Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beech A36 Bonanza, Venture Aviation Services LLC, N985CA: Fatal accident occurred August 30, 2016 near Reno/Tahoe International Airport (KRNO), Washoe County, Nevada

VENTURE AVIATION SERVICES LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N985CA 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11


NTSB Identification: WPR16FA172
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Sparks, NV
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N985CA
Injuries: 2 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 August 30, 2016, about 1801 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza, N985CA, was destroyed when it impacted the ground in a recreational vehicle (RV) park about one-half mile prior to the threshold of runway 16L at Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO), Sparks, Nevada. The airplane was owned by Venture Aviation Services of Reno Nevada, and was on leaseback to, and operated by, Flying Start Aero, a flight school based at RNO. Both persons on board received fatal injuries, but no-one in the RV park was injured. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

According to a person who was a passenger ("Passenger 2" for clarity) on some of the airplane legs that day, the plan was for the pilot to depart RNO with two passengers, pick up a third passenger in Las Vegas, Nevada, and continue on to southern California, where the three passengers were to attend a business meeting. Later that day, they planned to reverse that sequence, with the airplane, pilot, and two passengers returning to RNO in the late afternoon or early evening. All three passengers were employees of the same woodworking company, which was based near RNO. For reference purposes, the company owner will be referred to as "Passenger 1," and the passenger who boarded in Las Vegas as "Passenger 3."

According to Passenger 2, he was advised that the pilot wanted to be "wheels up" at 0410 on the morning of the trip. He and Passenger 1 arrived at the Atlantic Aviation facility at RNO at 0350; the pilot was already there, and they proceeded to board the airplane. Passenger 1 sat in the right front seat, and Passenger 2 sat in the right-side, aft-facing seat. Passenger 2 was not a pilot, and had no flight training experience. He reported that he believed that Passenger 1 was a student of the pilot, as was the son of Passenger 1. Passenger 2 reported that the flight departed RNO about 0410, and landed at Henderson Executive Airport (HND), Las Vegas, Nevada, sometime after 0600. That flight leg was smooth and uneventful.

HND records indicated that the airplane took on 30 gallons of fuel sometime between 0624 and 0647. Passenger 2 reported that Passenger 1 moved to the aft cabin, and Passenger 3 took the right front seat. The airplane departed HND, and landed at French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta/Temecula, California sometime after 0900. The three passengers then left the airport by car for their business meeting, and returned about 1300. Passenger 2 did not know what the pilot did during the intervening hours. The three passengers then re-boarded the airplane for the flight to HND, with the same seating arrangement as the leg down from HND. That trip leg was very bumpy, and Passenger 2, who was not comfortable in small airplanes, described himself as "tense" for the trip. Observing this, Passenger 1 suggested that Passenger 2 deplane at HND with Passenger 3, and that he take a commercial flight to RNO. Passenger 2 observed the refueling of the airplane, and then decided not to accompany the pilot and Passenger 1 to RNO; he left HND before the two boarded the airplane, and therefore did not observe their preparations or seating arrangement.

According to another flight instructor at Flying Start, the pilot had called and reported that his passengers were running late, and that he would return to RNO later than planned. According to HND records, the airplane was "topped off" with 24.3 gallons of fuel sometime between 1520 and 1530.

Preliminary air traffic control and ground tracking radar information indicated that the flight was conducted under visual flight rules, and the pilot first contacted the RNO air traffic control tower (ATCT) about 1754:35; at that time the Bonanza was about 9 miles southeast of RNO at 8,500 feet, and on an assigned heading of approximately north. About 2 minutes later, the pilot reported that he was on a "wide downwind" for runway 16L, and was instructed to "continue inbound." At 1757:13, when the Bonanza was about 7 miles east-northeast of RNO, the pilot radioed that he was turning a "wide left base" for 16L. The ATCT radioed that his traffic was a B-757 on a 9 mile final for 16R, that the winds were 260 at 13, gusting to 18 knots, and that he was cleared to land. Although the controller did not specify it, the Bonanza's traffic was a FedEx B-757, which was about 5 miles in trail behind a UPS B-757, also on final for 16R. The pilot responded that he did not have the traffic in sight. About 1 minute later, when the Bonanza was about 5 miles northeast of RNO and descending through 8,000 feet, the pilot advised that he had "the airliner" in sight. At that time, the UPS B-757 was on about a half-mile final to 16R, and the FedEx B-757 was about 6 miles from 16R. About the same time as the pilot reported visual contact with the "airliner," the Bonanza began a dogleg (diagonal) base leg towards 16L, and continued its descent. The Bonanza then joined an abbreviated, perpendicular base leg about 1 mile from 16L, and then turned onto final. The last radar return from the Bonanza was recorded at 1800:59, when the airplane was at a radar-indicated altitude of 4,600 feet, and about 1/2 mile north of the 16L threshold.

According to multiple eyewitnesses, the Bonanza appeared to be approaching RNO normally, without any unusual sounds or dynamics, or any smoke or other outward signs of distress. Just as the airplane was over the RV park, it rapidly rolled inverted, and descended to the ground. Ground scar and debris information was consistent with a near-vertical descent. The airframe and engine exhibited significant impact disruption, and were also significantly damaged or consumed by the post-impact fire. Examination of the remaining wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact failures or deficiencies.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the 73 year old pilot held commercial and flight instructor certificates with airplane single engine and instrument ratings. He reported a total flight experience of 11,100 hours on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was issued in March 2016.

FAA information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1981, and was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-550 series engine. The most recent annual inspection was completed in November 2015.

The 1755 RNO automated weather observation included winds from 290 degrees at 17 knots, gusting to 20 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 10,000 ft above ground level, temperature 31 degrees C, dew point minus 5 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury.

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.



Flying Start Aero owner John Brown in the cockpit of his airplane in 2005.


Former Minden flight instructor John B. Brown was killed in an aircraft crash in Sparks on Tuesday.

John B. Brown, 73, was identified as the pilot of the aircraft that crashed into a recreational vehicle while on approach.

Brown was the owner of Flying Start Aero, which had an outlet at Minden-Tahoe Airport until four years ago.

The Beech A36 Brown was flying was owned by Venture Aviation Services, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The aircraft caught fire, killing Brown and passenger James Elliker, 50, of Sparks.

Brown sold the Minden location in January 2012 after nearly 13 years.

He opened the business Sept. 10, 1999, according to an R-C feature.

He got his wings after graduating from high school. He worked in the pharmaceuticals industry for companies including Johnson and Johnson and Smithkline Beacham before he retired in his early 50s.

He went to flight school in Oregon and was certified in commercial, instrumental and flight instruction. He worked at Minden-Tahoe as a flight instructor for three years teaching with NIFTI and Hutt Aviation before opening Flying Start with partner Mark Garic and FAA-certified mechanic Jim Crozier.

Source:   http://www.recordcourier.com



Jim Elliker photo courtesy Victory Woodworks



SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) Employees at Victory Woodworks in Sparks are mourning the loss of co-founder and President Jim Elliker. Elliker died in a plane crash August 30, 2016. The company released this statement:

"Victory Woodworks is saddened by the loss of Jim Elliker. Jim worked tirelessly to build up his family, employees, customers and everyone he met. As we move forward, we will always remember his passion and commitment to excellence with our valued employees, clients, colleagues and vendors. Victory Woodworks will forever be dedicated to Jim's vision and culture of the company and will honor his legacy by continuing forward and uninterrupted with its business."

Elliker, 50, a longtime local, husband, and father of four was one of two people who died when a single-engine plane crashed in Sparks. Company Vice President Luke Burke says he was supposed to be on that plane as well, but sensing his uneasiness with the turbulence on the first leg of the flight, Elliker told him to get off and take a commercial flight home.

"There is no doubt that he saved my life," Burke said. "That's how much he cared about people in general. He was an amazing man; a fantastic husband, great friend, wonderful father and liked by nearly all who met him."

A fund in Elliker's name has been established at the Kids Kottage in Reno. Burke says it’s a local organization that was always important to Elliker, who was known for giving back to a community he always said gave him so much.

Burke says Victory Woodworks is run like a family business. The company employs about a hundred people and while they are grieving, they also know that Elliker would want them to keep on working.

"Jim had a succession plan and we've began executing that," Burke said. "We have the best team of people working here, doing what they do best to keep up moving forward."

He says many employees have worked there more than a decade and many clients were longstanding ones.

"Jim always said that we don't have a lot of clients; we have a lot of repeat clients."

The pilot of the Beechcraft aircraft that went down has been identified as 73-year-old John Brown. The NTSB has taken over the crash investigation.


Source:   http://www.kolotv.com


SPARKS, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Washoe County Coroner’s office has confirmed that two people died in a small plane crash at a Sparks trailer park on Rock Boulevard on Tuesday evening.

A spokesperson says the pilot and a passenger of the plane both died after the plane crashed into the Rivers Edge RV Park.

The pilot has been identified as 73-year-old John Brown. The identity of the passenger is being withheld until next of kin has been notified.

The crash, reported at about 6:15 p.m. sparked a fire at the Rivers Edge RV Park, prompting a response from several area agencies, including Sparks Fire, Truckee Meadows Fire, Reno Fire and law enforcement.

One witness to the crash told News 4-Fox 11 via phone that it sounded as if the plane's engine had stalled. Several witnesses described seeing the plane appear to lose control before crashing.

Sparks Fire Marshal Bob King said the plane appeared to be making a landing into Reno-Tahoe International Airport when it crashed for an unknown reason.

Crews arrived on scene and put out the fire, then proceeded to evacuate residents, King said. The plane crashed into asphalt in the park, police said. 

No trailers or cars were struck in the impact, though a few were damaged, likely from debris.

Nobody in the trailer park reported any injuries.

In a press briefing Tuesday night, representatives from Sparks Police Department and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority said they could not provide any information on the person or persons inside the plane, citing an impending investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Brian Kulpin with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority said officials were working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NTSB on the investigation into the crash, where the plane came from and who owned it.

An FAA spokesman said in an email that it was a single-engine Beechcraft A36 inbound to Reno that crashed. The circumstances of the crash remain unknown. The NTSB was on scene Wednesday, where one member confirmed that two people in the plane died in the crash.

Residents were evacuated from the trailer park. RTC provided a bus equipped with air conditioning for any residents who needed temporary shelter. Emergency medical and animal services were also on scene to provide any assistance needed.

The Nugget Casino Resort is providing accommodations for residents who have been displaced, authorities said Tuesday night.

Authorities said most residents could return home; 18 trailers remain uninhabitable because of either damage or because they are part of the investigation area.

The Northern Nevada Red Cross is assisting those who have been displaced as a result of the crash and investigation. Authorities are letting them come to the RV park to collect any belongings they need.


Source:   http://mynews4.com



SPARKS, Nev. –  A small plane that crashed into a northern Nevada recreational vehicle park, killing both people on board, plunged nose-first close to occupied RVs — and no one on the ground was hurt, authorities said Wednesday.

The single-engine Beechcraft A36 crashed in the city of Sparks, about a half-mile from a runway at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

The crash caused a fire that damaged several RVs and vehicles, said Sparks police Lt. Pete Krall. But people in nearby RVs escaped uninjured.

"There was a potential for a really catastrophic event," Krall said. "The fact it wasn't worse was really very lucky."

Firefighters evacuated the 164-space trailer park following the 6:15 p.m. Tuesday crash because of smoke from the fire. Authorities said later that everyone on the ground had been accounted for.

The crash was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Preliminary findings will be made public in about 10 days, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss.

The identities of the victims were not made public Wednesday by the Washoe County coroner's office.

The 1981 Beechcraft was registered to Venture Aviation Services in Reno, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.

Calls to people listed in state records as connected to the company went to an apparent fax line and to a disconnected number.

The Rivers Edge RV park hugs the Truckee River just north of the airport and is owned by Storz Management Co. in Orangeville, California. Andy Carey, the company's president, declined to comment.

Online reviews about the RV park warn first-time visitors about low-flying commercial aircraft. The airport is served by seven airlines and several air cargo companies.


Source:   http://www.foxnews.com

























A small plane crashed and erupted into flames at the River's Edge RV Park in Sparks Tuesday night. It happened around 6:00 p.m. near Rock Park.

The FAA reports the single-engine Beechcraft A36 was inbound to Reno when it crashed under unknown circumstances.

Authorities say there are no injuries that have been reported and everyone has been accounted for on the ground. The occupants of the aircraft are still unknown. They say there was a popping of propane in the RV park and at this time, all of River's Edge RV Park has been evacuated. 

The condition of the pilot or anyone else who may have been on board is unclear, but there were no injuries on the ground.

Residents have been able to return to their homes and emergency crews have left for the night as investigators remain on scene investigating the crash. 

Greta Woyciehowsky, with the Sparks Police Department said, "The plane nose-dived into the asphalt just next to the vehicles and the trailer. It didn't strike it."

A single-engine Beechcraft instantly broke out into flames when it crashed. 

Bob Smith, a resident said, "There was an engine that sounded like it was having a real struggle. And then there was this huge boom."

Dennis Jordan, who also lives at the River's Edge RV Park adds, "I thought that I heard the airplane and everything just happened so fast. There was fire going up the street and down the street and a lot of smoke."

Residents quickly evacuated the area after shrapnel damaged several trailers and cars. The fire also started to spread in the RV park. 

In the chaotic moment, one witness described a dangerous scene. Jeremy Twitt said, "There was a lot of pandemonium. Craziest thing was watching the people run back in to get their stuff into the flaming fifth wheels."

Emergency responders were doing their best to get bystanders out of and away from the propane tanks possibly exploding. Police say ultimately everyone on the ground walked away safely. 

"A lot of them here are long-term residents. Some of them for many many years. These are their homes to them," said Woyciehowsky. 

Jordan adds, "Everybody in the trailers got out. I've seen all my neighbors, so I'm happy about that."

Sanford Friedlander witnessed the whole ordeal from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, where officials say the plane was inbound to land. 

 "It looked like it was flying normally for a moment, then it sort of just flipped vertically and went straight into the ground. Then a big fireball. And a big cloud of black smoke," said Friedlander. 

Authorities still haven't released the condition or identity of the pilot or anyone else who may have been on board.

 "Until those families are notified, I don't think we're going to be releasing any more information and we hope it's soon. We're in contact with the coroners office and they usually handle that," said Woyciehowsky. 

The National Transportation Safety Board will be talking over the investigation to find out more about this plane crash.

Resident of Rivers Edge are being let back into their homes as of 10 p.m. Tuesday night. 

Story and video:  http://www.ktvn.com





An airplane crashed into an RV park on Thursday afternoon in Sparks as it approached the airport.

On Tuesday at approximately 6:15 p.m., a small airplane nose-dived and crashed into the Rivers Edge RV Park as it approached the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Sparks Fire Department officials said.

The RV park is located on Rock Boulevard in Sparks.

There were no injuries reported by residents of the RV park. However, the condition of the pilot or anyone else who may have been on the airplane is unknown.

According to Sparks Fire Department fire marshal Bob King, the airplane did not hit any RV's when it crashed.

"There was some pretty significant damage to a couple of trailers and some vehicles there," Lieutenant Greta Woyciehowsky from the Sparks Police Department said. "We later learned that the plane nosedived into the asphalt just next to the vehicles there but didn't strike it. Probably some shrapnel and other things hit the trailers."

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to determine where the airplane was coming from and whether it was a private aircraft, vice president of Marketing and and Public Affairs for the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Brian Kulpin said. The investigation by the FAA is ongoing.

Residents of the park were evacuated and the American Red Cross is at the scene helping them. According to Reno Police Department officials, residents are allowed to go back into the park to quickly retrieve only pets and medication. An RTC bus arrived to help transport the displaced residents.

Original Associated Press story:

Officials say a small plane crashed into an RV park as it approached Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The condition of the pilot or anyone else who may have been aboard is unclear, but there were no injuries on the ground.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the single-engine plane crashed for unknown reasons into the Rivers Edge RV Park in Sparks about a half-mile from the airport about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday

Sparks police say the plane hit the ground nose first and caught fire. Some of the wreckage hit trailers and vehicles.

Sparks fire officials say everyone in the RV park has been accounted for and no one was hurt. The park has been evacuated because of smoke. Red Cross officials are on the scene to help out evacuees.

As 8:03 p.m., traffic was opening back up on Rock Boulevard, officials said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.


Story and video:   http://www.rgj.com






SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) -- Sparks Police and Reno-Tahoe Airport officials say they are not ready to release information about the occupant(s) of a single-engine Beechcraft A36 that crashed into a Sparks trailer park Tuesday night.

They say they want to make sure family members are notified before saying anything publicly about how many people were on board and their conditions.

The plane that crashed was one similar to this Beechcraft A36.

Airport Authority spokesman Brian Kulpin says the National Transportation Safety Board is taking over the investigation as of Wednesday morning and will take over releasing information.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was on descent toward the nearby Reno-Tahoe International Airport, but he did not say where the plane was coming from.

The plane crashed into the River's Edge RV Park in Sparks on Rock Boulevard. It happened about 6PM August 30, 2016.

Bob King with Sparks Fire says the plane hit the ground and did not come into direct contact with any RVs. It does appear, though, that fire from the crash spread to surrounding RVs and vehicles.

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












SPARKS, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — A small plane crashed into a Sparks trailer park on Rock Boulevard early Tuesday evening, authorities have confirmed.

The crash, reported at about 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, sparked a fire at the Rivers Edge RV Park, prompting a response from several area agencies, including Sparks Fire, Truckee Meadows Fire, Reno Fire and law enforcement.

One witness to the crash told News 4-Fox 11 via phone that it sounded as if the plane's engine had stalled. Several witnesses described seeing the plane appear to lose control before crashing.

Sparks Fire Marshal Bob King said the plane appeared to be making a landing into Reno-Tahoe International Airport when it crashed for an unknown reason.

Crews arrived on scene and put out the fire, then proceeded to evacuate residents, King said. The plane crashed into asphalt in the park, police said. No trailers or cars were struck in the impact, though a few were damaged, likely from debris.

Nobody in the trailer park has reported reported any injuries, but the status of anyone in the plane remains unknown.

In a press briefing Tuesday night, representatives from Sparks Police Department and the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority said they could not provide any information on the person or persons inside the plane, citing an impending investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board.

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