Friday, May 13, 2016

Waco YKS-7, N17734: Accident occurred May 13, 2016 at Holmes County Airport (10G), Millersburg, Ohio

http://registry.faa.gov/N17734 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Cleveland FSDO-25

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA238
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Millersburg, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2016
Aircraft: WACO YKS 7, registration: N17734
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane, he executed a wheel landing in gusting crosswind conditions. He reported that the airplane swerved left, he applied right rudder and right brake to no avail, and then he applied both brakes to prevent a runway excursion. The airplane nosed over and exited the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing strut, rudder and vertical stabilizer.

The pilot reported that there were not any mechanical anomalies or malfunctions with any portion the airplane prior to the accident that would have prevented normal flight operations.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of directional control during landing in gusting wind conditions resulting in excessive brake application, and airplane nose over.

===========

A pilot and passenger from New Hampshire walk away from a plane crash uninjured Friday afternoon at the Holmes County Airport. 

Authorities say a 1937 Waco single-engine plane crashed and overturned on the airport’s runway just before 1:00 pm while attempting to land.

The 75-year-old pilot says that he felt his brakes locking up while trying to land. 

The crash remains under investigation.

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

MILLERSBURG --   Two men involved in a single-engine airplane crash Friday afternoon walked away from the incident with minor injuries.

According to the Holmes County Sheriff's office, deputies were dispatched to the Holmes County Airport about 12:56 p.m. on reports of a plane crash. 

Holmes Fire District No. 1 and EMS that responded to the scene found the plane's two passengers — Walter Fawcett, 75, and David Marshall, 59, both of Wolfeboro, N.H. — already out of the aircraft. 

Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly reported that the men suffered minor bumps and cuts, and remained at the scene of the crash during the investigation Friday.

Fawcett was landing the single-engine 1937 Waco aircraft on the runway and crosswinds began shifting the aircraft to the left, causing hard braking by Fawcett. 

Fawcett told deputies the brakes locked and the aircraft went nose-first into the runway, causing the plane to flip over onto its top.

The aircraft was removed from the runway and will be stored until members of the Federal Aviation Administration in Cleveland and the National Transportation Safety Board continue the investigation.

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

'Wiped Out': Air Force losing pilots and planes to cuts, scrounging for spare parts



EXCLUSIVE: It was just a few years ago, in March 2011, when a pair of U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers – during a harsh winter storm – took off from their base in South Dakota to fly across the world to launch the air campaign in Libya, only 16 hours after given the order.

Today, many in the Air Force are questioning whether a similar mission could still be accomplished, after years of budget cuts that have taken an undeniable toll. The U.S. Air Force is now short 4,000 airmen to maintain its fleet, short 700 pilots to fly them and short vital spare parts necessary to keep their jets in the air. The shortage is so dire that some have even been forced to scrounge for parts in a remote desert scrapheap known as “The Boneyard.”  

“It's not only the personnel that are tired, it's the aircraft that are tired as well,” Master Sgt. Bruce Pfrommer, who has over two decades of experience in the Air Force working on B-1 bombers, told Fox News.

Fox News visited two U.S. Air Force bases – including South Dakota’s Ellsworth Air Force Base located 35 miles from Mount Rushmore, where Pfrommer is stationed – to see the resource problems first-hand, following an investigation into the state of U.S. Marine Corps aviation last month.  

Many of the Airmen reported feeling “burnt out” and “exhausted” due to the current pace of operations, and limited resources to support them. During the visit to Ellsworth earlier this week, Fox News was told only about half of the 28th Bomb Wing’s fleet of bombers can fly. 

“We have only 20 aircraft assigned on station currently. Out of those 20 only nine are flyable,” Pfrommer said.  

“The [B-1] I worked on 20 years ago had 1,000 flight hours on it.  Now we're looking at some of the airplanes out here that are pushing over 10,000 flight hours,” he said.  

"In 10 years, we cut our flying program in half," said Capt. Elizabeth Jarding, a B-1 pilot at Ellsworth who returned home in January following a six-month deployment to the Middle East for the anti-ISIS campaign.  

On an overcast day in the middle of May with temperatures hovering in the low 50’s, two B-1 bombers were supposed launch at 9:00 a.m. local time to fly nearly 1,000 miles south to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico for a live-fire exercise. 

On this day, though, only one of the two B-1s that taxied to the runway was able to take off and make the training mission on time. The other sat near the runway for two hours.  It eventually took off but was unable to participate in the live-fire exercise and diverted to a different mission, its crew missing out on valuable training at White Sands.

A spare aircraft also was unable to get airborne.

When operating effectively, the B-1 can be one of the most lethal bombers in the U.S. military’s arsenal. Designed as a low-level deep strike penetrator to drop nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, the B-1 has evolved into a close-air support bomber. Flying for 10-12 hours at a time high above the battlefield, B-1’s can carry 50,000 pounds of weapons, mostly satellite-guided bombs.

“It can put a 2,000 pound weapon on a doorknob from 15 miles away in the dark of night, in the worst weather,” said Col. Gentry Boswell, commander of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth. 

But only half of these supersonic bombers can actually fly right now.

“The jet is breaking more today than it did 20 years ago,” Pfrommer said.

The B-1 issues are a symptom of a broader resource decline. Since the end of the Gulf War, the U.S. Air Force has 30 percent fewer airmen, 40 percent fewer aircraft and 60 percent fewer fighter squadrons. In 1991, the force had 134 fighter squadrons; today, only 55. The average U.S. Air Force plane is 27 years old.

After 25 years of non-stop deployments to the Middle East, airmen are tired.

“Our retention rates are pretty low. Airman are tired and burnt out,” said Staff Sgt. Tyler Miller, with the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron based at Ellsworth. 

“When I first came in seven years ago, we had six people per aircraft and the lowest man had six or seven years of experience,” he continued. “Today, you have three-man teams and each averages only three years of experience.”

Across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration that began three years ago forced the Air Force to fire people, meaning those who stayed had to work extra shifts. And instead of flying, pilots are having to do more administrative jobs once taken care of by civilians, who were let go.

"Honestly, from the perspective of an air crew member, the squadron is wiped out," said Jarding.

Then there is the shortage of parts, which is pushing the Air Force to get creative in order to keep these planes airborne. They have had to cannibalize out-of-service planes from what is known as "The Boneyard," a graveyard in the Arizona desert for jets that are no longer flying.

They strip old planes of parts, but now there aren't many left -- posing an obvious problem.

Like their counterparts in the Marine Corps, they even cannibalize museum aircraft to find the parts they need to get planes back into combat.

Capt. Travis Lytton, who works to keep his squadron of B-1’s airborne, showed Fox News a museum aircraft where his maintainers stripped a part in order to make sure one of his B-1s could steer properly on the ground.

“We also pulled it off of six other museum jets throughout the U.S.,” Lytton said.

On the heels of the Fox News reports on budget cuts impacting Marine Corps aviation, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook was asked last week if Defense Secretary Ash Carter thought the problems were more widespread.

“No, I do not think,” Cook replied. “I think this is a particular issue that's been  discussed at length and this is an issue we're working to address.”

But the airmen’s concerns suggest the problem is broader than the Pentagon would like to admit.

Similar issues can be witnessed for the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force base in South Carolina, home to three squadrons of F-16 fighter jets.

Out of 79 F-16’s based at Shaw, only 42 percent can actually deploy right now, according to the commander of the wing, Col. Stephen F. Jost.

That's because they, too, are missing parts. One F-16 squadron that recently returned last month from a deployment to the Middle East had a host of maintenance issues. 

“Our first aircraft downrange this deployment, we were short 41 parts,” Chief Master Sgt. Jamie Jordan said.  To get the parts, the airmen had to take parts from another jet that deployed, leaving one less F-16 to fight ISIS. At one point, Jordan said they were taking parts from three separate aircraft.

When asked about the efficiency of taking parts from expensive fighter jets, Jordan said the costs were not just in dollars: “From a man-hour perspective, it's very labor intensive and it really takes a toll.”

The airmen’s concerns boil down to more than just the hassle on the airstrip: It’s whether the U.S., which for decades has dominated the skies, would be ready for a conventional war with another major world power. Jost warned if one broke out soon, the U.S. would “take losses.”  

Said Boswell: “The gap is closing and that worries all of us.”

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

Quickie, N68TQ: Accident occurred May 13, 2016 at Mojave Air and Space Port (KMHV), Kern County, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N68TQ

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Van Nuys FSDO-01

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA110
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Mojave, CA
Aircraft: Seguin Quickie, registration: N68TQ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

On May 13, 2016, about 1530 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Quickie, N68TQ, was substantially damaged when it impacted a structure and terrain following a loss of engine power at Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV), Mojave, California. The pilot received minor injuries. The test flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The airplane was originally developed and designed as a kit to be powered by a single piston engine. According to the pilot, he and another individual had modified the airplane to be powered by two turbine engines, and they planned to use it for air-racing purposes. The accident flight was the third flight of the airplane, and the flight was intended to begin exploring the crosswind handling capability and characteristics of the airplane. The pilot intended to conduct several circuits in the airport traffic pattern, each terminating in a low approach and go around, with one landing at the end of the flight.

The pilot departed on runway 12, and conducted his first approach to runway 26. He abandoned that approach, when the airplane was about 200 feet above ground level (agl), and climbed back up to pattern altitude for another approach. This time, based on the winds, he maneuvered for a landing on runway 12. While in the flare at approximately 10 feet agl, a gust from the right side disturbed the airplane, and the pilot applied power to go-around. He heard the left engine "spool down," and confirmed that via the engine instrument indications. The gust disturbance and power loss caused the airplane to track towards the airliners stored at MHV, and the pilot found himself headed for a parked B-747. He maintained approximately 30-40% thrust on the right engine to clear the B-747, but he was unable to correct the directional slew with full aileron/rudder controls. The airplane cleared the parked B-747 but impacted a structure and the ground shortly thereafter.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with multiple ratings. He reported that he had about 1,650 total hours of flight experience, including about 0.8 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was completed in May 2015, and his most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical certificate was issued in September 2015.

FAA information indicated that the airplane was built by the pilot, and registered to him in February 2016. The pilot reported that the airplane was equipped with two Czech-manufactured PBS-TJ40 turbine engines, and that the engines were FADEC (full authority digital engine control) equipped.

The MHV 1520 automated weather observation included winds from 210 degrees at 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 32 degrees C, dew point minus 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury. The 1540 winds were reported as being from 220 degrees at 18 knots.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A person suffered a minor injury in a plane crash Friday afternoon at Mojave Air & Space Port, according to the Kern County Fire Department.

An ambulance was on scene by the time firefighters arrived. 

No other information was provided.

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

Cessna 180, N9370C: Accident occurred May 13, 2016 at California City Municipal Airport (L71), Kern County, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N9370C

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Van Nuys FSDO-01


NTSB Identification: WPR16LA108
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in California City, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N9370C
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

On May 13, 2016, about 1315 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180, N9370C, was substantially damaged when it nosed over onto its back following a landing at California City airport (L71), California City, California. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot/owner, the airplane had just been returned to service (from an annual inspection) the day prior to the accident. That annual inspection included the replacement of both brake rotors, and the replacement of the left brake pads. Subsequent to the return to service, the pilot conducted one uneventful flight in the airplane. The following day, the pilot and his passenger flew from Shafter Minter field (MIT), Shafter California, to L71, in order to have another maintenance facility provide a cost estimate for some cosmetic work. The flight was uneventful until the landing on runway 24. The airplane touched down in the three-point attitude, but bounced once, and then touched down again. Immediately after touchdown, the airplane began veering to the left, but the pilot was unable to correct the veer, despite control inputs and right brake application. When the airplane had slowed to a speed between 15 and 10 mph, it exited the north edge of the paved runway surface, and nosed over onto its back.

Personnel from two separate airport maintenance facilities were summoned to right the airplane, and clear it from the runway environment. The individual who was to provide the cosmetic cost reported that prior to righting the airplane, he manually rotated both main wheels; they rotated freely, and offered only normal resistance. The airplane was then righted, and towed backwards on its main gear to his facility. On scene documentation indicated the presence of a skidmark that terminated at the edge of the pavement, and aligned with the left main gear. The skidmark was estimated to be about 300 feet long.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. He reported that he had about 1,430 total hours of flight experience, including over 1,000 hours in taildragger airplanes, and 105 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was completed in April 2015, and his most recent FAA third class medical certificate was also issued in April 2015.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1955, and was equipped with a Continental O-470 series engine. According to the pilot, the airplane and engine had a total time in service of about 2,271 hours.

The 1320 automated weather observation at Mohave Air and Space Port (MHV), Mohave, California, located about 9 miles southwest of L71, included winds from 200 degrees at 15 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 32 degrees C, dew point minus 4 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.00 inches of mercury.


•Alert 3• Aircraft Down, Cal City Airport. Chief 190, ME190, KCFD, Mercy Air, Hall Ambulance responding.

The plane is reported to be a single-engine prop plane. 

Cal City Fire is also reporting that there are two patients with minor injuries.

Original article can be found here: http://www.turnto23.com

Cessna 182P Skylane, Universal Aviation USA LLC, N3LU: Incident occurred May 13, 2016 in Nipton, San Bernardino County, California

UNIVERSAL AVIATION USA LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N3LU

Date: 13-MAY-16
Time: 17:45:00Z
Regis#: N3LU
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 182
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Las Vegas FSDO-19
City: PRIMM
State: Nevada

AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED ON A HIGHWAY, NEAR PRIMM, NEVADA.





NIPTON-(VVNG.com):  A Cessna 182 single-engined airplane made an emergency landing on the I-15 near Stateline late Friday morning FAA officials said. 

At around 10:45 a.m. the FAA alerted dispatch of the emergency landing on the northbound I-15 just south of stateline. The plane reportedly landed on the shoulder but the 2 right lanes of traffic were also blocked according to Caltrans officials.

The approximately 1-hour-long closure of the lanes caused congestion for several miles leading up to the emergency landing site. FAA officials said that the four-seat plane was filled to capacity at the time of the landing.

There were no injuries reported as a result of this emergency landing. Although the cause of the landing is reported to be engine failure, there is no damage to the plane resulting from this incident.

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


NIPTON, CA (FOX5) -

An aircraft made an emergency landing on Interstate 15 in Nipton Friday, according to the San Bernardino Fire Department.

A small Cessna plane landed on Interstate 15 near mile marker 168 in Nipton, the department said.

No injuries were reported.

The aircraft blocked lanes on the freeway.

Clark County fire assisted San Bernardino fire with the incident.

Original article can be found here: http://www.fox5vegas.com

Piper PA-22-108 Tri-Pacer, N5823Z: Accident occurred May 13, 2016 at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33), Gallatin, Tennessee

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA183 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Gallatin, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/26/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22, registration: N5823Z
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

During preflight inspection of the airplane, the pilot discovered three baby birds in the cockpit. After removing the birds, he continued his preflight inspection, looking for a nest. He noticed that the rag normally used to cover one of the elevator openings was missing, but he did not find a nest inside. Immediately after takeoff, about 100 ft above ground level, a fire started within the engine compartment, and smoke began to enter the cockpit. The pilot turned the airplane back toward the runway, but lost control as the airplane touched down because his visibility was limited by the smoke. The occupants egressed the airplane, which was subsequently consumed by fire. Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed remnants of a bird nest between the exhaust manifold and the engine firewall, which was the likely origin of the fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in an inflight fire due to the presence of a bird nest in the engine compartment.

On May 13, 2016, about 1430 central daylight time, a Piper PA-22, N5823Z, was substantially damaged during an emergency landing at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33) Gallatin, Tennessee. The private pilot and two passengers were uninjured. The airplane was privately owned and operated. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot stated that when he arrived at the airplane to conduct his preflight inspection, the cockpit area contained "three live baby birds." He did not see any sign of a nest, but did notice that one of the elevator openings was not covered up by a rag that he placed in the opening several months before. He resumed his preflight inspection and did not see any additional evidence of bird activity or a nest. After engine start and a 5-minute taxi, he departed runway 35.

During the initial climb, about 100 feet above ground level, black smoke started pouring out of the left side rudder area. The pilot attempted to make a 180-degree steep turn back to runway 17. During the turn, fire emanated out of the left side of the rudder pedal area. The pilot stated he attempted to stomp out the fire near his left foot but was unable to extinguish the blaze. The cockpit filled with smoke and limited ability to see the runway. He touched down at an airspeed between 30 and 40 knots but could not see the runway.

A witness reported that after touching down on the runway, the airplane's "tail started going back and forth." The airplane bounced several times, swerved and departed the right side of the paved surface of the runway and nosed over into the grass, approximately two-thirds of the way down the runway. After it came to rest, the passengers and pilot evacuated before the airplane became engulfed in flames.

According to the pilot and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The pilot reported 959 total hours of flight experience, and 159 of those hours where in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, an annual inspection was completed on September 1, 2015 and at that time the airframe had accumulated 4,013 total hours.

The airplane came to rest on its nose, about 45 degrees nose down, approximately 3,700 feet down runway 17, and 6 feet off the paved surface. Both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scraping and were curled aft. The engine compartment was fire-damaged, with the most severe damage located aft of the engine near the firewall. The fire propagated aft from the engine compartment, through the cockpit and to the left wing, fuselage and tail. The right wing and right elevator remained covered with fabric and remained largely intact. An exterior examination of the engine revealed remnants of a bird nest between the top of the exhaust manifold and the firewall. No other abnormalities were noted.

http://registry.faa.gov/N5823Z 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Nashville FSDO-19


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA183
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Gallatin, TN
Aircraft: PIPER PA 22, registration: N5823Z
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

On May 13, 2016, about 1430 central daylight time, a Piper PA-22, N5823Z, was substantially damaged during a forced landing and subsequent loss of control while attempting to land runway 17 at Sumner County Regional Airport (M33) Gallatin, Tennessee. During the initial climb after takeoff from runway 35, a fire developed and filled the cockpit with smoke. The pilot returned for landing and after touchdown, he lost control and veered off into the grass, where the nose gear collapsed, causing the airplane to tip forward onto the nose. The private pilot and his two passengers were uninjured. The airplane was operated by a private individual as a local pleasure flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During a phone interview with the pilot, he stated that when he showed up to the airplane to conduct his preflight, the cockpit area contained "3 live baby birds." He did not see any sign of a nest, but did notice that the one of the elevator "holes" was not covered up by a rag that he placed in it several months before. He resumed his preflight and did not find anything else unusual.

The pilot said he started the engine and taxied for about 5 minutes before taking runway 35 for departure. During the initial climb, at about 100ft above ground level, black smoke started pouring into the cockpit from behind the left rudder pedal area. The pilot attempted to make a 180 degree steep turn back to runway 17. During the turn, fire started coming out of the left side of the rudder pedals. The pilot stated he attempted to stomp out the fire near his left foot but was unable to extinguish the blaze. The cockpit filled up with smoke and limited visual sight of the runway. He touched down between 30 and 40 knots but could not see the runway at all. 

A witness reported that after touching down on the runway, the "tail started going back and forth." The airplane departed the left side of the paved surface of the runway and nosed over into the grass approximately two thirds of the way down. After it came to rest, the passengers and pilot evacuated before the airplane became completely engulfed in flames.

The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.



A small plane crashed at the Sumner County regional airport Friday afternoon, injuring the pilot and temporarily closing the airfield, an official said.

Mike McCartney, the owner of fixed based operator GTO Aviation, said the small plane bounced on runway 17/35 when it landed, "nosed over" and flipped upside down at 2:17 p.m.

Sheriff Sonny Weatherford identified the pilot as 73-year-old Gregory Harms of Smithville, Tenn. He was flying with his two grandsons, ages 10 and 13.

“(Harms) said he was in his takeoff and smoke filled the cockpit, so he turned around and came back,” Weatherford said. “He was not able to see the runway and then hit and bounced over into the grass.”

McCartney said Harms sustained a head injury. Weatherford said Harms was taken to Sumner Regional Medical Center, but refused treatment. No other injuries were reported.

The FAA confirmed the aircraft Harms was flying was a Piper PA22.

Jim Johnson, who has two planes stationed at the airport, witnessed the crash from his hangar at the end of the runway close to the crash site.

“He looked to be doing at least 80 miles per hour and his right wing was coming up,” Johnson said. “I just saw him going really fast and then he kind of lost control right about where he went in. It just flipped up on its nose and (the people inside) got out immediately.”

“There was a small amount of smoke coming from the windshield area after it went in. Immediately I saw a little bit of smoke, not a lot, but a little bit. Then it was only a minute or so later that it caught fire and that was it.”

Elizabeth Burgess, an employee at Sky Burgers Diner, saw the aftermath of the crash from the restaurant, located near the airport’s terminal.

“You could see flames pretty much all around the plane,” she said. “It was kind of nose down with the tail in the air and black smoke.”

McCartney said he planned to reopen the runway after debris had been cleared from the area.

The FAA will investigate the crash but the National Transportation Safety Board has been charged with determining the cause, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

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


GALLATIN, Tenn. - Crews have responded to reports of a plane fire on the runway at Sumner County Regional Airport.

A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane crashed in a field and caught on fire after departing from Runway 17/35.

First responders were called out to the airport on 1475 Airport Road in Gallatin just before 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Officials confirmed three people were on the plane, including the pilot, identified as Gregory Harms, and his two grandchildren.

The two children, whose identities were not released, were taken to Sumner Regional Hospital. Authorities said they were both okay. Harms was not injured.

Officials said the plane was a 1963 model Piper PA22 Tri-pacer.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed the plane was destroyed. 

Investigators from the Gallatin Police Department responded to the scene. The Sumner County Sheriff's Office as well as the the FAA and NTSB will be investigating and determine the cause of the accident. 

The airport runway was closed until the scene could be cleared.

Story and video:  http://www.newschannel5.com













Crews on scene said a pilot in Gallatin had to make a hard landing just after taking off and seeing smoke.

The pilot, Gregory Harms, took off about 2:32 p.m. Friday from the Sumner County airport with two passengers, his grandchildren, ages 10 and 13, on board.

Crews said Harms saw the smoke coming from the plane, a 1963 Piper Tri-Pacer, and had to make a hard landing. Everyone was able to make it out okay, but Harms did suffer minor burns. The 10 and 13 year olds were both taken to the hospital to get checked out as a precautionary measure.

The fire was put out by Gallatin Fire.

Gallatin Fire said crew are on scene of a plane crash at Sumner County Regional Airport.

The plane, carrying at least three passengers, went down about 2:32 p.m. Friday, fire crews said. There are no reported injuries.

Police said everyone on board was able to make it out before the plane caught fire, it's since been put out.

Preliminary details suggest the plane apparently crashed just after taking off.

The FAA is investigating.

"A small aircraft crashed and caught on fire while landing on Runway 17/35 at the Summer County Regional Airport, Gallatin, TN today at 2:32 CDT. Please contact local authorities for passenger information. The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the cause of the accident. The statement will be updated as more information becomes available."

Story and video:  http://fox17.com


GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) - Emergency crews are on the scene after a small plane crashed and caught fire in Gallatin.

Gallatin police said it happened at the Sumner County Regional Airport on Friday afternoon.

The pilot had just taken off when he saw smoke and immediately turned around to land. He reportedly couldn't see the runway because of all the smoke in the plane and landed hard.

Police said everyone on board the plane made it out before it went up in flames.

The pilot has been identified as Gregory Harms of Smithville. His two grandchildren, ages 10 and 13, were also on the plane.

Harms' grandchildren were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but are expected to be OK. Harms suffered minor burns in the crash.

Harms said he could not comment until the FAA arrived, but said he felt lucky to be alive.

Police and deputies are investigating the cause of the crash. The FAA is also on the way to the scene.

Bell 47G-3B-1, Hammock Flying Service Inc., N48316: Fatal accident occurred May 13, 2016 in Portia, Lawrence County, Arkansas

HAMMOCK FLYING SERVICE INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N48316

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA182
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Portia, AR
Aircraft: BELL 47G 3B 1, registration: N48316
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Uninjured.

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

On May 13, 2016, about 0715 central daylight time, a Bell 47G helicopter, N48316, collided with a service truck during takeoff near Portia, Arkansas. One person on the ground was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged and the commercial rated pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Hammock Flying Services LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a statement provided by the pilot to the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the helicopter had landed on an elevated platform located on top of the service truck. After being loaded with fuel and applicant, the helicopter began to lift off. The helicopter's skid became entangled with a piece of the elevated platform and the pilot attempted to free the helicopter. The helicopter tipped forward and the pilot lost control of the helicopter. The main rotors contacted the service truck and the helicopter impacted terrain. Substantial damage was sustained to the helicopter's main rotors, tail boom, and fuselage. Debris from the helicopter struck and fatally injured a ground attendant that had assisted in the loading.

Jim Penn examines the wreckage of a helicopter after it crashed on the farm he owns in Lawrence County Friday.


Hammock Flying Service Inc: http://registry.faa.gov


One person has been killed after a helicopter crash in Lawrence County, authorities said.

Buddy Williams, director of the county's office of emergency services, said it happened shortly after 7:15 a.m. along County Road 504 near Portia as an agricultural helicopter was taking off. It had been loading chemicals to spray on a rice field.

Williams said the helicopter made contact with a supply truck and crashed. The pilot was uninjured, but a service worker on the ground was hit by shrapnel from the crash and was seriously hurt, Williams said.

The man, whose name has not been released, was taken by medical helicopter to a Memphis hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Williams said he was notified of the death around 10:15 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration was called in to investigate the crash.

Portia is about 6 miles west of Walnut Ridge and 30 miles northwest of Jonesboro.

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




PORTIA, AR (KAIT) - One person flown from a helicopter crash in Lawrence County Friday morning has died.

A person on the ground injured at the time of the crash died, according to Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management Director Buddy Williams.


The person was initially in serious condition when flown from the scene to a Memphis hospital after being hit by flying parts from the helicopter, Williams said.


The pilot was not injured.


No names have been released.


Farmhands were reportedly loading the helicopter belonging to Hammock Flying Services when it came down on the front part of the truck during the loading process.


Lawrence County Dispatch was called around 7:15 a.m. to the crash at Penn Farms near Lawrence County Road 504 in Portia


Williams says the incident appears to have been an accident. The cause of the crash has not been determined.


Members of the Federal Aviation Administration are en route from Little Rock to investigate, but Williams says that is routine.


This is not the first crash involving Hammock Flying Services.


According to the National Transportation Safety Board, aircraft with the company were involved in a crash in June 2006 and July 2015.


In 2006 an agricultural airplane crashed while making an emergency landing near Minturn. The pilot reported a lose of power and that the aircraft was low on fuel.


Investigators also found minimal fuel on board.


The 2015 incident involved a helicopter hitting a truck in DeQueen.


NTSB found the pilot's "failure to conduct helicopter performance planning" caused the crash.


Read the full report about the 2015 crash, here.


Original article can be found here:   http://www.kait8.com


NTSB Identification: GAA15CA202
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 25, 2015 in De Queen, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2015
Aircraft: BELL 47G, registration: N1420W
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 skid-equipped helicopter, he had loaded the helicopter with the liquid to be used during the agricultural aerial application flight. The pilot and operator both stated during interviews, that performance planning calculations were not performed prior to the flight, regarding adjustments pertaining to weight and balance, density altitude, out of ground effect capability or in ground effect capability. According to the operator, an FAA approved weight and balance form was not provided to the pilot until after the accident.

The pilot stated that during the takeoff from the elevated platform, he increased collective, established a 2 inch hover, applied forward cyclic, and the helicopter, "about a foot or two from the platform, shook violently and started to descend." The pilot recounted that he turned the nose of the helicopter approximately 45 degrees to the left and the main rotor blades impacted the tank truck upon which the elevated platform was mounted.

When asked, the pilot stated that, "the temperature was hot, possibly in the lower 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and no wind." The nearest weather station was 7 miles east of the accident site and reported 100 percent humidity, a temperature of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a dew point of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind and a density altitude of 1,698.7 feet, at an airport elevation of 355 feet. The accident site elevation was 457 feet.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor system.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter 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 conduct helicopter performance planning, which resulted in an uncontrolled descent and impact with a truck and terrain during takeoff from an elevated platform.

According to the pilot of the skid-equipped helicopter, he had loaded the helicopter with the liquid to be used during the agricultural aerial application flight. The pilot and operator both stated during interviews, that performance planning calculations were not performed prior to the flight, regarding adjustments pertaining to weight and balance, density altitude, out of ground effect capability or in ground effect capability. According to the operator, an FAA approved weight and balance form was not provided to the pilot until after the accident.

The pilot stated that during the takeoff from the elevated platform, he increased collective, established a 2 inch hover, applied forward cyclic, and the helicopter, "about a foot or two from the platform, shook violently and started to descend." The pilot recounted that he turned the nose of the helicopter approximately 45 degrees to the left and the main rotor blades impacted the tank truck upon which the elevated platform was mounted.

When asked, the pilot stated that, "the temperature was hot, possibly in the lower 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and no wind." The nearest weather station was 7 miles east of the accident site and reported 100 percent humidity, a temperature of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a dew point of 73.4 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind and a density altitude of 1,698.7 feet, at an airport elevation of 355 feet. The accident site elevation was 457 feet.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor system.

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

Property owners sue county, helicopter service over zone change near airport



Property owners neighboring a controversial zone change are suing Yellowstone County. The change allowed a helicopter flying service to relocate next to the Billings airport atop the Rimrocks.

The property owners allege the county commission’s approval of the zone change for Billings Flying Service Inc. violates regulations regarding public zones and is “spot” zoning for a portion of the parcel that was changed to controlled industrial.

Further, the property owners claim the zone change approval is “special legislation” because of Commissioner John Ostlund’s “extraordinarily close relationship” with the Blain family, which owns BFS.

Ostlund and Commissioner Jim Reno voted for the zone change on March 1 after hours of public comment both in support and opposition to the proposal. Commissioner Bill Kennedy voted against the zone change.

The lawsuit, filed in state District Court on May 4, is being heard by District Judge Mary Jane Knisely.

There are 20 plaintiffs, including Dave Kinnard and Elaine Kinnard, who filed a written protest with the county after the commission’s vote. The plaintiffs own property neighboring the parcel.

Timothy Filz, a Billings attorney who represents the property owners, declined to comment. Earlier, Filz also filed a written protest of the commission’s decision on behalf of residents in Stony Ridge Development, a residential subdivision south of Highway 3 and directly across the road from the development.

The suit names the county, the commissioners, Al and Gary Blain, BFS and the owners of the parcel purchased by the Blains.

The suit seeks a complete reversal of the zone change approval or a reversal of approval that changed agricultural open zone to public and agricultural open zone to controlled industrial.

Yellowstone County’s Chief Deputy Civil Attorney Dan Schwarz said Thursday the county will respond to the lawsuit. “The county believes the actions taken by the board of county commissioners were proper under the law,” he said.

The zone change involved about 58 acres of private land west of the Billings Logan International Airport and north of Highway 3. The parcel originally was zoned as agricultural open space.

The new zoning changed 18 acres on the northern portion to public zoning for the location of BFS and a helipad, 20 acres in the middle of the parcel to controlled industrial zoning and left about 20 acres along Highway 3 frontage as agricultural open space.

BFS is an international helicopter flying and service company that has operated on the Blain family farm at 6309 Jellison Road for 52 years. The company, which has seven civilian-owned Chinook helicopters, wanted to expand and relocate closer to the airport.

The lawsuit alleged that the portion zoned public will be used “solely for the benefit of BFS” on a for-profit basis and will not be available for public or semi-public uses.

The regulations for a public zone, the suit continued, say a public zone is intended for land “exclusively for public or semi-public uses in order to preserve and provide adequate land for a variety of community facilities which serve the public health, safety and general welfare.”

The zone change involving controlled industrial also is “spot zoning,” the suit continues, because the area is small and “wholly incompatible with surrounding uses.”

Ostlund, the suit states, declined to abstain from voting “despite the existence of a long-standing and pervasive involvement with the Blains and BFS.”

Had Ostlund removed himself, the vote would have been a tie and the zone application would have failed from a lack of a majority approval, the suit said.

Before the public hearing began, Ostlund disclosed his long-time friendship with the Blains and his joint ownership with the Blains and others in an airplane. 

Schwarz advised Ostlund he had no reason to not participate as long as he disclosed his ties with the Blains and stressed to the public that his mind was open and that he would listen impartially to public comments before making a decision.

The City County Planning staff had recommended denial of the zoning request saying it did not comply with growth policy goals and did not meet zoning criteria.

The Zoning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend approval of the zoning change.

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

Air Methods medical helicopter base set to reopen in West Yellowstone year round


Air Methods announces the reopening of the air medical helicopter base serving the greater Yellowstone region. In conjunction with Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC), the Air Idaho Rescue program will extend care to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Gallatin National Forest and the Madison River valley. The West Yellowstone base commences 24/7/365 operations on May 23.

“We are honored to have a base at America’s first national park, and to bring our air medical resources to the residents and visitors of the greater Yellowstone region,” said Christina Brodsly, Air Methods spokesperson. “A majority of the call volume is tourist-related within the park, from buffalo and bear attacks to cardiac arrests. We’re here to bring critical care to those in need.”

Air Methods previously operated a season base at the West Yellowstone airport between the months of May and September in 2014, but will now be expanding to a permanent 24/7 base that will operate year round.

“We not only want to help the tourists during the summer season, we want to be able to help the entire community year round,” Air Methods Regional Business Manager Michael Jenkins said. “Our care is the same as that found in an advanced life-support ambulance, only we fly. We think we can do a lot of good by being here.”



The new year round base will be staffed by Air Idaho Rescue personnel (flight nurse, flight paramedic, pilot and mechanic), creating 15 new jobs. The helicopter is equipped with a variety of critical care supplies and medications found in a hospital emergency room or ICU. These include items such as oxygen, airway resuscitation equipment, heart monitor/defibrillator, suction, IV pump and fluids, specialized monitor/testing equipment, ventilators, and emergency medications.

Flying from West Yellowstone to the clinic in Lake is 22 nautical miles, and the crew can fly to Lake and anywhere in the park in 12 minutes. A flight from Lake to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls would then take around 45 to 50 minutes.

“When we were here on a seasonal basis, we were finding that people don’t stop needing medical care after 10:00 at night. We decided that it would benefit everyone if we were available around the clock.” Jenkins said. “Our motto is ‘Defenders of tomorrow’ and we want to give as many tomorrows to people as we can.”

Air Methods has additional fixed wing and rotor wing air ambulances throughout the region – including one airplane in Idaho Falls, Idaho at EIRMC, and helicopters in surrounding markets. The aircraft is fully outfitted with night vision goggle technology, which enhances visibility during night transports so crews can better detect hazards and obstructions and have greater situational awareness. Further, the aircraft has a standard suite of advanced cockpit technologies to keep crews and patients safe and enhance the safety of operations.

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