Sunday, November 08, 2015

Headless body found, but not of pilot: Aérospatiale SA 365N3 Dauphin 2, Pawan Hans, VT-PWF, fatal accident occurred November 04, 2015 in Arabian Sea off Bombay High

Debris of the Pawan Hans chopper recovered from near Oil and Natural Gas Corporation installation in the Bombay High on Thursday. 

Four days after a Pawan Hans Aérospatiale SA 365N3 Dauphin 2 chopper crashed into the Arabian Sea off Bombay High, the authorities have found a headless, decomposed body floating near the Neelam platform. However, the body does not belong to either of the two-member flying crew that went down with the chopper into the Sea.

On Sunday, at 12.30 pm, ONGC officers spotted the headless body near the platform. Sources said the body was found when one of the investigating teams reached the platform, which is 60 nautical miles away from the suspected crash site. A crew landed on the rough seas — which they claim is a tough thing to do — as the wreckage is at the bottom of the seas, which is nearly 70 metres below.

“The ONGC team after 12 noon located a floating headless body. Soon after the location of the unknown body, the officers checked for its authentication after which a conclusion was drawn that the body did not belong to any of the two pilots,” said a senior official who is part of the investigation.

According to officials, it was concluded that the body did not belong to the any of the pilots; for two reasons: it was found to be near the Neelam platform, which is in the opposite direction to that of the suspected crash area, and most importantly, the body had blue trousers on it.

“The body had blue pants on, whereas both the pilots were in their uniform (white shirt and black pants). Hence, the body found was concluded to be some other. According to standard procedure, the body was sent to the Yellow Gate police station,” said an ONGC official.

The Indian Navy has been concentrating on underwater searches, particularly on locating the pilots; it is also searching for the wreckage that is yet to be found. Preliminary investigations on the basis of the debris found have ruled out the possibility of a mid-air explosion.

In the previous article, mid-day had reported on how the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had debunked the claims made by the pilots at nearby platforms during the crash. A member of the DGCA team investigating the mishap had said, based on the CCTV footage it scrutinised, it can be concluded that the chopper didn’t catch fire.

Rescue operations underway

Meanwhile, as per defense sources, ONGC officials have the maximum ships available for rescue operations and are equally involved in the exercise. Three coastguard ships and four naval ships are on duty to locate the underwater wreckage and pilots.

Bombardier says almost done with flight test for regional jet

Canadian plane maker Bombardier said on Sunday it has nearly completed flight testing of its new CS100 regional jet, which makes its debut at the Dubai Airshow this week ahead of its planned entry into service next year.

Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, told reporters the company’s C Series program was doing well, and was seeing demand from customers in the Gulf region. Certification of the new CS100, whose FTK-5 test model flew to Dubai last week, is due by the end of the year.

Completion of the flight test program and the plane’s certification are essential for Bombardier to drum up additional orders for the new jet. The company has said it expects to have sold 300 jets before the plane enters into service in the first half of 2016.

Quebec-based Bombardier’s C Series jet project has left it saddled with debt, prompting the provincial government to announce a $1-billion investment on Oct. 29 to keep the program afloat.

Mr. Cromer declined to name any potential Gulf customers for the new aircraft, but said its strong performance at high altitudes and in hot temperatures, as well as its wide seats, made it attractive to customers in the region.

Executives added that Latvia-based Air Baltic would be the launch operator of its CS300 aircraft when it takes delivery in the second half of 2016. The Latvian flag carrier has 13 CS300 aircraft on firm order and options.

- Source:

Pilot spots drone during descent into Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Phoenix, Arizona

In Phoenix Sunday, a potentially dangerous situation unfolded near Sky Harbor International Airport. 
An airplane pilot reported seeing a drone just a few miles from the airport.

The unmanned aircraft was spotted around noon today, about four miles from the airport, according to officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.

It was seen between the north and south complex.

Once the sighting was reported, other pilots arriving in Phoenix were warned, but based on air traffic, no one else saw the drone.

No flights were affected and the airport did not take evasive action, according to the FAA.

No word on who was operating the drone.

Story and video:

Modesto seeks its own crime fighter in the sky

  • Police Department wants to spend as much as $660,000 for airplane 
  • Proposed purchase comes after voters rejected tax increase for city 
  • Sheriff questions whether plane duplicates services provided by his agency

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department owns this light sport aircraft, featured on the cover of the California State Sheriffs’ Association magazine in 2012. The Modesto Police Department is interested in buying one of its own as its latest crime-fighting tool. The aircraft has a high-definition camera with night-vision capabilities and a spotlight. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department 

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department owns this light sport aircraft. The Modesto Police Department is interested in buying one of its own as its latest crime-fighting tool. The aircraft has a high-definition camera with night-vision capabilities and a spotlight. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department 

The Modesto Police Department wants its own high-tech crime fighter in the sky.

Police Chief Galen Carroll is expected on Tuesday to ask the City Council to approve spending as much as $660,000 for what is called a light sport aircraft that seats two and is equipped with a spotlight and a high-definition camera with long-range scope and night vision that records what it sees.

Carroll said the aircraft would be flown by volunteer pilots and police officers who are pilots. He envisions the airplane being in the sky five to six hours a day, five days a week, patrolling the city, conducting traffic enforcement, and helping with crimes in progress and special operations.

“I see this as being a force multiplier,” Carroll said. The department’s staffing is at its lowest level in many years, with 219 officers allocated in the current budget year.

The proposed purchase comes after voters last week rejected a sales tax increase the city put on the ballot to pay primarily for more public safety after city officials said the city did not have the money to adequately protect Modesto. Measure G was expected to bring in $14 million annually to the city’s roughly $115 million general fund, which primarily pays for police and fire services.

“I know naysayers will say we are wasting money,” Carroll said. “But we are trying to protect the city with the limited resources we have. This is another way of being smart with the taxpayers’ money. We have been researching this for close to a year. … We did not live or die on Measure G. We still have a department to run and a city to protect.”

Modesto already has air support through the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Adam Christianson said his department’s helicopter is in the air 25 to 30 hours a week, primarily Fridays through Sundays. He said the helicopter covers the county but spends the majority of its time in Modesto. He said his department does not charge Modesto.

The Sheriff’s Department and Police Department talked about expanding the helicopter’s coverage, but Modesto would have to pay for that. Carroll said those costs would be too high. Christianson said it costs $650 an hour to operate his department’s helicopter. Based on that, it would cost the Police Department $845,000 a year for 25 hours of coverage each week. A city report states it will cost about $75,000 a year to operate the aircraft.

Still, Christianson said it appeared Modesto was trying to provide a service his department already provides. “It does seem duplicative to me,” the sheriff said, though Carroll disagreed. “We want a regular air patrol that’s not provided now,” he said. “If we had that service, we would not be looking to duplicate a free service we already have.”

Carroll said his department is not competing with the Sheriff’s Department and said there will be times when his officers need the Sheriff’s Department helicopter. “I’m looking at this more as a patrol car that happens to fly,” he said.

The Police Department wants to purchase a Flight Design CTLEi aircraft from Airtime Aviation in Tulsa, Okla. The city did not seek bids because, according to a city report, Airtime is the only U.S. dealership that sells this type of aircraft equipped with the camera and computer system. Flight Design is based in Germany.

Carroll said the airplane flies at 1,000 feet (the Sheriff’s Department helicopter flies at 500 to 1,000 feet), can circle as slowly as a helicopter and is very quiet.

The report states that the city would pay for the aircraft and its high-tech gear with $194,000 in state asset forfeiture funds; $166,00 from its traffic safety fund; $100,000 in the Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Funds it receives from the state; and $200,000 from the general fund.

The city report states the sheriff’s departments in Kings and Tulare counties have purchased Flight Design CTLEi airplanes. As part of their due diligence, Modesto police met with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

“Our aviation unit has been a great success, and we feel that the light sport aircraft is a safe and cost-effective platform for law enforcement aviation,” Tulare sheriff’s Lt. Rob Schimpf said in an email. “With the cost being a fraction of that associated with larger aircraft, such as helicopters, we are able to operate our plane in a proactive patrol capacity.”

Schimpf’s department recently purchased a second plane.

Carroll also met with Modesto’s Airport Advisory Committee, the members of which are pilots and/or from the aviation industry, for feedback. Councilman Bill Zoslocki, who serves on the committee and is a longtime pilot, said committee members liked what they heard.

The City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.

Story, video and photo gallery:

High drama as Russia’s Transaero edges towards bankruptcy

Two dozen pilots and stewardesses from the Russian airline Transaero observed a minute’s silence in the center of St Petersburg on Sunday for those who died in the crash of Metrojet flight 9268 in Egypt last weekend.

But the men and women in the dark blue coats were just as anguished over the fate of their own airline. They have joined protests against the looming bankruptcy of Transaero, Russia’s second-largest carrier and the country’s largest privately owned one.

Transaero has been fighting for its survival for months, as a weakened rouble and sliding disposable incomes in Russia have forced people to cut down on overseas travel, crippling the airline’s ability to service its debt of Rbs260bn ($4bn).

Chaotic attempts to rescue it have thrown a spotlight on the tangled ties between politics and business in Russia, which are complicating the government’s efforts to soften the economic and social fallout of the recession.

The latest and most dramatic episode began on Thursday, when Russia’s airline safety watchdog, the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK), suspended flight certificates for all Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Russian airlines, a highly unusual step that requires Russian government officials to consider grounding aircraft.

Two people present at an emergency meeting convened on Friday to deal with the MAK’s move said they believed that Tatiana Anodina, the committee’s chairwoman — and mother of Transaero’s founder and largest shareholder, Alexander Pleshakov — had targeted the Boeings in a ploy to avert the airline’s bankruptcy.

“Threatening to ground more than 150 aircraft was an extreme move, but it is very much Tatiana’s style,” said an executive from a smaller Russian airline. “It would have hurt all airlines, so the hope was that she could force a deal on Transaero.”

In early September, state-controlled Aeroflot agreed to take a controlling stake in Transaero for the symbolic price of Rb1 — a deal arranged by a government anxious to secure the jobs of close to 11,000 Transaero staff and avoid stranding thousands of travellers. But the deal collapsed a month later.

Government officials then concluded that declaring bankruptcy was the preferred option for Transaero. In the meantime, they made Aeroflot assume responsibility for paying Transaero staff and keeping flights going.

But the Pleshakovs did not give up. They tried to seal another deal for the head of S7, Transaero’s private rival, to rescue the airline. This soon broke down, too.

“In principle, the state’s interest is in limiting the social and economic cost of the Transaero bankruptcy, but there are too many hands of the state here with conflicting interests,” said Denis Vorchik, an analyst at Uralsib Bank in Moscow.

Among Transaero’s creditors are the state-owned banks Vnesheconombank, VTB and Sberbank. Both VTB and Sberbank have filed bankruptcy claims against Transaero.

“For the state-owned banks, it’s easier to be in favor of letting Transaero go bankrupt because the state will come in to help cover loan losses,” said Mr Vorchik.

Privately owned lenders, by contrast, have been pushing for fresh rescue attempts. Executives of International Financial Club, a privately owned bank backed by the tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, have sided with the Pleshakovs.

Regardless of the possible motives behind MAK’s attempt to ground the Boeings, it did not save Transaero. At a meeting called on Friday by Rosaviatsia, the domestic airline regulator that would be required to give the actual order, it was determined that MAK’s demand had no merit.

Just minutes later, a person close to the Pleshakov family, said Valery Zaitsev, chief executive, had resigned. Ms Anodina did not even attend the meeting. A person close to Aeroflot said: “The curtain has fallen.”

In a statement published on its website on Sunday, MAK said it had decided to suspend the certificates because the US Federal Aviation Authority had earlier stated that Boeing needed to make improvements to the 737’s elevator to ensure continued safe operation of the aircraft. MAK said it was still awaiting a joint decision from Rosaviatsia and the FAA that Russian 737s were in a state for flying safely.

Ms Anodina could not be reached for comment. Transaero did not respond. Mr Pleshakov’s wife Olga, Transaero’s former chief executive who has spoken for the owners recently, did not respond to a request seeking comment.

Turbulent times

August 31 2015 Olga Pleshakova, co-owner of Transaero together with her husband Alexander Pleshakov and her mother-in-law Tatiana Anodina, resigns as chief executive of the airline

September 1 Deal announced under which Aeroflot is to acquire a controlling stake in Transaero for the symbolic price of Rbs1

September 7 Aeroflot executive Dmitry Saprykin is appointed Transaero chief executive

October 1 Aeroflot announces that the takeover deal has collapsed because Transaero shareholders failed to present a proposal for the acquisition of 75 per cent plus one share

October 26 Transaero loses its license and is forced to stop all flights. Aeroflot is given many of the company’s most profitable routes

October 27 Transaero says it has replaced Mr Saprykin with his deputy Valery Zaitsev

October 30 Regulator Rosaviatsia insists Mr Saprykin is still chief executive. Olga Pleshakova insists that Mr Zaitsev is CEO

November 5 Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) says it has suspended flight certificates for all Boeing 737 aircraft operated by Russian airlines. Russian media report that Mr Zaitsev has tendered his resignation

November 6 MAK retracts its letter to Rosaviatsia demanding the grounding of all 737 aircraft of Russian airlines

Original article can be found here:

Palmer Municipal Airport (PAAQ) to be renamed in honor of local pilots

Warren “Bud” Woods

Randy Thom 

PALMER — Thirty years after their dramatic deaths, Palmer pilots Warren “Bud” Woods and Randy Thom will be honored for their service to the city and the state.

On Oct. 27, the Palmer City Council agreed to change the name of the Palmer Municipal Airport to the Warren (Bud) Woods Palmer Municipal Airport, and the Palmer Flight Service Station to the Randy Thom Palmer Flight Service Station.

Mayor DeLena Johnson, who remembered Woods’ epic rescue of two women from Denali in June of 1976, said support for the name change at the second and final council meeting on the issue was overwhelming.

“I’m not sure I’ve been in any council meeting ever that the audience stood up and gave a standing ovation at the end,” she said, recalling the applause after passing the resolution.

Though not every attendee present in support of Woods testified at the meetings, several spoke of the deceased on both occasions. The emotion in the room was palpable, Johnson said.

“It was like it had just happened,” she said, of the 1986 crash that took the lives of the two men.

In the past

Frontiersman reporting at the time revealed that Woods and Thom were killed when their twin-engine Caribou airplane crash-landed in Lime Village, near Bethel. On approach, the nose of the aircraft allegedly turned up and the plane slid backwards before coming to rest. (One pilot recently speculated that the crash was caused by a trim system malfunction, likely involving the jackscrew, which controls stabilization in the tail of the aircraft. Such an accident occurred 15 years ago on Alaska Airlines Flight 261 from Mexico to Seattle, detailed on the FAA website.)

On March 25 of 1986, then-mayor George Carte signed a resolution that read, “the City of Palmer will forever be indebted to Mr. Warren ‘Buddy’ Woods for his unheralded dedication to aviation and the City of Palmer Municipal Airport,” among other things.

Woods’ widow, Christine Woods-Soulak, said they’d been married 25 years when Buddy was killed. As an employee of Woods Air Service for as many years at that time, she agreed with the speculation on the cause of the crash.

“Randy had no control over the plane,” she said.

Watching and listening to people stand up and talk about her first husband at city hall recently, Woods-Soulak said, brought the memories flooding back.

“It’s been hard listening to all these people that are still coming forth telling stories of Bud, (but) after 30 years, still to be remembered is heartwarming,” she said by phone Wednesday.

The man himself

Though best known by some for the Denali rescue, Woods-Soulak said Buddy felt that he was just doing his job.

“He never set out to be a hero, he just set out to do a job and I think that’s what I admired most about him,” she said.

Woods-Soulak received a letter signed by at least 10 state representatives telling of what inspired others about the man she loved.

“Buddy Woods was one who believed life was too short to not enjoy your work,” she read. “His word was as good as cash in a village across the state. … He flew by the seat of his pants in airplanes that were an extension of his arms and legs. … He was a hero to people who didn’t know him, and a friend to those who did.”

Palmer Airport Advisory Commission Chairman John Lees (also owner of New Horizons Telecom, Inc.) is one who calls himself a friend.

Lee was traveling during the writing of this story, but despite that and his general hesitancy to talk to reporters — a trait he shared with Woods, Woods-Soulak said — he agreed to comment by phone on the renaming of the airport.

“He was a remarkable pilot,” Lee said, reflecting on their 20 years together as friends and fellow businessmen.

Where most professional pilots have some combination of skill and good instincts, Lee said Woods “weighed heavily on instinct.”

“He knew what was gonna happen,” Lee said. “He was always calm, never excitable … really methodical about everything he did.”

These characteristics may have made the circumstances of his death even more shocking to some, but Lee, like Woods-Soulak, said it wasn’t something anyone could have anticipated.

The addition of Woods’ name to the airport, however, has been a long time coming, he said.

“It’s only fitting,” Lee said. “He’s just the right guy for the honor.”

The ‘understudy’

Lee said the same goes for Thom, who will be forever memorialized at the newly named flight station. Though he didn’t know the 23-year-old as well as Woods, Lee called Thom the older pilot’s “understudy,” so devoted and skilled was he at his job.

Thom’s sister, Kristy Thom Bernier, wrote an email to City of Palmer secretary Sandra Peterson in support of the renaming of both facilities. In the email, Bernier described her brother as someone who “had not reached legendary status” (like Woods) by the time of his death, but was passionate about flying, despite having lost a friend in a local plane crash several years earlier.

A graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical in Florida, Thom “looked up to Buddy Woods and took in as much as he could from a man who was an inspiration to him,” Bernier wrote.

Bernier called flying with her older brother one of her “greatest joys,” and flying over glaciers, one of his.

“I have so many fond memories of the time I spent there (at the airport) with Randy. I often spend time there, watching the planes take off and land and remembering.”

Brett Robinson, a corporate pilot based in Anchorage, said he too has many fond memories of his best friend.

Robinson said he and his brother Eric grew up with Thom, each of them graduating from Palmer High School in 1981 with Woods’ son, Warren. The four of them had “a great passion for aviation,” Robinson said, and bonded in Jim Booth’s air crossroads class at the high school before heading off to Embry Riddle together.

When Thom died, Robinson was working at a Portland airport, but received the news from his dad within a matter of hours.

“It was a tough day,” Robinson said.

As was the day the resolution passed, he said, but it was also a joyous day.

“I was really glad to see the mayor pass this deal and recognize and honor both guys,” Robinson said. “It’s just a real moving thing.”

Mayor Johnson said new signs for the airport and flight station will be in the works as soon as a designer is contracted. A dedication ceremony is tentatively planned for this spring.

Story and photo gallery:

Warren (Bud) Woods 

Randy Thom 

Palmer Municipal Airport

Champion 7BCM, N3132E: Incident occurred November 07, 2015 in Skwentna, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska

Date: 08-NOV-15 
Time: 01:29:00Z
Regis#: N3132E
Aircraft Make: AERONCA
Aircraft Model: 7BCM
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
State: Alaska


Anchorage, AK - Two men are safe after being rescued by the Alaska Air National Guard near Skwentna.

Around 4 PM on Saturday, Alaska State Troopers say they were notified of a plane which had flipped over at the Eight Mile Landing Strip.

According to Troopers, 23 year old Davis Dunlap and a male passenger were not hurt when the 1946 Aeronca Champion overturned.

AST says the survivors were in 12 inches of snow without survival gear to stay overnight and so they called in the Alaska Air National Guard 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons who were able to send a helicopter and Pararescuemen to save the men.

The Guard says the survivors were taken to the Mat-Su Regional Hospital to be checked out.

And Alaska State Troopers say the NTSB has been notified and will investigate the incident.

ANCHORAGE – Two people were rescued after their plane crashed in Southcentral Alaska on Saturday, according to a release from the Alaska National Guard. 

The Alaska Rescue Coordination Center reported the two individuals were attempting to land at a remote airstrip near Eight Mile Lake. The plane flipped over during landing, the release says.

“The snow was too deep,” said Master Sgt. Armando Soria, ARCC superintendent. “The aircraft was not equipped with skis, and as they were attempting to land, the snow caught the wheels and flipped the plane.”

A ground team would not have been able to get to the survivors, says Soria. They were uninjured but weren’t prepared with survival gear, the release says, so airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th and 212th rescue squadrons were sent out.

“The team flew to the location, rescued the survivors and flew them to Mat-Su Regional Hospital, where they were released to medical personnel,” the release continues.

Soria says this incident is a reminder to “be prepared when you’re navigating the skies of the Alaska wilderness.”

“It is important to always pack at least the minimal essential survival gear, ensure you have an emergency locater beacon,” Soria said. “That will help your chance of survival.”

- Source:

A pilot and his passenger were rescued from a landing strip near Skwentna Saturday after their airplane flipped, leaving them stranded in a foot of snow, Alaska State Troopers said. No injuries were reported.

Troopers got a report of an aircraft crash at about 4 p.m. on Saturday, troopers said in an online dispatch Sunday.

Davis Dunlap, 23, of Palmer had flipped a 1946 Aeronca Champion fixed-wing, single-engine plane at the Eight Mile Lake landing strip.

“Dunlap texted via a spot locator to a family member that he and another male passenger were both uninjured when the aircraft overturned and came to rest on its wings. Dunlap reported they had no survival gear to stay the night (and) were in 12 inches of snow,” the dispatch said.

Troopers notified the 11th Rescue Coordination Center, a unit of the 176th Wing of the Alaska Air National Guard.

The RCC picked up the pilot and his passenger. Both were flown to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

- Source:

Previous accident occurred July 08, 2014 in Palmer, AK 

ANCHORAGE -  Alaska State Troopers say a small plane crashed near Palmer Tuesday night, with one of the two people on board medevaced to Anchorage for treatment of injuries.

AST spokesperson Megan Peters says troopers were informed of the Aeronca C-85’s crash, in the vicinity of Skyranch Loop, just after 7:45 p.m.

“It looks like the plane crashed while trying to land,” Peters said. “It was actually the pilot who ended up getting transported to Anchorage by LifeMed Alaska.”

Along with troopers and the LifeMed flight, members of the Palmer Fire Department and Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services also responded to the scene. Peters says it’s not initially clear how severely the pilot was injured.

Troopers say Russell Dunlap of Palmer was piloting the C-85 when he attempted a landing at Sky Ranch. According to a Troopers report, the plane overshot the runway and came to rest in a wooded area off Sky Ranch Loop.

Dunlap had one passenger in the plane at the time, 22-year-old Davis Dunlap of Palmer. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Russel was transported by helicopter to Mat-Su Regional Hospital for treatment.

Troopers have alerted the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration of the crash. The NTSB’s chief Alaska investigator, Clint Johnson, says an investigator had been assigned to the crash, but he couldn’t immediately verify details about what happened.



NTSB Identification: ANC14LA052
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 08, 2014 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2015
Aircraft: AERONCA 7BCM, registration: N68593
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot reported that the student pilot was flying the leg back to the airplane’s home base and that he asked the student pilot how much fuel was remaining, but he did not visually check the fuel quantity before the flight. About 3 miles from the destination airport, the engine lost all power. The pilot assumed control of the airplane and lowered the nose to attain best glide speed. As the airplane’s nose lowered, the engine regained power. The student reassumed control of the airplane and initiated a climb. During the climb, the engine lost power again, and the pilot took control of the airplane and started an approach to the airport.

Due to the location and altitude of the airplane, the pilot chose to make an approach to the nearest runway, which resulted in a landing with a tailwind. The airplane was high, so the pilot entered it into a slip to lose altitude. When the pilot exited the slip near the runway, he realized the airplane’s airspeed was too high to land on the runway, so he chose to stall the airplane into an area of trees past the departure end of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. No preaccident mechanical anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that about 1/2 gallon of fuel was in the wing auxiliary tanks and that only a small amount of residual fuel was in the bottom of the center main tank. Postaccident examination revealed that the fuel quantity indicator showed that there was between 1/4 and 1/2 tank of fuel when the center main tank was empty. Given the lack of fuel found in the center main tank, the pilot’s statement, and the erroneous fuel gauge reading, it is likely that the pilot used the fuel quantity gauge and the student pilot’s statement to determine the available fuel, which resulted in his overestimating the actual quantity of available fuel.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to ensure adequate fuel was onboard to complete the flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the subsequent loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the improperly calibrated fuel quantity indication system.

On July 8, 2014, about 1950 Alaska daylight time, an Aeronca Champ 7BCM airplane, N68593, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power while approaching the Sky Ranch at Pioneer Peak Airport, Palmer, Alaska. The airline transport rated pilot and the student pilot sustained minor injuries. The flight was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, Alaska about 1530, and was destined to Sky Ranch.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot stated that his son, who is a student pilot, had just completed a dual cross country flight, and then flew the airplane solo to the Birchwood Airport to pick him up and return to Sky Ranch. The pilot asked the student pilot how much fuel was remaining, but he did not visually check the fuel quantity before the flight. The pilot was seated in the rear seat and his son, who was going to fly the leg back to Sky Ranch, was seated in the front seat.

Approximately three miles from Sky Ranch the airplane's engine lost all power. The pilot assumed control of the airplane from the student pilot, and lowered the nose to attain best glide speed. As the nose of the airplane lowered, the engine regained power. The student pilot again assumed control of the airplane and initiated a climb. During the climb, the engine lost power again, and the pilot assumed control of the airplane and started an approach to Sky Ranch.

Due to the location and altitude of the airplane, the pilot elected to make an approach to Runway 06, which involved landing with a tailwind. The pilot said that the airplane was high, so he entered a slip to lose altitude. When he recovered from the slip near the runway, he realized that his airspeed had increased, and he was flying too fast to land. He held the airplane over the runway while his airspeed decreased, but was unable to land on the runway surface. He continued to slow the airplane and elected to stall it into an area of trees past the departure end of Runway 06. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings.

Initial examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that there was approximately one half gallon of fuel in the wing auxiliary tanks. Visual examination of the fuel quantity in the center main tank noted only a small amount of residual fuel in the bottom of the tank. No preaccident mechanical anomalies were noted with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Postacccident examination of the fuel tanks by the NTSB IIC revealed that the fuel quantity indicator showed between 1/4 and 1/2 tank full when the center fuel tank was empty.

New parking lot in the works to accommodate Boutique Air passengers: Record number of travelers have prompted parking lot changes in Chadron, Nebraska


A new airline is generating some changes at a local airport.

Boutique Airlines has become an increasingly popular way for travelers to fly. The growing traffic to the Chadron Municipal Airport has prompted officials to reconstruct the airport`s parking lot that is currently made of gravel. Boutique Air began providing air service from Chadron to Denver in July and has already reached a record number of passengers. When compared to Great Lakes Airlines, Boutique Air flew more passengers in the last few months than Great Lakes has in the last year alone.

"I went there one morning and there were about 30 cars in the parking lot and about a third of them were from South Dakota. I hope to lay down a couple strips of concrete for parking this fall.  It`s in the budget next year to go ahead and concrete the whole lot," said Chadron City Manager, Wayne Anderson.

In the month of October over 300 passengers flew out of Chadron through Boutique Air.


Venezuela says U.S. intelligence plane violated airspace

CARACAS  -    Venezuela said on Sunday a U.S. Coast Guard "intelligence" plane violated its airspace and that other such planes were circulating close to the South American country.

"Forty-eight hours ago, an intelligence plane for the U.S. Coast Guard took off from the air base in Curacao," Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino said in a televised broadcast.

"The most serious part is that this plane, a Dash-8 ... violated airspace, our airspace," he added.

- Source:

Fatal accident occurred November 07, 2015 at Madera Municipal Airport (KMAE), Madera County, California

MADERA -- A man who was about to do a skydiving demonstration at the Pomegranate Festival in Madera fell to his death Saturday when his parachute got tangled as he tried to deploy it, Madera police Sgt. Felix Gonzalez said. 
The man was 65 years old, Gonzalez said. He said the man fell to the ground and died on impact. The skydiver had not yet been identified.

The incident occurred around 3 p.m. at the festival, which was held at the airport.

Linda Carbon of Fresno was a vendor who saw the man jump out of the plane, and then saw him fall and land in a parking lot about 200 feet away from her.

The man’s chute was tangled as soon as he leaped out of the aircraft, Carbon said. As he was falling, wind blew him across the sky and he landed in the parking area, she said.

Some bystanders nearby heard the man strike the ground, Carbon said.

Gonzalez said the skydiver’s primary chute became tangled as soon as he jumped out of the airplane. He tried to cut it free, then pulled his back-up chute, but it would not deploy properly either, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said there “were quite a few” people at the festival who saw the man fall to his death. A festival official said the crowd estimate was 5,000, the largest the event has drawn.

Joining Madera police investigating the mishap will be the Federal Aviation Administration.

Read more here:

Police tape is stretched near the scene where a 65-year-old male skydiver was killed at the Pomegranate Festival on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Madera Municipal Airport in Madera, California.

MADERA, Calif. — A skydiver fell to his death Saturday afternoon at a California festival after his parachute got tangled as he tried to deploy it and his backup failed. 
The Madera Police Department said the 65-year-old man struck the ground at the Madera Municipal Airport.

A police official said there "were quite a few" people at the festival who saw the man fall to his death. Festival attendance was estimated at about 5,000.

The name of the skydiver was not released.

A witness told the Fresno Bee the man's parachute was tangled as soon as he jumped out of an aircraft for a skydiving demonstration at the Pomegranate Festival.

Linda Carbon said as he was falling, wind blew the man across the sky and he landed in the parking area.

Police said the man tried to open the backup parachute, but it would not deploy properly either.

Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident.

 - Source:


Peace from the wreckage: Cessna R172K, Tailwinds Aviation, N736KT

Survivors of 1987 plane crash near Lenado find wreckage 28 years later

Few people that have had the misfortune of being involved in a catastrophic accident desire a return to the scene of the event. Our brains are wired to help us cope with traumatic experiences, but sounds, smells and locations tend to trigger repressed memories and bring people back to that very moment when they truly believed they were going to die.

On Oct. 18, 1987, a group of four friends set out from the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport for a short sightseeing tour over Ruedi Reservoir. But an enjoyable afternoon flight quickly turned into a nightmare as they found themselves face to face with the gut-wrenching reality that they were about to crash land in a dense forest near Mount Yeckel, northeast of Aspen.

Steve Goldsmith, Kendall Christianson (now Henry), Dick Dahl and pilot Marianne Demolick were caught in a downdraft near Lenado, and found the mountain reaching up toward the undercarriage of their plane, ultimately pulling the small Cessna R172 Hawk XP single-engine plane into the trees with a fiery crash.

Miraculously, all four survived, and only one, Dahl, suffered serious injuries from second- and third-degree burns while trying to escape the crumpled aircraft.

According to an Aspen Times story from 1987, 20 people had lost their lives crashing in the vicinity of Lenado in the previous 24 years. Only one 
passenger survived in six prior crashes that took place in the area.

On Oct. 17 of this year, one day shy of the 28th anniversary of the fateful flight, Henry and Dahl hiked up into the woods near Mount Yeckel to search for the site of the crash so many years ago. Dahl had looked for the location in the late 1990s, and Henry, a long-time employee at the Aspen Daily News, struck out while trying to find it last year.

But Dahl said when the two combined their memories, they struck gold.

He said the first clue was finding trees that were broken off at the top, and then they spotted an electrical device sticking out of the ground below. Next Henry found part of the plane’s wheel and they knew they were back.

“I saw that and I knew we hit the mother lode,” Dahl said this week. “It was fun in the sense that we worked together and pooled our knowledge.”

Fateful flight

The group had rented the plane from then fixed-base operator Tailwinds Aviation at the airport for the tour. Demolick, then 32, had flown the route before and took the reins. According to an Aviation Safety magazine article from 1987, she had logged 221 total hours, including 44 in the Hawk XP, 28 of which as commanding pilot.

“Marianne was a pilot, and she’d flown this route a 100 times,” Dahl said. “But that was always with one passenger, and we had four of us.”

He added that Demolick asked all their weights, calculated the figure, and cut fuel load so the plane was light enough.

But Dahl, a pilot himself, said there were some mistakes from the start, adding that in hindsight they should have flown around the valley first to gain more elevation. He said the flight left around 3:30 p.m. and they were on the ground 15 minutes later.

“There were some pilot errors,” he said. “However, she did everything perfect after, and that is why we’re still alive today. … The mountain just outflew the plane.”

The crash occurred around 11,000 feet, and the land was climbing around 1,000 feet per mile in that area. But the plane was only gaining 285 to 300 feet per mile and they eventually got too low, Dahl said.

“We effectively could not out-climb the 
mountain,” he added. “I remember Kendall saying, ‘I don’t want to look at the moose at eye level.’”

Henry said that she could see the snow very well on the ground, and knew something wasn’t right.

“I think I said something like, ‘I didn’t come up here to look at deer tracks,’” she said.

Another costly error was that the plane approached the ridge near Sawmill Park at a 90-degree angle, and it should have been at a 45. Dahl said he then used pilot speak to ask Demolick to make sure there was a “backdoor” or way to turn around if they didn’t have enough clearance.

“I suspected we were in trouble, but I didn’t want to alarm the other passengers,” he said. “The plane just wouldn’t climb.”

Henry said she looked back and thought, “yeah, there’s no backdoor,” not understanding the true meaning of the term.

“I didn’t know they were talking about where to turn out,” she said. “In order to turn out, you lose altitude. And the ridge was long and wide.”

A federal air safety investigator later concluded that a downdraft caused the plane to lose elevation and crash.

Silence in the sky

Henry said she remembered how quiet the plane was as they descended into the treetops.

“I saw branches out of the side view, and so it was kind of rocky. But the first thing I heard was a pop, and I thought the wings flew off,” she said. “But what hit first were the wheels on the tops of the trees. … I was waiting to experience impact. So you’re thinking that everything is just going to blow up.”

Henry added that as the plane was going down, she became very “conscious of her space.” She said the next thing she knew the plane felt like it stopped, and then she was outside looking at the aircraft.

“I don’t know how I got out,” Henry said. “Then I saw it start on fire. Then Marianne came over next to me, and we’re looking at the plane together thinking it’s going to blow up because of the gas.”

Dahl also said he was surprised by how serene things were before the crash.

“Everything went quiet. We were thinking that this was it,” he said. “I started screaming after the crash because I was on fire. Trust me, I screamed afterwards.”

Henry and Demolick believed that both Goldsmith and Dahl were still inside, but then saw the former running through the woods.

“It was real quiet in the woods. It was surreal,” Henry said. “And then Steve yells ‘he’s (Dahl) going to die!’”

Dahl said that he was wedged by the seat and was being burned. He remembers someone trying to pull him out, but he was stuck.

He then grabbed a tree outside and tore himself out of the plane, breaking a few of his toes in the process.

“I escaped on adrenaline alone,” Dahl said. “I grabbed that tree and ripped myself out.”

He later would have two skin grafts for his burns, and spend two weeks in the hospital with an infection. Dahl would also read in an aviation magazine that the seats in the Cessna model they had flown in were prone to breaking loose, which was what happened and caused him to get pinned in the wreckage.

“Most people survive small plane crashes,” he said. “Where they die is in the fire afterwards.”

Dahl estimates that when the plane hit the tree that stopped it, they were only traveling at around 20 to 30 miles per hour. He said that Demolick knew exactly how to put them down in the timber, and what to hit to slow the aircraft down.

“We were very, very lucky,” Dahl said. “Marianne did everything perfect to save us.”

Finding a way off of the mountain

The group had brought emergency supplies, but those burned up inside the plane. They built a shelter, and a flaming tire was pulled out of the wreckage to ignite a campfire to keep them warm after the sun had set and the temperature plummeted.

“We got the tire to start a fire because we didn’t have any matches,” Dahl said. “We had a fire all night and it was snowing on us. The snow’s probably the only reason that the crash didn’t turn into a forest fire.”

The group placed an X on the ground in a nearby field to mark their location for searchers. But what they didn’t know was that the FBO never reported them missing.

Dahl got up the next morning before the others and started searching for Margy’s Hut, which he knew to be nearby. His shock had worn off, and the pain was kicking in and he knew then that he was in trouble.

“I hiked out because I had third-degree burns and knew I was in bad shape,” he said. “I knew there was a good chance that I would not survive another night out there.”

Dahl followed a steep trail, and ran across some locals, who then gave him a ride to the Diamond J Ranch in Meredith.

A hunter from Grand Junction stumbled upon the rest of the group, and led them down to his truck near Norrie. They too went to Diamond J and called police to tell them what had happened.

“We were real happy to see him,” Henry said with a laugh. “We jumped up and gave him a hug.”

By that time Dahl, though injured, was already getting into a helicopter to fly back to the crash site in hopes of rescuing the others.

“He was the one who was burnt and he’s the one who walked out first,” Henry said incredulously.

Dahl said that since the area is in wilderness, the wreckage had to be removed and he flew in a plane the next day to show an insurance company where it was located. The other pilots couldn’t even see the wreckage, and that’s when it hit him how dense the forest around the crash site was.

“If we would have died, the possibility of finding us would have been minute,” Dahl said.

He later sued the FBO for not reporting the group overdue.

“The National Transportation Safety Board states that if a plane that is rented is one-hour overdue, they must notify rescue,” Dahl said. “They never did. Their comment was that they thought Marianne had ‘taken the plane to Las Vegas.’”

He added that nobody knew they were missing until each of them didn’t show up for work the next day.

Moving on

Henry and Dahl each said the experience didn’t slow them down or prevent them from taking to the skies.

Dahl still flew often as a pilot, and Henry later jumped into a tiny plane to see the Nazca Lines in southern Peru.

“I’ve been able to go up again knowing that people fly all the time and the chances are pretty rare that it will happen again,” she said.

Efforts to reach Goldsmith for this story didn’t pan out, and when attempting to contact Demolick, it was learned that she died in 2009.

“She was very adventurous, she climbed mountains,” Dahl said. “It’s a real tragedy. She was a very nice person, and we all owe our lives to her.”

Henry smiled, and shed a few tears, when talking about taking a trip to Mexico years ago with Demolick.

And as for returning to the crash site, Dahl said that there was nothing foreboding about it, adding that it simply was fun. While there, he found a small piece of melted metal from the ground and took it as a keepsake.

A friend later told him that it was a piece of an airplane seat.

“There’s a 25 percent chance that it was part of the seat I was in,” Dahl said with a laugh. “After the crash, a good friend told me ‘don’t sweat the small stuff, and everything after two days ago is small stuff.’”

Original article can be found here:

NTSB Identification: DEN88LA011
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 34312.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 18, 1987 in ASPEN, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/02/1988
Aircraft: CESSNA R172K, registration: N736KT
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 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 National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:


Contributing Factors:

Beechcraft 99, N7994R, Hummingbird Air: Incident occurred November 08, 2015 at George F.L. Charles International Airport (TLPC / SLU), Saint Lucia

Hummingbird Air flights cancelled after second accident in three months

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Monday November 9, 2015 – Hummingbird Air has cancelled all passenger flights until further notice amidst an investigation into the cause of a second  accident in three months.

In the latest incident, one of the airline’s 15-seater aircraft “encountered difficulty” upon landing at the George FL Charles Airport in Castries, St. Lucia yesterday morning, according to a statement issued by the St. Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA).

SLASPA confirmed that at approximately 8:46 a.m., a  Beechcraft 99 (Hummingbird Air) veered off the runway towards the southern edge into a grassy area.

At the time of the incident the pilot was the only occupant of the plane and he reported no injuries.

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority is carrying out an investigations into the accident.

But a statement issued by Hummingbird Air also indicated that it was also carrying out its own probe.

“The company has launched an internal investigation to determine the cause of this incident. Hummingbird Air has taken the decision to cancel all passenger flights until further notice,” said the carrier which flies to Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts. St Maarten and the US and British Virgin Islands, and offers charter services to other islands.

Back in August, a Hummingbird Air plane veered off the runway in Barbuda and crashed into a nearby field, with five passengers on board, including company owner Sam Raphael.

No one was injured in that incident either and Raphael had praised the pilot for his handling of the accident.

See more at:

Hummingbird Air launches internal investigation, cancels all flights

PRESS RELEASE – There was an incident involving a Hummingbird Air aircraft on landing at the George F. L. Charles airport in Castries, St. Lucia this morning November 8, 2015.

The only soul on board was the pilot who was unharmed.

The company has launched an internal investigation to determine the cause of this incident. Hummingbird Air has taken the decision to cancel all passenger flights until further notice.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Saint Lucia bound passengers stranded in Barbados 

Passengers heading to Saint Lucia are stranded in Barbados due to the closure of the George F.L. Charles Airport here.

At about 8:46 AM this morning, a  Beechcraft 99 of Hummingbird Airlines encountered difficulty upon landing at the George F.L. Charles Airport, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway towards the southern edge into the grassy area and resulting in the closure of the airport.

Airport officials have told the Times that the airport here will remain closed for the rest of the night, and will reopen tomorrow to incoming and outgoing flights.

LIAT is reported to have as a result, routed its three Saint Lucia bound flights that were scheduled to land here to Grantley Adams International airport in Barbados.

One flight from Antigua to Saint Lucia also got cancelled.

The Times has been informed that in transit passengers will placed in hotels, while others will have to make their own arrangements.

The pilot was the only occupant of the Beechcraft 99 which veered off the airport runway here and did not sustain any injuries.

- Source:

PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) wishes to confirm at approximately 8:46 AM on Sunday, November 8, 2015, a BE99 aircraft of Hummingbird Air encountered difficulty upon landing at the George F.L. Charles Airport, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway towards the southern edge into the grassy area.

At the time of the incident the pilot in command was the only occupant of the aircraft and no injuries were reported.

Upon completion of the investigation by the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA), SLASPA will be provided with an official report of the incident and will subsequently provide an official update.

Persons scheduled to travel out of George F.L. Charles Airport today are asked to contact their respective airlines for more information.

The Authority wishes to advise that although the runway is currently closed, the airport remains open to serve customers. SLASPA apologizes for any inconvenience caused to the travelling public.

Bad luck has again struck at Hummingbird Air with another aircraft belonging to airline crash landing at the George F. Charles Airport in St Lucia on Sunday.

Reports are that the landing gear failed to extend as the plane landed, however thankfully no one was injured during the incident which received immediate attention by emergency services.

This is the second incident for the company owned by Dominican, Sam Raphael, as on Monday August seventeenth one of the airline’s planes veered of the runway and crashed into a nearby field at the Codrington Airport in Barbuda. 

The six passengers aboard that aircraft, including company owner Sam Raphael escaped unhurt.

Landing gear malfunction was also identified as the cause for the August incident which caused the plane to veer off the runway.

The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) has launched an investigation into the matter.

Hummingbird Air which commenced commercial flights in 2014 is based in Canefield.

 - Source:

A small aircraft crashed at the George F.L. Charles International Airport in Vigie, Castries Sunday morning, Nov. 8, 2015.

The pilot was the only person on board. He was not injured.

Fire officials told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the incident occurred at about 8:45 a.m. and involved a ‘private’ aircraft which veered off the runway.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the aircraft’s right landing gear malfunctioned, fire officials said.

An official said the airport’s Control Tower did not receive any calls for help prior to the arrival of the airport. However, after the plane landed in a strange way, help was put into gear.

One airport fire truck and two others from Castries, along with several ambulances, responded to the scene.

Everything is now under control and there is nothing dire, an official said.

- See more at:

Federal Aviaton Administration Stops Flights, Runway Repairs Underway: Elko Regional Airport (KEKO), Nevada

The FAA tells us that they completed their annual inspection of Elko Regional Airport on Friday and found that runway markings were missing on about 1,000 feet of the runway. Missing markings included arrows, centerline and edge markings, and taxiway lead-ins.

A lack of runway markings creates an unsafe condition, the FAA tells us, and regulations require that the airport restrict operations to areas affected.

The Elko Regional Airport immediately restricted all carrier operations to the airport, impacting Delta Air Lines Flight 7438 which had to be turned around mid-flight to Salt Lake City, Utah. Medical air ambulances and critical patient transports were also disrupted, the airport says.

Approximately 6,400 feet of runway is still properly marked but Airport Director Mark Gibbs tells us that the entire runway had to be closed to allow crews to make the repairs Saturday. 

An FAA inspector will be on site Saturday to approve reopening of that portion of the runway as soon as the work is completed. Elko Regional Airport anticipates that normal commercial air service to Elko will resume on November 9th with the arrival of Delta Air Lines flight 7438 from Salt Lake City.

Affected travelers are asked to contact Delta Air Lines reservations at 1-800-221-1212 to make any necessary changes to their travel plans.

Elko Regional Airport Director Mark Gibbs released a statement saying that the markings were obscured on October 31, 2015 as a phased component of a FAA Improvement Grant to reconstruct the roadway. Gibbs says the FAA had been notified of the obscured markings and were told to issue a Notice to Airmen to inform pilots of the non-standard runway markings. When an annual inspection was conducted November 2, 2015 the airport was notified via a Letter of Correction that the obscured markings created a significant safety issue on November 4, 2015.

The City of Elko has requested that the FAA investigate why the airport was closed despite following the FAA's guidelines while implementing the FAA funded construction project.

- Source:

ELKO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- According to the Elko Regional Airport, the airport was ordered to suspend flight operations on Thursday, after an FAA inspector determined the airport's only runway to be non compliant during an annual inspection.

In addition to weekend flights being placed on hold temporarily, the airport reports that one Delta flight had to be rerouted mid-flight and returned to Salt Lake City. Elko Regional Airport also reports that the current order affected medical air ambulances and disrupted critical patient care from Elko to Salt Lake City.

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Flights to and from Elko are on hold until Monday after an inspection found markings missing on 1,000 feet of runway.

The Elko Daily Free Press reports the FAA notified the Elko Regional Airport on Thursday that it had to close the runway. FAA Pacific division public affairs manager Ian Gregor said it's a safety issue, and that regulations require airports to mark reconstructed runways.

Markings were obscured by a fog seal applied to the runway during reconstruction that Elko Regional Airport director Mark Gibbs said was approved and largely funded by the FAA. Gibbs said the FAA had ordered the airport to inform airmen about irregular markings.

He said the airport plans to issue a formal complaint against the FAA.

SkyWest Airlines is working with inconvenienced passengers.

Information from: Elko Daily Free Press,

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N21679: Accident occurred November 07, 2015 at Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV) San Jose, Santa Clara County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 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 newly-certificated private pilot conducted a local sightseeing flight at night with friends; he was not familiar with the airport. During the initial approach to land, the pilot performed a go-around. The pilot returned to land and, during the landing roll, lost directional control of the airplane, which subsequently exited the runway and came to rest inverted. A post-accident examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane had been rented through a collaborative aircraft rental company wherein the pilot received a checkout in one location, and was permitted to fly the same make and model airplane at locations within the company’s rental network throughout the country. Given his limited overall experience, landing at night at the unfamiliar airport and operating near the maximum gross weight of the airplane could have been challenging for the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll at night, which resulted in a runway excursion.

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Jose FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 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.

On November 7, 2015, at 2040 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N21679, was substantially damaged during landing at Reid Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California. The personal flight was operated by Trade Winds Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were uninjured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot was returning to the departure airport after completing a local scenic night flight with three friends. The pilot was cleared to land runway 31R, but then requested to go around. He was then cleared again to land on runway 31R. During touchdown, the airplane departed the runway, and came to rest inverted. The pilot reported that the airplane experienced brake and rudder problems during landing. A post accident examination by an FAA inspector revealed no mechanical anomalies with the braking or control systems.

The pilot had recently obtained his private pilot certificate. At the time of the accident he had accrued approximately 59 hours total time with 7 hours of total night flight, and 3 hours of night flight within the last 90 days. He had accrued 4 hours of flight time in the last 30 days, and no hours of night flight during this time. 

The pilot reported the weight of the airplane to be 2,400 pounds at the time of the accident. The maximum gross weight of the airplane is 2,550 pounds.

The pilot rented the accident airplane through an agreement with OpenAirplane. The OpenAirplane agreement allowed the pilot to be checked out in a specific make and model airplane at one location, and fly the same make and model airplane at OpenAirplane operators throughout the United States. The pilot had completed a check out flight with OpenAirplane in the Boston, Massachusetts area, and the accident flight was his first flight since the checkout. There were no restrictions in the OpenAirplane agreement regarding night flight operations. The airplane operator, Trade Winds Aviation, provided an online Local Procedures Briefing that discussed general operations and procedures for area flights.

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 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 November 7, 2015, at 2043 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N21679, was substantially damaged during landing at Reid Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California. Trade Winds Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were uninjured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot was returning to the departure airport after completing a local scenic night flight. During touchdown, the airplane departed the runway and then came to rest inverted.

One person was injured Saturday night when a plane turned over as it was landing at Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, a captain with the San Jose Fire Department said.

Fire crews and an ambulance responded at 8:44 p.m. to the airport at 2500 Cunningham Ave. after a report that a plane was down, Capt. Peter Caponio said.

The Cessna 172S Skyhawk with four people on board was landing when a wheel went off the paved portion of the runway, Caponio said.

"The plane was inbound," Caponio said. "The landing gear went off road a little bit of the landing strip and caused the plane to tilt and it flipped over on its side."

Firefighters said when they arrived on scene all four people had already managed to crawl out.

One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, he said.