Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bristell E-LSA, Sport Flying USA Inc., N167BL: Accident occurred July 24, 2016 at Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH), Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Milwaukee FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA283
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 24, 2016 in Oshkosh, WI
Aircraft: BRISTELL E-LSA, registration: N167BL
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 24, 2016, at 1805 central daylight time, a BRM Aero S R O, Bristell E-LSA, collided with the terrain following a loss of control while landing at the Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The pilot received serious injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to Sport Flying USA, Inc. and was operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which not operated on a flight plan. The last leg of the cross country flight originated from the Watertown Municipal Airport (RYV), Watertown, Wisconsin. 

The airplane was one in a flight of two that were landing on runway 36L at OSH during Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture. The pilot in the lead aircraft stated they were cleared to land on the purple dot located 3,052 feet down the 8,002 foot long runway. He did not see the accident occur.

Witnesses reported the airplane was low and slow as it approached the runway. They stated it stalled, rolled left, and descended to impact with the terrain.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A pilot suffered injuries that were not life threatening when his small plane crashed at the Oshkosh airport.

Thirty-nine-year-old Richard Maisano of Pennsylvania crashed at Wittman Regional Airport after his HXA-Bristell Light Sport stalled on Sunday. 

Experimental Aircraft Association spokesman Dick Knapinski says Maisano was taken to a Neenah hospital after the crash. 

Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region spokesman Tony Molinaro told USA Today Network-Wisconsin that Maisano was the only occupant in the aircraft when it stalled as it approached the runway.

Oshkosh is hosting the EAA Airventure air show this week. 

The airport was briefly closed Sunday night after the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – A plane accident during a landing at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh caused a pilot to be transported to the hospital Sunday evening.

EAA Airventure spokesman Dick Knapinski says the pilot was in a small aircraft when it went down the south end of the north-south runway. It did not go off the runway.

The pilot was conscious and alert after the accident and is now fine, Knapinski said.

The accident caused the airport to temporarily close. However, the east-west runway reopened around 7 p.m. before the entire airport closed at its scheduled time an hour later. The the north-south runway remained closed after the accident.

Wittman Regional Airport has two main runways.

Planes that were scheduled to land at Wittman Regional Airport for EAA Airventure were being diverted to other nearby airports during the time of the accident.


OSHKOSH - The main runway at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh was closed today after a small aircraft came up short on the runway and crashed.

EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski says there was only one person on board and they were alert and conscious but taken to a hospital.

It happened on the north/south runway just after 6 PM.

The plane did not catch fire. 

The entire airport closed for about an hour and just after 7 PM the east/west runway reopened. 

Normally, the airport closes at 8 PM so it is unclear if it will reopen again tonight.

Knapinski says the incident will not affect opening day tomorrow for EAA Airventure.

The FAA and NTSB are currently leading the investigation into what happened.


OSHKOSH - A pilot was taken to a hospital after a small aircraft crashed early Sunday evening at Wittman Regional Airport.

The unidentified plane was arriving at the airport about 6 p.m. Sunday when it came down short of the south end of Runway 36, Experimental Aircraft Association spokesman Dick Knapinski said. A lone occupant, who was conscious and alert, was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries.

Wittman Regional Airport was completely closed for about an hour, with the east-west runways reopening about 7 p.m., Knapinski said.

It was the airport's second partial closure of the day after an aircraft touched down without its landing gear on Runway 27, Knapinski said.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 officially kicks off Monday at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Allegiant Air emergency landing raises questions

Courtney Malpas remembers June 8, 2015, as the horrifying day that the pilot of Allegiant Air Flight 864 ordered an emergency landing after the crew reported smoke coming from the cabin.

Malpas of Chambersburg, Pa., said Friday in a Facebook interview that the pilot, Jason Kinzer, 43, remained calm as he explained to the 141 passengers on board that instead of continuing on to their destination at Hagerstown Regional Airport, he ordered an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in Florida. 

After landing, escape slides were deployed from the sides of the plane, and flight attendants evacuated the 141 passengers, The Herald-Mail reported last year. Some passengers were forced to jump from the wing to evacuate. Five passengers and one flight attendant reported injuries at the scene.

But the incident raises questions.

Though it has been reported that smoke was coming from the cabin, Malpas said Kinzer told the passengers that it was coming from the cockpit. 

Malpas said she never smelled smoke that day, and questions whether the pilot was telling the truth.

"I think the pilot did what he had to do, if there really was smoke in the cockpit," she said. "The flight attendants were ridiculously dramatic and terrifying in the way they instructed the passengers on what was happening and what to do. The pilot was calm and instructive, but, like I said, 'if there really was smoke.'"

The flight originally left St. Pete-Clearwater airport at 4:28 p.m. About eight minutes into the flight, the crew reported smoke in the cabin and returned to the airport. 

Upon landing, fire and rescue personnel told Kinzer that some smoke was coming from the No. 1 engine, and urged the crew to shut it down. Kinzer then ordered the evacuation.

But Allegiant Air determined after its investigation that the evacuation was not needed, and terminated Kinzer's employment.

"You ordered an evacuation that was entirely unwarranted and, as a result, your conduct and decision-making on June 8 compromised the safety of your crew and your passengers and led directly to the injuries," Mark Grock, system chief pilot for the airlines, said in a July 23, 2015, termination letter to Kinzer. 

"Furthermore, during a review of the event and in subsequent conversations, you have repeatedly insisted that you made a good decision to evacuate the aircraft and, if faced with a similar situation, you would follow the same course of action. It is for these reasons that your employment with Allegiant is terminated effective immediately," Grock said in the letter.

The letter is part of a 10-page complaint filed by Kinzer's lawyer, Michael J. Pangia, in Clark County (Nev.) District Court in November 2015. 

The complaint is part of a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit that Kinzer, a Florida resident, has filed against the Las Vegas-based airline in response to his termination.

Pangia did not return repeated telephone calls to his office for comment.

Pilot seeks judgment

Kinzer, who stands by his actions, is asking for a judgment against the airline of more than $10,000, to be determined by a jury, according to the complaint. 

The money is to compensate for his loss of income due to his firing, humiliation, embarrassment, loss of reputation as a pilot and loss of his ability to find similar employment as a pilot or employee in the aviation industry.

"The discharge letter, signed by Mark Grock, Allegiant's chief pilot, as well as other writings and emails created by Allegiant, contain false and defamatory statements concerning Captain Kinzer," the complaint states.

Pre-trial testimony now is under way in court, according to a story published Tuesday by the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. 

The testimony of several Allegiant pilots, made public Monday, states that if presented with the same circumstances, they also would have evacuated the plane. 

A pilot also testified that Kinzer's firing was a warning by the airline to its pilots, who then were engaged through their union in bitter contract negotiations with Allegiant.

Malpas continues to have questions.

"It there truly was smoke or an issue that affected the safety of the flight, then no, he did the right thing," she said. "If there was no smoke and he did it because of the recent issues the pilots had had with the airline, then yes. People were panicked, and some even were injured that day. It just depends on what the truth is."


Globe GC-1B, N801JF: Incident occurred September 09, 2016 in Woodruff, Spartanburg County, South Carolina

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA West Columbia FSDO-13


Date: 09-SEP-16
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N801JF
Aircraft Make: GLOBE
Aircraft Model: GC1B
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: South Carolina

Lancair Legacy, N444XD: Incident occurred July 24, 2016 at Cline Falls Air Park (3OR8), Redmond, Deschutes County, Oregon

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-09

Date: 24-JUL-16
Time: 19:00:00Z
Regis#: N444XD
Aircraft Make: LANCAIR
Aircraft Model: LEGACY2000
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Oregon


REDMOND, Ore. -  A Mississippi man who took off in his new Lancair kit plane from a private airstrip west of Redmond on Sunday said he didn’t like the way the aircraft sounded, so he quickly turned back and returned to the runway.

r, resulting in a crash-landing that damaged the plane but did not injure the pilot, who authorities said was alone in the cockpit.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and a Redmond Fire Department crew was dispatched shortly after noon to the reported non-injury crash at the Cline Falls airstrip, a private runway off 7968 Northwest Eagle Drive, said sheriff’s Sgt. Doug Sullivan.

An investigation found that the pilot, Bernie Breen, 65, of Diamondhead, Mississippi, had taken off at the controls of a new Lancair Legacy, Sullivan said.

The pilot said he didn’t like the way the aircraft sounded shortly after takeoff, so he returned to the runway. But he inadvertently forgot to deploy the landing gear, causing the plane to land on its undercarriage and damaging the propeller, the sergeant said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the incident and are investigating, Sullivan said.


A Mississippi pilot had a rough landing on a private air strip west of Redmond on Sunday, resulting in a report of a plane crash at the strip off Eagle Drive.

The pilot, Berni Breen, 65, of Diamondhead, Mississippi, returned to the runway shortly after takeoff because he “didn’t like the way the aircraft sounded,” according to a report from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Breen inadvertently forgot to deploy the landing gear before landing and the plane landed on its undercarriage, damaging the propeller, according to the sheriff’s office.

Breen was alone in the 2016 Lancair Legacy aircraft at the time, and was not injured. No one on the ground was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the incident and are investigating, according to the sheriff’s office.


Beech 95-B55 (T42A) Baron, N55NE, United States Air Force, Lemay Flight Training Center: Fatal accident occurred July 24, 2016 in Leshara, Saunders County, Nebraska

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report: 


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Lincoln FSDO-65

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 24, 2016 in Leshara, NE
Aircraft: BEECH 95 B55 (T42A), registration: N55NE
Injuries: 2 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 24, 2016, about 1500 central daylight time, a Beech 95-B55 airplane, N55NE, impacted terrain near Leshara, Nebraska. The commercial rated pilot and designated pilot examiner were fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned by the United States Air Force and operated by the LeMay Aero Club under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a check ride. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The local flight originated from the Millard Airport (KMLE), Omaha, Nebraska about 1445.

A witness, who was a rated pilot, heard the airplane approach his home from the south and travelled to the north. He later heard one of the engines reduce in power and begin to sputter. He next heard the engines increase in power followed by the engines going quiet. He was unsure if the engines were at idle or were stopped. He walked out to look for the airplane and saw the airplane in a nose low spin, as it descended towards the ground.

The airplane impacted a soy-bean field in a nose low attitude and a postimpact fire ensued. An examination of the wreckage found all major airplane components were accounted for at the accident site. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

At 1455, an automated weather reporting facility located at Fremont Municipal Airport (KFET), Fremont, Nebraska, about 8 nautical miles northwest of the accident site reported wind from 360° at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, a clear sky, temperature 84° F, dew point 61° F, and a barometric pressure of 30.04 inches.

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

Volunteers from four area fire and rescue departments, including that of Valley and Waterloo, came together to offer assistance recently to a call of a small plane that crashed outside Leshara, killing both occupants.

Members of the Yutan Volunteer Fire Department and the Mead Fire and Rescue Department responded to a call from a witness who spotted a small plane crash in a soybean field near Leshara at approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 24.

Don Dooley, chief of the Yutan Volunteer Fire Department said the four crews responded because the location was within close proximity of all departments, and since the plane size and severity of the situation was unknown.
Sheriff’s deputies from both Douglas and Sarpy County responded to the accident scene, as well, according to Chief Dooley.

Chief Dooley said upon examination, the crash was determined to have occurred in the Yutan Fire Department’s jurisdiction.

The aircraft was a Beechcraft Baron, flown by 27-year-old Michael Trubilla, who was an Air Force captain stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Trubilla, originally of Reading, Pennsylvania, was taking a flying lesson at the time of the crash from passenger Ron Panting, 61, of Papillion. Both occupants were found dead when crews arrived at the scene.

Plane crashes are an uncommon occurrence in Nebraska, even for seasoned fire and rescue personnel. Chief Dooley said that in the 24 years that he has been with the Yutan Volunteer Fire Department, this was the first call that he has handled of a fatal plane crash.

 “This was not an everyday occurrence, that’s for sure,” Chief Dooley said.

Investigators have taken the wreckage of the plane offsite and are in the process of reconstructing it and examining it to determine the exact cause of the crash, according to Chief Dooley. He said a witness to the crash did recall noticing the plane’s engines sputter before the crash.

The investigation will be conducted by employees of the National Transportation Safety Board, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Small planes like that flown by Trubilla do not contain black boxes like those in most large commercial airplanes, according to Chief Dooley, so the reconstruction is completed in a different manner. 

Chief Dooley said upon responding to the crash scene, there was a small engine fire that his crew had to extinguish.

“W did have a small fire to put out, that came from both engines that had caught fire,” Chief Dooley noted.

LESHARA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have identified the two people who were killed in a weekend plane crash in eastern Nebraska

The Saunders County Sheriff's office says 61-year-old Ron Panting of Papillion and 27-year-old Michael Trubilla both died in Sunday's crash.

Trubilla was an Air Force Captain from Reading, Pennsylvania, who was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. Panting was a flight instructor and a former chief of wing safety at Offutt Air Force Base.

The plane crashed in a soybean field near Leshara, Nebraska, around 3 p.m. Sunday. A witness reported hearing the engine sputter before the Beechcraft Baron crashed.

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

Saunders County Sheriff's officials have identified the pilot killed in Sunday's plane crash. 

The victim was identified as 27-year-old Michael Trubilla.

SCSO said they was notified from a witness on Sunday, that a plane went down northwest of Leshara in a field.

Officials say the plane was a twin engine Beechcraft Baron. 

Officials say the crash resulted in two fatalities: 61-year-old Ron Panting of Papillion and Trubilla, a Captain from Reading, Pennsylvania residing at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha.

The National Transportation Safety Board, who is in charge of the investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

Officials say a witness advised that the plane was flying from the southeast to the northwest and they could hear the engine sputtering prior to the crash. Rescue and Fire Departments from Mead, Valley, Waterloo, and Yutan were dispatched to the scene.

The victims of a fatal air crash near the Saunders County village of Leshara have been identified as a 27-year-old service member from Offutt Air Force Base and his civilian instructor pilot.

The plane went down in a bean field about 3 p.m. Sunday near a farm along County Road T, said Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz. The site is between Valley and Fremont, south of the Platte River.

The student pilot was completing a check ride in the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron from the LeMay Flight Training Center, Stukenholtz said, and was at the controls of the aircraft when it crashed. The 61-year-old flight instructor was the other occupant.

Both Stukenholtz and Staff Sgt. Rachelle Blake of the Offutt-based 55th Wing said identifications would be released after the notification process for their families is complete.

Blake said the plane took off from Millard Airport about 1 p.m.

Two hours later, a witness called 911 and reported that the plane sputtered before dropping almost straight down into the field and erupting in flames, said Bob Thorson, Saunders County chief deputy sheriff.

The plane had been heading northwest immediately before the crash and had crossed a tree line before plummeting into the field, he said.

Fire and rescue personnel responded to the scene from multiple localities, including Yutan, Omaha, Valley and Waterloo.

A medical helicopter placed on standby was not needed.

“They knew pretty quickly that it was a fatal crash,” Stukenholtz said.

Blake said the aircraft was one of seven planes owned by the flight training center — formerly known as the Offutt Aero Club — which provides aircraft rental and FAA-approved flight instruction for private-pilot through airline-transport certification in single- and multi-engine airplanes.

The Baron that crashed was built in 1962 and had accumulated 18,000 flight hours, she said. The training center normally operates out of Offutt, but Blake said the airplanes had been transferred to Millard for the weekend because the base's airfield was closed for repairs.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.


LESHARA, Neb. (AP) - Two people were killed in the crash of a small plane near Leshara Sunday afternoon.

The Saunders County Sheriff’s Department says the plane went down in a soybean field near Ida Street and Ginger Cove Road around 3 p.m. A witness described seeing the aircraft come sputtering from the sky nose first.

Carol Lukowski’s granddaughter witnessed the crash. Lukowski called 911, but there wasn’t much more she could do.

"Immediately knew that something, well we figured it had to be an airplane,” said Lukowski.

Lukowski said they’re used to seeing crop dusters fly by but deputies say this was a passenger plane. She was cutting her son's hair in their home when her granddaughter watched the crash out the window.

"I had the clippers going and she heard it and she looked out the window and said ‘NaNa’ there's a fire outside,” said Lukowski.

Lukowski said they started looking for fire extinguishers.

"That's the only thing you think is how can you help. That is, that's the only thing cause…you know you probably you can't do much,” Lukowski said. “The smoke was black."

Sheriff's deputies told WOWT 6 News the crash created an instant ball of fire; one that no one would walk away from.

“I think we knew that it was too dangerous,” said Lukowski. "I don't think it was even a question of getting out there and being able to save anybody. I really don't.”

Officials confirm the plane is from LeMay Flight Club which is based out of Offutt. Investigators have not yet released the names of those killed in the crash. Lukowski said her family is praying for the victims and their families.

"One of the first things we did is come back here and say some prayers...for the families who are going to get that phone call, absolutely,” she said. 


Two people died in a small plane crash Sunday in Saunders County.

The plane crashed in a field near a farm at 799 County Road T, close to the village of Leshara around 3 p.m., Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said.

Fire and rescue crews from Omaha, Yutan, Valley and Waterloo responded.

The two fatalities were confirmed, but authorities were still working on identifying the people. 

A witness heard the plane sputter. 

Stukenholtz added that the crash site indicated the plane came straight into the field and that there was no attempt of an emergency landing.

"It was apparent very early on that it was going to be a fatal crash," Stukenholtz said.

The plane has been confirmed a Beechcraft Baron twin engine. 

Federal Aviation Administration officials are on their way to the scene to investigate. 


LESHARA, Neb. (KMTV) - The Saunders County Sheriff's Department confirms two people are dead after a small plane crash near Leshara Sunday afternoon.

The twin-engine Beechcraft airplane went down in a soybean field near the area of 799 County Road T.

 Sheriff's investigators believe the plane may have taken off from Millard Airport. 

The FAA is sending investigators to the crash site. 


LESHARA, Neb. (AP) - Two people were killed in the crash of a small plane near Leshara Sunday afternoon.

The Saunders County Sheriff’s Department says the plane went down in a soybean field near Ida Street and Ginger Cove Road around 3 p.m. 

A witness described seeing the aircraft come sputtering from the sky nose first.

Local facilities at center of Federal Aviation Administration's progress on NextGen, says Shelley Yak

The July 18 editorial of The Press of Atlantic City, "Region and nation again told to wait for air traffic upgrade," inaccurately describes the Federal Aviation Administration's modernization of the nation's air traffic control system, known as NextGen.

The FAA has made significant progress on NextGen over the past few years. Completing the transformation to NextGen is one of the agency's highest priorities. NextGen so far has yielded $1.6 billion in benefits to airlines and the traveling public. With consistent funding from Congress, we expect to deliver $160 billion in benefits nationwide by 2030.

FAA facilities at Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) are at the center of the NextGen modernization. The FAA Tower at ACY already has the new, state-of-the-art Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) displays, which enable operation of current and future NextGen capabilities.

In addition to upgrading the automation systems at towers, we have completed installation of a powerful technology platform for the new high altitude air traffic control system known as ERAM. This system allows controllers at 20 air traffic control en route centers across the country to handle current flights and future increases in air traffic safely and more efficiently. It also is a platform for many other NextGen applications.

Last year we finished the coast-to-coast installation of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) network, which is already enabling satellite-based air traffic control in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and other locations. ADS-B traffic and weather broadcasts are now available across the country. We are working with the airline industry and the general aviation community to help them do their part to meet the FAA requirement to install ADS-B equipment by 2020.

We are making significant progress in other major NextGen priority areas, including Performance-Based Navigation, which is replacing old flight paths with more efficient satellite-based procedures at a rapid rate. We now have more satellite-based procedures in the skies than radar-based procedures, including six NextGen procedures at the Atlantic City International Airport. We have created new NextGen routes above some of the nation's busiest metropolitan areas, including the northeast corridor, saving millions of dollars in fuel, decreasing carbon emissions and cutting down on delays in each city.

In addition to these improvements, we have set clear priorities on delivering more benefits in the next three years. These range from improved separation standards for heavy aircraft to better coordination of traffic on the airport surface and streamlined departure clearances using data communications. Data Comm technology is giving pilots and controllers a new, more efficient way to communicate critical safety information through a digital text system.

The FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township is the nation's leading air transportation system laboratory, and it is at the center of all of current and future NextGen accomplishments. Modernizing the air transportation system is possible as the result of the research and testing conducted by almost 3,500 engineers, scientists and other technical experts at the FAA Tech Center. Any technologies we implement must be reliable and safe from the outset. Our outstanding team at the Tech Center makes NextGen possible.

The U.S. aviation system is a valuable asset for the American public. The FAA's investment in NextGen is creating a more flexible and adaptable aviation system that ensures we will continue to have a thriving aviation industry and a healthy and sustainable national airspace system. We have invested $7 billion in NextGen since 2007, and with consistent funding from Congress, we will complete the major NextGen modernization objectives by 2025.
The FAA indeed has made significant progress in modernizing the nation's air traffic control system.

Shelley Yak, of Little Egg Harbor Township, is director of the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center in Egg Harbor Township.

Original article can be found here:

Tennessee National Guard Aviators receive Sikorsky Rescue Award

Tennessee Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Doug Edmisten operates the hoist bringing Flight Paramedic Staff Sgt. Giovanni Dezuani and a critically ill hiker out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park March 30th. 
(Photo by National Park Ranger William Jaynes) 

 Soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard's 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion that is now part of Joint Base McGhee-Tyson in Knoxville, Tenn., were awarded the Sikorsky Rescue Award July 10th, for participating in three different lifesaving missions in Eastern Tennessee earlier this year. 
(Photo provided by 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion.)

Knoxville, TN – Several Tennessee Army National Guard Soldiers from the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion that is now part of Joint Base McGhee-Tyson in Knoxville, TN, were awarded the Sikorsky Rescue Award July 10th, for participating in three different lifesaving missions in Eastern Tennessee earlier this year.

“To be eligible to receive the Sikorsky Rescue Award, an individual must have directly performed a lifesaving rescue in any Sikorsky helicopter,” said Shay Collins, a customer award program manager with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

The awards were presented by Tom Nicolette, a representative of Sikorsky Aircraft, and by Major General Max Haston, Adjutant General for the Tennessee National Guard.

The award was established to salute the men and women who endanger their own lives to save others wounded in combat, trapped by hurricanes, mud slides, earthquakes, avalanches or other natural disasters, and imperiled by accidents such as shipwrecks, according to the company website.

It can be more difficult to treat a patient in the air than on the ground.

“The space in which we work is confined and we only have what we bring with us to treat the patient,” said Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta, a flight paramedic for more than 20 years with the Tennessee National Guard. “We have to be vigilant when checking off the aircraft and our medical equipment prior to assuming the mission.”

However, difficulties are not a deterrent.

“Having the ability to help people in their time of need is the greatest and most rewarding job I have ever had,” Banta added. He currently works full time for the Guard as a standardization instructor training crew chiefs and other flight paramedics. Banta keeps his medical skills sharp working part time as a paramedic in the civilian sector as well.

The Soldiers have participated in three separate rescue missions just this year. On March 30th, the National Guard crew rescued a diabetic man from the Mount Cammerer Tower area. The MEDEVAC unit had only been at Joint Base McGhee-Tyson for a few months at the time of the incident.

On April 29th, a hiker suffering from a lower leg injury sustained somewhere along the Ramsey Cascade Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park had to be airlifted. The Tennessee National Guard again flew to the rescue and transported the woman to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

About a week later, on May 7th, the unit was activated again, rescuing another injured hiker, this time along the Boulevard Trail, who was also flown to UT Medical Center for further treatment.

Overall, eight Tennessee National Guard Soldiers have received the Sikorsky Rescue Award this year: Maryville, TN, residents Chief Warrant Office 4 Brad Hutsell and Staff Sgt. Giovanni Dezuani; Alcoa, TN, resident Sgt. John Sharbel; and Knoxville, TN, residents Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matt Jaggers, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Cordray, Jr., Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Banta, Sgt. 1st Class Eddie Smith, and Staff Sgt. Doug Edmisten; as well as Sgt. Jason Bowen who has recently transferred to the Wyoming Army National Guard.

Sikorsky initiated the Winged-S Rescue Award Program in 1950 to honor all those who perform rescues flying a Sikorsky helicopter. Sikorsky helicopters have helped save an estimated 2 million lives since the first civilian helicopter rescue occurred in 1945.


Cirrus SR22, N799MR: Accident occurred July 24, 2016 at Barnstable Municipal Airport (KHYA), Hyannis, Massachusetts

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Boston FSDO-61

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA389
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 24, 2016 in Hyannis, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/2016
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N799MR
Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that during landing she slowed the airplane's rate of decent to allow a touchdown after the runway intersection because of a slight surface rise that had caused bumpy landings in the past. She further reported that during touchdown the airplane landed hard and bounced about four feet into the air. She then added full power to abort the landing but was unable to regain airspeed and the airplane veered off the runway centerline to the left. The airplane collided with a security fence and airport rental cars sustaining substantial damage to both wings and fuselage. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain an appropriate descent rate during landing, which resulted in a hard landing, followed by a loss of directional control, runway excursion, and an impact with a security fence and vehicles during the subsequent attempt to abort the landing.

A small plane crashed after landing at the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, Massachusetts, on Sunday afternoon, the town's fire department confirmed.

The Hyannis Fire Department responded to the scene at 480 Barnstable Road at about 1:15 p.m.

Authorities said the Cirrus SR22 single-engine veered off the runway and crashed through a fence after landing, striking a few parked vehicles.

A few people on board the plane were transported to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Damage to the vehicles was minor.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the exact cause of the crash.


HYANNIS, Mass. —Rescue crews are rushing to the scene of a plane crash at the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, local fire officials confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Photos from the scene show the small, single engine plane crashed into the parking lot for rental vehicles near one of the terminal entrances.

Massachusetts State Police said the victims on board suffered just minor injuries. 

Online records show the plane is a 2004 Cirrus Design Corp SR22 - a fixed wing single engine plane that seats four people. 

The crash happened around 1:15 p.m. Sunday

The Federal Aviation Administration says the aircraft, "veered off the runway while landing."

The FAA said they will investigate. 


HYANNIS — A Cirrus SR22 plane apparently crashed through a fence and into several parked cars.

A Mass. State Police Bomb Squad Tech. was on scene to deal with a safety parachute device which is reportedly charged with an explosive designed to send a projectile through the window of the plane in the event of an inflight evacuation.

There were reportedly four passengers onboard.  All four passengers were taken to CCH to be treated for minor injuries.

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Flight instructor brings new passion, ideas to North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In

Julie Hubner, who helped organize the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In, shares her love of flying with Liesel Williamson, 5, on Saturday in Concrete. When Hubner noticed Liesel admiring the plane, she picked her up and placed her in the plane. “There aren’t a lot of women flying, so I want to teach you when you get bigger,” she said.

Planes from all over the U.S. participated in the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In. Many were vintage models with rich histories that their pilots loved to share.

Julie Hubner sits on her Stearman plane. Hubner helped coordinate this year's Fly-In in Concrete and works with the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum.

An old Navy plane and pilot fly in the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In on Saturday in Concrete.

Over 200 planes participated in the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In in Concrete this weekend.

Civil Air Patrol flight officer Nathaniel Nelson helps guide planes down the runway Saturday at the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In.

CONCRETE — More than 200 planes of all ages, colors and types took to the sky in front of 1,500 spectators at the 34th annual North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Fly-In on Saturday.

Behind all of the action in the sky was one woman on the ground, who for the past year has made it her mission to revitalize Concrete’s biggest festival and iconic museum.

Julie Hubner, a 58-year-old England native, has been a flight instructor in Skagit County for about 25 years. In her first year helping with the fly-in, she is credited with bringing new ideas and activities, such as helicopter and airplane rides for spectators, as well as a beer garden from Anacortes Brewery.

Her love of aviation stems from watching her father work as a ground engineer for the Royal Air Force in Great Britain.

For Hubner, flying is the equivalent of freedom.

“I love controlling the plane,” she said. “It gives you freedom to fly in the wilderness, decide what to do when to do it. If you like structure, I suppose you’d be slightly horrified.”

Her passion increased when she worked at Rolls-Royce manufacturing aero engines in England. That’s when in the 1980s she met her future husband John, a 22-year fighter pilot veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who worked in the U.S. branch of Rolls-Royce in England.

While Hubner always was fascinated with flight, she said her husband encouraged her to learn to fly.

“And he really didn’t have to twist my arm too much,” she laughed.

It wasn’t without hardship, however. Aeronautics is still very much a male-dominated field, she said. Even more of an obstacle was reading instruments in the aircraft due to her dyslexia with numbers.

“Learning to fly is not a breeze,” she said. “But it’s about having the passion and time.”

After being trained in England, Hubner and her husband moved to the U.S in the early 1990s. They drove across the county for six months looking for a suitable place to live, which is when they fell in love with Skagit County.

“It’s truly idyllic,” she said. “As a pilot you simply can’t beat the scenery.”

After 35 years of marriage, her husband passed away in January. John also collected vintage planes, or those made through the 1940s and 1950s. One of his eight planes is on diplay at the fly-in: a bright yellow Stearman biplane.

Jim Jenkins, the curator for the North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum, has helped organize the fly-in for 15 years. He said he has worked with Hubner for the past eight months and describes her as the museum’s “sparkplug.”

“This place needed to succeed,” Jenkins said. “Julie is in a really good position to further the growth of this festival. With her, the glass is always half full.”

Her passion is also behind a new business plan to revitalize the flight museum, Jenkins said.

Hubner said she hopes to work with the museum board to incorporate more educational programs and involvement from the town of Concrete.

“This place is too much of a resource to take for granted,” she said. “We can get them here for the festival, but how do we get people to stay?”

While Hubner loves flying aerobatics and in the backcountry, she loves instructing the most because of the ability to pass on that sense of freedom she feels to others.

“When you’re in an airplane and you have to get to know how they think, I’ve developed some pretty close friendships,” she said. “I love seeing their enormous smile on their face when they get to fly solo for the first time.”

Whether it be instruction or participating in fly-in, she said one of her favorite aspects of being a pilot is the camaraderie of the industry.

“It doesn’t matter what type, or what you’re story is, pilots just appreciate the fact that you are flying,” she said.

The fly-in wraps up today.

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Drill at Raleigh-Durham International Airport helps prepare Civil Air Patrol for emergencies

Timothy Tessin, front, and Joseph Rogers prepare a plane for a Civil Air Patrol mission to check power lines in central North Carolina during a training exercise in which the Civil Air Patrol is responding to a simulated hurricane.

MORRISVILLE   --  While skies were clear across much of the Triangle on Saturday, members of the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol responded to Hurricane Chihuahua.

The hurricane formed south of the Bahamas, made landfall in South Carolina and had worked its way across North Carolina and up into Virginia.

“So we are simulating our response of what we would do in the case of a simulated emergency,” said Jay Langley, commander of the Raleigh Wake Composite Squadron, which has about 120 members.

The simulation was part of a statewide search and rescue Civil Air Patrol exercise Saturday. About 14 aircraft and 100 Civil Air Patrol members from across the state participated in the quarterly training that included aircraft missions and ground searches for missing aircraft or persons.

About 30 people, mainly from the Raleigh squadron, spent from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s General Aviation Terminal honing their skills to respond to emergencies.

“We are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Lisa Armour, 52, of Durham. That means, at any moment, the all-volunteer organization may be called in to help locate a missing plane or a lost individual, to assess damage or help in other ways after a natural disaster.

Members, who can spend from a few hours a month to dozens depending on their chosen level of participation, said they joined to serve the community and in search of camaraderie and a shared interest in aerospace.

Langley of Raleigh joined in 1987 while in flight school. One of the students in his class had engine failure and his plane went down. Langley’s classmate survived after the Civil Air Patrol was able to find him in hours.

“I said, ‘Man I want to be part of this organization,’ ” said Langley, who owns a direct mail company. “I got involved immediately and have been involved ever since.”

In response to Hurricane Chihuahua, Timothy Tessin, Stephen Risoff and Joseph Rogers Jr. took off in the single-engine Cessna 172 to observe and take aerial photographs of power lines in five areas about 50 miles west of the airport. Tessin was the pilot.

The Civil Air Patrol, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, was created just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 after aviation enthusiasts sought a way to use their planes to defend their country. In 1948, the U.S. Congress passed a law establishing the Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary to the U.S. Air Force. The Civil Air Patrol’s missions include aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.

The state wing has 38 squadrons, 864 members and 889 cadets – members age 12 to 20 – according to 2015 statistics.

In 2015, the state Civil Air Patrol was credited with saving two lives and 11 search and rescue finds.

In the Civil Air Patrol’s office in the General Aviation Terminal on Saturday, some members sat through training sessions, learning about procedures in searching for a missing person or an emergency location transmitter, which puts out a distress signal after a plane crash.

Others went out and searched for a hidden transmitter.

Cadets Ari Brown, 18, Brannan Massey, 19, and Michael Powell, 15, watched as Maj. Rick Laviano read a device that signaled whether they were getting closer to a transmitter in the woods.

Brown, a Clayton resident and a sophomore at N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University, said he joined at age 12 to learn more about aviation, but his interest shifted to emergency services and leadership opportunities.

Brown has risen from cadet airman to flight sergeant, flight commander, executive officer and then cadet commander.

“I would say the biggest thing my experience in the program has taught (is) the mechanics, sort of the ins and outs of leading people,” he said.

The cadets said their experiences have included learning about cybersecurity and aerospace, which includes flights in airplanes.

“Those are fun because you get to learn about the fundamentals of the aircraft itself,” Powell said. “How to use it.”