Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Steve Hinton inducted into California Aviation Hall of Fame

Steve Hinton of Newport Beach poses with an image of the Red Baron, a modified P-51 Mustang that he flew to a world speed record in 1979. Hinton is being inducted Wednesday into the California Aviation Hall of Fame.



A Newport Beach pilot who has performed in air shows throughout the world and broke an aviation speed record in the 1970s is being honored Wednesday with membership in the California Aviation Hall of Fame.

Steve Hinton, 63, is one of four inductees this year into the hall, a state-registered subsidiary of the Museum of Flying, based in Santa Monica.

The hall recognizes "the most influential individuals that made a significant impact on the growth and development of aviation and aerospace," according to the museum's website.

Inductees are chosen by an independent selection committee.

"It's just an honor to be considered for something like that," Hinton said in an interview. "I'm glad to be honored and remembered for everything I've done."

Hinton, a Newport Beach resident for about two decades, was all but destined to be in the sky. He spent his earliest years growing up in California's Mojave Desert at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, where his father, a Marine, was working on the government's missile program.

Hinton first got interested in airplanes — model ones, that is — around age 7, yet he didn't get on a moving airplane until he was 15.

"From there, I haven't looked back," Hinton said.

Hinton specializes in piloting warbirds, or vintage military airplanes. He's logged some 11,000 flying hours in the cockpits of more than 150 types of planes.

Those hours have included a long association with Hollywood, where he has worked for decades as a pilot in dozens of films and TV shows, including "The Aviator," "Pearl Harbor," "Air Force One" and "Waterworld."

In 1979, Hinton, then 27, and his crew broke the 3-kilometer speed record for a piston engine aircraft. Over the Nevada desert, Hinton flew the Red Baron, a modified P-51 Mustang, an average of 499.018 mph.

Hinton noted that the record had been set earlier by aviation greats such as the Wright brothers and Howard Hughes.

"That's a motivation," he said.

His son, Steve Jr., at 21 became the youngest person to win the Reno Air Races.

"I used to be the youngest before [my son] won," Hinton said with a laugh.

Hinton doesn't plan on slowing down. When he's not flying, he serves as president of the Planes of Fame Air Museum locations in Chino and Valle, Ariz. He also runs his own airplane restoration company, Fighter Rebuilders, based in Chino.

The ground part of his life, Hinton said, "is really what I do every day."

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

Cessna 172L, VH-XZZ: Qantas international pilot Paul Whyte was cleared to fly just one month before he deliberately crashed a light plane he hired into the sea



A Qantas pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed a light plane into the sea was cleared to fly just one month before his death.

Paul Whyte rented a light aircraft from a company at Lismore in northern NSW on Monday afternoon before later crashing it six nautical miles offshore from Byron Bay.

Despite dealing with a broken marriage, Mr Whyte passed an mental health check in February, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported. 

It has also been revealed that Mr Whyte flew a passenger plane with a capacity of 467 people from Brisbane to Los Angeles just weeks before his death.

Meantime Qantas said in a statement that it 'won't be commenting on speculation' about the cause of the tragedy while the coroner's investigation is underway.

Qantas chief pilot Richard Tobiano noted that Whyte was off duty when the crash occurred.

'As you can imagine, this is a very upsetting time for his family, friends and colleagues, and we're providing them with as much support as we can,' Tobiano said in a statement. 

Mr Whyte's death has raised questions about the frequency and efficiency of mental health checks and experts have called for the implementation of peer support systems.

'It would allow airlines to keep track of mental health on a more immediate level,' Griffith University psychiatrist Harry McConnell told the Bulletin.

Earlier it was reported Mr Whyte spoke to his daughters prior to boarding the plane, and sent a final text message to his family before crashing at 'high speed' into the water, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin. 

His rented Cessna 172 aircraft left Lismore at about 4.20pm and radar information shows all contact with the plan was lost.

Police and rescue teams launched a search for the missing pilot and his plane after he failed to return to Lismore later that night. 

The search was scaled back and police confirmed Mr Whyte's disappearance was 'not suspicious' on Wednesday afternoon. 

Qantas has confirmed Mr Whyte worked for them as a first officer.

'It is with great sadness that I confirm that an off-duty Qantas pilot was flying a light aircraft which went missing off the northern coast of New South Wales on Monday evening,' Qantas Chief Pilot, Captain Richard Tobiano told Daily Mail Australia. 

'As you can imagine this is a very upsetting time for his family, friends and colleagues, and we're providing them with as much support as we can. I ask you to respect their privacy at this time.'

Northern Rivers Aero Club president Bill Kiernan, who rented the plane to Mr Whyte, told Daily Mail Australia he knew him and didn't ask questions when he rented the plane on Monday.

'We own and have access to quite a few aeroplanes. As long as the pilots are qualified and meet CAA requirements, that's our business. Mr Whyte cert met the criteria,' he said. 

'Mr Whyte rang me and said can I have a plane, I rang my colleague and said Paul was good to go.'

Investigators are now preparing a report for the coroner following his death. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk



Paul Whyte.

The pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed his light aircraft into the ocean was employed flying jets for Qantas.

Struggling with a broken marriage, Paul Whyte rented a light aircraft from a flying club in Lismore, made one final phone call to his daughters and disappeared into the ocean six nautical miles offshore from Byron Bay late on Monday afternoon.

Authorities refused to provide any details of the tragedy, a move which has infuriated Northern Rivers Aero Club president Bill Kiernan, the man who leased the aircraft to Mr Whyte.

Mr Kiernan told The Gold Coast Bulletin the Australian and International Pilots Association had tried to silence him, warning him not to tell anyone Mr Whyte was a Qantas pilot.

“I was warned not to say he flew for Qantas but I told them I’ll say whatever I want, because it was the truth,” he said.

“I won’t be (expletive) over by a bunch of bureaucrats.

“They need to face up to reality.

“The family knows what is going on and the worst thing about this is the innuendo — it is better to put the bullshit to rest.”

Police say he sent one final text message to his family as he plunged his Cessna 172 into a death-spiral into the waters off northern NSW.




Paul Whyte.


Qantas went silent, initially refusing to even confirm Mr Whyte worked for them.

Yesterday the national carrier eventually conceded he was employed by them but still refused to reveal when the troubled father of two last commanded a commercial flight.

Qantas also refused to answer questions about how the company looked for warning signs that pilots were flying while mentally unstable.

Yesterday the family home looked to be deserted, with the windows covered with cardboard.

A note pinned to the front door said, “Family are requesting privacy at this very sad time.”.

The revelations come one year after pilot Andreas Lubitz killed 150 people by intentionally crashing a Germanwings plane near the French Alps.

Mr Whyte’s Cessna 172 left Lismore at 4.20pm and AirServices Australia lost contact with it about 4.50pm.

NSW police believe the plane hit the ocean at “high speed” and will prepare a report for the coroner.

They also confirmed the death was “not suspicious”.

Richmond Local Area Command chief inspector Cameron Lindsay said the search for the wreckage would be difficult.

“What we’ve been told by experts is the plane was travelling at a very high speed when it impacted the water,” he said.

“It’s in a very deep part of the ocean there and is beyond the capabilities of the police divers, so now we have to look at the use of submersible vehicles.”

Mr Whyte told News Corp reporters nine years ago he moved from Sydney to a small duplex in Lennox Head to escape the rat race and “live in a society”.

Sadly, in the past 12 months he separated from his wife and moved into a rented home a few streets away from the family home.

His new next-door neighbours said they could often hear him swimming in the pool with his daughters on the rare occasion he was home.

The last person to see Mr Whyte alive described the him as “calm” and “relaxed” before he boarded the light aircraft.

Northern Rivers Aero Club pilot trainer Bob Snape said Mr Whyte casually strolled towards the runway in the afternoon, making small talk about his children.

“He was running late because he was on the phone to his daughter,” he said.

“He was really calm and relaxed and we were just casually chatting about other pilots we knew.

“It was the first time I met him but he seemed like a nice guy.”

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

Marshall Dion, 80, sentenced to 10 years in prison for marijuana charges

An 80-year-old man who operated a multi-state marijuana operation for decades was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug and money-laundering charges.

Prosecutors recommended that Marshall Dion serve no more than seven years after a plea deal was reached this month, though federal sentencing guidelines called for three decades.

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper rejected the plea agreement, however, and sent attorneys back to the drawing board. A second round of negotiations ended with both sides suggesting a term of between five and 10 years in prison, to which Judge Casper agreed Tuesday.

Dion’s history of drug-related run-ins date back to 1985, when he crashed a single-engine plane in Wisconsin and was discovered crawling across a muddy field by police as thousands of dollars in cash floated in the air around him. Although he was never charged criminally, a judge at the time seized nearly $112,000 from the crash scene because investigators believed it likely stemmed from illegal activity.

Eighteen years later, Dion was pulled over for driving five miles over the speed limit by police in Kansas. When authorities searched his beat-up pickup truck, they recovered roughly $828,000 in cash and agreed to investigate further. Dion, who been in custody ever since, maintains the search was unconstitutional. 

Authorities recovered about $15 million in cash from residences Dion maintained in Massachusetts and Arizona, as well as roughly 400 pounds of marijuana and detailed ledgers accounting for drug deals dating back to 1992.

Despite the six-figure cash stash, Dion’s attorney Hank Brennan told The Associated Press that his client has led a simple and nonviolent life.

“He didn’t have that lure of greed and power and oppression. He is a simple man who lived a very routine and habit-filled life,” Mr. Brennan said after Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

Original article can be found here: http://www.washingtontimes.com
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N92302

NTSB Identification: CHI86LA022.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 29497.
Accident occurred Friday, November 01, 1985 in KENOSHA, WI
Aircraft: CESSNA 182N, registration: N92302
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

ACCORDING TO THE PILOT THE FLIGHT FROM TOLEDO TO THE KENOSHAAREA WAS UNEVENTFUL. DURING THE VOR APPROACH TO RWY 14 (APPROX 2 MILES FROM THE END OF THE RUNWAY) THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE GROUND AND WAS DESTROYED. THE PILOT STATED THAT THE LAST THING HE REMBERED BEFORE IMPACT WAS SEEING 1100 FEET MSL ON HIS ALTIMETER. HE WAS USING THE CORRECT ALTIMETER SETTING. THE ALTIMETER WAS LATER GIVEN A COMPLETE SCALE ERROR CHECK AT AN INDEPENDENT AVIONICS REPAIR FACILITY. THE RESULTS OF THIS TEST INDICATED AN ERROR RANGE OF -400 FT AT A SIMULATED ALTITUDE OF 1000 FT TO -950 FT AT A SIMULATED ALTITUDE OF 20000 FT. IT IS A NON-ENCODING ALTIMETER AND WAS LAST CHECKED BY A CERTIFIED REPAIR STATION APPROXIMATELY 19 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:


MAINTENANCE, INSPECTION ... NOT OBTAINED ... PILOT IN COMMAND

MAINTENANCE, CALIBRATION ... NOT OBTAINED ... PILOT IN COMMAND

Contributing Factors

FLIGHT/NAV INSTRUMENTS, ALTIMETER...FALSE INDICATION

Florida: Jet fuel tax changes set to become law July 1, barring unlikely veto

The future of Florida’s aviation fuel taxation regime is set for a major overhaul on July 1, if Gov. Rick Scott signs an omnibus tax bill into law as expected.

For the state’s largest air carriers, that’s a good thing indeed.

The bill removes exemptions to the state’s jet fuel tax, which currently apply to once-upstart carriers like Southwest Airlines and JetBlue beginning in 2018. It would also lower the overall rate for all carriers from 6.9 percent to 4.7 percent, in order to keep the change “revenue neutral,” or avoid becoming a de facto tax increase.

The move undoes a legislative change made in 1996 designed to help lure (now-defunct) Pan Am II to Florida by giving smaller fledging carriers who employ 250 or more workers what now amounts to a 10-figure tax break annually. The exemption briefly expired in 2001, but lawmakers reinstated it in 2002 after the September 11 terrorist attacks shook officials’ confidence in the strength of Florida’s aviation industry.

The bill is considered a major win for larger airlines like Delta, American, and United, who say the “small” carriers like Southwest have now grown their market-shares enough to compete without tax incentives.

It’s essentially a twofer for the big firms: they will pay less in jet fuel taxes, while their competitors will go from paying 0 to 4.7 percent per gallon.

Between 2013-2014, for example, non-legacy carriers saved $23 million on their tax bills due to the exemption while the aforementioned three largest carriers paid a combined $25 million per year.

In three years, when the language will take effect per a compromise worked out between lobbyists for the legacy carriers – like Nick Iarossi and Capital City Consulting – and the smaller air lines, that nearly $50 million chasm will level out, with both sides paying equally into state coffers.

Advocates say the changes simply levels the playing field, correcting an outdated exemption that could pick winners and losers from Tallahassee.

“It’s a win for the airline industry who came together to support this year’s proposal to abolish a decades old exemption on jet fuel tax by establishing a revenue-neutral tax rate that creates parity among all air carriers operating in Florida,” said Lyndsey Brzozowski, senior vice president at Bascom Communications, which represented major air carriers this past Session.

The jet fuel language passed as part of HB 7099, a 53-page bill which also eliminates taxes on heavy machinery, phases out taxes for asphalt used in public construction, and enshrines a three-day “back to school” sales tax exemption for 2016 among other sundry changes.

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

Cessna R182 Skylane RG, N777VJ: Incident occurred March 20, 2016 in Auburn, Placer County, California

Date: 20-MAR-16
Time: 01:00:00Z
Regis#: N777VJ
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 182
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25
City: AUBURN
State: California

AIRCRAFT ON TAXI, WING STRUCK A FUEL PUMP, AUBURN, CA

http://registry.faa.gov/N777VJ

Frozen sewage from passing plane suspected cause of hole in Nepean home: Woman woke to 'giant crashing noise,' hole in roof metres from bed



An Ottawa woman believes a chunk of frozen sewage plummeted from a passing aircraft and punched a hole through the roof of her mother's Nepean home early Sunday morning, just metres from where she lay sleeping.

Stephanie Moore had just returned from a trip to Cuba when she says she was awakened at 2 a.m. on Sunday by a "giant crashing noise." 

The 36-year-old teacher with the Ottawa Catholic School Board jumped out of bed, turned on a light and soon discovered a gaping hole in the ceiling of the hallway outside the bedroom where she had been sleeping.

"My head was only about 12 or 15 feet away," said Moore.

She quickly discovered pink insulation, drywall ceiling material and shattered bits of wood on the hallway floor, along with a puddle of water. Moore immediately called the insurance company. 



'Went right through roof'

The light of day revealed a hole about one metre in diameter in the hall ceiling, with insulation, drywall and wood hanging precariously from the large gash.

Photographs taken in the attic also show damage to the roof planking and the shingles, and daylight can be seen shining through the hole.

"At first I thought it was just damage to the ceiling. I couldn't tell it went right through the roof when I first saw it," Moore said.

Moore said both her insurance adjuster and the roof repair expert who came to her mother's home Sunday called it "the strangest thing they have ever seen."

There's no evidence to suggest that a tree or branch caused the damage and there was no ice or snow on the roof when it happened.

The roofing specialist who inspected the damage said there was no rotting wood in the roof, and that before the incident, at least, the exterior shell of Moore's mother's house was solid.

'Blue ice' suspected

It's the roofer who suggested "blue ice" as the likeliest source of the damage, since a meteorite strike — though it might cause similar damage — would leave behind a rock or mineral element in the debris.

Blue ice, named for the colour of the disinfectant used in the sewage systems of commercial aircraft, is the term for frozen waste that can leak and break away from planes while they're aloft.  

Though pilots don't have the ability to intentionally release the holding tanks of onboard lavatories, leaks are possible and the mixture of human waste and liquid disinfectant that freezes in the cold air of high altitude can plummet earthward like a frozen bomb.

The roofer who inspected Moore's mother's home said blue ice has been known to strike homes and then melt on impact, leaving little evidence as to the cause of the damage.

In 2008, the Transportation Safety Board concluded that ice that crashed through roof of a Calgary woman's home had come from an airplane flying overhead.

Moore said she plans to call the Transportation Safety Board about the damage. The home is in the Merivale Road and Viewmount Drive area of Nepean, about three kilometres northwest of the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.

That proximity, along with the absence of any other obvious explanation for the damage and the fact that her childhood home is under several flight paths has Moore convinced that blue ice is indeed the cause.

Transport Canada 'looking into' incident

Transport Canada said in a statement Tuesday the ministry was aware of the incident and is looking into it.

"The department takes all reports of possible debris coming from aircraft very seriously. Every reported incident is investigated by Transport Canada officials," said spokesperson Natasha Gauthier.

Canadian Aviation Regulations prohibit creating a hazard by dropping an object from an aircraft in flight, according to Transport Canada. 

Moore checked the flight tracking software planefinder.net where she determined that the only plane flying above her Nepean home at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning was a courier aircraft registered to the the logistics and shipping company DHL, which is a division of Deutsche Post DHL Group. She hasn't reached out to DHL.

Moore has preserved some of the wood fragments from the roof so that they might be analyzed, and she has also saved some of the water that leaked through the hole for about five minutes following the initial impact in the hopes that it will help determine if the strike was from frozen lavatory water.

Workers added a temporary repair patch to Moore's house on Sunday and the repair company was set to provide an estimate on Tuesday for the cost of repairing a substantial section of the roof.

Moore has been told to expect a bill "in the thousands," since planking, shingles, insulation and drywall all need to be replaced, though she said she's confident her mother's insurance company will cover the cost of repairs.

Moore said though the incident has left her shaken, it could have been worse. For now, the teacher says she's trying to make the most of the unusual event. 

"I teach kids Grades 2 and 3 and I told them the story today and they were completely enthralled by it. They said, 'It's aliens!'"

Original article can be found here:  http://www.cbc.ca

Piper PA-28-161, N9038K: Corvus Aviation LLC: Incident occurred March 22, 2016 in Seattle, King County, Washington

Date: 22-MAR-16
Time: 18:29:00Z
Regis#: N9038K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Seattle FSDO-01
City: SEATTLE
State: Washington

AIRCRAFT WHILE IN PATTERN FOR LANDING, STRUCK A BIRD, LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, DAMAGE TO LEADING EDGE, SEATTLE, WA

CORVUS AVIATION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N9038K

Incident occurred March 23, 2016 at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI), Anne Arundel County, Maryland

LINTHICUM, Md. —A flight heading from New York to Orlando made an emergency landing Wednesday at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport due to an alert on the aircraft.

Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Russ Davies said crews responded at 8:05 a.m. to the airport but did not elaborate on the issue.

BWI-Marshall spokesman Jonathan Dean confirmed the issue with the Delta aircraft, adding that the plane landed safely and there were no injuries on board.

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

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N6036S, Hawkins Investments Inc: Incident occurred March 23, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska

Date: 23-MAR-16
Time: 04:32:00Z
Regis#: N6036S
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
City: ANCHORAGE
State: Alaska

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, GROUND LOOPED, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

HAWKINS INVESTMENTS INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6036S

Denver International Airport (KDEN) closes indefinitely as blizzard slams region

Colorado's busy Denver International Airport said Wednesday afternoon that it "has made the decision to close the airport until further notice" as blizzard conditions raged outside the airport. 

"Weather and visibility are such that it is not safe for aircraft to arrive or depart at this time," Denver International Airport said via Twitter at 2:17 p.m. ET.

Airports frequently suspend flight operations during periods of bad weather, but the outright closure of an airport usually only happens during the most extreme of weather events. 

In a statement, Denver International said: "For those passengers currently at the airport, we are asking you to stay put until conditions improve and (the airport access road) is safe and passable."

Even before the closure had been announced, about 1,000 flights – more than half of the day’s schedule – had been already been canceled at Denver, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. 

Adding to Denver's problems, sporadic power outages had been reported from heavy snow and winds bringing down power lines, according to the The Denver Post. One of the parts of the airport apparently affected by the outage? The airport's fuel facility. 

"I'm told that a number of systems are having power slowly restored or are still out," airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said to the Post. 

Fortunately for Denver fliers, power to the fueling facility apparently came back on shortly after 11 a.m. ET. 

"Power has been restored to our fuel facility, flights will begin resuming as able. Passengers should check their flight status," Denver International Airport said in a tweet sent at 11:19 a.m. ET. 

However, conditions apparently worsened, leading to the decision to close the airport. 

United operates a large connecting hub at Denver. It’s also the largest base for Denver-based Frontier. The airport is also one of the busiest for Southwest Airlines. 

United, Southwest and Frontier each had issued flexible rebooking polices for travel through Denver today. United's also included five other cities in Colorado. The polices varied by carrier, but they generally allow fliers to make one chance to their itinerary without paying a change fee or recalculated fare.  

Inside the airport, hundreds of people checked their smartphones, queued at airline ticket counters or wandered aimlessly, killing time before the airport made its closure announcement. 

March is the snowiest month in Denver, and many travelers seemed taken aback at the storm's ferocity, given the mild winter Denver had. It was 70° in the city on Tuesday. 

"What are the odds?" laughed Peter Aukstolis of Denver. He and his new wife, Laura Hargadine, got married Sunday and were supposed to be on a beach in Aruba by Wednesday evening. Instead, the two were cuddled up on the floor near a coffee shop as they checked and re-checked their flights. They're being rerouted through Philadelphia with a beach arrival expected sometime Thursday. 

"Will miss a day, but we're going for 10 days, and we are off for two weeks anyway," Aukstolis said. 

Annie Schupp waited on hold with United agents as she tried to sort out her flights.  

"The weather is literally worse here than Vancouver, and I'm trying to go on a ski trip," she said. 

Wintry weather was also creating disruptions for fliers at Minneapolis/St. Paul, though the cancellation totals were less severe there. More than 90 flights – or roughly 5% of the day’s schedule – had been grounded there as of 1:45 p.m. ET, according to FlightAware.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is a major hub for Delta. 

Passengers traveling through either Denver or Minneapolis on Wednesday should check ahead on the status of their flights. 

The storm was forecast to track east, possibly bringing heavy snow along a swatch of the upper Midwest. 

Original article can be found here:  http://www.11alive.com

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N118ET, L & W Leasing LLC: Accident occurred March 20, 2016 at John C. Tune Airport (KJWN), Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee

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

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

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

L & W Leasing LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N118ET 

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA157
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 20, 2016 in Nashville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N118ET
Injuries: 4 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 pilot reported that during landing in crosswind conditions, the airplane began to drift to the right over the runway lights in the landing flare. The pilot further reported that he determined "it was not safe to land" and applied full power to go-around and subsequently retracted the flaps from 30 degrees to zero degrees. During the go-around, he reported that the airplane was unable to gain airspeed or altitude and touched down in the grass next to the runway and aborted the go-around. Subsequently, the pilot taxied back onto the runway and proceeded to the ramp.

A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to elevator and rudder. The pilot reported that "he did not realize the angle of attack was severe enough" to cause a tail strike during the go-around.

The Cessna 172R (180 HP) Pilot's Operating Handbook in part states: "In a balked landing (go-around) climb, reduce the flap setting to 20 degrees immediately after full power is applied. If obstacles must be cleared during the go-around climb, reduce the wing flap setting to 10 degrees and maintain a safe airspeed until the obstacles are cleared." 

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's excessive pitch up and incorrect action of selecting flaps to zero degrees, which resulted in a tail strike during a go-around in crosswind conditions.

Families of Alps crash victims take legal action against US flight school

Lawyers for the families of British victims killed in the Germanwings air crash have marked its one-year anniversary by announcing plans to take legal action against the flight school where the co-pilot was trained.

Some 150 people died when Andrea Lubitz crashed the plane into a mountain after locking the captain out of the cockpit on March 24 last year.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is planning to start legal proceedings against the flight school in Arizona, US, where Lubitz, 27, was trained because it believes he should have been prevented from qualifying as an airline pilot.

According to reports Lubitz was seen by 41 doctors in the years before the crash.

Clive Garner, head of aviation law at Irwin Mitchell, said the victims' families "deserve answers" as to how Lubitz was given clearance to qualify to fly.

He went on: " While nothing can bring their loved ones back, they want those who were responsible for allowing Lubitz to qualify as a pilot and fly commercial airliners to be brought to justice.

"To that end we have joined forces with other specialist law firms representing a large number of families from across the world as we prepare a group action against the US flight school in Arizona, who trained Lubitz and deemed him fit to fly airliners for Germanwings."

Lubitz crashed Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf into the French Alps.

Paul Bramley, a 28-year-old from Hull, was one of three British victims. He was studying hospitality and hotel management at Cesar Ritz College in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The other Britons killed were Martyn Matthews, a 50-year-old father-of-two from Wolverhampton who worked as a senior quality manager, and seven-month-old Julian Pracz-Bandres, from Manchester, who had been travelling with his mother, Spanish-born Marina Bandres Lopez-Belio, 37.

Traces of anti-depressants and sleeping medication were found in Lubitz's body .

Voice recordings revealed that he locked the captain out of the cockpit and put the Airbus A320 into a continual descent.

Evidence shows there were attempts to break down the door.

Cockpit security was strengthened on passenger planes after the 9/11 attacks in the US, with a code system installed to prevent people getting in.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk 

NTSB Identification: DCA15WA093
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Barcellonette, France
Aircraft: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320-211, registration:
Injuries: 150 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The BEA of France has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a Airbus A320-211 airplane that occurred on March 24, 2015. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the BEA's investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the engines.

All investigative information will be released by the BEA-FR.

Rolladen-schneider LS8-18, N16BP: Accident occurred March 21, 2016 in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov/N16BP 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 21, 2016 in Pine Grove, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2016
Aircraft: ROLLADEN-SCHNEIDER LS8, registration: N16BP
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.

According to the pilot of the glider, while performing a cross country flight along a mountain ridge, the pilot could no longer maintain altitude as a result of unfavorable wind conditions. The pilot reported that he elected to execute an off airport landing. He recounted that he selected a suitable landing area, and executed a normal traffic pattern. However, he reported that he encountered a strong downdraft and the glider impacted trees that bordered the selected landing area. The glider sustained substantial damage to both wings. 

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the glider prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's inability to maintain the glider's descent rate and glide path after encountering a downdraft, resulting in a collision with trees during an off airport landing.

Flydubai Boeing 737-800, A6-FDN, Flight FZ-981: Fatal accident occurred March 19, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

NTSB Identification: DCA16RA108 
Scheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration:
Injuries: 62 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a BOEING 737 that occurred on March 19, 2016. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the MAK investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer and Design of the airplane.

All investigative information will be released by the MAK.

The recent crash of the passenger jetliner in Rostov-on-Don raised questions about the quality of foreign aircraft. It now appears that domestic aircraft, as well as air transportation standards, have always aroused more confidence with Russian aviators than foreign airplanes. New versions of the causes of the recent plane crash in Rostov can only add weight to such opinions. 

According to one of these versions, the Boeing-737 crashed due to a malfunction of the elevator. Hero of Russia, pilot Anatoly Knyshov, does not agree with this point of view.  

"Failure of the elevator of the Boeing-737 is not quite true. Probably, it goes about the blanketing of the stabilizer against the backdrop of the failure of the anti-icing system of the aircraft and the icing of wing mechanisms. 

"At low speeds during landing, the functions of the aircraft may operate at extreme regimes. As a result, the plane may lose lift on the stabilizer and pilots may experience elevator inefficiency. The plane swept down while landing at the airport of Rostov-on-Don, and this may confirm this version.

"Severe icing of aircraft often occurs in clouds at temperatures close to zero - these temperatures were observed at the time when the plane was landing at the airport of Rostov-on-Don.

"I understand that it was a low-cost airline Boeing that crashed in Rostov, and we all know that low-cost airlines save money on everything. They had to pay for airspace, for landing, for the accommodation of passengers. 

"We should fly our own domestic airplanes," Hero of Russia told Pravda.Ru. Yet, this issue has become particularly relevant when Russia decommissioned most reliable aircraft, such as IL-96 and IL-86, and preferred Superjet airplanes to a new line of Tu-134 jetliners, even though Superjet is 85 percent made of foreign parts. 

Russia's transition to domestic aircraft will give an incentive to the industry on the whole. "We need jobs, we need to develop our factories. Yet, we support foreign aviation industry. If we take Aeroflot, 169 of its 186 airplanes were made in foreign countries. Last year, Russian airlines transported 93 million passengers, but those passengers flew foreign aircraft in 95 percent of cases. 

"When a Russian passenger buys an airplane ticket, they support the aviation industry of the West. As for security, you can see it on the example of the crashed Boeing-737," Anatoly Knyshov told Pravda.Ru.

Russia needs to revive the department for the aviation industry that should deal with the production of airplanes that would not consist of foreign spare parts, the expert believes. Unfortunately, neither the prime minister, nor the people in the top administration of the country have experienced experts or specialists who could consult them on the state of affairs in the Russian civil aviation. This is sad," Hero of Russia Anatoly Knyshov concluded. 

- See more at: http://www.pravdareport.com

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N39457, Coast Flight Training and Management Inc: Incident occurred February 25, 2016 in San Diego, California

Date: 25-FEB-16
Time: 19:01:00Z
Regis#: N39457
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Diego FSDO-09
City: SAN DIEGO
State: California

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, STRUCK THE PROPELLER, SAN DIEGO, CA

COAST FLIGHT TRAINING AND MANAGEMENT INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N39457

$3 million hangar planned for Mid-Way Regional Airport (KJWY), Midlothian, Ellis County, Texas

Airborne Imaging is looking to expand its operations at Mid-Way Regional Airport with the proposed construction of a new 30,000 square foot hangar. Airborne currently operates out of a 10,000 square foot hangar that they lease.



The Waxahachie City Council approved an incentive agreement with Airborne Imaging that will allow the long-time business at Mid-Way Regional Airport to expand its operations by constructing a new hangar at the airport.

The $3 million project will construct a 30,000 square foot hangar that will utilize approximately 2.4 acres at the airport, according to the agreement approved at Monday night's regular meeting.

Through the construction, Airborne will enter into a 30-year ground lease with Mid-Way, which is jointly owned by the cities of Waxahachie and Midlothian. The incentive agreement was expected to be presented to the Midlothian City Council after press time at its Tuesday meeting for approval.

“Airborne Imaging has been a long-term tenant for us up at the airport. They have leased a 10,000-foot city-owned hangar,” said Michael Scott, the Waxahachie Assistant City Manager. “They contract with the Department of Defense and do a number of different things out there. They are a very successful business. They have an opportunity now where they want not to just lease a hangar, but to build a hangar.”

According to the company's website, Airborne Imaging's experience includes multiple missions in Central America with the U.S. Southern Command and Honduran Air Force, test flights for a wide array of sensors being flown on unmanned aircrafts and laser mapping the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes for the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

According to a memo from the city of Waxahachie, an estimated $615,000 of the $3 million project will be used for infrastructure components. These include an entry driveway, a waterline extension, an electrical feed and earth works. The $615,000 incentive agreement would be split in half with city of Waxahachie and the city of Midlothian if the incentive is approved by the Midlothian city council.

The proposed project will help the airport continue to grow, said Judy Demoney, Mid-Way Regional Airport Manager.

“We are just pleased that our long-term tenant Airborne Imaging has the confidence to remain at our airport and make a substantial development,” Demoney said. “The design is in final stages. We are working out the details for the infrastructure and working out the details with the cities. Construction will start as soon as financing is finalized.”

Demoney said the proposed project provides more shovel-ready opportunities to bring new businesses to the airport to come in with the sewer, water and road improvements being made in the southern section of the airport.

Demoney added she is currently discussing the possibility with another company from another airport in the metroplex to lease the 10,000 square foot hangar that Airborne currently operates out of when the building is vacated.

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

Vans RV-9A, N347N: Accident occurred March 22, 2016 in Allison, Butler County, Iowa

http://registry.faa.gov/N347N 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Des Moines FSDO-61

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA154
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 22, 2016 in Allison, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/03/2016
Aircraft: NICHOLSON DAVID F RV 9, registration: N347N
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 pilot reported that while landing on a grass airstrip, the nose landing gear "caught" on the soft turf and collapsed. The airplane slid about 60 feet, the forward portion of the fuselage impacted terrain, and the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, rudder, vertical stabilizer, and firewall. 

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

As a safety recommendation, the pilot reported to keep the nose landing gear off the ground longer during the landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's improper soft-field landing technique, which resulted in a nose landing gear collapse and a nose over.

Beech 1900: Incident occurred March 19, 2016 in the Greater Toronto area - Canada

Deployment notice: http://www.tsb.gc.ca

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after an engine cowling separated from a small plane over the Greater Toronto Area last week.

In a notice posted on a government website, the TSB said it is deploying an investigator to Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport following “an inflight engine cowling separation” that involved a Beech 1900 twin-engine aircraft.

The government said the flight was travelling from Toronto to Kingston, Ont. on Mar. 19 when the incident occurred. 

The aircraft was flying over Oshawa when pilots heard a noise and then saw a piece of engine cowling missing.

The flight is said to have returned to Toronto and landed without incident. There were no injuries.

“The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence,” the TSB notice stated.

Original article can be found here: http://www.ctvnews.ca

Van's RV-10, N1953S: Incident occurred March 19, 2016 in Medford, Jackson County, Oregon

Date: 19-MAR-16
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N1953S
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV10
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-09
City: MEDFORD
State: Oregon

AIRCRAFT ON TAKEOFF, DOOR SEPARATED FROM FUSELAGE, MEDFORD, OR

http://registry.faa.gov/N1953S

Cessna 152, Flight Time Building LLC, N757ZM: Fatal accident occurred January 13, 2015 in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida

Mihoko Tabata
~

NTSB Docket and Docket Items: http://dms.ntsb.gov

http://registry.faa.gov/N757ZM 

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA099 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 13, 2015 in New Smyrna Beach, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N757ZM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 13, 2015, about 2058 eastern standard time, a Cessna 152, N757ZM, collided with a public beach at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces. The airplane was registered to a private company and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Night, instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Massey Ranch Airpark (X50), Edgewater, Florida, about 2040.

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot, who was a Japanese citizen, contacted Flight Time Building LLC to purchase a block of flight time in a Cessna 152. According to the company's website, the company sold "blocks" of flight time to licensed pilots, with 50 hours being the minimum-sized block. The company normally dispatched an airplane to the pilot upon completion of a ground and flight "checkout." According to the owner of Flight Time Building, on the day prior to the accident, the pilot flew a local flight with an instructor, followed by a cross country flight with a safety pilot, who was an instructor-in-training. The owner reported that the pilot was not "signed off" for solo flight after the flights on January 12. The flight instructor stated that he needed to see "improved landings" before he could approve her for solo flight.

On the day of the accident, she flew an undetermined number of local, solo flights without the knowledge of Flight Time Building personnel. She possessed the keys to the accident airplane since she had flown it on the previous day with the safety pilot. She refueled the airplane at her own expense and initiated the accident flight, which was a local, night flight in the traffic pattern at X50.

At 2042:03, a radar target correlated to be the accident airplane was about 1 nautical mile (nm) south of X50. Radar data indicated the aircraft was in a left, 360-degree turn.

At 2047:22, the accident pilot pilot transmitted on the emergency frequency, 121.5 MHz, "hello," followed by two more transmissions of the her saying "hello." This coincided with radar data that depicted the accident aircraft emitting a transponder code of, or "squawking," 7700 (emergency) about 3.5 nm south of X50, or about 8.4 nm south of New Smyrna Beach airport (EVB).

At 2047:42, the pilot stated "uh I don't know where I am I want to land." At 2047:52, the Daytona Beach (DAB) Radar South controller transmitted, "The aircraft that doesn't know where they are at; are they at 1,700 feet squawking emergency and 1200?" At 2048:21, the pilot transmitted "I want to land."

The EVB local controller heard the pilot asking for assistance on 121.5 MHz. Because the aircraft was close to EVB, he was able to establish communications. Between 2048 and 2053, the EVB local controller provided assistance to the pilot. The pilot advised the EVB air traffic controller that she could see the ground but could not maintain visual flight conditions. When the EVB local controller turned the pilot toward EVB, the pilot reported that she could see the airport, but a short time later said she could no longer see it. The EVB local controller then attempted to transfer communications to DAB approach control on 125.35 MHz.

At 2053:52, the EVB local controller advised DAB ATC that the aircraft was proceeding towards DAB, and that EVB would have the lights set on high intensity if they needed the airport. The DAB Radar South controller replied, "thanks, we are going to try it." At 2054:35, the pilot of N757ZM transmitted "hello" on the emergency frequency 121.5, and at 2054:41 continued, "on 125.25 no ah contact." The pilot had been instructed by EVB to contact DAB on 125.35 MHz. The DAB Radar South controller responded on 121.5 by asking the pilot if she could hear DAB.

At 2054:49, the pilot again transmitted that she was unable to reach anybody on 125.25. The DAB air traffic controller replied "ok just stay on this frequency you are all right, maintain your present altitude." The EVB local controller informed the DAB air traffic controller that the pilot could not hear DAB on 125.35. DAB advised the EVB local controller that the pilot was on the wrong frequency, and that the DAB controller would assist the pilot on the emergency frequency.

At 2055:15, the pilot transmitted "hello." The DAB air traffic controller established communications with the pilot on 121.5 and asked the pilot if she could hear DAB; the pilot responded, "I can hear you."

At 2055:22, the DAB controller instructed the pilot to "remain calm and to maintain present altitude." The DAB controller told the pilot to continue the right turn northbound towards EVB, and that the airport would be off the right side. The DAB controller added that EVB would have all the runway lights turned on to high and instructed the pilot to advise when she saw the lights.

At 2055:40, the pilot transmitted on 121.5 that she was heading 100 degrees, and asked the DAB air traffic controller what heading she needed to fly. The DAB air traffic controller told the pilot that if she were able, to turn left heading 360 and that EVB would be at the pilot's 12 o'clock position and one and a half nautical miles. After an unintelligible transmission from the pilot, the DAB controller told the pilot she was not required to read back any further transmissions, and to make the turn. The DAB controller instructed the pilot to advise when she saw the lights at EVB. The pilot verified the heading and asked if she needed a left turn, heading 300. The DAB air traffic controller instructed the pilot to continue a left turn, heading 360 and reiterated the EVB position relative to the aircraft. The pilot acknowledged the turn.

At 2056:57, the DAB air traffic controller told the pilot to land any runway at EVB if she saw the runway lights. At 2057:06, the pilot stated she was at 600 feet and the DAB air traffic controller instructed the pilot to maintain her altitude until she saw the airport. The pilot replied that she was in the clouds. The DAB controller told the pilot, "okay don't worry, don't worry, don't worry, don't worry ma'am, just calm down, calm down; make a left turn." The DAB air traffic controller then instructed the pilot to make a left turn to climb because she had been in a descent. The DAB air traffic controller advised the pilot it was okay to be in the clouds but that she needed to climb.

At 2057:48, the DAB controller asked the pilot if she was climbing, and told her that she needed to maintain at least 1,000 feet. The pilot acknowledged the climb to 1,000 feet, followed by an unintelligible transmission. The DAB air traffic controller reiterated the climb to 1,000 feet and for the pilot to advise DAB when she was comfortable. There were no further transmissions from the pilot.

A short time later, radar and radio contact was lost and the airplane crashed onto New Smyrna Beach, in shallow water. Radar data indicated a descending, right turn prior to impact. The altitude of the last observed radar target was 500 feet above mean sea level. Emergency responders arrived at the accident site shortly thereafter in an attempt to provide assistance.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 38, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. She was issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate on August 18, 2014, with a restriction to wear corrective lenses.

Pilot records recovered from the wreckage indicated that the pilot had logged about 416 total hours of flight experience as of January 7, 2015. She had logged about 1.3 hours of night time and about 6.1 hours of actual instrument time prior to the accident flight. Logbook entries showed that she completed a 14 CFR Part 61.55 flight review and a 14 CFR 61.57(d) instrument proficiency check (IPC), in a Cessna 152, at Torrance, California on November 19, 2014. The flight review and IPC were performed with different flight instructors. Her pilot logbook indicated she flew about 2.4 hours on June 30, 2014, in a Beech BE-58 and did not log another flight prior to her flight review and IPC of November 19, 2014.

FAA inspectors interviewed the flight instructors who performed the flight review and IPC. Both flight instructors reported that the accident pilot showed no weaknesses, handled the radios during the flight, was familiar with the local area, and was a "good pilot."

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a Cessna model 152 that was manufactured in 1977. The high-wing, fixed tricycle landing gear airplane was powered by a Lycoming O-235-L2C engine, rated at 110 horsepower at 2,550 rpm and was equipped with a Sensenich 72CK56-0-54 metal, fixed-pitch propeller.

According to the maintenance logbooks provided by the owner, the most recent annual inspection of the airframe and engine was completed on October 27, 2014, at 502.1 hours tachometer time. The observed tachometer time at the time of the accident was 525.8 hours. The aircraft total time was not recorded in on the logbook entries, and the owner estimated that the total time of the airframe was about 12,000 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Charts for 1900 and 2200 on January 13, 2015 depicted a cold front moving across central into southern Florida with cold air stratus clouds behind the front. Numerous station models behind the front depicted visibilities restricted in mist or fog, with temperature-dew point spreads of less than 5° F, and in the vicinity of the accident site less than 3° F.

The NWS Weather Depiction Chart for 2000 depicted an extensive area of IMC extending from the accident site and across most of all of central and northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, portions of southern and eastern North Carolina, and portions of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. A second area of IMC was also identified over southern Florida ahead of the front in the vicinity of West Palm Beach with marginal visual meteorological conditions extending through most of central and into southern Florida. The closest visual meteorological conditions with ceilings above 3,000 feet and visibility greater than 5 miles were over southwestern Florida, and extreme south Florida. The chart indicated that fog and low ceilings were not a localized event over the New Smyrna Beach area, but extended over most of the area.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research regional radar mosaic for 2100 depicted no significant weather echoes associated with rain showers or thunderstorms in the vicinity of the accident site during the period.

The NWS 12-hour Low-Level Significant Weather Prognostic Chart valid for 0100 and available for briefing prior to the accident depicted the cold front moving across southern Florida with an extensive area of IMC expected over most of all of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and into sections of Mississippi, and Tennessee. The chart depicted no significant turbulence outside of convective activity was expected, and depicted the freezing level near 12,000 feet over the region.

No weather reporting capability was present at X50. A review of the observations surrounding the area indicated that at the time the accident airplane departed from X50, IMC were already being reported surrounding the area at EVB, DAB, and to the south at the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility (TTS), Titusville, Florida.

EVB was located approximately 5 nm north of the departure airport at an elevation of 10 feet, and less than 3 miles west of the accident site. The airport had an Automated Weather Observation System. The weather conditions reported at 2055, or about 3 minutes prior the accident, included wind from 350° at 8 knots, visibility 8 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 500 feet, temperature 17° Celsius (C), dew point 16° C, altimeter 30.14 inches of mercury (Hg).

The next closest weather reporting station was DAB, located approximately 14 nm northwest of the departure airport at an elevation of 34 feet. The airport had a control tower and a federally installed and maintained Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS). The weather conditions reported at 2053, or about 5 minutes prior the accident, included wind from 020° at 9 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling overcast at 700 feet, temperature 18° C, dew point 16° C, and altimeter 30.14 inches of Hg.

The DAB special weather report at 2131 included wind from 360° at 11 knots gusting to 17 knots, visibility 1 statute mile, ceiling overcast at 400 feet, temperature 16° C, dew point 15° C, and altimeter 30.15 inches of Hg.

The DAB special weather report at 2146 included wind from 360° at 8 knots, visibility ½ statute mile in fog, ceiling overcast at 300 feet, temperature 16° C, dew point 15° C, and altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury. Remarks: automated observation system, tower visibility 1-mile, temperature 15.6° C, dew point 15.0° C.

Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida, was located 20 nm southwest of the departure airport at an elevation of 55 feet, and was equipped with an ASOS. The weather conditions reported at SFB, at 2100, included wind from 360° at 9 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, ceiling broken at 1,000 feet, overcast at 3,900 feet, temperature 19° C, dew point 17° C, altimeter 30.14 inches of Hg.

On the day of the accident, sunset occurred about 1745 and evening civil twilight occurred about 1811. Moonrise occurred at 0029, and moonset occurred at 1212.

The DAB North Controller, who assisted the accident controller, solicited pilot reports (PIREPS) for the DAB local area earlier in her shift, but could not recall their specific content. During the accident sequence, she had been working a Cirrus SR22, whose pilot requested the RNAV runway 29 approach into EVB. The SR22 was at 3,000 feet holding at RISRE, about 10 NM east of EVB and near the accident aircraft, but she did not solicit a PIREP from the pilot or ask about cloud tops.


COMMUNICATIONS

Paragraphs 10-2-8 and 10-2-9 of FAA order 7110.65 address how air traffic controllers should provide radar assistance to aircraft operating under visual flight rules (VFR) in weather difficulty, including techniques that should be used to the extent possible when providing assistance. They state [in part]:

10-2-8. RADAR ASSISTANCE TO VFR AIRCRAFT IN WEATHER DIFFICULTY

a. If a VFR aircraft requests radar assistance when it encounters or is about to encounter IFR weather conditions, ask the pilot if he/she is qualified for and capable of conducting IFR flight.

b. If the pilot states he/she is qualified for and capable of IFR flight, request him/her to file an IFR flight plan and then issue clearance to destination airport, as appropriate.

c. If the pilot states he/she is not qualified for or not capable of conducting IFR flight, or if he/she refuses to file an IFR flight plan, take whichever of the following actions is appropriate:

1. Inform the pilot of airports where VFR conditions are reported, provide other available pertinent weather information, and ask if he/she will elect to conduct VFR flight to such an airport.

2. If the action in subparagraph 1 above is not feasible or the pilot declines to conduct VFR flight to another airport, provide radar assistance if the pilot:

(a) Declares an emergency.
(b) Refuses to declare an emergency and you have determined the exact nature of the radar services the pilot desires.

3. If the aircraft has already encountered IFR conditions, inform the pilot of the appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude. If the aircraft is below appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude and sufficiently accurate position information has been received or radar identification is established, furnish a heading or radial on which to climb to reach appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitude.

10-2-9. RADAR ASSISTANCE TECHNIQUES

Use the following techniques to the extent possible when you provide radar assistance to a pilot not qualified to operate in IFR conditions:

a. Avoid radio frequency changes except when necessary to provide a clear communications channel.
b. Make turns while the aircraft is in VFR conditions so it will be in a position to fly a straight course while in IFR conditions.
c. Have pilot lower gear and slow aircraft to approach speed while in VFR conditions.
d. Avoid requiring a climb or descent while in a turn if in IFR conditions.
e. Avoid abrupt maneuvers.
f. Vector aircraft to VFR conditions.
g. The following must be accomplished on a Mode C equipped VFR aircraft which is in emergency but no longer requires the assignment of Code 7700:

1. TERMINAL. Assign a beacon code that will permit terminal minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) alarm processing.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was located in shallow water at approximate coordinates 29 02 22.68N, 080 53 52.69W. The wreckage was pulled onto the beach by local authorities after coordination with the NTSB investigator-in-charge to prevent further damage and loss of parts.

The left and right wings separated from the fuselage during the impact sequence. The outboard 4 feet of the left wing was separated from the remainder of the wing. The right wing exhibited diagonal and aft crush deformation, beginning 2 feet from the wing root to the aft spar at the wing tip. Aileron control cable continuity was established through multiple recovery cuts and fractures consistent with overstress. A majority of the left aileron was not located. The wing flap actuator was found in the retracted (flaps up) position.

The fuselage was separated into multiple sections, including a section consisting of the engine firewall and instrument panel, the landing gear and cabin floor, and an 8-foot section of aft fuselage. The right main landing gear was not recovered. The nose landing gear was separated and located with the main wreckage.

The empennage separated aft of station 173. The horizontal and vertical stabilizers remained attached. The outboard half of the right horizontal stabilizer leading edge was crushed in an up and aft direction. Rudder and elevator control cable continuity was established through multiple recovery cuts and fractures consistent with overstress.

Both wing fuel tanks were breached during the impact sequence and no residual fuel of found. The fuel selector handle was found in the "on" position and the unit operated normally in the "on" and "off" positions when forced air was introduced into the selector valve. Sand was found in the fuel strainer bowl and screen. The odor of fuel was observed in the strainer bowl.

The propeller separated from the crankshaft flange and was found partially buried in sand at the location of the main wreckage. The blades exhibited twisting deformation, leading edge gouges, and surface polishing.

The engine was separated from the firewall. The carburetor, carburetor air box, and alternator were missing and were not located. All engine components were subjected to salt water and sand immersion. The carburetor flange was fractured from impact and was still attached to the oil sump. The carburetor data plate was lodged into the induction tube at the oil sump.

The valve covers, magnetos, vacuum pump, and exhaust were removed by investigators. Mechanical internal continuity was established by rotating the rear accessory gears at the vacuum pump drive with a mechanical device. All valve action was confirmed through 720 degrees of crankshaft rotation and thumb suction and compression was observed at all cylinders. A digital video boresope examination of the interior of the cylinders and the piston surfaces revealed normal operating signatures. The magnetos were turned with a hand drill and by hand rotation; no spark could be produced. The spark plug electrodes were normal in appearance except for salt water, oil, and sand contamination.

The inspection of the engine did not reveal any abnormalities that would have prevented normal operation or production of rated horsepower.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A postmortem examination of the pilot was performed at the offices of the District 7 Medical Examiner, Daytona Beach, Florida, on January 14, 2015. The autopsy report noted the cause of death as "Multiple Blunt Traumatic Injuries" and the manner of death was "Accident."

Forensic toxicology testing of the pilot was performed on specimens of the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory (CAMI), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The CAMI toxicology report indicated negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and drugs. Testing for cyanide was not performed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Guidance to Pilots

In April 2003, the FAA published Advisory Circular 61-134, General Aviation Controlled Flight into Terrain Awareness. The circular stated in part:

"Operating in marginal VFR /IMC conditions is more commonly known as scud running. According to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FAA data, one of the leading causes of GA accidents is continued VFR flight into IMC. As defined in 14 CFR part 91, ceiling, cloud, or visibility conditions less than that specified for VFR or Special VFR is IMC and IFR [instrument flight rules] applies. However, some pilots, including some with instrument ratings, continue to fly VFR in conditions less than that specified for VFR. The result is often a CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] accident when the pilot tries to continue flying or maneuvering beneath a lowering ceiling and hits an obstacle or terrain or impacts water. The accident may or may not be a result of a loss of control before the aircraft impacts the obstacle or surface. The importance of complete weather information, understanding the significance of the weather information, and being able to correlate the pilot's skills and training, aircraft capabilities, and operating environment with an accurate forecast cannot be emphasized enough."

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC 60-4A, "Pilot's Spatial Disorientation," tests conducted with qualified instrument pilots indicated that it can take as long as 35 seconds to establish full control by instruments after a loss of visual reference of the earth's surface. AC 60-4A further states that surface references and the natural horizon may become obscured even though visibility may be above VFR minimums and that an inability to perceive the natural horizon or surface references is common during flights over water, at night, in sparsely populated areas, and in low-visibility conditions.

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3), "Night flying is very different from day flying and demands more attention of the pilot. The most noticeable difference is the limited availability of outside visual references. Therefore, flight instruments should be used to a greater degree.… Generally, at night it is difficult to see clouds and restrictions to visibility, particularly on dark nights or under overcast. The pilot flying under VFR must exercise caution to avoid flying into clouds or a layer of fog." The handbook described some hazards associated with flying in airplanes under VFR when visual references, such as the ground or horizon, are obscured. "The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation."

Air Traffic Controller Training

As part of the investigation into this accident, air traffic controllers were asked about their preparedness to provide assistance to a pilot in an emergency situation. FAA air traffic controllers were required to undergo proficiency training that "maintains and upgrades the knowledge and skills necessary to apply air traffic procedures in a safe and efficient manner." This training included recurrent training and refresher training. Chapter 1 paragraph 5, (a) and (b), of FAA JO 3120.4N, Air Traffic Technical Training, addressed the requirements of recurrent and refresher training and stated [in part]:

JO 3120.4N Air Traffic Technical Training

a. Recurrent Training. Recurrent training is collaboratively-developed national safety training delivered via electronic means, instructor-led presentations, or any combination thereof. Recurrent training is intended to increase air traffic controller proficiency, enhance awareness of human factors affecting aviation, and promote behaviors essential for the identification, mitigation, and/or management of risk. Topics are derived from data collected through internal and external safety reporting systems and stakeholder input. Recurrent training is conducted via an 8-hour block of training, two rounds delivered yearly. Each round is comprised of approximately 4 hours of training selected from the topics listed below, and 4 hours of training on relevant and timely safety topics, such as but not limited to: Human Factors, Safety Culture, Threat and Error Management, Crew Resource Management, Event Recovery, and learning that promotes the maturity of the Safety Management System. Recurrent training requirements are identified annually NLT October 1st to be delivered the following calendar year. Recurrent training on the following items need not be duplicated in local refresher training:

(1) Safety alerts and traffic advisories, to include Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) procedures and the relationship between charted minimum altitudes and underlying topography.
(2) Weather and other conditions that affect flight (e.g., icing, thunderstorms, windshear, and VFR aircraft that encounter instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions).
(3) Bird activity information and dissemination.
(4) Wake turbulence information and application.
(5) Line up and wait (LUAW).
(6) Runway Safety.
(7) Recovery in ATC Operations.
(8) Fatigue awareness.

b. Refresher Training. Each facility must maintain, in writing, an annual (calendar year) refresher training plan. Annual refresher training contains two elements: nationally and/or facility-developed curriculum and simulation training. Facilities are encouraged to review their quality control data (e.g., Quality Control Monitoring, Service Reviews, and Compliance Verification and data available in the Partnership for Safety Portal) to identify additional topics for annual refresher training in order to meet each facility's changing needs. The following topics must be included unless designated by the TA as not applicable.

(1) Unusual situations, lost aircraft orientation, aviation security procedures (including interceptor procedures and communications), hijacking, and other topics identified by the TA. (Training on emergency situations should be based on real-life incidents and aircraft accidents, stressing a lessons-learned approach.)

(15) Facilities with simulation capabilities such as AT Coach, ETG, TTG, DYSIM, TSS,TTL, SIMFAST, O21 lab, etc., must complete locally identified, evidence-based simulation training on the topics identified in paragraph 5.b., Refresher Training, deemed appropriate by the TA, as follows:
(a) A minimum of one hour of evidence-based simulation training in calendar year 2014.
(b) A minimum of two hours of evidence-based simulation training in calendar year

Appendix (J) of the JO 3120.4N Air Traffic Technical Training identified the definitions and state [in part]:

Appendix J. Definitions

17. Evidence-based Training: Training based on an analysis of safety data.

All of the air traffic controllers indicated the recurrent training required by the FAA was lacking, and they couldn't remember any substance of the topics. All of the recurrent training they could remember was via computer-based instruction or by slide-based presentation. Both of the air traffic controllers on duty the night of the accident could not recall any refresher training utilizing the simulator as required, and the supervisor indicated most controllers viewed the training as an annoyance.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA099
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 13, 2015 in New Smyrna Beach, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N757ZM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On January 13, 2015, about 2058 eastern standard time (EST), a Cessna 152, N757ZM, collided with a public beach at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces. The airplane was registered to a private company and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night, instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Massey Ranch Airpark (X50), Edgewater, Florida, about 2030.

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot, who was a Japanese citizen, contacted Flight Time Building LLC to purchase a block of flight time in a Cessna 152. According to the company's website, the company sells "blocks" of flight time to licensed pilots, with 50 hours being the minimum-sized block. The company dispatches an airplane to the pilot upon completion of a ground and flight "checkout." According to the owner of Flight Time Building, on the day prior to the accident, the pilot flew a local flight with an instructor, followed by a cross country flight with a safety pilot, who was an instructor-in-training. The owner reported that the pilot was not "signed off" for solo flight after the flights on January 12. On the day of the accident, she flew an undetermined number of local, solo flights without the knowledge of Flight Time Building personnel. She possessed the keys to N757ZM since she had flown it on the previous day with the safety pilot. She refueled the airplane at her own expense and initiated the accident flight, which was a local, night flight in the traffic pattern at X50.

An initial review of available radar data indicated that the pilot climbed to about 1,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) and was flying in the visual traffic traffic pattern at X50. The airplane was later observed in a climb to 1,700 feet msl and then a descent to 1,200 feet msl. During this time, the pilot set the airplane's transponder to 7700 (emergency) for about a minute. She began transmitting on guard (emergency) frequency and informed air traffic control (ATC) that she could not maintain visual flight rules (VFR) and could not see X50. Controllers provided assistance and directed her toward New Smyrna Beach Airport (EVB). The pilot informed ATC that she was at 600 feet and ATC directed her to climb. A short time later, radar and radio contact was lost and the airplane crashed onto New Smyrna Beach, in shallow water. Emergency responders arrived shortly thereafter in an attempt to provide assistance.

Weather conditions at EVB included an overcast ceiling at 500 feet and 8 statute miles visibility.

A preliminary review of pilot records recovered from the wreckage indicated that the pilot had logged about 416 hours total time as of January 7, 2015. Logbook entries showed that she completed a 14 CFR Part 61.55 flight review and a 14 CFR 61.57(d) instrument proficiency check, in a Cessna 152, at Torrance, California on November 19, 2014.


 
Tabata’s Facebook page contains a post from January  11, 2015  that appears to show a navigational map of New Smyrna Beach.