Wednesday, June 8, 2016

After Alaska successes, Federal Aviation Administration weather cam program expands

Kathryn's Report: http://www.kathrynsreport.com


This screenshot illustrates some of the information available to pilots, or anyone else interested in weather conditions, on the FAA’s Weather Camera Program site. Image/Courtesy/FAA



What started as a small program to help Alaska pilots that fly some of the most dangerous routes in the state is ready for the big time, and your smartphone.

“We help reduce CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) accidents,” said Walter Combs, who is the Federal Aviation Administration’s Weather Camera Program manager. “We give pilots enough information that they look before they launch. They used to fly out to see if they could go and turn around and come back if they couldn’t. Now, they take a look and see if they can go and if they can’t they sit on the ground and wait until they can.”

Despite being based in Anchorage, his title mentions nothing about Alaska. That’s because there is nothing regional about his program, other than it started quietly in Alaska nearly 10 years ago.

Combs and his 10-person team design, install, maintain and repair nearly 900 cameras at 228 sites across Alaska. Those cameras are often in locations specifically chosen for their isolation, difficulty of access and virtually perpetual inclement weather.

“We serve anybody flying,” Combs said simply.

And the idea is simple enough, too. Give small aircraft pilots an eye to look beyond the mountain peaks visible from the runway and push back against the temptation to take unnecessary risks because one is already in the air.

Combs said the high rate of avoidable flight accidents and deaths in the state meant something had to be done.

“We got started because there were so many CFIT accidents,” he said.

Combs noted one of Alaska’s most popular, and notorious, mountain passes, Merrill Pass, as a prime example of the need for the weather cameras.

Named after Russel Merrill, the pilot who first traversed the route from Anchorage and over the Alaska Range to the Kuskokwim Valley in 1927, Merrill Pass is home to two of Combs’ camera sites.

Anchorage’s Merrill Field is named after him as well.

“If you fly through Merrill Pass in the summer you can just see this (plane) wreckage scattered all over,” Combs said.

The program has worked.

The FAA required hard data to justify funding the program when the first cameras were installed in 2007. At that time, Alaska had an average of 0.28 weather-related flight accidents per 100,000 flight hours.

A third-party consultant developed an algorithm that set targets to reduce the frequency of weather-related crashes by about 10 percent per year in the early years of the program.

By 2011, the actual number of weather-induced accidents had been cut by more than half, to 0.13 per 100,000 flight hours. In 2014, the rate was down to 0.04 per 100,000 hours, or an 86 percent reduction in crashes caused at least partially by weather, according to the FAA.

But the cameras do more than improve safety; they also improve operational efficiency. As Combs said, pilots no longer have to be in the air to see an impenetrable cloudbank for themselves. They can check the trouble spots of their route from the terminal, or the hangar or their office — wherever the nearest computer screen happens to be.

Combs said he has received testimonials from pilots who would regularly fly into Lynn Canal north of Juneau up to six or seven times per day only to be turned back before cameras were installed at two sites along the route.

Again back in 2007, when the first 80 sites were installed, the FAA estimated Alaska pilots unnecessarily flew for more than 15,300 hours on flights that would ultimately be cut short by inclement weather.

Unnecessary flight time logged was down to about 5,000 hours by 2014, based on FAA data. Combs contends the actual number is still less than that.

“What (pilots) are not doing is taking chances in those passes, what we call pinch-points, or hazard areas where weather is known to sock in,” he said.

User-friendly upgrades to the program’s website have encouraged more use, meaning the safety and efficiency metrics should keep getting better, although it will likely be hard continue the impressive year-over-year improvements.

The website avcams.faa.gov averaged 27 million hits per year in the program’s first eight years. The reformatted website, with added information, quicker and easier navigation and always more cameras, pushed the number of views to nearly 200 million in 2015 alone.

Combs said several small flight service operators have added the weather cameras to their “ops specs.” In other words, the pilots are now required to check the cameras along their route as part of their pre-flight routine.

Alaska Air Carriers Association Director Jane Dale confirmed that and said Combs gets nothing but “high marks” from her members.

“The carriers don’t do anything until they look at the cameras,” Dale said.

It’s more than just one photo of the horizon, however. Most sites, except those with partially obstructed views, have four cameras to show incoming our outgoing weather in any direction.

Weather conditions not viewable in a still photo, such as temperature, wind, barometric pressure and cloud ceiling are also provided. Additionally, camera shots taken in 10-minute intervals are stored for six hours, allowing pilots the opportunity to review how the weather is changing — is it getting better or worse?

Combs said National Weather Service officials in Juneau are also taking advantage of his program to make their forecasts. After a recent tour of the NWS Alaska office he said, “The forecasters will have all the cameras on that are in their section that they’re doing the forecast on.”

He has also taken requests from commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska for cameras near their favorite fishing grounds, Combs said.

To date, the FAA has invested about $25 million in the program over nearly a decade, according to Combs, a relatively small amount of money when one considers the locations of some of the equipment.

One of the newest sites, per a Parks Service request, is situated on Kahiltna Glacier at the foot of Denali.

When word gets around that Combs’ team is looking to establish a camera site somewhere in the state, locals often do their best to make his job as easy as possible, exemplifying the understood value of the program, he said.

“Wherever we can get commercial power, we do. And that’s interesting because most people that we approach are willing to give us free power and free (Internet) communication if they have it,” Combs said.

“So we’ve got a lot of sites out here where I’m not paying for any power, I’m not paying for any communication.”

In those places without power, the program team has developed solar and wind power modules to energize the cameras that must operate with only one maintenance trip per year.

FAA Alaska Region Administrator Kerry Long said much of the Weather Camera Program’s success is due to the direct connections Combs has made with the industry. He’s managed to cut through the bureaucracy the FAA is known for.

“There aren’t six levels of getting things done. It’s Walter that makes these decisions,” Long said. “There’s no largesse to it. If you can convince Walter that there’s a need and you’re a user, assuming we can afford it, he’ll do it.”

Now, the program is on the verge of expanding to the Lower 48, Combs said, at the request of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has requests for future sites in many mountainous regions of the West. That expansion will largely depend on funding.

But in the more immediate future, more website improvements and Android and IOS mobile apps are currently in the works and should be ready for the public early this fall, Combs said.

The new website and the mobile apps will allow pilots, or the countless other camera users, for that matter, to save and recall their favorite routes. Efforts are also being made to add more local flight information, such as NOTAMs (notices to airmen), according to Combs.

He has 40 pilots actively testing the apps this summer.

“They’re using the app every day. In fact, we’re using Survey Monkey for their feedback,” Combs said. “We’re on track. We’re giving pilots what they’re after. It’s really cool. It’s really neat to do.”

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

Mooney M20C, N5567Q; Gear collapsed upon landing

















AIRCRAFT:  Mooney M20C N5567Q

ENGINE(S) - M&M, S/N:   O-360-A1D,  S/N L7843-3LA

PROPELLER – M&M, S/N:       Hartzell HC-C2YK-1BF

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

ENGINE:  1896 SMOH

PROPELLER:   331.87    

AIRFRAME:  4178.17   

OTHER EQUIPMENT:  AT50A transponder, KX155 Nav/Com (2); KMA 24 audio, GX55 GPS

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:   Gear collapsed upon landing

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Both gear doors, DME and Transponder Antenna, right cowl flap, first three skins aft of the main gear doors, fourth skin aft of the main gear doors, left hand bottom wing root fairing, skin forward of step, right hand aft wing root skin, step, prop and engine.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  KPSK (Pulaski, VA)

Read more Here:  http://www.avclaims.com

Cessna 175 Skylark, N6649E: Fatal accident occurred June 08, 2016 in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas

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

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration /  Flight Standards District Office - Little Rock,  Arkansas FSDO-11
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 
Textron; Wichita, Kansas

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


SHEPARD GROUP LLC
C/O MASTERS AIR 
http://registry.faa.gov/N6649E 

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA210
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 08, 2016 in Pine Bluff, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 175, registration: N6649E
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The passenger reported that, about 15 minutes after takeoff on the cross-country flight, the engine began "stalling in and out." Although the pilot attempted to troubleshoot the issue, he could not remedy it, and selected a dirt road as a forced landing site. The passenger stated that the airplane was too fast and too high to land, and the pilot circled the airplane for a second approach. About 150 feet above the ground, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The airplane touched down in an area of tree stumps and immediately nosed over.

Toxicology testing of the pilot revealed the presence of diphenhydramine; however, the level detected was too low to quantify and was unlikely to be impairing. No shoulder harnesses were installed, and their installation was not required. Advisory Circular 91-65, in part, stated, "The [National Transportation Safety Board] concluded that shoulder harness use is the most effective way of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in general aviation accidents."

Although the spark plugs displayed significant wear, a test run of the engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. A carburetor icing probability chart showed the airplane was operating in conditions conducive to serious icing at glide power; however, the airplane should not have been susceptible to carburetor icing at the cruise power setting at which it was operating. The investigation could not determine a reason for the loss of engine power. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because a test run of the engine did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Contributing to the accident were the tree stumps at the forced landing site.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 8, 2016, about 1700 central daylight time, a Cessna 175 airplane, N6649E, nosed over during a forced landing following an inflight loss of engine power near Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned by Shepard Group LLC and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Star City Municipal Airport (55M), near Star City, Arkansas and was destined for the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (MEZ), near Mena, Arkansas.

A Trooper from the Arkansas State Police interviewed the passenger while the passenger was in the hospital. The passenger stated that the airplane was "loaded up" and it took off northwest bound from 55M. The airplane was about 4,800 feet and "everything was going good." About "15 or 20" minutes after takeoff, the engine started "stalling in and out." The RPMs were going "up and down." The pilot tried to troubleshoot the power issue and was not able to remedy it. The pilot turned the airplane around and attempted to return to 55M. The pilot determined that the flight could not make it back and they started looking for a dirt road to land on. A road was found. However, the airplane was going too fast and was too high, so the pilot attempted to circle back around. About 150 feet off the ground, the "engine cut out and the prop quit." The pilot tried to set the airplane down in an open field with clear-cut tree stumps present. The airplane landed and it immediately nosed over.

Residents near the accident site saw the airplane overhead. They heard the airplane engine sputtering and saw it descending. A witness drove out, saw the airplane inverted, and called 911.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The 66-year-old pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He also held a FAA third-class medical certificate that was issued on February 26, 2016, with a limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. Copies of pilot logbook excerpts obtained by the FAA did not have the pilot's recorded flight experience totalized. However, the pilot reported on his application for his medical certificate that he accumulated 147 hours of total flight time with 0 hours in the six months preceding his medical. The medical indicated the pilot was 76 inches tall. An endorsement in the pilot logbook excerpts showed that the pilot completed a flight review on April 21, 2016.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N6649E, a Cessna 175, Skylark, serial number 56149, was an externally braced high-wing, propeller-driven, fixed landing gear, semi-monocoque design, four-seat airplane. A 175-horsepower, geared, six-cylinder, air cooled, horizontally opposed, carbureted, Continental GO-300-A engine, marked with serial number 6208-9-A, powered the airplane. The propeller was a two-bladed, all-metal, fixed pitch, McCauley model 1B175/MFC8460, with serial number 70765.

Copies of airplane logbook excerpts obtained by the FAA showed that an annual inspection was completed on October 6, 2015. An endorsement in the logbooks indicated the airplane had accumulated 2,247.2 hours of total time and the tachometer indicated 0.0 hours at the date of the annual inspection.

Fueling records indicated the airplane was serviced with 17.0 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at MEZ on June 6, 2016, and was topped off with 14.5 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at MEZ on June 7, 2016.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1653, the recorded weather at the Grider Field Airport, near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was: Wind 110 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 31 degrees C; dew point 19 degrees C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

The temperature and dew point were plotted on a carburetor icing probability chart. The intersection of the temperature and dew point was within the serious icing-glide power envelope.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was found inverted about 24 miles and 305 degrees from 55M in an open area of rolling land with clear-cut tree stumps present. The first found witness mark was a ground scar consistent with a width of a landing gear tire, which was observed next to a tree stump that had an indented witness mark. The inverted wreckage was found about 40 feet and 120 degrees from that stump. A ground scar depression consistent with the shape of the cowling was observed about 20 feet from that stump in the same direction to the wreckage.

A FAA inspector found the fuel selector handle in the BOTH tank position shortly after arriving at the accident site and moved it to the OFF position. A picture of the fuel selector revealed its securing cotter pin was partially engaged. A subsequent on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted. Flight control cables were traced from the cockpit controls to their respective flight control surfaces and flight control cable continuity was established. The wing flaps were found in the 10-degree extended position and flap control cable continuity was established. Measurement of the elevator trim actuator extension was 1.25 inches, which was consistent with a neutral elevator trim tab position. Engine controls were moved in the cockpit and engine cable continuity was established when their opposite ends moved respectively. The carburetor was found separated from its engine mounting surface. The propeller remained attached to the engine's propeller flange and the propeller did not exhibit any leading edge nicks. The vacuum pump separated from its mounting pad. The fuel line to the carburetor was separated at its carburetor inlet fitting. The carburetor, below the fuel inlet fitting area, was discolored consistent with the color of sooting. The carburetor was disassembled and its floats were found loose in the float chamber, where the float's attaching solder had a shiny appearance consistent with being melted. The firewall fuel strainer was deformed and discolored consistent with the color of sooting. The strainer's screen was found unobstructed and its glass bowl was found broken. The tachometer indicated 28.12 hours.

The fuel tank selector valve was removed and it operated normally in all its positions. Both the left and right fuel tanks inflated when shop air was applied to the respective fuel tank's line coming from the fuel tank selector valve. Fuel was noted exiting from left tank's vent tube when the shop air was applied to the left fuel tank's line. Shop air was applied to the fuel strainer's fuel line coming from the fuel tank selector valve and air was observed exiting from the fuel strainer.

The airplane was placed in an upright position, defueled, and disassembled. The right fuel tank contained less than a quart of blue colored fluid and the left fuel tank contained approximately 11 gallons of blue colored fluid, which tested negative for water contamination. During disassembly, the left fuel tank vent cross over nipple was found to be obstructed. The left fuel tank filler neck cap was an unvented type cap. The front seats remained attached to their seat tracks with their locking pins engaged in their tracks. Removed engine spark plugs were "worn out normal/severe" when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. A borescope examination of the cylinders revealed that all valves were intact and with normal combustion signatures. A liquid consistent with oil was observed on the oil dipstick when it was removed from its holder. There were no installed shoulder harnesses observed in the airplane. The airplane was removed by a recovery company and the airplane's engine and propeller along with the airplane's right fuel tank filler neck vented fuel cap were subsequently shipped to the engine manufacturer for testing.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot and toxicological samples were taken by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. The pilot's cause of death was listed as scattered superficial blunt force injuries.

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) prepared a Final Forensic Toxicology Accident Report on the samples taken. The report indicated:

Diphenhydramine detected in Urine
Diphenhydramine detected in Blood (Cavity)

The CAMI description of Diphenhydramine indicated that it "is a common over the counter antihistamine used in the treatment of the common cold and hay fever."

FIRE

Soot colored discoloration consistent with a ground fire was observed on the carburetor and on the firewall mounted fuel strainer.

SURVIVAL ASPECTS

The airplane did not have shoulder harnesses installed and was not required to have them installed at the time it was certified. A hammer and surveying equipment were found unsecured in the rear section of the cabin.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The accident engine, propeller, and vented fuel cap were sent to the engine's manufacturer in Mobile, Alabama. The engine had damaged items to include damaged spark plug wires, exhaust pipes, intake pipes, and engine mounts. Drained engine oil was strained and no debris was observed in the strainer.

The disassembled carburetor showed that there was sooting inside of the venturi area and on the upstream side of the throttle. The disassembled fuel bowl revealed no anomalies other than the liberated floats. The bowl vent strainer screen housing and its screen were deformed and replaced with exemplar items. The accelerator pump's plunger was damaged during the on scene examination and was replaced with an exemplar plunger. The fuel line inlet connection to the carburetor was damaged and replaced. The inlet screen did not contain any debris. The float and lever assembly was replaced with an exemplar assembly. The carburetor was reassembled and mounted to the engine along with exemplar spark plug wires, exhaust pipes, intake pipes, and engine mounts. The engine was mounted on a test stand and taken to a test cell for an engine run. The engine was operational during the engine run.

The vented fuel cap was visually and operationally inspected. The exterior portion of the cap was discolored consistent with exposure to sunlight and weather. The venting passage was found to be blocked and further inspection showed that there was debris in its internal cavities.

ADDITIONAL DATA/INFORMATION

The airplane operator reported that he came across an article in the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) magazine about vapor lock in the 172 series Cessna airplanes. The CPA article is appended to the docket material associated with this case.

Party members were asked to see if vapor lock applied to this Cessna 175 investigation. The airplane and engine manufacturers' safety representative indicated that there is no history of a design issue or any issue in reference to vapor lock.

Advisory Circular 91-65, Use of Shoulder Harness in Passenger Seats, in part, stated:  The [National Transportation Safety Board] found that 20 percent of the fatally injured occupants in these accidents could have survived with shoulder harnesses (assuming the seat belt fastened) and 88 percent of the seriously injured could have had significantly less severe injuries with the use of shoulder harnesses. Energy absorbing seats could have benefited 34 percent of the seriously injuries. The safety board concluded that shoulder harness use is the most effective way of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in general aviation accidents.

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA210
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 08, 2016 in Pine Bluff, AR
Aircraft: CESSNA 175, registration: N6649E
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 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 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 8, 2016, about 1700 central daylight time, a Cessna 175 airplane, N6649E, nosed over during a forced landing following an inflight loss of engine power near Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the nose over. The airplane was owned by Shepard Group LLC and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Star City Municipal Airport, near Star City, Arkansas and was destined for the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (MEZ), near Mena, Arkansas.

According to preliminary information, residents near the accident site saw the airplane overhead. They heard the airplane engine sputtering and saw it descending. A witness drove out and saw the airplane inverted and called 911.

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He also held a FAA third-class medical certificate that was issued on February 26, 2016, with a limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. Copies of pilot logbook excerpts obtained by the FAA did not have the pilot's recorded flight experience totalized. However, the pilot reported on his application for his medical certificate that he accumulated 147 hours of total flight time with 0 hours in the six months preceding his medical. The medical indicated the pilot was 76 inches tall. An endorsement in the pilot logbook excerpts showed that the pilot completed a flight review on April 21, 2016.

N6649E, a Cessna 175, Skylark, serial number 56149, was an externally braced high-wing, propeller-driven, fixed landing gear, semi-monocoque design, four-seat airplane. A 175-horsepower, geared, six-cylinder, air cooled, horizontally opposed, carbureted, Continental GO-300-A engine, marked with serial number 6208-9-A, powered the airplane. The propeller was a two-bladed, all-metal, fixed pitch, McCauley model 1B175/MFC8460, with serial number 70765.

Copies of airplane logbook excerpts obtained by the FAA showed that an annual inspection was completed on October 6, 2015. An endorsement in the logbooks indicated the airplane had accumulated 2,247.2 hours of total time and the tachometer indicated 0.0 hours at the date of the annual inspection.

Fueling records indicated the airplane was serviced with 17.0 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at MEZ on June 6, 2016, and was topped off with 14.5 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel at MEZ on June 7, 2016.

At 1653, the recorded weather at the Grider Field Airport, near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was: Wind 110 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 31 degrees C; dew point 19 degrees C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

The airplane was found inverted about three miles and 210 degrees from the intersection of Sulphur Springs Road and Samuel Road in an area of rolling land with clear-cut tree stumps present. The first found witness mark was a ground scar consistent with a width of a landing gear tire, which was observed next to a tree stump. That tree stump had an indented witness mark. The inverted wreckage was found about 40 feet and 120 degrees from that stump. A ground scar depression consistent with the shape of the cowling was observed about 20 feet from that stump in the same direction to the wreckage.

A FAA inspector found the fuel selector handle in the BOTH tank position shortly after arriving at the accident site and moved it to the OFF position. A subsequent on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted. Flight control cables were traced from the cockpit controls to their respective flight control surfaces and flight control cable continuity was established. The wing flaps were found in the 10-degree extended position and flap control cable continuity was established. Measurement of the elevator trim actuator extension was 1.25 inches, which was consistent with a neutral elevator trim tab position. Engine controls were moved in the cockpit and engine cable continuity was established when their opposite ends moved respectively. The carburetor was found separated from its engine mounting surface. The propeller remained attached to the engine's propeller flange and the propeller did not exhibit any leading edge nicks. The vacuum pump separated from its mounting pad. The fuel line to the carburetor was separated at its carburetor inlet fitting. The carburetor, below the fuel inlet fitting area, was discolored consistent with the color of sooting. The carburetor was disassembled and its floats were found loose in the float chamber, where the float's attaching solder had a shiny appearance consistent with being melted. The firewall fuel strainer was deformed and discolored consistent with the color of sooting. The strainer's screen was found unobstructed and its glass bowl was found broken.

The fuel tank selector valve was removed and it operated normally in all its positions. Both the left and right fuel tanks inflated when shop air was applied to the respective fuel tank's line coming from the fuel tank selector valve. Fuel was noted exiting from left tank's vent tube when the shop air was applied to the left fuel tank's line. Shop air was applied to the fuel strainer's fuel line coming from the fuel tank selector valve and air was observed exiting from the fuel strainer.

The airplane was placed in an upright position, defueled, and disassembled. The right fuel tank contained less than a quart of blue colored fluid and the left fuel tank contained approximately 11 gallons of blue colored fluid, which tested negative for water contamination. During disassembly, the left fuel tank vent cross over nipple was found to be obstructed. The left fuel tank filler neck cap was an unvented type cap. The front seats remained attached to their seat tracks with their locking pins engaged in their tracks. Removed engine spark plugs were "worn out normal/severe" when compared to the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. A borescope examination of the cylinders revealed that all valves were intact and with normal combustion signatures. A liquid consistent with oil was observed on the oil dipstick when it was removed from its holder. There were no installed shoulder harnesses observed in the airplane.

An autopsy will be conducted on the pilot and toxicological samples taken for examination at the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.

The Cessna 175 did not have shoulder harnesses installed and was not required to have them installed at the time it was certified.



Polk County surveyor and Christian School founder Phillip Sloan, 66, of Mena, was killed in a small plane crash in Jefferson County on Wednesday, June 8, The crash was reported at 5:01 p.m. Wednesday according to Arkansas State Police. Sloan was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. by a deputy coroner. Also in the plane was Ross Goodner, 19, of Boles in Scott County.


Goodner was injured in the crash and was taken by ambulance to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he was said to be stable. Sloan was piloting the small, single-engine when it crashed in a clear-cut area. The Federal Aviation Administration will coordinate an investigation to determine the cause of the crash according to Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler. Around 200 people attended Sloan’s funeral held at First Baptist Church on Monday.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The names have been released of the victims in a Wednesday evening plane crash in Jefferson County.

A news release issued Thursday by the Arkansas State Police (ASP) says a Polk County man died when the aircraft he was piloting went down in a wooded area near the Grant County line.

He's been identified as Phillip Sloan, 66, of Mena. A passenger in the aircraft survived. The ASP says Ross Goodner, 19, of Boles (Scott County) was injured in the crash and taken from the scene by ambulance to a Pine Bluff hospital.

ASP troopers were dispatched to the scene on a call of a downed aircraft at about 5 p.m. Wednesday. The initial report indicated the aircraft was a small single-engine plane.

The Arkansas State Police secured the crash scene, which is located inside a clear-cut area of the timberland.

The Federal Aviation Administration will coordinate the investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.fox16.com

An area fire department official confirms the pilot was killed in the crash, while a passenger was taken to an area hospital.


JEFFERSON COUNTY (KATV) — A Polk County man died and another man was injured after a plane crash in Jefferson County Wednesday evening.

Arkansas State Troopers responded to a call of a downed aircraft at approximately 5 p.m. on June 8.

Authorities pronounced 66-year-old Phillip Sloan, of Mena, dead at the scene. Sloan was piloting the single-engine aircraft when it went down near Sand Creek Road in the southwestern part of the county, near the Grant County line.

A passenger, 19-year-old Ross Goodner, of Boles, was injured in the crash and was taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was notified and will investigate what caused the crash.

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



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The names have been released of the victims in a Wednesday evening plane crash in Jefferson County.

A news release issued Thursday by the Arkansas State Police (ASP) says a Polk County man died when the aircraft he was piloting went down in a wooded area near the Grant County line.

He's been identified as Phillip Sloan, 66, of Mena. A passenger in the aircraft survived. The ASP says Ross Goodner, 19, of Boles (Scott County) was injured in the crash and taken from the scene by ambulance to a Pine Bluff hospital.

ASP troopers were dispatched to the scene on a call of a downed aircraft at about 5 p.m. Wednesday. The initial report indicated the aircraft was a small single-engine plane.

The Arkansas State Police secured the crash scene, which is located inside a clear-cut area of the timberland.

The Federal Aviation Administration will coordinate the investigation to determine the cause of the crash.

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

Bell 47G-5A, Scotts Helicopter Services Inc., N25LB: Accident occurred June 08, 2016 in Hastings, Minnesota

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

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

SCOTTS HELICOPTER SERVICES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N25LB

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA293
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 08, 2016 in Hastings, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/14/2016
Aircraft: BELL 47G, registration: N25LB
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that he was conducting aerial agricultural operations in a helicopter and that he landed on the bed of the service truck to reload with insecticide and fuel. The pilot further reported that he began to lift off and during the transition to forward flight he pitched the helicopter forward to gain airspeed, but helicopter continued to descend. The pilot reported that he "never gained lift from the ground effect" and subsequently impacted the terrain. 

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the tail boom and fuselage.

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

FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook Chapter 2 "Aerodynamics" defines "In Ground Effect (IGE)" as the increased efficiency of the rotor system caused by interference of the airflow when near the ground. The air pressure or density is increased, which acts to decrease the downward velocity of air. Ground effect permits relative wind to be more horizontal, lift vector to be more vertical, and induced drag to be reduced. These conditions allow the rotor system to be more efficient. Maximum ground effect is achieved when hovering over smooth hard surfaces. When hovering over surfaces as tall grass, trees, bushes, rough terrain, and water, maximum ground effect is reduced. Rotor efficiency is increased by ground effect to a height of about one rotor diameter (measured from the ground to the rotor disk) for most helicopters.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to attain a positive rate of climb during takeoff from a service truck, which resulted in an impact with terrain and substantial damage to the tail boom and fuselage.







MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A pilot managed to walk away without injury after a helicopter crashed in Dakota County early Wednesday afternoon, according to the county’s sheriff office.

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie says deputies were dispatched at around noon to a soybean field, located southeast of the intersection of 205th Street East and Kirby Avenue South, on the report of a helicopter crash.

According to Leslie, the agricultural spray helicopter crashed in the field after flying 100 yards from the refill platform where it took on a load of pesticide.

No pesticide was spilled and the pilot, who was the only occupant, was unharmed.

As of 2:08 p.m., FAA investigators were on their way to the scene.

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





HASTINGS, Minn. - No one was injured when a helicopter crashed in Hastings Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say crews were dispatched around 12:15 p.m. to the 11800 block of 205th Street East in Marshan Township, where they found the chopper in a field.
draft

The pilot was spraying for peas for Seneca Foods when the crash occurred.

The pilot was not injured. Authorities are looking into how the crash occurred.

Story and video:  http://www.kare11.com

Stoddard-Hamilton Glasair SH-2F, N666GJ: Accident occurred June 08, 2016 at University Park Airport (KUNV), State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania

http://registry.faa.gov/N666GJ

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA315
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 08, 2016 in State College, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2016
Aircraft: SEELA GERALD L GLASAIR SH 2F, registration: N666GJ
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, he was returning to his home airport after purchasing the accident airplane, but prior to returning home, the pilot had received a two hour checkout in the airplane. Upon arrival, the weather had deteriorated, rain made it hard to see and the wind was gusting. The pilot reported that he had to go around during the first landing due to the wind. He reported that during the second landing he undercompensated for the wind and the airplane landed hard, bounced and touched down again off the left side of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that during both approaches he had trouble manipulating the throttle; it appeared to stick and unstick at times making engine performance and power application erratic, resulting in an unstabilized approach, and compensation for the gusting wind difficult.

The wind at the airport at the time of the accident was reported as 310 degrees true, 18 knots, with gusts to 35 knots. The pilot landed runway 24, and reported that he should have chosen another airport with a crosswind runway.

Further, following the accident, the pilot realized that he was not familiar enough with the airplane's Vernier type throttle, as his past experience was with a lever type throttle.

An FAA inspector who examined the airplane after the accident reported that the Vernier throttle operated normally.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's hard landing in gusting wind conditions. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's unfamiliarity with the newly purchased airplane's throttle resulting in an unstable approach, and the pilot's ability to compensate for the wind.




University Park re-opened at about 3:30 p.m. after a small aircraft crash-landed Wednesday.

A small plane crashed at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday at University Park Airport, but there were no injuries.

Penn State spokesperson Heather Robbins said the plane's pilot was the only individual onboard and he was not taken to the hospital. 

Local fire departments, University Park Police and Emergency Management responded and were on the scene until about 3 p.m. when the plane was towed from the runway.

The flight was coming from out of state and University Park was its final destination.

The airport was closed until the plane was documented and cleared from the runway and the scene was declared clear by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Two flights were re-routed, with FAA air traffic control will determining re-routing of flights. 

The cause of the crash was not yet available and will be the subject of an FAA investigation. University Park police are assisting in the investigation.


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







A pilot crash landed a private airplane at University Park Airport.

No one sustained injuries in the crash, according to Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

The crash landing occurred at 1:24 p.m Wednesday, according to university spokeswoman Heather Robbins. The crash landing reportedly caused a small fire, though the university clarified there was none. Firefighters sprayed down the scene for about a half hour after the crash landing.

The flight was a small aircraft coming from out of state, and University Airport was its final destination. Robbins could not identify the pilot.

“The official cause of the crash will have to be determined by the FAA investigation,” Robbins said.

The plane, according to aircraft registration, is a 1989 Seela Gerald L Glasair SH-2F, which can seat two people.

Powers said the airport was shut down, and the Federal Aviation Administration approved the airport’s reopening at about 3:20 p.m. Robbins said two flights were diverted.

Undine and Logan fire companies and Penn State Haz-Mat were dispatched to the scene.

According to National Transportation Safety Board records, UPA has had eight crashes since 1984. All but one have been nonfatal, and most have involved small non-commercial aircraft like Pipers and Cessnas.

The NTSB shows 12 other crashes in Centre County. Five were fatal.

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

Mini Max 1030R; accident occurred June 08, 2016 in Enochsburg, Whitewater Township, Franklin County, Indiana -Kathryn's Report

FAA Flight Standards District Office:FAA Indianapolis FSDO-11

Date: 08-JUN-16
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: UNKNOWN
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Serious
Damage: Destroyed
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: ENOCHSBURG
State: Indiana

MINI MAX 1030R ULTRALIGHT, REGISTRATION UNKNOWN, CRASHED INTO THE WOODS NEAR THE RUNWAY, NEAR ENOCHSBURG, INDIANA.




A pilot from Osgood was injured when his airplane crashed near the Batesville Airport Wednesday just before noon.

Indiana State Police say an ultralight homemade single person aircraft being piloted by Terry C. Fruchtnicht, 50, took off from the airport and soon experienced a mechanical problem.  The aircraft then went down in a heavily wooded area at Three Mile Road and Enochsburg Road, not far from the airport.

Fruchtnicht was trapped in the aircraft for approximately thirty minutes while emergency crews got to him and were able to remove him.  Fruchtnicht was conscious and alert at the scene.  He suffered serious injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration sent investigators to the scene to conduct their investigation into the cause of the crash.  Investigators spent approximately five hours at the scene today.  The investigation is ongoing.

The Indiana State Police and the FAA were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the Batesville Police Department, Batesville Fire Department, and Batesville EMS.

Update published Wednesday, June 8 at 4:38 p.m.: 

According to Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, a small single occupant plane crashed into a heavily wooded area near Three Mile and Enochsburg roads.

Firefighters and EMS personnel worked for approximately 30 minutes to free the pilot from the wreckage.

The pilot was transported to University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment. The pilot’s name and condition have not been released at this time.

A cause of the crash is unknown.

Original story published Wednesday, June 8 at 12:57 p.m.: 

(Batesville, Ind.) – An airplane crash is being reported near Batesville.

The crash happened near Three Mile Road and Enochsburg Road at around noon Wednesday, according to Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Stephen Wheeles. That is in the area of Batesville Airport.

The pilot was the only occupant of the aircraft when it went down. That person was extricated from the wreckage and is being transported to an area hospital for treatment.


Eagle Country 99.3 will share more information as it becomes available.


FRANKLIN COUNTY — This morning at approximately 11:45 a.m., the Indiana State Police along with the Batesville Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Department responded to an ultralight plane crash in a wooded area near the Batesville Airport located near Three Mile Road and Enochsburg Road.

The initial investigation by Master Trooper Matt Haviland determined that an ultralight homemade single person aircraft being piloted by Terry C. Fruchtnicht, age 50, Osgood, Indiana took off from the airport and soon experienced a mechanical problem. The aircraft then went down in a heavily wooded area not far from the airport.

Fruchtnicht was the lone occupant of the aircraft. He was trapped in the aircraft for approximately thirty minutes while emergency crews got to him and were able to remove him from the aircraft. Fruchtnicht was conscious and alert at the scene. He suffered serious injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

As is typical in these types of investigations, the Federal Aviation Administration was contacted. The FAA sent investigators to the scene to conduct their investigation into the cause of the crash. Investigators spent approximately five hours at the scene today. The investigation is ongoing.

The Indiana State Police and the FAA were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the Batesville Police Department, Batesville Fire Department, and Batesville EMS.


Source: http://www.greensburgdailynews.com



One person was injured Wednesday when a small, single-seat aircraft crashed near the Batesville, Indiana, airport, according to Indiana State Police and emergency dispatchers.

Police responded to an area near Batesville Aviation Service Airport about 12:20 p.m. Police closed Three Mile Road and Enochsburg Road for the crash.

The crash occurred before noon, police said.

There, the aircraft's pilot was removed and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to a tweet from ISP spokesman Stephen Wheeles. The pilot was awake and alert as he was removed from the plane.

It took emergency personal about 30 minutes to free the pilot from the wreckage, Wheeles said via tweet.

Wheeles said the pilot, who wasn't immediately identified, was the only person on the plane. Wheeles also described the plane as an "ultra-light" model, or homemade.

Indiana State Trooper Matt Haviland said the man was alert and conscious when he was removed from the aircraft. Haviland said the aircraft appeared to be made of wood and fabric. Firefighters were able to remove the man by tearing the plane apart with their hands.

The cause of the crash is unclear.


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






BATESVILLE, IN (FOX19) -   

The pilot of a single occupant plane sustained multiple fractures in his legs after crashing into a wooded area in Batesville Wednesday, according to Indiana State Police.

Franklin County troopers responded to the crash near Batesville Aviation Service Airport on Enochsburg Road and Three Mile Road at around 11:45 a.m. The crash was less than half a mile from the air strip. 

Indiana State Police spokesperson Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said firefighters and EMS personnel worked for approximately 30 minutes to get the pilot out of the plane.

He was flown to University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment. In addition to the multiple fractures, he only sustained minor injuries above the waist, officials said. 

The pilot's name has not been released.

No word on how the crash happened.

Story and photo gallery: http://www.fox19.com


BATESVILLE, Ind. — Franklin County troopers and emergency crews responded to a small plane crash Wednesday near Batesville Aviation Service Airport.

The crash occurred near Three Mile Road and Enochsburg Road around 11:45 a.m.

An initial investigation determined that the plane was a homemade ultralight single person aircraft.

The pilot, Terry C. Fruchtnicht, 50, took off from the airport and soon experienced a mechanical problem.  The aircraft then went down in a heavily wooded area not far from the airport.

Fruchtnicht was the lone occupant of the aircraft. He was extricated after crews worked for 30 minutes to free him from the plane.

Fruchtnicht was conscious and alert at the scene.  He suffered serious injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to the University of Cincinnati Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Source:  http://fox59.com