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

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

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

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

http://registry.faa.gov/N68TQ

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA110
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 13, 2016 in Mojave, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: Seguin Quickie, registration: N68TQ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The commercial pilot and a colleague constructed the single-place, composite airplane with the intention of using it for air racing purposes. Rather than using the single piston engine and propeller specified by the original plans, they opted to power the airplane with two turbojet engines. The engines were designed and intended for use only on model aircraft and were mounted one per side on the lower fuselage, just aft of the cockpit.

The airplane was in the very early stages of its flight test program and had flown only two previous flights with an accumulated total flight time of about 0.8 hours. The purpose of the accident flight was to begin exploring the crosswind handling characteristics and capabilities of the airplane. About 200 ft above ground level (agl) during the first landing approach, the pilot conducted a go-around and climbed to pattern altitude for another approach. While in the landing flare about 10 ft agl, a gust of wind from the right side disturbed the airplane, and the pilot applied power to go around. He heard one engine "spool down" and confirmed a power loss on the left engine via the instrument indications. The wind gust and power loss caused the airplane to track left toward an array of unused airliners stored at the airport. Since the airplane’s single-engine minimum control speed had not yet been determined, preflight planning called for reducing power on the remaining engine and landing in the event of an engine power loss; however, the pilot maintained about 30-40% thrust on the right engine to avoid impacting one of the airliners. The asymmetric thrust resulted in a loss of directional control, and the airplane was destroyed when it struck a wooden office trailer and the ground. There was insufficient evidence to determine the reason(s) for the loss of engine power, and none of the three most likely causes (fuel flow interruption, air flow interruption, or flameout due to rapid and large throttle input) could be definitively ruled out.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 13, 2016, about 1530 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Quickie, N68TQ, was destroyed 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, which had accumulated a total of approximately 0.8 hours of flight time, all by the accident pilot. 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. When the airplane was about 200 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot abandoned that approach, 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 right side disturbed the airplane, and the pilot applied power to go-around. He heard an engine "spool down," and confirmed a power loss on the left engine via the instrument indications. The gust disturbance and power loss caused the airplane to track left 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, continued to descend, and impacted a wooden office trailer and the ground shortly thereafter.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

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. The pilot was employed as a professional test pilot for a general aviation airplane manufacturer.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

General

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 airplane was primarily of composite (glass cloth and resin) construction. It was a canard design, with the wings mounted aft and above the single-place cockpit. The two fixed main landing gear were located at the ends of each canard, and a tailwheel was situated below the single vertical stabilizer and rudder.

The original design for a nose-mounted piston engine was modified by the builders; they fabricated and installed a faired nose cone, and installed the two turbine engines just aft of the cockpit, one on either side of the fuselage, near where the side surfaces transitioned to the bottom surface. One engine was attached to either end of a through-strut, so that each engine/thrust centerline was located about 2 feet outboard of the fuselage centerline.

Engine Information

The engine was designed and marketed for use on model aircraft. According to the engine manufacturer's Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM), the TJ40-G1 was a single-shaft turbojet engine with a single-stage radial compressor, annular combustion chamber, single-stage axial turbine, and an exhaust nozzle. A starter-generator was housed in the compressor impeller assembly. A ceramic spark plug was integrated in the combustion chamber, and "evaporating pipes" were used for "generation of the mixture of fuel and air."

The engine produced about 88 pounds of thrust. Idle fuel consumption was cited as 20 ml/min (0.32 gallons per hour- gph), and maximum fuel consumption rate was 19.2 gph.

The OMM contained the following caution:
"The TJ40-G1 turbojet engine is designed exclusively for model aircraft and is not suitable for any other purpose. Never use it for people, objects or vehicle; it can only be used for properly designed model aircraft. Any other use can result in injury or death."


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

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.


AIRPORT INFORMATION

MHV was situated at an altitude of about 2,800 feet msl. It was equipped with three runways, as follows:
- Runway 4/22: 4,746 by 60 feet
- Runway 8/26: 7,049 by 100 feet
- Runway 12/30: 12,503 by 200 feet

The runways were arranged so that the thresholds of 4 and 8 were essentially collocated, and that apex was situated about 4,000 feet south-southwest of the threshold of runway 12. Numerous stored/unused airliners were parked east of runway 12, between the centerlines or extended centerlines of runways 4 and 8.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted in an area of the airport used to store and/or dismantle unused airlines. The highly fragmented wreckage was located in a relatively compact area, about 3,000 feet down runway 12, about 1,500 feet northeast of its centerline.

The airplane struck the office trailer, located among the airliners, while it was still airborne. The trailer was oriented with its longitudinal axis approximately east-west, and the airplane initially struck the east end of the south side, headed north. Damage patterns were consistent with the airplane passing completely through the trailer. The canards, wings, vertical stabilizer, and one engine were all fracture-separated from the fuselage. The fuselage was ruptured just aft of the cockpit, but the cockpit remained relatively intact. No leaked fuel was observed at the scene, and there was no fire.

No FAA or NTSB personnel responded to the scene on the accident day, and the wreckage was collected and transported to the pilot's hangar at MHV for subsequent examination. An FAA inspector examined the wreckage a few days after the accident.

All components were accounted for. The inspector observed leaked fuel below the fuselage section where the fuel tank was mounted. He was unable to determine the remaining fuel quantity, or whether the tank was breached. Neither engine displayed any evidence of an uncontained failure, or other evidence of any pre-impact mechanical failures.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Pilot's Helmet

The pilot reported that during the flight and accident, he was wearing his Gentex brand model HGU-68 helmet. The Gentex website indicated that the helmet "was designed to meet the rigorous requirements of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps" and is equipped "with a single visor system qualified at 600 KEAS (Knots Equivalent Air Speed) in accordance with MIL-H-85047A."

The pilot reported that the visor was down at the time of the accident, but that the visor opened during the accident sequence, and the pilot sustained a black eye. In a written communication to the NTSB, the pilot stated that his "natural flinch" position was to turn his head slightly to the right, which resulted in the helmet visor friction knob, located on the left side of the helmet, being in a more forward-facing position. He noted that "something in the crash caught the friction knob (there are marks on the knob and the visor is cracked right there) and pulled it open, presenting my eye to the crash."

Potential Engine Power Loss Causes

Turbine engines can experience significant power losses, or cease operation altogether, primarily due to the disturbance or cessation of the supply of one of the two principle input components, fuel and air. Fuel flow interruptions can be caused by fuel exhaustion, fuel starvation, contaminated or clogged lines or filters, or loss of fuel pressure.

Inlet air disruptions are typically the result of disturbed airflow due to atmospheric turbulence, or high sideslip or angle of attack values. Inlet airflow disturbances will often result in compressor stall, where the compressor airfoils exceed their critical angle of attack. Compressor stalls are normally accompanied by loud reports such as "bangs" or a more steady roaring sound.

Imbalances between the fuel- and air-flows into the engine can also result in "flameout," where the fuel air mixture in the combustion chamber is either too lean or too rich to support combustion, and the fire in the combustion chamber is extinguished. Such imbalances are most often triggered by rapid and/or large commanded changes to engine thrust levels.

In his accident statements to the NTSB, the pilot reported that the left engine lost all power just after he commanded go-around thrust. He reported that he believed that the loss of power was caused by the disturbed or blocked airflow to the engine, due to the gust from the right that prompted the go-around. He did not report any sounds similar to a compressor stall.

Pilot-Reported Fuel System Information

The pilot provided the following information regarding the fuel system configuration, indications, and post-accident condition:
- The fuel tank had an estimated capacity of 7 gallons, including 1 gallon unusable
- The fuel tank was situated below the forward front cockpit, under the pilot's legs
- The tank quantity was "gauged with a very repeatable float type mechanical fuel gauge on the top of the tank" directly visible to the pilot, on the cockpit floor between his legs
- The fuel is routed from the tank to a tee fitting, and then through two shut off valves; the valves were found in the "ON" position at the accident site
- Fuel indication just prior to the accident was between 3/8 and 1/2 tank

The pilot reported the following planning and operational information
- "Bingo" fuel (the quantity at which the testing was to be terminated and the airplane landed) was 1/2 tank
- The takeoff fuel quantity was sufficient for 85 minutes of flight when flying the planned test profile. He amplified that value by stating that "That is in economy cruise at 80 mph," and was "based on the L/D check we did on flight one."
- He acknowledged that with "Full power on both engines, the duration is much much shorter."
- Full power on both engines yields a climb rate of "greater than 2,000 fpm."

The pilot provided his estimate of times and power settings for the flight as follows:
- The airplane was towed to the runway, and the engine was started at the hold short line
- The engine was run for 3 minutes at 20% power to recharge the batteries
- Applied full power for takeoff; duration was "1-2 minutes"
- Idle descent for 7 minutes.
- Conducted an approach to runway 26 down to 500 feet; terminated in go-around
- Approximately "20 seconds [at] full power"
- Idle descent to runway 12; terminated in accident

NTSB Fuel Burn Calculations

Using the pilot-reported initial usable fuel quantity of 6 gallons and the OMM maximum fuel burn rate, the two engines could be run for a total of about 9.2 minutes at full throttle.

Based on the pilot's estimates, the engines were run for about 17 minutes on the accident flight. Calculations that used the pilot's estimated flight times and power settings, and linear interpolation for fuel burn rate between idle and full thrust, indicated that the flight would have consumed a total of approximately 2 gallons of fuel.

Unknowns regarding this aspect of the investigation included the actual pre- or post-flight fuel quantity, the actual fuel burn rates at the various power settings, the actual power settings, or the actual flight durations at those power settings.

Minimum Control Airspeed

Loss of thrust in one engine of a multi-engine airplane will reduce or eliminate climb capability, and will introduce directional control problems that result from asymmetric thrust in non-centerline thrust configuration airplanes. Minimum control speed airborne (Vmca) is defined by 14 CFR part 23 as the minimum speed at which directional control, under a very specific set of circumstances, can be maintained with the critical engine inoperative while airborne in a multi-engine airplane. Vmca does not require or provide for a positive rate of climb. Vmca is a function of multiple factors, and is established by the manufacturer during flight test. Because the airplane had accumulated less than 1 hour of total flight time in its test program, Vmca had not been yet determined.

The Airplane Flying Handbook (AFH, FAA-8083-3) contained the following text regarding engine failures. "A takeoff or go-around is the most critical time to suffer an engine failure. The airplane will be slow, close to the ground, and may even have landing gear and flaps extended. Altitude and time will be minimal...Airplane climb performance will be marginal or even non-existent, and obstructions may lie ahead...With loss of an engine, it is paramount to maintain airplane control and comply with the manufacturer's recommended emergency procedures."

The pilot stated that because Vmca had not yet been determined, the flight test program's engine failure plan called for the pilot to reduce thrust in the operating engine to idle, and land wherever practical. He reported that following the loss of left engine thrust, he had to maintain some thrust on the right engine in order to avoid striking the parked airliners. He also reported that the resulting thrust asymmetry resulted in his limited ability to control the airplane flight path.

Engine FADEC Data

The engine was equipped with limited non-volatile memory as part of the FADEC. The pilot sent both engines (including their FADEC modules) to the engine manufacturer in the Czech Republic for analysis, but the manufacturer only provided limited feedback, which did not provide any useful information regarding the reason(s) for the engine failure.

Onboard Video Recordings

A private film production company had teamed with the pilot and his colleague to produce a documentary about the airplane development and testing. In support of that effort, the company had installed several video cameras on the airplane and/or pilot for this flight. Film company personnel recovered most of those cameras prior to the NTSB becoming aware that they were installed. Based upon the pilot's description of the contents, the NTSB investigator in charge decided not to request or retain any of the imagery, due to its limited usefulness to the investigation.

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

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

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

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.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

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 approved for a return to service via an annual inspection the day prior to the accident. Subsequent to that, 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 sheet metal work. The flight was uneventful until the landing on runway 24. The airplane touched down in the three-point attitude, 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 south 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 conduct the sheet metal work was an aircraft mechanic with an Inspection Authorization, and he assisted in the recovery. He reported that prior to righting the airplane, he manually rotated both main wheels in both directions; 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 skid mark that terminated at the edge of the pavement, and aligned with the right main gear. The skid mark was estimated to be about 300 feet long. The airplane was retained undisturbed for subsequent examination by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NTSB personnel.


PERSONNEL INFORMATION

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.


AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

FAA information indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1955, and was equipped with a Continental O-470 series engine. The airplane was involved in a landing accident in 1974 but was repaired and returned to service.

The pilot purchased the airplane in May 2015. According to the pilot, the airplane and engine had a total time in service of about 2,271 hours.

The most recent annual inspection included some brake maintenance. Both brake discs, and the left brake pads, had been replaced with new components; the previous/used brake pads were retained on the right brake caliper. Comparison of the maintenance entry writeup and the airplane manufacturer's maintenance guidance indicated that the components that were replaced were the correct part numbers. No other potentially relevant activity was noted in that annual entry.


METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

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.


AIRPORT INFORMATION

L71 is located in the Mojave Desert, near California City California. The airport is situated at an elevation of 2,454 feet above mean sea level (msl). The single paved asphalt runway, designated 6/24, measures 60 by 6,027 feet. The airport was not equipped with an air traffic control tower or any automated weather detection or reporting equipment. Three windsocks, one midfield, and one near each threshold, were located north of the runway.


WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest inverted, on a magnetic heading of approximately 025 degrees, in the desert soil just off the south edge of the runway. The outboard end of the left wing extended onto the paved surface. The stopping point was located about 1,800 feet from the 24 threshold. A tire skid mark began near the runway centerline, approximately 150 feet prior to the airplane stopping point. The first 15 to 20 feet of the skid mark was light and was oriented approximately parallel to the runway. The mark then began to turn to the left, and became darker. About halfway (laterally) between the initiation point and the runway edge, the skid mark became very pronounced, and then sequentially exhibited a cusp to the right, an interruption, and an 'S' bend. It then continued nearly straight, oriented about 45 degrees to the runway edge, before curving right, and terminated about 2 feet prior to the runway edge. The soil was disturbed between the skid mark and the airplane just beyond it. The alignment of the skid mark and airplane was consistent with it having been made by the right main tire.

The airplane sustained damage to both wings, vertical stabilizer and rudder, cowl, firewall, engine mounts, and propeller. There was no fire, and there was negligible leakage of fuel or other fluids.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Airplane Examination

A few days after the accident, an FAA airworthiness inspector examined the recovered airplane. His examination did not reveal any apparent anomalies or pre-impact deficiencies. About one month later, the FAA inspector and the NTSB investigator examined the airplane in detail, in a hangar of the L71 facility that the pilot was planning to visit for his pre-accident sheet metal repair cost estimate.

Some interior and exterior components and panels were removed to enable access to the entire rudder/tailwheel control system. A 'Leatherman' type multi-tool (in its case) was found on the right cockpit floor, forward of the copilot's right rudder pedal. When found, it was not in a position/location that impeded rudder pedal travel, but its original (pre-accident) position/location was not able to be determined. The pilot/owner identified the tool as his. He noted that many cockpit/cabin items were displaced during the accident, and that at least one item had not been located. That item was not recovered by the investigators during their examination.

All control cables were found to be properly routed, and no components (pulleys, bellcranks, etc) displayed any unusual wear, corrosion, damage, or other anomalies that could be associated with previous or potential control interference.

Because the rudder & vertical stabilizer damage precluded full and free travel of the rudder, the deformed sections were cut away just below the upper rudder hinge, in order to free the rudder for normal travel for the examination. The aft fuselage was hoisted to lift the tailwheel off the ground. The bottom end of the rudder and the tailwheel appeared centered/neutral when the rudder pedals were set to the 'neutral' (left and right pedals 'even' with one another) position; this was confirmed for both the pilot's & copilot's pedal sets.

Both sets of cockpit rudder pedals were then exercised to their travel limits, and the system operation, and rudder and tailwheel deflections, were noted. The rudder and tailwheel responded similarly, irrespective of which pedal set (pilot vs copilot) was exercised. The rudder travel was bounded in both directions by the rudder stops, which were properly safetied. No binding, unusual noises, or other anomalies were noted when the pedals were exercised. Cable tensions were measured, and found to be within the proper range.

Rudder deflections (from neutral/0º) in the plane parallel to the airplane longitudinal and lateral axes were measured to be as follows:
- Left: 13º
- Right: 16º

The tailwheel was a Scott fully castering model, capable of swiveling 360º in either direction, with a centering detent. All cables, springs, and other components were properly routed, connected, and safetied. Manual manipulation of the tailwheel indicated that it operated normally.

Refer to the NTSB public docket for this accident for additional examination details.


Cessna Rudder Travel Limit Values

Per the Cessna Maintenance Manual (MM), the proper rudder travel limits, measured in the plane parallel to the airplane "waterline" and lateral axes, were 24º either side of the neutral/0º position. Those same values were published in the FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) for the airplane.


Previous Airplane Condition and Maintenance

The pilot arrived at the examination hangar towards the end of the examination. After the examination was completed, as the investigators were preparing to depart, the pilot mentioned that the reason that he had flown the airplane to L71 was to get a cost estimate to have his rudder "re-skinned." He explained that the re-skinning was intended to correct an improper top-to-bottom curvature (bowing) of the rudder, which was apparently the result of a previous accident.

The pilot did not know whether the rudder was deformed during that accident, or as a result of improper repair. He discovered the bowing problem shortly before the subject accident, when he attempted to have the airplane re-rigged, because it flew "left wing-heavy." At that time, he was advised by his mechanic that any effort to re-rig the airplane without first repairing/straightening the rudder would be unsuccessful and futile.

The pilot reported, and provided substantiating photographic evidence, that the curvature was such that when the top of the rudder was aligned with the fin, the bottom was deflected about 1.5 inches to the airplane right. Thus, with the bottom of the rudder centered (and the rudder pedals aligned with one another), the rudder curvature would result in the trailing edge of the upper portion of the rudder to be deflected to the airplane left. Because the rudder had been damaged in the subject accident, the curvature profile could not be measured and quantified.


Review of the NTSB database indicated that the airplane struck a horse during landing in 1974.

The airplane maintenance records contained entries or documentation for six separate maintenance activities/events regarding the rudder or rudder control or tailwheel steering systems, as follows:
- October 1973 Rudder and vertical stabilizer "replaced due to hangar damage"
- September 1979 Replaced right rudder cable
- May 1992 Airplane stripped and repainted; control surfaces removed and reinstalled
- September 1994 "Rudder reskinned"
- August 1999 Tailwheel "spring mount bracket" replaced, and new (accident) tailwheel installed
- April 2014 Annual inspection; "Check & adjust cable tensions"


Annual Inspection Guidance and Requirements

Aircraft operated in the United States under FAR Part 91 rules are required to be inspected on an annual basis; that inspection is formally designated the "Annual Inspection." The FAA delineates guidance regarding the scope and detail of such inspections; the guidance specifies that the person conducting the inspection must use a checklist while performing the inspection. The guidance states that the checklist "may be of the inspector's own design, one provided by the manufacturer of the equipment being inspected or one obtained from another source," and elaborates that the checklist must include the scope and detail of the items contained Appendix D of FAR Part 43.

The manufacturer's published inspection guidance for the accident airplane make and model contained a comprehensive enumeration of items to be checked. Under the subheading "Rudder control system" the final line item was "Rudder system for correct rigging and proper travel."

The Annual Inspection affirms that the aircraft meets all applicable airworthiness requirements, which in part signifies that the airplane is in compliance with its type design, much of which is specifically cited in the TCDS. The TCDS for the accident make and model airplane specified the rudder travel ranges. Therefore, satisfactory completion of an Annual Inspection requires that the flight control surface travel ranges are in accordance with the type design and TCDS-specified ranges.


May 2016 Annual Inspection Information

The airframe maintenance record entry stated that the inspection was completed "per 43 Appendix D," and was followed by "checked cables and tension Inspected Pulleys; Rod Ends, Bellcranks; P/P tubes, Bearings, Hinges checked Flight control travels." NTSB communications with the mechanic who conducted the annual inspection revealed that he was the one who advised the pilot about the rudder bow. The mechanic reported that contrary to the pilot's statements, he (the mechanic) did not conduct any re-rigging or travel adjustments of any flight controls, including the rudder.

In a subsequent conversation between the FAA inspector and the mechanic, the mechanic reported that:
- He used the Cessna "100-180 Series" checklist as his guidance for the subject annual inspection
- He did not retain a copy of the checklist and findings from that inspection, but agreed to send the inspector an exemplar copy
- He checked the travel/deflection of the rudder with a protractor, while manually manipulating the rudder (by hand, not via the rudder pedals) to its respective left and right stops
- He also checked the cable tensions and "rigging"
- He determined that "no adjustments were necessary"


Attempted Follow-up Activity

As a result of the discrepancies between the inspection mechanic's rudder travel findings and those of the FAA/NTSB subsequent to the accident, the NTSB attempted to arrange for a third-party mechanic to conduct yet another measurement of the rudder travel. Although the third-party mechanic agreed to conduct the re-measurement, he instead purchased and disassembled the wreckage without conducting the agreed-upon re-measurements. Therefore, the discrepancy between the two existing sets of measurements could not be reconciled.


Desert Wind Characteristics

L71 was situated in the Mojave Desert. According to multiple articles, including Journal of Climate (Influence of Albedo Variability in Complex Terrain on Mesoscale Systems) and Journal of Applied Meteorology (General Characteristics of Dust Devils), low level desert atmospheric conditions have several unique characteristics.

During all times of the year, daily solar insolation can be intense, with the spring and summer months the most likely times of year for greatest solar insolation. Solar insolation results in significant ground heating, especially in desert terrain, which in turn results in low-level atmospheric heating and thermally-induced, localized, small-scale turbulence. Excluding mesoscale or frontal activity, the typical daily cycle begins with calm, stable air at sunrise. The air remains relatively calm for a few hours, until the surface temperature rises, and heating rates reach the point where the air below approximately 150 feet becomes destabilized. With the air below 150 feet destabilized, strong, localized, short-duration, thermally induced wind disturbances are generated. These thermally induced wind disturbances manifest themselves as disorganized, random gusts, and as better organized, but still unpredictable and sometimes undetectable 'dust devils'. Powered by insolation, their occurrence, strength, location, and direction are influenced by multiple factors, including local surface topography, albedo, and structures, as well as small- and larger-scale air disturbances, all of which result in significant unpredictability. Durations of the thermally induced wind disturbances typically range between less than 1 minute to about 3 minutes. These thermally-induced wind disturbances increase in frequency as the day progresses, tending to peak an hour or two after local noon, and then diminish as the sun elevation decreases in the afternoon.

The repair facility owner, who had significant experience flying at L71 and MHV, stated that the winds could be very transient and unpredictable, particularly from late morning to early afternoon, during the hotter months. He also noted that in his experience, although L71 and MHV were only 9 miles apart, the concurrent wind conditions, speeds, and directions at the two airports could differ significantly from one another.

The pilot stated that the initial swerve to the left did not seem to him to be wind-induced, but that he could not completely discount wind as the cause for the initial swerve.

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.