Saturday, July 2, 2016

Boutique Air CEO stands by airline’s safety: Shawn Simpson touts Pilatus PC-12 safety record

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




Boutique Air CEO Shawn Simpson on Friday heralded the “extreme reliability” of the Pilatus PC-12 single-engine aircraft — the plane his company uses to fly passengers to almost all of the 23 destinations Boutique serves.

“It’s a real runaway success airplane,” Simpson said. “The PC-12 is reliable and efficient.”

The Cortez City Council in May endorsed San Francisco-based Boutique Air’s Essential Air Service (EAS) bid to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will award the bid. Boutique’s proposal 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.

The city’s endorsement of a bid that included the single-engine PC-12 drew concerns from local pilot Garth Greenlee, who spoke at the council’s June 14 meeting. Greenlee told council members they were making a “terrible mistake” by endorsing Boutique Air because of its single-engine plane. He said he doubted the plane’s ability to withstand frigid weather and harsh conditions while flying over 14,000-foot peaks en route to Denver.

Simpson, though, refuted those concerns. The PC-12 is manufactured in Switzerland — a country covered with high mountains — and is built for all weather conditions, he said. Pilatus has built about 1,500 of the planes since the PC-12’s debut in the mid-1990s, and the company continues to manufacture about 60 new PC-12s per year, according to Simpson.

For the past three months, Boutique Air has been operating two routes that fly over the Continental Divide, according to Simpson. Two daily flights travel from Vernal, Utah to Denver and back, according to the airline’s website. Boutique Air also offers twice-daily flights from Moab to Denver and back.

The company, which was founded in 2007, has never experienced issues with the PC-12, Simpson said. “We’ve never had any accidents, injuries or fatalities in our history, and we certainly plan to keep it that way going forward,” Simpson said. “Safety is very important to us.”

There has never been a PC-12 fatality due to engine issues or failure, Simpson said. Rather, fatalities have been due to human error, he added.

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.

In the deadliest incident, 13 passengers and a pilot died in a March 2009 crash near Butte, Montana. That crash was attributed to ice in the fuel system and the pilot’s failure to control the left wing when landing, according to the NTSB. The pilot neglected to add an aircraft fuel-line antifreeze called Prist when fueling the plane before takeoff, according to a report from airfactsjournal.com. Additionally, the number of passengers on that flight exceeded the PC-12’s capacity, the report states.

“It’s more the pilots and their training that are the biggest factor” in air travel safety, Simpson said.

The company’s EAS bid is still pending, Simpson said. The EAS contract with Great Lakes Airlines, which previously provided service to Cortez, expired June 30.

If the U.S. Department of Transportation awards Boutique Air’s bid, travelers could see ticket rates at the Cortez Airport for as low as $49, Simpson said. The company typically offers an introductory rate for three to six months upon starting service at a new location, he said.

“We really want people to try our service,” Simpson said. “We keep prices low, let people learn about our service and try it out.”

Under the Boutique Air model, ticket prices increase as they become more scarce, Simpson said. The first seat sold on a flight will be cheaper, whereas the last few seats remaining will be more expensive, he said. There is no time factor with regard to the company’s pricing, he added.

Cortez will be the 16th community where Boutique Air will provide service, Simpson said.

“We’re really excited to be coming to Cortez,” he said. “We’re confident it will be an improvement over the service that has been there for quite some time.”

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

Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage, C-GVZW: Fatal accident occurred February 22, 2015 near Felts Field Airport (KSFF), Spokane, Washington

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

Lawsuit: attendant who refueled plane that crashed should have been barred from working

The family of a pilot who died after his plane crashed in Spokane alleges that the attendant at Felts Field who pumped the wrong kind of fuel into the aircraft should never have been working at that job.

An updated lawsuit, filed this week in Spokane County Superior Court, claims the attendant, Christopher Therrell, wrongly filled Michael Clements’ propeller plane with jet fuel, causing the engine to malfunction.

Clements, 61, was flying alone from Alberta, Canada, to California on Feb. 22, 2015. Shortly after stopping at Felts Field to refuel, his Piper Malibu Mirage crashed north of East Sprague Avenue at Erie Street, near the Hamilton Street bridge over the Spokane River.

Clements was unconscious when removed from the plane and died two days later at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. Investigators quickly determined the plane was filled with jet fuel, even though it had a piston-powered engine that uses a less volatile aviation fuel.

Therrell was an employee of Western Aviation, Felts Field’s fuel concessionaire. The lawsuit claims he had a history of drug problems that should have precluded him from getting the job. It claims Western Aviation hired him because his uncle, Tim Gump, owns the company.

The lawsuit claims the company knew about Therrell’s history and did not require him to pass a drug test before hiring him. It also claims that after Clements’ plane crashed, Therrell agreed to take a drug test but never showed up.

Therrell later was promoted to a management position, supervising other refueling attendants, although he never completed management training, the lawsuit claims.

Attempts to contact Therrell on Friday afternoon were unsuccessful. A Western Aviation employee also declined comment Friday.

The lawsuit seeks damages from Therell and Western Aviation as well as two fuel providers, Houston-based Phillips 66 and Kalispell-based CityServiceValcon. It claims the fuel providers were responsible for ensuring Western Aviation complied with safety regulations, but ignored “critical deficiencies” detected in 2010.

Refueling stations are supposed to be outfitted with a different nozzle for each type of fuel, reducing the likelihood of a mix-up. Instead, the lawsuit claims, Western Aviation used a “rogue nozzle” to refuel Clements’ plane – after repeatedly mistaking it for a plane that runs on jet fuel.

Clements’ death, the lawsuit concludes, “was caused by the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of the defendants.”

A Phillips 66 spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on legal matters, and attempts to contact a CityServiceValcon spokesperson were unsuccessful.

The lawyer representing Clements’ estate, James Anderson, said he and the family aren’t ready to comment on the case.

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

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Spokane FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA111 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Spokane, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 - 350P, registration: CGVZW
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 22, 2015, at 1405 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA46-350P airplane, Canadian registry CGVZW, experienced a loss of engine power during climb out from runway 22R at Felts Field Airport (SFF), Spokane, Washington. The Canadian certificated pilot, the sole occupant, succumbed to his injuries on February 24, 2015. The airplane was destroyed during the attempted emergency landing after it struck a railroad track. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instrument flight rules (IFR) flight that originated shortly before the accident. The flight was destined for the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK) Stockton, California. 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and identified two different groups of witnesses. The first set of witnesses observed the airplane with the engine sputtering. They observed the left wing drop and the nose pitch up. The right wing then dropped, and the witnesses lost sight of the airplane as it passed behind a building. The second set of witnesses reported that the right wing struck a railroad track at the top of a hill and subsequently traveled down an embankment. The witnesses reported that the airplane slid across a road and came to rest inverted adjacent to the bottom of a railroad bridge. 

Responding investigators stated that the majority of the airplane came to rest at the accident site, with additional wreckage strewn throughout the debris path. Both of the wings had separated from the airplane fuselage; however, they remained near the main wreckage. The investigators stated that the fuel tanks ruptured during the accident sequence, and there was a strong smell of Jet fuel present. 

The FAA inspector obtained the fueling log from Western Aviation at SFF; the fuel log indicated that the accident airplane had been refueled with 52 gallons of Jet fuel prior to takeoff.
























































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

Beech 23 Musketeer, N8704M: Accident occurred July 01, 2016 near Rankin Airport (78Y), Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri

http://registry.faa.gov/N8704M

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Kansas City FSDO-63


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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary -   National Transportation Safety Board:   https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA357
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 01, 2016 in Maryville, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2016
Aircraft: BEECH 23, registration: N8704M
Injuries: 2 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 on final approach to runway 17, he was "distracted" by the runway composition and dimensions. The pilot reported that he identified the high tension power lines just before impact. He recalled that when he saw the power lines he "pulled up" in an attempt to climb, however it was too late, the propeller and engine cowl struck the power lines and the airplane slid down the power line wires toward the ground and came to rest in a corn field. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage aft of the cabin, and the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with any portion of the airplane during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operations.

The Airport/Facility Directory states the dimensions and composition of the runway, displaced threshold and the high tension power lines as:

The first 630 feet of the runway is gravel and turf, and the width is 60 feet. The next 1300 feet of runway is a 14 foot wide section of concrete with 18 feet of turf on both sides of the concrete. The final 1120 feet of runway is a 12 to 25 foot wide section of gravel and asphalt chips, with 12.5 to17.5 feet of turf on both sides of the gravel and asphalt chips. The displaced threshold is marked with 5 tires on each side of the runway. High tension power line wires are about 1200 feet north of the runway threshold and do not have any safety markings. The power lines that the airplane struck intersect and cross the approach end of runway 17 at approximately 30 degrees. Furthermore, the power lines are depicted on the FAA Aeronautical Chart for the airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to see and avoid power lines on approach during landing, resulting a power line strike, uncontrolled descent, and collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate pre-flight planning.


An Elkhart, Indiana, couple returning to Maryville for a family reunion escaped serious injury Friday night when their light aircraft struck power lines while attempting to land at the Rankin Airport east of Maryville.

Richard and Sandra Faye Spencer both suffered minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital where they were treated and released.

The incident occurred at approximately 7:15 p.m. when the Beechcraft Musketeer piloted by Richard Spencer approached the landing strip from the north.

According to the Nodaway County Sheriff's Office, first responders learned of the crash through a 911 call.

Authorities said the caller described the plane as striking the power lines and spinning completely around, then hitting the ground and tumbling end over end  before coming to rest upright in a cornfield.

Utility workers said power was being routed away from the damaged cables until they could be repaired.

Officers on site said the airplane, which was shielded from view by the tall corn, would remain in the field pending action by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In remarks to the media on Saturday, Sheriff Darren White said Richard Spencer apparently failed to see the high-voltage lines until it was too late.

He said local authorities have been in contact with the FAA, which plans to send an investigator to examine the scene and evaluate the incident.

White said that because the crash happened on a holiday weekend and resulted in no serious injuries, the FAA's formal investigation may not begin for several days.

Because the cause of the accident is well established, White said he expects the federal agency's review to be "fairly straightforward."

The sheriff added that no significant power outages resulted after the plane struck the cables, but that "momentary" interruptions in electrical service were reported.

White said the airplane was essentially demolished in the accident and does not appear to be salvageable.

The Sheriff's Office was assisted in working the crash by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Maryville Department of Public Safety, Nodaway County ambulance crews, the Missouri Department of Transportation, United Electric Cooperative, and the FAA.

http://www.maryvilledailyforum.com

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Two people were injured in a plane crash in Nodaway County early Friday night.

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White said a small single-engine Beechcraft crashed while attempting a landing at Rankin Airport — on Maryville’s eastern edge — about 7:20 p.m. White said the two people on board, believed to be a husband and wife from Indiana, suffered what appeared to be minor injuries. They were transported to St. Francis Hospital to be evaluated. Their names and condition updates were unavailable late Friday night.

“They struck the power lines as they were approaching the airfield,” White said. “When I got here, the people were already in the ambulance. It’s a miracle that they walked away.”

White said the aircraft was approaching the airport from the south when it struck a power line, which was frayed and damaged but never collapsed. The plane, which was destroyed, came to a rest in a corn field about 200 yards from Jet Road, which runs adjacent to Rankin’s lone private grass airstrip.

http://www.newspressnow.com

Czech SportCruiser, N236SC: Accident occurred July 01, 2016 in Wyoming, Chisago County, Minnesota

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

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -   National Transportation Safety Board:   http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N236SC

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Minneapolis FSDO-15


NTSB Identification: CEN16LA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 01, 2016 in Wyoming, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/12/2016
Aircraft: CZECH AIRCRAFT WORKS SPOL SRO SPORTCRUISER, registration: N236SC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The sport pilot was conducting a personal local flight at night. The pilot reported that he was unable to locate the destination airport because it was dark. The airplane was low on fuel, so he decided to land the airplane on an interstate highway. During the landing roll, the airplane’s right wing hit a wire road divider post, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane. The pilot stated that the airplane did not have any mechanical failures during the flight. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadequate flight planning and navigation for a flight at night, which resulted in his having to conduct a precautionary landing on an interstate highway due to low fuel and impacting the post of a wire road divider. 

**This report was modified on August 16, 2016. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.**

On July 1, 2016, about 2206 central daylight time, a Czech Aircraft Works Sportcruiser, N236SC, sustained substantial damage during an off airport landing on Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) near Wyoming, Minnesota. The sport pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight departed the Cambridge Municipal Airport (CBG), Cambridge, Minnesota, about 2000 on a local flight. 

The pilot stated to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he could not find CBG because it was dark. The airplane was low on fuel and he could not see an airport beacon, so he landed the airplane on a road, which turned out to be I-35. During the landing roll, he attempted to maneuver the airplane into the ditch between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway to avoid the traffic on the highway. The airplane's right wing hit the post of a wire road divider causing substantial damage to the airplane. The pilot stated that the airplane did not have any mechanical failures while airborne. 

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 01, 2016 in Wyoming, MN
Aircraft: CZECH AIRCRAFT WORKS SPOL SRO SPORTCRUISER, registration: N236SC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

On July 1, 2016, about 2206 central daylight time, a Czech Aircraft Works Sportcruiser, N236SC, sustained substantial damage during an off airport landing on Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) near Wyoming, Minnesota. The sport pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight departed the Starbuck Municipal Airport (D32), Starbuck, Minnesota, sometime between 2000 and 2100 and was en route to the Cambridge Municipal Airport (CBG), Cambridge, Minnesota. 

The pilot stated to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he could not find CBG because it was dark. The airplane was low on fuel and he could not see an airport beacon, so he landed the airplane on a road, which turned out to be I-35. During the landing roll, he attempted to maneuver the airplane into the ditch between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway to avoid the traffic on the highway. The airplane's right wing hit the post of a wire road divider causing substantial damage to the airplane. The pilot stated that the airplane did not have any mechanical failures while airborne.





A 79-year old pilot says he was lost and running out of fuel when he crash landed his small plane on Interstate 35 late Friday night.

Leonard Nolden, who declined an on-camera interview, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS over the phone Saturday that he flew to Starbuck Friday night for a fly in, a social gathering for pilots. Starbuck is roughly 130 miles from where Nolden lives in Isanti.

Nolden said his GPS was not working but thought he could make it back home using maps. He lost his bearings and was forced to land on the southbound side of I-35 when his fuel supply started running low.

The interstate was shut down from from Wyoming to Stacy; the northbound lane was closed for an hour and the southbound lane for two hours.

Nolden said his plan was to land on the roadway, which had been cleared of traffic, according to witnesses, and then veer into the grass median, but he failed to account for the cable barriers.

"(The plane) landed at the bottom of the exit ramp, so he was somewhat under control, he lost a wheel and then he bounced once or twice," said Adam Gothmann who witnessed the landing. 

"(The pilot) was out of that airplane, literally, within 60 seconds of it hitting the ground," Gothmann said.

The light sport aircraft, which can only hold two people and can travel about 100 mph, ended up nose down in the median and was towed away.

A pilot with more than 50 years of flying experience says a road is the best option, other than an open field, for an emergency landing.

"A highway is good, except a lot of highways have overpasses, wires, you just have to be careful," Gary Lysiak said. "I would land on a road if I had to."

Lysiak said pilots are also trained to carry 45 minutes worth of extra fuel and should know where the nearest airports are when charting their flight path.

"It's not like a car where you're at quarter tank of gas and you say 'oh, I'll pull over at the next exit.' Up in the air, there's no next exit," Lysiak said, adding that the pilot did a good job of avoiding a more serious crash.

"(The pilot) probably did a very good job of not hitting a car, and he did what he had to get out of the way, Lysiak said. "Hats off to him, he did alright."

The FAA, Minnesota State Patrol and local authorities have not commented on the accident investigation.


Story and video:   http://kstp.com





A single-engine airplane landed in the southbound lanes of Interstate 35 near Wyoming, Minn., in Chisago County late Friday, leading authorities to close down the highway in the area.

A preliminary investigation showed that the pilot sustained minor injuries but was OK, police confirmed. There did not appear to be any other injuries.

It was not known whether the plane crashed or made an emergency landing, according to a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol. Some fuel was leaking onto the road before the aircraft was removed around midnight.

The plane came down on the freeway near County Road 22 just after 10 p.m. All lanes in both directions of the interstate, which was especially busy Friday with holiday weekend travelers, were closed to traffic as police waited for officials with the Federal Aviation Administration to arrive.

Wyoming police initially notified motorists to avoid I-35 between the city and Stacy. One lane of northbound traffic reopened at 11:45 p.m., but all lanes were later opened.

Public records show the  plane was registered in 2007 to an Isanti man, now 79 years old.

Original article can found here:   http://www.startribune.com 











CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - A small plane crashed on southbound 35 near Wyoming, Minnesota, according to State Patrol officials.

Emergency crews responded to the crash at about 10:06 p.m. on Friday at I-35 and Viking Blvd.
  
State Patrol is investigating the emergency landing. The pilot received minor injuries.

Both northbound and southbound between Wyoming and Stacy were closed for a couple hours during the evening. The lanes are now both open,

FAA is involved in the investigation.