Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Paul Welke honored with two prestigious Federal Aviation Administration awards

Federal Aviation Administration staff John Farnham (left) shakes hands with Paul Welke (far right) after he was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Award from FAA office manager in Grand Rapids, Mark Kosco (center).


Paul Welke (left) opens a gift presented to him by Ken Tough, (right) chair of the Charlevoix Airport Advisory committee after a ceremony where Welke was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Also pictured next to Welke is Charlevoix Municipal Airport manager Liz Myer and in the center is Charlevoix City Council member Shirley Gibson as they congratulate Welke on his achievement.



CHARLEVOIX — A Beaver Island pilot was honored with the most prestigious award given by the Federal Aviation Administration — recognizing half a century of flight during a ceremony at the Charlevoix Municipal Airport on May 11.

Paul Welke, of Island Airways, was presented with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Award and the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in front of family, friends, city officials and fellow pilots in the airport's hangar last Tuesday.

“Just in awe,” Welke said. “This is more overwhelming than I could have imagined. I didn’t even know these awards existed.”

The award recognizes professionalism, skill and expertise in aviation and 50 years of flight. These awards are the highest aviation awards given to civilians and recognize pilots for maintaining safe operations.

“It is certainly very humbling,” Welke said.



Welke was presented with a lapel pin, a Blue Ribbon award documenting his flight history and a plaque for his aviation service. Welke also reassured those in attendance that this celebration was no retirement party.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Welke said. “I still will be flying because there is no other place I’d rather be. I enjoy what I'm doing.”

Island Airways uses the same airstrip Welke grew up using to land the family plane. He soloed his first flight at 16 years old in 1965. He became a private pilot as a cadet in 1967 in a L16 and Welke got his commercial rating in 1972.

For his first flying job in 1972 he was paid $3 per flight, said wife, Angel Welke. “Anyone who has known Paul for a long time would know that aviation is his life.”

In the last eight years, Welke has flown nearly 5,000 hours and been on duty more than 14,000 hours. He has done 13,246 landings and takeoffs and in his total career flown more than 32,000 hours and an estimated 100,000 career landings and takeoffs, Angel said.

Welke’s connection to Beaver Island has fostered some deep relationships with island year-round and summer residents.

"Nearly everyone on the island has a Paul story,” Angel said. “I think practically everyone can say he flew this family member off or themselves for one reason or another. That’s just Paul. The phone goes off at 2 a.m. and he is flying.”

One family that attended the ceremony recalled how Welke risked his own safety to search for family who was on a charter plane that went down on the island in the winter of 2001.



“He saved myself and our three kids and asked for nothing in return,” said Mirth Gault, who was on board the flight that stormy February day. “He is a very special person to our family."

Not knowing if anyone was looking for them was beginning to take its toll on Mirth, she added.

“I was just about to give up,” she said. “It was 15 hours since we crashed and then Paul’s plane flew over us.”

Before Welke began the search, the storm had grounded the U.S. Coast Guard, said Robert Gault.

“The weather was so bad they would not go up,” Gault said. “But Paul stood next to his plane on the runway and waited for a break the clouds break and he went up.”

Gault describes the situation as desperate and time was not on their side. The weather was drastically getting worse. Temperatures at the time of the crash were around 36 degrees. By the time Welke was able to get in the air 15 hours later it was snowing far worse than before and the temperatures had plummeted to 17 degrees and were still declining, Gault said.

“God was on our side,” he said. “If Paul didn’t find them when he did, they would have died in the plane, that night. The next day, after the rescue the snow covered the plane. Without Paul, I would have been without my family. To think about how desperate that situation was and for him to go up in that weather is just selfless.”

The Gault family said Paul’s honor and recognition from the FAA is well deserved.

“He is the most humble guy you will meet,” Gault said. “If anyone deserves these two awards, it is Paul Welke.”

Welke now joins the ranks of Chuck Yeager and Neil Armstrong, who are also recipients of the award.

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

Incident occurred May 17, 2016 - Treasure Coast, St. Lucie County, Florida





Severe weather caused damage on the Treasure Coast Tuesday as a line of storms swept eastward.

A small single-engine plane overturned at Treasure Coast International Airport Tuesday.

The wife of the plane's owner told NewsChannel 5 that they were working on the plane, saw the storm coming, and decided they needed to move it to the hangar.

The plane flipped while a mechanic was moving the aircraft. He was not seriously hurt, according to fire officials.

There was also damage to 3 trailers at Road Runner Travel Resort, St. Lucie County Public Information Manager Erick Gill said. He added that so far there have not been any major injuries reported.

Whitney Mann sent photos to our Facebook page showing damage to a building at Kings Highway and Angle Road.

Fire crews also responded to 3 small brush fires, according to St. Lucie County Fire District spokeswoman Catherine Chaney.

A downed tree was spotted at mile marker 143 along northbound I-95.

Several roads were also inundated with water due to the heavy rain.

Story and video:  http://www.wptv.com

Pellston Regional Airport (KPLN) expands flight options for summer



EMMET COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Employees at Pellston Regional Airport are hoping to make summer getaways to and from northern Michigan a little easier for their customers.

Starting June 9th, the airport will expand its service options by adding a flight a day to Minneapolis.

It will be the first time in years that a Minneapolis route has been offered to customers of the Pellston airport.

"It's great to have that service back," said Pellston Airport Manager Kelley Atkins. "The best way to ensure that it stays in our lineup is for people to utilize that flight. I'm optimistic, I really am. It was well received the last time we had it."

Additionally, flights to Detroit will increase from 2 to 3 a day in June and then 4 in July.

The expansion has been made possible by the airline Sky West which is a partner to Delta Airlines.

"It's very positive," said Atkins. "Sky West has indicated to me that they value our market a great deal and that we are important to them."

According to Atkins, the most important affect of the new flight options will be the ability of summer time tourists to easily make their way into Emmet county.

A recent Community Benefits Assessment stated that the airports operations generate an extra $38 million dollars a year for the local economy. 

The expanded Detroit and Minneapolis flight options will stay available to customers until the end of September. 

Story and video:  http://upnorthlive.com

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (PANC) launches new online community flight tracker


Anchorage, ALASKA (KTUU) A new website allows you track aircraft in the Anchorage airspace in live time 24/7.

Ted Stevens International Airport debuted the website on Wednesday. Airport Manager John Parrot says it's in response to a recommendation from a recent noise compatibility study.

"People wanted a way to know what planes are flying above them," Parrot said.

The Community Flight Tracker allows people to see the plane model, altitude, flight number, flight path, origin and destination all 24 hours a day.

To visit the flight tracker, click here.

Story and video:  http://www.ktuu.com

Amazon Looking to License or Acquire Freight-Management Technology: Online retail firm has previously leased cargo planes, registered to arrange cargo shipments


The Wall Street Journal
By Erica E. Phillips
Updated May 18, 2016 11:40 a.m. ET


Amazon.com Inc. is on the hunt for technology to help it run its rapidly expanding freight-transportation network, according to people at companies that have been contacted by the retailer.

The online retail firm recently signed deals to lease cargo planes and registered to arrange ocean-cargo shipments, marking the company’s entry into the $150 billion-a-year global business of freight forwarding. Analysts believe the moves are part of a larger effort to reduce shipping costs for sellers on the company’s website, cutting out the middlemen for shipments of goods from Asian factories to Amazon warehouses in the U.S.

Now, Amazon is looking to license or acquire technology that could find the most efficient shipping routes and hire fleets of trucks, ships and planes to move sellers’ goods. In the last two weeks, Amazon has reached out to several freight-services-technology companies requesting information about their offerings, people at the companies said. A person at one of those companies said an Amazon representative told him the retailer is seeking out existing technology to save time on development.

A representative for Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Most large retailers and manufacturers use transportation-management software to manage the flow of goods through their supply chains. But many smaller companies still book space on a ship or cargo plane via phone call, or even fax, and often their goods are tracked using emailed spreadsheets. Freight startups, including Flexport Inc. and Haven Engineering Inc., say they want to make arranging freight transportation as easy as booking a vacation online, and provide tracking for shipments as they make their way around the world.

It is a field that has attracted funding from Silicon Valley investors, though the new crop of companies have yet to pose a serious threat to the world’s leading forwarders, many of which are working on similar technology of their own.

For Amazon, acquiring a freight-forwarding platform would allow the company to drive more volume toward its own cargo-handling arm, driving down costs for sellers, who in turn can keep prices low for customers, said Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting Group Inc., a logistics-research firm.

Amazon appears to be “saying to its sellers, ‘We’re going to give you the Amazon experience,’ ” he said. “You’re outsourcing production anyway, why not outsource your entire supply chain?”

With the right technology, Amazon’s plans could pose a threat to established forwarders as well, by winning over their small- and medium-size clients—many of whose goods are destined for Amazon distribution centers anyway.

Amazon’s entry into the freight forwarding business would also present a direct challenge to the startups. Ryan Petersen, chief executive of Flexport, said when Amazon asked for a presentation on his company’s technology, “I declined politely.”

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

Jerry Gable receives Federal Aviation Administration award for 50 years of safe flying

Jerry Gable receives the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from FAA representative Barbara Olsen-Gwin.
~


The Federal Aviation Administration has presented its highest honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, to Southport resident Gerald Holton (“Jerry”) Gable.

The award, conferred by the FAA administrator earlier this year and recorded in the National Register, recognizes pilots who have flown safely for 50 years without accident or incident. 

The award itself was presented by local FAA representative Barbara Olsen-Gwin recently during a ceremony at Cape Fear Regional Jetport. Gable is the first Brunswick County resident to receive the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.

Like many young men growing up in the 1940s and ’50s, Gable was fascinated with airplanes and flying. He and his brother built a number of flying model airplanes, and they belonged to an active model airplane club in Albion, Michigan, their childhood home. Gable occasionally went flying with a friend of his father’s who owned a Piper Cub.

In 1958 he met Lois, to whom he has now been married for 56 years. Her father, as luck would have it, was a private pilot and owned a 1946 Aeronca 7AC Champ. He told Gable on his second visit to his farm that if he intended to marry his daughter, he was going to have to learn to fly.

It took a couple years to finish college and start a career and a family, but on August 18, 1965, Gable soloed the Champ and he went on to achieve his commercial pilot’s license.

Gable’s career as a physicist largely involved research and development on government aircraft projects. His final assignment was as team manager for the X-29 Forward Swept Wing Fighter project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and his retirement party from Grumman Aerospace Corp. coincided with the first-flight celebration of the X-29 in 1985.

The Gables flew light aircraft over the years for personal travel and, after the hectic world of government contract work, he didn’t really “retire;” the couple moved to the Southport-Oak Island area, where they started “Pelican Post” magazine, Oak Island Press and Map Makers. One of the main reasons for choosing this area was its proximity to an excellent small airport.

The Gables have an antique— they call it “classic”—1962 Cessna Skyhawk which they have flown all over the country and regularly to the Bahamas. Even though they have tried to maintain the classic look of the plane, they have upgraded the instrumentation to the very latest technology.

Gable worked closely with the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division on its ADS-B demonstration and evaluation program, and his was one of the first planes equipped with the new ADS-B navigation and traffic control technology in 2005.

ADS-B is now being implemented worldwide to replace radar and other 20th century air traffic control technologies.

Gable is a 50-year member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and serves on the board of directors of local chapter 939. He has flown nearly 100 Young Eagles in the EAA youth flying program.

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

Cessna T210J Turbo Centurion, N2263R: Incident occurred May 18, 2016 at McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

http://registry.faa.gov/N2263R

Date: 18-MAY-16
Time: 23:15:00Z
Regis#: N2263R
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 210
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Las Vegas FSDO-19
City: LAS VEGAS
State: Nevada

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA.



LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) — Officials are investigating a hard landing at McCarran Airport.

The call originally came in around 4:17 p.m. Wednesday as a possible crash, but McCarran official Christine Crews confirmed it was a hard landing involving a Cessna small aircraft.


The hard landing was caused by a collapsing landing gear. While landing, the gear collapsed from the plane.


No injuries or fires are reported, and no damage was made to the airport.


Only one person was on the plane at the time of the landing.


Runway Two-Five Left, running parallel to Sunset Road, is closed until the aircraft is moved.


McCarran officials confirm there are no flight delays or cancellations as of this time.


Story and video:  http://news3lv.com


A small Cessna aircraft's landing gear collapsed upon landing at McCarran International Airport on Wednesday.

It was reported around 4:17 p.m. There was only one person on board. There were no injuries.

Runway 25 west is closed until the plane can be cleared.

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

Landing gear collapsed during an aircraft’s landing at McCarran International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

About 4:15 p.m., a Cessna’s landing gear “collapsed” when it landed at McCarran International Airport, spokeswoman Christine Crews said. One person was on board the aircraft, and no injuries were reported, she said.

Crews said that the pilot did not make an emergency call before landing. It is unclear if this was a mechanical failure, she said.

The runway where the plane landed was closed after landing, but no flight delays were expected.

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

Cessna P210N Centurion, N6609P, registered to and operated by Stubblefield Construction Company: Fatal accident occurred May 18, 2016 near Sheridan Lake, Colorado

John Lee Stubblefield 
John was an avid pilot and there was nothing that he loved more than being free in the skies.


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado
Textron; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

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

Stubblefield Construction Company

http://registry.faa.gov/N6609P

Location: Sheridan Lake, CO
Accident Number: CEN16FA188
Date & Time: 05/18/2016, 0901 MDT
Registration: N6609P
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On May 18, 2016, about 0901 mountain daylight time, a Cessna P210N, N6609P, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a field in a flat spin about 4 miles northeast of Sheridan Lake, Colorado. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Stubblefield Construction Company under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed at 0645 from Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport (RKS), Rock Springs, Wyoming, en route to Wiley Post Airport (PWA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Earlier that morning, about 0222, the pilot departed Nampa Municipal Airport, Nampa, Idaho, and flew to RKS, where he landed the airplane about 0442. A witness at RKS reported that the pilot had the airplane topped off with 68 gallons of fuel. He reported that the pilot slept in the pilot's lounge for about 1 hour before departing toward PWA.

After departing RKS, radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the airplane was flying on a southeast heading at 17,300 ft pressure altitude. About 0800, the pilot established visual flight rules flight following with the Denver, Colorado, Air Route Traffic Control Center, which provided the pilot with the current altimeter setting.

A transcript of the communications between the accident airplane and an air traffic controller indicated that, at 0842:36, the pilot transmitted, "(unintelligible) I'm going down and I'm going down hard."

It became apparent to the controller that the pilot was experiencing some type of distress. The controller attempted to communicate with the pilot, concerned that he was possibly experiencing hypoxia, carbon monoxide exposure, or another medical condition that was affecting his speech and ability to control the airplane. Throughout the remainder of the flight, the controller provided numerous altimeter setting updates in a continued effort to communicate with the pilot; however, the pilot did not acknowledge or reply to numerous controller requests. The controller made numerous recommendations to the pilot to descend to a lower altitude.

At 0846:23, the controller transmitted, "November six six zero nine papa suggest you descend to lower altitude at or below one two thousand uhh sounds like you might have an hypoxic situation."

The recorded radar data indicated that the airplane had maintained a straight-and-level flight track to the southeast at 17,300 ft pressure altitude until 0847. Then, the airplane entered a series of turns, climbs, and descents that ultimately put the airplane on a northerly course.

At 0853:16, the pilot transmitted, "I can show you what a p two ten can do." The radar data indicated that the airplane's altitude was about 11,700 ft pressure altitude at the time of the transmission.

At 0854:05, the pilot transmitted, "(unintelligible) guys want me to do Muller?" The radar data indicated that the airplane's altitude was about 12,275 ft pressure altitude at the time of the transmission.

At 0855:24, the pilot transmitted, "I can show you things this airplane can do." The radar data indicated that the airplane's altitude was about 10,600 ft pressure altitude at the time of the transmission.

At 0858:01, the pilot transmitted, "Let me show you what a (unintelligible) two ten can do." The radar data indicated that the airplane's altitude was about 10,950 ft pressure altitude at the time of the transmission.

At 0858:28, the controller transmitted, "November six six zero nine papa it's possible you're uhh uhh hypoxic and umm and carbon monoxide poisoning is going on if you could just open up that window maybe get some fresh air in that airplane November zero nine pop."

At 0900:30, the pilot's last radio transmission stated, "You got it watch the center watch it go." The last recorded radar return at 0900:32 indicated that the airplane's pressure altitude was about 9,200 ft. Subsequent attempts to contact the pilot were unsuccessful.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 64-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument ratings. He held a third-class medical certificate issued on November 11, 2015, with a limitation for corrective lenses. During his medical examination in November 2015, the pilot reported that his total flight time was 4,250 hours. The pilot's logbook was not recovered during the investigation.

FAA airman records indicated that the pilot was involved in a landing incident in Boise, Idaho, on May 28, 2000. The pilot was found to be operating the airplane under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.26 percent, which was above the BAC legal limit of 0.04 percent for operating aircraft. The pilot surrendered his pilot and medical certificates after the incident. He reapplied for a medical certificate on July 5, 2005, and was granted an eligibility letter on August 10, 2005.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was a pressurized, single-engine Cessna P210N that was manufactured in 1979. The airplane was configured to seat 4 individuals and had a maximum takeoff weight of 4,000 lbs. The airplane was equipped with a 310-horsepower Continental TSIO-520-P engine and a 3-blade McCauley propeller. No acrobatic maneuvers, including spins, were approved. The last annual maintenance inspection was conducted on June 1, 2015. The total airframe time at the time of the inspection was 3,329 hours, and the total engine time was 1,035 hours. According to available documentation, the airplane was flown about 28 hours since the last annual inspection.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0853, the surface weather observation at Lamar, Colorado, located about 30 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, included wind from 160° at 9 knots, variable between 140° and 200°, surface visibility 10 miles, clouds broken 6,500 ft above ground level, temperature 13°C, dew point 6°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted an open, harvested agricultural field in a wings-level, flat pitch attitude. The left wing was canted aft and the right wing was canted forward, consistent with the airplane being in a left spin at impact. The tail was bent slightly to the left of the fuselage and the engine was displaced slightly to the right. The fuselage was leaning slightly to the left. The landing gear was found in the retracted position.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. It was bent downward at the root and bent upward at the flap/aileron junction where the wing was resting on the ground. There was no leading edge compression damage observed to the left wing. The left flap was in the retracted position. The left main fuel tank was ruptured. There was no fuel in the left wing auxiliary fuel tank.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. It was bent downward at the root and bent upward in the middle of the right aileron where the wing was resting on the ground. No leading edge compression damage was observed to the right wing. The right flap was hanging down approximately 10°. Examination of the flap cables indicated the right flap cable was separated near the right wing root. The bottom side of the right wing had oil spray from the wing root extending toward the outboard end of the right flap. The right main fuel tank contained an undetermined amount of fuel. There was no fuel in the right wing auxiliary fuel tank.

The tail was fractured almost completely around its circumference at the dorsal. The rudder and elevators remained attached to the empennage. The rudder balance weight was separated from the top of the rudder and was found on the ground directly below the rudder.

The fuel selector handle was found positioned to the right tank, and the fuel selector valve was found in an intermediate position between RIGHT and OFF. The main fuel gauges indicated that the right tank was greater than 1/2 full and the left tank was full. The fuel strainer assembly was removed and contained about 4 ounces of fuel consistent with 100LL fuel; a sample tested negative for water contamination. The fuel strainer screen was installed properly with a cork gasket.

The airplane's pressurization system controls were on and the cabin pressure was set to 5,000 ft. The pressurization outflow and safety valve were examined. The outflow valve diaphragm was pliable and moved freely. The outflow valve was removed, and the diaphragm was compressed by hand. The pneumatic pressure port was covered to restrict airflow and the diaphragm did not move, which indicated normal operation. The safety valve was also removed for examination. The electric solenoid on the safety valve was found separated from the valve housing by impact damage. A fragment of the safety valve remained connected to the solenoid threads. The safety valve diaphragm was compressed, and a tear was observed where the solenoid had been installed. The "Overhead Vent Fan" switch was found in the LOW position.

The airplane was equipped with an aftermarket supplemental type certificate inflatable door seal. The cabin "Door Seal Activate" switch was observed to be in the OFF position.

Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the flight controls to their respective attachment points of the elevator, rudder and ailerons. The flap actuator was found in the 0° position; however, the flap handle and flap indicator were in the 10° position. The elevator trim actuator was found in about a 5° tab up position.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe by cables and lines; all four engine mount legs were broken. The exhaust and induction systems exhibited impact damage, and the oil sump was crushed upward into the crankcase. The throttle, mixture and propeller control arms moved freely between the mechanical stops. There was no oil spray observed on the top of the engine crankcase or cylinders, and there was no oil spray observed on the underside of the engine cowling.

The top spark plugs were removed, and they exhibited normal wear signatures when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The cylinder combustion chambers were examined with a lighted borescope and no anomalies were noted. Drive train continuity and cylinder compression was confirmed on all six cylinders as the crankshaft was rotated by hand. Spark was also observed on all top ignition leads.

The engine accessories were removed from the engine and examined. The oil scavenge pump and engine oil pump were disassembled with no anomalies noted to the gears or cavities. The oil pressure relief valve exhibited signatures of normal operation. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed, and its drive coupling remained intact. The fuel pump turned freely by hand. The engine-driven fuel pump was disassembled with no anomalies noted. The fuel manifold valve was disassembled, and its diaphragm remained intact. The plunger and retaining nut remained secured, and the fuel screen was free of debris. The fuel nozzles were removed and found to be free of contamination. Fuel consistent with 100LL was found in various fuel system components and lines. The fuel was tested for the presence of water using water finding paste; no water contamination was identified. The two vacuum pumps were removed and disassembled with no discrepancies noted. The alternator drive turned freely by hand. The turbocharger remained attached to the exhaust system. The turbocharger compressor rotated freely and was coupled to the turbine wheel. The turbocharger's wastegate and controller exhibited no damage.

The 3-blade propeller remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. Examination of the propeller revealed all 3 blades were loose in the hub. The propeller blade marked No. 1 was bent forward about 90° about 6 inches from the hub. The outboard 10 inches of the blade exhibited a slight blade twist. The No. 2 blade exhibited a curved bend in the entire length of the blade. The No. 3 blade was bent slightly forward about 12 inches from the hub and exhibited a curved bend along the remaining length of the blade. All three blades exhibited burnishing of the leading edge; however, none of the blades exhibited nicks, gouges, or chordwise scratching of the blades.

During the onsite examination, a half-full bottle of vodka and numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications were found in the airplane.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The El Paso County Coroner, Colorado Springs, Colorado conducted an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was the result of multiple blunt force injuries. Toxicology testing detected ethanol at 0.335 gm/dl in vitreous and 0.291 gm/dl in femoral blood as well as diphenhydramine at less than 0.050 ug/ml and zolpidem at 0.077 ug/ml in femoral blood.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing and identified ethanol at 0.0332 gm/dl in vitreous and 0.247 gm/dl in cavity blood. In addition, diphenhydramine was detected at levels too low to quantify, zolpidem was found at 0.049 ug/ml, and lorazepam was confirmed at 0.029 ug/ml in cavity blood. Clonidine was detected in liver but not in cavity blood. Ethanol is the type of alcohol present in beer, wine, and liquor. It is a social drug that acts as a central nervous system depressant. After ingestion, at low doses, it impairs judgment, psychomotor functioning, and vigilance; at higher doses, ethanol can cause coma and death. Generally, the rapid distribution of ethanol throughout the body after ingestion leads to similar levels in different tissues. 14 CFR 91 section 17 (a) prohibits any person from acting or attempting to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 0.040 gm/dl or more alcohol in the blood. The effects of alcohol on aviators are generally well understood; alcohol significantly impairs pilot performance, even at very low levels.

Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms and as a sleep aid. It is available over the counter under the names Benadryl and Unisom. Diphenhydramine carries the following FDA warning: may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery). Compared to other antihistamines, diphenhydramine causes marked sedation; it is also classed as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and this is the rationale for its use as a sleep aid. Altered mood and impaired cognitive and psychomotor performance may also be observed. In a driving simulator study, a single dose of diphenhydramine impaired driving ability more than a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 gm/dl. The range of blood levels in which diphenhydramine is thought to have psychoactive effects is between 0.025 and 0.112 ug/ml.

Zolpidem is a prescription CNS depressant used as a short-acting sleep aid, often sold with the name Ambien. It carries the warning, "Due to the rapid onset of action, zolpidem tartrate should only be taken immediately prior to going to bed. Patients should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness or motor coordination such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle after ingesting the drug, including potential impairment of the performance of such activities that may occur the day following ingestion of zolpidem tartrate. Zolpidem tartrate showed additive effects when combined with alcohol and should not be taken with alcohol. Patients should also be cautioned about possible combined effects with other CNS-depressant drugs." Blood levels where the sedating effects are expected are between 0.025 and 0.30 ug/ml.

Lorazepam is a sedating benzodiazepine that is a Schedule IV controlled substance available by prescription and commonly used to treat anxiety; it is often sold with the name Ativan. It carries this warning, "As with all patients on CNS-depressant drugs, patients receiving lorazepam should be warned not to operate dangerous machinery or motor vehicles and that their tolerance for alcohol and other CNS depressants will be diminished." Blood levels where the sedating effects are expected in living subjects are between 0.16 ug/ml and 0.27 ug/ml.

Clonidine is a prescription blood pressure medication that is not generally considered impairing.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The propeller manufacturer examined 25 digital photographs of the propeller that were provided by the National Transportation Safety Board's investigator-in-charge. According to the propeller manufacturer, the propeller sustained damage that appeared to be a result of impact and subsequent recovery of the airplane. There were no indications of propeller failure or malfunction before impact. Also, the propeller exhibited damage consistent with low rotational energy absorption during the impact sequence, which generally indicates low to no engine power at impact.

The NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division reviewed an excerpt of an ATC recording. The purpose of the study was to determine what was said in the pilot transmission. The sound wave form and spectral image were examined, and pitch contours identified. Sound was listened to by two different people, one who had no knowledge of the investigative facts. The text identified by the two listeners was "guys want me-to do-a muller." Additionally, the pilot's speech was noted to be markedly slurred.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

An aerobatic flight maneuver referred to as the "Muller" Tower, Zwiebelturm, or Spiral Tower, is attributed to Swiss and European aerobatic champion Eric Muller, who is believed to have invented it in 1974. It is an aerobatic maneuver where a pilot begins with a vertical climb, performs an aileron snap roll to the right, does a negative push to level out into horizontal flight at the top of the apogee, and enters a flat spin to the left at full throttle before pitching forward and exiting the maneuver in a dive.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/02/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/02/2015
Flight Time: 4205 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N6609P
Model/Series: P210N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: P21000192
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/01/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4001 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 28 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3345 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-P
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LAA, 3705 ft msl
Observation Time: 0853 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 215°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6500 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 160°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rock Springs, WY (RKS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Oklahoma City, OK (PWA)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following; VFR on top
Departure Time: 0645 MDT
Type of Airspace: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  38.495000, -102.290000

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA188 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Sheridan Lake, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N, registration: N6609P
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On May 18, 2016, about 0901 mountain daylight time, a Cessna P210N, N6609P, sustained substantial damage when it impacted a field in a flat spin about 4 miles northeast of Sheridan Lake, Colorado. The pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Stubblefield Construction Company under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the airplane was receiving visual flight rules (VFR) flight following from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Denver, Colorado. The airplane departed the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport (RKS), Rock Springs, Wyoming, about 0645 and was en route to the Wiley Post Airport (PWA), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Earlier that morning, the pilot departed the Nampa Municipal Airport (MAN), Nampa, Idaho, about 0222 and landed in RKS about 0442. A witness at RKS reported that the pilot had the airplane topped off with 68 gallons of fuel. He reported that the pilot slept in the pilot's lounge for about one hour before departing to WPA.

Radar track data indicated that the airplane was flying on a southeast heading at 17,300 ft pressure altitude until 0847. Then the airplane started a series of turns, climbs, and descents that proceeded in a northerly direction. The air traffic controller stated on the radio that he suspected that the pilot might be hypoxic, and instructed the pilot to descend to a VFR altitude below 12,500 ft. The airplane started to descend and its last recorded radar return at 0900:32 indicated that the airplane's pressure altitude was 9,200 ft.

The airplane impacted a harvested field of milo in a wings-level, flat attitude. The left wing was canted aft and the right wing was canted forward indicative of a left hand spin. The tail was slightly to the left of the fuselage and the engine was slightly to the right. The fuselage was leaning slightly to the left. The landing gear was found in the retracted position.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage. It was bent forward at the root and was bent upward at the flap/aileron junction where the wing was resting on the ground. There was no leading edge compression damage. The left flap was in the retracted position.

The right wing remained attached to the fuselage. It was bent downward at the root and was bent upward in the middle of the right aileron area where the wing was resting on the ground. There was no leading edge compression damage to the right wing. The right flap was hanging down approximately 10 degrees. Examination of the flap cables indicated the right flap cable was separated near the right wing root. The bottom side of the right wing had oil residue from the wing root extending outward toward the outboard end of the right flap.

The tail was fractured almost completely around its circumference at the dorsal. The rudder and elevators remained attached to the empennage. The rudder balance weight was separated from the top of the rudder and it was lying on the ground directly below the rudder.



EADS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a man was killed when he crashed his small airplane into a field near the Colorado-Kansas border.

According to the Kiowa County Sheriff's Office, 64-year-old John Lee Stubblefield, of Meridian, Idaho, crashed his Cessna P210 northeast of Sheridan Lake on Wednesday morning.

Two F16 aircraft and a B1 Bomber were training in the area and found the crash site.


The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, the cause of which has not been released.

Media Release: Fatal Airplane Crash Under Investigation in Kiowa County 

Eads, Colo. –May 18, 2016 – Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office is on the scene of a fatal airplane crash in Eastern Kiowa County. 

One fatality is confirmed following a single engine aircraft crash near Highway 96 and County Road 71.  

Representatives from the  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) enroute to the crash site to begin an investigation.

The Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call just after 9:30 a.m. 

Multiple agencies responded to the incident including the Kiowa County Fire Protection District’s fire and ambulance crews and the Colorado State Patrol.  

The coroner is responding to the accident site.  

The Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office will remain at the incident site until the FAA and NTSB arrive. 

Flight instruction returns to Vermilion Regional Airport (KDNV), Danville, Illinois



DANVILLE – Flight training is returning to the Vermilion Regional Airport.

It’s been 21 years since the last full service fixed-base operator operated by airport board member Steve Foster offered a flight school.

Foster said he sold the business in 1995.

The Vermilion Regional Airport Authority Board of Commissioners this week voted to allow Midwest Aircraft Services to operate flight training at the airport located on North Bowman Avenue.

“It’s aircraft rental and flight instruction,” said Airport Manager Mike Potter of his wife Tracey’s business.

Tracey said they’ll have two aircraft to rent and independent flight instructors.

Tracey is a licensed mechanic and also still manages the airport in Morehead, Ky.

“We have kids who also help out down there,” she said, adding that she’ll continue to manage as long as they make it work both here and there.

Tracey Potter said flight instruction is the way to go to get the community involved and get new people involved in aviation.

Mike Potter said they have a fixed-base operation at the airport and normally it does maintenance and flight instruction at an airport.

“I talked with him to see if he wanted to pursue that and if he was interested in doing it. He really wasn’t,” Mike Potter said, adding that Tracey could have helped him set it up.

Potter said the board’s approval was to not be in conflict of the operator already at the airport. He said they received the board’s blessing.

He said the board was interested in seeing flight instruction return. The board is exploring options to bring more people and business back to the airport.

“We haven’t worked out the details,” Mike Potter said about the hangers to use and other details.

He said basically he knew what the board wanted to see happen and he wanted to get the ball rolling.

“I knew that’s what they wanted,” Mike Potter said.

They will have two airplanes and a third one coming from Kentucky.

Mike Potter has already been teaching three people, from Danville, Oakwood and Rossville, to fly in the evenings after work.

There also are five other students lined up with another flight instructor as soon as an airplane was available here, Potter said.

He’s hoping to get more flight instructors lined up before they “get overwhelmed.”

Potter said a person must be 16 years old to fly solo, 17 years old to get a license and 18 to get a commercial license. For a glider, a 14-year-old can receive a license.

“I’ve flown with as young as 12- and 13-year-olds,” he said of dual flight instruction.

It can cost $6,000 to $7,000 to get a license, Potter said, adding that most students also reach 50-60 hours of flight time above the 40 minimum hours needed.

“We think it’s a real good start,” Foster said about the flight training interest here.

“It’s good to do the training in the evenings,” Foster said. “It’s great to get something like that going.”

“We’re going in the right direction,” he said of the airport.

Airport officials also are working with the state, city and county on economic development ideas.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.commercial-news.com

Cameron A315, Napa Valley Balloons Inc., N69520: Accident occurred November 14, 2016 in Winters, Yolo County, California (and) Incident occurred May 17, 2016 in Napa County, California

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

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

NAPA VALLEY BALLOONS INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N69520

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25


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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2016 in Winters, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2017
Aircraft: CAMERON A315, registration: N69520
Injuries: 1 Serious, 14 Uninjured.

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

The pilot of a balloon reported that while aloft he observed the wind increase to about 10 miles per hour, so he briefed his passengers on how to brace for a “high wind landing” and possible basket tip-over. The pilot further reported that he descended to about 3 feet above ground, and once over the target landing area he “shut off [the] fuel tanks and burners then pulled the smart vent (rapid deflation valve).” Subsequently, on touch down the basket bounced once and skidded about 15 to 20 yards before stopping with the basket tipping over on its side. 

The pilot reported that he secured the basket and while the passengers were exiting the basket, his ground crew informed him that a passenger had injured her ankle. According to the pilot, the injured passenger did not speak English as her first language and he was unsure if she braced appropriately for the landing or if she sustained the serious injury while exiting the basket. The pilot reported that another passenger informed him that the passenger sustained the injury while she was exiting the basket.

The pilot did not report any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The passenger's improper egress from the balloon basket, which resulted in a serious injury.

Date:  17-MAY-16
Time:  14:45:00Z
Regis#:  N69520
Aircraft Make:  CAMERON
Aircraft Model:  A315
Event Type:  Incident
Damage:  None
Activity:  Sightseeing
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
City:  NAPA
State:  California

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25


HOT AIR BALLOON FORCE LANDED ON A LEVY 3 MILES FROM THE AIRPORT, PERSONS ON BOARD WERE RETRIEVED BY HELICOPTER, NO INJURIES, NO DAMAGE, NAPA, CALIFORNIA. 



NAPA (KPIX 5) – Tourists who were taking in the scenic Napa Valley on a hot air balloon ride Tuesday had their journey turn into a rescue mission, when the balloon went off course and made an emergency landing near the Napa River.

“They got a nice balloon ride and a free helicopter ride,” CHP flight officer Tom Lipsey told KPIX 5.

Lipsey said as CHP helicopters were out training, he noticed something colorful from the flight hanger.

“We looked over there, saw a hot air balloon that was pretty far south of where we normally see them,” he recalled.

A helicopter found the balloon on a remote levee, miles off course, near the Napa River. The pilot told Lipsey he didn’t have enough fuel to lift off.

“The winds were kind of shifting all over as we were landing, so I think it was just a really strange day for winds and maybe caught them off guard,” Lipsey said.

The balloon belongs to Napa Valley Balloon Inc. Representatives told KPIX 5 the people on the balloon ride were tourists that were part of a Robert Mondavi wine tasting trip.

The helicopter had to make multiple trips to rescue the 16 tourists and the pilot.

One of the tourists posted on Instagram a selfie from the chopper.

“I know they were taking a lot of selfies and videos of us flying over there so I am sure they got good memories there,” Lipsey said.

Napa Valley Balloon Inc. said the strong winds forced their pilot to land on the levee, but no one was ever in danger.

Story and video:  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com



NAPA, California -- Tourists who were taking in the scenic Napa Valley on a hot air balloon ride Tuesday had their journey turn into a rescue mission when the balloon went off course and made an emergency landing near the Napa River, CBS San Francisco reported.

"They got a nice balloon ride and a free helicopter ride," California Highway Patrol flight officer Tom Lipsey told CBS SF.

Lipsey said as CHP helicopters were out training, he noticed something colorful from the flight hanger.

"We looked over there, saw a hot air balloon that was pretty far south of where we normally see them," he recalled.

A helicopter found the balloon on a remote levee, miles off course, near the Napa River. The pilot told Lipsey he didn't have enough fuel to lift off.

"The winds were kind of shifting all over as we were landing, so I think it was just a really strange day for winds and maybe caught them off guard," Lipsey said.

The balloon belongs to Napa Valley Balloon Inc. Representatives told CBS SF the people on the balloon ride were tourists that were part of a Robert Mondavi wine tasting trip.

The helicopter had to make multiple trips to rescue the 16 tourists and the pilot.

One of the tourists posted on Instagram a selfie from the chopper.

"I know they were taking a lot of selfies and videos of us flying over there so I am sure they got good memories there," Lipsey said.

Napa Valley Balloon Inc. said the strong winds forced their pilot to land on the levee, but no one was ever in danger.

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