Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bell UH-1B Iroquois, N204UH: Fatal accident occurred September 16, 2013 in Detroit, Marion County, Oregon

Ravalli County aviation company disputes Federal Aviation Administration crash allegations


Bart Colantuono


HAMILTON – A Ravalli County aviation company is disputing federal allegations that it improperly operated a helicopter that crashed and killed its pilot in 2013.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has proposed fining R&R Conner Aviation of Conner $197,500 for allegedly operating a Bell UH-1B helicopter when it was not in compliance with federal aviation requirements.

The FAA alleges that R&R Conner operated the aircraft in the Detroit, Oregon, area in September 2013 when it did not comply with four airworthiness directives and with parts that were past their replacement dates.

The airworthiness directives required regular inspections of certain components, tracking service time and a replacement date of the main motor mast. The FAA also alleges the company operated the aircraft with three components – the tail rotor yoke, main rotor stabilizer center frame and rotating control bolts – that were past their replacement dates.

The FAA alleges the aircraft was not airworthy and was operated in a careless or reckless manner that endangered lives and property.

“I have no doubt that it will be resolved in our favor because safety is a paramount concern within R&R Conner Aviation,” said company co-owner Ryan Conner said. “We have a strict safety policy, which we adhere to both on the ground and in our flight maintenance operations. We respectfully disagree with the FAA and are working with them to address these allegations.”

The Sept. 16, 2013, crash killed Bart Colantuono, owner and pilot of the helicopter. At the time, he was working as a subcontractor to R&R Conner Aviation.

Colantuono, 54, was a pilot who starred in the History Channel show “Ax Men.”

According to news accounts, Colantuono was transporting timber from a cutting area to a log deck when the accident occurred.

Witnesses heard a snapping sound followed by logs hitting the ground. It appeared that Colantuono knew of the problem and released the timber electronically.

News accounts said witnesses saw a rotor separate from the helicopter, followed by the aircraft turning upside down and falling to the ground. Colantuono died at the accident scene.

R&R Conner has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

Original article can be found here:  http://missoulian.com



http://registry.faa.gov/N204UH

NTSB Identification: WPR13FA411
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Monday, September 16, 2013 in Detroit, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2015
Aircraft: BELL UH 1B, registration: N204UH
Injuries: 1 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.

Witnesses reported that, when the helicopter was just above the trees during an external load logging operation, they either observed or heard the load of logs release early and impact the ground hard. Witnesses then observed the helicopter’s tailboom separate from the fuselage and descend through the trees. The fuselage impacted the ground inverted, and the tailboom came to rest about 140 ft away. A mechanic reported that the pilot had indicated before the flight that the helicopter felt like it “shuffled” during translational lift; however, the mechanic suspected that the transmission mounts were starting to wear and would need to be changed at a later date. 

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed control continuity throughout the airframe except for a portion of the tail rotor drive shaft that extended from the transmission, which was not found. The tailboom had separated from the aft fuselage at the tailboom attachment points. The lower two tailboom attachment fittings exhibited features consistent with overstress failure and did not show indications of fatigue and/or other failure modes. The upper two tailboom attachment fittings both contained fatigue cracks throughout almost the entire fracture surface. 

The pilot purchased the helicopter about 3 years before the accident; that same year, the helicopter was issued a new airworthiness certificate. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the previous owner had relinquished the helicopter’s airworthiness certificate to avoid punitive action for poor maintenance of the helicopter. Maintenance records located within the helicopter did not contain sufficient information to determine when the most recent maintenance was performed; however, the documents did reveal that several component inspections were not completed within the manufacturer’s recommended time. It is likely that long-term, inadequate maintenance of the helicopter contributed to the failure and separation of the tailboom. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The fatigue failure of the upper two tailboom attachment points, which resulted in the tailboom separating from the fuselage during logging operations. Contributing to the accident was poor maintenance throughout the helicopter’s operational life. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 16, 2013, about 1535 Pacific daylight time, a Garlick UH-1B, N204UH, experienced a tailboom separation while logging in heavily wooded terrain about 3 miles east of Detroit, Oregon. The pilot, who was the sole occupant on board, was fatally injured. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tailboom, main rotor system, and fuselage. The helicopter was registered to Gitmo Holdings LLC, Stevensville, Montana, and operated by R&R Conner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 133 as an external load logging flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at about 1500. 

Witnesses reported that when the helicopter was just above the trees, they either observed or heard the load of logs release early and impact the ground hard. After looking up, they observed the helicopter's fuselage separate from the tailboom; both descending through the trees. The fuselage impacted the ground inverted and the tailboom came to rest about 140 feet away. 

A maintenance worker reported that shortly before the flight, the pilot had landed and shut down the helicopter for about a 45 minute lunch break. The pilot looked over the helicopter and said he was very happy with it; he said it was running really well. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 53, held a commercial pilot certificate in helicopter, airplane single-, and multi-engine land, issued on April 27, 2010. The pilot also held an instrument rating in both helicopter and airplane. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on February 12, 2013, with the limitations that he is not valid for any class after, and he must wear corrective lenses. According to the pilot's US Forest Service Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Records dated July 17, 2013, he reported having 19,000 total helicopter hours, 14,000 of which were in the accident helicopter make and model. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Garlick helicopter, serial number 62-2034, was manufactured by Bell Helicopter as serial number 554 in 1962. It was powered by a T53-L13BA engine. The maintenance logbook records were found within the helicopter. The records did not contain dates or aircraft total time, therefore, the most recent maintenance was unable to be determined. The documents did reveal that several component inspections were not completed within the manufacturer's recommended time. During the postaccident examination, the hobbs meter was located and read 6,061.3 hours. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the previous owner relinquished the aircraft's airworthiness certificate to avoid punitive action by the FAA, who had been trying to revoke the airworthiness certificate due to the owner's poor maintenance of the aircraft. In 2010, a new airworthiness certificate was issued for the helicopter to the accident pilot. 

A different mechanic reported that the helicopter had recently sat unused for about one month between jobs. The helicopter was put back in service the day before the accident occurred. The mechanic mentioned that the pilot had previously indicated the helicopter felt like it "shuffled" during translational lift; however, the mechanic suspected the transmission mounts were starting to wear and would need to be changed at a later date.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The nearest weather reporting station was about 38 miles to the northwest at McNary Field Airport in Salem, Oregon at an elevation of 214 feet. At 1556, the weather was reported as wind from 130 degrees as 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken clouds at 4,900 and overcast clouds at 5,500 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 21 degrees C, dewpoint 13 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury. In the remarks section it stated that rain started at 1537 hours and ended at 1552 hours. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

On scene examination by a FAA Inspector revealed that the helicopter came to rest on the opposite side of a northwest/southeast orientated dirt road from the log landing site. The terrain was hilly, heavily wooded, and remote. The trees around the accident site sustained limited damage; one tree was topped and others sustained vertical scrapes down the trunks. 

The wreckage debris path extended almost parallel to the dirt road; the helicopter came to rest in four major pieces the fuselage/transmission, engine, main rotor blades, and tailboom. The fuselage and transmission were found upside down at the southeastern most point of the wreckage path. The engine was found in the same general vicinity as the fuselage. The main rotor head and blades were separated from the main rotor shaft, and were located about 120 feet northwest of the main fuselage. One of the main rotor blades was embedded into the ground and extended the second blade into the air at about a 45 degree angle. The tailboom was separated from the fuselage and was located 140 feet northwest of the main rotor blades. The tail rotor gearbox, assembly, and tail rotor blades were still attached to the vertical fin. One tail rotor blade remained mostly undamaged; the second tail rotor blade sustained a 45 degree bend away from the vertical fin. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on September 17, 2013 by the Office of the State Medical Examiner, Clackamas, Oregon. The pilot's cause of death was blunt force head trauma. 

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with negative results for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Rosuvastatin, which is used to treat high cholesterol and related conditions, was detected in the blood and liver. 

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A post accident examination of the airframe and engine occurred in Dallas, Oregon on January 29, 2014. 

Airframe

The cabin sustained significant damage. The windscreen, chin bubble, instrument panel, and roof were all found separated from the structure. The aft fuselage was mostly intact with the transmission still attached. The tailboom had separated from the aft fuselage at its attachment points; the skin along the sides of the tailboom had a "wave" like appearance. The tailboom attachment points were removed from the airframe for further examination. 

Control continuity was established throughout the airframe with the exception of a segment of the tail rotor drive shaft that extended from the transmission, which was not located. 

The main rotor shaft was fracture separated just below the main rotor head. The fracture surface was indicative of overload. At the fracture point, the main rotor shaft was oblong with impact damage on two opposing sides. Damage was also noted on the main rotor blade hub, indicative of a mast bump event. 

Engine

The engine was found separated from the helicopter. The exhaust and airframe inlet were removed. Organic debris was noted in the engine inlet, and metal spray was found on the second stage power turbine nozzle vanes. Tear and batter damage was noted to the first stage axial compressor blades and the inlet guide vanes. Rotation of the power turbine produced corresponding rotation to the engine output shaft and overspeed governor drive gearbox; the engine rotated smoothly. The chip detector was examined and no debris was noted. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The tailboom attachment points were removed from the airframe and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Laboratory for further examination. 

The material research engineer reported that the fracture surfaces of the top right and left attachment point fittings exhibited relatively flat morphologies, with no indications of local material deformation or out of plane fracture. Conversely, the two bottom fittings exhibited darker and rough tortuous fracture surfaces, consistent with overstress failure. 

Right Top Fitting

Both mating surfaces of the right top fitting were examined and crack arrest marks, indicative of progressive crack growth, was evident over almost the entire fracture surface. The direction of these arrest marks indicated the cracks initiated near and emanated from a rivet hole within the fitting. The larger crack grew through almost the entire fitting cross section; the smaller crack progressed toward the opposite direction. 

The fitting aft fracture surface was further analyzed and the fracture surface exhibited striations, which are consistent with fatigue failure. The area around the rivet hole possessed two fatigue crack initiate sites. The larger crack initiate site was on the outside surface of the fitting, and the smaller crack initiate site occurred at a corner adjacent to the rivet holes. 

Left Top Fitting

The aft fracture surface was relatively flat, orientated approximately perpendicular to the length of the fitting. After cleaning the fracture surface, crack arrest marks were observed over most of the fracture surface. The fracture surface consisted of two progressive cracks that initiated on the concave surface and grew in both directions, with fatigue striations throughout. The cracks grew through approximately 75% of the fitting cross-section, the remaining 15% succumbed to overstress. 

Bottom Fittings

The fracture surfaces of the bottom fittings exhibited features consistent with overstress failure. The fracture surfaces displayed a dull luster and tortuous surface appearance. Neither of the bottom fittings exhibited indications of fatigue and/or other failure modes.






LINN COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) — A pilot who starred in the History Channel show Ax Men died when his logging helicopter crashed near Oregon’s Detroit Lake.

Witnesses said Bart Colantuono, a resident of Indialantic, Fla., had been transporting logs from a cutting area to a log deck in the town of Idanha, Ore.

After taking a 45-minute break, Colantuono returned to pick up a load of logs at a logging site on National Forest land near Forest Service Road 1003, about two miles from Highway 22.

Witnesses said they heard a snapping sound, followed by logs hitting the ground. They then saw a rotor separate from the helicopter, followed by the copter turning upside down and falling to the ground.

Colantuono was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only person in the helicopter at the time.

Linn County deputies said Colantuono released the logs himself before crashing, indicating he knew of a problem prior to the wreck.

His helicopter is owned by Umatilla Lift Services, which was subcontracted by R&R Conner Aviation to fly logs from the logging site for Freres Lumber Co. in Mill City.

The Federal Aviation Administration planned to inspect the helicopter Tuesday.

A representative from the History Channel said the network is “extremely saddened to learn that a member of the Ax Men family, Bart Colantuono, passed away yesterday.”

“All of us at HISTORY and Original Productions, along with our Ax Men team, would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bart. He was an important part of Ax Men when he appeared in season three and his talents will be greatly missed,” the statement said.

A bio on the show website described Colantuono as a former Navy pilot with more than 15,000 flying hours under his belt.

Original Article: http://q13fox.com

House Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill Hits New Snags: Virtually no chance for broad measure to pass before current authorities expire at end of March

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, seen here June 2, for the first time Thursday issued a statement saying he expects Congress will take up a short-term FAA reauthorization bill while longer-term issues continue to be debated


The Wall Street Journal 
By ANDY PASZTOR
Feb. 25, 2016 9:21 p.m. ET


Proposals to shift control of the U.S. air-traffic system to a private corporation ran into new hurdles Thursday, prompting House Republican proponents to acknowledge they likely will face a drawn-out battle with critics.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently approved a sweeping, multiyear bill reauthorizing Federal Aviation Administration programs, including provisions to transform traffic control functions. The legislation passed largely along party lines.

The measure, which also includes controversial language affecting labor issues in the trucking industry, faces stiff Democratic opposition in the House as well as the Senate. In addition, bipartisan leaders of appropriations committees have come out strongly against the bill.

Senate Republican leaders are still drafting their own FAA legislative package and are sounding out members this week about support for revamping the traffic control network.

That means there is now virtually no chance for a broad bill to pass both chambers before the FAA’s current authorities are due to expire at the end of March.

Against this backdrop, Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, the Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee, for the first time Thursday put out a statement explicitly saying he expects Congress will take up a short-term reauthorization bill—stripped of any major structural changes—while longer-term issues continue to be debated.

The need for such an extension “was not a surprise,” according to the statement, and “details about the short-term measure are still being discussed.”

The Obama administration has avoided taking a stand on the air-traffic proposals, while Delta Air Lines Inc. and other opponents have mounted an extensive public relations campaign against the House bill.

It is still unclear whether the Senate committee with jurisdiction will draft a bill including similar far-reaching proposals.

Mr. Shuster initially projected his bill would reach the House floor before the start of the mid-March break for lawmakers to return to their districts. But the latest indications suggest that won’t happen.

In his statement, Mr. Shuster vowed to keep pushing the House committee bill. “Maintaining the status quo,” he said, won’t “fix the underlying issues” damaging efficiency, capacity and modernization of the country’s air-traffic control network.

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

Department of Defense not seeking refund of taxpayer money for defective plane parts: Useless equipment risks pilots’ lives

Most people who discover an item they have purchased is broken or faulty would return the item to the retailer and expect a full refund. Not Uncle Sam.

When it comes to seeking reimbursement of taxpayer dollars for defective equipment, the federal government seems not only content to flush cash down the drain but even to risk a fighter pilot losing oxygen midflight — from apathy about determining whether the military was still using these defective parts.

The Defense Logistics Agency’s Aviation branch, which oversees the acquisition of weapons, repair parts and other materials for the nation’s military aircraft, did not seek reimbursement for $12.3 million worth of defective spare parts it received from contractors, according to a new report from the Defense Department’s Inspector General.

DLA Aviation personnel not only failed to coordinate with contractors to seek reimbursement for parts deemed faulty or defective, but they also didn’t adequately determine from inventories whether defective parts were still being used, a potential threat to service members.

“In addition, defective parts were left unaccounted for in the DoD supply system, which negatively impacts warfighter readiness and safety,” the report says.

Spending watchdogs said the report is the latest example on a growing list of reasons why the Defense Department’s budget needs to be seriously reconsidered.

“Defense hawks demanded that the sequester budget agreement be broken because DoD needed to be plussed up. It is clear from this report that the culture of waste and disregard for the safety of our war fighters remains unabated among the procurement bureaucracy,” said Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government.

“The fact that tightened budgets did not drive the Obama Pentagon to take basic steps to recoup these moneys is an indictment that needs to be remembered when DoD officials attempt to dig deeper into taxpayer wallets,” Mr. Manning added.

For spending millions of taxpayer dollars on spare parts for military aircraft and not seeking a refund when those parts turned out to be defective, wasting money and endangering military fighters, DLA Aviation wins this week’s Golden Hammer, a weekly distinction awarded by The Washington Times highlighting the most egregious examples of wasteful federal spending.

Curtis Kalin, a spokesman for Citizens Against Government Waste, also criticized DLA Aviation’s noneffort at reimbursement, saying “this sort of apathy would be unacceptable on the battlefield, and it should be unacceptable at the bureaucratic level.”

In its response to the report, the Defense Logistics Agency headquarters said it would develop a comprehensive plan to ensure that all parties involved in restitution are aware of their responsibilities and the actions they are expected to take.

The agency also said it would require the Aviation branch to develop a plan to identify “high-value, critical safety items and take prompt action to pursue appropriate restitution and take appropriate steps to ensure that related defective parts are removed from the DoD supply systems.”

DLA Aviation, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, manages more than 1.1 million repair parts and operates supply systems for the military’s aircraft, including spare parts for engines on fighters, bombers, transports and helicopters; airframe and landing gear parts; flight safety equipment; and parts for propeller systems, according to the report.

Even some of the smallest parts that DLA Aviation supplies, if broken or faulty, could result in catastrophic damage. For example, inspectors reviewed a report of faulty tie-down straps that DLA sold for $1 each.

“Despite the low cost, these items were considered critical application items and were used to attach oxygen hoses to pilot’s helmets,” the report says.

An Air Force pilot identified the deficient tie-down straps after the ties broke and did not hold the oxygen hose to oxygen mask, “causing loss of oxygen to aircrew members during flight,” according to the report.

“Defective parts, particularly for aircraft, could pose a serious risk to warfighters. Depending on the part, it could pose a risk to safety of flight or lead to canceled or less effective missions. That is just simply unacceptable,” said Justin Johnson, a senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy at The Heritage Foundation.

In another example, inspectors reviewed an investigation for three defective power cable assemblies that DLA sold for $4,090 each.

“An Air Force customer identified them as having an unauthorized splice that could cause a short circuit and potentially damage equipment or result in the loss of life,” the report says.

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

One of Bombardier’s largest C Series customers files for bankruptcy protection

The parent company of Republic Airways, one of the largest customers for Bombardier Inc.’s C Series aircraft, filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday in the United States.

Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. said it and certain subsidiaries filed for relief under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.


The airline, which provides regional service for larger U.S. carriers, said its operations will continue as normal while it restructures its finances and contractual relationships.


Republic chairman and CEO Bryan Bedford said the company has attempted over the past several months to restructure its operations to address a loss of revenue from the grounding of aircraft due to a shortage of pilots.


The airline declined to comment on the status of its C Series order.


The filing could represent a further blow to Bombardier, which has struggled to sell the new commercial passenger jets.


Republic is the only airline in the U.S. to have made a C Series order. In 2010, it placed a firm order for 40 CS300 planes and options for 40 more of the aircraft.


Bombardier spokeswoman Isabelle Gauthier said the Montreal-based manufacturer only just learned about the filing, but added that there is no immediate impact.


Industry observers have long questioned the viability of the order with Republic since it changed its business model. The planes were originally intended for former subsidiary Frontier Airlines. But that was sold in 2013, leaving the 120- to 160-seat planes too large for its remaining operations.


Earlier Thursday, Quebec’s transport minister said Ottawa and the province would control the C Series program if the federal government joins it in contributing $1-billion (U.S.) to the troubled jet program.


Quebec has secured a 49.5-per-cent stake in the C Series and two of five seats on a separate board after agreeing in October to the financial contribution. Bombardier would hold the three remaining seats and have the right to appoint a chairman, which it said would be former Quebec premier Daniel Johnson.


Ottawa would gain two additional seats on an expanded seven-member board if the federal government ponies up additional money, Jacques Daoust said in an interview with Radio-Canada.


“If we had a new player joining us, we could imagine having seven board seats,” Daoust said.


“The new partner and us would control the company. This is certainly a scenario that is being explored now, because we couldn’t imagine investing two-thirds of the funds and having a minority on the decision-making front.”


The federal government is evaluating the funding request.


The narrow-body C Series planes, which are two years late and about $5.4-billion over budget, are set to enter into service in the coming months.


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

Beech P35 Bonanza, N1503S, Arcade Flying Club Inc: Incident occurred February 25, 2016 at Cameron Airpark (O61), Cameron Park, El Dorado County, California

Date: 25-FEB-16
Time: 18:45:00Z
Regis#: N1503S
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 35
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: CAMERON PARK
State: California

AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP. CAMERON PARK, CA

ARCADE FLYING CLUB INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N1503S

"Today, at approximately 10:47 am, the Cameron Park Community may have noticed some commotion near the airport. We wanted to let you know a pilot made a crash landing on the runway. The airplane sustained damage, but thankfully the pilot walked away uninjured. We would like to thank the airport staff who rendered assistance to emergency personnel, and in particular, the person who brought water for those who needed it. We couldn’t do our job without the kindness of the community."

 - El Dorado County Sheriff's Office



CAMERON PARK —

A small plane was forced to land without the use of its landing gear at the Cameron Park airport this morning.

The pilot crash-landed the plane on the runway about 10:47 a.m., according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane was damaged but the pilot walked away uninjured.

Piper PA-46 JetPROP DLX, N747TH, Philburto Consulting Ltd: Incident occurred February 25, 2016 at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), Prince William County, Virginia and Accident occurred September 03, 2014 at Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Montezuma County, Colorado



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration - Salt Lake City; Salt Lake City, Utah

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Philburto Consulting Ltd: http://registry.faa.gov/N747TH

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA476
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2014 in Cortez, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-350P, registration: N747TH
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 accident occurred during a local instructional flight to satisfy the commercial pilot’s annual insurance currency requirements in the accident airplane. The flight instructor reported that the pilot was demonstrating a simulated loss of engine power during initial climb and return for a downwind landing. During initial climb, upon reaching 1,200 ft above ground level (agl), the flight instructor reduced engine power to flight idle and feathered the propeller. In response, the pilot reduced airplane pitch and entered a left, 45-degree-bank turn back toward the airport. The flight instructor stated that, upon rolling wings level, the airplane appeared to be lower than he had expected as it glided toward the runway; however, he believed there was sufficient altitude remaining to safely land on the runway and told the pilot to continue without increasing the engine power. The flight instructor ultimately decided to abort the maneuver as the airplane crossed over the runway threshold at 40 ft agl. The flight instructor advanced the engine power lever to the full-forward position and increased airplane pitch to arrest the descent; however, he did not perceive an increase in engine thrust. Without an increase in engine thrust and with the increased pitch, the airplane’s airspeed decreased rapidly, and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall about 30 ft above the runway. The airplane impacted the runway before sliding into a grassy area. The flight instructor reported that he did not recall advancing the propeller control when he decided to abort the maneuver, and, as such, the perceived lack of engine thrust was likely because the propeller remained feathered after he increased engine power. Additionally, the flight instructor postulated that the airplane’s landing gear had not been retracted after takeoff, which resulted in a reduced climb gradient, and, as such, the airplane entered the maneuver farther away from the airport than anticipated. Further, with the landing gear extended, the airplane experienced a reduction in glide performance during the simulated forced landing. The flight instructor reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had maintained a safe flying airspeed after he took control of the airplane. Additionally, he believed that his delayed decision to abort the maneuver resulted in an insufficient margin of safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor’s delayed decision to abort the simulated engine out maneuver, his failure to unfeather the propeller before restoring engine power, and his inadequate airspeed management, which led to an aerodynamic stall at low altitude.

On September 3, 2014, about 1238 mountain daylight time, a Piper model PA-46-350P airplane, N747TH, was substantially damaged while landing at the Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Cortez, Colorado. The commercial pilot and his flight instructor sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Philburto Aviation, LTD, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight, which had departed shortly before the accident.

The flight instructor reported that the purpose of the flight was to satisfy the pilot's annual insurance currency requirements in the accident airplane. The flight instructor stated that earlier in the morning they had completed several visual flight rules (VFR) flight maneuvers before deciding to conduct takeoff-and-landings at CEZ. The flight instructor reported that following several uneventful landings, they decided to perform a simulated loss of engine power following a takeoff from runway 21 (7,205 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) and return for a downwind landing on runway 3.

During initial climb from runway 21, upon reaching 1,200 feet above ground level (agl), the flight instructor reduced engine power to flight idle and feathered the propeller. In response, the pilot reduced airplane pitch and entered a 45-degree bank left turn back toward the airport. The pilot maintained best-glide airspeed (90 knots) throughout the left turn and rolled wings-level when the airplane was aligned with runway 3. The flight instructor stated that, upon rolling wings level, the airplane appeared to be lower than he had expected as it glided toward the runway; however, he believed there was sufficient altitude remaining to safely land on the runway and told the pilot to continue without an increase in engine power. The flight instructor ultimately decided to abort the maneuver as the airplane crossed over the runway 3 threshold at 40 feet agl. He reported that despite the airplane having sufficient altitude remaining to land on the remaining runway, he thought it would be safer to abort the simulated engine failure and recover under powered-flight. He took control of the airplane, advanced the engine power lever to the full forward position, and increased airplane pitch to arrest the descent; however, he did not perceive an increase in thrust from the engine. Without an increase in engine thrust, the airplane's airspeed decreased rapidly and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall about 30 feet above the runway. The airplane impacted the runway, about 500 feet from the approach threshold, before it slid off the runway into a grassy area. The flight instructor reported that the engine continued to operate after the accident, and that he secured it by pulling the condition lever to the full aft position. The main wing spar and fuselage were substantially damaged during the impact sequence.

The flight instructor reported that he did not recall advancing the propeller control when he decided to abort the maneuver, and as such, the perceived lack of engine thrust was likely because the propeller remained feathered as he increased engine power. Additionally, the flight instructor reported that neither he or the pilot remember extending the landing gear following the simulated engine failure; however, both pilots recalled seeing the landing gear position lights illuminated during the maneuver. The flight instructor postulated that the airplane's landing gear had not been retracted after takeoff, which resulted in a reduced climb gradient due to the additional aerodynamic drag of the extended landing gear, and as such, the airplane entered the maneuver farther away from the airport than anticipated. Furthermore, with the landing gear extended, the airplane experienced a reduction in glide performance during the simulated forced landing.

The flight instructor reported that the accident could have been prevented had he maintained a safe flying airspeed after he took control of the airplane. Additionally, the flight instructor believed that his delayed decision to abort the maneuver had resulted in an insufficient margin of safety.

At 1253, the CEZ automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported: wind 220 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear sky, temperature 29 degrees Celsius; dew point 1 degrees Celsius; and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: CEN14LA476
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 03, 2014 in Cortez, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-350P, registration: N747TH
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 September 3, 2014, about 1238 mountain daylight time, a Piper model PA-46-350P airplane, N747TH, was substantially damaged while landing at the Cortez Municipal Airport (CEZ), Cortez, Colorado. The commercial pilot-receiving-instruction and his flight instructor sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Philburto Aviation, LTD, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight, which had departed shortly before the accident.

The flight instructor reported that the purpose of the flight was for the pilot to receive flight instruction toward satisfying his insurance company's annual currency requirements in the accident airplane. The flight instructor stated that on a previous flight, completed earlier that morning, they had completed several visual flight rules (VFR) flight maneuvers before deciding to conduct takeoff-and-landings at CEZ. The flight instructor reported that following several uneventful landings, they decided to perform a simulated loss of engine power following a takeoff from runway 21 (7,205 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) and return for a downwind landing on runway 3.

The flight instructor stated that during initial climb from runway 21, upon reaching 1,200 feet above ground level (agl), he reduced the engine power lever to flight idle and feathered the propeller. Following the simulated loss of engine power, the pilot-receiving-instruction reduced airplane pitch and rolled into a 45-degree bank left turn back toward the airport. The flight instructor reported that the pilot-receiving-instruction maintained best-glide airspeed (90 knots) throughout the left turn and rolled wings-level when the airplane was heading toward the runway 3 identification numbers. The flight instructor stated that, upon rolling wings level, the airplane appeared to be lower than he had expected as it glided toward runway 3. The pilot-receiving-instruction reportedly stated that he thought they would need to increase engine power in order to reach the runway; however, the flight instructor still thought there was sufficient altitude remaining to safely land on the runway and told the pilot to continue without an increase in engine power. The flight instructor reported that he ultimately decided to abort the maneuver as the airplane crossed over the runway 3 threshold at about 40 feet agl. He stated that despite the airplane having sufficient altitude remaining to land on the remaining runway, he thought it would be safer to abort the simulated engine failure and recover under powered-flight. The flight instructor reported that he took control of the airplane, advanced the engine power lever to the full forward position, and increased airplane pitch to arrest the descent; however, he did not perceive an increase in thrust from the engine after increasing the engine power lever. Without an increase in engine thrust, the airplane's airspeed decreased rapidly and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall about 30 feet above the runway. The airplane impacted the runway, about 500 feet from the approach threshold, before it slid to a stop off the right side of the runway in a grassy area. The flight instructor reported that the engine continued to operate following the accident, and that he secured it by pulling the condition lever to the full aft position. The main wing spar and fuselage were substantially damaged during the impact sequence.

The flight instructor reported that he did not recall advancing the propeller control when he decided to abort the maneuver, and as such, the perceived lack of engine thrust was likely because the propeller remained feathered after he advanced the engine power lever. Additionally, the flight instructor reported that neither he or the pilot-receiving-instruction remember extending the landing gear following the simulated engine failure; however, both pilots recalled seeing the landing gear position lights illuminated during the maneuver. The flight instructor postulated that the airplane's landing gear had not been retracted after takeoff, which resulted in a reduced climb gradient due to the additional aerodynamic drag of the extended landing gear, and as such, the airplane entered the maneuver farther away from the airport than anticipated. Furthermore, with the landing gear extended, the airplane experienced a reduction in glide performance following the simulated loss of engine power.

The flight instructor reported that the accident could have been prevented had he maintained a safe flying airspeed after he took control of the airplane. Additionally, the flight instructor believed that his delayed decision to abort the maneuver had resulted in an insufficient margin of safety.

At 1253, the CEZ automated surface observing system (ASOS) reported: wind 220 degrees at 12 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear sky, temperature 29 degrees Celsius; dew point 1 degrees Celsius; and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury



Date: 25-FEB-16
Time: 22:38:00Z
Regis#: N747TH
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: MANASSAS
State: Virginia

AFTER LANDING THE AIRCRAFT RAN OFF THE SIDE OF THE RUNWAY. MANASSAS, VIRGINIA 

Photo Courtesy Manassas Volunteer Fire Department 



The Mansassas Volunteer Fire Company and other local units responded to the Manassas Regional Airport for a plane crash Thursday evening.

According to a department spokesperson, a single engine aircraft missed the runway.

Several reports indicate that the plane’s nose gear may have malfunctioned.

“The pilot was the only person onboard the aircraft, but did not receive any injuries and refused treatment,” they said.

Firefighters secured the aircraft’s fuel and determined no hazards present.

State police have taken over the investigation of the incident.

Tonight members of MVFC along with other City Fire and Rescue units responded to the Manassas Regional Airport for a plane crash.

Original article can be found here: http://bristowbeat.com



The two people on board this plane were transported to Southwest Memorial after the Piper Malibu plane crashed at the south end of the Cortez airport September 3, 2014. 


Two people involved in the small airplane crash at the Cortez Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon walked away from the crash.

“There were no serious injuries,” said Montezuma County Undersheriff Linda Carter.

However, one of the two aboard was transported to the hospital, “as a precautionary measure,” Carter said.

According to Carter, both people involved in the crash were pilots, and one was undergoing a recertification process and practicing “touch-and-go” landings at the time of the crash.

“Something went wrong,” she said.

The airplane, a 1999 Piper Malibu, sat on the runway Wednesday surrounded by airport and county officials.

Carter said there was a small fuel spill, and the scene would be secured until investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived. The NTSB investigates all airplane crashes.

Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek said emergency fire crews were quick to respond to the scene, adding that they performed their duties professionally.

“Both passengers walked away with only minor injuries,” said Sheek. “That’s what’s important.”

Loaded handgun found at Huntsville International Airport (KHSV) checkpoint

Photo courtesy of Transportation Security Administration
A loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun was found this morning at the Huntsville International Airport checkpoint by Transportation Security Administration agents.



HUNTSVILLE — A loaded handgun was discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag at the Huntsville International Airport checkpoint this morning, and the passenger was escorted out of that area, the Transportation Security Administration said in a release. 

The loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun was found at approximately 5:30 a.m. 

The TSA said it alerted local law enforcement officers, who took possession of the firearm and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

While firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded), they are prohibited in carry-on bags, TSA said.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA regional spokesman. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

This is the third firearm discovered at the security checkpoint by TSA officers at the Huntsville airport in 2016, surpassing the total of two there in 2015.

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.

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

Lancair IV-P, Art Sign Company, N401PT: Fatal accident occurred January 30, 2016 at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport (KABY), Albany, Dougherty County, Georgia

Art Sign Company: http://registry.faa.gov/N401PT  

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA097
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 30, 2016 in Albany, GA
Aircraft: BROOK AARON D LANCAIR IV P, registration: N401PT
Injuries: 3 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 January 30, 2016, at 1445 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Lancair IV-P, N401PT, operated by a private individual, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport (ABY), in Albany, Georgia. The commercial pilot, pilot rated passenger and one additional passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Witness reports indicated that the airplane taxied to the beginning of runway 22 at ABY, and lifted off within the first 1,000 feet of the 6,601 foot-long runway. The airplane began to bank sharply immediately after takeoff, and reached a 90-degree bank as it climbed to treetop height. The witness was not certain if the bank was to the right or left; however, the airplane then began to pitch downward and descend, while maintaining the 90 degree bank until it struck the ground.

A witness located about a quarter mile north of the accident site reported that the airplane sounded "normal" until shortly before impact, when the engine noise became louder.

The airplane impacted a grass field about 1,900 feet down the runway, and 280 feet to the right of the runway centerline. The wreckage path extended from the initial impact ground scar along a heading of 270 degrees, and was 170 feet long. A position light with green lens fragments and the right winglet were among the debris found closest to the initial impact scar. Both wings were separated from the fuselage at their root, and were fragmented along the wreckage path. The left wing tip and winglet were found about 130 feet along the wreckage path. The main wreckage area included the empennage, which was largely intact, with severe fire and impact damage forward of the rear seats. The right horizontal stabilizer and elevator were fractured about mid-span with the outboard portion displaced forward. The elevator trim tab was found slightly trailing edge down. The rudder trim tab was found slightly trailing edge right. The engine mounting structural tubes were fractured and the engine was found inverted. The propeller hub separated from the engine flange, and one of the three blades separated from the hub. All three blades exhibited some bending in the aft direction from about mid-span outward, and each had showed some amount of twisting deformation.

The engine power turbine blades were intact and exhibited slight bending at their tips and rub marks at their roots. The engine casing was displaced and twisted, and the engine could not be turned by hand at the starter or the propeller shafts. After removal of the planetary gear system, the propeller shaft turned easily and did not exhibit any evidence of twisting.

Examination of the airframe revealed that the main landing gear were retracted, however the position of the nose landing gear could not be determined. The position of the flaps could not be determined. Pitch control continuity was confirmed from the elevator though push-pull tubes to the aft cabin area. The elevator moved freely. Rudder control continuity was confirmed from the rudder through a push-pull tube to the cable and bell crank assembly in the empennage. The rudder was free to move, however both cables exhibited binding as a result of fire damage. Both ailerons had separated from their respective wings and were found fractured and fire damaged. Both cockpit control sticks remained connected to their control tubes, however continuity from those tubes to the remainder of the control components could not be confirmed due to impact and fire damage.

A portable global positioning system receiver was recovered from the accident site and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination.

A witness reported that as the occupants embarked, the pilot/owner was seated in the left front seat, and the pilot rated passenger was seated in the right front seat. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot reported 1,000 hours of flight experience at the time of his most recent third-class medical examination which was performed on January 20, 2015.The pilot rated passenger held airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates, and he reported 6,750 flight hours of experience at the time of his most recent FAA second-class medical examination, which was performed on July 8, 2015.

According to FAA records, the airplane was equipped with a Walter 601 series turboprop engine and issued an experimental airworthiness certificate in April 2002. It was purchased by the pilot on December 10, 2015. Initial review of maintenance logbooks revealed that the most recent condition inspections of the airframe and engine occurred on October 29, 2015, and both were found to be in satisfactory condition.


Lake Park second grade students, from left, Raylee Greeson and Emily Wilson, present a memory book in honor of teacher Brittany Kerfoot to Kerfoot’s mother Sherry Washington and her sister Natasha Golden. 

Brittany Kerfoot, a second grade teacher at Lake Park Elementary in south Georgia was among three killed in a plane crash after takeoff in Albany, Ga. on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.


Also in attendance at the tree dedication were Kerfoot’s sister, Natasha Golden, and her mother, Sherry Way, both of whom accepted a framed picture signed by Kerfoot’s students and a memory book containing a messages from the entire second grade.

The Lake Park faculty and students at the ceremony also wore light blue t-shirts featuring the words “be stronger, braver, kinder,” what had become Kerfoot’s words to live by, according to her peers.

In commemorating the tree, McEwen, who had served as Kerfoot’s mentor, read a quote from Maya Angelou, explaining the impact Kerfoot had on her students, her fellow teachers, and the entire Lake Park family.

“I came across this quote from Maya Angelou,’” McEwen read. “‘I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Brittany had an amazing connection with her students. She made them feel important. She made them feel special. And she made them feel loved. For the short time that she was with us she left a lasting impression on so many little hearts. And for that we are grateful that she was a part of our Lake Park family.

“Ms. Kerfoot’s spirit, her energy, her enthusiasm and how she made people feel, will be greatly missed, but we will never forget that about her. We’re proud to dedicate this tree today to Ms. Brittany Kerfoot. Though her time with us was brief, her spirit is forever rooted in our hearts and this will remind us all to be strong, braver, and kinder.”

After those remarks the students in Kerfoot’s class released into the air blue balloons, that featured messages the children wanted to send to her.

“She touched so many lives,” said Lake Park Elementary School Principal Kenosha Coleman. “She had a great impact on the staff here as well as her students. It’s always difficult to lose a staff member, but today we’re hoping that this could be a day that we could just remember her and be joyful and rejoice and keep her spirit alive.”

Although the loss of her sister is painful, Golden said the love and support she has received from the teachers and students at Lake Park has been important to her and has helped ease her pain.

“They have been excellent,” said Golden. “Mrs. Coleman has been wonderful keeping in contact with me and letting me come up here if I needed to. Lake Park really has been awesome.”

Golden also said it was a thrill for her to see what kind of influence her sister had on her co-workers and her students.

“It’s incredible to see the impact that she had,” Golden said. “I’ve always known she was a good teacher, but I didn’t realize how many lives she impacted.”

Thursday’s ceremony also had a positive impact on Kerfoot’s students, who were finally given some measure of closure, and their parents, who have had the difficult task of talking to their children about loss in the wake of Kerfoot’s death.

“This is just a beautiful way to remember her,” said Ashley Hutchins, whose son David was in Kerfoot’s class. “It’s good that the kids can have closure and yet also remember her each time they come out here (to the garden). And now they can also carry her memory with them.”

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




ALBANY — The Lake Park Elementary School family received some closure Thursday when a tree was planted in the school’s garden in memory of second grade teacher Brittany Kerfoot, who was tragically killed in a plane crash less than a month ago at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

That sentiment was at the heart of an ceremony at Lake Park Elementary School Thursday where second grade teachers, students and faculty came together to honor the memory of fellow second grade teacher Brittany Kerfoot, who was one of three area residents killed in a plane crash at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport less than a month ago.

The ceremony, which was organized by Kerfoot’s colleagues, centered around the dedication of a Little Gem Magnolia tree donated by Oak Pond Nursery and planted in the school’s garden by Jim Houldridge, and a commemorative plaque donated by Matthews Funeral Home.

“We just wanted to come together as a school family to celebrate and remember Ms. Kerfoot,” said Kerfoot’s fellow teachers Tay McEwen, Janna Fretwell and Annette Pinkston in a prepared statement. “She had such a big impact on her students and everyone she worked with. This was just a small way to honor that. And to keep a little piece of her here with us.”

Nok Air crisis ‘threatens entire aviation industry’

Thailand's top aviation regulator has expressed concern that the Nok Air crisis could hurt the overall airline industry if the situation is not brought under control quickly.

Chula Sukmanop, the acting director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), said yesterday that authorities were closely watching the Nok Air |situation after more than 41 flights had been cancelled since February 14.

Yesterday, another four flights between Don Mueang International Airport and Chiang Mai were cancelled, while 20 were cancelled on Tuesday and another eight on Wednesday.

So far, Nok Air has been helped by six other airlines that have provided substitute flights for passengers on a charter basis.

As the regulator, CAAT is worried there could be more turbulence hitting the Thai airline sector if Nok Air does not resolve its shortage of pilots quickly.

On average, Nok Air operates a total of 100 domestic flights |daily. 

The airline said it would have to reduce the number of flights by 20 per day until at least March 10 because of the shortage of pilots.

Another 17 pilots out of Nok Air's total of 192 have tendered their resignations effective on March 1, posing a new challenge for the airline.

Chula said the latest round of resignations followed the airline's internal restructuring of its flight operations.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said Nok Air was still in the process of tackling its internal management problems concerning the shortage of pilots.

Thai Airways International, Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Viet Air and Nok Scoot have provided chartered flights to substitute for Nok Air's services.

Arkhom said Nok Air had also recruited another 15 pilots, including 10 from the United States.

The CAAT is investigating Nok Air's February 14 crisis when nine flights were cancelled abruptly resulting in more than 1,400 passengers being stranded at Don Mueang Airport.

Despite the crisis facing the company, Patee Sarasin, the airline's chief executive officer, remains optimistic, saying on Twitter that Nok Air would come back with a better service.

"This is what you call a 'growing pain'. We will be back better for |our team, our company and shareholders. And of course for our customers."

Sithichai Duangrattanachaya, an analyst at Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand), said more pilots were expected to quit because of Nok Air's ongoing difficulties. 

Recruiting 20 to 30 new pilots will be a challenge given the current situation, he said, adding that |Nok Air may have to offer exceptionally high benefits to attract new people.

Sanong Mingcharoen, president of the Thai Pilots Association, said Thailand had about 6,000 pilots working for commercial airlines, including about 1,300 at THAI, about 500 at Thai AirAsia, about 300 at Bangkok Airways and about 200 at Thai Smile.

Currently, there are about 300 to 400 pilots entering the labour force each year but the supply is still not sufficient because of rapid expansion of the airline industry.

Sanong said the government should extend the retirement age for pilots at THAI and Thai Smile from 60 to 65 years to ease the shortage, while cautioning about the hiring of under-qualified foreign pilots.

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