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 Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. He flew from Culiacán 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

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

T S S FLYING CLUB INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N52126

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Baltimore FSDO-07

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.

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



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

Helio H-250 Courier, N6324V: Accident occurred September 26, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N6324V

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC16LA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 26, 2016 in Anchorage, AK
Aircraft: HELIO H-250, registration: N6324V
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 26, 2016, about 1420 Alaska daylight time, a tailwheel-equipped Helio Courier H-250 airplane, N6324V, sustained substantial damage during the landing roll at the Lake Hood Seaplane Base, Anchorage, Alaska. The certificated commercial pilot sustained no injury. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, a private individual as a visual flight rules (VFR) flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from a private airstrip near Igiugig, Alaska, about 1200. 

During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge on September 26, the pilot stated that after an uneventful touchdown on the dry and gravel surface of runway 32, a medium vibration was felt as the pilot applied the brakes. As the airplane continued the landing roll, he released the brakes and both of the main landing gear leg assemblies sheared off. The propeller impacted the runway, and the airplane came to rest on the bottom of the fuselage without further incident. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. A postaccident inspection revealed that the main landing gear leg assemblies on both sides sheared off below a support bracket located at the intersection of the tubular steel structure of the fuselage attachment points. The main landing gear leg assemblies (left side, part number 250-040-451-50 and right side, part number 250-040-451-1) are constructed of 1/8-inch steel, which is molded and welded to form a 2-inch-square steel tube. The main landing gear legs are covered by a contoured fairing assembly. The two main landing gear leg assemblies were secured and transported to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for further examination. 


The closest weather reporting facility was the Lake Hood Seaplane Base. At 1353, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) was reporting in part: wind from 310 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition, overcast 5,500 feet; temperature 46 degrees F; dew point 36 degrees F; altimeter 29.89 inHg.

de Havilland Canada DHC-8-202Q Dash 8, CommutAir, N366PH: Incident occurred September 24, 2016 at Washington-Dulles International Airport (KIAD), Dulles, Loudoun County, Virginia

http://registry.faa.gov/N366PH

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Washington FSDO-27

N366PH COMMUTAIR FLIGHT UCA4919 BOMBARDIER-DEHAVILLAND DHC8 AIRCRAFT, LANDED WITH NOSE GEAR NOT FULLY EXTENDED, PASSENGERS DEPLANED VIA STAIRS, NO INJURIES REPORTED, DAMAGE MINOR, DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, WASHINGTON, DC.

Date: 25-SEP-16
Time: 02:13:00Z
Regis#: N366PH
Aircraft Make: DE HAVILLAND
Aircraft Model: DHC8
Event Type: Incident
Damage: Minor
City: DULLES
State: Virginia
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: UCA-CommutAir
Flight Number: UCA4919




DULLES, Va. -  A flight coming in from Albany, NY to Dulles had to make an emergency landing Saturday after the aircraft experienced a mechanical issue, which affected its nose gear.

The plane landed at Dulles at 10:00 p.m. 

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokeswoman Kimberly  Gibbs says MWAA fire and Rescue met the airplane at the runway and responded to the aircraft emergency. Passengers and crew were safely removed from the plane and taken to the terminal by mobile lounge.

Jonathan Guerin, Spokesman for United Airlines tells FOX 5 that medics were on hand to meet and evaluate the passengers and two were transported to a local hospital with arm injuries. 

There were 21 passengers and 3 crew members onboard CommutAir flight 4919, operating as United Express Guerin says. The aircraft was a Dash 8 regional aircraft. 

Source:  http://www.fox5dc.com

Cirrus SR22, N176CF: Leath plane controversy points to more need for transparency




By ISD Editorial Board

Iowa State President Steven Leath said in a letter Monday, "to allay any future concerns, I will no longer fly any state-owned aircraft," but said his past use did not break any school rules or law. The statement came after a story emerged showing that Leath damaged a plane owned by the school while flying in July 2015 from an 11-day trip to North Carolina for both personal and university business.

The school said Friday that Leath encountered weather-related flight troubles while he was flying, and had a hard landing at the Bloomington, Illinois airport. Leath has reimbursed the university, however, the ISD editorial board still questions whether the trip violated policy.

Section 721.2 of the Iowa Code "prohibits any state employee from using, or permitting any other person to use, property owned by the state or any subdivision or agency of the state for any private purpose or for personal gain to the detriment of the state. Violation of this statute is a serious misdemeanor," Iowa State lists on its policy website.

Michael Norton, university counsel, told the Daily that those using the plane pay costs related to personal expenses and the university would pay for business-related expenses, and said Leath paying for both puts him in compliance and beyond the policy. "Because Leath’s use of flight services was for the benefit of ISU and not to its detriment, section 721.2 is not implicated," Norton said.

However, in an interview with the AP, Warren Madden, the senior vice president who oversaw the flight program at the time, said personal use of university planes would be prohibited by the policy and that he was unaware of any personal use instances.

According to the AP, “Madden also insisted the school would never let Leath ‘fly by himself one of our planes because of the insurance and liability issues’ before AP informed him Leath had done that.”

We believe that Leath’s flying of the planes was more for efficiency when navigating his tight travel schedule as he says it was. Yet, the insurance and liability issues he underwent raise concerns about whether he should have been flying the plane in the first place. Patrick Smith, an expert pilot who reviewed the incident, told the AP that the incident looked like "another pretty clear-cut example of a comparatively inexperienced pilot messing up."

Leath said he was transparent in communicating about the hard landing and damages that ensued with the FAA, the Board of Regents, University Risk Management and University Counsel, but the situation still raises questions about transparency with the public. Because Madden, supervisor of the flight program, was not aware of the situation we feel more steps should be taken to communicate about funding associated with private use of a public good and any damages that may occur because of those uses.

While the original funds used to pay for the flights and damages were not from tuition or state appropriations, the ISU community still has the right to know when university funds are being used to pay for damages to a hard landing and any flights that are questionably in compliance with state code or the university’s insurance and liability policies.

We applaud Leath for reimbursing his travels, but we hope the incident will be an example for he and other public officials to be more upfront with transparency about mistakes or questionable decisions.

Source:   http://www.iowastatedaily.com




By Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University 

In response to continuing questions about my use of Iowa State University owned aircraft, I wanted to provide additional information and respond to inaccurate allegations that suggest I may have violated university policy and/or state law.

I worked with Iowa State University Flight Service and the Offices of University Counsel and University Risk Management in October 2014 to explore my use of the university’s Cirrus SR22 aircraft. I maintain an extremely busy, complex schedule that often requires travel across the state and country. Given the challenges and expense of commercial air travel, I believed my ability to fly this plane as an FAA certified pilot would allow for more efficiency and flexibility as well as a more cost-effective travel option.

The Offices of University Risk Management and University Counsel determined that my piloting of the Cirrus was allowed under Iowa State’s applicable insurance policies. The Office of University Counsel also looked at issues pertaining to me reimbursing the university for portions of my travel in this aircraft. To suggest that my piloting and use of the Cirrus SR22 aircraft was not known by Board of Regents leadership and university senior business administration is inaccurate.

Iowa State’s travel policy contemplates situations where travel on university business is combined with personal travel. In those instances, according to university policy, expenses related to the business portion of the travel are paid for by Iowa State and expenses related to the personal portion are paid for by the employee. The four trips where I reimbursed Iowa State for personal use of the Cirrus aircraft each had a business component to them. Rather than try to allocate the flight expenses between the personal and business travel, I simply reimbursed the university for the full amount. This practice was above and beyond what is required by Iowa State policy.

I believe that an important part of my job is to be a champion for Iowa State University and to create, foster and enhance relationships between the university and its alumni, partners, friends and benefactors. My work in partnership with the Iowa State University Foundation to generate additional resources for scholarships, faculty positions, capital improvements, etc. is vital to our university’s continued growth and success. This requires frequent travel on behalf of Iowa State across Iowa, the country, and even at times, the world. Janet and I also maintain a cabin in the North Carolina mountains, which we have opened up to host existing donors and to foster new relationships with prospective supporters to the benefit of Iowa State.

With respect to the hard landing incident, there was no attempt to hide this event from anyone. When it happened, I immediately notified the airport tower and ISU Flight Service and subsequently the FAA. I later notified Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter. I believe this incident would have been covered by university insurance; however, for business reasons, the claim was not submitted and the cost of the repairs was covered by non-general use funds.

In an effort to move forward in a positive way, Janet and I have decided to make a donation to the ISU Foundation in an amount equal to all of the cost associated with this incident, including the repair and storage costs of the Cirrus. This will be put toward the university’s scholarship fund. Additionally, to allay any future concerns, I will no longer fly any state-owned aircraft.

Source:   http://www.iowastatedaily.com

IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: http://registry.faa.gov/N176CF



This undated photo provided by the Bloomington Normal Airport Authority shows a damaged wing of a Cirrus SR22 single engine plane at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Ill. Iowa State University President Steven Leath caused "substantial damage" to the university airplane he was piloting when it made a hard landing at the Illinois airport last year — a costly incident kept quiet for 14 months.




AMES, Iowa – The president of Iowa State University said Monday that he will no longer pilot a university airplane that he has used for trips that have mixed business and personal affairs.

President Steven Leath also said he and his wife will make a donation to the university's scholarship fund in the amount of costs associated with an accident in the Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane in July 2015. The university has said it paid $12,000 in repairs, in addition to costs to store the plane for weeks after the incident. The university said Leath wrote a check Monday for $15,000.

The moves come after The Associated Press reported Saturday that Leath suffered a hard landing in the plane in July 2015, on his way home from an 11-day trip to North Carolina, where his family owns a mountain cabin and Christmas tree farm business. The university has said Leath met with a potential donor in North Carolina and had personal business during the trip.

Leath said he reimbursed Iowa State for the cost of that flight as well as three other trips in the plane to North Carolina that included personal business. He has paid the school back at a rate of $125 per hour, which is well below the market rate for renting similar aircraft.

Leath said Monday that his reimbursements went "above and beyond what is required by Iowa State" policy because they covered the entire cost of the flights, not just the portion pertaining to personal business.

He also said the arrangement did not violate a state law that bars public officials from using state equipment or property "for any private purpose or for personal gain to the detriment of the state."

Leath said he believed that flying himself would allow for more flexibility in his busy schedule. He said his use of the plane was approved by the school's office of risk management and university counsel, who determined it would be allowed under Iowa State insurance policies.

He also said the university's senior leaders were aware he was flying himself. That contradicts a claim last week by recently retired senior vice president Warren Madden, who said any personal use of the aircraft was outlawed by school policy and that Leath would not be allowed to fly himself for safety and liability reasons. The school employs three professional pilots.

Leath has flown for about 10 years but earned his instrument rating for the Cirrus SR22 in January 2015 after receiving additional training. The university had purchased the aircraft at a cost of $498,000 months earlier, using private donations, university spokesman John McCarroll said Monday, adding that the school received a $28,000 credit for trading in an older plane.

The hard landing occurred when Leath was landing in Bloomington, Illinois, for a refueling stop. He has said gusty winds caused the plane's right wingtip to hit the ground, causing it to leave the runway. When the plane recovered, the left wing flap hit a runway light. An inspection found that both wings suffered "substantial damage." Leath and his wife, Janet, weren't injured.

Leath said he believed the accident would have been covered by insurance but the university didn't file a claim and paid for the costs itself for business reasons. Leath continued flying afterward, but he said Monday that he would stop doing so "to allay any future concerns."

State Sen. Rob Hogg, chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee, said he was pleased Leath was taking responsibility for the damage but that the lack of disclosure about the accident raised "significant concerns" about management of Iowa's three public universities.

Source:   http://www.foxnews.com


University President Steven Leath gives his annual address within the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Sep. 14.


September 30, 2011: New Iowa State University president Steven Leath talks about family, love of flying

Minutes after Steven Leath was introduced as Iowa State University’s 15th president on Tuesday, he dined with a group of freshman students and outgoing President Gregory Geoffroy.  “I left the press conference, and had dinner with students,” Leath told The Des Moines Register today. During the interview, Leath talked about his family, their Christmas tree farm and his new hobby of flying personal aircraft.

It has been a whirlwind week for Leath, who spent parts of three days on campus last week meeting students, faculty and administrators.  Gov. Terry Branstad called Thursday to congratulate and welcome him to Iowa. His first of many phone conversations with Geoffroy is scheduled next week, he said.  Leath said he will spend several days in Iowa each month before moving to Ames permanently sometime in January. He begins his job as ISU president on Feb. 1.  Leath met his wife, Janet, while they were both students at the University of Delaware. Married for 30 years, they have two sons.

Leath earned his pilot license three years ago, and often flies to his family’s cabin and Christmas tree farm. Both are located in the mountains of North Carolina, near where his youngest son attends college at Appalachian State University. Leath’s oldest son works as an agriculture aid to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

Iowa State President Steven Leath damaged a plane owned by the school while flying in July 2015 from an 11-day trip to North Carolina for both personal and university business, an Iowa State spokesperson confirmed Saturday. 

The school said Friday that Leath "encountered a microburst, a localized downdraft within a thunderstorm" while he was flying, and "as a result, he experienced a hard landing at the Bloomington, Illinois airport."

John McCarroll, executive director of University Relations, said Saturday that the trip from July 3-14, 2015, was to North Carolina and "involved donor contacts [and] some personal business."

Due to a tight travel schedule, Leath used the school's single-engine Cirrus SR22 to travel, McCarroll said. 

Leath holds FAA pilot certification for single-engine aircraft, according to the school. Leath has flown the single-engine plane several times, including for both personal and university purposes. 

The hard landing in Illinois, which was to refuel the plane, caused about $12,000 in damage, which was paid for by the university using discretionary funds — money earned through university investments, not state appropriations or tuition, McCarroll said.

McCarroll said the school decided it was "best" to just pay for the damage instead of filing an insurance claim.

Leath reimbursed the school $1,100 in November, 2015 for his trip that resulted in damage. He also reimbursed the school for three other trips, all to North Carolina, in 2015 and 2016. In all, the four trips resulted in Leath paying the school $4,637.50.

Reimbursements:

March 25-29, 2015 trip: Leath reimbursed $1,212.50 (invoice sent April 7, Leath paid April 8.)

May 12-17, 2015 trip: Leath reimbursed $1,162.50 (invoice sent Sept. 23, Leath paid Nov. 19.)

July 3-14, 2015 trip: Leath reimbursed $1,100.00 (invoice sent Nov. 18, Leath paid Nov. 19.)

Aug. 26-30, 2016 trip: Leath reimbursed $1,162.50 (invoice sent Sept. 2, Leath paid Sept. 9.)

Leath and his wife own property in Ashe County, North Carolina and his family owns and manages a Christmas tree farm in the county. Prior to becoming president at Iowa State, Leath was vice president for research at the University of North Carolina.

"Keep in mind, none of the trips in question using the Cirrus SR22 were strictly for personal reasons; each of them had university business purposes," McCarroll said. "The president however felt that because some personal time was also involved, he should reimburse the university for the aircraft use."

Iowa State employs three trained pilots who fly two planes owned by the university, but Leath has flown himself for several trips. Along with the Cirrus SR22, Iowa State also owns a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air.

Leath said in a statement to the FAA that he "encountered an extremely strong gust that lifted me and I quickly added power but still dropped hard hitting the right wingtip" and his "left wing flap caught the top of a runway light," according to the Associated Press.

An airport inspection found "substantial damage to both wings," debris on the runway from the broken light and skid marks, according to the AP. 

The trained university pilots were sent to pick up Leath and his wife, Janet, with the school's other airplane after the incident, McCarroll said.

The round trips to pick up Leath and his wife cost more than $2,200 and was paid for by the "Greater University Fund," according to the AP.

The AP reported that the university vice president who oversaw the school's flight program, which would have been Warren Madden, who is now retired, said he was never told about the incident.

Madden told the AP that university policy would bar Leath from personal use of university planes. He also said due to insurance and liability issues, Leath would never fly alone. The AP reporter informed Madden that Leath had flown alone.

McCarroll said he could not answer legal questions about if the trip would have violated rules, but added, "President Leath believes he has acted appropriately."

Iowa State lists a policy online to provide clarification regarding personal use and misuse of university property:

State law, specifically Section 721.2 of the Iowa Code, prohibits any state employee from using, or permitting any other person to use, property owned by the state or any subdivision or agency of the state for any private purpose or for personal gain to the detriment of the state. Violation of this statute is a serious misdemeanor.

While the university said the microburst caused the hard landing, the AP quoted experts that said "the incident appears to be a case of an inexperienced pilot making an error."

McCarroll said Friday he would not comment further about the experts interviewed by the AP, but noted that Leath has been flying for 10 years.

An original release, sent out by the school Friday afternoon, also included a summary of Iowa State's ongoing relationship with the City of Ames and the Iowa State University Flight Service.

Iowa State said they were releasing the information because of comments Leath made at his annual address on Sept. 14 about improvements to the Ames Municipal Airport. Iowa State is planning to cover $250,000 of the $4.15 million project, which includes a new terminal and hangar.

They also said several media inquiries and public records requests had been made. The AP published a story with more details Friday afternoon shortly after the release from Iowa State.

In addition to the release from Iowa State, Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter said in a statement he supports efforts by Iowa State to expand the airport.

"I fully support economic development efforts between our universities and their local communities," Rastetter said. "Partnerships such as the agreement between Iowa State University and the city of Ames on the continued development of the city’s airport are critical to help encourage growth."

Rastetter said he is aware of Leath flying the university-owned plane. Iowa State noted several times in their release that Board of Regents leadership was made aware of the effort to expand the Ames airport and the purchase of planes.

Iowa State also said Friday that the airplanes were not bought with taxpayer money. The Iowa State Foundation purchased a Beechcraft King Air and gifted it to the university. The Cirrus SR22, flown by Leath, was bought with unrestricted private funds managed by the ISU Foundation.

Source:   http://www.iowastatedaily.com