Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spirit outsources baggage-handling jobs at Atlantic City International Airport (KACY), New Jersey

Spirit Airlines has hired an outside contractor to take over its baggage handling at Atlantic City International Airport — a cost-cutting move that mirrors what the discount carrier has been doing at airports across the country.

Landmark Aviation, the contractor, agreed to give hiring preference to the 33 former Spirit baggage handlers affected by the switch. Of that number, 18 applied for jobs, 17 were offered positions and 13 joined Landmark, Spirit spokesman Paul Berry said.

There were also four ramp supervisors who had been part of Spirit’s baggage-handling operations. However, all of them chose to retire or decided not to jump to Landmark, Berry said.

Earlier this year, Spirit also outsourced the jobs of its ticketing agents and customer-service representatives at Atlantic City International to Landmark. In all, 38 former Spirit employees were affected by that change.

Landmark spokeswoman Amanda Hoffman could not immediately say Tuesday whether the former Spirit employees are receiving the same wages and benefits at their new company.

Houston-based Landmark also is the owner and operator of the general aviation hangar at Atlantic City International. In that role, Landmark is in charge of ground services, fuel sales, and maintenance and repairs for aircraft ranging from small planes to large commercial airliners.

Spirit is Atlantic City’s dominant airline. In the past year, Spirit has been outsourcing its customer-service jobs and baggage-handling positions at all of its airports across the country, except for its largest station at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, Berry said. He stated that the switch at Atlantic City International “made sense” both financially and for Spirit’s operations.

“Having Landmark take over ramp operations offers a much more efficient and cost-effective solution at Atlantic City International,” Berry wrote in an email. “The change was seamless for our customers, and because so many original Spirit employees made the transition, it was seamless for our operations.”

Outsourcing has become a popular cost-savings trend in the aviation industry in recent years. Spirit, United and Frontier are among the big-name airlines to do it. Berry said outsourcing is a key part of Spirit’s strategy to contain operating costs and pass on those savings to passengers in the form of lower ticket prices.

“Keeping our costs low is how we can offer the lowest fares in the industry,” he said.

Source:  http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com

Challenger II: Incident occurred July 28, 2015 in Fresno County, California

Date: 28-JUL-15
Time: 15:00:00Z
Regis#: UNREGISTERED
Aircraft Model: CHALLENGER
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17
City: FRESNO
State: California

UNREGISTERED ULTRALIGHT CHALLENGER II FORCE LANDED IN A VINEYARD, 15 MILES FROM FRESNO, CA


 

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says a Clovis man had just purchased the plane and was flying from Turlock to the Selma airport.

The pilot said he experienced engine trouble before reaching Selma and was forced to bring the plane down at Parlier Avenue and Elm Avenue just south of Easton .

"He saw this dirt road and tried to get over onto the dirt road but didn't quite make it and ended up crashing into the vineyard," said Gregg Collins, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The pilot was not injured in the crash. 

The reason for the engine failure is under investigation.

Story, video and photo:  http://abc30.com


Starwood Management: Drug History Forces Airline to Settle Claim

Courthouse News Service

LAS VEGAS (CN) - An insurer settled with a private airline whose jet was seized by the DEA and whose owner allegedly concealed his criminal history.

Commerce & Industry Insurance on Friday voluntarily dismissed its federal claim against Starwood Management with prejudice after reaching an undisclosed settlement agreement.

The DEA in 2012 seized two jets owned by Las Vegas-based Starwood Management after the planes landed in Texas and Arizona, coming from Mexico.

The plane seized in Tucson was insured by Commerce & Industry, which says it was not aware of Starwood's connection with Christian Eduardo Esquino Nunez when it underwrote an insurance policy and rider for the 1984 Gulfstream G-1159A jet.

In its July 2012 complaint, Commerce & Industry called Nunez the alter ego of Starwood, with "such a unity of interest" that "the fiction of Starwood as an entity separate from Nunez would, under the circumstances, sanction a fraud and promote an injustice."

The insurer in January 2012 had renewed a $1.5 million policy, with a rider waiving exclusions for governmental seizure of the luxury jet. The policy allowed it to cancel coverage due to criminal convictions or fraud or misrepresentations made in obtaining the policy or filing a claim.

When Starwood applied for the coverage, the insurer says, Starwood claimed that no officer, partner or pilot had ever been indicted or convicted in any drug-related cases.

But Nunez had been indicted on a count of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine in 1991, and pleaded guilty in 1993 to a superseding information and was sentenced to prison time, Commerce & Industry says.

"Had Nunez/Esquino answered the application question truthfully, Commerce & Industry would have declined to issue a policy to Starwood and/or would have rescinded the policies," the insurer says. It says Nunez goes by the names Ed Nunez and Christian Esquino.

Nunez's criminal history includes a 2004 conviction for conspiracy to commit fraud by falsifying log books for aircraft he bought in Mexico and sold in the United States, according to the complaint.

In 1993, he pleaded guilty to concealing money from the IRS in a case involving more than 480 kilograms of cocaine smuggled into Florida, The Associated Press reported on Dec. 15, 2012.

Nunez, through Starwood Management, owned the jet that crashed in December 2012, killing Mexican pop star Jenni Rivera and six others.

Canada's National Post newspaper reported in June 2012 that the DEA was investigating allegations that Esquino Nunez rented a plane intended to smuggle former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saadi Gaddafi, into Mexico.

In its lawsuit, Commerce & Industry said it rescinded its coverage and refunded Starwood's premiums due to Starwood's concealing Nunez's identity, his 1991 indictment, 1993 and 2004 convictions, and his subsequent deportation to Mexico.

In the 2004 case, the insurer says, Christian Esquino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud involving an aircraft, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and served it, and was deported to Mexico upon being released.

Another insurer, QBE, rescinded its coverage of the Starwood Hawker jet which the DEA seized in Texas in 2012, also alleging that Starwood had provided inaccurate information.

Commerce & Industry sought declaratory judgment that its policy was canceled effective January 2011 and did not apply to the plane seizure.

Commerce & Industry attorney Kym Cushing, with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, did not return a call seeking comment.

Starwood officials could not be reached for comment.  

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

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, Erika's Aero Group Inc., N6951J: Incident occurred July 26, 2015 in Ealing Grove, Christ Church, Barbados

American-born Capt. Richard Terrelonge 
~
   



The pilot who force landed his Piper PA-28-181 Archer II aircraft in an field at Ealing Grove, Christ Church yesterday after his engine lost power while on a practice flight, is counting his lucky stars.

The American-born Capt Richard Terrelonge left the Grantley Adams International Airport around 9 a.m. yesterday on what he described as a perfect day for flying. However, an hour later, while on his way back, signs of trouble began to emerge.

Speaking today from his Dover, Christ Church home, Terrelonge told Barbados TODAY he was happy to have escaped with his life, with only a few minor bruises to his head.

The American, who revealed that he was nervous throughout the ordeal, said the moment he realized something was wrong, he called on his training and more than 30 years of experience.

“If I had continued straight I would have went into the hill or houses. So I said ‘there is a farmers field over there, let me land there’. With aviation safety you never know until afterwards. It is a spilt second decision. You hope your training kicks in and you made the best possible decision,” he said.

Terrelonge, a major in the US Civil Air Patrol, said he performed an emergency checklist before beginning his final glide, only to notice electrical wires in the way. Fortunately, he had enough airspeed to get above them before landing.

“Just before touch down, I noticed the flaps were not extended and extended them again.Touchdown was nose high and the plane did a nice job at braking. Once the nose wheel touched, it dug in, causing the aircraft to flip.”

After landing, the pilot, whose face was pressed against the window screen, was beginning to consider how to get out when two men, Phillip Prescott of Providence, Christ Church, and Ronald Marshall, who lives near the field, ran over and helped drag him from the aircraft and took him to a nearby house where residents tended to his injuries until an ambulance arrived to transport him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Emergency personnel, including the Barbados Fire Service, police and Civil Aviation officials responded to the scene.

With his safety cap still on, Terrelonge said he spotted fuel dripping from the right side of the plane, causing him some concern.

“Aviation fuel is very flammable, but fortunately it didn’t [catch] afire and they got me away from the aircraft,” he said, noting that he had carried out all the necessary safety checks before he left for his morning’s journey.

The pilot described the men who went to his rescue as “magnificent”, particularly as it related to the risk they took.

“If it were me, knowing what I know about aviation fuel, I might not have gone near that plane. If I saw fuel dropping out of an plane I would be very nervous.

“These two gentlemen who came to help me did not hesitate one second, and they deserve all the thanks. The people at the house that washed off the bruise and stuff and called the ambulance were fantastic,” said Terrelonge, who is also qualified to do inland search and rescue.

Terrelonge explained that had he run into difficulty over Bridgetown, he would have been forced to take a different approach, since it would have been illegal to fly as low over the capital as he did near the airport.

“If I were in Bridgetown . . . and I would have realized I had a problem much higher and then I would have glided. And if you are going to glide into town, then you have Browne’s Beach and Pebbles beach, the Garrison Savannah and lots of different places,” he explained.

With the ordeal still fresh in his memory, Terrelonge said he was ready to get back into the cockpit. He thanked God, whom he said was always at his side whether in the air or on the ground.

Meanwhile, Phillip Prescott has seen many an activity on his farm, but nothing like what happened yesterday morning.

Prescott, 50, was at work on his Ealing Grove, Christ Church farm when Capt Terrelonge force landed his Piper PA-28-181 Archer II plane on the farm.

The experienced farmer said he heard a rustling noise, and when he looked around, he saw the small plane about two feet above the ground, its engine silent.

“It [the plane] just quickly bypass me and I heard it rustling through the grass, and then I heard the tumbling and then it stopped,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Even though he was gripped by fear, Prescott said he immediately ran about 200 feet to the crashed plane, calling 211 in the process.

“When I approached the plane, I saw it had flipped over, and I saw the gentleman upside down and all of his face was covered with blood. All of this time I was giving details to the dispatcher as to exactly what was happening,” he recalled.

The farmer said he was soon joined by a nearby resident who helped him extract the pilot, who appeared somewhat disoriented.

“It felt rewarding to know that others see the same thing and ran, and I was afraid too, but of course realizing that there is a person who needed help, I went. I think that as a Barbadian it was my civic responsibility to see what I can do in such tragic circumstances,” he said.

The man who rushed to help Prescott was Ronald Marshall, who said he was on his patio having breakfast with visiting family members when the incident occurred.  

“We were able to pull him out, and he told us to get away from the plane as quickly as possible because it was leaking fuel, and he said there was a danger of it exploding.

“So we escorted him to my home . . . . I have a niece here who is trained in first aid and she put on some gloves and wiped the blood off his head,” Marshall recounted.

The resident recalled that a coherent Terrelonge asked him to contact family members.

“He was a hero. He was a very courageous guy. I believe the fuel leaked into the earth and that is why it didn’t explode.

“Seeing that was really a thing to behold. Somebody asked me if we think we were in danger. How could you think you were in danger at that time when someone needed help?” Marshall asked.

Germine Richard, who was also busy at work in the field during the episode, said he heard when the engine died but dismissed it. Moments later, he raised his head and saw the areoplane headed in his direction, so he fled.

“I run and went in the bush and watch; and then run and come and tell the rest at the house. I was a bit scared about it because I was just there working and see a plane coming at me,” he said.

Story and photo:  http://www.barbadostoday.bb

ERIKA'S AERO GROUP INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6951J




Wheeler Express, N3FC: Accident occurred July 27, 2015 in Holland, Grange Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota

STEVEN J. CHRISTENSEN:   http://registry.faa.gov/N3FC

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA321 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 27, 2015 in Holland, MN
Aircraft: CHRISTENSEN STEVE WHEELER EXPRESS, registration: N3FC
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 27, 2015, about 2013 central daylight time, a Steve Christensen Wheeler Express airplane, N3FC, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain near Holland, Minnesota. The pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed from Pipestone Municipal Airport (PQN), Pipestone, Minnesota about 1900. 

A witness located near the accident site heard the engine sputter and restart on two occasions, followed by a loud bang. The airplane impacted into a grassy drainage ditch adjacent to a corn field, damaging the fuselage and both wings. 

At 2014, the weather observation station at PQN, located about 7 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 150 degrees at 5 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 27 degrees C, dew point 22 degree C, altimeter setting 29.83 inches of mercury.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Minneapolis FSDO-15

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 .


PIPESTONE, Minn. — A family friend says two teenagers from Mexico who were killed, along with the pilot, in the crash of a small airplane in southwestern Minnesota were visiting relatives and wanted to take a plane ride before returning home.

Fifty-nine-year-old Steven Christiansen was giving the teens a ride in his homebuilt plane on Monday night when it crashed into a cornfield near Holland in Pipestone County and killed all three.

Christiansen's longtime friend, 82-year-old Grant Volsch, says the teens were related to Christensen's daughter-in-law, Brisa. Volsch says Seth and Brisa Christiansen recently had a baby, so Brisa's 18-year-old brother, Marcos Favela, of Torrean, Mexico, and a 13-year-old female relative from Guadalajara, Mexico had been visiting.

Volsch says Christensen helped build the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota about 15 years ago.

Steven Christensen

PIPESTONE, Minn. — A 59-year-old southwest Minnesota farmer and two young passengers died in a plane crash on a calm, clear Monday night in Pipestone County. 

According to information released late Tuesday morning by the Pipestone County Sheriff's Office, found dead at the scene were the pilot, Steven Christensen, of rural Pipestone, and two passengers, Marcos Favela, 18, of Torreon in north-central Mexico, and a 13-year-old female from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Christensen was flying a Wheeler Express that he built himself from a kit and had been flying for at least the past six years, according to Pipestone Municipal Airport Manager Rob Dykstra.

The airport manager told the Pipestone County Star that Christensen was an experienced pilot and rented a hangar at the airport.

Home-built airplanes are considered an experimental plane, he said, because it’s not built in a factory.

However, he said “experimentals are safe -- very safe.”

“He was a very capable pilot,” Dykstra told the newspaper. “What happened, I just don’t have a clue.”

When Dykstra left the airport around 5:10 p.m. on Monday night Christensen’s plane was still there. The airport does not have a log of scheduled flights, so he said he doesn’t know what time Christensen took off.

However, about 8 p.m., Travis Jasper said he and his construction crew were just finishing work for the day near the crash site when he heard what sounded like a plane in trouble.

"(I) heard it spitting and sputtering. It fired up a couple times and then I thought I heard a car door slam." Jasper told KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D. "A couple minutes later, I seen the neighbor at the corner and he's like, ‘I think a plane just went down,’ and I said ‘yeah, I think the same thing.’"

Jasper said he and his crew jumped on top of their vehicle to try to spot the plane in the cornfield.

Holland Fire Chief Chris Lingen said he was in Holland and didn't see or hear the plane go down.

A pilot from the Pipestone airport quickly helped with the search of the cornfield and spotted the plane for the emergency responders after receiving the initial 911 call, said Lingen.

The site of the crash about a half mile south of Holland in the cornfield was about a quarter mile from a road.

Lingen said they remained on scene until about midnight lighting it up for the coroner and investigators.

Source:  http://www.duluthnewstribune.com





      

KSFY News caught up with Travis Jasper who owns Travis Jasper construction and has a shop located about a half mile from where a plane went down in Pipestone County on Monday night.








Steven Christensen, the pilot who died in the plane that crashed south of Holland Monday evening, July 27, was an experienced pilot who rented a hangar at Pipestone Municipal Airport.

Veteran pilot and Pipestone Municipal Airport Manager Rob Dykstra said Christensen was a farmer who lived north of Pipestone who had rented a hangar at the airport since at least 2004.

Dykstra said Christensen flew a home-built Wheeler Express that he built himself and had been flying for at least the past six years. Home-builts are considered an ‘experimental’ plane, Dysktra said, because it’s not built in a factory, but he said, “experimentals are safe –– very safe.

“He was a very capable pilot,” Dykstra said. “What happened, I just don’t have a clue.”

When Dykstra left the airport around 5:10 p.m. on Monday, July 27, Christensen’s plane was still there. The airport does not have a log of scheduled flights, so he said he doesn’t know what time Christensen took off.

“The planes come and go as they please,” Dykstra said.

For the complete story, see this week’s issue of the Pipestone County Star.

Two teenagers from Mexico were among the seven people killed when two small planes crashed separately within hours of one another in western Wisconsin and southwestern Minnesota, authorities said Tuesday. 

A fixed-wing plane carrying three people crashed in a cornfield in southwestern Minnesota on Monday night, according to the Pipestone County Sheriff's Department. The pilot, Steven Christensen, 59, of rural Pipestone, and passengers Marcos Favela, 18, of Torreon, Mexico and an unidentified girl, 13, of Guadalajara, Mexico, died when the aircraft went down near Pipestone about 8 p.m., sheriff's officials said.

Travis Jasper said he and his construction crew were finishing work for the day near the crash site when he heard what sounded like a plane in trouble.

"(I) heard it spitting and sputtering. It fired up a couple times and then I thought I heard a car door slam." Jasper told KSFY-TV. "A couple minutes later I seen the neighbor at the corner and he's like, I think a plane just went down, and I said yah, I think the same thing."

Jasper said he and his crew jumped on top of their vehicle to try to spot the plane in the cornfield.
======

Three people died after a small plane went down in a cornfield in southwest Minnesota on Monday night.

Pipestone County sheriff’s officials said the small fixed-wing airplane went down in a corn field south of Holland, Minn. around 8:13 p.m., and first responders located it on a waterway in Grange Township Section 13, about 55 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, S.D. The occupants, a pilot and two passengers, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The pilot and passengers have been identified as:

Pilot: 59-year-old Steven Christensen of Pipestone

Marcos Favela, 18, of Torreon, Mexico

Unnamed 13-year-old girl of Guadalajara, Mexico

The Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.

Beech M35 Bonanza, N9CB, St Croix Bonanza Association LLC: Fatal accident occurred July 27, 2015 in Amery, Alden Township, Polk County, Wisconsin

ST CROIX BONANZA ASSOCIATION LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N9CB

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA320
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 27, 2015 in Amery, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/14/2016
Aircraft: BEECH M35, registration: N9CB
Injuries: 4 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 private pilot departed for a personal flight with three passengers in a single-engine airplane near its maximum takeoff weight. About 7 miles northeast of the departure airport, several witnesses noticed the airplane maneuvering. One witness described the airplane in a steep climb, then “making a circle, and then twisting” before dropping nose down and disappearing behind a tree line. Another witness reported seeing the airplane in a nose-down attitude with its wings rocking back and forth. Three other witnesses noticed the airplane spinning before impact. The airplane impacted an open wheat field with a nose-down attitude and low forward velocity, consistent with an aerodynamic stall. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

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

The pilot’s loss of airplane control while maneuvering with the airplane near its maximum gross weight, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and entering an aerodynamic stall. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 27, 2015, about 1724 central daylight time, a Beech M35 airplane, N9CB, was destroyed after impacting terrain near Amery, Wisconsin. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by St. Croix Bonanza Association LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The flight departed from New Richmond Regional Airport (RNH), New Richmond, Wisconsin about 1716 and was destined for Voyager Village Airstrip (9WN2), Webster, Wisconsin.

The co-owner of N9CB witnessed the airplane depart from Runway 14 at RNH. He estimated the airplane became airborne about 1,700 feet down the runway, versus a typical ground run of about 1,000 feet. He was concerned for weight and balance reasons when he saw there were four persons in the airplane. 

A review of air traffic control radar revealed returns (primary radar only) coincident with the departure time and direction of the planned flight for N9CB. The returns indicated the airplane proceeded from RNH on a northeast track for 7 miles, followed by a right turn near the accident site. Altitude information was not available, due to line of sight limitations of the radar site. 

Several witnesses located near the accident site noticed the airplane maneuvering immediately prior to the accident. One witness described the airplane in a steep climb, followed by "making a circle and then twisting" just prior to disappearing behind a tree line. Another witness reported seeing the airplane in a nose down attitude with its wings rocking. Three other witnesses noticed the airplane in a spiraling descent prior to impact and stated the airplane had previously been performing aerobatics, "tricks", or "stunts". 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 44, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating, as well as a mechanic airframe and powerplant certificate. On May 15, 2015, the pilot was issued a Class 3 medical certificate, with no restrictions. A review of the pilot's flight records indicated that he had logged a total of 368.6 flight hours. During the 90 days prior to the accident, the pilot had flown 6 flights in the accident airplane, with an estimated duration of 13 flight hours. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, N9CB (s/n D-6231), was a Beechcraft M35 Bonanza manufactured in 1959. The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-470-C engine (s/n 71133-7-C), a 2-blade, all-metal, constant speed propeller, two 25-gallon main fuel tanks, two 10-gallon auxiliary fuel tanks, and two 15-gallon tip tanks.

On February 7, 2015, the airplane underwent an annual inspection, at an airframe total time of 6,244 hours and a tachometer time of 4,209 hours. The engine was last overhauled on September 26, 2014, at a tachometer time of 4,150 hours. 

WEATHER INFORMATION

At 1715, the weather observation station at RNH, located about 7 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 150 degrees at 9 knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 3,100 feet above ground level, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 20 degrees C, altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted into an open wheat field. Impact signatures were consistent with a 10 to 15 degree nose down attitude and a low forward velocity. A post-crash fire ensued and consumed the cabin area into the rear fuselage area, as well as outboard on the wings, into the wheel well and auxiliary tank area. 

The airplane was found intact lying upright on the ground, with the wing leading edges compressed inward on their lower side and ballooned upward on their upper side. The right wing leading edge was separated on the top side from the forward spar. 

The landing gear and flaps were retracted, with the landing gear and flap actuators in the up position. The trim tab trailing edge was aligned with the trailing edge of the elevator. 

The fuel selector valve was found trapped under the forward wing carry though structure. The fuel selector valve placard was folded around the selector valve handle. The selector valve stem was bent. The fuel selector was in the off position, which was consistent with structure deformation in the area of the selector. The fuel lines and tanks were consumed by fire.

No anomalies were noted with the flight control system. All flight control cables from the cockpit (pitch, roll, and yaw) remained attached to their respective cockpit control and all of the flight control cables were attached to their respective bellcranks near the flight control surfaces. The flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective airframe surfaces. The airplane was equipped with a single throw-over yoke, which was positioned on the left side.

The engine was separated from the aircraft. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed the propeller was separated from the engine and remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. The crankshaft was fractured where it entered the crankcase and the fracture surface displayed 45-degree shear lips and cupping. The engine sustained thermal damage that partially melted the housing of a number of the components. The engine sustained impact-related damage that deformed the camshaft drive gear and front crankcase, which precluded rotation of the crankshaft. 

The top Champion RHM38E sparkplugs were removed from the cylinders. All displayed a normal worn condition when compared to the Champion Aviation Service Manual (AV6-R). None of the sparkplugs were fouled. The fuel injector lines were removed from the nozzles and each of the nozzles was removed from its respective cylinder. No obstructions were noted in any of the nozzles.

All six cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. The rocker covers were removed and no pre-accident anomalies were noted with the rockers, rocker shafts, or valve springs. A borescope inspection of the six cylinders was conducted, which revealed no anomalies with the piston, cylinder barrel, cylinder head, valve or valve seats.

The vacuum pump was separated from the backside of the engine and sustained impact and thermal damage. Disassembly of the vacuum pump revealed that the rotor was fractured, but all six of the pump vanes remained intact.

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

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On July 28, 2015, an autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office in Ramsey, Minnesota. The cause of death was blunt force injuries. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed toxicology tests on the pilot. No tested for drugs were detected.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

An Appareo Stratus 2, which is a battery operated receiver with GPS capability, was recovered from the accident site and evaluated by the NTSB Recorder Laboratory. It was determined that the device did not store any flight data.

WEIGHT AND BALANCE

According to the co-owner of N9CB, the pilot's normal routine was to depart with the airplane's main/auxiliary tanks full. Following his flight on the day prior to the accident, fueling records indicated the pilot fueled the airplane with 23.9 gallons of fuel, which was consistent with filling the main/auxiliary tanks full. The weight of the airplane was estimated to be 3,145 pounds, based on full main/auxiliary fuel tanks and the driver's license weight of the pilot and passengers. The maximum takeoff weight for the airplane was 3,150 pounds.

This maximum takeoff weight was based on a Beryl D' Shannon Aviation Specialties tip tanks supplemental type certificate (STC), which approved an increase of the maximum takeoff weight by 200 pounds. The STC's airplane flight manual supplement does not provide guidance on degraded performance or change airspeed indicator markings to reflect the increase in maximum weight.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


A close friend of the pilot stated they had flown together four times in the accident airplane, during which the pilot enjoyed and frequently performed practice stalls. He stated the pilot flew at low altitude several times to "test the waters" and on one occasion, flew about 200 feet agl while "buzzing" a friend's house. This episode, as well as the pilot's frequent performance of practice stalls, concerned him enough that he did not want his son to fly with the accident pilot alone. He stated the pilot and all three passengers, whom he also knew very well, tended to "live life on the edge" and were not averse to high risk activities.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA320
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 27, 2015 in Amery, WI
Aircraft: BEECH M35, registration: N9CB
Injuries: 4 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 27, 2015, about 1724 central daylight time, a Beech M35 airplane, N9CB, was destroyed after impacting terrain near Amery, Wisconsin. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by St. Croix Bonanza Association LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The flight departed from New Richmond Regional Airport (RNH), New Richmond, Wisconsin about 1716 and was destined for Voyager Village Airstrip (9WN2), Webster, Wisconsin. 

The co-owner of N9CB stated the airplane departed from Runway 14 with a longer than typical takeoff roll. A witness located near the accident site noticed the airplane in a nose down attitude, with the wings rocking from side to side. The airplane impacted into an open wheat field, with a 10 to 15 degree nose down attitude. A post-crash fire ensued.

At 1715, the weather observation station at RNH, located about 7 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 150 degrees at 9 knots, 10 miles visibility, scattered clouds at 3,100 feet above ground level, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 20 degree C, altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury.

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: FAA Milwaukee FSDO-13

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 .


Eric, Michael and Matthew Larson




Dan Ortner has been identified by the Polk County Sheriff's Office as the pilot of the Beech M35 Bonanza.




To help the Larson Family, click here. 

POLK COUNTY, Wis. - Four people killed in a plane crash in southwest Polk County have been identified by authorities.

The Polk County Sheriff has identified the pilot of the single engine airplane that crashed near 150th Street and 30th Avenue in the Town of Alden as 44-year-old Daniel P. Ortner, of North Hudson, Wis. The passengers have been identified as 47-year-old Eric J. Larson, 20-year-old Michael J. Larson and 18-year-old Matthew E. Larson, all of Hudson, Wis.

Michael and Matthew have been identified as the sons of Eric Larson.

Authorities say the plane left the New Richmond Regional Airport about 10 minutes before the crash occurred around 5:30 p.m. Crews arrived on scene to find a plane on fire in a field. After the fire was put out, four bodies were found inside.

Mike Sime, who owns Mike's Standard, said he has known the Larson family three decades.

"It is one of the saddest days of my life. I have known the family for 30 years. It is just a tragedy that I just can't conceive. I just don't believe it is real."

Mike Sime said Matthew Larson became an employee at Mike's Standard, the BP gas station, when he was 15. Matthew Larson's father worked at the shop in the 80's. Matthew Larson's brother worked for Sime also.

"Matt was special. He would always get here 10 or 15 min before it was time to go to work. His dad worked here too when he was in high school," Sime said. "They were just a great family."

Matthew Larson spent the last two years training at Hudson Fire Department. He was the president of the explorer unit, a program for people between the ages of 15-21 interested in a career with the fire department.

In the garage where the fire engines are stored, Matthew Larson's picture and fire helmet were on display Tuesday.

Chief Scott St. Martin with the Hudson Fire Department said Matthew Larson will be remembered for his willingness to serve.

"You rarely see that in someone who is young. He was mature for his age and a very giving person," St. Martin said. "His parents did an awesome job."

Sime's grandson, Ariez Sime, said work will not be the same without Matthew. The two formed a bond during their freshman year of high school. They also worked together changing tires and pumping gas for customers.

On Tuesday evening, the Larson family issued the following statement:

"There is no greater love than that between a parent and their children. On July 27th, Eric, Michael and Matthew Larson were doing what they did best - spending quality time together, which included their friend Dan Ortner. Four incredible lives were taken far too soon and the hearts of two families and countless friends are broken. While the loss we feel today is excruciating, their lives and memories will carry on forever in our hearts. The family sincerely appreciates all of your kind words, thoughts and prayers and respectfully requests you honor their privacy during this incredibly difficult time."

http://www.kare11.com















Four Hudson-area residents were killed Monday in a plane crash in rural Polk County. 

The pilot was identified Tuesday by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office as Daniel P. Ortner, 44, of North Hudson. He and his three passengers, Eric J. Larson, 47, Michael J. Larson, 20, and Matthew E. Larson, 18, were all killed in the crash. Michael and Matthew were both sons of Eric Larson.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred at 5:24 p.m. near 150th Street and 30th Avenue in the town of Alden, a community located southwest of Amery.

The crash occurred 10 minutes after the plane left New Richmond Regional Airport, according to the sheriff’s department.

The single-engine Beechcraft plane crashed in a field near the intersection and burned a portion of the field there.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office are being assisted in the investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

New Richmond Regional Airport Manager Mike Demulling described Ortner as a friend and an experienced pilot with “hundreds of hours” of flying time.

Ortner flew the 1959-model plane, registered to the New Richmond-based owner St. Croix Bonanza Association, almost daily, Demulling said.

“It’s a pretty tough day at the airport,” he said.

http://www.hudsonstarobserver.com

The four people killed after a plane crash Monday near Amery, Wisconsin, have been identified. 

According to authorities, the Beech M35 Bonanza aircraft crashed in a field near 150th Street and 30th Avenue Southwest of Amery. The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it was notified at approximately 5:24 p.m.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the pilot has been identified as 44-year-old Daniel Ortner of North Hudson, Wisconsin. The passengers have been identified as 47-year-old Eric Larson of Hudson, Wisconsin, and his two sons, 20-year-old Michael Larson and 18-year-old Matthew Larson.

A written statement from the family of the pilot said, Ortner loved flying and he was a great pilot. The statement went on to read, "the family is heartbroken and grieving for the family and friends of his passengers."

The plane departed from New Richmond Airport 10 minutes before the crash. A witness said he saw the plane twirling on its way down. The sheriff's office said the plane hit the ground nose first and burst into flames.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will be assisting the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office along with the FAA and NTSB as this crash investigation continues.
 
Source:  http://kstp.com