Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cessna 152, registered to Air Christian Inc and operated by Dean International Inc doing business as Dean International Flight School (Dean International) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, N49453: Fatal accident occurred July 01, 2017 in Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Mark Ukaere 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida 
Federal Aviation Administration / Aircraft Certification Office; Los Angeles, California 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N49453


An alligator can be seen next to the body of the victim, which is blurred.

Location: Homestead, FL
Accident Number: ERA17FA231
Date & Time: 07/01/2017, 2118 EDT
Registration: N49453
Aircraft: CESSNA 152
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 1, 2017, about 2118 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N49453, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Air Christian, Inc., and operated by Dean International, Inc., dba Dean International Flight School (Dean International), under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated about 2051 from Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida.

The owner of Dean International reported that, earlier on the day of the accident, the accident pilot flew 1.6 hours with a flight instructor on an instrument training flight in the accident airplane. After landing, the flight instructor exited the airplane and instructed the pilot to tie down the airplane. The pilot did not return the keys to dispatch personnel, who were present until about 2000 that night. The airplane was fueled by Signature Flight Support about 1752, then security cameras depicted the airplane taxiing out and departing TMB. The airplane subsequently returned to TMB and landed uneventfully.

The pilot's girlfriend reported that, at 2004 and again at 2005, the pilot attempted to contact her. After seeing the 2nd missed video call from him, she initiated a video call with the pilot at 2006. At that time, he was in the cockpit of the airplane and had just landed. She remained on the call with him while he taxied to the ramp and while the airplane was fueled at 2029. During the call, he informed her he had "1 hour to go" and that he did not want to lose that hour flight time. She asked him if he was flying the next day and he said that, if he did not fly that night, he would lose that hour. She remained on the call with him during the subsequent engine start, taxi, and takeoff. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) voice communication information revealed that, about 2040, the pilot contacted ground control and was cleared to taxi to runway 9R. About 2051, he was cleared to take off from runway 9R with a right turn to the southwest.

The pilot's girlfriend further reported that, after the airplane became airborne, she told him he needed to concentrate because it was nighttime, and he replied that he would call her when he returned. The video call then ended (after being on continuously from 2006 to 2112), and the girlfriend immediately sent the pilot a text message, indicating "[Please be] safe hon." He did not reply. She sent another text message to him at 2116 stating, "Am worried [you] had to fly at night"; he did not reply. She did not receive any further communication from him.

According to FAA air traffic control (ATC) radar information, the first uncorrelated radar target presumed to be the accident airplane appeared at 2052 and was located about 846 ft and 106° from the departure end of runway 9R at an altitude of 675 ft mean sea level (msl). The targets depicted the airplane turning to the southwest and proceeding to HOLMU, which was the initial approach fix for the RNAV (GPS) RWY 10 approach to Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51), Homestead, Florida (Figure 1). After crossing HOLMU, the pilot made a procedure turn to enter the hold, flew outbound, then turned right and flew back to HOLMU, where he performed one complete hold maintaining about 1,400 ft msl. The radar data depicted the airplane turning right toward a westerly heading; however, during this time, the airplane's altitude varied. Between the last 2 radar targets, about 4 seconds apart, the airplane descended from 1,300 ft msl to 950 ft msl, and turned from a heading of 272° to 324°, which was calculated to be an average descent rate of about 6,000 ft per minute and a turn rate that exceeded standard rate. The pilot was not in contact with any FAA ATC facility at the time of the accident.


Figure 1: Radar Plot

There were no known witnesses to the accident, and there was no emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal identified in the area.

The owner of the flight school reported that he noticed the airplane was not on their ramp the next morning but was scheduled to be flown that day. The next day (July 3), flight school personnel began looking into its last activity. On July 4, when the airplane still had not yet returned, it was believed that the airplane was "stuck overnight on the west coast" due to weather. On July 5, the flight school began their search for information concerning the missing airplane and also contacted the TMB control tower alerting them of the missing airplane.

TMB tower personnel subsequently tracked the airplane from departure to the point where radar contact was lost and alerted Miami-Dade Fire Rescue about 2132 on July 5. About 2200, a Miami Dade Fire Rescue helicopter was dispatched from TMB to the last known coordinates, and the wreckage was located about 2228. Because of the environmental conditions, the helicopter was unable to land, but the Miami-Dade Police Department was dispatched to the site. The pilot's body was recovered on July 6, 2017.

The first identified impact point was located about 1,815 ft and 009° from the last radar target.

Mark Ukaere

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 29, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: None
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/18/2017
Flight Time:  136.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 136.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 66.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 42 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

The pilot, age 29, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, issued April 18, 2017, and held a 1st class FAA medical certificate with no limitations, issued December 1, 2016.

According to the operator, the pilot's total flight experience was 136.3 hours, all of which was in the accident airplane make and model. He had accrued 66.6 hours as pilot-in-command, 42 hours in the previous 90 days and 12 hours in the previous 30 days; he had flown 3 hours of night operations, none of which were in the previous 90 days. He had accrued 29.4 hours simulated instrument flight, of which 10.6 hours were in the previous 30 days. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N49453
Model/Series: 152 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 15281280
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/27/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1670 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 20 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 12118.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235-L2C
Registered Owner: AIR CHRISTIAN, INC.
Rated Power: 110 hp
Operator: Dean International, Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)
Operator Does Business As: Dean International Flight School
Operator Designator Code: 

The two-place, high-wing airplane, serial number 15281280, was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a 110-horsepower Lycoming O-235-L2C engine and equipped with a McCauley two-bladed, fixed pitch aluminum propeller. It was also equipped with vacuum-driven gyroscopic flight instruments consisting of an attitude indicator and directional gyro, and an electrically-operated turn coordinator.

Dean International, Inc., purchased the airplane on June 15, 2008, and it was used for visual and instrument flight rules flight training. Since purchase, it had accrued about 7,084 hours. The airplane was maintained in accordance with 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix D and inspected every 100 hours and annually.

Maintenance records indicated that the airplane's last altimeter, static system, and transponder tests were performed on July 8, 2016, and the last 100-hour inspection was on June 27, 2017. The recorded hour meter reading at the 100-hour inspection was 3,670.5; the hour meter reading at the time of the accident was 3,690.0 hours.

The flight instructor who flew with the accident pilot earlier that day initially reported that there were no discrepancies with the engine, engine systems, airplane, or airplane systems during the 1.6 hour flight; however, he later reported that, "while flying, the [attitude indicator] was showing a slight bank to the right of 3 degrees or less."

A review of the airplane discrepancy sheets from January 5, 2017, to June 27, 2017, revealed only 1 entry pertaining to an inoperative attitude indicator. The corrective action indicated that the defective indicator was removed and replaced and the system was tested on January 27, 2017. The airplane was then approved for return to service.



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: TMB, 10 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 63°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Wind Direction: 90°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Miami, FL (TMB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Miami, FL (TMB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2051 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

The NWS southeast section of the Surface Analysis Chart valid from 2000 EDT (0000Z July 2, 2017) depicted a high-pressure ridge extending over the area with easterly winds of 10 to 15 knots across south Florida associated with the tropical trade winds. No frontal or outflow boundaries associated from any thunderstorms were depicted across the region. A review of the NWS National Composite Radar Mosaic revealed no echoes within 20 miles of the accident site.

The TMB Automated Surface Observation System, located about 20 nautical miles (nm) east-northeast of the accident site reported at 2053, wind from 090° at 8 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, scattered clouds at 2,500 ft above ground level, temperature 29°C, dew point 24°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.14 inches of mercury.

The Miami 2000 sounding was reviewed and a High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) numerical model for 2100 over the accident site. The sounding indicated a relative humidity greater than 80%, supporting scattered low clouds between 1,500 and 3,000 ft.

The wind profile indicated a surface wind from 100° at 5 knots, with winds from the east with little directional variation with height. The mean 0 to 18,000 ft wind was from 080° at 6 knots. The wind profile did not identify any strong vertical wind shears supporting any significant turbulence below 10,000 ft.

At the time of the accident, the sun was more than 15° below the horizon at an azimuth of 300°. The moon was 54° above the horizon at an azimuth of 213°, the phase was a waxing gibbous with 60% of the moon's visible disk illuminated. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 25.495833, -80.747500 

The airplane impacted marshy terrain about 10 nautical miles west of X51; no ground reference lights were in the surrounding area. The first identified ground scar exhibited a teardrop shape and an energy path oriented on a magnetic heading of 075°. The right main landing gear brake assembly and right wingtip were located on the right side of the energy path, and the nose landing gear was located on the left side of the energy path. Additional components of the airplane were located on both sides of the energy path between the initial impact crater and the main wreckage. No odor of fuel or fuel sheen was noted. The main wreckage was also located about 136 ft and 068° from the first impact location. The fuselage was oriented on a magnetic heading of 194°.

The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage, wings, empennage, and engine. All observed and identified components were recovered on July 8 and secured for further examination. Examination of the wreckage following recovery revealed that all structural components and primary and secondary flight controls remained attached or were recovered from the immediate vicinity of the accident site. None of the parts exhibited evidence of pre- or postimpact fire.

The cockpit was fragmented. The pilot's seat was separated from the airplane, and the seat lock pin was bent aft. The pilot's lap belt was not latched, and the single shoulder harness was not attached to the lap belt. No stretching was noted to either the lap belt or shoulder harness webbing. Both control wheel tubes (shafts) were separated from the control wheels at the rivets and from the control Y assembly at the universal joints. Only one control wheel was found during the wreckage examination. The control wheel was fractured and separated from the control tube.

The leading edges of both wings exhibited full span chordwise crushing. The main spar of the left wing and the aft spar of the right wing were fractured at wing station 84.00; the fracture surfaces exhibited overload failure. Both lift struts remained connected at both ends, and the full spans of both flaps remained attached. Both left and right ailerons were accounted for. Examination of the left wing revealed that the stall vane hose was separated from the stall inlet attach point at the aft side of wing leading edge, and the stall horn was separated from the opposite end of the hose.

Examination of the aft fuselage revealed that it was fractured at fuselage station 173.41, about the location of the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizers, but remained connected by the control cables. A compression wrinkle was noted on the left side of the bulkhead below the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, both horizontal stabilizers, both elevators, and the right elevator trim tab remained connected. The elevator trim tab actuator was extended about 1.4 inches, which equated to a neutral trim position.

The fuel strainer outlet fitting was fractured and open to the environment, while the inlet line remained attached. The strainer was drained from the inlet line and about 1/4 ounce of blue-colored fuel was drained from the unit; no water was detected when using water finding paste. The bowl was removed and contained mud; the screen was clean.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to each control surface with overload bending fracture of the elevator push/pull rod, tension overload of the left rudder cable about 35 inches aft of the rudder bar attachment, tension overload of the aileron balance cable. The flap cables of both wings exhibited tension overload. The flap actuator was extended 3/16 inch, consistent with a flaps-retracted position.

Examination of the separated attitude indicator as first viewed revealed that it depicted a right bank of about 090°. Further examination of the attitude indicator revealed that all fittings remained attached at the air, vacuum, and vacuum gauge bosses on the back of the instrument, and sections of hoses remained attached to each fitting. The hoses and fittings at the back of the instrument were tight but no hose clamps were present. Impact damage precluded operational testing of the instrument. A portion of the air boss was displaced. The housing was removed and the frame was not fractured, but the rotor rear support was fractured. The rotor and rotor housing were removed, and the rotor was removed from the rotor housing. The rotor did not exhibit any scoring, while the rotor housing interior revealed about 120° circumference of tooling marks consistent with the engineering drawing.

Examination of the directional gyro, which remained secured to the instrument panel, revealed that the glass face with silhouette was missing; it depicted a heading about 080°. The gyro back was fractured with only a portion of the fractured air boss in place. The directional gyro was removed from the panel, and the rotor assembly, which was loose, was removed from the instrument. Examination of the rotor housing interior and rotor revealed light scoring on one end. The rotor bearings rotated smoothly with no drag noted.

The vacuum regulating valve remained secured to the aft side of the firewall. One fitting, with an attached 12-inch length of rubber hose, remained attached to the left port, but the right port was fractured. The hose section that was attached to the left port was tie-wrapped to another section of hose that contained a boss from an instrument consistent with the directional gyro. The vacuum regulator was removed and the remaining hose was removed from the port. Inside the port was hard debris that was convex in shape and hard on the exterior, but soft on the interior. The debris was submitted to the NTSB materials laboratory for examination, which determined that it was likely insect excretions.

Examination of the engine-driven vacuum pump revealed that a section of hose remained attached to one port, but that the hose that connected to the firewall fitting of the vacuum regulating valve was separated from the regulating valve; the fitting at the valve exhibited impact damage. Disassembly examination of the vacuum pump revealed that the splined drive and shear coupling were intact and the rotor and rotor vanes were not fractured. The vanes were identified for their appropriate slot in the rotor, removed, and measured as a group about 0.762 inch (the worn-out dimension, or minimum service limit, is 0.585 inch).

The propeller separated from the crankshaft flange, but the propeller was found in close proximity to the main wreckage. Examination of the engine following recovery revealed that internal binding prevented 360° rotation of the crankshaft; therefore, verification of valve clearance could not be performed. All cylinders, which remained secured to the engine, were removed and mud was noted on the piston domes. Examination of the removed cylinders revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction of the valve train. Following removal of all cylinders, the crankshaft rotated freely and continuity was confirmed. No lubrication issue was noted to any component of the engine. The left magneto remained attached, while the right magneto was separated and not recovered. The upper and lower securing hardware for the right magneto were in place, and a section of magneto flange was noted under the upper securing clamp. The left magneto did not produce spark when rotated; disassembly revealed water contamination. The coil tab was displaced down from its normal position. None of the gears had missing teeth, and the points appeared satisfactory. The oil sump with section containing the engine data plate was not recovered, but the carburetor, which separated from the oil sump, was recovered. The carburetor inlet screen was clean. The carburetor bowl was removed from the body and the floats appeared satisfactory; the bowl contained dried mud.

Examination of the propeller revealed that one blade exhibited a gentle radius forward bend, a gouge on the leading edge near the tip, a trailing edge bend, and trailing edge gouges. The other blade exhibited a smooth radius aft bend about 50° and slight gouges on the leading edge. The cambered side of the blade displayed chordwise scratches.

The airplane's emergency locator transmitter (ELT), an Ameri-King 450 approved under FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C91a, was found out of its normally secured position but remained partially secured by its clamp. The switch was in the arm position and the antenna remained connected. A red light emitting diode (LED) light was illuminated. The switch was placed in the off position for recovery.

Following recovery of the airplane, the ELT was removed from the bracket, and while the antenna remained connected to the ELT, twice, the switch was placed in the on position and a single momentary click sound was heard; however, no sound was heard on a portable VHF transceiver monitoring 121.5 MHz. An exemplar ELT of the same model was then tested, and after the antenna was connected, the switch was placed in the on position and the ELT signal sound was heard on the transceiver. The accident airplane ELT had a sticker indicating that the battery replacement date was December 2025.

[Additional information pertaining to the ELT can be found in public docket.]



Medical And Pathological Information

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office, Miami, Florida, performed a postmortem examination of the pilot. The cause of death was multiple blunt injuries.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. According to the toxicology report, testing for carbon monoxide and cyanide was not performed. No tested-for drugs were detected in the heart specimen; 79 and 67 mg/dl ethanol were detected in the liver and muscle specimen, respectively, and unquantified amounts of n-propanol were detected in the muscle and liver specimens.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office toxicology testing was negative for tested drugs; 0.094% and 0.099% ethanol were detected in the right chest blood and bile specimens, respectively.

Ethanol is primarily a social drug with a powerful central nervous system depressant. After absorption, ethanol is quickly distributed throughout the body's tissues and fluids fairly uniformly. The distribution pattern parallels the water content and blood supply of each organ. Ethanol and n-propanol may be produced in body tissues after death.

Additional Information

Authorization to Fly

According to Dean International Rules and Regulations for all Students, Instructors and Renters, which was signed by the pilot, approval for night flight must be obtained from two individuals of the flight school, one of whom was the owner. The owner reported that the pilot did not have permission from flight school personnel to fly at night.

Spatial Disorientation

According to the FAA's General Aviation Safety Enhancement Fact Sheet on Spatial Disorientation, pilots flying under both instrument and visual flight rules are subject to spatial disorientation and optical illusions that may cause a loss of aircraft control. Sight, supported by other senses, allows a pilot to maintain orientation while flying. However, when visibility is restricted (i.e., no visual reference to the horizon or surface detected) the body's supporting senses can conflict with what is seen. When this spatial disorientation occurs, sensory conflicts and optical illusions often make it difficult for a pilot to tell which way is up.

Contributing to these phenomena are the various types of sensory stimuli: visual, vestibular (organs of equilibrium located in the inner ear), and proprioceptive (receptors located in the skin, muscles, tendons and joints). Changes in linear acceleration, angular acceleration, and gravity are detected by the vestibular system and the proprioceptive receptors, and then compared in the brain with visual information.

In a flight environment, these stimuli can vary in magnitude, direction, and frequency, resulting in a sensory mismatch that can produce illusions and lead to spatial disorientation.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


https://registry.faa.gov/N94292


Location: Miami, FL
Accident Number: ERA17LA044
Date & Time: 11/13/2016, 1400 EDT
Registration: N94292
Aircraft: CESSNA 152
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On November 13, 2016, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N94292, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Miami, Florida. The private pilots were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the instructional flight operated by Dean International, Inc which was destined for Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida. The flight originated at Lakeland Linder Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida about 1220, and was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Each pilot provided a written statement, and both statements were consistent throughout. The pilots described the flight as a "buddy" flight, the purpose of which was to build flight time for each.

The airplane was in cruise flight over the Everglades about 2,000 feet when the crew noted some engine "roughness." They noted that the engine oil temperature was "normal" but the engine oil pressure indication was "low." The pilot on the controls turned the airplane towards the nearest airport, which was 18 miles from its position at that time. Approximately 1 minute later, the engine stopped producing power, and the crew selected a road for the forced landing. During the descent, an engine restart was attempted and was unsuccessful.

The airplane touched down prior to the road on soft, wet ground, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The pilots egressed the airplane uninjured. During recovery of the airplane, large cracks were noted in the engine crankcase near the number 2 cylinder.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on September 8, 2015. The pilot reported 212.5 total hours of flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

The copilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on July 11, 2016. The copilot reported 128.3 total hours of flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

The two-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 1982 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-235 series engine. Its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed November 3, 2016 at 10,955 total aircraft hours and the airplane had accrued 52 hours since that date. C&G Aircraft Maintenance, a Dean International company, completed engine overhaul 246 aircraft hours prior to the accident.

On November 18, 2016, a detailed examination of the engine supervised by an FAA aviation safety inspector revealed the crankshaft was broken at the No. 3 rod journal and displayed signatures consistent with "extreme heat."

The No. 3 connecting rod bolts fractured at the point where the nut contacts the connecting rod. Each connecting rod nut had a flat faced side, and a raised lip side. As found, the nuts were installed with the raised-lip side touching the connecting rod. According to Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1458G, "Nuts to be assembled with flat face side touching the connecting rod."

The caution associated with the orientation of the connecting rod nuts at installation stated:

CORRECT INSTALLATION OF THE NEW NUT ON EACH NEW CONNECTING ROD BOLT IS NECESSARY FOR CORRECT CONNECTING ROD ASSEMBLY. EACH CONNECTING ROD NUT HAS TWO DIFFERENT SURFACES, ONE SURFACE IS FLAT AND THE OTHER HAS A RAISED LIP. BE SURE TO INSTALL EACH NUT ON THE CONNECTING ROD BOLT WITH THE FLAT FACE TOUCHING THE ROD AS SHOWN IN FIGURE 2. THE RAISED LIP SURFACE IS AWAY FROM THE ROD. THE CONNECTING ROD BOLT CANNOT BE TIGHTENED CORRECTLY IF THE NUT ON THE CONNECTING ROD IS INSTALLED INCORRECTLY.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/08/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  212.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 212.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 122 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 20, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/11/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  128.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 128.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 107 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N94292
Model/Series: 152 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1982
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 15285643
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/03/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1669 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 52 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3782.7 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235 SERIES
Registered Owner: AIR CHRISTIAN INC
Rated Power: 110 hp
Operator: Dean International INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: D4RS 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFXE, 14 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 109°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LAKELAND, FL (LAL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: MIAMI, FL (TMB)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1220 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.336944, -80.625278

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Registered to Air Christian Inc 
Operated by Dean International Inc dba Dean International Flight School

http://registry.faa.gov/N49453

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 2017 in Homestead, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N49453
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 July 1, 2017, about 2118 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N49453, was destroyed when it descended and impacted terrain in Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Air Christian, Inc., and operated by Dean International, Inc., dba Dean International Flight School, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida, about 2050.

According to preliminary Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control (ATC) communication and radar information, the pilot contacted local control, and was cleared to takeoff from runway 9R with a right turn to the southwest. Uncorrelated radar targets consistent with the airplane were tracked from the first target located just past the departure end of runway 9R. The airplane then turned to the southwest and flew west of Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51). The airplane then proceeded due west of X51, where, orbits consistent with a procedure turn and instrument holding procedures were noted. The last radar target at 2118, at an altitude of 950 ft msl, on a heading of 324° was noted at 25.49101° north latitude and -080.7483° west longitude.

The operator reported the pilot as missing to law enforcement on July 5, 2017; the wreckage was located in the evening about 2230. No emergency locator transmitter signal was reported to ATC by flight crews flying overhead or nearby, or received by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

The wreckage was recovered for examination at a later date.

Cessna 152, N49453, Air Christian Inc: Fatal accident occurred near Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51), Miami-Dade County, Florida


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.

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida 

Air Christian Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N49453

Aircraft crashed into a swamp area.  The one (1) soul on board was fatally injured. Subject of an alert notice.  Wreckage located seven (7) miles from Homestead, Florida.

Date: 06-JUL-17
Time: 06:09:00Z
Regis#: N49453
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C152
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: HOMESTEAD
State: FLORIDA


Mark Ukaere

The ex girlfriend of Mark Ukaere apologizes to him.




SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A small airplane was found in the Everglades, along with the body of a pilot, after the plane had gone missing, Wednesday night.

According to Miami-Dade Police, they received a call from the owner of Dean International Flight School regarding the missing plane at 10:19 p.m., Wednesday, and dispatched an Air Rescue unit.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said a downed Cessna 152 single-engine airplane was later found at 1:58 a.m., Thursday, in an area seven miles west of Homestead General Aviation.

Police said the pilot’s body was found near the wreckage. Officials have yet to identify the deceased pilot, but roommates of Mark Ukaere, a student at the flight school, said they fear he is the pilot killed in the crash.

Ukaere’s roommates said he is a licensed pilot who has been continuing his training. He has been missing since Saturday night.

According to Robert Dean, the owner of the flight school, the pilot took off without permission at 8:50 p.m. “The individual was qualified to fly the aircraft, but he broke every single company policy,” he said.

Dean said they conducted their own search before contacting the FBI, Wednesday morning. “In our minds, we thought that he had already taken off, and he was doing what’s called a solo cross country,” he said. “Sunday went by. People went looking for the aircraft but could not find it, and then Tuesday was the holiday, the Fourth of July.”

Moreover, Dean said, Ukaere was not supposed to be flying in the dark without a co-pilot.

A trainer at the school said flying solo should only come after years of experience. “You take your time, you log your hours, but those hours do not really guarantee the right experience or the right to control the aircraft,” he said. “Some people get it in 20, some people get it in 60. So it is really sad, but it is not discouraging at all because it is motivation to investigate that occurrence — what happened, what was the effect of it and to learn from it.”


http://wsvn.com




MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the Everglades, west of Homestead, a small plane could be seen from the air mangled in an apparent crash dive.

The scene is infused with alligators and accessible only by airboat.

The plane, a Cessna 152, was occupied by just the pilot who was apparently killed outright.

Mark Ukaere, from Nigeria, was an advanced student at Miami Executive Airport’s Dean Flight Training school, his fellow students told CBS4’s Gary Nelson. Ukaere did not have any family in South Florida.

The school’s owner, Robert Dean, said Ukaere took off in the plane Saturday night without telling anyone.

“He decided to go fly, himself,” said Dean. “He basically took the aircraft away from here without any authorization.”

Dean said Ukaere, who crashed into the Everglades muck, was well aware of rules against solo night flights.

“The individual is qualified to fly the aircraft, but he broke company policy. They are required to fly at night with two pilots on board,” Dean said.

The requirement is for good reason. Pilots not fully instrument-qualified can easily lose their bearings at night.

Ukaere, a licensed pilot, was working on getting his instrument rating.

“You go out there in the pitch dark and you basically have spatial disorientation,” Dean said. “So what happened is he took off and he went into what is basically called a black hole.”

Knowing the danger, why did the company not report the plane and its pilot missing for four days?

“In our minds, we thought that he had taken off and he was doing what is called a solo cross-country,” Dean said.

It was not until after the July 4th holiday, when Ukaere had not returned, and the plane couldn’t be located at any airport around the state, that the company reported it missing.

A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopter found it in the swamp hours later.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. Miami-Dade homicide detectives are handling the death investigation.

Various local and federal agencies, as of Thursday afternoon, could not say what, if any, civil or criminal liability the company might face for the delay in reporting its aircraft missing.


http://miami.cbslocal.com

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A small airplane that apparently crashed in the Florida Everglades has been found.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine Cessna 152 was found in a swampy area about seven miles west of Homestead.

The FAA said the pilot was the only person on board.

Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue found the wreckage at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.  

A view from Sky 10 showed a body in the swamp next to the wreckage. An alligator was wading next to the body.

The plane was registered to Air Christian Inc. in Miami. The same plane was forced to make an emergency landing on U.S. Highway 41 in Collier County in December 2015.

A logo for Dean International Flight Training & Aircraft Rentals was on the side of the plane. The company is based at Miami Executive Airport. 

Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon spoke to the flight school's owner, who said the pilot took off on an unauthorized solo flight at 8:40 p.m. Saturday.

Robert Dean said he called different places he thought the pilot might have gone to and people who might have been with him before contacting the FBI Wednesday night. 

The business owner said he believes the pilot suffered from spatial disorientation as he flew in pitch darkness over the Everglades. 

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived at the scene Thursday morning.


https://www.local10.com


A pilot was killed after his Cessna 152 single-engine plane crashed deep in the Everglades Wednesday night, authorities said.

A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue air unit first spotted the plane wreckage around 10:20 p.m. with a body alongside the debris, police spokesman Argemis Colome said. Fire Rescue then alerted Miami-Dade police, but because of the conditions authorities decided to wait till morning to go out to the scene, he said.

The crash is “so far into the Everglades that they might have to take airboats,” said Colome. The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash happened about seven miles west of Homestead. The pilot was the only person on the plane.

The plane that crashed had been housed at Miami Executive Airport, Colome added, though he said officers were still investigating when the plane had taken off. The pilot’s identity was not released.


Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the agency is investigating the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board is determining what caused the aircraft to go down.

http://www.miamiherald.com

MIAMI, Fla. (CBS12) —  One person is dead following a plane crash in the Florida Everglades.

According to CBS Miami, the FAA said the plane was reported missing Wednesday night after it left Miami Executive Airport. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews found the plane Thursday morning in a swampy area about seven miles west of Homestead, said the Federal Aviation Administration in statement to CBS Miami.

The pilot hasn't been identified.

Authorities say the plane is registered to Air Christian Inc., of Miami.

http://cbs12.com

The wreckage of a small, single engine aircraft was found in a swampy area of the Everglades early Thursday morning.

The Cessna 152 was found about seven miles west of Homestead, the FAA said in a statement. Only the pilot was on board.

Footage appeared to show the pilot's body amid the wreckage.

No information was released about how the plane got in the swampy area. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are en route to begin their investigation.

http://www.nbcmiami.com

Cessna 152, N49453:  Incident occurred December 06, 2015 in Collier County, Florida 



A small plane experiencing mechanical difficulties landed safely Sunday morning on U.S. 41 in eastern Collier County.

The Collier County Sheriff's Office said the plane landed near mile marker 49 in Ochopee after water got into the aircraft's engine.

The pilot was a flight student and the only person onboard, according to the FAA, which said the plane was a single-engine Cessna 152.

No one was injured.

US 41 has since reopened.

Source:  http://www.nbc-2.com



The pilot of a Cessna 152 experiencing mechanical difficulties landed safely Sunday morning on U.S. 41 in eastern Collier County.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 10:50 a.m. about the plane landing near mile marker 49 on U.S. 41, near the county line.

Karie Partington, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said the pilot was a flight school student flying from the east coast. 

The student was the only person onboard.

There was no damage to the plane and the pilot was not injured.

Around noon, the road was temporarily blocked in both direction for emergency vehicles.

The plane eventually restarted and the pilot flew it back out, Partington said.

Source:  http://www.naplesnews.com



OCHOPEE, Fla – A mechanical problem leads a student pilot to make an emergency landing on US41.  The FAA tells Wink News a Cessna 152 landed in Ochopee around 10:45am.  The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says the student is from a school on the East Coast, and he was not injured in the landing. An unknown mechanical problem caused the student pilot to make the decision. There is currently no roadblock. 

Source:  http://www.winknews.com




A Cessna 152 plane experiencing mechanical difficulties landed safely Sunday morning on U.S. 41 in eastern Collier County. The plane landed near mile marker 49 of U.S. 41, near the county line, around 11:10 a.m., according to a dispatcher. Public information officer Karie Partington said the pilot was a flight student flying from the east coast. The student pilot was the only person in the plane. Collier County sheriff's deputies are on scene. There are no injuries and no damage to the plane. At 12:05 p.m., FDOT reported that traffic in both directions was blocked for emergency vehicles, and motorists should use an alternative route.

Cessna 152, N94292, Air Christian Inc: Accident occurred Sunday, November 13, 2016 in Miami, Florida 




The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Air Christian Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N94292

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA044
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 13, 2016 in Miami, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N94292
Injuries: 2 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 November 13, 2016, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N94292, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Miami, Florida. The private pilots were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the instructional flight operated by Dean International, Inc., which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.The flight originated at Lakeland Linder Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida about 1220, and was destined for Miami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida.

Each pilot provided a written statement, and both statements were consistent throughout. The pilots described the flight as a "buddy" flight, the purpose of which was to build flight time for each.

The airplane was in cruise flight over the Everglades about 2,000 feet when the crew noted some engine "roughness." They noted that the engine oil temperature was "normal" but the engine oil pressure indication was "low." The pilot on the controls turned the airplane towards the nearest airport, which was 18 miles from its position at that time. Approximately 1 minute later, the engine stopped producing power, and the crew selected a road for the forced landing. During the descent, an engine restart was attempted and was unsuccessful.

The airplane touched down prior to the road on soft, wet ground, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The pilots egressed the airplane uninjured.

The first pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on September 8, 2015. The pilot reported 212.5 total hours of flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

The second pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on July 11, 2016. The pilot reported 128.3 total hours of flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

The two-seat, single-engine, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 1982 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-235 series engine. Its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed November 3, 2016 at 10,955 total aircraft hours, and the airplane had accrued 52 hours since that date. An engine overhaul was completed 246 aircraft hours prior to the accident.


During recovery of the airplane, large cracks were noted in the engine crankcase in the vicinity of the number 2 cylinder. The airplane's engine was retained for further examination.




Fearing an alligator attack, two shaken survivors of a plane crash in the Everglades took refuge on Jimmie and Betty Osceola's airboat.

"I told them not to worry about them," Betty Osceola said Monday about swamp reptiles.

She didn't share with the men from India -- whose single engine plane crashed Sunday in far western Broward County -- anything about the water moccasins that live in that part of the swamp.

"They didn't mention the snakes, and I didn't tell them," Betty Osceola said. "They didn't need anything else to worry about."

Pilot Divyank Sejwal and student Preet Kanwar Singh Dhaliwal were in a Cessna 152 aircraft that belongs to Dean International, Inc., a flight school that operates out of Miami Executive Airport in Miami-Dade County.

Robert Dean, owner of the plane and 35-year-old school that attracts about 300 aviation students each year, said something happened with the Cessna's engine. A Federal Aviation Administration investigator was scheduled to visit the crash site Monday, he said.

"We don't know yet," Dean said of a possible cause. "The plane had been reliable in the past."

Of the student and pilot, he said, "They are licensed private pilots. They are trained and did exactly what they were trained to do."

"The pilot did an amazing job," said Dean. "They are safe. The plane will be recovered and our whole goal is to determine what took place and make sure it never happens again."

Betty Osceola, 49, and Jimmie Osceola, 70, of Ochopee in Collier County, own Buffalo Tiger Airboat Tours that is on the Miccosukee Reservation in Miami-Dade County.

"It was a beautiful day, so we decided to tour [Water Conservation Area] 3A," Betty Osceola said.

They steered an airboat toward an area of tree islands, hammocks that are north of Interstate 75 where the tribe has camps and teaches children about the environment. They also take airboat tour customers there.

On Sunday afternoon, they wanted to clear brush and check on the conditions of the islands. The couple skimmed their boat over the sawgrass and beneath the interstate to their destination and awaiting chores.

Later in the afternoon as they headed south toward home, they first noticed the Cessna.

"It was getting lower," Betty Osceola said. "At first I didn't pay attention because you have planes do their flight lessons and we normally see them out there."

As the airboat was about 1.5 miles south of Interstate-75, the couple became concerned.

"The plane just kept getting lower and lower and lower, too low," she said. "It passed over us, heading northeast. My husband didn't see the propeller turning before it crashed. He signaled to make a U-turn."

They were wearing ear protection and couldn't hear if the Cessna's engine had died. She spun the airboat around and at first, couldn't see the plane.

Then, she said, "We saw the tail go up and it landed on the roof."

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue said the Cessna's nose gear hit the swamp before it flipped over.

As the couple raced their airboat to the crash, Betty Osceola said she thought, "Oh Lord, don't let us find dead bodies. If they were still stuck in the plane, our thought was we'd do what we could to get them out."

Instead, the couple saw two men in uniform, standing on a wing. The survivors looked "a little bit stunned," she said. "We asked if they were OK or hurt anywhere, and they said they were OK. But we didn't know if they were in shock."

Luckily there wasn't a fire.

"Thank God," Betty Osceola said. "They were able to get out on their own."

They invited the men to sit on the airboat while the foursome waited for help.

The Osceolas called the tribe's police department because, she said, "They have wildlife officers that patrol the area. They would find us faster than the other police departments, unless you've got helicopters."

The men told the Osceolas the plane wasn't acting right, and it went down before they could get to a highway, Betty Osceola said.

One of the fliers reported the crash in a phone call, she said, "and they thought they were near I-95. If nobody had seen them go down, it would have been a bit before they were found, unless [responders] took the signal off that phone."

But the Osceolas found the crash survivors, in an area where water was about a foot deep, and stayed with them until rescuers arrived.

"I'm glad my husband and I were there at the right time to help them, and that they were OK," Betty Osceola said.

After about 30 minutes, helicopters from Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue circled above.

When Miami-Dade's helicopter landed, one of the responders asked if the airboat was stuck, and if everyone was OK.

Sejwal and Dhaliwal shook the Osceolas' hands and thanked them, Betty Osceola said.

The Miami-Dade helicopter flew the men to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, according to Dean.

He described their survival as "no hospital, no injuries, no scratches. It's amazing."

Betty Osceola said about witnessing a plane crash,"When we got home, the adrenaline was still going. It's not something that I ever wanted to experience. I don't ever want to see that again."


Source:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com

A small Cessna 152 plane made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon off Alligator Alley, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The two men on board were not injured, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. When the nose gear hit the swamp, the plane flipped over, Jaches said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue found the downed plane about a mile and a half south of Interstate 75 near mile marker 47, Jachles said.

"The two men told firefighters the plane quit; they lost power," Jachles said.

The men were identified as Preetkanwar Singh Dhaliwal, 20, and Divvank Sejwal, 23. It's unclear which man was the pilot and where the plane was heading. It's also unknown from where the plane took off.

The two-seat aircraft landed about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the FAA said. Fire Rescue received the call about 2:55 p.m., Jachles said.

The plane had 20 gallons on board, Jachles said.

A private airboat and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue assisted in the rescue, Jachles said. A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue helicopter flew the two men away from the scene.  The FAA is continuing their investigation.

Story and video:  http://www.sun-sentinel.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a flight school of more than questionable reputation and not shy to point with the finger on those who cannot defend themselves anymore. That is too easy. Some statements are Grade 1 BS like

"A trainer at the school said flying solo should only come after years of experience."

Really? Are you serious? So none of the Dean International students ever flew solo prior their PPL checkrides? So all logbooks presented to the DPE contained false statements regarding solo and solo XC time?

And I would suggest to investigate Mr. Dean and his company not only for this. Just a quick quiz. When you are supposed to inform the NTSB about a missing aircraft? Hint: 14 CFR 830.5 - immediate notification is the key word.
At least my FAR/AIM does not have special rules for reports around July 4th.

The aircraft is missing since Saturday or Sunday the latest? And why talk to the FBI in the first place? And who within this company controlled the access to the planes and gave him the keys?

Very, very fishy.