Saturday, July 18, 2015

Accident occurred July 18, 2015 in Middle River, New Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Norman Overdijk is shown playing poker in a photo provided by He died in an ultra-light plane crash Saturday in Cape Breton.

BADDECK — Norman Overdijk of Middle River, Victoria County, is being mourned by professional and amateur poker players across Canada as a man with an oversized love of life who died the way he lived — hard driving and straight ahead.

Overdijk, 54, died on Saturday when his ultralight aircraft failed to lift on takeoff and struck a rural mailbox before plowing into the side of a barn on his neighbour’s property about 25 kilometres northwest of Baddeck.

A 26-year-old passenger was injured in the crash and taken by air ambulance to Halifax.

Stewart MacLeod of Rear Big Hill, a small rural community about 20 kilometres northeast of Baddeck, said living life large the way Overdijk did is just like poker. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.

“He played poker the way he died — rough and ready — and sometimes you get away with it for a while,” said MacLeod, who occasionally played poker at local games with Overdijk.

“He was the same away from the table as he was at it. Every- thing was full speed ahead.

“Norm played hard and he played with a beer in his hand, and that’s the hardest thing to beat at a card table. There’s a style of poker playing at tournaments where you get a whole bunch of chips early, or else you’re going to lose. And Norm played that style.

“It’s a braver game than those of us who sit back and wait till we know we’re going to win. Norm’s style was he couldn’t sit around waiting. It was all you can eat.”

In a 2011 interview with, Overdijk was lauded for amassing hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings over several years and earning the title of points champion for the year in tournaments across the country.

He was also described as an adrenalin junkie who rode a Harley Davidson, flew an ultralight and was fond of skydiving.

In the article, Overdijk said he had only recently started playing tourney-style poker, which he learned at a neighbour’s house in Big Baddeck. He also played online for a while to get used to different styles.

Overdijk also said he enjoyed meeting people and playing competitively.

“I enjoy that I can walk into poker rooms around the country and have the friends I have made come up, shake my hand and congratulate me on my latest results,” Overdijk said. “I also really like that on the wall at the Atlantic Lottery office is a wall-size picture of me with my hands in the air after my 3rd (place finish) in their event.”

Asked about his aggressive strategy, Overdijk said he was “not a spectator, and I’ll play it for no other reason than for the love of the game.”

Danny Noseworthy, a poker pro from St. John’s, N.L., said he first met Overdijk last year at the Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“I’m sitting by this big, huge dude and he’s got the backwards hat and glasses,” he said. “Looks like he’s six-foot-four, like he’s in a biker gang almost, and you’d think he’d be like an intimidating guy.

“All of a sudden this guy is pounding beers and getting along with the table. I guess we just clicked.”

Noseworthy said he didn’t know Overdijk well, but he enjoyed playing against him.

“Not very often in the poker world do you get to meet characters anymore,” said Noseworthy.

“Some people just take it too serious. I’m very serious … but still, if you meet good people at the table, why not enjoy life? It’s just too short to not converse with people and get to know people.”

Several neighbours in Middle River said it wasn’t uncommon to see Overdijk and his rainbow-coloured ultralight flying over the area.

They also said he had crashed his plane a number of times previously.

MacLeod said Overdijk’s most recent crash hurt him, but it didn’t stop him from climbing back into the cockpit.

“The last time … he got up 80 feet and crashed,” MacLeod said. “He had problems after that. He had a lot of pain after that.

“But you don’t fall 80 feet and not get hurt. It probably would have killed a lot of other people, but he was a big, powerful man.”

In 2003, Overdijk received a three-year prison sentence for trafficking in marijuana after a Canadawide police operation involving the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

However, he didn’t seem to have any trouble with the law since then.

Neighbours and poker players said Overdijk’s death was simply the tragic outcome of his zest for life.

“He lived his life the way he wanted to and you’ve got to respect that,“ MacLeod said. “He lived his life on the edge and he knew what happened on the edge.“

Noseworthy agreed. “At least it’s cool that he died doing something that he loved,” he said.

RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board continued to probe the crash on Monday but had nothing new to report.


A 54-year-old man is dead and a 26-year-old is in a Halifax hospital after their ultra-light plane crashed into this barn. 

A 54-year-old man from Middle River, Victoria County, died and a 26-year-old man from the area was airlifted to hospital after an ultralight aircraft crashed into a barn on Saturday.

The scene was cleared by Sunday morning but RCMP are continuing to investigate and the Transportation Safety Board will be participating, RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Angela Corscadden said.

Victoria County RCMP, Emergency Health Services and the Middle River Fire Department received a call just before 7 p.m. on Saturday that an ultralight plane had crashed near West Side Middle River Rd. in a rural area just off the Cabot Trail.

Corscadden said the 54-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene while the 26-year-old man received life-threatening injuries and was transported to Halifax by LifeFlight.

RCMP did not have an update on the young man's condition Sunday morning.

The names of the victims are not being released.

Middle River Fire Chief David MacKenzie said it appeared the ultralight was trying to take off from a field when it crashed through a mailbox across the road and headed straight for the barn.

MacKenzie said he knew the pilot, who has several years of experience flying an ultralight craft.

“It’s always upsetting to people when somebody knows someone in the community and they’re injured or died,” he said.

Malmstrom helicopter squadron recognized for 408th rescue

GREAT FALLS - A UH-1N Huey helicopter crew assigned to the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base is being recognized for their 408th rescue over the Independence Day weekend.

Around midnight on July 5 the crew found out they would be rescuing an injured hiker in Wyoming. 

Captain Matthew Finnegan, the pilot, has only been assigned to Malmstrom for 11 months. "Everyone just kind of spun into action, as soon as we got the call,” Finnegan said.

The aircrew consisted of two pilots: Finnegan and Major Jeffery Miser, two special mission aviators: Staff Sergeant Ryan Oliver and Staff Sergeant Daniel Marchick, and one flight surgeon: Captain Melonie Parmley.

Captain Parmley said they don’t always have a lot of information when going on a rescue.

"In this case, there was a teacher who was teaching a class in the area and he had a bunch of students there. One of his students was injured so he was the one that called in,” Parmley said.

After a few stops for re-fueling, the five-person crew arrived on scene. SSgt Oliver said that is when they realized the altitude would be a problem.

"Due to the altitude and how high the patient was, we had a lot of weight issues so we had to basically land somewhere and get rid of one of the flight engines," Oliver said.

After they were done unloading some of the equipment off the helicopter, the group headed back to the scene and used a hoist to get their flight surgeon on the ground.

"I'll go check the participant out and see what they need medically and how we can transport them back into the helicopter,” Parmley said.

At 5:20 in the morning, the injured woman was lifted out of the Rocky Big Horn Range and flown to Sheridan.

"It just felt good to be able to be a part of that and help her. That's what we are concerned about the most and we ended up getting her in the right hands,” Oliver said.

The 40th Helicopter Squadron has agreements with the different search and rescues groups across the region to be called out to help during search and rescues.

"A lot of the civilian assets out there don't have the hoist capabilities, so like the medevac helicopter, they can land in a field and pick people up, but not necessarily on the side of a mountain,” Finnegan said.

The 40th Helicopter Squadron is the only helicopter in the state of Montana that has the hoisting capabilities.

"So that's what makes us special and unique for Montana and the surrounding states,” Oliver said.

For two of the crew members this was their first rescue mission.

"It was awesome. The adrenaline was pumping all night doing this. And you finally get her on board to safety. That's just a great feeling,” Finnegan said. 

Story, video and photo:

Boeing Warns Carriers About Flying Bulk Shipments of Lithium Batteries • Plane maker’s message likely sets stage for much tougher global packaging standards for such cargo

The Wall Street Journal 
July 18, 2015 5:53 p.m. ET

Boeing Co. has warned airlines that flying bulk shipments of lithium batteries in the bellies of its passenger jets poses unacceptable fire hazards, likely setting the stage for significantly tougher international packaging standards for all such cargo.

On Friday, the Chicago-based plane maker for the first time issued a formal, across-the-board message explicitly urging passenger carriers world-wide to stop accepting large quantities of the ubiquitous power sources as cargo until more-protective packaging and enhanced shipping procedures are in place.

A Boeing spokesman on Saturday confirmed the gist of the message sent to operators but didn’t provide details or release the document.

An array of types and sizes of lithium power cells are used in everything from cellphones to laptop computers to power tools to various mobile devices. Some versions that aren’t rechargeable are found in electronic cigarettes and other consumer products.

In the past, Boeing provided similar guidance to airlines but only if they specifically requested technical advice, and it signed an industrywide technical paper highlighting that design standards for airlines hadn’t contemplated the high temperatures and explosive gases that can result when thousands of lithium batteries erupt in what is called a “thermal runaway.”

This time, Boeing’s move, which surprised some industry officials, went further because it was unsolicited and amounts to a formal recommendation that is likely to be followed by virtually all customers.

It is the large number of lithium batteries hauled and their proximity to each other in cargo holds that poses the greatest hazard for aircraft. .

Conventional fire-retardant chemicals on planes aren’t able to put out some of those blazes, according tests conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Most other kinds of batteries haven’t been shown to explode or burn at such high temperatures.

Boeing’s latest message about lithium batteries, however, may have only limited immediate or practical impact because dozens of airlines, including Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Air France, already have voluntarily stopped putting bulk lithium batteries in the cargo holds of their passenger planes. Some carriers have stopped accepting cargo shipments of large numbers of lithium batteries altogether.

In addition, Airbus Group SE and a United Nations-backed panel of global safety experts also are on record about potentially catastrophic fire and explosion risks from rechargeable and non-rechargeable lithium batteries, which can reach temperatures hot enough to melt aluminum. Likewise, U.S. air-safety regulators have repeatedly highlighted such dangers.

Friday’s message is particularly important, though, because it signals that Boeing may now be prepared to join the growing chorus of pilot unions, airlines and other industry players calling for a sweeping reassessment of how lithium batteries are transported as cargo on all types of commercial aircraft. The company’s message was first reported by the Associated Press.

An international team of safety experts assembled by the aviation arm of the United Nations later this month is scheduled to debate sweeping changes in packaging and other safeguards affecting a fast-growing global industry that annually churns out billions of cells and generates an estimated $12 billion in revenue from rechargeable batteries alone.

In addition to tougher, more-fire resistant packaging, the expert panel has considered further reductions in the electrical charge inside rechargeable lithium-ion batteries slated for airborne shipments, which is one more way to reduce flammability and possible explosions.

Within hours of Boeing’s message, a leading battery trade group released a statement suggesting that after years of battles, it may have effectively thrown in the towel trying to stem the momentum for such changes.

George Kerchner, executive director of the Rechargeable Battery Association, released a statement saying “we look forward to continuing our engagement with Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers, the airline industry and regulators” at the experts meeting in late July “to discuss battery transportation issues, specifically a new and unprecedented lithium ion battery standard and packaging criteria.”

The International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. agency sponsoring the deliberations, has been working for years to devise tougher shipping standards. Some interim changes already are in place.

Looking ahead, experts are considering everything from potential changes in cargo compartments to revised fire-suppression techniques. The latest push puts the onus on battery makers to show under what conditions it would be safe to carry such cargo on passenger planes. Battery manufacturers also are on the defensive to explain why the same safety standards shouldn’t apply to cargo planes.

Original article and photo:

Steen Skybolt, N31CS: Accident occurred July 18, 2015 near Stuart Powell Field Airport (KDVK), Junction City, Boyle County, Kentucky

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Louisville FSDO-17

NTSB Identification: ERA15CA272

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 18, 2015 in Junction City, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2015
Aircraft: SMITH STEEN SKYBOLT, registration: N31CS
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 reported that the accident flight was his first flight in the experimental airplane. He planned a fuel stop during his long cross-country flight based on an estimated 12 gallons per hour fuel consumption rate. The pilot further stated that his estimated fuel consumption rate did not account for the fact that the engine had been upgraded from carbureted to fuel injected. During the first leg of the cross-country flight, the airplane was on approach to the planned fuel-stop airport; however, the pilot performed a go-around as the airplane ballooned during flare. During the go-around, about 500 feet above ground level, the engine lost all power and the pilot performed a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane struck an unoccupied house and came to rest on its right side. Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane's single fuel tank was not compromised and was absent of fuel. The examination did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any. The inspector also noted the right wing and fuselage were substantially damaged.

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

The pilot's inaccurate fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

A single-engine plane crashed in Junction City on Saturday afternoon.

The pilot, the only person aboard, was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening, said Mike Wilder, director of Boyle County Emergency Management.

He said the pilot, who was alert when taken from the scene, was helped out of the plane by neighbors who went to the crash site before emergency crews arrived.

The plane crashed against a vacant house, but the home was not damaged, Wilder said.

He said the plane took out some tree limbs and power lines.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Steen Skybolt aircraft crashed while trying to land at Stuart Powell Field in Danville at about 1:20 p.m.

The name of the pilot has not been released, but the plane is registered to Glenn S. Packard of Hattiesburg, Miss., according to the FAA website.

Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post that officials would be "standing by securing the scene" off Simpson Lane in Junction City until the FAA or the National Transportation Safety Board arrived to investigate.

Bergen said the FAA is investigating the crash and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the crash.

JUNCTION CITY — A man walked away from a plane crash on Simpson Lane in Junction City Saturday afternoon, a miraculous feat, say officials.

“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” said Mike Wilder, director of Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management. “The pilot was able to walk away. There were no life-threatening injuries; he was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center by Air Evac, but he was alert and talking.”

When the plane hit the ground, it narrowly missed hitting the vacant house at 226 Simpson Lane. Officials aren’t sure what caused the plane to come down, but when it did it made no sound until the point of impact, said neighbors.

“It sounded like a tree falling,” said Mark Taylor, who lives across from where the plane hit. When he and a next-door neighbor came out, they saw a trail of limbs the plane took out, as well as an electric line it had pinged before the crash.

“The leaves were still falling,” he said of how quickly it happened.

Taylor went to one neighbor’s house to get medical help for the pilot while another neighbor went to help the pilot, who was able to crawl out of the wreckage himself.

The power was knocked out on Simpson Lane until about 5:30 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been called to the scene, but will not arrive until Monday. Law enforcement officials will monitor the wreckage until they arrive.


BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Boyle County's Emergency Management Director tells WKYT that one person was injured in a plane crash on Saturday.

Crews were called to the crash on Simpson Lane in Junction CIty around 1:30 p.m.

Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder says the pilot had engine trouble and they believe that is what caused the crash.

The pilot landed next to a house, but there is no damage to the house. Wilder said the plane did take down some electrical wires, knocking out power to several homes. Crews are on the scene right now, trying to restore power.

Wilder said the only person inside of the single engine plane was the pilot. The pilot was taken to UK Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The wreckage will remain on the scene throughout the weekend until the NTSB and FAA come to inspect the situation.

Investigators are not sure if the pilot was taking off or landing, but they say there is an airport about a half mile down the road.


The Junction City Fire Department says a plane crashed into a house Saturday afternoon. It all happened off Simpson Lane in Junction City. 

Officials on the scene say the small, single engine plane also hit electrical lines when it crashed into the house. 

No one was home at the time. 

Power is out for many of the residents nearby. 

The pilot was the only person in the plane. He was flown to UK Hospital with serious injuries. His name has not been released.

Officials believe the plane possibly crashed due to engine failure.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are headed to the scene. 

Story, comments and photos:

Piper PA-28-140, N6601W: Incident occurred July 18, 2015 in Parsonsfield, York County, Maine

PARSONSFIELD, Maine —An airplane made an emergency landing at the Province Lake Golf Club in Parsonsfield on Saturday morning.

Deputies from the York County Sheriff's office said that Gary Soucy, of Brewer, landed his 1965 Piper Cherokee 140 on the second hole of the Golf Course due to torrential rain and fog. Soucy decided to make the emergency landing. 

Soucy was headed from the Waterville Airport to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to participate in an annual convention for pilots. 

According to officials, Soucy was alone in the aircraft. Nobody was injured in the landing.

The plane was pushed to the side and the golf course has reopened. 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.


Matthew A. Stokes:

PARSONSFIELD, Maine (AP) — A Maine sheriff's department says the pilot of a small plane made an emergency landing on a golf course after heavy rain and fog made flying dangerous.

The York County sheriff's office says 66-year-old pilot Gary Sousy, of Brewer, landed his single engine Piper Cherokee at 7:50 a.m. Saturday on the second hole of the Province Lake Golf Club in Parsonsfield.

Officials say Sousy had left the Waterville Airport on route to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but after encountering bad weather he decided to make the emergency landing.

Sousy was alone and there was no apparent damage to the aircraft.

The sheriff's department says the Federal Aviation Administration was notified and the aircraft will be inspected before it can be removed from the golf course.

The golf course remained open.


PARSONSFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A single-engine Piper PA28 plane made a precautionary landing at the Province Lake Golf Course Saturday morning.  
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot encountered bad weather and decided land at the course for precautionary reasons.

The plane came to rest on one of the golf course greens. There were no injuries.

According to the FAA website, the plane with the tail number N6601W is registered to Matthew Stokes of Saint Charles, Minnesota.   NEWS CENTER could not confirm he was the pilot that landed the plane.