Monday, September 28, 2015

Bird strike sends Charlotte-bound flight back to Jamaica

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A bird strike grounded a Charlotte-bound American Airlines flight on Monday, stranding passengers in Montego Bay.

Charlotte resident Nick Orchard was among the passengers on board American flight 827. He says the plane had just taken off from when he felt a jolt on the left side of the cabin.

"It almost seemed to decelerate momentarily, but it did continue with the takeoff. That was accompanied by a infinite, but not an overpowering burning smell in the cabin. And it was shortly after that the pilot came on-- probably 30 seconds into the flight-- and advised us that there had been a bird strike," Orchard said.

Orchard says the plane circled a few times before landing back at the Jamaican airport.

All the passengers were bused back to a hotel. Most probably won't find out until Tuesday morning when they can leave.


GLO Airlines expected to announce service from Memphis

GLO Airlines, a New Orleans-based regional airline for the Gulf and Mid-South regions, is expected to announce service from Memphis International Airport Tuesday morning.

The announcement is expected to be part of a multi-city launch of nonstop air service to cities throughout the Gulf and Mid-South regions.

According to its LinkedIn page, “GLO’s vision is to provide regional business and leisure travelers a new option: One that couples the time efficiency of flying with the comfort and seamlessness of a first-rate air carrier.”

It is not yet known which other cities will be included in the launch. However, Bond Public Relations & Brand Strategy of New Orleans, which is representing GLO, was advertising a position for a GLO representative in Little Rock and Birmingham on its Facebook page earlier this year.

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority sent a media alert Monday afternoon that a new airline would make a nonstop service announcement Tuesday morning before the Airport Authority’s scheduled press conference that afternoon.

GLO Airlines is founded by Calvin “Trey” Fayard, III, a member of Fayard Law Firm in New Orleans.

Fayard has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University, a master’s of science in shipping, trade and finance from City University London and a law degree from Tulane University.


Cessna 150F, N8529G: Accident occurred September 28, 2015 near Jefferson County International Airport (0S9), Port Townsend, Washington

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA268 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 28, 2015 in Port Townsend, WA
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N8529G
Injuries: 2 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 September 28, 2015, about 1320 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8529G, sustained substantial damage following an emergency landing and collision with terrain after a reported loss of engine power during initial climb near Port Townsend, Washington. The commercial pilot and his sole passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which was being conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Jefferson County International Airport (0S9), Port Townsend, Washington, about 1315, with its destination unknown.

According to witnesses interviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), when the airplane was east of the golf course where the accident occurred, the engine was heard sputtering, then backfired; one witness thought he heard it stop completely. Another witness added that he observed the airplane turn west, then north while overhead, before going out of sight behind a stand of trees, after which he heard the sound of a crash.

On the day following the accident, the NTSB IIC surveyed the accident site. Both of the airplane's wings had simultaneously impacted two trees on a heading of north at about the 40-foot level. This was followed by the engine colliding head on with a 28-inch diameter tree in the same direction, and at about the same height. The airplane then rotated about 90 degrees to the left prior to falling vertically to the ground, coming to rest upright in a dense forested area. The forward section of the airplane and both wings were substantially damaged, while the aft fuselage and empennage sustained only minor damage. There was no postcrash fire.

The airplane was recovered to a secured storage facility for further examination

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Seattle FSDO-01


Two people suffered serious injuries when their small, single-engine airplane crashed at 1:21 p.m., Monday, Sept. 28 at Discovery Bay Golf Course, located about 4 miles from Port Townsend. 

A reporting party stated that the plane engine had stuttered and appeared to lose power before crashing into heavy brush just north of the tee box on the golf course's 17th hole, according to a press release from East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR).

The golf course is just west of Jefferson County International Airport.

EJFR personnel arrived to find two occupants, a man and a woman, entrapped in the wreckage. Both appeared to be in their 70s; their identities were not known at time of transport, according to officials.

When found, the woman was conscious, but the man, the pilot, was not, according to Jefferson County Undersheriff Joe Nole. The man later regained consciousness, Nole said.

Rescue crews used a Hurst Jaws of Life tool to free a man and a woman before transporting them to ambulances, and then used a water and foam spray to neutralize the hazard created by leaking airplane fuel.

EJFR Fire Chief Gordon Pomeroy called in two helicopters from Airlift Northwest. Both helicopters landed nearby on the 17th fairway about 30 minutes after the request.

The two patients were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Their names have not yet been made public.

Approximately 20 minutes after his arrival, Chief Pomeroy conducted a conference call with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to share identifying information from the plane fuselage and details of the wreck.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 2:26 p.m. and turned the site over to deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters from Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue assisted with the incident response.



One year after Aurora air traffic control fire, only limited improvements

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- It has been one year since FAA contractor Brian Howard set fire to an air traffic control center in Aurora, Ill., snarling air travel for more than two weeks. 

The FAA promised quick fixes but many are easier said than done.

Early on the FAA viewed its response to the sabotage as a success because there were no incidents or accidents. But frequent flyers felt differently as delays spread from days to weeks.

Howard's act, attempting suicide and setting fire to the Aurora FAA facility, exposed the Achilles' heel of America's air traffic control system.

On Sept. 26, 2014, haunting words came from air traffic control.

"Attention all aircraft on 121.5: If you can hear this, this is Chicago Center. We are evacuating the building due to a fire. If you need any assistance just try to contact a nearest FAA approach facility."

Radar was down as well as some communication. Controllers couldn't see planes and didn't know if pilots could hear them.

"We just had a major loss of power. November 7-1-5 Lima Mike, Chicago. November 7-1-5 Lima Mike on 121.5. Are you here?"

Hundreds of flights were immediately grounded. Delays stretched over 17 days thanks to what was essentially a huge blind-spot over half-a-dozen Midwest states.

Flight plans were being hand-written and faxed between control centers.

"The current back-up plan for the agency is to get everyone on the ground safely and everyone to their destination safely," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Oct. 3, 2014. It has never been so that every airline can run 100-percent of their operation.

In a report the FAA admitted it must do better. The agency promised to "within 12 months... reduce its response to major facility outage from days to hours."

Monday, a spokesperson refused to say whether that goal has been met.

Howard had the access and expertise to take this facility off-line, crippling air travel for weeks. Politicians wondered why it was so easy.

After a year the FAA will only say, "new practices and policies have strengthened our security posture while also enabling us to quickly share surveillance, communications and weather information with other facilities in the event of an outage."

In the wake of the Aurora air traffic control fire the FAA also vowed to enhance contingency planning. They're proceeding with the decade-long roll-out of "Next Gen," which will give the air traffic control system far more flexibility. But like anything else in Washington, improvement is tied to money and the FAA administrator has said many of the improvements that should be made, won't happen with additional funding.

Story and video:

Rans S-12, N98ES: Accident occurred September 28, 2015 near Gardner Municipal Airport (K34), Johnson County, Kansas

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA431 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 28, 2015 in Gardner, KS
Aircraft: EDWARD M VAN MORLAN RANS S-12, registration: N98ES
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 28, 2015, about 0825 central daylight time, a kit-built Rans S-12 experimental light sport airplane, N98ES, collided with terrain while maneuvering to land at the Gardner Municipal Airport (K34), Gardner, Kansas. The private pilot was seriously injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight departed K34 shortly before the accident.

A witness observed the accident airplane taxi from its hangar to runway 8/26. The witness heard a sound consistent with the airplane's engine increase in RPMs and then it sounded like the RPMs had decreased. He saw the airplane gliding towards runway 17 before the airplane slowly pitched up. The witness saw the airplane stall and roll into a left spin with the nose pointed towards the ground. The airplane impacted terrain in a near vertical attitude.

The airplane was retained for further examination.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Wichita FSDO-64

GARDNER- A Kansas man was injured in a Rans S-12 aircraft just before 9 a.m. on Monday in Johnson County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a Cessna 172R piloted by Edward M. VanMorlan, 69, Olathe, took off and made a banking turn.

During the turn, the engine cut off and the aircraft fell approximately 300 feet, striking nose first into the ground.

The aircraft rotated from impact and came to rest on its wheels.

VanMorlan was transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center.  Officials did not release his condition.


Piper PA-23 Aztec: Accident occurred September 28, 2015 near Chub Cay, in the Berry Islands - Bahamas

Four men are lucky to be alive after the small six-seater plane they were on crashed in waters near Chub Cay in the Berry Islands on Monday morning.

According to Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin, the party of four left the Lynden Pindling International Airport for Chub Cay but their Piper Aztec aircraft went down about a half mile off the cay near Diamond Rock.

The Tribune has been informed that the survivors are Captain Josh Scavella, Anthony Lightbourn, Teriq Evans and Ricardo McKenzie. They were transported to New Providence for medical attention for minor injuries.

The minister said that aviation officials had advised her that the aircraft reported experiencing engine trouble around 10.20am and had to ditch in the water.

Not long after the ditch, Mrs. Hanna Martin said a rescue team of police and civilians found the four men with life jackets in about 45 feet of water. An official confirmed that the plane was found upside down.

In June, five people escaped a brush with death after their single engine Cessna 172 aircraft flying from Pittstown, Crooked Island, crashed into the sea 13 miles southeast of Nassau. There were four adults and one child on the plane.

The pilot reported engine problems before it ditched in the sea, Mrs Hanna Martin said shortly after that incident. The five survivors were found in a life raft and were taken by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to its base in Coral Harbour.

Last year, Dr Myles Munroe, pastor of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, and his wife Ruth were among the nine people on board a Lear 36 executive jet that went down in a gruesome crash in bad weather in Grand Bahama. The plane had collided with a crane at the Grand Bahama Shipyard and crashed in a nearby junk pile. All on board were killed instantly.


Pipistrel Virus SW, Four Delta Tango LLC, N537PV: Incident occurred September 28, 2015 near Horicon, Warren County, New York


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albany FSDO-01


Date: 28-SEP-15
Time:  14:45:00Z
Regis#:  N537PV
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  Unknown
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
State:  New York

HORICON -- State Police are investigating a plane crash that occurred Monday morning in a field near Palisades Road. 

No one was hurt in the 10:06 a.m. incident. A small, single-engine plane piloted by George H. Wiederkehr, 82, of Ballston Lake, flipped onto its roof when Wiederkehr tried to land in a field after he believed he was running out of fuel, police said.

Wiederkehr had flown from Lake Placid to Niettis Field in Delanson and had planned to land there, officials said. But he concluded that weather there was not conducive to landing and he was low on fuel, so he turned around and tried to return to Lake Placid, officials said.

As he flew north, he became worried about fuel levels and planned to try to land at an airfield in Schroon Lake, and tried to make an emergency landing in a field near Brant Lake that he saw when he descended through cloud cover.

The plane’s front landing gear failed as it rolled on the field, causing the front of the plane to hit the field and flip.

Police said the 2013 plane was a small, hand-made kit plane. The nose and landing gear suffered extensive damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration was assisting State Police with the investigation.


HORICON—State Police are investigating a plane crash that occurred Monday morning in a field off Palisades Road in Brant Lake near Bent Lee Farm.

The pilot and sole occupant George H. Wiederkehr, 82, of Ballston Lake was uninjured. 

The plane, a 2013 experimental single-engine aircraft, was located upside down in the field with damage to the front landing gear and nose of the aircraft.

The initial investigation found that Wiederkehr departed the Lake Placid Airport around 7:45 a.m. and was traveling south with a final destination of Niettis Field in Delanson.

Wiederkehr observed that he was low on fuel as he approached the Great Sacandaga Lake and turned back north in an attempt to land at the Schroon Lake Airport.

Wiederkehr descended through the cloud canopy and noted an open field where he attempted to land.

The front wheel of the landing gear dug into the ground and the aircraft overturned coming to rest on its roof shortly after 10 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration was advised of the accident and responded to the scene.

The FAA investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing.


GE Aviation's Durham-based jet engine factory gives update on jobs promise, preps new airplane engines

On the heels of a state-incentivized hiring binge, GE Aviation in Durham is undergoing costly manufacturing preparations for a yet-to-be released engine aimed at powering future 777s.

Spokesman Rick Kennedy says it's one of three next-generation engine products GE Aviation is about to start executing from Durham.

Already, the company produces engines in Durham that power the Boeing 777, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and regional jets made by Bombardier and Embraer. Additionally, GE Aviation’s component of a partnership with CFM International – the core of the CFM56 engine that powers both the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 – is manufactured in Durham.

But preparations are under way to ramp up future products. Over the past two years, the company has spent more than $50 million in Durham to prepare to manufacture three new lines, specifically what’s called the “LEAP engine,” the “Passport” and a new engine core that could some day power your corporate trips.

LEAP engines are the next-generation replacement for the CFM56 engine, he explains. It will power the new Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo aircraft, entering service in 2016.

“So, the production ramp-up for Durham for this engine will occur later this decade – at the same time the current CFM56 production will be phased out,” he says.

Additionally, the Passport engines will power future Bombardier business jets.

The facility is also preparing to manufacture a new engine core for the GP7200, which will one day power the Airbus A380.

Its headcount has expanded to support the new products. In 2013, GE announced a bullish plan to expand its GE Aviation workforce across the state. The plan involved 242 new jobs over five years. That included 50 new hires and new equipment for next-generation commercial engines at the firm’s Durham facility. Additional job expansions were announced for Wilmington, West Jefferson and Asheville in 2013.

In return for the jobs promise, the state pledged nearly $5 million in incentive grants to the division.

David Rhoades, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Commerce, says the state has yet to pay out any of its promised incentives, as GE Aviation’s first-year report has not been finalized.

Kennedy says GE Aviation has fulfilled its end of the bargain. Its current headcount is more than 350, he says. In 2013, the headcount given was 370, but that number included contractors. Kennedy says that, in actuality, the total in 2013 was closer to 300. And he does not expect the headcount to grow in Durham.

“350 is about where we want to be,” he says.

In the years following the announcement, it's been doubling down on engine development – but not just in the United States. Recently, the company announced it would be building a new turbo prop engine development center in Europe – a move that does not impact the Durham facility, as they're different engine products, says a company representative. Additionally, a gas engine facility is opening in Canada.

GE Aviation's Durham plant served as the backdrop for a Monday proclamation by Gov. Pat McCrory.

McCrory proclaimed that the week of Sept. 28 would officially be "State Manufacturing Week."

GE Aviation is one of more than 10,300 manufacturing facilities employing nearly 450,000 in the state. According to the governor's office, manufacturing remains the state's largest industry, at $88 billion or 20 percent of North Carolina's entire Gross Domestic Product.

For every $1 spent on manufacturing, $1.66 is generated for the state's economy, according to state officials Monday. 


Dallas man indicted for aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft

DALLAS, Texas (U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas) — A federal grand jury has indicted Orlando Jose Chapa, 37, of Dallas on one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Special agents with the FBI arrested Chapa yesterday. He made his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney, who released him on bond.

According to the indictment, on or about May 30, 2015, in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas, Chapa knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter and at the flight path of that aircraft.

A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the maximum statutory penalty for this offense is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The FBI, Texas DPS and the Dallas Police Department are investigating. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Burns is prosecuting.

- Source:

Laser attack on sheriff's helicopter nets prison term for Bakersfield man

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Barry Lee Bowser Jr., 52, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for shining a powerful green laser at the pilot of a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

In June, a federal jury found Bowser guilty of aiming the beam of a laser at Air-1, a Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter that was providing support to ground units responding to a man armed with a gun. At trial, the evidence established that the mission was diverted when the pilot of Air-1 was struck by direct hits from a powerful green laser that illuminated the cockpit and tracked the aircraft near the approach path to Meadows Field Airport. The laser strikes caused the pilot to experience flash blindness, eye discomfort, and pain that lasted several hours.

In imposing sentence, U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill found that Bowser had obstructed justice before trial by concealing the laser and providing false statements to law enforcement and at trial through his false testimony about the offense.

The federal statute used to charge Bowser is part of legislation signed into law in 2012 by President Obama that makes it a federal crime to knowingly aim the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft or its flight path. Reports of laser attacks have increased dramatically in recent years as powerful laser devices have become more affordable and widely available to the public. In 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received 3,894 reports of incidents involving laser strikes on aircraft. In the Eastern District of California, which encompasses 34 counties in the eastern portion of California, there were 150 reported laser incidents, with Bakersfield and Fresno leading in the number of reported incidents. Lasers can cause visual interference even at great distances and can completely incapacitate pilots who are trying to fly safely to their destination. Laser strikes pose a serious threat to air safety, endangering crew members, passengers and people on the ground.

The case against Bowser was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bayleigh Pettigrew prosecuted the case.


Greensboro native's class-action suit alleges price-fixing by airlines

GREENSBORO — A Greensboro native and member of the Cone family is one of dozens of people across the country who have filed class-action lawsuits against the nation’s four major airlines for price-fixing.

Barbara Lawrence Cone of New York filed the suit Sept. 3 in U.S. Middle District Court in Greensboro.

She claims American, Delta, Southwest and United airlines conspired to fix ticket prices on domestic flights, a violation of federal anti-trust laws.

Because of this, Cone’s suit says, she “paid more for her airline tickets than she otherwise would have.”

The suit said Cone believes there are millions of potential members of her class-action suit spread out across the country who bought tickets with the airlines between Jan. 1, 2010, and the present.

The suit seeks damages for Cone and all other ticketholders in the time frame, as well as attorney fees.

Efforts Friday to reach Cone in New York were unsuccessful.

None of the four airlines have filed responses to Cone’s suit.

Cone’s suit is one of several class-action suits filed against the four airlines since the Department of Justice announced its investigation July 1. In mid-August, the Dallas Morning News counted 75 such suits — a calculation made before Cone filed her suit in Greensboro.

Passengers have filed suits in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, New York and other cities.

The numerous suits share a common allegation: The airlines regularly communicated to artificially inflate airfares to reap huge profits. The airlines have continued to do this, the suits maintain, despite declining jet fuel prices.

The four airlines have repeatedly denied the claims.

In July, a spokesman for Delta Airlines said “the assertion that our success is due to anything more than the hard work of our people is not only ridiculous, it is offensive.

“The simple fact is that Delta has not engaged in any illegal behavior in regards to air passenger service capacity.”

The flood of class-action suits was prompted by word that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the airlines for price-fixing.

On July 1, The Associated Press reported that the justice department was investigating whether the four airlines conspired to keep fares artificially high. The DOJ eventually confirmed the investigation.

That investigation was prompted by questions from industry watchdogs and members of Congress.

Cone, who grew up in Greensboro, is the daughter of Robert and Sally Cone. Her suit notes that she bought tickets on numerous occasions with U.S. Airways and Delta to and from the Greensboro region.

Her local attorney, David Meschan, didn’t immediately respond Friday to requests for an interview.

The New York firm Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher, which specializes in large-scale anti-trust cases, also is representing Cone.

Several airline industry publications and consumer groups have speculated that the courts eventually will consolidate the multiple class-action suits into one large case.


Feds seek $114K fine against Sun Country Airlines

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. - Federal transportation officials are proposing that a civil penalty of $114,975 be levied against MN Airlines, LLC, doing business as Sun Country Airlines, for allegedly violating federal drug and alcohol testing regulations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alleges that Sun Country failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests and receive verified negative results before hiring or transferring one mechanic and three flight attendants into safety-sensitive positions.

The FAA alleges one of the flight attendants actually performed in-flight duties before she was given her pre-employment drug test.

FAA investigators also allege the company transferred another employee from a non‑safety‑sensitive position into the safety‑sensitive position of in‑flight supervisor, a flight attendant position, more than 180 days after she had taken a pre-employment drug test. Employers must administer a new pre‑employment drug test before transferring an employee into a safety-sensitive position if more than 180 days has elapsed since the previous test. That flight attendant performed in-flight duties on four occasions before being re-tested, the FAA alleges.

In addition to the allegations involving flight attendants, the FAA says Sun Country failed to include one pilot and seven aviation screeners in its random drug and alcohol testing pool. The agency alleges the pilot flew for the carrier for seven months when he was not in the pool, and that the others performed aviation screening duties on one occasion when they were not in the pool.

The FAA discovered the alleged violations during an inspection of the airline's Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program.

Sun Country has 30 days from receiving the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.


No fuel for international airlines: Nepal

Kathmandu: Nepal`s aviation body on Monday conveyed its inability to provide fuel to international airlines from Tuesday following a severe fuel shortage at home.
The development came as Nepal is reeling under severe fuel cuts after India declined to send petroleum supplies through various Nepal-India entry points over insecurity on the Nepali side of the border.

With the embargo continuing, Nepal has introduced a token system for domestic, private and public use of all types of vehicles.

The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has decided not to provide aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for the international airlines connecting Nepal from Tuesday afternoon onwards to keep the existing stock intact.

A notice to airmen (NOTAM), filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of the decision, has been issued in this regard on Monday, the TIA said.

TIA officials said the move to stop supplying fuel for international carriers has been taken under the request of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

As the current stock of ATF could fulfil the international airlines demand for at least seven days, the government had on Saturday requested the airlines to refuel their tanks and carry return fuel from their respective points of origin.

Similarly, India has been releasing a limited number of Nepal-bound freight since Sunday from its Sunauli point after the officials at Bhairahawa customs continuously urged their Indian counterparts to release the Nepal-bound freight.

India, which was sending perishable goods like potatoes, fruits and onions for the past four days, released around 40 vehicles, including two fuel tankers and two LP gas bullets on Sunday.

On Monday, two dozen trucks carrying vegetables, fruits and industrial raw materials were released by India until 2 pm. But it did not release any fuel tankers.

Bhairahawa customs Chief Lawanya Dhakal said he directly contacted the Indian customs officials and inquired why the fuel tankers were not released.

He said the Indian officials assured of immediately sending eight fuel tankers and three LP gas bullets.

Dhakal also said they have been sending representatives to the Indian customs office for pressuring them to send essential goods to Nepal.


United flights were part of effort to 'save' Atlantic City, New Jersey

NEW YORK — Many airlines have tried — and failed — over the past decade to make a profit flying to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Since becoming governor in 2010, Chris Christie has waged a very public campaign, at taxpayers' expense, to "save" the seaside resort.

United Airlines flights from Chicago and Houston were part of that plan.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which owns the airport, had been losing money on it for years. The authority had been using $3 million annually from toll revenues from its Atlantic City Expressway to support the airport's $15 million yearly budget.

In July 2013, the Christie-controlled authority agreed to pay the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey $500,000 annually for 15 years to operate the airport, as well as market it and bring in new flights. A few months later, in November, United announced that it would start flying to Atlantic City.

While airlines open new routes all the time, they usually inform the public with a simple press release. But Atlantic City was different.

United's then-CEO, Jeff Smisek, flew in to join Christie for a press conference where he thanked the governor "for fostering a business-friendly climate" and spoke about how the two daily flights to Atlantic City "will drive business, tourism and economic development throughout the southern part of the state."

However, the big announcement didn't take place at the Atlantic City airport or on the fabled Atlantic City Boardwalk. Instead, the event was held 110 miles to the north, at United's terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport.

It was much fanfare for flights that — on their best days — would bring only a combined 100 passengers to New Jersey, hardly enough to revitalize the tourism and gambling industries.

But the plan had an enthusiastic cheerleader in a governor eager for any development — no matter how small — that could be seen as a victory in his efforts to turn around Atlantic City.

During his tenure, the governor has fought unsuccessfully to overturn a federal ban on legalized sports betting in all but four states, an effort that has cost taxpayers several million dollars so far. He committed the state to tax incentives that helped convince Wall Street to provide the final $1 billion needed to finish the $2.4 billion Revel casino, which shut its doors after two years without ever having turned a profit. And the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority — a group with 14 of its 17 voting members appointed by Christie— provided $836,145 that was ultimately spent on marketing Atlantic City in Chicago and Houston.

None of that has helped. Last year, four of the city's 12 casinos closed, costing 8,000 workers their jobs. Casino revenue has fallen from $5.2 billion in 2006 to $2.74 billion last year.


County tackles noise at San Carlos Airport (KSQL), California

The region’s booming economy has led to a significant increase of air traffic at the county-owned San Carlos Airport which in turn has led to residents complaining about all the extra noise it is creating.

Last week, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors formed a subcommittee to address air traffic impacts at the airport.

It is comprised of supervisors Don Horsley and Warren Slocum, whose districts are most impacted by the airport, to assess and develop solutions to address the impact of increased air traffic.

Most of the noise comes from Surf Air planes and most of the complaints come from Atherton residents.

North Fair Oaks, however, is also impacted by the frequency of Surf Air planes flying to San Carlos, Supervisor Warren Slocum said Wednesday.

The early morning and late-night flights generate the most noise complaints, Slocum said.

In just a few years, the members-only airline has increased its number of flights from three to 30 a day, Slocum said about Surf Air.

Slocum has listened to the complaints for years but said now the county may have a little more clout when it comes to dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration by forming the subcommittee.

The FAA governs the flight paths and elevations planes must follow when departing and flying into San Carlos.

Residents in the southern part of the county, however, say those flight paths are right over their homes and create lots of unwanted noise.

On Sept. 11, a letter from the Atherton City Council to the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County blasted local officials for not addressing the noise from Surf Air.

“The town has ... petitioned, pleaded and implored the Federal Aviation Administration, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, San Carlos Airport Operations and aviation carriers themselves (Surf Air) to address a devastating disconnect between the San Carlos Airport Operations and the health, safety and welfare of the impacted communities,” the letter states.

C/CAG just released a draft Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan for the airport for public comment. The plan may impact the airport’s operations.

The letter continues: “These pleas have been largely ignored as the overflights by Surf Air have not only become noisier but have increased in frequency. By failing to address these growing concerns the Airport Land Use Commission, the county, San Carlos Airport Operations and the FAA have been derelict in their duty of protecting that health, safety and welfare instead placing the expansion desires of commercial aviation ahead of the protection of its communities. This is unacceptable and must be remedied.”

And with Surf Air’s growth, it is now flying to more destinations in the state and Las Vegas as its membership has grown to at least 1,400. It also has a waiting list of about 600. Members pay $1,000 to sign up for the service and $1,750 a month to fly as often as they like.

Slocum said the first step the subcommittee will take is to meet with FAA officials to try and solve the noise problem.

The FAA has also expressed concerns about the adverse effects to ground safety with the higher volume of flights, according to a report by Horsley to the Board of Supervisors.


Fischer Aviation PSA Episode 1- "Carb Ice"

Published on September 26, 2015 
 Video by Fischer Aviation
Located at the Essex County Airport (KCDW) in Fairfield, New Jersey 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cessna 550 Citation II, N622PG: Accident occurred September 27, 2015 at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (KSRQ), Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Sarasota, FL
Accident Number: ERA15LA380
Date & Time: 09/27/2015, 1906 EDT
Registration: N622PG
Aircraft: CESSNA 550
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 27, 2015, about 1906 eastern daylight time, a privately owned and operated Cessna 550, N622PG, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion after landing at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Sarasota, Florida. The airline transport pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Boca Raton, Florida, about 1827.

The owner of the airplane stated he had been receiving flight instruction from the pilot, and in return he offered to let the pilot borrow the airplane.

The pilot stated that, at the conclusion of the flight, he approached the destination airport and calculated that the landing distance required was "between 2,010 and 2,100 feet." After an uneventful flare, the airplane touched down on runway 22 "shortly after" the runway numbers. After touchdown, the pilot immediately deployed the speed brakes, brakes, and thrust reversers. The pilot said the airplane had slowed to 60 knots at the intersection of runway 14-32, about 3,000 ft from the threshold of runway 22, so he put the thrust reversers in idle reverse. He had considered exiting at taxiway A, which was about 400 feet past the intersection of the two runways but felt it would have required maximum braking. The pilot said he then amended his plan and decided to exit the runway onto taxiway D at the departure end of runway 22, about 2,000 feet beyond the runway intersection. He stated during this time, between taxiway A and D, he held his feet off the brakes, estimating the airplane speed was 20-23 knots. He retracted the flaps, speed brakes, and the thrust reversers. He reported that, as the airplane approached taxiway D, he applied brakes and commented to the passenger, "we have no brakes." He pumped the brakes, then redeployed the speed brakes and thrust reversers and applied the emergency brake.

Air traffic controllers in the SRQ tower stated that the airplane touched down in "the vicinity of the aiming point," and that after touchdown they "noticed that they might be a bit fast." The accident sequence was captured by surveillance cameras and a review of the video showed the airplane touched down approximately abeam the B1 taxiway, 1,700 feet beyond the approach end of the runway, and that the thrust reversers were not deployed during the recorded portion of the landing roll.

Runway 04/22 at SQR was 5,009 ft long and 150 ft wide; runway 14/32 at SQR was 9,500 ft long and 150 ft wide. Taxiway B was 1,700 feet from the threshold of runway 22, taxiway A was 3,400 feet from the threshold of runway 22. Taxiway A was about 1,600 ft from taxiway D and the departure end of the runway.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector and an airframe and powerplant mechanic revealed a puncture in the pressure vessel aft of the nose landing gear and damage to the bulkhead belly stringers. Functional testing of the brakes showed that they were operational and did not reveal evidence any pre- or post-impact mechanical anomalies. According to photographs and diagrams prepared by airport management, skid marks that aligned directly with the airplane's tire tracks in the grass began 1,130 feet prior to the departure end of the runway, just past taxiway A.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with type ratings for Cessna CE-500 and CE-525 airplanes. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on March 18, 2015. Review of flight experience documents provided by the pilot's attorney revealed that the pilot reported 4075 hours of flight experience, of which 1,713 were in turbine-powered airplanes.

The 7-seat, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1978, was powered by two Pratt and Whitney JT15D-4 turbofan engines, and was certified as a two-pilot airplane. Its most recent Phase 1-5 inspections were completed May 29, 2015 at 9,212.9 total aircraft hours. The airplane accrued 52.6 hours since that date.

At 1853, the weather reported at SRQ included few clouds at 2,220 and 3,100 feet, calm wind, and 10 miles visibility. The temperature was 27°C, the dewpoint was 25°C, and the altimeter setting was 29.89 inches of mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/18/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/28/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4072 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1500 hours (Total, this make and model), 3968 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N622PG
Model/Series: 550
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 550-0037
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/29/2015, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 9212 Hours
Engines: 2 Turbo Fan
Airframe Total Time:  as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: P&W CANADA
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: JT15D-4
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SRQ, 23 ft msl
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 323°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2200 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 25°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: BOCA RATON, FL (BCT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Sarasota, FL (SRQ)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1827 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class C

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 29 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: RNAV
Runway Length/Width: 5009 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  27.395556, -82.554444 (est)

Dallas Love Field Airport (KDAL) gate fight heats up with court hearings

Travelers could see changes in flights at Dallas Love Field depending on whether a federal judge in Dallas agrees this week to let Delta Air Lines keep flying there — at least for a while.

A decision also would affect Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, the dominant carrier at the city-owned airport that is letting Delta use one of its gates there.

Whatever happens, it will be only temporary relief for an increasingly complex, contentious fight that began late last year.

“The city brings this action to resolve the disputes, to enable it to perform its obligations and to prevent disruption of service to the flying public,” the city of Dallas said in its lawsuit seeking guidance on how to deal with the situation.

The battle heats up Monday and Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade is scheduled to hear arguments from Southwest, Delta, Dallas and the U.S. Department of Transportation on whether to keep Delta flying at Love Field until the parties settle their dispute.

The city, Delta, Southwest, the Transportation Department and the Federal Aviation Administration — all parties to the lawsuit — declined to comment Friday.

Delta now operates five daily flights to its home base of Atlanta from one gate at Love Field under an agreement with Southwest, but that deal ends Wednesday.

Southwest wants to use the gate to accommodate the expansion it’s carried out since federal flying restrictions at the airport were lifted last October. Since then, it has expanded from 118 departures to 16 cities to 180 flights to 50 cities.

Also since then, Delta has been fighting to get a permanent foothold at Love Field.

This is the second time a request is being made to extend Delta’s operations beyond a scheduled deadline. The airline’s right to fly out of Love Field was set to expire July 7, but Southwest, at Kinkeade’s urging, agreed to let Delta stay until Wednesday.

Southwest leases 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field from the city. In January, the airline said it would gain two more gates in March through a sublease with United Airlines, which left the airport. At the time, Delta was using one of United’s gates for its flights to Atlanta.

“The city, Southwest and Delta indicate that they have discussed possible methods for resolving the case but have been unable to reach agreement,” Kinkeade said in an August court filing. “The parties are directed to continue to work in good faith.”

Here’s where the parties stand based on their court filings and statements.


The airline wants its gate back.

Southwest says its lease with Dallas gives it “preferential use of the Love Field gates.” It also argues that a 2006 agreement by the airline, the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and American Airlines regarding future service at Love Field “prohibits the DOT from compelling the city [of Dallas] to force Southwest to accommodate Delta.”

Southwest further argues that Delta, which also flies out of D/FW Airport, shouldn’t be allowed to operate out of two airports in the same market.


Delta wants the judge to approve a preliminary injunction that will let it continue flying at Love Field. The airline also said Southwest should lose the two gates it leases from United and the judge should make them available to any airline, not just Delta.

Delta argues that the terms of the Love Field lease agreements and various provisions of federal law give it the right to “long-term accommodation at Love Field.” It also disputes Southwest’s single-market claim about Love Field and D/FW Airport.

City of Dallas

The city wants guidance in what to do with leases at Love Field. It first asked the DOT for guidance in December regarding Delta’s request for long-term accommodation of its five daily departures at Love Field.

“Mandates from two federal agencies under color of federal law and conflicting legal claims and litigation threats by several airlines under federal law have put the city in an impossible situation that only this court can resolve,” the city said in its original lawsuit, filed in June against Delta, Southwest, three other airlines that fly at Love Field, the DOT and the FAA.

In a July court filing, the city said it expects Southwest to win the fight at Love Field.


The federal agency and its FAA division last week asked the court to release them from the case or put it on hold until a separate but related legal proceeding in Washington reaches a conclusion. That suit, filed by Southwest in a federal appeals court in Washington, asked the court to clarify a December letter from the DOT to Dallas regarding Delta at Love Field.

The federal agencies also are investigating why the city hasn’t taken action at Love Field.


Military aircraft flies over Tumon Bay at low altitude (with video)

KUAM News has received a video of what appears to be a U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft flying low over Tumon Bay. 

According to a witness the plane made two passes over the water.

The incident occurred around 5pm Sunday.

The witness told KUAM he was at the beach with his family and was alarmed when he saw how low the aircraft was flying near the water and  shore. He caught the second pass of the plane on video.

Story, photo and video:

Air Tour to make stop in Garden City, Kansas

The annual Fly Kansas Air Tour will make a stop in Garden City Wednesday morning, as part of its five-day, 12-community barnstorming of the state to promote aviation in Kansas.

The tour kicks off in Wellington Tuesday and concludes in Newton on Oct. 3, making stops in Pratt, Dodge City, Liberal, Garden City, Colby, Hays, Concordia, Junction City, Emporia and Beaumont.

“The Fly Kansas Air Tour is a unique chance to see the state and learn about general aviation up close,” KDOT Aviation Director Tiffany Brown said. “We hope to connect with both students and members of the community to demonstrate the important role their airport plays in their community.”

At stops along the tour, students will be invited to learn about topics that include basic flight principles and aviation education opportunities, as well as discuss careers in aviation with air ambulance operations, airport managers, aerial applicators, engineers, airline pilots and meet the 1st Aviation CombatBrigade from Fort Riley.

Rachelle Powell, Garden City Regional Airport's aviation director, said up to 24 airplanes will begin arriving shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday. The public is invited, and students from Garden City and Holcomb schools are expected to attend the roughly hour-long event.

Local community members are welcome and encouraged to visit the airport to watch the mass arrival of aircraft and visit with the pilots.

“It's basically like an open house where people can walk around and look at the airplanes,” Powell said. “We'll also have tours of the air traffic control tower, some heavy equipment the airport utilizes on display and the aircraft rescue and firefighting truck will be out. That way, it will give people and the children an opportunity to talk to people about careers in aviation, and just kind of have fun.”

The event is open to anyone with an interest in aviation or learning more about the airport.

This is the second year for the air tour, but the first time Garden City will be one of the stops, Powell said.

“We love aviation. We're always excited to see airplanes and talk to pilots and share the thrill of aviation with the community,” she said. “It's going to be a fast and furious hour, but it will be a good time.”

On Oct. 3, the air tour will stop at the Newton airport and participate in the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 88 fly-in, which features Young Eagle flights and commemorative Air Force aircraft, as well as a banquet dinner.

The air tour is organized by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation.


Cessna 182A Skylane, N3921D, Texas Skydiving Center: Fatal accident occurred September 27, 2015 near Lexinton Airfield (TE75), Lee County, Texas


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA427
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 27, 2015 in Lexington, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/02/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N3921D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

The commercial pilot was returning the airplane to the departure airport for landing after a skydiving flight. Two witnesses reported observing the pilot fly the airplane over the runway; one witness said it was about 50 ft above ground level (agl), and the other witness said it was about 100 ft agl. One of the witnesses added that, when the airplane reached the end of the runway, it pitched up about 45 degrees, gained about 200 ft of altitude, and then entered a turn with a 45 bank angle. The witness added that, after the airplane had turned about 90 degrees to a westerly heading, its nose dropped, and the airplane "immediately dove." The airplane subsequently entered a left spin and rotated about 180 degrees before impacting trees and then the ground. A second witness noted that the engine sounded like it was at "full throttle" during the descent as if the pilot was attempting to recover from the dive.

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions. The airplane wreckage was confined to the vicinity of the accident site. Tree breaks in the immediate vicinity of the accident site were consistent with a high-angle descent immediately before impact. Based on the witness statements, it is likely that the pilot intentionally initiated a turning climb but failed to maintain adequate airspeed and exceeded the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin from which he could not recover.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during a climbing turn, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin at too low of an altitude to recover.

On September 27, 2015, about 1830 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A airplane, N3921D, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain near Lexington, Texas. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Austin Skydiving Center, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a part of a skydiving flight operation. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Lexington Airfield (TE75), Lexington, Texas, about 1800. 

A witness, who was one of the skydivers onboard the initial portion of the accident flight, reported that the flight to the jump altitude of 10,000 feet was "routine." After exiting the airplane, his parachute descent was uneventful. After his parachute landing, he observed the airplane overfly the runway northbound about 50 feet above ground level (agl). When the airplane reached the north end of the runway, it pitched up about 45 degrees. Once the airplane had gained about 200 feet of altitude, it entered a left 45-degree banked turn. After it had completed about 90 degrees of the turn, to a westerly heading, the nose dropped and it "immediately dove." The airplane subsequently entered a left spin, rotating about 180 degrees before impacting the ground. He estimated that 1-1/2 to 2 seconds elapsed from the time the nose dropped until the airplane impacted the ground. 

A second witness reported that he was on the back porch of his home at the time of the accident. He recalled hearing the airplane for 5 to 10 seconds before seeing it. He added that it approached from the north and sounded "loud," which drew his attention toward the airplane. He noted that the engine "sounded like it was at full throttle" as if the pilot was attempting to recovery from the dive. His view of the airplane was initially obscured by the house roof and the trees. Once he saw the airplane it was nose down, descending toward a wooded area behind his home. He noted that the airplane appeared to be intact, with both wings and the tail visible. The airplane subsequently impacted the trees. 

A third witness reported that the accident occurred on the last or second to last flight of the day. After the skydivers had landed, the jump airplane approached the runway and appeared to be in a position to land. However, as the airplane neared the runway, it leveled off about 100 feet above the ground and overflew the runway. The airplane crossed over approximately perpendicular to the main road passing the airport. Shortly after crossing the road, he observed the airplane enter a left turn, expecting it to complete the turn and return for a landing. However, before it completed the turn, the airplane seemed to lose its momentum and the nose dropped abruptly. 

Another skydiver, who had been onboard the initial portion of the accident flight, reported that the takeoff and the subsequent climb to the jump altitude was "not noteworthy at all". He did not observe the airplane after he exited until he saw it at the accident site. He commented that they had started about 1000 that morning, and had been skydiving for most of the day. He estimated there had been about 10 or 11 airplane loads of skydivers during that timeframe. He added that the airplane was refueled immediately before the accident flight. 

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings, which was issued on November 1, 2014. He was issued a first class airman medical certificate with a restriction for corrective lenses on January 13, 2015. 

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that his most recent flight entry was dated September 25, 2015; two days before the accident. He had logged 862.0 hours total flight time, including 846.2 hours in single-engine land airplanes and 605.5 hours in Cessna model 182 airplanes. Of the total flight time, 780.8 hours were logged as pilot-in-command and 238.2 hours were logged as dual instruction received. The pilot's logbook included endorsements for complex and high performance airplane operations. 

A colleague of the accident pilot described him as a "skilled pilot." The colleague added that he had felt safe when flying with the accident pilot, more so than other pilots he had flown with in the past. 

The accident airplane was a Cessna model 182A (s/n 18234621). The Cessna 182A is a single-engine, four-place design, with a fixed tricycle landing gear arrangement. It was powered by 230-horsepower Continental Motors O-470-L six-cylinder, reciprocating engine (s/n 67911-7-L). Thrust was provided by a two-blade McCauley model 2A34C203-C/G-90DCA-8 constant speed (variable pitch) propeller assembly (s/n 010632). 

According to maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was completed on June 30, 2015, at a recording tachometer time of 4,178.3 hours. An airframe logbook entry, dated August 25, 2015, indicated that the recording tachometer hour meter failed at 4,200 hours and that a recording hour (Hobbs) meter was installed, which indicated 0 hours at that time. The most recent inspection consisted of a 100-hour inspection completed on September 24, 2015. The airframe had accumulated about 4,282 hours total time. The recording hour (Hobbs) meter indicated 82.7 hours at that time. 

The accident engine was overhauled in November 2011, at 3,058.7 hours total time. The overhauled engine was installed on the accident airframe on November 30, 2014, and subsequently accumulated 919.5 hours. According to the maintenance logbook, the engine was disassembled and inspected due to a propeller strike before installation on the accident airframe. At the time of the most recent 100-hour inspection, the engine had accumulated about 4,124 hour total time, with about 1,066 hours since overhaul. The propeller assembly had accumulated about 1,116 hours total time. 

Two modifications related to parachute jumping (skydiving) had been made to the accident airplane. The first modification removed the right front and rear seats, and installed floor level seat belt brackets to accommodate four occupants in addition to the pilot. The second was related to a modification of the right cabin door to allow for the in-flight operation of the door for parachute jumping. 

Weather conditions recorded by the Giddings-Lee County Airport (GYB) Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), located about 15 miles south of TE75, at 1835, were: wind from 120 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.87 inches of mercury. 

Weather conditions recorded by the Caldwell Municipal Airport (RWV) AWOS, located about 15 miles northeast of TE75, at 1830, were: wind from 110 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point 18 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 29.87 inches of mercury. 

The airplane impacted trees and terrain about one-quarter mile north-northwest of TE75. The accident site was located in a wooded area, on the slope of an embankment surrounding a small pond. Tree breaks in the immediate vicinity of the accident site were consistent with a high angle of descent prior to impact. One tree limb, approximately 6 inches in diameter, was partially severed consistent with a propeller strike. The end of severed tree limb was oriented about 45 degrees relative to the horizon, which was consistent with an approximate 45-degree nose down airplane attitude. The airplane came to rest upright on the sloped side of the embankment and all wreckage was confined to the vicinity of the point of impact. All airplane structural components were located in the relative positions of an intact aircraft. 

The nose and forward fuselage was deformed and fragmented consistent with impact forces. The engine was dislocated aft into the firewall to a point approximately in-line with the leading edge of the wings. The cockpit area was compromised and fragmented. The fuselage exhibited buckling and deformation in the vicinity of the aft cabin and baggage area. The empennage remained attached to the aft fuselage and appeared intact. The rudder and elevators remained attached to the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, respectively. Control continuity was confirmed from the rudder and elevators to the cockpit area. At the time of the postaccident examination, both cabin doors were separated and located adjacent to the fuselage. 

The left wing was separated and located adjacent to the fuselage at the time of the postaccident examination. The forward spar and wing strut both exhibited cuts at the wing root and mid-span, respectively, consistent with a postaccident removal of the wing. Separation of the aft spar was consistent with an overload failure due to impact forces. The wing structure was deformed and the leading edge exhibited aft crushing along the entire span. The aileron and flap remained attached to the wing. Control continuity was confirmed from the aileron and the flap to the wing root. 

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. The wing structure was deformed, with aft crushing along the entire leading edge. The aileron and flap remained attached to the wing. The right aileron control tube was separated between the bellcrank and the control surface consistent with an overload failure. Control continuity was confirmed from the aileron bellcrank to the wing root. The aileron cross-over cable was separated inboard of the wing root; the separation appeared consistent with an overload failure. Control continuity of the right wing flap was confirmed to the wing root. 

The engine sustained damage consistent with impact forces. All six cylinders remained attached to the crankcase. Internal engine and accessory section continuity were confirmed through crankshaft rotation. Suction and compression were noted at all cylinders. A lighted borescope examination of each cylinder did not reveal any anomalies related to the individual cylinders, pistons, or intake/exhaust valves. The upper spark plugs exhibited normal combustion signatures. The left magneto was separated from the engine mounting pad; the right magneto remained secured to the engine. Both magnetos produced a spark across all leads when rotated. The carburetor housing was fractured consistent with impact forces. The fuel screen was intact and unobstructed. 

The propeller separated from the engine due to a fracture of the propeller hub adjacent to the mounting flange. Both propeller blades remained with the forward portion of the hub, which was located near the engine at the accident site. The aft portion of the hub remained attached to the engine propeller flange. The appearance of the fracture surface was consistent with an overstress failure due to impact forces. The propeller blades exhibited minor bending and twisting over the span of the blade. One blade sustained minor scuffing damage in an area located about one-third span from the blade root and over the outboard one-third of the blade span. 

The postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. 

An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office in Austin, Texas, on September 29, 2015. The pilot's death was attributed to blunt force injuries sustained as a result of the accident. 

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology report noted: 
No Ethanol detected in Vitreous; 
Dextromethorphan detected in Liver; 
Diphenhydramine detected in Liver; 
Doxylamine detected in Liver.

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA427 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 27, 2015 in Lexington, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N3921D
Injuries: 1 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 September 27, 2015, about 1830 central daylight time, a Cessna 182A airplane, N3921D, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain near Lexington, Texas. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Austin Skydiving Center, Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a skydiving flight operation. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Lexington Airfield (TE75), Lexington, Texas, about 1800.

A witness reported that the airplane overflew the runway northbound about 50 feet above ground level. When the airplane reached the north end of the runway, it pitched up about 45 degrees. Once the airplane had gained about 200 feet of altitude, it entered a left 45-degree banked turn. After it had completed about 90 degrees of the turn, to a west heading, the nose dropped and it "immediately dove." The airplane subsequently entered a left spin, rotating about 180 degrees before impacting the ground. He estimated that 1-1/2 to 2 seconds elapsed from the time the nose dropped until the airplane impacted the ground.

The airplane impacted trees and terrain about 0.25nm north-northwest of TE75. The accident site was located in a wooded area, on the slope of an embankment surrounding a small pond. Limited tree breaks were consistent with a high angle of descent immediately prior to impact. The airplane came to rest upright on the sloped side of the embankment and all wreckage was confined to the vicinity of the point of impact. All airplane structural components were located at the accident site and in the relative positions of an intact aircraft; all flight control surfaces remained attached to the airframe.

The witness described the weather conditions at the time of the accident as hazy, with a few high clouds and no precipitation. The wind was light, 3 or 4 knots, with no wind gusts.

Any witnesses should email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Christopher Colly Lyons

LEXINGTON, Texas (AP/KXAN) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a skydiving school plane to stall and crash in Central Texas, killing the pilot.

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday identified the victim as 32-year-old Christopher Colly Lyons, of Lexington.

DPS says the accident happened Sunday night near an airfield in Lexington, about 45 miles east of Austin.

Trooper Robbie Barrera says the pilot was attempting to land when the Cessna 182A, a single-engine plane operated by Austin Skydiving Center, stalled and crashed. Barrera says the plane went down on private property.

Investigators had no immediate information on whether any skydivers had been on board just prior to the accident.

A message left with Austin Skydiving Center wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.

Christopher Colly Lyons

A Texas Skydiving Center pilot was killed Sunday evening in a crash in Lee County.

Within hours, investigators working for the FAA headquartered out of San Antonio were at the crash site off F.M. 696 East in Lexington, about 45 miles west of Bryan-College Station.

Texas DPS Trooper Robbie Barrera confirmed that the plane belonged to Texas Skydiving Center, which is on Private Road 7022 in a rural area. It wasn't clear whether anyone else was  on board the plane or whether skydivers already had been dropped off.

Details about the crash - including the name of the pilot and information about the plane's history - were not available. Barrera referred all questions to the FAA; those officials couldn't be reached.

A woman answering the phone late Sunday at the skydiving school said they'd have no comment until all the family members of the pilot who perished were contacted.

A DPS official from the Bryan office contacted Department of Public Safety staffers at 6:58 p.m. to report the crash, but the time of the crash wasn't released.

The skydiving company's safety record is mentioned on its website, saying that all the equipment surpasses the safety standards of the U.S Parachute Association and the Parachute Industry Association. The business is affiliated with Skydive University, which is considered an advanced school for skydiving instructors.


One person is dead after his plane crashed in Lexington. This is northeast of Elgin. 

DPS Trooper Robbie Barrera confirms they received a call about a plane going down just at 6:58 p.m. Sunday night. 

The plane went down at 1953 FM 696 E. This is near the Texas Skydiving Center located at 1055 PR 7022, Rt 696, Lexington, TX. 

So far officials can confirm that the pilot was killed in the crash but are not speaking to any other injuries or fatalities. 

The Federal Aviation Administration out of San Antonio will be the lead investigative agency on this crash.


LEE COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A plane crashed on private property in Lee County Sunday night.

The Lee County Sheriff’s office says the crash happened at 6:30 p.m. on private land on FM 696 East, outside of Lexington.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the pilot of the plane has died in the crash. The condition of the other passengers and model of the plane is unknown at this time.

The pilot has not been identified at this time.

The Texas Skydiving Center: Skydiving Austin is located outside of Lexington in Lee County. It is not confirmed whether or not the plane was from the center.