Thursday, October 1, 2015

Beechcraft D55 Baron, Major Aviation LLC, N7641N: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2013 in Conway, South Carolina

A brief released by the National Transportation Safety Board on September 29 regarding a plane crash in Conway that killed three shows that the pilot didn't put the right amount of fuel in the airplane before taking off.

The report says that the right fuel tank had about five gallons remaining which was below the minimum required for takeoff.

Instead of landing after the approach, "the pilot chose to continue the flight and return to his home airport. While on final approach for landing and about 600 feet above the ground, the airplane made a steep, 270-degree right turn, departed controlled flight, and crashed at the entrance to a housing development."

The report says that the pilot likely did not follow the checklist procedures for a loss of single engine power and that he then lost control of the airplane.

The NTSB also looked at the pilot's medical records that revealed that he had been prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety, and toxicological testing the presence of a drug to treat depression in the pilot's liver and blood. However, based on the evidence, it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired by depression or the medication he used to treat it at the time of the accident.

The three killed in the crash were identified as James Major, 39, of Conway, Kenneth Piuma, 42, of Myrtle Beach and Donald Dale Becker, 16, of Conway.

NTSB Air safety investigator Jay Neylon said at the time of the crash that the plane took off at the Conway-Horry County Airport, went to the Myrtle Beach Airport and was returning to Conway when it crashed

Source: http://wpde.com


http://dms.ntsb.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N7641N

NTSB Identification: ERA13FA348

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 03, 2013 in Conway, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2015
Aircraft: BEECH D55, registration: N7641N
Injuries: 3 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.

After departing on the accident flight, the pilot performed a practice instrument approach to an airport located about 25 minutes away. Onboard video taken during the final portion of the approach showed that the right main fuel tank had about 5 gallons of fuel remaining (about 20 minutes of flight at the computed consumption rate), which was below the minimum fuel quantity specified for takeoff in the pilot's operating handbook (POH). Instead of landing after the approach, the pilot chose to continue the flight and return to his home airport. While on final approach for landing and about 600 ft above the ground, the airplane made a steep, 270-degree right turn, departed controlled flight, and crashed at the entrance to a housing development.

Examination of both engines and their propellers revealed evidence consistent with the left engine operating at high power and with the right engine operating at low or possibly no power at impact. Disassembly of each engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. Based on the limited fuel in the right main fuel tank on the previous approach and the lack of power at impact, it is likely that the right engine lost power due to fuel starvation.

All of the engine controls were found full-forward in their quadrants, and the right engine propeller was not feathered. The POH engine failure checklist stated that the controls on the inoperative engine should be closed and that the inoperative engine should be feathered. The POH also noted that, in the event of an engine failure, it is necessary "to maintain lateral and directional control" by operating the airplane above the single-engine minimum controllable airspeed (Vmca). The published Vmca for the accident airplane was 80 knots, and performance calculations revealed that the airplane slowed to below 80 knots. Based on the airplane's configuration at impact and the performance calculations, it is likely that the pilot did not follow the POH checklist procedures for a loss of single engine power and that he subsequently lost control of the airplane.

A review of the pilot's medical records revealed that he been prescribed medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety, and toxicological testing revealed the presence of sertraline, a medication used to treat depression, in the pilot's liver and blood. However, based on the evidence, it is unlikely that the pilot was impaired by depression or the medication he used to treat it at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of airplane control, which resulted from his failure to follow the loss of single engine power checklist procedures after a total loss of right engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper preflight fuel planning and in-flight fuel management.

***This report was modified on September 24, 2015. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.*** 


 
 


 

Jabiru J200, 19-3607: Incident occurred October 01, 2015 near Port Lincoln, South Australia

The plane which crash landed into a wheat paddock at Hawson, near Port Lincoln. 



A pilot  has escaped injury after crash landing his plane in a paddock near Port Lincoln.

The plane came down in a paddock off Little Swamp Lane, Hawson, at 11am on Thursday.

An SA Ambulance spokesman said the elderly male pilot refused treatment at the scene.

A police spokesman said the pilot had tried to land at Port Lincoln Airport before the plane came down.

Source:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A biplane is buzzing overhead. Can — and should — the Seaside Airport Advisory Committee intervene?


The Seaside Airport Advisory Committee wants to talk with Jim Grant about his summer biplane tours. But the group’s “hands are tied” when it comes to restricting activity by licensed pilots like Grant who observe Federal Aviation Administration rules, members said.

On Sept. 22, the committee considered action after reports of noise, low-altitude flying and environmental impacts to the Necanicum Estuary, a wildlife reserve designated an important bird area.

Gearhart’s Mayor Dianne Widdop, a committee member, said she has received “a lot of complaints” from residents about the biplane.

“When you start to hear those undercurrents, you start to worry a little,” she said.

Gearhart resident John Dudley said the unvarying tour route is “a repetitive issue,” and would like the route changed “to minimize the impact on any one corridor.”

Grant, who did not attend the meeting, has a clean, 3,700 flight hours, many of those hours on tours over Seaside, the Necanicum River and up to the Columbia River and Astoria. His Seaside business, Jim’s Biplane Rides, continues to operate after 20 years at the airport. This year he flew an average of three flights per day, with most tours taking place on weekends, according to his log. His season ended in mid-September.

Federal rules

FAA rules guide local patterns, Committee Chairman Randall Henderson of Warrenton said.

Arriving airplanes must be at the proper traffic pattern altitude 1,000 feet above the airport elevation before entering the landing pattern. Pilots should begin descent between one-half or 1 mile from the runway and the plane’s base turn should take place at 45 degrees from the end of the runway.

Committee member and pilot Teri Carpenter said those standards are important so a pilot knows “where to look to see what people are doing,” especially at airports without control towers.

As for wildlife protection, Henderson said FAA altitude restrictions apply at specific areas along the Oregon Coast, but only near federally protected lands. State or local wildlife habitats, such as those within the Seaside airport pattern, are outside restricted areas.

The last reported bird strike in the vicinity of the Seaside airport was 13 years ago and there was minor damage to the plane.

A change of path?


Grant tried experimenting with alternating patterns in response to complaints before reverting to his original flight plan for safety reasons, Henderson said.

Nonpilots may not understand “the very intricate ways in which we train and learn how to fly and what the safest thing to do is,” Henderson said. “It is the traffic pattern. Within that pattern, the safest path may be going over some people’s houses.”

If a pilot is flying in the legal pattern and is not comfortable with variations, “I would defer to another guy’s judgment,” he added.

Henderson said he is concerned a flight path complaint about one pilot could lead to complaints about other pilots or their routes.

Committee member and airport manager Neal Wallace said the committee could send a letter to Grant, expressing the issues presented. That would spark a conversation and produce a written record of the discussion.

A letter would give Grant the opportunity to respond and give his safety concerns over proposed take-off, landing or route changes.

Since Grant’s business is licensed by the city, not the airport, if citizens want to speak on the issue they would need to address the Seaside City Council. “Let him tell us why he can, will or won’t, and let him give us his reasons,” Wallace said.

“I have no inclination to shut his business down,” Dudley said, adding Grant’s biplane is a worthwhile enterprise. “My desire is for some degree of conciliation.”

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


Rutgers alum fighting airline fire hazards

Gus Sarkos
Air travelers around the world are alive today because of the fire-safety innovations of Rutgers alumnus Constantine (Gus) Sarkos.

People like the 100 passengers and five crew members who had time to escape when a Continental 737 veered off the runway in Denver into a ravine and erupted into flames in 2008.

Or the passengers traveling in 2013 from Seoul, South Korea, on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crash-landed at San Francisco, smashed into pieces and caught fire. Three people died from injuries unrelated to the fire, while 304 survived.

Sarkos, manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Fire Safety Branch, heads up a research and development team of engineers, chemists, technical experts and computer scientists at the William J. Hughes Technical Center, 10 miles west of Atlantic City in Egg Harbor Township — the most extensive aviation fire safety research facility in the world.

“Gus does the science that becomes the fire-safety standards adopted by the whole world,” says Dennis Filler, director of the FAA's Hughes Technical Center. “His efforts have provided added time for passengers to evacuate. In the old days, materials would have burned faster or caused passengers to inhale toxic fumes, and they would have died in the aircraft.”

The seat cushion you sit on while flying is 30 percent more fire resistant than earlier models because of Sarkos and his team.  But the changes also involve cargo and cabin safety improvements that travelers cannot see — or feel — during a flight. His team’s painstaking work at the FAA Technical Center testing materials and evaluating fire detection and suppression systems has prompted more than a dozen significant changes to U.S. and foreign aircraft.

The William J. Hughes Technical Center, which shares space with the Atlantic City Airport,  encompasses seven fire-safety test labs and houses six full-scale aircraft or fuselages, including two wide body airplanes, a 130-foot long DC-10  fuselage and a fully operational but non-flyable 747. The vast complex allows researchers to replicate accidents and environmental conditions that occur during in-flight or post-crash fires.

In other words, says Sarkos, “We start fires on jetliners, examine how fire spreads and come up with ways to resist or extinguish it, or prevent the fire from occurring in the first place.”

Sarkos has participated in or overseen the development of such safety innovations as heat-resistant evacuation slides, burn-resistant fuselage insulation and interior panels that release less heat and smoke. He is proudest of the fire-blocking seat layers that led to the retrofit of 650,000 seats in the U.S. commercial aircraft fleet over a three-year period. The regulations were subsequently adopted worldwide as were the majority of research products produced by his team.

“Most jetliner evacuations occur within one to five minutes, depending on many factors, and our cushion gives passengers an extra 40-to-60 seconds to escape a burning aircraft,” Sarkos says. His team's most complex innovation: an inert gas generation system designed to protect against fuel tank explosions, a suspected cause of the 1996 midair explosion of TWA Flight 800, which killed all 230 aboard. Most recently, Sarkos's group has been working on reducing fire threats from lithium batteries shipped in cargo, which are used in electronic devices.

Sarkos, who holds bachelor’s (1963) and master’s (1965) degrees in mechanical engineering from Rutgers, was hired by the FAA at age 28 after working at General Electric, where he helped design the re-entry vehicles in intercontinental ballistic missile weapon systems.

“I studied fluid dynamics in graduate school at Rutgers, which gave me a strong foundation for thermodynamics and heat transfer as well,” Sarkos says. He spent two years during his master’s program developing and installing a variable speed supersonic wind tunnel that operated at four times the speed of sound.

Early in his FAA tenure, Sarkos forged a unique relationship with Rutgers’ Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering that continues today. Each year the FAA awards a grant to a promising master’s candidate for a two-year fellowship with the FAA Technical Center’s Fire Safety Branch.

Students work at the FAA Technical Center their first year during summers and breaks — doing flammability studies and testing – and in their second year conduct research at the facility full time. About a dozen Rutgers students have gained experience with the FAA in this way.

The program is also a plus for the FAA. “It’s one of the most effective ways to get talented people,” Sarkos says “In the past decade, I’ve brought on four engineers from Rutgers full time.”

Rutgers professor F. Javier Diez-Garias, who runs the grant program for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, says the experience is invaluable. “The students love what they’re doing. Most end up working for the FAA or become contractors with firms that work with the FAA, and getting any experience with the FAA opens doors,” he says.

Sarkos, 74, was recently named one of 30 finalists the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, which honors exceptional federal employees who have made significant contributions. The winners will be announced in October.

“I see this award nomination as recognition of the entire Fire Safety Branch — and of the FAA and industry in achieving a safe and efficient air transportation system,” Sarkos says.

“Flying is safer than it ever has been. The probability of dying from fire in a survivable airline accident when I started 46 years ago was 12 percent and now it’s about 4 percent — and because of the fire safety improvements we have made, the chances of an accident caused by an in-flight fire or fuel tank explosion also has been reduced significantly.”

But, he says, it is still important for travelers to be aware of safety and emergency procedures briefed pre-flight by the flight attendants. “Passengers need to make a mental note of the location of the nearest exits. Too often, people want to grab belongings, but that uses up precious time,” Sarkos says. “In an aircraft accident, seconds matter, and can be the difference between life and death.”

Source:  http://www.mycentraljersey.com

Sugar Land Regional Airport (KSGR) looks to future with ongoing projects

Sugar Land Regional Airport traces its origins to the early 1950s and while much has changed in Sugar Land and the area surrounding the facility, one thing has remained constant: change. Thanks to a bevy of ongoing improvement projects, the airport continues to evolve.

According to city of Sugar Land Aviation Director Phil Savko, the airport, which caters primarily to private, business-owned aircraft, is in the midst of carrying out over $20 million in improvements, including the construction of new hangars, a parallel taxiway and a brand new approach lighting system.

‘We’re a little bit behind on our construction projects, but right now, we’re building a hangar that has to be built because we have to knock down a hangar in order to build the parallel taxiway,” Savko said. “We’re doing phase one of the taxiway project this year and, hopefully, phase two and three next year.”

Savko said the parallel taxiway is needed because the airport has fallen out of what he termed “design standards” mandated by the Federal Aviation and Administration (FAA) regarding the distance between the taxiway and runways. He said the agency wants the facility to increase the distance between the taxiway and runway from the existing 200 feet to 400 feet to add an extra level of safety.

“The taxiway has become a priority project in terms of safety because of the size of jets we’re landing. We’re landing jets now with wingspans of over 100 feet,” Savko said.

Officials plan to bid out the taxiway project in about a month, with the work to be divided into four sections (center, mid, south and north). Savko said work on the north section will not be able to proceed until a 40,000 square-foot hangar is rebuilt.

The approach lighting system, Savko said, represents a substantial upgrade for the facility and will greatly improve the ability of pilots to see the runway at night by providing an alignment indicator that he says is essentially a big pointer to the center of the runway. The airport recently acquired 11 acres of nearby land in order to accommodate the system that comes with a price tag of around $1 million.

“The parallel taxiway project has to be completed before the approach lighting system because all of the electrical circuits have to tie in the right way and the pavement design has to tie in the right way,” Savko explains. “You don’t want to cut pavement two or three times; you only want to do it once and then put conduit underneath.”

The lighting system will consist of a total of five “stands” of varying heights containing lights that will be installed in the pavement of the runway and also includes one stand that will be installed in the middle of US 90A, which requires the cooperation of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot). Savko says full installation of the lighting system could take about a year to complete.

According to the airport web page on the city of Sugar Land website, Sugar Land Regional Airport’s history dates back to around 1952 when Dr. Donald “Doc” Hull purchased a pasture so he could land his biplane near the Sugar Land area. Initially called Hull Field, the airport has grown steadily over the ensuing decades and was purchased by the city of Sugar Land from Fort Bend County in 1990. Formerly called Sugar Land Municipal Airport, the name was changed to Sugar Land Regional Airport in 2002. It focuses on landing planes ranging in size from single engine aircraft all the way up to Boeing 737 business class jets that can seat 60 to 70 passengers.

Source:  http://www.yourhoustonnews.com

New look marks Ohio Bird Sanctuary entrance, honors Fonseca: Beech 55 Baron, N5816S, fatal accident occurred May 18, 2015 in Saltville, Virginia

George and Pam Ihrig Fonseca 



George Fonseca


MANSFIELD, Ohio -- The Ohio Bird Sanctuary has an improved entrance thanks to the family of the late George and Pam Fonseca and the efforts of the Friends and Flowers Garden Club. 

The garden club has helped us for 10 years,” said Gail Laux, executive director of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. “They’ve been real troopers because as the sanctuary grows, we put in new gardens, and one thing the garden club wanted to stay involved with was the entrance.”

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary has been the garden club’s project for the last 10 years. Even before that, they planted at the former Boy Scout camp. But the entrance to the site was a consistent problem. Club Secretary Cheryl Callis explained there was a deep ditch; and dandelions, crabgrass, and poison ivy were a problem. Deer ate some of the club’s plants.

The site was also blocked by large trees and didn’t receive much rain. The sign at the entrance was easily lost in the vegetation. After a tornado destroyed the large trees, succession growth posed a problem.

But club member Pam Fonseca said she knew someone who could help.

“And then she went to Florida for the winter,” Callis said.

In the spring, club members began making plans for the project for when Fonseca returned. Tragically, George and Pam Fonseca didn’t make it back to Mansfield. Their twin-engine plane crashed in Smyth County, Virginia, during their return flight in May.

“It just hit us like a ton of bricks,” Callis said.

After coping with the loss of a friend, they needed to decide how to proceed with the project.

“She was the one who was really the instigator and the contact with Joel (Darling) and Isaac (Freeman). As it turned out, her children were willing to go ahead and fulfill her financial support,” Callis explained, noting that the Fonescas had planned to finance the project.

The Fonesca family paid for the labor and materials.

“We just wanted to highlight, in her memory, and their labor and donation and generosity, what was done,” Callis said.

Isaac Freeman of Liberty Lawn Care, Bellville, designed the landscaping.

“We reused some of the plants that were already here to fill in different areas," Freeman said. "Most of them are deer resistant and don’t take a lot of care. Once they’re established, they won’t have to worry about watering.”

The plants were watered this summer by Mary Collet and her husband after they devised a way to use a 50-gallon garbage can to water the new plantings. Joel Darling of JD Darling Masonry constructed the stone retaining wall.

“People couldn’t see our sign coming down the hill,” Laux said. “People would come in and say, ‘Wow, we didn’t know how nice this place was.’ It was because the entrance didn’t look like much.

"That was when Pam came forward and said, ‘I think what we need to do is tack on and create boundaries on this upper part. It was Pam’s brainchild to bring in the experts and create this retaining wall.

“It’s made all the difference. I’ve had a lot of complements on it and people can now see the sign.”

What’s next for the entrance?

The next goal for the Ohio Bird Sanctuary is to get a new sign. The current sign was erected in 1995.

“We now have a permanent logo and Wordsmith has designed us a new sign and it has our logo on it. And it’s blue; you’ll see it when you come over the hill," Laux said. "So our plan is, when we have some funding, to put in a new sign to go with our new landscaping."

Story and photos:  http://www.richlandsource.com




NTSB Identification: ERA15FA215
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 18, 2015 in Saltville, VA
Aircraft: BEECH 95 B55 (T42A), registration: N5816S
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On May 18, 2015, at 1238 eastern daylight time, a Beech 95-B55 (T42A), N5816S, was destroyed during collision with terrain near Saltville, Virginia. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane departed Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Daytona Beach, Florida, about 0920, and was destined for Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (MFD), Mansfield, Ohio. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

Preliminary radar and air traffic control information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that at 1214:05, the airplane was in cruise flight at an altitude about 9,000 feet when the pilot contacted Tri-Cities Approach Control. The air traffic controller acknowledged the pilot and issued the altimeter setting. At 1220:02, the controller asked the pilot his on-course heading; the pilot responded 356 degrees. The controller advised the pilot of scattered areas of unspecified weather of unknown intensity about 40 miles directly ahead of the airplane. The pilot stated he would like to deviate east if possible. The TRI air traffic controller approved deviations left and right as necessary, and instructed the pilot to maintain 9,000 feet. At 1232:16, the air traffic controller switched the pilot to the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZID) and the pilot acknowledged the communications transfer. There were no further communications between the accident airplane and air traffic control.

Radar data depicted an easterly deviation off course, along with a gradual descent, before radar contact was lost.

A search was initiated, and the airplane wreckage was discovered in heavily wooded, mountainous terrain on May 19, 2015.

At 1235, the weather recorded at Tazewell County Airport, 8 miles north of the site, included scattered layers at 2,900 feet, 3,600 feet, and a broken ceiling at 8,000 feet with 10 miles visibility. The wind was from 210 degrees at 5 knots. The temperature was 24 degrees C, and the dewpoint was 18 degrees C. The altimeter setting was 30.26 inches of mercury. A Center Weather Advisory issued at 1204, valid west of the airplane's flight track, forecasted areas of heavy to extreme precipitation in isolated thunderstorms.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued July 2, 2013. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed he had accumulated 2,852.3 total hours of flight experience, 167 hours of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1965, and was equipped with two Continental Motors Inc IO-470, 260 hp reciprocating engines. The airplane's maintenance records were not recovered; however, a maintenance invoice revealed that its most recent annual inspection was completed August 15, 2014, at 4094.9 total aircraft hours.

The wreckage was examined at the accident site and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The initial impact points were an approximate 50-foot-tall tree and a deep ground scar collocated near the peak of a mountain, at an elevation of about 4,400 feet. . The airplane fragmented outside the crater, and was contained in an arc that reached about 50 feet beyond the crater on an approximate 192 degree magnetic heading, and widened to about 60 feet at its widest point.

Control continuity could not be established due to extensive impact damage, however; parts associated with both wings, left and right wing flaps, and left and right ailerons were identified. Sheet metal and cabling associated with the horizontal and vertical stablizers, as well as the elevators, were also identified.

The propellers were separated from their respective engines, and all propeller blades exhibited similar twisting, bending, leading edge gouging, and chordwise scratching. One tree trunk displayed deep, angular cuts with paint transfers consistent with propeller contact.

The wreckage and some personal electronic devices were recovered for examination at a later date.


Cessna 150F Commuter, N6922F: Accident occurred September 26, 2015 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

http://registry.faa.gov/N6922F

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA433
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 26, 2015 in Fort Wayne, IN
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N6922F
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 26, 2015, about 0345 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N6922F, impacted terrain during climb after takeoff from Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA), Fort Wayne, Indiana. The airplane received substantial damage. The private pilot and a passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.     

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA South Bend FSDO-17




A small plane that plowed into a north-side neighborhood Saturday had departed Smith Field with an unknown destination, a federal spokesman said Tuesday.  

But why it crashed, who was at the controls and what agency, if any, is looking for a person on the plane who left the scene remained a mystery.

Fort Wayne police said they were not involved in the investigation, which is being handled by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Indiana State Police, according to a spokesman.

A state police spokesman said the FAA had taken over the investigation and that the ISP was no longer involved. An FAA spokesman said the agency’s probe will take a few weeks.

Meanwhile, the plane’s owner remained elusive.

According to FAA records, the registered owner is Jeffrey R. Mills. A person by that name owns a house north of Smith Field, according to Allen County property records. No one answered the door Tuesday afternoon, and The Journal Gazette could not find a phone number for Mills.

A Facebook page for a Jeff Mills of Fort Wayne shows the plane, a single-engine Cessna 150F, identified by its tail number. The page displays Mills’ apparent love of planes and flying. The last entry by Mills was Sept. 24, two days before the crash.

The airplane’s registration, which had expired at the end of July, lists Mills’ address as 500 E. Oak St. in Butler. The building is now owned by a man named Charles Decker, who said he bought the building from the man who owned the plane in 2013 and that that was the only dealing he had with him.

Officials say the plane approached Smith Field at a low altitude about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, hit a tall maple tree, then tumbled into trees across the street and hit a power line and the corner of the roof of a home on Ludwig Park Drive.

The plane came to rest upside down in the home’s backyard.

One person in the airplane was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, but a second person believed to be in the plane was nowhere to be found.

The plane had no flight plan and wasn’t required to file one.

Most general aviation planes do not file a plan, said Tony Molinaro, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Flight plans are filed by pilots with paying passengers, pilots in busier airspace and sometimes by general aviation pilots, he said.

“It would be like if you and me told the police when we were going to go grocery shopping,” Molinaro said. “They’re not in areas where there are big airports or anything. There are usually no flight plans.”

Molinaro could say only that the plane departed from Smith Field.

Smith Field’s airspace is monitored by controllers at Fort Wayne International Airport. Smith Field is not staffed overnight, said Joe Marana, director of operations and facilities for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority.

Had the plane crashed on airport authority property, the agency would be involved in the investigation, he said

“Since it’s off-airport, we’re a lot more removed from it,” Marana said.

Source:  http://www.journalgazette.net










Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N21ND: Fatal accident occurred September 30, 2015 at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE), Florida

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

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
Piper; Vero Beach, Florida 

Sowards Aircraft Leasing, LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N21ND

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA378 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in St. Petersburg, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30, registration: N21ND
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, who had no documented previous experience in the make and model multiengine airplane, was performing touch-and-go landings on a 9,730-ft-long runway to familiarize himself with the airplane. Witnesses reported that, during the second takeoff, the airplane appeared to "struggle." Another witness reported the airplane was climbing at an unusually shallow angle. The airplane then drifted to the right of the runway centerline, rolled sharply to the right, and descended to ground impact in a steep, nose-low attitude. The airplane came to rest about 180 ft right of the runway centerline and about 1,450 ft before the end of the runway's paved surface.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the right engine throttle was retarded, and the propeller lever was in the feather position. The right propeller blades displayed little damage and appeared to be in the feathered position. The left engine throttle and propeller levers were full forward, and damage to the left propeller was indicative of full left engine power at impact. Examination of the right engine revealed three anomalies; the diaphragm of the right fuel servo exhibited an unusual soot pattern; particulate contamination was in the fuel filter screen; and the spark plugs were in a degraded condition. However, none of these anomalies would likely have resulted in a total loss of engine power.

Based on the witness descriptions and the lack of damage to the right propeller blades, it is likely that during the climb, the right engine experienced, at least, a partial loss of power. Based on the postaccident positions of the right engine throttle and propeller levers and signatures observed on the right engine's propeller, the pilot likely responded to the loss of right engine power by retarding the right throttle and feathering the right propeller; however, he did not maintain the appropriate airspeed and subsequently lost control of the airplane. Given the airplane's impact location about 1,450 ft before the end of the runway, it is likely that, if the pilot had immediately retarded both throttles, maintained the appropriate airspeed, and landed straight ahead, he likely would have maintained control of the airplane. Additionally, the airspeed indicator did not have a marking for single-engine minimum controllable airspeed, nor was there a placard on the instrument panel as required by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive and the airplane flight manual. While the lack of these markings was not causal to the accident, their presence might have reminded the pilot of this critical information, and might have changed the outcome of the event.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain single-engine minimum controllable airspeed following a loss of right engine power during initial climb. Also causal was the loss of right engine power for reasons that could not be determined because examination of the wreckage revealed no significant mechanical deficiencies. Contributing to the outcome was the failure of maintenance personnel to ensure that required airspeed markings and placards were installed in accordance with an airworthiness directive and the airplane flight manual.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 30, 2015, at 1147 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-30, N21ND, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during takeoff from St Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Clearwater, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Sowards Aircraft Leasing, LLC, and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site, and no flight plan was filed.

The airplane owner, who purchased the airplane 3 days before the accident flight, stated that he dispatched the accident pilot from San Diego, California, to Saint Petersburg, Florida, to pick up the airplane and fly it back to southern California. The airplane had recently undergone maintenance and an annual inspection.

On the morning of the accident, the pilot arrived at the airplane to meet the previous owner, accept the airplane, and review airplane-specific procedures and systems before the flight to California. According to the previous owner, they reviewed the airplane systems and spent much of their time going over aircraft performance characteristics and airspeeds. In addition, the previous owner stated that he told the pilot, "…if an engine loses power, you've got to keep the speed up." The previous owner offered several times to fly with the accident pilot for some additional familiarization training, but the pilot declined. The pilot stated that he planned to perform some "touch-and-goes" to familiarize himself with the airplane before departing the area.

According to radio communications recordings provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), at 1125, the accident pilot contacted ground control at PIE, requested a radio check, and stated his intentions to perform a few touch-and-go landings. At 1131, the pilot performed engine run-up checks and, 3 minutes later, taxied to runway 36. At 1135, the pilot was cleared onto runway 36 for takeoff. Several minutes later, while in the traffic pattern, he was cleared for and successfully completed the first touch-and-go landing.

At 1144, the pilot was cleared for the second touch-and-go landing. After the second landing and subsequent takeoff, several witnesses reported that, during the initial climb, the airplane seemed to "struggle" between 100 and 200 ft above the ground. A pilot holding short of the runway stated that the airplane had an unusually shallow climb and started drifting to the right of the runway centerline; at an altitude of about 100 ft, the airplane rolled sharply to the right then pitched 90° nose-down before colliding with the ground.

Video recorded by security cameras at the airport showed the airplane climbing with the landing gear extended during the takeoff. The flap position could not be ascertained from the video. The airplane rolled sharply to the right and descended in a steep nose-down attitude before it disappeared out of camera view.

PILOT INFORMATION

According to FAA airman, personal logbook, and employment records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. He held a first-class medical certificate, issued January 16, 2014. He had accrued about 768 total hours of flight experience, with 166 hours of flight experience in multiengine airplanes. In the previous 90 days, the pilot had flown 221 hours, with 85 hours in the previous 30 days. The pilot's multiengine experience was limited to Piper PA-44 and Beechcraft BE-55 airplanes. There were no entries in his pilot logbook for the Piper PA-30.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA airworthiness and registration records, the airplane was manufactured in 1963. It was a twin-engine, low-wing, four-place airplane of metal construction. It was equipped with retractable tricycle landing gear and powered by two Lycoming IO-320-B1A engines, each equipped with a two-blade, constant-speed propeller. According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent annual inspection of the airframe and engines was completed on September 10, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 7,252 total flight hours, and the left and right engines each had accumulated 1,583.4 hours since overhaul.

According to the mechanics who had most recently worked on the airplane, it arrived at their facility in March 2015 for an annual inspection, but, due to the amount of maintenance that needed to be performed and the length of time it took to order and receive parts, the maintenance was not completed until September 10, 2015. Prior to this maintenance, the last airframe and engine maintenance was accomplished on August 13, 2013.

Several mechanics stated that the airplane needed "a lot of work" when it arrived, and it required a significant amount of troubleshooting to determine why the left engine would not produce more than 1,600 rpm. Additionally, the right engine displayed low cylinder compression and was operating too lean. After successfully troubleshooting these issues and performing maintenance on the engines, the airplane was returned to service. According to the airplane's previous owner, the maintenance facility installed new fuel lines and drained the fuel tanks because the airplane had not flown for an extended period of time. The owner of the maintenance facility stated that they "flushed" the fuel system. Work order and airframe maintenance records showed that left and right fuel hoses were purchased and installed, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive (AD) 83-10-01 for fuel contamination was accomplished.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The recorded weather at PIE, at 1153, about 11 minutes after the accident, included wind from 300°at 10 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 2,300 ft, scattered clouds at 3,800 ft, and overcast clouds at 3,000 ft, temperature 29°C, dew point 24°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

St Pete-Clearwater International Airport was located on the east coast of the Tampa Bay peninsula at an elevation of 10.5 ft msl. The airport comprised two asphalt runways, oriented 18/36 and 04/22. Runway 18/36 was 9,730 ft long by 150 ft wide. From the center of runway 36, adjacent to the accident site, about 1,300 ft of runway remained with an additional 150 ft of displaced threshold. Beyond the paved surface of the runway, a level grass area of about 750 ft by 500 ft was bisected by a Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System (MALSR) and a service road that extended out from the centerline of the runway.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted a service road and came to rest upright in the grass 180 ft east of runway 36, about 1,450 ft before the end of the runway's paved surface. There was no postcrash fire, and all major components of the airplane were located near the site. The debris path consisted of small pieces of Plexiglas, heater hoses, the nose cone, a cabin door, and landing gear assembly that were outside of the immediate site near where the airplane first made contact with the ground, about 20 ft west of the main wreckage. Both the left and right engines remained attached to their mounts. The wreckage path was oriented perpendicular to runway 36 with the airplane upright and oriented on a magnetic heading of 280°.

The forward and lower portion of the cabin exhibited aft and upwards crushing. Both rudder pedals were compacted by the floor upwards under the instrument panel and could not be moved. The floor of the forward cabin was deformed by impact damage, but both seats remained attached to the floor-mounted seat rails. The pilot seat on the left side was moveable along the seat rails for several stops and was slightly deformed. The head rest was damaged. The right seat was jammed and could not be moved. Both front and back seats were functional and in place. The front seatbelts were functional and remained attached to their anchor points. There were no shoulder harnesses installed. Both fuel sector valves were on and functioned normally.

The fuselage aft of the rear seat, and immediately aft of the left wing, exhibited longitudinal tearing with the tail section twisted 10°to the right. The tear traversed the fuselage over the cabin roof and continued to the right side, where it terminated just aft of the baggage compartment. Control continuity was established by accessing the rudder, elevator and trim cables through the tear in the fuselage. All of the cables were intact and on their respective pulleys and guides. The cables were continuous and could be traced to their termination point in the tail.

The airspeed indicator was dislodged from the faceplate but appeared intact. The needle indicated 68 mph, which is just below the lower limit of the white arc. The left engine throttle, propeller and mixture controls were positioned fully forward, and the right engine throttle and right propeller levers were in the aft position and the mixture fully forward. The left cowl flap was in the closed position and the right cowl flap was in the fully opened position.

The left wing was crushed and bent upwards approximately 30°. The engine remained attached to the engine mount and wing. There was rippling and deformation in the upper surface of the skin, but the wing appeared to be structurally intact. The flap remained attached, but was deformed. Both inboard and outboard fuel tanks remained intact and about 15 gallons of fuel were recovered from the tanks. The engine cowling was attached. The air intake cowling was damaged and separated from the lower portion but remained in place around the spinner.

The left engine's spark plugs were secure. The spark plugs were removed and displayed signatures consistent with normal wear but were oil-soaked. The No. 2 bottom spark plug was impact-damaged and could not be removed from the cylinder. Rotation of the magneto input drive produced spark at all terminal leads.

The left fuel servo was impact-damaged and broken at its mount. The fuel servo was removed and inspected. The throttle plate was free to move when hand actuated at the throttle linkage. The throttle cable was secured to the arm. The mixture arm was also free to rotate when hand actuated. The mixture cable was secure to the arm. The fuel servo diaphragm was visually inspected for tears and rips with no defects noted. The inlet fuel strainer was removed from the fuel servo with no contaminants noted. The flow divider was removed and opened to inspect the diaphragm for tears or cuts with no defects noted. The fuel injector nozzles were removed from their respective mounts at each individual cylinder and checked for obstructions with no obstructions noted. The fuel lines from the flow divider to the fuel injector nozzles were inspected and tested with air; no blockage was noted in any of the four lines. Functional testing of the left engine's fuel servo revealed that it operated normally and within limits under controlled conditions.

The left engine-driven diaphragm fuel pump was found secure to its mount and the pump created suction and compression when hand-actuated. The body was removed to inspect the diaphragm for tears or cuts with no defects noted.

The left engine's oil suction screen was removed and was found to have a few large (0.2"-0.5") particles inside the screen, as well as some smaller particles. The oil filter housing was impact-damaged at the accessory housing. The oil sump was visibly breached, and oil was observed in a spray pattern over the wing and inboard of the engine nacelle and fuselage.

Mechanical continuity of the left engine was established with hand rotation of the crankshaft and assisted by turning the vacuum pump drive in the accessory drive area. All cylinders produced suction and compression, and all intake and exhaust valves moved when the crankshaft was rotated. The left propeller governor was broken from its mount on the rear accessory case. The solid oil line steel fittings were secure at the case and at the governor. The propeller governor oil screen was clear of obstructions.

The left propeller remained attached to the engine via the engine crankshaft flange and the propeller blades exhibited S-bending, gouging, and chordwise scratches. The cylinder and feathering spring assembly were unremarkable and the preload plates exhibited impression marks consistent with being in the normal operating range at impact.

The right wing showed significantly less damage than the left. The engine remained attached to the engine mount and wing. There was rippling and deformation in the upper surface of the skin, but the wing appeared to be structurally intact. The right outboard aileron was detached from the right connector point and remained attached on the left side. The flap was retracted and remained attached, but was deformed. Both inboard and outboard fuel tanks remained intact, and about 20 gallons of fuel were recovered from the tanks. The engine cowling was attached. The air intake cowling was damaged and separated from the lower portion, but remained in place around the spinner. The right landing gear severed during impact with the ground.

The right engine's spark plugs remained secure and were removed for examination. The removed spark plugs were heavily carbon-coated, consistent with a rich fuel mixture. The center electrodes were worn. When the crankshaft was rotated by hand, all of the cylinders produced compression and suction, with the exception of the No. 2 cylinder, and all intake and exhaust valves were visually confirmed to move during crankshaft rotation. The No. 2 exhaust valve was lightly tapped with a hammer and compression was checked again, this time providing compression and suction in the No. 2 cylinder.

The right fuel servo was intact and secure on the angled air induction tube that was impact-damaged at the oil sump mounting location. The throttle plate was free to move when hand-actuated at the throttle linkage. The mixture arm was also free to rotate when hand-actuated. The fuel servo diaphragm was visually inspected for tears and rips. When opened, there was a visible black stain on the diaphragm from the stem assembly to the static port passage. Functional testing of the right engine's fuel servo revealed that it operated normally and within limits under controlled conditions. Additionally, no contamination was noted flowing from the unit, and the hysteresis and pressure checks were within limits. Disassembly of the unit revealed that the inlet fuel strainer in the fuel servo was contaminated with approximately ¼ teaspoon of small granular particulate matter varying in size and color.

The right flow divider was removed and opened to inspect the diaphragm for tears or cuts, with no defects noted. The fuel injector nozzles were removed from their respective mounts at each individual cylinder and checked for obstructions with no obstructions noted. The fuel lines from the flow divider to the fuel injector nozzles were inspected and tested with air, with no blockage noted in the four lines. The right engine-driven diaphragm fuel pump was found secure to its mount. The pump created suction and compression when hand-actuated. The body was removed to inspect the diaphragm for tears or cuts, with no defects noted.

The right oil suction screen was clear of contaminants. The right propeller governor was secure on its mount on the rear accessory case. The solid oil line with steel fittings was secure at the case and at the governor. The propeller governor oil screen was clear of obstructions.

The right propeller blades showed little signs of damage; one blade was slightly bent forward. No rotational scoring, bending, or twisting was observed. The right preload plates were unremarkable; there were no impression marks on the plates and a pre-impact blade angle could not be determined. The cylinder and feathering spring assembly was fractured off the propeller hub during impact and the propeller was noted to be in the feathered position.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Office of the Medical Examiner, District 6, Largo, Florida. The autopsy findings included multiple blunt force injuries. Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot, by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The testing found no traces of ethanol or drugs in the samples submitted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Airworthiness Directive, AD 69-24-04, required a placard that stated, "Minimum Single Engine Control Speed 90 mph CAS [calibrated airspeed]." Additionally, the Piper PA-30 Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), revised March 1975, specified in its limitations section that the minimum single-engine control speed must be placarded on the instrument panel. No such placard was discovered during the examination of the accident airplane. Additionally, the AFM limitations section required that a red radial line depicting the minimum single-engine control speed and a blue radial line depicting the single-engine best rate of climb speeds be placarded on the airspeed indicator. There were no radial lines present on the accident airplane's airspeed indicator. The single-engine minimal control speed (Vmca) was 90 mph, and the best single-engine rate-of-climb speed (Vyse) was 105 mph.

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in St. Petersburg, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30, registration: N21ND
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 30, 2015 at 1154 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-30, N21ND, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during an attempted takeoff from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), Clearwater, Florida. The certificated fight instructor commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Sowards Aircraft Leasing, LLC and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

The owner of the airplane, who had purchased it three days prior to the accident, stated that he dispatched the accident pilot to PIE to pick up the airplane and fly it back to southern California. On the day of the accident, the pilot planned to conduct practice touch-and-go landings in order to become familiar with the airplane, prior to his return to California the following day.

Witnesses reported that after the second touch-and-go, during the initial climb, the airplane seemed to "struggle" as it climbed to between 100 and 200 feet above the ground. A pilot holding short of the runway stated that the airplane had an unusually shallow climb profile, and started drifting to the right of the runway centerline. Upon reaching estimated altitude of 100 feet, the airplane rolled sharply to the right, and pitched downward into a nearly vertical descent, before colliding with the ground.

Review of security video showed an accident sequence consistent with that described by the witnesses.

The airplane impacted a service road then came to rest upright in a grassy area about 180 feet right of, and approximately 1,300 feet from the departure end of runway 36R. There was no post-impact fire and all major components of the airplane accounted for at the scene. The wreckage was recovered and retained for further examination.




CLEARWATER — It's supposed to a be routine maneuver to practice landing an aircraft. 

But something went wrong Wednesday when a pilot doing "touch-and-go" exercises at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport veered off the edge of the main runway and crashed into a nearby grassy area about 11:45 a.m.

The pilot, 24-year-old Marshall Casey Barath of Nampa, Idaho, was the only person aboard the Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche at the time and was dead when emergency crews arrived, said airport director Tom Jewsbury.

In aviation, "touch-and-go" training involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop. The pilot typically circles the airport and repeats the maneuver.

"He had come in, he had landed and was immediately accelerating getting ready to take off and it was at that time that the accident occurred," Jewsbury said.

Barath did not declare an emergency with the air traffic control tower. The crash was visible from the tower, however and controllers called 911 and the airport's emergency personnel.

The Comanche did not catch fire, Jewsbury said. Investigators with the National Safety Transportation Board were on scene about an hour later investigating the crumpled fuselage to determine the cause of the crash. The skies were partly cloudy at the time of the crash.

The plane came to rest far enough off the runway that airport officials were able to reopen it after rescue vehicles were cleared, Jewsbury said. No other flights were delayed or diverted by the crash because air traffic was able use an alternate runway.

The plane is registered with Jet Aircraft Management in Sarasota, but airport officials said the plane was sold to someone about six months ago. No one with the company could immediately be reached Wednesday.

It's the first time a plane has crashed at the airport in at least 10 years, Jewsbury said.
 
Source:  http://www.tampabay.com














 

























Clearwater, Florida -- Wednesday was a deadly day at a local airport as a plane crash claims the life of a pilot.

The pilot has been identified as Marshall Casey Barath, 24, of Nampa, Idaho.


It all happened around noon at the St. Pete-Clearwater International airport and incoming and outgoing flights were diverted to an alternative runway after the crash.


The crash did take place on the main runway at the airport.


There was one person on board, the pilot, and unfortunately he did not survive.


Air traffic controller: "Right clear to touch and go."


Pilot: "Inaudible"


In this air traffic control audio 10 news obtained from Liveatc.net, you can hear the pilot asking if he was cleared for a touch and go.


"Basically, it's a practice of takeoffs and landings. He had just landed and was accelerating to take off again," says Tom Jewsbury, airport director.


Minutes later, the pilot's practice turned tragic.


Pilot: "Negative. A plane just crashed at the end of the runway."


ATC: "Oh my god. Yes sir. I got it. Thank you."


"At approximately 11:45 a Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche veered off runway 36," says Jewsbury.


Somehow the plane veered off the runway and crashed onto the grass killing the pilot.


ATC: "Everything's closed for right now due to an emergency."


"Pilot was only sole on board. He did not declare an emergency at time of the accident," says Jewsbury.


Crews quickly closed the main runway and diverted all incoming and outgoing flights to an alternative runway.


"There was no communication relayed that was wrong with the aircraft," says Jewsbury.


The aircraft came from Jet aircraft management in Sarasota.


The airport fire department were the first ones on scene.


Air traffic control advised them of the crash but it was too late.


The NTSB and FAA are on scene and they will complete the investigation.


The airport director says it's been more than a decade since a crash has happened here at the airport.