Friday, July 8, 2016

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N444WM: Accident occurred June 08, 2016 in Cornelia, Habersham County, Georgia

http://registry.faa.gov/N444WM

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA316
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 08, 2016 in Cornelia, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N444WM
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The flight instructor reported that this was her fifth instructional flight with the student and that they were practicing takeoffs and landings in the pattern. She recalled that the previous landing accomplished by the student was "squirrelly." She reported that she reminded the student pilot "how/why not to use the pedals during the landing roll, and to stay off of the brakes." She recalled that the student completed the next approach and landing and both were stable. However, during the landing roll the airplane made an abrupt right turn, and exited the right side of the runway about the midpoint of the 5500 foot long by 100 foot wide runway. The flight instructor reported that she did not believe that she would be able to bring the airplane back to the left and aborted the landing. However, the airplane struck rising terrain, entered a 360 degree turn and struck an embankment. The flight instructor asked the student if he had his feet on the pedals during the landing roll, and he replied "I think so." The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, horizontal stabilizer and elevator. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's unnecessary pedal application and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action resulting in a loss of directional control, runway excursion and ground impact during the aborted landing.

Piper PA-32-300, Ledfordopolis II LLC, N1495J: Accident occurred July 08, 2016 in Windermere, Orange County, Florida

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

LEDFORDOPOLIS II LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N1495J

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA250
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 08, 2016 in Windermere, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32-300, registration: N1495J
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

On July 8, 2016, at 1810 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA 32-300, N1495J, was substantially damaged while ditching in Lake Down, Windermere, Florida, following a total loss of engine power. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida, about 1800, and was destined for Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), Venice, Florida.

According to the pilot, the accident flight was the third flight of the day. There were no issues noted with the airplane on the first two legs. The first was from ORL to Jacksonville Executive Airport at Craig (CRG), Jacksonville, Florida. The airplane was fully fueled at CRG, and he estimated that during the return flight to ORL, about 15 gallons of fuel was used from the right wing tip fuel tank. He recalled switching to the left wing tip fuel tank before departing on the accident flight. About 5 minutes after takeoff, while in cruise flight at 1,500 feet mean sea level (msl), the pilot began a climb to 4,500 feet msl. About 2 minutes later, he heard a "popping" sound from the engine. The pilot contacted the ORL air traffic control tower and stated "…I'm having engine trouble, need to return immediately." About 30 seconds later, he advised "I'm losing engine power, I may have to ditch." The pilot stated that initially the engine sustained a partial power loss, and he performed the "engine power loss in flight" checklist, but he was unable to diagnose the problem. The engine lost complete power shortly thereafter.

A witness who was located about one-half mile east of the accident site reported hearing an aircraft fly over his house near the time of the accident. As it did, the engine initially sounded like it was "running smoothly, but at reduced power", and then stopped for about four or five seconds. The noise then resumed for several seconds, and again sounded like an engine running at reduced power, and then the noise stopped again. At no time did the engine sound like it was "sputtering or surging."

A witness captured the last few seconds of the flight on video, as the airplane ditched in the lake about 10 miles southwest of ORL. The video depicted the airplane descending into the water in a nose low, left wing down attitude.

According to FAA records, the pilot's last FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 25, 2016, at which time he reported 275 hours of flight experience.

Maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection occurred on October 1, 2015, at which time the engine had accrued a total of 3,750 hours, with 56 hours since overhaul. The airplane flew about 39 hours since that inspection.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility where a post-accident examination was conducted by an FAA inspector and representatives from the airframe and engine manufacturers. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls through recovery cuts to their respective control surfaces, with the exception of the left aileron, which was continuous through one overload fracture at the aileron input rod end at the bellcrank. The left wing was found separated from the fuselage at the root end and exhibited leading edge damage and skin separations along the entire span. The left fuel tank was breached and absent of fuel. The left tip fuel tank was separated from the wing and was not recovered. The right wing was largely undamaged and remained attached to the fuselage, and was subsequently removed by recovery personnel for transport. About 25 gallons of fuel were recovered from the right main wing tank. According to recovery personnel, water poured from the right tip tank quick-drain during recovery. The three recovered fuel caps (left main, right main, right tip) were found secure with their vent valves in place. The three corresponding fuel pickup screens were free of debris and clear of obstruction when checked with low pressure air. The fuel selector valve was out of detent, between the right main and right tip tank positions.

The engine and nose gear were partially separated from the firewall. Both propeller blades were bent slightly aft at mid span. The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand at the propeller. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed to the rear accessory section and valve action was observed on all 6 cylinders. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all cylinders. The fuel lines leading from the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel servo and from the fuel servo to the flow divider, the flow divider valve and lines to the fuel nozzles, were absent of liquid. All 6 fuel nozzles were clear of debris and unobstructed. Neither of the two magnetos produced spark when rotated.


The fuel servo, both magnetos, electric fuel pump, and an engine monitor were retained for further examination.



A man and his 9-year-old daughter were injured Friday evening when a small plane plunged into Lake Down near Windermere, Orange County Fire Rescue said.

The Piper PA-32 plane, which departed from Orlando Executive Airport, plunged into the lake shortly before 6:15 p.m., officials said.

The man was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center, and his daughter was brought to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Their conditions weren't known, officials said.

Neither person was publicly identified.

Two boaters were credited with rescuing the man and his daughter. Austin Keaton and João Pacheco said they immediately jumped into action to help them.

“When it started going down lower, we were, like, that doesn't look right, so we turned the boat around to boat over to them if they crashed,” Keaton said. “All he was concerned about was his daughter. 'Get her on board. Get her on board.' That's all he cared about.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it received reports of engine problems from the plane before it crashed.

“It's just one of those things you'll never think you'll see until it happens,” Pacheco said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.


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



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

Two people were injured Friday evening when a small plane crashed into Lake Down near Windermere, Orange County Fire Rescue said.

The twin-engine plane plunged into the lake shortly before 6:15 p.m., firefighters said.

One adult was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert.

A child was brought to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Their conditions weren't known, officials said.

No one else was in the plane.

It's not yet known what caused the plane to crash.

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


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —The Orange County Sheriff's Office has responded to a report of a plane down, possibly in the West Orange County area, near Florida's Turnpike, according to officials.

Two people, including a juvenile, were pulled from the plane and taken to the hospital as trauma alerts.

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

WINDERMERE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Boaters rescued an adult pilot and a child passenger from a small plane that crashed in an Orange County lake early Friday evening.

Deputies responded to Lake Down, located in Windermere, in reference to an aircraft crash around 6:15 p.m.  The airplane was a single-engine aircraft occupied by a father, 49, and his daughter, 9.  Their identities were not immediately released.  

Two men fishing at the lake witnessed the crash.  They were able to rescue the two and bring them to shore in their boat.    The girl sustained a non life-threatening injury and was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.  Her father was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with no visible injuries.  


The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and will investigate the cause of the crash. 

Airbus A320-200, Delta Air Lines, N333NW: Incident occurred July 07, 2016 in Rapid City, South Dakota

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


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

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

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

Delta Air Lines Inc:  http://registry.faa.gov/N333NW

NTSB Identification: DCA16IA200
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of DELTA AIR LINES INC (D.B.A. Delta Airlines)
Incident occurred Thursday, July 07, 2016 in Rapid City, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2017
Aircraft: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320 211, registration: N333NW
Injuries: 129 Uninjured.

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

The flight was routine until nearing the Rapid City terminal area. The crew had initially briefed for landing on runway 32, but the wind had shifted and favored runway 14. The crew reported that they had prepared for the runway 14 approach as well, so the change was not a significant factor. Delta chart material did include an advisory regarding the close proximity and alignment of the two airports.

Landing on runway 14 required more flying distance than runway 32, however, at 2030, the crew discussed the need to descend more rapidly. The flight was not altitude restricted by ATC. At 2035, ATC instructed the flight to fly heading of 300 degrees for the downwind leg of the visual approach. At that time the airplane was 9 miles abeam RAP at 12,000 feet. The ATC controllers noted that the airplane was high and fast for the visual approach. Field elevation of RAP was 3,200 feet and with a nominal remaining flying distance of about 15 to 18 miles the airplane was positioned well above the typical 300 feet per mile descent. 

At 2036:30 the captain called the airport in sight and called for gear down and flaps one, configuring the airplane for a more expeditious descent. At this point RAP was south-southwest of the airplane, at the 8 o'clock position, while RCA was at the 10 o'clock position, therefore, it is likely the captain was actually looking at RCA.

Shortly afterward, ATC issued a vector for base leg, but the crew requested to extend the downwind due to high altitude, which ATC approved. 

At 2039, the crew accepted a turn to base leg as the airplane was descending through 5,800 feet, about 5.5 miles north of RCA, and about 12 miles north of RAP. This was consistent with altitudes on the RNAV14 approach to RAP, but a somewhat steeper than normal angle to RCA. 

ATC cleared the flight for "visual approach runway one-four. Use caution for Ellsworth Air Force Base located six miles northwest of Rapid City Regional." FAA order 7110.65 directs controllers to describe the location of a potentially confusing airport in terms of direction/distance from the aircraft. During interviews, the crew stated they misheard the controller's warning for the typical position advisory given on an instrument approach, and it supported their idea that the correct landing runway was 6 miles away. The FO did query the Captain if he had the right airport in sight, who expressed some uncertainty. Both crewmembers had little to no experience flying into either RAP or RCA, however, they did not verify their position to the desired landing runway using either the automation, or by querying ATC; and switched off the autopilot and Flight Directors removing possible cues as to their position related to RAP. 

At the time ATC cleared the flight for the visual approach the airplane was positioned on the final approach course of the RNAV14 approach, and at a reasonable altitude for that approach, therefore, there was no immediate indication to ATC that the crew had identified the wrong airport.

Shortly after, the captain increased the descent rate as high as 1,200 feet per minute, resulting in an unstable approach as he was focused on the wrong landing runway. The crew realized the mistake just prior to touchdown, but considered it was safer to complete the landing at that point.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
The flight crew's misidentification of the desired landing runway due to excess altitude requiring an extended downwind, and failure to use all available navigation information.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 7, 2016, at 2042 mountain daylight time (MDT), Delta Air Lines flight 2845, an Airbus A320, N333NW, landed on runway 13 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, South Dakota (RCA). The airplane was not damaged and there were no injuries. The flight was a regularly scheduled passenger flight from the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota (MSP) operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, with a planned destination of Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP). 

The flight crew reported the takeoff, climb, cruise, and initial decent to be routine until nearing the Rapid City area. The captain was the pilot flying and the first officer (FO) was the pilot monitoring for the flight leg.

Prior to arrival into the RAP area, the captain anticipated and briefed the ILS32 approach; however, due to his personal procedure, he also briefed the RNAV/GPS14 approach. Prior to contacting Ellsworth Approach Control, the FO obtained the latest weather for RAP, which included wind from 140 degrees at 4 knots. The approach briefing included the airport information page, the anticipated taxi route to the gate after landing, and the close proximity of RCA to RAP. 

At 2029:29, the airplane was descending through flight level 235 (about 23,500 feet above sea level) descending to 17,000 feet, and the flight crew made initial contact with Ellsworth Radar Approach Control (EA) The approach controller acknowledged and cleared the flight to descend to 5,300 feet and to expect a visual approach to runway 14. The crew acknowledged, and discussed the need to descend more rapidly. The captain was demonstrating to the FO a technique on setting up the Flight Management System (FMS) to configure for approach. During this exchange the airplane was approximately 45 nautical miles east of RAP. 

At 2034:58, the airplane was abeam RAP and the EA controller instructed the crew to fly heading of 300 degrees for a downwind leg to the visual approach. The EA controller and the RAP tower controller discussed on landline communications that the airplane was high and fast for the visual approach. During the exchange the airplane descended through about 12,000 feet. Field elevation of RAP was 3,200 feet and with a nominal remaining flying distance of about 15 to 18 miles the airplane was positioned well above the typical 300 feet per mile descent. 

At 2035:18 the captain noted that the airplane's speed was too high, and then noted that his technique on the FMS was not going to work the way he intended, and switched back to open descent. At 2036:30 the captain said "there's the airport," and called for gear down and flaps one. At this point the airplane was east of RCA, and RAP was south-southwest of the airplane.

At 2037:15 the EA controller instructed the flight to turn to a heading of 230 degrees, for the base leg of the visual approach. At this time, the airplane was descending through 9,200 feet and was positioned 9 miles north of RAP. Total flying distance via base leg and final would have been about 12 miles. Ellsworth AFB was directly abeam the left side of the airplane by about 4 miles.

The FO advised the controller that they were "a little high" and requested an extended downwind leg. The controller approved and asked the pilot to advise when they were ready to turn in. The airplane had turned about 15 degrees left during the previous discussion, and continued to slow. The airplane had travelled about 5 miles in a northwesterly direction, and was descending through 6,600 feet, about 11 miles north of RAP when the controller asked the pilot if he could begin a turn toward the runway. At 2039:12 the pilot advised he could accept a turn and that he had the field in sight. At that time the airplane was 12 miles north of KRAP, and less than 2 miles abeam the extended centerline. KRCA was directly between the airplane's position and KRAP about 6 miles south. The EA controller advised the pilot "cleared visual approach runway one-four. Use caution for Ellsworth Air Force Base located six miles northwest of Rapid City Regional." The FO acknowledged the approach clearance, and said to the captain "you got the right one in sight?" The captain replied "I hope I do."

After turning onto the base leg the captain selected a direct radial to the ZUDIM intersection, the final approach fix for the RAP RNAV GPS 14 approach, and armed the approach. ZUDIM is located 1.2 miles southwest of RCA. The captain reported that the airplane captured the approach about 5 miles from ZUDIM. The FO reported that he observed his navigation display (ND) and the flight was straight on the "correct" navigation line to the runway. 

The airplane turned left, passing through and slightly west of the extended centerline for RAP runway 14. From 2039:45 to 2040:45 the airplanes descent rate slowed and was close to level at 4,900 feet. This altitude and position is consistent with the altitudes published on the RNAV 14 approach chart in that area; the specified altitude for crossing ZUDIM waypoint, directly abeam RCA, is 4,900 feet.

During this period, at 2040:10, the pilot asked if he should contact tower, and the EA controller instructed him to switch to the tower frequency. At that time, the airplane was about 5 miles north of RCA, about 11 miles north of RAP and positioned close to the extended centerlines of either runway. The captain switched off the autopilot, and directed the first officer to clear the flight director display. Just after switching to the tower frequency, the airplane began a rapid descent from 4,600 feet, about 3 miles from the RCA runway threshold, to landing at KRCA, with a field elevation of 3,276 msl.

The captain reported that about 500 feet agl he did not observe the PAPI lights; however, he remained "focused on the visual approach." At 2041:25 the captain stated "confirmed stable." The airplane was 1.5 nm from the threshold of KRCA, 8 nm from KRAP. The airplane was descending approximately 1,200 feet per minute, and the captain said "this is the most [expletive] approach I've made in a while."

As they approached the runway, the captain retarded the thrust levers to idle, at which point they realized that they were landing at RCA. According to both crewmembers. the landing runway 13 was "uneventful" and they cleared the runway onto taxiway "D" and notified the RAP air traffic control tower. 

At 2042:24, the RAP tower controller notified the EA controller that DAL2845 had landed at RCA instead of RAP. The EA controller contacted RCA tower and began the process of handling the "wrong airport" landing with the tower and airfield operations personnel. On the ATC interphone, the RAP tower controller stated that he was initially watching the airplane on the tower radar display, but at the time of landing was entering traffic count information.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The captain was 60 years old. He held an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with type ratings on the Airbus A-320 and A-330, and the Boeing 747 with Second-in-Command privileges. He also held a commercial pilot certificate for instrument helicopter, a flight engineer certificate, and an FAA first-class medical certificate dated April 8, 2016. He had approximately 25,800 hours total time, and 2,980 hours in the A320. He was originally hired with Republic Airways on June 9, 1986, which merged with Northwest Airlines in October of 1986, and subsequently merged with Delta in January of 2010. At the time of the incident, he was based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A review of FAA records found no prior accident, incident, or enforcement actions.

According to Delta Air Lines' records the captain's previous experience flying into RAP was December 4, 2014, and a subsequent departure from RAP on December 6, 2014. No other records of previous experience with the airport were located.

The First Officer was 51 years old and resided in Utah. He had an ATP certificate with a type rating on the Airbus A-320. He also had a FAA first-class medical certificate dated January 4, 2016. His date of hire with Delta Air Lines was May, 2000. At the time of the incident, he was based at Salt Lake City. He had logged approximately 7,600 hours total time, with 2,324 hours in the A320. He had never flown to RAP or RCA before as a pilot.

A review of FAA records found no prior accident, incident, or enforcement actions.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

N333NW, manufacturer construction number 0329, was an Airbus 320-211, manufactured in 1992. The airplane had a maximum ramp weight of 170,635 pounds, and had a total passenger seating capacity of 160, and contained 4 flight crew seats and 5 cabin crew seats. Recorded data and airline records indicated no relevant mechanical, systems, or maintenance issues with the airplane.

Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS)

The incident airplane was equipped with an electronic flight instrumentation system. The system included 6 flat panel displays, of which 2 were considered the Primary Flight Displays (PFD) and 2 were considered Navigation Displays (ND), which provided flight and navigation information in a digital format. The crew reported they operated the ND in Rose NAV mode which displays a full compass rose oriented to the aircraft heading, a depiction of the aircraft position with reference to the flight plan inserted into the FMS, and additional information associated with the flight plan. The destination runway and the runway identifier are depicted in white. In some cases, parallel or crossing runways are also depicted. According to Delta documentation the ROSE NAV mode "is particularly useful for maintaining orientation when being vectored near an airport prior to approach…"

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Rapid City Regional Airport weather observation at 20:58 indicated clear skies, 10 miles visibility and light winds from 170 degrees.

Sunset was at 20:38, approximately 4 minutes prior to the event, the end of civil twilight was 21:13. According to NTSB Meteorological staff, the sun would have been at an azimuth of about 304 degrees true and about 1 degree below the horizon at the time of the incident.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP)

Rapid City Regional Airport was located 8 miles southeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, had a field elevation of 3,204 feet msl, and was located at a latitude/longitude of N44°02.7'/W103°03.4'. The airport was serviced by an FAA Air Traffic Control Tower that was in operation from 0600 to 2200 local time. The tower was in operation at the time of the incident. Radar services to DAL2845 were provided by Ellsworth Approach Control, located at the Ellsworth Air Force Base. RAP runway 14/32 was 8,701 feet long and 150 feet wide, the surface was concrete and grooved. Runway 14 was equipped with high intensity runway lights (HIRL) and runway end identifier lights (REIL). Runways 14 and 32 were equipped with a 4-light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) on the left side of the runway with a 3.00-degree glide path angle.

Runway 14 was serviced by an RNAV and a VOR approach.

Ellsworth Air Force Base (RCA)

Ellsworth Air Force Base was located 5 miles northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, had a field elevation of 3,276 feet msl, and was located at a latitude/longitude of N44°08.7'/W103°06.2'. The airport was serviced by a US Air Force Air Traffic Control Tower that was in operation on the day of the incident from 0800 to 2100 local time. The airport was also equipped with a military airport beacon, which operated from sunset to sunrise. RCA had a single runway designated as 13/31. Runway 13/31 was 13,497 feet long and 300 feet wide, the surface was concrete and grooved. Both runways had a 4-light PAPI located on the left side of the runway with a 3.00-degree glide path angle, HIRL, Approach Light System with Sequenced Flashing Lights (ALSF-1), and REIL. 

Each runway was served by an ILS approach.

Delta Air Lines' Operational Specific 10-7 and 10-7a Pages

Delta Air Lines provided Delta pilots with operational specific information on airports that are served by Delta Air Lines. The information is provided as a 10-7 page, also known at Delta as the "green page," within the Jeppesen Chart structure. The information provided by the 10-7 charts includes operation frequency, gate number information at the specific airport, airport specific procedures for departures and arrivals, general information, and Special Notes. The 10-7 page for KRAP provided within the special notes section the following information: "Ellsworth AFB lies northwest of RAP on final approach for runway 14. These airports have similar runway alignment and can be mistaken for one another."

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR), an Allied Signal 980-6022-001, serial number 0777 was a solid-state CVR that recorded 2 hours of digital cockpit audio. The recorder was received with no heat or structural damage and the audio information was extracted from the recorder normally, without difficulty. The quality of the audio was characterized as good to excellent. A CVR group was convened and created a transcript. Timing on the transcript was established by correlating the CVR events to common events on the flight data recorder (FDR). 

The FDR, a Honeywell SSFDR, Model 980-4700 serial number 4425 records a minimum of 25 hours of airplane flight information in a digital format using solid-state flash memory as the recording medium. The recorder was received in good condition and the data were extracted normally from the recorder. Correlation of the FDR data to the event local time, mountain daylight time (MDT), was established by using the FDR recorded GMT hour, minute and second time parameters and then applying an additional -6 hour offset to change GMT to local MDT time. 

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Both pilots completed company drug screening tests on July 8, 2016. Results of these tests for both pilots were negative. The captain told NTSB investigators that he was wearing his glasses, as required by his medical certificate. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Order 7110.65 specified phraseology to warn pilots of similar airports is contained is paragraph 7-4-3g: In those instances where airports are located in close proximity, also provide the location of the airport that may cause the confusion. EXAMPLE- "Cessna Five Six November, Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport is at 12 o'clock, 5 miles. Cleveland Hopkins Airport is at 1 o'clock 12 miles. Report Cleveland Hopkins in sight."

Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) Reports

A review of wrong airport landing data provided by ASRS revealed that in the previous 20 years approximately 600 wrong airport landings or near landings had been voluntarily reported. Of those, 6 occurred while attempting to land at RAP and resulted in a landing or landing attempt at RCA. Four of those reported were conducted by general aviation aircraft, which consisted of piston and turbojet aircraft, and two of those events were done during commercial air carrier passenger operations.

Previous "Wrong Airport" Incidents Involving RAP and RCA

According to information provided by Ellsworth, similar incidents of pilot confusion between RAP and RCA have occurred in the past, ending in either an unauthorized landing at RCA or a low approach to RCA before the mistake was identified and corrected by ATC or the pilot. For example, on August 17, 2015, a Hawker business jet inbound to the area from the west was vectored northwest of RCA for a visual approach to RAP. The crew misidentified RCA as their destination and completed an unauthorized landing. On June 19, 2004, a Northwest Airlines Airbus A319 also completed an unauthorized landing at RCA after the crew confused RCA with RAP. Ellsworth reported that pilot confusion between RAP and RCA continues to be fairly common, although the problem is typically detected and corrected by ATC or the crew before landing.

NTSB Wrong Airport Landing Investigations

DCA14IA037

On January 12, 2014, about 1808 CST (0008Z), Southwest Airlines flight 4013, a Boeing 737-7H4, N272WN, mistakenly landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport (PLK), Branson, Missouri, which was 6 miles north of the intended destination, Branson Airport (BBG), Branson, Missouri. The flight had been cleared to land on runway 144 at BBG, which was 7,140 feet long; however, landed on runway 12 at KPLK, which was 3,738 feet long. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. The flight crew visually acquired the airport and completed the flight via visual reference. However, the flight crew failed to comply with the company guidance to monitor all available navigational information and subsequently indicated that they had misidentified PLK as BBG.

DCA13IA016

On November 21, 2013, about 2120 local time, a Boeing 747-400LCF (Dreamlifter) landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kansas, in night VMC conditions. The airplane was being operated as a cargo flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Jamaica, New York, to McConnell Air Force Base (IAB), Wichita, Kansas. Instead, the flight crew mistakenly landed the airplane at Colonel James Jabara Airport (AAO), Wichita, Kansas. The flight crew indicated that during their approach to the airport, they saw runway lights that they misidentified as IAB. The flight was cleared for the RNAV GPS 19L approach, and the flight crew saw AAO but misidentified it as IAB. The flight crew then completed the flight by visual reference to the AAO runway. Once on the ground at AAO, the flight crew was uncertain of their location until confirmed by the IAB tower controller. The AAO runway was 6,101 feet long, whereas IAB runways were 12,000 feet long.

Previous NTSB Recommendations and Guidance

In April, 2014, the NTSB issued a Safety Alert for landings at the wrong airport. In the Safety Alert, pilots were guided to use the following tools to prevent landings at the wrong airport:

Adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), verify the airplane's position relative to the destination airport, and use available cockpit instrumentation to verify that you are landing at the correct airport.

Maintain extra vigilance when identifying the destination airport at night and when landing at an airport with others in close proximity.

Be familiar with and include in your approach briefing the destination airport's layout and relationship to other ground features; available lighting such as visual glideslope indicators, approach light systems, and runway lighting; and instrument approaches.

Use the most precise navigational aids available in conjunction with a visual approach when verifying the destination airport.

Confirm that you have correctly identified the destination airport before reporting the airport or runway is in sight. 

Safety Recommendation A-15-010

ATC radar data processing systems typically include minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) functions that compare the aircraft's expected trajectory with its observed trajectory and alert controllers if the aircraft is in danger of collision with terrain or obstructions. This is accomplished by comparing the aircraft's altitude against a digital terrain model until it reaches the vicinity of the destination airport, when the processing changes to compare the aircraft's observed trajectory against expected trajectories for landing aircraft. 

In "wrong airport" landings, MSAW systems should detect that the aircraft is unexpectedly descending to the ground away from the destination airport and generate a minimum safe altitude alert. Review of Ellsworth radar data showed that as DAL2845 approached the RCA area, the system applied MSAW rules for RCA arrivals instead of RAP arrivals. Consequently, no alert was generated in this incident. This behavior has been identified in other "wrong airport" landings. On May 4, 2015, the NTSB issued safety recommendation A-15-10 to the FAA, asking that FAA, "Modify the minimum safe altitude warning (MSAW) software to apply the MSAW parameters for the flight plan destination airport to touchdown, rather than automatically reassigning the flight to another airport based on an observed (and possibly incorrect) trajectory." The recommendation is currently classified "Open – Acceptable Alternate Response." 

NTSB Identification: DCA16IA200
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of DELTA AIR LINES INC (D.B.A. Delta Airlines)
Incident occurred Thursday, July 07, 2016 in Rapid City, SD
Aircraft: AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320 211, registration: N333NW
Injuries: 129 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 used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

On July 7, 2016, at 8:42pm central daylight time, Delta flight 2845, an Airbus A320, N333NW, landed on runway 13 at the Ellsworth Air Force Base (RCA), Rapid City, South Dakota. The flights intended destination was Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), Rapid City, South Dakota. The airplane was not damaged and none of the six crew members or123 passengers were injured. The flight was operating under 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 121 as a regularly scheduled passenger flight originating from Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the incident.



As Delta Flight 2845 soared west above eastern South Dakota at 7:50 p.m. on July 7, the pilot forewarned the co-pilot about mistaking Ellsworth Air Force Base for their intended destination, Rapid City Regional Airport.

“You do have to be careful with, ah, Eielson — not Eielson, Ellsworth,” said Capt. James Evans, “because their runways kind of align.”

The comment, revealed in public documents that are part of an ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, did not prevent the pilots from landing at Ellsworth by mistake.

Nor did their review of a document in the cockpit that explained the close proximity of the base runway and the intended runway at the airport.

Nor did a routine verbal warning from an Ellsworth approach controller who told the pilots, “Use caution for Ellsworth Air Force Base located six miles northwest of Rapid City Regional.”

Nor did an expensive air-traffic control computer system at Ellsworth that failed to issue the warning it should have.

In hindsight, the fate of the flight was sealed at 8:39 p.m., while the plane was dropping altitude northeast of Rapid City and the pilots began a left turn. They caught sight of what they thought was Rapid City Regional Airport in the twilight below and took the plane down to it.

Both pilots had inklings of their mistake as they descended, they later told investigators.

At about 500 feet from the ground, they did not see the type of runway lights they expected.

At about 20 feet from the ground, the co-pilot, First Officer Matthew Moeller, noticed the number 13 on the runway instead of the expected 14.

As the unlucky number passed beneath the plane, Moeller realized what was happening.




“OK," he said, "we’re on Ellsworth.”

“Oh #,” Evans replied. (The numerous expletives in the transcript of the cockpit voice recording are replaced by “#” signs.)

Evans considered pulling up, he later said to investigators, but his mind flashed to his training and he decided it was safer to land. The tires hit the runway at 8:42 p.m. and both pilots uttered more expletives before Evans said, “All right, tell ’em. Talk.”

Moeller went on the radio and broke the news to an air-traffic controller at Rapid City Regional Airport, who had noticed the plane drop off a radar screen moments earlier.

Evans addressed the plane’s four flight attendants and 123 passengers.



“Well, ladies and gentlemen, you’re not gonna believe this,” he said over the passenger address system. “It was my leg and Ellsworth and Rapid City are directly in line. And I just landed at Ellsworth. So we’re gonna have to get off the runway, come back around and take off and go over to Rapid City. First time in my career to do that.”

Two hours and 21 minutes of waiting ensued for the plane's crew and passengers while airmen at Ellsworth followed their protocol, which is well established from at least six wrong-airport landings at the base during the past 20 years.

Airmen secured the plane and collected information from the pilots while talks began among Ellsworth, Rapid City Regional Airport and Delta Air Lines. Arrangements were made for a short flight to Rapid City Regional.

Amid the bustle, Col. John Martin of Ellsworth spoke about the pilot, Capt. Evans, to Ellsworth’s tower watch supervisor.

“He might be hanging it up after this,” Martin said of Evans, according to a transcript of radio communications.

Delta reported the next day that Evans and Moeller were grounded as pilots. More recently, a Delta spokesman declined to tell the Journal anything about the pilots’ current status, but the investigative documents made public by the NTSB include extensive biographical information about both men.

Evans, the captain of the flight, was 60 years old at the time and resided in Alaska. He had been flying since he was 16 and flew Army helicopters before becoming a commercial pilot. He had flown into and out of Rapid City Regional Airport once before, in 2014.

The July 7 trip from Minneapolis to Rapid City was among the first flights Evans had piloted since returning from a monthlong break, during which he used all his vacation time before his planned retirement on Aug. 31, 2016.

A transcript of the cockpit voice recording includes colorful language that Evans used throughout the flight. Among the 72 expletives replaced by “#” signs in the transcript, 62 are attributed to Evans, including many before the landing.

The Journal asked NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson why the NTSB scrubs the expletives from transcripts, and whether the scrubbing masks unprofessional conduct in the cockpit.

“Including the actual expletives spoken by crew members would not add any investigative value to the product,” Knudson wrote in an email reply. “All of the information relevant to understanding the communications about the accident or incident being investigated is included in the transcript.”

Moeller, the co-pilot, was 51 years old at the time and resided in Utah. He formerly flew for the Air Force, but he had never flown into or out of Ellsworth or Rapid City Regional Airport.

Neither pilot had any record of prior accidents, incidents or enforcement actions, and both tested negative for drugs the day after the Ellsworth incident. No one was injured in the mistaken landing.

In an interview with investigators and in a written statement, Moeller was apologetic. While noting that others involved in the landing, including air-traffic controllers, could have done more to help him and Evans avoid their mistake, Moeller blamed himself and Evans and listed several things they should have done differently.

In a written statement for Delta, Moeller said, “I apologize for any problems or inconvenience our error may have caused our passengers and Delta Air Lines.”

Evans did not apologize in his written statement. In a phone interview with investigators, he resisted blame.

“When asked if there was anything he could have done differently to avoid this incident, he stated he has spent a lot of time thinking about the event but could not think of anything he could have done differently,” said a written summary of the interview. “He felt that the event itself was 'the perfect storm' and that it was a big embarrassment for him.”

It could also prove embarrassing for Raytheon Co., maker of the air-traffic control system known as STARS, for Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System. The system is included in a $10 million air-traffic control facility that opened at Ellsworth in 2008.

An NTSB investigator’s written report about the July 7 Delta landing at Ellsworth concluded with a finding about STARS.

“In ‘wrong airport’ landings, STARS and similar systems should detect that the aircraft is unexpectedly descending to the ground away from the destination airport and generate a minimum safe altitude alert,” the investigator wrote, but in this case, “no alert was generated.”

Similar STARS failures have been noted in other wrong-airport landings. The NTSB issued a safety recommendation in 2015 asking the Federal Aviation Administration to fix the problem. But, wrote the NTSB investigator assigned to the Ellsworth incident, a fix will require Raytheon Co. to modify the STARS software. Recent Journal phone and email messages to Raytheon spokespeople were not returned.

The failure to issue alerts during wrong-airport landings is one of many problems the FAA and Raytheon have faced while trying to implement STARS in air-traffic control facilities across the nation. The FAA began upgrading to STARS in 1996 with a goal of replacing 172 systems for $940 million by 2005. Cost increases and delays added $1.3 billion to the effort in 2004, and the project is still underway with completion now expected in 2020.

Whether or not the STARS problem gets fixed, other changes have already been made at Ellsworth and Rapid City Regional Airport to decrease the likelihood of future wrong-airport landings. At Ellsworth, according to NTSB documents, air-traffic controllers have been directed to ensure that pilots arriving from north of the base on a visual approach to Rapid City Regional Airport have both airports in sight, except for pilots who report being familiar with the local area. Additionally, Rapid City Regional Airport has directed its controllers to refrain from issuing landing clearances to aircraft arriving from the vicinity of Ellsworth until those aircraft have passed the base.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the July 7 mistaken landing at Ellsworth is wrapping up, an NTSB spokesman told the Journal recently. A final written report could be released within a few months.

The events of July 7 ended with Evans and Moeller taking off from Ellsworth shortly after 11 p.m. — with all passengers still aboard — and flying east past Rapid City Regional Airport before swinging around for an approach from the southeast. They landed at 11:31 p.m., four hours and six minutes after taking off from Minneapolis and nearly three hours past their expected arrival at Rapid City Regional.

Though Evans later resisted blame while talking with investigators, he was apologetic to the passengers during several addresses he made while waiting on the runway at Ellsworth.

“I can’t believe this,” Evans said in one of those addresses. “In over 30 years I’ve never done anything like this."

Then he added: "Nice landing. Just at the wrong airport.”

Original article can be found here: http://rapidcityjournal.com WASHINGTON — A Delta Air Lines jetliner with 130 passengers on board landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota Thursday evening, said a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident. 

The Delta A320 landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base at 8:42 p.m. Central Time Thursday, when its destination was an airport in Rapid City, board spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday. 

Ellsworth is about 10 miles due north of Rapid City Regional Airport. The two airports have runways that are oriented nearly identically to the compass, from northwest to southeast. 

Delta Flight 2845 had departed from Minneapolis. A passenger interviewed by the Rapid City Journal said she and her fellow passengers waited about 2½ hours in the plane at Ellsworth, where they were ordered to pull down their window shades as military personnel walked through the cabin with at least one firearm and a dog. 

This was not the first time airline pilots have mistaken the Air Force base for the Rapid City airport. In 2004, a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 117 passengers to Rapid City landed at Ellsworth. The plane remained on the ground for more than three hours as the pilots explained to Air Force security officers what went wrong, and a new crew was dispatched to continue the flight to Rapid City. 

Northwest and Delta merged 2008. 

Delta has contacted the passengers "and offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience," the airline said in a statement. 

The crew has been taken off-duty while NTSB investigates, the statement said. "Delta will fully cooperate with that investigation and has already begun an internal review of its own," it added. 

The Air Force said in a statement that the base officials "followed the proper procedures to address the situation" and ensured the safety of those at the base and passengers. 

Citing security reasons, base officials declined to answer questions from The Associated Press regarding the specific procedures followed during the incident and whether air traffic controllers at the base were in contact with the pilot and authorized the landing. 

Landings at wrong airports by commercial pilots, while unusual, are still more common than many passengers may realize or airlines would like to acknowledge. 

An Associated Press search two years ago of government safety data and news reports since the early 1990s found at least 150 flights in which U.S. commercial passenger and cargo planes have either landed at the wrong airport or started to land and realized their mistake in time. 

Of the 35 documented wrong landings, at least 23 occurred at airports with shorter runways, creating potential safety issues. 

In most cases, the pilots were cleared by controllers to fly based on what they could see rather than relying on automation. Many incidents occurred at night, with pilots reporting they were attracted by the runway lights of the first airport they saw during descent. Some pilots said they disregarded navigation equipment that showed their planes slightly off course because the information didn't match what they were seeing out their windows — a runway straight ahead. 

On Jan. 12, 2014, the pilots of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 stopped their plane just short of a ravine at the end of a short runway in Hollister, Missouri, when they had meant to land on a runway twice as long at nearby Branson. 

A few months earlier, an Atlas Air Boeing 747 freighter landed at the tiny Jabara Airport in Wichita, Kansas, instead of McConnell Air Force Base about eight miles away. The runway is considered 3,000 feet less than ideal for the plane, one of the largest in the world. It took about 10 hours to turn the plane around and ready it for takeoff again. A nearby highway was shut down as a safety precaution. 

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

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) A Delta Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Rapid City landed by mistake at Ellsworth Air Force Base Thursday night.

The Airbus A320 aircraft had 130 customers on board when it made its errant landing.

Armed military personnel walked through the cabin with bomb sniffing dogs while the airplane was at the base.

Passengers were ordered keep their window shades down. The flight eventually took off from the base and arrived at the PROPER airport at 11:31 p.m.

One passenger on the flight said everyone stayed calm throughout the event though some young children were crying.

He said the most nerve wracking time was the brief flight from Ellsworth to Rapid City Regional.

“It's troubling when you have to trust the person that maybe got you into this situation in the first place,” said Rapid City resident Aaron Eisland. “It's not exactly comforting. … This is a decent size screw up.”

Delta Airlines says the crew has been taken off duty while the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the incident. The airline says it is also conducting an internal investigation.

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

Piper PA-32R-300, N32KK: Fatal accident occurred July 08, 2016 near West Houston Airport (KIWS), Harris County, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N32KK 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA261
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 08, 2016 in Houston, TX
Aircraft: PIPER PA 32R-300, registration: N32KK
Injuries: 4 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 July 8, 2016, about 1615 central daylight time, a Piper model PA-32R-300 single-engine airplane, N32KK, was destroyed during a postimpact fire following a loss of control shortly after takeoff from the West Houston Airport (IWS), Houston, Texas. The private pilot and his three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the personal cross-country flight that had an intended destination of Gillespie County Airport (T82), Fredericksburg, Texas.

There were numerous witnesses who reported observing the accident airplane while on takeoff from runway 15 (3,953 feet by 75 feet, asphalt). Several of the witnesses observed an open forward baggage compartment door shortly before the airplane rotated for liftoff. These witnesses reported that the forward baggage compartment door was in a vertical position. The airplane continued with the takeoff and climbed on runway heading to 100-150 feet above ground level (agl) before it entered a left crosswind turn. One witness estimated that the left crosswind turn began as the airplane crossed over the runway departure threshold. Several witnesses reported that the airplane maintained a bank angle of 30-45 degrees during the left crosswind turn. The airplane was observed to briefly roll into a wings level attitude, on a downwind heading, before it entered an aerodynamic stall/spin to the left and descended nose first into terrain. The witnesses did not report hearing any engine anomalies during the accident flight.

The accident site was located in a wooded residential area located about 1/2 mile east-northeast of the airport terminal building/ramp. The initial point-of-impact was identified as an approximately 60-foot tall pine tree that was fractured about 6-1/2 feet above the ground. A 100 foot wreckage debris path initiated from the pine tree on a 330-degree true heading. There were numerous broken pine tree branches located along the wreckage debris path. The main wreckage was located about 42 feet from the initial point-of-impact and was found upright on a 180-degree heading. The main wreckage consisted of the fuselage (aft of the cockpit), both wings, and the empennage. A majority of the main wreckage had been destroyed by the postimpact fire. Flight control continuity could not be established due to impact and fire damage; however, all observed separations were consistent with overstress. The mechanical flap control lever was found in the fully retracted position. All three landing gear actuators were fully extended, consistent with an extended landing gear. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right fuel tank. The cockpit, forward baggage compartment, engine, and the propeller were located about 58 feet past the main wreckage. The cockpit instrument panel was destroyed by fire. The landing gear selector switch was found in the "gear-down" position. The ignition switch was found in the "both" position. The forward baggage compartment exhibited impact and fire damage. The forward baggage compartment door was found about 15 feet from the baggage compartment. The door latch mechanism was observed unlatched and its corresponding key-lock assembly unlocked. A functional test of the latch mechanism did not reveal any anomalies. The forward baggage door frame latch catch/receptacle appeared to be undamaged. There were no observed anomalies with the forward baggage door latch mechanism, key-lock, or the door frame latch catch/receptacle.

The engine remained attached to the firewall and the propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. The two-blade propeller exhibited torsional twisting, trailing edge S-shaped bending, and burnishing of the blade face and back. Internal engine and valve train continuity was confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The single-drive dual-magneto did not provide a spark when rotated; however, the magneto was damaged consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The upper spark plugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. A borescope inspection of each cylinder did not reveal any anomalies. The fuel injection servo remained attached to the engine. There were no obstructions to the fuel injection servo or induction system. The servo fuel inlet screen was free of any contamination. No anomalies were observed with the mechanical fuel pump, fuel flow divider, or fuel injectors. The oil pump discharged oil in conjunction with crankshaft rotation. The oil suction screen was free of any contamination. The postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal engine operation.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 41, held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane and instrument airplane ratings. His last aviation medical examination was completed on April 14, 2016, when he was issued a second-class medical certificate with no limitations. The pilot reported having 1,350 hours total flight experience when he applied for his current aviation medical certificate. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. According to an insurance application, dated March 28, 2016, the pilot had logged 1,350 hours total flight time and 60 hours in a Piper PA-32R-300. The pilot also reported his last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed on April 5, 2015. The pilot's recent flight history was reconstructed from airplane utilization records provided by the co-owners of the accident airplane. The pilot's first recorded flight in the accident airplane was completed on February 19, 2015. The pilot had accumulated 72.1 hours in the accident airplane. He had flown the accident airplane 41.8 hours during the previous 12 months, 15.0 hours during the past 6 months, and 7.5 hours during the previous 90 days. There was no record of the pilot flying the accident airplane during the 30 days before the flight.

The accident airplane was a 1976 Piper model PA-32R-300, serial number 32R-7680117. A 300-horsepower Lycoming model IO-540-K1A5D reciprocating engine, serial number L-14027-48A, powered the airplane through a constant-speed, two blade, Hartzell model HC-C2YK-1BF propeller, serial number CH35537B. The airplane had a retractable tricycle landing gear, was configured to seat five individuals, and had a certified maximum gross weight of 3,600 pounds. The airplane had a useful load of 1,376.75 pounds, according to the current weight-and-balance record dated November 30, 2012. The airplane was exported to Japan after being manufactured in January 1976. The airplane was subsequently imported back into the United States and issued an FAA airworthiness certificate on April 3, 1995. The current owners-of-record purchased and registered the airplane on April 30, 2015. The last annual inspection was completed on June 27, 2016, at 4,508.4 hours total airframe and engine time. The recording tachometer indicated 3,124.4 hours at the last annual inspection and 3,125.5 hours at the accident site. The airplane had accumulated 1.1 hours since the annual inspection. At the time of the accident, the airframe and engine had accumulated 4,509.5 since new. The engine had accumulated 465.5 hours since its last field overhaul, which was completed on August 9, 2012. The propeller had accumulated 561.5 hours since its last field overhaul, which was completed on February 7, 2012. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had two fuel tanks, one located in each wing, and a total fuel capacity of 98 gallons (94 gallons usable). A review of fueling records established that the airplane fuel tanks were topped-off before the accident flight.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Houston Executive Airport (TME), Houston, Texas, about 12 miles west of the accident site. At 1615, the TME automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 190 degrees true at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 6,000 feet above ground level (agl), temperature 35 degrees Celsius, dew point 23 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting 30.00 inches of mercury.

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.















HOUSTON - The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating a plane crash in west Harris County on Friday. The accident happened just after 4 p.m.

A small plane took off from West Houston Airport at 18000 Groschke Road and crashed in the woods nearby, according to officials. The plane caught fire in the woods a quarter-mile east of the runway. The plane was destroyed by fire after impact.

All four passengers died when the single-engine Piper PA-32 went down, officials said.

Gustavo Trevino recorded cell phone video seconds after the deadly crash.

Trevino works near West Houston Airport and saw the plane go down just after take off.

"The plane was taking off and I knew something was wrong," Trevino said.

He ran to the scene to look for people on board because he wanted to help.

"I tried to go in. I couldn't do anything," Trevino said. "The flames were too intense. Just too intense."

The plane crashed just a few feet from Sherry and George Turner's home.

They hear planes taking off and landing every day, but they knew something was wrong with this one.

"That didn't sound normal. As soon as I got outside, I saw the smoke and the heat signature from the fire," George said.

Investigators say they will use dental records and finger prints to identify them.

They haven't even confirmed the plane's tail number because it's so badly damage.

"The plane is completely destroyed and burned," DPS officer Stephen Woodard said. "Right now this is a terrible time for this community because this is a flight community. A lot of folks in this community own planes and they're pilots as well. So it's a trying time."

It is unclear what caused the plane to crash at this time.

"Right now, everything is being preserved. The aircraft engine and all the instruments are in place waiting for the experts to come in and do the proper investigation," Woodard said.

Story and video:  http://www.click2houston.com



HOUSTON (KTRK) --  A small plane crashed into a grassy area near West Houston Airport, killing four people, according to Westlake EMS. The aircraft is completely destroyed.

The fiery crash was reported at about 4:15pm. The wreckage was discovered amid some trees not far from the airport, and very close to some homes. Officials say the plane experienced some type of engine failure shortly after takeoff and fell from the sky.

Multiple agencies were called to the scene, including the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Westlake EMS. The FAA is investigating.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com









Houston (KPRC) —Four people have died in a small plane crash Friday near Houston, reports KPRC-TV.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. The accident happened just after 4 p.m.

A small plane took off from West Houston Airport and crashed in the woods nearby, according to officials.

The plane caught fire in the woods a quarter-mile east of the runway. The plane was destroyed by fire after impact.

All four passengers died when the single-engine Piper PA-32 went down, officials said.

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