Thursday, September 8, 2016

Three earn pilots license: Clare Municipal Airport (48D), Michigan

Ryan Todd with his Flight Instructor Doug Dill.

Barry Wallace of Harrison, with his Flight Instructor Dick Acker.

Andy Nevill, with his Flight Instructor Doug Dill. 

Exciting things are happening at the Clare Municipal Airport!  Student pilots are learning to fly and earn their Private Pilot’s License.

A very large milestone in a pilots training is the first Solo flight.  Up to this point, the student has always flown with an instructor who could “fix” any of their mistakes in takeoff and landing.  The instructor is constantly evaluating the student’s performance and their speed at which they grasp the different phases of flight.  Once the instructor is satisfied with the student’s performances over a period of time, the instructor then exits the airplane.

At this point, the instructor directs the student to make three take-offs and landings by themselves.   The airplane performs much better without the extra weight of the instructor and typically the students are awed at the new climb rate.

Once the student is back on the ground safely, the reality begins to sink in that  they have actually done this feat unassisted.    It is a very satisfying feeling and a huge boost to their confidence.  Most pilots still remember the day they completed their first Solo flight.  For those who have always wanted to learn to fly, contact the Airport Manager,  Gary Todd for more information.  

Story and photo gallery:

Cessna 177RG Cardinal, N8271G: Incident occurred September 07, 2016 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana


Date: 07-SEP-16
Time: 21:00:00Z
Regis#: N8271G
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172RG
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Indiana

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, Wolf Aviation LLC, N465JM: Fatal accident occurred September 07, 2016 in Chariton, Iowa

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:


NTSB Identification: CEN16FA361
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 07, 2016 in Chariton, IA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P, registration: N465JM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 August 7, 2016, about 1219 central daylight time, a Piper PA 46-310P airplane, N465JM, registered to Wolf Aviation LLC of West Des Moines, Iowa, was destroyed when it impacted terrain after an in-flight breakup in the vicinity of Williamson, Iowa. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The cross-country flight was being conducted under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 91. No flight plan was filed and instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area. The airplane was in receipt of VFR flight following services just prior to the accident. The flight originated about 1130 from the Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC), Olathe, Kansas, and was en route to the Ankeny Regional Airport (IKV), Ankeny, Iowa, when the accident occurred.

According to preliminary radar and Air Traffic Control (ATC) information, the pilot was receiving VFR flight following at 13,500 feet MSL from the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The pilot had been deviating for convective weather along the route of flight, and was proceeding direct to IKV. The Chicago ARTCC had issued a weather advisory to the pilot about areas of moderate to extreme precipitation along the route of flight and the pilot responded that he had the weather information on the airplane's NEXRAD system while making deviations to avoid the convective weather. The pilot reported to ARTCC that he was around the weather, proceeded toward IKV, and requested to start his descent. The Chicago ARTCC controller responded that the descent altitude was at the pilot's discretion, and then instructed the pilot to contact Des Moines Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), but received no response from the pilot. Preliminary radar data showed the airplane making a rapid descending right turn before radar contact was lost. The last radar return showed the airplane about 4,700 feet MSL. The Chicago ARTCC controller attempted to contact the airplane on frequency, on guard frequency, and through other aircraft without success, and also solicited ELT reports from nearby aircraft with negative responses. No distress calls were received from the pilot and an ALNOT was issued.

The airplane main wreckage and parts were located about 5 hours after the loss of radar contact by local ground and Civil Air Patrol search personnel. On scene examination of the accident site by the NTSB and FAA showed evidence that the airplane had broken apart prior to impact. The airplane impacted into a mature corn field with wing and empennage components scattered along a path about 1/2-mile long, with the main wreckage (cabin and fuselage) resting along a stand of trees adjacent to the corn field. 

There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. However, local residents and search personnel reported rain and thunderstorms in the area about the time of the accident.

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

Scott Dean Wolfswinkel

Scott Wolfswinkel, age 42, died tragically on September 7, 2016 while fulfilling his passion of being a pilot. 

Scott was born August 28, 1974 in Sioux Center, Iowa to Helaine (Groeneweg) and James Wolfswinkel. He graduated from Rock Valley High School in 1993 and Northwestern College in 1997. He was the owner and founder of Wolf Construction, a West Des Moines based commercial construction firm and roofing contractor. Scott was a visionary and an incredibly hard worker who loved his family and employees. Scott truly had a passion for his work, enjoying it to the fullest every day. 

He was a man of God, a light for Jesus, and touched the lives of many - especially the lives of his children. Scott mentored many and shared his gift of leadership with his employees, the students he coached in football at Des Moines Christian, and was passionate about connecting new relationships with God. His generosity was second to none. Scott loved spending time with his family – his children were his life. He also enjoyed guns, outdoor activities, listening to music, cooking, smoking meats and HORSEPOWER.

Scott is survived by his children, Mason, Kaden, Kia and Mylee Wolfswinkel; parents, Jim and Helaine Wolfswinkel; siblings, Brent (Lyndsay), Timothy (Jessica), Mark (Tracy) and Blake (Sarah) Wolfswinkel; his grandparents, Simon and Judith Groeneweg; the mother of his children, Sarah Rosberg; 9 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Joe and Sadie Wolfswinkel.

A celebration of his life will be held at Lutheran Church of Hope, 925 Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 10:00 a.m. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m., Monday, September 12, 2016 at the church. Burial to be held at Resthaven Cemetery following the celebration of life.

Memorial contributions may be directed toward Des Moines Christian School, Special Olympics-Iowa, Meals for the Heartland or Susan G. Komen-Iowa. 

Online condolences may be expressed at

LUCAS CO. - The name of the pilot who crashed in rural Lucas County Wednesday night has been named.

Wolf Construction, a West Des Moines based commercial construction firm and roofing contractor, announced in a press release today that its owner and founder, Scott Wolfswinkel, died in the crash. He was the only one in the private Piper aircraft. 

The National Transportation Safety Bureau spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory says Wolfswinkel lost contact with Des Moines International Airport at 12:52 p.m. on Wednesday. Wolfswinkel was supposed to check in before landing at the airport and never did.

Lucas County Sheriff's deputies discovered the crash scene a few hours later in the middle of Stephens State Forest in the northeastern part of the county. 

The NTSB & FAA have deployed people to the scene and are continuing to investigate. They have not released what caused the crash. 

The release from Wolf Construction also reported that Wolfswinkel was returning from Kansas City for a business trip when the crash happened. In a statement, Brandon Hoch, friend and coworker said:

"Our hearts are heavy today as we announce the death of our leader, founder and most importantly our friend, Scott Wolfswinkel. Scott was a visionary and an incredibly hardworker that loved his family and employees, as well."

Wolfswinkel started the construction business when he was a student in college. He leaves behind multiple children and family throughout Iowa.

Story and video:

OTTUMWA — Pilots tend to be a tight-knit community. Most people can’t understand being at the controls of a plane thousands of feet in the air or seeing the sun rise from a tiny, propeller-driven aircraft as the fog burns off the ground below.

On the ground your view is limited by trees, hills and buildings. Even open, flat ground has a range of only a few miles. So, when a plane goes down, other pilots are uniquely qualified to find it. It wasn’t a surprise when law enforcement turned to Ottumwa for help finding a plane that crashed Wednesday in Lucas County.

“We were out doing cleanup on one of our aircraft,” said Larry Merrill III. “My father received a call from Monroe County deputies asking if we could help find a downed aircraft by using one of our aircraft.”

The answer was yes, of course. For Archangel and Merrill, it was the first search flight out of Ottumwa. It wasn’t new for his father. But experience doesn’t mean the stress and the concern change.

The plane disappeared from radar early Wednesday afternoon. The Merrills flew for about two and-a-half hours, looking for signs of wreckage, before they had to refuel. When they went up again they had possible coordinates for the crash site, but it still took an hour to confirm and steer emergency personnel in.

“The main thing going through our heads yesterday was ‘My God, I hope this pilot is ok,’” Merrill said. “There was a huge crew out looking for them.”

The plane went down near a Class B road. That means a lower standard than gravel or paved surfaces. They can be pretty rough, and this one was. Merrill said all-terrain vehicles were pretty much the only way in or out.

The pilot, whose name has not been released, was killed in the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Technology is making it easier to keep track of planes, and there are tools that exist now that can pin down crash locations quickly. That’s particularly important in cases like Wednesday, when a rural location means fewer people were likely to see the plane as it went down.

But technology turns over much faster than airplanes do. Pilots are still flying aircraft built 20, 30, 40 years ago or more. Unless the plane is retrofit with the new technology, the means for finding it in an emergency can be several decades behind today’s technology.

Merrill said that will change with new rules that go into effect in the coming years.

“You’ve got an option that you can buy this part or that part,” he said. “That’s why the FAA is cracking down.”

But even if authorities think they know a crash location to within a couple hundred yards, it’s still going to be likely that other aircraft can survey rural sites faster than ground-based teams. That means while Wednesday was Merrill’s first search, there’s a good chance it won’t be his last.

Mooney M-20G Statesman, N3694N: Incident occurred September 07, 2016 in Truckee, Nevada County, California


Date: 07-SEP-16
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N3694N
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20G
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: California

De Havilland Canada DHC-8-311 Dash 8, N335EN: Incident occurred September 07, 2016 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina


Date: 07-SEP-16
Time: 19:17:00Z
Regis#: N335EN
Aircraft Make: DE HAVILLAND
Aircraft Model: DHC8
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
State: North Carolina

Cessna U206C Super Skywagon, Cooper Valley Air Service LLC, N29110: Incident occurred September 06, 2016 in Chistochina, Alaska



Date: 06-SEP-16
Time: 03:00:00Z
Regis#: N29110
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 206
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Alaska.

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, C-FSYH: Fatal accident occurred August 12, 2016 in Peterborough, Canada

NTSB Identification: CEN16WA325
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Thursday, August 11, 2016 in Peterborough, Canada
Aircraft: PIPER PA38, registration:
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On August 11, 2016, at 0520 coordinated universal time, a Piper PA-38-112, Canadian-registered , was damaged when it struck several metal poles during a forced landing near Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Markham Airport (CNU8), Markham, Ontario, Canada.

The accident investigation is under the jurisdiction and control of the Canadian government. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by or obtained from the Canadian government or the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from: 

Transportation Safety Board of Canada
200 Promenade du Portage
Place du Centre, 4th Floor
Hull, Quebec K1A 1K8

Tel.: (1) 819-994-4252
(1) 819-997-7887 (24 hour)
Fax: (1) 819-953-9586

The RCMP and local police are investigating after a young Markham man fatally crashed a stolen propeller plane on Peterborough’s main drag Friday, August 12th.

Mohammad Hassan Chaudhary, in his early 20s, died after a Piper Tomahawk he was piloting crashed into the pavement around 1:20 a.m., Global News reported.

“Based on our joint investigation, there is no national security aspect,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Penny Hermann.

“The RCMP is providing assistance to local police to determine the circumstances of the crash. We don’t have any information to indicate any link with national security at this point,” added spokesperson Sgt. Harold Pfleiderer in an email.

Afzal Chaudhary, who Global identified as the pilot’s father, expressed ongoing shock over the fatal crash.

“I can’t believe it. Can’t believe it. It’s unimaginable,” he said in an interview with Global Thursday. “I mean, how (can it) happen like this?”

Afzal told Global his son had been diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago.

“He had mental problems,” Afzal said.

He said his son, who allegedly stole the plane from Markham Airport and flew it more than 100 km to Peterborough, had never taken flight lessons, Global reported: “He had no training at all. None.”

Afzal questioned on camera why the young man was able to bypass security at the private airport to steal a plane.

The airport operator, Allan Rubin, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Afzal told Global his son was highly intelligent, describing him as an “extraordinary genius.”

“He was a nice kid. He was born here in Canada,” he added.

Afzal said he has been co-operating with police, Global reported.

The stolen airplane, a single-engine craft that sat at Markham Airport adjacent to a flight school, belonged to Newmarket resident Don Peck.

Peck told the Star last week the only set of keys for the plane were in his possession at the time of the crash, meaning the plane may have been hot-wired.

York Regional Police spokesperson David Mitchell said police would examine the background of anyone involved in such an unusual crime, noting that plane theft is “very rare.”

“How did he get his hands on this plane or why did he take the plane?” Mitchell asked.

He said someone with little piloting experience could likely still handle a small aircraft such as the one that shattered the early morning stillness in Peterborough one week ago.

“If you’ve got some flight computer skills, flight simulation and stuff like that on the computer, you can get a pretty good handle on it,” he said. “Landing is where you need all the practice.”

The Peterborough Police Service has been investigating the crash, while York police handle the theft.

The incident mangled the cockpit and severed the nose from the aircraft.

The pilot was declared dead at the scene.

No one else was hurt in the crash.


RV-7, WLTT LLC, N112AD: Accident occurred September 03, 2016 in Bluff, San Juan County, Utah


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA466
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 03, 2016 in Bluff, UT
Aircraft: WLTT LLC RV-7, registration: N112AD

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.

SkyReach BushCat, N2899X: Accident occurred September 06, 2016 in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA469
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 06, 2016 in Frankfort, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: RAINBOW SKY REACH (PTY) LTD BUSHCAT, registration: N2899X
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The pilot reported that he was performing a low approach with full flaps about 30 feet above the runway. He further reported that when the airplane was about 60 feet from the end of the runway, he started to add power to go-around, but the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall. Subsequently, the nose of the airplane "suddenly" dropped, the airplane impacted the terrain, and stopped on the remaining runway surface. 

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's exceedance of the airplane's critical angle-of-attack while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.