Sunday, August 30, 2015

Business magnet: Spruce Creek Fly-In home to several aviation service firms

Pahan Ranasingha stands Monday in the hangar of his building at Avionics Installations at the Spruce Creek fly-In in Port Orange, Florida.
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PORT ORANGE —With more than 600 flying machines based at the Spruce Creek Fly-In, it's no wonder several aircraft businesses choose to call it home.

With a 4,000-foot runway as the community's centerpiece and about 13 miles of taxiways leading to homes — some where you can almost slide out of the cockpit into your dining room — the gated community is one-of-a-kind and a natural fit to aviation businesses that have discovered the benefits of a home-grown customer base.

The land under the Port Orange-area community was originally a U.S. Naval Air Force training facility during World War II, but after the war ended the property was left vacant and it attracted vagrants and teenagers looking for a party spot.

A group of five investors became interested in the property back in the late 1960s and decided to purchase it in the mid-'70s with the intent to create an airplane-friendly community. Another developer, Jay Thompson of Thompson Properties, bought the Spruce Creek Fly-In when it was for sale in the late '80s.

Now, the once-abandoned air park has become a haven for what residents call "toy enthusiasts," and that concentrated interest makes for a business niche like no other.

IF YOU CAN'T BUILD OUT, BUILD UP

Pahan Ranasingha, owner of Avionics Installations Inc., opened up his firm in 1991 and works out of a Fly-In hangar on Cessna Boulevard.

Since that time, the firm's seven employees have had a constant stream of work at the two Fly-In commercial hangars he owns. So much so he was running out of space, but since the taxiways prevent a build-out, Ranasingha hired local contractor Mike Ceralosi to custom build an office inside the hangar that would still allow planes in.

Ceralosi came up with a design to make the office space at 212 Cessna Blvd. look like part of the fuselage of an old Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet and anchored it to the wall diagonally — 16 feet off the ground and out of the way of his employees.

Ranasingha, who incorporated his digital avionics, navigation and communication installation company in 1993, says being at the Fly-In has been the perfect location for him, in part because of his proximity to other aircraft machinists like Michael Collier, who operates an aircraft composite construction firm called Fibercraft in the Fly-In, across the taxiway from Avionics Installations.

A BUILT-IN CONSUMER BASE

Collier employs five workers who work with composite materials to build experimental aircraft, many of them one-of-a-kind. Case in point: one mock-up he and his crew designed included a fishing dock.

Collier started his business in Oregon in 1999. He relocated it to the Fly-In in 2012. The location just made sense, he said.

Most of my customers travel along the East Coast and the Fly-In is more convenient for them, he said.

In addition to building machines and kit planes from scratch and making body modifications, Collier has added inspections to the list of services offered. But before each of those inspections is made by Collier's company, Federal Aviation Administration rules state they have to be spick-and-span.

Enter Talon Rayne.

A ROLL OF THE DICE


Rayne started a detailing business in the Fly-In two years ago when he realized all aircraft had to be cleaned before each annual inspection and every 100 hours of flight as part of the FAA's maintenance and safety regulations. While there is no rule against cleaning your own plane, it's a time-consuming process, which gave Rayne the idea to open up shop in the community.

Rayne's company, Aerodyne Detail LLC, cleans, polishes and restores aircraft and business has been booming. His firm takes care of more than 150 aircraft on a revolving basis, but it didn't start out easy.

Rayne went to school to get his license to become an aircraft mechanic a few years back. Since it takes at least three years to become certified to do inspections on aircraft and his mechanic work wasn't exactly taking off, Rayne said he was keeping his eye out for other avenues to keep the bills paid and he came across the FAA inspection regulation. He said that was the catalyst for deciding the Fly-In would be his niche.

At the time, since money was pretty tight, getting into the community to start his business was a leap of faith.

"When I got there I didn't know anybody," Rayne said. "It was kind of a roll of the dice to get in there and really see if I could make the business successful."

But now that he's spent time in the Fly-In, "Now it's happening," Rayne said. "We get new customers every month. It just keeps growing and growing."

Commercial space or hangar space can be rented at the Spruce Creek Airport or you can be mobile. But while you don't have to own property within the super high-security community to do business there it certainly helps. Rayne says having that network surrounding him where he lives is the main reason his firm is so busy.

"We know each other more than the average community does," said Rayne, who said that while 90 percent of his detailing work is done within the confines of the community, the other 10 percent is done at large air shows like the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, and the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he follows his clients.

"We're supporting people that are our neighbors," he said.

"Being inside Spruce Creek (Fly-In) really does lend a lot to your credibility," Rayne said.

On the other hand, "You've really got to bring your A-game if your going to be doing business in there," he said. "People will just basically ignore you if you're no good."

Rayne said he has customers bring him airplanes to detail from as far away as New Hampshire and considers that an honor and gauge of his success.

"If you're doing business and you're doing business well inside the Creek, then you're doing alright," he said.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.news-journalonline.com

As an air traffic controller in the 1990s, I had to close down the airport due to bird activity --Tri Ratina Manandhar, former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority Nepal

An official at the Tribhuvan International Airport aiming at a bird.
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By TRI RATNA MANANDHAR 
August 30, 2015

On October 9, 1996, a Thai Airways Flight 312 bound for Bangkok narrowly escaped a major mishap when it slammed into a group of vultures during take-off from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). The Thai pilot acted very calmly and continued with the predetermined take-off procedure. Once the Airbus 330-600 had stabilized in the air, he turned around and made an emergency landing at the TIA. The jet was carrying 228 persons including the crew. The passengers were unharmed. However, five dead vultures were recovered from the impact site, and one of the aircraft’s engines was severely damaged, requiring it to be grounded for several days.  The incident was front-page news in The Kathmandu Post. ‘Thai jet survives major mishap’, the headline screamed. One American passenger named Matt Carpenter even got the entire crew to sign autographs on a copy of the newspaper.  

Adamant birds

Bird hazards are a constant threat at the TIA, especially from September to November. During those months, earthworms come out of the grass seeking warmth and die on the runway. This attracts vultures that come to feed on the abundant supply of earthworms. There used to be landfill sites, garbage dumps and uncontrolled commercial activities close to the runway which attracted birds, creating a great nuisance for flight operations. I was one of the air traffic controllers (ATC) on duty that day and I vividly remember the intense bird activities around the TIA. All the available techniques and resources had been deployed to scare away the birds, and helicopters were even requested to hover over the runway. The airport’s fire hoses were also used to drive them away. But the vultures were very adamant. They would fly a short distance before returning to the runway.

An Indian Airlines (IA) flight from Delhi was inbound even as the airport was encountering intense bird activities. The pilots opted to land despite the warnings of the ATCs. Fortunately, the landing was safe. After landing, the upset IA pilots requested us to get rid of them before their next flight. It was very unfortunate that they did not know about the ground team’s enormous efforts to keep the runway clear.  

Timid authorities

About half an hour after the IA flight landed, Thai Flight 312 requested clearance for takeoff. The ATC informed the pilots about the severe bird activities around the airport. Since Thai Airways was very particular about maintaining their schedule, they decided to depart in spite of the precarious bird activities. It was evident that the ATC was not comfortable with issuing a clearance to Flight 312. During such difficult circumstances, junior ATCs usually seek their supervisor’s help to deal with the situation. The supervisor had to take over and started giving authoritative instructions to the pilot though the airport was not closed.

Recalling that incident from almost 20 years ago and trying to figure out why the supervisor did not stop the Thai flight and left everything to the pilot, I think there were several reasons behind his decision. The first reason was obviously the dominant nature of Thai Airways and their link with the higher authorities. Second, the IA flight had landed safely just half an hour earlier. Third, and may be most importantly, there was no history of the airport being closed as a result of bird activity. In addition, the ATCs were known for their humility when dealing with pilots. As the investigators of the crash of PIA Flight 268 in 1992 had also noted, “Nepalese ATCs were timid and reluctant to intervene in what they saw as piloting matters.”

Setting a precedent

A year after the Thai incident, I was working as the supervisor at the control tower. There was high level of bird activities around the TIA, and I was feeling a bit apprehensive as I recalled the Thai incident. As usual, all the efforts to scare away the birds failed. In the meantime, there was an Aeroflot flight inbound from Moscow. The Aeroflot aircraft was informed well in advance about the hazardous bird activities at the TIA. The ground team was struggling hard to shoo away the birds before the plane arrived, but all their efforts were in vain and bird activities became even more intense. They reached an alarmingly critical level as the Aeroflot flight was nearing Kathmandu.

I consulted my seniors about closing down the airport, but no one wanted to be involved in taking such a decision. Ultimately, I took the unprecedented action of closing down the airport. The Aeroflot jet circled over Kathmandu for a few minutes and then headed for Delhi as there was no sign of improvement. The next day, the Aeroflot flight landed in Kathmandu with its Delhi-based senior executive officer on board. As soon as the aircraft landed, he headed straight to the general manager of the TIA to submit a formal letter asking for compensation for the loss caused by the flight’s diversion. I was immediately summoned by the general manager and asked to explain my actions. I had a very tough time convincing them as nobody made an attempt to understand the real circumstances. I did feel very sorry for closing the airport. However, my decision had been right and it set a precedent.

Over the last several years, there have been significant improvements in the TIA’s Air Traffic Control system. The Licensing and Rating system has been introduced and the ATCs are paid a fair compensation in terms of Rating Allowance and Stress Allowance. All those positive changes have helped to improve the confidence and morale of ATCs. Most importantly, as far as safety is concerned, ATCs have high professional confidence and do not hesitate to intervene and use their authority when the situation warrants it. Bird strike problems at airports are universal in nature and not unique to the TIA. Even though every possible technique is employed to prevent bird strikes, a number of incidents are reported every year.

Manandhar is a former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority Nepal

Original article can be found here: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com

Cirrus SR22, N765CD: Fatal accident occurred August 30, 2015 near Kewanee Municipal Airport (KEZI), Henry County, Illinois

Steven Mark Murray

Mark Haydn Murray



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; DuPage, Illinois
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Cirrus Aircraft; Duluth, Minnesota

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N765CD

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA388 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 30, 2015 in Kewanee, IL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N765CD
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 30, 2015, about 0918 central standard time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N765CD, was destroyed when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from Kewanee Municipal Airport (EZI), Kewanee, Illinois. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured; the second passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was privately owned, and the personal flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight, with an intended destination of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

A family member drove the pilot and passengers to EZI at 0745. During the short drive, the pilot discussed the fact that the airplane's autopilot had stopped working during the flight to EZI a few days before. The pilot thought that this would make the trip a little harder but that it was not a critical system preventing his departure. The pilot said that he initially planned to fly under the clouds then climb above the clouds to his desired cruise altitude of 11,000 ft. Upon arriving at the airport, the pilot decided to delay the flight due to the amount of fog in the area. The pilot and passengers subsequently returned to the airport about 0900 for departure. 

There were no witnesses to the accident and no distress calls were broadcast via radio. According to Flight Service, the pilot called before takeoff to file an IFR flight plan. He was given clearance to take off with a void time of ten minutes to activate the flight plan. The airport manager reported that the pilot taxied for takeoff on runway 27; however, the pilot's radio calls indicated that he thought he was using runway 19. After an aborted takeoff, the pilot completed a back-taxi on runway 27, but again his radio calls were for runway 19. The airplane subsequently departed runway 27. 

The surviving passenger, who was seated in the left rear seat, stated that the aborted takeoff was due to an open door. After securing the door, the airplane subsequently departed. She stated that when the airplane took off, it went quickly into the clouds. She stated that it did not feel as if the airplane was "going up." She stated that she heard a discussion between the pilot and then passenger seated in the front seat: the front seat passenger had reached for the activation handle for the airframe parachute system, and the pilot stated that the airplane was "too low." She then saw the ground approaching, and the impact occurred.

According to radar data obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Quad City Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, identified targets corresponded with the accident airplane's assigned transponder code. Additionally, five subsequent primary targets were consistent with the track of the accident airplane. There were no other aircraft operating in the immediate vicinity. The radar data corresponding to the airplane's transponder code began at 0914:53 at a Mode C reported altitude of 1,500 ft after the airplane departed EZI. The target continued in a left turn to the west and south and climbed to an altitude of 1,800 ft before beginning a descent to 1,200 ft. That data ended, and the primary radar returns consistent with the accident airplane begin at 0915:37 and continued until the last associated target at 0916:35 and an altitude of 1,600 ft. EZI airport elevation was 858 ft. A flight path superimposed between the primary targets suggested that the pilot made three nearly 360° left turns in close succession before impacting the ground. See figure 1.



PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on August 14, 2014. Review of the pilot's logbooks indicated a total flight experience of 922 hours of which 37 hours were in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot completed a Cirrus Advanced Transitional Instrument Training Course in May 2015. The pilot had logged 130 hours of actual instrument flight experience and 94.1 hours of simulated instrument experience. In the 90 days before the accident, the pilot logged 3.1 hours simulated instrument experience and 4.8 hours actual instrument experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 5, 2015, at a Hobbs meter time of 1,635.1 hours. On June 25, 2015, at a Hobbs time of 1,635.2 hours, a new Engine Data Management System was installed. The aircraft logbook included an entry stating that the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) was replaced on October 4, 2011, at a Hobbs time of 1,134.2 hours. At the time of the accident, the Hobbs time was 1,734.8 hours.

The co-owner of the airplane reported that he had flown the airplane 9 days before the accident. He reported that there were no problems with the aileron trim or the autopilot. He flew using GPS navigation and with the autopilot engaged for the entire flight. The 5.4-hour flight had 3 occupants onboard with 50 pounds of baggage. He also stated that he had talked to the accident pilot the morning before the accident. The pilot told him that the autopilot would hold altitude, but it would not hold the horizontal situation indicator (HSI) heading bug or the GPS. The pilot also told him that the trim on the sidestick was not working and that he could hold straight and level flight with a bit of right aileron. The co-owner and pilot agreed to have the trim looked at upon his return flight.

A family member reported that he and the pilot had flown the airplane on a local flight from EZI for about 15-20 minutes on the morning before the accident. He reported that the flight was normal and that they did not experience any problems.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

First responders reported foggy conditions and low cloud ceilings about the time of the accident. 

EZI listed no official weather reporting capability; however, an unofficial weather station was collocated at EZI and reported the following conditions at 0910: wind from 090° at 1 knot, temperature 18.9°C, dew point 18°C, relative humidity 99%, altimeter 30.11 inches of mercury (Hg). Visibility and sky conditions were not reported.

The closest reporting station to the accident site was from Galesburg Municipal Airport (GBG), Galesburg, Illinois, located 28 miles southwest of the accident site at an elevation of 764 ft. The airport had an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS), which issued observations every 20 minutes. The 0915 observation included: calm wind, visibility 1 miles in mist, ceiling overcast at 200 ft, temperature and dew point 19°C, altimeter 30.09 inches of Hg. 

A review of the observations for the day indicated that IFR conditions were reported as early as 2215 the previous evening, with low ceilings and visibility in fog and mist continuing through the time of the accident, and clearing by 1115. A weather study was completed by a NTSB staff meteorologist and is referenced in the public docket to this report.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Examinations of the airframe and engine were accomplished at the accident site and a secured hangar located at the Kewanee Airport.

The accident occurred in a planted soybean field, about 1.5 miles west of the Kewanee airport. The airplane impacted terrain in an approximate 45° nose-down, right-wing-low attitude on a heading of about 130-140°. The debris field extended to the east about 260 ft from the initial point of impact on a headings from 080 to 110°. The main wreckage came to rest on a heading about 190°.

An examination of the ground impact scars and debris path showed that the tip of the right wing struck the ground at the western end of the debris field. The scar from the right wing tip was the initial point of impact. Propeller cuts, dirt clumps, and an impact depression were noted in the soft soil about 38 to 45 ft from the initial impact point. The separated propeller was located at 55 ft, and the right cabin door was located at 65 ft. The tip of the right wing and aileron were at 67 ft. The upper engine cowling was at 72 ft and the lower engine cowling was at 78 ft. The CAPS enclosure cover was at 75 ft. The left cabin door was at 120 ft, the main wreckage was at 160 ft, and the engine was at 185 ft. The parachute was stretched out on a heading of 110° to about 240 ft. The CAPS D-Bag and rocket motor were at 260 ft.

Fuselage

The fuselage was mostly destroyed by impact forces. The lower forward fuselage was crushed up and aft. The firewall was separated from the fuselage and the upper engine cowling was separated from the fuselage. The right forward corner of the upper engine cowling was crushed aft about 25°. The lower left and right engine cowlings were fractured into several pieces. The forward fuselage was fractured and crushed aft. The spar cover was separated from the fuselage. Both front seats remained attached to the spar cover. The rear section of the cabin floor was separated from the fuselage and the rear seats remained attached to it.

Wing

The wing was mostly destroyed by impact forces, and the wing spar was fractured in multiple places. All upper and lower wing skins were separated from the wing spar. The left and right flaps were separated from the wing. The right aileron was separated from the wing, and the left aileron remained attached to the wing. Aileron control cable continuity was confirmed. The roll trim motor shaft was found fractured. The fractured end of the roll trim motor shaft remained attached to the roll trim cartridge. The roll trim cartridge remained attached to the left aileron actuation pulley. Two rub marks were located adjacent to the roll trim motor mounting location. One rub mark was on the roll trim motor access panel, and one rub mark was on the lower wing skin. It could not be determined when the rub marks occurred. The flap actuator was separated from the flap torque tube. The flap actuator shaft was located in a position extending approximately 2 inches, consistent with a "Flaps 50" position. 

Empennage/Stabilizers

The empennage was separated from the fuselage about 1 ft forward of the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and rudder control cable continuity was confirmed. The right elevator remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and the right elevator tip exhibited impact damage. The left elevator remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer and the left elevator tip was separated from the elevator. Elevator control cable continuity was confirmed. The pitch trim motor was in an approximate neutral position.

Landing Gear

The nose landing gear assembly was buckled aft under the engine. The nose landing gear upper weldment remained attached to the engine mount. The nose landing gear leg, tire and wheel assembly was separated from the nose landing gear upper weldment. Both the left and right main landing gear assemblies exhibited impact damage. Both main landing gear assemblies remained attached to the wing.

Doors

The right and left cabin doors were separated from the fuselage. Both door's upper and lower pins exhibited impact damage. The baggage door remained attached to the fuselage.

Cockpit 

The instrument panel exhibited impact damage and was separated into two sections. The center console exhibited impact damage. The center console was equipped with a Garmin GMA 340 Nav/Com, dual Garmin GNS 430's, S-TEC 55X autopilot, and a Garmin GTX 327 transponder. The ignition key remained in the ignition switch and the ignition switch was in the "Both" position. The bolster panel in front of the left crew seat was modified with a JPI Engine Data Management System. The instrument panel in front of the right crew seat was modified to accept a Garmin GPS map 696, which was installed.

The following settings, indications and switch positions were noted:

• Hobbs meter indicated 1,734.8 hours. • Altimeter's Kollsman window indicated a setting of 30.01. • Flap switch was in the flaps "100" position. • GPS #2 circuit breaker was in the "open" position. • Encoder/transponder circuit breaker was in the open position. • MFD circuit breaker was "zip-tied" in the "open" position. • Strobe and landing light switches were in the "on" position. • Strobe lights circuit breaker was in the "open" position. • Battery #2 circuit breaker was in the open position. • Battery #1, Alternator #1 and Alternator #2 master switches were in the "on" position. Seats and Restraints

Both front seats remained attached to the spar cover. First responders cut the left seat belt webbing to aid in the extraction of the left seat occupant. The separated left seat belt remained buckled together. The right seat belt was found unbuckled. The right seat belt webbing exhibited load damage. The right seat belt webbing was torn and partially pulled through the load bar. The left rear seat belt remained buckled together. The left rear seat belt webbing exhibited load damage and was crushed and gathered against the load bar.

Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS)

The forward section of the roof and the windscreen were separated from the fuselage. Impact damage was noted on the roof structure directly above and adjacent to the mounting location of the CAPS activation handle and holder. The CAPS activation handle was found out of the activation handle holder. The activation handle holder bracket was bent aft. Impact damage was noted on the activation handle and on the exposed activation cable. The CAPS safety pin was located on the ground under the main wreckage.

The CAPS was found deployed and the CAPS rocket motor propellant was expended. The CAPS rocket motor, rocket lanyards, incremental bridle, D-Bag, suspension lines, riser, rear harnesses and both front harnesses had been extracted from the airplane. The rear harness remained snubbed. Both reefing line cutters remained in place and both had been activated. The parachute was separated from the D-Bag and was found stretched out from the main wreckage on a heading about 110°. The slider was at the base of the canopy. Packing folds were present on the canopy.

The rocket motor, lanyards, incremental bridle and D-Bag were located approximately 20 ft beyond the end the parachute. The CAPS launch tube, rocket igniter, exhaust shield, and base remained attached to the bulkhead. The retention straps for the D-Bag remained in the enclosure compartment. The CAPS access panel (#CB7) exhibited impact transfer marks from the left front harness 3-point link. The CAPS enclosure cover was located approximately 20 ft south of the debris path at a point about 75 ft from the right wing tip ground scar. An impact transfer mark, consistent in size and dimension with the top of the CAPS rocket motor, was noted on the inside surface of the cover, on the "strike plate."

On-site observations of the CAPS system showed that the system was not activated in flight. All evidence correlated to a CAPS deployment as the result of impact forces. 

Engine 

The crankshaft propeller flange was fractured and remained attached to the propeller hub. All of the cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and exhibited impact damage. All damage observed was consistent with impact. The fractured crankshaft propeller flange and radii exhibited 45° shear lips and spiral cracking. The exhaust and induction systems exhibited impact damage.

Both magnetos remained attached to the engine. Rotation of the engine by hand through the accessory drive produced impulse coupling engagement from both magnetos. The magnetos produced spark on the top spark plug leads for cylinder Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6. The ignition harness was severed at the magneto due to impact damage, which contributed to the lack of spark from the top leads of cylinder Nos. 1 and 3. The ignition harness exhibited impact and thermal damage, and some leads were found cut and severed. The top spark plugs exhibited light- and dark-colored combustion deposits and the electrodes exhibited normal wear. The bottom spark plugs were inspected using a lighted borescope and exhibited normal operating signatures.

The fuel pump remained attached to the engine and was removed. The drive coupling was intact and the pump turned freely by hand. The mixture control arm moved freely by hand from stop to stop. The fuel pump was disassembled with no anomalies noted. The fuel manifold valve was removed from the engine and disassembled. The screen was free of debris. A small amount of fuel was observed in the manifold valve cavity. The diaphragm and plunger were intact and the retaining nut was tight. The fuel injector lines exhibited impact damage. The fuel injector nozzles from all cylinders except cylinder No. 2 were removed and free of obstructions. The No. 1 cylinder fuel nozzle was slightly bent. The fuel nozzle for cylinder No. 2 could not be removed due to impact damage.

The throttle body remained attached to the engine and exhibited impact damage. The control arm moved freely by hand from stop to stop. 

The oil sump was crushed upward into the crankcase and breached. The oil pump was disassembled and the drive and driven gears showed no anomalies and were coated with oil. The oil pump cavity contained oil and exhibited no hard particle passage. The oil cooler remained attached to the engine and exhibited impact damage.

The cylinders exhibited impact damage to their respective fins and some valve covers. The top spark plugs were removed and the cylinders were examined with a lighted borescope. The combustion chambers contained light-colored combustion deposits. The engine was rotated by hand through the accessory drive, and thumb compression was obtained on all cylinders except cylinder No. 1. A second borescope inspection of cylinder No. 1 revealed dirt and debris from impact located around the exhaust valve seat, preventing full closure of the exhaust valve. The engine was rotated again and proper operation of the No. 1 cylinder valve was visually observed with the borescope. The starter was found in the debris field, fractured and free of the starter adaptor. 

Propeller Assembly

The three-blade propeller was separated from the engine and located in the wreckage debris field. The spinner exhibited rotational crushing. Two blades were relatively straight and displayed chordwise scratching. The third blade was bent aft approximately midway from the hub to the tip and exhibited chordwise scratches and nicks in the leading edge. Several propeller slash marks were noted in the debris field. The propeller governor remained attached and was removed for inspection. The control arm moved freely by hand from stop to stop. The drive rotated freely by hand and oil discharged from the governor. The governor's gasket screen was free of debris.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Henry County Coroner Office, Cambridge, Illinois, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was listed as "Multiple Blunt Injuries."

Toxicological testing on specimens of the pilot was performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Testing for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and drugs were all negative.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Recorded Data

The airplane was equipped with a Garmin 696 GPS MAP and a JPI EDM 900 Engine Monitoring System. The Garmin 696 was impact damaged and no data was extracted.

The JPI EDM 900 was viable and data were downloaded. The data extracted included 71 logs from June 26, 2015 through August 30, 2015. The log for the accident flight began at 09:12:38 CDT and ended at 09:14:43 CDT. Additionally, data from four previous flights were reviewed. All recorded logs showed normal engine operation.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA388 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 30, 2015 in Kewanee, IL
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N765CD
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

On August 30, 2015, about 0918 central standard time, a Cirrus SR22 airplane, N765CD, registered to private individuals, collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from the Kewanee Municipal Airport (EZI), Kewanee, Illinois. Of the three occupants, the private pilot and 1 passenger sustained fatal injuries and 1 passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area of the accident and an IFR flight plan was placed on file with a 10 minute void time prior to takeoff. The flight was originating from EZI with an intended destination of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

There were no direct witnesses to the accident and no distress calls were received. According to Flight Service, the pilot called prior to takeoff to file an IFR flight plan. He was given clearance to takeoff with a void time of ten minutes to activate the flight plan. Local residents reported foggy conditions and low cloud ceilings about the time of the accident. The surviving passenger who was seated in the rear seat reported that the airplane took off, went quickly into the clouds. She stated that it did not feel as if the airplane was "going up." She looked up, saw the ground approaching, and the impact occurred. 

The accident occurred in a planted soybean field, approximately 1.5 miles west of the Kewanee airport. The wreckage was located at a position approximately 0.5 miles west of the intersection of North 400th Avenue and East 2250th Street and approximately 250 feet south of the North 400th Avenue.

An examination of the main impact site and energy debris path revealed that the airplane impacted terrain in an approximate 45 degree nose down, right wing low attitude, on a heading of approximately 130 to 140 degrees. The debris field extended to the east approximately 260 feet from the initial point-of-impact on a heading from 080 degrees to 110 degrees. The main wreckage came to rest on a heading of approximately 190 degrees.

An examination of the impact scars and wreckage debris revealed that the right wing tip struck the terrain at the western end of the debris field. The right wing tip scar was the initial point-of-impact. All subsequent debris measurements are approximate from this point. Propeller cuts, dirt clumps and an impact depression were noted in the soft soil from 38 feet to 45 feet. The separated propeller was located at 55 feet. The right cabin door was located at 65 feet. The right wing tip and aileron was at 67 feet. The upper engine cowling was at 72 feet. The CAPS enclosure cover was at 75 feet. The lower engine cowling was at 78 feet. The left cabin door was at 120 feet. The main wreckage was at 160 feet. The engine was at 185 feet. The parachute was stretched out on a heading of 110 degrees to approximately 240 feet. The CAPS D-Bag and rocket motor was at 260 feet.

The forward section of the roof and the windshield were separated from the fuselage. Impact damage was noted on the roof structure directly above and adjacent to the mounting location of the CAPS activation handle and holder. The CAPS activation handle was found out of the activation handle holder. The activation handle holder bracket was bent aft. Impact damage was noted on the activation handle and on the exposed activation cable. CAPS safety pin was located on the ground under the main wreckage. 

The CAPS was found deployed and the CAPS rocket motor propellant was expended. The CAPS rocket motor, rocket lanyards, incremental bridal, D-Bag, suspension lines, riser, rear harnesses and both front harnesses had been extracted from the aircraft. The rear harness remained snubbed. Both reefing line cutters remained in place and both had been activated. The parachute was separated from the D-Bag and was found stretched out from the main wreckage on a heading of approximately 110 degrees. The slider was at the base of the canopy. Packing folds were present on the canopy. 

The rocket motor, lanyards, incremental bridal and D-Bag were located approximately 20 feet beyond the end of stretched out parachute. The CAPS launch tube, rocket igniter, exhaust shield, and base, remained attached to FS 222 Bulkhead. The retention straps for the D-Bag remained in the enclosure compartment. The CAPS access panel (#CB7) exhibited Impact transfer marks from the left front harnesses 3-point link. The CAPS enclosure cover was located approximately 20 feet south of the debris path at a point approximately 75 feet from the right wing tip ground scar. An impact transfer mark, consistent in size and dimension to the top of the CAPS rocker motor, was noted on the inside surface of the cover, on the "strike plate." 

On site observations of the CAPS system showed that the system was not activated in flight. All of the on-site evidence correlated to a CAPS deployment due to impact forces. Additionally, the surviving passenger stated that she heard a discussion between the pilot and passenger seated in front. She stated that the front seated passenger had reached up for the CAPS handle, and the pilot said that "we were too low."

The aircraft was recovered and more detailed examinations of the airframe and engine were conducted in a secure hanger located at Kewanee Airport. The results of these examinations will be included in the final report.

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


TOULON — The victims of a plane crash west of Kewanee on Sunday had flown to the area to attend a family inurnment ceremony Saturday.

Local family members confirmed Monday that Steven Murray, 67, Houston, Texas, was the pilot of the small private aircraft that crashed after leaving the Kewanee Municipal Airport.

Murray, his son Mark Murray, 38, and daughter Samantha Murray, 40, had flown in last week to attend a family memorial service.

Steven and Mark Murray were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Sunday by Henry County Coroner David Johnson.

Samantha Murray was transported by ambulance to OSF St. Luke Medical Center in Kewanee before being transferred to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

She sustained a broken arm, cuts and bruises, and remains in stable condition.

Steven’s father, Dr. Haydn H. Murray of Bloomington, Ind., passed away in February. With local ties to the community, the family held the inurnment ceremony for Murray in Elmira Cemetery.

Murray was born in Kewanee and married his high school sweetheart, Juanita Appenheimer. He became a world-renowned geologist and was a longtime professor of geology at Indiana University.

Steven and his children attended the service Saturday and visited relatives in the Toulon area before leaving for home Sunday morning.

Steven is the nephew of Dorothy Schmidt and a second cousin to Doug Murray, both of Toulon.

The plane crashed around 9:35 a.m. in a soybean field 2 miles west of the airport on Galva Township Road 400N. A nearby farmer heard the crash and called authorities.

Responding were the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, District 7 Illinois State Police, Galva police, Bishop Hill and Galva fire departments, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Stark County Ambulance Service.

Rural roads in the vicinity were closed to traffic while the crash was being investigated Sunday.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

http://www.galesburg.com 

     

UPDATE: A woman is now listed in fair condition after a deadly plane crash. It happened Sunday morning in a field outside of the Kewanee Municipal Airport in Henry County. 

Steven Murray and Mark Murray, a father and son, were pronounced dead at the scene. Another family member Samantha Murray, 40, was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center with an arm injury, cuts and bruises. Samantha Murray’s 41st birthday is reportedly September 1st.

The National Transportation Safety Board is wrapping up its investigation Monday into why the small plane crashed. An autopsy on Steven and Mark Murray is scheduled for Tuesday in Peoria.

ORIGINAL:  Two men are dead and a woman is in the hospital Sunday after a plane crash.

Police say it happened just before 10 o'clock Sunday morning.

A small plane crashed in a field outside the Kewanee municipal airport in Kewanee, Illinois.

The Murrays were in town for a family gathering when something went terribly wrong.

"They were leaving this morning from the Kewanee airport and they were going to go back to Texas," said David A. Johnson, Henry County Coroner.

Johnson said when he arrived on scene 67-year-old Steven Murray and 38-year-old Mark Murray, a father and son, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Another family member, 30-year-old Samantha Murray was taken to an area hospital with an arm injury, cuts and bruises, but later airlifted to a hospital in Peoria. Her condition is unknown at this time.

Authorities on scene say that North 40th avenue, where the crash happened will remain closed, as the National Transportation Safety Board completes their investigation Monday morning.

Then the aircraft will be taken to a secure location, where they will look further into what caused the crash.

“It's really no different than a larger aircraft it's just on a smaller scale so they do the same procedures to figure out what the cause is and what caused the aircraft to go down,” Keenan Campbell, Director of Bureau County Emergency Management.

On Tuesday morning, an autopsy will be conducted for Mark and Steven Murray in Peoria.

A father and son from Houston, Texas, were killed Sunday in a plane crash west of the Kewanee Municipal Airport.

The crash of a Cirrus SR22 aircraft occurred at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Steven Murray, 67, and his 38-year-old son, Mark Murray, were pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. by Henry County Coroner David A. Johnson.


Another passenger, Samantha Murray, 40, who is believed to be Steven Murray's daughter, was taken to Kewanee Hospital for treatment, and then airlifted to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Mr. Johnson said. The group was visiting the area for a family gathering and took off from the Kewanee airport Sunday morning to head back to Texas, he said.


The Bishop Hill Fire Department and Illinois State Police responded to the crash, as well as a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration from Chicago. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, Mr. Johnson said.


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




Kewanee: Two Texas residents were killed when a small plane crashed in rural Kewanee Sunday morning.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene shortly after 9:30 a.m. when a local resident reported the accident.

Pronounced dead at the scene at 12:45 p.m. Sunday by Henry County Coroner David Johnson were Steven Murray, 67, and his son Mark Murray, 38, both of Houston, Texas.

A third victim, Samantha Murray, 40, was transported by ambulance to Kewanee’s OSF St. Luke Medical Center and then air-flighted to a Peoria hospital.

Johnson said Samantha Murray, also of Houston, sustained injuries to an arm.

The plane’s wreckage was in a soybean field two miles west of Kewanee Municipal Airport on 400N.  

Johnson said the three victims had been in this area for a family gathering over the weekend and were returning home.

The plane had left from the Kewanee airport prior to the accident.

Illinois State Police Officer Steve Icenogle said a nearby farmer heard the crash and saw a cloud of smoke. He found the downed plane and called authorities.

Responding were the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, District 7 Illinois State Police, Bishop Hill and Galva fire departments, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the Stark County Ambulance Service.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials from Chicago were expect to arrive later in the afternoon to assist with the investigation, as were representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board in Colorado, who were due to arrive late Sunday night.

Emergency personnel remained at the scene throughout the day and closed the area off to local traffic.  

Source: http://www.starcourier.com



HENRY COUNTY, Ill. (KWQC) – Two men from Texas were killed and another woman, also from Texas, was injured when their small plane crashed this morning between Bishop Hill and the Kewanee Airport at North 400 Avenue and East 2350 Street. 

According to Henry County Coroner, David Johnson, the crash happened before 9:30 a.m., Sunday, August 30, 2015. Johnson arrived on scene around 12:30 p.m where he said 67-year-old, Steven Murray and 38-year-old, Mark Murray were pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Johnson said he believed the two were a father-son pair from Houston, Texas.

The third passenger, 40-year-old Samantha Murray was also from Houston, Texas, Johnson said. She was taken to a hospital in Peoria and is being treated for an arm injury.

Johnson said they had been in the area for a family gathering, and just taken off from the Kewanee Airport to return home when the crash happened.

The Federal Aviation Administration from Chicago is on the scene along with the Bishop Hill Fire Department and the Illinois State Police. Johnson said the National Transportation Safety Board is also expected to arrive from Colorado tomorrow to assist with the investigation.

Crews are asking for people to stay clear of the area as it is being investigated.

Original article can be found here:  http://kwqc.com


Henrico County man jailed for lasering police plane



HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Michael Pollock, 52, could face hard time for taking aim at a police plane over the weekend.

Officers were on routine patrol, flying near Parham and Interstate 64 when they say the Henrico County man lasered the plane.

“It was a laser pointer. One of those almost like a pen that you just point and aim,” explained Henrico County Police Lieutenant Chris Eley.

That bright beam of light can be dangerous. It can distract or even blind pilots as they fly overheard.

Nothing happened this time, but police reacted quickly to pick Pollock up.

“The pilot called up the ground units and they came and found him and took him into custody. Turned out he did the same thing the night before with a different pilot,” explained Ely.

Pollock’s charged with two misdemeanors for intentionally pointing a laser at an aircraft.

He denied our request for an interview from jail.

However, the suspect’s mother, who was at home with her son when this happened, told 8News Pollock made a poor choice.

She added he is devastated by the repercussions.

Unfortunately, this dangerous trend of is a growing problem across the country.


There have been more than 2,700 laser attacks already this year.

The judge denied bond for Pollock, but his cases in Henrico County are the least of his problems.

There’s a good chance the FAA could file felony charges against him which ultimately might mean up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

http://wric.com


Michael Pollock (Source: Henrico Police Dept.)

Civil Air Patrol provides eyes in the sky, boots on the ground

Long before he could ever get behind the wheel of a car, Mason Gooden was learning to fly airplanes.

The 16-year-old Barren County High School junior began taking flight lessons when he was 10, and his flight instructor suggested he check out the Civil Air Patrol.

The Civil Air Patrol began one week after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. In 1946, President Harry Truman signed a law incorporating the CAP as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. Two years later, the CAP became a permanent auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force with three missions: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. The Bowling Green-based Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron, which Mason is a member of, trains young people 11 to 21 years old in leadership skills, survival, team work, first aid and community volunteerism. The senior squadron here focuses on air operations.

Mason is a cadet second lieutenant but aims to be a cadet colonel, the highest rank he can achieve in a cadet squadron. Gooden has been a CAP member for four years. He has his eyes on the U.S. Air Force Academy and hopes one day to be a fighter pilot.

He is one of 38 members of the Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron. The squadron just this spring assisted with relief efforts after Louisville floods, assisted in the search for a missing hiker in Red River Gorge and helped search for a missing aircraft in Shawnee National Forest.

“There’s something for everyone in Civil Air Patrol,” said Cory Felts, commander of the Southern Kentucky Cadet Squadron.

While it is an auxiliary of the Air Force, it is not a military recruiting ground, Felts said. Instead, it’s a way for young people to learn how to get involved in their communities and help others, he said. Statewide, there are 609 CAP members; all are volunteers. 

“I don’t push for them to go into the military,” said Felts, a first sergeant for the Nashville-based 118th medical group of the U.S. Air Force. “My preference is that they enter college so they can get a skillset to give back to their communities and state. 

“Those that want to go into service, we support them and point them in the right direction, but it is not something that we push. From our unit alone, we just had one former cadet who went to the Naval Academy and is now an ensign attending flight school in Florida, and his youngest sister who just graduated from high school just entered her first year at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.”

There are three types of squadrons within the CAP nationally; a cadet squadron with primarily cadets, a composite squadron that is a blend of cadets and seniors and a senior squadron of senior members who primarily focus on air operations.

Bowling Green boasts two squadrons, the cadet squadron led by Felts and a senior squadron led by Ted Seaman.

Seaman of Scottsville is a retired Miami police officer and is also retired from a career in military intelligence in the U.S. Army.

“In the military you are there to serve your country,” Seaman said. “All of a sudden, you are retired and you have nothing to do. You sit around, and you get bored. This gives you an opportunity to still serve the community, feel useful and utilize the skills developed over a lifetime to benefit the community.”

The CAP senior squadron in Bowling Green is 57 strong and made up of military retirees, commercial pilots, airline pilots, doctors and other professionals.

The average person may not notice their presence, but during last year’s snow and ice storms, CAP pilots and their crews were flying over power lines to report breakages to power companies, and they flew over roads looking for stranded motorists to report to police agencies so help could be sent. CAP volunteers assist in 90 percent of all search-and-rescue operations in the country in which aircraft are used. CAP cadets volunteer at the Mini Corvette Challenge and Thunderfest providing parking assistance. They also volunteer their time for other community events. 

Last summer, when boater Melissa Trent went missing after the boat she was in toppled over Greencastle Dam, CAP volunteers flew over the river day after day in an effort to find her. Trent was reported missing April 21, 2014. On May 3, 2014, her body was pulled from the Green River in Ohio County.

“From the air you can actually see into the river,” Seaman said.

During flooding, CAP shoots aerial photographs to document damage for Federal Emergency Management Agency response.

Cadet squadrons provide ground support.

“We work in tandem with the air crew,” Felts said. 

For example, if there is a catastrophic communications failure, a ground crew will watch for movements of an air crew such as the tipping of a wing in one direction or another as a signal of where to search for something.

The cadet program offers young people multiple learning opportunities in search-and-rescue skills and aerospace education. Included in that education are powered and unpowered flights and basic summer encampment that is a nine-day basic training to prepare cadets for their CAP volunteer career. Basic training is held at the Wendell Ford Regional Training site in Greenville.

Once a cadet attends the basic camp, he or she is eligible to attend other special CAP camps such as honor guard, Hawk Mountain Ranger School in Kempton, Pa., a hot air balloon academy, National Emergency Services Academy, the Model Aircraft & Remote Control Academy in Kansas and many others.

Brittany Copeland, a Western Kentucky University sophomore who is studying theater arts, has been a member of CAP for five years. She is a cadet commander.

She credits CAP with helping her find her voice.

“I learned a lot of leadership skills, which does help a lot,” Copeland said. “You can work with others as a team or take charge. I’m really shy, but in Civil Air Patrol I can’t be that. I had to overcome that barrier. I’m pretty loud and outspoken now.”

That’s the beauty of the cadet program and one of the most rewarding aspects, Felts said.

“I enjoy watching them grow and who they turn into,” Felts said. “I started in this in 2009. My oldest son A.J. and I were looking for something to do together. I had heard about Civil Air Patrol. I found out when they met and thought, ‘Hey, this is pretty cool.’ My wife subsequently joined as well, and my youngest son Mason when he turned 11 last year he joined. It’s something we enjoy doing. 

“We enjoy watching to see who it is they become. They transform over two years. They go from being a quiet kid to stepping up and doing something,” Felts said.

Ransom Bennett, a senior CAP member who is a chaplain for the cadet squadron here, echoed the same sentiments.

Bennett is a computer technician for Warren County Public Schools and a former pastor.

“I enjoy watching cadets learn how to be leaders to take them through that process,” he said.

Bennett says the program helps students later in life.

“Another component is we train them to be physically strong, mentally tough, to be able to critically think and think outside the box and think quickly and to have a balanced core in themselves that they respect themselves and they respect others,” he said. “I can’t imagine a better employee going into the workforce. We don’t train them to go into the military. 

“The majority go into the workforce and carry those values they were taught into the workplace. If you’ve got someone who is a critical thinker and a quick thinker and a desire to add what they have in the organization, I can’t think of a better group than the Civil Air Patrol to provide that leadership going into the workplace.”

Whether a cadet or a senior member, all enjoy completing a successful mission.

The cadet squadron handed out cleanup kits to people affected by the spring flooding in Louisville. They also went door-to-door in their neighborhoods during the winter snowstorm to check on their neighbors.

When the senior squadron flew over Barren River last year in the recovery effort to find Trent, Seaman felt the CAP was providing some measure of comfort to her family in knowing that eyes in the sky were also looking for her along with rescue personnel on the ground. 

 “I’m doing good things for good people,” Seaman said.

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

Fairbanks, Alaska: Man arrested after fight on plane, accused of alcohol importation

FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks man faces several charges after an altercation on a commercial flight from Bethel to Hooper Bay on Friday, according to Alaska State Troopers. 

Troopers received a report about 4:30 p.m. that Michael Daniel Sunnyboy, 52, had assaulted a fellow passenger during the flight.  

The plane turned around mid-flight and landed in Bethel, where Sunnyboy was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault, importation of alcohol to a dry area and tampering with physical evidence.

According to the trooper report, Sunnyboy assaulted the passenger and was found with several bottles of distilled alcohol on his person.

A witness saw Sunnyboy destroy the alcohol in an attempt to remove evidence that he was importing it to a dry village. 

Sunnyboy is being held at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center without bail.

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

Martin Aircraft reports annual $5.2m loss

Jetpack company Martin Aircraft has reported an annual net loss to $5.2 million, as it invests and continues to work on commercializing its flying machines.

The company, listed on the Australian sharemarket, has formed a joint venture with its Chinese cornerstone shareholders KuangChi Science. It has not declared a dividend in the financial year to June 30.

The net loss compared to a $922,000 net loss in the three months to June 30, 2014.

The development company had increased its workforce to 43 by financial year end.

It has undergone a number of significant changes amongst its management and board members.

Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker, who joined the board in October 2014, announced earlier this month that KuangChi Science would develop the facility in China in which to build the jetpacks.

The company had the capability at a Wigram facility in Christchurch to build up to 500 jetpacks a year and that business model would be replicated in China.

Martin Aircraft's target market is "first responders" like police, ambulance and emergency services and the military, commercial uses including agriculture, and personal use.

The flying machine was initially conceived and developed by South Islander Glenn Martin from 1981. Martin resigned from the board on June 2.

Martin was a biochemist, and previously a university student when he began designing his dream jetpack in the early 1980s.

Martin, who chose to move to Christchurch from Dunedin to pursue his "personal jetpack" dream, said at the time the resignation was a personal decision driven by factors including corporate demands such as complying with advice from lawyers on what he said in public.

His reason for founding the company had been to supply himself with a personal jetpack, and he had left Martin Aircraft without achieving that dream.

He no longer has an involvement in running the company. The financial statements show that Martin is he third largest shareholder with a 15.61 percent stake. KuangChi Science has a 22.7 percent stake and No.8 Ventures has a 19.1 percent stake.

The 12th prototype Martin Jetpack has a V4, 200-horsepower engine that drives two ducted fans. Able to lift 105 kilograms, it has been flown to more than 3000 feet but not manned by a pilot.

The vast majority of Cantabrians have never seen one at work.

Based on the latest testing the jetpack will have the capability to fly for over 30 minutes at a speed of up to 74 kilometres and hour and an altitude up to 1000 metres, the company has said.

Late year and this year Martin Aircraft has undertaken a series of capital raisings including from high-net worth investors for developing its "jetpack" flying machine. The company listed in November.

At balance date the company had net assets of $25.8m, exceeding $22.5m of liabilities at that point.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz