murieron al desplomarse e incendiarse una avioneta procedente de la ciudad de McAllen, Texas, Estados Unidos, que tenía como destino el Aeropuerto de la Ciudad de Torreón.

El accidente se registró en el kilómetro 19 + 100 de la carretera de cuota Torreón-Saltillo, a la altura de La Cueva del Tabaco, en el municipio de Matamoros, informó la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado.

En el lugar fallecieron el piloto de la aeronave, Abraham García, el copiloto Rogelio Fuentes, así como Aureliano Barajas Castro.

La nave es una Cessna 206, matrícula XBMBZ. El reporte del percance se recibió en el Sistema de Emergencia “066” a las 19:21 horas de este jueves.

La avioneta cayó a un costado de la autopista de cuota y al impactarse quedó envuelta en llamas.

Elementos de los cuerpos de seguridad federales y estatales tomaron conocimiento del accidente y los bomberos controlaron las llamas.

Meet the two final candidates for Grand Junction Regional Airport (KGJT) Manager



GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Over sixty applicants for the manager of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority have been whittled down to just two. 

The two finalists, David Fiore and Bill Mckown had their final interview today in front of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board, employees, and the public.

The new airport manager will replace Rex Tippets, who was fired last year after an FBI fraud investigation.

"We are looking for fit, and for vision, and strategy development,” said GJRAAB’s David Murray who chairs the selection committee. “Not only in terms of how we need to continue to develop the airport short and long term, but also how we want it partnered with our community partners.”

Add an unfinished airport building, a new runway, and low passenger numbers, the new manager will have a lot on his shoulders.

"I am more than confident to step in and bring in some of the work experiences and education that ive obtained over the years,” said candidate David Fiore.

Fiore, who lives in Eagle, says he has been in aviation since he was fifteen years old.

He has a strong real estate, attorney, and pilot background and has served as property manager for the San Francisco International Airport.

His first priority, he says, is aligning the airport with the community's vision.

"Identifying ways to address items like the unfinished building and what are some of the alternatives for that,” said Fiore. “In contrast to the expansion of the runway to meet the future needs of the airport.”

Second candidate Bill Mckown is from Pensacola, Florida and spent 35 years in the Navy. He retired as a navy aviator and went into airport management. He has served as Executive Director of Terre Haute International airport in Indiana and Airport Manager in Pagosa Springs.

The issue he wants to tackle: sustaining our commercial airlines.

"We need to keep them in here,” said Mckown. “We don't want to pay for their service to come in here and just transport a few folks out. This is the gateway to Western Colorado, or to Colorado itself for the interior. If we get that message out there I think more folks will use this airport.”

And his future vision: bringing space operations to the airport.

"The possibility of launching a large aircraft and reaching space,” said Mckown. “How that's done its pretty darn technical, but the opportunity is there.”

Murray says the main thing he wants to see a new manager tackle is updating the strategic plan, and airport development – specifically, acquiring funding for the new airport runway which could cost up to 100 million dollars.

A new airport manager will be chosen on July 21st, in just under two weeks.

Source:  http://www.nbc11news.com


Mooney M-20G Statesman, N9152V: Accident occurred July 10, 2015 at Deer Valley Airport (KDVT), Phoenix, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final 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/N9152V 

Location: Phoenix, AZ
Accident Number: WPR15LA209
Date & Time: 07/10/2015, 0900 MST
Registration: N9152V
Aircraft: MOONEY M 20G
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis 

The private pilot receiving instruction reported that, abeam the runway threshold on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, he reduced engine power to idle to conduct a practice 180o power-off landing. The pilot maintained glide speed until about 40 ft above the ground then noticed that the airplane was slightly below the intended glide path. The pilot applied throttle to initiate a go-around; however, the engine sputtered and power did not increase. The pilot executed a forced landing short of the runway; the airplane touched down hard and bounced. The right main and nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest to the right of the runway. The flight instructor reported that, upon the pilot's decision to conduct a go-around, he ensured that the throttle, propeller, and mixture were in the correct position, but made no reference to carburetor heat.

During a postaccident examination, the engine was started, operated, and shut down normally with no anomalies noted. Data from the engine monitoring system revealed that, shortly before the engine lost power, it was operating at idle power for about 1 1/2 minutes, during which the cylinder exhaust gas temperatures were decreasing. At the end of the 1 1/2 minutes, in the engine rpm increased and the the exhaust gas temperatures showed a small spike, then continued to decrease. The rpm then decreased to zero, and the manifold pressure adjusted to barometric pressure, consistent with a total loss of power.

The reported temperature and dew point at the time of the accident were conducive to carburetor icing at glide and cruise power settings. It is likely that the carburetor collected ice during the time the engine was at idle power. When the pilot increased power, the engine responded momentarily, but was unable to continue operation with the restricted airflow through the carburetor. The airplane's pilot operating handbook stated that full carburetor heat should be applied when reducing power for descent or landing.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilots' failure to apply carburetor heat during the approach for landing, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to carburetor icing. 

Findings

Aircraft
Intake anti-ice, deice - Not used/operated (Cause)

Personnel issues
Identification/recognition - Pilot (Cause)
Identification/recognition - Instructor/check pilot (Factor)

Environmental issues
Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on operation

Factual Information 

On July 10, 2015, about 0900 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20G, N9152V, experienced a partial loss of engine power while on short final to the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona, and subsequently landed short of the runway. The private pilot undergoing instruction and the certified flight instructor (CFI) sustained no injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The airplane is registered to a private individual and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The private pilot undergoing instruction reported that when they passed the approach end of the runway on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, he reduced power to idle to conduct a practice 180o power off landing. The pilot maintained glide speed until about 40 feet above the ground when the pilot observed the airplane was slightly below the intended glide path. The pilot increased power to initiate a go around, however, the engine sputtered and did not increase RPM. The pilot executed a forced landing short of the runway surface; the airplane touched down hard and bounced. When it settled back onto the ground, the right main landing gear and nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest to the right of the runway surface.

The CFI reported that when the private pilot decided to conduct a go around, he looked at the throttle quadrant to confirm that the throttle was full forward and the propeller and mixture levers were also positioned correctly.

A postaccident engine run was conducted by a mechanic and inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The spark plugs were removed and examined; they displayed signatures consistent with a rich running engine. The spark plugs were reinstalled and an undamaged propeller was installed. The engine started without hesitation; after idling temporarily, the RPM was increased and a magneto check was completed with no abnormalities noted. The power was decreased to idle for two minutes to simulate a 180o power off landing. The throttle was abruptly increased to full power; it hesitated for a split second and went to full RPM for a couple minutes. This sequence was conducted twice with no anomalies noted. The engine was shutdown uneventfully.

The engine data monitor download showed that shortly before the engine lost power, the engine was at idle for about 1.5 minutes; during which, the cylinder exhaust gas temperatures were decreasing. At the end of the 1.5 minutes, there was an increase in RPM and subsequent small spike in the exhaust gas temperatures before they continued to decrease. In addition, the RPMs continued to zero, and the manifold pressure adjusted to barometric pressure.

At the time of the accident, the reported temperature was 29o C and the dew point was 7o C. According to the FAA carburetor icing Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin, the condition was conducive to carburetor icing at glide and cruise power settings. 

History of Flight

Landing
Fuel related (Defining event)
Landing area undershoot
Hard landing
Landing gear collapse 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 18, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/29/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/25/2015
Flight Time:  253 hours (Total, all aircraft), 140 hours (Total, this make and model), 150 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/10/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/15/2013
Flight Time:  1 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N9152V
Model/Series: M 20G
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 690012
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/27/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2449 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 60 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2993 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O&VO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: DVT, 1478 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 160°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 MST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Airport: Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1478 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 7L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Go Around; Simulated Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  2 None

Latitude, Longitude:  33.686389, -112.076111 (est)




NTSB Identification: WPR15LA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 10, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: MOONEY M 20G, registration: N9152V
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 July 10, 2015, about 0900 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20G, N9152V, experienced a partial loss of engine power while on short final to the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona, and subsequently landed short of the runway. The private pilot undergoing instruction and the certified flight instructor sustained no injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The airplane is registered to a private individual and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. 

The private pilot undergoing instruction reported that he was conducting a practice power off 180-degree landing. When the airplane was about 30 feet above the ground he realized that he was going to land short of the runway. He added power, but the airplane's engine sputtered and would not increase RPM. He kept the wings level and landed on the rocks just short of the runway. The airplane traversed onto the runway surface when the right landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest on the side of the runway.

The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination. The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

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/N9152V 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 10, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: MOONEY M 20G, registration: N9152V
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On July 10, 2015, about 0900 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20G, N9152V, experienced a partial loss of engine power while on short final to the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona, and subsequently landed short of the runway. The private pilot undergoing instruction and the certified flight instructor (CFI) sustained no injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The airplane is registered to a private individual and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The private pilot undergoing instruction reported that when they passed the approach end of the runway on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, he reduced power to idle to conduct a practice 180o power off landing. The pilot maintained glide speed until about 40 feet above the ground when the pilot observed the airplane was slightly below the intended glide path. The pilot increased power to initiate a go around, however, the engine sputtered and did not increase RPM. The pilot executed a forced landing short of the runway surface; the airplane touched down hard and bounced. When it settled back onto the ground, the right main landing gear and nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest to the right of the runway surface. 

The CFI reported that when the private pilot decided to conduct a go around, he looked at the throttle quadrant to confirm that the throttle was full forward and the propeller and mixture levers were also positioned correctly. 

A postaccident engine run was conducted by a mechanic and inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The spark plugs were removed and examined; they displayed signatures consistent with a rich running engine. The spark plugs were reinstalled and an undamaged propeller was installed. The engine started without hesitation; after idling temporarily, the RPM was increased and a magneto check was completed with no abnormalities noted. The power was decreased to idle for two minutes to simulate a 180o power off landing. The throttle was abruptly increased to full power; it hesitated for a split second and went to full RPM for a couple minutes. This sequence was conducted twice with no anomalies noted. The engine was shutdown uneventfully. 

The engine data monitor download showed that shortly before the engine lost power, the engine was at idle for about 1.5 minutes; during which, the cylinder exhaust gas temperatures were decreasing. At the end of the 1.5 minutes, there was an increase in RPM and subsequent small spike in the exhaust gas temperatures before they continued to decrease. In addition, the RPMs continued to zero, and the manifold pressure adjusted to barometric pressure.

At the time of the accident, the reported temperature was 29o C and the dew point was 7o C. According to the FAA carburetor icing Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin, the condition was conducive to carburetor icing at glide and cruise power settings. 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 10, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ
Aircraft: MOONEY M 20G, registration: N9152V
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 July 10, 2015, about 0900 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20G, N9152V, experienced a partial loss of engine power while on short final to the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona, and subsequently landed short of the runway. The private pilot undergoing instruction and the certified flight instructor sustained no injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The airplane is registered to a private individual and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. 

The private pilot undergoing instruction reported that he was conducting a practice power off 180-degree landing. When the airplane was about 30 feet above the ground he realized that he was going to land short of the runway. He added power, but the airplane's engine sputtered and would not increase RPM. He kept the wings level and landed on the rocks just short of the runway. The airplane traversed onto the runway surface when the right landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest on the side of the runway.

The airplane has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

















AIRCRAFT: 1969 Mooney M20G, N9152V, Serial No. 690012

ENGINE– Lycoming O-360-A1D, Serial No. L-13800-36A   

PROPELLER – destroyed

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

ENGINE:   2933TT 1023 SMOH

PROPELLER:    N/A

AIRFRAME:        2933           

OTHER EQUIPMENT:   KX155, KMA24, GNS430, Aspen and JPI 
       
 DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On landed hard causing gear to collapse.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Damages to gear, fuselage, prop .

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:     Air Transport, 3011 W Buckeye Rd,  Phoenix, AZ 85009 
                                                     
REMARKS:    The aircraft has been dismantled. Inspection of aircraft is highly recommended.

Read more here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N9152V.htm

Piper PA-28-140, N286P: Accident occurred July 28, 2013 in Lafayette, Indiana

http://registry.faa.gov/N286P

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA455
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 28, 2013 in Lafayette, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/14/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N286P
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 Minor.

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 the engine run-up and the initial takeoff were normal and that the airplane rotated at 50 mph and lifted off at 60 mph. The airplane then accelerated to its best angle of climb speed and cleared the front edge of a band of trees that bordered the end of the runway, after which it descended into the trees and subsequently impacted terrain. The pilot reported that he did not know exactly what happened but stated that it appeared the airplane got into a downdraft or experienced an engine power loss. He further surmised that the airplane “lost lift,” which resulted in the impact with trees. An examination of the airplane after the accident showed no preimpact anomalies; however, an examination of the engine was not accomplished due to the position of the airplane at the accident scene. The weather conditions at the time of the accident included a gusting wind. The Federal Aviation Administration’s Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge states that obstructions on the ground affect the wind flow and can be an unseen danger that can break up the wind flow and create wind gusts that change rapidly in direction and speed. It further cautions that it is especially important to be vigilant when flying in or out of airports that have large buildings or natural obstructions near the runway. Based on the available evidence, the pilot likely failed to maintain adequate airspeed in the climb, which led to the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. It is also likely that the airplane encountered a local disturbance due to the wind and trees that exacerbated the event; however, the pilot should have anticipated this possibility and taken appropriate measures to avoid the stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed in gusting wind conditions during the initial climb after takeoff, which led to the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.

On July 28, 2013, about 1052 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N286P, impacted trees and terrain during initial climb after takeoff from runway 27 at the Timber House Airport (31IN), Lafayette, Indiana. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to an individual and operated by a private pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that he performed a pre-takeoff run-up and noted no deficiencies. He then proceeded to take off to the west noting that rotation occurred about 50 miles per hour, and liftoff occurred about 60 miles per hour. He stated that the airplane accelerated to 74 miles per hour (best angle of climb airspeed), and the airplane cleared the trees off of the departure end of the runway. The pilot stated that the airplane then descended into the trees. He noted that he was not sure what had happened but stated that it appeared to be a downdraft or an engine power loss. He further surmised that the airplane "lost lift" which resulted in the impact with the trees.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing impacted a tree followed by the left wing. Both wings separated from the airplane and both fuel tanks were breached. The fuselage remained predominately intact with the propeller buried in the dirt. The fuel selector was positioned on the right tank and both fuel tank caps were secure. Due to the position of the airplane at the accident site, an examination of the engine was not performed.

At 1054, the weather conditions at the Purdue University Airport, Lafayette, Indiana, about 9 nautical miles northwest of the accident site were: wind 260 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 18 knots; 10 statute miles visibility; broken ceiling at 9,000 feet above ground level; temperature 19 degrees C; dew point 9 degrees C, and altimeter 29.96 inches of mercury.

The airport where the accident occurred was a private airport that had a 3,000 foot long by 100 foot wide turf runway. The west end of the runway was bordered by band of trees about 650 feet wide in the direction of runway alignment.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publication FAA-H-8083-25A, "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge", states:

"Obstructions on the ground affect the flow of wind and can be an unseen danger. Ground topography and large buildings can break up the flow of the wind and create wind gusts that change rapidly in direction and speed. These obstructions range from manmade structures like hangars to large natural obstructions, such as mountains, bluffs, or canyons. It is especially important to be vigilant when flying in or out of airports that have large buildings or natural obstructions located near the runway.

The intensity of the turbulence associated with ground obstructions depends on the size of the obstacle and the primary velocity of the wind. This can affect the takeoff and landing performance of any aircraft and can present a very serious hazard."


==============



Michael Butram throttled up his Piper airplane about 10:35 a.m. July 28, 2013, and raced down the runway at Timberhouse Aero Estates in southern Tippecanoe County, but his plane didn’t clear the trees at the end of the runway, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The plane crashed, injuring Butram and his passengers, Shannon Gipson, and her two children, Rowan Gipson and Keegan Gipson.

Now James and Shannon Gipson, individually and on behalf of their children, are suing Butram. Also named as defendants are the other owners of the plane — David Gevers, Ronald Kovach and John Lumkes — as well as Timberhouse Aero Estates Homeowners Association.

Timberhouse Aero Estates is a residential development near Tippecanoe County Roads 950 South and 200 East. The concept of the neighborhood is that there’s a runway by every homeowner’s backyard.

The lawsuit alleges that “numerous service vehicles” were parked on the 3,000-foot runway, but Butram attempted to take off anyway. The lawsuit alleges this was negligent on Butram’s part.

Gevers, Kovach and Lumkes are accused of failing to ensure the co-owners had proper knowledge of that plane’s flight characteristics.

The homeowners association is accused of allowing the airplane to take off when it was unsafe because it allowed service vehicles on the runway. The association, the lawsuit alleges, failed to properly park the service vehicles away from the 3,000-foot grass runway, effectively shortening it.

The Journal & Courier contacted Gevers, who declined to comment.

The J&C has been unable to reach Butram, Kovach or Lumke for comment, and no one from the Timberhouse Aero Estates Homeowners Association responded to an email for comment.

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



ROMNEY — Four people were hospitalized Sunday morning, July 28th, after a plane crash in southern Tippecanoe County.


At 10:39 a.m., the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office responded to an aircraft accident near Timber House Airport in Romney. Members of the Tippecanoe Emergency Ambulance Service, Randolph Township Fire Department and Tippecanoe County Emergency Management assisted with the investigation.


Investigators determined that a single engine Piper Cherokee had crashed shortly after takeoff. It was unclear what cause the crash.


All four of the occupants, Michael Butram, 53, of Lafayette; Shannon Gipson, 39, of Slidell, La.; Keegan Gipson, 7; and Rowan Gipson, 5; suffered minor injuries.


The victims were transported to St. Elizabeth East hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. 

============ 

NTSB Identification: CEN13LA455
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 28, 2013 in Lafayette, IN
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N286P
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 Minor.

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 July 28, 2013, about 1052 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N286P, impacted trees and terrain during initial climb after takeoff from runway 27 at the Timber House Airport (31IN), Lafayette, Indiana. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by an individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Boeing Keeps Suits Over Asiana Crash in Federal

Courthouse News Service

(CN) - Lawsuits over the 2013 Asiana Airlines crash that killed three people and seriously injured 49 others belong in federal court, the Seventh Circuit ruled.

Reversing the judge who remanded the cases against Boeing to Illinois state court, a unanimous three-judge panel found Wednesday that admiralty jurisdiction applies to the accident, which began over navigable water.

Three teenagers from China died in the crash and more than 180 other passengers were injured when the Boeing 777 that had taken off in Seoul, Korea, hit the seawall that separates the ocean from the end of a runway at San Francisco International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the accident to pilot error last year.

While many of the passengers filed federal complaints in California, some of the passengers filed negligence lawsuits in Illinois state court, alleging that Chicago-based Boeing was aware of several similar incidents but did not require the low-airspeed warning system on its 777 aircraft, such as on the Asiana plane that crashed.

Boeing removed the suits to federal court, asserting admiralty jurisdiction, as well as federal officials' right to have claims against them resolved by federal courts.

U.S. District Judge Judge Harry Leinenweber in Chicago remanded the suits, concluding that Boeing did not act as a federal officer and that the accident happened on land when the plane hit the seawall, rather than over navigable water.

The Seventh Circuit disagreed on the second point Wednesday, noting that the NTSB's June 2014 report, issued after the Leinenweber's ruling, determined that the crash began approximately 10 seconds before the plane hit the seawall.

The board concluded that a collision was certain while the plane was over San Francisco Bay because a 777 aircraft lacks the ability to accelerate and climb fast enough, no matter what the pilots did in the final 10 seconds.

"Given the NTSB's findings, it is possible for Boeing to show that this accident was caused by, or became inevitable because of, events that occurred over navigable water," Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote for the court.

The panel also found that the airplane functioned as an "ocean-going" vessel when flying over navigable water not within the continental United States.

"Asiana 214 was a trans-ocean flight, a substitute for an ocean-going vessel - as flights from the contiguous United States to and from Alaska, Hawaii, and overseas territories also would be," which allows for general admiralty jurisdiction, the panel said.

Because the passengers could have filed their suits directly in federal court under admiralty jurisdiction, Boeing was entitled to remove the complaints to federal court, the panel ruled.

Boeing was less successful, however, with its argument that it represented a federal officer because it was "acting under" the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to carry out some self-assessment to ensure compliance with aviation regulations.

Easterbrook called it "linguistically possible to call self-certification a form of 'acting under' the FAA," but said "all businesses must ensure that they comply with statutes and regulations."

Every regulated firm must use its own staff to learn whether it has satisfied federal regulations and the list of people who have to certify things is exceedingly long, the judge added.

Rulemaking rather than rule compliance seems to be the key ingredient to obtaining "acting under" status, and the FAA does not allow Boeing to change substantive rules, the panel found.

The passengers applauded this finding but wish the court did more than recognize that Boeing is not a federal officer for removal purposes, one of their attorneys, Colin Dunn, said.

"The opinion is unprecedented, and conflicts with clear Congressional intent that appellate review of remand orders is extremely limited," Dunn, a partner at Clifford Law Offices, said in an interview.

Dunn added that his team is weighing their next step.

Boeing has not returned a request for comment.

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

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA120

Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Asiana Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/03/2015
Aircraft: BOEING 777-200ER, registration: HL7742
Injuries: 3 Fatal, 50 Serious, 137 Minor, 117 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/aviation.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-14/01.

On July 6, 2013, about 1128 Pacific daylight time, a Boeing 777-200ER, Korean registration HL7742, operating as Asiana Airlines flight 214, was on approach to runway 28L when it struck a seawall at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California. Three of the 291 passengers were fatally injured; 40 passengers, 8 of the 12 flight attendants, and 1 of the 4 flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The other 248 passengers, 4 flight attendants, and 3 flight crewmembers received minor injuries or were not injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. Flight 214 was a regularly scheduled international passenger flight from Incheon International Airport (ICN), Seoul, Korea, operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 129. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight crew's mismanagement of the airplane's descent during the visual approach, the pilot flying's unintended deactivation of automatic airspeed control, the flight crew's inadequate monitoring of airspeed, and the flight crew's delayed execution of a go-around after they became aware that the airplane was below acceptable glidepath and airspeed tolerances.

Contributing to the accident were (1) the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems that were inadequately described in Boeing's documentation and Asiana's pilot training, which increased the likelihood of mode error; (2) the flight crew's nonstandard communication and coordination regarding the use of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems; (3) the pilot flying's inadequate training on the planning and executing of visual approaches; (4) the pilot monitoring/instructor pilot's inadequate supervision of the pilot flying; and (5) flight crew fatigue, which likely degraded their performance.

NTSB Report:  http://www.ntsb.gov

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Are Cockpit Cameras Just Around The Corner?



(CBS) — Security cameras seem to be just about everywhere these days, except in airplane cockpits. 


 And it’s airline pilots who are fighting hardest to keep them out. But why?

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley looks into the debate.

When Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the Alps last March — an apparent act of suicide by co-pilot Andres Lubitz — calls intensified for cockpit video to monitor pilots.

“We just don’t see any additional value that a video recorder would add to the investigation,” says Jay Heppner, who heads United’s more than 12,000 members of the Airline Pilots Association.

He says data recorders and black boxes provide all the information necessary.

But data recorders can’t answer what happened to the crew of Malaysia Flight 370, which crashed in the south pacific last year.

Or whether pilot suicide caused the crash of an Egypt air flight off Nantucket back in 1999.

“You’re never going to get that from an instrument on a plane. That’s where the pressure for this is growing and growing,” says Joseph Schweitermann, a DePaul University transportation expert.

Cameras already monitor drivers on CTA buses. And operator cameras helped determine the cause in last year’s Blue Line crash at O’Hare.

Federal authorities want a crash protected cockpit image recording system in passenger aircraft.

Pilots fear cockpit video could sensationalize the aftermath of an accident, or that it could be used for routine discipline instead of crash investigations.

“It’s a tough argument, and I think it may ultimately be a losing argument as well,” Schweitermann says.

The NTSB has been pushing for cockpit cameras at least since 2000.

Story and video:  http://chicago.cbslocal.com

de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter, Rediske Air, N93PC: Accident occurred July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, Alaska

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA121
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/2015
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC-3, registration: N93PC
Injuries: 10 Fatal.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Before picking up the nine passengers, the pilot loaded the accident airplane at the operator's base in Nikiski with cargo (food and supplies for the lodge). The operator of the lodge where the passengers were headed estimated the cargo weighed about 300 pounds (lbs) and that the passengers' baggage weighed about 80 lbs. Estimates of the passengers' weights were provided to the lodge operator in preparation for the trip, which totaled 1,350 lbs. The load manifest listed each of these weight estimates for a total weight of 1,730 lbs and did not contain any balance data. The cargo was not weighed, and the pilot did not document any weight and balance calculations nor was he required to do so.

The airplane operator did not keep fueling records for each flight. A witness who was present during the fueling operations at the operator's base reported that he saw the pilot top off the front tank then begin fueling the center tank. The first leg of the trip from the operator's base to pick up the passengers was completed uneventfully.

According to witnesses at Soldotna Airport, after loading the passengers and their baggage, the pilot taxied for departure. There were no witnesses to the accident. The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 feet from the threshold of the departure runway and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. An extensive postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane's cockpit and cabin area, including an unknown quantity of the baggage and cargo. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose- and right-wing-low attitude at impact.

The entire airplane was accounted for at the wreckage site. Disassembly and examination of the engine and propeller revealed that both were operating during impact. Examination of the structure and flight control systems found no preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot was properly certificated and qualified in accordance with applicable federal regulations. Toxicological testing of specimens from the pilot was negative for any carbon monoxide, alcohol, or drugs.

The airplane was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with any type of crash-resistant recorder. A video recovered from a passenger's smartphone showed the accident sequence looking out of the row 4 left seat window; the left wing and flaps are in view for most of the sequence and the flap position does not change. The investigation found that the flaps were set to the full-down (or landing) position during takeoff, contrary to recommended procedures in the airplane flight manual (AFM). 

The recovered video was used to estimate the airplane speed, altitude, and orientation for the portion of the flight where ground references were visible, about 22.5 seconds after the start of the takeoff roll. For the first 12 seconds, the airplane accelerated linearly from the beginning of the takeoff roll through liftoff. The pitch angle decreased slightly in the first 8 seconds as the tail lifted, remained essentially constant for about 4 seconds, and began to slightly increase as the airplane lifted off. Beginning about 14 seconds after the start of the takeoff roll, the speed began decreasing and the pitch angle began increasing. The pitch angle increased at a constant rate (about 2.8 degrees/second), reaching a maximum value of about 30 degrees, and the ground speed decreased from its maximum of about 68 mph to about 44 mph at the end of the analyzed time. The ground references disappeared from the video frame as the airplane experienced a sharp right roll before impacting the ground several seconds later.

The low speed, rapid right roll, and pitch down of the airplane is consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The constant pitch rate before the stall is consistent with an aft center of gravity (CG) condition of sufficient magnitude that the elevator pitch down authority was insufficient to overcome the pitching moment generated by the aft CG. Additionally, the flaps setting at the full-down (or landing) position, contrary to procedures contained in the AFM, would have exacerbated the nose-up pitching moment due to the increased downwash on the tail and aft shift of the center of pressure; the additional aerodynamic drag from the fully extended flaps would have altered the airplane's acceleration. 

Using the data available, the airplane was within weight and balance limitations for the first leg of the trip. However, the cargo loaded was about 2.4 times the weight indicated on the load manifest. Further, the total weight of cargo and baggage in the cargo area, as estimated during the investigation, exceeded the installed cargo net's load limit of 750 lbs by more than 50 lbs. Although the loaded cargo actual weight was higher than indicated on the load manifest, the flight from Nikiski to Soldotna was completed without any concerns noted by the pilot, indicating that even with the higher cargo load, the airplane was within the normal CG range for that leg of the flight. Thus, based on the investigation's best estimate and a calculation of the airplane's weight and balance using the recovered passenger weights, weights and location of the luggage recovered on scene, weight of the cargo recovered on scene, and weights accounting for the liquid cargo destroyed in the postimpact fire, once the passengers were loaded, the airplane weight would have exceeded the maximum gross weight of 8,000 lbs by about 21 lbs and the CG would have been at least 5.5 inches aft of the 152.2-inch limit (a more definitive calculation could not be performed because the exact location of the cargo was not known).

Additionally, the kinematics study of the accident airplane's weight and motion during initial climb and up to the point of stall found that with the pilot applying full pitch-down control input, the CG required to produce the motion observed in the video was likely just past 161 inches. Thus, the only way for the airplane motion to match the motion observed in the video was for the CG to be considerably aft of the 152.2-inch limit, which provides additional support to the results from the weight and balance study. Based on the video study, the weight and balance study constructed from available weight and balance information, and the kinematics study, the airplane exceeded the aft CG limit at takeoff, which resulted in an uncontrollable nose-up pitch leading to an aerodynamic stall. The CG was so far aft of the limit that the airplane likely would have stalled even with the flaps in the correct position.

Neither 14 CFR Part 135 nor the operator's operations specifications (OpSpec) require that the aircraft weight and balance be physically documented for any flights. However, according to Section A096 of the OpSpec, when determining aircraft weight and balance, the operator should use either the actual measured weights for all passengers, baggage, and cargo or the solicited weights for passengers plus 10 lbs and actual measured weights for baggage and cargo. The operator did not comply with federal regulations that require adherence to the weighing requirements or the takeoff weight limitations in the AFM. Additionally, although the inaccurate estimate of 300 lbs for the cargo resulted in a calculated CG that was within limits for both legs of the flight, the actual weight of the cargo was significantly higher. Once loaded in Soldotna, the combination of the passengers, their baggage, and the actual cargo weight and its location resulted in the CG for the accident flight being significantly aft of the limit. With the CG so far aft, even with full nose-down input from the pilot, the nose continued to pitch up until the airplane stalled. 

For each flight in multiengine operations, 14 CFR 135.63(c) requires the preparation of a load manifest that includes, among other items the number of passengers, total weight of the loaded aircraft, the maximum allowable takeoff weight, and the CG location of the loaded aircraft; one copy of the load manifest should be carried in the airplane and the operator is required to keep the records for at least 30 days. Single-engine operations are excluded from this requirement. The NTSB attempted to address this exclusion with the issuance of Safety Recommendations A-89-135 and A-99-61, which asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to amend the record-keeping requirements of 14 [CFR] 135.63(c) to apply to single-engine as well as multiengine aircraft. The FAA did not take the recommended action in either instance, and the NTSB classified Safety Recommendations A-89-135 and A-99-61 "Closed—Unacceptable Action" in 1990 and 2014, respectively.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The operator's failure to determine the actual cargo weight, leading to the loading and operation of the airplane outside of the weight and center of gravity limits contained in the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to require weight and balance documentation for each flight in 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 single-engine operations.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 7, 2013, about 1120 Alaska daylight time, a deHavilland DHC-3 Otter airplane, N93PC, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Soldotna Airport, Soldotna, Alaska. The commercial pilot and nine passengers died, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Rediske Family Limited Partnership, Nikiski, Alaska, and was operated by Rediske Air, Nikiski, Alaska, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which was destined to Bear Mountain Lodge, about 90 miles southwest of Soldotna.

On the day of the accident, the pilot was in Nikiski and was scheduled to fly a different trip with the accident airplane, but shortly before the planned departure time, the trip was canceled. The group of nine passengers on board the accident flight had been scheduled to go to the lodge in two of the operator's smaller airplanes; however, the pilot decided to use the Otter after his previous flight was canceled so that the group could fly together on one plane.

The lodge operator, who was in Nikiski before the departure, requested that a load of groceries and lodge supplies be flown with the group and brought the supplies to Rediske Air's base of operations. The lodge operator estimated the cargo weighed about 300 lbs. After the pilot unloaded the cargo from the canceled flight, he and the lodge owner loaded the groceries and lodge supplies on the accident airplane.

Rediske Air did not keep fueling records for each flight. A witness who was present during the fueling operations at Nikiski reported that he saw the pilot top off the forward tank then begin fueling the center tank. The witness later returned to the fuel supply tank to fuel his helicopter and thought he noticed 56 gallons on the fuel reader. He said that he and the accident pilot would have been the only people to use the fuel tank.

The first leg of the trip was a positioning flight from Nikiski to Soldotna, where the passengers were to be picked up. The flight was completed uneventfully.

According to witnesses at Soldotna Airport, after loading the passengers and their baggage, the pilot taxied to runway 25 for departure. There were no witnesses to the accident sequence. The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 ft from the threshold of runway 25 and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose-low, right-wing-low attitude at impact.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 42, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument ratings. His most recent second-class airman medical certificate was issued July 11, 2012, and contained no limitations. On April 24, 2012, the pilot was approved as a check airman in single-engine land airplanes flown by Rediske Air.

A review of Rediske Air's training records showed that the pilot's initial ground training in the Otter was completed on June 28, 2011. The pilot's most recent 14 CFR Part 135 competency check in the Otter was accomplished on June 15, 2012, and his most recent recurrent ground training in the airplane was completed on the same date. The pilot received Part 135 competency and line checks in a Cessna 206 airplane on May 15, 2013.

Personal flight logbooks for the pilot were not located, but his most recent insurance application, dated April 23, 2013, showed a total flight time of 7,765 hours with a total time in DHC-3 airplanes of 105 hours. The insurance form for the previous year indicated a total time in DHC-3 airplanes of 155 hours. His total flying time in the last 12 months was listed as 350 hours.

A review of company flight and duty time records for the pilot found no entries after June 23, 2013. Company personnel attempted to recreate a record of the pilot's flights between that date and the day of the accident but were unable to create a complete log because company flight records did not indicate pilots' names for each flight. According to the records that could be recreated, the pilot flew 1.9 hours the day before the accident and 6.1 hours in the 72 hours before the accident.

The pilot's spouse reported that, 2 days before the accident, the pilot went to work about 0600. She recalled that they took their children to a movie that started at 1920 and that they returned home between 2100 and 2130. She stated that the day before the accident was a normal workday for the pilot and that he left for work by 0830. She stated that he returned home and had dinner about 1830 to 1900. She reported that the pilot fell asleep between 2100 and 2130. On the day of the accident, she did not talk to the pilot before he left for work and did not know the time that he left but recalled that it was light outside.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane, serial number 280, was manufactured in 1958 by the deHavilland Aircraft Company of Canada and was a single-engine, propeller-driven, single-pilot, high-wing short takeoff and landing (STOL) airplane. It was modified with a Honeywell TPE 331-10R-511C turboprop engine per a Texas Turbine Conversions, Inc. supplemental type certificate (STC). It was equipped with a Hartzell model HC-B4TN-5NL four-blade propeller. The airplane was also modified with a Baron STOL kit per an STC to improve its performance. The airplane was configured to carry 10 passengers and cargo and had a maximum gross weight of 8,000 lbs.

Airplane maintenance records indicated that STCs for cargo net installation and for installation of shoulder harnesses had been installed. The cargo compartment on the original airplane had a load limit of 650 pounds. The cargo net STC stated that the aft cargo area had a load limit of 750 pounds. Information from the STC holder substantiated the increased load limit in the cargo area due to the increased size of the compartment.

In July 2010, the previous owner sent the airplane to Recon Air Corporation in Geraldton, Ontario, Canada, for a major overhaul and the conversion to a turbine-powered airplane at an airplane total time of 22,536.5 hours. In addition to the Baron STOL kit STC, a pulse light control system STC and an extended range fuel system STC were installed. The STC approval pages for these STCs were contained in the permanent maintenance records and were dated July 12, 2010.

Recon also performed all required inspections and complied with all applicable airworthiness directives (AD) during the overhaul. On July 9, 2010, the airplane was removed from the Canadian Civil Aircraft Register and placed on the US registry as N93PC. At this time, the airplane received an FAA standard airworthiness certificate in the Normal category.

Following the Recon conversion, in August 2010, three additional STCs were incorporated by Peninsula Aero Technology in Kenai, Alaska, to install updated avionics in the airplane at an airplane total time of 22,566.2 hours. 

The Rediske Family Limited Partnership purchased the airplane in October 2010. The airplane was maintained under an Approved Airplane Inspection Program (AAIP) dated February 11, 2011, that was approved by the FAA on March 9, 2011. The AAIP was used for maintaining the accident airplane in lieu of conventional 100-hour and annual inspections. The AAIP divided the maintenance of the airplane into four consecutive phase inspections to be performed every 50 hours of flight time. There was a special note in the AAIP that required accomplishment of all four phase inspections within each 12 months even if the airplane hour requirements were not met. The AAIP had provisions for a 10-hour grace period on all of the phase inspections. All special inspection items, calendar time inspections, ADs, and service bulletins (SB) outside the scope of the phase inspections were to be tracked and complied with under the AAIP. Rediske Air, Inc. documented all of the requirements of the AAIP in the aircraft inspection record maintained at the company headquarters.

On June 17, 2011, an inspection of the airplane in accordance with annual, 800-hour, phases 1-4, and all calendar and special inspection items was completed at an airframe total time of 22,611.8 hours, and the airplane was placed on the AAIP. At this time, the engine and propeller had accumulated 75.3 hours and 26 cycles since the conversion. The records indicated that all applicable ADs were complied with at this time.

The most recent inspection of the airplane incorporated phases 2, 3, and 4 on June 13, 2013, at an airplane total time of 22,831.8 hours and engine and propeller times of 295.3 hours since overhaul and installation on the airplane. Ten discrepancies were recorded during the most recent inspections and all were rectified. None of the discrepancies were notable in terms of major repairs to the airplane.

Weight and Balance

The weight and balance information for the airplane was contained in the aircraft inspection record. As part of the Recon overhaul, the airplane was physically weighed on July 7, 2010, with the cargo net, ELT, turbine engine conversion, STOL kit, extended range fuel system, and pulse light system listed as installed equipment. The empty weight, as weighed, was 4,259.00 lbs with a center of gravity (CG) at 132.66 in. The notes stated that the airplane had residual fuel, full oil, and full hydraulic fluid for this weighing. In August 2010, the weight and balance was recalculated after the installation of the updated avionics. The new empty weight, as calculated, was 4,283.09 lbs with a CG at 132.66 in. 

The NTSB calculated the airplane's weight and balance based on the data from the August 2010 paperwork. The total moment of removed equipment was calculated to be 138 lb-in greater than that in the paperwork. The data for the total installed equipment was also calculated to be different than that in the paperwork. The total installed weight was calculated to be 1.5 lbs greater, the total moment was calculated to be 103.50 lb-in greater, and the arm (CG) was calculated to be 2.11 in less. The resultant total weight was calculated to be 4,284.59 lbs with a CG at 132.60 in. Subsequent to this calculation, the airplane weight and balance was recalculated on September 22, 2010, by Rediske Air to add two flashlights with a total weight of 3.4 lbs at an arm location of 111.0 in. With this equipment added, the airplane empty weight was calculated to be 4,287.99 lbs with a CG at 132.59 in. See the Weight and Balance Study for details of the empty weight recalculations.

Operations Specifications for Weight and Balance

Section A096 of the operator's operations specifications (OpSpecs) only allowed the operator to use actual weights for determining weight and balance. The current section was approved in March 2009. The operator was allowed two options for determining the actual weights: either use measured weights for all passengers and bags or use solicited passenger weights plus 10 lbs and measured weights for all bags. The procedure for cargo weight was not explicitly stated in the OpSpecs. The specifications listed loading schedules for five specific airplanes (a Britten-Norman Islander and four Cessna 206 or 207s), but the DHC-3 airplane was not included; however, it was included in the Aircraft Authorizations section of the OpSpecs.

Determining the airplane's actual weight and balance before flight should be accomplished using the procedures contained in the original DHC-3 Otter Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) published by de Havilland Canada along with the information in the various flight manual supplements for the STCs installed on the airplane. The entire flight manual and all supplements were carried in the airplane during the accident flight. Portions of some of the manuals were recovered in the wreckage with fire and water damage. Copies of the flight manual and all supplements were obtained from the various manufacturers for use by the investigation.

Estimated scenarios of the accident airplane's weight and balance based on the factual information available are presented in the Additional Information section of this report.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

An automated weather observing system (AWOS) at Soldotna Airport reported at 1116 wind from 190° at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, temperature of 12° C, dew point temperature of 8°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.58 in of mercury. Visual flight rules conditions prevailed around the accident time. 

COMMUNICATIONS

No problems with communications equipment were reported.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Soldotna Airport is a public, uncontrolled airport located about 1 mile southeast of Soldotna, Alaska, at a surveyed elevation of 113.4 feet. The airport features two runways: runway 7/25, which is asphalt and 5,000 feet by 130 feet, and runway 7S/25S, which is gravel and 2,312 feet by 50 feet. 

The runway 25 threshold is at an elevation of 112.2 feet, and the runway slopes upward at a 0.4 percent gradient. The listed obstructions to the runway are 50-foot trees located 2,265 feet from the runway and 118 feet left of the centerline that require a 41:1 slope to clear.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The airplane was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with a cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder, or cockpit image recorder.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the ground about 2,320 feet from the threshold of runway 25 and about 154 feet right of the runway centerline. Impact signatures were consistent with a nose-low and right-wing-low attitude at impact. An extensive postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane's cockpit and cabin area. The entire airplane was accounted for at the wreckage site.

The engine was found within the main wreckage still contained within the nacelle/firewall engine mount frame and "horse-collar," which had rolled on its right side. The engine exhibited extensive fire damage but none of its cases exhibited evidence of an uncontainment or breach. All four blades of the propeller were present, attached to the propeller hub, and exhibited rotational scoring on the front surfaces, dents on the leading edges, torn tips, and bending along the span.

The flight control cables were all traced and were either intact or had separations with tension overload signatures consistent with the damaged areas of the airplane. The control column was intact but all of the aluminum control quadrant structure below the cockpit was consumed by fire. One of the pitch trim cables had the barrel missing from the turnbuckle but the safety wire was intact. The turnbuckle was found in an area with significant fire damage. The missing barrel on the pitch trim cable was consumed by fire. All of the primary and secondary flight control surfaces remained attached to the airplane with the exception of the outboard half of the right aileron that was located adjacent to the damaged right wing. All were free to move except where there was damage binding them. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted under the authority of the Alaska State Medical Examiner, Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9, 2013. The examination revealed that the cause of death for the pilot was attributed to blunt force injuries. 

A toxicological examination by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Civil Aeromedical Institute on July 9, 2013, was negative for carbon monoxide and any alcohol or drugs. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine Examination

Disassembly and examination of the engine revealed the following significant characteristics, consistent with rotation during impact: (1) sheared torsion shaft, (2) corresponding rotational scoring of the propeller shaft and sun gear, and (3) rotational scoring throughout the compressor and turbine sections. Metal spray was present throughout the turbine components in the air stream path. 

Propeller Examination

Disassembly and examination of the propeller revealed the following characteristics, consistent with rotation under an amount of torque: (1) rotational scoring on the blade tips, (2) leading edge dents and tears, (3) loss of tips on two blades, and (4) similar twist and bend patterns of all four blades. There was no evidence of impression marks on the propeller hub components that could determine the blade angle prior to impact.

Video Study

A video of the airplane's taxi, takeoff roll, and takeoff, and brief flight was recovered from a passenger's smartphone and analyzed. The goal of the study was to estimate the trajectory and speed of the accident airplane based on information in the video, which recorded the scene south of the runway through the fourth window on the left side of the airplane. The useful segment of the video (about 22.5 seconds long) ended when, shortly after takeoff, the airborne airplane rolled to the right and began losing altitude. After that time, the video no longer showed any ground reference features, rendering an estimation of its location and orientation impossible.

The video study indicated that shortly after takeoff, the airplane's airspeed decreased from about 68 mph to about 44 mph over a period of about 8.5 seconds and continued to decrease; the angle of attack increased from about 5 degrees to about 13.7 degrees over the same period of time and continued to increase. About 11 seconds after takeoff, flight speed and angle of attack reached levels consistent with an aerodynamic stall. The airplane developed a large right-wing-down roll angle and impacted the ground several seconds later. See the Video Study in the public docket for this accident for details of the study.

Flap Setting

The recovered video showed the left wing and flaps for the duration of the flight and revealed that the flap position did not change. In order to determine the flap setting on the accident airplane, investigators examined two similar DHC-3 airplanes and photographed the view from the fourth window on the left side of the airplane at various flap settings. The photographs and a frame from the video were scaled so that representative dimensions could be measured. The example airplanes had the flaps set to the full down or landing position when they matched the setting observed in the video.

Weight and Balance Study

The airplane's maximum gross weight was 8,000 lbs with an established and certificated CG range from 135.8 in to 152.2 in.

Pilot and Passenger Weight and Loading

The accident airplane was configured to carry a pilot and 10 passengers with one passenger able to sit in the right front seat. For the accident flight, the airplane was carrying the pilot and 9 passengers. Photographic evidence was obtained from a cell phone and a digital camera that were recovered in the wreckage. The photos were taken from the exterior as the passengers were loading the airplane and from the interior after all were loaded and the doors were closed. To estimate the airplane occupants' weight, the Alaska State Medical Examiner weighed each victim before autopsy with all clothes removed but noted that all victims sustained thermal damage and degradation. Additionally, an e-mail from the destination lodge contained the passenger weights (1,345 lbs total) reported by one of the adult male passengers in preparation for the trip. 

Based on the photos and the recovery location of each passenger, the seating location of each passenger was determined and matched to the estimated weights determined by the Alaska State Medical Examiner and the e-mail from the lodge. The load manifest provided by Rediske Air listed a total passenger weight of 1,350 lbs, consistent with the e-mail reported weights.

Cargo/Baggage Weight and Loading

During recovery at the accident site, all identifiable baggage and personal effects were separated from the identifiable cargo to be weighed. Eight unique pieces of baggage were recovered. All sustained fire damage and weighed 187 lbs in total. The load manifest obtained from the operator after the accident listed a total passenger baggage weight of 80 lbs; the e-mail provided by the destination lodge indicated that the passengers would consolidate their items into two bags, each weighing 40 lbs.

Examination of the photographic evidence identified the location of several items of baggage carried on by the passengers. The passenger in the right front seat did not carry a bag on the airplane. The passenger in the row 1 left seat had a purse or satchel, and the passenger in the row 1 right seat had a backpack during the loading of the airplane. The passenger in the right seat placed her bag on the floor at her feet; the bag location for the left seat passenger was not visible in the photographs once the airplane was loaded. The row 2 passengers did not carry bags on the airplane. The row 3 passengers each had a backpack on their laps. The row 4 passenger had a backpack during the loading of the airplane but its location was not visible in the photographs once the airplane was loaded. The row 5 passenger had a backpack and a camera bag that were placed on the floor at his feet. A large roller bag was placed in the passenger area forward of the cargo net at the location of the row 5 left seat. Photographs showed this bag in an upright position before takeoff. There was no evidence in the photographs of any restraining devices on the baggage located in the passenger cabin forward of the cargo net. Three of the passenger bags carried in the cabin were not recovered in the wreckage and were likely consumed in the postcrash fire.

Three additional pieces of baggage were recovered in the wreckage that were not shown in any of the photos. These items were included in the total weight of recovered baggage and assumed to be in the cargo compartment consistent with their recovered location.

Almost all of the recovered cargo had some amount of fire damage and an unknown quantity was consumed by the postcrash fire. Only those items that could be conclusively identified as food or supplies were retained and weighed. These items weighed 613 lbs in total. The load manifest listed a total cargo weight of 300 lbs.

The lodge operator was present during the loading of the airplane and stated that the cargo was not weighed before being loaded. He stated that he assisted with the loading by handing all of the cargo to the pilot who loaded it in the airplane. The photographic evidence shows the pilot fastening the cargo net, which was installed at the forward end of the baggage area, before the passengers boarded; no cargo was carried in the passenger area of the airplane. 

Food debris collected in the wreckage was consistent with most of the items on the receipt. The burned remains of some packages of bedding and some metal wall art were recovered in the wreckage. 

Immediately after the accident, the lodge provided a receipt for the purchase of some of the food. Repeated attempts to obtain a complete set of receipts from the lodge were unsuccessful. To determine an estimate of the actual food cargo weight, investigators visited the store where the groceries were purchased and weighed each item on the receipt, accounting for the purchased quantity. The total weight of items from the receipt was calculated to be 386.1 lbs. 

The weight of the liquid items was not accounted for in the cargo weight estimate provided for the accident flight. The remaining eggs and liquid containers recovered were included in the weight of the cargo measured so a factor was applied to each of the actual weights to more accurately represent the amount of weight lost due to the liquid missing from breached containers and broken eggs.





A metal box that contained survival equipment was also recovered at the site (the box was intact with only the paint burned off). Representatives for Rediske Air indicated that this box was installed in the airplane when they purchased it and was normally carried in the baggage area. There was no mention of this box as installed equipment on any of the weight and balance documentation for the airplane and there was no entry in the maintenance records documenting its installation. This box was not included in the weight of the recovered baggage.

Fuel Load

The accident airplane was configured to carry 62 gallons of fuel in the forward tank, 102 gallons of fuel in the center tank, and 87 gallons of fuel in the extended range aft tank. Rediske Air did not keep fueling records for each flight and could not provide information on how much fuel was on board the airplane before the accident. As stated in the History of Flight, a witness who was present during the fueling operations at Nikiski before departure to Soldotna reported seeing the pilot top off (fill) the forward tank then begin filling the center tank. The witness walked away from the airplane at that point and did not witness the remainder of the fueling operation. The witness later returned to the fuel supply tank to fuel his helicopter and thought that he noticed 56 gallons on the fuel meter. The witness stated that he and the accident pilot would have been the only people to use the fuel from the fuel tank.

The Texas Turbines AFM Supplement instructs the operator to burn fuel from the forward tank during takeoff and, after takeoff, from the aft tank forward to leave as much fuel in the forward tank as possible for landing. The minimum amount of fuel for takeoff is 20 gallons in each of the three tanks to prevent introduction of air into the fuel system. Representatives from the operator indicated that the pilot would have carried some amount of fuel in each of the tanks at all times so that none of them would have been empty.

According to Texas Turbines, the engine would typically burn about 72 gallons/hour at a takeoff power setting and, depending on altitude, 50 to 55 gallons/hour at a cruise power setting. The higher burn rate would be for low altitudes and the lower burn rate for higher altitudes, that is, 10,000 feet mean sea level. Soldotna Airport is about 17 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of Nikiski where the Rediske base is located. Bear Mountain Lodge, where the airplane was destined, is about 71 nm southwest of Soldotna Airport. A fuel density of 6.7 lb/gallon was used to calculate the weight of the fuel, resulting in a total fuel weight ranging from 1,233 lbs (at takeoff from Nikiski) to 1,173 lbs (at takeoff from Soldotna).

Estimates of the Airplane's Actual Weight

The actual weight and balance of the airplane during the accident flight can only be estimated with the limited factual data available. Using these data, several possible scenarios can be calculated based on the procedures documented in the DHC-3 AFM and applicable supplements. 





SCENARIO 1. Scenarios 1 and 2 represent the Nikiski-to-Soldotna leg of the flight and provide a baseline for the accident airplane's total weight before passengers were loaded. The recovered weight of the pilot, as provided by the medical examiner, of 200 pounds was used for this scenario. All of the cargo was loaded at this time and assumed to be loaded in the cargo compartment at the aft end of the cabin, consistent with the photographic evidence from Soldotna. The reported cargo weight of 300 pounds was used for this scenario. The forward fuel tank was full with 62 gallons and it was assumed that the center tank was full with 102 gallons of fuel. The aft tank was assumed to contain the minimum required fuel of 20 gallons. The calculation for scenario 1 yields a weight of 6,020.79 lbs with a CG at 141.84 in.

SCENARIO 2. Scenario 2 is identical to scenario 1 except for the recovered cargo weight of 613 lbs was used, plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs). This cargo weight more accurately represents what was on board the airplane for the flight. The calculation for scenario 2 yields a weight of 6,439.37 lbs with a CG at 150.76 in.

For scenarios 3-6, the fuel onboard was calculated as follows: the 17 nm flown between Nikiski and Soldotna equates to a flight time of about 8 minutes, assuming a nominal groundspeed of 125 knots. For the purposes of the calculation, the airplane was assumed to be at takeoff power for 2 minutes and at cruise power for 6 minutes. Using a fuel burn rate of 72 gallons/hour for takeoff and 55 gallons/hour for cruise, the engine would use about 2.4 gallons for takeoff and about 5.5 gallons for cruise. The engine was assumed to use 1 gallon of fuel for start and taxi. Based on the recommended procedures for operating the airplane, the 3.4 gallons of fuel used for taxi and takeoff was subtracted from the forward tank and the 5.5 gallons of fuel used for cruise was subtracted from the aft tank.

SCENARIO 3. This scenario represents the airplane's likely weight and balance based on the reported (asked) weights of each person on board the airplane plus 10 lbs. This procedure was chosen based on the operator's OpSpecs for the operator's Britten-Norman Islander, which was similar in size and gross weight to the accident airplane. The recovered weight of the pilot, as provided by the medical examiner, was used. The total baggage weight of 187 lbs was distributed among the 8 bags recovered at the site based on the available evidence. An additional 5.96 lbs was added to account for items that were removed from one of the bags before weighing. Similar to scenario 2, the weight of the cargo was set to the recovered weight (613 lbs) plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs). The three unrecovered bags carried in the cabin by the passengers in the row 1 left seat, row 3 left seat, and the row 4 left seat were each assumed to weigh 10 lbs. The calculation for scenario 3 yields a weight of 8,037.70 lbs with a CG at 158.15 in.

SCENARIO 4. This calculation represents the airplane's likely weight and balance based on the load manifest. For this scenario, the reported (asked) weight of each passenger (obtained from the e-mail to the lodge) was used. The total of these weights was 1,345 lbs; an extra 5 lbs were added to the total passenger weight on the load manifest. For the purposes of this calculation, the extra 5 lbs were added to the reported weight of the passenger seated in the right, front co-pilot's seat for a total of 1,350 lbs as indicated on the load manifest. The reported pilot weight of 220 lbs and cargo weight of 300 lbs were used for this scenario. The total baggage weight of 80 lbs on the load manifest was divided among the 11 known bags in the cabin and cargo compartment. The calculation for scenario 4 yields a weight of 7,411.16 lbs with a CG at 149.18 in.

SCENARIO 5. This scenario represents a likely minimum weight and balance for the accident flight based only on the known factual information. For this calculation, the actual recovered weights of the pilot and passengers, as provided by the medical examiner, were used. The recovered baggage weight with appropriate locations was used similar to scenario 3. The three unrecovered passenger bags were not included in this scenario. The cargo weight was set to the recovered weight of 613 lbs. The calculation for scenario 5 yields a weight of 7,761.12 lbs with a CG at 155.89 in. 

SCENARIO 6. This scenario more closely approximates the actual weight and balance of the airplane during the accident flight. Since the autopsy weights for each of the victims were without clothes and with some thermal damage and degradation, the reported autopsy weight is less than the actual weight during the flight. As a conservative estimate and based on the calculations above, each victim weight was increased by 5% to account for degradation and 5 lbs was added to each victim to account for clothing and shoes. The baggage weights and locations were left the same as in scenario 3 with all the recovered and unrecovered baggage included. Because all of the recovered bags had portions that were consumed by fire, they would likely be less than the actual weight. However, the clothing items in the baggage retained some water from the firefighting efforts that would likely account for the weight of the missing portions. The weight of the cargo was set to be the recovered weight (613 lbs) plus the weight of the liquid items (105.58 lbs), similar to scenario 2. The cargo was subjected to the postcrash fire that consumed an unknown portion, so the total weight used for the calculation is likely less than the actual weight. The calculation for scenario 6 yields a weight of 8,021.40 lbs with a CG at 157.78 in.

Kinematics Study

In addition, a kinematics study was conducted based on the motion of the airplane described in the Video Study to estimate the weight and CG for the accident flight. The kinematics study determined the pitching moment coefficient required to match the airplane's motion determined in the Video Study; which was then compared to a simulation model of the airplane from the type certificate holder of the airplane. The study assumed that the pilot applied full-down pitch control as soon as the tendency to pitch airplane-nose-up was detected after lift off from the runway. The horizontal stabilizer angle was assumed to be 1.91 degrees, which was the position determined from the airplane wreckage. Calculations showed that stick forces at these low speeds would have been well within the pilot's capabilities. 

The required CG to match the recorded motion for both the 7,800 lb and 8050 lb airplane gross weight, with the pilot applying full pitch-down control input and with a 1.91-degree horizontal stabilizer, is 161.1 in, which is aft of the 152.2-inch aft limit for the airplane. For details of the calculations, refer to the Kinematics Study.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Company Overview

Rediske Air is a Part 135 on-demand operator with its main office located in Nikiski, Alaska, and a satellite base at Soldotna Airport. The accident pilot was the owner and director of operations. The company employed five pilots, one of whom was part-time. The company also had a check airman who was a part-time employee.

The company operated six airplanes: three Cessna 207s (one of which was being rebuilt at the time of the accident), one Cessna 206, a Brittan Norman BN-2 Islander, and the accident airplane (DHC-3 Otter).

FAA Oversight

FAA responsibility for Rediske Air's Part 135 operating certificate was maintained at the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). The principle operations inspector (POI) stated that he had worked for the FAA since September 1998 and that he was the POI for Rediske from late 2009 to September 2013. He was also the POI for 37 other Part 135 operators. Regarding surveillance of Rediske Air, he stated that the company was a good operator and "wasn't on the radar." He said that he would visit the facility a couple of times a year and had regular conversations with company personnel on the phone.

The principle maintenance inspector (PMI) stated that he had worked for the FAA since July 2012. Years before working for the FAA, he had worked for Rediske Air as a mechanic and director of maintenance. He stated that he had been the PMI for Rediske Air since February 2013. He said that he was responsible for 28 other operators and 50 mechanics with inspection authority but noted that many of the operators he oversaw were seasonal and that only 10 to 15 had year-round operations. He stated that he would visit Rediske Air's operation once every 3 months and had monthly conversations with company personnel over the phone. He said that he had no issues with the operator's maintenance program and that the company was a good operator. He last visited Rediske's operation on the Wednesday before the accident. During that visit, he performed a fuel facility inspection and a ramp check on the accident airplane. An FAA Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem entry, dated July 8, verified the inspection.

Operations Specifications

Rediske Air had operated as a Basic Part 135 Air Operator (OpSpec A-038) until it added the DHC-3 to its certificate in 2010 (FAA-issued OpSpec are a set of documents that describe the authorizations, limitations, standards, and procedures that are applicable to a specific certificate holder). Basic Part 135 operators are limited in size and scope and, therefore, are allowed some deviations from the requirements of Part 135, such as management personnel, manual requirements, and training programs. Basic Part 135 operators have limitations placed on the number of pilots, aircraft, and types of operations. Once the DHC-3 was added to Rediske's certificate, the size and scope of the operation became such that it could no longer operate under the less-restrictive Basic Operator OpSpec.

Under its current OpSpec, Rediske was authorized to conduct aircraft operations with passenger seating configurations, excluding any pilot seat, of nine seats or fewer. The accident airplane was configured for 10 passenger seats. The DHC-3 is type certificated for 16 seats (1 pilot plus 15 passengers). An STC limiting the airplane to nine seats is available; however, the operator did not have the STC installed on the accident airplane.

Rediske Air's OpSpec Part D (aircraft maintenance) defines the program under which the operator's aircraft will be maintained. Aircraft that are type certificated for nine seats or fewer require a less robust maintenance program per regulation than aircraft that are type certificated for 10 seats or more. According to Ops Specs D-73, "Additional Maintenance Requirements," issued by the Anchorage FSDO on August 9, 2012, the accident airplane was being maintained under a 9-seats-or-fewer maintenance program even though it was type certificated for 16 seats.

Rediske was required to have each aircraft that it operated listed in the company weight and balance program (OpSpec A-096). A review of the company's OpSpec after the accident revealed that the accident airplane was not listed in the weight and balance program. When asked why the airplane had not been added, the POI stated that it was an omission. Rediske personnel were asked to add the accident airplane to the weight and balance program documents after the accident occurred.

Federal Aviation Regulations

The accident flight was operated under the provisions of Part 135 as an on-demand charter and was subject to the part's applicable rules and the requirements set forth in the company's OpSpec. Per Section 135.399, the operator was not allowed to operate the accident airplane without complying with "the takeoff weight limitations in the Approved Flight Manual or equivalent." The requirements of Section 135.87 state, in part, that all cargo and baggage (including carry-on baggage) must be carried by an approved means, must be secured, and must not impose loads on the seats or floor greater than the limits in the design. Additionally, any stowage of baggage under the passenger seats requires some means of restraint to prevent baggage from sliding forward during a crash.

Although neither Part 135 nor Rediske's OpSpec requires the operator to physically document the weight and balance for any flights conducted in the company's single-engine airplanes, 14 CFR 135.63 requires that operators using multiengine aircraft are "responsible for the preparation and accuracy of a load manifest in duplicate containing information concerning the loading of the aircraft." This load manifest must be prepared before each flight and include, among other items, the number of passengers, total weight of the loaded aircraft, the maximum allowable takeoff weight, and the CG location of the loaded aircraft. Further, one copy of the load manifest is to be carried in the airplane, and the operator is required to keep the records for at least 30 days.

Flap Setting for Takeoff

The Normal Procedures section of the AFM states in the TAXI checklist that the flaps should be in the CRUISE position during taxi to improve directional control. The Before Takeoff checklist in the Normal Procedures of the AFM states that wing flaps should be then placed in the TAKEOFF position during takeoff.


Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.



ANCHORAGE – The families of 10 people killed in a July 2013 plane crash at the Soldotna airport have filed lawsuits against several individuals and companies in relation to the deaths of their loved ones.


On July 7, 2013, a De Haviland DHC-3 Otter crashed and caught fire shortly after takeoff. The pilot, 42-year-old Walter Rediske was killed, along with the two families aboard – the Antonakos and McManus families.

Lyla Rediske, the pilot’s wife, filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against Bear Mountain Lodge, LLC — the 2013 flight’s destination — and two of the lodge employees, Merrill McGahan and Lauri Johnson. Also named in the lawsuit are companies that manufactured and installed parts of the plane that crashed — as well as the plane’s owners.


In the lawsuit, Rediske cited defective design and manufacture of some of the plane’s parts and failure to accurately report the weight of people and groceries being transported on the plane. Those combined are factors she claims led to the crash.


The families of the passengers killed in the crash filed a similar suit against the same defendants.


A second lawsuit, also filed by the passengers’ families, alleges the pilot of the crashed flight failed to make sure everything was in order before takeoff and was at least partially responsible for the deaths of all aboard the plane.


A final determination into the cause of the crash has not been issued by the National Transportation Safety Board, but several reports investigating various factors of the crash and airworthiness of the plane noted discrepancies that were also referenced in the lawsuits.


Source:  http://www.ktva.com


http://registry.faa.gov/N93PC

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA121
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, July 07, 2013 in Soldotna, AK
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC-3, registration: N93PC
Injuries: 10 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On 7 July 2013, about 1120 Alaska daylight time (ADT), a De Haviland DHC-3 Otter, registration N93PC, impacted the ground off the right side of runway 25 after takeoff from Soldotna Airport (PASX), Soldotna, Alaska. The 9 passengers and 1 commercial pilot were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The aircraft was registered to Rediske Family Limited Partnership, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on demand, non-scheduled flight between PASX, and a lodge located in Chinitna Bay, Alaska, approximately 90 miles southwest of Soldotna. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight.



The Antonakos family
Melet and Kim, and their children, Ana, Mills and Olivia died July 7, 2013 in a plane crash during a vacation in Alaska. The Antonakos are shown here in a 2010 Christ Church directory photo.  
~


One of the last images from a video shot by a passenger just before the crash. Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.


Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.



Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.


Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.



Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board.


 
 
Investigators look at the remains of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter that was engulfed in flames on July 07, 2014 at the airport in Soldotna, Alaska.


Investigators look at the remains of a fixed-wing aircraft that was engulfed in flames July 7, 2013 at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska. Authorities say an air taxi has crashed, killing all 10 people on board.


Police and emergency personnel stand near the remains of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3T Texas Turbine Otter aircraft that was engulfed in flames Sunday July 7, 2013 at the Soldotna Airport in Soldotna, Alaska. No survivors were located and it is unknown how many people were on board.


 
Cellphone photo captured on Swiftwater Creek near crash site in Soldotna area.