Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Accident occurred July 14, 2015 in Monroe County, Ilinois

FESTUS, Mo. - A plane used for skydiving crashed Tuesday afternoon resulting in no injuries.

The plane, a four-seat skydiving plane, took off from Festus Memorial Airport at around 2 or 3 p.m., an airport employee said. The plane was being used for the Fly Free skydiving school.

After the planned skydivers jumped from the plane, the plane malfunctioned. The pilot lost control of the plane when he was supposed to be returning to the airport. With the plane drifting southwest toward Illinois, the pilot decided to jump.

He landed safely and has since joined the search team looking for the plane. The searchers know the plane crashed somewhere in Monroe County, Ill., but have not pinpointed the location.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

FESTUS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - A pilot was forced to jump from a small Cessna 182 plane after departing from Festus Memorial Airport, airport officials said.

The pilot took a group of skydivers up in the air on Tuesday afternoon and after the skydivers all jumped, the pilot began experiencing problems.

The pilot circled the airport a few times before deciding to exit the plane. He then flew over to rural Southern Illinois and parachuted from the plane.

The pilot was not injured and none of the skydivers knew there was an issue, officials said.

Source:  http://www.kmov.com

Search for cockpit canopy which fell to earth from 1,500 feet over Leicestershire, UK

Tony Barber, right, on a training flight.

The aircraft pictured before it's cockpit canopy was lost. 

A 10kg aircraft canopy crashed to the ground in Leicestershire last week after the pilot opened it to let in fresh air after carbon monoxide leaked into his cockpit.

Tony Barber, 47, a pilot with 20 years experience, was flying at 1,500 feet over Stoney Stanton or Earl Shilton, near Hinckley last Tuesday at about 2.30pm when the 4ftx3ft perspex canopy blew off in the wind.

It was only by chance that the canopy missed hitting the aircraft's tail which could have sent him plummeting to the ground.

The engineer and part time flying instructor made an emergency landing at the former airfield at nearby Bruntingthorpe in his two-seater kit-built sport aircraft.

He said: "Carbon monoxide leaking into the cockpit was detected by a built in monitor which began emitting an alarm.  I opened the canopy slightly to let in some fresh air.

"The wind got up and blew it off. It was very fortunate that it didn't career backwards and break the tail off or I would have lost control to a large degree."

Mr Barber, who was en route to Sywell airfield in Northamptonshire, from Tattenhill, in Staffordshire, was making his second flight in the aircraft which he bought two months ago.

He added: "I was flying approximately two miles east of Hinckley, around the area of Stoney Stanton or Earl Shilton.

" I was flying over open countryside at the time. I would very much like to find the canopy as it is very difficult to remake.

"It will be difficult to replace and I am hoping to find it rather than get a new one which would be very expensive and made to spec.

"While the Perspex will be shattered the metal frame may be salvageable.  It is probably lying in a farmer's field of corn or something like that."

Mr Barber, of Newmarket, Suffolk, who was alone in the plane, reported the incident to Leicestershire Police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch the same day.

He added:"I knew Bruntingthorpe was nearby because I had planned my route to fly over countryside rather than any built up areas.

"Investigations are going on into how the carbon monoxide leaked into the cockpit, things like this don't happen regularly, but it's not unheard of. It's why monitors are fitted into aircraft.

"It can happen when you get a crack in the exhaust getting through the firewall into the cockpit.   If it happened in a car you could just stop and get out, but it's not quite so easy when you're flying."

An AAIB spokesperson said: "AAIB is aware and is investigating by correspondence."

If you find the canopy, please call the Mercury newsdesk on 0116 222 4240.

Source: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk

County code amendment to include private airstrips -Cache County, Utah

The Cache County Council is considering an amendment to county code to formally allow citizens to apply to build private airstrips on their property.

“We are very supportive of this and appreciate the Council taking the time for this,” Mendon resident Rachel Holyoak commented at the June 4 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. “I think this does the right thing in making sure that we aren’t infringing on our neighbors but still be allowed to have an airstrip.”

The Cache County Council will hold a public hearing Tuesday, July 14, for a proposed amendment to county code that will formally define private airports, following the Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval earlier this year.

The proposed amendment to Title 17 of county code, officially called Ordinance 2015-09, has been in discussion since April. Spurred by concerns over safety after reports of planes landing on a shared private road in Mendon and a plane landing in a residential area on a private airstrip in Paradise, as well as numerous requests by county residents to have legal airstrips on their property, the Commission examined the code and found found the need for increased specificity.

In providing a definition for private airports, the door is opened to smaller, more recreational operations.

Under the proposed amendment, private airports do not need to be licensed by the state of Utah, but they still must meet the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which provides oversight of landing sites.

Although private airports do not need to be put on maps, they must still be registered with the FAA as a designated landing strip. The areas in the county where private airports are allowed are all listed under conditional use to allow for adjacent landowners to voice any concerns before a private airport’s approval.

Holyoak, whose husband, Nathan, has a pilot’s license and owns a small plane hangared on their land, previously had an airstrip until the county requested its removal under the previous code, which didn’t make any distinction between private and commercial airstrips. The amendment would allow her and her husband to work with the commission to rebuild it legally, provided that it meets the requirements of the FAA as well as County Code.

“As someone who is hoping this will be considered, I want to be a law abiding citizen and still hangar our plane at our house,” Holyoak said at the April 9 meeting where the amendment was first discussed. “Our intent wouldn’t be to be a trouble or to cause problems, but to be able to use the property for some of the reasons we purchased it.”

Military and commercial pilot Greg Musselman, who operated his small, self-built airplane from his property for eight months until a neighbor requested him to stop, echoed Holyoak’s desires.

“The county does need to have oversight over this, and the FAA obviously already does,” he said at the June 4 Commission meeting. “This is a property rights issue for me. We just want to use our property in a legal and respectful way and the way we want to.”

Following the July 14 public hearing on the amendments, the County Council can vote to approve it immediately. However, the final decision on the amendment is expected to take place at the Council’s July 28 meeting.

Source:  http://news.hjnews.com

Grumman American AA-5 Traveler, N1356R: Accident occurred July 13, 2015 at Southbridge Municipal Airport (3B0), Massachusetts

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Enfield, Connecticut 

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

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


Location: Southbridge, MA
Accident Number: ERA15LA266
Date & Time: 07/13/2015, 1430 EDT
Registration: N1356R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 13, 2015, about 1430 eastern daylight time, a Grumman American AA-5, N1356R, was substantially damaged during impact with trees following a runway excursion at the Southbridge Municipal Airport (3B0), Southbridge, Massachusetts. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was originating at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Runway 02 was 3,501 feet long, 75 feet wide, and consisted of asphalt. The pilot stated that the preflight inspection and the taxi to runway 02 were normal. During the takeoff roll at about rotation speed, a gust of wind yawed the airplane to the left and it became airborne. The pilot corrected for the yaw and was able to maintain runway heading, but he elected to reject the takeoff as he felt it was the safer option, rather than trying to continue. The airplane touched back down and the pilot applied heavy braking, but was unable to stop before impacting trees and brush at the perimeter of the airport.

Examination of the airplane at the accident scene by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that it came to rest upright in an area of shrubbery and small trees, against the airport perimeter fence about 600 feet beyond the end of runway 02. The left wing sustained impact damage to the leading edge and upper surface, outboard of midspan. The right wing leading edge was damaged along the outer one-third of its span. The nose landing gear was separated from the fuselage. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and a type rating for the Boeing 737. He reported 21,623 total flight hours of experience, with 30 hours in the same make and model as the accident aircraft. His most recent first-class medical examination was performed on February 11, 2015.

The 1454 recorded weather observation at Worcester Regional Airport, located 12 miles northeast of 3B0, included variable wind direction at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 16 degrees C, few clouds at 3,800 feet above ground level, and the altimeter setting was 29.93 inches of mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Engineer
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/11/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/09/2015
Flight Time:  21623 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 21323 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 191 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 61 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP.
Registration: N1356R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: AA5-0756
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/21/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 55 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2093 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 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: KORH, 1017 ft msl
Observation Time: 1454 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 37°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3800 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 16°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Southbridge, MA (3B0)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Southbridge, MA (3B0)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1430 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 699 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 02
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3501 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  42.107222, -72.036944 (est)

SOUTHBRIDGE - The Federal Aviation Administration, citing the extent of damage to a fixed-wing, single-engine airplane at the Southbridge Municipal Airport on Monday afternoon, upgraded the case to "an aircraft accident" on Tuesday, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said.

As a result, the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, he said. FAA officials were at the accident site Tuesday morning and made the assessment about the upgrade, Mr. Peters said.

Deputy Fire Chief Paul Normandin, who was at the accident site Monday, said, "It looks like at this point the pilot didn’t have enough lift to get off the ground. He had made some attempts to continue on, but at the last moment decided to put it down on the ground, and ended up landing in trees and against a fence to the roadway."

Deputy Chief Normandin said fuel and electronics were immediately shut off after the accident.

"It didn’t appear to be any leakage or damage to the fuel tanks," he said.

Added Fire Chief Mark W. DiFronzo: "The plane attempted to take off, had some type of problem, but we're not sure what it is, and that’s why the FAA is investigating. That's really all we know for now."

None of the three occupants of the four-seater were injured, according to airport manager Ronald Plouffe, who said the plane was damaged "quite a bit."
Mr. Plouffe declined to answer any additional questions, citing the federal investigation.

The plane, a Grumman American Aviation Corp. AA-5, is registered to John J. Glennon of Holland.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Escaped drug lord has ties to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania • Smoketown Airport (S37)

An intense manhunt continues for one of the most powerful and dangerous drug lords in the world. Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from a maximum security prison outside of Mexico City on Saturday. This is the second time Guzman has escaped from a Mexican prison. 

Officials say his drug cartel covers the United States including Pennsylvania. Federal investigators arrested Guzman’s drug runners in Lancaster County several years ago. Officials say they used the Smoketown Airport as a hub for their nationwide drug ring.

Mel Glick opened the airport back in 1952. He remembers the plane that the cartel members used. He says had no idea that they were running drugs and will never forget the day investigators came walking through the door.

“I’m not sure if it was the FBI that came in one day and said we would like to talk to you,” Glick said. “They went over our records because we keep a record of who uses our fuel pumps.”

State police would not comment on the Guzman case in Pennsylvania. They say that they are working with other law enforcement agencies to monitor drug trafficking venues.

In the second quarter of 2015, Pennsylvania State Police seized $34.6 million worth of drugs. This includes $27.5 million worth of heroin and $2.9 million of cocaine.

Story, comments and video:  http://abc27.com

Pilots say they’re contending with lasers pointed at cockpits

During the early hours of a late spring day, a crew member of a Boston MedFlight helicopter with a patient aboard reported the flash of a green laser aimed at its cockpit as it descended toward Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

State Police scoured the Storrow Drive area near the Esplanade on that May 27 morning, searching for the laser’s source, but found nothing. While no one was injured, the company denounced the incident as a “terrible thing” that had put its crew and the patient at risk.

The tiny laser pointers, easily available in office supply stores, can cause big problems for pilots, who are increasingly encountering their disorienting light in Massachusetts and across the country — through mischief, malice, or accident.

Between 2008 and 2014, the number of laser incidents reported in Massachusetts climbed 175 percent, according to a Globe analysis of thousands of Federal Aviation Administration records. Nationwide, the number grew by 327 percent.

In Boston this year, pilots have reported 17 laser events, including the May incident, through June 19, said FAA spokesman Jim Peters, already surpassing last year’s total of 15.

The FAA attributed the rise in reports to the increased availability of inexpensive laser devices and greater awareness among pilots of their danger.

A laser can be as distracting as a camera flash or the high-beam headlights of an oncoming car, the FAA said on its website. While pilots are unlikely to suffer permanent eye damage, it may take them a few minutes to adjust their vision back to normal, which is particularly dangerous during a flight’s takeoff and landing.

“At 35,000 feet, you have time to react,” said Patrick Murphy, who tracks laser incidents on the website LaserPointerSafety.com. “At takeoff or landing, you may not have time to recover.”

No aircraft accidents have been attributed to lasers, but “given the sizeable number of reports and debilitating effects that can accompany such events, the potential does exist,” a FAA report said.

The FAA began formally tracking laser events in 2005. The number of annual reports climbed steeply during the next six years, then held steady. In 2012, George Johnson, a supervisory federal air marshal, said the number of attacks had almost reached an “epidemic level.”

Across the country, pilots reported 3,894 laser-related incidents last year, according to the FAA records. Through June 19 of this year, 2,524 laser events in the United States were recorded, said Peters.

Almost 70 percent of these laser events occurred at altitudes between 2,000 and 10,000 feet, according to the FAA. Most took place between 7 and 11 p.m. and involved a green laser. Green lasers are more visible than other colors, the administration found.

Laser incidents were more densely located on the West Coast, particularly in California, which had 888 reports in 2014. The highest number of reports last year came from the Los Angeles area, which had 107.

Officials warn that thousands of incidents each year still go unreported. Murphy said pilots may have tired of reporting them, particularly when they occur at times when no significant danger is posed, such as when their airplanes were at cruising altitudes.

The light from laser pointers can radiate for miles, growing in size and scope at longer distances.

Murphy said there are generally two types of people who shine lasers at aircraft: those who do so inadvertently, not realizing how far their laser extends and others he called the “criminal and antisocial element,” who flash lasers at aircraft cockpits deliberately to distract pilots.

A Medford man was sentenced to 36 months in a federal prison in 2011 for shining a powerful green laser beam into a State Police helicopter that was escorting a tanker through Boston Harbor and then lying about the incident. His conviction on the charge that he pointed the laser at the helicopter on purpose was vacated upon appeal, however.

According to federal law, anyone who knowingly aims the beam of a laser at an aircraft can be fined or face up to five years in prison. But prosecutions are rare and convictions even more so. The technology publication Ars Technica tallied 134 arrests made in the incidents nationwide from 2005 to 2013. Eighty of those arrests led to convictions.

“It’s difficult to locate the person doing it,” said State Police spokesman David Procopio, noting that there is often a lag between the time of the incident and when it is reported.

Even so, each Massachusetts report is forwarded to the Boston’s joint terrorism task force and investigated, said Procopio. The vast majority of the local incidents were considered “nuisance activities,” however, where terrorism was not the aim, he said.

Read more:  https://www.bostonglobe.com

RAF pilot filmed up skirts of Royal Ascot racegoers. His excuse? He was 'stressed'

RAF man Andrew Hack was so stressed at work that he went to Royal Ascot and spent the day taking video clips - up women's skirts.

The 44-year-old father-to-be lay on the grass during the world famous race meeting last month and used his camera to film behind him as women also lay down.

Married Flight Sergeant Hack took the opportunity to zoom in with his high quality lens as he filmed over his shoulder, capturing images of his targets' underwear as they sat down and stood up.

The serviceman was eventually spotted by suspicious security guards as they patrolled around the grandstand and parade ring, where members of the Royal Family were also present.

The self-confessed naturist appeared at East Berkshire Magistrates' Court and heard the prosecutor reveal details of his offenses.

The Flight Sergeant who filmed up the skirts and down the tops of more than a dozen women at Royal Ascot, admitted a single charge of outraging public decency.

JP's heard that Hack was arrested in the Royal Ascot car park in the evening of June 19 after police were approached by a member of security.

He had been ejected from the racecourse prior to his arrest after the security guards caught him snooping with his camcorder.

Arresting officers checked the footage on the camera and found 82 video files on the device's memory card which showed up-skirt shots of around 13 different women.

Pamela Hayre-Wakefield, prosecuting at the court in Slough, Berkshire, said: "For the majority of the videos the defendant had clearly sat down on the grass near a group of women drinking and filmed backwards with the camera positioned between his arm and his body.

"The camera was of very good quality and could perform extreme close-ups.

"The majority of the women in the footage were wearing underwear, but in some videos you are able to see female pubic hair.

"One officer observed images of female genitalia and breasts on the camera. Mr Hack had been using his camera to zoom in and film up skirts and down tops."

Hack, of Didcot, Oxfordshire, admitted that he had committed the offense because he had been stressed at work and sought a challenge and a thrill.

He claimed he was unaware he was committing an offense and had carried out similar practices 20 to 30 times over the last 20 years, but did not gain sexual gratification from doing it.

The expectant father is a naturist and has previously filmed and taken part in naked cycling events.

Jelia Sane, defending, said: "There is no suggestion that Mr Hack masturbated whilst recording and there is no indication that he followed or pursued the women in any way.

"No threats were made and there was no racial or religious aggravation in his actions.

"He did not subject the women to high levels of harm and he understands the repercussions his actions will have on his work life and family life - his partner is currently seven months pregnant.

"This was an instance of someone seeking a thrill and a challenge under a great deal of strain."

Hack admitted one count of outraging public decency and will appear before magistrates later in the month to be sentenced.

Read more:   http://www.mirror.co.uk

Alberta takes $5-million bath on the sale of aircraft fleet

Alberta taxpayers took a $5-million bath on the sale of the government aircraft fleet, according to provincial finance documents.

Although PC premier Jim Prentice boasted earlier this year the sale of three of the government’s four aircraft netted $6.1 million, the loss figure was revealed in a single line in the 2014-15 Treasury Board and Finance annual report.

“Air Services (expense) was $5-million higher due to a loss on the sale of airplanes as proceeds were less than net amortized book value,” the report said.

Alberta Finance and Service Alberta officials referred questions to each other Friday with no one providing an explanation why the three Beechcraft King Airs were sold for below book value.

Service Alberta, however, confirmed the province is still attempting to sell the fourth plane — a 30-year-old Dash-8 — which is costing $500 a week for operational maintenance and an undisclosed amount for leasing a hangar.

Prentice announced he was selling the fleet one day after taking office last fall in the wake of a storm of controversy over the inappropriate use of the government aircraft by former premier Alison Redford.

Wildrose’s finance critic Derek Fildebrandt, a former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said selling the planes was still the best course — even though they sold at a loss.

“We’re pleased the aircraft are sold,” he said Friday.

“The Wildrose and myself in my previous capacity had called for the planes to be sold for a long time because the former government proved it was incapable of resisting abuse. While they were sold at a loss, it is likely that over the long term the money saved from the abuse of these planes will still have been worth it.”

Liberal Leader David Swann called it “a disappointing end to a shameful legacy.”

Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark questioned why there was such a rush to sell the planes.

“The airplanes should have been sold a long time ago and disposed of in an orderly fashion,” he said. “Instead, we had a political fire sale and Albertans didn’t get fair value for their assets.”

Alberta’s auditor general Merwan Saher last year detailed a long list of abuses of the aircraft fleet in a special case report requested by Redford.

He said her staff reserved seats on government flights for ghost passengers so she could fly alone. Redford and her ministers also used the taxpayer-funded fleet of planes to travel to Tory political events, the auditor general said. Redford also used government aircraft for personal trips to Jasper and Vancouver, he claimed.

RCMP investigated the premier’s use of the aircraft, but found no evidence to lay criminal charges.

Prentice announced in February that three planes had been sold to Fargo Jet Center Inc. of Fargo, N.D., for $6.1 million, but there have been no takers for the De-Havilland Dash-8. The four aircraft cost $25.2 million when they were purchased between 1985 and 2007.

Service Alberta said the government has dropped the price on the 36-passenger Dash-8 to $4.9 million from the reserve price of $5.5 million.

Alberta has operated an aircraft fleet for the past four decades, but in recent years it was costing taxpayers nearly $10 million annually.

Saher calculated the province could save $3.9 million annually by flying on commercial flights or using other modes of transportation to travel to Alberta communities.

Shuttering the air service division resulted in the layoffs of 22 employees, including pilots, aviation mechanics and administrative staff.

The NDP has yet to say how much it will cost to get out of the 10-year hangar lease the PC government had just recently signed before the sale.

Read more:  http://calgaryherald.com

Sunday, July 12, 2015

MILL 2 FIRE: Forward progress stopped; drone disrupts fire fight

A drone temporarily halted air tankers that were fighting the Mill 2 fire north of Yucaipa on Sunday, July 12, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

The fire burned 30 acres and is 10 percent contained, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bob Poole said about 6 p.m. It is no longer spreading, fire officials have been saying via Twitter.

Highway 38 in the San Bernardino Mountains remains closed between Bryant Street and Lake Williams. About 5:30, the CHP said one eastbound lane was opening and traffic would be escorted through by a pilot car. It could be a few more hours before all lanes are open.

The Mill 2 fire broke out about 2:30 p.m. in Mill Creek Canyon, above the point where Bryant Street intersects with Highway 38 near the San Bernardino National Forest boundary.

Four homes on the west side of Yucaipa Ridge were evacuated as a precaution. No structures were damaged. One injury was reported, but Poole did not have details.

Seventeen engines, seven hand crews, two bulldozers, five helicopters and three air tankers were part of an aggressive response that helped put out the flames.

But the aircraft were hampered by a drone that was being flown in the area of the fire.

"We had to divert some of our aircraft," Poole said. "It was probably about 20 minutes."

Asked about what effect that had, Poole said, "It's always a big deal ... when you have a fire headed for some homes."

The fear is that an unauthorized craft could crash into a firefighting plane or helicopter, so they have to be grounded if a drone is spotted.

That has happened twice in recent weeks in the Inland area. On a crucial day in the fight against the Lake fire last month, the fleet was grounded after a drone passed 500 feet below one firefighting airplane and 500 feet above another.

The next day, planes fighting a smaller fire on the outskirts of San Bernardino were grounded because of a drone.

In response, state legislation has been proposed that would make it a crime to fly unmanned aircraft over a wildfire.

The Mill 2 fire is one of two that broke out around the same time in the mountains. Several miles up, about 2 miles south of Angelus Oaks, a vegetation fire started when a motorcycle crashed about 2:30 p.m.

According to a CHP incident log, the rider ended up 150-200 feet over the side and suffered minor injuries.

The Motorcycle fire was contained shortly after 4 p.m. and firefighters headed down to help with the Mill 2 fire.

Additionally, a brush fire scorched 70 acres in San Timoteo Canyon just south of the San Bernardino-Riverside county line on Sunday. And in a nearby but unrelated incident, firefighters responded to a fire on a train in the canyon Sunday morning. That fire did not spread to vegetation.

Read more here:  http://www.pe.com

Incident occurred July 12, 2015 at Norfolk International Airport (KORF), Virginia

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – No injuries were reported after a private aircraft made an emergency landing at Norfolk International Airport (ORF) Sunday evening.

Robert Bowen, the Deputy Executive Director with ORF confirmed that two people were aboard the Piper single-engine aircraft when the pilot reported issues with the plane’s alternator at 4:09 p.m. The plane landed safely at 4:35 p.m. and taxied under its own power to Landmark Aviation.

Bowen was not able to report where the plane departed from or was headed, but he confirmed that the plane is registered in Pittsburgh.

No other information has been released.

Source:  http://wavy.com

Beech A35 Bonanza, N8749A: Accident occurred July 11, 2015 in Mazama, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle / Renton, Washington 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

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

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

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

Lee Bowman: http://registry.faa.gov/N8749A

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA212 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 11, 2015 in Mazama, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/02/2016
Aircraft: BEECH A35, registration: N8749A
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A review of recorded communications between the pilot and a flight service station revealed that, before the flight, the noninstrument-rated, private pilot received two formal weather briefings. Both briefings reported that visual flight rules (VFR) conditions existed at the departure and destination airports but included forecast weather conditions along the route of flight that called for areas of mountain obscuration and precipitation. During the first briefing, the pilot disclosed that he had recently acquired a new tablet and that he was still learning how to use it. He also acknowledged that he would not be able to fly instrument flight rules if it became necessary. 

The pilot postponed his departure after the first briefing, but he and two passengers departed for the cross-country personal flight under VFR about 2 hours after the second briefing. The surviving passenger reported that, about 1 1/2 hours into the flight, the cloud coverage increased and that the pilot started to descend the airplane to stay clear of clouds; however, the airplane entered a cloud. At that time, the other passenger was using the pilot’s tablet to help him navigate the airplane, but she accidentally turned it off. Shortly after, the surviving passenger observed trees directly in front of the windshield. The pilot pulled back on the yoke to try and gain altitude, but the airplane impacted mountainous terrain at an elevation of about 5,255 ft mean sea level. 

The wreckage was confined to the impact area, and the damage was consistent with controlled flight into terrain. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A review of satellite imagery indicated cloudy conditions over the accident location. Given the passenger’s statement, the flight likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions, and the pilot was unable to see the mountainous terrain until seconds before the collision.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The noninstrument-rated pilot’s decision to continue visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his failure to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain.

On July 11, 2015, about 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft A35, N8749A, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Mazama, Washington. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The second passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan had been filed. However, instrument meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site. The flight originated from Red Eagle Aviation (S27), Kalispell, Montana, about 1415 mountain daylight time, with an intended destination of Lynden Airport (38W), Lynden, Washington. 

On July 11, 2015, an Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued for the accident airplane. On July 13, 2015, a surviving passenger was located on Highway 20 near Easy Pass Head Trail, Skagit County, Washington. In a verbal statement provided to Okanogan County Sheriff's Department, she reported that she and her grandparents were flying from Montana. During the flight, the weather deteriorated, and the airplane flew into clouds. When the airplane exited the clouds, she saw a mountain in front of the airplane. The airplane impacted terrain, and a post-accident fire ensued. The surviving passenger attempted to extract the pilot and the other passenger from the wreckage, but she was unsuccessful. On July 14, 2015, the Skagit County Sheriff's Department located the wreckage about 16 miles west of Mazama.

In an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the surviving passenger stated that the pilot, the other passenger, and she were scheduled to leave Kalispell on July 11 about 0700 mountain daylight time. However, their departure was postponed due to bad weather. Instead, the airplane departed about 1400, and was scheduled to arrive in Lynden around 1630. About 1.5 hours into the flight, the survivor observed increased cloud coverage and strong turbulence. To stay out of clouds, the pilot kept descending. After the airplane flew through a first cloud, the pilot executed a sharp left turn to avoid a collision with the mountainous terrain. He continued to fly through the mountain pass using a freeway below to navigate. Shortly after, the airplane entered a second cloud. At that time, the other passenger was using a pilot's tablet to assist with navigation, but she accidentally turned it off. Moments later, the surviving passenger observed trees directly in front of the windshield. The pilot pulled back on the yoke to try and gain altitude, but the airplane impacted terrain.

While they were flying in the clouds, the survivor stated that she was not able to see above or below the airplane. There was no direct sunlight, and she did not have a visual contact with the ground. The moisture was accumulating on the windshield and windows, and droplets of moisture were appearing to be moving backwards. After she egressed the airplane and throughout a descent down the mountain, the survivor observed that the vegetation and soil were wet. 

The survivor stated that the pilot had purchased the tablet that was used during the accident flight just a few days prior to the accident. She said that the app that was used to navigate seemed very basic, and it was only projecting an aerial view of the earth surface underneath the airplane.


The pilot, age 62, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on October 14, 2013, with the following limitation: must have available glasses for near vision. During the last medical examination, the pilot reported flight experience that included 242 total flight hours and 0 hours in last 6 months. During the investigation, the pilot's logbook was requested; however, it was not provided to the IIC and, therefore, was not available for review.


The four-seat, single-engine, low-wing, retractable landing gear airplane, serial number D-2171, was manufactured in 1949. It was powered by a Continental Motors E-225-8 engine, serial number 900601-OH, rated at 225 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with a Hartzell two bladed adjustable pitch propeller. During the investigation, the maintenance records were requested; however, they were not provided to the IIC and, therefore, they were not available for review.


A NTSB staff meteorologist prepared a factual report for the area and timeframe surrounding the accident.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1700 depicted a low pressure center to the southeast of the accident site. A trough extended south from British Columbia through central Washington to the east of the accident site and into Oregon. Station models depicted wind in the region to range from 5-15 knots with variable direction. Observations were scarce in the mountainous regions.

WSR-88D Level-II weather radar imagery from Seattle/Tacoma, Washington (ATX), located about 73 miles west-southwest of the accident site at an elevation of about 370 feet, depicted some discrete areas of light (with some moderate) reflectivity in the accident region. A loop of the radar imagery indicated these areas of reflectivity were moving from the south (generally), and appeared consistent with patterns of rain.

A North American Mesoscale (NAM) model sounding depicted that the wind between the surface and about 8,000 feet was from the west at about 5 knots. Above this level through 10,000 feet, the wind backed to a south wind, and remained relatively light. Relative humidity was greater than 90 percent between about 6,000 and 11,000 feet.

There were no publicly disseminated pilot reports made within 2 hours of the accident time below FL200 within the accident region.

The satellite imagery identified cloudy conditions over the accident location, with infrared cloud-top temperatures varying between approximately 0 degrees C and -6 degrees C in the vicinity of the accident site. When considering the NAM model sounding, 0 degrees C and -6 degrees C corresponded to heights of approximately 12,700 and 16,000 feet, respectively. These figures have not been corrected for any parallax error.

An Area Forecast issued at 1245 and directed toward the Cascade Mountains of Washington forecasted broken clouds at 9,000 feet, with clouds tops to FL220, widely scattered light rain showers, isolated thunderstorms with light rain, and cumulonimbus cloud tops to FL360.

The complete weather report is appended to this accident in the public docket.

A review of recorded communication between the pilot and the Lockheed Martin Flight Service Station (FSS) revealed that on July 11, 2015, at 0439, the pilot called to obtain a weather brief and to file a VFR flight plan for the 0700 takeoff time. The briefer informed him that there was a Convective Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) that was in effect from 0555 until 0955 for the northern Idaho and Sawtooth Mountain Range, and Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) Sierra valid from 0600 until 1500 for mountain obscuration by clouds and precipitation. The pilot was also advised of Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) due to forest fires and smoke in the area. During the conversation, the pilot disclosed that he had recently acquired a new tablet, and that he was still learning how to use it. He also acknowledged that he was not able to fly instrument flight rules (IFR) if needed. At 0458, the pilot decided to postpone his departure time. 

At 1210, the pilot called the FSS for a second weather brief. The brief indicated an AIRMET Sierra in effect for mountain obscuration across the Northern Cascades, Convective SIGMET outlook along the route, and an AIRMET for icing in the Western Cascades for altitude starting at 13,000 feet above ground level (agl). The briefer reported a surface drop through the Omak, Washington, as well as the off shore area, and indicated that the air mass for the day looked fairly moist and unstable. The briefer stated that an area forecast for Continental Divide and westwards indicated a ceiling broken at 7,000 feet agl, overcast at 10,000 feet agl, widely scattered light rain showers, and isolated thunderstorms with light rain. After 1400, the forecast indicated scattered light rain showers and widely scattered thunderstorms with light rain. The briefer further stated that the forecast for Idaho Panhandle indicated a ceiling broken at 7,000 feet agl, overcast at 10,000 feet agl, widely scattered thunderstorms, and light rain showers. For the area south of Cascades, the forecast indicated a ceiling broken at 10,000 feet agl, wide and scattered light rain showers, and widely scattered thunderstorms with light rain. For the second time, the briefer mentioned the AIRMET for mountain obscuration through the western Rockies and northern Idaho Panhandle, and indicated that he would not recommend flying in any sort of higher terrain if it was obscured.

The complete weather brief transcripts are appended to this accident in the public docket.


The accident site was located on the side of a mountain slope at an elevation of 5,255 mean sea level (msl). The airplane wreckage was spread along a 130-ft-long upsloping path through a forest of Subalpine fir trees on a 030-degree magnetic heading. The first point of impact was a Subalpine fir tree that was broken off about 100 feet above the ground. The airplane's left wing tip tank, a section of the left outboard wing, and the left aileron were found about 40 feet from the first impact point resting on the ground, and they were separated from the inboard wing section at the pitot tube. All of the components exhibited signatures consistent with impact damage. Pieces of cut wood, broken branches, fiberglass, and paint chips were scattered across the ground beginning at the first point of impact, and running along the accident site heading.

The left flap was located about 25 feet and 045-degree magnetic bearing from the left wing. The left flap exhibited minor impact damage. The terrain from the first point of impact to where the airplane's main wreckage came to rest was upsloping at an angle of about 40 degrees. The main wreckage, which consisted of the airplane's engine, propeller, cabin, right wing, left inboard wing, main landing gear, baggage compartment, aft fuselage, and empennage rested inverted with the nose of the airplane oriented to the southwest. These components were charred, melted, and consumed by fire. A burned area about 40 feet long and 40 feet wide surrounded the main wreckage. Several trees knocked down by the airplane were also located in the burned area. About a 20-foot-long Subalpine fir tree was resting on top on the main wreckage, exhibiting evidence of thermal damage. The right wing tip tank was located about 15 feet from the main wreckage, and exhibited extensive thermal damage.

The airplane wreckage was examined at the accident site on July 17, 2015, by representatives from Textron Aviation and Continental Motors, Inc., under the supervision of the NTSB IIC. 

Control cable continuity was established for all primary flight controls. The left aileron drive cable and the carry-through cable were impact separated from the fractured left aileron bell crank. The aileron carry-through cable was impact separated from the fractured right aileron bell crank; the right aileron drive cable remained attached to the aileron bell crank. The elevator trim actuator position was about 5 degrees up. The flaps and landing gear were found retracted. The instrument panel was destroyed by fire.

All six cylinders remained attached to their respective mountings. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand using the propeller. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine and valve train. Thumb compression and suction was obtained on all cylinders except numbers one and three, which exhibited impact damage. The top spark plugs were examined, and found to be consistent with worn out normal when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug comparison card. The left magneto exhibited a signature of thermal damage, and was unable to produce sparks. The right magneto was not located during the duration of the engine examination. The engine starter motor, alternator, and oil pump remained attached, and exhibited signatures of thermal damage. The vacuum pump remained attached and intact. The plastic drive coupling was thermally damaged. The rotor and carbon veins were intact and undamaged.

The two blade propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The propeller spinner did not display impact damage, but indicated thermal exposure. One blade exhibited aft bending, and remained attached to the propeller hub. The other blade exhibited forward bending, and was found loose in the propeller hub.

Examination of the recovered airframe, engine, and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation.

The complete engine examination report is appended to this accident in the public docket.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot and the passenger July 16, 2015, by the Skagit County Office of the Coroner, St. Mount Vernon, Washington. The cause of death for the pilot and the passenger was determined to be "multiple blunt trauma injuries".

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The test did not detect a presence of carbon monoxide, volatiles, nor drugs in blood. The test for cyanide was not performed. 

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA212
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 11, 2015 in Mazama, WA
Aircraft: BEECH A35, registration: N8749A
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

On July 11, 2015 about 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft A35, N8749A, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Mazama, Washington. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured. The second passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which operated on a visual rules flight plan. However, instrument meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site. The flight originated from Red Eagle Aviation (S27), Kalispell, Montana, at about 1415 mountain standard time, with an intended destination of Lynden Airport, Lynden, Washington. 

On July 11, 2015, an Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued for the accident aircraft. On July 13, 2015, a survivor was located on Highway 20 near Easy Pass Head Trail, Skagit County, Washington. In a verbal statement provided to Okanogan County Sheriff's Department, she reported that she was flying home from Montana with her grandparents. The airplane flew into clouds and the pilot was using a GPS to navigate with. When the airplane exited the clouds, she could see the mountain in front of the airplane. In an attempt to gain the altitude, the pilot pulled back on the yoke but he was unsuccessful. The airplane impacted terrain, and a post-accident fire ensued. The survivor attempted to extract the pilot and the other passenger from the wreckage, but was unsuccessful.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Spokane FSDO-13

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Chase Euerle left Tucson last week to vacation in the state of Washington, but he returned with a once-in-a-lifetime story of saving a stranded plane crash survivor.

Euerle and a friend planned to hike in the Cascade Mountains, but neither of them knew about the on-going search for a teenage girl believed to be the only survivor of a plane crash earlier in the week.

“My friend and I didn’t know how big this story was,” Euerle said.

Autumn Veatch, 16, walked alone through the wilderness for two nights until Euerle and his friend found her at a trailhead Monday. They had just begun to pack their bags for a hike when she approached them.

“She walks over and says, ‘Hey I need help, I've been walking through the woods for three days. My grandparents are dead,'” Euerle said.

He was about to write her off as an upset teenager trying to run-away from her family, but then Euerle noticed Veatch had been roughed up. He saw that her hair had been singed and her skin was discolored.

“There were burn blisters on her hand and she talked about trying to help her grandparents out of the fire,” he said.

Two bodies have been recovered from the wreckage and investigators believe they’re Veatch’s grandparents. The teen waited at the trailhead because no one had stopped to help her while she stood on the shoulder of a nearby road, according to Euerle.

He and his friend offered her food and water on the hour-long drive to the nearest town, but Euerle said she refused. She was in disbelief just to be in a car and safe.

“She just had the most daring ‘Thank you so much,'” Euerle said.

The timing of it all is what sticks with Euerle the most. If he and his friend had arrived at the trailhead any earlier or later in the day, the two paths would not have crossed. 

But they did, and now Euerle said he’ll never forget Veatch.

“Nobody makes it through stuff like that,” he said. “She's a strong girl.”

Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, MT, stand next to their plane in this undated photo. 

SEATTLE (AP) - The two people who died in a small plane crash that prompted a teenage survivor to hike to safety from a rugged Washington state mountainside were killed "instantaneously or quick" and were burned beyond recognition, a deputy coroner said Thursday. 

Autumn Veatch, 16, has said her step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana, were with her on the plane.

"But there was fire involved," Skagit County Deputy Coroner Matthew Sias said, "so that has hampered us from making an identification."

Officials will use dental records to confirm the identities, which could take about a week, Sias said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

The cause of death was "blunt trauma," he said, adding "the injuries we found were consistent with them perishing very quickly."

A National Transportation Safety Board team was expected to arrive Thursday at the north-central Washington state site to investigate.

Veatch returned home to Bellingham late Tuesday.

It took her about two days to find help after the weekend crash that left her bruised and singed.

She had to make her way down a steep slope and follow a creek to a river. She spent a night on a sand bar and sipped small amounts of water.

She followed the river to a trail, and the trail to a highway where two men driving by stopped and picked her up Monday afternoon, bringing her to a general store in tiny Mazama, near the east entrance of North Cascades National Park.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers has said she and her relatives were flying a Beechcraft A-35 from Kalispell, Montana, to Lynden, Washington, when it struck the trees, plummeted to the ground and caught fire.

Also Wednesday, a different set of searchers located the wreckage of a small plane from Minnesota that crashed in northern Washington state with two aboard. Two bodies were recovered from that wreckage, a sheriff said.

That plane's tail registration number matches that of an aircraft reported missing from Minnesota, Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo said. Bob and Gail Nevalainen of Kabeotogama Township, Minn., were reportedly aboard the plane, which is believed to have crashed Saturday on its way to Orcas Island, Wash. It was reported missing Tuesday after relatives couldn't reach the people on board.

There was no evidence the two flights were related, said Barbara LaBoe, a Washington state Transportation Department spokeswoman.

Source:  http://www.komonews.com

Wreckage from a plane carrying Autumn Veatch and her step-grandparents was found Tuesday night, July 14, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The wreckage was still smoldering and flaring up when Skagit County Sheriff’s deputies and rescue volunteers arrived Wednesday at the crash site, located about one mile north of Highway 20 in the Rainy Pass area, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two bodies were recovered from the wreckage. They are believed to be those of Leland and Sharon Bowman, of Marion, Mont., who were aboard the plane Saturday, July 11, when it crashed.

Autumn, 16, survived and hiked away from the crash site to find help. On Monday she emerged from the wilderness and found a driver who took her to Mazama Store, the first stop on the way down from Washington Pass. She told a 911 dispatcher that she was the only survivor.

After being treated for severe dehydration at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster, Autumn arrived at her home in Bellingham on Tuesday night. Family friend Chelsey Clark said Autumn wanted to rest at home and spend time with her friends Wednesday.

The Beech A35 plane, which was piloted by Leland Bowman, 62, left Kalispell, Mont., around 1 p.m. Saturday headed for the Lynden Airport. It crossed into Washington around 2:21 p.m. and dropped off radar near Omak at 3:21 p.m. The last signal from a cellphone on the plane was detected near Omak at 3:49 p.m., according to the WSDOT.

Autumn told family and law enforcement that the plane was flying through the clouds and then crashed into the side of a mountain. The plane caught fire, and Autumn told authorities that she couldn’t save Leland or Sharon Bowman.

Another plane appears to have crashed that same day while trying to cross the Cascades. Civil Air Patrol pilots found scattered plane debris on Twin Sisters mountains at 8 a.m. Wednesday while searching for a plane due in Orcas Island on Saturday night. A Minnesota couple was likely on board, but authorities were not able to identify the aircraft or its occupants as of Wednesday afternoon, said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo.

The plane from Minnesota left radar several hours before the Montana plane was last tracked on radar, the WSDOT said.

There were several thunderstorms in the Cascades west of Mazama that afternoon, said National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Tobin. He counted at least 50 lightning strikes from 1 to 7 p.m., accompanied by heavy rain and gusty winds. The conditions would have been rough for a small plane, though not unusual for the time of year, he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating both crashes to try to determine what caused them.

Read more here: http://www.bellinghamherald.com

SEATTLE (AP) - A 16-year-old girl survived a small-plane crash that killed her step-grandparents in the rugged mountains of north-central Washington state and then hiked through thick forest to safety in what a rescuer called a miracle.

Searchers still are looking for the wreckage, but Autumn Veatch says Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana, died in Saturday's crash, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, who spoke with the girl.

"She said they were flying in the clouds, and in an instant, it opened up and there was the mountain, and they crashed into the trees," Rogers told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The sheriff said pilot Leland Bowman was flying too low.

"He tried to pull up, but it was too late," Rogers said.

Veatch told authorities she stayed at the crash site for a day before deciding to hike down, eventually finding a trail and following it to the trailhead on a highway near the east entrance to North Cascades National Park.

A motorist picked her up Monday afternoon and drove her 30 miles east to a general store, where employees called 911.

Veatch had no life-threatening injuries but was dehydrated and suffering from a treatable muscle tissue breakdown caused by vigorous exercise without food or water, said Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster. She stayed at the hospital overnight to rest and get hydrated.

Rogers said Veatch would likely be released from the hospital Tuesday.

"It's a miracle, no question about it," Lt. Col. Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol told reporters, saying he has spent 30 years in search and rescue. "Moments of joy like this can be hard to find."

Her father, David Veatch of Bellingham, told reporters outside the hospital late Monday that his daughter was exhausted but doing remarkably well. She was able to joke with him about the survival shows they watched together on television, he said.

"She's just an amazing kid," David Veatch said. "There's more to her than she knows."

The Beech A-35 left Kalispell, Montana, on Saturday afternoon, heading for Lynden, Washington. The plane crossed the Idaho-Washington border about 2:20 p.m. PDT but dropped off the radar near Omak, Washington, about an hour later, officials said.

Navy helicopters searched for the wreckage until late Monday, several hours after fixed-wing planes suspended their efforts. The search would resume Tuesday, weather permitting, said Barbara LaBoe, a Washington state Transportation Department spokeswoman.

Rescuers earlier narrowed down a search area based on cellphone data and typical flight patterns. But there was no sign of the aircraft or its occupants until the teen walked out of the woods.

The girl had been "walking for a couple of days," said Rogers, the sheriff. He called her feat "pretty impressive."

Serena Lockwood, the manager at the Mazama Store, said the girl and a driver came in Monday afternoon, saying she had been in a plane crash.

"She was obviously pretty traumatized," Lockwood said.

Leland Bowman was issued a private pilot license in 2011, and the plane, manufactured in 1949, was registered to him, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Story, video and photos:  http://www.komonews.com

SEATTLE -- The Okanogan County officials say a driver picked up a teenage girl who survived a small plane crash in a mountainous area of Washington state.

Autumn Veatch was taken to a hospital in Brewster to be checked out. Her father made the drive from Bellingham to Brewster to be reunited with his daughter.

He said she was a little banged up, a little dehydrated, and exhausted after days without sleep, hiking through the woods.

"She's just an amazing kid," said David Veatch. "She's very gifted. There's more to her than she knows. I keep trying to tell her that but she doesn't believe me, maybe now she'll understand what I see."

He said the two sometimes watched survivor shows together, and both believed the tips Autumn picked up through those shows ended up helping her.

"She definitely picked up that you're supposed to follow a stream down to civilization," he said.

The fate of her two step-grandparents, who were also on board, remains unclear.

Crews had been searching for a small plane with three aboard after it failed to reach its destination in Lynden over the weekend.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Monday afternoon the girl had been walking for days through the forest after their plane crashed. She managed to walk to the Easy Pass trailhead and onto Highway 20, where hikers in a vehicle picked her up and drove her to a store in Mazama, where employees called the sheriff's office.

"She basically related the story what happened, out walking for the past few days and got to Highway 20 and waited for the first people to come by," said Rick Leduc of the Mazama Store. "It sounds like she just followed a drainage out and just continued (along) the streams and rivers getting larger. When she came across a bridge, she knew she was pretty much where she could get help."

"It's pretty miraculous she was able to do what she did. It's pretty rugged country... probably some of the harshest country in the Cascades."

"The report that we're getting from the survivor was that at some point during the flight the clouds came in and the pilot lost visual contact with the terrain and the aircraft collided with the mountain," said Jeffery Lustick with Civil Air Patrol. "To have a survivor come through this is... it's just a miracle."

Aero Methow Rescue Services of Methow Valley medics transported the teen to Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster. Officials say she was suffering from dehydration and would be kept for observation.

Friends of Veatch said she was in good spirits and said she thanked her father for making her watch survivor shows, which helped her after the crash.

"I'll tell you this, from all of us here -- we're just impressed with her," said Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers. "She's kinda like a super hero. Just amazing us what she went through -- especially at 16. Enough for an adult - but at 16, its pretty impressive."

The small plane carrying three people left western Montana about 4 p.m. Saturday and was due in Lynden at 7 p.m. When the plane didn't arrive, authorities began an investigation.

Officials had identified those aboard as Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana, and their 16-year-old step-granddaughter, Autumn Veatch of Bellingham, Washington.

Sheriff Rogers said Autumn told his deputies her step-grandparents did not survive the crash.

David Veatch says that's been especially hard on his daughter.

"These people were really playing the part of grandparents to her, and that's really hitting her hard. She's had to deal with a lot of loss," he said.

Search crews were using the last found cell signal – about 4 p.m. Saturday near Omak – to help narrow the search in Skagit, Whatcom, Chelan and Okanogan counties in northern Washington.

Story, comments, video and photos:  http://www.king5.com

A 16-year-old girl who was one of three passengers in a small private plane that crashed in the North Cascades on Saturday (July 11) walked out to civilization Monday afternoon, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers confirmed.

Autumn Veatch, of Bellingham, was picked up by a motorist who saw her by the side of Highway 20 near the Easy Pass trailhead on Monday afternoon, Rogers said. The motorist took Veatch to the Mazama Store and authorities were notified, Rogers said. Veatch was subsequently transported to Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries suffered in the plane crash, the sheriff said.

Veatch was brought to the Mazama Store at about 2:45 p.m., according to store owner Rick LeDuc.

A store employee asked CB Thomas, who operates the Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies store next to the Mazama Store, to help because he is trained as a paramedic. Mazama Store employees called 911.

The girl had no “life-threatening injuries” but was “distraught,” Thomas said. “She was shaking and having a hard time describing what happened to her.” She said she had been walking for three days and hadn’t eaten.

“She had burns to her hands and was obviously scraped and bruised,” Thomas said, although it wasn’t clear if the scrapes and bruises were from the plane crash or her hike out.

The girl was hungry and the store employees gave her a sandwich, and helped her make a phone call to her mother.

Veatch said she had followed a creek from the crash site until she encountered a trail, and followed the trail to the highway, according to Rogers.

 Thomas said U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer Dave Graves arrived at the store and the girl was “able to identify a creek she followed and its relationship to the Easy Pass Trailhead.” Graves drew a map based on her description.

Aero Methow Rescue Service arrived and determined Veatch was stable, without life-threatening injuries. She was placed on a stretcher and transported by ambulance.

LeDuc commented that the Mazama Store is often the first place to learn of accidents or other problems, such as avalanches, in the North Cascades because it is the first stop on the way down from Washington Pass.

Veatch was a passenger with her step-grandparents, Leland Bowman, 62, and his wife, Sharon, 63, both of Marion, Montana. Their conditions were not known.

The plane, piloted by Leland Bowman, left Kalispell at about 1 p.m. Saturday and was expected to arrive in Lynden, Washington, near the Canadian border in Whatcom County, at 4:05 p.m. It dropped off radar near Omak at around 3:21 p.m. and the last cell phone signal was at about 3:49 p.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The search for the plane began Saturday and by Monday had been narrowed to areas around Mazama, Lost River Airport and Rainy Pass. WSDOT said in a blog posting that Civil Air Patrol officials, who are assisting in the search, used cell phone data to help narrow the search parameters. Earlier Monday, four search planes were launched from Bellingham. A fifth plane was launched from Spokane.

WSDOT said search crews were still looking for the plane Monday afternoon.

The missing plane’s tail number is N8749A. The plane is white and red Beech 35, WSDOT said.

Don Fitzpatrick, a pilot from Mazama, gave up an attempt to fly over the North Cascades from western Washington Saturday afternoon, shortly before Leland Bowman and his two passengers were attempting the same trip from the east. “It was socked in along the crest of the Cascades, thick as soup,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick, experienced in the flight across the mountains, typically navigates by the North Cascades Highway, he said. But “the weather was marginal” on his flight back to the Methow Saturday afternoon, and it took him two hours to make a one-hour flight, he said. He and a passenger took off in his single-engine Maule from Lynden, Washington around 1 p.m., and by the time they reached Marblemount “there were no holes, we couldn’t get through,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick flew south, gave up an attempt to fly over Stevens Pass, and ended up crossing the mountains at Snoqualmie Pass “between the layers,” landing in Twisp around 3 p.m., he said. Thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon – about the time Bowman’s Beech 35 dropped off the radar near Omak – “spell trouble for airplanes,” Fitzpatrick said.


An employee at a store in Mazama said paramedics picked up a teenage girl who claimed she was in a plane crash as crews continue to search for a missing plane that carried three members of a family.

The plane departed from Kalispell, Montana, and was expected to land at Lynden Airport around 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The three family members on board included the pilot Leland Bowman, 62, his wife Sharon, 63, both from Montana, and their step-grandchild Autumn Veatch, 16, of Bellingham.

Henry Clay Tennis, an employee at Mazama Store in Okanogan County, said a girl was brought in Monday afternoon and said she had been in a plane crash. Tennis said paramedics put her on a stretcher and took her to the hospital.

The Okanagan Sheriff’s Department could not immediately be reached Monday afternoon.

The missing plane is a 1949 Beech A35 aircraft registered to Lee Bowman. It crossed into Washington around 2:21 p.m. Saturday and dropped off radar near Omak at 3:21 p.m. The last signal from an occupant’s cellphone was detected near Omak at 3:49 p.m., said the Department of Transportation.

Authorities were contacted late Saturday night by concerned family members and the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Transportation said.

The first search plane launched at 6 a.m. Sunday and continued until 8:30 p.m. Poor weather delayed the search Monday morning, but search planes were expected to be on scene by noon, Jerwa said.

Aerial crews have centered their search on an area near Rainy Pass and the unincorporated town of Mazama, said Civil Air Patrol spokesman Jessica Jerwa. The plane is described as a white and red Beech 35 aircraft.

There was no indication from the pilot that there had been any issues on the flight, Jerwa said. As of Monday morning, no emergency signals had been detected from the plane.

Five planes will be used for the search. Ground search crews may be sent if a targeted location is determined, according to the Department of Transportation.

The Civil Air Patrol, Washington Air Search and Rescue and the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center are assisting the Department of Transportation with the search. An incident command center has been set up in Bellingham, near the airport.


BELLINGHAM, Wash. — The search resumed Monday morning for the small private plane that departed Kalispell Saturday and remains missing with three passengers onboard, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. 

Aircraft resumed the search in a rugged, mountainous area south of Mount Baker and northeast of Seattle.  The plane was carrying Leland Bowman, 62, and Sharon Bowman, 63, both of Marion, and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veatch, 16, of Bellingham, Washington.

The plane left Kalispell and the last cell phone signal that authorities tracked was just before 4 p.m. Pacific Time, about three hours after the plane took off, according to Washington officials. The plane never landed in its destination that night in Lynden, Washington.

Air crews on Sunday searched the area listening for emergency locator beacon signals as well as conducting visual searches. Emergency beacons are required on all planes. Ground search crews are on standby and will be sent in if something is detected from the air.

The first day’s search ended Sunday at about 8 p.m. due to lack of light. Aerial searches resumed at 8 a.m.

Initial report: Sunday, 8 p.m.

Crews are searching for a small, private plane that didn’t reach its destination in Lynden, Washington, on Saturday, the Washington State Department of Transportation said.

The plane carrying three people, including the pilot, left western Montana about 4 p.m. Saturday and was due in Lynden around 7 p.m. Those on the plane were identified by the Department of Transportation as Leland Bowman, 62, and Sharon Bowman, 63, both of Marion, Montana, and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veatch, 16, of Bellingham, Washington.

The last phone signal from one of the plane’s occupants was detected around 11 p.m. in an area near Omak, Washington. State officials say the search is centered south of Mount Maker.

The plane is described as a white and red Beech 35 aircraft.

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue are assisting Department of Transportation Aviation Emergency Services with the search.

OLYMPA, WA -    The search for a small plane that left the Flathead over the weekend but never made it to its final destination has resumed.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reports the search for plane owner and pilot Leland Bowman, 62, and his wife Sharon, 63 of Marion and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veatch, 16, of Bellingham, Washington was suspended on Sunday evening.

The plane aircraft left Kalispel on Saturday and the last cell phone signal tracked was just before 4 p.m. Pacific Time, about three hours after the plane took off. The aircraft is described as a white and red Beech 35 aircraft.

The cell signals are helping to develop search areas, according to a news release. The search is centering south of Mount Baker, along the intended flight plan. 

Air crews searched the area listening for emergency locator beacon signals as well as conducting visual searches and ground search crews are on standby and will be sent in if something is detected from the air.

The first search planes left Spokane at 6 a.m. Sunday, followed by others from western Washington at 9 a.m. Law enforcement also checked all airports along the flight plan early Sunday morning, but did not locate the plane.

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue as well as the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center are assisting WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services with the search. An incident command has been set up in Bellingham, near the airport.

(original story)

Authorities in Washington state are searching for a small plane that never reached its destination on Saturday.

The people onboard the overdue plan have been identified by family as Leland Bowman, 62, and Sharon Bowman, 63 both of Marion and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veach, 16, of Bellingham, Washington. 

The Washington State Department of Transportation reports the private plane left from Flathead County on Saturday afternoon and was due in Lynden, Washington at 7 p.m. (PST).

When the plane did not arrive, the Federal Aviation Administration and family members notified authorities.

The last cell phone signal from one of the plane’s occupants was detected at about 11:30 p.m. in an area near Omak. The search is centering south of Mount Baker, along the intended flight plan. The plane is described as a white and red Beech 35 aircraft.

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue as well as the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center are assisting WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services with the search. An incident command has been set up in Bellingham, near the airport.