Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hawkins County Airport (KRVN) requesting funds for improvement

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - A small airport in our area needs funding for improvements but some think those tax-dollars could be better spent.

The Hawkins County Airport is in the middle of an improvement project that so far has used $105,880 of county funds, but that's just a fraction of the $1.4 million granted from the FAA. Airport officials said the airport has started paying for itself.  

The Hawkins County Airport is the reason Jeff Hesoun moved to the Tri-Cities. He has to fly his daughter to the hospital in Nashville several times a year, sometimes at a moment's notice.

"When she was 5-weeks-old she got a heart transplant," Hesoun said. "Now that's a life-long condition that requires a lot of medical follow-up and specialized treatment and nobody around the Tri-Cities area does that."

After 50 years in existence, the airport needs improvements to maintain FAA standards. Without being in compliance, the airport could lose any FAA funding. Airport Committee Chair Stacy Vaughan said staying up to code and building more hangars, and increasing the number of people renting hangar space and purchasing oil will generate enough revenue to help sustain the airport costs.

"Our ultimate goal with using federal and state dollars at the airport is to help offset the cost that the county is putting in the budget each year," Vaughan said.

Kerry Jackson with the Industrial Development Board said the size of the airport limits commercial use, but expansion could effectively attract business.

The improvements would cost $430,000. The county would pay $21,000, the rest is an FAA grant.

But several people we spoke to don't think tax-payer dollars should be spent. County Commissioner Mark Linkous said in a statement, " I think this would be a waste of taxpayers' money. If the majority of the people used the airport then it would be a different story. I have asked a few of the businesses if they used it an they said no or very little. I can't support his knowing that it wouldn't benefit the majority of the people of Hawkins County."

But for people living here like Hesoun, the airport is a necessity.

"If the airport didn't exist I would move elsewhere," Hesoun said.

 Vaughan said he'll request the extra funds at the next county commission meeting September 28.

Story and video:  http://www.wcyb.com

FBI ties flight attendant to hoax at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (KCHO)

BISMARCK, N.D. — A flight attendant accused of fabricating a story that prompted an emergency landing in North Dakota told an FBI agent he caused a similar incident in Albemarle County earlier this summer.

Justin Cox-Sever, 22, of Tempe, Arizona, is accused of stuffing a bag with towels and reporting it as a suspicious package making beeping noises on a SkyWest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Dickinson, North Dakota, on Sept. 9. The Dickinson airport was temporarily shut down after the plane landed.

Cox-Sever is charged in federal court in North Dakota with interfering with the operation of an aircraft and communicating false information.

FBI Special Agent Daniel Genck, who handled the investigation, said in an affidavit that Cox-Sever admitted planting the bag and that he fabricated a bomb threat on a flight from Charlottesville Albemarle Airport to Chicago on July 7.

That SkyWest flight was diverted back to Charlottesville after Cox-Sever reported that someone had written a threat on a wall of the plane’s bathroom. Cox-Sever confessed that he wrote the threat himself, according to the affidavit.

“Cox-Sever stated he was extorted by a friend who told him that he needed to ‘bring down’ a plane or else they would harm him and his family,” Genck wrote. “Following further questioning, Cox-Sever recanted his claim of extortion and admitted he had written the threat willingly.”

Neil Fulton, head of the federal public defender’s office for the Dakotas, told The Associated Press that defense attorneys “have seen no documentation” to back up Genck’s allegation that Cox-Sever was responsible for the bomb threat.

“[Cox-Sever] is presumed innocent and all allegations are only that,” Fulton said.

All 53 passengers were questioned by authorities, and subsequently were accommodated by American Airlines in their transit to Chicago.

The threat was called in roughly 30 minutes into the flight. The passengers remained on the plane as state police conducted a sweep of the aircraft.

The FBI in Virginia is continuing to investigate the bomb threat on the flight out of CHO and “our office is aware of Special Agent Genck’s investigation,” spokeswoman Dee Rybiski said. She declined further comment.

SkyWest Airlines, which operated the North Dakota flight for Delta and the Virginia flight for American Airlines, initially placed Cox-Sever on administrative leave. SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow on Tuesday said Cox-Sever is no longer employed by the airline.

“The safety and security of our customers and people are our top priority,” she said.

Cox-Sever could face up to 40 years in prison if convicted on both counts in North Dakota.

Source:  http://www.dailyprogress.com

Justin Cox-Sever

Hagerstown Regional Airport (KHGR) director: Interest in Pittsburgh flights starting to take off

A twin-engine Piper Chieftain screamed down the 1.3-mile runway at Hagerstown Regional Airport, lifted off and climbed into the clear blue sky, starting a short 60-minute ride to western Pennsylvania.

The nine-seat plane, carrying three of four scheduled passengers, was the first flight out of Hagerstown to Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday morning as part of a daily Sun Air Express commuter service that got under way about a week ago.

Airport Director Phil Ridenour said that "momentum is building" for the new route, which offers local business and leisure travelers a new option in addition to Sun Air's current short hops to Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

"The phone is ringing off the hook," he said. "There's a lot of inquiries coming in. We can only anticipate as time goes on that the momentum will build and continue, and as long as they can maintain a reliable service, it's going to be a great thing."

Washington County and airport officials announced the new service on Sept. 8, advertising one-way fares as low as $39 for the federally subsidized service.

John F. Barr — a member of the Washington County Board of Commissioners who also serves on the county's Airport Advisory Commission — said the new flights are geared more toward business travelers.

He said that business clientele and various studies have pegged Pittsburgh as a "good market."

"We're excited because it kind of rolls back to the old Piedmont (Airlines) days, where there were daily flights from Hagerstown to Pittsburgh," he said. "That was used frequently.... I think Pittsburgh opens up another whole market for, particularly, business clients in the Hagerstown area."

Two passengers aboard Tuesday morning's flight were North Carolina businessmen Rich Ellman and J.V. Wrenn, both executives for Spirit Services, an environmental recycling firm with a facility in Williamsport.

The two men said they were headed to Pittsburgh before continuing on to eastern Ohio for business meetings.

The combined cost for the two of them to fly one way was less than $100 including fees, "which is cheaper than driving," Wrenn said.

"It's cheap and convenient," he said, noting that it was his first time flying out of the Hagerstown-area airport.

"We've got business in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia," Ellman said. "It's a pretty good point for us to work from."

The flights originate each day from Pittsburgh, fly into Hagerstown then continue on to Dulles, before flying back along the same route. Pilots make the round trip twice a day on weekdays and once on weekends.

Ridenour said ridership has been "fairly low" on the Dulles flights, and Sun Air and local officials hope the new destination gives the carrier a boost.

The service has to maintain at least nine passengers per day or risk losing Essential Air Service funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation, he said.

Currently, the service has been generating on average between six and seven passengers. With the addition of Pittsburgh, Ridenour said he expects to see those numbers jump above the required mark.

"We're also finding out there's folks that are in Dulles who want to go to Pittsburgh, so they're flying from Dulles to Hagerstown, then Hagerstown up to Pittsburgh," he said. "They say it's much more economical for them to be able to do that than to fly directly from Dulles up to Pittsburgh."

Source:  http://www.heraldmailmedia.com

Preventing fraud at 30,000 feet: Are they pilots or are they cashiers?

Texting and driving is a bad combination. Typing up passengers’ payment card information while flying a plane doesn’t sound like a great idea, either.

But, according to a report by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), that’s exactly what Korean Air Lines Co. ordered its pilots to do, in order to prevent fraudulent in-flight purchases.

According to the report, Korean Air was requiring its pilots to validate payment card information for all in-flight purchases over $500. The process required pilots to start up the validation program and enter the payment card information, often while preparing to land the aircraft. 

Considering that South Korea recently went through its largest payment card data theft in history, it makes sense that the nation’s largest airline was taking measures to prevent fraudulent charges. Last year, a massive breach of records maintained by the Korea Credit Bureau compromised more than 105.8 million accounts containing personal information, including names, credit card and bank information, passport numbers, addresses and phone numbers. 

Korean Air went through a public relations fiasco last year, caused by the company chairman’s daughter’s “nut rage incident.” Soon after the SBS report went public, Korean Air quickly went into PR-disaster-mitigation-mode and said that it would change its policies.  

Source:  http://www.bna.com

East Hampton Town To Spend $1 Million On Airport Legal Fight In 2015 Alone

The East Hampton Town Board on Tuesday increased to nearly $1 million the total amount of money it has dedicated this year to the legal fight over its management of East Hampton Airport.

With town officials heading to New York City on Wednesday to take part in a mediation session with an aviation industry group that has filed four separate legal challenges against the town, the board voted to increase the spending limit for its primary legal counsel in the fight over the airport by $450,000, bring the total amount allocated to $875,000 for the year. The firm, Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, has already billed the town for $694,000 in legal work this year alone, Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said on Tuesday.

The town has also alloted up to $100,000 for attorney Kathleen Sullivan, who is acting as the town’s legal counsel for the appeal of a federal injunction of a law adopted by the town that barred any single aircraft from making more than one takeoff and landing at the airport in a given week. Ms. Sullivan is also defending an appeal by the aviation group of two other laws setting curfews on the use of the airport.

The town spent approximately $226,000 on legal fees for airport issues in 2014.

“While we anticipated that there would be lawsuits,” Mr. Burke-Gonzalez said at the Town Board work session on Tuesday morning, “it’s unfortunate that these airport users are forcing the town to spend airport funds to defend these restrictions rather than working cooperatively to help us achieve the best balance between users and residents.”

The town faces a federal lawsuit brought by a group representing and funded by aviation industry interests, the Friends of East Hampton Airport, as well as three separate cases brought by aviation companies or representatives claiming the town violated the requirements of past Federal Aviation Administration grants, as well as a state court lawsuit brought by Sound Aircraft, the sole fuel supplier at East Hampton Airport, over increases in fuel and landing fees. Ms. Gonzalez said that the town has also petitioned to become a party to a lawsuit filed by the aviation industry group against the FAA.

Also on Tuesday, board members reviewed reports on usage of the airport this summer. According to airport manager Jemille Charlton, the number of flights into and out of the airport increased by 14 percent overall in July—including a 20-percent jump in the number of helicopter flights—and by 7 percent in August, compared to 2014 levels. Through the end of July, the total usage of the airport had swelled by 29 percent.

Complaints about airplane noise received by the town in July were up 21 percent from 2014, Mr. Charlton said, though he noted that the actual number of households from where complaints were received actually declined by 6 percent that same month. For the year, thus far, complaints about aircraft noise are up nearly 60 percent, despite the curfews imposed this summer.

Source:  http://www.27east.com

Cause of aircraft crash a mystery

A question mark remains following an air crash in which the 82-year-old Oldham pilot had a miracle escape.

Pilot Malcolm Hill was accompanied by his wife Margaret and another married couple when their private plane careered off the runway and crashed through a wall at Crosland Hill airfield near Huddersfield. The four-seater Piper Cherokee Arrow was wrecked but Mr. Hill, from Grasscroft, and his passengers walked away with only slight injuries.


A newly published air accident investigation report said the aircraft developed a swing to the left during take off that the pilot was unable to correct. The aircraft left the runway, ran down an embankment and crashed through a stone wall.


Though no firm cause could be identified for the crash, the report said photographs showed marks on the runway where the aircraft began its take-off roll. Mr Hill believed the nose landing gear retracted and compromised his ability to steer the plane - but investigators weren’t able to refute or confirm the pilot’s theory.


Source:  http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk 


AAIB investigation to Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, G-RJMS
Date of occurrence:   19 June 2015
Location:   Crosland Moor Airfield, Yorkshire
Loss of directional control on takeoff from Crosland Moor Airfield on 19 June 2015.

Summary: During takeoff, the aircraft developed a swing to the left which the pilot was unable to correct with the use of rudder. The aircraft left the runway, ran down an embankment and through a stone wall before coming to rest. The cause of the loss of directional control has not been established.

https://www.gov.uk

Cessna 340, N5139J: Accident occurred July 12, 2015 at South St. Paul Municipal Airport (KSGS), Dakota County, Minnesota



Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N5139J




NTSB Identification: CEN15CA304
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 12, 2015 in South St. Paul, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/11/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 340, registration: N5139J
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot, he was departing runway 16 on an instrument flight rules flight plan. After traveling down approximately two-thirds of the 4,002 foot runway, he elected to abort the takeoff after he felt the airplane was not able to climb and continue to accelerate. During the aborted takeoff, the airplane departed the runway surface and entered the grass overrun area which was covered with wet dew from the morning environmental conditions. The pilot attempted to stop the airplane; however, the airplane skidded and impacted a fence. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right main wing spar and fuselage. The examination of the airplane revealed no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The airplane's inability to takeoff for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies. The aborted takeoff resulted in a runway overrun and impact with a fence.

Two arrested in "Mayday" hoax near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan

Medicine Hat Police say two people were arrested Monday evening in Medicine Hat, Alberta after a  muffled "mayday" call heard Sunday prompted a crew working near Maple Creek to contact RCMP.

Mounties reported Monday there were three possible locations a potential distressed plane would attempt to land, including two near Maple Creek and one near Medicine Hat, AB.

But all logged commercial and smaller planes were accounted for but there still was a possibility an unlogged aircraft may have been in distress.

However, Tuesday morning investigation revealed two vehicles were stolen from the area of the Medicine Hat Airport on Sunday.

In a release mid-Tuesday morning, police advised the media and public two people were arrested.

Source:  http://www.620ckrm.com

Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspends Tata Group charter firm's chief pilot

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the chief pilot and co-pilot of Tata Group’s aircraft charter firm, Taj Air for alleged violation of safety procedures. The suspension is for three months.

The move follows a surprise check by DGCA during which it was reportedly found the chief pilot had forged signatures of the doctor overseeing pre-flight tests. According to DGCA norms, it is mandatory for pilots and cabin crew to undergo a series of pre-flight tests under the guidance of an empanelled doctor.

The incident was related to a Dassault Falcon 2000 jet aircraft, used by Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons. “The safety of our passengers is of paramount importance. We are currently investigating the matter and will continue to cooperate with the DGCA. We take such matters very seriously and appropriate action will be taken in case of any non-compliance,” a Taj Air spokesperson said.

Apart from Taj Air, the DGCA also suspended the pilot of Mumbai-based charter company Kestrel Aviation for irregularities in pre-flight medical tests.

A surprise check was also conducted at Delhi, where two pilots of AeroTech Aviation were suspended for the irregularities in the same test.

All the five pilots and one cabin crew of aircraft charter firms have been suspended for three months by the DGCA.

Source:  http://www.business-standard.com

Monday, September 14, 2015

JetBlue pilot: Drone in flight path at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), Florida

A JetBlue flight reported a small drone flew near its approach path while landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Monday morning.

The pilots didn't have to take evasive action and the twin-engine jetliner landed safely, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The plane had taken off from Pittsburgh.

"The crew of JetBlue 2007, an Airbus A320, reported seeing a unmanned aircraft system on approach to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 9:37 a.m. today," the FAA said in a statement. "The FAA will investigate."

The incident occurred about 15 miles west of the airport, while the pilots were in contact with Miami Approach Control. According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, the drone was about 1,000 feet above the airliner at the time.

The Sheriff's Office dispatched its helicopter to search the approach area but didn't spot the drone. Although the drone wasn't in violation of any airspace restrictions, BSO notified the FBI.

The incident was one of the first in South Florida involving a drone near a commercial airport or major event. In March, a drone was seen hovering near a West Palm Beach golf course, where President Barack Obama was getting in around, according to WPLG Channel 10.

Nationally, drones are becoming an increasing problem for airports.

So far this year, there have been almost 700 incidents where pilots reported seeing drones near airports, almost triple the number in 2014, according to FAA statistics.

Many of those were near New York City or Washington, D.C. airports. On March 22, a U.S. Airways regional airliner almost collided with a drone near Tallahassee.

Since June 1 alone, there have been 25 incidents were an airliner came close to hitting a drone, according to The Washington Post. However, there has yet to be a collision between the two.

Most of the drones are small, camera-equipped models commonly used by hobbyists and photographers. Although they usually weigh less than 10 pounds, aviation safety experts say if a drone were to be sucked into a jet engine or strikes a propeller, the larger plane could easily be put in jeopardy.

"The potential for catastrophic damage is certainly there," Fred Roggero, a retired Air Force major general who serves as a consultant to companies seeking to fly drones commercially, told The Washington Post.

In response to the growing dangers of drones, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, proposed much tighter reins on drone use to keep them clear of major airports.

He would like to see drone manufacturers implement technology to prevent them from coming within two miles or 500 feet above airports, parades and sporting events.

His bill also would encourage the FAA to enact policies forbidding drones to come near other "sensitive locations," such as important government buildings.

"God forbid a drone was sucked into the engine of a passenger airline that was flying, it'd be a huge tragedy," Schumer said. "And it's a matter of time before that happens."

Story and video:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Cessna 414A Chancellor, Make It Happen Aviation LLC, N789UP: Fatal accident occurred April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Springfield, Illinois
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio
RAM Aircraft; Waco, Texas
Garmin; Olathe, Kansas
Sandel Avionics; Vista, California 
Spoilers, Inc.; Gig Harbor, Washington 

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

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

MAKE IT HAPPEN AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N789UP

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP
Injuries: 7 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

The is an INTERIM FACTUAL SUMMARY of this accident investigation. A final report that includes all pertinent facts, conditions, and circumstances of the accident will be issued upon completion, along with the Safety Board's analysis and probable cause of the accident.

On April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). At 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight entered a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach to BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.

At 0000:01, the controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading and the pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

At 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before turning to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored airport CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the airport CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

At 0003:12, the flight crossed the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl and continued to descend while right of the localizer centerline. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet msl. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold, and was approximately coincident with the accident site location.

There were numerous individuals who reported being awoken shortly after midnight by the sound of a low-flying airplane over their respective residences. Additionally, several of these witnesses observed dense fog and/or rain after the airplane had overflew their position.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the 51-year-old pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane ratings. The single engine land rating was limited to commercial privileges. The pilot was type-rated for the Cessna Citation, Learjet 35, Rockwell Sabreliner, Dassault Falcon 10, and Embraer Phenom business jets. He also held a flight instructor certificate with single engine, multiengine, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot's last aviation medical examination was on February 2, 2015, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. On the application for his current medical certificate, the pilot reported having accumulated 12,000 hours of total flight experience, of which 500 hours were flown within the previous 6 months. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings.

A current pilot logbook was not located during the investigation; the pilot's most recent logbook entry was dated February 15, 2005. A portfolio was found in the airplane wreckage that contained numerous pilot training certificates, fleet management documents, and airplane insurance applications. According to an insurance application that was submitted for the operation of the accident airplane, dated May 12, 2014, the pilot reported having a total flight experience of 12,100 hours, 9,850 hours in multiengine airplanes, 8,575 hours in turbine-powered airplanes, and 1,150 hours in Cessna 414A airplanes. The portfolio also contained documentation for simulator-based proficiency training in the Cessna 414A that was completed on August 14, 2013, at Recurrent Training Center, Inc., located in Savoy, Illinois. According to available information, the pilot's last flight review and instrument proficiency check was completed on March 11, 2015, in conjunction with simulator-based recurrent training for a Dassault Falcon 10 business jet at FlightSafety International, located in Dallas, Texas.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a 1980 Cessna model 414A (Chancellor), serial number 414A0495. Two turbo-charged Continental model TSIO-520-NB reciprocating engines provided thrust through constant-speed, full-feathering, three blade, Hartzell model PHC-C3YF-2UF/FC7663DB-2Q propellers. The low-wing airplane was of conventional aluminum construction, equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear, and a pressurized cabin that was configured to seat seven individuals. The airplane was equipped for night operations in instrument meteorological conditions. The airplane had been modified by supplemental type certificates (STC) to include winglets, vortex generators, and wing spoilers. Additionally, the maximum continuous horsepower of each engine had been increased to 325-horsepower after a STC modification. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 213.4 gallons (206 gallons usable) distributed between two wing fuel tanks. A review of prior flights, fueling records, and fuel consumption calculations established that the airplane departed on the accident flight with about 133.4 gallons of usable fuel.

According to the current weight-and-balance record, dated November 27, 2013, the airplane had an empty weight of 5,226.6 lbs and a useful load of 1,860.4 lbs. The empty weight center-of-gravity (CG) was 156.52 inches aft of the datum. At maximum takeoff weight, 7,087 lbs, the forward and aft CG limits were 152.2 inches and 159.04 inches, respectively. At maximum landing weight, 6,750 lbs, the forward and aft CG limits were 151.2 inches and 160.04 inches, respectively.

The airplane was originally issued an export certificate of airworthiness on May 22, 1980. The airplane was issued a Canadian registration number, C-GFJT, and was based in Canada until September 1986 when it was imported back into the United States of America and issued a standard airworthiness certificate and a new registration number (N144PC) on October 1, 1986. On April 12, 1993, the registration number was changed to N789UP.

According to an airplane utilization log found in the wreckage, the airplane's hour meter indicated 2,109.7 hours before the previous flight leg (BMI to IND). The airplane's hour meter was not located during the accident investigation; however, postaccident calculations indicated that the airplane had accumulated about 1.9 hours during the final two flights (BMI to IND and IND to BMI).

According to available maintenance documentation, the airframe had accumulated a total service time of 8,390.2 hours since new. The last annual inspection of the airplane was completed on October 1, 2014, at 8,346.9 total airframe hours. The airplane had accumulated 43.3 hours since the annual inspection. The static system, altimeter system, automatic pressure altitude reporting system, and transponder were last tested on December 2, 2013. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues.

The left engine, serial number 503140, had accumulated a total service time of 4,881.5 hours since new and 556.7 hours since being overhauled on March 20, 2008. The left propeller, serial number EB1994, had accumulated a total service time of 6,936.4 hours since new and 165.3 hours since being overhauled on November 23, 2010.

The right engine, serial number 519303, had accumulated a total service time of 5,591 hours since new and 1,699.9 hours since being overhauled on June 13, 2000. The right propeller, serial number EB1993, had accumulated a total service time of 6,936.4 hours since new and 691.3 hours since being overhauled on February 10, 2006.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

A National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart, issued at 0100 central daylight time (CDT) depicted a stationary front extending across central Iowa, northern Illinois and Indiana, and immediately north of Bloomington, Illinois. A second stationary front was depicted extending over Kansas, into Missouri, and turning southeastward into Tennessee and Alabama. The station models on the chart indicated northeasterly winds at 10 to 15 knots north of the stationary front located across Illinois, and from the east-southeast at 5 knots or less south of the frontal boundary. The station models also depicted an extensive area of overcast clouds over the region, and with most stations along and south of the front reporting light continuous rain, drizzle, and/or mist. The station model for Bloomington indicated wind from the east-southeast at about 5 knots, surface visibility restricted in mist, overcast cloud cover, temperature and dew point at 13 degrees Celsius, and a sea level pressure of 29.98 inches of mercury. The station models surrounding Bloomington indicated similar conditions with overcast clouds, light continuous rain and/or mist.

A review of weather radar data recorded at 0004 CDT revealed no significant radar echoes greater than 15 dBZ over the greater Bloomington-Normal area. The observed radar echoes were consistent with light rain. The observed radar echoes along the recorded flight track were consistent with the accident airplane operating in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) during the approach and at the time of the accident.

At 2156 CDT, about an hour before the accident flight departed, the BMI automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported: wind 150 degrees at 4 knots, an overcast ceiling at 1,200 feet above ground level (agl), 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 14 degrees Celsius, dew point 12 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

At 2303 CDT, about four minutes before the accident flight departed, the BMI ASOS reported: wind 140 degrees at 6 knots, scattered clouds at 100 feet agl and an overcast ceiling at 800 feet agl, 2 mile surface visibility with light rain and mist, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.99 inches of mercury.

At 0005 CDT, about a minute before the accident, the BMI ASOS reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, the runway visibility range (RVR) for runway 29 was variable 4,000-6,000 feet, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

The terminal aerodrome forecast (TAF) issued at 1826 CDT for BMI expected marginal visual flight rules (MVFR) conditions to prevail during the forecast period with a surface visibility greater than 6 miles, an overcast ceiling at 2,500 feet agl, and with rain showers in the vicinity after 0100 CDT. The terminal forecast was amended at 2048 CDT, lowering the overcast ceiling to 1,200 feet agl. At 0038 CDT, an updated terminal forecast indicated that low instrument meteorological (LIFR) conditions were expected, including an overcast ceiling at 200 feet agl, and a 1/2 mile surface visibility with light drizzle and fog.

According to available information, the pilot utilized a commercial weather vendor (FlightPlan.com) to obtain his preflight weather briefing. The vendor logged weather briefings at 1614, 1957, 2117, and 2228 CDT. The briefings included weather reports, forecast, and notice to airmen for the departure, destination, alternate, and selected nearby airports and pilot reports. The final weather briefing, obtained at 2228 CDT, included the TAF for Bloomington that had been issued at 2048 CDT, which forecasted MVFR conditions. The 2228 CDT briefing also provided weather conditions for nearby airports that were reporting LIFR conditions with overcast ceilings ranging between 200 and 300 feet agl. The 2228 CDT briefing did not include the Area Forecast or any in-flight weather advisories. The pilot filed an IFR flight plan from IND to BMI and designated Lambert-St Louis International Airport (STL) as his alternate airport.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

The published inbound course for ILS runway 20 approach was 198 degrees magnetic, the crossing altitude for the final approach fix (EGROW) was 2,459 feet msl, and the distance between EGROW and the runway threshold was 4.8 nautical miles. The touchdown zone elevation was 871 feet msl. The published decision altitude was 1,071 feet msl (200 feet agl) and required 1,800 feet runway visibility range (RVR). The published missed approach procedure was to climb on runway heading to 1,500 feet msl, then make a right turn to a 270 degree magnetic heading and climb to 3,000 feet msl, then join the 214 degree radial from the Pontiac VOR and hold at MCLEN intersection.

In the event of a loss of vertical guidance from the glideslope during an approach, or if a pilot was cleared for the non-precision localizer approach, the missed approach point (MAP) was located 4.8 nm from the final approach fix (EGROW) while established on the localizer. The non-precision localizer approach minimum descent altitude (MDA) was 1,260 feet msl (389 feet agl) and required 2,400 feet RVR. The MDA for a circling approach was 1,340 feet msl (468 feet agl) and required 1 mile surface visibility.

According to air traffic control documentation, at the time of the accident, all components of the ILS were functional, with no recorded errors, and the localizer was radiating a front-course to runway 20. Additionally, a postaccident flight check further confirmed that there were no anomalies with the instrument approach.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), a public airport located about 3 miles east of Bloomington, Illinois, was owned and operated by the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority. The airport field elevation was 871 feet msl. The airport had two runways: runway 2/20 (8,000 feet by 150 feet, concrete) and runway 11/29 (6,525 feet by 150 feet, asphalt/concrete). Although airport was equipped with an air traffic control tower, the control tower was closed at the time of the accident.

Runway 20 incorporated a dual-mode Approach Lighting System II (ALSF-2) and Simplified Short Approach Lighting System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights (SSALR). The SSALR system was active when the control tower was closed. The runway was also equipped with runway touchdown zone and centerline lighting, and high intensity runway edge lighting.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The accident airplane was not equipped, nor was it required to be equipped, with a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in an open harvested corn field, about 2.2 miles east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold and about 1.75 miles east of the localizer centerline. The GPS altitude of the accident site was 854 feet. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane, which was orientated on a 074-degree magnetic heading. The wreckage was in an upright position and there was no appreciable wreckage debris path. All observed airframe structural separations were consistent with impact-related damage. The forward fuselage and cockpit were crushed upward and displaced aft. Flight control cable continuity was traced from the cockpit to the individual flight control surfaces. All observed flight control cable separations were consistent with overstress or were cut to facilitate recovery of the wreckage. There was no evidence of fire damage inside the cockpit, main cabin, aft fuselage, or empennage. Both wings remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited postimpact fire damage of their respective engine nacelle/locker. Both ailerons were found partially separated from their respective hinge attachments. The aileron trim actuator extension measured 11/16 inch, which corresponded to the trailing-edge of the aileron trim tab being deflected up about 15-degrees. The aileron trim indicator was damaged during impact. The right wing leading edge outboard of the engine nacelle was crushed upward and displaced aft. The right wing deice boot and winglet were damaged by the postimpact fire. The left wing aft structural attachment exhibited features consistent with an overstress separation. The left winglet had separated and was found laying adjacent to the wing. The left wing leading edge outboard of the engine nacelle was crushed upward and displaced aft. The tail section was found separated immediately aft of the aft pressure bulkhead and remained attached through control cables. Both elevators remained attached to their respective horizontal stabilizer. The elevator trim actuator extension measured 1-11/16 inch, which corresponded to the trailing-edge of the elevator trim tab being deflected up about 5-degrees. The elevator trim indicator was damaged during impact. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer. The rudder trim actuator extension measured 2-1/4 inch, which was consistent with a neutral rudder trim position. The rudder trim indicator was damaged during impact. The nose and main landing gear were found fully retracted and the cockpit selector handle was found in the GEAR UP position. A measurement of the wing flap control chain corresponded with a fully-retracted flap position. The flap selector handle and indicator were damaged during impact. An operational test of the wing spoiler actuators did not reveal any anomalies. The cockpit instrument panel sustained considerable damage during impact. The throttle quadrant was buckled and displaced to the right. Both throttles levers were found in the idle position and bent to the right. Both propeller levers were found full forward and bent to the right. Both mixture levers were found in an intermediate position and bent to the right. The cockpit altimeters had a Kollsman window setting between 29.98 and 29.99 inches of mercury. The stall warning horn and landing gear warning horn were extracted from the cockpit and both horns produced an aural tone when electrical power was applied. Switch continuity for the wing-mounted lift sensor was confirmed. Both engine-mounted vacuum pumps exhibited impact and thermal damage. Disassembly of both vacuum pumps did not reveal any anomalies attributable to a preimpact malfunction.

Both integral wing fuel tanks were breached at their respective wingtips. Fuel was observed to drain from the left wing during wreckage recovery. Both fuel tank caps were found in the secured position. The airplane was equipped with cable-operated fuel selector valves, one for each engine, that were installed inboard of each engine nacelle. Both fuel selector valves were found in the OFF position; however, a reliable determination of the preimpact position was not possible due to impact-related damage to the selector handles. The structure supporting the selector handles, located between the cockpit seats, had been displaced forward into a vertical position during impact. Both auxiliary fuel pumps exhibited thermal damage from the postimpact fire that precluded further testing.

Both engines remained partially attached to their respective nacelles and exhibited impact and postimpact fire damage. The observed thermal damage was concentrated between the airframe firewalls and the rear accessory section of each engine. Both propellers had separated from their respective engine and were found in front of each engine, buried at a depth of about 18 inches. Both propellers retained their respective propeller flange and a fractured portion of their respective engine crankshaft. Both crankshafts displayed a bend in one direction with circumferential cracks observed on the tension side of the bend, a 45-degree sheer lip fracture on the tension side, and an irregular/jagged fracture on the compression side. Mechanical continuity from the engine components to their respective cockpit controls could not be determined due to impact and fire damage. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed when each engine was rotated through the accessory section. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. Teardown examinations of both engines and their respective turbochargers did not reveal any anomalies attributable to a preimpact malfunction. Additional documentation for each engine and turbocharger examination is included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

Each propeller had one blade that was bent aft, one blade that appeared straight, and one blade that exhibited forward bending near the tip. Both propellers had their spinner domes formed around the propeller hub and counterweights. The spinner domes also exhibited a spiral/twisting deformation pattern. The observed blade and spinner dome damage was consistent with both propellers rotating at impact. Neither propeller was found in a feathered position. Both propellers were found on their respective start locks. According to the propeller manufacturer, for the propellers to be found on the start locks, the propeller blade angle at impact was either at or below the start lock angle when engine speed decreased below 700-900 RPM, or the blade forces during impact had moved the blade angle into a start lock position after engine speed decreased below 700-900 RPM. A teardown examination of each propeller did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Additional documentation for each propeller examination is included with the docket materials associated with the investigation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

On April 7, 2015, the McLean County Coroner Office, located in Bloomington, Illinois, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident. The autopsy also identified an enlarged heart with wall thickening and dilation of the chambers, 60-75 percent stenosis of the proximal left anterior descending artery, extensive interstitial myocardial fibrosis within the left ventricle, and severe atherosclerosis of the basal septum nodal artery. The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on samples obtained during the autopsy. The testing identified 0.010 gm/dl of ethanol in cavity blood; however, no ethanol was detected in liver or brain samples. Ethanol can be produced by microbial activity after death. Additional toxicology testing did not identify any drugs and medications in cavity blood.

The pilot's wife reported that the pilot had not experienced any major life events or stressors in the days or weeks preceding the accident. She stated that the pilot would typically sleep about 8 hours each night and that he never mentioned having any sleep-related issues. Additionally, she could not recall him being fatigued in the days preceding the accident. She reported that he had no serious health related issues and that he regularly exercised by running. She indicated that the pilot had recently seen a chiropractor for back pain and that he would take Aleve for pain management.

An acquaintance of the pilot reported that he and the pilot had a lengthy conversation during the hours before the accident flight as they waited for their respective passengers to return to the fixed based operator. According to the acquaintance, the pilot appeared very relaxed throughout their conversation and did not appear to be fatigued or ill.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Glideslope Validity

A laboratory examination of the Garmin GNS 530W NAV/COM/GPS receiver, serial number 78410737, established that the active communication (COM) frequency was set to the BMI control tower frequency (124.6 MHz), which also served as the airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) when the control tower was closed. The standby COM frequency was set to Peoria Approach Control (128.725 MHz). The active navigation (NAV) frequency was for the BMI ILS Runway 20 instrument approach (111.9 MHz). The standby NAV frequency was set to the BMI VOR/DME frequency (108.2 MHz). The course deviation indicator (CDI) mode was selected to VOR/Localizer (VLOC). The Garmin GNS 530W did not record any historical flight parameter or navigational data.

A laboratory examination of the Garmin GNS 430W NAV/COM/GPS receiver, serial number 97103703, established that the active COM frequency was set to the BMI control tower frequency (124.6 MHz). The standby COM frequency was set to the BMI automatic terminal information service (ATIS) frequency (135.35 MHz). The active NAV frequency was for the BMI ILS Runway 20 approach (111.9 MHz). The standby NAV frequency was set to the BMI VOR/DME frequency (108.2 MHz). The CDI mode was selected to VLOC. The Garmin GNS 430W did not record any historical flight parameter or navigational data.

The airplane was equipped with a Sandel Avionics SN3500 electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI), serial number 1058. The device performed the basic functions of a traditional horizontal situation indicator (HSI) and radio magnetic indicator (RMI). Additionally, depending on installation, the device can provide RMI navigation to GPS waypoints, weather information, and traffic information. The device was configured to receive navigational data from the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W as NAV Channel 1 and 2, respectively. The device recorded the incoming navigation data once per second to a 24-megabyte circular buffer. The intended purpose of the recorded data was for diagnostic purposes by the manufacturer. The device was sent to the manufacturer to be downloaded and decoded. The recovered dataset included, but was not limited to, the following historic flight parameters: latitude, longitude, ground speed, magnetic heading, ground track, VOR/ILS mode status, localizer and glideslope validity, and localizer and glideslope deviation. The device did not record an altitude data parameter.

A review of the data recorded by the Sandel Avionics SN3500 during the previous flight leg (BMI to IND) established that despite being in ILS mode during the approach phase and having achieved a valid localizer state on both NAV channels, the device did not achieve a valid glideslope state until about 0.6 nm from the approach end of runway 23L at IND. A postaccident review of available weather documentation established that the airplane had landed at IND in day visual meteorological conditions, which consisted of a 10 sm surface visibility and an overcast cloud ceiling at 2,400 feet agl (about 3,200 feet msl).

A review of the recovered data for the accident flight revealed that the Sandel Avionics SN3500 was in the ILS mode during the instrument approach phase and that it had achieved a valid localizer state on both NAV channels; however, the device never achieved a valid glideslope state on either NAV channel during the accident flight.

With the assistance of the manufacturer, the recorded data for the accident flight was replayed back through the Sandel Avionics SN3500 to document the navigational information that was displayed by the device. The replay confirmed that the glideslope did not achieve a valid state on either NAV channel during the accident flight. The device displayed a large "X" through the glideslope scale and did not display a glideslope deviation pointer. According to the Sandel Avionics SN3500 pilot's guide, an "X" through the glideslope scale and the absence of a glideslope pointer indicated a lack of a valid glideslope. According to the manufacturer, the glideslope deviation and validity state are independently determined by the NAV/COM/GPS devices (Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W) before being transmitted, along with other navigational data, to the SN3500 device as NAV Channel 1 and NAV Channel 2 data via a standard avionics data transfer protocol (ARINC 429).

According to the FAA Instrument Flying Handbook, a glideslope signal consists of two intersecting radio signals that are modulated at 90 Hz and 150 Hz. According to Garmin, the operating conditions that would result in an invalid glideslope state include any of the following conditions:

(a) In the absence of a glideslope radio frequency signal.
(b) In the absence of 150 Hz modulation.
(c) In the absence of 90 Hz modulation.
(d) In the absence of both 90 Hz and 150 Hz modulation.
(e) When the level of a standard deviation test signal, as generated during ground maintenance/testing, produces 50-percent or less of standard deflection of the deviation indicator.

A follow-up examination of the airplane wreckage located the glideslope antenna on a small portion of radome structure. The radome had fragmented during the impact sequence. One of the solid wire antennas had separated from the antenna body and was not located during the investigation. The other solid wire antenna remained attached to the antenna body and exhibited minor damage. As found, the glideslope antenna was not connected to the coaxial cable that provided signal to the glideslope signal diplexer. Additionally, the coaxial cable was found crimped around a fuselage bulkhead stiffener. The observed crimp was consistent with damage sustained during the accident. The glideslope signal diplexer remained attached to the fuselage bulkhead and its single coaxial input connector and two coaxial output connectors were found intact and properly secured. The remaining coaxial cable paths were continuous to the cockpit where the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W had been previously removed during the investigation.

The glideslope antenna design incorporated a quarter-turn twist-lock BNC-type connector with the female portion of the connector installed on the glideslope antenna body. The male portion of the connector was attached to the coaxial cable that connected to the glideslope signal diplexer. A laboratory examination of the female portion of the connector revealed that it was intact with some minor deformation and light debris found on the interior and exterior surfaces. The locking pins of the female connector were intact and no corrosion was observed. The male portion of the connector was intact and undamaged except for one of the six shielding/ground fingers. The damaged finger was folded and bent into the connector. The central conductor pin was undamaged and no corrosion was apparent. Although initially found disconnected from the glideslope antenna, the coaxial cable could be reconnected and twist locked with minimal difficulty.

The electrical properties of the glideslope signal diplexer were subsequently evaluated at an avionics repair station. No repairs were made to the crimped portion of the coaxial cable that normally connected the glideslope antenna to the glideslope signal diplexer. A glideslope source signal of 92 decibels (dbm) was transmitted by the test bench through the coaxial cable that was connected to the diplexer. The signal level was measured after it passed through the diplexer at the two output connectors. During the bench test, the diplexer split the original source signal into two signal paths which measured 89.8 dbm and 88.8 dbm for glideslope 1 and 2, respectively. According to the bench technician, the observed differences between the source and output signals was normal and would not have affected glideslope signal transmission to the Garmin 530W and Garmin 430W that were located downstream of the diplexer. The operational bench test revealed no anomalies with the glideslope signal diplexer and, although damaged during impact, the coaxial cable remained capable of transmitting a strong glideslope signal to the diplexer.

Weight and Balance

The airplane weight and balance for the accident flight and the preceding flight (BMI to IND) were calculated using the reported weights and seat position for the pilot and the six passengers, maintenance records that established the airplane basic empty weight and moment, fueling receipts/invoices, and recent flight tracking data.

The average fuel consumption rate was estimated to be 47.36 gallons per hour based on the accumulated flight time between known fuel tank top-offs. Based on this estimated fuel consumption rate and fuel receipts/invoices, the accident airplane departed BMI for IND with about 114.5 gallons of usable fuel. After landing at IND, the airplane was fueled with 60 gallons of fuel, and subsequently departed on the accident flight with 133.4 gallons of usable fuel.

Postaccident weight and balance calculations estimated that the preceding flight (BMI to IND) departed 160 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight (7,087 lbs) and aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope. The same calculations estimated that airplane landed 287 lbs over the maximum landing weight (6,750 lbs) and remained aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope.

The weight and balance calculations estimated that the accident flight departed 271 lbs over the maximum takeoff weight and about 4.37 inches aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope. The calculations estimated that at the time of the accident the airplane was 366 lbs over the maximum landing weight and about 3.71 inches aft of the permitted weight and balance envelope.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

During an ILS approach, the localizer provides lateral guidance for the final approach course and the glideslope provides vertical guidance as the aircraft descends towards the runway. For a precision approach, such as an ILS approach, the missed approach point (MAP) is where the aircraft reaches the decision altitude while on the glideslope. If a pilot observes an invalid glideslope indication, such as an "X" displayed through the glideslope scale of an electronic horizontal situation indicator (EHSI) or a warning flag on an analog course deviation indicator (CDI), they may continue the instrument approach using the lateral guidance of the localizer; however, without the vertical guidance of a glideslope, a higher minimum descent altitude (MDA) is stipulated for the non-precision localizer instrument approach. Further, the location of the MAP for a non-precision approach will be a DME distance from a navigational aid, or a fixed distance (from the final approach fix to the MAP) with an associated elapsed time that is based on the groundspeed of the aircraft, or a specific intersection/waypoint.

According to the FAA Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, if the center of gravity (CG) is maintained within the allowable limits for its weight, an airplane has adequate longitudinal stability and control. However, if the loaded airplane results in a CG that is aft of the allowable limits, the airplane can become unstable and difficult to recover from an aerodynamic stall. Additionally, if the unstable airplane should enter an aerodynamic spin, the spin could become flat making recovery difficult or impossible.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP
Injuries: 7 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 April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). According to radar data, at 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight began a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach into BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The approach controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the approach controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the approach controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.

At 0000:01, the approach controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the approach controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

According to radar data, at 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before it turned to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the approach controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

According to radar data, at 0003:12, the flight crossed over the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl. The flight continued to descend while tracking the localizer toward the runway. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane continuing on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold.

At 0005, the BMI automated surface observing system reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.















BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- Memorial services have been scheduled for two of the Bloomington plane crash victims.

A memorial service for pilot Thomas Weldon Hileman will be held at Saturday, April 11 at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, beginning at 10 a.m.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church.

Hileman served in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, and later attended Southern Illinois University. He is survived by his wife, Ami, their five children and his four siblings. Hileman was 51 years old.

Condolences for Hileman may be made at www.carmodyflynn.com.

Services for Terry Stralow will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 11 at St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington. The burial will be in East Lawn Memorial Gardens, also in Bloomington.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Epiphany Catholic Church in Normal. Memorials may be directed to ISU Athletics or OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation.

Stralow graduated from Illinois State University in 1974 and later co-owned and operated Pub II in Normal. He is survived by his wive of 38 years, Joan, his two children and brothers and sisters-in-law. He was 64 years old. Condolences for Stralow may be left at www.calvertmemorial.com

Visitation for Andy Butler will be held Sunday, April 12, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Carmody Flynn Funeral Home in Bloomington.

The funeral service will be Monday, April 13, 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Church of Merna. Memorials can be sent to the Illinois State Athletics Weisbecker Scholarship Fund, or by showing your support for Redbird Athletics by attending an event.

Visitation for Jason Jones will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at Carmody Flynn Funeral Home.

The funeral service is scheduled for Sunday, April 12, at 1:30 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church in Bloomington.

Visitation for Aaron Leetch will be held Friday, April 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Redbird Arena. The funeral will be Saturday, April 11, at 1 p.m. at Eastview Christian Church.

Services for Torrey Ward and Scott Bittner are pending.





Sometimes, words are not enough

By  Randy Kindred


As journalists, we’re supposed to have the right words. It’s easy when a shot goes in at the buzzer or a ball leaves the park in the bottom of the ninth. Words become apples in an orchard … plentiful, everywhere.

Just take your pick.

It was not as simple Tuesday.

Illinois State Director of Athletics Larry Lyons said in an afternoon statement: “There is no play in the playbook for times like these.”

No apples either.

Words get lost amid shock and sorrow, pain and more pain. Losing seven of our own to an early-morning plane crash was crippling emotionally, collectively. It is difficult to convey how much.

These were successful people who built businesses, teams, programs. They were building legacies. We knew them or knew of them, knew they made a difference.

You cross paths with a lot of people as a sportswriter … players, coaches, administrators, fans. You don’t always meet their parents, spouses, children. The heart aches for all of them today.

Sports mean little in light of what they face. Yet, sports are part of this. To a man, they meant a lot to the people on board.

Andy Butler was a former high school golfer, an Illinois State grad and an avid fan of ISU athletics. A devastated Rick Percy Jr. said Tuesday, “He might have been the only person I knew who loved ISU more than me.”

Scott Bittner was a former football and basketball player at Chenoa High School. Pilot Tom Hileman played football at Bloomington High School, earning all-Big 12 Conference honors.

Terry Stralow owned a restaurant/bar, Pub II, in the heart of Illinois State country. A passionate supporter of ISU’s teams, his smile always seemed a little wider at a Redbird game.

It stretched from ear to ear on a Saturday afternoon in December at Pub II. A large crowd was gathering for a “watch party” for ISU’s national semifinal football game at New Hampshire.

Business was booming. The bottom line would get a boost. Still, Stralow’s grin was not motivated by dollars and cents, rather ISU red and white.

He told me shortly before kickoff he’d already looked into flights to Dallas for the national title game, with plans to rent a car and drive to Springfield, Mo., for a Redbird basketball game the following day. His eyes danced just talking about it.

Jason Jones was of special interest for a sportswriter from Atlanta. He grew up 10 miles down the road in Lincoln, our Logan County seat.

His father, Woody, was a former Illinois State baseball player. We knew such things in Atlanta. Jason carved his own niche as a fine baseball and basketball player, first at Lincoln High School and later Illinois Wesleyan.

He was a joy to watch, an all-out type of guy who relished every game. Afterward, he was cordial, respectful, even to a reporter from little old Atlanta.

Aaron Leetch was a warm handshake and a pat on the back. ISU’s Deputy Director of Athletics/External Operations, he cared deeply about Redbird sports. When ISU’s basketball team lost to Northern Iowa in last month’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game, Leetch’s eyes were red and moist as he slumped against a wall outside the locker room.

He was destined to be a Division I athletic director one day.

Torrey Ward was an up and coming coach who could connect with players without chastising them. He was a positive, upbeat guy who knew the game and would have been an outstanding head coach. It was not if, but when.

There is no play in the playbook for this.

Words don’t seem enough, either.

Source:  http://www.pantagraph.com












BLOOMINGTON — Federal authorities could eliminate some possible causes of Tuesday's plane crash as early as Wednesday, but the full report could take up to 18 months.

Five businessmen and two members of the Illinois State University athletics department died from blunt force trauma when their small plane crashed in a farm field east of Bloomington. They were on their way home from the NCAA basketball championship game in Indianapolis.

McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis identified the victims as pilot Thomas Hileman, 51, of Bloomington; Normal residents Aaron Leetch, 37, Andy Butler, 40, and Torrey Ward, 36; Jason Jones, 45, and Terry Stralow, 64, both of Bloomington; and Scott Bittner, 42, of Towanda.

"The wreckage had all aircraft components in a limited debris field," said Todd Fox, an air safety investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board's Chicago office. "We found it within one wingspan of the plane."

News of the crash rippled through Bloomington-Normal because the victims had close ties to ISU and the business community. The men included Leetch and Ward, both of the Illinois State University athletics department; Butler, a regional manager for Sprint; Jones, a financial manager; Stralow, co-owner of Pub II; and Bittner, owner of Eureka Locker Co.

The Cessna 414A belonged to Bittner's father, who was not aboard.

Hileman owned Hileman Aviation LLC, based at Central Illinois Regional Airport, and had 12,000 hours of flight time. Fox said Hileman had an airline transport pilot's license and had undergone a medical exam in February.

Davis said Hileman, Leetch, Stralow and Jones had to be identified by dental records. All seven victims were found fastened in their seats.

The wreckage has been moved to a secure hangar at CIRA, where it will be evaluated. The Cessna model does not contain a "black box," or instrument data recorder.

Fox said there was a post-impact fire near the engines, which is common.

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said the plane was located in a soybean field near Illinois 9 and McLean County Road 2100 East.

The aircraft was last in contact with air traffic controllers in Peoria and had left Indianapolis around midnight. The flight usually takes about an hour.

Fox said Peoria controllers cleared the Cessna for an instrument approach at CIRA, which does not have controllers after 10 p.m.

For an unknown reason, "they made a turn from the course to the runway," Fox said. Peoria contacted CIRA after the pilot did not acknowledge the end of the flight, as required.

CIRA workers searched the airport for the plane before calling local authorities to help look for it. A Bloomington police officer found the wreckage around 3 a.m.

CIRA Executive Director Carl Olsen said all CIRA operations were functioning at the time of crash.

Fox said there were low clouds, fog and maybe some light rain at the time.

The NTSB investigative team includes members of the air-frame and engine manufacturers and the Federal Aviation Administration. The multi-engine Cessna typically carries six to eight passengers. 

The twin-engine Cessna 414 was first manufactured in 1968; the modified 414A, with a longer wingspan and simpler fuel system, began production 10 years later, according to the Aircraft Owners And Pilots website.

The Cessna 414A has a maximum speed of about 270 mph and was manufactured until 1985, when Cessna ceased production, according to the website Cessna.us.

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












McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage joined by Coroner Kathleen Davis as he reads a statement to reporters Tuesday.
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NORMAL IL. -- A memorial at Illinois State University is now open to the public, in remembrance of those who died in a plane crash in April.

The memorial is located on the north entrance of Redbird Arena.

Seven water fountains represent the seven men who died, along with a plaque and wall that lists the victims names.

Friday night the athletic department revealed the memorial to family members in a private ceremony.

"As the families started to drift away we noticed there were smiles, there were hugs, the kids were having fun. It was really good to see because we think it helps turn a page, that's what our hope is," said Director of Athletics Larry Lyons.

This year all athletes will wear uniform patches and staff members will wear lapel pins to honor the seven victims.

Story and photo:  http://www.cinewsnow.com



NTSB Identification: CEN15FA190
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 07, 2015 in Bloomington, IL
Aircraft: CESSNA 414A, registration: N789UP
Injuries: 7 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 April 7, 2015, about 0006 central daylight time (all referenced times will reflect central daylight time), a Cessna model 414A twin-engine airplane, N789UP, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain following a loss of control during an instrument approach to Central Illinois Regional Airport (BMI), Bloomington, Illinois. The airline transport pilot and six passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by and registered to Make It Happen Aviation, LLC, and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 while on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 2307 central daylight time.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control (ATC) data, after departure the flight proceeded direct to BMI and climbed to a final cruise altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). According to radar data, at 2344:38 (hhmm:ss), about 42 nautical miles (nm) south-southeast of BMI, the flight began a cruise descent to 4,000 feet msl. At 2352:06, the pilot established contact with Peoria Terminal Radar Approach Control, reported being level at 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl), and requested the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Runway 20 instrument approach into BMI. According to radar data, the flight was located about 21 nm south-southeast of BMI and was established on a direct course to BMI at 4,000 feet msl. The approach controller told the pilot to expect radar vectors for the ILS Runway 20 approach. At 2354:18, the approach controller told the pilot to make a right turn to a 330 degree heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 2359:16, the approach controller cleared the flight to descend to maintain 2,500 feet msl. At 2359:20, the pilot acknowledged the descent clearance.

At 0000:01, the approach controller told the pilot to turn left to a 290 heading. The pilot acknowledged the heading change. At 0000:39, the approach controller told the pilot that the flight was 5 nm from EGROW intersection, cleared the flight for the ILS Runway 20 instrument approach, issued a heading change to 230 degrees to intercept the final approach course, and told the pilot to maintain 2,500 feet until established on the inbound course. The pilot correctly read-back the instrument approach clearance, the heading to intercept the localizer, and the altitude restriction.

According to radar data, at 0001:26, the flight crossed through the final approach course while on the assigned 230 degree heading before it turned to a southerly heading. The plotted radar data showed the flight made course corrections on both sides of the localizer centerline as it proceeded inbound toward EGROW. At 0001:47, the approach controller told the pilot to cancel his IFR flight plan on the approach control radio frequency, that radar services were terminated, and authorized a change to the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). According to radar data, the flight was 3.4 nm outside of EGROW, established inbound on the localizer, at 2,400 feet msl. At 0002:00, the pilot transmitted over the unmonitored CTAF, "twin Cessna seven eight nine uniform pop is coming up on EGROW, ILS Runway 20, full stop." No additional transmissions from the pilot were recorded on the CTAF or by Peoria Approach Control.

According to radar data, at 0003:12, the flight crossed over the locator outer marker (EGROW) at 2,100 feet msl. The flight continued to descend while tracking the localizer toward the runway. At 0003:46, the airplane descended below available radar coverage at 1,500 feet msl. The flight was about 3.5 nm from the end of the runway when it descended below radar coverage. Subsequently, at 0004:34, radar coverage was reestablished with the flight about 1.7 nm north of the runway threshold at 1,400 feet msl. The plotted radar data showed that, between 0004:34 and 0005:08, the flight climbed from 1,400 feet msl to 2,000 feet msl while maintaining a southerly course. At 0005:08, the flight began a descending left turn to an easterly course. The airplane continued to descend on the easterly course until reaching 1,500 feet msl at 0005:27. The airplane then began a climb while maintaining an easterly course. At 0005:42, the airplane had flown 0.75 nm east of the localizer centerline and had climbed to 2,000 feet. At 0005:47, the flight descended below available radar coverage at 1,800 feet msl. Subsequently, at 0006:11, radar coverage was reestablished at 1,600 feet msl about 0.7 nm southeast of the previous radar return. The next two radar returns, recorded at 0006:16 and 0006:20, were at 1,900 feet msl and were consistent with the airplane continuing on an easterly course. The final radar return was recorded at 0006:25 at 1,600 feet msl about 2 nm east-northeast of the runway 20 threshold.

At 0005, the BMI automated surface observing system reported: wind 060 degrees at 6 knots, an overcast ceiling at 200 feet above ground level (agl), 1/2 mile surface visibility with light rain and fog, temperature 13 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19

MAKE IT HAPPEN AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N789UP