Monday, March 7, 2016

UPS Pilots Make Oral Argument Before the D.C. Circuit Challenging Cargo Exclusion from Rest Rule

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral argument today for the Independent Pilots Association (UPS pilots) in its lawsuit challenging the FAA's decision to exclude all-cargo operators from the new Flightcrew Member Duty and Rest Requirements. 

The following statement is from the IPA General Counsel William Trent:  "It's taken four years to get our day in court, but UPS pilots are ready to outline our case for one level of aviation safety.  The arguments we will be making before the court today are:  

  1. The FAA failed to execute Congress' command to promulgate regulations that address the acknowledged problems relating to pilot fatigue in all-cargo operations. Congress directed the FAA to 'issue regulations, based on the best available scientific information, to specify limitations on the hours of flight and duty time allowed for pilots to address problems relating to pilot fatigue,' and
  2. The scientific information on fatigue does not support the FAA's exclusion of all-cargo operators from the final rule. The FAA's decision to leave all-cargo operations subject to the old Part 121 rules also violates the Safety Act because the decision leaves cargo pilots subject to rules that do not reflect the 'best available scientific information' about pilot fatigue, and
  3. The FAA impermissibly relied on a cost-benefit analysis to ignore Congress' directive to utilize scientific information on pilot fatigue. 

Importantly, however, the IPA does not seek to overturn the new Part 117 rules as they relate to passenger operations, but only to have the Court order the FAA to reconsider the inclusion of cargo operations consistent with its mandate from Congress."

To view the Final IPA Opening Brief and other materials related to the case go to: ipapilot.org/ipavfaa.asp.

SOURCE Independent Pilots Association

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

Local Pilot’s Remains Found: Cessna 172, N9784L



The two year search for a Stehekin pilot has ended in Africa.

Bill Fitzpatrick was working for the Republic of Congo, flying over National Parks in search of poachers when his Cessna 172 crashed in June of 2014. 

The crash site was discovered days after the accident, but Fitzpatrick’s remains were recovered just last week. 

Before Africa, Fitzpatrick worked for a variety of domestic state park agencies, most recently as a Ranger for North Cascades National Park from 2003 to 2011. 

The Fitzpatrick family is working with African Parks and the US State department to bring his remains home.

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



JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The employer of an American anti-poaching pilot who died in a plane crash in Cameroon in 2014 says his remains were recovered from the wreckage and delivered to a morgue.

African Parks, a Johannesburg-based group, said Monday that arrangements are being made for the repatriation of pilot Bill Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick disappeared on June 22, 2014 while flying to a job in Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Republic of Congo. African Parks manages the wildlife area.

Local residents discovered the plane wreckage in April 2015. The remoteness of the area and dense vegetation made it difficult for a helicopter to land and bureaucratic procedures in Cameroon delayed the recovery of Fitzpatrick's remains.

Fitzpatrick's brother, Ken, says in an email that it "will still take a while" to repatriate the pilot.

Original article can be found here: http://www.12newsnow.com

Piper PA-22-108, N5488Z: Accident occurred March 06, 2016 in Lincolnton, Lincoln County, North Carolina

http://registry.faa.gov/N5488Z 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Charlotte FSDO-68


NTSB Identification: ERA16CA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 06, 2016 in Lincolnton, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22-108, registration: N5488Z
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The non-certificated pilot/owner of the single engine airplane was conducting a local test flight with a prospective buyer, who held a private pilot certificate. After exiting the airport traffic area and climbing to an altitude of 1,800 feet, the pilot permitted the prospective buyer to manipulate the flight controls. The pilot then reassumed control of the airplane for the return flight to the departure airport. According to the prospective buyer, while on final approach to land on runway 5, he noticed that the airplane was yawed to the left and applied right rudder, but the pilot told him to stay off the controls, which he did for the remainder of the flight. After landing, the airplane veered to the left and departed the left side of the runway; where it struck an embankment, and flipped over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wing struts, rudder, aft lower fuselage, firewall, and nose gear assembly. Both occupants stated there were no pre-impact anomalies with the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The non-certificated pilot's loss of directional control while landing.

Cirrus Promises 150 New Jobs With $16M Facility Expansion

To keep up with growing customer demand for its series of airplanes, Cirrus Aircraft will build a roughly $16 million facility in the Duluth Airport Industrial Park.

The Duluth-based manufacturer’s expansion is expected to create 150 new jobs, pushing its employee roster to 825 workers. Cirrus said the new manufacturing jobs would pay up to $14 an hour with benefits.

The company’s 68,000-square-foot facility will be dedicated to painting and finishing Cirrus’ airplanes, including its Vision SF50 jet, which sells for $2 million. Cirrus said orders for the single-engine personal jet have already topped 550.

Designs for the new facility include offices, break rooms, and a shipping and receiving area. Burns & McDonnell, an architecture, engineering and construction firm with offices in both Minneapolis and Duluth, will be providing design services for the project.

Costs for building the facility will be $12.7 million, but Cirrus anticipates infrastructure and equipment to be another $3 million. The facility is due to be operational in October.

To ensure Cirrus continued its operations in Duluth, the city will be contributing nearly $8 million in infrastructure and construction financing for the new complex. Additionally, the state announced it would be backing the aviation company's expansion. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is providing a $4 million loan to the project from the Minnesota Investment Fund. DEED said it would not ask for repayment if Cirrus meets its hiring and investments goals.

"We’re fervent believers in Duluth as an aviation manufacturing hub, so we couldn’t be more thrilled to continue innovating and growing as a company here through this vital new facility," said Bill King, Cirrus' vice president of development, in a statement. "The city has been a tremendous partner to us since we opened our first production facility in 1994, and we’re proud to continue working with them as we bring industry-leading aircraft to the market.”

Cirrus also plans to develop a “Vision Center” that would be located in Knoxville, Tennessee. That facility—which the company aims to open this year—will operate as a customer service center for buyers to test Cirrus planes without the unpredictability of Minnesota weather.  

Last month, Cirrus also unveiled its 2016 SR series, a variety of four-to-five seat, single-engine piston planes that have been best sellers in the world for 13 years.

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

Cessna 172I Skyhawk, N35683, Wheels Up Sav LLC: Incident occurred March 05, 2016 in Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia

Date: 05-MAR-16
Time: 20:47:00Z
Regis#: N35683
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11
City: SAVANNAH
State: Georgia

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, BLEW A TIRE AND SUSTAINED MINOR DAMAGE, SAVANNAH, GA

WHEELS UP SAV LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N35683

Bell 407, N795RB, Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office: Incident occurred March 06, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida

Date: 06-MAR-16
Time: 13:17:00Z
Regis#: N795RB
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 407
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Public Use
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19
City: WEST PALM BEACH
State: Florida

N795RB BELL 407 ROTORCRAFT, DURING FLIGHT, WAS STRUCK BY A BIRD THAT PENETRATED THE CANOPY AND HIT THE HELMET OF THE PILOT, ROTORCRAFT LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, WEST PALM BEACH, FL

PALM BEACH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE: http://registry.faa.gov/N795RB

North Wing Apache, N242WT: Accident occurred March 05, 2016 in Queen Creek, Pinal County, Arizona

http://registry.faa.gov/N242WT

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA080

14 CFR Part 103: Ultralight
Accident occurred Saturday, March 05, 2016 in Queen Creek, AZ
Aircraft: NORTH WING APACHE, registration: N242WT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 5, 2016, about 1346 mountain standard time, an experimental, North Wing Apache, N242WT, weight-shift-control (WSC) trike, collided with terrain following takeoff from a field, southeast of Queen Creek, Arizona. The trike was previously registered to a private individual and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 103. The pilot sustained serious injuries and was the sole person on board. During the accident sequence, the trike sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local personal flight departed at an undetermined time.

According to local law enforcement officials, the pilot reported hearing a "snapping" sound about 200 feet, above ground level, and performed an emergency landing in a field. Subsequently, the trike sustained substantial damage to the wings during the landing.

The trike was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07





Just after 2 p.m. on March 5th, an experimental North Wing Apache crashed in the desert south and west of Ironwood and Germann roads. The 45-year-old male pilot sustained leg injuries and is expected to survive the crash.

Shark patrol service for the Illawarra and South Coast grounded



The future of a shark spotting service operating between Palm Beach and Ulladulla is in question after the resignation of its chief pilot.

Warren Gengos, the chief pilot of the Australian Aerial Patrol and the patrol's commercial arm NSW Air, resigned Sunday afternoon.

As a result the entire fleet of the AAP and NSW Air is now grounded.

Mr. Mitchell said the former chief pilot Warren Gengos indicated his intention resign some time ago, but brought the date forward to Sunday.

"Right at this moment we are actively engaged in a recruitment process of seeking a suitable replacement and once we have that replacement chosen we will then advise the Civil Aviation Safety Authority," he said.

The company's distinctive red and yellow planes have been a familiar sight since 1957, though some in the organization are now expressing doubt over whether either service will ever fly again.

The resignation comes after company's accounts were frozen by Bendigo Bank last Friday.

Longstanding general manager Harry Mitchell said he was unsure as to why the bank had decided to freeze the accounts.

"I can't answer that," he said.

"I'm not sure and I will be having discussions with Bendigo Bank today and hopefully there will be some answers there."

Mr. Mitchell told ABC Illawarra's Nick Rheinberger he was not aware of arguments over money within the Australian Aerial Patrol.

"You know that that there was a new board of directors appointed at the last AGM and whether it has anything to do with that or not I am not sure."

Implications for beach safety

Wollongong City Council is a major financial contributor to the Aerial Patrol and NSW Air.

The Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery is concerned about the potential implications for beach safety as the warm weather continues.

"It might mean that during this winter season we've really got to get our head around the future of that sort of surveillance activity and making sure that our beaches are safe ready for next season," he said.

Also expressing concern is Ken Holloway from the Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguards Association.

He said the Aerial Patrol was inexpensive when compared with helicopter patrols, so he had been working with them to obtain a slice NSW shark funding.

"There's $16 million of funding over four years [for] ways of minimizing the risk of shark attack, and fixed aerial patrol is one of those ways we think we can minimize that risk," he said.

Despite the setbacks Harry Mitchell remained confident the service still had a future.

"The community of the Illawarra have had Aerial Patrols flying over its beaches and the region for six decades and the community deserves to have the Aerial Patrol flying over its region for another six decades," he said.

"And that will be my objective and that of the new board as well."

Original article can be found here:   http://www.abc.net.au

Cessna 150, N22354: Incident occurred March 05, 2016 in Pampa, Gray County, Texas

Date: 05-MAR-16
Time: 00:00:00Z
Regis#: N22354
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Lubbock FSDO-13
City: PAMPA
State: Texas

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A ROAD, NEAR PAMPA, TX

http://registry.faa.gov/N22354

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N6023V, Professional Services of America, Inc: Accident March 06, 2016 in Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona

Professional Services of America, Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N6023V

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA187
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 06, 2016 in Scottsdale, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N6023V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The solo student pilot reported that the airplane bounced after touched down, then veered off the runway to the left and came to a stop in gravel. 

A postaccident exam revealed substantial damage to the firewall. 

According to the student pilot there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the student pilot to maintain pitch control while landing, which resulted in a hard landing, loss of directional control, and runway excursion.

Piper PA-22-150, N7347D, Christianson Lake Rentals & Maintenance LLC:: Incident occurred March 06, 2016 in Talkeetna, Alaska

Date: 07-MAR-16 
Time: 00:30:00Z
Regis#: N7347D
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA22
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Minor
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
City: TALKEETNA
State: Alaska

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED 50 MILES FROM TALKEETNA, NEAR CHRISTIANSEN LAKE, ALASKA

CHRISTIANSON LAKE RENTALS & MAINTENANCE LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N7347D


An Anchorage pilot practicing “touch and goes” experienced engine problems that forced him to land on a hillside, injuring a passenger, according to a release from Alaska State Troopers.

At 7:10 p.m. on Sunday, AST say they were informed about the crash that happened a few hours earlier. The release from troopers states the crash occurred about 50 miles north of Talkeetna.

Alaska State Troopers stated 33-year-old Trevor Jones was piloting the 1957 Piper PA-22-150 aircraft around 5 p.m., practicing “touch and goes” before experiencing engine problems. The maneuver is common when learning to fly a fixed-wing aircraft and involves landing on a runway and taking off again without coming to a full stop, flying a pre-planned pattern and repeating the process.

Jones was forced to land on a sloped portion of a hillside, according to Alaska State Troopers, and sustained significant damage to the plane, which was left on scene. Jones did not report any injuries, however AST stated a passenger was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center in Palmer for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Alaska State Troopers said the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been advised of the incident.

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

9th Circ. OKs Airport for Seattle Suburbs

(Courthouse News) - The Federal Aviation Administration doesn't need an environmental impact statement to start operating commercial flights at Paine Field near Everett, Washington, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday.

Neighboring cities Mukilteo and Edmonds challenged the FAA's green light for commercial passenger flights, claiming an environmental impact statement was needed.

Paine Field, about 30 miles north of Seattle, was built in 1936 but never became the commercial passenger hub once envisioned.

In 2012, Snohomish County, which runs the airport, gave permission to build a small, two-gate terminal. Alaska Airlines, through its subsidiary Horizon Air, and Allegiant Airlines were interested in providing passenger service if infrastructure existed, according to the ruling.

Mukilteo and Edmonds appealed the FAA's decision that no environmental impact statement was necessary, claiming the agency failed to include connected factors and predetermined the outcome before the review.

The Ninth Circuit heard arguments in 2014, but all parties requested a stay in the action because the county could not fund the $3 million for construction and it appeared development was unlikely.

The court requested interim status reports every six months and restarted proceedings in 2015 because construction seemed imminent.

On Friday, the three-judge panel ruled the FAA's decision to allow limited passenger flights without a full environmental impact statement was acceptable, and rejected the cities' argument that the FAA predetermined the outcome.

The cities said the FAA made statements favoring passenger service to Paine Field and gave a schedule to a consulting firm before the environmental assessment was completed.

"In short, the FAA's finding of no significant impact was not predetermined by the creation of an optimistic schedule for completing the environmental review or statements favoring commercial service at Paine Field. The FAA performed its National Environmental Policy Act obligations in good faith and did not prematurely commit resources to opening the terminal. The petitioners' bias arguments fail," Circuit Judge Richard Tallman wrote for the majority.

The FAA is not prohibited from favoring commercial service, but only required to conduct an environmental review "objectively and in good faith," according to the ruling.

Opponents also objected to the development based on the airport's "maximum capacity," the ruling said.

"Here, the FAA based its flight operation projections on demand and determined that the only additional, and reasonably foreseeable, flights were those initially proposed by two airlines, amounting to approximately 22 operations per day. Those airlines proposed to employ smaller aircraft with a capacity of up to 150 passengers. In contrast, the projections touted by petitioners were based solely on the airport's maximum capacity and do not take into account actual historical demand," Tallman wrote.

In comparison, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to the south handles an average of 946 aircraft operations per day, 89 percent of them commercial flights, and served over 42 million passengers in 2015.

The court said its decision would not "open the floodgates" to all passenger airlines that request access to Paine Field because carriers must still get permission, which could be challenged by opponents.

Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson told the Everett Herald the city disagrees with the ruling.

"We disagree with the ruling, and believe that there are legal errors in its findings. We are considering our options," Gregerson said. "We still believe that commercial air service is not the right use at the airport and are committed to protecting the quality of life of our community." 

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

Embraer 145, N508RH, Hendrick Motorsports LLC: Incident occurred March 07, 2016 at Memphis International Airport (KMEM), Shelby County, Tennessee



MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A plane headed from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Charlotte, North Carolina, made an emergency landing in Memphis.


The plane belonged to Hendrick Motorsports and was carrying team members home from the NASCAR race in Las Vegas.


Drivers for the Hendrick Motorsports team include Dale Earnhardt, Jr, Jimmy Johnson, and Kasey Kane. None of those drivers were on the plane.


A Hendrick Motorsports representative said the plane landed safely in Memphis after someone noticed smoke in the cabin. No one was injured or suffering from smoke inhalation. 


The plane was towed to Wilson Air Center and is being evaluated for issues. The passengers returned to Charlotte on another flight.


Story and video: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com


HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N508RH





MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A plane carrying a NASCAR team made an emergency landing at Memphis International Airport.


The plane was returning to North Carolina from the NASCAR race in Las Vegas when there were reports of smoke in the cabin.


The plane landed safely.


The plane was carrying members of the Hendrick Motorsports team.


Everyone on the plane was moved to a different plane for the rest of the flight.


Hendrick has four teams in the Sprint Cup circuit. It is not clear which members were onboard.


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





MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Hendrick Motorsports airplane made an emergency landing early Monday morning because smoke was discovered in the cabin.

The plane was returning from Las Vegas Motor Speedway and made a fuel stop in Oklahoma before taking off again to return to North Carolina. Roughly an hour later, the plane was forced to land at Memphis International Airport in Tennessee.


Team spokesman Jesse Essex said there were no injuries and the plane wasn't carrying any of its drivers.


A second plane in North Carolina was sent to Memphis to retrieve the team members.


Ten people were killed in a 2004 crash of a Hendrick plane traveling to a race in Virginia. Among those killed in that crash were Rick Hendrick's son, brother, twin nieces and key Hendrick employees.


Hendrick broke a rib and his clavicle in 2011 when a plane he and his wife were on lost its brakes and crash-landed in Key West, Florida.


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





NTSB Identification: ERA12FA056
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 31, 2011 in Key West, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2013
Aircraft: GULFSTREAM G150, registration: N480JJ
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was approaching the destination airport in night visual meteorological conditions. After losing sight of the runway once and going around, they continued the approach, even though the pilot in command (PIC) stated that he thought they were going to land long. The PIC stated that the main landing gear touched down near the 1,000-foot marker of the 4,801-foot-long runway, about the landing reference speed (Vref) of 120 knots. The PIC stated that he then applied the brakes but thought they were not working; he had not yet activated the thrust reversers. He alerted the second in command (SIC), who also depressed the brake pedals with no apparent results. The PIC suggested a go-around, but the SIC responded that it was too late. The airplane subsequently traveled off the end of the runway, struck a gravel berm, and came to rest about 816 feet beyond the end of the runway. During the impact, one of the passenger seats dislodged from its seat track and was found on the cabin floor, with the passenger still in it. 

Review of cockpit voice recorder, video, and performance data revealed that the main landing gear touched down at Vref and about 1,650 feet beyond the approach end of the runway. The nosegear then touched down 2.4 seconds later and about 2,120 feet beyond the approach end of the runway, with about 2,680 feet of runway remaining. Digital electronic engine control data revealed that about 8 seconds after weight-on-wheels, the power levers were advanced from the idle position to the takeoff position. The power levers were then returned to the idle position 6 seconds later. The power levers were moved to the reverse thrust position 8 seconds after that and remained in that position for the duration of the accident sequence; both thrust reversers deployed when commanded. Examination and testing of the airplane systems did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the wheels brakes or any other systems.

Although armed, the airbrakes did not deploy upon touchdown; the data available was inconclusive to determine what position the throttles were in at touchdown and why the airbrakes did not deploy. It is likely that the pilots did not detect the wheel braking because its effect was less than expected with the airplane at full power and with the airbrakes stowed.

Landing distance data revealed that the airplane required about 2,551 feet to stop at its given weight in the given weather conditions. With a runway distance of 2,680 feet remaining, the airplane could have stopped or gone around uneventfully with appropriate use of all deceleration devices. The landing procedure stated to activate the thrust reversers after nosewheel touchdown and then apply the brakes, as necessary; however, the PIC only applied the brakes. Further, no callouts were made to verify ground spoiler or reverse thrust deployment. The PIC then stated that he was going to go around, but the SIC said it was too late, so the thrust levers were brought back to idle and the reversers were deployed. The PIC's delayed decision to stop or go around resulted in about a 22-second delay in thrust reverser activation, which resulted in the runway overrun. Additionally, the procedure for a (perceived) failed brake system would have been to activate the emergency brake, which neither pilot did.

Examination of the seats revealed that a forward-facing seat was installed in the aft-facing position and an aft-facing seat was installed in the forward-facing position. Additionally, the ejected seat's shear plungers were found in the raised position. Had the seat been installed correctly, the plungers would have been in the lowered position, in the seat track. The improper installation most likely resulted in the passenger’s seat separating from the seat track and exacerbating his injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot in command's failure to follow the normal landing procedures (placing engines into reverse thrust first and then brake), his delayed decision to continue the landing or go-around, and the flight crew's failure to follow emergency procedures once a perceived loss of brakes occurred. Contributing to the seriousness of the passenger's injury was the improper securing of the passenger seat by maintenance personnel.




HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 31, 2011, about 1942 eastern daylight time, a Gulfstream G150, N480JJ, operated by Hendrick Motorsports Aviation, was substantially damaged during a landing overrun at Key West International Airport (EYW), Key West, Florida. The two airline transport pilots and one passenger reported minor injuries, while a second passenger was seriously injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Witham Field Airport (SUA), Stuart, Florida, at 1900. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

The pilot-in-command (PIC) stated that air traffic control cleared the flight for a visual approach to runway 27, which was 4,801 feet long. The PIC did not call for the checklist due to radio chatter, but observed the copilot (CP) complete the before landing checks, with the landing gear and flaps extended. The airplane entered the airport traffic pattern on a right base leg for runway 27. The flightcrew lost sight of the runway due to some low stratus clouds and discontinued the approach. The controller then instructed them to overfly the airport and enter a right downwind leg for runway 27, which they did. During the second approach, they again temporarily lost sight of the runway due to clouds, while turning from the base to final leg; however, they were able to visually reacquire the runway on final approach.

The PIC further stated that he continued the approach and touched down about the landing reference speed (Vref) of 120 knots, just past the 1,000-foot touchdown marker on runway 27. The PIC applied brakes and was just about to activate the thrust reversers when he realized the brakes were not working. He stated "no brakes" and the CP also depressed the brake pedals with negative results. The PIC suggested a go-around to the CP, but the CP responded that it was too late. The airplane subsequently traveled off the end of the runway and struck a gravel berm. During the impact, one of the passengers' seat dislodged from its seat track and was found on the cabin floor, with the passenger still in it. The PIC added that maintenance had been performed on the brakes within 10 days of the accident. 

The CP's statement was consistent with the PIC's statement. When asked why they did not utilize the emergency brake system, both pilots stated that there was not enough time. 

The passenger in the left forward facing seat stated they did not land on the first attempt and the flightcrew did not provide any information. They were in a fairly quick traffic pattern. It was dark with clouds and he could not see very much because the airplane was in a bank and he was concerned about the missed approach. The airplane touched down near the fixed base operator and he did not feel any braking action. This caused more concern because he knew the runway was short. He did not remember hearing the ground spoilers deploy or if the engines spooled up or down. There was no warning from the flightcrew that the airplane was going to depart the runway. He heard someone in the cockpit state, "oh no" right before the airplane departed the runway. There was a big bump, jolt and his seat came out of the seat track and he went forward in the seat. The airplane came to a stop and his wife and the CP came to his assistance and they evacuated the airplane through the cabin door.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The PIC, age 47, held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, issued on May 6, 2011. He also held a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single and multiengine, issued on December 22, 2009. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on September 6, 2011, with the limitation, "Must have available glasses for near vision." The PIC’s last flight review was conducted in a Gulfstream 500 on October 6, 2011. The PIC estimated that he had about 11,000 total flight hours; of which, 290 hours were in the Gulfstream G150, and about 9,050 hours were in multiengine airplanes. He had about 6,230 hours as PIC; of which, 155 hours were in the G150 and 4,950 hours were in multiengine airplanes. He had flown about 66 hours and 27 hours during the 90 days and 30 days preceding the accident, respectively.

The CP, age 55, held an airline transport pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane, issued on May 28, 2011. He also held a flight instructor certificate, with ratings for airplane single and multiengine, issued on November 13, 1981. His most recent first-class medical certificate was issued on July 19, 2011, with the limitation, "Must have available glasses for near vision." The CP’s last flight review was conducted in a Gulfstream 500 on April 25, 2011. The CP estimated that he had about 13,500 total flight hours; of which, 75 hours were in the Gulfstream G150, and about 12,300 hours were in multiengine airplanes. He had about 13,000 hours as PIC; of which, 35 hours were in the G150, and 12,000 hours were in multiengine airplanes. He had flown about 75 hours and 7 hours during the 90 days and 30 days preceding the accident, respectively. 

Both pilots received training from FlightSafety for normal and abnormal procedures relating to the hydraulic system. The pilots stated in postaccident interviews that they received training on brake failures during landing in the G150, but it was always associated with a hydraulic failure or hydraulic problem in flight. In the simulator, they would follow the procedure in the Quick Reference Handbook and would set the brakes to emergency while in flight. They did not recall training for an unexpected brake failure after landing, which required engaging of the emergency brakes.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The Gulfstream G150, serial number 241, manufactured in 2007, was a nine-place airplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear. It was equipped with two Honeywell TFE731-40AR-2006 engines, each providing 4,420 pounds of thrust. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane was maintained under a manufacturer's approved inspection program and its most recent inspection was completed by Gulfstream on December 15, 2010. The airplane had 867.7 hours and 657 cycles at the time of that inspection. The Hobbs meter at the time of the accident was 1,189.8 hours. The airplane had flown 322.1 hours since the last inspection. The transponder, altimeter, encoder, and static system tests were completed on January 5, 2010.

Further review of maintenance records revealed that 4 days prior to the accident, the No. 4 brake swivel was leaking hydraulic fluid. The No. 4 swivel was resealed by a mechanic for the operator in accordance with the Gulfstream G150 maintenance manual. Following the resealing, the brakes were operationally checked. Additionally, the flightcrew did not report any anomalies with braking during their previous landing at SUA. 

The airplane was last refueled with 225 gallons of Jet A fuel prior to departure from SUA, on October 31, 2011.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The EYW 1953 surface weather observation was: wind 360 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 17 knots; visibility 10 miles; ceiling broken at 1,000 feet; ceiling broken at 1,400 feet; ceiling broken at 5,000 feet; temperature 26 degrees C; dew point 23 degrees C; altimeter 29.96 inches of mercury.

The PIC stated that he checked the weather several times and had print outs from his preflight weather briefing. He wanted to make sure a line of weather would not affect the flight.

The U. S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications department reported the sunset was at 1848 and civil twilight was at 1911. The moon was a waxing crescent with 29 percent of the moon’s visible disk illuminated.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The EYW airport was owned and operated by Monroe County, Florida. The airport had a single runway and was a 14 CFR Part 139 Class 1, Index B airport. Runway 9/27 was 4,801 feet long, 100 feet wide, and consisted of grooved asphalt in good condition. An engineered material arresting system (EMAS), 340 feet in length and 120 feet in width, was installed at the departure end of runway 9 in October 2010. The safety area at the departure end of runway 27 was extended to 400 feet wide and 600 feet long in May 2011. The safety area at the departure end of runway 27 did not have EMAS installed. 

The EYW airport manager stated that due to prevailing wind, 80 percent of the flights land on runway 9 and 20 percent of the flights land on runway 27. There was concern, and a lack of data, for an EMAS at the departure end of runway 27 (approach end of runway 9). Specifically, the concern was that of the 80 percent traffic landing on runway 9, if one airplane were to land short, it would land in an EMAS. There was thought that such an event could be catastrophic; however, there has since been more data of aircraft landing in an EMAS that has not been catastrophic. Subsequently, and after this accident, the airport manager submitted a preapplication with the FAA for an EMAS at the departure end of runway 27.

Four days after the accident with N480JJ, a Cessna 550 airplane, N938D, landed on runway 9 at EYW and was unable to stop prior to overrunning the runway. The airplane entered the EMAS and came to rest about 148 feet into the EMAS. The airplane received minor damage and the two pilots and three passengers were not injured. See NTSB accident number ERA12IA060.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

Cockpit Voice Recorder

The airplane was equipped with a Universal Cockpit Voice Recorder-120 (CVR), serial number 1954. The CVR had not sustained any heat or impact damage and audio information was extracted normally without difficulty. A CVR group was convened at the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, and a partial transcript was completed of the last 13 minutes of the recording. 

At 1930, the airplane was descending to 10,000 feet, about 30 miles north of EYW and the flightcrew was in radio contact with Key West Approach. The CP advised the controller that they had the current automated terminal information service, which was Victor. The controller then told the flightcrew to expect a visual approach to runway 27, and offered them the option of a right base over the channel or a 5 to 6-mile final approach. 

At 1931, the PIC deferred to the CP, and the CP elected the right base leg entry to the airport traffic pattern. The flight was then cleared down to 8,000 feet, about 25 miles from the airport. 

At 1932, the flight was cleared to 1,600 feet and provided vectors for the visual approach. During the next 3 minutes, the PIC helped the CP program the flight management system for the visual approach. 

At 1936, the controller asked the flightcrew if they had EYW in sight. The CP responded that he did not have it in sight due to some "puffy" clouds in front of them, but he did see the airport beacon. The controller then cleared the flight for the visual approach and instructed the flightcrew to contact the EYW tower, which they did. The PIC had the CP select 12 degrees of flap extension and the EYW tower controller cleared the flight to land on runway 27. The controller also advised that the wind was from 360 degrees at 13 knots. The PIC remarked to the CP that until they get through the clouds, he was going to stop the descent at 1,600 feet. 

At 1937, the CP advised the PIC that the airplane was 4 miles from the airport and the PIC instructed the CP to extend the flaps to 20 degrees, followed by extending the landing gear, followed by extending the flaps to 40 degrees. The PIC remarked that he was making the approach "blind." The CP stated that they would "pop out" in a second. 

At 1938, the PIC stated that he had the nearby Navy base in sight; however, the CP replied that he needed to descend more and was probably going to miss EYW. The PIC then saw the airport, but agreed that they were going to miss it as the airplane was too high. The CP advised the controller that they were too high due to a cloud between them and the airport and requested to re-enter the traffic pattern. The controller instructed the flightcrew to overfly the airport and enter a right downwind leg for runway 27, which the CP acknowledged. 

At 1939, the PIC flew a right crosswind for runway 27 and descended down to 800 feet to get below the clouds and maintain visual contact with the runway.

At 1940, the controller again cleared the flight to land on runway 27 and advised that the wind was from 360 degrees at 12 knots. The airplane then turned onto a base leg for runway 27. 

At 1941, the CP asked the PIC if he saw the runway and he stated not yet as he had to turn too steep. The PIC subsequently saw it and thought that he was flying too fast, but the CP replied that the flight was on speed. About 20 feet above the runway, the PIC also stated that he was "long." 

At 1942:00, sounds were recorded consistent with main landing gear touchdown. About 2 seconds later, the CP remarked that the speed was 110 knots. 

At 1942:02, a sound was recorded similar to nosewheel touchdown. About 4.5 seconds later, the CP stated that the PIC needed to get "hard" on the brakes and the PIC replied that he was, but they were not working. 

At 1942:10, the PIC stated twice that he was going around, but the CP stated no, it was too late for a go-around. 

At 1942:19, there was a decreased in sound, similar to the airplane no longer on the ground, followed by the sound of impact at 19:42:24.

There were no aural warnings on the CVR. According to the aircraft manufacturer, a loss of hydraulic pressure would generate a master caution light, which would be accompanied by an aural warning. 

Flight Data Recorder

The airplane was not, nor was it required to be equipped with a flight data recorder. 

Maintenance Diagnostic Computer

The Rockwell Collins Maintenance Diagnostic Computer MDC-311030C9B was downloaded and contained numerous unrelated fault and service messages for the event flight; however, the unit did not have the capability to record faults with the braking system. The unit was able to record faults in the hydraulic system and there were no hydraulic related maintenance messages recorded.

Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System

The Honeywell MKV EGPWS EMK5-28457 was downloaded and a data point was recorded during the approach, at a system time of 2127:10:13, about 50 feet above ground level, which was when the airplane was approximately over the runway threshold. The data point included position, time, and heading. A terrain alert was subsequently recorded at a system time of 2127:14:10, approximately 4 minutes after the landing record. All of the position data in that record was invalid and unusable.

Digital Electronic Engine Controls

Data from the Honeywell Digital Electronic Engine Controls (DEEC) 67-BC0083 and 67-BC0086 were downloaded. Review of the data revealed that approximately 8 seconds after weight on wheels, the power levers were advanced from the idle position to the takeoff position. The power levers were then returned to the idle position 6 seconds later. The power levers were moved to the reverse thrust position 8 seconds after that, and remained in that position for 127 seconds. The data also confirmed that both thrust reversers deployed when commanded. 

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The wreckage was located off the departure end of runway 27 at EYW. The airplane crossed over a grassy area, coral rock overrun area, and encountered a 3 to 5-foot ditch located 660 feet from the departure end of the runway. The airplane jumped the ditch and impacted an embankment at a dirt airport service road, which separated the lower section of the nose landing gear. There was also a significant impact mark in the embankment in the area of the right main landing gear. The airplane continued forward and crossed over the dirt airport service road and collided with the western end of a ditch/pond where it came to rest on a heading of approximately 240 degrees magnetic, about 816 feet from the end of the runway and 20 feet from the airport security fence. The left main landing gear was located aft of the left wing adjacent to the fuselage, with several hydraulic lines connecting it to the wing structure. The right main landing gear remained attached to the airplane. The nose radome was separated from the airplane and found forward of the airplane outside of the airport fence.

Postcrash examination revealed damage to the lower nose section, forward of the cockpit pressure bulkhead. The radar dome and radar antenna were completely separated from their attaching structure. The lower section of the nose, located below the avionics shelf, was crushed and the right aft section of the right nose landing gear door remained attached. The lower section of the nose landing gear had separated and was located near the dirt service road. The remaining section of the nose landing gear remained attached to the fuselage, was rotated rearward, and had punctured the pressure vessel at the airplane centerline. There was evidence of external buckling of the fuselage skin at several locations between the first cabin window and the forward pressure bulkhead. The cabin door revealed no discernible damage and its operation appeared to be normal.

Examination of the right wing revealed minor damage. The spoilers remained attached at all hinge attachment points. The leading edge of the right wing and slats were not damaged. The upper and lower wing skins were not damaged. The right aileron remained attached at all hinge points and was not damaged. The flaps and slats were not damaged and remained attached at their respective hinge points. The flaps and slats were in the extended position. The right main fuel tank was not damaged and approximately 160 to 170 gallons of fuel was defueled from the tank. Large pieces of gravel and rock were found wedged between the wing to body fairing and the upper wing surface, which resulted in the separation of the fairing from the underlying structure. Examination of the fuselage revealed skin buckling aft of the flight deck pressure bulkhead, aft of the flight deck, and aft of the right hand emergency exit.

Examination of the left wing revealed damage to the aft spar, the wing skin and trailing edge structure. The spoilers remained attached at all hinge and actuator attach points. The leading edge and slats of the wing were damaged. The upper and lower wing skins were damaged. The left aileron remained attached at all hinge points and was damaged. The flaps remained attached at the hinge and actuators attach points. The flaps and slats were damaged and extended. The left main fuel tank was ruptured and no fuel was present in the tank. The rear wing spar and adjoining wing structure near the left main landing gear sustained damage.

The bottom of the fuselage incurred damage to the antennas and underside skin. The vertical fin was not damaged. The rudder was not damaged and remained attached to the fuselage. The right horizontal stabilizer was not damaged. The right elevator remained attached at all hinge points and was not damaged. The left horizontal stabilizer was not damaged. The left elevator remained attached at all hinge points and was not damaged.

Both engines remained attached to their respective mounts and did not appear to be damaged. They were removed by maintenance personnel and shipped to an independent facility for internal inspection and preservation. The inspection revealed that the engines' intake and exhaust areas were contaminated with salt water and/or soil debris, consistent with entry during the accident. 

Examination of the cockpit revealed the power levers were in the off position. The thrust levers were stowed and the flaps/slats were extended 40-degrees. The Park/Emergency Brake was slightly forward of the neutral position. 

The seats installed in the cabin were B/E Aerospace G150 Strata’s Single Passenger Fixed Base seats. The fixed base seat was designed to attach to the floor track with four lower fitting housings. To install the seats, the shear plunger is raised to maximum height to allow for positioning the seat track fastener studs into the seat track. The seat is then slid forward or aft 1/2 inch and the shear plunger is tightened so that it is at or below the top surface of the lower fitting housing. The shear plunger is required to be tightened to a torque value of 30 to 40 inch pounds. 

The left seat in row 2 (L/H No. 2) separated from the seat track during the accident sequence. Examination of the seat revealed the seat plungers at each of the four lower fitting housings were in the raised position. Seat L/H No. 2's forward inboard and rear outboard floor fitting showed evidence of wear on the bottom of the studs and plunger. Corresponding wear was observed on the top of the seat track. Maintenance records indicated that seat L/H No. 2 was removed and reinstalled in the same cabin position during work completed at the Gulfstream facility in Savanna, Georgia, on January 5, 2010.

The other five seats were installed in their respective seat track, oriented correctly, with the shear plungers tightened at or below the top surface of the lower fitting housing. 

The seats in rows 1 and 2 were not installed in accordance with the Gulfstream Seat Installation Drawing, which resulted in aft-facing seats being installed in the forward-facing direction and forward-facing seats installed in the aft-facing direction. The design of an aft-facing seat differs from a forward-facing seat as the aft-facing seat has two backrest locks and a forward-facing seat has one backrest lock. According to a representative from the seat manufacturer, two locks are needed for an occupied aft-facing seat to accommodate the occupied seat loading.

Components of the left and right brake system were removed and examined under the supervision of an NTSB Systems Engineer. The power brake valve was removed and examined at Israel Aerospace Industries LTD, Israel; the antiskid control unit was removed and examined at Projects Unlimited, Inc. Dayton, Ohio; the antiskid valves were removed and examined at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems, Akron, Ohio; the three airbrake (spoilers) selector solenoid valves were removed and examined at EATON Aerospace, Glendale, California. The examinations did not reveal any anomalies that would have resulted in a loss of or reduced performance of wheel braking or air braking. Additionally, no anomalies were noted that would have prevented the airbrakes from deploying. 

The airbrake control switch was found in the land position. The system was designed for the airbrakes to deploy automatically, assuming both throttle levers were less than 18 degrees and one of the main landing gear had weight on wheels. A review of DEEC data was inconclusive in determining if the throttles were less than the required 18 degrees for activation. The data showed that the throttles were in the Idle to 40 degrees range after touchdown and before the throttles were advanced. According to Honeywell, this could mean the throttles were between 7 and 40 degrees. DEEC data indicated the air-ground logic was operational on both main landing gear. With hydraulic pressure available, there was no evidence to suggest that the airbrakes would not operate normally.

Examination of the pilot and copilot brake pedals and linkage did not identify any obstructions, corrosion, or potential binding of the linkage to the power brake valve. Visual inspection of the brakes did not reveal any anomalies and there was sufficient braking material.

The auxiliary power unit (APU) did not appear to be externally damaged. The APU was removed and shipped to the manufacturer's facility for evaluation, which did not reveal any anomalies.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Performance/Video/CVR Sound Spectrum Study

A video study was completed, utilizing images captured from a surveillance camera at EYW. A performance study was then completed, utilizing data from the CVR and the video study. The performance study showed that main gear touchdown occurred approximately 1,650 feet past the runway 27 approach threshold (about 3,150 feet of runway remaining) at a ground speed near 119 knots, based on the correlation of available EGPWS, CVR, DEEC, and G150 aircraft performance data. The CVR evidence indicated that nose gear touchdown occurred about 2.4 seconds later at 114 knots (with about 2,680 feet of runway remaining, based on the distance traveled over 2.4 seconds, assuming an average ground speed of 116.5 knots between main gear and nose gear touchdown).

According to airplane performance calculations, the PIC's management of engine forward and reverse thrust during the event precluded a stop on the improved surface, with or without spoilers deployed, unless actual wheel braking capability significantly exceeded the level expected from a committed emergency wheel brake application. In fact, periods of sustained maximum manual wheel brake inputs would be required to stop the airplane on the runway based on the event engine power lever angle (PLA) history recorded on the DEEC. An evaluation of alternate deceleration device configuration indicates that the airplane could likely be stopped or slowed to a safe taxi speed in 3,150 feet or less by deploying spoilers and using emergency wheel brake and emergency reverse thrust procedures. This scenario assumes ground spoilers are deployed within one second after main gear touchdown, a 9-second lag between main gear touchdown and initial emergency wheel brake application (with sustained but metered brake pressure to avoid blown main gear tires), and both engines spool up to maximum reverse thrust at the 50 percent N1 limit within 10 seconds after main gear touchdown (with maximum reverse thrust sustained until the airplane stops or slows to a safe taxi speed). 

Aircraft performance calculations using the engine forward and reverse thrust levels documented by the DEEC suggested that the PIC report that "the brakes were not working" may be consistent with the significantly reduced deceleration expected with spoilers stowed and maximum (or less aggressive) manual wheel brake inputs (see annotated plot in Performance Study in docket). 

Performance calculations also indicated that the airplane could not decelerate as quickly during the accident sequence (based on the CVR sound spectrum analysis of nose wheel ground speed) unless some level of wheel braking (or some other undetermined failure) occurred to provide a retarding force in addition to the forces available from engine thrust and spoilers. The reported no wheel brakes was inconsistent with the CVR-based airplane ground speed evidence, particularly after the time period that forward thrust was added in response to the PIC throttle push (see for example, simulation Cases 31-34 in Performance Study in docket).

Operational Procedures

Hendrick Motorsports Aviation Flight Operations Manual paragraph 4.7 Flows and Checklists Philosophy states, "most procedures are accomplished by a flow check combination. After a flow is completed, the checklist will serve to verify critical items/procedures have been accomplished." The Hendrick Motorsports G150 Standard Operating Procedure states in paragraph 1.0 Suggested flows/checklist procedures, "All checklists should be done based on the concept of flows. First complete your flow for the appropriate checklist, and then perform the checklist."

The G150 standard operating procedures (SOPs) stated in paragraph 6.1 Stabilized Approaches, "The aircraft should be established on a glide path from approximately 5 miles out." The SOPs further stated in paragraph 14.4 Touchdown..."Immediately after touchdown, lower the nose to the runway. Use reverse thrust, ground airbrakes, and brakes as necessary to bring the aircraft to a stop."

The Gulfstream G150 Quick Reference Handbook Emergency Brake Operation, airplane flight manual Section III stated, "Failure of the main hydraulic system or normal brake system requires emergency brake operation by placing EMERG BRAKE lever in EMERG position and using the brake pedals." 

Review of landing distance data, for the approximate weather conditions and a Vref of 117 knots, revealed that at a landing weight of 17,800 pounds, the dry – unfactored landing distance was 2,551 feet.