Monday, June 6, 2016

Gnoss Field (KDVO) pilots push for 1,100-foot runway extension

Kathryn's Report:

Pilots who use Gnoss Field spoke out against a Federal Aviation Administration recommendation to extend the county airport’s runway 800 feet less than originally proposed.

At a public meeting Thursday regarding the FAA’s determination that only a 300-foot extension is needed at the Novato airport, pilots and others argued for a longer runway extension for safety reasons.

Some pilots said the report is riddled with errors.

“We’ll certainly look at comments that suggest there’s factual error, look into that and see if we agree,” said Doug Pomeroy, an FAA environmental specialist.

A 1,100-foot extension was originally suggested for the 3,300-foot runway at the 120-acre airport. But the FAA changed its recommendation after a study that reviewed aviation activity and what was needed for the most demanding aircraft taking off and landing at the airport.

Several pilots at Thursday’s meeting said the $84,613 study, conducted by global aviation consulting firm Landrum and Brown, was inaccurate in classifying Class B-II Turboprop aircraft as the most demanding aircraft that require the largest operating space, logging 500 annual takeoffs and landings at Gnoss Field.

“They aren’t fixing the runway and making it the proper length of the critical aircraft, which is the Cessna 525,” said Peter Gruhl, a Novato resident who has been using Gnoss since 2009.

The Cessna 525 Citation jet in 2009 was determined the aircraft with at least 500 takeoffs and landings at the airport. The original 1,100-foot runway extension was based on regular airport use by the business jet.

Pilots said the most demanding aircraft should still be the Cessna 525 Citation jet, and not the Class B-II Turboprop aircraft, which refers to aircraft that approach at 91 to 121 knots, have a tail height of 20 to 30 feet and a wingspan of 49 to 79 feet.

Charles Roell, a San Rafael resident and retired military aviator, also believes the Cessna 525 Citation jet is still the airport’s most demanding aircraft.

Both Roell and Gruhl said the study’s count of the aircraft operating at Gnoss is inaccurate.

Both men said not all aircraft operating at the airport are counted in FAA databases because they do not file flight plans, which indicate an aircraft’s proposed route and are used to govern flights.

“That happens a lot more times than the folks doing the counting think it has,” Roell said.

Allen Kenitzer, an FAA spokesman, said flight plans are required to be filed for commercial flights but are optional with private flights.

Because Gnoss Field does not have a traffic control tower, there is no exact count of how many aircraft use the airport, Kenitzer said.

“Therefore, other local, regional, and national factors such as number of aircraft based at Gnoss Field Airport, national and local economic trends, local population trends, and trends in general aviation activity ... are all used to estimate the total number of aircraft operations at Gnoss Field Airport,” he said in an emailed statement.

Novato resident David McConnell said his request that the runway be extended 1,100 feet is based on safety. He said crosswinds that come through Mount Burdell are often burdensome for Gnoss pilots.

“To extend the runway 1,100 feet, as you go north, the crosswinds would be less and less,” McConnell said.

Comments on the study will be accepted through June 17. The FAA will then complete its supplemental environmental impact statement.

Original article can be found here:

Boucher Duo Deuce, N808DD: Accident occurred June 06, 2016 near Stafford Regional Airport (KRMN), Stafford County, Virginia

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Richmond FSDO-21
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA204
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 06, 2016 in Stafford, VA
Aircraft: BOBBI BOUCHER DUO DEUCE, registration: N808DD
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 June 6, 2016, at 1759 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Duo Deuce, N808DD, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain after takeoff from Stafford Regional Airport (RMN), Stafford, Virginia. The commercial pilot/owner/builder was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the initial test flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

In an interview with a police officer just after the accident, the pilot reported that during the initial climb after takeoff, both engines experienced a "sudden" loss of power. She identified an open area for the forced landing, and upon touchdown, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. 

In a subsequent telephone interview, the pilot stated that she did not recall the conversation with the officer, and stated the right engine stopped producing power. 

Several witnesses provided statements, and they described the takeoff and climb as "slow," stating that the airplane was "wobbling" and the wings were "rocking." One witness estimated that the airplane climbed to about 300 feet above the runway, before it slowly descended. 

A review of videos recorded from two airport security cameras, as well as an on-board video recorded with the pilot's cellphone revealed a shallow takeoff and initial climb. Almost immediately after takeoff, the airplane's track diverged from the runway centerline off the right side of the runway and over the grass apron. The climb stopped at what appeared to be treetop height, the wings rocked, and the airplane continued to pitch up as it descended until ground contact. The instrument panel could not be viewed, but the propeller speeds appeared constant and both propellers appeared to be turning at the same speed during the takeoff roll and the entire flight until ground contact. 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land and sea, and instructor ratings for airplane single and multiengine. She was issued an FAA second-class medical certificate on October 29, 2015, and reported 6,420 total hours of flight experience on that date. 

The two-seat, twin-engine, low-wing airplane was manufactured in 2013, and was equipped with two Lycoming IO-320-B1A engines. The pilot/owner/builder modified a Van's Aircraft, Inc., RV-8 single engine airplane kit. Instead of the nose-mounted, single-engine configuration for which the kit was designed, the airplane was equipped with two wing-mounted engines. 

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane remained largely intact, with the left engine separated. Both wings and the tail section were substantially damaged. The airplane was retained for a detailed examination at a later date.

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (WUSA9) -- A small plane crash landed near Interstate I-95 in Stafford County on Monday evening. 

Police say the plane crashed near the southbound lanes of I-95 near the 137 mile marker around 5:33 p.m. 

The pilot 62-year-old Roberta A. Boucher survived the crash and was transported to Mary Washington Hospital where she was treated for series, but non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities say the experimental aircraft was conducting a high-speed taxi on the runway of Stafford Regional Airport when the plane unintentionally lifted off the runway. 

The aircraft cleared the Centreport Park before crash landing near the southbound lanes of I-95. 

Original article can be found here:

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. (ABC7) — A small plane made a crash-landing near Interstate 95 in Stafford County around 5:22 p.m. Monday, according to Virginia State Police.

The pilot, 62-year-old Roberta Boucher of Fredericksburg, was reported to have survived the incident.

In a statement sent to ABC7, Virginia State Police report the following took place:

"An experimental aircraft was conducting a high-speed taxi on the runway of the Stafford Regional Airport, when the aircraft unintentionally lifted off the runway. The aircraft cleared the Centreport Parkway before crash-landing into an embankment alongside the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 at the 137 mile marker.   The pilot, Roberta A. Boucher, 62, of Fredericksburg, Va., survived the crash and was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The FAA is responding to the scene. The NTSB was also notified. The crash investigation by state police remains ongoing at this time."

Police say the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 were reopened around 6 p.m.

Founder of Pasco’s Bergstrom Aircraft dies

Kathryn's Report:

Karl Bergstrom started his family business in 1971 as Karl Bergstrom Aircraft Services.

The founder of Pasco’s Bergstrom Aircraft died Sunday from complications of ALS.

Karl A. Bergstrom, 82, died at The Chaplaincy’s Hospice House in Kennewick.

He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, two years ago.

Malin Bergstrom said Monday that it’s kind of tough to sum up everything that was her father.

“He was quite the guy; one of a kind,” she said.

Karl Bergstrom was born in Stockholm, Sweden, where he discovered his passion in the mechanical trades and went to work for the Swedish airline, TransAir.

Elenor Bergstrom convinced her husband to immigrate with their young daughter, Anna, to the United States in 1965 to pursue the American dream. They settled in the Tri-Cities.

After getting his aircraft maintenance certification and pilot’s license at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Karl Bergstrom went to work as chief mechanic for Tri-City Airways at the Pasco airport in 1968.

The husband-and-wife team opened their own aircraft maintenance shop in 1971, which was incorporated into Bergstrom Aircraft in 1975. That was followed by the addition of jet refueling services, flight instruction, aircraft rental and sales, and charter services.

The couple moved to Pasco 12 years ago after living in Kennewick for nearly four decades.

Karl Bergstrom retired in the last five years, but remained a presence at the airport visiting with employees and saying “Hi” to the customers, Malin Bergstrom said. Elenor Bergstrom also is retired but stays involved in the business, she said.

Malin Bergstrom is president of Bergstrom Aircraft and her brother, Daniel, is vice president and operations manager.

“He got all his enjoyment out of helping other people and kind of saving the day sometimes when an airplane was delayed or had a maintenance problem,” Malin Bergstrom told the Herald.

Karl Bergstrom would even step in to help Delta, United and Horizon at the adjacent Tri-Cities Airport by fixing their airplanes so they could get back on schedule safely, she said.

She described her father as a private and humble person, who didn’t look for awards, recognition or money.

“We had to remind him many times when he worked that you have to send a bill out after working on the airplane. He didn’t like to be bothered with that kind of stuff,” she said. “He just liked to fix stuff and make people happy.”

In addition to his wife of 58 years and their three children, Bergstrom is survived by six grandchildren, a brother and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in Sweden.

Malin Bergstrom said the family is going to honor her father’s wish for no funeral service.

However, they are planning to have a “celebration of life party” at Bergstrom Aircraft in July. They are trying to pick a date that works for the many out-of-town friends and relatives.

Read more here:

Incident occurred June 06, 2016 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Seattle, King County, Washington

Kathryn's Report:

All passengers had to deplane after a fire broke out outside an American Airlines flight at Sea-Tac Airport Monday morning.

Instagram user Nick Curry posted a video that showed smoke billowing near the American Airlines flight 143 to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The plane is a Boeing 737-800.

Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said a ground start unit that is used to help start the engines caught fire at about 8:30 a.m. The starter hooks up to the aircraft externally, and when it caught fire, it was pulled away from the plane.

Port of Seattle fire responded and doused the flames. Everyone deplaned safely. 

There was no damage to the aircraft.

The flight, which was scheduled to leave at 7:43 a.m., was at first delayed until 10:52 a.m., according to 

Story and video:

A piece of airplane-service equipment caught fire Monday morning at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, causing one flight to be delayed by almost four hours.

Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper said an air-starter — used to jump-start airplane engines — caught fire around 8:30 a.m. at gate D7. No one was injured in the fire.

Cooper said the air-starter was pulled away from the plane and terminal by the ground crew, and the fire was quickly put out by the Port of Seattle Fire Department.

The affected flight, American Airlines Flight 143, was rescheduled to depart at 12:18 p.m., Cooper said.

Cooper said no other airport operations were disrupted by the fire.

Original article can be found here:

Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander, Faunce Ag Aviation, N4191X: Fatal accident occurred June 06, 2016 in De Smet, Benewah County, Idaho

Kathryn's Report:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Spokane FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA120
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, June 06, 2016 in De Smet, ID
Aircraft: ROCKWELL S2R, registration: N4191X
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 June 6, 2016, about 0745 Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell International S-2R, restricted category agricultural airplane, N4191X, was substantially damaged follow a collision with powerlines and subsequent impact with trees while engaged in aerial application about 3 nautical miles west of De Smet, Idaho. The airplane was owned and operated by Faunce Ag Aviation Inc., Tekoa, Washington. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was being operated in accordance 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed a private airstrip near Tekoa at an undetermined time. 

According to a witness whose residence is located about 800 feet east of the accident site, she was watching the pilot spray the field located immediately north and across the road from her house. The witness stated that he observed the airplane banking and coming around for its next pass on the south side of the field to the east, which was bordered by powerlines. The witness reported that shortly thereafter she observed downed powerlines, followed by the sound of the airplane's impact with terrain. The witness revealed that she did not actually see the airplane collide with the wires.

A National Transportation Safety Board aviation accident investigator arrived at the accident site about 1845 on the day of the event. The investigator's initial assessment of the accident site revealed that the airplane had collided with a four-strand set of powerlines, which ran parallel and bordered the south side of the field that was being sprayed. It was further revealed that subsequent to colliding with the powerlines while heading east, the airplane then impacted various trees on the south side of the road that ran parallel to the powerlines on a heading of about 140 degrees. As a result of the collision with the trees and impact forces, the airplane came to rest partially on its left side on a heading of about 320 degrees, and about 300 feet south of the powerlines. There was no postcrash fire. 

The airplane was recovered to a secured location for further examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

TENSED, Idaho -  The Benewah County Sheriff confirms a crop duster pilot was killed Monday morning when his plane went down near Tensed, Idaho.

Sheriff Dave Resser says the pilot was spraying near Desmet Road at 7:45 Monday morning when he failed to pull up in time and hit power lines.

Those lines are now covering part of Desmet Road and crews are working to clear the road and get traffic moving in the area again.

The FAA is on the way to the scene.

The pilot who was killed is Greg Faunce, a longtime agricultural pilot in the area. He was also once the Tekoa Fire Chief.

Faunce leaves behind a wife, three daughters and numerous grandchildren.

Original article can be found here:

DE SMET, Idaho – The Benewah County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a man is dead following a crop dusting plane crash in De Smet on Monday morning.

According to officials, the pilot was spraying when he approached power lines and was unable to move out of the way. His plane got snagged in the lines and wound up in nearby trees.

The pilot, who has not yet been identified, was thrown from the plane and died at the scene. The crash happened around 7:45 a.m. on De Smet Road about 2.5 miles outside of town.

The FAA will be sending investigators to the scene.

Original article can be found here:

Summer Airmanship Training begins at Academy

Kathryn's Report:


Residents who live and work on the north side of Colorado Springs will likely notice an increase in the number of aircraft flying overhead as summer heats up. The US Air Force Academy's Summer Airmanship Program began in earnest Monday.  

More than 1,000 cadets are expected to receive training from the 306th Flying Training Group on how to pilot various gliders, small aircraft and to how to conduct parachute operations.

These training flights are typically scheduled Monday through Friday from sunrise to sunset between early June and early August.

The Academy said in a news release they have increased coordination with military units flying routine missions around the Colorado Springs area to help expose cadets to Air Force flying missions.

"Airmanship programs not only expose many cadets to the fundamentals of flying, but more importantly, provide unique leadership and character development opportunities, ultimately motivating many cadets to pursue rated careers in our Air Force," said Colonel Steven Burgh, 306th Flying Training Group commander.  

"Community support is essential to the success of the Academy's Airmanship mission. We sincerely appreciate the continued cooperation and support of our neighbors in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities."

The Academy updated the flightpaths for these training missions in 2013. If you're curious about where those are and what types of planes the cadets will be flying, visit the flight operations page.

Original article can be found here:

Air Tractor AT-502, N10325: Accident occurred June 06, 2016 in Ropesville, Hockley County, Texas

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 06-JUN-16
Time: 18:16:00Z
Regis#: N10325
Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR
Aircraft Model: AT502
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Serious
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Lubbock FSDO-13
State: Texas



LEVELLAND, TX --  Just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, a neighbor reported a plane crash in a cotton field in Hockley County.

The Hockley County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a plane was reported down in the 6300 block of Leopard Road, which is about halfway between Levelland and Ropesville.

Aerocare was dispatched and the pilot of that crop duster, David Gonzales, 47, of San Antonio was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock. As of Monday evening UMC reported that Gonzales was in the Emergency Room of the hospital. Gonzales' family members told that Gonzales is expected to recover and that he has been visiting with family in the hospital

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Gonzales suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. 

John Gonzalez with DPS said, "Why the plane went down? We don't know."

Only one person was aboard. 

The tail number on the plane indicated it was a crop duster owned by a company in Southlake. A family member of the pilot indicated he was working for a company based in Littlefield.  Employees of Brown Flying Service in Littlefield went to the scene of the crash and confirmed that Gonzales is one of their employees.

The FAA was notified and arrived on scene to investigate. DPS said Monday evening that the investigation into this crash has now been handed over to the FAA. 

"It's amazing that someone could live through that, it is a pretty bad crash, it took out the front part of the engine, motor block and one wing," explained Captain Nolan Seaton of the Hockley County Sheriff's Office who responded to the crash. 

 Cpl. Gonzalez with DPS added that accidents like these are a reminder for motorists that crop dusters can fly very low and that it's important to be vigilant for them on county roads. 

The Hockley County Sheriff's Office said that they've seen several similar crashes with small aircrafts or crop dusters over the past few years. Captain Seaton said what made the difference in this crash was a neighbor who saw what happened and alerted authorities about the crash. 

"Be aware of that airplanes have been in the sky; this plane came down, the guy at the house he probably wouldn't have known about it if he hadn't been in the back yard working," Seaton said. 

Story, video and photo gallery:

ROPESVILLE, TX (KCBD) -   A crop duster pilot has been injured in a plane crash in the 6000 block Leopard Road south of 1585 near Ropesville in Hockley County. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that an Air Tractor crop duster crashed into a cotton field around 1:20 p.m.  The pilot was seriously injured, suspected to have two broken legs. The pilot has been identified as 47-year-old David Gonzales of San Antonio.  The pilot was transported to UMC by AeroCare. The FAA is investigating the crash.

Story and video: 
A crop duster crashed into a cotton field early Monday afternoon in Hockley County. An Air Tractor crop duster crashed into the field about 1:15 p.m. near Ropesville, according to Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured or what prompted the crash. By mid-Monday afternoon, the yellow and black crop duster remained in the field near the 6300 block of Leopard Road as local law enforcement worked the scene. The FAA is investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here:

Flexjet, Bombardier CL 30: Incident occurred June 04, 2016 at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Colorado

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 04-JUN-16
Time: 20:01:00Z
Regis#: LXJ542
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: BD100 1A10
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Activity: Commercial
Flight Number: LXJ542
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03
State: Colorado


American Aviation AA-1A, N6391L; accident occurred June 05, 2016 in Lone Pine, Inyo County, California -Kathryn's Report

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Las Vegas FSDO-19

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA289
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 05, 2016 in Lone Pine, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/14/2016
Aircraft: AMERICAN AVIATION AA 1A, registration: N6391L
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.

The pilot reported that during the landing roll on a backcountry dirt airstrip, the left wing lifted due to a gust of wind. The pilot further reported that he maintained a faster than normal ground roll by alleviating pressure on the brakes and maintaining some power to taxi up the incline of the airstrip, which was recommended in a YouTube video. As the end of the runway approached, the pilot reported that he was unable to stop the airplane or abort the landing. The airplane overran the runway and hit a dirt berm, which resulted in a nose gear collapse, a nose-over, and substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's incorrect brake and power application during landing, which resulted in a runway overrun, collision with a dirt berm, nose gear collapse, and nose-over.

Piper PA-28-161, N91630: Incident occurred June 04, 2016 at Montgomery Field Airport (KMYF), San Diego, California

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 04-JUN-16
Time: 01:07:00Z
Regis#: N91630
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Diego FSDO-09
State: California


Delta Airlines, McDonnell Douglas MD80: Incident occurred June 05, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 06-JUN-16
Time: 02:03:00Z
Regis#: DAL1303
Aircraft Model: MD88
Event Type: Incident
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: DAL-Delta Air Lines
Flight Number: DAL1303
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Atlanta FSDO-11
State: Georgia


Bellanca 7GCBC, N8777: Accident occurred June 05, 2016 at Ferndale Airfield (53U), Bigfork, Flathead County, Montana

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Helena FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA284
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 05, 2016 in Ferndale, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2016
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N8777
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane, during the takeoff roll, the airplane drifted left of the centerline. He reported that he corrected the drift by applying right rudder and the airplane began to decelerate. He recalled that he released the right rudder input in order to reposition his foot off of the heel brake and noticed that the airplane was approaching a left landing strip boundary marker rapidly. He reported that he decided to rotate early and the airplane continued drifting left, collided with the roof of a hangar, and dropped to the ground where it caught on fire. The airplane was destroyed by the fire.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with any portion of the airplane prior to the takeoff roll that would have prevented normal flight operations.

The pilot's last flight review was 08AUG2009. The pilot has accumulated 165 total hours of flight time and a total of 7 hours in make and model.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of directional control during takeoff resulting in a decision to rotate early, and a collision with a hangar and subsequent fire.

Aerial firefighting company ready for local fire season

Kathryn's Report: 

SPOKANE, Wash. – Firefighting agencies across the Inland Northwest have recognized that fire season started earlier, and will likely last longer. One national aerial firefighting company has its headquarters in Spokane, and they said they are busier than ever just six months into the year.

Aero-Flite is a privately operated water-scooping air tanker that delivers water and fire retardant for wild land fire suppression.

Video from 2015’s Okanogan Complex Fire shows Aero-Flite using a lot of resources to battle the blaze.

Mike Lynn is the director of operations for Aero-Flite and said even with the snow pack and rain helping, it is not slowing down the start of fire season.

“it's starting to crank up already and we have dealt with fires in the area already on the north side of the quest casino,” he said. “That's an indication to us that the fire season is starting here but normally the fire season in Washington starts in the later part of June”

Lynn said the changes in weather patterns have his guys fighting wildfires from February to November. They start in part of the south and east coast before panning over to the west coast.

With such an uptick in demand, Lynn said they are having trouble finding qualified pilots to help fly their increasing number of aircraft available.

Original article can be found here:

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N5376P: Accident occurred June 04, 2016 in Loda, Loda Township, Iroquois County, Illinois (and) incident occurred April 13, 2016 near Tucumcari Municipal Airport (KTCC), Quay County, New Mexico 

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Springfield FSDO-19

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA277
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 03, 2016 in Loda, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24, registration: N5376P
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The pilot reported that while at cruise on a cross country flight the engine experienced a total loss of power and he switched fuel tanks. The airplane restarted, and then a total loss of power occurred again. The pilot was forced to land the airplane on a private grass airstrip. During the landing roll the left main landing gear impacted a low spot in the ground, veered off the runway to the left and impacted a fence with the left wing. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. 

A postaccident examination revealed that the right and left fuel tanks were empty, and no fuel leaks could be identified. 

Fuel Management

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Foundation has published Safety Advisor SA16-01/05 Fuel Awareness (2005). This document discusses recommendations regarding fuel management for pilots and states in part:

1. Know How Much Fuel You Have - The first step in knowing how much fuel you have is to think of fuel not in gallons or pounds but hours and minutes. The Air Safety Foundation recommends that pilots of unfamiliar airplanes add one or two gallons per hour to their computed fuel consumption until they see how much that airplane actually burns.

2. Know Your Airplane's Fuel System - Pilots must also be familiar with and proficient in operating the fuel system on their airplanes.

3. Know What's in Your Fuel Tanks - Pilots must ensure their airplane contains the proper grade of uncontaminated fuel.

4. Update Your Fuel Status Regularly During Flight - It's good to do thorough preflight planning but, once in the air, things can change. Winds are rarely exactly as forecast and weather deviations add miles and minutes to your trip. The Air Safety Foundation recommends that pilots evaluate their fuel status each hour.

5. Always Land with Adequate Reserve Fuel - Aviation regulations require different fuel reserves for different operations. The Air Safety Foundation recommends that pilots never land with less than one hour of fuel in the tanks. That way all the regulatory reserve requirements are met and exceeded by at least 15 minutes.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to properly calculate the fuel consumption rate and to properly monitor the fuel status in flight, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and a subsequent forced landing, runway excursion, and impact with a fence.

Date: 13-APR-16
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N5376P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: None
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01
State: New Mexico


Ronald Beyers stands next to the tail of his Piper PA-24-250 Comanche.

Bernadette Beyers speaks with New Mexico State Police Officer Joshua Silva after she and her husband Ronald were forced to land their plane in the median. 

Interstate-40 traffic was a bit more congested than usual on Wednesday morning. An Indiana couple landed their single-engine airplane on the median about 15 miles west of Tucumcari, after losing power.

“This was the first landing without power for the both of us,” said Ronald Beyers.

“It’s also the last time, I hope,” said Bernadette Beyers.

Ronald Beyers said he was focused on landing the plane in the dirt median between the eastbound and westbound highways and he did not notice if there was any other traffic.

New Mexico State Police reported there were no injuries related to the incident.

The couple was flying to their home in West Lafayette, Indiana, from Mesa, Arizona, when their Piper PA-24-250 Comanche lost power.

“We were about a mile north of I-40,  said Ronald Beyers, who was piloting the plane.

He said he was flying as usual when he and his wife lurched forward in their seatbelts and the engine stopped.

He said he switched fuel tanks and turned on the booster pump but there was still no power to the plane.

“At that point, I began surveying the area for a possible place to land the plane,” Ronald Beyers said.

They began their descent shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

By the time Quay County Sheriff’s Office deputies and New Mexico State Police troopers arrived on scene, the  Beyers were unharmed and walking around the plane.

“It all happened so suddenly,” Bernadette Beyers said. “I’m just so grateful that we are both OK.”

She credited the safe landing to her husband’s experience as a retired Air Force pilot who earned the rank of colonel. Ronald Beyers served for 26 years.

Ronald Beyers said he called out a “may day” distress, advising authorities of his plan to land the aircraft on the interstate.

Officials early Wednesday afternoon were still on the scene, awaiting the arrival of officials from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ronald Beyers said the plane will have to be hauled from where it landed.

Original article can be found here:

Around 11 a.m., a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche plane landed in the median on I-40 about 6 miles west of Tucumcari at Mile Marker 319 and everyone walked away. Quay County Sheriff Russell Shafer:

The median is about 60 feet wide. The pilot, who is in his 60s, has had extensive background which no doubt helped to keep the situation from becoming a disaster; he previously flew in the Air Force and as a commercial pilot. 

The pilot and his wife were the only passengers in the 4-seater plane. No emergency response was ever requested.

At this time, the plane is still in the median, and they are working on removing it.

Story and audio:

TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) – Authorities say a Piper PA-24-250 Comanche plane made an emergency landing on Interstate 40 in eastern New Mexico.

State Police say no one was injured during the incident late Wednesday morning near Tucumcari and no damage was reported.

Circumstances of the emergency landing aren’t immediately known.

The plane was moved into the highway’s median until it can be removed.

Incident occurred June 05, 2016 in Snohomish County, Washington

Kathryn's Report:

Date:  05-JUN-16
Time:  23:00:00Z
Aircraft Make:  FP101
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None 
Damage:  Minor
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Seattle FSDO-01
State:  Washington


Incident occurred June 04, 2016 in Vernal, Uintah County, Utah

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 04-JUN-16
Time: 00:05:00Z
Regis#: N61SK
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07
State: Utah


Bell 429, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., N429BH: Incident occurred June 03, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 03-JUN-16
Time: 17:24:00Z
Regis#: N429BH
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 429
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fort Worth AFW FSDO-19
State: Texas