Saturday, February 13, 2016

Piper PA-20 Pacer, N7653K: Incident occurred February 13, 2016 in Evensville, Rhea County, Tennessee

Date: 14-FEB-16
Time: 00:15:00Z
Regis#: N7653K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA20
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Nashville FSDO-19
City: DAYTON
State: Tennessee

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A HIGHWAY, NEAR DAYTON, TN

http://registry.faa.gov/N7653K



A small plane makes an emergency landing Saturday night in Rhea county.

It happened on Highway 27 near Evensville.

Our crew on scene tells us the Piper PA20 single engine plane left Pigeon Forge and was on it's way to Winchester, TN.

The pilot who has been identify as Tom Web from Morristown TN told our photographer on scene he was 55-hundred feet up in the air when he encountered total engine failure and was forced to land.

No one was hurt and traffic didn't seem to be too backed up.

We're told the FAA & TEMA have been called in to investigate.

Story and video:  http://newschannel9.com


Man charged with robbery following attack on Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (KCLE) employee



CLEVELAND - Shelton Beard, 54, has been charged with robbery following an attack on a United Airlines employee at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Cleveland police say Thursday morning, the employee was on the baggage claim level at Hopkins. She noticed the suspect watching her as she withdrew money from an ATM near the airport's welcome center.

Police say he followed her onto an elevator. Once inside, he punched her in the back of her head, but she was able to open the door and get away.

A traffic controller saw what happened and ran after the suspect, then a Cleveland police officer joined in the chase and was able to arrest the suspect.

The employee that was assaulted was not injured.

Story and video:  http://fox8.com

Replica sports deco paint job

DECO WINGS: Havelock North's Brian Anderson and his deco-inspired replica of a 1926 German biplane. 



For Hawke's Bay microlight builder and pilot Brian Anderson the timing for this year's annual Sport Aviation Fly-In is spot-on.

Corker, in fact. Or dashed super-duper.

The event, which is staged annually and held alternately in the North Island then the South Island, will take place at the Bridge Pa Aerodrome over two days of the Tremains Art Deco Festival.

Which is great for the estimated 100 pilots who will bring their home-built aircraft into the region from as far away as Christchurch and Auckland, and rather fitting for Mr Anderson as one of his two single seater aircraft has the deco touch. Mr Anderson moved to the Bay about 10 years ago from Wellington and has been a member of the association for 20 years. His first "built in the garage" aircraft was a sleek Pulsar XP which he bought as a kitset and built over about four years.

Then, after retiring, he took on a second, and quite unique project ... a project which would come to have a deco influence.

"A foolish moment," he laughed when recalling the decision to again head for the garage to build a microlight designed to resemble a vintage 1926 German sport biplane.

"My wife actually bought me the plans for Christmas," he said.

The work involved would be extensive as it effectively meant building four wing pieces.

"But I like woodwork and a lot of it was wood so I thought yes, maybe I could do this."

Which, over the next seven years, he did.

"I'd spend an hour here and there working on it and it came together very well."

Apart from the four-cylinder 2.2 litre air-cooled engine, he effectively built everything from the intricate plans, and when it came to delivering the final touch — the paintwork — he took some local inspiration.

"Because of where we are I used some Art Deco style and colours."

Mr Anderson said there were a couple of others of its type in the country but they were in more traditional German colours and style of the mid-20s. It will be part of an impressive line-up of aircraft set to take to the runways at the Bridge Pa Aerodrome.

"The aircraft range from the very simple — as simple as an aeroplane can get — to the very sophisticated fully electronic glass cockpit and with instruments to match — from the slow and the low to the very fast fully IFR (instrument flight rules) capable," Mr Anderson said.

The Sport Aircraft Association NZ is devoted to promoting and assisting the private aircraft builder and flier and there are about 320 "amateur built" aircraft on the register. However, with amateur built helicopters, gyrocopters and microlights not identified on the register, the number was about 700 — which per capita of population would be the highest number in the world.

The fly-in is being staged on February 19 and 20.

Source:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Ezell Aviation receives grant

Robert Puls, a business development consultant for the Work Force Solutions West Central Texas presents a check for $42,140 to Ezell Aviation to develop a FAA certification course, which will be taught to Ezell employees on site. 



Ezell Aviation in Breckenridge received a grant on Wednesday to provide training for its employees as FAA-approved Airframe and Power Plant technicians. The grant was awarded by Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas through its Workforce Investment Fund. 

The grant of $42,140 will be used to develop an accelerated course, which will be taught to Ezell Aviation employees on-site by a TSTC instructor. The program is for current employees at Ezell Aviation to acquire FAA certification for airframe and power plant ratings. 

“It gives them the opportunity to go through a small, crammed course to prepare them to take the test,” said Chad Ezell. “It prepares them to be certified and licensed, which is more advantageous to us because it gives us more qualified people to do more hands-on work with less supervision.”

Robert Puls, a business development consultant for the Work Force Development, said the grants are designed to help businesses improve the skills and wages of their current employees . 

“The grant will pay for their current employees that they've selected to get their AMP FAA licensing, a certification allowing them to work on airframe power plants on aircraft,” Puls said. “It will upgrade their skills. Upgrade their wages and gives the company a greater ability to get more work, contract out. It just allows them more capabilities to go out and get more work.” 

He said the individuals who are being selected are incumbent workers who are already employees of Ezell Aviation. 

“There's going to be eight individuals go through this first class,” Puls said.  “And, I think he (Ezell) said he had 17 that were interested in upgrading their skills.”

He said they were anticipating starting the first class at the first of March and have it finished sometime at the end of May or first of June. 

Puls said the classroom currently being constructed in the Ezell Aviation building, where the classroom portion of the program will be taught, is the company's in-kind fund to matching the grant. 

Debbie Karl, the new TSTC campus director at the Breckenridge campus, was on hand for the grant presentation and said TSTC is providing the curriculum for the program, certifying the instructor and running all the class credits through TSTC. 

Virgil Moore, director of the Breckenridge Economic Development Board, said they had been involved in securing the grant for Ezell Aviation.   

“We actually found the grant that was available through Workforce Solutions West Central Texas,” Moore said. “It's called a Workforce Investment Fund, and we checked into it and found it fit perfectly for what we need to do out here at Ezel Aviation.” 

Ezell said he thinks the training program is a great opportunity for his employees. “I think it's great for the employees; it's great for us; it's good for the community,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to put people on a better pay bracket.”

Source:  http://www.breckenridgeamerican.com

Bell 47G-3B-1, N1181W: Accident occurred February 13, 2016 at Carson Airport (KCXP), Carson City, Nevada

http://registry.faa.gov/N1181W

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 13, 2016 in Carson City, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2016
Aircraft: BELL 47G 3B 1, registration: N1181W
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 private pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings to a taxiway. The pilot reported that, during his fourth landing attempt and as he was transitioning to a hover, he noticed that the helicopter’s main rotor rpm was slightly low, and he attempted to increase the rpm by adding power. However, the helicopter did not respond and settled onto the taxiway. The pilot then raised the collective to bring the helicopter back to a hover, but the rotor rpm was still low. The pilot continued to try and add power, but the helicopter drifted right, and the right skid then contacted the ground off the side of the taxiway, which resulted in a dynamic rollover and substantial damage to the airframe and rotor blades.

The pilot stated that he was new to this type of helicopter, and it is likely that he allowed the main rotor rpm to decay to a point from which he was unable to recover. He stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient main rotor rpm, which resulted in a loss of helicopter control and a dynamic rollover.

On February 13, 2016, about 1500 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G-3B-1 helicopter, N1181W, sustained substantial damage while attempting to land at the Carson Airport, Carson City, Nevada. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot as a local flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Carson Airport about 1315.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that he had accomplished three previous take off and landings, and the helicopter was operating normally. On the fourth landing attempt, as he was transitioning to a hover, he noticed that the rotor RPM was slightly low. He attempted to raise the RPM by adding power, but did not get a response, and the helicopter settled onto the taxiway. He then pulled up on the collective to come back into a hover, but the rotor RPM was still low. He continued to try and raise the rotor RPM, but the helicopter started to yaw and drift to the right, and the right hand skid touched the ground off of the right side of the taxiway, initiating a dynamic rollover. The helicopter rolled onto its right side and came to rest in the dirt on the side of the taxiway.

The pilot stated that he was new to this helicopter, and it was likely that he allowed the rotor RPM to decay to a point that he was unable to recover. He stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 13, 2016 in Carson City, NV
Aircraft: BELL 47G 3B 1, registration: N1181W
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 February 13, 2016, about 1500 Pacific standard time, a Bell 47G-3B-1 helicopter, N1181W, sustained substantial damage while attempting to land at the Carson Airport, Carson City, Nevada. The certified private pilot and the pilot rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot as a local flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Carson Airport about 1315.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that he had accomplished three previous take off and landings, and everything with the helicopter seemed normal. On the fourth landing attempt, as he was slowing to a hover, he noticed that the rotor RPM was slightly low. He attempted to raise the RPM by adding power, but did not get a response, and the helicopter started to yaw and drift to the right. He continued to attempt raising the RPM, but the right hand skid touched the ground off of the right side of the taxi way, and the helicopter rolled over. 

A detailed examination of the helicopter and components is pending.




The Carson City Airport was temporarily closed Saturday following a helicopter crash that left two injured.


At 1:51 p.m., a small helicopter crashed along the north east taxiway at the airport. Two people sustained minor injuries, and both were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center.


The airport was briefly shut down for about a half hour, but is now open.


No information was given on what caused the crash.


Source:   http://www.newsshine.com




CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong says two people were injured when a small helicopter crashed along the north taxiway at the Carson airport on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.

Furlong says it happened about 1:51PM when the helicopter's engine apparently failed during takeoff.


Both people were transported to Renown with minor injuries. The airport was temporarily shutdown for about an hour.


Furlong says the FAA will investigate the cause of the crash.


Source:  http://www.kolotv.com





CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — UPDATE 2:36 p.m.

Carson City Sheriff Furlong reports that a two-seater helicopter was doing 'touch and goes' along the taxiway when the engine failed.

According to Furlong, both people on board had very minor injuries but were transported to Renown to make sure. Furlong says the helicopter is destroyed.

Carson City officials report that around 1:51 p.m. on Saturday, a small helicopter crashed at the airport.

A report says that the crash happened along the north taxiway of the airport .

Two minor injuries were sustained and those injured were both transported to Renown, according to authorities.

Officials say the airport was shut down briefly, but is open now.





The Carson City Airport was temporarily closed Saturday following a helicopter crash that left two injured.  At 1:51 p.m., a small helicopter crashed along the north east taxiway at the airport. Two people sustained minor injuries, and both were transported to Renown Regional Medical Center.  The airport was briefly shut down for about a half hour, but is now open.  No information was given on what caused the crash.

Spirit Airlines New Boss Vows to Repair Image: CEO to address complaints about punctuality and ward off competitive threats



The Wall Street Journal
By Susan Carey
Feb. 12, 2016 6:31 p.m. ET


Spirit Airlines Inc. ’s new chief executive is planning a midcourse correction at the nation’s leading ultralow-cost carrier to address rising customer complaints about its punctuality and ward off new competitive threats.

In his first interview as CEO, ​ Bob Fornaro, a 35-year airline veteran, said he plans to slow the Miramar, Fla.-based airline’s supercharged growth to make its operations more reliable—and in the process, he hopes, mend its customer relationships.

Spirit, which offers extremely low base fares and piles on extra charges for everything from seat assignments to drinking water, has grown rapidly and helped reshape the U.S. airline industry. But it also has received pointed criticism from customers about its fees and poor on-time record. “Maybe we created a persona that dismissed the customer,” he said.

The 63-year-old in many ways is a departure from his predecessor, Ben Baldanza, who was Spirit’s CEO from 2006 until stepping down on Jan. 5 with little public explanation. Mr. Baldanza, age 54, was the zany public face of Spirit, known for humorous videos and mocking customers who complained about fees. He once climbed into an overhead bin for a website video to explain to customers its policy for charging for overhead-bin space.

The new CEO doesn’t expect to get caught up in such hijinks. “I thought it was great that Ben went into the bin,” he said. “I don’t need to climb in the bin. It doesn’t necessarily matter what the CEO does. We want to sell tickets.”

As for those complaints about fees, Mr. Fornaro said the company would be more transparent about its pricing in the future. “We can save passengers money and there are a lot of positive attributes that go along with that,” he said. “We have new planes. Our airplanes sparkle.”

Both men said this week that Mr. Baldanza’s departure occurred because the board decided it was time for a leadership change. Mr. Baldanza said he had moved his family to the Washington, D.C., area last year so his fourth-grade son could attend school there, and had been commuting to Spirit’s headquarters.

“The commute wasn’t working and I couldn’t do what I needed to do,” he said in an interview. “There was frustration on the board that the company wasn’t moving faster” on improving its reputation and operational metrics, he said, calling the parting “amicable.”

Mr. Fornaro, a Spirit director since 2014, said the board felt Spirit needed “a different level of commitment, a different personality and attention to detail that perhaps we weren’t getting. We had a mission in mind, to prepare the company for the next decade.”

Spirit’s earnings have more than quadrupled since its 2011 initial public offering, to $317 million last year, while revenue has doubled to $2.14 billion. It has spawned at least one U.S. imitator, Indigo Partners LLC’s Frontier Airlines, and pressured big legacy carriers to cut their fares on some routes and to adopt more fees.

But Spirit has hit a rough patch. Aggressive price-matching by big rivals last year dented its unit revenue—a much-watched measure of how much it takes in for each passenger flown a mile. The 30% annual growth rate of Spirit’s capacity strained its ability to get its planes to their destinations on time, or at all, leading to abysmal punctuality. Spirit ranked third in flier complaints to the Transportation Department in November, despite being only the seventh-largest U.S. carrier by traffic.

Robert Boyer, a retired executive for a Caterpillar Inc. dealer, said his wife is now afraid to fly Spirit after their experience this month. He took her to the airport in Fort Myers, Fla., for a Spirit flight back to Latrobe, Pa., near their home, that was repeatedly delayed but which Spirit staffers at the airport assured him wouldn’t be canceled, he said. They checked his wife’s bag, for a fee, and he left the airport at 11 p.m., thinking she would board within the hour. Around 1 a.m., Spirit said the flight was canceled, forcing him to make the 140-mile round-trip back to the airport to fetch his wife.

“I understand that flights can be canceled,” Mr. Boyer said in an interview. “But these people just jerked us and the other passengers around the corner.”

“Our goal is to hear fewer of those stories,” Mr. Fornaro said of Mr. Boyer’s experience. “Those [complaints] are the ones that really matter. The customer is relying on us.”

Spirit’s stock, trading at $82 a share about a year ago, sagged to $33 a share last November. It jumped to $41.50 on news of the management change and traded up 4.2% on Friday to $44.43.

Spirit “is a company that has exceptional profit margins, with a couple of things that need to improve,” said Mr. Fornaro, who ran discount carrier AirTran Airways for more than a decade until it was acquired by Southwest Airlines Co. in 2011.

To improve operations, he intends to reduce the number of daily hours Spirit’s planes fly in peak periods, make more spare aircraft available, increase staffing levels and ensure that its operational planning is in sync with the fleet plan instead of coming afterward. From 79 planes now, Spirit’s fleet is on track to increase to 145 in five years.

He also wants to dial down Spirit’s growth. “We don’t want to be growing 30%” a year, he said. “It’s too high.” He said between 15% and 20% annual growth—where he expects they’ll be at the end of the year—is more appropriate.

Other discounters have had to hit the brakes. JetBlue Airways Corp. slowed its expansion in 2007 after it sank into losses.

Virgin America Inc. did the same in 2013 and turned its first annual profit that year after six years of red ink.

Mr. Fornaro also wants to expand to smaller routes that aren’t as competitive. While Spirit has in recent years added many flights between big cities that have performed well, “there is a broader number of routes to be considered,” Mr. Fornaro said. “Many are already on the consideration list.” But he isn’t saying where or when. “I want to be less predictable and more nimble.” 

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

Flight Design CTLS, N911TS, County of Tulare Sheriffs Office: Fatal accident occurred February 10, 2016 near Visalia Municipal Airport (KVIS), Tulare County, California

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1446 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area at a low altitude, then depart to the southwest. While flying in a westerly direction the airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 45, held an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, issued on October 11, 2007, with ratings for airplane multiengine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument helicopter, and private pilot privileges for gliders. He held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land issued on June 29, 2014. He held a first-class medical certificate issued on April 2, 2014, with no limitations. Examination of the pilot's civilian logbook revealed that he had 3,675 total civilian flight hours, 3,526.4 hours in single engine airplanes, 1,002.6 hours in the Flight Design CTLS, and his most recent flight review was conducted on December 8, 2015.

The passenger was a Sheriff Deputy who had been employed by the Tulare County Sheriff for about 27 years and had been assigned to the air unit for about a year. His duties as a crew member onboard the airplane was to act as an observer and operate the video camera equipment.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number F-11-02-05, was manufactured in 2011. It was powered by a Rotax 912ULS normally aspirated 100-hp engine and equipped with a Sensenich ground adjustable 3-bladed composite propeller. Review of the maintenance logbooks showed that the most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on February 3, 2016, at a total aircraft time of 3,103.9 hours, and a total engine time of 1,103.9 hours.

The basic aircraft was configured as an aerial observation aircraft with the following additional equipment. In the luggage compartment a FM transceiver, mini PC, video interface system, GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver, Airlink wireless modem, and a 12V to 28V DC converter. Located on the cabin roof was the GNSS antenna. Located in the cabin was an ARS mapping system, 15-inch LCD monitor, and camera control joy stick. On the bottom of the airplane was a spotlight. Located on the right wing was the video camera pod. Maintenance records showed that the most recent weight & balance performed on August 27, 2015, documented an empty weight plus 90 kg of fuel of 511 kg. Two crewmembers plus 4.5 kg personal gear for each, and a 2.3 kg survival kit added an additional 175.5 kgs. The total weight of the airplane at takeoff was 686.5 kgs. The maximum gross weight as stated in the manufacturers pilot operating handbook is 600 kgs. The center of gravity (cg) was calculated to be 0.448 m (meters) which was within the forward limit of 0.282 m and the aft limit 0.478 m. The airplane had been airborne for 90 minutes before the accident and would have burned about 6 gal of fuel (16.4 kg) which would equate to an aircraft weight at the time of the accident of 669.6 kg.

The Flight Design Pilot Operating Handbook states the following concerning aerodynamic stalls:

"Stalling speed for the CTLS with a weight of 600 kg (1320 lbs) is 72 km/h (39 kcas)with the flaps set at 35°, 77 km/h (42 kcas) with the flaps set at 0° and 90 km/h (44 kcas) with flaps set at -12°. Approaching stall is indicated by a sluggishness around the vertical axis. The controls become "soft" about 5 km/h (3 kts) above stall speed. Release the aft pressure on the stick to increase airspeed. Close to stall the aircraft can only be controlled by rudder and stabilizer. In a stall, the effectiveness of the ailerons is greatly reduced.

When the nose drops during a stall, the aircraft will lose approx. 50 m (165 ft)
altitude. Thus, near the ground a safety minimum speed of approx. 115 km/h (62 kts) should be maintained."

Aviation Circular 23-8C Flight Test Guide states that the following formula can be used to calculate the stall airspeed when the airplane's weight is different than the specified weight, Vs=Vstv(Ws/Wt) where Vs= new stall airspeed, Vst= standard stall airspeed, Ws= new weight, Wt = standard weight. Since the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident is known to be 669.6 kg, the standard weight is 600 kg, and the stall speed with zero flaps of 42 kcas (knots calibrated airspeed), results in a corrected stall speed of 44.4 kcas.

Flight Design provided additional aerodynamic stall information in the form of a stall speed, bank angle, and gross weight table. At a weight of 600 kg and 0° flaps the calculated stall airspeed while in a 15° angle of bank turn is 43 kcas. The stall airspeed in the same configuration at 30° angle of bank is 45 kcas. Using the formula in AC 28-8C to determine stall speeds for the airplane's higher weight of 669.6 kg results in a zero flap stall airspeed at 15° angle of bank of 45.3 kcas, at 30° angle of bank the value is 47.6 kcas, and at 45° angle of bank value is 52.7 kcas.

METEOROLGOICAL INFORMATION

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300° at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg. A visual inspection of radial velocity observations close to Hanford, CA, located 45 miles west-north-west from the accident site, for altitudes near 1000' msl revealed a wide variety of wind magnitudes, generally below about 7 knots, coming from the northwest or north-northwest. North American Mesoscale model sounding was obtained for the accident area valid at 1600 PST, which identified a wind from about 290° true at 3-4 knots applicable for an altitude of about 1600' msl.

Sun position at the time of the accident was determined by using the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Solar Calculator. The Sun's position on February 10, 2016, at 1617, as viewed from the accident location was on an azimuth of 241° true and elevation of 13° above the horizon.

A pilot who had flown over the accident site shortly after the accident occurred stated that he was flying out of Springville around 2,000 feet, towards Lake Success, and that the angle the road (Highway 190) was lined up on was straight into the sun and there was a lot of haze. He could not distinguish the tops of the hills from the sky because of the (sun) visibility.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

A Garmin GPSMAP 496 portable GPS receiver was recovered from the wreckage. The device was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory and the data contained within the unit was recovered. The data contained 10 tracklogs from February 4, 2016, through February 10, 2016. The accident flight was recorded starting 1446:36 Pacific standard time (PST) and ending 1614:11 on February 10, 2016. The aircraft departed Visalia Municipal Airport to the northwest at 1456 and turned northeastward. The aircraft briefly orbited a location in the vicinity of Ivanhoe, CA, at 1504, at an altitude of about 550 feet above ground level (agl) and continued eastward. The aircraft proceeded to make a touch and go at Woodlake Airport at 1515. The aircraft continued generally northward following the Friant Kern Canal until reaching a point east of East Orosi, CA, at 1530. The aircraft proceeded southward, briefly orbiting a location approximately 2.5 nautical miles northeast of Farmersville, CA, before continuing southeast. At 1601, the aircraft orbited a location on the northwest corner of Lake Success before continuing eastward. The aircraft maneuvered over a location northeast of Lake Success. At 1613:47 the aircraft was heading 249° true, at 1613:49 heading was 231°, at 1613:59 heading was 230°, and at 1614:00 heading was 242°. The track made a left turn and the last recorded position was at 1614:11 while the aircraft tracked 114.8° true at a GPS altitude of 1,096 feet (400 feet agl) and groundspeed of 52 knots.

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located on a steep 20° slope covered with green grass, flowering yellow mustard plants, and uneven rock-boulders underneath the vegetation. The wreckage area was 80 feet in length on a bearing of 010° magnetic. The airplane wreckage was inverted pointing from tail to nose on a bearing of 190° magnetic. The airplane structure had been subjected to a post-crash fire that completely consumed the airplane leaving only the black carbon fiber cloth remnants of the airframe. The wings and tail remained attached to the fuselage. The initial point of ground impact consisted of the indentation of the left main landing gear tire and the left wing tip. Immediately forward of the tire indentation was a 4 foot by 4 foot area of disturbed earth containing fragments from the fiberglass nose cowling. The initial impact was consistent with a high vertical energy component and very little forward velocity energy component.

The horizontal stabilator was partially fire damaged, leaving the outboard sections of the stabilator structure minimally damaged. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were consumed by fire. Both left and right flaps were attached to their respective hinge fixtures. The flap position could not be determined. Both ailerons were in place on each wing and balance weights present. The aluminum push rods connecting the ailerons through the wing to the cockpit were mostly destroyed, however the bell cranks in the wing and hinge points on the aileron were present with the control rod ends attached at each location. The aileron control mixer located in the aft cabin area was located and all attaching hardware was present and fixed in place. The aluminum push rods between the aileron mixer and bell cranks in the wing root were not located (presumed destroyed by fire). The rudder cable ends were located in the cockpit area and the attached turnbuckles were present with rudder bar attaching hardware present and cotter keyed. The cables were traced back to the tail where they remained attached to the rudder horn. The elevator push-pull cable turnbuckle in the cockpit area was separated from the rod end on the control stick torsion tube angle joint. The fractured end of the rod was bent, the fracture surface was angled at 45° and rough, consistent with overload. The push-pull cable was traced to the tail and remained attached to the stabilator bell crank. The balance weight remained attached to the bell crank.

The engine was a Rotax 912ULS, SN: 6783279. External examination revealed extreme heat damage. Fire sleeves that covered the fuel lines and oil lines were fragile and crumbled when touched. Scat tubes disintegrated when touched. All 4 cylinders were attached to the engine case. The reduction gear box remained mounted to the front of the engine. No holes or evidence of uncontained failure was observed. The 3-bladed ICH model propeller hub was attached to the propeller flange. One blade remained attached to the hub. Both carburetors were present and heat damaged. Both throttle and mixture cables remained attached to each carburetor. The accessory section on the back of the engine was destroyed by fire. The oil-air separator was detached from the engine. The oil tank was not attached to the engine. The oil cap was on the oil tank. The top spark plugs of each cylinder were removed and exhibited very light wear, light gray in color, with no mechanical damage observed. The ignition control box was mostly destroyed by extreme heat. The valve covers were removed. All valve arms, push rods, valve springs, were movable when pushed on. The engine crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. No unusual damage or wear was observed.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot February 11, 2016, by a Microcorre Diagnostic Laboratory pathologist who had been retained by the Tulare County Coroner. The listed cause of death was "blunt force injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration Forensic Toxicology Research Team, at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and listed drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Some witnesses reported seeing a yellow single engine airplane in the vicinity at the time of the accident. The Tulare County Sheriff investigated and identified the pilot of a yellow Howard DGA15 airplane based out of Bakerfield, CA, who said that he had flown over the accident site sometime after the accident and observed first responders on-scene. He had not witnessed the accident.

Accelerated Stall Information

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) states the following concerning accelerated stalls.
"At the same gross weight, airplane configuration, and power setting, a given airplane will consistently stall at the same indicated airspeed if no acceleration is involved. The airplane will, however, stall at a higher indicated airspeed when excessive maneuvering loads are imposed by steep turns, pull-ups, or other abrupt changes in its flightpath. Stalls entered from such flight situations are called "accelerated maneuver stalls," a term, which has no reference to the airspeeds involved.

Stalls which result from abrupt maneuvers tend to be more rapid, or severe, than the unaccelerated stalls, and because they occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds, and/or may occur at lower than anticipated pitch attitudes, they may be unexpected by an inexperienced pilot. Failure to take immediate steps toward recovery when an accelerated stall occurs may result in a complete loss of flight control, notably, power-on spins."

COUNTY OF TULARE SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N911TS 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, while flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1440 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17

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





Following the fatal crash of a Tulare County Sheriff’s Office airplane, the Kings County Sheriff’s Office has grounded its recently acquired plane.

Sheriff One, a Flight Design Composite Technology Law Enforcement (CTLE) aircraft, crashed around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday along Highway 190 near Lake Success, just west of Porterville. The crash killed the pilot, 45-year-old Hanford resident James Chavez, and Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, of Visalia.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said the plane had assisted in catching a man brandishing a weapon prior to the crash. There was no distress call and the plane’s parachute was not deployed prior to the crash, the department said.

The plane logged more than 3,000 hours of flight time since it went into operation in mid-2011.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office bought a Flight Design CTLEi aircraft in 2014 for about $471,000. Sheriff David Robinson said the plane, known as Sky King 1, is a newer, fuel-injected version of the one that crashed Wednesday.

Like the Tulare County plane, Sky King 1 features a parachute system that allows for safe landing in the event of engine failure.

For the safety of his pilots, Robinson said Sky King 1 has been grounded until more is known about the crash. He said he hopes to get the plane back into operation quickly.

Megan Rapozo, public relations officer for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. She said there is no set timeline to determine the cause.

“We’ll be waiting for their results along with everyone else,” Rapozo said.

As of Thursday, the FAA’s preliminary accident and incident report website said the aircraft “crashed under unknown circumstances and caught fire.”

Robinson said the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the research and the purchase of Sky King 1. Chavez was one of two pilots who helped train pilots for Kings County’s air program.

“He knew all of our pilots and worked with every single one of them,” Robinson said.

Chavez was hired as a pilot for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and had volunteered for more than a year prior. The sheriff’s office said he was hired for his extensive aviation experience and exceptional piloting skills. He had previously served in the California National Guard, Navy Reserve and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Aerosquadron.

Robinson said Chavez was “truly an expert” with the CTLE aircraft.

Ballantyne started with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1989. He became a deputy observer for Sheriff One, using high-tech equipment to guide deputies on the ground during pursuits.

“It’s just tragic,” Robinson said.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that flags at the state Capitol would be flown at half-staff in honor of Ballantyne and Chavez.

“We are grateful for these men, who made the ultimate sacrifice doing what they did everyday – serving and protecting their community,” Brown said in a statement.

Source: http://hanfordsentinel.com

Flight Design CTLS, N911TS, County of Tulare Sheriffs Office: Fatal accident occurred February 10, 2016 near Visalia Municipal Airport (KVIS), Tulare County, California

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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.

The airplane, which was owned and operated by the local county sheriff's department, was on a low-altitude observation flight. According to GPS data recovered from the airplane, about 1 minute before the accident, the airplane was flying westbound (heading 242°) over a highway, about 500 feet above ground level (agl), and at a groundspeed of 52 knots. The GPS data and witness observations indicated that the airplane entered a left turn. According to the witnesses, the airplane's wings then dipped left and right, and the airplane descended to ground impact. The witnesses heard the engine operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A postcrash fire ensued, which destroyed the airplane. 

Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane's estimated weight at the time of the accident was about 152 lbs over the airplane's maximum gross weight. Because of the higher gross weight, the airplane's stall speed in a 30° banked turn was 3 knots higher than it would have been at the airplane's maximum gross weight. This resulted in a stall speed of about 48 knots calibrated airspeed, which was near the airplane's recorded groundspeed of 52 knots.

The sun position at the time of the accident was on a bearing of 241° and was 13° above the horizon, indicating that the pilot was looking directly into the sun before the left turn began. Another pilot who flew in the vicinity shortly after the accident reported that when flying westbound over the highway, he was looking straight into the sun, there was a lot of haze, and he could not distinguish the tops of the hills to the left of the highway from the sky. It is likely that the accident pilot was partially blinded by sun glare and did not see the hills rising above him on his left. After he entered the left turn moving away from the sun line, it is likely that the rising terrain suddenly came into view, and he increased the airplane's bank angle in order to avoid the terrain and exceeded the wing's critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. The altitude the airplane was operating at was too low to allow for a recovery.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude in hilly terrain, which resulted in the airplane's wing exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's inability to recognize the rising terrain due to the sun glare and the pilot's operation of the airplane in excess of its gross weight.

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

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

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1446 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area at a low altitude, then depart to the southwest. While flying in a westerly direction the airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 45, held an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, issued on October 11, 2007, with ratings for airplane multiengine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, rotorcraft helicopter, and instrument helicopter, and private pilot privileges for gliders. He held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land issued on June 29, 2014. He held a first-class medical certificate issued on April 2, 2014, with no limitations. Examination of the pilot's civilian logbook revealed that he had 3,675 total civilian flight hours, 3,526.4 hours in single engine airplanes, 1,002.6 hours in the Flight Design CTLS, and his most recent flight review was conducted on December 8, 2015.

The passenger was a Sheriff Deputy who had been employed by the Tulare County Sheriff for about 27 years and had been assigned to the air unit for about a year. His duties as a crew member onboard the airplane was to act as an observer and operate the video camera equipment.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number F-11-02-05, was manufactured in 2011. It was powered by a Rotax 912ULS normally aspirated 100-hp engine and equipped with a Sensenich ground adjustable 3-bladed composite propeller. Review of the maintenance logbooks showed that the most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on February 3, 2016, at a total aircraft time of 3,103.9 hours, and a total engine time of 1,103.9 hours.

The basic aircraft was configured as an aerial observation aircraft with the following additional equipment. In the luggage compartment a FM transceiver, mini PC, video interface system, GNSS (global navigation satellite system) receiver, Airlink wireless modem, and a 12V to 28V DC converter. Located on the cabin roof was the GNSS antenna. Located in the cabin was an ARS mapping system, 15-inch LCD monitor, and camera control joy stick. On the bottom of the airplane was a spotlight. Located on the right wing was the video camera pod. Maintenance records showed that the most recent weight & balance performed on August 27, 2015, documented an empty weight plus 90 kg of fuel of 511 kg. Two crewmembers plus 4.5 kg personal gear for each, and a 2.3 kg survival kit added an additional 175.5 kgs. The total weight of the airplane at takeoff was 686.5 kgs. The maximum gross weight as stated in the manufacturers pilot operating handbook is 600 kgs. The center of gravity (cg) was calculated to be 0.448 m (meters) which was within the forward limit of 0.282 m and the aft limit 0.478 m. The airplane had been airborne for 90 minutes before the accident and would have burned about 6 gal of fuel (16.4 kg) which would equate to an aircraft weight at the time of the accident of 669.6 kg.

The Flight Design Pilot Operating Handbook states the following concerning aerodynamic stalls:

"Stalling speed for the CTLS with a weight of 600 kg (1320 lbs) is 72 km/h (39 kcas)with the flaps set at 35°, 77 km/h (42 kcas) with the flaps set at 0° and 90 km/h (44 kcas) with flaps set at -12°. Approaching stall is indicated by a sluggishness around the vertical axis. The controls become "soft" about 5 km/h (3 kts) above stall speed. Release the aft pressure on the stick to increase airspeed. Close to stall the aircraft can only be controlled by rudder and stabilizer. In a stall, the effectiveness of the ailerons is greatly reduced.

When the nose drops during a stall, the aircraft will lose approx. 50 m (165 ft)
altitude. Thus, near the ground a safety minimum speed of approx. 115 km/h (62 kts) should be maintained."

Aviation Circular 23-8C Flight Test Guide states that the following formula can be used to calculate the stall airspeed when the airplane's weight is different than the specified weight, Vs=Vstv(Ws/Wt) where Vs= new stall airspeed, Vst= standard stall airspeed, Ws= new weight, Wt = standard weight. Since the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident is known to be 669.6 kg, the standard weight is 600 kg, and the stall speed with zero flaps of 42 kcas (knots calibrated airspeed), results in a corrected stall speed of 44.4 kcas.

Flight Design provided additional aerodynamic stall information in the form of a stall speed, bank angle, and gross weight table. At a weight of 600 kg and 0° flaps the calculated stall airspeed while in a 15° angle of bank turn is 43 kcas. The stall airspeed in the same configuration at 30° angle of bank is 45 kcas. Using the formula in AC 28-8C to determine stall speeds for the airplane's higher weight of 669.6 kg results in a zero flap stall airspeed at 15° angle of bank of 45.3 kcas, at 30° angle of bank the value is 47.6 kcas, and at 45° angle of bank value is 52.7 kcas.

METEOROLGOICAL INFORMATION

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300° at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg. A visual inspection of radial velocity observations close to Hanford, CA, located 45 miles west-north-west from the accident site, for altitudes near 1000' msl revealed a wide variety of wind magnitudes, generally below about 7 knots, coming from the northwest or north-northwest. North American Mesoscale model sounding was obtained for the accident area valid at 1600 PST, which identified a wind from about 290° true at 3-4 knots applicable for an altitude of about 1600' msl.

Sun position at the time of the accident was determined by using the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Solar Calculator. The Sun's position on February 10, 2016, at 1617, as viewed from the accident location was on an azimuth of 241° true and elevation of 13° above the horizon.

A pilot who had flown over the accident site shortly after the accident occurred stated that he was flying out of Springville around 2,000 feet, towards Lake Success, and that the angle the road (Highway 190) was lined up on was straight into the sun and there was a lot of haze. He could not distinguish the tops of the hills from the sky because of the (sun) visibility.

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

A Garmin GPSMAP 496 portable GPS receiver was recovered from the wreckage. The device was sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory and the data contained within the unit was recovered. The data contained 10 tracklogs from February 4, 2016, through February 10, 2016. The accident flight was recorded starting 1446:36 Pacific standard time (PST) and ending 1614:11 on February 10, 2016. The aircraft departed Visalia Municipal Airport to the northwest at 1456 and turned northeastward. The aircraft briefly orbited a location in the vicinity of Ivanhoe, CA, at 1504, at an altitude of about 550 feet above ground level (agl) and continued eastward. The aircraft proceeded to make a touch and go at Woodlake Airport at 1515. The aircraft continued generally northward following the Friant Kern Canal until reaching a point east of East Orosi, CA, at 1530. The aircraft proceeded southward, briefly orbiting a location approximately 2.5 nautical miles northeast of Farmersville, CA, before continuing southeast. At 1601, the aircraft orbited a location on the northwest corner of Lake Success before continuing eastward. The aircraft maneuvered over a location northeast of Lake Success. At 1613:47 the aircraft was heading 249° true, at 1613:49 heading was 231°, at 1613:59 heading was 230°, and at 1614:00 heading was 242°. The track made a left turn and the last recorded position was at 1614:11 while the aircraft tracked 114.8° true at a GPS altitude of 1,096 feet (400 feet agl) and groundspeed of 52 knots.

WRECKAGE & IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located on a steep 20° slope covered with green grass, flowering yellow mustard plants, and uneven rock-boulders underneath the vegetation. The wreckage area was 80 feet in length on a bearing of 010° magnetic. The airplane wreckage was inverted pointing from tail to nose on a bearing of 190° magnetic. The airplane structure had been subjected to a post-crash fire that completely consumed the airplane leaving only the black carbon fiber cloth remnants of the airframe. The wings and tail remained attached to the fuselage. The initial point of ground impact consisted of the indentation of the left main landing gear tire and the left wing tip. Immediately forward of the tire indentation was a 4 foot by 4 foot area of disturbed earth containing fragments from the fiberglass nose cowling. The initial impact was consistent with a high vertical energy component and very little forward velocity energy component.

The horizontal stabilator was partially fire damaged, leaving the outboard sections of the stabilator structure minimally damaged. The vertical stabilizer and rudder were consumed by fire. Both left and right flaps were attached to their respective hinge fixtures. The flap position could not be determined. Both ailerons were in place on each wing and balance weights present. The aluminum push rods connecting the ailerons through the wing to the cockpit were mostly destroyed, however the bell cranks in the wing and hinge points on the aileron were present with the control rod ends attached at each location. The aileron control mixer located in the aft cabin area was located and all attaching hardware was present and fixed in place. The aluminum push rods between the aileron mixer and bell cranks in the wing root were not located (presumed destroyed by fire). The rudder cable ends were located in the cockpit area and the attached turnbuckles were present with rudder bar attaching hardware present and cotter keyed. The cables were traced back to the tail where they remained attached to the rudder horn. The elevator push-pull cable turnbuckle in the cockpit area was separated from the rod end on the control stick torsion tube angle joint. The fractured end of the rod was bent, the fracture surface was angled at 45° and rough, consistent with overload. The push-pull cable was traced to the tail and remained attached to the stabilator bell crank. The balance weight remained attached to the bell crank.

The engine was a Rotax 912ULS, SN: 6783279. External examination revealed extreme heat damage. Fire sleeves that covered the fuel lines and oil lines were fragile and crumbled when touched. Scat tubes disintegrated when touched. All 4 cylinders were attached to the engine case. The reduction gear box remained mounted to the front of the engine. No holes or evidence of uncontained failure was observed. The 3-bladed ICH model propeller hub was attached to the propeller flange. One blade remained attached to the hub. Both carburetors were present and heat damaged. Both throttle and mixture cables remained attached to each carburetor. The accessory section on the back of the engine was destroyed by fire. The oil-air separator was detached from the engine. The oil tank was not attached to the engine. The oil cap was on the oil tank. The top spark plugs of each cylinder were removed and exhibited very light wear, light gray in color, with no mechanical damage observed. The ignition control box was mostly destroyed by extreme heat. The valve covers were removed. All valve arms, push rods, valve springs, were movable when pushed on. The engine crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. No unusual damage or wear was observed.

MEDICAL & PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot February 11, 2016, by a Microcorre Diagnostic Laboratory pathologist who had been retained by the Tulare County Coroner. The listed cause of death was "blunt force injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration Forensic Toxicology Research Team, at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and listed drugs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Some witnesses reported seeing a yellow single engine airplane in the vicinity at the time of the accident. The Tulare County Sheriff investigated and identified the pilot of a yellow Howard DGA15 airplane based out of Bakerfield, CA, who said that he had flown over the accident site sometime after the accident and observed first responders on-scene. He had not witnessed the accident.

Accelerated Stall Information

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) states the following concerning accelerated stalls.
"At the same gross weight, airplane configuration, and power setting, a given airplane will consistently stall at the same indicated airspeed if no acceleration is involved. The airplane will, however, stall at a higher indicated airspeed when excessive maneuvering loads are imposed by steep turns, pull-ups, or other abrupt changes in its flightpath. Stalls entered from such flight situations are called "accelerated maneuver stalls," a term, which has no reference to the airspeeds involved.

Stalls which result from abrupt maneuvers tend to be more rapid, or severe, than the unaccelerated stalls, and because they occur at higher-than-normal airspeeds, and/or may occur at lower than anticipated pitch attitudes, they may be unexpected by an inexperienced pilot. Failure to take immediate steps toward recovery when an accelerated stall occurs may result in a complete loss of flight control, notably, power-on spins."

COUNTY OF TULARE SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N911TS 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, while flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1440 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17

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





Following the fatal crash of a Tulare County Sheriff’s Office airplane, the Kings County Sheriff’s Office has grounded its recently acquired plane.

Sheriff One, a Flight Design Composite Technology Law Enforcement (CTLE) aircraft, crashed around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday along Highway 190 near Lake Success, just west of Porterville. The crash killed the pilot, 45-year-old Hanford resident James Chavez, and Deputy Scott Ballantyne, 52, of Visalia.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said the plane had assisted in catching a man brandishing a weapon prior to the crash. There was no distress call and the plane’s parachute was not deployed prior to the crash, the department said.

The plane logged more than 3,000 hours of flight time since it went into operation in mid-2011.

The Kings County Sheriff’s Office bought a Flight Design CTLEi aircraft in 2014 for about $471,000. Sheriff David Robinson said the plane, known as Sky King 1, is a newer, fuel-injected version of the one that crashed Wednesday.

Like the Tulare County plane, Sky King 1 features a parachute system that allows for safe landing in the event of engine failure.

For the safety of his pilots, Robinson said Sky King 1 has been grounded until more is known about the crash. He said he hopes to get the plane back into operation quickly.

Megan Rapozo, public relations officer for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash. She said there is no set timeline to determine the cause.

“We’ll be waiting for their results along with everyone else,” Rapozo said.

As of Thursday, the FAA’s preliminary accident and incident report website said the aircraft “crashed under unknown circumstances and caught fire.”

Robinson said the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the research and the purchase of Sky King 1. Chavez was one of two pilots who helped train pilots for Kings County’s air program.

“He knew all of our pilots and worked with every single one of them,” Robinson said.

Chavez was hired as a pilot for the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 and had volunteered for more than a year prior. The sheriff’s office said he was hired for his extensive aviation experience and exceptional piloting skills. He had previously served in the California National Guard, Navy Reserve and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Aerosquadron.

Robinson said Chavez was “truly an expert” with the CTLE aircraft.

Ballantyne started with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office in 1989. He became a deputy observer for Sheriff One, using high-tech equipment to guide deputies on the ground during pursuits.

“It’s just tragic,” Robinson said.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that flags at the state Capitol would be flown at half-staff in honor of Ballantyne and Chavez.

“We are grateful for these men, who made the ultimate sacrifice doing what they did everyday – serving and protecting their community,” Brown said in a statement.

Source: http://hanfordsentinel.com COUNTY OF TULARE SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N911TS 

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA067 

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Springville, CA
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N911TS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 10, 2016, at 1617 Pacific standard time, a Flight Design CTLS airplane, N911TS, while flying at low altitude entered a hard left turn and descended into terrain 4 miles southwest of Springville, California. The airline transport pilot and single passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the Tulare County Sheriff as a public aircraft under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated on a visual flight rules company flight plan. The flight originated from Visalia Municipal Airport, Visalia, California, approximately 1440 as a local flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane circling a nearby area then depart to the southwest. The airplane made a left turn, the wings dipped left and right, then the airplane descended into the ground in a sideways wing down orientation. The engine was heard operating in a steady tone until ground impact. A post-crash fire ensured, destroying the airplane.

The Porterville Municipal Airport automated weather observation system-3 (AWOS-3), located 11 miles southwest of the accident site, at an elevation of 443 feet mean sea level, recorded at 1556, wind from 300 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, and altimeter setting of 30.18 inHg.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fresno FSDO-17

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





The Modesto Police Department’s proposal to spend about $660,000 for a light sport aircraft is on hold after a fatal crash involving the same type of airplane in Tulare County.

Tulare County Sheriff’s Department pilot James Chavez and Deputy Scott Ballantyne were killed Wednesday when their two-seat Flight Design CTLE plane crashed into a mountain near Porterville, according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reported the two had just helped deputies track and apprehend a suspect.

The Sheriff’s Department reported it had used the aircraft since 2011 and it had logged more than 3,000 miles of flight time. A department spokeswoman said Friday that the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the crash.

Modesto police Chief Galen Carroll said his department has put its proposal on hold.

“We are obviously going to wait for what comes out of the investigation,” he said. “But we feel very bad for the pilot and the deputy. I feel horrible for them and their families and the other survivors.”

Modesto police officials worked closely with Tulare County Sheriff’s Department officials in researching the proposal to buy a crime-fighting aircraft. Carroll has said he envisioned the plane being in the air about 30 hours a week, patrolling the city, conducting traffic enforcement, helping special operations and tracking crimes in progress.

The plane would be equipped with a spotlight and high-definition camera with long-range scope and night vision that records what it sees. Carroll has said police officers who are pilots and volunteer pilots would fly the plane.

The proposal drew criticism and questions when it came before the City Council in early November because voters had just rejected Measure G, the one-half percent general sales tax increase the city put on the Nov. 3 ballot. Council members decided to have the proposal fully vetted at two committee meetings before having it come back to them. The proposal has since been reviewed at one committee, which endorsed it.

Carroll has said the money for the purchase would come primarily from grants and other funding sources that could not be used to hire officers and a one-time $200,000 refund from the general fund. He has said the aircraft would serve as a “force multiplier” for his department, which has lost more than 20 percent of its officers since 2008.

Flight Design USA, the Connecticut-based importer of the German aircraft, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Source: http://www.modbee.com