Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cessna 320E Executive Skynight, N777GY, Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys; fatal accident occurred June 15, 2016 near Mineral County Memorial Airport ( C24), Creede, Colorado -Kathryn's Report


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA224
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 15, 2016 in Creede, CO
Aircraft: CESSNA 320E, registration: N777GY
Injuries: 3 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 14, 2016 about 1405 central standard time (CST), a Cessna 320E, N777GY, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Creede, Colorado. The airplane departed from Central Colorado Regional Airport (KAEJ), Buena Vista, to conduct aerial photography under contract with the United States Forest Service. The commercial pilot and two passengers on board were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Left Hand Financial, Inc and operated by Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an aerial observation flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no instrument flight plan had been filed.

According to witnesses, the airplane was flying what appeared to be a left base turn for approach to runway 25 at Mineral County Airport. The airplane was approximately 1,000 feet above-ground level when "suddenly" the airplane nose dropped and entered a steep left-hand descending turn. The airplane returned to a wings level position and continued to descend until impacting the ground. Witness stated the landing gear was up and the propellers were turning during this sequence, however, two witnesses said they did not hear the sound of an engine.

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

David Louwers

Mykhayl Sutton

The Longmont teen killed in a small-plane crash in southwestern Colorado this week was a warrior on the field, one of his football coaches said Friday.

David Louwers, 17, brought strength, humility and positive energy to Niwot High School's varsity football team, according to Scott Thomas, football coach and high school health and physical education teacher.

"As a player, he was the kind of kid that coaches get into coaching for," Thomas said. "He was just an awesome player that would really fill your tank as a coach."

A candlelight vigil is planned for 8:30 p.m. Friday at Niwot High School's practice football field, 8989 Niwot Road, Niwot, where people who knew him can share memories and photographs, he said.

Thomas said Louwers was easily excited by success and teachable in times of defeat. He said Louwers was one of the team's leading linemen and the coaches planned to have him anchor the offensive line next season during his senior year.

"When you'd just see him... his eyes were a little bit of a twinkle. He was always an extremely positive kid," Thomas said. "It didn't take but more than a couple seconds and he'd flash that giant smile that he had... and as soon as that smile came, he'd kind of give a little laugh."

Thomas said he first met Louwers when he transferred from Twin Peaks Charter Academy to Niwot High School. Everyone was aware his other passion aside from football was aviation, Thomas said.

On Wednesday, Louwers was a passenger in a Cessna 320 twin-engine aircraft that crashed under unknown circumstances around 2:40 p.m. in Mineral County near Colorado 149 and Rio Grande National Forest Road 801.

Following the news Thursday, J.B. Hall, Boulder County representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said he spoke to Niwot High School FCA players that knew Louwers through his involvement with the organization. He said not only did Louwers have great values, he impacted lives and was loved by his teammates and community.

"He's going to be missed," Hall said. "As we walk this journey and this life, which is short we just want to remember to never forget those who have impacted our lives.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

Jere Ferrill, 51, the plane's pilot, and Mykhayl Sutton, 28, of Longmont, the only other passenger, also were killed in the crash, Mineral County coroner Charles Downing said previously.

He said the plane, owned by Rocky Mountain Aerial Survey, based at the Vance Brand Airport in Longmont, was being used to take aerial photographs.

The company specializing in airborne imagery acquisition is co-owned by Christina and Robert Louwers. They are David Louwers' parents, according to the high school's player profile.

Sutton had been the company's data acquisition manager responsible for film and digital mission planning for one year, according to the company's website.

Facebook posts about the crash came from the victims' family and friends, including Shelton Fisher, whose profile said he lives in Littleton.

"Mykhayl Sutton and I spent many hours working together in various planes when he and his brother worked for us," Fisher wrote. "He was a great guy, a friend, and a professional to work with. I have received sad news like this more than a handful of times during my aviation career and it's always a shocking and numbing experience. God rest their souls."

Michael Raaber, an employee with Rocky Mountain Aerial Survey, said Thursday that employees were not yet ready to talk about the incident.


MINERAL COUNTY - Authorities say three people were onboard a plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon near Creede.

Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration Office of Communications says a Cessna 320E Executive Skynight aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances at Mineral County Highway 149 and Forest Road 801.

The pilot, 51-year-old Jere Ferrill of Castle Rock was killed in the crash. Two passengers were killed also. They were 17-year-old David Louwers of Longmont and Mykhayl Sutton. Sutton's age and hometown are unknown at this time, but he did work for Rocky Mountain Aerial Surveys which is based in Longmont.

The crash was reported at about 2:40 p.m.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Story and video:

Cortez council endorses Boutique Air’s bid for service: Opponent criticizes plane, supports former airline

Kathryn's Report:

Cortez City Council members on Tuesday endorsed Boutique Air’s bid to serve the city and unanimously voted to authorize Mayor Karen Sheek to sign a letter waiving the city’s guarantee for twin-engine service.

The council last month authorized Sheek to sign a letter recommending the Essential Air Service (EAS) bid to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The bid includes three Denver flights and one Phoenix flight, though the Department of Transportation could opt for another flight configuration, according to airport manager Russ Machen.

Essential Air Service is a subsidized U.S. program that seeks to guarantee airline service to small towns. Under the service rules, municipalities can throw out airline bids that include only single-engine planes.

If the Department of Transportation awards Boutique Air’s bid, after 60 consecutive days of the airline’s single-engine service to Cortez, the city no longer will be guaranteed twin-engine service. However, the city could endorse twin-engine bid in the future, Hale said.

Pilot doubts plane’s safety

The city endorsement drew criticism from retired pilot Garth Greenlee, who doubted that the Pilatus PC-12, which Boutique Air utilizes, would be reliable flying to Denver over 14,000-foot peaks during winter. If the plane’s engine failed, there would be no backup, he said.

“You’re making a terrible mistake” by endorsing Boutique Air, he said.

Machen said that he didn’t know of a Boutique Air accident involving the Pilatus PC-12, but that the last accident involving a single-engine plane at Cortez Municipal Airport occurred more than 20 years ago. The PC-12 is one of the most common planes at the airport, he said.

Machen pointed out that the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t outlawed the PC-12 or other single-engine planes.

“If all of (Greenlee’s) fears were true, there would be no single-engine aircraft,” he said.

City Manager Shane Hale said city officials did not consider the plane’s accident record in discussions about air service. However, the FAA’s vetting of the plane model confirms its safety, he said. Air accidents are rare, and an incident involving a PC-12 seems to be extremely unlikely, he said.

“We have every confidence in the PC-12,” Hale said.

History of the PC-12

The PC-12 has been in production by Pilatus Aircraft since 1991. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there have been 17 incidents or accidents involving the aircraft in the U.S. since 2002. Out of those, six resulted in a total of 29 fatal injuries to passengers or crew members, according to NTSB reports.

The most recent incident took place Jan. 26 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, according to the NTSB. During takeoff, a plane was damaged after hitting a deer on the runway.

In March 2009, 13 passengers and a pilot died in a PC-12 crash near Butte, Montana, according to the NTSB. That crash was attributed to ice in the fuel system and the pilot’s failure to control the left wing when landing.

In December 2004, no injuries were reported after a Pilatus PC-12/45 lost engine power and hit two utility poles during a forced landing. Consequently, the entire fleet was fitted with a corrective unit to ensure a minimum fuel flow.

Great Lakes’ struggles

Boutique Air won the council’s confidence over Great Lakes Airlines, which has served Cortez for decades and has been the only airline to bid for the service for many years, according to Machen.

Greenlee said he had 23,000 hours of professional piloting experience in Cortez and Farmington, New Mexico. He chastised the council for their lack of faith in Great Lakes Airlines. A 2014 FAA regulation increased the number of hours pilots needed for certification from 500 to 1,500. That law made recruiting pilots more difficult for Great Lakes Airlines, which forced them to cut service and cancel flights at the Cortez airport, Machen said.

Greenlee acknowledged Great Lakes’ struggles, but said they are “trying hard” to get back to where they were before the new law. He chalked up the airline’s hardships to the “stupidity of the government,” referring to the new law. He accused the council of overlooking safety and choosing Boutique Air based on costs.

Machen said the EAS program was created to provide communities with quality air service, not to cut corners based on expenses.

Hale said Great Lakes’ loss of pilots, dwindling consumer confidence in Cortez and other issues contributed to the council’s endorsement of a different airline. Sheek said the council discussed the decision at length in multiple workshop sessions, and the endorsement wasn’t just about money.

“There were a lot of other things that came into play,” Sheek said. “We went with the airline that we think will give the citizens the best and safest service.”

Original article can be found here:

Air traffic control shouldn’t model Metro

Kathryn's Report:

By Paul Rinaldi - The Washington Times


Both transportation systems require new technology and staffing

The Metro subway system in Washington, D.C., is a national disgrace. The U.S. secretary of transportation has even threatened to shut it down unless its safety problems are repaired. Thousands of commuters and tourists would be disadvantaged if that happened.

Sadly, Metro’s problems aren’t di
fferent in kind than the woes of a much bigger and more important transit system, the air traffic control (ATC) system that guides millions of passengers to their destinations each year. No one is thinking of shutting down U.S. airspace, but unless improvements in technology and staffing are implemented soon, the nation’s capital could have a second disgrace on its hands.

The ATC system is at a crossroads. It has been subject to stop-and-start funding for years. As a result, air traffic control facilities are chronically understaffed. In addition, long-overdue technological upgrades known as NextGen have been delayed, stifling the air traffic expansion that is vital to economic growth. If these twin problems of staffing and technology continue unabated, the consequences could be dire.

The worst setback occurred in 2013, when automatic, across-the-board spending cuts called sequestration halted the hiring of new air traffic controllers for a year. Even worse, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which oversees and operates the ATC system, had to furlough controllers. The result: extensive delays across the country in passenger and cargo flights.

The consequences of sequestration still ripple through the system. The hiring freeze has left many air traffic control towers and radar facilities critically understaffed. In fact, the ATC system has the lowest number of fully certified professional controllers in more than a quarter-century. On top of that, the FAA has missed its air traffic controller hiring goals for seven years in a row, and staffing has fallen nearly 10 percent over the last five years. Air traffic controllers are working longer hours and additional days to make up for the shortage. This has led, inevitably, to exhaustion and controller fatigue on the job.

The ATC system is also technologically behind. It’s running on World War II-era radar technology with information being passed around on slips of paper.

 NextGen, a series of technology upgrades that are slowly being integrated, would track planes from satellites, not the ground. This would not only be more effective, it would also be more efficient. Because it’s an entirely new system, everything would be monitored digitally — as it should be these days.

The ATC system’s parallels to Metro’s decline are eerie. The Washington Metro’s biggest problem is deferred maintenance due to chronic underfunding. In addition, the system’s funding was inconsistent and unreliable. Management didn’t insist otherwise. For example, Metro failed to fix the tracks that were found to be unsafe in July 2015. These particular problems ultimately caused a train to derail the following month, according to The Washington Post.

Unlike most transit agencies, Metro gets nearly half of its budget from different jurisdictions and the federal government. This means its budget isn’t consistent from year to year. By one estimate, Metro would need $25 billion over the next 10 years to maintain its service as well as fix its operations and meet safety standards.

The federal government can’t afford to allow the air traffic control system to go the way of Metro. The United States has the safest and most efficient air system in the world. It can never be endangered or compromised. The ATC system’s funding can’t be interrupted or reduced again. Investments in both the controller workforce and the technology that controllers use must be stable and predictable moving forward.

No one wants the air traffic control system to become the Metro of the skies. Congress must act now.

Paul Rinaldi is president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Original article can be found here:

Zenith/Zenair STOL, CH-701, N701JN: Engine lost power; attempted a landing on a grass runway that was soft due to recent rain; nose wheel collapsed on landing

AIRCRAFT:   2011 Zenith/Zenair STOL, CH-701, N701JN, s/n:  7-7461

Total Time Airframe 298, Hobbs Time 308. 

The last Annual Condition Inspection was performed 08/22/2015 at Hobbs time 293

ENGINE:  Corvair Model GO-140, 100HP Manufactured by Chevrolet                           

Total Time Since New is approximately 308.  

The last Annual Condition Inspection was performed 08/22/2016 at Engine Total Time 293

PROPELLER:  Warp Drive, HP HUB N17917,2 Blade Carbon Fiber TTSN 298. Last Annual 08/22/2016

Total Time Since New is approximately 298.  The last Annual Condition Inspection was performed 08/22/2015 at 293.6. 

EQUIPMENT:  1 Flt Com 403, Transponder KT 76A TSO.
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Engine lost power. Attempted a landing on a grass runway that was soft due to recent rain. Nose wheel collapsed on landing.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:  Damage includes but may not be limited to the following:      

Both wing tips and wings damaged
Nose wheel torn off
Motor mount

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Marion County Airport 15070 SW 111th Street, Dunnellon, FL 34432.

Read more here:

Lancair IV, JFT Enterprises LLC, N441JH: Incident occurred June 14, 2016 in McKinney, Collin County, Texas

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 14-JUN-16
Time: 19:48:00Z
Regis#: N441JH
Aircraft Make: LANCAIR
Aircraft Model: IV
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Dallas FSDO-05
State: Texas



Bell 206L-1 LongRanger 1, N1076Y, : Premier Rotors LLC: Accident occurred June 14, 2016 in Bishop, Inyo County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA125 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Bishop, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/06/2017
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N1076Y
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The private pilot departed on a cross-country flight with two passengers onboard the helicopter, which had been filled with 110 gallons of fuel (88 gallons of which were in the aft tank) before departure. The pilot reported that, after encountering headwinds that were about 15 knots greater than anticipated and turbulence for more than 2 hours, he saw that the helicopter was low on fuel and decided to land at a nearby airport. He began a descent from 12,000 ft mean sea level (msl), but as he passed through 10,000 ft msl, he heard a “violent explosion in the engine compartment,” followed by the illumination of the engine-out indication light. The pilot immediately initiated an autorotation and made two unsuccessful attempts to restart the engine during the descent. He flared the helicopter at 2,000 ft to avoid settling into a crater, and it subsequently impacted terrain hard. Paint transfer signatures on one of the main rotor blades indicated that they likely contacted and severed the tailboom during landing. 

The pilot stated that he did not pull the fuel pump circuit breakers before or during the accident flight; however, the unbreeched aft fuel tank was void of fuel when first responders examined it shortly after the accident, and the fuel pump circuit breakers were found in the “off” position. Further, operational tests of the fuel system and engine did not reveal any blockages or mechanical malfunctions. Fuel computations showed that the engine consumed 88 gallons of fuel, the quantity that would have been in the aft tank at the time of departure, and the pilot reported that he customarily disengages the fuel pumps after each flight. It is likely that the pilot’s improper fuel management, possibly from departing with the fuel pumps in the “off” position, prevented fuel trapped in the forward tanks from reaching the engine and resulted in fuel starvation. 

The pilot had planned the flight around 15-knot winds despite multiple weather forecasts issued before his departure that indicated the presence of about 30-knot headwinds along his flight route. It is likely that the pilot’s poor preflight weather and fuel planning resulted in greater-than-anticipated fuel consumption, which led to the low fuel state and the pilot’s decision to divert to a closer airport. 

The pilot did not experience any control issues throughout the long autorotation from 10,000 ft, and weather reports indicated that he would not have encountered any visibility restrictions during the descent, so he should have had sufficient time to properly flare the helicopter and land. However, he chose to initiate a flare at 2,000 ft, which likely reduced the rotor rpm and led to hard impact with terrain. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper preflight weather planning, fuel planning, and fuel management, which resulted in fuel starvation and a loss of engine power. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the pilot's initiation of the landing flare at a high altitude, which led to a subsequent hard landing.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Rolls Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Bell Helicopter; Fort Worth, Texas

Investigation Docket -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

***This report was modified on August 1, 2017. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.*** 

Premier Rotors LLC:

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA125 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Bishop, CA
Aircraft: BELL 206, registration: N1076Y
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

On June 14, 2016, about 1550 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206L-1 helicopter, N1076Y, was substantially damaged during an autorotative landing attempt near Bishop, California, following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The helicopter was owned by a private company and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), Corona, California, about 1320. The personal flight was destined for Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH), Mammoth, California.

According to the pilot, the flight departed AJO with 110 gallons of fuel on board and flew direct to General Wm. J. Fox (WJF), Lancaster, California to avoid restricted airspace. He planned the flight around a forecasted headwind of approximately 15 knots. Once he reached WJF, the pilot then flew a direct course to MMH, but after more than 2 hours of flight in 30 knot headwinds and turbulence the pilot decided to land at Bishop Airport to service the helicopter, which only had 110 lbs (about 16 gallons) of fuel remaining. He began a descent from his cruising altitude, 12,000 feet mean sea level (msl), but as he passed below 10,000 feet msl, the pilot heard a "violent explosion in the engine compartment" and immediately felt the helicopter vibrate. He then observed an engine out light indication and quickly initiated an autorotation. During the helicopter's descent to land, the pilot made two attempts to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. The pilot reported that he observed that he was "too high" in the last 2,000 feet of his descent. He subsequently pulled the collective early to avoid landing in a crater; however, the helicopter impacted the ground hard, which resulted in substantial damage to the tail boom. 

A review of photographs supplied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) showed the accident was surrounded by flat terrain and terrain suitable for landing. Further, images from an online mapping tool showed flat topography near the accident site. 

According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1980, and registered to Premiere Rotors, LLC on February 19, 2008. The helicopter was powered by a Rolls Royce M250 C30P, 650 shaft horsepower turboshaft engine, which was installed in 1992 in accordance with supplemental type certificate SH5695SW. A review of the aircraft logbooks revealed that the helicopter's most recent 100 hour inspection was completed on July 1, 2015 at which time the airframe had accumulated 34,947 total flight hours and the engine had accumulated 17,261 total flight hours. According to the registered owner, the accident pilot had entered into a lease-to-buy contract a few months prior to the accident with the intent of purchasing the helicopter. 

According to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) weather study, multiple weather forecasts that had been issued prior to the time of the pilot's departure, showed a probability of high winds throughout his route of flight. A National Weather Service Surface Analysis Chart depicted a thermal low pressure system over southern Nevada with a trough of low pressure extending northward. The chart showed a 12-hectopascal pressure gradient across southern California and supported strong wind gusts over the mountainous regions of eastern California. The winds aloft forecast for the area that had been issued about 6 hours prior to the pilot's time of departure and was valid beginning at 1400 indicated winds from the west-southwest at approximately 17 to 30 knots. An area forecast issued at 1245 forecasted southwesterly winds at 20 knots gusting to 30 knots. Further, multiple Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts that were issued on the morning of the accident flight indicated up to 30 knot wind gusts along the pilot's route of flight. 

The weather at Bishop Airport (BIH), Bishop, California near the time of the accident indicated winds from 280 degrees at 7 knots, clear skies, temperature 32 degrees C, dewpoint -2 degrees C, and a barometric altitude of 29.76 inches of Hg. 

The helicopter came to rest in a slight nose up attitude approximately 4 nautical miles from Bishop Airport, Bishop, California. The helicopter was subsequently transported to a secure facility in Rancho Cordova, California where an airframe examination was completed by representatives of the airframe and engine manufacturers under the supervision of the NTSB and FAA. 

An initial inspection of the airframe revealed that the empennage had separated from the aft tailboom. The aft section of the tail rotor drive shaft at the tailboom displayed rotational scoring consistent with rotation at impact. The top half of the left end plate on the horizontal stabilizer was separated. One tail rotor blade was bent, but remained attached to the tail rotor hub and its opposing blade was separated at the blade root. Both tail rotor blades displayed paint transfer markings at the leadings edges and the separated blade exhibited a gouge mark near the outboard tip of the blade. Paint transfer markings similar in color to the color scheme of the accident helicopter were found on the outboard leading edges of one of the main rotor blades, which displayed bending opposite the direction of rotation. 

According to the Bell 206L-1 flight manual, the helicopter's total fuel system capacity was 99.4 gallons. According to the owner, the helicopter was equipped with a fuel range extender that expanded the fuel tank size to accommodate a total of 110 gallons of usable fuel. The helicopter fuel system included two interconnected forward fuel tanks with a capacity of 11 gallons each. The remaining fuel quantity was contained within the main fuel tank, located below the aft cabin. 

A fuel system diagram furnished by the helicopter manufacturer shows that fuel is transferred from the forward tanks to the main fuel tank using right and left boost pumps located in the main tank and an ejector pump located between the two forward tanks. Fuel is then pumped from the aft tank to the engine through an airframe mounted fuel filter. After the helicopter is started, the fuel boost pumps engage to begin directing fuel from the forward tanks to the aft tank. The fuel boost pumps can only be deactivated through two circuit breakers that control each pump. 

Fuel line continuity was observed from the forward fuel tank to the inlet port of the engine driven fuel pump. Both the right and left fuel boost pumps operated normally and continuously when tested using the cockpit circuit breakers; the left fuel boost pump measured 8 psi and the right boost pump measured 5 psi. A representative of the FAA stated that he noted the fuel boost pump circuit breakers were extended, indicating that the pumps were OFF when he arrived at the accident site. The pilot reported that he flew with the fuel boost pumps ON, but subsequently pulled the fuel boost pump circuit breakers after the accident when the helicopter came to rest. An inspection of fuel recovered from the fuel pump inlet line appeared free of contaminants.

The fuel gauge, which monitors the fuel quantity from the left forward tank and the main fuel tank, indicated approximately 40-50 lbs. of fuel (5.88 – 7.35 gallons) during the postaccident examination. Subsequently, a representative of the FAA drained approximately 20 gallons of fuel from the helicopter's fuel sump. A sample submitted to a laboratory for analysis revealed that it displayed the same specifications as JET A fuel.

A fuel consumption of approximately 35 gallons per hour, furnished by the helicopter manufacturer, was used to compute the approximate fuel burn during the accident flight. Based on the pilot's reported fuel quantity of 110 gallons at the time of his departure, the helicopter would have burned about 88 total gallons of fuel during the 2 hour and 30 minute long flight. 

Approximately 1 teaspoon of fuel was drained from the fuel feed line that was connected to the fuel spray nozzle and considered normal by the engine manufacturer. The fuel was clear in appearance and free of contamination. The fuel spray nozzle tip displayed a black soot pattern with no indications of carbon deposits, blockage or streaking. 

Collective and cyclic control continuity was verified from the cockpit to the main rotor assembly. Tail rotor pedal continuity was traced from the tail rotor pedals to the tailboom. 

A subsequent engine examination/test run was performed at the engine manufacturer's facility with oversight from the NTSB.

An initial engine examination revealed that the N1 and N2 tach-generator drive gears rotated freely by hand using a speed handle. 

Both the upper and lower magnetic chip detectors were free of ferrous debris.

The compressor inlet was free of debris, but exhibited a build-up of black residue around the back edge of the compressor front support. 

A leak test was performed after a soap solution was applied to all fittings, connections and air lines. Approximately 50 PSI of pressurized air was directed through the Pc pneumatic line, which revealed no presence of leaks as the soap solution was not excreted. 

During the three test runs, the engine functioned normally at ground-idle, flight-idle, max-continuous power and take-off power. Additionally, during subsequent transient tests, when the power was reduced to flight-idle and rapidly advanced to take-off power, the engine responded normally and produced maximum power without hesitation. Further, the vibration measurements were within the prescribed limitations of the manufacturer. 

According to the manufacturer, the engine performance was 4.8% below new engine production standards at maximum take-off power, which was attributed to a faulty anti-ice solenoid valve that had failed in the open position, as designed. 

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Bishop, CA
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON 206L 1, registration: N1076Y
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

On June 14, 2016, about 1550 Pacific daylight time, a Bell 206 L1 helicopter, N1076Y, was substantially damaged during an autorotative landing attempt near Bishop, California, following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The helicopter was owned and operated by a private company under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight that departed Corona Municipal Airport (AJO), Corona, California, at approximately 1320. The personal flight was destined for Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH), Mammoth, California. 

According to the pilot, the flight departed AJO with 98 gallons of fuel on board. After more than 2 hours of flight in headwinds the pilot decided to land at a local airport to refuel. While the helicopter descended through 9,000 feet mean sea level, the pilot heard an explosion in the engine compartment and immediately felt the helicopter vibrate. He then observed an engine out indication and quickly initiated an autorotation. During the helicopter's descent to land, the pilot made two attempts to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. He pulled the collective early to avoid landing in a ditch, but the helicopter impacted the ground hard, which resulted in substantial damage to the tail boom. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Alaska Airlines, Boeing 737: Incident occurred June 14, 2016 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

Kathryn's Report:

Date: 14-JUN-16
Time: 17:52:00Z
Regis#: ASA686
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: Incident
Damage: Minor
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: AAL-American Airlines
Flight Number: ASA686
FAA FSDO: FAA Portland FSDO-09
State: Oregon


Diamond DA-40 Diamond Star, CAE Oxford Aviation Academy Phoenix Inc., N4119S: Incident occurred June 14, 2016 at Falcon Field Airport (KFFZ), Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07


Date: 14-JUN-16
Time: 19:13:00Z
Regis#: N4119S
Aircraft Make: DIAMOND
Aircraft Model: DA40
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)City: MESA
State: Arizona

Freezer fails at Mt. Vernon Airport (KMVN)

Kathryn's Report:

MT. VERNON — A unexpected failure of the outdoor walk-in freezer on Monday led to Wilkey's Cafe owner Donnie Wilkey asking the Airport Board to reimburse his frozen inventory.

"He and one of his suppliers inventoried everything that was in the freezer," said Mt. Vernon Outland Airport Manager Chris Collins. "It's not a fair list to turn in to the airport. He didn't buy the stock at those prices; he bought things on sale and stockpiled things. He's probably not going to (replace) all that stuff now and pay retail for all that. We need to find a way to help him and we need to study that."

Collins said Wilkey is supposed to monitor the freezer, but was not in the restaurant when it failed.

"It was the first day this year when it got up in the 90s," Collins said.

Collins explained Wilkey provided him with the information on the spoiled inventory, hoping the Airport Board would approve turning it in to the airport insurance carrier.

"I'm adamant about that — no way," Collins said. "When we put in insurance claims, it increases our premiums, and eventually can make us uninsurable. Unless it's a crater in a runway, we will avoid an insurance claim."

But, Collins and the board are willing to help the restaurant.

"We don't want to say you're going to bear this all alone," Collins said. "But, we want to be fair and not leave this up to the taxpayers."

Some of the ideas for working with Wilkey include offering a rent abatement or a reimbursement for a portion of ruined food costs.

The freezer was identified earlier this year as needing to be replaced at some point.

"When the Moose had its auction, we bought their coolers," Collins said. "We just can't help when things fail. We did our homework, bought the replacement, but it hadn't been changed out yet."

Collins said the Airport may sell the surplus walk-in cooler and purchase some indoor deep freeze units for Wilkey so he an watch them easier. Decisions on how to handle the claim and freezers are expected next month.

In other business, the Airport Board approved new signage at the facility, and the design for a new gate guard.

"A gate guard is a small plane on a pedestal which usually sits at the entrance to an airport," Collins explained.

The gate guard will be comprised of a 23-foot-long concept jet, designed by a Czechoslovakian company. The jet, named "Scaled Wings" was shown at the annual EAA Fly-In in Oshkosh, Wis., and abandoned by the maker. Hanson Air Services, a light sport aircraft manufacturer that shows at the LSA Expo at the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport, took possession of the jet prototype and donated it to the local facility.

"We now are the proud owners of a gate guard. We're going to get an airplane and mount it on a stick in front of our airport," Chairman Mike Ancona said. "We've been wanting to do that for a long time. With regards to signage, that would be a pretty neat addition."

Collins said the airport insurance carrier has asked the facility to post extra signage at the airport due to safety concerns. The funds for the gate guard and the signs is included in the facility capital plan, Momentum 2020. When SIU student Michel Junik became an intern at the airport, Collins asked him to work with T. Ham Sign Co., and design the additional signage.

Signs will post rules about the airport such as no swimming or boating on the lake and no activities after sunset without permission. The signs also list the airport number to report unsafe conditions; warnings to the public that vehicles are not allowed on the dam and directions to cargo areas for loading and off-loading of aircraft.

Other action taken by the board were:

Approving a bid from Undercut Tree Service in the amount of $9,500 to remove trees in a fence row causing a flight path obstruction; and

Approving the Salute to Freedom celebration and fireworks display on July 4.

Original article can be found here: