Friday, September 2, 2016

Pacific Aerospace 750XL, Maxim Aviation LLC, N750SS: Accident occurred September 09, 2016 in Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Washington FSDO-27 

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA477

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 09, 2016 in Warrenton, VA
Aircraft: PACIFIC AEROSPACE CORP LTD 750XL, registration: N750SS

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


Date: 09-SEP-16
Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N750SS
Aircraft Make: PAC
Aircraft Model: 750XL
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
State: Virginia

Summit County Council bans private and commercial helicopters in the Basin

Snyderville Basin residents will no longer have to worry about an air taxi service operating during the Sundance Film Festival or their neighbor landing a helicopter near their home. This week, the Summit County Council unanimously agreed to adopt an ordinance that bans private and commercial helicopter landings in the Basin.

On Wednesday, the County Council adopted the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission’s recommendation to enact an ordinance specifically regulating helicopter uses. Nearly 15 residents testified in support of the ban urging the council to “do the right thing” because the “tipping point has been reached.”

“I think this reflects how you want the public process to work. We had a situation that arose and we knew that we had to clarify our code to deal with that situation,” said Roger Armstrong, Summit County Council chair. “It went through our planning process and the public turned out for the meeting allowing us to refine the proposal that the community development department came up with and I think it worked at each step.

“We had excellent public input people were aware of the situation and it was pretty clear decision,” he said. “I think that the decision that we made respects the will of the public, period, and that is what our job is.”

The Basin Planning Commission recently recommended that language be added into the development code to address helicopter use. Planning department staff and various stakeholders, including representatives from the attorney’s office, Deer Valley Resort and helicopter operators, had drafted an ordinance evaluating those types of uses and proposed an application process. The subcommittee was formed after the controversy last January between the county and two private helicopter companies that had set up a shuttle service between Salt Lake City and a landing zoning along Old Ranch Road.

After a nearly two-hour discussion on Aug. 23, commissioners ultimately decided to strike private and commercial helicopter activities from the ordinance leaving exceptions only for emergency services, medical emergency landing sites, agricultural weed and pest control, livestock removal and public utility repair. Commissioners were split on whether to provide an exception for special event master festival activities. At the hearing on Wednesday, someone referred to the exception as the “loophole that will be exploited.”

County Council members chose to adopt the recommended ordinance without the exception for the special event activities. It will go into effect later this month. Anyone who violates the ban will be subject to a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in a jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

The ordinance establishes clear regulations for helicopter use in the Basin, but does not prohibit existing recreational activities, such as heli-skiing, which will still be allowed under a low-impact permit process in the Canyons Specially Planned Area and Resort Center.

Rusty Dassing, chief executive officer of Powderbird Heli Skiing, thanked the County Council for ensuring that he will be able to continue operating his business and affirming “that we are part of the community.” However, Dassing said he still has his concerns.

“I do think this is a recreation community and I hate to see us close the door on the ideas of other recreational activities that use helicopters incidentally to be prohibited,” Dassing said. “Obviously things like Uber got out of control and I am very glad that we put control on that. But I feel bad for people who have been operating in the Basin and have now lost the opportunity to do that and I hope that there is an opportunity for them to be able to challenge it.”

Patty Winterer, a representative of the Glenwild neighborhood homeowner’s association, said the County Council’s decision is evidence they took the public’s input to heart. Winterer said most of the residents in Glenwild support the ban, especially without the exception for special event activities.

Jim Tedford, who lives in Sun Peak, said it was obvious after the meeting “that we have a very capable planning commission and a very capable council who all did an excellent job.”

“But my only question is whether the SPA agreement up at the Canyons will leave a gap for someone to slip in there,” Tedford said. “They need to get on top of that now because the big concern is that now they will just need to go to the city. This is just County Council. We have to convince the city to do the same thing.”

Armstrong acknowledged that the ordinance could have that effect, however, he added that “you can never predict what will happen.”

“You would hope that the people in the Canyons would respect that the public doesn’t want that if it would be an adverse impact and they were to permit,” Armstrong said. “If there were to be a squadron of helicopters flying in and out of the Canyons they have to deal with the economic blowback of those kinds of decisions. I think that the community doesn’t want that and I hope that they could respect that.”

The Eastern Summit County Development Code remains silent on helicopter use, which, by default, means it is banned. However, some commented during the hearing that the county should consider adding language to it prevent similar issues from happening in areas such as Promontory. According to Dave Thomas, chief deputy attorney, the Promontory development agreement does have language in it that allows for consideration of a heliport.


Cessna T207, N745KP, Alaska Seaplanes: Incident occurred August 14, 2017 in Auke Bay near Coghlan Island -and- Incident occurred August 27, 2016 in Juneau, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau

Kalinin Partners LLC
Alaska Seaplanes

Alaska Seaplanes flight ST745 force landed off shore Coghlan Island. 

Date: 14-AUG-17
Time: 14:33:00Z
Regis#: N745KP
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C207
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: COMMUTER
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: ALASKA SEAPLANES
Flight Number: ST745

A plane on its way from Skagway to Juneau made an emergency water landing Monday morning. Everyone on board the aircraft swam safely to shore.

Haines resident Luck Dunbar was one of them.

“Well there you are, you’re sitting there thinking ‘This is it.  This is it. Here we go,’” Luck Dunbar recounted.

Dunbar boarded the Alaska Seaplanes flight around 5:30 a.m. Monday. The plane flew from Haines to Skagway to pick up three more passengers. Then, it headed for Juneau.

Dunbar is a commercial fisherman who was on his way to Sitka to get his boat. Once on board the flight, he took a nap. He woke up to what he describes as the engine making an unusual noise.

Soon after, he said the plane started to descend early. He asked the pilot what was going on.

“He pointed over by Coghlan Island and he said, ‘I think we’re going to lay her down over here,’” Dunbar said.

According to the Alaska State Troopers, the pilot was Haines resident Joshua Poirier.

Poirier declared an emergency following an engine failure. That’s according to a press release form Seaplanes General Manager Carl Ramseth.

The troopers said Poirier made an emergency landing in the ocean, about 150 feet from Coghlan Island.

Dunbar said after hitting the water, they were able to keep the plane upright.

“Josh, the pilot, did an amazing job,” Dunbar said. “He kept the nose up. We hit the water as slow as that plane could fly. Still keeping the nose up. By the time the nose hit we had lost enough momentum where we didn’t flip the plane.”

Then, they exited the aircraft.

“I opened the door without a problem,” Dunbar said. “Opened it up wide, reached down to unbuckle. There was water going up my arm pretty quick. I got unbuckled. I looked back, everyone was scrambling, doing their thing to get out of the plane. The back door opened. The pilot opened his door, I opened my door. Everybody scrambled, got out of the plane.”

All four passengers and Poirier swam to shore.

“We swam and swam and swam,” Dunbar said. “Not going to lie, by the time I got to the beach I was pretty exhausted. I had too many layers on. I was feeling pretty heavy, feeling pretty blessed to just relax and have my feet touch the sand of the beach of Coghlan Island.”

According to the troopers, an Alaska Seaplanes aircraft equipped with floats responded to the scene and retrieved the four passengers. Poirier stayed on the beach and was later picked up by Coastal Helicopters.

All of the passengers and the pilot were assessed by Capitol City Fire/Rescue and were released with no injuries.

Troopers said the plane that went down was a Cessna T207 on wheels. Its last airworthiness certificate was issued by the FAA in September 2015. It is set to expire in about a year. The National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska Seaplanes are working together to determine the cause of the accident.

Ramseth commended Poirier’s actions in the incident.

Dunbar thanked the airline, and credits Poirier for the success of the rescue.

“He did an amazing job,” Dunbar said. “He instructed us on exactly what to do at the proper time. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Josh.”

Alaska Seaplanes is based in Juneau and operates daily flights to communities in Southeast Alaska. Seaplanes gained a monopoly on its market after competitor Wings of Alaska shut down in March.

Dunbar said this incident has not deterred him from flying.

“I’ll be flying happily for the rest of my life knowing that can’t happen twice, right?” he said.

In fact, Dunbar got on another Seaplanes flight to finish his trip to Sitka the same day.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated and expanded with comment from passenger Luck Dunbar.

An Alaska Seaplanes aircraft force landed Monday morning near Coghlan Island in Auke Bay on a flight from Skagway to Juneau, but its four passengers and pilot are uninjured. 

Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto confirmed the five people were wet — they had to swim to the island — but unharmed.

According to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the small plane’s automated distress beacon activated at 6:35 a.m., not long after its pilot radioed the Juneau airport and reported engine trouble. That account of events was confirmed in a press release from Carl Ramseth, general manager of Alaska Seaplanes.

National Transportation Safety Board aviation accident investigator Noreen Price is working with a Federal Aviation Administration investigator in Juneau to determine what happened. Price interviewed 33-year-old pilot Joshua Dee Poirer by phone soon after the accident.

“He had a complete loss of engine power,” she said.

Three miles from the airport and nearing ground level, Poirer had no way to reach the runway. He turned the plane and ditched in the ocean about 80 feet from the eastern shore of Coghlan Island.

“The pilot did a great job of managing this,” Price said.

Quinto said by phone that his department received a call for help as this was happening. Rescue crews went to Don D. Statter Memorial Harbor and prepared to help, but the pilot and passengers “were close enough to shore that all five people were able to swim to shore,” Quinto said.

A Temsco helicopter also responded and confirmed all five were on Coghlan Island, Quinto said.

Price said the accident happened so quickly that neither the passengers nor the pilot had time to don life jackets.

“By the time they knew they were ditching in water, it was too late,” she said.

According to Alaska State Troopers, an Alaska Seaplanes floatplane picked up all four passengers from Coghlan Island while the pilot, Poirier, remained on the beach before being picked up by Coastal Helicopters.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class John Paul Rios said the Coast Guard was preparing to assist as well, but by the time it arrived on scene, the passengers had already been picked up. Quinto said the passengers were taken to Alaska Seaplanes’ facility in Juneau, where they were examined by medics and found to be unharmed.

The plane sank after landing in the water, Troopers said.

In his press release, Ramseth said the National Transportation Safety Board has released custody of the plane back to Alaska Seaplanes, allowing it to be recovered, “and we’ll be cooperating with them to determine the cause of the accident. We commend the actions of the pilot through this emergency and are very thankful for the outcome.”

The Coast Guard team responding to the crash was subsequently sent (with Troopers and SEADOGS) to assist a missing hiker on Sullivan Island, just south of the Chilkat Peninsula. That hiker was found on the beach unharmed by a good Samaritan boat, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Charly Hengen.

The crashed plane was a Cessna 207 built in 1974 and registered to Kalinin Partners, LLC. The plane’s last airworthiness certificate was dated Sept. 25, 2015 and was scheduled to expire in September 2018.

Price said the plane will be taken to a hangar where the Federal Aviation Administration investigator and NTSB will examine it and the plane’s maintenance records to determine what caused the accident.

She added that the crash should remind passengers to dress for outside conditions and listen to their emergency briefings: No one expects an emergency, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Article and comments ➤

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau, Alaska

Aircraft force landed short of the runway, near Juneau, Alaska

Date: 27-AUG-16
Time: 02:17:00Z
Regis#: N745KP
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 207
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Activity: Other
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Alaska

Cessna 172P Skyhawk, Flight Safety Alaska, N52950: Accident occurred September 01, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

FLIGHT SAFETY ALASKA INC: http://registry.faa.govN52950

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA487
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 01, 2016 in Anchorage, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N52950
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The flight instructor reported that during taxi the airplane started to lean to the right, so he looked out of his window to see if the right tire was flat. He further reported that “the ramp was opening up into a 2 foot wide dark black hole” underneath the right main landing gear. The flight instructor and student pilot egressed from the airplane without further incident. 

A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to the empennage. 

The flight instructor reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Photographs provided by Federal Aviation Administration showed that the right main landing gear had broken through the pavement into a sink hole underneath. 

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

The airplane’s encounter with a developing sink hole during taxi on the ramp area.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, American Aviation Academy Inc., N775SP: Incident occurred September 01, 2016 at Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), El Cajon, San Diego County, California


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Diego FSDO-09


Date: 01-SEP-16
Time: 15:57:00Z
Regis#: N775SP
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Unknown
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
State: California

Arthur Alan Wolk: Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, school tax hike brought down by aviation lawyer

Arthur Alan Wolk
To those he has vanquished in court - the aviation giants that have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to his crash-victim clients, the critics he has sued for libel, and most recently the Lower Merion School District, ordered this week to revoke a tax hike - it may come as a surprise that lawyer Arthur Alan Wolk loves puppies.

"She's the sweetest thing on the planet," Wolk said, fussing over his new 13-week-old golden retriever during a phone call Wednesday from his vacation home in Del Mar, a beach town near San Diego.

The pup is a replacement for his beloved Boo, who died March 1 at age 9. "I'm still grieving for her," said Wolk, 72 and semiretired. He wrote about Boo's early years in a book, Recollections of My Puppy, and donated the proceeds to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

Yet the persona Wolk projects in a courtroom is less playful golden than pugnacious pit bull - an image he has underlined with the lawsuit against the Lower Merion school system, a taxpayer victory thought to be unprecedented in Pennsylvania. Wolk, who lives in Gladwyne, argued that the district misled township residents into believing a large tax increase was needed to avoid a deficit this year when school officials were actually hiding millions in surpluses.

On Monday, Montgomery County Court Judge Joseph A. Smyth agreed with Wolk and ruled that the school board had to rescind the 4.4 percent hike. Any increase, the judge said, could be no higher than 2.4 percent.

On Wednesday, the district appealed the decision, but not before Superintendent Robert Copeland sent a letter to parents defending its fiscal practices and painting Wolk as an enemy of public education who wanted to make it "inherently inferior to private school education."

In the interview, Wolk called Copeland's letter "inflammatory" and "wrong," and the district "arrogant." That was an opening salvo. He wants district administrators removed from office, he said, and plans to launch a "Dump the Lower Merion School Directors" movement to run a slate of independent candidates.

The Lower Merion case was Wolk's first foray into education law. "Once you learn how they [school systems] work," he said, "it makes your head swim."

He is far better known for his work as a topflight aviation litigator, founding partner of the Wolk Law Firm in Philadelphia, which according to its website has handled crash-related cases resulting in more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts in the last decade alone.

Wolk ascended into the specialty's stratosphere from an impoverished beginning in Oxford Circle, earning his law degree from Temple University. He is an accomplished pilot, although that avocation was nearly the end of him two decades ago. En route from Michigan to an air show in Virginia in 1996, he broke his back and an arm in a bad landing of his Korean War-era Grumman F-9F Panther fighter.

Wolk has sometimes hauled the remains of planes to court as exhibits. In 2010, he parked a salvaged single-engine Cessna 210 under a tent outside City Hall to use at trial in a case against the aircraft manufacturer. He was representing two people aboard a Cessna when it crashed in 2005 in Idaho.

Among his more recent cases was the plane crash that killed Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Inquirer, the Daily News, and, and six others in June 2014 in Bedford, Mass. He represented the families of two of the victims.

Wolk is not known to suffer detractors gladly. He is known instead to sue them.

His libel litigation has been so prodigious that a 2011 story on Consumer Law & Policy Blog carried the headline, "Has Arthur Alan Wolk Finally Learned That He Cannot Sue Every Critic?"

Lawyer George Bochetto describes him as a brilliant lawyer and "intense." He represented Wolk in a libel suit against the law blog, and many others, for their coverage of another of his suits, against the aviation website for its story on his record $480 million verdict against Cessna.

Paul Rosen, another lawyer who has represented Wolk in civil cases, also said he was a "brilliant strategist" but noted he could be "caustic," with a short fuse. Rosen said Wolk's lawsuits against critics often stem from airplane manufacturers' attempts to smear his reputation and keep him from winning cases.

"He attacks every one of them," Rosen said. "He's not someone to back down. . . . His livelihood depends on the quality of his reputation."

Keith Knauss knows little about the world of aviation law. But he knows about school budgets.

A former Unionville-Chadds Ford school board member, he wrote a letter to a local paper last winter complaining about Lower Merion's "fictitious budgeting." Wolk read it, called him, and invited him to his house to talk about it. That conversation led to the lawsuit, in which Knauss was the plaintiff's only witness.

Wolk's two children did not attend Lower Merion schools; they graduated from Cheltenham High School and Abington Friends School. But "he's got a large house and pays lots of taxes," said Knauss, adding that he thinks Wolk viewed the suit as a "civic service."

Wolk said he thought it was "worthy." The median refund of $1,400 that Smyth said taxpayers might eventually receive is kibble compared with what he said he spent out-of-pocket on the case.

As of Wednesday, he said, he had received 50 or so emails - all but one supportive. He said he also got a death threat. Lower Merion police confirmed they were investigating. If they identify the culprit, Wolk said, he would sue the person.

When asked about his penchant for libel suits, however, the lawyer said he didn't want to talk about it and wouldn't let anyone "take my money or my reputation." He ended the conversation and hung up.

As Boo, the golden retriever, said in the book Wolk wrote about her: "Dad has been home with me after work every day and wrestles with me every chance he gets. He always wins even when I try to bite him."


Cessna 172N, Roadstar LLC, N2462E: Accident occurred August 30, 2016 in Winchester, Virginia


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Washington FSDO-27

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA460
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Winchester, VA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N2462E

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


Date: 30-AUG-16
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N2462E
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Virginia