Friday, January 29, 2016

Airbus A320-211, Air Canada, C-FTJP: Accident occurred March 29, 2015 in Halifax, Canada

Hearing set for lawsuit against 2015 Halifax flight crash 



A hearing for a class-action lawsuit against Air Canada for a flight that crashed at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in March of 2015 has been scheduled for December.

The two law firms representing the passengers, Wagners out of Halifax and Camp, Fiorante, Matthews and Mogerman, out of Vancouver, met before Justice Denise Boudreau Thursday to schedule the proceedings.

Air Canada flight 624 landed short of the runway on March 29, 2015, due to poor visibility and stormy weather. Twenty-three people were injured as a result of the crash.

Passengers on the flight received $5,000 from Air Canada.

Both firms have extensive histories of class-action lawsuits involving plane crashes. Wagners was involved in the successful representation of the families of the seven crew members who died in the MK Airlines Ltd. cargo plane crash near Halifax’s airport in 2004.

CFM prosecuted a class action for the passengers on the Air France flight that overran the runway at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport roughly 10 years ago.

Source:  http://thechronicleherald.ca

Aviation Investigation A15H0002: http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca



NTSB Identification: ENG15WA026
Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Halifax, Canada
Aircraft: AIRBUS A320 - 211, registration:
Injuries: 28 Minor, 110 Uninjured.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On 29 March 2015, an Air Canada Airbus A320-200 aircraft (registration C-FTJP) clipped a power line and approach lights short of Runway 05 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada is investigating the accident. As the state of manufacture of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) unit, the NTSB has designated a U.S. Accredited Representative under the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on Civil Aviation to assist the TSB. 

All inquiries concerning this accident should be directed to the TSB of Canada at:

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Place du Centre, 4th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 1K8
Canada
Website: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

Boeing 777-236ER, British Airways, G-VIIO: Accident occurred September 08, 2015 at McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Nevada

Tent erected over damaged British Airways jet at McCarran

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — A tent has been erected over a fire-damaged British Airways jetliner parked for nearly five months at McCarran International Airport.

The Boeing 777-200 caught fire Sept. 8, 2015, just before an attempted takeoff as the London-bound flight caught fire, forcing the evacuation of 170 people on board on emergency slides.

Airport officials said at least 14 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

"A fence has been erected along with a tent over most of the plane except the nose," said Christine Crews, McCarran spokeswoman, adding that since it was a British Airways aircraft that the airline is in charge and she has no timeline for the repair work.

Crews said the fence line alleviates a lot of the issues airport operations had with the jumbo jet that has been parked at the FedEx building. BA is paying $375 a day in rent for the space.

The airport's emergency services extinguished the fire within 5 minutes of the mayday call.

The fire caused a large hole in the cargo hold and damage to the engine. British Airways later determined the plane could be repaired.

The Federal Aviation Administration indicated the fire was caused by failure of the left General Electric GE90 engine, one of two fitted on the plane.

The runway, one of four, was closed for four hours, and several inbound flights were cancelled.

Story and video:  http://news3lv.com



NTSB Identification: DCA15FA185
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of BRITISH AIRWAYS PLC
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 08, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: BOEING COMPANY BOEING 777-236, registration: G-VIIO
Injuries: 1 Serious, 5 Minor, 164 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 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 8, 2015, about 1613 pacific daylight time (PDT), British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777-200, equipped with two GE90-85B engines, registration G-VIIO, experienced a #1 engine uncontained failure during takeoff ground roll on runway 7L at McCarran International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, Nevada. The #1 engine, inboard left wing, and a portion of the left and right fuselage sustained fire damage. Resulting fire was extinguished by airport rescue and fire fighting. The 157 passengers, including 1 lap child, and 13 crew members evacuated via emergency slides on the runway. There were 5 minor injuries and 1 serious injury as a result of the evacuation. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 129 
 and was en route to London - Gatwick Airport (LGW), Horley, England.

F-35 cleared for overseas air shows

Mark Buongiorno, vice president of Pratt’s F135 engine program, said company officials are pleased the F-35 will go to air shows in the United Kingdom.



EAST HARTFORD — Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engines, and the Pentagon’s newest F-35 Lightning II military jets that they power, finally will make their international debut this summer at a pair of air shows in England.

The U.S. Air Force has cleared the jet fighters to travel to two United Kingdom shows this year: the Royal International Air Tattoo, from July 7-9, and the Farnborough International Air Show set for July 11-17.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, had been expected to debut at Farnborough in 2014, but missed the show after an explosion and fire in a malfunctioning Pratt engine in a test aircraft. It also missed the 2015 Paris Air Show.

Pratt’s F135 engines power the aircraft, and Pratt officials say they’re eager to show off the new plane’s capabilities for an international audience.

Pratt “is excited that visitors to these two air shows will get to experience the F-35, and its F135 engine, as it powers through its aerial demonstration,” Mark Buongiorno, vice president of Pratt’s F135 engine program said in an email.

The F135, which is capable of generating 40,000 pounds of thrust, is “the most powerful and adaptable fighter engine ever built,” Buongiorno said.

Britain’s Rolls-Royce makes the portion of the propulsion system used in the short-take-off and vertical landing version of the plane, designed primarily for the U.S. Marine Corps. Other versions of the jet fighter are being made for the Air Force, the Navy, international partners, and other foreign customers.

Nine countries are partners in the F-35 program: Great Britain, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway.

The delays have sparked concern among the international partners about committing to purchasing the planes. The demonstrations likely won’t affect that, aerospace analyst Mark Bobbi, who owns MB Strategy Consulting in Florida, said.

“No mechanical issues remain,” Bobbi said, but a snag in software development “has reared its ugly head.”

The Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation said there are “hundreds of unresolved deficiencies” in the software in a Dec. 11 memorandum, Breaking Defense, an online military industry magazine, reported.

But Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said the overseas demonstrations will show off the F-35 “cutting edge” planes.

“The F-35 represents a new way of thinking about data integration, weapons, and tactics,” Welsh said in a news release.

The planes will be part of the Air Force Heritage Flight program during the shows, which features modern planes flying side-by-side with World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War-era.

“The F-35 will be the backbone of the Air Force fighter fleet and represents the future for the U.S., our partners, and allies,” Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, said.

The 56th Fighter Wing, from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, also will have F-35s on static public display at both air shows.

Story and photo:  http://www.journalinquirer.com

Air India pilots spot mysterious objects in Mumbai

Pilots of an Air India aircraft spotted four flying objects, allegedly parachutes, in the south of Mumbai on Friday morning.

Air India Flight 671 took off for Chennai at 9.30 am. After taking off from the airport’s main runway, it took a left turn. About 10 minutes later, when the aircraft was at an altitude of 6,000 feet, the pilot informed the air traffic control tower (ATC) that he could see four parachutes flying at a lower altitude. The parachutes were yellow, red, blue and green in colour and sighted at a distance of 20 km from the city airport.

All coastal police stations, namely Arnala, Virar, Palghar, Satpati, Kelwe Road and Dahanu, were alerted by police officials after they came to know about the spotting of parachutes.

The directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA) has ordered a probe into the matter. A senior DGCA official said, “The ATC has informed us about the message from the AI crew. We will begin our preliminary investigation.”

Another senior official from DGCA, on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security should make some provisions keeping in mind the frequency of such incidents in recent times and the police should be guided accordingly.

While DGCA officials maintained that no conclusion has been drawn about the identity of these flying objects, a senior ATC official said that parachutes are meant for jumping from aircraft but ATC’s city radar did not show any other flight in the area at that time, so chances are that the flying objects are not parachutes.

In January, on two separate occasions, parachute-like flying objects were reportedly spotted, first by a Pawan Hans pilot and then by an Air India passenger, within a week of each other. An investigation was launched by the police and ATS. That apart, on January 14, an Air India aircraft had to go around before approaching the runway for landing as a flying object came near it.

Police sources said that a preliminary inquiry into the incident has revealed that the passenger saw those objects near Matheran. There are several flying clubs in Matheran which organise sky rides by parachutes so chances are the passenger saw one such parachute. About the sighting by the Pawan Hans pilot, no conclusion has been drawn.

Source:  http://wwv.asianage.com

F-35s to train in Tucson, Arizona, in March





In March, Tucson residents will finally be able to glimpse — and hear — the U.S. military’s newest fighter jet over the Old Pueblo.

Two F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters will fly at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for a few days in early March during the Heritage Flight, which trains and certifies pilots to fly alongside vintage airplanes, D-M says.

The event is not open to the general public, and most maneuvers are performed over D-M’s airfield, but at times local residents will be able to see and hear the planes coming and going.

Not including a brief, unscheduled flyover by two F-35s about a year ago, the Heritage Flight will mark the first official visit to Tucson by the F-35, which besides its high cost and development problems has sparked criticism because it is much louder than jets currently based at D-M.

Some details, like the exact number of certain participating planes, have to be finalized, but the Heritage Flight event will likely include 15 to 17 planes, new and old, D-M spokesman Capt. Casey Osborne said.

The weekend following the Heritage Flight, March 12-13, D-M will host its Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona open house and air show, which is open to the public. An F-35 will be on ground display at that event.

Besides the F-35, participating aircraft so far include two F-22 Raptors, a twin-engine stealth fighter that participated last year; two F-16 Fighting Falcons; and vintage planes including a P-40 Warhawk, four or five P-51 Mustangs, two or three F-86 Sabres, a P-47 Thunderbolt and a P-38 Lightning.

D-M officials discussed the Heritage Flight and the F-35’s participation last week at a meeting of the Military Community Relations Committee, ahead of a formal Heritage Flight announcement on Monday.

The base is trying to get the word out so residents know what to expect, D-M’s Osborne said. D-M routinely issues news releases informing residents of visiting units.



Two transient F-35s briefly practiced approaches over D-M in February 2015, and the unscheduled event prompted some noise complaints from residents.

The F-35 has been a focal point for some area residents who have complained that some jets are too loud for urban-area use.

Air Force data show that the F-35 at takeoff is about nine decibels louder than the most powerful version of the F-16, which routinely is flown at D-M and is the main aircraft flown by the Arizona Air National Guard 162nd Wing at Tucson International Airport. A 10-decibel increase roughly represents a doubling of perceived sound levels.

Several local residents recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Air Force, alleging that the service failed to follow environmental laws in determining that a major expansion of a training program known as Total Force Training would have no significant impact on surrounding areas. That plan would bring more, and some louder, visiting jets to D-M, though the F-35 wasn’t included since it technically is not yet operational.

Some F-35 critics, as well as some supporters, have suggested that the Air Force fly F-35s over Tucson so residents can hear the noise level for themselves. Sen. John McCain said during a discussion of F-35 basing in 2009 that such overflights over could be helpful.

No flyovers were performed, but Luke Air Force Base near Phoenix was made a major F-35 training base and about 30 F-35s were based there as of December, according a public fact sheet.

Story, video and photo:  http://tucson.com

Jurors: Defendants not guilty in Florence County, South Carolina, helicopter trial

Dusan Fridl and Hemming Hemmingsen smile thanks to their attorney Patrick McLaughlin. The pair was found not guilty of charges they flew a helicopter that the Florence County Sheriff's Office claimed was controlled by them, at the time, without permission.



FLORENCE, S.C. -- Florence County jurors deliberated for less than 45 minutes before they found two Florence County pilots not guilty of charges they unlawfully entered and flew a helicopter that the Florence County Sheriff's Office claimed it controlled at the time.


Dusan Fridl and Hemming Hemmingsen were indicted on felony charges in April 2015 after they took a helicopter up for a maintenance flight without permission from the owner of the aircraft. The Florence County Sheriff's Office argued they controlled the helicopter when the unauthorized flight occurred on the evening of April 6, 2015. The pilots were also accused of removing wheels from the aircraft.

During closing arguments, defense attorney Patrick McLaughlin argued that the state rushed into branding Fridl and Hemmingsen as criminals and will not admit they made a mistake.

"The Florence County Sheriff's Office did not own the helicopter on April 6," McLaughlin said. "It wasn't their helicopter."

McLaughlin went on to defend the need for preventative maintenance flights and that Fridl and Hemmingsen were well within their rights to fly and maintain the aircraft.



"What happened if they (sheriff's office) got the helicopter and it wouldn't start?" McLaughlin said.

Solicitor Rick Hoefer took the floor and said he argued the sheriff's office did own the helicopter well before the April 6 flight. Hoefer also argued that the pilots were not authorized to fly the aircraft according to Lake City Administrator Shawn Bell.

"The transfer began in February when Lake City knew they could not fund the aircraft," Hoefer said. "Because they had no insurance there was a stand-down order."

Hoefer addressed that former Lake City Police Chief Jodi Cooper may have had the ultimate authority over the aircraft, but he was unaware of the flight taking place before the transfer on April 7.

"Chief Cooper said he didn't know anything about a flight on April 6," Hoefer said. "Mr. Fridl thought he owned it (the helicopter) ... it was his baby."

In closing, both attorneys argued the opposing side was not willing to admit they had made a mistake.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.scnow.com

Socata TBM700, Gadsden Aviation LLC, N702H: Fatal accident occurred March 22, 2014 in Ridgway Reservoir, Ridgway, Colorado

GADSDEN AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N702H 

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA167 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 22, 2014 in Ridgway, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/17/2016
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N702H
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

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.

About 3 months before the accident, the pilot received about 9 hours of flight instruction, including completion of an instrument proficiency check, in the airplane. The accident flight was a personal cross-country flight operated under instrument flight rules (IFR). Radar track data depicted the flight proceeding on a west-southwest course at 15,800 ft mean sea level (msl) as it approached the destination airport. The flight was cleared by the air traffic controller for a GPS approach, passed the initial approach fix, and, shortly afterward, began a descent as permitted by the approach procedure. The track data indicated that the flight became established on the initial approach segment and remained above the designated minimum altitude of 12,000 ft msl. Average descent rates based on the available altitude data ranged from 500 feet per minute (fpm) to 1,000 fpm during this portion of the flight.

At the intermediate navigation fix, the approach procedure required pilots to turn right and track a north-northwest course toward the airport. The track data indicated that the flight entered a right turn about 1 mile before reaching the intermediate fix. As the airplane entered the right turn, its average descent rate reached 4,000 fpm. The flight subsequently tracked northbound for nearly 1-1/2 miles. During this portion of the flight, the airplane initially descended at an average rate of 3,500 fpm then climbed at a rate of 1,800 fpm. The airplane subsequently entered a second right turn. The final three radar data points were each located within 505 ft laterally of each other and near the approximate accident site location. The average descent rate between the final two data points (altitudes of 10,100 ft msl and 8,700 ft msl) was 7,000 fpm. About the time that the final data point was recorded, the pilot informed the air traffic controller that the airplane was in a spin and that he was attempting to recover. No further communications were received from the pilot. The airplane subsequently impacted the surface of a reservoir at an elevation of about 6,780 ft and came to rest in 60 ft of water. A detailed postaccident examination of the airframe, engine and propeller assembly did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

The available meteorological data suggested that the airplane encountered clouds (tops about 16,000 ft msl or higher and bases about 10,000 ft msl) and was likely operating in IFR conditions during the final 15 minutes of the flight; however, no determination could be made regarding whether the clouds that the airplane descended through were solid or layered. In addition, the data suggested the possibility of both light icing and light turbulence between 12,000 ft msl and 16,000 ft msl along the flight path. Although the pilot appeared to be managing the flight appropriately during the initial descent, it could not be determined why he was unable to navigate to the approach fixes and maintain control of the airplane as he turned toward the airport and continued the descent.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of airplane control during an instrument approach procedure, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and entering an inadvertent aerodynamic stall and spin.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On March 22, 2014, at 1400 mountain daylight time, a Socata TBM 700, N702H, impacted the Ridgway Reservoir, Ridgway, Colorado. The airplane came to rest in about 60 feet of water. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Gadsden Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the destination airport. The flight was operated on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight originated from the Bartlesville Municipal Airport (BVO), Bartlesville, Oklahoma, about 1111. The intended destination was the Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ), Montrose, Colorado.

At 0622 on the morning of the accident, the pilot accessed the Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS) and obtained a weather briefing for the route of flight from the Northeast Alabama Regional Airport (GAD), Gadsden, Alabama, to BVO. An IFR flight plan for that route of flight was subsequently filed. The accident pilot was listed as the pilot-in-command.

Tracking data indicated that the airplane subsequently departed GAD about 0739 and arrived at BVO about 1001. Personnel at the fixed base operator (FBO) located at BVO reported that upon arrival, the pilot requested that the airplane be topped off with fuel and that a ground power unit be made available for engine start. They noted that the pilot and passengers came into the FBO to eat lunch. At 1038, the pilot again accessed DUATS and obtained a weather briefing for the route of flight from BVO to MTJ. An IFR flight plan was subsequently filed for that route of flight. That flight plan also listed the accident pilot as the pilot-in-command. The FBO personnel stated that the pilot and passengers re-boarded the airplane after their lunch. The subsequent engine start up, taxi and takeoff appeared normal. Nothing with respect to the airplane or the pilot seemed out of the ordinary, nor did they have any concerns regarding the flight.

At 1111, the pilot contacted the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and informed the controller that the flight had departed BVO and requested an IFR clearance to MTJ. The accident flight was subsequently radar identified and cleared direct to MTJ at an ultimate cruising altitude of 26,000 feet pressure altitude (FL260).

About 1233, control of the flight was transferred to the Denver ARTCC. At 1330, the controller advised the pilot to expect the RNAV(GPS) Rwy 35 approach at MTJ. At 1341, the controller instructed the pilot to descend to and maintain 17,000 feet mean sea level (msl). This was amended to 16,000 feet msl four minutes later. At 1348, the pilot was instructed to maintain 16,000 feet msl until reaching the YARUB navigation fix, an initial approach fix for the MTJ RNAV (GPS) Rwy 35 approach procedure. The pilot was also cleared for the approach at that time. At 1358, the pilot was released to change to the airport advisory frequency. At 1400:34 (hhmm:ss), the pilot transmitted, "spin I'm trying to get out of here." No further communications were received from the accident flight.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar track data depicted the airplane proceeding on a west course at 15,800 feet as it approached MTJ. The airplane passed the YARUB initial approach fix about 1356:59. About 23 seconds later, the airplane began a descent. The track data indicated that the airplane became established on the initial approach segment between YARUB and COQKU. The minimum altitude for this approach segment was 12,000 feet msl. At COQKU, the approach procedure required pilots to turn right and track a magnetic course of 328 degrees. The minimum altitude for that approach segment was 9,900 feet msl.

At 1358:58, the airplane was located about 1.7 nm east-northeast of COQKU at an altitude of 14,400 feet msl. At 1359:10, the airplane was about 1.14 nm east-northeast of COQKU at an altitude of 13,600 feet msl. About that time, the airplane entered a right turn and proceeded northbound about 1.4 miles. At 1359:34 and 1359:46, the corresponding Mode C altitudes were 12,200 feet and 12,500 feet, respectively. The airplane subsequently entered a second right turn, tracking eastbound for about 0.85 mile. The final three data points were each located within 505 feet (0.08 mile) laterally of each other and of the approximate location of the accident site. The data point recorded at 1400:10 did not have Mode C altitude data associated with it. At 1400:22, the associated Mode C altitude was 10,100 feet. The final data point was recorded at 1400:34, with an associated Mode C altitude of 8,700 feet.

U. S. Department of the Interior / Bureau of Reclamation data indicated that the elevation of the Ridgway Reservoir was about 6,870 feet on the day of the accident.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. He was issued a third class airman medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses on February 12, 2014.

The pilot's logbook, denoted logbook number "02," was reviewed by the NTSB. The initial entry in this logbook was dated March 24, 2012, and the final entry was dated January 4, 2014. According to this logbook, the pilot had accumulated a total flight time of about 908 hours in single-engine land airplanes, 839 hours as pilot-in-command, 211 hours dual instruction received, 71 hours actual instrument, 46 hours simulated instrument, and 133 hours night flight time.

The logbook included two entries attributable to the accident airplane, dated January 3 and 4, 2014, totaling 8.6 hours. These were also the only entries attributable to the same make and model aircraft as the accident airplane. These entries included a notation for one instrument landing system (ILS) approach. The logbook included flight review and instrument proficiency check endorsements dated January 4, 2014. The logbook also included an endorsement for high-altitude, pressurized airplane training as required by 14 CFR 61.31(g). According to the logbook endorsements, both the instrument proficiency check and the pressurized airplane endorsements were completed in a TBM 700 airplane. The logbook also included an entry for 12 hours of ground instruction covering TBM 700 systems and high altitude operations.

Data obtained from a commercial flight tracking company indicated that a total of 12 flights related to the accident airplane were on file between December 27, 2013, and March 22, 2014. These flights totaled 28 hours and 2 minutes of flight time. However, no information regarding the pilot-in-command, any fight plan filed, or the flight conditions, was associated with the data.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
The accident airplane was a 1996 Socata TBM 700, serial number 112. It was a six-place, single-engine airplane, with a pressurized cabin and a retractable tricycle landing gear configuration. The airplane was equipped with an ice protection system and was approved for flight into known icing conditions, with the exception of severe icing conditions.

The airplane was powered by a 700 shaft-horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 turbo-propeller engine, serial number 111098, and a 4-blade, constant speed (adjustable pitch) Hartzell model HC-E4N-3/E9083SK propeller assembly. The accident airplane was issued an FAA normal category, standard airworthiness certificate in December 1996. The accident owner, Gadsden Aviation, LLC, purchased the airplane on December 30, 2013. The accident pilot signed the registration application as an authorized member of Gadsden Aviation.

According to the airplane maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was completed on November 21, 2013. At the time of that inspection, the airframe total time was 4,785.1 hours, with a total of 3,593 cycles. The recording hour (Hobbs) meter reportedly indicated 4,334.1 hours. The engine had accumulated 4,785.1 hours, with 2,806.4 hours and 1,235.1 hours since the most recent overhaul and the most recent hot section inspection, respectively.

A subsequent maintenance record entry, dated December 30, 2013, which corresponded to the most recent sale date for the airplane, indicated that the logbooks were reviewed in accordance with the customer's request. In addition, a walk-around inspection was completed at that time, with no findings noted. The maintenance record contained no further entries.

The recording hour (Hobbs) meter indicated 4,397.6 hours at the time of the postaccident examination. This is consistent with the airplane accumulating 63.5 hours since the annual inspection.

METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS
Weather conditions recorded by the MTJ Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), located about 19 miles north-northwest of the accident site, at 1353, were: wind from 210 degrees at 9 knots; few clouds at 1,500 feet above ground level (agl), broken clouds at 3,000 feet agl, overcast clouds at 3,900 feet agl; 10 miles visibility with light rain; temperature 5 degrees Celsius; dew point 2 degrees Celsius; and altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

The Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) for KMTJ issued at 1134 and current at the time of the accident, was: wind from 270° at 11 knots, visibility of greater than 6 statute miles, showers between 5 and 10 miles from the airport, ceiling broken at 5,000 feet agl, overcast clouds at 10,000 feet agl. Temporary conditions between 1400 and 1600 were: visibility six statute miles, light rain showers, scattered clouds at 3,000 agl, ceiling broken at 4,000 feet agl.

An area forecast covering Colorado was issued at 1345. For the mountainous areas of Colorado, the forecast included broken cloud bases at 12,000 feet msl, with tops to 16,000 feet msl. Occasional visibilities between 3 and 5 miles in widely scattered light snow showers were also forecast.

Prior to the 1345 area forecast, an amended area forecast that included Colorado was issued at 0545. The portion of the area forecast applicable to the southern half of the mountains in Colorado, west of the Continental Divide forecasted for the accident time: a broken cloud ceiling at 10,000 feet msl, with additional cloud layers to flight level (FL) 250, and occasional visibility of 3 – 5 miles in widely scattered light snow showers and mist.

An Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisory for icing was issued at 0845. The AIRMET advisory area encompassed most of Colorado, including the accident site. The AIRMET warned of the possibility of moderate icing between the freezing level and 19,000 feet, with conditions continuing through 2100. Freezing levels were forecast to range from the surface to 12,000 feet across the area.

An AIRMET advisory for turbulence was also in effect beginning at 0845. The advisory area encompassed portions of central and southern Colorado, and central and northern New Mexico. The accident site was located near the northwest boundary of the advisory area. The AIRMET warned of the possibility of moderate turbulence below 14,000 feet, with conditions continuing through 2100.

The North American Mesoscale model sounding for the accident location at 1500 identified a humid layer from near the surface to 30,000 feet. Near surface wind was about 10 knots from the west-southwest, increasing to about 50 knots from the west through 23,000 feet msl. Calculations by the Rawinsonde Observation Program (RAOB) suggested few to broken cloud condition from the surface through about 21,000 feet msl, with light rime or mixed icing between 12,000 and 16,000 feet msl.

Satellite imagery identified cloudy conditions along the latter portion of the accident airplane's flight path. The coldest cloud-top temperatures in the vicinity of this portion of the flight were -30 degrees Celsius, which corresponded to heights of approximately 29,500 msl. However, the cloud top temperatures varied from -30 degrees Celsius to +2 degrees Celsius along this portion of the flight path. Weather radar data identified hydrometeor classification associated with dry snow, with some nearby ice crystals. In addition, radial velocity measurements identified some potential for wind shear between 12,000 feet and 16,000 feet msl.

A pilot report (PIREP) was received about 1520 that noted light rime ice and moderate chop/turbulence between 13,000 feet msl and 17,000 feet msl about 30 miles north-northeast of MTJ.

AIRPORT INFORMATION
The Montrose Regional Airport (MTJ) was located about 1 mile northwest of the City of Montrose at an elevation of 5,759 feet. It was served by two paved runways: runway 17-35 was 10,000 feet long by 150 feet wide; runway 13-31 was 7,510 feet long by 100 feet wide. Both runways were constructed of asphalt. The airport was non-towered and operations were supported by a common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), commonly referred to as Unicom. Denver ARTCC provided air traffic control services for the surrounding airspace.

Instrument flight rules (IFR) operations into MTJ were supported by six FAA-approved terminal approach procedures. Runway 35 was served by an RNAV (GPS) approach. For aircraft initially southeast of the airport, the procedure provided an initial approach fix at YARUB navigation fix. The minimum altitude for the initial segment beginning at YARUB was 12,000 feet msl. The approach procedure subsequently required a right turn to the north-northwest toward MTJ at the COQKU navigation fix. The minimum descent altitude (MDA) was 6,380 feet msl. One mile visibility was required to descend from the MDA and land.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane came to rest inverted about 60 feet below the surface of the Ridgeway Reservoir, near the eastern shore. The aft fuselage/empennage had separated from the airframe at a point near the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer. The aft fuselage/empennage section was observed floating near the western edge of the reservoir by local authorities. The aft fuselage/empennage section was recovered separately from the surface of the reservoir.

The wings, engine and propeller remained attached to the fuselage. The entire lower surface of the fuselage, wings and engine cowling exhibited upward crushing damage. The uniform extent of the damage appeared consistent with a near level attitude, upright impact with the surface of the reservoir. A partial circumferential fracture (tear) of the fuselage skin was located approximately in-line with the wing trailing edges. The empennage/aft fuselage section had separated about 2 feet aft of the aft pressure bulkhead. The aft pressure bulkhead was deformed over the lower one-third of the panel, but appeared otherwise intact.

The instrument panel was dislocated from the surrounding airframe structure. The pilot and co-pilot control wheels remained in place relative to the panel. The throttle quadrant was partially dislocated from the instrument panel. Aileron control continuity was confirmed within the fuselage from each wing root to the cockpit.

The left wing was deformed and damaged over the entire span. The lower wing skin was deformed upward and into the underlying sub-structure over the entire inboard one-half of the span. The inboard portion of both the forward and aft wing spars, including the wing-to-fuselage attachment lugs, appeared intact and undeformed. The left aileron was partially separated. The hinge fittings appeared fractured consistent with overstress. Aileron control continuity was confirmed from the control surface to the wing root. The left flap was separated from the wing completely and recovered from the reservoir. The flap assembly was separated into two sections near the mid-span hinge. The actuator extension was consistent with a flaps-up position. The spoiler panel remained attached to the wing and the control linkage was intact. The left main landing gear was in the retracted position.

The right wing was deformed and damaged over the entire span. The lower wing skin was deformed upward and into the underlying sub-structure over the entire span. The inboard portion of both the forward and aft wing spars, including the wing-to-fuselage attachment lugs, appeared intact and undeformed. The right aileron was separated and not recovered from the reservoir. However, the outboard aileron closure rib remained attached to the hinge and the aileron control push-pull tube. Aileron control continuity was confirmed to the wing root. The flap assembly was separated into two sections near the mid-span hinge, with the outboard portion remaining partially attached to the wing. The inboard portion was not recovered. The actuator extension was consistent with a flaps-up position. The spoiler panel remained attached to the wing, and the control linkage was intact. The right main landing gear was in the retracted position.

The empennage/aft fuselage section had separated from the remainder of the airframe near the forward edge of the vertical stabilizer. The separation appeared consistent with an overstress failure. The fuselage section was crushed upward. The horizontal stabilizers remained attached to the aft fuselage section. The left horizontal stabilizer appeared intact. The left elevator remained attached to the stabilizer and the left trim tab remained attached to the elevator. The left elevator inboard bellcrank and torque tube remained attached to the centerline hinge point. The right horizontal stabilizer exhibited a deformation/buckle at the root adjacent to the fuselage. The right elevator had separated from the horizontal stabilizer and was not recovered from the reservoir. The upper and lower elevator stops remained secured to the centerline elevator hinge. The stops appeared to be intact and undeformed. The lower (down) elevator stops did not exhibit any marks consistent with contact from the elevators. The upper elevator stops exhibited marks consistent with contact from the elevators at the upper limit of travel. Full upward deflection of the elevators is consistent with an upright, level attitude impact with the reservoir surface.

Elevator control continuity was confirmed to the left elevator, with the exception of a separation of the elevator control rod aft of the fuselage aft pressure bulkhead; the separation appeared consistent with overstress. The right elevator control tube was separated immediately forward of the elevator attachment point. (The right elevator was separated as previously noted.) The elevator control rods forward of the aft pressure bulkhead were deformed consistent with the surrounding fuselage impact damage. However, the control rods were attached and continuous to the cockpit area.

The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer, and the rudder trim tab remained attached to the rudder. The lower edge of the rudder trim tab was deformed. An impression was observed on the upper surface of the right horizontal stabilizer that appeared to match the size and shape of the lower surface of the rudder trim tab. At the time of the examination, the rudder trim tab was deflected to the right relative to the rudder trailing edge. The location of the impression appeared consistent with the rudder being deflected to the right at or near the extent of travel at the moment of impact. Rudder control continuity was confirmed to the aft fuselage rudder lever assembly. The rudder control cable sector remained attached to the lever assembly; however, a portion of the sector had separated. The fracture surface appeared consistent with an overstress failure. In addition, one rudder cable also failed forward of the control sector; the cable separation was frayed consistent with an overload failure. The rudder control cables were otherwise continuous to the cockpit controls. The rudder trim tab remained attached to the trim actuator linkage. Examination of the rudder trim motor assembly revealed damage consistent with water immersion. However, electrical continuity of the trim motor and the pilot/co-pilot rudder trim switches was confirmed.

The engine remained attached to the engine mount. The mount was deformed consistent with impact forces. Visual examination of the engine revealed that the compressor inlet and gas generator cases had partially separated along the upper circumference of the mounting flanges. The exhaust ducts were deformed and crushed upward. The reduction gearbox exhibited damage consistent with impact. The reduction gearbox chip detector was free of metallic (ferrous) debris. The accessory gearbox appeared undamaged. The accessory gearbox coupling spline was separated; the appearance of the fracture surface was consistent with overstress. Engine control continuity was confirmed from each component to the firewall. The oil, fuel, and air filters appeared clean and unobstructed. The engine compressor and turbine sections exhibited circumferential scoring, smearing, and heating discoloration consistent with rotation at impact. The combustion chamber exhibited normal operating signatures with no indication of operational distress. Testing of the fuel pump revealed no anomalies. Testing of the fuel control unit determined that fuel flow values were higher than factory settings. However, the settings were consistent with field adjustments and/or issues with water immersion, and they remained within range to allow normal engine operation.

The propeller assembly remained attached to the engine reduction gear assembly. All propeller blades remained attached to the hub and were deformed. Each blade appeared to be in the feathered position at the time of recovery. The spinner was crushed and torn, but was attached to the propeller assembly at the time of recovery. The engine/propeller mounting appeared intact, and all eight mounting bolts were securely installed and safety wired. The pitch change mechanism, including the cylinder, piston, pitch change rod, fork, and feathering spring and guides appeared intact. Both the low pitch and the feather stops appeared to be intact. The preload plates corresponding to two of the blades exhibited impression marks associated with the fork bumper. The impressions corresponded to a blade angle of approximately 26 degrees at the time the impressions were made, which are within the normal operating range of the propeller assembly. Testing of the propeller governor did not reveal any anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose, Colorado, on March 28, 2014, by the authority of the Ouray county coroner. The pilot's death was attributed to multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the accident.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute toxicology report stated that Yohimbine was detected in urine and liver. No ethanol was detected in vitreous. Yohimbine is a prescription Alpha 2 blocker. It is also available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

The pilot did not report any significant medical issues or any medication usage on his most recent medical certificate application, nor did the FAA-designated medical examiner identify any significant issues during the physical examination.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) noted the following in the case of an accidental spin:
1)    Control wheel . . . Neutral: Pitch and Roll
2)    Rudder . . . Fully Opposed to the Spin
3)    Power lever . . . Idle
4)    Flaps . . . Up
When rotation is stopped . . .
5)    Level the wings and ease out of the dive.

The POH also noted that voluntary (intentional) spins are prohibited.



Clockwise from top left: Katrina Barksdale, her sons Kobe and Xander, Seth McDuffie, and pilot Jimmy Hill.



Crews dragged the plane wreckage underwater, then brought to the surface near a dock.






Rupert Not on Board with Airport Task Force

A sign cautions drivers at Burley’s municipal airport. The airport needs more than $2 million in repairs.



RUPERT | The city of Rupert won’t be joining a Mini-Cassia airport task force, for now.

On Jan. 27, Mike Pape, administrator of the Idaho Division of Aeronautics, unsuccessfully tried to sell the Council members on joining a task force, organized by the city of Burley, which would study new locations in Mini-Cassia for a single-runway airport.

Mayor Mike Brown and the Council expressed interest in having the Burley airport relocate but were concerned with a lack of exact figures on the cost.

“I just want to know how much the airport is going to cost and really how much is supported by the FAA and how much is going to be needed from our community,” Brown said.

The estimated total cost for a new airport could be between $15 million and $45 million, Pape said at the meeting.

The Federal Aviation Administration is willing to pay for 90 percent of the airport’s infrastructure, Pape said. This includes a runway, taxiways, aprons where the planes park, lights and markings and access roads.

The Burley Development Authority is willing to buy the existing airport property. Per FAA regulations, money from the sale would fund the new airport.

But in order for plans to move forward, the FAA is requiring the support of the community. Burley officials organized a task force, hoping to get representation from Minidoka and Cassia counties along with Rupert, Heyburn and Paul in an effort to find a new location.

The Burley airport, wedged between silos, a railroad and the river, has no room to expand, Pape said. The runway is small to the point where it’s not safe to land there, he said.

Pape said a new airport would not only address safety issues with the existing airport, but it would be able to service 35,000 people who need one for business, agriculture support and medical use.

Councilman Todd McGhie was concerned with a lack of results from the money spent on site selections. Over the years, the FAA has spent more than $1 million.

“It looks like we’re throwing it away at this point,” he said.

Pape said that while Rupert’s refusal to join the task force does make support for a new airport difficult, he will have to continue to educate citizens and businesses on the benefits of having a new airport.

Story and photo:  http://magicvalley.com

Legal Fight Over Plane Highlights Property Seizure Debate

This undated booking photo provided by the Park County, Wyo., Sheriff’s Office shows Scott Michael Lewis. Federal prosecutors are pressing felony charges against two Colorado men accused of operating an unregistered airplane that authorities claim was involved in a criminal enterprise. The charges follow the government’s seizure nearly two years ago of the Cessna airplane after it landed at the municipal airport in Cody, Wyo. Police also confiscated over $250,000 in cash from a Cody hotel room rented by Lewis, the pilot and a passenger.



The single-engine Cessna aroused suspicion at the Yellowstone Regional Airport even before it landed.

The pilot didn't radio the airport before landing, prosecutors say. And, as the Cessna taxied to a hangar, they say the pilot and a passenger were lowering sunshades over the windows. That struck officials as odd, considering the plane was about to be stored indoors in a hangar.

Now the plane is at the heart of a legal dispute over whether the federal government abused its powers in seizing property — or whether the pilot and his friend were part of an elaborate criminal enterprise.

After an airport worker notified police, officers searched the room at a Holiday Inn where the pilot and passenger checked in after landing on Feb. 27, 2014. Prosecutors say officers found over $250,000 in cash and three allegedly fake Idaho driver's licenses.

Pilot Scott Michael Lewis, 27, has filed a claim in a federal forfeiture case pending in Wyoming asserting he has a legitimate interest in the plane and the money. San Francisco lawyer David M. Michael, representing Lewis in the forfeiture case, has contested the government's allegations in court papers and said the cash was from unspecified legitimate activities. He is demanding the funds back.

"In fact, there was absolutely no evidence, beyond pure speculation and threadbare suspicions," linking Lewis or his hotel room to any illegal activity, Michael wrote.

Kip Crofts, U.S. attorney for Wyoming, told Lewis in November that he was the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Homeland Security Department involving allegations of federal crimes including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, money laundering, identity theft and operation of an unregistered aircraft.

But the criminal charges Crofts' office filed this month don't allege any violation of drug laws. A federal indictment charges Lewis and passenger Gilbert Wayne Wiles Jr., 38, with conspiracy to operate an unregistered aircraft and aiding and abetting the operation of an unregistered aircraft.

The federal government oversees many aspects of air travel, including the occasional prosecution of people accused of operating unregistered aircraft. In one such recent high-profile case, the government prosecuted Doug Hughes, the former Florida mail carrier who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol last year. Hughes ultimately pleaded guilty to flying the craft without a license and is awaiting sentencing.

John R. Powell, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cheyenne, declined to comment on the forfeiture case involving the plane and the cash seized in Cody or the newly filed criminal charges against Lewis and Wiles.

Authorities allege Wiles paid someone in Texas $130,000 cash in 2013 for the 1968 Cessna TU-206 Super Skywagon. The single-propeller high-wing plane had been flying under "visual flight rules," meaning no flight plan had to be filed and the aircraft's movements couldn't be tracked.

Wiles told people who serviced the plane that he and Lewis were working for an aerial photography business, prosecutors allege. Court records state Wiles lives in Denver, while Lewis is from Englewood, Colorado.

The issue of drug forfeitures is drawing increased scrutiny in Wyoming. Some state lawmakers are pushing a bill in the legislative session that starts next month that would require a criminal conviction before the state government can seize private property.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead vetoed a bill last year that would have required criminal convictions to support state forfeiture cases. Mead, a Republican and former state and federal prosecutor, said in his veto message last year that he was satisfied with current law enforcement procedures.

Only a handful of states — Minnesota, Montana, Nevada New Mexico and North Carolina — require a criminal conviction to support state forfeiture actions. Such state laws don't affect how federal forfeiture proceedings, like that of the Cessna, are handled in federal court.

Story and photo:  https://www.washingtonpost.com

Beech V35B, Beech V-35 LLC, N4523A: Accident occurred December 23, 2015 at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (TQH), Cherokee County, Oklahoma

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Will Rogers;  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
Hartzell Propeller, Inc.; Piqua, Ohio 
Woodward, Inc.; Rockford, Illinois 

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

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

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


Beech V-35 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N4523A 

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 23, 2015 in Tahlequah, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/06/2017
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N4523A
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff, about 2.5 miles from the departure airport, the airplane experienced a significant loss of engine power while climbing through 2,500 ft mean sea level. He made an immediate turn back toward the airport for a forced landing. The pilot was initially concerned that the airplane might not have enough altitude to reach the runway, and he decided to keep the landing gear and flaps retracted. The pilot stated that he became distracted with the forced landing and forgot to extend the landing gear once the airplane was in a position to safely to land on the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage when it landed gear-up on the runway. A postaccident engine test revealed a significant leak from a loose fuel line connection where the airframe fuel supply connected to the mechanical fuel pump inlet. After tightening the loose fuel line connection, the engine started and operated normally. The postaccident examination and testing did not reveal any additional anomalies that would have resulted in a loss of engine power during the accident flight. The engine had accumulated 10.8 hours since its most recent overhaul. It is likely that the mechanic who reinstalled the engine following the recent overhaul did not adequately tighten the airframe fuel supply line to the mechanical fuel pump inlet. The loose connection likely resulted in cavitation within the mechanical fuel pump, which provided abnormal fuel flow to the engine fuel servo, and resulted in a partial loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff due to an inadequately tightened fuel line. Also causal was the pilot's failure to extend the landing gear once the airplane was in a position to safely land on the runway.

On December 23, 2015, about 1520 central standard time, a Beech model V35B single-engine airplane, N4523A, was substantially damaged during a wheels-up forced landing at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (TQH), Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Beech V-35 LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The business flight departed TQH at 1515 and had the intended destination of William R Pogue Municipal Airport (OWP), Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

The pilot reported that, before the accident flight, he topped-off the left fuel tank and estimated that the right fuel tank contained 15-20 gallons. He stated that after a normal takeoff from runway 35 he turned to a 283 degree heading toward the intended destination and continued to climb to his planned cruise altitude of 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl). He remarked that he used 25-inches of engine manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm during the cruise climb.

The pilot reported that, about 2.5 miles from the departure airport, as the airplane climbed through 2,500 feet msl, the airplane experienced a significant loss of engine power. He remarked that he did not hear a corresponding decrease in engine noise; however, he acknowledged that he was wearing a noise-canceling headset. The pilot stated that he made an immediate turn back to the airport for a forced landing on runway 17. During the turn back toward the airport, the engine regained power for a short period of 1-2 seconds. The pilot was initially concerned that the airplane might not have enough altitude to reach the runway and, as such, he decided to keep the landing gear and flaps retracted. Additionally, the pilot indicated that he pulled the propeller control full aft in attempt to further reduce the propeller drag. He reported that the propeller continued to rotate/windmill throughout the forced landing. The pilot admitted that he became distracted with the forced landing and forgot to extend the landing gear once the airplane was in a position to safely to land on the runway. As such, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage, including several structural bulkheads, when it landed wheels-up on the runway.

The pilot stated that, following the force landing, an individual approached him and remarked that he had heard the airplane approach the airport before the wheels-up landing. This individual remarked that airplane sounded like it was experiencing a propeller over-speed condition or governor failure.

The pilot further reported that, before the accident flight, the propeller speed did not decrease significantly when he cycled the propeller control during his before-takeoff procedures. Additionally, he indicated that earlier the same day, before the previous flight leg from Seminole Municipal Airport (SRE) to TQH, he also did not observe an appreciable drop in propeller speed as he attempted to cycle the propeller during his before-takeoff procedures.

Following the accident, a local aviation mechanic hoisted the airplane and extended the landing gear using the manual extension procedure. After a successful manual extension, the landing gear was partially retracted before it was extended a second time using the electric motor. There were no anomalies identified with the landing gear extension/retraction system that would have precluded its normal operation during the accident flight. The airplane was subsequently recovered from the runway to a secured hangar.

An additional examination was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airworthiness Inspector, a representative from Hartzell Propeller, and a local aviation mechanic. A review of the runway revealed there were 12 discernible propeller blade strike marks in the asphalt surface. The first propeller strike mark was located about 800 feet from the runway 17 threshold. The runway exhibited additional scrape marks, for about 500 feet, that were consistent with the lower airplane fuselage abrading against the asphalt surface during a wheels-up landing. A visual examination of the airplane revealed ground impact damage to the lower fuselage skins and several structural bulkheads. Additionally, the nose landing gear doors and exhaust pipes exhibited ground impact damage. The left fuel tank was full and the right tank was about 1/2 full. A fluid, blue in color, consistent with 100 low lead aviation fuel, was recovered from both fuel tanks. The fuel samples did not contain any water or particulate contamination.

The propeller remained attached to the engine and its spinner dome appeared undamaged. All three blade tips were bent aft with chordwise and spanwise scoring. All three blades were secure in the hub at the low pitch stop position and could not be rotated by hand. The cylinder was pressurized with shop air and all three blades cycled in pitch without anomaly. There was no oil was present on aft side of the piston, which established that there were no oil leaks past the piston rings. Additionally, the propeller blades cycled smoothly when the engine case oil passage was pressurized with shop air. There were no anomalies identified with the propeller that would have precluded its normal operation.

The propeller governor was removed and examined/tested at the manufacturer. The governor drive shaft turned freely by hand and oil was discharged from the unit in conjunction with the shaft being rotated. Radiographic imaging confirmed there were no anomalies with the governor assembly. Further, an acceptance bench test did not identify any discrepancies that would have precluded normal governor operation.

The engine remained attached to the firewall by its mounts. Mechanical continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to their respective engine components. Internal engine and valve train continuity were confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Both magnetos provided spark on all leads as the engine crankshaft was rotated. The engine-to-magneto timing, 22 degrees before top dead center, was consistent with the engine manufacturer's specification.

To facilitate an operational engine test, the propeller governor was reinstalled and the damaged three-blade propeller was replaced with a two-blade test propeller. The engine started after being primed, but then experienced a total loss of power after few seconds. The engine was restarted with the electric fuel boost pump on and it operated normally while the electric boost pump remained on; however, a significant fuel leak developed during the second test and the engine experienced a loss of power when the electric fuel boost pump was turned off. Further examination revealed a loose fuel line connection where the airframe fuel supply connected to the mechanical fuel pump inlet. After tightening the loose fuel line connection, the engine was started for a third time and operated normally with and without the electrical fuel boost pump turned on. The engine ran smoothly throughout its normal speed range and demonstrated the ability to develop 2,700 RPM.

On June 22, 2015, the accident engine, a Continental Motors model IO-550-B51, serial number 834702-R, was overhauled by D&B Aircraft Engines in Bethany, Oklahoma. On July 10, 2015, at 4,143 hours tachometer time, the overhauled engine was reinstalled on the accident airplane by Red Cloud Aviation, LLC, in Seminole, Oklahoma. According to the engine logbook, the mechanic noted no leaks after the reinstalled engine was test run. On September 29, 2015, 4 hours since the engine overhaul, the airplane was taken to D&B Aircraft Engines to resolve a low power engine shudder at 17-inch manifold pressure and excessive oil consumption concerns. According to the logbook entry, D&B Aircraft Engines reconditioned the intake drain insert and made unspecified engine adjustments. On November 12, 2015, 9 hours since the engine overhaul, the oil and oil filter were replaced. According to the logbook entry, no anomalies or leaks were noted during an engine ground run following the oil change. The airplane's recording tachometer read 4,153.8 at the accident site. The engine had accumulated 10.8 hours since the last overhaul.

 NTSB Identification: CEN16LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 23, 2015 in Tahlequah, OK
Aircraft: BEECH V35B, registration: N4523A
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 December 23, 2015, about 1520 central standard time, a Beech model V35B single-engine airplane, N4523A, was substantially damaged during a wheels-up forced landing at Tahlequah Municipal Airport (TQH), Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Beech V-35 LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The business flight departed TQH at 1515 and had the intended destination of William R Pogue Municipal Airport (OWP), Sand Springs, Oklahoma.

The pilot reported that, before the accident flight, he had topped-off the left fuel tank and estimated that the right fuel tank contained 15-20 gallons. He stated that after a normal takeoff from runway 35 he turned to a 283 degree heading toward the intended destination and continued to climb to his planned cruise altitude of 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl). He remarked that he used 25-inches of engine manifold pressure and 2,500 rpm during the cruise climb.

The pilot reported that, about 2-3 miles from the departure airport, as the airplane climbed through 2,500 feet msl, the airplane experienced a noticeable loss of thrust. He remarked that he did not hear a corresponding decrease in engine noise; however, he acknowledged that he was wearing a noise-canceling headset. The pilot stated that he made an immediate turn back to the airport for a forced landing on runway 17. During the turn back to the airport, the engine regained power/thrust for a short period of 1-2 seconds. He reported that he was initially concerned that the airplane might not have enough altitude remaining to reach the runway and, as such, decided to keep the landing gear and flaps retracted. Additionally, the pilot indicated that he pulled the propeller control full aft in attempt to reduce the propeller drag. He reported that the propeller continued to rotate/windmill throughout the forced landing. The pilot admitted that he became distracted with the forced landing and forgot to extend the landing gear once the airplane was in a position to safely to land on the runway. As such, the airplane made a wheels-up landing on the runway 17. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage, including several structural bulkheads.

The pilot stated that, following the force landing, an individual approached him and remarked that he had heard the airplane approach the airport before the wheels-up landing. This individual remarked that airplane sounded like it was experiencing a propeller over-speed condition or governor failure.

The pilot further reported that, before the accident flight, the propeller speed did not decrease significantly when he cycled the propeller control during his before-takeoff procedures. Additionally, he indicated that earlier the same day, before the previous flight leg from Seminole Municipal Airport (SRE) to TQH, he also did not observe an appreciable drop in propeller speed as he attempted to cycle the propeller during his before-takeoff procedures.

Shelter to shield aircraft

Big Top Structures employees Jeremy Hacking of Mt. Laurel, N.J., and Elijah Rickhill of Mt. Holly, N.J., set up the overhang that will protect planes as they are restored on Thursday, January 28, 2016, at Aviation Heritage Park. 


Jerry Roark, chairman of the restoration committee, looks at the damage that has been done to the Lockheed T33 over the years it has been on display on Thursday, January 28, 2016, at Aviation Heritage Park.

Paint peels off of a wing of the Lockheed T33 which will be undergoing restoration in the coming months on Thursday, January 28, 2016, at Aviation Heritage Park.


Wear and tear on aircraft at Aviation Heritage Park have left some planes in need of a touch-up. A new shelter under construction could help shield planes while repairs are made.

“Not only will we repaint, but we’ll also do some minor repairs,” said Jerry Roark, a board member at the nonprofit Aviation Heritage Park. “We get a lot of people that come through here that are really enthused by the airplanes.”

Workers assembled a frame for a large vinyl tent at the park Thursday. The tent, which is referred to as a fabric tension shelter, should be completed by Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, Roark said. On Monday, a crane will lift the entire structure and place it over a Lockheed T-33 in need of a paint job and other minor repairs. Roark said estimated the entire project cost at $45,000.

“It gives us the ability to be able to keep the aircraft on display,” Roark said.

That’s important, Roark said, because the planes help the community connect to history. “All the guys that walked on the moon flew that airplane,” Roark said while pointing to a T-38 that came from NASA.

A blue F-9 Panther looks just like a plane flown by the first lead pilot of the Blue Angels.

“It ties aviation to the community,” Roark said. “It more or less sets the example for kids that they can do this, too.”

Two other planes will receive repairs after work on the T-33. Jim Allen, a spokesman for the park, said the project is about preserving important artifacts.

“Our desire is to keep these exhibits as crisp as possible,” he said. “So we’re really excited to see this. It’s a major step forward for us.”

One plane in particular holds special meaning for Arnie Franklin, a former park board member. An F-111F resembles a plane Franklin flew during the 1986 bombing of Libya.

Although Franklin didn’t fly that specific plane, it was flown during the mission, which was a response from President Ronald Reagan to the bombing of a Berlin nightclub.

Franklin said southcentral Kentucky has many aviators with their own great stories and contributions to aviation history. However, “they’re stories go largely untold because no one knows,” he said.

Roark said the park’s long-term goal is to build a separate building for a museum. The shelter would become a semi-permanent structure for restoration purposes, he said.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.bgdailynews.com