Sunday, August 14, 2016

Butter plant expansion leads to demise of Joshua Sanford Field Airport (KHBW)

Certified flight instructor and former airport manager Henry Peterson, left, and Patti Bruha, right, one of Peterson's students, talk about the closing of Joshua Sanford Field, a small airport in Hillsboro. The two, advocates of the airport's continued operation, stand on Runway 5/23 during an interview.



Frank Kablau inspects the inside of a wing on his 1965 Cessna 172 Skyhawk at Joshua Sanford Field Airport.



A sign board instructs pilots to sign a logbook at Joshua Sanford Field, a small airport in Hillsboro, Wisconsin. A gravel road leads to the runway and hangars.


With Runway 5/23 in the background, construction proceeds on a butter-making facility at the Land O'Lakes plant in Hillsboro, Wisconsin.




HILLSBORO -- There is no lack of quaintness at the Joshua Sanford Field Airport.

Those who land at the city-owned airstrip are asked to sign in on a faded yellow legal pad protected by Plexiglas in a self-serve kiosk constructed by Ian Collins, an Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 83. The plaque doesn’t say in what year Collins built the structure.

The 3,600-foot-long and 50-foot-wide paved, lighted runway hasn’t been resurfaced in nearly 20 years and is sprouting weeds. There is no terminal, maintenance shed or a place to buy fuel — just two hangars that over the last few years have housed only a few aircraft.

And while the number of regular users at the airport can be counted on two hands, it’s not uncommon for those that do land to walk across the street for rings of bologna, two-pound rolls of butter and chunks of Muenster, Swiss and Colby at Janet Helgerson’s Cheese Store & More. This is where a sign above the three-door cheese cooler states “We ID Limburger Cheese Customers!”

“Everything I get is as local as possible,” said Helgerson, who has worked at the store for 37 years and bought the place in 2003. “The economy is tough. So goes the farmer, so goes everything else in town. And with all the small farms closing down, everyone has to go someplace else to work.”

But there are mixed feelings in this Vernon County city of about 1,400 people about a project at the Land O’Lakes butter factory that is bringing economic development to the community, located 23 miles northwest of Reedsburg.

The plant, purchased earlier this year by Land O’Lakes, makes quarter-pound, one-pound and 55-pound blocks of butter along with vats of butter oil used by commercial bakers and candy makers. But the facility is located at the southwest end of the airport’s runway, and an addition will create a safety hazard for airplanes. That has forced the city to close the little-used airport in exchange for jobs and tax base.

The 20,000-square-foot addition to the 28,000-square-foot butter plant will include a refrigerated warehouse, new employee entrance, locker and changing rooms, a break area and conference space. The project is part of $15 million worth of improvements planned for the facility through the end of 2018 that could also see the company’s Hillsboro workforce grow beyond its existing 30 employees, the company said in an email.

“We worked closely with the city to identify the best option to meet the needs of our growing business while helping to ensure the safety of our employees,” company spokeswoman Rebecca Lentz wrote. “This option was the one that met those needs.”

In January, the Hillsboro City Council approved a memorandum of understanding and a development agreement with Land O’Lakes. The city then floated a plan to close part of the runway and make it a restricted-use facility, but the hangar owners, Henry Peterson and Bill Lesnjak, threatened to sue the city, saying it would affect their operations. They dropped their case when Land O’Lakes paid Peterson $60,000 and Lesnjak $29,000 for their hangars that are in a flood plain thanks to the nearby West Branch of the Baraboo River.

The state Bureau of Aeronautics urged the city to prevent any incompatible land uses but had concerns about adding new structures and moving the runway protection zone. The Federal Aviation Administration also studied the issue and told the city that a hazard designation could only be removed if the 40-foot-tall Land O’Lakes addition was only 6 feet tall.

So, after months of debate and haggling, the city informed the state late last month that it was closing the airport. Bulldozers were at work last week moving earth for construction at Land O’Lakes, but mowing has stopped alongside the runway and takeoffs and landings will be prohibited by this fall.

“Was it an easy decision? No,” said Adam Sonntag, Hillsboro’s city administrator. “This has been six months of trying whatever we could in working with the state (Bureau of Aeronautics) and working with the FAA to come to some sort of reasonable solution. It was frustrating. These things have existed next to each other for the last 30 years and all of a sudden they can’t because somebody wants to add to it? It doesn’t make any sense to us.”

It’s unclear what will become of the airport property, which is along a bike trail. The flood zone eliminates the potential for development, although Sonntag said it could be used as parkland, a test track or for other uses that require minimal facilities.

Wisconsin is home to eight commercial airports, including Dane County Regional Airport in Madison and General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, but 90 airports are considered general use. They support activities like personal and business travel, charter services, tourism, sky diving, medical aircraft, flight training and agricultural spraying, according to the state Department of Transportation. That count does not include scores of private airstrips around the state, most of which are rural grass strips.

The airport in Hillsboro began as a pea gravel strip, has been both private and public over the years and was used by the Kickapoo Oil Co. founded in 1959 by Raymond Knower. Kickapoo, which grew to more than 60 stations before it sold to Kwik Trip in 1988, is credited with having the first self-serve gas pumps east of the Mississippi after it convinced the state legislature to change the law that required gas to be pumped by service station attendants.

The airport was taken over by the city in the 1980s and in 1993 was named after Joshua Sanford, a Native American World War II fighter pilot. He was twice wounded but highly decorated for his flying exploits that included 102 combat missions. He was also officially credited with downing eight enemy planes and was shot down or ditched his own plane 12 times.

Sanford, who was born near Friendship and graduated from Viroqua High School before attending UW-Madison, lived in Hillsboro after the war from 1948 to 1956 before moving to Reedsburg. Sanford died in 1962 from complications of war injuries. He was just 43 and is buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery on Hillsboro’s southwest side.

“I am deeply saddened that proposed construction by your company is going to be at the expense of our local airport,” Patti Bruha wrote in an open letter dated July 11 to Land O’Lakes and sent to the FAA, city, state and Ho Chunk Nation plus to media, including the Wisconsin State Journal.

Bruha, 66, was born and raised in Hillsboro, has a pharmacy degree from UW-Madison and is training to get her pilot’s license. When she was in high school, she took an aviation course as did many of her classmates. Now she’ll have to go elsewhere to train.

“We want the tax base from Land O’Lakes. We want the jobs, the city needs that,” she said. “But I think the city needs the airport, too. Can’t we just co-exist together?”

Peterson, who served as the airport’s manager and owns L.G. Nuzum Lumber Co., a firm founded by his grandfather in 1902, said he has moved his two Cessna airplanes to Reedsburg. The change will make flying less convenient for him, while the closure of the airport will take away part of the city’s character.

“I know jobs are important. I’m a small businessman,” Peterson said as we walked the runway. “There’s always traffic in and out of here. How lucky is a small town like Hillsboro to have an airport? Look at all the other communities that don’t have an airport.”

Story and photo gallery:   http://lacrossetribune.com

Cessna 150G, Prince Air Inc., N3666J: Accident occurred August 13, 2016 in Shirley, Suffolk County, New York


PRINCE AIR INC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N3666J

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA293
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2016 in Shirley, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 150G, registration: N3666J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On August 13, 2016, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150G, N3666J, was substantially damaged during cruise flight when the left side of the elevator detached from the horizontal stabilizer. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, which departed Montauk Airport (MTP), Montauk, New York, destined for Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York.

According to the student pilot, he and the flight instructor were on a dual instruction flight when the accident occurred. They had departed MTP and were on their way back to HMV cruising at 4,500 feet above mean sea level, when the student pilot noticed a roughness and vibration coming through the control wheel. He told the flight instructor about it, and then while looking around the airplane he noticed that the left elevator tip was hanging down 6-10 inches from its normal mounting position.

According to the flight instructor, when the student pilot complained that the airplane was handling "funny," he took control of the airplane and noticed that the left elevator was moving up and down uncontrollably. At this point, the airplane was directly in line with runway 24 at HWV, so the flight instructor made a slight power reduction to descend at 150 feet per minute, kept the wing flaps retracted, did not move the flight controls, and made a 7 mile long straight in approach to the runway where the airplane touched down firmly without further incident.

Examination of the elevator and horizontal stabilizer by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the left outboard elevator attach bolt had backed out of the nut plate. Further examination also revealed that the right elevator attach bolt would move in the nutplate when the elevator was moved up or down.

According to FAA records, the flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multi-engine, and instrument airplane.  He also held a ground instructor certificate with a basic rating, and a mechanic certificate with ratings for airframe and powerplant, with an inspection authorization from the FAA. His most recent application for a FAA third-class medical certificate was dated January 20, 2015. He reported that he had accrued 8,700 total hours of flight time, 1,300 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA records, the student pilot held a student pilot certificate. His most recent application for a FAA first-class medical certificate was dated November 14, 2013. He reported that he had accrued 56 total hours of flight time, all of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1966. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on February 1, 2016. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 2,860 total hours of operation.

The elevator attach bolts, nutplates, and bushings, were retained by the NTSB for further examination.

Piper PA18, N8999Y: Accident occurred August 27, 2016 in Birch Lake, Alaska

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Fairbanks FSDO-01

AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO WOODED AREA AND CAUGHT FIRE, AN ALERT NOTICE WAS ISSUED, WRECKAGE LOCATED NEAR BIRCH LAKE, 50 MILES FROM FAIRBANKS, ALASKA

Date: 27-AUG-16
Time: 19:20:00Z
Regis#: N8999Y
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Serious
Damage: Substantial
Activity: Instruction
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: BIRCH LAKE
State: Alaska

Cessna 172N, N4955D: Incident occurred September 14, 2016 in Bedford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

http://registry.faa.gov/N4955D

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Boston FSDO-61

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING STRUCK THE PROPELLER, BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS. 

Date: 14-SEP-16
Time: 00:15:00Z
Regis#: N4955D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: BEDFORD
State: Massachusetts

Daines’ reps hear of Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport (KSDY) challenges



Two members of U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ office were in Sidney this week to visit about any concerns related to the airport and air travel. Wallace Hsueh, deputy chief of staff, and Joseph Schmoll, legislative assistant, talked with airport authority members, county commissioners and city officials during the meeting.

Hsueh was impressed with the turnout. “There’s always a lot of passion here. If there are needs or issues with FAA or anything, we need to learn about it.”

He added that he is very focused on rural areas. “It’s important to find out a little more about the community and the airport. EAS (Essential Air Service) is obviously a huge priority. This is our time to listen and learn.”

Walt McNutt, a member of the area’s airport authority, explained that the Sidney-Richland Airport received $1.2 million for having more than 10,000 enplanements last year and earned primary airport status. Because of a slow down in the oil industry, the airport might not hit the magical 10,000 number this time around. “We’re probably going to fall a little short this year,” McNutt said.

When an airport doesn’t reach 10,000 enplanements, the funding decreases to $150,000.

Schmoll, however, provided the news that the one-year FAA agreement has a provision that if an airport has more than 10,000 enplanements one year, the airport will still receive the primary airport status and $1.2 million the next year even if it doesn’t reach 10,000 enplanements. “It’s only for one year,” Schmoll noted.

McNutt said, “That’s good to know about that. We can certainly put $1.2 million to good use.”

Richland County Commissioner Shane Gorder suggested that there should be some middle ground for airports between receiving $1.2 million and $150,000. “Why not figure something in the middle?” For example, an airport with 9,000 enplanements could receive $500,000. 

“I’ve always felt they should have a scale,” McNutt added. “Now it’s 10,000 or nothing. You shouldn’t just drop off the scale.”

McNutt also discussed the struggles of pilot shortages. He said one of the challenges is that pilots are required to have 1,500 training hours.

“They (pilots) aren’t coming to the airlines,” McNutt said. “They (pilots) are taking their flying skills some place else.”

Because of the pilot shortages, Cape Air has been forced to cancel some flights. McNutt said the airline has worked hard to have enough pilots for flights in eastern Montana.

“We need this changed somehow,” McNutt, a member of the EAS task force, said. “For us, it’s a pretty big deal. We and Cape Air are working hard.”

McNutt told the representatives that the Richland-Sidney Airport as about as good as it can be. Officials have just completed a 20-year master plan. “We have a very dedicated board and community.” Sidney receives a much lower subsidy than the other EAS airports in Montana.

Hsueh told officials to keep in touch with Daines’ office about any problems or concerns. 

“We’re always looking at making Washington work better and more in a Montana style,” Hsueh said.

Source:   http://www.sidneyherald.com

Piper PA-31-325 Navajo, N447SA, owned by Oxford University Aircraft Charters LLC and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred August 14, 2016 near Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (KTCL), Alabama

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

Analysis

The private pilot and five passengers departed on a day instrument flight rules cross-country flight in the multiengine airplane. Before departure, the airplane was serviced to capacity with fuel, which corresponded to an endurance of about 5 hours. About 1 hour 45 minutes after reaching the flight's cruise altitude of 12,000 ft mean sea level, the pilot reported a failure of the right engine fuel pump and requested to divert to the nearest airport. About 7 minutes later, the pilot reported that he "lost both fuel pumps" and stated that the airplane had no engine power. The pilot continued toward the diversion airport and the airplane descended until it impacted trees about 1,650 ft short of the approach end of the runway; a postimpact fire ensued.

Postaccident examination of the airframe and engines revealed no preimpact failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The propellers of both engines were found in the unfeathered position. All six of the fuel pumps on the airplane were functionally tested or disassembled, and none exhibited any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation before the accident. Corrosion was noted in the right fuel boost pump, which was likely the result of water contamination during firefighting efforts by first responders.

The airplane was equipped with 4 fuel tanks, comprising an outboard and an inboard fuel tank in each wing. The left and right engine fuel selector valves and corresponding fuel selector handles were found in the outboard tank positions. Given the airplane's fuel state upon departure and review of fuel consumption notes in the flight log from the day of the accident, the airplane's outboard tanks contained sufficient fuel for about 1 hour 45 minutes of flight, which corresponds to when the pilot first reported a fuel pump anomaly to air traffic control. The data downloaded from the engine data monitor was consistent with both engines losing fuel pressure due to fuel starvation.

According to the pilot's operating handbook, after reaching cruise flight, fuel should be consumed from the outboard tanks before switching to the inboard tanks. Two fuel quantity gauges were located in the cockpit overhead switch panel to help identify when the pilot should return the fuel selectors from the outboard fuel tanks to the inboard fuel tanks. A flight instructor who previously flew with the pilot stated that this was their normal practice. He also stated that the pilot had not received any training in the accident airplane to include single-engine operations and emergency procedures. It is likely that the pilot failed to return the fuel selectors from the outboard to the inboard tank positions once the outboard tanks were exhausted of fuel; however, the pilot misdiagnosed the situation as a fuel pump anomaly. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 

A total loss of power in both engines due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's fuel mismanagement, and his subsequent failure to follow the emergency checklist. Contributing to the pilot's failure to follow the emergency checklist was his lack of emergency procedures training in the accident airplane. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of checklist - Pilot (Cause)
Lack of action - Pilot (Cause)
Total instruct/training recvd - Pilot (Factor)
Training with equipment - Pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise
Fuel starvation (Defining event)

Approach-IFR final approach
Collision during takeoff/land

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Hartzell Propeller, Piqua, Ohio

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N447SA

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Northport, AL
Accident Number: ERA16FA289
Date & Time: 08/14/2016, 1115 CDT
Registration: N447SA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 6 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 14, 2016, about 1115 central daylight time, a Piper PA-31-325, N447SA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Northport, Alabama, while diverting to Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The private pilot and five passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was owned by Oxford University Aircraft Charters, LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM), Orlando, Florida, about 0855 with an intended destination of Oxford University Airport (UOX), Oxford, Mississippi.

According to the fixed-based operator that serviced the airplane before departure, the pilot and passengers arrived at ISM on August 10. Fuel receipts indicated that the airplane's fuel tanks were "topped off" with 134 gallons of fuel before departure on the day of the accident. In the filed flight plan, the pilot reported that the airplane had about 5 hours 10 minutes of fuel on board.

According to air traffic control data, at 0915 the airplane leveled off in cruise flight at 12,000 ft mean sea level. At 1059, the pilot reported a failure of the right engine fuel pump and requested a diversion to the nearest airport. The controller then provided radar vectors toward runway 30 at TCL. When the airplane was about 13 miles from TCL, the pilot reported that the airplane "lost both fuel pumps" and that there was "no power." The airplane continued to descend on an extended final approach to runway 30 until it impacted trees about 1,650 ft short of the approach end of the runway. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/01/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/14/2014
Flight Time:  749.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 48.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 25.1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in August 2014. According to a flight log found in the airplane, the pilot had accumulated 48.7 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane since March 2016.

The pilot's logbook noted that he received a total of 2.9 hours of dual flight instruction during two flights on March 17, 2016. The flight instructor who flew with the pilot on March 17 and accompanied him on several other flights stated that he did not provide the pilot with any multi-engine training and he believed that the pilot had not received any training in the accident airplane. The pilot "took the airplane pilot operating handbook home and read it." In addition, the flight instructor did not practice any single-engine operations or emergency procedures with the pilot in the accident airplane. He stated that they couldn't practice those procedures with "people in the airplane and we always flew" with passengers. When asked about the pilot's checklist usage, he stated that the pilot would use the checklists and "go through the cockpit like [he] should."

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N447SA
Model/Series: PA 31 325
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 318312016
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/13/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6499 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 187 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3447.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TIO-540-J2B
Registered Owner: Oxford University Aircraft Charters LLC
Rated Power: 350 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1984, and purchased by the pilot through a limited-liability company on March 14, 2016.. It was equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540-series, 350-horsepower engines, each of which drove a 4-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propeller. The most recent annual inspection was performed on November 13, 2015; at that time, the airplane had accumulated 3,260.8 total hours in service.

According to a flight log squawk list, the right engine fuel boost pump light illuminated several times in the month before the accident. The right engine fuel pump was reported as intermittent, the right fuel pressure gauge was oscillating, and the "[right engine] doesn't want to run [without] boost pump." According to receipts located at the accident site, the fuel boost pump annunciator light illuminated and the pump was tested on June 25, 2016. The fuel pressure and flow were found to be within operating limitations at that time. According to maintenance records, the right engine-driven fuel pump and right engine boost pump were replaced on July 19, 2016, at a Hobbs meter time of 1433.7 hours, about 17 hours before the accident.

According to the flight instructor who flew the accident airplane with the pilot, neither he nor the pilot experienced any right engine fuel pump issues after the engine-driven fuel pump and emergency boost pump were replaced in July. The flight instructor spoke with the pilot after the flight to ISM on August 10, and the pilot stated that, "everything was fine, but the screen on the EDM was going out."

The flight log squawk list also included an entry made by the pilot on August 10, 2016 that the right engine cylinder No. 1 was "hot on climb." The log also contained an entry dated the day of the accident that the right engine cylinder No. 1 was "hot on climb" and "ran rich of peak = 31", 2200, 23 gal/side, and EDM [engine data monitor] screen flicker."

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), the fuel system of the airplane consisted of fuel cells, engine driven fuel pumps, fuel boost pumps, emergency fuel pumps, fuel injectors, control valves, fuel filters, fuel pressure and flow gauges, fuel drains, fuel tanks vents, and a fuel selector panel. Fuel was stored in four fuel tanks, two in each wing. The outboard fuel tanks have a capacity of 40 gallons each, and the inboard fuel tanks have a capacity of 56 gallons each, for a total fuel capacity of 192 gallons, 183.4 gallons of which is usable.

The right and left wing fuel systems were independent of each other and were connected only when the crossfeed system was activated. Under normal operation, fuel was routed from the fuel cells, through the selector valve and fuel filter to the fuel boost pump. Fuel from the boost pump travels through the emergency fuel pump, the fire wall shutoff valve and the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel injector and then into the cylinders.

Emergency fuel pumps are installed to provide fuel pressure in the event an engine-driven pump fails. The emergency fuel pumps are also used under normal conditions for takeoff, landing, and when necessary, priming the engines for start. Left and right emergency fuel pump switches are located on the overhead panel to the right of the fuel gauges in the cockpit.

The fuel boost pumps are operated continuously and are provided to maintain fuel under pressure to the other fuel pumps, improving the altitude performance of the fuel system. Each fuel boost pump was controlled by a separate circuit breaker located in the circuit breaker control panel. The fuel boost pumps were activated when the master switch was turned on and continue to operate until the master switch was turned off or the fuel boost pump circuit breakers were pulled (off). Red fuel boost pump warning lights, mounted in the annunciator panel, provided a visual indication of an inoperative fuel boost pump.

The fuel management controls were located in the fuel system control panel mounted between the front seats on the forward edge of the wing spar carry-through cover. Located on the fuel control panel are the fuel tank selectors, fire wall fuel shutoffs and the crossfeed controls.

Two electric fuel quantity gauges were mounted in the overhead switch panel. The right fuel quantity gauge indicated that quantity of the fuel in the selected right fuel system tank (right inboard or right outboard), and the left fuel quantity gauge indicated the quantity of the fuel in the selected left fuel tank (inboard or outboard).

Section 4, "Normal Procedures" in the POH recommended that when the airplane is loaded to a rearward center of gravity, fuel from the outboard tanks be used first during cruise flight. In addition, the flight instructor who flew with the pilot stated that they would check the fuel selectors and verify that they were on the inboard fuel tanks before takeoff; once the airplane was in cruise flight, they would switch to the outboard fuel tanks. Once the outboard fuel tanks were "drained," they would switch the fuel selectors back to the inboard fuel tanks. He stated that there was enough fuel for about 2 hours of flight time in the outboard fuel tanks.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TCL, 186 ft msl
Observation Time: 1121 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 232°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2600 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 25°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 14 knots, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ORLANDO, FL (ISM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: OXFORD, MS (UOX)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0855 CDT
Type of Airspace:

The 1121 recorded weather observation at TCL included wind from 170° at 10 knots gusting to 14 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,600 ft above ground level, broken clouds at 3,600 ft above ground level, temperature 30°C, dew point 25°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: TUSCALOOSA RGNL (TCL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 169 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 30
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4001 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:   Forced Landing; Straight-in 

TCL was located 3 miles northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at an elevation of 169.9 ft. It had two runways: 4/22 and 12/30. Runway 4/22 was 6,499 ft long by 150 ft wide, and runway 12/30 was 4,001 ft long by 100 ft wide. At the time of the accident, the airport had an operating control tower between the hours of 0500-2200.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 5 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None 
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.222778, -87.599722 

The airplane impacted trees and the ground, and came to rest in an upright position on a magnetic heading of 011°. The debris path was oriented on a 300° magnetic heading and was about 250 ft long. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. A postimpact fire ensued, and first responders doused the wreckage with water to extinguish the fire.

The forward fuselage was separated forward of the aft bulkhead and was heavily damaged by impact and postimpact fire. Control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through multiple overload failures. Examination of the cockpit and cabin areas revealed that both control yokes were attached to their respective columns at the time of impact and that the throttle, mixture, and propeller levers were intact in the throttle quadrant and in the full forward position. The left and right engine fuel selector levers were found in the outboard tank positions. The left and right fuel shut off valves were found in the ON position (not shut off) and the crossfeed selector was found in the OFF position. All fuel control positions were confirmed at the fuel valves. The right engine alternate air source was found in the ON position. The left engine alternate air source was found in the OFF position. The flap lever was in the retracted position. The Hobbs meter was located in the vicinity of the cockpit and indicated 1450.4 hours. The circuit breaker panel was thermally damaged; all of the breakers remained in place except the flap control and compass circuit breakers, which were open.

The right wing was fragmented and partially separated and all sections were located along the debris path. Several sections were consumed by postimpact fire. The right wing fuel caps remained intact and seated in place. Both the outboard and inboard fuel tanks were breached. The fuel filter bowl was removed and had an odor similar to 100LL aviation fuel; a small amount of fluid was noted on the fuel screens. The right main landing gear remained attached in the retracted position. The aileron trim was measured and corresponded to the neutral position.

The right engine remained attached to all engine mounts but was separated from the nacelle. All major components remained attached to the engine. The turbocharger was removed and examined, and the vanes rotated without resistance. There was no rotational scoring on the housing unit. The right propeller remained attached to the engine in the unfeathered position and was rotated by hand. Two propeller blades were bent aft and the other two remained straight. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller to the accessory section of the engine. Thumb compression and suction were observed on cylinder Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 6. The No. 5 cylinder was impact damaged. The No. 3 cylinder was removed from the engine and no anomalies were noted with the cylinder, piston, or piston rings.

The left wing was fragmented and partially separated, and all sections were located along the debris path. Several sections were consumed by postimpact fire. The left main landing gear was in the retracted position. Both outboard and inboard fuel tanks were breached; the inboard tank contained an unmeasured amount of fuel.

The left engine was separated from the nacelle and remained attached to the engine mounts. The turbocharger was removed; the turbocharger vanes rotated without resistance. There was no rotational scoring on the housing unit. The left propeller remained attached to the engine in the unfeathered position and was rotated by hand. Two propeller blades were bent aft and the other two remained straight. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller to the accessory section of the engine. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all cylinders when the propeller was rotated.

The empennage remained attached to the fuselage. The left and right elevators and horizontal stabilizers were impact damaged, partially separated, and located along the debris path. The vertical stabilizer was partially separated from the empennage and the leading edge exhibited impact damage. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer; however, the top 12-inch section of the rudder and balance weight were separated and located along the debris path. The rudder trim was measured and corresponded to about 50 percent nose-left trim. The elevator trim was measured and corresponded to the neutral position. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences Medical Examiner's Office, Montgomery, Alabama performed the autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy report indicated that the pilot died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of the pilot. Fluid and tissue specimens from the pilot tested negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and other drugs. 

Tests And Research

Engine-Driven Fuel Pump Examinations

The right engine-driven fuel pump was examined at the manufacturer facility. The drive coupling was intact but would not rotate; therefore, it was disassembled for further examination. The relief valve diaphragm was thermally damaged but remained intact. The drive coupling was removed; the drive tang did not exhibit any damage and the teeth were intact. The rear bearing of the pump remained intact and was not cracked. The rear bearing O-ring was pliable. The rear carbon bearing was removed and revealed that the pump liner and rotor exhibited corrosion. The main bearing did not exhibit any cracks or chips. There were no anomalies noted with the right engine-driven fuel pump.

The left engine-driven fuel pump examination revealed that the fuel pump drive coupling was intact, and the fuel pump rotated in both directions by hand. The fuel pump was mounted to a test stand and in a cruise power setting, it had a low outlet pressure. When the lock nut was loosened a half turn to adjust the pressure, the engine driven fuel pump passed the cruise power flow test requirements.

Emergency Fuel Pump Examinations

The right engine emergency fuel pump was examined at the manufacturer facility and revealed all surfaces of the pump were black and thermally discolored. The pump was disassembled, and the flow control was in the partial bypass position and unable to move as a result of corrosion. The rotor and cavity chamber were discolored, and the vanes were seized in the rotor slots. There was no evidence of a coil winding overheat condition present in the electric fuel pump. There were no anomalies noted with the right engine electric fuel pump aside from the postimpact fire damage.

The left engine emergency fuel pump examination revealed that the flow control/relief valve was in the partial bypass position in the flow housing. The flow control valve moved without anomaly. The electric fuel pump was mounted to a test bench and operated within all pressure, flow, and current limits. The pump was disassembled, and no anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operation.

Fuel Boost Pump Examinations

The right fuel boost pump was examined at the manufacturer facility. The pump exhibited thermal damage to the exterior. When looking into the outlet port, the non-metal portions of the relief/bypass valve assembly were melted away. When the pump was handled, soot fell out of the fluid ports. Further disassembly of the right fuel boost pump revealed that the wear plate spring, the aluminum housing, blades, and rotor were corroded. The field assembly magnets were fractured and thermally damaged.

The left fuel boost pump examination revealed that the cable-actuated ball valve was in the open position. The pump was installed onto a test stand and operated with manufacturer test requirements for operating pressure, fuel flow volume, and electrical consumption in amperes.

Engine Data Monitor – JPI

An engine data monitor was recovered from the cockpit and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC, for data download. Review of the downloaded data revealed that the accident flight was recorded in its entirety from 0851 to 1120. According to the data, the right engine exhibited an erratic fuel flow beginning around 1105. The recorded fuel flow continued to be erratic and increased to around 110 gallons per hour until the fuel flow decreased at the end of the recording. The right engine turbine inlet temperature, exhaust gas temperature, and cylinder head temperatures all began decreasing within a few minutes after the right engine fuel flow became erratic. The left engine fuel flow became erratic around 1113. The recorded fuel flow continued to be erratic and then increased to over 90 gallons per hour until it decreased at the end of the recording. In addition, the left engine turbine inlet temperature, exhaust gas temperatures, and cylinder head temperatures began to decrease within a minute of the left fuel flow becoming erratic.

Additional Information

Normal Procedures Checklist

According to the cruise checklist found in the POH, the following items should be completed.

Fuel Selectors – OUTBOARD OR INBOARD
Power – Set
Cowl Flaps – As required
Mixture – Leaned

Emergency Procedures Checklist – Engine Failure During Flight

According to the checklist found in the POH, the following items should be completed.

Inop eng – identify
Operative eng – adjust as required
Airspeed – attain and maintain at least 97 KIAS

Before securing inop. Engine:
Fuel flow – Check (if deficient – emergency fuel pump ON)
Fuel quantity – check
Fuel selector (inop. Engine) – Switch to other tank containing fuel
Oil pressure and temp – check
Magneto switches – check
Air Start - attempt

Fuel Performance Calculations


Using the fuel consumption rate of 23 gallons per hour per engine noted in the pilot's flight log entry for the accident flight, the fuel endurance for the outboard fuel tanks was about 1 hour, 45 minutes.




Location: Northport, AL
Accident Number: ERA16FA289
Date & Time: 08/14/2016, 1120 CDT
Registration: N447SA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31-325
Injuries: 6 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 14, 2016, about 1120 central daylight time, a Piper PA-31-325, N447SA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Northport, Alabama, while diverting to Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The private pilot and five passengers were fatally injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM), Orlando, Florida, around 0855, with an intended destination of Oxford University Airport (UOX), Oxford, Mississippi.

According to fuel receipts, the airplane's fuel tanks were "topped off" with 134 gallons of fuel prior to departing ISM.

According to preliminary air traffic control data, the pilot reported a failure of a fuel pump and requested a diversion to the nearest airport around 1111. The controller the provided radar vectors toward runway 30 at TCL. When the airplane was approximately 10 miles from TCL, the pilot reported that the airplane lost "the other fuel pump." The airplane continued to descend until it impacted trees approximately 1,650 feet prior to the approach end of runway 30.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued in August 2014. According to a flight log found in the airplane, the pilot had accumulated 48.7 hours of flight time in the accident airplane since March 2016.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1984, and issued an airworthiness certificate in 1998. It was equipped with two Lycoming TIO-540-series, 350- horsepower, engines. It was also equipped with two 4-bladed Hartzell controllable pitch propellers. The most recent annual inspection was performed on November 13, 2015, and at that time the airplane had accumulated 3,260.8 total hours of time in service.

The airplane impacted trees, the ground, and came to rest in an upright position. The wreckage was oriented on a 011 degree magnetic heading, the debris path was oriented on a 300 degree magnetic heading, and was approximately 250 feet in length. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene.

The fuselage was separated prior to the aft bulkhead and was heavily damaged by impact and a post impact fire. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit through multiple overload fractures. Examination of the cockpit and cabin areas revealed that both control yokes were attached to their respective columns at the time of impact and that the throttle, mixture, and propeller levers were intact in the throttle quadrant, and in the full forward position.

The left engine was separated from the nacelle and remained attached to the engine mounts. The left engine turbocharger was removed from the engine and examined. The turbocharger vanes rotated without resistance. There was no rotational scoring on the housing unit. The left propeller remained attached to the left engine, was in the unfeathered position, and was rotated by hand. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller to the accessory section of the engine. Thumb compression and suction were observed on all cylinders when the propeller was rotated.

The right engine remained attached to all engine mounts but was separated from the right nacelle. All major components remained attached to the engine. The right engine turbocharger was removed and examined. The right turbocharger vanes rotated without resistance. There was no rotational scoring on the housing unit. The right propeller remained attached to the right engine, in the unfeathered position, and was rotated by hand. Crankshaft continuity was confirmed from the propeller to the accessory section of the engine. Thumb compression and suction were observed on Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 6, cylinders. The No. 5 cylinder was impact damaged. The No. 3 cylinder was removed from the engine and no anomalies were noted with the cylinder, piston, or piston rings.

An engine data monitor and fuel flow meter gauge were found in the main wreckage area, retained for further examination. The left engine gear driven fuel pump, the right engine gear driven fuel pump, the right boost pump, and the right emergency pump were also retained for further examination.

The 1121 recorded weather observation at TCL included wind from 170 at 10 knots, gusting to 14 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,600 feet above ground level, broken clouds at 3,600 feet above ground level, temperature 30 degrees C, dew point 25 degrees C, and a barometric altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N447SA
Model/Series: PA 31-325 325
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No  
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TCL, 186 ft msl
Observation Time: 1121 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2600 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 14 knots, 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: ORLANDO, FL (ISM)
Destination: OXFORD, MS (UOX) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 5 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 6 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 33.222778, -87.599722 







Drs. Jason and Lea Farese

Dr. Michael Perry and his wife, Kim.

Dr. Austin Poole and his wife, Angie.


A plane crash in Tuscaloosa County has killed six people, three married couples who had attended a dental conference in Florida, and left a total of 11 children behind.

"It's tragic to lose these wonderful Mississippians. Deborah and I pray for the loved and lost, their families and friends,'' said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. "Life can be so uncertain, so we depend on the blessing of eternal life and reuniting. May God assauage the families' sorrow and hold them all in the palm of his hand."

The crash happened about 11:20 a.m. just east of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport in Northport. The crash site is in a wooded field of Van de Graaff Park near an area known as Gate 1.

Tuscaloosa police Lt. Teena Richardson confirmed the six deaths. Northport police officials on the scene said the plane is not intact. 

Richardson said the plane was traveling from Kissimmee, Florida en route to Oxford, Miss. when the pilot reported engine problems. The pilot sent out distress call, and the plane went down behind the farmers market in Northport.

According to Flightaware.com, an Oxford University Aircraft Charters departed the Florida airport at 9:55 a.m. but was diverted.

Three couples -- three men and three women -- were on board. Authorities have spoken with the pilot's brother. Despite widespread speculation that the plane had direct ties to Ole Miss, university spokesman Ryan Whittington said those onboard are not affiliated directly to the school. 

Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff Vitter said the crash was a "heartbreaking loss."

According to the Oxford Eagle, among the deceased are Dr. Jason Farese and his wife, Lea, both dentists, a family member and employee of Dr. Farese has confirmed with The EAGLE. The Farese's leave three children behind, ages 10, 7, and 5. The youngest just started kindergarten this week.

According to their dental practice website, Dr. Jason Farese was a native of Ashland, Mississippi, a 1997 graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he was an athlete. He obtained his dental degree from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. Upon graduation, Dr. Farese practiced dentistry at the North Benton County Health Center for two years.

Dr. Lea Farese also graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry with her dental degree in 2004. She is a native of Pearl, Mississippi and is a 1998 graduate of Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi.  She also practiced dentistry for 1 ½ years at the North Benton County Health Center. She has been practicing dentistry in Oxford since 2004.

Dr. Michael Perry, a periodontist, and his wife Kimberly, who is  nurse, and Dr. Austin Poole and his wife Angie, were also on the plane, the Eagle reported. The Pooles had five children.

Terry Lloyd, director of aviation for Kissimmee Gateway Airport, said it's his information that the three couples had been in Florida for a medical convention. "It's a terrible tragedy,'' Lloyd said. 

Officials at the Oxford-University Airport, which is owned and operated by the university, told AL.com they have not received any official information about the crash.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the scene at approximately 3:25 p.m. As of 7:30 p.m., FAA officials had left the scene and NTSB officials were expected to arrive first thing Monday morning. Tuscaloosa County officials were still on the scene photographing and diagramming the crash site.

The bodies of all six victims have been removed and taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for autopsies.

"It's a sad day," Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon told reporters gathered at the scene. "We want everybody to pray for the families." 

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox credited the joint efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies and fire departments that responded to the crash.

"It really speaks to the collective response of all the different agencies that were involved," Maddox said.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the Piper PA-31 crashed into trees on approach to Runway 30. The flight departed Kissimmee Gateway Airport.

Pieces of the plane can be seen from the park's entrance on Robert Cardinal Road.

Van de Graaff Park is home to the state's oldest iron bridge. Northport officials said that the crash did not damage the bridge.

A woman who lives nearby, Wykita McVay, heard what she described as a "loud boom." She heard two booms, but didn't think it was anything to be worried about. 

She and her father said that loud noises are common in the area because of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. 

McVay said she "came out [to the crash scene] to see what was going on." 

She said it was "crazy" that a plane had crashed just minutes from her home.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy said that the crash is a "very sad situation." He did not give any details about the flight plan or the plane's distress call, but did say that the plane was a "small aircraft."

"It's very unfortunate," he said. Abernathy added that the plane was a "short, short distance from the runway." 

As for learning the cause of the crash, the sheriff said that the crash investigation will be a "long, deliberate investigation."

Source:   http://www.al.com








Heidi Kenmer, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator, appeared at the sheriff's hangar at the airport to give a press briefing on the status of her investigation of Sunday's plane crash.



There were no survivors after a plane crashed while attempting to make an emergency landing at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport on Sunday morning.

Six people died when the small aircraft crashed in a wooded, swampy park just east of the airport.

The pilot issued a distress signal around 11:10 a.m., Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon said. Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue crews stationed at the airport were based at the foot of the towers on the runway where the plane was set to land, Herndon said.

"Unfortunately, it didn't make it to the runway," he said.

No information about the possible cause of the crash was released Sunday.

The plane crashed in the wooded area of Van de Graaff Park just off Robert Cardinal Airport Road. The firefighters made it to the site within three minutes, but were unable to save the victims, Herndon said.

"They did everything they could," he said.

The 1984 Piper PA-31 Navaho registered to Oxford University Aircraft Charters LLC departed from Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Florida at 9:55 a.m. and was headed to Oxford, Mississippi, before the pilot diverted to Tuscaloosa.

"They were a very, very short distance from the runway," said Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy. "This is a very sad and very unfortunate situation."

Records show that the plane was registered to Jason Farese.

The Oxford Eagle reported Sunday that two passengers were Jason Farese and his wife Lea Farese, both dentists at Farese Family Dental in Oxford. The Fareses had three children, ages 10, 7 and 5, family members told the newspaper.

The paper identified the other victims as dentist Michael Perry and his wife, Kim, an Oxford dentist and nurse practitioner who worked at the University of Mississippi. They are survived by young children, the Eagle reported.

Also killed were dentist Austin Poole and his wife Angie, the parents of five children.

"There will be families hurting greatly because of this," Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox said.

The six had been at a continuing education seminar in Florida.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the crash site Sunday afternoon. The FAA is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board with the investigation.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office is leading the multi-agency investigation and is expected to release further information as soon as it becomes available.

It was unclear Sunday when the wreckage would be removed from the site or when names of all the victims would be released.

"We're very sad for the families affected by this and we want to make sure we have accurate information before releasing anything," Abernathy said. "These investigations are very, very deliberate in nature and take a long time to get to the true cause of everything."

Source:   http://www.tuscaloosanews.com


A plane enroute to Oxford crashed late this morning near Northport, Alabama, killing three married couples.

All six of the deceased are from Oxford, The EAGLE has learned.  They had been attending a dental seminar together in Florida.

Among the deceased are Oxford dentists Dr. Jason Farese and his wife, Dr. Lea Farese, a family member and employee of the Fareses has confirmed with The EAGLE.

Others killed in the crash are Dr. Michael Perry and his wife, Kim; and Dr. Austin Poole and his wife, Angie, sources have told The EAGLE.

Dr. Poole and his wife live in Wellsgate in Oxford, but his dental practice is in Clarksdale.

Dr. Perry graduated from Ole Miss and was a member of Kappa Sigma social fraternity. He graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. He and his wife Kim had three children.

The Fareses, both dentists at Farese Family Dental in Oxford, left Wednesday for Florida, attending a dental continuing education seminar. They were returning home to Oxford this morning, the source said.

The Farese’s leave three children behind, ages 10, 7, and 5. The youngest just started kindergarten this week.

Three couples including the Fareses were on board the plane, officials said — three men and three women. The identities of the other two couples has not been confirmed, but both of the couples are from Oxford, the EAGLE has learned.

The other couples attended the dental seminar with the Farese’s and were returning home with them. Each of the couples has young children, but none of their children were on board the plane, according to reports.

The plane was operated by Oxford University Aircraft Charters LLC., according to flight information. Mississippi  Secretary of State records show the registered agent of the company Oxford University Aircraft Charters LLC. is Oxford dentist Dr. Jason Farese.

The address listed for the charter flight company is the same as Farese’s dental office, at 2212 West Jackson Avenue.

The plane is a Piper PA-31-325 Navajo. The plane left the Kissimmee Gateway airport in Florida at 9:55 a.m. eastern time this morning. Officials said they encountered engine problems around Tuscaloosa.

The crash occurred at about 11:20 a.m. this morning, east of the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. Tuscaloosa police Lt. Teena Richardson told AL.com there are six deaths.

The plane went down behind the farmers market in Northport, officials said.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac told AL.com that the Piper PA-31 crashed into trees on approach to Runway 30. A woman who lives nearby told the news site that she heard two loud booms.

Dr. Jason Farese is a native of Ashland and a 1997 graduate of Vanderbilt. He attended the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.

Dr. Lea Farese is a native of Pearl and she also graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.


Source:   http://www.oxfordeagle.com































OXFORD, MS (WMC) - A small plane headed to Oxford, Mississippi crashed in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, on Sunday morning, killing all six people on board.

Northport Fire Chief Bart Marshal said a small fire was extinguished, but there were no survivors.

WMC Action News 5 confirmed Dr. Jason Farese and his wife, Dr. Lea Farese, both dentists in Oxford, MS, were killed in the crash. The couple has three children who were not on the plane. They were staying with friends, according to Dr. Farese's uncle, Steve Farese, who is a defense attorney in Memphis.

According to Farese Family Dental's website, Jason and Lea Farese both practiced dentistry together in Oxford since 2004. Jason is a native Ashland, MS, while Lea was raised in Pearl. 

Mayor Bill Luckett, of Clarksdale, Miss., confirms Dr. Austin Poole and his wife, Angie, were also killed. Dr. Poole operated a dental practice in Clarksdale. He and his wife leave behind five children.

Mayor Luckett's son is one of Jason Farese's cousins. 

"I've known him since he was born," Mayor Bill Luckett said. "He was a red-headed freckle face kid who was mischievous and fun."

Luckett also knew Austin and Angie Poole, not only from their thriving Clarksdale business, but also because they all liked to hunt.

"They love life. They were very energetic, outgoing, good people," Luckett recalled.

Our sister station, WBRC, in Birmingham, confirmed Dr. Michael Perry and his wife, Kim, were also killed. They leave behind three children. Dr. Perry has five dental practices located in Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett, Oxford, and Southaven.

"I cried. I don't know what to say," said Kevin Hooper, Dr. Perry's friend of 12 years. "Michael was the most energetic, the most fun. He always came into the room and had a smile on his face."

The airplane, a Piper PA-31-325 Navajo, departed Kissimmee, FL and filed an IFR flight plan for 12,000 feet, typical for this type of aircraft.

At some point around 11 a.m., the airplane began having problems. The pilot was on final for Runway 30 in Tuscaloosa when the crash happened; they were about 1,000 feet short of that runway. 

An NTSB investigator will conduct the investigation into what caused the plane to crash by documenting the scene, examining the wreckage, and requesting air traffic control communications and radar data.  

Jason Farese's father, John, survived a plane crash in 2011 because he had a parachute on board. His plane dropped out of the sky 50 seconds into the flight.