Thursday, April 28, 2016

Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, N228LL: Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2014 in Erie, Colorado

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA467
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 31, 2014 in Erie, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/10/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46 350P, registration: N228LL
Injuries: 5 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.

The private pilot was inbound to the airport, attempting to conduct a straight-in approach to runway 33. Due to the prevailing wind, traffic flow at the time of the pilot's arrival was on runway 15. Another airplane was departing the airport in the opposite direction and crossed in close proximity to the accident airplane. The departing traffic altered his course to the right to avoid the accident airplane while the accident airplane stayed on his final approach course. The two aircraft were in radio communication on the airport common traffic advisory frequency and were exercising see-and-avoid rules as required.

Witnesses reported that as the airplane continued down runway 33 for landing, they heard the power increase and observed the airplane make a left-hand turn to depart the runway in an attempted go-around. The airplane entered a left bank with a nose-high attitude, failed to gain altitude, and subsequently stalled and impacted terrain. It is likely the pilot did not maintain the necessary airspeed during the attempted go-around and exceeded the airplane's critical angle of attack. The investigation did not reveal why the pilot chose to conduct the approach with opposing traffic or why he attempted a landing with a tailwind, but this likely increased the pilot's workload during a critical phase of flight. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and exceedance of the critical angle of attack during a go-around with a tailwind condition, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. A contributing factor to the accident was the pilot's decision to continue the approach with opposing traffic.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 31, 2014 about 1150 mountain daylight time, a Piper Malibu PA-46-350P airplane, N228LL, was substantially damaged when the airplane impacted terrain near the Erie Municipal Airport (EIK), Erie, Colorado. The airplane was owned by The Real Estate School, LLC, Erie, Colorado and privately operated. The private pilot and four passengers on board were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Colorado.

Multiple witnesses located at and around EIK saw the accident airplane on final approach to runway 33 while another airplane was departing runway 15. Witnesses stated the two airplanes crossed in "close proximity." The airplane continued down runway 33 and they heard an increase in engine power "as if to go-around." A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane as being at a low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude. Witnesses said it appeared the "airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall," and "it did not accelerate or climb." The airplane continued in a "rapid descent" until impacting the terrain.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 67, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. A third-class airman medical certificate was issued on June 30, 2014, with the limitation: must wear corrective lenses. The pilot reported on his most recent medical certificate application that he had accumulated 1,300 total flight hours, with 60 hours in the previous 6 months. The pilot's logbook was not located during the investigation.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane, manufactured in 1994, was a six-seat, low-wing, retractable-gear airplane, serial number 4622164, and was powered by a Lycoming Engines TIO-540 engine, rated at 350 horsepower. The engine drove a metal, 2-blade Hartzell HC-I2YR-1BF/F80 variable pitch propeller.

According to the airplane's logbooks, the most recent annual inspection was accomplished on December 4, 2013, at a Hobbs time of 2,808.8 hours. According to the airplane tachometer, the airframe's total time was 2,910.7 hours at the time of the accident.

Additionally, the airplane was equipped with two fuel tanks, which hold 61 gallons per tank, of which; 1 gallon is unusable for each tank. Refueling records obtained from a fuel vendor revealed that the airplane had been most recently refueled the morning of August 31, 2014, with 12.98 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at their location at EIK. Additional fuel receipts from EIK were obtained, which showed that the airplane was refueled on August 15, 2014 with 73.54 gallons, on July 18, 2014 with 39.01 gallons, and on July 13, 2014 with 67.24 gallons.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station is located at EIK. At 1135, an automated weather observation system (AWOS) reported wind from 160 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles; temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 10 degrees C; and an altimeter reading of 29.95 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Erie Municipal Airport is a non-towered airport operating in Class-G airspace underneath of Class-B airspace. The airport is equipped with one runway. Runway 15/33 is 4,700 feet in length and 60-feet wide. The reported field elevation of the airport is 5,119 feet mean sea level.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft impacted the edge of a culvert about 350 yards west of runway 33 at EIK. The initial impact point to the main wreckage was about 180 feet at a 300-degree heading. Several components of the aircraft; including the radar pod, forward baggage door and vertical stabilator with attached rudder surface, were located within the debris field west of the initial impact site. The main wreckage came to rest inverted, on a heading of approximately 158 degrees. 

The fuselage sustained crushing damage to its belly skins along most of its entire length. The engine and baggage compartment were partially separated from the forward fuselage pressure bulkhead assembly. The tail section completely separated from the aft section of the fuselage at the rear pressure bulkhead assembly but remained attached to the fuselage by control surface cables. 

The external fuselage skins exhibited wrinkling and creasing along both sides. The roof section was partially crushed inward near the right forward side window and emergency exit window. The emergency window was pushed inboard and partially separated from the window frame. The rear fuselage, in the area of the rear bulkhead section where the tail section separated, sustained extensive impact damage.

The main cabin area of the fuselage remained mostly intact. All six seats remained attached to the floor. Some of the seat bottom cushions were reportedly removed by first responders.

Continuity of the forward control cables was established. The primary aileron cables remained attached to both of their respective aileron quadrant assemblies. Both elevator control cables remained attached to their respective quadrant sectors. Both rudder cables remained attached to their respective rudder quadrant sector.

The fuel selector valve found to be in the "off" position. The cockpit fuel valve lever was also found in the "off" position. First responders reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that the fuel selector valve was placed into the "off" position during rescue activities.

The fuel gascolator bowl assembly was upside down when it was disassembled. The upper bowl housing exhibited a trace amount of fuel. The bowl did not contain any fuel, and was free of contaminates. The fuel filter assembly exhibited minor particles, but was otherwise mostly free of contamination. No evidence of any water contamination was observed.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. The wing sustained ground impact damage. Both the flap and aileron surfaces remained attached to the wing. The aileron cable assemblies remained attached to the aileron quadrant drive sector at the aileron surface. The flap actuator assembly was observed in the retracted position. The pushrod remained attached to the flap surface bellcrank assembly. The landing gear was observed in the retracted position.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage although it was broken at the main spar. The wing sustained ground impact damage but was otherwise mostly intact. The wing exhibited a downward bow and was partially separated about 5 feet outboard of the fuselage. Both the flap and aileron surfaces remained attached to the wing. The aileron cable assemblies remained attached to the aileron quadrant drive sector at the aileron surface. The flap actuator assembly was observed in the retracted position. The flap interconnect pushrod separated at the flap drive idler arm assembly due to impact. The landing gear was observed in the retracted position.

The rear fuselage section sustained some ground impact damage and remained mostly intact up to the rear pressure bulkhead assembly. The horizontal tail section separated from the rear fuselage at the rear bulkhead and remained attached to the fuselage by control surface cables. The vertical surface, with attached rudder surface, separated from the rear fuselage and was located in the debris path near the initial ground impact area.

Visual continuity of the tail surface control cables was established. Both elevator control cables remained attached to the elevator sector assembly.

The rudder surface torque tube assembly separated where it attaches to the rudder sector control. The rudder sector control sustained impact damage and both rudder control cables remained attached to the rudder sector control.

One propeller blade was broken off mid span, with chord wise polishing and some lengthwise scratches. The second blade was relatively straight with leading edge and chord wise polishing. 

The engine was removed from the airframe and subsequently examined at the recovery facility. The examination of the engine revealed the sparkplugs appeared "worn out-normal" as compared to the Champion Aviation Check-a-Plug Chart AV-27. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and produced spark at all leads. The crankshaft was rotated by hand and compression was established at all cylinders. Engine drive train continuity was established throughout the engine crankcase. The cylinders were borescope inspected and no anomalies were noted. The oil pickup screen, oil filter and propeller governor screen were all found free of debris. The intake plenum was found crushed upward and cracked open. The left turbo charger was free to rotate but stiff; impact damage was noted. The right turbo charger was also free to rotate. The exhaust tubes were found crushed upwards. 

Fuel was noted in the fuel servo, lines, and flow divider. The flow divider diaphragm was found intact. The fuel injectors were found clear. Fuel was discharged from the engine driven fuel pump when rotated by hand.

No evidence of any preexisting mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engine was found.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

A post mortem examination was conducted under the authority of the Office of the Coroner, Weld County, Colorado on September 1, 2014. The cause of death for the pilot was attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aeromedical Institute performed toxicology examinations for the pilot which was negative for carbon monoxide, alcohol and drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The annunciator panel from the accident aircraft was removed by the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC., to be examined for the presence of any stretched light bulb filaments. Stretched light bulb filaments are indicators the light bulb was illuminated at the time of the accident. Each annunciator light was x-rayed to determine the status of the two bulbs inside. No stretched filaments were found in any of the annunciator lights.

Additionally, an Apple iPad tablet computer was located within the wreckage. The tablet was subsequently sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division, Washington, DC. for further examination.

An exterior examination revealed the device had sustained extensive structural damage. The internal board was removed from the damaged device and installed in a surrogate iPad. The device was successfully powered on. However, the unit was protected by a 4-digit passcode and after possible passcodes were unsuccessfully tried, the device reported "iPad is disabled." No further recovery attempts were made.

For further information, see the Personal Electronic Device Report within the public docket for this accident.

OTHER INFORMATION

The NTSB's air traffic control (ATC) investigator reviewed radar data provided by the 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron (RADES) located at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The radar data was recorded from the Denver ASR-9 (DEN).

There were no audio re-recordings available for this accident. According to radar data and witness statements, moments before the accident N228LL was on approach to runway 33 at EIK and passed in close proximity to N573MS who had departed runway 15 (opposite direction) at EIK. According to witness statements, the pilots of both aircraft were transmitting on the local common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) which was not recorded (see witness statements in the public docket). Both aircraft were operating under visual flight rules (VFR) in visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and were not in communication with ATC while operating within class G airspace at an airport without an operating control tower.

Radar data indicated that the accident aircraft was inbound to runway 33 and was flying an approximately straight course to the runway with no observed significant deviations from that inbound heading. Radar data indicated that N573MS departed runway 15 at EIK and shortly after becoming airborne, made an abrupt deviation to the west (to the pilot's right).

According to radar data, the closest proximity between N228LL and N573MS occurred when the aircraft were separated by approximately 0.12 nautical miles (729 feet) laterally, and 200 feet vertically (and increasing). The flight track of N228LL indicated nothing out of the ordinary after passing N573MS, and it continued to approach EIK on course for runway 33 at a normal rate of descent. Witness statements indicated that N228LL appeared to be going around, however the aircraft never reached an altitude high enough for radar coverage and therefore any attempt at a go around was unable to be corroborated via recorded radar data.

According to the Piper Malibu Pilot's Operating Handbook, Section 4.33 Go-Around under Normal Procedures, states:

"To initiate a go-around from a landing approach, the mixture should be set to full RICH, the propeller control should be at full INCREASE, and the throttle should be advanced to full power while the pitch attitude is increased to obtain the balked landing speed of 80 knots-indicated airspeed (KIAS). Retract the landing gear and slowly retract the flaps when a positive climb is established. Allow the airplane to accelerate to the best angle of climb speed (81 KIAS) for obstacle clearance or to the best rate of climb speed (110 KIAS) if obstacles are not a factor. Reset the longitudinal trim as required."




A Weld County jury this week found that the pilot of a plane that crashed in Erie in 2014, killing all five people on board, was not negligent.

Tori Rains-Wedan, 41, and her three sons — Mason, 15, and twin brothers Austin and Hunter, 11 — and pilot Oliver Frascona, 67, were killed when their plane crashed Aug. 31, 2014, at Erie Municipal Airport.

Frascona, a prominent Erie real estate lawyer, and Rains-Wedan, the owner of Educated Minds, which provides continuing education classes for real estate brokers, were dating.

The Wedans family filed wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of Rains-Wedan and each of her sons against Frascona's estate and Joe Lechtanski — who was piloting another plane on the runway — claiming that "very bad piloting" led to the crash.

But following a week-long, the six-person jury that heard the case in Weld County District Court found that neither of the pilots was negligent, according to court officials.

"Three families suffered a tragic loss, and our hearts go out to them all," said Doug Barber, an attorney for Frascona's estate. "We are grateful to the jury for their time and attention, and we agree with their determination that sometimes bad things happen and there is nobody to blame.

"Some things just are accidents."

Bruce Lampert, the attorney for the Wedans, did not respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit also had named Frascona's company, The Real Estate School, claiming the business was negligent in allowing Frascona to fly the plane, a Piper PA 46 Malibu, without proper training. The company closed after Frascona's death.

At the time of the crash, Lechtanski was taking off from the Erie airport for Centennial, heading southeast on the runway, according to witness reports. At the same time, Frascona's plane was coming in for a landing, heading northwest.

The Erie airport — which does not have a control tower — has one runway. Witnesses said pilots typically take off and land heading into the wind, but that Frascona instead was landing from the opposite direction, with his plane pushed by a tailwind.

Witnesses said the two planes, heading toward each other, appeared to come within 300 yards of each other, though Lechtanski told the Daily Camera in 2014 that he never saw Frascona's plane with his own eyes.

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, Frascona's plane crashed shortly after it came in "close proximity" to Lechtanski's.

"A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane at low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude," NTSB investigators wrote. "Witnesses said it appeared the 'airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall,' and 'it did not accelerate or climb.'

"The airplane continued in a 'rapid descent' until impacting terrain northwest of the airport."

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






NTSB Identification: CEN14FA467
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 31, 2014 in Erie, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46 350P, registration: N228LL
Injuries: 5 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 August 31, 2014 about 1150 mountain daylight time, a Piper Malibu PA-46, N228LL, was substantially damaged when the airplane impacted terrain near Erie Municipal Airport (EIK), Erie. The airplane was owned and operated by The Real Estate School, LLC, Erie, Colorado. The private pilot and four passengers on board were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In statements provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-In-Charge (IIC), witnesses saw the accident airplane on final approach to runway 33 while another airplane was departing runway 15. Witnesses stated the two airplanes crossed in "close proximity." The airplane continued down runway 33 and power was applied "as if to go-around." A witness in the fixed-base operator's building described the airplane at low altitude with full power, in a left bank with a nose-high attitude. Witnesses said it appeared the "airplane did not want to fly, it appeared to be in a stall," and "it did not accelerate or climb." The airplane continued in a "rapid descent" until impacting terrain.

At 1135, the EIK automated weather reporting facility reported wind from 160 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, temperature 21 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 10 degrees C, and an altimeter reading of 29.95 inches of mercury.

The main wreckage contained all primary structural components and flight control surfaces. The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

Idaho Falls Regional Airport (KIDA) gets perfect score from Federal Aviation Administration

A perfect rating, that’s what the Idaho Falls Regional Airport received from a Federal Aviation Administration Safety Inspection. It’s the highest rating a commercial airport can receive. Airport Manager Craig Davis says the annual inspection checks for fire equipment all the way down to the condition of the runways.

He says, they successfully passed the inspection and received accolades for having zero discrepancies.  "We have a great team of employees that dedicate their service to ensuring the safety of the traveling public,” Davis adds “and I think that this just underscores the airports commitment into safe guarding the well-being of our passengers."

The inspection focuses on number of factors from aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, training and response times; to the condition of runway and taxiway pavement. The annual inspection is required for an airport to renew its operating certificate.

Story and video:  http://www.kpvi.com

Police credit SkyFox with tracking down high speed chase suspect




WALPOLE, Mass. —  Radio transmissions show how FOX25's helicopter helped police track the suspect involved in a high speed chase Wednesday. 

The chase began in Walpole on Washington Street near a dam by the Walpole Country Club, said police. Officer Matt Crown went to look at a car that was off a dirt road near the dam. Police said that when the officer went up to the car and asked for license and registration, the suspect then suddenly rolled up his windows, pinning Crown.

The suspect sped off, dragging the officer for about 100 yards at about 30 mph until he was able to free himself. This incident sparked the multi-town pursuit. 

SkyFox photographer Frank Egan had a bird's-eye view of the chase, and what he saw, didn't look good.

"That guy was driving like an animal. He was doing things with that little Toyota that I never thought was possible," said Egan. 

"As soon as we got on the chase, I was able to advise Frank, my photographer, and I guess as the saying goes, ‘The chase was on from there,’” said SkyFox pilot David Hyde

On the ground below, state and local police departments were in pursuit as well.

Suspected driver Michael Leblanc raced through Walpole, Norwood, Dedham and West Roxbury in an attempt to escape police.  At one point, he did, but he couldn't escape the watchful eye of the SkyFox team.  

Court documents said that officers had lost sight of the suspect's vehicle and "we...were about to end the pursuit when dispatch notified us that a FOX news helicopter had the vehicle in sight...With the help of the FOX helicopter, we were able to ascertain that the suspect vehicle was still traveling on 95 south, had struck a guard rail, and was spinning out of control."

Officers talking on the radio transmissions mentioned how FOX25's helicopter was still tracking the suspect's vehicle and that it was on T.V. 

"Using the helicopters as a reference point, we were eventually able to find the area where the suspect had jumped from the vehicle and began to flee on foot," said the documents. 

SEE THE COURT DOCUMENT

SkyFox captured the suspect crawling under a fence and approaching the apartment complex where he was eventually captured. 

Officers located Leblanc on the top floor of a nearby apartment building and arrested him. 

Walpole Police told FOX25 that the live feed from SkyFox, which was on-air and streaming in our app, helped officers follow the suspect, while keeping a safe distance.

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

Cessna 152, N6427Q, San Carlos Flight Center: Accident occurred April 28, 2016 at Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD), Alameda County, California

AVIATION CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6427Q

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA211
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 28, 2016 in Hayward, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/15/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N6427Q
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The solo student pilot reported that the airplane landed hard and then began to porpoise. The student pilot further reported that he applied power to abort the landing, but the porpoise continued, the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. 

The engine mounts were substantially damaged. 

The student pilot did not report any 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 student pilot's high descent rate during the landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing, nose landing gear collapse, and runway excursion during an aborted landing.



HAYWARD (CBS SF) – A student pilot skidded off the runway but walked away uninjured when he came down too hard at the Hayward Executive Airport on Thursday morning, the airport’s manager said.

The two-seat Cessna 152 was arriving just before 9 a.m., according to airport manager Doug McNeeley.

The pilot was working on getting his pilot’s license, which requires flying a minimum of 20 hours solo per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, McNeeley said.

There was some damage to the plane’s propeller and nose gear, but no one was injured, McNeeley said.

The runway was closed for about 45 minutes while firefighters responded.

The FAA was notified and the plane was removed from the runway, McNeeley said. 

The airport has two runways so arrivals and departures were not affected.

The FAA is investigating the incident, agency spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Original article can be found here:   http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

HAYWARD -- A light plane's pilot managed to walked away uninjured from a hard landing at Hayward Executive Airport Thursday morning, authorities said.

At 8:56 a.m., a Cessna 152 was landing on the airport's main runway when it veered off to the side, Hayward Fire Capt. Don Nichelson said.

"It kind of spun off into the grass area" alongside the runway, Nichelson said. "There was not that much damage."

The pilot, a San Carlos resident, lost control while landing, and the plane's nose gear collapsed, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Airport manager Doug McNeeley said the pilot was there to practice flying, and planes continued to take off and land without incident on the airport's parallel east-west runway.

Hayward firefighters responded with four engines, a truck and an airport rescue crash rig, and were able to clear the scene within a half-hour, Nichelson said.

The FAA will investigate the incident, Gregor said.

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

HAYWARD, CA - A student pilot skidded off the runway but walked away uninjured when he came down too hard at the Hayward Executive Airport this morning, the airport's manager said.

The two-seat Cessna 152 was arriving just before 9 a.m., according to airport manager Doug McNeeley.

The pilot was working on getting his pilot's license, which requires flying a minimum of 20 hours solo per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, McNeeley said.

There was some damage to the plane's propeller and nose gear, but no one was injured, McNeeley said. 

The runway was closed for about 45 minutes while firefighters responded. The FAA was notified and the plane was removed from the runway, McNeeley said.

The airport has two runways so arrivals and departures were not affected. The FAA is investigating the incident, agency spokesman Ian Gregor said.

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

Air traffic controller mistake almost causes plane crash: Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL)



ATLANTA —   Channel 2 Action News has obtained a recording of an air traffic controller's apology to pilots moments after a dramatic close call between two Delta  Airlines planes at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

An expert told Channel 2's Aaron Diamant just how close the incident came to being a catastrophe. 

In the recordings an air traffic controller can be heard saying "Yes just go all the way on Mike, and...uh...yeah, just sorry about that. That was my mistake, guys."

It's the first of two apologies from a controller inside Hartsfield-Jackson Airport's Tower Wednesday moments after he cleared a Delta flight for takeoff, then ordered it to hit the brakes, as a plane that just landed crossed the runway.

Pilot: "We actually had to double check and make sure that we heard you right so that's why it took so long sorry."

Controller: "That's OK. No it's my mistake guys. Sorry about that." 

The FAA is now investigating after the pilots performed what Delta called "a high-speed slow down".

"This could have been the worst disaster in aviation history," Air Safety Expert Mary Schiavo said.

Schiavo said the number of runway incursions like this are becoming more common at airports around the country.

"We have seen many cases, many times, where controller was talking on the cellphone, doing something, distracted," Schiavo said.

While the FAA will sort all that out, Schiavo told us she remains convinced.

"For a few seconds, these passengers lives here in danger, saved by the fact that the airspeed had not reached the critical point at which they couldn't stop," Schiavo said.

The FAA says the two planes were a mile and quarter apart when they crossed paths and the incident remains under review.

Delta released the following statement:

"Safety is always our top priority these types of procedures are part of flight crews' extensive training."

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

Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman, N17PY: Incident occurred April 28, 2016 near Osage City Municipal Airport (53K), Osage County, Kansas

http://registry.faa.gov/N17PY

Date: 28-APR-16
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N17PY
Aircraft Make: STEARMAN
Aircraft Model: A75
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Personal
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Wichita FSDO-64
City: OSAGE CITY
State: Kansas

AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED A HARD LANDING AFTER ENGINE LOSS OF POWER, OSAGE CITY, KS.



TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Two men walked from an emergency landing in Osage City, with only minor scrapes and bruises. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol Crash log states a 1942 Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman lost power shortly after pilot Nathaniel Perlman of Fort Worth, Texas took off with passenger Raymond Lallo.

Perlman made an emergency landing in an open field. Authorities say the wet ground caused the landing gear to become stuck and break off.



OSAGE CITY—A 1942 Boeing A75N1 (PT17) Stearman with U.S. Navy markings crash landed about one-third of a mile north of the Osage County Airport Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors said the plane crashed around 2:30 p.m. April 28.

“It crashed shortly after taking off,” said Margie Mersmann, who lives near the crash site. “Sounded like it clipped some trees. All of a suddenly, it came down.”

Her husband checked with the pilot and passenger, who said they we not injured in the accident.

“Two guys were in the plane, and somebody came and got them.” Mersmann said. “They came back a couple of times. One of the times they took two parachutes out.”

Fred Nech, Osage City Police Chief, said one of the two occupants of the plane had minor scrapes, and both refused medical treatment.

“The plane lost power after takeoff from Osage City Airport and sat down in the 1600 block of Brant Street,” Nech said.

More information will be provided once a crash report is available.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.och-c.com

Melix Turbine Dromader, N2159C: Accident occurred June 23, 2015 in Nyssa, Malheur County, Oregon

NTSB Identification: GAA15CA135
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in Nyssa, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/11/2015
Aircraft: WSK PZL MIELEC M 18A, registration: N2159C
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 during the takeoff roll, the airplane rolled over a bump on the runway surface and became airborne. The airplane descended to the runway while operating at takeoff power, resulting in a departure end runway excursion and collided with terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, fuselage and rudder. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, resulting in a runway excursion and collision with terrain.

 















WSK PZL MIELEC
M-18A
N2159C 
BYBEE AIR SERVICE INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N2159C

AIRCRAFT:   1994 Melix Turbine Dromader; N2159C; SN 11Z024-21

ENGINE(S) - M&M, S/N:    Garrett TPE-331-10UG514H; SN P63153C

PROPELLER(S) – M&M, S/N:       Hartzell HC-B4TN-5NL; SN CDA5040

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:     4,600 TTSMOH           TTSN 16,630

PROPELLER:    UNK TSOH                 UNK TT         

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Extensive, see photos.            

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:      Nyssa, OR  

REMARKS:     Sold AS IS/WHERE IS; Logbooks with Star.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Aircraft was unable to exit ground effect on takeoff, and crashed.

Read more here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N2159C.htm

Justice Aviation Leaving Santa Monica Airport (KSMO)

April 28, 2016 -- After more than two decades at Santa Monica Airport (SMO), the flight school Justice Aviation, which offers additional services, is expected to close by May 11 as part of an agreement with the City to settle several legal disputes.

Justice Aviation will receive $450,000 from the City “as compensation for the closure of its business operations at SMO,” said City Attorney Marsha Moutrie at the City Council meeting on Tuesday as she read the details of the settlement.

The company must “cease all operations at SMO no later than May 11, 2016 and will vacate all premises it now occupies at the airport no later than June 10, 2016,” Moutrie said.

The settlement calls for Justice Aviation to withdraw a federal lawsuit against the City that challenges the attempted eviction from the airport property.

Also, Justice Aviation will withdraw two filings with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) against the City known as Part 16 Complaints, as well as end its participation in a class action lawsuit that challenges the City’s “excessive and unreasonable landing fees.” ("Santa Monica Sued Over Airport Landing Fees," December 10, 2015). 

The City in turn will dismiss its "unlawful detainer" (eviction) notice filed against Justice Aviation earlier this year.

No member of the City Council commented on the settlement prior to or after the governing panel’s 6-0 vote in favor of it. Councilmember Terry O’Day was not there for the vote.

Justice Aviation has operated at SMO for 23 years, according to a legal document it filed.

The City says Justice Aviation signed the latest lease in 2008, and it expired June 30, 2015. The company continued renting the space on a month-to-month basis.

The City issued a 30-day “notice to termination of tenancy” in January, but Justice Aviation did not leave. So, the City then issued the eviction notice.

Justice Aviation responded with a legal document making various allegations, including that its First Amendment rights were being violated and that the City was acting in retaliation because the company was involved in various legal challenges against the Santa Monica government.

The City "seeks to evict [Justice Aviation] because [Justice Aviation] is engaged in enforcing its civil rights against [the City] and is currently involved in three legal actions against [the City],” the document states.

Justice Aviation filed the federal lawsuit last month that made various allegations and said that it had the right to lease property at SMO. The suit also requested at least $175,000 in damages.

This settlement brings an end to various legal battles with Justice Aviation, but is only the latest chapter in a seemingly endless war.

This war, a bloodless one of course, is between City officials, many of whom want to see airport operations come to an end as soon as possible if not sooner, and aviation interests who believe SMO should remain open in perpetuity.

City and FAA attorneys argued about the airport’s future last month before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal (“Fate of City Claim over Santa Monica Airport in Hands of Appeals Court,” March 21, 2016).

A decision on those argument is pending, but it definitely will not be the final decision issued on the topic.

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

Senator calls television show on Alaska plane crashes 'cruel, hurtful and exploitative.' Here's the National Transportation Safety Board response.

Chris Shaver, with the National Transportation Safety Board, investigates a plane crash in an episode of “Alaska Aircrash Investigations," on the Smithsonian Channel.


WASHINGTON -- The National Transportation Safety Board this week stood by its decision to participate in a television show depicting its investigations of airplane crashes in Alaska, but acknowledged it could've done some things differently now that some victims' families have criticized the agency's oversight of early promotional materials. 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, previously called “Alaska Aircrash Investigations” -- a six-episode Smithsonian Channel series -- "cruel, hurtful and exploitative,” lodged a flurry of questions with the federal agency, and inserted a pointed rebuke in a report passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. 

Murkowski carried the torch for several groups in Alaska that opposed the show, including the Medallion Foundation, an airline safety organization, and those representing state tourism interests, who worry the program offers the impression that air travel in the state is unsafe. 

Along the way, Murkowski also picked up the cause of family members of airplane crash victims who said they learned new information about ongoing investigations from the show’s promotional materials. 

This week, the NTSB pushed back against the senator’s assertions, saying the agency carefully negotiated control over the series, and felt it suited its mission of transparency, boosting public understanding of the agency’s work. 

But NTSB spokesperson Chris O’Neil said the show’s production certainly “provided us lessons learned and best practices,” and if they were to do it again, they would be sure to review promotional materials “to ensure accuracy, tone and propriety and that adequate notifications, as appropriate, are made.”  

Camera crews filmed Alaska-based NTSB investigators as they examined six fatal crashes across the state during the summer and fall of 2015, creating a documentary-style show an Alaska Dispatch News reviewer found respectful but at times “clinical and almost boring.” 

Murkowski, claiming to have discovered the show’s existence via an article on adn.com just days before the premiere, demanded answers from the agency, including how the show came about, who paid for it, why the focus was limited to Alaska, and why they didn’t tell the congressional delegation about it.  

The answers were largely straightforward. 

A producer who previously worked with the NTSB on an episode of National Geographic Channel’s “Alaska Wing Men” approached the agency about doing a show focused on accident investigations in Alaska.

And in a letter to Murkowski sent Tuesday, the NTSB said agency officials met with staffers for Murkowski and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, on June 29, 2015, and told them about the show. 


As for the cost, the “only expense incurred by NTSB regarding the series was the salaries of public affairs and other staff personnel who negotiated and enforced the multimedia production agreement -- duties that are within the normal scope of these employees’ responsibilities,” said NTSB spokesperson O’Neil. 

If “no appropriated funds were spent on the show, then that is welcome news,” Murkowski’s spokesperson Karina Petersen said earlier this week. “Money aside, (the senator) does not believe that federal agencies should spend time participating in documentary-style reality shows,” she added. 

NTSB’s future appropriations won’t be impacted by its participation in the show, “and Murkowski never suggested it would be,” Petersen said. 

Last week, Murkowski issued a new reprimand to NTSB, inserting a measure into a Senate appropriations bill report formally detailing criticism of the show by the aviation industry and some family members of victims.

In response to Murkowski’s letter and to questions from Alaska Dispatch News, the agency defended its decision to take part in the show. The agency “believes the documentary objectively captured the work of the agency's investigators and accurately portrayed the NTSB's investigative process,” a plus for government transparency, O’Neil said. 

And, countering the senator’s claim that the show was bad publicity for the state, NTSB said in its letter to the lawmaker it does not believe the episodes "provide a valid basis to support conclusions about the overall safety of general aviation in Alaska." 

But O’Neil said there were some hiccups in the process the agency would not care to repeat. 

In Murkowski’s appropriations report language, she referenced one family had contacted her to say “the publicity material released by the producers disclosed information, which had not yet been revealed to the family.” 

That statement alluded to an issue that arose when the production company -- Lucky 8 -- handed the show off to the Smithsonian Channel. 

"The NTSB review of promotional materials was not directly addressed in the multimedia production agreement other than as it relates to use of NTSB materials, logos and marks and the need to avoid implied endorsement” of the agency, O’Neil said Wednesday. 

But, he said, as “soon as we received negative feedback regarding the promotional materials,” the agency contacted the Smithsonian Channel and Lucky 8, who were quick to amend the materials.

Murkowski’s Appropriations Committee statement also noted an error in the first episode of the show, which she wrote “overstated the aircraft accident rate in Alaska during the summer months by 100 percent.”

That argument came to Murkowski from Jerry Rock, executive director of the Medallion Foundation, who countered the statement in the episode that there is an air crash every other day in Alaska. 

Between the start of May and the end of September in 2015, NTSB’s database lists 52 airplane crashes, which works out to roughly one accident every three days. As Rock noted, air crashes in the state have been on a steady decline since 2005, when there were 129 accidents. There were 78 total accidents in 2015. 

Not all family members of crash victims whose accidents were depicted on the show were opposed to NTSB’s involvement, or the final product. 

Grant Fairbanks, the father of 29-year-old pilot Seth Fairbanks, agreed to appear in the episode discussing a crash in which his son, as well as 23-year-old passenger Anthony Hooper, were presumed dead. Their plane crashed into the waters of Knik Arm near the Birchwood Airport in early August, with no bodies recovered from the wreckage.

Fairbanks gave both the crews behind the show and NTSB investigator Shaun Williams high marks in an interview Monday. 

“I have found that they’re probably one of the greatest federal government agencies I’ve ever worked with: they were awesome, they were sensitive, they were professional,” Fairbanks said. “The way (the show) portrayed my son’s plane crash was very accurate and very good.”


Fariah Peterson was piloting Wings of Alaska Flight 202 from Juneau to Hoonah on July 17 the Cessna 207A crashed near Point Howard. Peterson died in the crash, and her four passengers survived.




Michelle Ramsey, who appeared on the show’s first episode in March, echoed that view. 

Ramsey appeared on the episode titled “Forest Flight Down,” which covered the investigation into a July crash near Juneau that killed Ramsey’s sister, Fariah Peterson, a Wings of Alaska pilot, and injured her four passengers. 

“It’s been very positive, very professional, very informative,” Ramsey said. “Under the circumstances, it’s been a good experience.”

Both Ramsey and Fairbanks were displeased by Murkowski’s comments about the show. 

“I was like, ‘Wow, really?’” Ramsey said. “I couldn’t believe she thought it would put Alaska in a negative light, because it didn’t with our family.”

After consulting with his family, Fairbanks said he was angered by Murkowski’s comments.

“I think she was looking at it as more of a political thing, and she wasn’t thinking of families and she went off half-cocked,” Fairbanks said. “We were all hesitant about how hurtful this was going to be to watch, and we’re all in agreement that this was done in a tasteful way.”

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

City Council takes next step to get Boulder City Municipal Airport (KBVU) first control tower

Boulder City Municipal Airport is working to get more organized.

City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to greenlight the creation of design plans to relocate and build an air traffic control tower from McCarran International Airport to Boulder City.

The plans, to be created by the Federal Aviation Administration, will look into how the city can safely deconstruct the tower in Las Vegas, transport it to Boulder City, and reconstruct it at the airport.

“We need this control tower,” Airport Manager Kerry Ahearn said. “We cannot keep up with the amount of air traffic we have with our old system.”

Ahearn said she is hoping the airport will have the tower within the next two years.

The control tower would cost from $2-5 million and would come from the airport’s enterprise fund, meaning it would come at no cost to the taxpayers.

“The entire cost of the tower will be from our user fees,” Ahearn said. “This is something the airport desperately needs and it will cost the taxpayers nothing.”

According to Ahearn, using an old control tower should save around $1 million, but creating a concrete design plan will show if making a new one saves more money.

“At this point we think that using an old control tower will save us more money,” Ahearn said. “But we have to look closely at the FAA’s design plan to know what will save us more.”

Boulder City has the third busiest airport in Nevada with only McCarran International and Reno-Tahoe International airports dealing with more air traffic, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport is the busiest in Nevada without an air traffic control tower.

“When I tell people that our airport is the third busiest in Nevada it is surprising,” Mayor Rod Woodbury said. “It is amazing we are that busy.”

In other airport news, the City Council also voted unanimously to extend its business agreement with drone company Aerodrome. The company currently leases 50 acres in Eldorado Valley that serves as a space for recreational and commercial drone flyers.

The agreement is reliant upon Aerodrome getting licensed by the FAA to serve as an airport for unmanned aerial vehicles. If approved, Aerodrome’s facility would be the first drone airport in the nation.

Aerodrome President Jonathan Daniels said he is confident the FAA will approve the facility.

The company’s agreement with the city also requires Aerodrome to file annual financial reports to prove that the business partnership is beneficial to the city.

“I am supportive of this partnership,” Councilman Cam Walker said, “but I want to see these reports so we know that Aerodrome is bringing business to Boulder City and not just flying drones around.”

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