Monday, July 20, 2015

Merrimac, Massachusetts: Monday plane crash report appears unfounded

Chief Eric M. Shears reports that the Merrimac Police Department, in conjunction with the Merrimac Fire Department, Amesbury Police and Fire, and the Massachusetts State Police conducted a thorough search of wooded areas off I-495 Monday after a motorist called 911 to report a small plane had crashed. At this time, the report appears to be unfounded, and officials believe that the motorist actually saw a remote controlled model airplane at the time.

On July 20 around 3:10 p.m., police received a 911 call from a woman who stated that as she was heading south on I-495, between exits 53 and 54, she observed an airplane “fall from the sky into the woods.”

Police responded to the area between Broad Street in Merrimac to Pond Hill Road in Amesbury and Route 110. The Amesbury Police and Fire Departments were notified of the search, and the State Police Air Wing also called in to aid the investigation.

An Amesbury Fire official reported that several days earlier he had observed a remote controlled plane that matched the description of the one called in by the motorist in the same area. After searching all plausible areas on the ground, Chief Shears called off the State Police Air Wing, deeming the incident unfounded pending further information. Merrimac Police also received no reports of any aircraft missing from airports in the area.

“This was a concerted effort between multiple agencies,” Chief Shears said. “The reporting party did the right thing by notifying police. We always encourage residents to call 911 if they feel there’s an emergency.”

Source:   http://northofboston.wickedlocal.com

Albany-Dougherty Aviation Board members verbally clash at meeting • Newspaper article angers aviation commissioner, who challenges fellow board members

Heated words were exchanged among board members at the end of the Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission meeting at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Monday evening. Shown at the meeting are board members, from left, Dr. William Mayher, Dr. Charles Gillespie, Keith Fletcher and Elizabeth Knowles, the assistant to Transportation Director David Hamilton.



ALBANY — Members of the Albany-Dougherty Aviation Commission exchanged heated words Monday evening during the board’s monthly meeting at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport over an article that appeared Sunday in The Albany Herald.

Board member Sanford Hillsman called comments made by Chairman Dr. Bill Mayher and board member Dr. Charles Gillespie “reprehensible,” telling the pair of retired physicians, “I think what you did sucks.”

In a story about the future of the airport, Mayher and Gillespie expressed concern that David Hamilton, who had served as director of the city’s Transit Authority until then-interim City Manager Tom Berry named Hamilton transportation director and placed him in charge of both Transit and the airport, had been given too much responsibility for one person. They called for the hiring of a dedicated airport director.

Berry’s promotion of Hamilton came in the wake of former Airport Director Yvette Aehle’s decision to leave the Albany airport to take another position.

“I want to make this clear: I respect David Hamilton and believe him to be a capable and hard-working individual,” Mayher said in the Herald article. “But I believe (Berry) put him in a no-win situation when he put David in charge of the airport and Transit. That’s just too much for one person to do well.”

Taken aback by Hillsman’s outburst at the end of Monday’s Aviation Commission meeting, Gillespie said, “I’ve worked with David for 11 years now. I have the utmost respect for him.”

Hillsman shot back, “If you had the utmost respect for him, you wouldn’t have put that crap in the newspaper.”

When Hillsman made disparaging remarks about Aehle, saying she had proved incapable of fulfilling her duties as airport director, Gillespie said, “Do you want to go outside? You seem confrontational. Do you want to go outside?”

Hillsman replied, “You don’t want to go outside with me, Gillespie.”

The outburst came after a meeting in which board member Dr. Frank Middleton described a narrowly averted disaster when a “dead spot” in communications at the airport had two airplanes prepared to take off at opposite ends of the same runway. A traffic controller who had arrived at the airport’s tower 30 minutes earlier than his 8 a.m. shift was scheduled to start saw what was about to take place, and managed to contact the pilots of both planes and cancel their takeoff plans.

“Sometimes something like this proves to be pilot error, but recordings show that both pilots radioed traffic control,” Middleton said. “They couldn’t hear each other because of the dead communications spot at the airport.”

Mayher said the Federal Aviation Administration had been advised of the communications issue, but had responded by saying that “the airport is not busy enough to do anything about it.”

“The solution,” the Aviation Commission chairman said, “is to keep our tower open 24 hours a day.”

Board member Bob Langstaff, who is the Albany City Commission’s representative on the Aviation Board, offered motions to, first, create a paper trail to make sure a report of the potential incident reaches proper authorities, and, second, to have Hamilton research cost of keeping the tower open 24 hours a day and present those findings to the City Commission.

Also at the meeting, Ken Holt with Holt Consulting, which has a contract with the Albany airport, presented the outline of a marketing plan to bring industry to 85.4 acres of not-in-use airport land. Holt said the plan calls for a narrow focus on types of industry to court, getting “into the game” as quickly as possible and knowing the airports with which Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is competing for industrial growth.

Jacob Redwine with Holt told the commission the Georgia Department of Transportation is expected to have more than $20 million in funding for aviation projects during the current fiscal year. Redwine said that projects funding amount was $2 million two years ago and $11 million last year.

Story and photos:  http://www.albanyherald.com


Ken Holt with Holt Consulting Co. outlines an economic development marketing plan for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Monday evening. 


Albany Aviation Commission members Drs. Bill Mayher, left, and Charles Gillespie say the city of Albany must do more to support the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

Cessna U206G Stationair, N734VB: Fatal accident occurred July 19, 2015 in Trapper Creek, Alaska

NTSB Identification: ANC15FA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Trapper Creek, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/14/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N734VB
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The pilot was performing a series of low passes over a group of people at an outdoor wedding reception party. Witnesses observed the airplane fly over the party at near tree-top level traveling between 100 and120 knots. The airplane made two successful passes over the group, and, on the third pass, the airplane entered a right turn and initiated a climb just before impacting the top of a spruce tree. The climb continued briefly before the airplane rolled inverted and descended through the trees to ground impact. 

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Toxicology testing identified likely impairing levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low levels of diazepam in the pilot's blood. However, diazepam and THC levels are known to change after death and may be elevated due to movement of the drugs out of storage sites into blood. Therefore, it was not possible to determine if the pilot was impaired from the effects of THC and/or diazepam at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees while intentionally maneuvering close to the ground.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 19, 2015, about 1915 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna U206G airplane, N734VB, was destroyed after it impacted tree and tundra-covered terrain, following a loss of control while maneuvering at low altitude near Trapper Creek, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) local flight under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed a private airstrip near Curry Ridge, Alaska.

The pilot was performing a series of low passes over an outdoor wedding reception party when the accident occurred.

During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on July 20, a witness reported that while attending the outdoor wedding reception party, he observed the accident airplane fly over the wedding reception party at near tree-top level, traveling between 100-120 knots. He said that the airplane made two successful passes over the group of guests, and on the third pass, the airplane entered a right turn prior to impacting the top of a spruce tree with the main landing gear. The witness noted that after the airplane struck the treetop, he was unable see the airplane descend into the tree and tundra-covered terrain.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on July 22, a second witness reported that he observed the airplane descend over the wedding reception party at near treetop level. He stated that the airplane initiated a climb just before impacting the top of a spruce tree, and the climb continued for about 5 to 6 seconds, before the airplane rolled inverted and subsequently disappeared into the trees.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

The pilot, age 54, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane mutli-engine land, single-engine land rating and instrument airplane. Additionally, he held a flight engineer certificate for a turbo-propeller powered airplane. His most recent third-class medical was issued on January 3, 2013 with no limitations.

No personal flight records were located for the pilot, and the aeronautical experience listed on page 3 of this report was obtained from a review of the airmen Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records on file in the Airman and Medical Records Center located in Oklahoma City. On the pilot's application for medical certificate, dated January 3, 2013 he indicated that his total aeronautical experience was about 2,100 hours, of which 400 were in the previous 6 months.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The six-seat, high-wing, tricycle gear airplane, Cessna U206G, serial number U206048785, was manufactured in 1979. It was powered by a Continental Motors IO-520 series.

No airframe or engine logbooks were discovered for examination. Total time for the engine and airframe are unknown. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The closest weather reporting facility is Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, AK approximately 6 miles east of the accident site. At 1853, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Talkeetna, Alaska, reported in part: wind 310 degrees at 3 knots, visibility, 10 statute miles, clear skies; 71 degrees F; dew point 41 degrees F; altimeter, 30.13 inHG.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The NTSB IIC, along with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspector from Denali Certificate Management Office (CMO), reached the accident site on the morning of July 20. 

All of the airplane's major components were found at the main wreckage site. The wreckage was located in an area of densely populated birch and spruce trees, on its right side at an elevation of about 436 feet mean sea level (MSL). Portions of the fragmented airplane were scattered along a debris path oriented along a magnetic heading of 260 degrees, which measured about 110 feet in length. (All headings/ bearings noted in this report are magnetic).

An area believed to be the initial impact site was marked by a broken treetop, atop an estimated 40-foot tall birch tree. The initial ground scar was discernable by disturbed vegetation. Small wreckage fragments were found near the initial ground scar. The distance between the initial impact point and the initial ground scar was about 65 feet.

The cockpit area separated forward of the main landing gear box and was extensively damaged. The throttle was found in the idle position. The mixture and propeller control were found in the full-forward position. 

The airplane's right wing separated from its forward attach point; remained attached at its rear attach point, but separated about 6 inches inboard of the fuselage structure. A large elliptical impact area was present about ¾ span outboard of the wing with extensive accordion style, leading edge crushing from the elliptical impact area outboard to the tip. The outboard portion of the right wing separated near the elliptical impact area. The wing's flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective attach points but sustained impact damage. 

The airplane's left wing separated from its attach points, and fragmented into three major sections. An elliptical impact area was present approximately ¾ span outboard of the wing with extensive accordion style, leading edge crushing from the elliptical impact area outboard to the tip. The wing's flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective attach points, and were relatively undamaged. 

The aft fuselage and empennage exhibited extensive accordion style crushing. The vertical stabilizer and rudder remained attached to the empennage, and were relatively free of impact damage. 

The left horizontal stabilizer remained attached to the empennage, but exhibited spanwise downward bending about ¾ span outboard to the tip. The left elevator remained attached to its inboard attach point but separated at its outboard attach point, and was fracture about mid-span. 

The right horizontal stabilizer sustained impact damage, but remained attached to the empennage. The right elevator remained attached to its respective attach points, and was relatively free of impact damage.

The engine separated from its engine mounts, came to rest inverted and sustained impact damage to the front and underside. The exhaust tube had malleable bending and folding, producing sharp creases that were not cracked or broken along the creases. 

The propeller and hub remained attached to the engine crankshaft. All three of the propeller blades remained attached to the propeller hub assembly and exhibited aft bending. One of the three propeller blades exhibited slight torsional "S" twisting, and the propeller tip separated from the blade. 

All the primary flight controls were identified at the accident site. Elevator control continuity was established from the control column to the aft elevator bellcrank. Rudder control continuity was established from the rudder torque tube to the rudder bellcrank. Aileron control continuity could not be established at the accident site due to numerous fractures in the system, but all fractures exhibited features consistent with tension overload. 

The wreckage was examined at a private residence, Trapper Creek, AK, on July 22, 2015. In attendance for the examination was the NTSB IIC, along with an air safety investigator from Textron Aviation.

After the wreckage was recovered, aileron control continuity was established in the direct cables, from the control column to the point where the cables fractured with features consistent with tension overload, to the left and right aileron bellcranks. The balance cable remained attached to the right aileron bellcrank, but separated from the left aileron bellcrank and fractured with features consistent with tension overload. The length of the balance cable was consistent with the required length to reach the left aileron bellcrank. 

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A post mortem examination was conducted under the authority of the Alaska State Medical Examiner, Anchorage, Alaska, on July 20, 2015. The pilot's cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt force injuries. Additionally, the autopsy identified severe coronary artery disease in all vessels with maximal narrowing of 75 to 85% in the distal right coronary artery; there was no gross evidence of any scarring of the heart muscle. However, the investigation was unable to determine if pilot impairment or incapacitation resulting from the symptoms from coronary artery disease contributed to the probable cause of the accident. 

The FAA Bioaeronautical Laboratory identified diazepam (0.057 ug/ml) and its active metabolite nordiazepam (0.04 ug/ml) in the pilot's blood. Nordiazepam and other active diazepam metabolites, oxazepam and temazepam, were detected in urine. Additionally, tetrahydrocannabinol was detected in blood (0.0028 ug/ml) and its inactive metabolite tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid was detected in blood (0.0096 ug/ml) and urine (0.1487 ug/ml). 

Diazepam (marketed under the trade name Valium) is a prescription medication used to relieve anxiety, muscle spasms, seizures, and to control agitation caused by alcohol withdrawal. Diazepam may cause reduced concentration, impaired speech patterns and content, and amnesia; some of its effects may last for days. The drug carries a warning about engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness such as driving a motor vehicle when using diazepam. Therapeutic blood concentrations typically range from 0.1-1.0 ug/ml.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana with therapeutic levels as low as 0.001 ug/ml. THC has mood altering effects including euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, sense of well-being, disorientation, image distortion, and psychosis. The ability to concentrate and maintain attention is decreased during marijuana use, and impairment of hand-eye coordination is dose-related over a wide range of dosages. Impairment in retention time and tracking, subjective sleepiness, distortion of time and distance, vigilance, and loss of coordination in divided attention tasks have all been reported. Users may be able to "pull themselves together" to concentrate on simple tasks for brief periods of time. Significant performance impairments are usually observed for at least one to two hours following marijuana use, and residual effects have been reported up to 24 hours.

Diazepam and THC levels are prone to change after death and may be elevated due to movement of the drug out of storage sites into blood. Therefore, although toxicology testing identified likely impairing levels of THC (0.0028 ug/ml) and low levels of diazepam in the pilot's cavity blood after the accident, the investigation was unable to determine if the pilot was impaired from the effects THC or the combined effects of THC and diazepam at or around the time of the accident.

A copy of the NTSB's Medical Officer's Factual Report is available in the public docket for this accident.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Engine 

On July 22, 2015, an engine examination was performed by the NTSB IIC. No anomalies, contamination, or evidence of malfunction was found in any of the engine accessories. The cylinders, pistons, valve train, crankshaft, and other internal components were all without evidence of anomaly or malfunction. 

Both magnetos were removed from the engine and the coupling was rotated by hand. When the coupling was rotated, blue spark was observed on the top ignition leads.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Federal Aviation Regulations

The accident flight was operated under the provisions of Part 91 as a personal flight, and was subject to the part's applicable rules. Section 91.119, states, in part: No person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes: over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, at an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

NTSB Identification: ANC15FA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Trapper Creek, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N734VB
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On July 19, 2015, about 1915 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna U206G airplane, N734VB, was destroyed after it impacted tree and tundra-covered terrain, following a loss of control while maneuvering at low altitude near Trapper Creek, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) local flight under the provisions of Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed a private airstrip near Curry Ridge, Alaska.

During an on-scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on July 20, a witness reported that while attending an outdoor wedding reception party he observed the accident airplane fly over the wedding reception party, at near tree-top level, traveling between 100-120 knots. He said that the airplane made two successful passes over the group of guests, and on the third pass, the airplane entered a right turn prior to impacting the top of a spruce tree with the main landing gear. The witness noted that after the airplane struck the treetop, he was unable see the airplane descend into the tree and tundra-covered terrain.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on July 22, a second witness reported that he observed the airplane descend over the wedding reception party, at near treetop level. He stated that the airplane initiated a climb just before impacting the top of a spruce tree, and the climb continued for about 5 to 6 seconds, before the airplane rolled inverted and subsequently disappeared into the trees. 

The NTSB IIC along with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspector from Denali Certificate Management Office (CMO) reached the accident site on the morning of July 20. The airplane came to rest in an area of densely populated birch and spruce trees, on its right side at an elevation of about 436 feet MSL, on a heading of about 260 degrees. All the primary flight controls were identified at the accident site; control continuity could not be established due to numerous fractures in the system, but all fractures exhibited features consistent with tension overload. 

The closest weather reporting facility is Talkeetna Airport, Talkeetna, AK approximately 6 miles east of the accident site. At 1853, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) at Talkeetna, Alaska, reported in part: wind 310 degrees at 3 knots, visibility, 10 statute miles, clear skies; 71 degrees F; dew point 41 degrees F; altimeter, 30.13 inHG.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

MICHAEL J. ZAGULA: http://registry.faa.gov/N734VB 

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov .




The woods where Zagula’s plane went down





ANCHORAGE - 

Alaska State Troopers have identified a Trapper Creek man who died Sunday evening after his plane struck a tree.

According to an AST dispatch posted Sunday evening, 54-year-old Michael Zagula died in the crash, which was reported to troopers at about 7:10 p.m.

"Troopers and (emergency medical services) personnel responded to the location and determined (Zagula) was deceased due to the crash," troopers wrote. "Initial investigation by troopers indicated Zagula was flying over the area of his daughter's wedding reception and the landing gear from his aircraft, a Cessna U206G, struck a tree and caused the aircraft to crash."

AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in an email to Channel 2 that the crash occurred in the vicinity of Petersville Road in Trapper Creek.

Clint Johnson, the NTSB's chief Alaska investigator, said investigator Brice Banning has been assigned to the crash and is scheduled to depart for the crash site early Monday.


Troopers said Zagula's next of kin were present at the scene. His body will be sent to the state medical examiner's office in Anchorage for an autopsy.

Story and comments:  http://www.ktuu.com

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Grey County's Silent Valley has stories to tell

Ron Savage, director of trails for the Bruce Trail Conservancy's Sydenham Club, stands behind the remains of a Cessna 205 on the Silent Valley Nature Reserve on Saturday July 18, 2015 just north of Bognor, Ont. The plane carrying 4 people from Toronto crashed on September 26, 1970 killing all on board. The wreckage of the plane found scattered over the property has been collected into a memorial. 




You won't find the name on local maps, but a hike at Silent Valley can show why the area has stories enough to inspire a book.

Ron Savage, the trail director for the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club, is so enamoured with the 200-acre swath of land on the east side of Bognor Marsh that he wrote Silent Valley, a 33-page magazine-style book about what Silent Valley Nature Reserve -- the name given to Lot 13, Concession 3 of Sydenham Township by Savage and the Bruce Trail Conservancy -- has to offer for hikers and explorers.

Savage, who's been a trail director for 15 years, has worked tirelessly on keeping the Bruce Trail accessible and beautiful.

"A friend of mine was an avid Bruce Trailer. She told me I should try it out and I fell in love with it," said Savage.

Savage grew up in Durham and worked as a lineman for Bell Canada for most of his life. Even before he retired he developed an interest in Bruce Trail.

Savage wrote the book because, in his opinion, Silent Valley just has a lot to offer.

"It's just got so much. I can take a group of people on this little section of trail and keep them entertained all day," said Savage.

The area was acquired from the Crown in the late 1860s by a family from Scotland, the Wilsons. They erected a couple of cabins and even a barn of cut and layered stone, massive by the standards of the day at 92 by 62 feet. In 1904 the land was sold to the Frizzell family. In 1967, it went from the Frizzells to Hallman Lumber. Finally, in 2013, it was purchased by the Bruce Trail Conservancy.

Parts of the Wilson homestead still stand, including some of the foundation of the old barn and an intact well made of stone.

Another area of interest, a 10-minute hike from the homestead, is the wreckage of an old Cessna 205 that crash landed in the forest on Sept. 26, 1970. The plane, travelling from Toronto to Griffith Island, was caught in weather so severe that it began to come apart in mid air. All four passengers of the plane died in the crash.

Spectacular caves, sculptured boulders and plenty of fossils are just a few of the other things that make the area interesting enough to write a book about.

All proceeds from sales of the book go back to the Bruce Trail Conservancy for further land acquisitions along the Escarpment. The goal of the BTC is to secure the Bruce Trail via donations and land purchases.

About half of land along the trail is made accessible through handshake agreements with private owners and is still vulnerable to development and outside purchasing. The BCT hope to someday preserve all the land for future generations to enjoy and explore.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N962SP, Richmond Pilots Corp: Accident occurred July 19, 2015 at Linden Airport (KLDJ), New Jersey

NTSB Identification: ERA15LA274 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Linden, NJ
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N962SP
Injuries: 4 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 19, 2015, about 1909 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N962SP, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from runway 27 at the Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that after takeoff, the airplane "felt heavy" and he attempted to abort the takeoff and set the airplane back onto the runway. The pilot stated the airplane bounced two or three times before he flew in ground effect to bleed off airspeed. The airplane touched down near the end of the runway and continued into the grass before impacting a fence.

Examination of the wreckage at the scene by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane impacted a fence approximately 200 yards beyond the end of the runway, resulting in substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. The fuel gauges indicated that the fuel tanks contained a total of 46 gallons of fuel. The wing flaps were in the retracted position, and the pilot stated he took off with zero flaps.

The 1915 recorded weather observation at LDJ included wind calm, visibility 10 miles and clear, temperature 81 degrees F, dew point 73 degrees F; barometric altimeter 29.88 inches of mercury.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Teterboro FSDO-25

RICHMOND PILOTS CORP: http://registry.faa.gov/N962SP




LINDEN, NJ - A single engine plane lost power and crashed into a fence at the end of the runway during take off from Linden Airport Sunday evening.

According to police at the scene, all four occupants on board walked away from the crash and refused medical attention.   

The plane came to a rest against the fence bordering Routes 1 & 9, just feet from the northbound traffic.

 TAP into was on scene moments after the crash and the occupants refused to comment on the accident.

 We will follow up as more information is obtained.







LINDEN — A small plane crash-landed against a fence after aborting a takeoff at the Linden Airport Sunday evening, according to police and witnesses.

The airport director said it was a private flight, and it's not known why the takeoff had to be called off.

"There were no injuries, just some bent tin," Paul Dudley said. 

Dudley said about 50,000 flights come in and out of the airport every year, and this sort of thing — though it was relatively minor — hasn't happened in years. 

A photograph on Instagram showed the propeller plane on a small hill near the front sign for the airport. 

"There's a saying in aviation: if the brakes don't stop you, the fence will help you," Dudley said. 

Mark Tripodi said he was driving up Route 1 north when he saw the plane bouncing off the runway, going way too fast. He's not sure if the plane was failing to take off or failing to land, but it skidded off the runway and hit a fence along Route 1, spun around, and came to a stop. 

"Luckily, the fence was there, because it could have been disastrous," said Tripodi, whose family got out to make sure everyone was OK. Two adults, a teenager and a child were in the plane, Tripodi said, and they all walked away. 

Police said they were in the early stages of responding to the incident, which was reported before 7 p.m. 

Source:  http://www.nj.com








LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A small, single-engine plane crash-landed near Route 1/9 in Linden, New Jersey Sunday evening. 

 The plane tried to take off from Linden Airport just before 7 p.m. and instead hit a fence near the highway, WCBS 880’s Tom Kaminski reported.

No injures were reported.

Source: http://newyork.cbslocal.com















Alon A-2 Aircoupe, N5607F: Accident occurred July 19, 2015 near Park Township Airport (KHLM), Ottawa County, Michigan

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA332
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/05/2016
Aircraft: ALON A2, registration: N5607F
Injuries: 1 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 he visually checked the airplane’s fuel tanks before departure but that he did not measure the amount of fuel. He added that the fuel flow meter showed that the airplane had 9.7 gallons of fuel at takeoff. After takeoff, the pilot flew to a city about 70 miles away, took some photographs over another city, and then conducted a touch-and-go at another airport. Shortly after, he turned the airplane north, and, about 30 seconds later, the engine lost power and then “quit.” During the subsequent forced landing on a beach, the engine sustained damage, and the fuselage and right wing spar sustained substantial damage. 

An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed no apparent fuel spills, leaks, or stains nor were any found in the hangar after the airplane was recovered. Due to the damage, the engine could not be test run. When examined, the gascolator was found nearly filled with fuel; the total recovered fuel on board was estimated to be about 1/2 gallon. It is likely that most of the fuel was used during the flight and that the small amount of fuel remaining was not sufficient to reach the engine while the airplane was turning, which led to the engine losing power. Given the lack of fuel, the pilot likely did not conduct adequate preflight fuel planning to ensure that there was sufficient fuel for the flight and that required reserves (30 minutes) for visual flight rules flight remained.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning.

On July 19, 2015, about 1905 eastern daylight time, an Alon A2 single-engine airplane, N5607F, impacted soft terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Holland, Michigan. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the West Michigan Regional Airport (BIV), near Holland, Michigan, about 1900, and was destined for the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark (3GM), near Grand Haven, Michigan.

The pilot indicated that he visually checked the airplane's fuel tanks before departure but that he did not measure the amount of fuel. According to his accident report, the airplane had 9.7 gallons of fuel at its last takeoff. He reported that he flew south from Grand Haven, Michigan, to St. Joseph, Michigan (which was 70 miles away), then turned north to take photographs over Fenville, Michigan. He proceeded to BIV and conducted a touch-and-go-landing. After taking off from BIV, he turned the airplane from a west heading to a north heading to return to 3GM. After completing the turn, the airplane lost engine power, and the engine "quit" about 30 seconds later. He said that there was low-level turbulence during the flight. He performed a forced landing on a beach where the airplane came to an abrupt stop when the nose landing gear contacted the soft sand. The airplane sustained engine damage and substantial fuselage and right wing spar damage.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage on scene. The inspector indicated that there were no apparent fuel spills, leaks, or stains at the beach site, nor in the hangar where the airplane was recovered. The gascolator was nearly filled with fuel before being drained to ascertain the total fuel on board. The amount of recovered fuel was estimated to be about 1/2 gallon.

The type certificate data sheet for the accident airplane indicated that it had a fuel capacity of 24 gallons of fuel and it did not list an unusable amount of fuel for the airplane's fuel system.

At 1855, the recorded weather at the Muskegon County Airport, near Muskegon, Michigan, was: Wind 310 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 5,500, broken clouds at 21,000; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA332 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Holland, MI
Aircraft: ALON A2, registration: N5607F
Injuries: 1 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 19, 2015, about 1905 eastern daylight time, an Alon A2 airplane, N5607F, impacted soft terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Holland, Michigan. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial firewall damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual flight rules conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the West Michigan Regional Airport, near Holland, Michigan, about 1900, and was destined for the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark, near Grand Haven, Michigan.

At 1855, the recorded weather at the Muskegon County Airport, near Muskegon, Michigan, was: Wind 310 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 5,500, broken clouds at 21,000; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Grand Rapids FSDO-09

STEVEN S. STAM: http://registry.faa.gov/N5607F 


PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — It had been an uneventful flight for 20-year pilot Steve Stam.

Sunday afternoon, the 66-year-old flew his single-engine 1966 Alon A2 Aircoupe south along the shore of Lake Michigan, did a few touch-and-goes at West Michigan Regional Airport in Holland and then climbed back up into the sky. He turned north to fly back along the lakeshore to Grand Haven.

He was near Holland State Park when he ran into trouble.

“The engine quit,” Stam recounted to 24 Hour News 8 on Monday. “Sputtered, then quit.”

Stam had a multitude of problems to deal with, including keeping the plane in the sky for as long as possible and not hitting anything on the ground when the inevitable happened.

“I certainly didn’t want to land in the state park or slam into the channel or something like that,” he said. “You’ve got very limited options when you’re in a glide mode. You can’t do any fancy turns or anything like that.”

With no power, Stam put the nose of the plane down to maintain some speed and looked for landing options.

“At least for me — but I think for most pilots, especially for private, general aviation pilots — as you fly along the countryside, you’re always looking for a place to put down,” He said. “That’s the way I was taught. What happens if your engine quits? You’re always looking, which way do I go?”

As he glided over Holland State Park, Stam found his landing target: A dune north of the park near Spyglass Condominiums.

“The beach was full of people, and the condos are here, and so that left the beach grass to put it down,” he said.

That’s exactly what he did. It wasn’t smooth. It wasn’t pretty. The landing gear bit into the sand, putting the aircraft’s nose in the ground and sending Stam into the windshield.

Story and video:  http://woodtv.com






NTSB Identification: CEN09CA568
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 02, 2009 in Holland, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2009
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA-1C, registration: N9649U
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot stated that he touched down a little early on the 2,998-foot-long runway, and the airplane began to porpoise. He stated that he attempted a go-around but had insufficient airspeed to maintain control of the airplane. The airplane veered to the left of the runway where it settled into an area of trees and brush.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during the landing and subsequent go-around.

Steven Stam, center, the pilot of a plane that crashed at Park Township Airport, talks with an Ottawa County Sheriff's deputy and the airport manager.

The 1977 Grumman American Lynx that crashed in Park Township.



We now know the name of the pilot involved in a plane crash this afternoon at the Park Township Airport on Ottawa Beach Road just west of Holland.  Ottawa County Deputies say 61 year old Steven Stam was not hurt in the accident. He was the only person on board when the 1977 single-engine plane crashed into some trees near the runway. 

Stam told investigators that he landed hard and bounced several times before losing control of the plane. It was heavily damaged in the crash.  Worries about dying never crossed pilot Steven Stam's mind when he crashed his plane off the Park Township runway Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't think I was ever scared that it was going to do me in. But I thought it might leave a mark," he said, able to laugh a little after escaping essentially unscathed.

Stam was practicing landings and takeoffs in the 1977 Grumman American Lynx he bought two months ago in South Carolina when the plane began to bounce during a landing. He tried to abort the landing by taking off again, but ended up losing control and the plane spun off the north side of runway into a tree line.

The propeller and a wing were damaged in the 2:02 p.m. crash, but the plane remained upright and Stam was able to walk away. Police said he sustained a minor abrasion from his harness.

The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the crash. The small airport is at the corner of Ottawa Beach Road and 152nd Avenue.

Stam acknowledged some tense moments during the landing. The bouncing, also called porpoising, was getting worse as he tried to slow the plane and "I didn't think the air frame could take one more slam."

So he gave the plane throttle, hoping to lift again. Instead, he lost control of the plane.

Stam, 62, of Park Township, said he has been flying more than 10 years, but the Grumman is the first craft he has owned. The plane may be more difficult to land than other models, such as a Cessna, he said.

"These things aren't quite as forgiving," he said.

He believed the plane could be repaired and thought the Federal Aviation Administration would classify the mishap as an "incident" rather than a crash.

Ottawa County sheriff's Sgt. Ed DeVries said police were looking at whether the plane's wing hit the ground, causing it to spin off the runway.

Brad Groenhof, who was remodeling an airport hangar with his father and another worker, saw the plane go into the trees.

"The wing grazed the ground and it turned the plane completely around and into the tree line," he said.

The trio then drove a car to the plane to help Stam.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, N8740E: Accident occurred July 19, 2015 near Henderson Executive Airport (KHND), Clark County, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada 
Piper Aircraft Inc; Chino Hills, California 
Lycoming Engines; Phoenix, 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/N8740E 

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA217
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-181, registration: N8740E
Injuries: 4 Serious.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On July 19, 2015, about 1320 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N8740E, collided with terrain minutes after departing Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. The private pilot and three passengers were seriously injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a postaccident fire. The airplane was registered to the private pilot, and operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Las Vegas about 1330, and was destined for San Diego, California.

The pilot reported that the takeoff seemed normal, but once airborne the airplane's climb was "sluggish" and the engine's rpm's at 200-300 rpm lower than normal. He was able to maintain straight and level flight about 300 feet above ground level (agl). When the pilot made a left-hand turn in an attempt to return to the airport, the airplane immediately began to lose altitude. The pilot selected a landing site, and executed a forced landing into an open area associated with a construction site. During the landing sequence into uneven terrain, the landing gear was torn off, and the airplane caught fire. As soon as the airplane came to rest, the front passenger door was opened and the occupants evacuated the airplane. The airplane was consumed by the postaccident fire.

The tower controller at Henderson Airport reported that the airplane appeared to not be climbing normally after takeoff, and he cleared the pilot to make any maneuvers necessary to return to the airport if he desired. A witness reported that he observed the airplane takeoff and struggle to gain altitude; it then made a left turn followed by a steep bank turn and crashed. The airplane crashed into an open construction site and the occupants egressed the airplane before it was completely engulfed in fire.

The airplane's official weight and balance record was contained in the airplanes maintenance records. Using information from a PA-28-181 Pilot's Operating Handbook, the following was used to estimate expected airplane performance. The pilot reported having 30 gallons (180 lbs) of fuel onboard at the time of takeoff, and the estimated combined weight of all the occupants was 770 lbs. The empty weight of the airplane was 1502.5 lbs. and the listed maximum gross weight is 2,550 lbs. The calculated weight of the airplane at takeoff was 2,452.5 lbs. The airport elevation is 2,492 ft mean sea level (msl), the temperature was 33 C, and the pressure altitude was 30.10 inHg. The calculated density altitude for those conditions was 5,014 ft. Utilizing the climb performance chart for a PA-28-181 for these conditions resulted in an expected rate-of-climb of 520 feet per minute.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was performed on February 25, 2015, at a total airframe time of 4,040 hours. The mechanic who performed the annual inspection stipulated in the airframe logbook that the carburetor heat control bracket required repair, and that the number 2 navigation radio head required a placard indicating the radio was inoperative. Once those repairs had been made by an A&P mechanic then the entry stated, "this aircraft will be airworthy & ok for return to service." The A&P mechanic who performed the annual inspection stated to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he did perform the engine static rpm check as part of the annual inspection, during which he noticed that the rpm was 10% to 20% below normal. He attributed that reduction in rpm to the loose carburetor heat door which could allow the carb heat to be in an unknown position. Maintenance records obtained from First Flight Corp, San Diego, CA, documented that the carburetor heat bracket was repaired on March 5, 2015.

The engine, a Lycoming O-360-A4A, capable of producing 180-hp, was overhauled on October 6, 1986, and had accumulated 1,461 hours since the overhaul. The airplane and engine had accumulated a total of approximately 150.4 hours over the 10 years preceding the accident.

On July 23, 2015, the engine was examined by a technical representative of Lycoming under the oversight of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. During the examination, the top spark plugs were removed, examined, and photographed. The crankshaft was rotated by hand utilizing the propeller. The crankshaft was free and easy to rotate in both directions. "Thumb" compression was observed in proper order on all four cylinders. The complete valve train was observed to operate in proper order. Clean, uncontaminated oil was observed at all four rocker box areas. Investigators noted that each of the intake valve rockers exhibited limited movement estimated to be about 50% less than normal. The intake valves of opposing cylinders share a common cam lobe. To facilitate further internal examination, holes were drilled through the top of the engine case material in-line with the rotational plane of each connecting rod. A lighted borescope was inserted to visualize each of the cam lobes at the respective cylinder position. Visual examination confirmed signatures of excessive wear on the intake cam lobes. Mechanical continuity was established throughout the rotating group, valve train and accessory section during hand rotation of the crankshaft. The bottom spark plugs were not removed. The combustion chamber of each cylinder was examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The valves were intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of valve to piston face contact observed.

The left and right magnetos remained securely clamped at their respective mounting pads and had been thermally damaged due to the effects of the post impact ground fire. The ignition harness was secure at each magneto. The magnetos were removed for examination. The magnetos sustained varying degrees of thermal damage that rendered the unit inoperative and therefore, could not be functionally tested. Magneto to engine timing could not be ascertained.

There was no oil residue observed in the exhaust system gas path. There was significant ductile bending of the exhaust system components. The exhaust system was found free of obstructions.

A subsequent teardown examination of the engine was conducted September 01, 2015, under the oversight of the NTSB investigator-in-charge. The engine was completely disassembled. The cylinder(s) combustion chambers and barrels remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation. The valves were intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of valve to piston face contact observed. The pistons were intact. The ring assemblies at each piston were intact and free to rotate within their respective ring land. Mechanical continuity of the rotating group and internal mechanisms were established visually during the disassembly and examination of the engine. The accessory gears including the crankshaft gear, bolt and dowel were intact and remained undamaged by any pre-impact malfunction. There was no evidence of lubrication depravation found. The crankshaft and attached connecting rods remained free of heat distress. The valve tappet faces exhibited significant spalling damage.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin SB301B, dated February 18, 1977 provides guidance for maintenance procedures and service limitations for valves. In particular Paragraph 1,(b) states "Rotate the engine by hand and check to determine that all cylinders have normal lift and that rockers arms operate normally" a 400 hour inspection interval. The logbooks did not contain any record of a camshaft lobe inspection, camshaft replacement or compliance with this SB.

According to Lycoming Engines Service Instruction SI1009AW "Recommended Time Between Overhaul Periods" the subject engine should be overhauled at 2,000 hour intervals or before the twelfth year, whichever occurs first.


Lycoming Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin SB480E provides guidance when inspecting oil system screens and filters for contamination during inspection cycles.

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA217
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-181, registration: N8740E
Injuries: 4 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 19, 2015, about 1330 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N8740E, impacted terrain minutes after departing Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada. The private pilot and three passengers were seriously injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post accident fire. The airplane was registered to the pilot, and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from Las Vegas about 1330, and was destined for San Diego, California.

The controller at Henderson tower reported that the airplane appeared to not be climbing normally after takeoff, and he cleared the pilot to make any maneuvers necessary to return to the airport if he desired. A witness reported that he observed the airplane takeoff and struggle to gain altitude; it then made a left turn followed by a steep bank turn and crashed. The airplane crashed into a open construction site and the occupants egressed the airplane before it was completely engulfed in fire.

Andrew Brown


BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham man who is in critical condition after a plane crash in Henderson, Nevada hopes to be transferred back to Birmingham by the end of the week.

Andrew Brown, 33, was one of four people on board the plane that crashed on July 19. He says 30 percent of his body is burned.

Brown is being treated at UMC in Las Vegas.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says the plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

Brown said he has flown numerous times in all kinds of planes and felt something was wrong as soon as they took off. He said the pilot did everything to make sure all four passengers had a soft landing. But once they hit the ground, they knew the struggle would be getting out of the aircraft safely.

"I think the scariest part is when you open the door and there's nothing but fire there and there's only one way out and that was through the flames. Me and the guy in the backseat just, it was either stay in the plane and blow up or run through the fire. We ran through the fire," Brown said.

All four people in the plane survived but every one sustained injuries.

Brown helps run a family business in Columbiana: Brown Lumber and Supply, Inc.
     
 

HENDERSON, Nev. - Two people were critically hurt and two others suffered minor injuries when a small plane headed to Southern California crashed near Henderson Executive Airport Sunday outside Las Vegas. 


Authorities say the Piper PA-28-181 Archer II plane crashed around 1:20 p.m. Sunday about 3 miles south of the airport. Clark County Department of Aviation spokesman Paul Bobson says a fire ignited after the crash, and the plane is a total loss. Witnesses said four men got away from the plane before it fully burst into flames.


City spokeswoman Kathleen Richards says all four occupants were transported to the hospital. Two had critical burns. The other two had injuries that were not life-threatening.


According to KTNV, three of the four occupants aboard were members of the Navy heading back to Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego following a private trip. The plane was registered out of Virginia, KTNV reported.


John Degatano shot video of the plane crash after he saw the smoke nearby and rushed to the scene. He initially went to the plane thinking someone was still trapped inside and didn't start recording until he realized the people were well away from the wreckage.


"I tried to go back and forth to all four of them and wipe them down, wet them down," he told KTNV. "That was all I could do."


Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says it was not clear what caused the crash. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.















A FOX5 viewer shared this picture of the burning wreckage of an airplane after it crashed near Henderson on July 19, 2015.



HENDERSON, Nev. – Columbiana business owner Andrew Brown was one of four people injured in a small plane crash near Henderson, Nev., on July 19. 

“Preliminary reports are two are critically burned, and the other two are burned,” Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley said on the morning of July 20. “No one was killed in the accident.”

Handley said burns cover about 30 percent of Brown’s body, according to his father, Andy Brown, who flew out to Nevada on July 19 to be with his son.

“They’ve got him sedated somewhat and resting,” Handley said. “He’ll require some care.”

Andrew and Andy Brown operate Brown Lumber and Building Supply in Columbiana.

The plane, a single-engine Piper PA 28 crashed under unknown circumstances at about 1:20 p.m. after departing from Henderson Executive Airport, according to Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane caught fire after crashing with four people on board, Gregor wrote in a July 20 email.

“FAA investigators on Sunday were at the crash site, which is about three miles south of the airport,” Gregor wrote. “The FAA and NTSB will investigate.”

Smiley Fortner, store manager at Brown Lumber, said Andrew Brown was “doing OK” as of the afternoon of July 20 and could be back at home by the weekend.

“He’s definitely got a long road ahead of him recovering from the burns,” Fortner said. “We’re just thankful he’s alive. Not many people walk away from a plane crash.”

Fortner said numerous people had called the store to express concern and well wishes for Brown.

“We appreciate the community support,” Fortner said. “We’re awful thankful for the community. We just appreciate everybody’s calls and well wishes.”

- See more at: http://www.shelbycountyreporter.com

Three of the four men injured in a small plane crash near Henderson Executive Airport Sunday are active-duty military — a Navy SEAL and two sailors assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, Calif., the Navy said Monday.  The servicemen, whose names have not yet been released, are in serious but stable condition at University Medical Center, the Navy said.

"They were on a private aircraft on a personal trip that they were returning from. All were in a liberty status," Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton said by telephone from Coronado, which is home to several SEAL teams and other components of the Navy‘s special operations forces.  Walton said a fourth man in the single-engine Piper Cherokee is a civilian. Witnesses said the plane was on fire when it crashed in the desert three miles southeast of Anthem, near the Inspirada community, after departing from Henderson Executive Airport at about 1:20 p.m. Sunday. The men were able to escape the wreck about 90 seconds before it exploded.


The registered owner of the airplane, Jody Lee Stuckey, 31, of Chula Vista, Calif., on Monday was listed as a patient in the University Medical Center burn unit, though no information about his condition was available Monday.   Walton wouldn‘t identify the servicemen, but according to media reports Stuckey completed basic training at the Navy‘s Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. in 2013.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators on Sunday had the wreckage hauled to "a secure place," at the Henderson airport, said Aviation Safety Investigator Van McKenny.  Determining the cause of the crash could take as long as a year, he said.  McKenny said he doesn‘t know who was at the controls of the airplane when it went down.


Eye witness Carmine Buonanno said the plane had trouble gaining altitude after takeoff. He looked away momentarily and then saw the plane‘s tail upright, the fuselage heading toward the ground. He said he rushed to the crash site and saw passengers emerge from the wreckage. About a minute later, he said, the plane exploded.   "They missed death by about a minute and a half."  Another witness who responded said he gave first aid to the men, treating two who suffered burns by pouring water on them and covering them with a wet T-shirt.


Four people were taken to the hospital after their plane crashed in the southeast valley, officials say.  The aircraft went down after catching fire at 1:20 Sunday afternoon, in a desert area about three miles southeast of Anthem, near the Inspirada community, after departing from the Henderson Executive Airport, city spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said.


It was bound for Southern California, Department of Aviation spokesman Paul Bobson said. All four passengers were transported to University Medical Center, Richards said. Two of them suffered critical burns, and two have nonlife-threatening injuries.  The plane, a fixed-wing single engine Piper, was registered to Jody Stockey, according to the FAA. The plane registration lists an address in Virginia City, Va., but Stuckey‘s FAA pilot certification lists an address in San Diego.

In 2013, news media in Illinois reported that Stuckey completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.   Carmine Buonanno, who works at the model homes nearby, said he saw the whole thing.   From the beginning, the plane had trouble getting altitude, he said. "It looked like it was a hundred years old."   The FAA registration lists the plane as being manufactured in 1976.


After looking away for five seconds, Buonanno says he turned to the sky and saw the tail of the plane up in the air before it ultimately hit the ground.   Buonanno immediately headed toward the crash, he said. Four people, he described as males in their mid-to-late twenties, emerged from the wreckage and were "walking hard" away from the scene.

About a minute later, he heard the plane explode and saw a plume of black smoke from what he estimated to be 75 to 100 yards away.   "They missed death by about a minute and a half," he said. Another witness, who identified himself only as "John," said he did not see the plane crash, but noticed the smoke right away.  After hearing it was a downed plane, he said he drove as close as he could to the crash without hesitation, then ran the remainder of the distance to the four male passengers.


"All I thought about was helping them."   John described the condition of the passengers, "their skin was melting off them," he said, prompting him to cool the men with his wet t-shirt and by pouring water on them.    "One kid was shouting he was on fire," he said.   The identities of the passengers have not been released.   The FAA and NTSB are investigating, and the cause of the crash has not been determined, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor wrote in an email.