Monday, August 17, 2015

Authority, Triad Engineering answer Yeager Airport (KCRW) landslide complaint

CHARLESTON – Central Regional West Virginia Airport Authority and Triad Engineering have filed answers to a complaint filed against it because of the March landslide, while two other defendants filed motions to dismiss themselves from the lawsuit.

 Meanwhile, airport officials want to keep the case in Kanawha Circuit Court rather than having it removed to federal court.

Yeager officials say removing the case to federal court could delay work on the runway in wake of the March 12 landslide.

The airport authority will push to have the case heard by Kanawha Circuit Judge Jim Stucky, but that decision now lies in the hands of federal District Judge John Copenhaver. 

In its answer, the airport authority denies it knew that the EMAS or the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure had shifted several feet a year before March 12, but admits that a portion of the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure failed on March 12. 

The airport authority also denies that Yeager Airport's inspection reports foreshadowed a looming catastrophe or that the airport authority had knowledge of any looming catastrophe. 

The airport authority admits that a board meeting was called to discuss concerns relating to the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure, however, the airport authority denies that it had knowledge of any impending catastrophe since at the board meeting, Triad informed the board that there was only a "slight" chance of any catastrophic failure of the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure, according to the answer. 

The plaintiffs are comparatively negligent and their negligence proximately caused or contributed to the damages they allegedly sustained and any damages awarded to them should be reduced in proportion to their negligence, the answer states.

The plaintiffs' damages, if any, were the result of a superseding or intervening event that was unrelated to any alleged act or omission of the airport authority. 

The alleged incident or damages were caused by conditions beyond the control of the airport authority and, therefore, the plaintiffs are precluded from recovery for alleged damages. 

The airport authority was not aware and could not have been reasonably been aware of the alleged dangerous condition prior to the alleged incident and/or could not have reasonably altered the alleged condition prior to the alleged incident. Triad admits that it surveyed, measured and assessed the cracks in the airport in 2013 and compared its finding with a previous survey and admits that it recommended additional monitoring of the cracks, according to its answer. 

Triad also admitted that in July 2014, it installed 28 monitoring points along the surface and sides of the embankment. 

"Triad admits that it made certain preliminary slope repair recommendations for the area between the toe of the reinforced slope and Keystone Drive to the airport in September 2014," the answer states. Triad claims the plaintiffs fail to join an indispensable party and their complaint must be dismissed pursuant to West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure. "To the extent plaintiffs suffered any of the damages or losses of which plaintiffs complain, which allegations are not admitted, it is averred that such were not in any manner caused or contributed to be any alleged wrongful act or omission on the part of Triad," the answer states. Cast & Baker filed a motion to dismiss on July 8, stating that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim.

Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company filed a motion to dismiss on July 7, stating that it did not act in bad faith by filing the federal declaratory judgment action when a bona fide dispute existed as to coverage of the plaintiffs' loss. 

Nationwide also stated that it did not breach the homeowners' insurance policy because the loss is excluded from coverage. Airport employees first noticed a problem with the safety area on Runway 5 in June or July 2013, when cracks began to appear, according to the plaintiffs' complaint, which was filed June 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Theodore Carter and Rebecca Carter claim after the airport noticed the cracks, its officials contacted Triad and both the airport and Triad identified that there were cracks in the engineered material arresting system and that it would only worsen if not repaired.

In 2013, Triad surveyed the area, measuring and assessing the cracks and comparing its findings with a survey that had been done in 2009, after paving of the safety-overrun area was completed.

Triad recommended additional monitoring of the area and in July 2014, a year after the cracks first appeared, Triad installed 28 monitoring points along the surface and sides of the embankment. 

Every one of the points showed movement between July and August 2014, indicating worsening problems, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the cracks were not announced publicly, thus keeping the public uninformed about the catastrophe that was about to occur because of the inaction of the airport and Triad.

 In September, Triad made recommendations to the airport that involved performing work on the EMAS fill itself, but the airport did not follow the recommendations, according to the suit. 

The plaintiffs claim the EMAS inspection reports identified the worsening problems and on Jan. 13, Terry Sayre, the assistant airport director, spoke with a representative of Keystone Apostolic Church, and the representative of the church told Sayre they were concerned about the slip and its stability. 

On March 8, Triad began a "subsurface" investigation to evaluate the fill movement, but neither Triad nor the Airport ever did anything to fix the worsening problems, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim on March 10, settlement of the southernmost corner of the fill became more pronounced and Triad immediately notified airport officials.

 On March 11, Airport Director Rick Atkinson called an emergency board meeting because of the impending catastrophe, according to the suit. 

The plaintiffs claim on March 12, the EMAS collapsed and a landslide occurred, causing them, to lose most of their "worldly possessions as a result of the 'failure of the mechanically stabilized earth retention structure.'" Rebecca Carter was raised in the home on Keystone Drive and had many fond memories of the home, according to the suit. 

The defendants are liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiffs, according to the suit. The plaintiffs claim the defendants were negligent and violated their duties of reasonable care. Nationwide breached its contract with the plaintiffs by its refusal to pay the Carters' claim, according to the suit. 

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.   They are being represented by Christopher J. Heavens of Heavens Law Firm PLLC. 

The airport authority is being represented by Matthew A. Nelson and Patricia M. Bello of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith LLP.

 Triad is represented by Teresa J. Dumire and John D. "Jack" Hohlitzell of Kay Casto & Chaney PLLC; Kevin A. Nelson and Kelby Thomas Gray of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP; and John C. Palmer of Robinson & McElwee PLLC. 

Cast & Baker is represented by Michael Markins and Jennifer A. Lynch of Mannion Gray Uhl & Hill Co. LPA. 

Nationwide is represented by Ronda L. Harvey, Ashley Hardesty Odell and Lara K. Omps-Botteicher of Bowles Rice LLP.

On March 12, 130 homes were evacuated after a large portion of the hillside slip into Two Mile Creek. One home and Keystone Apostolic Church were destroyed, while many other houses were damaged by flooding. 

Residents were given hotel vouchers and stayed in hotels for some time after the landslide. 

On May 22, Yeager Airport filed a lawsuit against 20 companies involved with the design and construction of its runway extension project, alleging negligence and breach of contract.

Triad and Cast & Baker were also named as defendants in that lawsuit as well. 

The airport claims the runway extension and the man-made hillside that supported it were improperly designed, improperly tested, not properly inspected and not properly monitored. 

The airport hired lawyers from three local firms, Scott Segal, Timothy Bailey and Anthony Majestro, to file the lawsuit jointly on its behalf. 

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1074 

- Source: http://wvrecord.com

Failed propeller leads Cal Fire to ground fleet of air attack planes statewide

CDF Air Tactical Pilot Rick Haagenson exits the cockpit of an OV-10A Bronco as he returns to the CAL FIRE Sonoma Air Attack Base, after fighting the Rocky Fire in Lake County, on Monday, August 3, 2015.




Cal Fire grounded a fleet of planes Monday that help direct other aircraft where to dump retardant on wildland blazes, as a record-breaking heat wave across California continues to keep firefighters busy and fuels fears of new fires breaking out.

Cal Fire ordered its fleet of 15 OV-10 A Broncos not to fly Monday after a propeller on one of the planes failed while the aircraft was still on the ground, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Scott McLean.

He said mechanics had been dispatched to check on all of the fleet. The plane in question was based in Southern California, McLean said.

“They are a very vital tool. It’s critical these aircraft get back in the air,” McLean said.

Air attack planes — often referred to as Cal Fire’s “eyes in the sky” — are used by crews to manage aerial assaults on fires and direct air tanker pilots where to unload payloads of retardant.

McLean said air tankers are not currently necessary for battling the Jerusalem fire in Lake County or for other blazes around the state. But concerns about flare-ups and new blazes breaking out lent urgency to getting the air attack planes cleared to fly again.

McLean did not have an estimate for when the work might be completed.

“We’re on it hot and heavy,” he said.

A few hours later, McLean said five of the aircraft were cleared for flights after passing safety inspections.

He said Cal Fire has two other aircraft — one each in Northern and Southern California — that can temporarily fill in to help manage air attacks. The agency also can seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Forestry.

Source:  http://www.pressdemocrat.com

Piper J3C-65, N70455: Accident occurred July 12, 2009 in Porter, Texas

A lawsuit over a 2009 aviation accident ended in a settlement, according to Galveston County court records. 

League City resident Farida Hill sued Thomas Craig Hill in the Galveston County 56th District Court in August, accusing the defendant of flying a 1946 Piper Cub J3 aircraft on July 12, 2009 that crashed. The original petition asserted the crash injured the pilot’s younger passenger, on whose behalf the plaintiff pursued legal action.

Thomas Craig Hill formally refuted the claims the same day the litigation began.

The parties on Oct. 12 entered into a Compromise, Settlement, Indemnity and Release Agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, they consented to settle the two-month-old case for $100,000, with $55,307 earmarked for the unnamed child and $30,693 set aside for medical expenses.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox issued an order approving the settlement on behalf of the minor child.

Attorney Shawn R. Casey of the Law Offices of Shawn R. Casey in Houston represented Farida Hill while attorney Guy Hubert Riddle of the law firm Anderson & Riddle LLP in Fort Worth served as Thomas Craig Hill’s counsel.

Galveston County 56th District Court Case No. 15-CV-844

NTSB Identification: CEN09CA431
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 12, 2009 in Porter, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/2009
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N70455
Injuries: 2 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 noticed a significant loss of engine power while maneuvering on a local area flight. The pilot began looking for a suitable place to land and noticed a sandbar along a river. As he approached the river he applied carburetor heat and the engine power began to recover. At this time the airplane was at tree top level along the river when the pilot noticed wires crossing the river. The pilot was unable to reestablish a climb and avoid the wires. The airplane struck the wires and impacted inverted on the sandbar. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to carburetor icing at cruise and glide power settings with a temperature of 34 degrees Celsius and dew point of 23 degrees Celsius. According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector on scene, there were no pre-impact anomalies noted.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The partial loss of engine power due to carburetor icing resulting in the pilot's inability to clear the wires.

A League City woman has pursued legal action in response to a plane crash five years ago that injured a younger relative, according to recent Galveston County District Court records. 

Farida Hill’s lawsuit, filed Aug. 14 in the Galveston County 56th District Court, shows Thomas Craig Hill piloted a 1946 Piper Cub J3 aircraft with Z.H. as his passenger on July 12, 2009. 

The suit says the Piper’s engine experienced “a catastrophic failure which resulted in the loss of engine power and ultimately a crash landing.”

“(Thomas Craig Hill) attempted an emergency landing, but struck a power line which caused the aircraft to immediately lose control and impact the ground,” the original petition states. 

It adds Z.H. sustained injuries and damages as a result of the crash in question. Farida Hill says she amassed medical bills on behalf of the minor.

The defendant is faulted for failing to maintain the aircraft in an airworthy condition in order to ensure the safety of its passengers.

Consequently, Farida Hill seeks unspecified monetary damages.

She is represented by attorney Shawn R. Casey of the Law Offices of Shawn R. Casey in Houston.

Galveston County 56th District Court Case No. 15-CV-844

- Source: http://setexasrecord.com

Federal Aviation Administration Proposes $325,000 Civil Penalty Against Southwest Airlines

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBSDFW.COM) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $325,000 civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for allegedly operating a Boeing 737 that was not in compliance with federal aviation regulations.

On July 9, 2014, an FAA inspector performed an aging aircraft inspection on the Boeing 737 while it was at a maintenance facility in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The inspector discovered Southwest improperly recorded a temporary repair to an approximately nine-inch crease in the aluminum skin of the jetliner’s rear cargo door as a permanent repair.

The inspector discovered this fuselage damage had first been reported in Southwest Airlines’ maintenance records on May 2, 2002, which is when the airline made the temporary repair.

The airline was required to inspect the temporary repair every 4,000 flights and complete a permanent repair within 24,000 flights.

However, the FAA alleges the airline operated the aircraft on 24,831 flights without performing  the periodic inspections required for the temporary repair. 

The agency further alleges the airline operated the plane on 4,831 flights beyond the flight threshold by which it was required to have performed the permanent repair. The final repair was completed on July 24, 2014.

Southwest has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case. 

Source: http://dfw.cbslocal.com

Prince Edward Island court dismisses fight over Colombian police airplane engines

A supreme court judge has dismissed an application by a Canadian aircraft manufacturer for a declaration of ownership of two aircraft engines sent to P.E.I. for repairs by police in Colombia.

Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell ruled the actions of a sovereign state, legitimately taken with its territory, are to be shown deference and respect by another sovereign state.

"Prince Edward Island has no jurisdiction to interfere with the actions and legal determination of a foreign state unless such actions offend Canadian public policy and violate our 'essential morality' or 'fundamental values,' " Campbell wrote in his decision. "Such was not the situation in this case."

The engines in question, which were installed in a Haviland Dash 8, were delivered to Vector Aerospace Engine Services in Summerside on behalf of the National Police of Colombia (NPC) for overhaul and repair work.

While the engines were undergoing that work, Dash 224, LCC (Dash), filed a motion seeking an interim preservation order requiring the two engines remain in the possession of Vector in P.E.I.

That interim order was granted to Dash on May 27, 2013 for 30 days without any notice being given to NPC.

On June 24 of that year the court extended the preservation order for a further 30 days on the condition that Vector's storage fees would be paid by Dash.

Dash and Vector subsequently consented to extend the preservation order to Aug. 5 and then to Aug. 15.

Dash subsequently amended its original application to request a declaration of ownership of the Haviland Dash 8-311 aircraft, including its two Pratt and Whitney Canada engines.

Colombian Police, on learning what had transpired in Canada, asked to be added to the court proceedings to argue a single issue, the validity of the original May 27 order and the extensions to that order.

The aircraft at the center of this case had been seized by authorities in Colombia because it was illegally imported into the country.

In 2011 the aircraft was subsequently forfeited to the Colombian tax agency. 

The Colombian government then donated it to the NPC to be used solely for public purposes, with a prohibition on using it for any commercial purpose.

When the engines were in need of maintenance, they were sent to Prince Edward Island for service.

It was upon learning that the engines were shipped to P.E.I. that Dash applied for a preservation order and declaration of ownership in their favor.

Source:  http://www.theguardian.pe.ca

Published on July 31, 2014:    National Police of Colombia win payment for possible legal fees involving aircraft engines now in storage on P.E.I.

A company that is in a legal battle with Colombian police over airplane engines that were undergoing an overhaul in Summerside will have to pay a $500,000 bond while the case is before the courts.

In a recent unanimous decision, the P.E.I. Court of Appeal ordered Dash 224 pay the bond to cover the National Police of Colombia’s (NPC) costs in the event NPC wins.

The issue revolves around two engines worth $1 million each from a De Havilland Dash 8 airplane the Colombian government seized in 2011 and sent to Vector Aerospace in Summerside for an overhaul.

A company called Regional One Inc. owned the plane and was leasing it to Aerovias de Avacion Regional Aires when it entered Colombia in 2010 without the proper paperwork.

Regional One has since transferred its interest in the plane to Dash 224, which is an affiliated business and trying to get the engines back.

Dash 224 successfully sought a temporary order through the P.E.I. Supreme Court to keep the engines in the province.

In the appeal decision written by Justice John Mitchell, he wrote that it will probably be at least another six months before the matter gets to trial, but if the NPC wins the onus will be on it to prove its legal costs and losses.

The judges allowed an amendment request from Dash 224 that will continue the legal proceedings.

Although Mitchell said Dash 224 was largely the victor, he awarded the NPC $11,130 in costs and disbursements because of the timing of Dash 224’s amendment, which Mitchell said was sprung on the Colombian police at the last minute.

Source:  http://www.theguardian.pe.ca

Air Traffic Controller Accused of Public Intoxication Skips Court Date



SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — The air traffic controller who is facing charges of being drunk on the job skipped his court date scheduled for Monday (August 17).

Philip Maschek, 50, had an arraignment scheduled for Monday, said Sherri Curry, chief court clerk of the Springdale District Court. He was arrested July 16 on suspicion of public intoxication at the Springdale Municipal Airport.

If Maschek doesn’t check in with the court soon, Curry said a warrant will be issued for his arrest.

Source:  http://5newsonline.com





SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – An air traffic controller at Springdale Municipal Airport (ASG) was arrested Thursday morning (July 16) on suspicion of public intoxication, according to an arrest report from the Springdale Police Department. 


According to Springdale Director of Finance and Administration Wyman Morgan, a plane was waiting to take off and there was no response from the tower on the radio. After repeated radio attempts, the pilot notified the city.

He said a maintenance employee found Philip Maschek, 50, shirtless and unconscious on the floor. When officers arrived on scene and entered the tower, they noticed Maschek swaying back and forth. Maschek denied being intoxicated on multiple occasions, according to the police report.

Springdale police officers administered sobriety tests on scene and then arrested Maschek. 

The arrest report states Maschek interrupted multiple tests by not following proper instructions. After officers led him down the stairs of the tower, Maschek attempted to climb back into the control tower but was restrained by police, according to the report. Maschek also raised his voice and screamed vulgarities at officers while he was interrogated and eventually placed behind bars at the jail.

Maschek was booked at the Springdale City Jail with a $350 bond.

Morgan said Maschek is a contract employee who works for Robinson Van Associates, a contractor that is hired by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate some air traffic control towers. He said he reported Maschek to his supervisor and the Federal Aviation Administration and is confident they will take the right steps to deal with the situation.

Source:  http://5newsonline.com

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cessna 182F Skylane, N5738F, registered to a private individual and operated by Pacific Coast Flyers: Fatal accident occurred August 06, 2015 in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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 commercial pilot was conducting a cross-country business flight. While en route to the destination airport, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that they were going to lose an engine. The flight was over mountainous terrain; the controller provided nearby airports to the pilot, and the pilot chose a diversionary airport. The pilot then reported that the airplane was experiencing vibrations and that he could not see anything due to oil on his windscreen, as well as smoke that had entered into the cabin. The controller told the pilot that he would report an emergency for him; no further communications were received from the pilot. The airplane was located the following morning in mountainous terrain. 

The airplane struck a mountain at an elevation of 3,554 ft. On-site examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane came to rest inverted with the undercarriage covered in oil from the nose to the tail. An examination of the airframe revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The engine teardown examination revealed a hole in the engine crankcase above the No. 6 connecting rod. The No. 5 connecting rod had fractured and separated from the crankshaft, which caused internal damage to the engine and led to the loss of engine power. The internal components exhibited signs of oil starvation; however, the cause of the oil starvation could not be determined. 

Although a small amount of ethanol was detected in the pilot's cavity blood, no ethanol was detected in the vitreous or urine, indicating that the detected ethanol was likely due to postmortem production and did not contribute to the accident. Although the pilot's tissue samples tested positive for small amounts of the inactive metabolite of marijuana, no active drug was detected in the pilot's blood; therefore, the pilot was likely not experiencing significant effects from his marijuana use at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Oil starvation that led to the failure of the No. 5 connecting rod and a subsequent loss of engine power.




Birger Greg Bacino

David Keith Martz



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

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

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

Operator: Pacific Coast Flyers


http://registry.faa.gov/N5738F




NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 6, 2015, about 2210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182F airplane, N5738F, impacted mountainous terrain about 15 miles northeast of Montecito, California. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Pacific Coast Flyers as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country business flight. Night visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight had departed from the San Luis County Regional Airport, San Luis Obispo, California, at an undetermined time, and was destined for Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California.

The pilot checked in with Point Mugu Approach Control at 2147:31. Less than 1 minute later, the pilot reported that there was a problem, and reported that he wasn't sure where they were going from here, and asked for directions. At 2148:26, the pilot reported that they were going to lose an engine, and then stated, "here something just happened." The controller and the pilot then discussed nearby diversionary airports, they chose Santa Barbara. At 2149:27, the pilot reported vibrations and that he couldn't see anything. He then reported an oil problem, "I think… we lost something." At 2150:21, the pilot reported that smoke was coming into the cabin; the controller told the pilot he was going to declare an emergency for him. No further communications were received from the pilot after 2150:58. At 2151:34, the approach controller reported to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center that the accident airplane had blown something, that the windshield was covered with oil, that there was smoke in the cockpit, and that the pilot was attempting to get to Santa Barbara.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department located the airplane wreckage the next morning at 0430 in mountainous terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating, and private pilot privileges for airplane single- and multiengine land.
The pilot's personal flight records were not located. A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airmen medical records revealed that the pilot was issued a time-limited, special issuance, second-class on March 7, 2015. On his medical certificate application, the pilot reported 6,250 total flight hours and 50 hours in the previous 6 months. The Aerospace Medical Certification Division withdrew the special issuance and issued a general denial on April 27, 2015, for alcohol dependence and failure to report a 2013 DUI. On July 29, 2015, the pilot requested a reconsideration because he had completed alcohol treatment and was in aftercare, but a decision was pending at the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 18254796, was manufactured in 1963. It was powered by a Continental Motors O-470-R 230-horsepower reciprocating engine.

The airplane was purchased by a private owner on November 22, 2014, and was leased to Pacific Coast Flyers as a rental airplane.

A review of the airplane's maintenance logbook revealed that an annual/100-hour inspection was completed on May 1, 2015, at which time the airframe total time was 6,050.25 hours, and the engine time since major overhaul was 250.4 hours.

The engine was overhauled by Corona Aircraft Engines, Corona, California; test run, and returned to service on September 10, 2009, as a zero hours-SMOH engine. The engine was installed on the accident airplane on September 18, 2009, at an airframe total time of 5,529.85 hours.

A March 18, 2011, Blackstone Laboratories oil sample report noted that there was an excessive amount of metal in an oil sample; that had been submitted for testing, and suggested a thorough inspection of the engine before operating the airplane. An April 29, 2013, oil sample report noted that there was some improvement, but that an excessive amount of metal was still present in the oil sample, and that "this engine could have some serious issues in the works." The report suggested that the operator look for cylinder issues and/or exhaust valve guide problems, change the oil every 30 hours, and proceed with caution.

A December 9, 2013, Blackstone Laboratories oil sample report indicated that the amount of wear metals in the sample were "coming down" from previous samples, but recommended that the operator try a shorter oil run to wash out the excess metals and then resample the oil in about 30 hours. An April 15, 2014, oil sample report showed that the amount of wear metals in the oil sample were much lower, and that the improvements were promising. The laboratory suggested using another shorter oil run, and submitting another sample. A February 19, 2015, oil sample report stated that the oil sample was better than past samples, and that the wear metals were in the average range. There was no contamination identified at this time; engine total time was 486 hours since major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting station from the accident site was located 23 nautical miles southwest of the accident site at the Santa Barbara Municipal airport (SBA), Santa Barbara, California.

At 2153, the weather was reported as clear sky, visibility 10 statute miles. The temperature was 21 degrees C, dew point was 17 degrees C. The wind was from 100 degrees at 6 knots. The altimeter setting was 29.83 Hg.
The end of civil twilight occurred at 2023.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a mountain at an elevation of 3,554 ft. The airplane came to rest inverted on a near-vertical slope about 300 feet below the top of the ridgeline; the airplane came to rest about 50 ft below the impact point. The airframe examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Oil was observed on the airplane's undercarriage from the nose to the tail cone. A visual examination of the engine revealed a hole in the top of the engine case near the No. 6 cylinder. The engine was shipped to the manufacturer for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner, Coroner's Bureau, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was reported as "multiple traumatic injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The testing detected 0.0431 and 0.002 (ug/ml, ug/g) tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, the inactive metabolite of marijuana in the liver and cavity blood respectively; no tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) was detected in the cavity blood.

No ethanol was detected in the urine or vitreous; 67 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in cavity blood.

TEST AND RESEARCH

An engine teardown examination was performed, and it revealed that the No. 5 connecting rod had fractured and separated from the crankshaft, which caused internal damage to the engine. The engine's internal components exhibited signs of oil starvation. Residual oil was found in the top and front of the engine crankcase.

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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 August 6, 2015, about 2210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182F, N5738F, impacted mountainous terrain about 15 miles northeast of Montecito, California. The pilot operated the rental airplane from Pacific Coast Flyers, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a business cross-country flight. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight had departed from the San Luis County Regional Airport (SBP), San Luis Obispo, California, at an undetermined time. The flight was destined for Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ), Carlsbad, California. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot radioed a mayday call to an air traffic controller at Point Magu Naval Air Station, and indicated that he had oil on his windscreen and smoke in the cockpit. Subsequently radio and radar contact was lost. An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued at 2212. The airplane was located the following morning at 0430 in mountainous terrain by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and a Search and Rescue crew accessed the site, and reported that the airplane came to rest inverted about 300 feet from the top of the ridgeline. 

The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, and Cessna Aircraft responded to the site. The airplane had impacted the mountain about 50 feet above its final resting spot. Oil was observed from the nose of the airplane to the tail cone.  A further inspection of the airplane will take place following its recovery. Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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 commercial pilot was conducting a cross-country business flight. While en route to the destination airport, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that they were going to lose an engine. The flight was over mountainous terrain; the controller provided nearby airports to the pilot, and the pilot chose a diversionary airport. The pilot then reported that the airplane was experiencing vibrations and that he could not see anything due to oil on his windscreen, as well as smoke that had entered into the cabin. The controller told the pilot that he would report an emergency for him; no further communications were received from the pilot. The airplane was located the following morning in mountainous terrain. 

The airplane struck a mountain at an elevation of 3,554 ft. On-site examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane came to rest inverted with the undercarriage covered in oil from the nose to the tail. An examination of the airframe revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The engine teardown examination revealed a hole in the engine crankcase above the No. 6 connecting rod. The No. 5 connecting rod had fractured and separated from the crankshaft, which caused internal damage to the engine and led to the loss of engine power. The internal components exhibited signs of oil starvation; however, the cause of the oil starvation could not be determined. 

Although a small amount of ethanol was detected in the pilot's cavity blood, no ethanol was detected in the vitreous or urine, indicating that the detected ethanol was likely due to postmortem production and did not contribute to the accident. Although the pilot's tissue samples tested positive for small amounts of the inactive metabolite of marijuana, no active drug was detected in the pilot's blood; therefore, the pilot was likely not experiencing significant effects from his marijuana use at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Oil starvation that led to the failure of the No. 5 connecting rod and a subsequent loss of engine power.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 6, 2015, about 2210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182F airplane, N5738F, impacted mountainous terrain about 15 miles northeast of Montecito, California. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Pacific Coast Flyers as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country business flight. Night visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight had departed from the San Luis County Regional Airport, San Luis Obispo, California, at an undetermined time, and was destined for Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California.

The pilot checked in with Point Mugu Approach Control at 2147:31. Less than 1 minute later, the pilot reported that there was a problem, and reported that he wasn't sure where they were going from here, and asked for directions. At 2148:26, the pilot reported that they were going to lose an engine, and then stated, "here something just happened." The controller and the pilot then discussed nearby diversionary airports, they chose Santa Barbara. At 2149:27, the pilot reported vibrations and that he couldn't see anything. He then reported an oil problem, "I think… we lost something." At 2150:21, the pilot reported that smoke was coming into the cabin; the controller told the pilot he was going to declare an emergency for him. No further communications were received from the pilot after 2150:58. At 2151:34, the approach controller reported to the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center that the accident airplane had blown something, that the windshield was covered with oil, that there was smoke in the cockpit, and that the pilot was attempting to get to Santa Barbara.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department located the airplane wreckage the next morning at 0430 in mountainous terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rotorcraft-helicopter rating, and private pilot privileges for airplane single- and multiengine land.
The pilot's personal flight records were not located. A review of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airmen medical records revealed that the pilot was issued a time-limited, special issuance, second-class on March 7, 2015. On his medical certificate application, the pilot reported 6,250 total flight hours and 50 hours in the previous 6 months. The Aerospace Medical Certification Division withdrew the special issuance and issued a general denial on April 27, 2015, for alcohol dependence and failure to report a 2013 DUI. On July 29, 2015, the pilot requested a reconsideration because he had completed alcohol treatment and was in aftercare, but a decision was pending at the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 18254796, was manufactured in 1963. It was powered by a Continental Motors O-470-R 230-horsepower reciprocating engine.

The airplane was purchased by a private owner on November 22, 2014, and was leased to Pacific Coast Flyers as a rental airplane.
A review of the airplane's maintenance logbook revealed that an annual/100-hour inspection was completed on May 1, 2015, at which time the airframe total time was 6,050.25 hours, and the engine time since major overhaul was 250.4 hours.

The engine was overhauled by Corona Aircraft Engines, Corona, California; test run, and returned to service on September 10, 2009, as a zero hours-SMOH engine. The engine was installed on the accident airplane on September 18, 2009, at an airframe total time of 5,529.85 hours.

A March 18, 2011, Blackstone Laboratories oil sample report noted that there was an excessive amount of metal in an oil sample; that had been submitted for testing, and suggested a thorough inspection of the engine before operating the airplane. An April 29, 2013, oil sample report noted that there was some improvement, but that an excessive amount of metal was still present in the oil sample, and that "this engine could have some serious issues in the works." The report suggested that the operator look for cylinder issues and/or exhaust valve guide problems, change the oil every 30 hours, and proceed with caution.

A December 9, 2013, Blackstone Laboratories oil sample report indicated that the amount of wear metals in the sample were "coming down" from previous samples, but recommended that the operator try a shorter oil run to wash out the excess metals and then resample the oil in about 30 hours. An April 15, 2014, oil sample report showed that the amount of wear metals in the oil sample were much lower, and that the improvements were promising. The laboratory suggested using another shorter oil run, and submitting another sample. A February 19, 2015, oil sample report stated that the oil sample was better than past samples, and that the wear metals were in the average range. There was no contamination identified at this time; engine total time was 486 hours since major overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting station from the accident site was located 23 nautical miles southwest of the accident site at the Santa Barbara Municipal airport (SBA), Santa Barbara, California.

At 2153, the weather was reported as clear sky, visibility 10 statute miles. The temperature was 21 degrees C, dew point was 17 degrees C. The wind was from 100 degrees at 6 knots. The altimeter setting was 29.83 Hg.
The end of civil twilight occurred at 2023.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a mountain at an elevation of 3,554 ft. The airplane came to rest inverted on a near-vertical slope about 300 feet below the top of the ridgeline; the airplane came to rest about 50 ft below the impact point. The airframe examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Oil was observed on the airplane's undercarriage from the nose to the tail cone. A visual examination of the engine revealed a hole in the top of the engine case near the No. 6 cylinder. The engine was shipped to the manufacturer for further examination.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner, Coroner's Bureau, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was reported as "multiple traumatic injuries."

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The testing detected 0.0431 and 0.002 (ug/ml, ug/g) tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, the inactive metabolite of marijuana in the liver and cavity blood respectively; no tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana) was detected in the cavity blood.

No ethanol was detected in the urine or vitreous; 67 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in cavity blood.

TEST AND RESEARCH

An engine teardown examination was performed, and it revealed that the No. 5 connecting rod had fractured and separated from the crankshaft, which caused internal damage to the engine. The engine's internal components exhibited signs of oil starvation. Residual oil was found in the top and front of the engine crankcase.


The pilot of a small plane that crashed earlier this month in Santa Barbara County, killing him and his passenger, had a long history of discipline by the Federal Aviation Administration and lacked the medical clearances required to fly.

Government records show that David K. Martz, 58, of San Diego lost his pilot's license three times over the years — the latest revocation occurring in 2009 after he had oral sex with an adult film actress while flying a helicopter.

Before the crash Aug. 6, Martz was facing a fourth revocation proceeding on allegations that he falsified his Federal Aviation Administration medical certificate related to two drunken driving convictions in 2013 and 2014. He surrendered the document in June during the agency's investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration issues medical certifications to pilots after doctors determine they are healthy enough to operate aircraft.

"A person needs a pilot certificate and a current medical certificate to fly legally," said Ian Gregor, an Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Los Angeles. "Mr. Martz did not have a valid medical certificate when last week's crash occurred."

Martz was at the controls of a Cessna 182F Skylane when it crashed into a steep hillside in a remote area of Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai. He reported engine trouble about 9:45 p.m., authorities said.

The plane was headed from Lompoc to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad in north San Diego County. Also killed in the crash was Greg Bacino, 56, of San Diego.

Though Martz had a lengthy disciplinary record, it can be difficult for the Federal Aviation Administration to keep reckless, incompetent or rogue pilots out of the cockpit permanently. Under federal regulations, pilots can lose their licenses for a year and get them back by successfully re-testing after the revocation period expires.

There are exceptions, however. Air transport, commercial and private pilot licenses as well as medical certificates can be revoked permanently because of drug or alcohol dependencies, serious health issues, psychological problems, lack of good moral character, criminal convictions for narcotics trafficking or knowingly installing parts in aircraft that are not Federal Aviation Administration-certified.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Martz first lost his commercial pilot's license for a year in 1986 for flying an aircraft without a valid registration and possessing a false medical certificate — the same charge he was facing before the Santa Barbara crash.

His flight privileges were revoked again in 2004 for operating an aircraft while his pilot's license was suspended and flying within 50 feet of people and property at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego.

The third revocation occurred in 2009 for recklessly operating a four-passenger Bell helicopter Martz had lent to an adult film company. While at the controls and hovering over San Diego, he was captured on videotape receiving oral sex from a Swedish porn star.

The Federal Aviation Administration also has suspended Martz's license several times starting in 2002, when he lost his flight privileges for 30 days for performing aerobatics below an altitude of 1,500 feet over a populated area. A 230-day suspension followed in 2005 after he flew passengers in a helicopter he knew was damaged.

The Federal Aviation Administration also investigated Martz in 2006 for landing a helicopter on Wattles Drive in the Hollywood Hills to pick up Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, who wanted to go to a Nine Inch Nails concert.

No disciplinary action resulted, but the Los Angeles city attorney's office charged Martz with reckless operation of an aircraft, landing an aircraft on a public road and landing an aircraft without a permit, all misdemeanors. Frank Mateljan, a city attorney spokesman, said Martz was placed on 36 months' probation and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Three years later while transporting Lee again, Martz was forced to land his helicopter at Van Nuys Airport after he reportedly flew very close to a Los Angeles police chopper. Authorities said Martz took a Breathalyzer test to determine if he was intoxicated, but it was inconclusive.

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

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA236
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 06, 2015 in Montecito, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F, registration: N5738F
Injuries: 2 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 August 6, 2015, about 2210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182F, N5738F, impacted mountainous terrain about 15 miles northeast of Montecito, California. The pilot operated the rental airplane from Pacific Coast Flyers, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a business cross-country flight. The pilot and one passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight had departed from the San Luis County Regional Airport (SBP), San Luis Obispo, California, at an undetermined time. The flight was destined for Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ), Carlsbad, California. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, and no flight plan had been filed. 

The pilot radioed a mayday call to an air traffic controller at Point Magu Naval Air Station, and indicated that he had oil on his windscreen and smoke in the cockpit. Subsequently radio and radar contact was lost. An Alert Notification (ALNOT) was issued at 2212. The airplane was located the following morning at 0430 in mountainous terrain by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and a Search and Rescue crew accessed the site, and reported that the airplane came to rest inverted about 300 feet from the top of the ridgeline. 

The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, and Cessna Aircraft responded to the site. The airplane had impacted the mountain about 50 feet above its final resting spot. Oil was observed from the nose of the airplane to the tail cone.

A further inspection of the airplane will take place following its recovery.

Federal Aviation Administration reviewing whether Allegiant Air filed safety reports on time

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it is reviewing whether Allegiant Air failed to timely file safety reports detailing mechanical difficulties causing two emergency landings at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport this summer.

The airline filed the "Service Difficulty Reports" about the June 17 and July 3 emergency landings Tuesday. That came after the Tampa Bay Times repeatedly asked the FAA and Allegiant to either provide the reports or explain why they were missing.

Federal regulations require the filing of such reports with the FAA generally within four days. Allegiant declined to discuss the reports for those two flights.

An SDR for a June 8 emergency landing at the airport was filed in a timely manner.

The FAA requires airlines to quickly file safety reports on serious mechanical problems on their planes so the agency can identify potentially dangerous flaws in aircraft systems.

"The FAA is looking into the timeliness of Service Difficulty Reports that Allegiant Air filed in connection with emergency landings on June 17 and July 3," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. "The FAA is working with the carrier to improve its SDR reporting process."

Allegiant has declined to provide much detail on the three emergency landings, so the reports provide the first glimpse of the mechanical issues that may have contributed to them.

On the afternoon of June 8, Allegiant Flight 864 departed St. Pete-Clearwater for Maryland with 141 passengers aboard. Shortly after takeoff, a flight attendant reported "smoke/fumes" like burning rubber, according to the SDR.

The plane made an emergency landing, deploying evacuation slides. Four passengers and a flight attendant suffered minor injuries.

Mechanics combed the aircraft to identify a malfunction. But the FAA report filed by the airline said they were unable to find any problem.

The June 8 incident was similar to the flight of a different Allegiant aircraft a week earlier that never made the news, according to reports reviewed by the Times.

That aircraft was descending into St. Pete-Clearwater when three out of four flight attendants "claim they felt dizzy & became nauseous" due to "smells like gunpowder & a mechanic shop" in the sixth row of passenger seats, an SDR filed for the flight said. Passengers, it noted, smelled nothing.

The pilot landed safely without declaring an emergency. Allegiant mechanics, the report said, could find nothing amiss with the aircraft.

In a statement, Allegiant declined to discuss that flight in detail. "We cannot speculate on the source of an odor for which we found no evidence of the source," the airline said.

On June 17, Allegiant Flight 866 departed the Pinellas airport with 154 passengers, headed to Pittsburgh, before returning for an emergency landing. Allegiant told the FAA that air-conditioning equipment failed, resulting in the aircraft being unable to maintain pressurization. The report said the pilot was forced to descend at the "maximum rate" of 3,000 feet per minute.

An inoperative control valve was later found by mechanics.

On July 3, Allegiant Flight 977 left Asheville, N.C., bound for Punta Gorda, but was forced to divert to St. Pete-Clearwater.

An Allegiant spokesperson had previously said an indicator light in the cockpit pointed to a potential problem with the alignment of the aircraft's spoilers, which rise from the wings to reduce lift during descent.

An SDR filed on the flight confirmed that and noted the problem was simply a broken sensor, which first malfunctioned at 2,000 feet.

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

D.C., New York flight delays caused by air traffic glitch, Federal Aviation Administration says



A computer problem at a Virginia air traffic control center led to significant flight delays Saturday at airports in the Washington and New York City areas, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Airports with delays included Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where departures were stalled up to two hours as of 1:15 p.m. ET, the FAA said.

An unspecified problem emerged in a computer system that processes flight plans at the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, Virginia, forcing the FAA to temporarily halt departures for all planes at the D.C.-area's three major airports, the FAA said.

Flights from at least two Washington-area airports resumed in the early afternoon, said Kimberly Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

But the stoppage had a domino effect, pushing back numerous flights.

The problem also affected planes that were in the sky at the time of the computer problem, with "high-altitude traffic" diverted around the center's airspace, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

A map on flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.com seemed to illustrate the effect: Very few fights were shown over large parts of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware early Saturday afternoon.

More planes were in the airspace by 1:30 p.m., with planes finally departing Washington-area airports. But planes taking off from the Washington airspace were being kept at an elevation of 10,000 feet or lower, images from FlightRadar24.com showed.

Major airlines acknowledged the East Coast delays.

"We have to make last-minute adjustments to flight plans," Delta Air Lines spokesman Morgan Durrant said. "Flights in and out of the three major D.C.-area airports may be delayed."

"There is an issue with air traffic control impacting all airlines' east coast flights. Please plan accordingly," American Airlines said on Twitter.

The FAA said general delays as of 1:15 p.m. ET included:

• Up to two hours at Baltimore-Washington International Airport

• Up to one hour at Washington Dulles International Airport

• 15 minutes or less at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

• Up to one hour at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport

• Up to 75 minutes at New York's LaGuardia Airport

• Up to 29 minutes at Newark Liberty International Airport

Source:  http://www.cnn.com