Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Piper PA-32R-301T Saratoga II TC, N323PA: Fatal accident occurred December 22, 2015 in Castro Valley, California

John J. Sacco: http://registry.faa.gov/N323PA

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA042 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 22, 2015 in Castro Valley, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA32R, registration: N323PA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On December 22, 2015, about 1127 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA32R-301T, N323PA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Castro Valley, California, while conducting an instrument approach to Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK), Oakland, California. The private pilot was fatally injured. Instrument meteorological conditions were present in the area, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Lincoln Municipal Airport (LHM), Lincoln, California, about 1050. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

Preliminary air traffic control (ATC) radar and radio communication data from the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that about 1122, ATC cleared the airplane for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach to runway 28R at OAK. The pilot was instructed to turn right to a heading of 260 degrees to intercept the localizer, and to descend and maintain an altitude of 3,400 feet until established on the approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance and began descending, but did not initiate the right turn. ATC subsequently contacted the pilot and again provided a heading to intercept the localizer. The pilot acknowledged and the airplane turned, but continued to track toward the airport south of the localizer course. About 1125, ATC asked the pilot if the airplane was established on the localizer, to which the pilot replied, "I'm re-establishing." When the controller asked the pilot if he was receiving the glideslope indication, the pilot stated that he was "off glideslope" and "too high." At this time, the airplane's altitude was 2,600 feet; the minimum altitude for that segment of the approach was 3,400 feet.

The controller issued a low altitude alert, cancelled the approach clearance, and instructed the pilot to turn right to a heading of 300 degrees and to climb and maintain an altitude of 4,000 feet. The pilot acknowledged, however, the airplane began a left turn to the south and did not climb. ATC subsequently instructed the pilot to turn north to a heading of 360 degrees, and asked the pilot to verify that the airplane was climbing and turning north. The pilot replied "360 and climbing." The airplane made a right turn to the north and climbed to 3,600 feet before it began descending. Shortly after, during a partially-blocked transmission, the pilot indicated that he was "losing it." No further transmissions were received from the accident airplane, and radar contact was lost about 1 minute later.

The accident site was located on a heavily-wooded hillside about 12 nautical miles southeast of OAK, at an elevation of about 1,400 feet. The initial impact point was identified by several fallen trees and large branches. From the initial impact point, the wreckage path extended downhill about 300 feet on a magnetic heading of about 330 degrees. The cockpit and cabin area was largely consumed by a post-crash fire. Terrain at the accident site, as well as the heavy fragmentation of the wreckage, precluded thorough examination; the wreckage was recovered to a secure facility for examination at a later date. 

The 1126 automated weather observation at Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK), Livermore, California, located about 8 miles east of the accident site, included wind from 260 degrees at 15 knots, 10 miles visibility, broken cloud layers at 1,300 and 3,200 feet, temperature 15 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27

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


John Sacco
~

CASTRO VALLEY -- Nightfall and weather conditions have put off efforts to recover a pilot's body among wreckage believed to belong to a small plane that went down Tuesday afternoon near the Sunol and Castro Valley border.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ray Kelly cited the plane's location in a rugged and deep canyon off Palomares Road, as well as recent rainy weather conditions.

The Federal Aviation Administration and NTSB National Transportation Safety Board "are aware of the situation," Kelly said Tuesday evening. "They have been notified due to terrain and nightfall that we are not going to recover wreckage until morning. As you know, rains and winds are high today, which creates safety concerns for us. The fact that we found the site is a miracle given the weather."

Kelly said sheriff's deputies will remain to secure the scene overnight and that safety crews will begin efforts early Wednesday with Alameda County Fire Department crews and NTSB personnel.

Air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact with the pilot of a Piper PA-32 single-engine plane around 11:30 a.m. as the plane was en route from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland, according to Federal Aviation Administration public affairs spokesman Ian Gregor.

The aircraft was about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport when contact was lost, Gregor said.

The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft near Sunol at 12:02 p.m., fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

Knowles said a single body was found at the crash site Tuesday afternoon.

Two Alameda County Fire Department firefighters suffered injuries during the search. The firefighters were evaluated at the hospital and returned to duty Tuesday night.

Alameda County Fire Department, Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, CalFire, East Bay Regional Park District police and fire and Paramedics Plus crews joined efforts to find the plane off Palomares Road, Knowles said.

East Bay Regional Park District spokeswoman Carolyn Jones said the district's helicopter, Eagle, was part of Tuesday's search.

"Around 12:30 p.m., the FAA called us and the Alameda County Sheriff asking for assistance in finding the plane," Jones said. "They know all those trails, the staff that works up there knows every square inch of that place. The helicopter crews comb the land regularly to look for lost people or marijuana grows."

Just after 2:30 p.m., searchers put out a call to East Bay fire agencies for help with the search process.

"It's so those available would come out to help support the management of the incident," Knowles said. "The other difficult part is that it's a somewhat remote area."

Story and video:  http://www.contracostatimes.com






Crews late Tuesday suspended the recovery of a small plane that crashed in a rural area of Alameda County.

A body was also found at the scene of the wreckage and officials believe it is likely the pilot and owner of the plane, 60-year-old John Sacco.

Search crews located the wreckage earlier in the afternoon on Palomares Road in Castro Valley, Alameda County Fire Department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

At 11:25 a.m., the plane was traveling at 74 knots, but slowed dramatically to 39 knots a minute later, sources told NBC Bay Area. The pilot reportedly lost contact with air traffic control three minutes later, sources said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact with the plane, a Piper PA-32, about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport around 11:30 a.m.

The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft, which was traveling from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland, at 12:02 p.m., Knowles said. 

Sources said that the plane's tail number is N323PA. The single-engine aircraft belongs to Sacco, a well-known businessman in the Sacramento-area, who was appointed to the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board in August.

Sacco's LinkedIn profile indicates that he owns Earthshine Consulting, which is based in Rocklin. There is no word yet on whether he was flying the plane when it went down.

Firefighters from both the Alameda County and Livermore-Pleasanton fire departments searched for the plane with assistance from Cal Fire, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and East Bay Regional Park District, Knowles said. Officials, unable to use choppers due to inclement weather, instead relied on ground crews and a drone to look for the plane.

"The best situation for us to find a plane is to deploy another aircraft to find it," Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said. "But today with the fog and the rain made it very difficult."

Two Alameda County firefighters suffered non life-threatening injuries during the ground search for the downed plane.

It is not known what caused the small plane to crash near the Sunol and Castro Valley border. Aviation expert Mike McCarron said there are many factors, including weather, that come into play when an aircraft goes down.

"It's very changeable," McCarron said of weather conditions. "It's a critical factor for any tpe of plane, whether it be commercial or general."

Tuesday's incident comes two days after another single-engine plane, carrying a family of five from Gilroy, crashed near Bakersfield.

Crews are scheduled to resume recovery efforts of the plane wreckage in Castro Valley on Wednesday morning.

Story and video:  http://www.nbcbayarea.com



CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Efforts to recover the body of a pilot after his small plane crashed in Alameda County just miles from Oakland International Airport are on hold Tuesday night.

Sheriff's deputies say the plane went down in steep terrain. That, combined with the darkness and the recent rain, will delay the operation until Wednesday morning.

John Sacco was on his way to Oakland from Lincoln in Placer County. He lost contact with air traffic control around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Search crews found the wreckage in a deep canyon near Palomares Road in Castro Valley.

Officials believe weather may have played a role in the crash.

"It's a fairly large area of wreckage, looks like the plane may have clipped some treetops before crashing into the ground. It's a very rough, difficult terrain. It's probably had 3 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, so it's very muddy, slippery, difficult to get to," Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. spokesperson J.D. Nelson said.



Deputies will remain to secure the scene overnight.

Story and video:  http://abc7news.com




ALAMEDA COUNTY (CBS SF) — The pilot of a small plane who was presumed dead after the plane crashed in a rural area of Castro Valley Tuesday has been identified as John Sacco, according to family.

Sacco, a resident of Rocklin, was the sole person on board the single-engine plane, family told KPIX 5.


Crews recovered the wreckage of the plane off Palomares Road Tuesday afternoon. The plane was found in bushy terrain and crews are working on determining what resources are needed to recover it, county fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.


The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office will be taking over the recovery efforts, Knowles said.


Fire crews started looking for the Piper PA-32 single-engine plane after air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot at about 11:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.


Alameda County Fire Officials said that Sacco reported having engine trouble just before losing contact with air traffic controllers.


The plane was en route from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland but was lost about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport, FAA officials said.


The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft near Sunol at 12:02 p.m. and began a ground search for it since fog prevented them from searching by air, Knowles said.


Fire officials said at about 3:45 p.m. that firefighters and sheriff’s deputies had located the wreckage of the plane.


Two firefighters were injured while searching for the plane, one with a leg injury and another with a shoulder injury, Knowles said. Neither injury is considered life-threatening.


Firefighters with the Alameda County department, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, Oakland fire and Cal Fire assisted with the search along with the sheriff’s office and the East Bay Regional Park District.


Story and video:  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com




SUNOL (KRON) — Fire crews are looking for a possibly crashed aircraft in the Sunol area of Alameda County Tuesday afternoon.

At around 3:45 p.m., the Alameda County Fire Department tweeted wreckage from the missing plane has been located near Palomares Road in Castro Valley. The plane was found in bushy terrain.


The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft in the area at 12:02 p.m.


The pilot of the plane is presumed dead, a fire spokeswoman said.ktxlpilot


Family identified the pilot as John Sacco. Family members said he owns an environmental consulting firm called Earthshine Consulting.


The family also said he usually flies to the Bay Area for business. Sacco was described as very experienced with flying planes.


The remains have not yet been officially identified by authorities.


A body found at the scene of a small plane crash in a rural area of Alameda County today is believed to be the pilot’s, a fire spokeswoman said.


Air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot of a Piper PA-32 single-engine plane at about 11:30 a.m. as the plane was en route from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesperson with Federal Aviation Administration.


The plane was about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport, FAA officials said.


Images from the scene show heavy fog in the area.


Crews are still working to confirm the reports and find the aircraft. Firefighters from both the Alameda County department and the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department are searching for it, fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles.


Two firefighters were injured in the search, but the injuries are not life-threatening.



The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office will be taking over the recovery efforts, Knowles said.

Story and video:  http://kron4.com


CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KTVU/BCN) - Alameda County Fire crews reported Tuesday afternoon that they had located the wreckage from a missing single engine plane off of Palomares Road in Castro Valley. Officials say the body found near the wreckage is presumed to be the pilot's. 

The Sheriff's department confirms he was the only person on board. Family members confirmed to a Fox TV station affiliate in Sacramento that the pilot's identity was that of 60-year-old John Sacco of Rocklin. He was an industrial hygienist and safety engineer for Earthshine Consulting.

Crews won’t be able to recover the body until the weather clears, possibly on Wednesday. First responders said heavy fog was a major issue in their search for wreckage. Dozens of firefighters, deputies and other personnel, hiked, used ATVs and even a drone in their search for the missing plane. 

Photo Wreckage from single engine plane found in Castro Valley, pilot identified
Air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot of a Piper PA-32 single-engine plane at about 11:30 a.m. as the plane was en route from Lincoln in Placer County to Oakland, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It looks like the plane may have clipped some treetops before crashing into the ground," said J.D. Nelson, Alameda County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman. He added it was difficult terrain. 

The plane was about 12-miles east of Oakland International Airport, FAA officials said.

The Alameda County Fire Department received reports of a downed aircraft near Sunol at 12:02 p.m., fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

Alameda County Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Kramm said they found the wreckage after spotting a small amount of smoke. He said there was heavy timber, brush and a muddy slope. 

"It was a heavy impact," Kramm said. 

Story and video:  http://www.ktvu.com


An Alameda County sheriff’s official said the sole occupant of a single-engine plane believed to have been en route from Lincoln was found dead Tuesday afternoon in the wreckage near Castro Valley.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the plane was found in pieces in a hilly, wooded area about 4 p.m. He said the only person on board, a man, was deceased. Nelson said the man has not been identified, and he said the body might not be brought out until Wednesday morning, explaining that the wreckage is in a precarious location. Two firefighters suffered injuries trying to reach the site, he said.

A family member confirmed that the registered owner of the plane is John J. Sacco of Earthshine Consulting and said Sacco had been unreachable by phone.

Fire and law enforcement agencies had been searching the unincorporated area of Alameda County for an airplane that was reported in distress Tuesday morning.

Aisha Knowles, spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department, said the pilot of a single-engine aircraft radioed air traffic controllers in Oakland that the plane was experiencing an engine problem. The department reported shortly before 4 p.m. that the wreckage had been found off Palomares Road.

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact with a Piper PA-32 about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. He said the FAA issued an alert notice, the first step in initiating a search.

Alameda County fire officials said limited visibility in the area prevented an air search

Story and video: http://www.sacbee.com




SUNOL, Calif. (AP) —A small plane that disappeared Tuesday while traveling to Oakland was found crashed hours later, and a body has been found among the wreckage, the Alameda County Fire Department said.

The wreckage of the plane from Lincoln was found in Castro Valley Tuesday afternoon.

The plane was found in bushy terrain, and crews are working to determine what resources are needed to recover it, county fire spokeswoman Aisha Knowles said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane -- with tail number N323PA -- was registered to John Sacco, of Rocklin. It is not confirmed if Sacco was flying the plane.

Sacco's family said they have not heard anything from police about the identity of the person found at the crash site. Sacco, who is an entrepreneur and certified industrial hygienist, helps firms understand and avoid occupational health hazards.

FAA officials said air traffic controllers lost radar and radio contact with a Piper PA-32 about 12 miles east of Oakland International Airport Tuesday morning. The pilot reported engine problems before the crash.

Knowles said the department received reports of a downed aircraft, which was traveling from Lincoln to Oakland.

Fire officials said at about 3:45 p.m., firefighters and sheriff's deputies had located the wreckage of the plane.

Two firefighters were injured trying to avoid a falling tree that was damaged when the plane crashed against it. Their injuries were non-life threatening.

The crash comes two days after a single-engine plane, carrying a family of five from Gilroy, crashed near Bakersfield, killing everyone on board.

Story and video:  http://www.kcra.com

Emergency teams operate from a Sunol unified command post.


 Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department Battalion Chief Paul Legasa leads a search for a reported missing single engine plane from a command center along Palomares Road near Niles Canyon Road in Sunol, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. The plane's wreckage was found by a ground search party in an area off of Pa lomares Road in Castro Valley.











Incident occurred December 22, 2015 at Salt Lake City International Airport (KSLC), Utah

A worker de-ices a plane after a FedEx cargo plane was forced to return to Salt Lake International airport after a warning signal alerted the crew to a possible problem Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.



SALT LAKE CITY — A FedEx cargo plane that took off from Salt Lake City International Airport on Tuesday morning turned around after the aircraft indicated the possibility of smoke on board.

Flight 3606 to Indianapolis landed safely in Salt Lake City around 9 a.m., about an hour after taking off, said Bianca Shreeve, airport spokeswoman.

The plane was inspected at the airport for smoke or other malfunctions, but none were found, said FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey. After meeting various safety checks, the aircraft departed again for Indianapolis, still carrying its full load of cargo, McCluskey said.

The flight's turnaround was standard protocol after such an alert, he said, adding that the crew on board "followed normal safety procedures."

McCluskey said he didn't know what caused the alert.

Source:  http://www.deseretnews.com

A worker walks near cargo planes after a FedEx cargo plane was forced to return to Salt Lake International airport after a warning signal alerted the crew to a possible problem Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE) preparing for more corporate jets



The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority is in talks with a Florida aviation company that would spend $5 million to $10 million to build a hangar for more corporate jets and another for small private planes.

The authority's contract with Clearwater-based Brookline Aviation Development would be the first allowing a private developer to build at Lehigh Valley International Airport and would open the authority to more corporate and private jets.

"We have a lot of aircraft owners looking for space and we just don't have it to give. We've had to turn people away," said Charles Everett Jr., airport executive director. "This will help us get more hangars on the airfield, without having to shoulder the capital costs ourselves."

Under the proposed deal, Brookline Aviation would build a 50,000- to 60,000-square-foot bulk hangar on the southwest section of the airport that would be large enough to handle 12 to 18 corporate and charter planes, depending on the size of the aircraft. It would explore building a second hangar on a northern section of the airport that could house 20 to 30 smaller private planes.

The authority has a letter of intent to have Brookline develop the hangars, but details of the agreement still must be worked out before building can begin, Everett said.

The airport authority would likely sign a 30-year general lease to use each hangar, and then lease space in the hangars to corporate and private airplane owners. Those could be the first of several new hangars at the airport if the demand for space continues to grow, said Darren Betters, authority director of business and commercial services.

LVIA has more than 200 acres of open land that could be used for new hangars.

"Hangar space continues to be a premium," Betters told authority board members Tuesday. "We've moved things around as much as we can. We're beyond full. It's time to build."

Beyond the commercial jets that carry roughly 700,000 passengers a year, LVIA is home to 110 planes owned by businesses or private owners. Some are kept in one of the dozens of single-plane T hangars and a few are merely tied down outdoors. Others, which include planes owned by corporations such as Air Products, New World Aviation and MedEscort International are kept in one of the 10 bulk hangars on the airfield in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

The hangars would be built on land owned by the authority, but the buildings would be owned by Brookline Aviation.

Everett said the airport doesn't have the cash to build its own hangars, but can still net $500,000 a year in lease fees by having Brookline do the building.

"In terms of priorities, there are still a lot of bricks-and-mortar projects to get to before we could move on to new hangars," Everett said. "This will enable us to get them done a lot sooner."

Brookline principal Bill Yeomans Jr. declined to comment.

Also during the monthly board meeting, authority members announced that a yet-to-be-determined road at the airport will be renamed "Bert Daday Drive," after the 28-year board member who died last month. On the board from 1987 until he died Nov. 25 at age 85, Daday was the authority's longest-serving member.

"I don't think anyone will ever match that," said board Chairman Marc Troutman. "He obviously loved what he did. When I think of Bert, I think of service and integrity."

Source:  http://www.mcall.com

Incident occurred December 22, 2015 at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (KICT), Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas

WICHITA, Kansas -

A plane makes an emergency landing at Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport Tuesday afternoon because of a mechanical problem. 

Airport officials say the pilot was forced to land the plane without deploying the flaps, which help slow the aircraft on the runway. 

The plane was already scheduled to land in Wichita. 

Nobody was hurt and airport crews are working to make sure all the equipment is functioning properly.

Source:  http://www.kwch.com

Golden Gate Bridge to drone operators: Buzz off



Golden Gate Bridge workers plan to put up signs this week reminding people that the span is a no drone zone.

With Christmas in a few days, bridge officials expect thousands of drones to be unwrapped from Sausalito to San Jose, with pilgrimages to the span to test them out.

"People will be getting these things for Christmas and they think, 'Oh, cool, let's go to the Golden Gate Bridge,'" said Kary Witt, bridge manager. "But they may not be aware of the regulations prohibiting it."

More and more the Golden Gate Bridge is being buzzed by camera-carrying flying drones, and security- and safety-conscious span officials are trying to put an end to it.

"We see the drones several times a month, maybe one or two times a week," Witt said.

Technically, it's not illegal to fly a drone near the span. But the National Park Service, which has land on either side of the bridge, does have a prohibition against drone use. The service oversees land in the Marin Headlands, Muir and Stinson beaches, as well as at the bridge.

The park service, which is the bridge district's landlord, controls areas such as the span's parking lots, where the "no drone" signs will be placed.

"People often will launch from the parking lots," Witt said.

Park officials find drone operators once or twice a week and typically give warnings, although they can issue citations.

"Most people are unaware," said Adrienne Freeman, park spokeswoman, who recently came across a drone operator at Rodeo Beach. "At this point it's more an education thing."

The park service has its own concerns about the drones.

"The drones have the potential of interfering with emergency operation, there can also be an effect on species, such as falcons, and it's also about the visitor experience," Freeman said. "People don't like things buzzing over their heads when they are in the park."

Bridge officials specifically have concerns about public safety and security.

Drones can fail and drop from the sky, posing a risk of causing traffic, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, especially given crowded conditions, bridge officials said.

One drone slammed into the bridge roadway earlier this year after being buffeted by winds, Witt noted.

The drones have been seen flying behind security fences and past sensors where the bridge prohibits photography for security reasons. Designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "critical infrastructure," the bridge district has received roughly $15 million in state and federal grants for security improvements since the 9/11 attacks for both the span and its transit systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a framework of regulations for commercial drone operators including limiting flights to daylight and requiring visual line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking and operational limits.

The bridge district has written the agency, saying that while it supports the proposals, it should include non-commercial users because of potential security and safety issues.

As of Monday -- spurred by numerous reports of drones flying near jets and airports -- the federal government is requiring that the aircraft be registered to make it easier to identify owners and educate amateur aviators.

The move comes at a time when the FAA is receiving more than 100 reports per month about drones flying near occupied aircraft. The FAA prohibits drones and model airplanes from flying higher than 400 feet or within 5 miles of an airport.

Drones have become increasingly popular with hobbyists. The FAA estimates that 1.6 million small unmanned aircraft will be sold this year, with half during the last three months of the year.

Registration will cost $5 and must be renewed every three years, but the fee will be waived for the first 30 days, until Jan. 20. Owners will have to mark aircraft with an identification number.

Most people who fly drones and model aircraft have little aviation experience, but they become pilots as soon as they start to fly, said Deputy FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker.

"They have the responsibility to fly safely, and there are rules and regulations that apply to them," he said.

Source:  http://www.mercurynews.com

Hawker Hunter T.Mk 7, Canfield Hunter Ltd., G-BXFI: Accident occurred August 22, 2015 near Shoreham Airport



The Shoreham fighter jet that killed 11 people after crashing during an airshow may not have had legal clearance to fly before the tragedy, an interim report has found.

The vintage Hawker Hunter jet flown by pilot Andrew Hill failed to pull out of a loop-the-loop and crashed on the A27, plummeting into motorists and spectators.

It has now been revealed the jet may not have had the proper licence to fly for eight months before the disaster on August 22.

An interim report released by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch yesterday found the organization in charge of the 60-year-old jet's maintenance only had permission to keep it in operation until December 2014.

A request to fly the jet in 2015 was submitted in January 2014 but had not been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before its doomed flight at Shoreham Airshow.

To gain permission to fly the maintenance organization was required to submit an Alternative Means of Compliance - a proposed program of work on the engine.

But the organization received an email from the CAA at the end of January asking for "additional information" to be included in the formal submission.

The organization claimed it had "no recollection or record" of the CAA response and the investigation found no formal proposal was made to the CAA to ensure that the jet had clearance to fly after December 2014.

The organization asked for an update in April 2014 on its January proposal but investigators have not been able to identify any response from the CAA.

The report said: "The CAA . . . could not determine if the aircraft met the requirements of its Permit to Fly from December 2014 onwards."

The CAA said that it is "trying to clarify the position".

Emergency workers had to delay their response to the crash because of the risk posed by out of date and damaged explosive cartridges in the ejector seat, the report also found.

The report said the seats were a "significant hazard" that delayed rescue teams until they were made safe.

Air investigators said the manufacturer support for the jet ended after it was retired from military service and its technical manual had not been updated.

Mr Hill, 51, who survived the jet crash, was finally interviewed over the disaster after long-winded delays as police tried to establish his fitness for interview.

It is not clear whether the experienced pilot ejected himself from the plane or was thrown free.

An initial interim report concluded there were "no abnormal indications" during the flight.

The aircraft was owned by Graham Peacock, a businessman based in Essex, who bought it for £65,000 in 2012.

At the time of purchase it had a Fatigue Index of 30 out of 100, meaning it still had 70 per cent of its total lifespan left.

Its engine had been flown for 351 hours, also a low number, with another 100 hours of flying time before an overhaul was needed.

A final accident report is still to be published.

Source:  http://www.express.co.uk

https://www.gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk

Hawker Hunter (G-BXFI), crashed onto public road during air display, near Shoreham Airport, 22 August 2015 - investigation update.

Summary
The aircraft was taking part in an air display at Shoreham Airport during which it conducted a manoeuvre with both a vertical and rolling component, at the apex of which it was inverted. Following the subsequent descent, the aircraft did not achieve level flight before it struck the westbound carriageway of the A27.

Special Bulletin S3/2015 was published on 4 September 2015 to provide preliminary information about the accident gathered from ground inspection, radar data, recorded images and other sources.

This Special Bulletin is published to highlight findings of the AAIB investigation regarding ejection seat safety and the maintenance of ex-military jet aircraft, and to assist the Civil Aviation Authority in its ‘Review of UK Civil Air Displays’ announced on 9 September 2015. A final report will be published in due course.

Seven Safety Recommendations are made.

Rans S-6ES Coyote II, N141WT: Incident occurred December 19, 2015 in Montrose County, Colorado

Date: 19-DEC-15
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N141WT
Aircraft Make: RANS
Aircraft Model: S6
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07
City: MONTROSE
State: Colorado

AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED A HARD LANDING IN A FIELD WHILE PERFORMING A SIMULATED ENGINE FAILURE, MONTROSE, CO.

http://registry.faa.gov/N141WT

Boeing Accepts FAA Penalties Over Quality Control: Plane maker agrees to pay $12 million in sweeping, first-of-its kind settlement



Boeing Co. has agreed to pay $12 million in penalties as part of a sweeping, first-of-its-kind settlement with federal regulators mandating tighter company oversight of suppliers and enhanced quality controls inside its own factories.

The settlement announced Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration resolves a total of 13 pending or potential civil-enforcement cases. It also subjects the Chicago-based plane maker to as much as $24 million in additional penalties if it fails to complete all the promised manufacturing, auditing and government reporting improvements over the next five years.

The agreement is unusual because it raises questions about how Boeing’s commercial-airplane unit has implemented some of its core quality, safety and compliance programs. Some of the alleged lapses stretch back several years—and span various offices and product lines. The broad nature of Tuesday’s move indicates FAA enforcement officials had alleged or suspected systemic shortcomings.

The FAA didn’t claim Boeing’s actions created unsafe conditions, and the agency has proposed significantly larger fines against airlines that allegedly violated safety rules.

In its announcement, the FAA highlighted the importance of internal corporate controls to ensure that everything from design to manufacturing to maintenance functions are “operating according to the highest standards.”

The agreement “is an important step toward ensuring that Boeing fully meets all applicable compliance standards going forward,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement detailing nearly two dozen specific areas slated for action under the agreement. Some improvements already are under way.

In a separate statement, Boeing said the move “fairly resolves” enforcement issues and “will further enhance Boeing’s self-correcting quality and compliance systems.” The company said “we are actively working on the areas identified in the agreement.”

The broad nature of the agreement—combined with the extensive and continuing reporting requirements imposed on Boeing—sets it apart from past settlements involving manufacturers.

In another unusual twist that deals with Boeing’s internal-investigation process, the agreement binds the company to assign all future noncompliance cases to manager-level employees. And according to the release, Boeing also will have to “meet progressively more stringent” requirements regarding “the quality and timeliness of its written submissions to the FAA.”

The agency typically makes public copies of settlement agreements with airlines. An FAA spokeswoman said the Boeing document wasn’t released because it contains extensive proprietary information that needs to be redacted.

Among other things, Boeing was tardy in developing information on fuel-tank safety upgrades for its 747 jumbo and 757 jetliner families, the FAA said. In another case that became public previously, the FAA said the company failed to take adequate corrective action when a supplier provided improper fasteners.

Details of the 11 other enforcement matters covered by the agreement weren’t disclosed by the FAA, and a Boeing spokesman also declined to identify them. In an email, he said Boeing “takes responsibility for our actions in these areas” and has taken steps to simplify specifications and enhance employee training.

According to the FAA’s summary of the agreement, however, Boeing is now obligated to improve its internal audits by appointing personnel “with appropriate technical expertise to assess the extent of regulatory compliance.” In addition, to determine whether incomplete work is being accepted improperly from suppliers, the FAA said the company must share audit results with the agency and provide it a summary of corrective actions.

Regarding any future violation identified by the FAA, the agreement puts the onus on Boeing to demonstrate it effectively dealt with the problem. And the FAA must receive quarterly reports laying out Boeing’s compliance efforts, capped by a final “comprehensive report” in 2021 about the overall effectiveness of those programs.

Source:  http://www.wsj.com

Boeing, Federal Aviation Administration Reach Settlement Over Safety-Compliance Concerns: Plane maker to pay $12 million in penalties, face more fines unless it improves internal processes



The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday said it had reached a settlement with Boeing Co. over safety-compliance concerns and that the plane maker has to pay $12 million in penalties and faces further fines unless it improves internal processes.

Boeing, the world’s largest plane maker, was tardy in developing information on safety improvements related to its 747 jumbo and 757 jetliner, the FAA said. In another case, the Chicago-based company didn't take adequate action when a supplier had provided improper parts, the U.S. air-safety regulator said.

“It is imperative that everyone complies with our aviation system’s high safety standards,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “This agreement is an important step toward ensuring that Boeing fully meets all applicable compliance standards going forward.”

The FAA didn't claim Boeing’s actions created unsafe conditions.

Boeing said in a separate statement it “believes that this agreement not only fairly resolves announced and potential civil penalty actions—most of which date back years, and two of which were previously announced in 2012 and 2013—but also will further enhance Boeing’s self-correcting quality and compliance systems.”

The company faces up to $24 million in further fines over the next five years if it doesn't implement improvements it has committed to carrying out under the agreement, the FAA said. The case also addresses other allegations Boeing delayed submissions of required safety information and similar issues.

Boeing has pledged to take steps such as improving auditing of internal processes, more closely scrutinize suppliers, and more rapidly provide reports to the FAA. “We are actively working on the areas identified in the agreement,” it said.

Source:  http://www.wsj.com

Mooney M20C, N9291V: Incident occurred December 20, 2015 in Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida

http://registry.faa.gov/N9291V

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

AIRCRAFT WAS TAKING OFF, RETRACTED THE LANDING GEAR AND THEN ABORTED TAKEOFF LANDING WITH THE LANDING GEAR RETRACTED, FORT MYER, FL.

Date:  20-DEC-15
Time:  16:43:00Z
Regis#:  N9291V
Aircraft Make:  MOONEY
Aircraft Model:  M20
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  Unknown
Activity:  Personal
Operation:  91
City:  FORT MYERS
State:  Florida

Passengers worried about unruly passenger on Indy-bound Southwest flight



INDIANAPOLIS -

A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Indianapolis from Las Vegas had to go back to the gate because of an unruly passenger Monday night.

Southwest Airlines Flight 717 returned to the gate in Las Vegas shortly after pushing back takeoff because of a man who refused to follow crew member instructions, according to a Southwest Airlines spokesperson. Police met the aircraft at the gate and the passenger was removed from the plane.

What happened on the flight occurs more times than you might imagine. The behavior and concern, if not fear, experienced on the Indy-bound flight, by one industry estimate, occurs on thousands of passenger planes every year.  

The Bloomington couple who watched Las Vegas police take the disruptive passenger off their flight worried what he might have done after the plane took off.  

When police boarded the plane and made their way down the aisle toward the man, David and Penny Thompson were sitting two seats behind them. Penny recorded some of the ordeal and David admitted watching with clenched fists, fearing he might have to take the man down. 

Even before boarding the plane, Thompson says the man didn't look okay. He was  animated and talking to himself. 

"We thought he drank too much. Maybe medication," Thompson explained. "He showed signs of schizophrenia, of bi-polar, without medication or taking medication he shouldn't, we didn't know."

Once on the plane, Thompson says the man was taking his shoes on and off and refusing the flight attendant's requests to fasten his seat belt.

"The lady beside him kinda said some things and she's a little nervous," Thompson said. "He said something like, 'I'm sitting between these two guys.' That's when I thought, 'This is going to be a long flight'."

Perhaps even a dangerous flight. 

"Hey, this is real, people. Things are going crazy. People are getting crazy ideas anymore," he explained.

The Southwest plane prepared to take off, with the passenger still refusing to buckle up, the plane taxied to the runway, where the pilot decided to turn around.

Passengers were worried about what might happened once they got in the air. 

"What was going through your mind?" Eyewitness News reporter Rich Van Wyk asked David Thompson.

"I'm going to have to take him down. That is what was running through my mind. The lady can't do anything. The guys beside him weren't saying a word, rightfully so. You didn't want to stir him up," Thompson said.

Penny recorded video as her husband clenched his fists.

"She busted me," he laughed. "I'm not a scrapper. But there is not too many guys and I'm thinking I'm not letting him take down my wife, there's a one-year-old baby there."

The man didn't argue or resist officers. A spokesperson for the Las Vegas police says the passenger was not arrested, no crimes were committed, and following airline policy, after the man was removed from the plane he was released. 

"What were you saying to yourself as he walked away?" Van Wyk asked.

"Everything is going to be okay," David Thompson said. "I'm thinking we really don't know how blessed we really are that we don't have issues, whether they are mental or family issues, cropping up in your mind. Here it is Christmas, who knows what was his problem. Count your blessings."

Statistics from the International Air Transport Association show flight attendants deal with about 4,700 disruptive passengers a year. 

Story and video:  http://www.wthr.com

IAR 823, N47XX, Air USA Inc: Incident occurred December 20, 2015 in Denver, Colorado

Date: 20-DEC-15
Time: 21:22:00Z
Regis#: N47XX
Aircraft Make: IAR BRASOV
Aircraft Model: IAR83
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
FAA FSDO: FAA Denver FSDO-03
City: DENVER
State: Colorado

AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED A NOSE GEAR FAILURE ON TAKE OFF UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, DENVER, CO.

AIR USA INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N47XX

Pocatello Regional Airport (KPIH) to add third Delta flight



POCATELLO, Idaho -

SkyWest Airlines will operate a third roundtrip Delta flight to the Pocatello Airport beginning March 2, 2016.

Pocatello Regional Airport Manager David Allen said the additional Delta Connection service would significantly increase daily service between the airport and Salt Lake International Airport.

"We are beyond thrilled with the news," said David Allen, Pocatello Regional Airport Manager. "That is a 46% increase to our weekly flights and available seats. We're glad to see the airlines responding to the demand for more flights to and from the Gate City. We'd also like to thank the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce Air Service Committee for their efforts to network with regional business leaders. Their work to ensure businesses are aware of the benefits of flying from Pocatello helped increase the demand."

SkyWest will begin booking flights December 26.  Departures are scheduled weekdays at 7 a.m., 12:25 p.m., and 6:15 p.m.  Arrivals will be at 11:58 a.m., 5:50 p.m. and 10:45 p.m.

Source:  http://www.localnews8.com

Cessna 182J Skylane, N2694F: Accident occurred December 19, 2015 at RWJ Airpark (54T), Baytown, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N2694F

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09 


NTSB Identification: CEN16LA068
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Baytown, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 182J, registration: N2694F
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 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 private pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight. The pilot reported that, while performing a crosswind landing on runway 26, the airplane’s left wing rose while the nose and right main wheels remained on the runway. The pilot corrected to get all three wheels on the runway, and after doing so, the airplane was no longer aligned with the runway. The airplane subsequently exited the side of the runway, the nose landing gear dug into the muddy grass, and the airplane nosed over. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures. 

The reported weather at an airport 19 miles away from the accident site indicated that the wind was from 90 degrees at 9 knots; however, the pilot reported that the wind was from 160 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots. Based on the available information, it is likely that the pilot failed to maintain directional control during landing in gusting wind conditions, which resulted in the runway excursion and subsequent nose-over. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing in gusting wind conditions.

On December 19, 2015, about 1555 central standard time, a Cessna 182J, N2694F, sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion while landing on runway 26 at the RWJ Airpark (54T), near Baytown, Texas. The pilot received minor injuries and the passenger received serious injuries in the accident. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Del Rio International Airport, Del Rio, Texas, about 1225.

The pilot reported that while performing a crosswind landing on runway 26 at 54T, the left wing of the airplane came up with the nose and right main wheels remaining on the runway. The pilot corrected to get all three wheels on the runway, and after doing so, the airplane was no longer aligned with the runway. The airplane exited the side of the runway into the grass. The nose landing gear dug into the muddy grass, and the airplane nosed over. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane prior to the accident.

At 1550, the reported weather conditions at the Ellington Airport (EFD), Houston, Texas, about 19 miles southwest of 54T, at 1550 included winds from 90 degrees at 9 knots. The pilot reported winds from 160 degrees at 10 knots gusting to 15 knots.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA068 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 19, 2015 in Baytown, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 182J, registration: N2694F
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 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 19, 2015, about 1555 central standard time, a Cessna 182J, N2694F, sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion while landing on runway 26 at the RWJ Airpark, near Baytown, Texas. The pilot received minor injuries and the passenger received serious injuries in the accident. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight's origin has not been determined.