NARRAGANSETT, RI (WPRI) — The pilot of the plane that crashed while towing a commercial banner over the crowded Narragansett beaches on July 4 may not have been allowed to fly due to a lack of medical certification, the Target 12 Investigators have learned.
Jeremiah Coholan, 36, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, acknowledged to Target 12 that his medical certification had been delayed at the time of the crash, and still is.
“I’m not flying now,” he said.
But he also insisted he was allowed to fly the plane that crashed four weeks ago.
That may not be the case, according to to the Federal Aviation Administration, which, along with the National Transportation Safety Board, is investigating the crash that did extensive damage to the single-engine plane, but did not cause any injuries.
Under the “Medical” heading on Coholan’s certification page on the FAA website, it reads “No Medical Available.”
“In general terms, [No Medical Available] means the airman would not be able to use the pilot license,” FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. “Some light aircraft do not require a medical along with the license.”
Coholan was flying a Cessna 305 as he floated a commercial banner over the 4th of July beach crowd.
Peters said that craft would not be considered a light aircraft. Speaking hypothetically, when asked if a pilot can fly commercially if their medical status documentation is delayed, Peters answered with one word.
“No,” he said.
Peters said Coholan has no incidents, accidents or enforcement history with the FAA.
According to the NTSB preliminary incident report, the Cessna, “experienced a total loss of engine power while in cruise flight, and ditched on the ocean, about 1 mile from shore,” three and a half hours after taking off.
“At 500 feet, the engine just stopped,” Coholan said a few days after the crash.
Coholan was rescued with only scratches on his shins. The plane was pulled from 30 feet of water with fuselage and right wing damage, according to the NTSB report.
“The engine was retained for further examination,” the report stated.
An NTSB spokesperson said the final report could take a year to complete.
Simmons Aviation Services, a Pawcatuck, Conn. company that owns the plane, has not responded to a request for comment.
The July crash was the second time within six months that Coholan was at the controls for an unexpected landing.
On January 21, Coholan brought a plane down in a snow covered field in Macedon, New York.
“I lost the engine about 2,000 feet out from where I touched down. Complete dead stick,” Coholon told Time Warner Cable News after that incident. “I’ve trained for it, but never done it.”
The incident did not prompt an NTSB report because there was no damage or injury involved.
Story and video: http://wpri.com
SIMMONS AVIATION SERVICES LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N5291G
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Boston FSDO-61
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA244
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 04, 2016 in Narragansett, RI
Aircraft: CESSNA 305, registration: N5291G
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On July 4, 2016, about 1250 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 305, N5291G, was substantially damaged after it experienced a total loss of engine power while in cruise flight, and ditched on the ocean, about 1 mile from shore, near Narragansett, Rhode Island. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the banner-tow flight. The airplane was owned and operated by Simmons Aviation Services, LLC, and the flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot, he departed on the flight with 5 hours of available fuel. About 3.5 hours into the flight, the airplane was flying over the ocean about 500 feet above ground level when the engine lost total power. Subsequently, the pilot performed a forced landing to the water; the airplane sank, and came to rest in about 30 feet of water. The pilot egressed and was rescued a short time later.
The airplane was recovered and initial examination revealed that the fuselage and right wing were substantially damaged. Furthermore, crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller flange to the accessory section of the engine by rotating the propeller by hand. The top spark plugs were removed and compression was noted on all cylinders. The spark plugs were examined and exhibited normal wear when compared to the Champion-Check-A-Plug Chart.
The engine was retained for further examination.
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WJAR) — A small plane carrying a banner crashed into the water at Kelly Beach in the Bonnet Shores area of Narragansett Monday afternoon.
"It kind of just hit the water nose first and then probably within 10 or 12 seconds, it was completely submerged," Brian Kelley, a witness told NBC 10 News.
Narragansett police arrived at the scene around 1 p.m., and swimmers were evacuated from the water.
An NBC 10 reporter, who was at the beach with his family when the crash occurred, said the Coast Guard, as well as the Department of Environmental Management, arrived shortly afterward.
"(It's) just crazy," said Nick Mongeau, a lifeguard. "You don't expect this type of thing to happen."
The plane's pilot, Jeremiah Coholan, told NBC 10 he was not injured. He said he waited in the water for about 4 minutes before being rescued by a private boat.
"Thank god for those guys," Coholan said.
Coholan also told NBC 10 the plane's engine failed.
"The engine just stopped and I had 8 to 10 seconds to react, so that was it," he said.
Coholan was eventually brought to Monahan's Dock by the Narragansett Fire Department. Once ashore, he declined medical treatment.
The beach reopened just before 3 p.m.
Story and video: http://turnto10.com
Cessna 172P Skyhawk, N52106: Incident occurred January 21, 2016 in Macedon, Wayne County, New York
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Rochester FSDO-23
State: New York
AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, NEAR MACEDON, NY
MACEDON — “Hell, I’ve got a plane in the back yard.”
That’s what Brian Pulcini said when he looked out his window and discovered a single-engine Cessna about a stone’s throw from his hilltop home that overlooks the village of Palmyra.
According to New York State Trooper Sergeant D. Lester, it was about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday when the single-engine Cessna experienced an engine malfunction, likely related to the cold weather, and was forced to make an emergency landing. The plane was over the village of Palmyra, heading west on a business flight from Bedford, Massachusetts, to Rochester, when the carburetor “froze up” and the engine cut out, he said.
Touchdown, in a small field off of Quaker Road near O'Neil Road, was classic, leaving the pilot and one passenger, both from Bedford, unharmed and the plane undamaged.
“It was kind of real quiet, engine off, gliding, then we made a couple moves to take away some speed and we just kind of found the perfect place to land,” said passenger Richard Medeiros. "It was just as easy as landing in an actual airport — believe it or not."
The plane touched down not far from its final stop, its momentum slowed when it ramped up a fairly significant hill, grazed a large bush, and spun around before coming to rest.
Pilot Jeremiah Coholan estimates he was cruising at an altitude of 5,500 to 6,000 feet when he saw the clouds building up.
“So I put in a request to Rochester for lower altitude while I could still see holes in the clouds," he said. “At about 1,800 feet — which is just below the clouds — the engine starting running really, really rough, getting rougher and rougher,” said Coholan. “And then it just quit."
Medeiros said that was the moment he knew the flight was “pretty much over.”
“We knew we weren't going to land on pavement — it was going to be in a field somewhere,” he said.
What was running through Coholan’s mind as he searched for a place to land?
"Don't die or kill my friend,” he said. “Basically, it was — you know — to remember my training and aviate, navigate and communicate, in that order basically."
It was shortly after the successful emergency landing that Pulcini saw two people come running up his driveway — they’d watched the plane go down.
“I thought somebody lost their dog and they were looking around,” said Pulcini, who never heard the landing because the engine was off.
“Right now we’re trying to determine what to do with the plane,” Lester said Thursday afternoon. “The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is going to inspect it and see if it’s safe to operate. If it is, we’re going to have to determine where it’s going to fly from. I don’t think we have quite enough length here to do that.”
Lester said the plane may have to be trailered or taken apart and moved — plans were “kind of up in the air” — but either way he was “sure it’s going to be expensive.”
“He wants to fly it out of here right now,” said Pulcini. “But that can sit there till spring and it won’t bother me.”
Seth Pulcini, Brian’s son, took Coholan out on the family’s four-wheeler to scout for takeoff options. Eventually a makeshift runway was plowed out in the cornfield.
But with the plane's carburetor still frozen, that was not to be.
“No bueno," said Coholan. I was hoping I'd be able to take off — it would have been one hell of a takeoff."
According to Lester, Medeiros continued on by car, most likely because “he’d had enough flying for one day.”
“Nobody’s hurt and you know what? Footprints in my yard don’t bother me,” said Pulcini. “Dinging the little bush over here don’t matter. Who cares? Everybody’s safe.”
Story and photo gallery: http://www.mpnnow.com
Pilot Jeremiah Coholan and passenger Richard Medeiros felt the engine seizing up as ice clogged the carburetor on their Cessna aircraft while they approached the Rochester area from New Bedford, Massachusetts, at around 1:45 p.m.
“Once it got below the clouds, it ran rougher and rougher and rougher,” said Coholan.
He quickly looked for a place to land and found a small backyard field area off of Quaker Road near Macedon’s village center. Neither passenger was hurt during the emergency landing and the plane was not damaged.
Federal Aviation Administration representatives came to the scene to inspect the plane, according to New York State police, who assisted at the scene.
While there was a fleeting thought of possible catastrophe in Medeiros’ head, the landing seemed like it would go well as they approached the field, he said.
“It was just as easy as landing in an actual airport,” he said. “It was just a little bit more like, ‘What do we do now when we get out of the plane?’”
Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.democratandchronicle.com
MACEDON, N.Y. (AP) The pilot of a single-engine plane safely landed in a backyard field at western New York home after the engine iced-up during a flight from Massachusetts.
Pilot Jeremiah Coholan and passenger Richard Medeiros took off from New Bedford Thursday and were approaching the Rochester area around 1:45 p.m. when the engine of their Cessna began seizing up as ice clogged the carburetor.
Coholan says he looked for a place to land and found a small, snow-covered field behind a home in the Wayne County village of Macedon, 10 miles east of Rochester.
The plane landed safely. The two men weren't injured.
State police say Federal Aviation Administration representatives went to the scene to inspect the plane.
Wayne County, N.Y. - A small plane flying into Rochester experienced trouble and landed in a field in Wayne County Thursday.
The plane was traveling from Massachusetts to Rochester when the carburetor froze up.
The pilot told radio towers in Rochester that he would not be able to land at the airport.
The plane then landed safely in a field on Quaker Road.
There is no damage to the plane and no one was injured.
The pilot is waiting for approval from the FAA before he can take off.