Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Civil Helicopter Accidents in 2015 Declined in U.S., Statistics Show: Preliminary data shows spotty progress elsewhere around the world

The Wall Street Journal
March 1, 2016 8:24 p.m. ET

Total accident and fatality rates for civil helicopters in the U.S. dropped more than 15% in 2015 versus a year earlier, even as safety advances eluded many other parts of the globe.

Annual crash statistics released by Helicopter Association International, the industry’s biggest trade association, on Tuesday indicated gradual but steady progress across the U.S. with roughly one fatal nonmilitary crash for every 200,000 flight hours. But the preliminary data also highlighted the spotty nature of progress world-wide.

In Canada and Brazil, for instance, the raw number of crashes and frequency of fatalities either remained on a plateau, or moved upward.

Europe, on the other hand, achieved more than a 50% year-over-year drop in total accidents as well as fatal accidents. But as is often the case outside of the U.S., safety experts didn’t release specific rates partly due to the difficulty of accurately determining the cumulative number of hours helicopters actually flew throughout the region.

Even for U.S. operations, the overall rate of more than seven accidents per 200,000 flight hours was only marginally improved from levels recorded in 2010 and 2011. And the preliminary 2015 rate was almost identical to the preliminary 2014 rate released a year ago.

Rates typically are adjusted based on updated information about accidents, helicopter registrations and other variables.

The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team, a joint industry-government organization spearheading the nationwide rotorcraft safety drive, reiterated its basic conclusions from a year ago. The latest release said the overall rate of crashes continues to be down more than 50% from baseline figures assembled before the sweeping accident-reduction effort was launched in 2006.

The initial goal, for the U.S. as well as globally, was to slash civil helicopter rates 80% from that baseline by 2016. But once that target seemed unreachable, industry leaders stopped publicly relying on that metric, and instead started defining their “vision” as eventually eliminating all chopper accidents world-wide.

More recently, industry safety experts increasingly are moving to focus more attention on dissecting and keeping track of fatal accidents, rather than monitoring across-the-board accident rates. They also are shifting to identify hazards and potential accident scenarios in specific segments of the industry.

The latest chopper statistics come weeks after airline experts reported a milestone achievement for their industry. For all of 2015, not a single passenger died as a result of a jetliner crash anywhere in the world. That accomplishment excludes jets that were shot down, intentionally brought down by a pilot or mysteriously disappeared during cruise.

Helicopters are much more prone to crashing than fixed-wing aircraft because they routinely fly close to the ground near potential deadly obstacles; many are operated by a single pilot, rather than the two-person crews found in cockpits of airliners and business aircraft; and they perform a wider array of roles, from flying into remote mining areas to being used as air ambulances that often transport patients from unfamiliar locations in bad weather.

According to a recent helicopter safety report by Flightglobal, an online news and information website, there was one fatal crash of a Western-built turbine helicopter per 380 aircraft in service in 2015. Those totals include government-operated flights but exclude military operations. The comparable rate in 2014 was one fatal event per 600 operating helicopters. Single-engine models continued to suffer substantially more fatal events than twin-engine choppers.

Still, the report concludes that “on average, Western-built turbine helicopters are now about twice as safe as they were at the start of the 1990’s.”

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

Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300, NetJets, N358QS: Incident occurred March 01, 2016 at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, (KORD), Illinois


NTSB Identification: CEN16IA117
14 CFR Part 91 Subpart K: Fractional
Incident occurred Tuesday, March 01, 2016 in Chicago, IL
Aircraft: EMBRAER 505, registration: N358QS
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On March 1, 2016, at 1206 central standard time, an Embraer EMB-505, N358QS, impacted runway lights during a contaminated landing overrun on runway 9L (7,500 feet by 150 feet, concrete/grooved) at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois. The airplane sustained minor damage that included damage to the wing leading edges. The pilot and copilot were uninjured. The airplane was operated by NetJets under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 subpart K as a positioning flight that was operating on an instrument rules flight plan. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at ORD and was destined to Chicago Executive Airport (PWK), Wheeling, Illinois but due to weather conditions returned to ORD.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Chicago PART 121 OPS ONLY - FSDO-31

CHICAGO -- Two planes slid off separate runways at O'Hare Airport Tuesday afternoon.

Just after noon, an Embraer Phenom E55P aircraft operated by NetJets slid off the end of Runway 9-Left after landing.

Two people were on board, but no injuries were reported. The runway remains closed.

A few minutes later, American Airlines Flight 1051, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, requested to be towed to the terminal after sliding on Taxiway J.

It's not clear how many people were on board that flight.

The FAA is investigating both incidents.

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

American Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD-83, N436AA: Incident occurred March 01, 2016 at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, (KORD), Illinois

Two planes slid on runways at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Tuesday, officials said. 

A corporate jet, which had two passengers on board, exited the runway just after noon, according to the Chicago Fire Department. 

Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the aircraft, operated by a company called Net Jets, was originally destined for Executive Airport in Wheeling. 

No injuries were reported, but the incident is under investigation, Pride said. 

An American Airlines plane with 65 passengers and five crew members on board was also heading out for departure when it slid on the taxiway and needed assistance straightening out, the airline said. 

American Airlines Flight 1051, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, requested to be towed to the terminal after sliding on Taxiway J, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline. The plane is expected to take off later Tuesday after it has been de-iced.

The FAA is investigating both incidents. 

More than 400 flights flying in and out of Chicago were canceled Tuesday ahead of snow forecast for several northern suburbs.  An icy mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow began to fall Monday night and continued into Tuesday morning before turning to all snow.

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com

AMERICAN AIRLINES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N436AA

Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, N711BE: Fatal accident occurred November 18, 2015 at McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ), Carlsbad, San Diego County, California


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

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA029
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Carlsbad, CA
Aircraft: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS AS350B3E, registration: N711BE
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 November 18, 2015, about 1624 Pacific standard time, an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3E, N711BE, departed controlled flight while landing on a moveable helipad at Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport, Carlsbad, California. The pilot, who was the owner, was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and private pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured; the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The local personal flight departed Carlsbad at 1411. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The entire accident sequence was captured on airport security cameras and the mobile phone cameras of multiple witnesses.

The helicopter departed earlier in the day from the east end of the Premier Jet fixed base operator (FBO) ramp, which was located midfield on the south side of runway 6/24. After departure, line crew moved the helipad to the west end of the ramp.

Upon returning, the helicopter approached the airport from the northeast and was cleared to land on runway 24. It descended to midfield, turned left, and approached the ramp in a low hover via taxiway A3. The helicopter then followed taxiway A and began an approach to the helipad from the east and into the direction of the sun. The helicopter then landed short of the helipad, with the center of its skids making contact with the pad's front edge. The helicopter immediately rocked back and its tailskid struck the ground. The helicopter then began a series of back and forth oscillations, and the helipad broke free from the rear left chock, rotated to the right, and pivoted around its front right wheel. The helicopter spun with the helipad for the first quarter of the turn, and then rapidly climbed and rotated 270 degrees to the right. The helipad came to rest to the north, having revolved 180 degrees, and about 50 seconds later the helicopter landed on the tarmac east of the helipad, while partially straddling taxiway A and the ramp at a 45-degree angle.

For the next 2 1/2 minutes line crew re-secured the helipad, installing chocks on three of the four wheels. The helicopter then repositioned for an approach to the helipad from the west. During the next 4 1/2 minutes the helicopter made three landing attempts, getting to within 5 to 20 ft of the helipad. A video of the final landing attempt was captured by a witness, who was located about 130 ft south. He had observed the other landing attempts and was concerned that the helicopter may crash, so positioned himself behind a car at the corner of the FBO's hangar.

The video revealed that the helico
pter again landed short of the pad, similar to the first landing attempt, rocking back and forth twice onto its tailskid. After the final strike, the helicopter pitched violently forward and out of view behind the hangar. Security cameras revealed that from here the helicopter spun 180 degrees to the left, and after reaching a 45-degree nose up attitude, the aft tailrotor and vertical stabilizer assembly struck the ground and separated. The helicopter bounced and rotated another 360 degrees before landing hard on its left side. Once on the ground, the main rotor blades and cabin continued to spin with the engine still running. The helicopter continued spinning for the next 5 minutes and 10 seconds while slowly sliding about 530 ft east along the ramp. The tailboom and horizontal stabilizer then separated and the helicopter rolled onto its side, shedding the main rotor blades. The engine continued operating for another 30 seconds while fire crew doused the helicopter. White smoke billowed from the engine's exhaust after the helicopter came to rest, but there was no indication of fire.

The pilot purchased the helicopter on October 29, 2015, but had flown demonstration and familiarization flights in it since September 20. According to the helicopter's maintenance records, those flights totaled about 8.8 hours, and were all conducted with a certified flight instructor present. He received an additional 2 hours of flight training on November 13.

According to friends and flight instructors who had flown with the pilot, he had previously owned a Bell 407, and the accident flight was the first he had flown in the AS350 series without a professional pilot present.

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.

Wayne Lewis

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The family of a man killed in a freak helicopter crash at Palomar Airport this past year sued the airport, helicopter manufacturer and the pilot who also died in the crash.

Gary Lewis and his five brothers and sisters filed suit in San Diego Superior Court on Feb. 25 over the death of their "beloved brother" Wayne Lewis, who was the passenger on an Airbus helicopter operated by American Bank CEO Bruce Erickson.

The helicopter spun out and burst into flames this past November as Erickson tried to land the aircraft at the Premier Jet Facility at McClellan-Palomar Airport in north San Diego County. Both men died at the scene.

Lewis and his family claim product liability, negligence and wrongful death. They are seeking damages related to funeral and medical costs and for loss of financial support.

The Lewis family claims the Airbus helicopter had manufacturing defects including a lack of warnings and instructions for safe use which caused the crash and was a substantial factor in causing Lewis' death, according to the 12-page complaint.

Lewis also claims the airport was negligent in properly maintaining the landing site where the crash occurred - including securing the "chock" on each wheel of the mobile helipad to ensure it was stable before the helicopter landed.

Local news outlet 10News reported shortly after the crash that the chock had not been properly secured, which may have been why the helicopter spun out. In audio obtained by the station, Erickson is heard telling air traffic controllers that airport personal failed to secure the moveable landing pad which he claimed "was like a skateboard out here."

Named defendants include Airbus Helicopters, Palomar Airport Center dba Premier Jet and Erickson's estate.

The family is represented by Kevin Boyle, Brian Panish and Matthew Stumpf of Panish Shea & Boyle in Los Angeles.

Palomar Airport told Courthouse News Service they do not comment on pending litigation. Airbus Helicopters did not return an email request for comment, and Boyle did not return a phone call requesting comment.  

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

Bruce Erickson

Mystery surrounds false report of plane crash near Peggys Cove

A great deal of mystery and curiosity surrounds a small Nova Scotia community after a man reported a plane crash in Terence Bay, N.S., Tuesday night.

Emergency crews found no signs of a crash, but there's also no obvious explanation of what the man saw.

“As I looked up, I seen an explosion,” said Tim Slaunwhite, who made the 911 call.

It was dusk, and Slaunwhite had just finished feeding a stray neighbourhood cat. Moments later, he was on the phone with a 911 operator, convinced he was watching a disaster unfold in the sky.

“Bank right, bank left, then straighten it out. And then watch it and basically see him lose it for about 10 seconds in a straight flight-path, and then all of a sudden, it busts in two and then catches on fire,” he said.

Emergency crews descended on the area quickly. Search teams were dispatched, and a check with Navigation Canada confirmed there were no missing or overdue aircraft. The military says it was not conducting exercises in the area, and officials say hoax calls about plane crashes are exceptionally rare.

“When we get reports of plane crashes, they're usually plane crashes,” said deputy chief Roy Hollett of the Halifax Regional Fire Department.

Search crews found nothing, but Slaunwhite insists he knows what he saw, although he admits he didn't hear anything.

Astronomer David Lane says meteors can put on spectacular shows in the upper atmosphere, but they generally behave the same way, and they’re spotted by thousands of people.

“Astronomical things don't change direction, for one,” said Lane.

There's also the question of how long they're visible.

“A normal meteor lasts a second or two. A really long fireball might last 10 seconds,” Lane said.

Slaunwhite says he had time to call his brother before dialing 911.

“Watched that for about, oh, I'm going to say, a good, two, three minutes,” he said.

Experts note cooler, heavier air masses can sometimes produce mirages, literally a trick of the light. Slaunwhite says he knows what he saw, even if he was the only one to witness it.

RCMP say they are not planning to lay charges in this instance.


HALIFAX – A reported plane crash off of Peggy’s Cove on Tuesday night led to an extensive search of an area around Terence Bay, N.S., but it turned out to be a false alarm.

A resident called 911 just after 6 p.m. Tuesday and reported a plane had been downed in the area, which prompted a massive emergency response from Halifax RCMP, Halifax Regional Fire, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax and the Canadian Coast Guard.

HMCS Halifax, a cormorant helicopter, Coast Guard Ship Sambro and second coast guard vessel were deployed to the area to aid in the search, which was called off after about an hour.

Captain Cameron Hillier, public affairs officer with Joint Task Force Atlantic, said that early in the search, crews were informed by Air Traffic Control that no aircraft were reported overdue or missing.

Cpt. Hillier said with that in mind, the search continued for about an hour before being called off just before 10 p.m., with no additional emergency reports or 911 calls noted, no additional witness statements and no emergency distress beacons or debris noticed by crews in the area.

“The decision was made to stand all assets down and discontinue the search,” Hillier said, who called the type of call is particulary rare.

“Certainly, if you’ve got a downed aircraft, one would think much more than one person would see it…there would be a significant number of signs.”

Source:  http://www.news957.com

Search crews stood down Tuesday night after finding no evidence of a plane crash near Terence Bay, N.S.

The search lasted for a couple hours and included a navy frigate, a coast guard cutter, a cormorant helicopter, RCMP officers, and fire crews, said Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) spokesperson Capt. Cameron Hillier.

“After thorough search and no signs of distress, all assets have been stood down,” read a tweet from Joint Task Force Atlantic.

The Mounties said the search was ended in consultation with the JRCC, according to RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke.

“Our watch commander, incident commander, have decided that we don’t have any evidence that an aircraft went down in that area.”

Search crews “can’t find any evidence at all,” said Clarke. Air Traffic Control doesn’t have any planes unaccounted for and JRCC said it hasn’t picked up any emergency signals.

The initial report came from a citizen at 6:35 p.m., he reported seeing something “suspicious,” Clarke said. He reported a small aircraft that appeared in distress, and police thought the report was credible.

The search was aided by a cormorant helicopter, the navy ship HMCS Halifax, and coast guard ship CCGS Sambro, along with a coast guard auxiliary boat. The crews searched the shore waters around Terence Bay and Peggy’s Cove.

Halifax fire crews found nothing on land

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency says crews responded to the report as well but found nothing.

Crews searched for 45 minutes, first in the area of Terence Bay and then looped down to Peggy’s Cove, but found nothing, according to Division 3 Commander Kevin Reade.

Reade said a single emergency call came in from a person saying that a plane had crashed, split in two and caught fire. Fire crews returned to Halifax following their search.

Story, video, photo and audio: http://globalnews.ca

Billings Flying Service granted land west of Logan International Airport (KBIL)


Billings Flying Service will begin to expand west of the Logan International Airport after the Yellowstone County Commissioners approved the zone change on Tuesday.

Roughly 45 minutes into the commissioner meeting a packed crowd listened to Commissioner John Ostlund read an advisory letter noting his involvement the Billings Flying Service. 

Despite having a small plane sit at a Flying Service hangar, Ostlund acknowledged his duty to listen to proponents and opponents who lined up to speak. His vote would prove to be key.

Unlike the previous Feb. 8 zoning commission meeting, Chairman Bill Kennedy urged the crowd to keep their comments brief giving both sides 30 minutes of testimony.

Attorney Tyler Dugger, Billings Flying Service, provided 22 minutes of testimony making the case for the company's request that would still offer a "buffer zone" of land from Highway 3.

Meanwhile, the Rimrock Neighborhoods Task Force disputed the proposed change, citing issues with future industrial zone plans.

A representative for the group said the plans fly in the face of what neighborhoods on the Rims should look like.

Another opponent wants the zone change wording to be fixed so plans by future companies looking to build in the area will not change the look of the area.

"Stuck in my craw is the 'controlled industrial,'" said nearby resident Jim Beley, citing possible issues down the road.

But proponents stuck to the message of the neighborly care the owners Gary and Al Blain would provide, as well as the worldwide business opportunity the construction could bring to the area.

Kennedy said the "unknown" is the biggest concern.

"I think the opposition is the unknown on the industrial (zone change)," Kennedy said. "I don't have a problem with the Blains doing business, but I do have a problem with the industrial zone change that does not have any conditions on it."

He suggested the Blain's refile the request to a "planned unit development" to wipe away the possible complications decades in the future.

After nearly three and a half hours of testimony and comment from the public and commissioners, a 2-1 vote was cast in favor of the zone change.

The Blains said previously it will begin construction in the near future for incoming worldwide business opportunities.

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

Piper PA 46-350P Malibu Mirage, N1982F, Flightline Group LLC: Accident occurred March 01, 2016 at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI), Brunswick, Glynn County, Georgia

FLIGHTLINE GROUP INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N1982F 

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA121 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 01, 2016 in Brunswick, GA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46 350P, registration: N1982F
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 1, 2016, at 1515 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-46-350P, N1982F, was substantially damaged after a nose gear collapse during landing rollout at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport (SSI), Brunswick, Georgia. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed from Florida Keys Marathon Airport (MTH), Marathon, Florida, about 1330.

The pilot stated that during landing on runway 16 at SSI, as the airplane touched down on the main landing gear, the landing appeared to be normal. Then, as the nose gear touched down, he heard a "pop" and then started "losing control of the nose". As the nose continued to drop, he applied aft pressure on the control wheel and attempted to maintain directional control until the airplane came to a stop. He then instructed the passengers to evacuate, performed the emergency procedures for shutdown, and then egressed.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that it had incurred substantial damage during the landing. The area of the nose landing gear bay exhibited crush damage, the firewall was deformed, the wing leading edges were dented, and the fuselage displayed areas of compression buckling of the top and sides just forward of the windscreen. One propeller blade had separated near the root, and the other two blades exhibited significant damage at the tips, as well as scraping along the leading edges.

Examination of runway 16 revealed scrape marks consistent with propeller strikes along the centerline, about 800 feet from the threshold. There were 15 scrapes in a row, each about 12 inches long, oriented transverse (at right angles) to the runway. The row was about 15 feet long. About 2,000 feet down the runway and 20 feet to the right of the centerline, similar propeller scrapes were observed followed by some longitudinal scars about 20 feet long, consistent with the color of the cowling in the nose gear area. No marks were observed for the next 150 feet, where the longitudinal scrapes resumed at the runway's right edge and continued another 250 feet to where the airplane came to rest on the paved area along the right side of the runway.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 2012. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 14, 2015. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accumulated 569 total hours of flight time.

The airplane was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11

ST. SIMONS ISLAND ---  A single engine airplane had a hard landing Tuesday when its nose gear collapsed upon landing at McKinnon St. Simons Island Airport, the Glynn County Airport Commission said.

No one aboard the plane was injured and the FAA had been notified, said Josh Cothren, operations manager at the airport.

“He had an issue with his nose gear on a routine landing,’’ Cothren said.

Cothren said he had not spoken with the pilot and that emergency responders immediately went to the plane as a precaution.

The plane was sitting nose down on one of two runways and the Airport Commission was working to get it cleared, Cothren said.

Source:  http://jacksonville.com 

Cessna 172, Sun Aircraft Management LLC, N1463F: Incident occurred February 29, 2016 in Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida

Date: 29-FEB-16
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N1463F
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15
State: Florida


SUN AIRCRAFT MANAGEMENT LLC:   http://registry.faa.govN1463F

Martha's Vineyard Airport (KMVY) Commission Hires Interim Manager

A former airport director from Northern California has been named interim manager at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, the vice chairman of the airport commission confirmed Tuesday.

Rod Dinger accepted the position this week and will begin work on Monday, March 7.

Following the resignation of both the manager and acting manager in the past three months, the airport commission had a quick search for a certified executive to operate the airport on an interim basis.

Commission vice-chairman Robert Rosenbaum was authorized to negotiate with and hire the interim manager. Mr. Dinger will be paid $11,000 per month, and with housing and a vehicle also provided.

Mr. Dinger was most recently the airport director for Redding, Calif., which has a population of about 91,000 and owns and manages two airports. He worked there for 25 years before retiring in December.

The Redding Municipal Airport is a 1,580-acre facility with two runways, serviced by one commercial airline. In 2012, the airport averaged more than 287 flight operations per day, more than twice the number of flight operations at the Vineyard airport in the same year.

Mr. Dinger also managed the construction of a $9.8 million remodeling and expansion of the airport terminal building, completed in 2014.

Mr. Rosenbaum said the Federal Aviation Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division strongly recommended an interim manager with certification as an accredited airport executive.

“They were very clear that muddling through was not something they thought was appropriate,” Mr. Rosenbaum said. “We really didn’t think so either.”

Mr. Dinger will not be a candidate for the airport manager job.

Former Martha’s Vineyard Airport manager Sean Flynn was placed on paid administrative leave in September of last year. In December, Mr. Flynn resigned after 10 years on the job.

Last month acting manager Deborah Potter, who formerly served as assistant manager under Mr. Flynn, notified the commission she would also be stepping down, effective March 18.

Mr. Rosenbaum said a search committee is narrowing the field of candidates for the next airport manager with the help of a professional search firm specializing in airport executives. The search committee is scheduled to meet March 11, and he said the hope is to have a new manager in place by Memorial Day.

He also said he is hopeful that search will result in finding replacements for both management positions.

“The assumption is, some of the candidates should be qualified for the assistant manager’s position,” Mr. Rosenbaum said.

- Original article can be found here: https://vineyardgazette.com

Cessna 150L, N150LF: Incident occurred February 28, 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska

Date: 28-FEB-16
Time: 23:22:00Z
Regis#: N150LF
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fairbanks FSDO-01
State: Alaska



Cessna 172, N9857T: Incident occurred February 28, 2016 in Dean, Montana

Date: 28-FEB-16
Time: 18:36:00Z
Regis#: N9857T
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Helena FSDO-05
City: DEAN
State: Montana



Colorado Springs Municipal Airport (KCOS) gets piece of $2.7 million grant

The Colorado Springs Municipal Airport will once again reap the benefits of a 1991 law that sends aviation fuel taxes to state airports.

The Colorado Aeronautical Board gave the go-ahead Monday to distribute $2.7 million to Colorado airports through the Colorado Department of Transportation's Discretionary Aviation Grant Program. The Colorado Springs airport will receive $22,500 to help pay for a pair of aviation interns.

Colorado Springs airport spokesman Nate Lavin said the airport will match the grant money and toss in another $22,500 for the interns, who are expected to begin work in late summer. They will work for 10 to 12 months, he said.

Lavin, who began his career with the airport through the internship program, said the interns will assist in marketing, finance, operations, planning and development, accounting and more.

"We try to utilize them the best way we can," Lavin said. "We get them as much experience as we can."

The airport internship program began in 2006, he said.

The Aeronautical Board's approval Monday will also benefit 26 other public use airport in the state. The grants range from just over $8,000 to $250,000. According to CDOT, the money will fund more than $71 million in projects, mostly to improve safety and infrastructure.

Lavin said the Colorado Springs airport also had an application for a $250,000 grant approved Monday by the board. That money will help rehabilitate an airport taxiway. Airport officials expect the work on the taxiway to begin this summer.

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

Blue Heron Marathon, N2104Y: Accident occurred February 23, 2016 near Berwick, Pennsylvania

Date: 23-FEB-16
Time: 00:30:00Z
Regis#: N2104Y
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Serious
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13
State: Pennsylvania



Incident occurred February 26, 2016 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (KORD), Illinois

Date: 26-FEB-16
Time: 23:15:00Z
Regis#: AAL2339
Aircraft Model: MD88
Event Type: Incident
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: AAL-American Airlines
Flight Number: AAL2339
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Chicago PART 121 OPS ONLY - FSDO-31
State: Illinois


Vans RV-6A, N419B: Fatal accident occurred March 01, 2016 near Elmdale Airpark (82TS), Abilene, Taylor County, Texas and accident occurred September 01, 2014 in Marshalltown, Iowa


NTSB Identification: CEN16FA114
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 01, 2016 in Abilene, TX
Aircraft: OHLGREN RV 6A, registration: N419B
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 March 1, 2016, about 0830 central standard time, an experimental amateur-built Ohlgren RV 6A airplane, N419B, impacted terrain during takeoff from runway 35 at the Elmdale Airpark (82TS), near Abilene, Texas. The airline transport pilot and his passenger were fatally injured. The impact with terrain destroyed the airplane. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in area of the accident site about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on flight plan. The flight was destined for Henderson, Nevada, and was originating from 82TS at the time of the accident.

A witness at 82TS witnessed the takeoff. The witness picked the pilot and passenger up at a local hotel and brought them to 82TS. The pilot checked weather and preflighted the aircraft. According to the witness, the airplane taxied to the threshold of runway 35 and the pilot performed an engine run-up, which sounded normal. The airport windsock indicated winds from the north-northwest. After takeoff the airplane drifted slightly right (east) in a wings level climbing attitude. A turn to the west with a bank angle of more than 30 degrees began and the aircraft nose pitched up followed by an immediate nose down spin to the left. The aircraft then was out of sight due to a rise in terrain. The witness and another airport tenant drove to the site and observed that the accident airplane impacted terrain. A witness subsequently called 911.

The 63-year old pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airline transport pilot certificate with a multi-engine rating. He held commercial pilot privileges for single-engine land airplanes. He held an FAA second-class medical certificate dated February 16, 2016. The medical certificate had a limitation that the pilot must have glasses available for near vision.

N419B was an amateur-built experimental airplane constructed from a Van's Aircraft Inc. RV 6A kit, which was completed in 2001 and it had its special airworthiness certificate issued on August 4, 2001. The airplane was a single engine, low-wing monoplane, configured to seat two occupants in a side-by-side seating arrangement. It employed a tricycle landing gear arrangement and was constructed primarily from aluminum alloy materials. The airplane was powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360-C1G engine with serial number L-31710-36A. The airplane was equipped with a forward opening, tip-up canopy.

The airplane was equipped with a Dynon SkyView SV-D700 display unit. According to the Dynon user's guide, the display can act as a primary flight display with synthetic vision, an engine monitoring system, and a moving map in a variety of customizable screen layouts.

At 0752, the recorded weather at the Abilene Regional Airport, near Abilene, Texas, was: Wind 340 degrees at 12 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 11 degrees C; dew point 2 degrees C; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

The accident airport, 82TS, was a privately owned, private-use airport. Two runways, 18/36 and 17 /35 served the airport. Runway 17/35 was a 2,950 by 30 foot asphalt runway. The airport had 100 low lead fuel service.

The airplane came to rest upright about 189 feet and 330 degrees from the departure end of runway 36. The airplanes resting heading was about 360 degrees magnetic. The airplane's propeller and propeller flange separated from its crankshaft. The propeller was found imbedded in the ground about one foot below the surface. When removed the propeller blades exhibited chordwise abrasions and leading edge nicks. The engine mounts and engine cowling were deformed rearward and crushed consistent with the nose of the airplane impacting terrain. The leading edge of both wings exhibited aftward deformation consistent with a nose low impact with terrain. The cockpit canopy was found separated from the fuselage. The canopy's latch was found in the latched position and the latching assembly was deformed consistent with impact damage. The canopy handle was missing from its canopy handle block. The center section of the canopy handle block, which holds the canopy handle, exhibited a vertical tear where the canopy handle was housed. The empennage was attached to the fuselage and wrinkle deformation was observed at the juncture of the two. The left aileron separated from its wing.

An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed that a liquid consistent with fuel was found in the fuel line routed to the engine driven fuel pump and in the line to the carburetor. The control stick was moved and the attached aileron and elevators moved accordingly. The rod end to the left aileron moved when the control stick was moved. The control cables at the rudder pedals were manipulated by hand and the rudder moved. Flight control continuity was established.

The right magneto was found separated from its accessory pad. Both of the engine's magnetos were removed from the wreckage and their ignition leads cut near their towers. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and sparks were observed at all ignition leads. The engine driven fuel pump sustained impact damage and its base was separated from its body. The engine driven fuel pump produced a suction when its slotted shaft was manipulated with a flat-bladed screwdriver. A liquid consistent with the smell of aviation gasoline subsequently exited the engine driven fuel pump fitting. Sparkplugs were removed. One spark plug was oil fouled and the remaining plugs exhibited a brown color consistent with normal combustion. The carburetor was removed from the intake. The carburetor's mounting base was fractured. The carburetor finger screen was removed and no debris was observed in the screen. The mixture and throttle cables were pulled in the cockpit and motion on the carburetor linkages was accordingly observed. The propeller control in the cockpit was pulled and motion on the governor linkage was accordingly observed. Engine control continuity was established.

The cover over the vacuum accessory pad was removed and a splined adapter tool was inserted in the pump drive base to turn the engine accessory gears. All cylinder rocker covers were removed. The engine produced a thumb compression at all cylinders when the adapter tool was rotated by hand. No rocker or valve movement anomalies were observed when the adapter tool was rotated. Crankshaft and camshaft continuity was established.

The Dynon display was removed from the wreckage and was retained and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Recorder Laboratory to see if it contains recorded data in reference to the accident flight.

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Lubbock FSDO-13

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.

ABILENE, Texas -   Authorities have identified two men who died in a plane crash at Elmdale Airpark earlier this week.

Killed were pilot James Estol Hathcock, 63, of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and passenger  Aaron T. Taylor,  33, also of Eureka Springs.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the single-engine, Vans RV-6 experimental aircraft crashed while departing from Elmdale Airpark about 8:50 a.m. Tuesday.

"After (the) plane took off, it banked  towards the west and went down near the end of the runway," a DPS news release said Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the investigation. DPS referred any additional questions to the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Previous story:

Two people were killed in a plane crash Tuesday morning at Elmdale Airpark in Taylor County, Sheriff Ricky Bishop said.

The crash occurred about 8:50 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The two victims aren't from Abilene or the Big Country, Bishop said.

“The aircraft exploded on impact,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said, referring to preliminary reports.

According to the last time it was registered with the FAA, the plane was owned by Floyd Halderman Jr. of Eldon, Missouri. The same plane was involved in a September 2014 crash in Iowa.

Witnesses told Elmdale Airpark officials that it appeared the plane stalled during takeoff from the airport and went down on the north end of the runway.

“Preliminary information indicates a single engine Vans RV-6 Experimental aircraft with two people on board crashed … while departing from Elmdale Airpark in Abilene,” Lunsford said.

“FAA investigators are on their way, and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has been notified.”

The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation, Lunsford said.

Clyde, Baird and Eula fire departments were immediately called to the scene.


NTSB Identification: CEN14LA472
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 01, 2014 in Marshalltown, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/11/2015
Aircraft: OHLGREN BRENT E RV-6A, registration: N419B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot said he visually checked and verified that the right wing fuel tank was just under half full and that the left wing fuel tank was just over half full prior to takeoff. As the airplane approached the destination, about 190 nm from the departure airport, the pilot decided to conduct a practice visual approach. Shortly after turning onto final approach, the engine lost power. After employing emergency procedures, the pilot was able to restore power and climbed the airplane to 3,100 feet. He then checked the fuel gauges, which both indicated one-eighth full. The engine then lost power a second time. The pilot made a forced landing in a bean field, and the airplane nosed over. During postaccident examination, no fuel sloshing could be heard when the wings were rocked; both wing fuel caps were then removed from the inverted airplane and no fuel leaked out. The airplane was righted, and when the master switch was turned on, the left fuel gauge was one needle-width above empty and the right fuel gauge indicated empty. The integrity of the fuel tanks appeared to be intact, and no fuel leaked from the tanks. No fuel was visible in either fuel tank. No fuel was recovered when the left and right wing fuel sump drains were removed. After adding fuel, the engine was started and ran at idle power until it was shut down.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's misjudgment of the amount of fuel onboard prior to flight.

On September 1, 2014, about 1740 central standard time, the pilot of an Ohlgren Vans RV-6A, N419B, made a forced landing in a bean field after the engine lost power 5 miles south of the Marshalltown Municipal Airport (MIW), Marshalltown, Iowa,. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from Marv Skie-Lincoln County Airport (Y14), Tea, South Dakota, about 1615.

The pilot said that prior to departing Y14, he visually checked and verified that the right wing fuel tank was "just under" half full and the left wing fuel tank was "just over" half full (a half-full tank contains 19 useable gallons). En route, the pilot switched tanks "multiple times." Approaching KMIW, the pilot decided he would practice a visual approach using the RNAV (GPS) RWY 31 instrument approach procedure. Shortly after turning onto final approach at VUNDY IAF (initial approach fix), the engine lost power. After employing emergency procedures, the pilot was able to restore power and climbed to 3,100 feet. He said he checked the fuel gauges and they both indicated 1/8-full. The engine lost power a second time. The pilot made a forced landing in a bean field and the airplane nose over.

On September 2, two airworthiness inspectors and an operations inspector from the Des Moines Flight Standards District Office went to the accident site. They reported the airplane was inverted and the vertical stabilizer and rudder were crushed. The right wing outboard leading edge and tip were crushed. The nose gear was bent. The inspectors rocked the wings rocked back and forth and could not hear any fuel sloshing. Both wing fuel caps were removed and no fuel leaked out.

On September 18, 2014, FAA inspectors returned to the accident site. A recovery crew was at the site and turned the aircraft over so that it was resting on its landing gear. With the master switch on, the left fuel gage was one needle-width above empty and the right fuel gage indicated empty. There was no dead or discolored vegetation around the airplane, and the integrity of the fuel tanks appeared intact. No fuel leaked from the tanks. No fuel was visible in either fuel tank. No fuel was recovered when the left and right wing fuel sump drains were removed.

Fuel was added to the right tank and the engine was started. It ran at an idle power for about 30 seconds before being shut down.

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Des Moines FSDO-61

MARSHALL COUNTY, Iowa —A small aircraft flipped over onto its top during an emergency landing near Marshalltown Monday evening. 

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office said 31-year-old Jason Stone was en route from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to the Marshalltown Municipal Airport when he experienced engine problems and was forced to land in a soybean field.

Officials were called to the scene around 5:45 p.m.

During the landing, mud from the field caused the front wheel and nose of the single-engine airplane to get stuck in the field. The plane then flipped over.

Stone was the only occupant of the 2001 Vans RV6A plane and was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to make a follow-up investigation.