Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Federal Aviation Administration raises height limit for flights over Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE)

August 9, 2016 (El Cajon) — The Federal Aviation Administration has approved a request from Gillespie Field Airport Manager Marc Baskel to permanently raise the minimum altitude for air traffic over Gillespie Field from 1,188 feet to 1,388 feet.

“This determination was made with respect to the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace by aircraft and with respect to the safety of persons and property on the ground,” says Tim Hester, airport planner with the FAA in a letter to Baskel dated July 22, 2016.

The change comes after years of complaints by neighbors who contend flight school students flying low over homes pose dangers to residents, also causing noise annoyance. 

 At least twice in recent years, planes from Gillespie have crashed into adjacent neighborhoods, including a fatal crash into a Santee home in 2015 that killed a flight school pilot and student.

“I am hoping this will provide some relief,” says Sue Strom, founder of Advocates for Safe Airport Policy, or ASAP.

Strom indicates that a staffer for Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office has indicated the change will take effect on September 15th and that Jacob is ”very excited about this.”

A similar request to the FAA a decade ago was reportedly denied.

Source:   http://www.eastcountymagazine.org

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, N8441B, Golden State Flying Club: Fatal accident occurred September 03, 2015 near Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), California


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA San Diego FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA256
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 03, 2015 in Santee, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N8441B
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 September 3, 2015, about 0915 Pacific daylight time, a single-engine Piper PA28-161 airplane, N8441B, struck the roof of a house, and came to rest inverted in a driveway in a residential area in Santee, California. Golden State Flying Club, El Cajon, California, operated the airplane as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight instructor and student pilot were fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage during the accident sequence, and was also involved in a post-crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area traffic pattern flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The airplane had just departed from Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), San Diego/El Cajon, California, runway 27R; the accident site was located about a ½ mile from the airport.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), tower personnel reported that the airplane had been conducting touch-and-go takeoffs and landings on runway 27R. After completing the second touch-and-go landing, tower personnel stated that the airplane was on the upwind, when they observed the airplane make a left turn and descend rapidly toward the terrain west of the field. There were no mayday calls made by the pilot.

Witnesses located at the accident site reported that the engine quit, and it appeared that the pilots were trying to restart the engine when the left wing struck the roof of a house. The airplane then struck three vehicles, and came to rest inverted in a driveway abut a palm tree.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator responded to the accident site along with the FAA, and a Piper Aircraft air safety investigator. The entire airplane came to rest at the accident site; the left wing had separated from the airplane, but had come to rest on top of the right wing. The engine and engine mount remained attached to each other, but had separated from the airframe, and came to rest adjacent to the nose of the airplane. The airplane was recovered with an inspection scheduled for a later date.

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