Sunday, March 20, 2016

Beech 35, N1568Z: Incident occurred March 20, 2016 in Santa Fe County, New Mexico

Date: 20-MAR-16
Time: 20:45:00Z
Regis#: N1568Z
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 35
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01
State: New Mexico


A 55-year-old single-engine airplane made an emergency landing Sunday afternoon south of Santa Fe on East Frontage Road parallel to Interstate 25, temporarily closing traffic, authorities say.

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office Lt. William Pacheco said engine trouble forced the pilot to land the Beechcraft P35 on the two-lane strip of blacktop near the intersection of Corral Blanco Road at about 2:35 p.m.
Albuquerque resident Michael Keenan was flying the plane, Pacheco said.

No one was injured, and the incident closed traffic for only a few minutes before officials hauled the plane to the side of the road, Pacheco said.

Kevin Washburn, a 48-year-old University of New Mexico professor, was driving home to Albuquerque when he saw the plane grounded on East Frontage Road.

After returning home, he looked up the plane’s tail number on the Federal Aviation Administration’s database and learned it was manufactured in 1961. “Does that make it 55 years old?” he said in a phone interview Sunday evening. “That’s flying an antique.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the forced landing.

Several hours after the incident officials began towing the plane at a speed of about 8 miles an hour to the Santa Fe Regional Airport.

Original article can be found here:

SANTA FE (KRQE)– Santa Fe County officials say a small plane had to make an emergency landing on an I-25 frontage road outside of Santa Fe.

The four seat plane, registered to an Albuquerque owner, landed near the NM 599 Railrunner station.

Nobody was hurt. 

It’s unclear how many people were on board or why the emergency landing was necessary in the first place.

Original article can be found here:

Hangar fire causes $2 million in damages at Meadows Field Airport (KBFL), Bakersfield, Kern County, California

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A widow is still grieving Monday, after a hangar at Meadows Field Airport caught fire, destroying the invaluable contents inside.

The woman who owned the 5th wheel trailer and boat inside the storage area, said she was so upset about the fire, that when she got the initial phone call, she threw up.

She told 23 ABC that there were pictures, expensive fishing rods and other things inside both that she'll never be able to get back.

She said her children would often take the recreational vehicles out and bring her along, creating happy family memories. Now she's hoping insurance will cover some of the loss.

When it comes to how safe the hangar is now, the owner, Bakersfield Jet Center, said they're not letting anyone inside until it's cleared by a building inspector.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, according to Kern County Fire. According to Captain Tyler Townsend, there was nothing suspicious about this fire. Others say it was a fluke, and are happy no one was hurt.

The first responder to the fire was the brand new Crash Truck, ARFF, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting vehicle. The Meadows Field Airport Fire Station just cleared the vehicle four days ago, Sunday was it's first fire response.

One of the most advanced functions of the ARFF is the "snozzle". It's part crane, part camera and part fire hose.

The arm can extend fifty feet, it has an infrared camera on it to allow firefighters to see if there are any people on board. and there is a PAST, penetrating aircraft skin trainer, that pierces the plane and shoots water into the area to extinguish the fire.

In all this vehicle has four different hoses to extinguish a blaze. It carries 4,500 gallons of water, and the crew can respond to a plane on the runway during an emergency in less than 3 minutes.

The vehicle is made to be run by a one man crew, as only two men work the station at the airport.

On Sunday, when ARFF 2 responded to the blaze, because the fire was on the other side of the hangar, outside the airport, the vehicle could not do much. The firefighter instead helped provide access to other crews coming in.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --   A fire at a hangar in Meadows Field Airport caused $2 million in damages this morning. 
It happened around 8:30 a.m. at the Bakersfield Jet Center managed by Loyd's Aviation.

Kern County firefighters said when they arrived the four-thousand-square-foot storage unit was enveloped in heavy smoke. 

But they were able to extinguish the fire in 25 minutes. 

A boat and aviation equipment were destroyed. 

Fire officials said $5 million in property was saved. 

The Bakersfield Jet Center released a statement saying a parked car in the hangar appeared to have started the blaze.

County fire officials haven't released the official cause.

Original article can be found here:

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A hangar fire was reported to the Kern County Fire Department just before 8:30 Sunday morning.While no one was injured, the fire caused approximately $2 million in damages, destroying a recreational vehicle, a boat and other property. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

First responders encountered heavy smoke coming from a 4,000 square foot metal building. After forcing entry into the building ,fire crews deployed hose lines to the front of the hangar and the fire was controlled in about 25 minutes.

The fire took place in a storage hangar managed by Loyd's Aviation.

"Kern County Fire responded excellently and quickly got the fire under control," Vice President of Operations Ryan Crowl said in a press release Sunday. "Loyd's Aviation staff participate in an annual fire safety course, and I am proud of the way they initially responded to this fire."

Loyd's Aviation said in the same press release that none of the aircraft stored by the company was damaged in the fire.

According to KCFD, the Bakersfield Fire Department, Kern County Sheriff's Office and Airport Security assisted in the operation.

Original article can be found here:

What does the Kern County Sheriff’s Office spend flying around airplanes?

Q: In these tight budget times for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, a reader asked what kind of fixed-wing aircraft fleet the agency has, what it’s used for, how much it costs, and what it would save if it ditched it.

A: The Sheriff’s Office said it operates three fixed-wing aircraft used to transport prisoners, perform surveillance missions and transport county executives and elected officials to remote business events (meetings in Sacramento, etc.).

The costs to operate those fixed-wing aircraft, provided below, do not include any staff cost for the pilots or maintenance staff who service and operate the planes. (But don’t worry, we plan to do more digging on that.)

The Sheriff’s Office also has helicopters, by the way.

Turbo Commander plane

Annual flight time: 80 hours

Hourly flight cost: $789.07, not including staff costs.

Annual flight budget: $63,126

Remaining lease payment: Just one, $357,403 due in September. Paid with asset forfeiture funds.

Cessna 206 and 210 planes

206 — Used for surveillance and transport missions

210 — Used for transports

Annual flight time (combined): 325 hours budgeted

Hourly flight cost: $255.85, not including staff costs.

Annual flight budget (combined): $83,151

Flight crew

No staff are dedicated full-time to flying the three fixed-wing aircraft. One deputy sheriff is qualified to fly the Turbo Commander and he also works as a helicopter pilot, is a crew member on the department’s larger helicopters and flies both of the smaller fixed-wing planes.

Four staff are qualified to fly the Cessna 206 and Cessna 210: one civilian pilot, one senior deputy sheriff, one deputy sheriff and an “extra-help” civilian pilot.

Flight time

The Turbo Commander airplane has been budgeted to fly 80 hours in the 2015-2016 fiscal year that began on July 1. In the first eight months of the fiscal year, that plane has been flown 35 hours.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, the Turbo Commander spent 34.1 hours in the air on 36 missions. Training and maintenance flights, 23 of them, took up 45.2 hours of time.

The two Cessna planes were budgeted to fly for 325 hours in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. So far the planes have flown for 81.3 hours.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, the Cessnas flew a total of 62 flights for 153.1 hours. Administrative flights took up 109.7 hours and 43.4 hours were flown for training and maintenance.

Curious about those administrative flights? We are, too. We also plan to dig into that.


How much money could the Kern County Sheriff’s Office save by benching the three fixed-wing planes it flies?

The Sheriff’s Office puts that savings at $146,277. But again, that does not include the salaries and benefits of the deputies and civilian pilots to man those planes.

Original article can be found here:

A Tarnished Turboprop Clouds China’s Aviation Dream: Beijing aims new jetliners at the global runway, but the troubled MA60 turboprop haunts it

The Wall Street Journal
By DANIEL STACEY in Kawthaung, Myanmar, and  CHUN HAN WONG in Beijing
March 20, 2016 4:36 p.m. ET

In June 2013, Myanma Airways Flight 309 veered off a runway in Kawthaung, Myanmar, with 60 passengers aboard and hit a wall. Myanmar’s investigation concluded the brakes and steering failed after a hydraulic-pressure drop.

Myanmar that year banned the plane, a Chinese-made Modern Ark 60 turboprop, from its airspace. Flight 309’s hulk still sits by the runway.

The day of that incident, an MA60 crash-landed in Kupang, Indonesia, injuring five. Bolivia, the Philippines and others have had MA60 accidents and grounded planes. Tonga grounded its MA60 after pressure from New Zealand, which warned its citizens not to fly in it.

China hopes soon to start exporting two new jetliners, part of its goal of securing a bigger place in global aviation and competing with giants such as Boeing Co. and Bombardier Inc. Looming over its plan is the turboprop that was supposed to be a steppingstone into foreign markets, the MA60, seating up to 60.

A Wall Street Journal examination of the MA60, the first Chinese-built airliner with sizable overseas sales, found a pattern of safety problems involving landing-gear malfunctions, braking failures and steering loss, and a track record of multiple other mishaps. Some caused injuries; one killed 25.

Fewer than half the MA60s exported since 2005 appear to be still flying abroad, according to the Journal examination of accident reports and databases, airline and government statements, media accounts, and interviews with regulators and operators.

Of the 57 MA60s the manufacturer said it had exported as of January, at least 26 were put in storage after safety concerns, maintenance problems or other performance issues, the Journal calculated. Six others were deemed damaged beyond repair, or 11% of the foreign MA60 fleet.

A comparable plane, the European-made ATR-72—Myanmar and Tonga switched to it from their MA60s—has seen 3% of its fleet of 835 damaged beyond repair in its 26 years in service, the Journal calculated.

Xi’an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co., the MA60’s maker, referred queries to its parent, state-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China, or AVIC, which didn’t respond to inquiries.

China has soared into markets from steel to smartphones, often selling low-cost products in poorer nations before moving upmarket. Its aviation ambitions are having trouble following that path, showing the limits of China’s state-sponsored approach to a global market that presents high technological and regulatory hurdles.

The Journal examination found the regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, may not have conveyed certain MA60 safety information to some importing countries despite bilateral agreements requiring it do so. The CAAC doesn’t always make domestic accident data readily available, a problem for a global industry that depends on such data to hone safety measures, and abroad has played down safety concerns around the MA60.

In a written response to the Journal, the CAAC said the MA60 has no design flaws compromising safety. Overseas accidents in recent years “weren’t directly caused by factors related to the aircraft’s design and manufacture,” it said. “These accidents have no direct relation with the aircraft’s safety.” It said it sends safety information in line with bilateral agreements.

Tevita Palu, chief executive of Tonga’s national carrier, to which China gave an MA60 as a gift, said CAAC officials told him the accidents were “only caused by pilot error.”

Inside China, the CAAC has been more vocal about MA60 problems. In 2014, it issued Chinese-language notices on its website warning about parts of the plane after domestic incidents involving landing-gear problems. A Xi’an official in 2014 told state media the landing-gear system had reliability issues.

The CAAC said it uses “stern administrative measures” to oversee aviation and cites China’s record of few recent domestic air fatalities: “This is sufficient for giving the public confidence in the overall safety of Chinese civil aviation.” It didn’t respond to subsequent inquiries.

China’s new jets

China will need confidence in its regulator when it markets its new jets. Neither jet has U.S. or European certification, so China can’t sell them in much of the developed world. It must persuade operators elsewhere its CAAC can provide oversight of the planes.

One is China’s first homemade commercial jetliner, the ARJ21 seating up to 90, slated for commercial debut this year. The other, the C919 seating up to 174, is at least two years from delivery. Both are built by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, of which AVIC is a major shareholder. The jets are expected to have lower price tags than Western rivals’.

The CAAC certified the smaller jet in 2014, a process the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration observed. The FAA last year said it never intended to certify the ARJ21 as part of the process and would consider approving it after Comac upgraded it to Western standards, adding that Comac planned a derivative model complying with FAA standards.

The CAAC has said it also plans to seek FAA certification for the larger jet.

“The CAAC adopts a serious, strict and meticulous attitude in examining the development and production of Chinese-made civil aircraft,” Comac said. “They must also be put through all sorts of tests, examinations and regulatory assessment, in line with international standards and requirements that are integrated with or equivalent to the FAA’s.” The MA60 and the jets, Comac said, “are independent of each other, and don’t affect one another.”

The MA60, too, doesn’t have FAA approval. In developing nations where its exports concentrated, authorities have signed agreements with China that typically let the planes fly on the proviso the CAAC monitors aircraft problems and keeps local regulators abreast of safety issues.

In marketing materials, Xi’an touts the MA60 as inexpensive and fuel-efficient with a “precisely-designed landing-gear system.” The MA60’s lineage harks to 1966, when Xi’an started developing the Y-7, a variant of a Soviet turboprop.

China’s global-aviation efforts since have been mixed. China in 1970 began developing a jetliner seating up to 178, later abandoning the program after deeming the jet uneconomical. A small utility turboprop developed in the 1980s won FAA approval and flies in a number of countries. China removed the Y-7 from commercial service after a crash in 2000 killed 49.

In 1988, Xi’an started developing a new Y-7 variant. The FAA in 1995 agreed to evaluate the CAAC’s certification process of that plane, a step toward potential U.S. approval. The FAA said that “this evaluation was stopped in mid-1996 after the applicant terminated the Y-7 certification program after design deficiencies were identified.”

That plane later evolved into the MA60, which Xi’an started delivering to Chinese carriers in 2000. In 2002, one operated by state-owned Wuhan Airlines belly-landed after its crew forgot to lower its gear, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported last year.

After the crash, Wuhan and other Chinese customers stopped operating the MA60 and canceled orders, with one of them citing the MA60’s subpar performance and poor profitability, Xinhua reported. China Eastern Airlines, Wuhan’s parent, didn’t respond to inquiries.

The MA60 wouldn’t operate commercially in China again until 2008, when Beijing-based Okay Airways deployed the plane.

Instead, China exported the MA60, starting with Zimbabwe in 2005.

In 2009, a Philippines MA60 operator suffered two runway overruns, writing off one plane, according to air-safety archive Aviation Herald, an independent accident database used by the United Nations. One was blamed on pilot inexperience with the craft, said Philippine authorities, who didn’t comment on the second. AirAsia Philippines, which bought the operator in 2013, said it didn’t acquire the MA60s in the deal and doesn’t know their whereabouts; fleet-tracking websites list them as stored in Manila.

In Bolivia, an MA60 operated by TAM, a military-run airline, belly-landed after the gear failed in 2011 and had another landing-gear failure 10 months later, according to Aviation Herald. TAM officials didn’t respond to inquiries.

Bolivian Defense Minister Reymi Ferreira said in a February local-radio interview the government had begun an investigation into the purchase of two MA60s for TAM. He said the planes were grounded for lack of parts and “technically, they haven’t given results.” A ministry spokeswoman confirmed the investigation.

Myanma Airways, which began buying MA60s in 2010, experienced three accidents, including Flight 309’s. Capt. Than Tun, managing director of the airline, now Myanmar National Airlines, said at least two related to low hydraulic pressure and, in one, pilots also erred by not going around for another landing and engaging a backup system.


Several years earlier, China had begun flagging problems with the MA60’s hydraulics.

In February 2008, the CAAC issued two “airworthiness directives”—notifications detailing mandatory safety actions—regarding a malfunctioning low-pressure warning in the hydraulics system, as well as endemic braking and landing-gear failures. A review of the CAAC’s database shows it posted more than 40 directives related to MA60 safety risks.

Some English translations in the database contain discrepancies. An April 2010 airworthiness directive in Chinese, for example, identifies safety issues with the MA60’s hydraulic-oil tank; the translation describes wing-flap malfunctions.

Under bilateral agreements, the CAAC must send relevant airworthiness directives in English to foreign counterparts signing the pacts. Myanmar’s head of airworthiness at the time of the 2013 Kawthaung accident, Mya Thant, said his department received only about four such directives from the CAAC during the years it operated the MA60. A review of China’s database suggests Myanmar should have received about 20.

Myanmar in 2013 permanently grounded its three MA60 planes for “public safety,” said Mr. Mya Thant, recently retired.

Indonesian authorities said they received only three directives. Indonesia’s Merpati Nusantara Airlines from 2007 accumulated 14 MA60s. The planes suffered six accidents before Merpati grounded them in 2013, Indonesian officials said. One crashed into the sea in 2011, killing 25. Indonesian investigators blamed pilot confusion and poor training, according to a 2012 report, and requested Xi’an revise its operating manuals into standard aviation English—renewing the request after another accident, according to a 2014 report. The reports said Xi’an promised to revise the manuals.

The 2014 report quoted senior airline managers saying a safety stop on a power-control lever frequently malfunctioned, making the plane hard to halt. It also said the lever didn’t resemble operating-manual illustrations. The CAAC acknowledged the power-lever problem in a letter to Indonesian investigators, the report said.

The CAAC addressed the power-lever problem in 2015 after a state-owned Joy Air MA60 crash-landed in China, injuring five. The regulator posted a notice on its website about efforts to respond to the issue. A foreign-airline executive said Xi’an issued a so-called service bulletin, a nonbinding notification. The Journal couldn’t locate a related airworthiness directive in the CAAC’s database.

In 2013, New Zealand issued a travel warning about the MA60 in Tonga, popular with New Zealand tourists. With so many accidents, it said, “travellers utilising the MA-60 do so at their own risk.” New Zealand suspended millions of dollars in aid to Tonga to protest the aircraft’s use.

Mr. Palu, the Tongan carrier’s CEO, said CAAC officials told him the plane was safe. He said the airline received all relevant airworthiness directives. Tonga in 2015 grounded its MA60, saying it was adopting New Zealand’s aviation code. New Zealand officials declined to comment.

In 2014, after China’s Joy and Okay airlines reported MA60 landing-gear troubles, a Chinese-language notice on the CAAC’s website said there were “inherent problems with the aircraft’s design and reliability.” Joy and Okay didn’t respond to safety-related inquiries.

Xi'an has delivered 101 MA60s, an AVIC executive told Xinhua in January. Xi'an has developed an improved version, the MA600. It hasn’t reported new MA60 orders since August 2014 but has continued deliveries.

The CAAC published reports on domestic safety incidents from 2008 to 2010 in an archive on its website, but this archive disappeared in 2014, said Aviation Herald editor Simon Hradecky. The CAAC occasionally posts domestic-accident information on its website, such as notices on the 2014 and 2015 MA60 incidents.

The CAAC, without commenting on whether it removed the archive, said in its written response that in providing data to learn from accidents, “it’s more helpful to share with the industry than to share with the public.”

—Anita Rachman and Patrick McGroarty contributed to this article.

Original article can be found here:

Outlawed, Outwitted

An aeromodelling show organized by the Aero Club of India (ACI) attracted enthusiasts from all across India, but none from the city. Reason: The club flouted a Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) notification issued in October 2014, which bars operation of any unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Indian airspace. While authorities at ACI have claimed that the "regulatory bodies have not understood the difference between commercial implications and hobby flying", Amdavadi aeromodelling enthusiasts are outraged that a body recognized by the government chose to disregard DGCA orders.

ACI is the apex body of flying clubs and institutions engaged in giving training of flying and aerosports in the country. It is one of the sports federations recognized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. There are close to 500 aeromodelling enthusiasts in the city. The DGCA notification issued on October 7, 2014, said, "DGCA is in the process of formulating the regulations (and globally harmonize them) for certification and operation for use of UAVs in the Indian civil airspace. Till such regulations are issued, no non-government agency, organization, or an individual will launch an UAV in Indian civil airspace for any purpose whatsoever."

The stringent laws in place help keep the airspace safe from potential threats like terror attacks. "I am stunned that the ministry has turned a blind eye to this blatant violation of rules and the Indian airspace. How can a body under the government disregard these rules?" questioned city-based aero modeler Shail Sheth. With over 30 years of aero modeling experience under his belt, Sheth chose not to participate in the Amreli event that was held from February 18 to 21.

Nilesh Doshi, another aero modeler from the city who also has a license allowing him to fly as a commercial pilot, said, "The DGCA notification stops us from practicing completely. Going by the notice, it has been two years since the government body has been forming the law so should there not be some guidelines in place that allow hobbyists to pursue their passion?" When Mirror inquired about the alleged violation of rule stated by DGCA, ACI's secretary general Anisha Suresh claimed the regulating bodies do not understand the difference between commercial and hobby flying.

"The regulatory authorities have not understood that there is a difference between commercial implications and hobby flying and put a stop on everything," said Anisha, adding that the Aeromodelling Championship was an attempt to make people aware about such a sport. "In an international aero sport competition organized last year, there were no participants from India. We wanted to change this and decided to host events to create awareness among people," the secretary general stressed.

On the notification, she added, "We have tried to talk to the regulatory authority and ministry about the differences between commercial and hobby flying along with aero sports but 'that does not seem to be a priority for them'. The body will be able to form clear guidelines only once they have understood the distinction after a discussion." Anisha was quick to point out that an aero show was organized by the state civil aviation department in Mehsana in February where several UAV models were demonstrated.

"Why were participants of that particular show not stopped or detained as is the case elsewhere. After all, the event in Mehsana was conducted in the presence of ministers and senior police officers," she pointed out. ACI had also held its event in February. About 15 aero- modellers participated in the event. Director of Civil Aviation Ajay Chauhan was not available for a comment.

Joint Director General Lalit Gupta also did not comment on the issue and directed the query posed by Mirror to Director of Aircraft Engineering Directorate Hillol Biswas. Meanwhile, Joint Director General J S Rawat argued, "How do we say it is a violation? We did not see any such activity happening." Mirror received no response from Director General of DGCA on the issue. Even state minister for civil aviation Saurabh Patel was unavailable for comment.


Aeromodelling is the design, construction and flying of model airplanes and other aerial vehicles. It is internationally recognized as a sport and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) — the World Air Sports Federation — conducts aeromodelling competitions globally.

Original article can be found here:

'Rusty' program welcomes pilots back to the sky: La Porte Municipal Airport (KPPO), LaPorte County, Indiana

La PORTE — It’s like riding a bike, some would say, except this type of transportation is hundreds of feet in the sky, and many times faster.

The La Porte Aero Club is hosting a Rusty Pilots event for pilots to get back into the saddle of an airplane at the La Porte Municipal Airport, located off of 2341 Ind. 39.

This is the first time they are hosting the program for the La Porte County pilots, according to Ed Volk, the Board President of the airport.

"The board is supporting the club's idea and want to help in any way we can," he said. "The club is composed of a lot of pilots. Anyone interested can attend, in addition to those who need an update."

The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, and registration is required for the flight review portion of the evening, but anyone interested in aviation can come and listen to the presentation and enjoy drinks and snacks, said John Landwerlen, a member of the La Porte Aviation Services.

The event, which is free, is a common event hosted by airports throughout the country. It was conceived by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

According to their website, a rusty pilot is someone who is certified but has not stayed current on their license and aviation knowledge.

A Rusty Pilot program is a way to reintroduce the pilot — whether they have not flown for three months to three years — back to the flight environment.

“The target audience is a person who holds a Federal Aviation Administration pilot's certificate, but hasn’t flown in awhile,” Landwerlen said. “The program is designed to bring the non-current pilot up to speed on new regulations and airspace configurations.”

The presentation on Wednesday will include the use of newer technology, changes in a airspace system, inform about new resources available to pilots and many more topics needed to know before one takes flight once again.

Also, it will fulfill a few hours of the ground instruction requirement for one’s flight review.

“The attendees are given a flight review sign-off in their logbooks, the ground portion, after completing the program, and are invited to schedule the flight portion of the review in an LPAS aircraft with a qualified instructor,” he added.

Because most regulations for pilots are pretty slow to change, he added, most of the information will be a review.

Attendees are recommended to bring their FAA pilot's license and a photo ID, in which a driver’s license will suffice.

Volk hopes to see a good turn out at the event, especially since he is often surprised at learning who is a pilot in La Porte County when he goes to events and meetings. 

"This is a great thing the aero club is doing for pilots," he added.

The AOPA offers a downloadable document to review for the program, which can be found at

Original article can be found here:

Laser Z-200, PH-LSR: Fatal accident occurred March 20, 2016 at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome (EIAB), Co. Longford, Ireland

Pilot William Hillick who was killed in Longford crash on March 20, 2016

The experienced pilot who died in an air crash in Co Longford has been named locally as William Hillick, who ran a popular tech shop on Dublin’s quays.

Mr. Hillick, who was in his 40s, died after the single-seater plane came down at Abbeyshrule Aerodrome at around 6pm yesterday.

Locals in the area said a number of planes had been performing acrobatic stunts before the incident. The scene was closed off as air crash investigators tried to establish what happened.

Mr. Hillick was well known in the midlands and Dublin. He lived in the Mullingar area and was the owner of the family-run CQ Communications shop on Ormond Quay, which sells tech and camera equipment.

He was also an avid aviator and martial arts instructor, and is known to have bought a new plane in recent weeks. It is believed that it was this model that crashed yesterday.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit launched an investigation into the incident and was due to examine the scene and the remains of the aircraft.

Today, one of William’s neighbour on Ormond Quay – Panem cafe owner Raffaele Cauallo – said he was shocked to hear the news.

“This is very, very sad. We’ve been friends and neighbours for 20 years. He even took me flying with him once around 18 months ago,” he said.

“He bought a new plane recently. I assume that is the one that crashed. It is terrible.

“He was always safe and calm in a plane. Very calm and very talented. He was a good teacher and very smooth at landing.

“He has helped me so many times here in the cafe, too. If I ever had an electrical problem he would be in sorting it out. He was very good that way.”

On Mr. Hillick’s own Facebook page it features photographs of his beloved aircraft.

Under the “favourite quote” section he had posted “live every day like it is your last – because someday you will be right”. He had only updated his profile picture on the site last Friday, two days before the crash.
A friend today posted an RIP message on the site attached to one of the photos that William had uploaded last week.

Longford Fianna Fail Councillor Mick Cahill described the incident as a terrible tragedy.

“I live a half-mile away and they had been up in the air all day,” he said. “There was nothing unusual all day, but one of them came down at about six o’clock and went into the ground. It is a terrible tragedy.”

Original article can be found here:

Two investigations are taking place after the death of one man in a single seater air plane crash in Abbeyshrule last Sunday evening.

The man aged in his forties died when the collision occurred at approximately 5.45 p.m. at Abbeyshrule Airfield. 

Medics and Gardai attended the scene and the area was cordoned off.

An investigation has been launched into the tragic incident which claimed the life of the man who is believed to be from the Westmeath area.

Mooney M20C Ranger, N9262M, Sabris Corp: Accident occurred March 18, 2016 near Colonel James Jabara Airport (KAAO), Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Wichita FSDO-64

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA129
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N9262M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

On March 18, 2016, about 1525 central daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N9262M, lost engine power while on approach to the Col. James Jabara Airport (AAO), Wichita, Kansas, and subsequently collided with terrain. The pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Sabris Corporation, Wichita, Kansas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Dickson (M02), Tennessee, about 1130 was en route to AAO.

According to the pilot's statement, he had preflighted the airplane in M02 and noted that both fuel tanks were "filled to the rim." (According to the Mooney Aircraft Corporation, fuel capacity for the model M20C is 52 gallons, 26 gallons per wing tank). The flight to AAO was uneventful. Due to inbound IFR (instrument flight rules) traffic, the pilot extended the downwind leg for landing when the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot said he used the ALARMS (airspeed, landing site, air restart, radios, mayday, secure plane) checklist. The airplane was too far from the runway, so the pilot attempted to land on a golf course. He did not recall the forced landing and woke up in an ambulance en route to the hospital. 

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the airplane reported finding "no discernible quantity of fuel in the left tank." The fuel selector was positioned on the left fuel tank, and the electric fuel pump was in the off position. When the airplane was placed in a level position, the inspector was not able to sump fuel from the left fuel tank, even with the electric fuel pump running, or from the fuel selector valve sump. Some fuel was noted in the right fuel tank. The inspector was able to sump fuel from the right fuel tank. The fuel level was about 2 to 3 inches in depth. There was no evidence of fuel spillage, and the fuel tanks did not appear to have been breached. There were no fuel stains on the ground or the smell of fuel around the airplane. No other anomalies or mechanical failures were noted.

Airplane damage consisted of a buckled lower fuselage from the engine cowling aft to the rear bulkhead. The firewall was bent. The right wing leading edge bore crush damage, and the main landing gear was pushed up through the wing. The flap was also bent.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA129
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 18, 2016 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N9262M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

On March 18, 2016, about 1115 central daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N9262M, lost engine power while on approach to the Col. James Jabara Airport (AAO), Wichita, Kansas. The pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Sabris Corporation, Wichita, Kansas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Dickson (M02), Tennessee, about 1130 was destined for AAO.

The pilot said he was on an extended downwind leg for landing when the engine suddenly lost power. He did not recall the forced landing. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the airplane reported finding no fuel in the left fuel tank. The fuel selector was positioned on the left tank. Some fuel was noted in the right fuel tank. The auxiliary fuel pump switch was off. There was no evidence of fuel spillage on the ground.

WICHITA, Kansas -

Two teens who crash landed at a Wichita golf course are out of the hospital.

The owner of the plane says the engine failed Friday afternoon, forcing the 17-year-old pilot to make an emergency landing at the Tallgrass Golf Course. 

Despite concussions, broken bones, and scrapes and bruises, both Andover High School seniors involved in the plane crash say  they're doing well. 

"As far as plane crashes go, how I'm feeling - it's pretty good. Thankful for that," said Christian Dell, the pilot of the plane. 

Christian was flying, and his girlfriend Nicole Klusener, 18, was passenger. 

The two teens saved up money to rent the Mooney M20C for a trip to Nashville over spring break.

They were almost home when something went wrong.

"The whole flight, it was pretty noisy. We had headphones on but it was still loud. And then it just went silent. Like the engine just stopped and we were just like, oh no," Nicole said. 

"So I decided we were going to make it to the runway. I turned back and there was just no way we were going to get there," Christian said. 

Christian had to think quickly.

We an engine failure, made an emergency landing, missed a house...  we almost hit the house, and we clipped the top of a tree I think, and we landed on the golf course there, Nicole Klusener said. 

"He opened the door and was pushing me out a little and we were just crawling around and we had no idea what kind of state we were in. And the ladies from some of the houses came up and told us their names and that we were going to be okay," she said. 

The owner of the plane says the way Christian responded is likely what saved their lives.

"In talking to the pilot and looking at the airplane, you can see that the pilot did everything right," said David Dewhirst, president of Sabris Corporation and owner of the plane.  "The praise should go to the pilot for the manner to which he handled this emergency," he said. 

"It was pretty much just all training. I don't really remember much from the approach. It all just kicked in," Christian said. 

Both Christian and Nicole say they feel lucky. 

"There's definitely that, 'it's never going to happen to me.' But it did. We're just glad nobody else got hurt and we were fortunate enough to walk away," Christian said. 

"That could've happened 5,000 feet in the air, and we would've had no chance probably. But it happened when we were getting ready to land on the runway. So we were already getting lower to the ground and slowing down. God was watching over us for sure," Nicole said. 

The FAA and NTSB are still investigating what caused the plane's engine to fail.  

The owner of the plane is still working with insurance companies to figure out the best way to remove the plane from Tallgrass Country Club.

Story and video:

Nicole Klusner and Christian Dell

Christian Dell and Nicole Klusener.

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -- Christian Dell and Nicole Klusener say they're thankful to be alive as a pilot's greatest fear came to life.

The Andover teens crashed a private plane onto Tallgrass Country Club after the aircraft's engine gave out Friday afternoon.

"We were just coming back from a Spring break trip in Nashville," Dell said.

Dell and Klusener were getting close to their landing point at Jabara Airport when something went horribly wrong.

"We've got an engine failure," Dell called into the Wichita tower. "We're trying to make it to final."

The rental plane's engine gave out as the couple was making their decent.

"I was just like, looking at Christian hoping that he knew what to do and I was praying to God," Klusener said.

"At that point it's all kind of flashback to training," Dell said.

Dell says he flew the four-seat plane right over the top of some houses lining the 14th hole of the golf course; then they clipped a tree before crashing into the ground.

"We're being told this is a small private aircraft the landed on the golf course, there are several occupants, looks like they were getting out of the plane, but injured," a 911 dispatcher scratched over the radio.

Dell says if it hadn't been for a sand trap they would have landed fairly smoothly, but instead they crashed hard. Both smashed their heads against the dash leaving them concussed and the rest of the story very foggy.

"He got out and was walking around, had blood coming out of his eyes," Klusener said.

Now that both are out of the hospital and have had time to reflect, the couple realizes how close they came to losing it all while Dell did everything he could to prevent the emergency landing from harming others.

"It's fortunate that no one else got hurt," he said.

"He did his job and that's how we're alive right now," Klusener said.

Dell says his two years of flying experience helped him keep calm during a frightening ordeal. They are still waiting for the results of the ongoing FAA investigation as to what went wrong with the rental plane's engine. 

Story and video:


Two high school seniors are recovering from various injuries after their rental plane experienced engine failure and crashed on the way home from a spring-break vacation.

Certified pilot Christian Dell, 17, and his girlfriend, Nicole Klusner, 18, had saved up their money to rent a small aircraft for a few days of fun in Nashville, Tennessee.

The nearly two-hour journey home was smooth sailing until the last leg of the flight. "It just started spluttering and it ultimately failed," Dell said.

Klusner said, "I didn't know what to do or what was going on. The first thing I thought about were my parents."

"I was just looking at him [Dell], trusting he knew what to do and praying to God that we were going to be OK," she added.

Indeed, Dell's emergency training kicked in as he missed homes and power lines, and dodged trees, eventually crash landing the plane on the 14th hole of a golf course.

Residents who saw the rough landing ran to the rescue, getting both teens out and off to the hospital where they were treated for concussions and head injuries.

Klusner praised her boyfriend for his skills: "He just did his job and that's how we're alive right now."

Wichita Police Department Lt. Paul Duff told reporters, "From what I was told, the pilot did an excellent job."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what went wrong.

Story and video:

Tractor Pitbull: Incident occurred March 20, 2016 in Lake Samish, Washington

Date: 20-MAR-16
Time: 15:45:00Z
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Unknown
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Other
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Seattle FSDO-01

State: Washington


A Federal Aviation Administration official described the aircraft involved in Sunday’s crash as a home-built Tractor Pitbull gyrocopter. The one that crashed had pontoons instead of wheels.- Tractor Pitbull Rotorwerks 

A small homemade float plane crashed into Lake Samish early Sunday, March 20, but the pilot escaped with minor injuries and was brought to shore in a rowboat after clinging to one of the aircraft’s pontoons.

“It turned out to be very fortunate,” said Chief Dave Ralston of South Whatcom Fire Authority, whose crews were dispatched to a report of a plane crash into the southeast end of the lake about 9 a .m. Sunday. “He was doing some video with his GoPro, and he was making a turn and miscalculated. He hit the water.”

Ralston said the pilot estimated he was flying about 35 mph when his craft grazed the surface, flipped and disintegrated on impact.

“He was able to hang onto part of the pontoon,” Ralston said. He said the pilot was wearing a life jacket and had a paddle aboard. He was paddling to shore on a piece of wreckage when a lakeside resident towed him to shore with a rowboat.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said the plane was a home-built and unregistered Tractor Pitbull float plane, a single-seat ultralight gyroplane.

Fire department officials could not release the pilot’s name, citing medical confidentiality laws, and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office did not have the pilot’s name. The FAA will not investigate the crash, because the aircraft was unregistered and homemade.

A Tractor Pitbull is a 13-foot kit plane manufactured by North American Rotorwerks. It resembles a cross between an airplane and a helicopter, with a front propeller, top rotor and a fuselage with rudder and ailerons, but with no fixed wings. This version had pontoons so it could land on water.

Ralston said the aircraft was equipped with a 5-gallon fuel tank that was about half-full with gasoline. He said the state Department of Ecology was notified, but there was no immediate concern about water contamination because the fuel was contained and no sheen was visible.

A Department of Ecology official did not return a phone call Sunday.

Ralston said about 10 South Whatcom firefighters were dispatched, including members of South Whatcom Fire’s water rescue team. An ambulance crew examined the pilot but his injuries were minor, Ralston said.

Original article can be found here:

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The pilot of an experimental plane survived when he crashed into Lake Samish Sunday morning.

Investigators said the man was flying in what was described as a plane similar to a powered hang glider while trying to take video from a low altitude.  However, it appears the man lost his bearings and got too close to the lake, eventually skimming the surface and flipping the plane over.

The pilot wasn't hurt in the crash and was able to use parts of the plane to paddle to shore, investigators said.

- Original article can be found here:

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A small plane crashed on the southeast side of Lake Samish this morning.

The plane was flying low to the water capturing video when the pilot lost his bearings and hit the water.

The plane crashed and flipped over on the lake.

The pilot escaped and rowed himself to shore with broken parts of the aircraft.

The plane was described as an experimental aircraft.

There were no injuries.

- Original article can be found here:


A small plane crashed in Lake Samish near Bellingham on Sunday morning.

The pilot safely swam to shore.

Officials were responding investigating at around 9:30 a.m.

KIRO 7 is investigating.

- Original article can be found here: