Friday, December 11, 2015

Porter Ranch stench could endanger aircraft: Federal Aviation Administration bans low-level flights over gas leak area

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an order banning low level flights over the gas leak area near Porter Ranch over concerns that “fumes from the gas leak could be ignited from the air.”

The FAA’s Notice to Airmen order was issued Wednesday and temporarily restricts aircraft from flying below 2,000 feet over the area, which has a half- mile radius in Porter Ranch, until at least March 8, 2016. The only exception being relief flights under the authority of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, according to the FAA.

Ian Gregor of the FAA  said officials requested the Temporary Flight Restriction “out of concerns that fumes from the gas leak could be ignited from the air.”

Javier Mendoza, of the Southern California Gas Co., said the restriction “was put in place to lessen the chance a low-level flight could encounter a pocket of concentrated methane.”

“Low-level flights also could present a safety risk as they may distract workers at the leak site who are often conducting delicate operations,” Mendoza said. “This is about safety. News media and other helicopters can easily see and video the work site from the half mile radius set by the FAA.”

A California state agency, meanwhile, issued a second emergency order to SoCalGas expanding on a previous directive requiring the utility to provide additional “data, daily briefings and a schedule for identified pathways to seal” a leaking natural gas storage well near Porter Ranch. The state Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources had previously issued an order to the utility on Nov. 18.

The leak was discovered Oct. 23 by crews at the Aliso Canyon Storage Field facility near Northridge. Utility officials initially said the issue would be resolved in a few days or weeks but later said the leak could actually take months to fix.

County health officials say they have received reports of residents experiencing nosebleeds, dizziness, nausea and headaches linked to the leak and have ordered SoCalGas to offer free, temporary relocation to area residents.

No evacuation order for the area has been issued but 700 families have voluntarily left the area and another 1,000 are applying for relocation services, officials said.

In addition to ordering the Gas Company to “expeditiously and aggressively pursue options to maximize the capture of leaking gas” and to provide within weeks data about the leak and schedules and methods for sealing the well, the division also announced it would convene a panel of technical experts from the Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley and Sandia national laboratories to “provide independent expertise to assist the Division in monitoring and evaluating the Operator’s actions.”

The new order comes as Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the leak.

“This gas leak is not just a smelly nuisance, it’s a public health concern,” Sherman said.

The Gas Co. announced, meanwhile, that progress is being made to stem the flow of natural gas at the storage field.

Utility officials said crews began drilling a relief well that will ultimately allow them to cap the leak, but the process is expected to take “three to four months.” Crews eventually will pump fluids and cement through the relief well into the leaking well “to stop the flow and permanently seal it,” according to a statement from the utility.

The Gas Company opened a community resource center on Wednesday for Porter Ranch residents with questions or concerns. A dedicated website,, has also been established.

In addition to offering extended stay accommodations for families seeking to temporarily relocate from Porter Ranch, the Gas Company also is offering reimbursements for customers who make their own accommodation arrangements, according to the utility.


Beechcraft A36, N3241N, Aces Aviation LLC: Accident occurred December 11, 2015 near Fayetteville Regional Airport (KFAY), Cumberland County, North Carolina


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA066

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 11, 2015 in Fayetteville, NC
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY A36, registration: N3241N
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 Minor.

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 December 11, 2015, at 1931 eastern standard time, a Beechcraft A36, N3241N, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a wooded area after a total loss of engine power near Fayetteville, North Carolina. The instrument rated private pilot and two passengers received minor injuries, and one passenger received serious injuries. Nighttime visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an Instrument Flight Rules flight plan was filed. The personal flight departed Bay Bridge Airport (W29), Stevensville, Maryland about 1730 destined for Charleston Executive Airport (JZI), Charleston, South Carolina. The airplane was operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, about two hours after takeoff the airplane was in cruise flight at 8000 feet when the engine suddenly lost power. Engine power was restored for a few seconds, and then the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power as the propeller "windmilled."

The pilot turned the airplane toward Fayetteville Regional Airport (FAY) for the forced landing, and the propeller stopped turning during the descent. Attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful.

As the airplane approached FAY, the pilot determined that he was below the Visual Approach Slope Indicator lighting glidepath and that the airplane would not reach the airport and performed a forced landing to wooded terrain.

Examination of the wreckage at the scene by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest upright on the floor of a pine forest area. The engine and mounts separated from the firewall. The left wing was crushed and curled upward from about mid-span to the wing tip. A portion of the right wing was separated outboard of the flap and was located in the debris path about 25 yards prior to the main wreckage. The landing gear and flaps were found in the up position.

The airplane and engine were subsequently examined at a recovery facility under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. Fuel was present in both main tanks and both tip tanks, the fuel selector valve functioned normally, and the auxiliary pump switch was in the on position. Examination of the engine revealed metal fragments in the oil pan and internal damage including one connecting rod separated from the crankshaft, and two other connecting rods exhibiting discoloration consistent with heat damage.

The engine was retained for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Greensboro FSDO-39

Officials say the Beechcraft A36 airplane that plummeted into a wooded, muddy area in Fayetteville on Friday night should be removed from the crash scene Tuesday.

"Usually, they're removed by a flatbed truck from a local recovery company," said Terry Williams, a spokesman with the National Transportation Safety Board. "We're not releasing who is moving it."

Williams said a preliminary report about the Beechcraft A36 crash should be released roughly seven to 10 business days after the incident.

The wreck analysis will include details about weather and conditions when the plane came to rest between trees near the 2500 block of Clark West Road between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration is assisting with the investigation, Williams said.

"We'll also check the four corners of the plane: the nose, tail and two wings," he said. "Right now, we're not saying what has been found. We're still in the very, very early stages of this investigation."

It may take up to a year before the investigation is completed and authorities know why the plane crashed close to the Cumberland County Industrial Park, he said.

The planes' fuselage remained mostly intact, but both wings were knocked off in the crash. Fuel leaked into the ground.

The Beechcraft A36 has remained 2 1/2 miles east of the Fayetteville Regional Airport. The pilot reported an engine problem and expressed doubt at making it to the runway, cutting short the scheduled trip from Stevensville, Maryland, to Charleston, South Carolina.

Local and federal authorities have remained tight-lipped on releasing the names of the pilot and his three passengers. The two men and two women who occupied the plane walked away with minor injuries, said Fayetteville Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Morgan.

The pilot and passengers were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

WTVD on Sunday reported the pilot's name as David McKee and a passenger as Erica Hoffman. Neither was listed as a patient at the hospital on Monday, a spokesman said.

Story and video:

Four people survived a plane crash east of the Fayetteville Regional Airport Friday night.

All four were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. The names of those on board, was not available.

Prior to the crash, the plane radioed to the airport its single engine had stopped working and it wasn't sure it could make the runway. Gene Booth, emergency management coordinator for the county, said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were expected to investigate.

The four on board walked out with assistance from first responders, said David Hargis, a battalion chief with the Fayetteville Fire Department. He said it took first responders about 30 minutes to locate the Beechcraft A36, whose wings were knocked off as it crashed into a muddy, wooded area. The fuselage was left mainly intact.

Hargis said the plane had two hours of fuel left. The aircraft carries fuel in the wings, and some fuel was on the ground.

"A plane crash is never routine, at least for the Fire Department, but we practice and plan for it," Hargis said.

Airport fire officials contacted city fire officials in advance of the plane's crash when they learned of its engine trouble.

Hargis said machetes and axes were used to get to the plane, which was about 100 yards off the nearest solid surface.

The crash was in the Cumberland County Industrial Park, Booth said. The location was roughly the 2500 block of Clark West Road just off Cedar Creek Road, according to scanner traffic sending emergency responders to the scene.

Kevin Arata, a spokesman for the city of Fayetteville which runs the airport, said the plane never caught fire. He said response teams in the county went into a Level 3 response after learning of its emergency while still airborne.

Responders were able to quickly find the scene in part because of a call to 911, Arata said.

The plane crashed between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Conditions at the time were clear and unseasonably warm.

According to scanner traffic, voices could be heard immediately when responders reached the scene just before 8 p.m. Kevin Morgan, assistant fire chief for the Fayetteville Fire Department, confirmed all four survivors were taken to Cape Fear Valley and were out of the aircraft by the time it was located by emergency responders.

Booth said the area has been fortunate when it comes to airplane crashes.

"The last one I went to was over in Robeson County, just over the line," Booth said. "We've been very fortunate."

The last one at Fayetteville Regional is believed to have been in February 2012, when two people survived their single-engine Mooney M20TN airplane crashing along Runway 4/22 into a grassy area. The plane struck a utility pole and flipped, destroying the aircraft.  Both occupants of the plane were treated for minor injuries at Cape Fear Valley.


Investigators this morning got their first look at the crash site of a Beechcraft A36 that went down Friday night east of Fayetteville Regional Airport.

All four people aboard the single-engine plane walked away with minor injuries. They were treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Authorities responding to the plane crash - which included the Fayetteville Fire Department, Police Department, Cumberland County Emergency Management and Cumberland County Sheriff's Office - have yet to release the names of those onboard, or any information about where the plane's flight plans.

Gene Booth, emergency management coordinator for the county, said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to investigate.

The pilot of the plane reported an engine problem and doubt of making it to the airport's runway. Airport fire officials contacted city fire officials in preparation, and a citizen's call to 911 helped them locate the plane at roughly the 2500 block of Clark West Road, which is off Cedar Creek Road near an edge of the Cumberland County Industrial Park.

The area is woody and was very wet Friday night, about 100 yards from a solid surface. The evening was clear and unseasonably warm when the crash happened between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

The plane's wings were knocked off in the crash, causing fuel to reach the ground. There was no fire and the fuselage remained mostly intact, responders to the site said.


CUMBERLAND COUNTY (WTVD) -- A small plane crashed in Cumberland County off Clark West Road.

Officials said it was two men and two women in their mid 40's.

Officials said the Beechcraft aircraft crashed in an industrial park about 6 miles from the Fayetteville Regional Airport after an in-flight emergency.

Our crew on the scene says the pilot told air traffic controllers he was having trouble and then the engine quit.

Emergency crews found the aircraft in a wooded area which is part of the industrial park. Authorities said all four people were outside of the aircraft when it was found.

The people on board have been taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Officials did not release specifics on their conditions.

The NTSB has been notified and is sending a crew to the scene.

Air India sacks 3 pilots who quit contract period, asks Directorate General of Civil Aviation to suspend their licenses

NEW DELHI: In an unprecedented move, Air India on Friday sacked three co-pilots who had resigned before completing their five-year contract period with the Maharaja. 

The airline, which is facing relentless poaching of pilots from both India and foreign airlines, has also asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to suspend the flying licenses of these three pilots.

AI chairman Ashwani Lohani cleared this move to check the massive exodus of pilots from the airline, which is putting its expansion plans in a quandary.

Lohani had on November 29 told TOI that the large-scale poaching of AI pilots, especially by a leading low cost carrier (LCC), was 'unethical' and he would do all to stop this exodus from the airline by resolving all genuine HR issues.

"These three pilots were trained by us at a cost of almost Rs 25 lakh per head. 

They had a contract to serve AI for five years but they resigned on getting a better offer. 

This kind of thing can't be permitted as we have ambitious growth plans, are getting planes and need to retain pilots that we train at a huge expense," a senior AI official said, indicating the reason for Lohani's tough move.

The official added that the three pilots were only months away from getting promoted as captains.

Private airlines have been luring AI pilots with the offer of better pay and faster career progression, meaning swifter transition from co-pilot to commander. It has lost 50 pilots to one Indian LCC alone in last one year.

But some pilots say that they can quit after giving the mandatory six-month notice to an airline under DGCA rules and that the AI action could face legal scrutiny.

 "AI must become a better airline — free from the clutches of government control — in order to retain talent. Authorities must introspect why people who can leave are doing so at the first available opportunity," said a pilot who had quit the airline some years back.

AI has about 1,500 pilots, which come in equal numbers from erstwhile Indian Airlines and erstwhile AI. 

Apart from new joinees, the maximum resignations are from IA pilots who are upset at the lack of pay parity with erstwhile AI pilots even eight years after the airline was merged. 

"We will have pay parity by mid-December, a long-pending demand in the merged airline. All genuine employee grievances are being addressed," Lohani had told TOI recently.

AI currently has about 110 aircraft. It is planning add at least 50 planes in coming months and needs to retain its pilots apart from inducting new ones to keep the fleet flying. 

The airline is also planning to make its new entrants sign a bond of up to Rs 1 crore, which they will have to pay if they quit before a certain period.

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Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, C-FKDL, Wasaya Airways: Fatal accident occurred December 11, 2015 near Pickle Lake Airport, Ontario, Canada

NTSB Identification: CEN16WA063
Accident occurred Friday, December 11, 2015 in Pickle Lake, Ontario, Canada, Canada
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On December 11, 2015, about 0910 eastern standard time, a Canadian registered Cessna 208B, C-FKDL, impacted terrain approximately 15 nautical miles north of Pickle Lake, Ontario, Canada. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the government of Canada. Further information may be obtained from:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB)
Place du Centre
200 Promenade du Portage, 4th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 1K8

Phone: 1-819-994-4255
Fax: 1-819-953-9586

This report is for informational purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

THUNDER BAY – Transport Canada has started their investigation of the crash of Wasaya Airways Flight 127. The investigation at the initial level is expected to last about ten days. It will likely be up to a year before the investigation report is released.

Transport Canada has released images of the Cessna Caravan aircraft at the crash site.

The initial investigation will cover the training of the pilot, the condition and history of the aircraft in terms of mechanical issues and maintenance. Weather conditions are also going to be investigated.

There has been a lot of discussion on some of the professional pilot forums over this incident.

The crash came on Friday and initial search and rescue and recovery operations were delayed by weather conditions in the area which included freezing rain and snow.

The flight crashed north of Pickle Lake enroute to Wakekeka First Nation. Wasaya Airways Flight 127 was a cargo flight, there were no passengers on board.

The pilot did not report a Mayday, and the body of pilot was found at the crash site.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada will arrive today at the site of a cargo plane crash that claimed the life of its pilot.

Nick Little was found unresponsive and was unable to be resuscitated by search and rescue crews late Friday night.

Little had been piloting a Wasaya Airways cargo plane bound for Wapekeka First Nation, but was reported overdue and no longer in radio communication Friday morning.

The plane was spotted hours later by Canadian Forces Search and Rescue based in Trenton, who reported that the aircraft was down and stationary about 28 kilometres north of Pickle Lake. Rescue crews reached the site on ground around 10:50 p.m. Friday and remained on site until Little’s body could be airlifted out.

Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Roxanne Daoust said the investigators will be examining and documenting the wreckage.

The pilot of Wasaya Airways Flight 127 that went missing on Friday was found dead by search and rescue crews.

It took searchers several hours to reach the downed plane, with freezing rain hampering efforts on the ground. The plane had been spotted from the air much earlier in the day.

“Upon arrival, crews found the lone occupant of the aircraft, our Capt. Nick Little, not responsive and he could not be resuscitated,” said Sharon Smith-Baxter, in a release issued early Saturday morning.

“Rescue crews are on site now and will remain on site through the night awaiting additional resources to airlift our fallen crew member home.”

The plane, a Cessna 208B cargo aircraft, was flying between Pickle Lake and Angling Lake. It was overdue and when the pilot did not respond to radio calls, a search party was formed.

The plane left Pickle Lake at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Canadian Forces Search and Rescue began their air reconnaissance at about 1:15 p.m. approximately 28 kilometres northeast of Pickle Lake.

A helicopter was unable to reach the site because of heavy icing. Just before 4 p.m. the OPP launched a ground rescue effort, arriving on foot at about 10:50 p.m.

“We are devastated by the loss of Capt. Little,” said Wasaya president and CEO Michael Rodyniuk. “We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague. Our thoughts are with Nick’s family.”


Wasaya Airways:

The pilot of a cargo plane that crashed Friday north of Pickle Lake has been found dead.

A media release issued shortly after midnight by Wasaya Airways confirmed the bad news after a long day of trying to reach the crash site.

The release said search and rescue crews going in on ground finally reached the site at approximately 10:50 p.m. The pilot, Nick Little was found, but was not responsive and could not be resuscitated. Crews were remaining on the site through the night until Little’s body could be airlifted out.

“We are devastated by the loss of Capt. Little. We have lost a dear friend and valued colleague,” Wasaya Airways president and CEO Michael Rodyniuk said in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick’s family.”

Flight 127, a Cessna 208B cargo plane, left Pickle Lake Friday morning enroute to the Wapekeka First Nation, but was reported overdue and no longer in radio contact as of about 9:20 a.m. Canadian Forces Search and Rescue based in Trenton advised police about 2 1/2 hours later that the aircraft was down and stationary in the Pickle Lake area.

A Wasaya news release issued Friday afternoon said that search and rescue aircraft spotted what appeared to be Flight 127, about 28 kilometres north of Pickle Lake.

Inclement weather hampered efforts to reach the crash site.


Wasaya Airways :

Pilot flies Zim flag high

Captain Matambanadzo Chakoreka

The name Captain Matambanadzo Chakoreka may not ring a bell to anyone, especially ordinary Zimbabweans.

In the aviation sector, the captain is a legend who deserves all the applause as he is sending shock-waves in the Diaspora. Captain Chakoreka is not just a pilot, but he captains one of the world’s largest planes, the Airbus A380 at Emirates.

Naturally, he is excited to be in the cockpit of the gigantic metallic bird.

“It’s amazing. It flies very well. Wherever you go, its presence causes heads to turn. It encompasses technology, comfort and provides the pilot with a whole wealth of information,” Capt Chakoreka says.

This is a story about a Zimbabwean breaking new ground all over the world.

Emirates has 67 A380s in service with 73 new A380 aircraft on order while covering 35 A380 destinations across the world.

According to leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, the A380 is designed for the 21st century aviation industry and its unique size allows airlines to maximize their revenue potential through an optimized, segmented cabin – boosting their contribution to profit by up to 65 percent per flight.

Airbus adds that the A380 has been winning over business and leisure passengers alike since its service introduction in 2007, providing levels of comfort and reliability that have led travelers to specifically request flights on Airbus’ 21st century flagship – which is in operation with carriers around the globe.

“The double-deck A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft flying today, with capacity to carry 544 passengers in a comfortable four-class configuration, and up to 853 in a single-class configuration that provides wider seats than its competitor,” Airbus says on its official website.

And Capt Chakoreka is a skipper on the Emirates Airbus fleet, specializing on the A380 having worked for the airline for the past nine years.

His has been a journey of hard work and prosperity.

“I trained at a private flying school on the outskirts of Harare located at Charles Prince Airport called Guthrie Aviation.

“On completion of my CPL (commercial pilot’s license) jobs were hard to come by so I taught ground school for a couple of months until I landed my first job with a company called Bush Pilots,” the captain says.

“That was short lived because the company closed before I even got my first paycheck. A few months later in December, 1997, I got a job with Southern Cross Aviation based in Victoria Falls,” he says.

Capt Chakoreka, flew as a bush pilot for two years covering Botswana, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe, before joining the national airliner Air Zimbabwe as a second officer in 1999.

“That position was dissolved before I completed my training which paved the way for my position as a First Officer on the B737,” Capt Chakoreka says.

“I did that for four years then was promoted to Captain. I served as a Captain on the B737 for two years,” he says.

He joined Emirates as a First Officer on the A330 and served for five years then became Captain on the A330/340.

“Just under a year ago I moved onto the A380.”

Captain Chakoreka was born in Zambia.

His family moved back to Zimbabwe when he was four-years-old.

“In the mid-80s my father took on a job to work in Algeria, so I spent my school holidays in Algiers. The family however, returned to Zimbabwe in 1999,” he says.

The father of three, two girls and a boy, says his family is proud that he works for one of the world’s best airlines in the world.

While work and family commitments have limited his visits to Zimbabwe, the country holds a special place in Capt Chakoreka’s heart.

“On joining Emirates I used to visit Zimbabwe regularly because it was easier then, just me and my wife. Now with kids it requires more co-ordination with school holidays and also we were a bit homesick, but these days once or twice a year,” Capt Chakoreka says.

He also has fond memories of Zimbabwe.

“I think my days as a bush pilot stand out because of the places I got to see and experience in Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Kariba.

“I remember tourists would marvel at how clear the sky was and the array of stars, the beauty of the sunsets in the national parks. I now understand what they meant,” he says.

Capt Chakoreka, who describes himself as a people person, however picks Uganda as his favorite place on earth.

“I love meeting different people in the country. They stand out as very warm, extremely kind-hearted people. Their Tilapia fish is divine and their fruits, especially the mangoes, are to die for,” he says.

“However, Dubai is an amazing city that is constantly growing and keeps trying new things. Expect to be wowed by innovation, creativity and always defying the ‘can’t’ syndrome or ‘it’s not possible.’”

Capt Chakoreka describes his experience working for Emirates as amazing and challenging considering that his knowledge prior to joining Emirates was limited to Southern Africa.

“My time at Emirates has been amazing in the sense that I have been and continuously get to see different countries, various cultures, flying modern aircraft.

“However, the learning curve was steep. Many things were new to me because of the environment I used to operate in. For example dealing with snow and ice, fog, accents and communicating predominantly via email. I was so used to phone calls or at least face-to-face,” he says.

Capt Chakoreka feels blessed to be working for the Emirates where his nationality has never been a hindrance or an obstacle to progress his career within the airline.

“The opportunities have been presented to me and it was up to me to take them if I wanted them. It’s a first choice because of what it offers.

“The aviation sector is riddled by company closures, redundancies and downsizing. Emirates is at the other end of the spectrum.

“It offers job security because of its great expansion agenda and because it is very profitable.

“It offers good timely career progression because of the future plans. Its route network is global, therefore flying is not monotonous,” he said.

Capt Chakoreka also believes Zimbabweans in the country and the Diaspora can also use the world’s fastest growing airline.

“Zimbabweans are now so spread out globally so flying Emirates for Zimbabweans is extremely beneficial because of the vast network that Emirates covers.

“Secondly transiting through Dubai is hassle-free because as Zimbabweans we don’t need transit visas compared to other hubs that we have had to use before,” he said.

He believes Zimbabweans can take advantage of Emirates’ network across the globe.

“They can choose England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada for Zimbabweans travelling from these countries going home on holidays as many have settled in these countries,” Capt Chakoreka says.

“For business people the Asian destinations are very popular such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Bangkok and Hong Kong as a lot of people are now engaged in buying and selling of goods since the prices are favourable in these areas.”

Emirates has serviced the Harare destination since 2012 and Capt Chakoreka believes the airline made the right business decision to fly to Zimbabwe.

“Emirates is a brand that catches people’s attention, so the benefits I believe are two-fold.

On the part of Emirates, it gives a wider choice for customers in the sense that it has a presence in the major cities of the world but it doesn’t stop there: it also covers other smaller cities.

“On the part of Zimbabwe the brand Emirates, brings global recognition to Zimbabwe and causes people to wonder ‘what’s in Zimbabwe that causes Emirates to fly there?’” he says.

Zimbabwe also is a world class tourist destination, according to Captain Chakoreka, and the wild-life is breath taking.

“The Hwange National Park and Gonarezhou are just a few of the national parks one can visit.

“Victoria Falls is a must-see attraction. It has so much wildlife, water sports (white water rafting), Great Zimbabwe ruins, Matopos Hills.

“The Matopo are balancing rocks that will leave you in awe as to how they stand.

“The lower Zambezi River in the Mana Pools area is also great. For art enthusiasts the stone carvings are worth taking a look at,” he says.

Capt Chakaroka spends a lot of time with his family when he is not handling the gigantic metal bird at work.

He tries to keep fit through jogging and walking when time permits.

The Airbus A380 Fact File

The A380 is 15 tonnes lighter than it would be if made entirely of metal.

The 4400m2 surface of the A380 is covered in three layers of paint weighing around 500kg.

During take-off the A380 wing will flex upwards by over 4m.

The air in the A380 cabin is changed every two minutes, and the temperature can be selected between 18 and 30 degrees.

An A380 takes off or lands every three minutes.


Beech A36 Bonanza, N72054: Fatal accident occurred December 11, 2015 near Nemacolin Airport (PA88), Farmington, Wharton Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania


NTSB Identification: ERA16FA064 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 11, 2015 in Farmington, PA
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N72054
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On December 11, 2015, at approximately 1420 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36; N72054, was Destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain after a loss of control during a return to the airport, after takeoff from Nemacolin Airport (PA88), Farmington, Pennsylvania, The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, destined for Montgomery County Airport (GAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland.

According to witness statements, after departure from runway 23 at PA88, the landing gear on the airplane was observed to retract, and the airplane "made a sudden turn like it was trying to turn around." The landing gear then extended into the down position. The airplane was next observed turning onto a close in, left base leg for runway 23 "pretty low" to the ground, about 800 yards from the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Outdoor Animal Exhibits Area, and then was lost from sight as it passed behind the resort's Panoramic Pavilion. Moments later the sound of the airplane impacting trees and then the ground was heard, and a "fireball" and smoke was observed to rise into the air.

The airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded area located next to the 11th fairway of the resort's Links Golf Course and was subject to a postcrash fire.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane had broken apart after striking trees in a left wing down, nose low attitude. During the impact sequence, the main cabin then traveled approximately 152 feet before impacting the forest floor and coming to rest, facing the opposite direction of travel, with the aft fuselage and empennage lying behind it in an inverted position. The engine, left outboard wing, right wing flap, right main landing gear, and engine cowlings, were all separated from their mounting positions and were strewn throughout the accident site. Further examination also revealed the presence of propeller strikes on broken off tree branches and tree trunks that littered the ground, along with areas of burned underbrush and fire damaged trees.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear was in the down position, and all major portions of the airplane's structure were present at the accident site. No evidence of any preimpact failure of the airplane structure was discovered.

Examination of the flight control system revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure or malfunction and flight control continuity was able to be established from the flight control surfaces, to the breaks in the system, and from the breaks in the system, to the rudder pedals and control wheels.

Examination of the fuel system revealed that all four fuel caps were closed and locked, and the fuel selector valve was in the left main tank position.

Examination of the propeller and engine also revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure or malfunction that would have precluded normal operation. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange and a circumferential fracture just aft of the propeller flange was present. All three blades exhibited S-bending, twisting, and chord wise scratching. Oil was present in the rocker boxes and oil sump, and the oil filter was absent of debris. Crankshaft and valve train continuity was confirmed and compression and suction was observed on all six cylinders. Examination of the interior of the cylinders with a lighted borescope did not reveal evidence of any preimpact damage to the piston domes, cylinder walls, or valves. Both magnetos were functional, and produced spark at all towers.

Examination of the remains of the utility doors which were located on the aft right side of the fuselage and the forward cabin door which was located on the forward right side of the fuselage revealed that the majority of the doors structures had been burned away. Further examination revealed however, that the locking mechanisms were made of steel, were present.

Examination of the utility doors locking mechanism did not show any evidence of malfunction or failure.

Examination of the forward cabin door revealed that the upper latching mechanism (hook) was not fully extended, and the slot in the upper fuselage frame that the hook engaged when the door was closed, showed no evidence of tear-outs. Further examination also revealed that the door handle mechanism was not fully in the locked position. The bayonet which engaged the lower door sill was not recovered.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane, and a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for helicopter and instrument helicopter. His most recent application for a FAA third-class medical certificate was dated February 22, 2014. The pilot reported that he had accrued approximately 3,261 total hours of flight experience, of which 2,663 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1984. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on November 11, 2015. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 4,448.5 total hours of operation, and the engine had accrued approximately 1,158.8 total hours of operation since major overhaul.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Allegheny PFSDO-03

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Terry Carlson

Erick Carlson loved to fly and especially liked to fly with his father, who was a certified pilot, a cousin said.

“Flying was one of his passions,” said the cousin, William “Billy” Wakeham, 28, of Vancouver, Wash.

Carlson, 27, of Rockville, Md., died at 5:20 p.m. Saturday at UPMC Mercy, Uptown. He was the only survivor of a plane crash Friday near the Nemacolin Woodland resort in Fayette County that claimed the life of his father and one of Erick Carlson's best friends.

Terry Carlson, 68, of Kensington, Md., and Jason Willems, 26, of Maryland died when the Beech A36 Bonanza plane crashed not far from a private airstrip owned by Nemacolin Woodlands.

Fayette Coroner Dr. Phillip Reilly said he is not releasing the cause of death for Terry Carlson and Willems pending further investigation and contacting family members.

Terry Carlson was a managing director and Willems was a consultant at Capital Edge, a consulting firm based in Reston, Va., that has offices in Sewickley, Denver and San Diego. It provides consulting services to private companies that contract government agencies. Willems' LinkedIn page states that he has been with the company since February.

Wakeham said he didn't know why the trio were in Pennsylvania and why Erick was with them. Erick Carlson died of burns, according to a supervisor at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Erick Carlson loved all kinds of outdoor adventure, from skydiving to skiing, said Wakeham, who said he saw his cousin most recently last summer.

“He touched everybody's life who met him,” Wakeham said Sunday.

Kim Carlson, Erick Carlson's mother and the wife of Terry Carlson, is “devastated,” Wakeham said.

The crash occurred at 2:55 p.m. Friday in a heavily wooded section of Wharton, where the resort is located. The plane had left from the airstrip, and witnesses said it caught fire upon impact. Torn metal was strewn over a large area of rough terrain near a resort golf course.

The Beech A36 Bonanza plane was registered to Terry Carlson, a veteran pilot certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The National Transportation Safety Board has an investigator on the site and expects to release information Monday about the plane's destination, said Terry Williams, a spokesman for NTSB. The evaluation of the accident could take a year to complete, a safety board spokesman said.

Williams said the safety board could not confirm reports that one of the plane's doors came off after takeoff and hit the plane's wings, forcing it down. It still is early in the investigation, Williams said.

Resort officials have not disclosed whether the men had been guests or attended an event at Nemacolin.

Jeff Nobers, a corporate spokesman for Nemacolin Woodlands, could not be reached for comment Sunday.


The two men who died in a plane crash at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort were employees for a consulting firm based in Reston, Va., the company confirmed Saturday.

“With a heavy heart, Capital Edge Consulting announces the death of team members Terry Carlson and Jason Willems in a fatal plane crash Friday afternoon,” Capital Edge consulting said in a statement. “Erick Carlson, the third passenger, is in critical condition and is currently being treated for his injuries.”

The company has offices in Sewickley, Denver and San Diego. It provides consulting services for private companies that contract with government agencies, including the Air Force.

Officials from UPMC Mercy were not available to discuss Erick Carlson's condition.

“We are all devastated at the loss of these two Capital Edge family members,” Capital Edge CEO and Managing Director Chad Braley said in a statement. “We ask for your understanding and privacy for our team and the families as we all mourn this loss and pray for the recovery of Erick Carlson and the impacted families.”


FARMINGTON, Pa —  Two men were killed and a third man severely burned when a small plane crashed at the posh Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania.

First responder dispatch calls reveal emergency crews were on the scene of a plane crash near Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in minutes.

Shortly after the Beech 36 Bonanza took off from the resort's private airstrip, one of the doors on the plane malfunctioned, came off and hit the plane’s wing. The plane then crashed, hitting trees and catching fire.

Pilot Terry Carlson, of Kensington,. Maryland., and Jason Willems, 26, of Silver Spring, Maryland., died in the crash. Terry Carlson's son Erik Carlson, 27, of Rockville, Maryland., survived the crash and was flown to Mercy Hospital with severe burns.

Two people died and one was injured when a small aircraft crashed Friday afternoon in a forested area off of Woodcock Road near a private airstrip owned by the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, according to a Fayette County dispatcher.

“A Beech 36 Bonanza crashed about one-half mile from Nemacolin Airport in Farmington, Pa., at about 2:15 p.m. today,” Jim Peters of the Federal Aviation Administration said in an email. “The accident occurred shortly after the aircraft took off from the private airstrip.”

An aerial photo of the site showed the plane broken into several pieces in a broad area just inside a tree line next to a field. A medical helicopter was called to the scene for treatment of the injured person, who was flown to UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh, the dispatcher said. The Fayette County coroner was also called.

Brian VanSickle, the Farmington Volunteer Fire Chief, told reporters at the resort that he and four fellow firefighters were hunting within several hundred yards from where the plane crashed.

“It sounded like an engine malfunction,” he said.

“I didn't know what it was. The woods filled with white smoke and we could hear bystanders hollering,” VanSickle said.

VanSickle said he and the other firefighters rushed to the crash scene where several resort security staffers were already on the scene.

He said the one surviving occupant had self-extricated. He didn't specify who the victim was.

VanSickle said he did not get a chance to speak with the victim before he or she was transported by helicopter to UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The two dead people were pronounced dead at the scene by county coroner's office personnel.

Pennsylvania State Police have secured the scene until federal investigators arrive Saturday morning. Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board personnel are expected to arrive early Saturday.

Peters would not confirm casualties or injuries.

Resort employees during the day were directing non-emergency personnel and visitors away from the site of the crash, which they said was in a “very hard to access” area at the resort.

Monte Hansen, managing director at the resort, said there was no public access to the wooded site where the plane crashed, so access was limited to emergency personnel only.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this accident. We are working with first responders and will provide more information as soon as it becomes available,” Hansen said.

Officials have not released the names of the people on board at the time the private, four-passenger aircraft crashed. The single-engine aircraft is registered to Terry A. Carlson of Kensington, Md., according to FAA records.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash with the assistance of FAA investigators, according to NTSB spokesman Terry Williams. He said determining a probable cause of the accident will take approximately a year.

The private airstrip at the 2,000-acre resort about 62 miles southeast of Pittsburgh is 3,845-feet long and 49-feet wide, according to the resort's website. There is also a warning to pilots that the airstrip is closed from dusk to dawn each day and during bad weather conditions.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the following statement:

A Beechcraft BE36 aircraft crashed about one-half mile from Nemacolin Airport in Farmington, PA at about 2:15 pm today. The accident occurred shortly after the aircraft took off from the private airstrip.  Check with local authorities on the condition of the three people on board. The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will determine the probable cause of the accident.

Statement of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort:

This afternoon at approximately 2:15 p.m., a Beech 36 Bonanza airplane leaving Nemacolin’s airfield crashed after takeoff in a residential area adjacent to our resort’s golf course.

There are reports of fatalities, but we have no official confirmation of damages, injuries or fatalities. We are working with first responders and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

There is no public access to the crash site as fire and public safety officials continue their work.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this accident.

Story, video and photo gallery:

Managing director Monte Hansen speaks to the media about a plane crash that killed two people on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2015, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington. 

Farmington fire chief Brian Van Sickle speaks to the media about a Beech 36 Bonanza crash that killed two people on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2015, at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.