Tuesday, September 27, 2016

While big airlines squeeze mid-sized airports, Tucson airport to start new flights to New York and Mexico




Pushing back against declines in airline service that have been seen at all mid-sized and smaller airports in the U.S. in recent years, Tucson International Airport is launching new flights. On Friday, Oct. 7, new nonstop service between Tucson and New York’s Kennedy International airport will begin, four days after the airport launches new flights to Hermosillo, Mexico, on Oct. 3.

The Hermosillo service starts Monday on the Mexican regional airline Aeromar. It and the New York resumption on American Airlines are the latest small scores in a game being played by Tucson and other non-hub airports as they employ aggressive marketing to bolster positions against trends in a domestic airline industry where major carriers have shifted more capacity to larger hub airports like Phoenix — where revenue per passenger is higher.

Flight reductions at Tucson have been occurring for several years, as they have at other mid-sized airports. Last year, Southwest Airlines reduced its daily flights between Tucson and Las Vegas to three from four, while Alaska Airlines downgraded a direct flight to Portland, Oregon, from year-round to seasonal.

David Hatfield, the director of business development and marketing at Tucson International, said that one good argument for persuading Aeromar to begin service in Tucson is that the Hermosillo market, with its relative proximity to the border, offers a mix of both tourism and business ties. “You look at a lot of the other flights that go into Mexico; it’s usually one or the other. We’re one that has both,” Hatfield said.

Airlines including Southwest, American, United, Delta and Alaska have all reduced passenger capacity in Tucson between 2012 to 2015, according to Tucson Airport Authority’s annual financial report.

Still, the airport works hard to attract some new business to offset the losses. Tucson International has worked with the travel guide Visit Tucson since 2008, and Hatfield says that the airport is also working closely with tourism agencies in Sonora, Mexico.

Since 2013, the airport also has collaborated on marketing strategies with the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce to other cities with some success.

The resumption of nonstop service to New York came about through about 18 months of joint efforts by a task force that included the airport, dozens of local businesses, the city of Tucson and the Metro Chamber.

To lure American Airlines to add the nonstop, Tucson had to put aside revenue guarantees to reimburse American Airlines if the new flights fail to reach agreed-on revenue levels. American Airlines also received discounts on landing fees and other subsidies.

“The airport has incentives,” Hatfield said. “In the case of New York, we have enlisted the help of the Metro Chamber of Commerce to organize businesses and tourism leaders and governments to help put together a fund that will basically offer minimum revenue guarantee to the airline.”

Tucson is seeking to attract other airlines as well.

Aeromar is a Mexican airline established in 1987.

“A lot of their business model up until now has been tended to develop routes that allow people to fly between cities without making connections in Mexico City,” Hatfield said. Los Mochis, located southeast of Hermosillo, is one of the cities that will benefit from Aeromar’s new service to and from Tucson airport because of both business and tourism.

Given the importance the thriving agriculture industry in Los Mochis, direct flights on Aeromar will have appeal in reducing the time it takes for traveling on business.

Another benefit is speedier access to Copper Canyon, a tourism site northeast of Chihuahua. Hatfield said that direct flights from Tucson airport to Los Mochis would help increase tourism in Copper Canyon.

“Los Mochis has no other international service to the U.S. at all,” he pointed out.

J. Felipe Garcia, executive vice president for strategic partnerships and Mexico marketing at Visit Tucson, said that Aeromar started service at Tucson airport because a significant amount of people were traveling back and forward between Tucson and Mexico. As they did with giant American Airlines, the incentives worked to lure little Aeromar. “The idea of this incentive program is to foster and promote new routes out of Tucson,” said Garcia.

For over a decade, major airlines have concentrated flying at mid-sized and smaller airports on regional airline subcontractors using small regional jets in a system designed to funnel passengers into the big hubs, often for connections elsewhere. Those subcontractors have consolidated, and at the same time the major airlines have sharply reduced dependence on regional jets, which hold from 40 to 80 passengers — but take up the same amount of gate space at a major airport gate as, say, a big 747 with over 200 passengers, many of them paying high fares to fly in business or first class to international destinations.

Looking for more choices in flights and in some cases better fares, some travelers from Tucson drive or use a service called Arizona Shuttle for transportation to fly out of Sky Harbor, Phoenix’s airport, instead of Tucson International Airport.

Lily Sevilla, a freelance interior designer in London, uses the Arizona Shuttle out of convenience to fly from Phoenix back to London. “That’s the reason why I pick the shuttle because it comes all the way from London directly to Phoenix. There’s no flight directly to London from Tucson,” Sevilla said.

Arizona Shuttle has three pick-up locations in Tucson. The main shuttle terminal is off of Speedway and west of Craycroft. For students needing to be picked up on campus, the nearest stop is on University next to Metro Wildcat on Park Avenue and Sixth Street. Passengers that live around the area of Ina Road can be picked up west of the I-10 on the south side. In Phoenix, the shuttle has three pick-up locations at Sky Harbor Airport near baggage claim. Terminal two, three, and four are the designated places to wait.

Francis Arnason, the reservation attendant at the Speedway location, says that the fare for shuttle service users can range from $41 if a customer books at least one day ahead of time and $45 on the day of travel. In order to get from Tucson to Phoenix, “it’s two hours and fifteen minutes from our corporate office on Speedway, two hours from the Park location, and it’s an hour and forty-five minutes from our Ina Road location,” said Arnason.

Tucson local Maria Yanez says her husband uses the Arizona Shuttle for a different reason.

“I’m waiting for husband. My husband comes from Culiac├ín in Sinaloa, Mexico. He flew from Culiac├ín to Phoenix. He takes the shuttle from Phoenix to Tucson. So I came here to pick him up,” said Yanez.

Tucson International Airport convinced Alaska Airlines to start a nonstop to Seattle in order to reestablish service.

“Alaska Airlines first started flying to Seattle in 1985 and stayed until 1993. They returned in 2000 and have been here continuously since then,” said Hatfield.

The Tucson Chamber of Commerce wanted to show Alaska Airlines that Tucson airport was willing to take the plunge and share the risks with other airlines.

“Seattle is their home base. I think it goes back in the days when they were looking to come to sun destinations from their home base. And they started back before these new rules changed. They were doing it already,” said Hatfield.

Tucson International is trying to develop new services in Washington, D.C. and California cities such as Orange County, Burbank, Ontario, San Jose, Oakland and Long Beach. In efforts to restore older services from about three years ago, Tucson airport is reaching out to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We’re going to have to reevaluate our priorities. Our priorities were New York, Mexico, and Portland,” Hatfield said.

Source:   http://arizonasonoranewsservice.com

Canadian Home Rotors Safari, N330JT: Accident occurred September 27, 2016 in Andover, Merrimack County, New Hampshire

http://registry.faa.gov/N330JT

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-65


NTSB Identification: ERA16LA330
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Andover, NH
Aircraft: TATKOVSKY JAMES G SAFARI, registration: N330JT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On September 27, 2016, about 1554 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Safari helicopter, N330JT, collided with trees and terrain during takeoff near Andover, New Hampshire. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries, and the helicopter was destroyed by a postcrash fire. The helicopter was registered to and operated by a private individual, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal, local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight which was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot stated to law enforcement while hospitalized that after liftoff the helicopter would not transition to cruise flight. When near or at the top of evergreen trees immediately adjacent to the departure location, the helicopter "went vertical" and he could not control it. The helicopter's tail impacted a tree and the helicopter then descended to the ground. The pilot exited the helicopter and a postcrash fire occurred.

Examination of the helicopter was pending recovery from the accident site.


ANDOVER, N.H. —A helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon in Andover, injuring the pilot.

The FAA said that a Canadian Home Rotors Safari helicopter crashed about 4 p.m. in the area of 12 River's Edge Road as it was taking off from a private residence in Andover.

Officials said the pilot was able to call 911 himself, and he was able to get out of the helicopter on his own.

The helicopter crashed in some pine trees, but it was on the ground and on fire when emergency crews arrived. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in a short time.

The pilot was taken to a hospital with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

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

ANDOVER — A local man crashed his helicopter in the woods off River’s Edge Road Tuesday afternoon and walked away without serious injuries.

Fire Chief Rene Lefebvre said the man, who lives in Andover and has his own helicopter and landing pad, is believed to have taken off from his own pad but crashed soon after.

The helicopter struck some trees in the woods about 300 feet from a home at 15 River’s Edge Road sometime before 3:50 p.m., he said.

Lefebvre would not identify the pilot, as state police were handling the incident. But he said the man walked away from the crash and called 911 on his cellphone, saying he was suffering from burn injuries and possibly other other injuries.

A nearby homeowner also called 911 after hearing the crash, the chief said.

The pilot, who was the only one aboard the helicopter, was taken to Concord Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, Lefebvre said.

“He really wasn’t hurt too badly,” he said. “But when you consider the mechanism that caused his injuries, that’s not so bad.”

The pilot told fire dispatchers that he had two full tanks of fuel aboard. Lefebvre said firefighters found the helicopter burning and put out the flames before they spread.

The helicopter was “badly damaged” and may be a total loss, Lefebvre said.

As town firefighters and police left the scene, authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified. The NTSB will handle the investigation of the incident, Lefebvre said.

Lefebvre said he wasn’t sure why the helicopter struck the trees and crashed, but said the pilot should feel fortunate.

“The pilot said it was a bad day, but we think it’s a good day,” Lefebvre said. “Any day you can walk away from a helicopter crash is a good day.”

- Source: http://www.unionleader.com

Cessna 172P Skyhawk, N52126, TSS Flying Club Inc: Fatal accident occurred September 27, 2016 near Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, Montgomery County, Maryland

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16FA329
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Laytonsville, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/09/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N52126
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

Earlier on the day of the accident, the pilot/mechanic flew the airplane from its home base airport to another airport to perform scheduled maintenance. Airport security video captured the entire maintenance event and showed the pilot/mechanic removing the engine cowling, draining the engine oil, and inspecting the spark plugs, air filter, and other components. The video did not show him adding engine oil before reinstalling the engine cowling and departing on the accident flight. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that the airplane's engine was losing power and that he was returning to the airport. Witnesses reported that the airplane began to fly erratically, rolled into a steep bank, and descended to ground impact about 1 mile from the airport. The witness observations were consistent with the pilot failing to maintain airspeed following the loss of engine power, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. Postaccident disassembly of the engine revealed catastrophic failure of internal engine components and signatures consistent with no lubrication and high heat.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot/mechanic's failure to maintain airspeed following a loss of engine power, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. Also causal was the pilot/mechanic's failure to service the engine with oil following maintenance, which resulted in the total loss of engine power.

William A. Hughes, 78, of Gaithersburg, Maryland
~




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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland
Textron; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

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

TSS Flying Club Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N52126





NTSB Identification: ERA16FA329
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Laytonsville, MD
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N52126
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 27, 2016, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N52126, was destroyed when it impacted terrain following a loss of control near Laytonsville, Maryland. The commercial pilot/mechanic was fatally injured. The airplane was owned by TSS Flying Club, Inc., and was operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The airplane departed from Davis Airport (W50) in Laytonsville and was destined for Montgomery County Airpark (GAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland.

According to representatives at the TSS Flying Club, about 1400, the pilot/mechanic flew the airplane from the club's base at GAI to W50 to complete a 100-hour maintenance inspection of the airplane. A review of airport security video at W50 revealed that the pilot taxied the airplane onto the maintenance ramp, shut down the engine, and uncowled the engine. He then drained the engine oil and inspected the spark plugs, air filter, and other engine components before reinstalling the engine cowling. The pilot then pushed the airplane back, started the engine, and taxied to the runway for takeoff. The video did not depict the pilot/mechanic servicing the engine with oil. 

According to air traffic control audio communication recordings provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), shortly after takeoff from W50, the pilot reported to an air traffic controller that he was "losing an engine" and was returning to the airport. Several witnesses reported that the airplane flew in a southeasterly direction, completed a 180° turn, and flew back toward W50. The airplane was then seen "flying erratically" before it stabilized momentarily and then "fell out of the sky sideways." One witness stated he could see the top of the airplane's wing during its entire descent to the ground. Review of airport security surveillance video revealed that about 8 minutes after the airplane departed, it began emitting a smoke plume. At that point, the airplane was about 1 mile southeast of the airport. 



PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 13, 2016. He reported 1,183 total hours of flight experience on that date. He also held a mechanic certificate with ratings for airframe and powerplant. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The four-seat, high-wing airplane was manufactured in 1981. It was powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming O-360-A4M engine and was equipped with a two-bladed Sensenich propeller. The airplane's maintenance records were destroyed in the postimpact fire and maintenance intervals could not be verified. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1815 recorded weather at GAI, located 4 miles southwest of the accident site, included wind from 180° at 5 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 22°C, dew point 11°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.




WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The wreckage was examined at the accident site, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The engine compartment, cockpit, cabin area, empennage, and most of both wings were consumed by postcrash fire. Flight control cable continuity was confirmed from the cockpit area to the flight control surfaces. The two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine. One blade was bent aft, partially melted, and displayed leading edge nicks. The outboard half of the other propeller blade was consumed by fire.

The engine was separated from the wreckage and placed on an engine stand for examination. The oil sump, oil filter, and the accessory section were destroyed by fire. Examination of the starter housing and starter ring gear support revealed no witness marks.

The top spark plugs were removed, and an attempt to rotate the crankshaft with the propeller was unsuccessful. The valve covers were removed, and they contained no oil or oil residue. Investigators then attempted to remove the cylinders. Only cylinder Nos. 1 and 2 could be removed from the case base studs. The No. 1 cylinder had internal damage to the piston, and the connecting rod exhibited restricted rotation about the crankshaft. The No. 2 cylinder connecting rod was found to move freely. 

The rear accessory housing was removed, and the oil pump was disassembled. Investigators attempted to rotate the oil pump drive shaft by hand with negative results. The steel gears were locked and would not rotate. The accessory housing side of the oil pump was discolored and exhibited signs consistent with a lack of lubrication.

The case halves were split. The No. 3 intake tappet body and the No. 4 exhaust tappet body were found damaged and fell out of the case. The outside of the case at the No. 4 cylinder was fractured. The No. 3 cylinder was thermally damaged at the cylinder head to steel barrel interface. The inside of the case was noted to be void of residual oil.

The camshaft exhibited heat signatures consistent with a lack of lubrication. The Nos. 1 and 2 connecting rod bearings were removed from the crankshaft. The No. 1 connecting rod bearing exhibited discoloration and heat damage consistent with a lack of lubrication. Once the case halves were split, the No. 4 connecting rod was found broken and discolored. The No. 4 connecting rod cap was found inside the case half and was severely damaged, consistent with impact with the rotating crankshaft. The No. 4 connecting rod bearing halves were found discolored and impact damaged, consistent with the broken connecting rod and crankshaft striking the halves and flattening the bearing. 

The crankshaft was removed and found to be highly discolored at the connecting rod and main journals. The No. 4 journal exhibited a crack about 2 inches long near the middle of the journal. The No. 3 bearing exhibited discoloration and showed the copper underlay. The bearing edges exhibited signs of extruding of the surfaces. All engine damage signatures were consistent with a lack of lubrication.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of Maryland, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The autopsy findings included "multiple injuries."



The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. The toxicology report stated that no ethanol or drugs were detected in the urine.







NTSB Identification: ERA16FA329
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 27, 2016 in Laytonsville, MD
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N52126
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 September 27, 2016, about 1830 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N52126, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Laytonsville, Maryland. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane departed from Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, and was destined for Montgomery County Airpark (GAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland. The airplane was owned by TSS Flying Club Inc., and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to initial information received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot reported that the airplane was experiencing engine problems shortly after takeoff. Several witnesses reported that they saw the airplane flying in a southeasterly direction. It then made a 180 degree turn and flew back toward W50. The airplane then started "flying erratically" but gained control for a few seconds and then lost control and "fell out of the sky sideways." One witness stated he could see the top of the airplane's wing during its entire descent to the ground.

The wreckage was subsequently located about 2 miles southeast of W50, in the middle of a corn field. The airplane had extensive thermal damage from a postcrash fire. Flight control cable continuity was established from the cockpit area to all flight control surfaces. Impact marks in the corn-field revealed that the left wing impacted the ground first, then the airplane cartwheeled and flipped 180 degrees before coming to rest on a heading of 130 degrees. The propeller remained attached to the engine. The engine could not be rotated by hand and valve train continuity could not be verified. The engine was retained for further examination.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 13, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,183 hours.

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– Aviation investigators are working to determine what caused a plane crash that killed an experienced pilot in Montgomery county last night.

A team of federal investigators swarmed Davis Airport in Laytonsville to search for the cause of a fiery plane crash that killed 78-year-old William Hughes. He was a mechanic who had been working on the aircraft for a flying club, according to Brian Rayner with the National Traffic Safety Board.

“The airplane was here for routine, scheduled maintenance,” said Rayner.

After finishing his work, Hughes got in the cockpit to deliver the plane back to an airport only four miles away. He had only made it a half mile before there was engine trouble.

“It was reported preliminary that the pilot reported a loss of engine power prior to the airplane departing controlled flight,” said Rayner.

The plane came crashing down in this field less than a mile from the airport. Pete Piringer, with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, was there.

“Pretty significant damage, catastrophic damage if you will. It was on fire. There was not much of a debris field or fire spread,” said Piringer.

Hughes, who had more than 1,000 flying hours and belonged to several flying clubs, did not survive. Investigators are now piecing together what went wrong in his final moments.

The NTSB says a civil air patrol doing a training exercise actually witnessed the crash and they’ll be interviewed soon as part of the investigation.

A friend of William Hughes tells WJZ he was a retired Montgomery County math teacher who enjoyed fixing planes in his spare time.


Story and video:   http://baltimore.cbslocal.com

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said a small plane has crashed in the Laytonsville, Maryland, area, killing one person.

Officials said the crash occurred near Ruppert Landscaping, located at 23601 Laytonsville Road, shortly before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The business closed at 5 p.m.

Fire and rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said the plane, described as a Cessna-type plane, caught fire. He said one person was killed.

"Small single engine plane associated with nearby Davis Airfield," Piringer said. "They believe there was only one person on the lane, and unfortunately, he did not survive the crash and fire."

National Transportation Safety Board investigators responded to the scene. 

"The airplane had some recent maintenance work done on it, brakes, from what I understand," said NTSB investigator Brian Rayner. "The airplane took off. The engine sounded normal. And then, depending on the witness accounts, about 500 to 1,000 feet above ground level, the pilot reported to air traffic control that he'd experienced an engine failure."

A witness, Steven Bennett, said he saw the plane as it looked to barrel roll before the crash. He ran to the scene and arrived before emergency crews.

"I just made a path through the cornfield, so they could run in there, and we got to the plane and saw that it was on fire," Bennett said. "I just kind of walked away. There was nothing anybody could do at that point in time."

Davis Airport is located to the west of the crash site. Bill Harvey, who was not on scene but answered the phone for the Davis Airport, said he was told there was a crash about 2 to 3 miles from the airport. Employees told him he could see the smoke.

Units from Howard County are also responded to the scene.

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

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– The feds are investigating after a one person died in a small plane crash in Montgomery County Tuesday.

The plane crashed less than a mile from a small local airport. Both the NTSB and the FAA were on the scene in laytonsville leading the investigation.

“It was a single engine, small plane, was on fire. It crash landed,”said Pete Piringer of the Montgomery County Fire Department.

Firefighters from both Montgomery and Howard Counties battled back flames as they searched for any survivors. Assemble crews came to do a systematic search in case someone was ejected from the plane on impact. No survivors were found.

The plane crashed into a field on the property of a landscaping company. A mile from the Davis airport.

The pilot inside the plane did not survive the wreck. Davis airport is a public use airport with one runway, typically seeing about a dozen planes a day according to records.

“It’s popular among the local community, but it is relatively small,” said Piringer.

Now federal investigators will try to figure out what went wrong. The person in the plane who died has not yet been identified. Investigators believe the plane crashed shortly after it took off from Davis Airfield.

Story and video:   http://baltimore.cbslocal.com

Suit versus Bradford Regional Airport remains unresolved

A federal lawsuit for the alleged wrongful termination of former Bradford Regional Airport director Tom Frungillo has been before a mediator, but has yet to be resolved.

The suit, filed in federal court in Erie in May, is against the Bradford Regional Airport Authority, its advisory board and the counties of McKean, Cameron, Elk and Warren.

Frungillo, who had been employed at Bradford airport 16 years, alleges he was fired because he began to suffer from disabilities and needed reasonable accommodations which the authority did not provide.

The authority’s attorney, Mark Kuhar of Erie, said Frungillo never disclosed a disability, never requested an accommodation and behaved in an unprofessional and unproductive manner to airport employees. The same argument is set forth in an answer and counterclaim filed by Kuhar.

A mediation session was held Sept. 20. While the case was not resolved, mediator Thomas Frampton noted, “The parties have asked (Frampton) to stay involved in the case to provide further assistance with settlement efforts.”

Kuhar noted the parties have agreed to schedule a status conference in 2017 to discuss whether summary judgment motions will be filed. “The parties have explored settlement at mediation but have not reached an agreement. Settlement will be further explored after discovery.”

The period for discovery ends March 31, he noted.

According to the suit, toward the end of his employment at the airport, Frungillo began to suffer from disabilities, including health conditions related to his back as well as severe stress, the complaint alleged. He was still able to do his job, but would at times “need reasonable accommodations.”

In September 2014, Frungillo took a brief vacation and was scheduled to return to work. However, the complaint read, he requested additional time off “to care for and treat” his health conditions, and had “more than enough benefit time to cover his absences” during that time frame.

On Sept. 17, 2014, he was terminated by the authority “without any warning or explanation and clearly in retaliation for requesting reasonable accommodations for his disabilities and/or because of his perceived disabilities,” the complaint read.

In the suit, Frungillo is seeking compensation for any and all pay and benefits he would have received if not for the alleged wrongful termination; punitive damages; costs and expenses of the suit; and a trial by jury.

Frungillo is being represented by Ari Karpf of Karpf, Karpf and Cerutti P.C. of Bensalem.

Source:  http://www.bradfordera.com

Cessna 210-5(205), N8433Z: Accident occurred September 26, 2016 in Ellington, Tolland County, Connecticut

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N8433Z

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Windsor Locks FSDO-63


NTSB Identification: GAA16CA514
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 26, 2016 in Ellington, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 205, registration: N8433Z
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot reported that during the landing roll he realized the airplane was not going stop within the remaining runway distance. He further reported that he aborted the landing and became airborne, but during the initial climb the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall and impacted terrain about 300 feet beyond the runway threshold.

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 during the initial climb after an attempted go-around, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Beech G35, N168B: Accident occurred September 16, 2016 at Shearer USFS Airport (2U5), Kooskia, Idaho County, Idaho

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

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

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Spokane FSDO-13

http://registry.faa.gov/N168B

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA519
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 16, 2016 in Kooskia, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2017
Aircraft: BEECH G35, registration: N168B
Injuries: 1 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.

According to the pilot of the retractable landing gear airplane, his normal approach to the backcountry grass airstrip was to follow the terrain until established on a “5-10 second” final approach. The pilot recalled that there was a 5-knot tailwind at the airstrip during the approach. On final, he increased the flaps, the airspeed was 70 knots, and the airplane touched down on the approach end of the runway. He reported that he did not extend the retractable landing gear and that, following the touchdown, the airplane slid about 1,000 ft down the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage longerons and the firewall.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have prevented normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear during landing.

























AIRCRAFT:   1956 Beechcraft 35, N168B, Serial No. D-4453

ENGINE – Continental IO-550-B, Serial No. 814376-R

PROPELLER – Destroyed

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information)

ENGINE:   About 150 TSMOH, Overhaul was completed in February 2015 by Western Skyways

AIRFRAME:        8621              

 OTHER EQUIPMENT:  GNS430, GMA340, KX165, KLN62, GTX327
                    
DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Gear up landing on a remote strip.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Damage to prop, flaps, Gear doors, exhaust and belly skins due to the gear up landing.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:     Choice Aviation, Hamilton, MT 

REMARKS:    Aircraft was recovered by helicopter and was not disassembled.  Inspection of aircraft is highly recommended. 

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N168B.htm

Eurocopter EC 130 B4, Air Methods Corp., N317AM: Incident occurred September 26, 2016 at Front Range Airport (KFTG), Watkins, Colorado

AIR METHODS CORP:   http://registry.faa.gov/N317AM

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03

N317AM EUROCOPTER EC130 ROTORCRAFT WHILE ENROUTE, SUSTAINED A BIRDSTRIKE TO THE WINDSHIELD, LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, FRONT RANGE AIRPORT, WATKINS, COLORADO.

Date: 27-SEP-16
Time: 02:00:00Z
Regis#: N317AM
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: EC130
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: WATKINS
State: Colorado

Unregistered ultralight: Incident occurred September 26, 2016 in Bancroft, Caribou County, Idaho

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Spokane FSDO-13

UNREGISTERED ULTRALIGHT, MAKE MODEL NOT REPORTED, CRASHED IN A FIELD, NEAR BANCROFT, IDAHO.  

Date: 27-SEP-16
Time: 18:19:00Z
Regis#: UNREGISTERED
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: Unknown
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: BANCROFT
State: Idaho

Helio H-295-1400 Super Courier, N68857, registered to Bursiel Equipment Inc and operated by Wright Air Service: Accident occurred September 25, 2016 in Delta Junction, Alaska

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

Additional Participating Entity:

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

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


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


Registered to Bursiel Equipment Inc and operated by Wright Air Service


http://registry.faa.gov/N68857

NTSB Identification: ANC16LA071
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, September 25, 2016 in Delta Junction, AK
Aircraft: HELIO H-295, registration: N68857
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 September 25, 2016, about 1600 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Helio Courier H-295 airplane, N68857, sustained substantial damage following a runway excursion during takeoff from a remote, unimproved airstrip about 35 miles southwest of Delta Junction, Alaska. The certificated airline transport pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained no injury. The airplane was registered to Bursiel Equipment, Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska, and was being operated by Wright Air Service, Fairbanks, as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand commercial flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, about 1500.

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on September 26, the pilot stated that airplane landed at the 800-foot gravel airstrip near the East Fork of the Little Delta River about 1540 to transport moose meat for a customer to Fairbanks. The moose meat was weighed at 625 pounds before being loaded into the airplane. The pilot reported on the NTSB Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report that about 1-2 inches of wet snow had accumulated on the gravel airstrip and winds originated from the north/northeast estimated at 7 knots. Additionally, marginal visual flight rules conditions were reported by the pilot as 5 statute miles with light snow. He reported he calculated his takeoff weight at 3400 pounds with a "middle center of gravity location." 

The pilot stated that after conducting a pre-takeoff contamination check of the airplane, the flaps were set to 30 degrees, the trim set for takeoff, and the before takeoff checklist was completed. He positioned the airplane for a departure to the north, prior to locking the tail wheel, confirming the flaps and trim were set, and selecting a go/no-go point about 400 feet down the airstrip. The pilot began the takeoff sequence and reported that the initial indications were for a normal takeoff through the selected go/no-go decision point. With about one third of the airstrip remaining, the pilot realized the airplane would not become airborne at the designated go/no-go decision point and that he would be unable to stop in the remaining distance if he rejected the takeoff due to the snow on the airstrip. He elected to continue the takeoff through the low brush at the end of the airstrip in an attempt to gain more airspeed. He reported that the airplane became airborne, settled back to the surface, before becoming airborne again. The main landing gear impacted brush on a small embankment and the airplane began to settle. The pilot observed a clear area ahead of the airstrip that lead into a creek bed; he reduced the power to idle, and held full aft pressure on the control yoke. The airplane settled to the surface in a three-point attitude, and came to rest in the creek bed with a left wing low attitude. Upon exciting the airplane in the creek bed, the pilot noted that the wind had become calm and the snow fall had stopped. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.

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

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest weather reporting facility was the Allen Army Airfield, Fort Greely, Alaska, about 35 miles northeast of the accident site. At 1559, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: wind, calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition, scattered clouds 1,300 feet, broken clouds 3,200 feet; temperature 37 degrees F; dew point 36 degrees F; altimeter 29.93 inHg.

TESTS AND RESEARCH 

Helio H-295 Airplane Flight Manual

The Helio H-295 Airplane Flight Manual includes various performance charts for determining the values for takeoff ground run and takeoff distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle. The performance chart for determining the values for the takeoff ground run has correction factors for wet grass and soft turf, but not for wet snow. The performance chart for determining the values for the takeoff distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle does not incorporate any correction factors for the pilot to utilize.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Soft Field Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration has published FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook (2004). This document discusses takeoff considerations from soft fields and states in part:

Takeoffs and climbs from soft fields require the use of operational techniques for getting the airplane airborne as quickly as possible to eliminate the drag caused by tall grass, soft sand, mud, and snow, and may or may not require climbing over an obstacle. The technique makes judicious use of ground effect and requires a feel for the airplane and fine control touch. Soft surfaces or long, wet grass usually reduces the airplane's acceleration during the takeoff roll so much that adequate takeoff speed might not be attained if normal takeoff techniques were employed.

Takeoff and Obstacle Clearance Considerations

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand has published Takeoff and Landing Performance (2011). This document discusses takeoff and obstacle clearance considerations and states in part:

Grass, soft ground or snow increase the rolling resistance and therefore the takeoff ground run will be longer than on a sealed or paved runway.

Plan to clear obstacles on the climb out path by at least 50 feet. Consider what your aircraft's climb gradient is likely to be as part of your takeoff performance calculations – especially if terrain, wires, and the possibility of downdraughts are factors in the climb out path.

NTSB Identification: ANC16LA071
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Sunday, September 25, 2016 in Delta Junction, AK
Aircraft: HELIO H-295, registration: N68857
Injuries: 1 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 September 25, 2016, about 1600 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Helio Courier H-295 airplane, N68857, sustained substantial damage following a runway excursion during takeoff from a remote, unimproved airstrip about 35 miles southwest of Delta Junction, Alaska. The certificated airline transport pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane sustained no injury. The airplane was registered to Bursiel Equipment, Inc., Fairbanks, Alaska, and was being operated by Wright Air Service, Fairbanks, as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand commercial flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, about 1500. 

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on September 26, the pilot stated that airplane landed at the 800-foot gravel airstrip near the East Fork of the Little Delta River about 1540 to transport moose meat for a customer to Fairbanks. The moose meat was weighed before being loaded into the airplane. The pilot stated that as he initiated the takeoff, everything appeared normal. The airplane became airborne and about two-thirds down the airstrip, lost lift, and settled back onto the airstrip. The pilot was unable to stop the airplane and the airplane departed the airstrip straight ahead. Following the airstrip excursion, the empennage impacted terrain, and the airplane came to rest in a creek bed. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and the rudder.

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

The closest weather reporting facility was the Allen Army Airfield, Fort Greely, Alaska, about 35 miles northeast of the accident site. At 1559, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: wind, calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition, scattered clouds 1,300 feet, broken clouds 3,200 feet; temperature 37 degrees F; dew point 36 degrees F; altimeter 29.93 inHg.

Bristell S-LSA, N180BL: Accident occurred September 26, 2016 in Minden, Douglas County, Nevada

http://registry.faa.gov/N180BL

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Reno FSDO-11

AIRCRAFT, BRM AERO BRISTELL LSA, GEAR COLLAPSED ON LANDING, MINDEN, NEVADA.  

Date: 26-SEP-16
Time: 16:34:00Z
Regis#: N180BL
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: MINDEN
State: Nevada