Monday, October 26, 2015

Waco Flying Services Will Fight City On Signs • Waco Regional (KACT), McLennan County, Texas

WACO (October 26, 2015) Waco Flying Services, a full service company based at Waco Regional Airport says it will remove two large signs on its building that the city says violates the company’s lease agreement.

The signs read, “We Support Our Troops,” and “Sic 'Em Bears.”

But Operations Manager Will Bowers said Monday the giant signs will be replaced by two more giant signs, one of the American flag and the other, the Texas flag.

Bowers says he has also decided not to take down a street sign.

Bowers says Waco Flying has hired legal counsel to fight the directive by the city to remove all signs except their company sign painted on the hangar building.

Airport Manager Joel Martinez said he had no comment on the matter.

- Source:  http://www.kwtx.com

Another False Plane Crash Report

Another call about a plane crash turns up nothing.

Another plane crash hoax to tell you about.

The latest happening about 5:15 pm today (Monday, October 26th).

Someone called to report that a plane had gone down at the Moorhead airport.

Police have responded and report that a small plane had landed safely and that was it.

Over the weekend, there was a false report of a plane crash in Clay County.

Searchers looked in an area between Sabin and Barnesville for just under an hour and found nothing.

- Source:  http://www.valleynewslive.com

Homeowner discovers downed drone on her roof



A City Heights woman was surprised to learn that a drone crash-landed on the roof of her home over the weekend.

Last Saturday, the woman said her neighbor told her of strange noises and flashing lights coming from the roof. She saw that a drone was lodged there and retrieved it.

The homeowner told 10News she was able to download the video and found something startling.

On The Now at 4 p.m., the danger she uncovered from this video and how it could impact others as drone use increases.

 Story, video and photo:  http://www.10news.com

Cessna 150M, N171RD: Accident occurred October 26, 2015 in Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade County, Florida

AMERI AIR SUPPORT INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N171RD 

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA027 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 26, 2015 in Key Biscayne, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N171RD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was conducting a personal flight. The pilot reported that, several minutes after takeoff and while en route to his destination airport, the engine began to run roughly and lose power. He subsequently attempted to restore power without success. He then maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing on the fairway of a golf course. The airplane touched down on wet grass, and the pilot was unable to stop the airplane before it collided with two palm trees, which separated the outboard sections of both wings. 

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the intake valve of the No. 1 cylinder had failed due to fatigue, which would have resulted in the partial loss of engine power and engine roughness reported by the pilot. The origin and the extent of the fatigue region could not be determined due to postfracture damage. Further examination of the tip of the valve revealed an abnormal contact wear pattern likely caused by either misalignment relative to the valve seat, valve guide wear, or sticking between the valve stem and the valve guide. A review of maintenance records revealed that new cylinders had been installed when the engine was overhauled about 904 total flight hours before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The fatigue failure of the No. 1 cylinder intake valve, which resulted in the partial loss of engine power.

On October 26, 2015, at 1423 eastern daylight time, a Cessna150M, N171RD, collided with trees during the landing roll following a forced landing on a golf course near Key Biscayne, Florida. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Ameri Air Support, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 22 minutes earlier from the Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami, Florida, and was destined for the Miami Executive Airport, Miami, Florida.

The pilot stated that in preparation of the flight he performed an engine run-up and all parameters were satisfactory. After takeoff the flight climbed to 1,300 feet and proceeded in a southeasterly direction, then south along the coast. After passing the Virginia Key VORTAC, he proceeded in a southerly direction on the 200 degree radial and about 3 miles later, the pilot further reported the engine began to run rough and lose power. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. He turned back towards Key Biscayne and began looking for a suitable landing spot, indicating his best choice was a golf course. He landed on the fairway of the 18th hole at the Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.

According to the FAA inspector-in-charge (FAA-IIC), after touchdown on the wet grass, the airplane collided with 2 coconut palm trees resulting in partial separation of both wings outboard of the fuel tanks; the airplane came to rest beyond the palm trees or about 912 feet from the touchdown point. The airplane was recovered for further examination.

Examination of the Continental O-200-A engine, S/N 213516-71A by a FAA airworthiness inspector revealed no suction or compression was noted in the No. 1 cylinder during inspection for crankshaft, camshaft, and valve train continuity. The spark plugs for the No. 1 cylinder were removed and mechanical damage to both was noted. Following removal of the No. 1 cylinder, a hole was noted in the top of the piston with an object embedded into the top of the piston; the head of one valve was not in position. The cylinder and piston were sent for analysis to the NTSB Materials Laboratory located in Washington, D.C.

According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report, the intake valve for the cylinder was fractured in the stem just above the head. While most of the fracture was obliterated by post-fracture impact damage, the middle of the fracture exhibited curving crack arrest lines features consistent with fatigue. The fatigue features extended across the entire remaining middle portion of the fracture surface, but the origin or the extent of the fatigue region could not be determined due to post-fracture damage. Inspection of the intake and exhaust valve tips showing the rocker arm contact wear patterns revealed the intake valve had an abnormal wear pattern consisting of a mix of linear wear contact lines rotating about the center mixed with a linear scratch pattern and a diffuse reflective wear patch.


Review of the airplane maintenance records revealed new cylinders were installed when the engine was last overhauled on August 8, 1996. Following overhaul, the engine was installed in the airplane on August 21, 1996; the airplane total time at that time was recorded to be 8,411.0 hours. Maintenance record entries were noted from the engine installation date, to December 15, 2004; the next single entry was dated December 11, 2014. The recorded tachometer time between the 2004 and 2014 entries reflect an increase of 7 hours, though no maintenance record entries were noted. There was no record that the No. 1 cylinder was removed, replaced, or repaired since being installed at engine overhaul in 1996. At the time of the accident, the airframe total time was 9,314.9 hours, and the engine time since major overhaul was about 904 hours.
 
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA027 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 26, 2015 in Key Biscayne, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N171RD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 a
ccident report.

On October 26, 2015, at 1423 eastern daylight time, a Cessna150M, N171RD, collided with trees during the landing roll following a forced landing on a golf course near Key Biscayne, Florida. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Ameri Air Support, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 22 minutes earlier from the Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Miami, Florida, and was destined for the Miami Executive Airport, Miami, Florida.

The pilot stated that after takeoff the flight climbed to 1,300 feet and proceeded in a southeasterly direction, then south along the coast. After passing the Virginia Key VORTAC, he proceeded in a southerly direction on the 200 degree radial and about 3 miles later, the engine began to run rough and lose power. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. He turned back towards Key Biscayne and began looking for a suitable landing spot, indicating his best choice was a golf course. He landed on the fairway of the 18th hole at the Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.

According to the FAA inspector-in-charge, after touchdown on the wet grass, the airplane rolled about 912 feet then went between 2 palm trees resulting in partial separation of both wings outboard of the fuel tanks. A total of about 17 gallons of fuel were drained from both fuel tanks. The airplane was recovered for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19




KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A pilot carrying one passenger was forced to make an emergency landing on a South Florida golf course, Monday afternoon.

After the pilot reported engine trouble, the Cessna 150 landed on the 18th hole at the Crandon Golf Course at 6700 Crandon Blvd., just before 2:25 p.m. The plane's wing was torn off, and the landing wheels collapsed after the landing. 

Investigators began to take the aircraft apart Monday evening to investigate what could have caused the unexpected landing. 

The aircraft was headed to Miami Executive Airport from Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport.

The FAA is now investigating what happened. According to the radio transmission to air traffic control, the pilot said that the plane would either land in the water or in the golf course. Fortunately, no one was on the golf course at the time. "Oh, I didn't hear it coming at all," said one witness. "I just heard it when it crashed."

Eye-witness Nancy Superville was the first to see the plane's tricky landing from several feet away. "I was in this van loading up stuff when I heard a bang that felt like it was right behind me, and so I turn around," she said. "When I turn around, I see two persons over there running, so I stuck my head up 'cause you can see over the wall, and I saw the airplane there."

Despite the untimely landing, the two men who were aboard were practically unscathed. "I thought there was dead people 'cause of the sound that it made," Superville said. "I thought they're dead."

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews returned to the scene after concerns arose about fuel leaking onto the golf course and worked to contain it. They are asking for spectators to stay away from the area as a precaution. 

Both pilot and passenger spoke with officials on the scene. FAA investigators continue to look into what caused the emergency landing and are expected to speak with the pilot and passenger soon about their findings. 

- Story and video:  http://www.wsvn.com



A pilot made an emergency landing near the 18th hole of Crandon Golf Course on Monday afternoon, according to Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press

Press said the pilot and passenger of the Cessna 150M were not seriously injured.

"He was a good pilot," Press said. "He put it down and no one was hurt."

While there were some golfers on the course, no one on the ground was injured, Press said.

The plane sustained some damage including a broken wing.

Miami’Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys said the plane landed intact and momentum carried it over the green, clipping palm trees along the way.

The golf course was shut down on Monday afternoon.

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




A small plane made an emergency landing on a Key Biscayne golf course Monday afternoon.

Two people were on board the Cessna 150M when it landed at the Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne at 6700 Crandon Boulevard around 2:25 p.m., Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said.

Footage showed the plane on a grassy area with damage to its wings.

The two people were okay, officials said.

The plane had departed from Miami-Opa-locka Executive Airport and was headed to Miami Executive Airport, FAA officials said.

Story, video and photo:  http://www.wptv.com




MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A small plane with two people on board force landed on a Key Biscayne golf course Monday.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Kathleen Bergen said the pilot of the Cessna 150M, with tail number “N171RD,” reported an engine problem prior to the force landing.

The plane, which had departed from Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport and was headed to Miami Executive Airport, crashed on the Crandon Golf Course at 2:25 p.m.

No word on if the pilot or passenger were injured in the incident.

The owner of the plane, according to FAA records, is Ameri Air Support Inc., out of Wilmington, Delaware.

The FAA is currently investigating the incident.

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain, Spohrer & Dodd Aviation LLC, N55GK: Fatal accident occurred October 26, 2015 in Weston, Broward County, Florida

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Spohrer & Dodd Aviation, LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N55GK

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA026 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 26, 2015 in Weston, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31-350, registration: N55GK
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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 October 26, 2015, about 1232 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-31-350, N55GK, operated by Spohrer & Dodd Aviation LLC., was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a marsh in Weston, Florida, while on approach to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured, one passenger incurred minor injuries, and one passenger was not injured. The business flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight to FXE, which departed Jacksonville Executive Airport (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida, about 1033.

According to the passengers and a fueling receipt, the flight originated from Herlong Recreational Airport (HEG), Jacksonville, Florida, about 1010. Prior to departure, the airplane was fueled with 17.3 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline, which brought the fuel quantity in the main fuel tanks to full. The pilot and passengers departed for FXE, but diverted to CRG due to a cockpit window that was not completely sealed. They secured the window at CRG and departed on the accident flight.

According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight was in radio and radar contact with air traffic control (Miami Approach) while being vectored for a visual approach to runway 9 at FXE. About 1229, the air traffic controller instructed the flight to descend from 3,000 feet to 2,000 feet, which the pilot acknowledged. The controller subsequently provided vectors and instructed the pilot to report the airport insight. The pilot acknowledged the vectors, but had not reported the airport in sight when he stated twice that he might have to land on an interstate highway. He then asked where the airport was and when told it was 15 miles east, he said he saw the interstate highway. No further communications were received from the accident airplane.

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that it came to rest upright in a marsh. The landing gear was retracted and both engines had separated from their respective wing. The right wing outboard section and the left wingtip had also separated. The left engine fuel selector was found positioned to the left auxiliary fuel tank and the right engine fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank. Additionally, the right engine firewall fuel shut off lever was engaged. The inspector observed fuel in both the left main fuel tank and left auxiliary fuel tank. He did not observe fuel in the right main fuel tank or right auxiliary fuel tank; however, the right auxiliary fuel tank was compromised during impact and the inspector could not confirm the integrity of the right main fuel tank due to the disposition of the wreckage. The right propeller blades appeared to be at or near the feathered position and the left propeller blades exhibited some rotational damage. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land and airplane multiengine land He also held a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. The pilot's most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on April 27, 2015. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 11,000 hours.

According to maintenance records, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 8, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 6,003.3 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated 1,260.2 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had flown 2.9 hours from the time of the inspection, until the accident.

The recorded weather at FXE, at 1253, was: wind from 110 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 20 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 3,300 feet, scattered clouds at 4,100 feet, scattered clouds at 5,500 feet; temperature 29 degrees C; dew point 20 degrees C, altimeter 30.03 inches Hg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Miami FSDO-19


Jim Townsend 


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dozens of people are saying their final goodbyes to a local pilot who lost his life after an accident in the Everglades two weeks ago. 

  Jim Townsend, 63, and his two passengers were in a twin-engine airplane operated by Spohrer & Dodd Aviation LLC.

Townsend survived the crash and saved the lives of his two passengers, Robert Spohrer and Steve Brown, but days later crash he passed away from his injuries in the hospital.

The memorial for Townsend wrapped up Thursday afternoon at the Jacksonville Executive at Craig Municipal Airport and his widow, Judith Miller said what she was really hoping from the memorial was a lot of storytelling and that’s exactly what happened.

Dozens of fellow pilots, friends and family members came out to show their respect. Many sharing just how much of a funny and giving person Townsend was.

He was an instructor for many years and spread his wealth of knowledge to those hoping to one day earn their wings. There was a story about how he was known to stop traffic just to save a family of turtles crossing the road.

Judith Miller spoke Wednesday about how she learned of the death of her husband, his sense of humor and how he always put others first. 

“I didn't even turn on the news. It was just a couple of minutes before the news and there was a knock on the door and there was a woman out there from the firm and I knew just by looking at her face that something had gone wrong,” Miller said.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released Tuesday stated Townsend, who flew out of Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport, could not find Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport. He told air traffic control that he may have to land on the highway.

"I would say, ‘Why aren’t you smiling?’ And he’d say, ‘That’s the face God gave me!’” Miller said. “That was his look! That was his signature look."

Miller describes herself as a very private person but said she wanted to open up her home and her heart to show others how much her husband meant to her and so many others. 

She said she met Townsend through a newspaper personal ad and from there the rest was history.

“I was looking at the personals and there was this an innocuous little ad in there, my age, pilot and looking for someone to spend time with, so I answered,” Miller said.

Miller described it as the best $3.99 she’s ever spent. A newspaper from the '90s that would lead to nearly two decades of happiness.

“After about a month I said, ‘Well, OK, you can come over I guess. He showed up at the door and I looked at him and I said, “You look OK, you can come in. We would have been married for 19 years this February,” Miller said.

She said that her husband had the ability to always put the safety of others first, and that is exactly what drew the two together 19 years ago.

“He loved life. He’d get up in such a good mood and I'd say, ‘Why in the world are you in such a good mood. And he would say, ‘Because I live with a goddess,’” Miller said. 

Miller said that aside from being a family man, Townsend was a lover of nature and adventure. He was a member of the Air Force and the community’s renaissance man who was always up for a challenge, and ready to make people laugh.

“It wasn't just about the planes. It was about if you got stuck on the side of the road he would stop to help you, you know? Never take any money for it and never wanted anything for it, just wanted to do the right thing for people,” Miller said.

“I’m going to miss him so much. He was such a presence and he was just so funny. He was so funny. He loves to tell stories so that's what we're hoping for tomorrow at the memorial. That people will get up and tell stories and laugh because he made me, he irritated me so bad, but he made me laugh!” Miller said.


http://www.news4jax.com


Robert Spohrer



PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - The pilot of a small plane that crashed in western Broward County last month has died, Local 10 News has learned. 

James Alexander Townsend, 63, of Yulee died at Broward Health Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Amy Erez said Wednesday, November 4th.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain crashed about 12:45 p.m. Oct. 26, 16 miles west of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.

Sky 10 was flying to another scene when pilot Clem Carfaro spotted the downed plane in the Everglades near U.S. Highway 27.

Townsend was trapped inside the cockpit. Sky 10 arrived before Broward Sheriff's Office firefighters got there.

Local 10 News engineer Juan Rodriguez happened to be on Sky 10 at the time, and the helicopter landed briefly so that Rodriguez could help the pilot.

Firefighters arrived a short time later and had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue Townsend, who was pinned under the debris. He was placed on a stretcher and flown to the hospital.

Rodriguez said Townsend was asking for water and complained about his leg.

Two Jacksonville attorneys, Robert Spohrer, 66, and Steven Browning, 55, were also on the plane. They were walking around the crash site, having suffered only minor injuries, and were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

http://www.local10.com


LISTEN: Full 911 call made by passenger after Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain crashes 



Local 10 News engineer Juan Rodriguez




The scene below from the clear, blue sky looked chaotic. 

A small plane tattered and in pieces downed in the swampy Everglades, perilously close to a canal.

Two men in business-casual attire outside, one on the phone while the other peers into a cockpit housing the trapped pilot.

It was a rescue scene that unfolded for television viewers, live from a news chopper.

It was supposed to be a routine business trip last week for Bob Spohrer and Steve Browning.

The two Spohrer & Dodd shareholders had made the trip many times.

“It was completely normal,” said Browning. “A nice day to fly."

Something happened this time.

Calmness before impact

Spohrer and Browning were in the back of the twin-engine aircraft, working during the two hour or so flight. Completely normal until Browning said he felt the descent and realized it wasn’t Fort Lauderdale.

“There wasn’t an airport,” he said. “And we were landing.”

Browning was sitting in a seat with his back to the cockpit, one of the safer positions in crashes. Spohrer was in the seat facing him and calmly advised Browning to tighten his seatbelt and brace himself. Once they crashed, Spohrer said, they’d go out the emergency window.

Browning has never been in that type of emergency situation before. By the time he realized something was really wrong, they’d hit the ground.

“I was in a little bit of disbelief,” he said.

What came next was a blur, he said. He remembers being outside the plane on the wing, walking, talking, unharmed.

Spohrer also had made it and, besides a gash on his forehead, seemed no worse for wear.

The pilot, however, hadn’t been as fortunate.

Jim Townsend had steered the plane to relative safety — on an embankment away from the canal and a power grid. Either could have been deadly.

The crash had pinned Townsend in the cockpit, breaking his legs.

Spohrer was talking him through it, telling him it was going to be OK.

Browning walked down the road toward a building he saw in the distance, talking to a 911 operator and trying to explain where they were.

Behind him, Browning said he heard a helicopter.

“I guess you found us,” he told the operator.

No. Rescuers hadn’t, but someone else had.

Eye on the skies

It was a typical Monday morning for Juan Rodriguez and his peers at WPLG TV-10, a Fort Lauderdale news station.

Rodriguez said there had been some complaints with the camera equipment. His answer was to test it out in the skies, but once they took off, a radio tower alerted them to the situation.

Plane down. They had to go.

“The first thing we saw was one gentleman with a blue shirt on the wing,” he said.

That was Spohrer.

“We saw another gentleman walking away from the airplane … on the phone with what looked like no injuries,” said Rodriguez.

That was Browning.

What Rodriguez and his crew didn’t see at the scene is what made them change priorities. Emergency help hadn’t arrived.

“We became first responders,” he said. “We have to go. So we went.”

Rodriguez hopped out to help while the helicopter took off to act as a beacon for responders, all the while getting footage.

He saw Spohrer with cuts on his face. The pilot trapped. How close the plane had come to further disaster. Could the thing still catch fire?

“You think 10,000 things in a second,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez went to help Spohrer, advising him not to move the pilot given the possibility of expounding on any injuries. Townsend’s arms were bleeding, his head hurt, he was shouting about leg pain and was asking for water.

“I could see he was in pain,” said Rodriguez, “but I think when he saw a strange face, he was a little relieved.”

Other strange faces soon showed up to help.

From helpers to patients

When Browning looked back at the sound of the helicopter, he realized it wasn’t first responders in the typical sense.

Nonetheless, he said, he won’t forget the station’s “10” emblazoned on its side for quite some time.

Rescuers showed up soon after, he said. Browning went from being a helper to becoming a patient.

At first, responders didn’t think he’d been involved.

“They couldn’t put it together,” said Browning. “I didn’t look like a guy who just got off a crashed plane.”

Although he wasn’t sore — adrenaline, they said — he might be in some discomfort in the coming days.

While rescuers cut Townsend out to escort him to safety, the passengers also had to take a trip to the hospital. They had, after all, just been in a plane crash — and Spohrer had a head injury to be checked out.

Plus, they wanted to be where Townsend was headed.

Hours later, both checked out OK. Spohrer was stitched up. Browning said their phones had been inundated with calls, texts and emails — it all started shortly after the crash when people realized it was them.

Before heading to a hotel for the night, they stopped at a pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions, dirtied and looking like they’d been put through the wringer.

Browning said Spohrer swapped out the paper top the hospital had given him for a generic, touristy T-shirt.

“He pulled it off,” said Browning with a slight laugh.

Browning said he decided against any purchases, but realized how dirty and bloody his clothes were later at the hotel while making many phone calls to family and friends.

That included a call to the acquaintance he was there to visit — the one who called while Browning was on the phone with 911, leaving a joking message about being late. He soon realized why.

After the eventful flight, it was back on a commercial plane to Jacksonville the next day.

Greeted by hugs at home

Browning said he wasn’t nervous in the least when he climbed aboard. He wasn’t sore, yet.

And as Spohrer told Daily Record partner WJXT TV-4, there were no misgivings to climbing aboard.

Other than walking, flying is the safest form of transportation, Spohrer said.

When they returned, both men stopped by the firm that, among other areas, specializes in aircraft accident cases. In fact, the Piper Navajo was registered to an LLC of the firm’s.

They were greeted with “a lot more hugs than I have gotten in a long time,” Browning said.

“They obviously were happy to see me and I was happy to be seen,” he said. “No one got real emotional or anything. … It was a near miss. Those things happen and you move on.”

Much of the attention now turns to Townsend.

Spohrer told WJXT the firm had flown Townsend’s wife and family members to Fort Lauderdale and hoped for a quick recovery. Browning said Friday Townsend had stabilized and “was doing as well as can be expected.”

Spohrer told WJXT it was Townsend’s efforts that led to the three of them surviving. That when you look at the wreckage, it was “pretty incredible” all three survived.

“We’re grateful to be here,” he told the station.

Browning, likewise, offers Townsend praise.

Rodriguez realizes it, too, crediting the pilot for such a landing given the proximity to other dangers.

“It was amazing these guys survived that crash,” said Rodriguez.

For the attorneys, it’s been work as usual for the most part. Spohrer went out of town to visit family late in the week and couldn’t be reached by the Daily Record.

Browning stayed close and expected to see some of his children come back to town for the annual Florida-Georgia game Saturday.

Initially, they weren’t all planning on making the trip. But, they did.

A “near miss” as Browning calls it, has a way of changing plans.

- Source: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com


BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Two Jacksonville attorneys who walked away after their company plane crashed Monday in the Everglades are back in the office Tuesday talking about their pilot, who remains hospitalized. 

The pilot, Jim Townsend, was trapped in the cockpit after the firm's twin-engine airplane in western Broward County He had to be cut out of the wreckage.

Robert Spohrer, founding partner of Spohrer and Dodd, and Steven Browning, another partner in the firm, were treated and released after the crash near U.S. Highway 27 in the Everglades. They both escaped without serious injury.

"We were descending rapidly. The gear was not down and we were going to be hitting off the field," Spohrer said Tuesday. "I told Steve, 'Tighten your seat belt as tight as you can, get into a braced position.' As soon as the plane stops moving, we're going to get out of this emergency exit. He and I were our on the wing, immediately, essentially uninjured, miraculously. Our concern was Jim Townsend, our pilot, and trying to extricate him from the wreckage. He had broken legs, we couldn't get him out. He was trapped by instruments so we were unable to get him out of the plane until rescue arrived and cut the roof off the plane."

Townsend remains in the hospital in South Florida. The law firm flew Townsend's family to Fort Lauderdale and or doing whatever they can to help. Spore says it was some type of in-flight emergency and the way the pilot respond it save their lives.

"When you look at the images of the wreckage, it's pretty incredible that the three of us survived, and the two of us were essentially uninjured," Spohrer said.

Townsend, who lives in Yulee and regularly flies for the firm, was praised for his skill avoiding a bigger tragedy.

"Once that emergency occurred, he did an incredible job of keeping the airplane under control, picking a place to try and put it down, and then keeping the aircraft flying until the very last second," Spohrer said. "And that's why the three of us survived."

The Piper PA-31-350 left Jacksonville Monday morning headed for Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport when it went down in western Brevard County.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash

- Source:  http://www.news4jax.com

Robert Spohrer and Steven Browning are partners with Spoher & Dodd in Jacksonville.


The three survivors of a plane crash in the Everglades were identified by the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The pilot was Alexander Townsend, 63. His passengers were Robert F. Spohrer, 66, and Steven R. Browning, 55, both lawyers from Jacksonville.

Townsend's legs were trapped in the cockpit of the Piper Chieftain plane that crashed west of U.S. 27 and north of Griffin Road around 12:45 p.m. Monday. It had flown south from Jacksonville.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue firefighters had to cut the plane open to free the pilot. Townsend was flown to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where he was in critical condition Tuesday, the sheriff's office said.

The crash was the first of two planes to make emergency landings in South Florida Monday the afternoon. A Cessna came down on a Key Biscayne golf course Monday afternoon, and the two people aboard the single-engine aircraft were able to walk away from the wreck, a golf course official said.

Photographs of the crash in western Broward County showed the Piper's fuselage was broken, its green-tipped tail lying in the marsh.

Spohrer and Browning were able to escape the wreckage on their own. One man had a head injury and both were driven Broward Health Medical Center to be examined, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Spokesman Mike Jachles.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday it would examine the plane after it is moved to a hangar. It could take a year for a possible cause to be released by an investigator.

Firefighters used an airboat, golf cart and firetrucks to reach the wrecked aircraft that landed next to a canal and dirt road.

"I can't answer for what the pilot's thinking at that moment, nor would I even venture," Jachles said Monday.

He praised Townsend's skills.

"They were very fortunate for all three of them to survive an impact like this," Jachles said. "If you saw the wreckage, one of the engines was detached."

The plane is a fixed-wing, twin-engine aircraft registered to Spohrer & Dodd Aviation LLC, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

The Piper was traveling toward Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and was not yet in communication with the tower before it crashed 16 miles from its destination, airport and FAA officials said.

A message left for Robert Spohrer at his law firm Spohrer & Dodd which shares an address with the listed owner, was not immediately returned.

Winds were blowing east-southeast at around 15 mph early Monday afternoon, Meteorologist Dan Gregoria of the National Weather Service in Miami said.

"It was a typical breezy, South Florida day, but no really strong gusts," Gregoria said.

Miami-Dade police were working Tuesday to release the names of the two people whose plane crashed 40 miles southeast of the Everglades, at Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.

Their Cessna 150 fixed-wing aircraft landed on the 18th fairway.

"No one was playing 18 when it landed," Tommy Chipman, head golf professional and clubhouse manager at Crandon, said Monday.

The Cessna crashed at 2:25 p.m. after the pilot reported engine trouble, the FAA said.

It traveled over the green until it hit some coconut palm trees, Chipman said.

The aircraft is registered to a Wilmington, Del., company called Ameri Air Support and had taken off from Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport. Its destination was Miami Executive Airport at 12800 SW 145th Ave., until it changed course.

The NTSB said it will rely on FAA documentation recorded at the golf course to review that crash.


- Source:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com




BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Two Jacksonville lawyers and their pilot survived when the firm's Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain airplane crashed Monday in the Everglades in western Broward County.

Robert Sporher, founding partner of Sporher and Dodd, and Steven Browning, another partner in the firm, were treated and released after the crash near U.S. Highway 27 in the Everglades. The pilot, whose name was not released but regularly flies for the firm, was pulled out of the cockpit conscious and remained hospitalized late Monday. 


Miami television station and News4Jax partner WPLG was flying its helicopter to another news event when the pilot spotted the downed plane  The chopper landed briefly and a broadcast engineer helped the plane's pilot escape. Firefighters arrived a short time later and transported him to the hospital.


Records show the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain left Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport Monday morning. People at the law firm described this as a normal business trip and said the partners were to return to Jacksonville late Monday or Tuesday.


Their co-workers were thankful everyone survived and remain worried about the pilot.


News4Jax aviation expert Ed Booth said that within three minutes, the plane's altitude dropped to the ground from 2,300 feet, suggesting that the plane lost power and was gliding. 


"It appears the pilot did a masterful job of maintaining control of the airplane," Booth said. "The photographs I've seen indicate the pilot did a skilled job of keeping the airplane under control until ground impact, and that's the key in a situation like this ... It's obvious to me, the way the wreckage wound up, that the airplane impacted the ground, although hard it was under control."


Barry Newman, at Sporher and Dodd, said they are lucky to have a safe and competent pilot who did everything he could to save the passengers.


- Source:  http://www.news4jax.com






BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Local 10 employee came to the rescue of a pilot in need after the small plane he was flying crashed Monday in western Broward County. 

Sky 10 was flying to another scene when pilot Clem Carfaro spotted the downed plane in the Everglades near U.S. Highway 27.


The injured pilot was trapped inside the cockpit.


Sky 10 arrived before Broward Sheriff's Office Department of Fire Rescue paramedics got there.


Local 10 News engineer Juan Rodriguez just happened to be on Sky 10 at the time, so the helicopter landed briefly so that Rodriguez could help the pilot.


Firefighters arrived a short time later and had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue the pilot. He was placed on a stretcher and flown to Broward Health Medical Center.


Rodriguez said the pilot was asking for water and complained about a pain in his leg.


Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Piper PA-32 crashed about 12:45 p.m. 16 miles west of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.


Two Jacksonville attorneys, Robert Spohrer and Steven Browning, were also on the plane. They were walking around the crash site, suffering only minor injuries, and were taken to the hospital by ambulance.


Sporher is founding partner of Sporher & Dodd, and Browning is another partner in the law firm. The pilot, whose name was not released, regularly flies for the firm.


Barry Newman, a partner at Sporher & Dodd, told Jacksonville television station WJXT they are lucky to have a safe and competent pilot who did everything he could to save the passengers.


"Where the plane was and how it landed is certainly a testament to the pilot's skill in preventing further injury or even death," BSO Department of Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.


- Source:  http://www.local10.com





Passenger being brought out from scene on golf cart.










Fatal accident occurred October 25, 2015 in Bennington, Ottawa County, Kansas

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA022
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 25, 2015 in Bennington, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/2016
Aircraft: DELWYN SCHMIDT No model, registration: none
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot taxied out and departed for the personal flight from a private grass runway in an unregistered homebuilt airplane. A witness reported that, when the airplane reached 150 ft above the ground, the engine stopped. The pilot then turned the airplane back toward the runway, and it then dropped and impacted terrain. 
The airplane did not have an airworthiness certificate, and no maintenance records were found. Examination of the engine pistons found evidence of scoring, consistent with piston seizure. The accident is consistent with a loss of engine power due to piston seizure and with the pilot subsequently losing airplane control while maneuvering back to the runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The unregistered airplane’s loss of engine power due to piston seizure. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s loss of airplane control while maneuvering back to the runway.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On October 25, 2015, about 1740 central daylight time, an unregistered amateur built airplane lost engine power shortly after departing a private airstrip near Bennington, Kansas. The private rated pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

A witness reported to the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he saw the airplane taxi back and forth several times and then depart. He added that when the airplane was about 150 feet in the air, he heard the engine suddenly stop. The airplane turned back to the runway; however, the airplane then fell, about 40 feet to the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. 

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single land. He also held a mechanic's certificate with airframe and powerplant (A&P) ratings. The pilot's last application for a medical certificate was dated November 9, 2011. On the application, he reported 450 total flight hours, with 5 hours in the previous six months. The medical certificate had expired; however, under the sport pilot rule he was medically eligible to fly as a light sport airplane, as long as he complied with the applicable FAA regulations. The pilot's flight logbook was not located.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

Little documentation on the airplane was found concerting the history of the airplane. The airplane did not an display a registration number, nor was there any record of the aircraft being registered. The aircraft maintenance records were not located during the course of this investigation. A family member reported the aircraft had been a gyrocopter, and the pilot had modified the craft into a fixed wing airplane; powered by a Rotax 582 two-stroke reciprocating engine. The aircraft had the wording "EXPERIMENTAL" on the side; however, there was no record of an airworthiness certificate. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

At 1753, the automated weather observation facility located about 10 miles south of the accident site recorded: wind from 120 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, a clear sky, temperature 68 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 30 F, and a barometric pressure of 30.23 inches of mercury. 


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted terrain near a rural residence. The residence was also located near hay fields, and the pilot used a grass runway for an airstrip. The airplane came to rest inverted with the tube frame to the empennage folded. Both wings received substantial damage and remained attached to the fuselage. The front cabin area sustained heavy impact damage with the right main landing gear torn from the fuselage. The engine's three bladed propeller remained attached to the engine, fuel was present on site, the sparkplugs appeared normal, and when turned by hand, the engine rotated and had compression. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The State of Kansas, Office of the Coroner, Ottawa County, Kansas, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was determined to be, "blunt traumatic injuries".

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. The specimens were not tested for carbon monoxide and cyanide. The test was negative for ethanol. The test was positive for Cetirizine, Hydroxyzine, Oxymetazoline, Promethazine.

The medical review noted that the prescribed medicines could have been administered in the hospital after the accident, or for an allergic condition noted before the accident flight. 

TEST AND RESEARCH

A detailed engine examination was conducted on February 4, 2016, by a technical representative of Rotax under the auspices of the FAA inspector. The examination found discrepancies in the fuel system, carburetor jets, exhaust, and engine cooling system. Additionally, pitting consistent with detonation on one of the cylinders was observed. The examination found slight scoring on one of the piston, consistent with the beginning of piston seizure. The other piston on the twin cylinder engine, contained vertical scoring and seizure marks. The engine stoppage was consistent with piston seizure. 

This type of piston seizure is commonly known as a 4 corner piston seizure and there are several contributing factors that can cause such an event. 

- Not allowing engine to properly warm up prior to takeoff or full throttle application 
- Too lean carb jetting (Main jet) 
- Too hot of a spark plug range 
- Insufficient fuel octane rating 
- Detonation 
- Incorrect exhaust timing

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA022 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 25, 2015 in Bennington, KS
Aircraft: DELWYN SCHMIDT Buzzwing, registration: none
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 25, 2015, about 1740 central daylight time, an unregistered experimental amateur built airplane, lost engine power shortly after departing a private airstrip near Bennington, Kansas. The private rated pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

A witness reported to the responding Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, that he saw the airplane taxi out and depart. He added that when the airplane was about 150 feet in the air, the heard the engine suddenly stop. The airplane turned back to the runway; however, the airplane just fell about 40 feet to the ground. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

The airplane was retained for further inspection.

Any witnesses should email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.




SALINA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) — Authorities say that the man injured after his small aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in southern Ottawa County has died.

Officials informed 13 NEWS that the man has been identified as Delwyn Schmidt, 62 of Bennington, Kansas.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the crash of the experimental plane happened around 5:40 p.m. Sunday north of the Saline-Ottawa county line.

Authorities say the plane had only traveled about 100 to 200 yards before the pilot tried to make a turn to return home and the aircraft lost power. Officials say the pilot could not make an emergency landing.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, was transported to the Salina Regional Medical Center before being transferred to a hospital in Wichita.

An FAA spokesman says the homebuilt plane was destroyed when it crashed.

- Source:  http://www.wibw.com