Friday, October 14, 2016

Klapmeier-led aviation company in line to get Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board loan

Alan Klapmeier, then president and CEO of Kestrel Aircraft, stands in March 2013 with a mockup of the aircraft in a hangar at the Bong Airport in Superior. 


A fledgling aircraft parts manufacturing company promising to establish a facility at the Grand Rapids airport is in line for a $1.5 million loan from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.

IRRRB staff members have asked the agency’s board to approve the loan to Albuquerque, N.M.-based ACC Manufacturing Inc., which makes composite parts for its parent company, One Aviation.

The board, which will meet Monday in Eveleth, also is being asked to approve another $293,000 to the Grand Rapids Economic Development Authority for improvements at the ACC site.

The money will buy an existing hangar at the airport to house about 20 employees of ACC, said state Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township, who is IRRRB board chairman.

The company eventually would relocate to a larger facility at the airport as part of a $9 million project.

One Aviation is the parent company producing the Eclipse jet and also hoping to produce the Kestrel turboprop aircraft. It’s headed by Alan Klapmeier, the former Duluth aviation executive who co-founded Cirrus Aircraft.

“We’re hoping this will be Phase One of a much larger project that will lead to the manufacture of the entire airplane in Grand Rapids,” Anzelc said.

The parts made in Grand Rapids would be used in the Eclipse jet, which is already in production in New Mexico, said Mark Phillips, IRRRB director. But Phillips agreed that the long-term goal is to see One Aviation build its Kestrel plant at Grand Rapids as well.

“This is a specific, standalone deal to supply the Eclipse,” Phillips said. “No one is hiding the fact we’d like to someday see them build the Kestrel on the Iron Range. But this project isn’t tied to that.”

Klapmeier originally planned to build the Kestrel in Brunswick, Maine, where the company now has a parts facility. The company then joined with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2012 to announce the Kestrel would be built in Superior. State and local agencies pledged some $100 million in loans, grants, tax breaks and tax credits. The company said it would create up to 600 jobs at the plant in Superior’s industrial park, with Walker celebrating the project as part of his effort to create jobs in the state.

But Klapmeier said that while Kestrel remains based in Superior, the state of Wisconsin never came through with the package of incentives promised and has muddied the project for more than four years.

“Superior has been great to work with. It’s still a great community for this project. There is still some hope it could happen in Wisconsin. It’s a small possibility it could still be Superior. But the state just hasn't been there for us,” Klapmeier told the News Tribune on Thursday.

State officials, for their part, told Wisconsin Public Radio last year that Kestrel faced challenges raising money and meeting requirements to receive financing under federal programs.

The company has about 25 employees in Superior. The company also had been using some leased warehouse space from Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth but recently lost that space.

“It’s that work and some additional work that’s moving to Grand Rapids. We lost our lease and had to find more space,” Klapmeier said.

Until now, many of the composite parts for the Eclipse have been made by subcontractors in far-flung locations. Klapmeier said he wants to bring that work into the company and into the Northland.

“I think it’s better business sense for us to make our own composite parts. And I think northern Minnesota is the right place for workforce compatibility, workforce productivity. ... We know Minnesota. This is where we live,” said Klapmeier, who has a home outside Cloquet and a cabin outside Iron River.

Klapmeier said he wants to have private financing lined up for Kestrel before deciding on a location for the plane’s production plant. In the meantime, he said One Aviation is focused on bringing Eclipse and a second-generation Eclipse jet to full production and market before refocusing on Kestrel.

Anzelc said the Grand Rapids project has been well-vetted, noting Klapmeier began meeting with Iron Range officials more than a year ago at the Capitol in St. Paul.

“It’s a very complex project. It’s not fully an IRRRB deal. Grand Rapids is taking the lead and we are essentially helping them out. We’re a partner. There will be other partners,” Anzelc said. “This has been a slow, deliberate process. It’s been a long time unfolding.”

In addition to Klapmeier as CEO, One Aviation lists Ken Ross as president, Ed Underwood as CFO and Steve Serfling, a Deer River native, as executive vice president.

The Eclipse 500 is a small six-seat business jet in the works since the mid-2000s. The Albuquerque-based company started fast but entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2008 and was liquidated in 2009 before being reformed as Eclipse Aerospace, which merged with Klapmeier’s Kestrel Aircraft to form One Aviation in April 2015.

The Kestrel 350 is an all-composite, single-engine turboprop aircraft in the works for several years. It is planned to carry up to eight people at high speed over long distances and designed to be “far more versatile” than jet aircraft, and “burn less fuel, and be able to maintain approach speeds at large busy airports yet land on short, grass or gravel strips,” according to the company’s website.

The Kestrel plane doesn't yet have Federal Aviation Administration certification to begin production or sales.

Klapmeier has had an ongoing feud with Duluth-based Cirrus, which he co-founded with his brother, Dale, since leaving the company in 2009; a legal dispute about expenses stemming from a lawsuit filed against Cirrus and initially won by Klapmeier — but then overturned on appeal — is now being decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Source:  http://www.superiortelegram.com

Records: Iowa State University president got plane ride to Des Moines airport

AMES, Iowa —Iowa State University President Steven Leath was flown in a school airplane to the Des Moines airport at least once to catch a commercial flight.

Records show university pilots flew Leath and his wife from Ames to Des Moines on Feb. 17. The 84-mile roundtrip was billed to private donations for $380.

University officials claimed the 18-minute flight for the Leaths didn't cost extra because the plane was already going to Des Moines for maintenance.

However, ISU flight services manager Dave Hurst said the work wasn't performed that day because Elliott Aviation didn't have the equipment or personnel available.

Still, he said the record was incorrect and the trip shouldn't have been billed as a passenger flight even though the Leaths were aboard. They flew commercial to visit a donor.

Iowa State University has compiled a list of 25 commonly asked questions regarding the plane controversy. The list of questions and answers can be found here.

Source:  http://www.kcci.com

Incident occurred October 07, 2016 at Niagara Central Dorothy Rungeling Airport (CNQ3), Welland, Ontario



Damages to two aircraft that collided last Thursday at the Dorothy Rungeling Airport in Welland could approach $1 million, according to a federal investigator.

“We are trying to get to the bottom of why exactly that happened,” said Peter Rowntree, a senior regional investigator with the Transportation and Safety Board of Canada.

“We have the radio out of one of the aircraft and we are going to have it tested to see if it is working properly and see where we are going from there,” Rowntree said.

Rowntree estimated damage to one of the planes, a Pilatus PC-12, could be between $500,000 and $1 million. He said the second plane, an ultralight, is a write-off.

On Oct. 6 two planes collided while taxiing. The pilot of the ultralight plane was taken to hospital with minor injuries. The pilot and four passengers of the second plane were not hurt.

The Transportation Safety Board isn’t conducting a full investigation, but are looking into why the crash occurred. Rowntree said once they know what the cause is, investigators will decide if there is need for a more in-depth investigation for safety purposes.

The Dorothy Rungeling Airport is considered an uncontrolled airport, so all communication over the radio is not recorded. Rowntree said they wont be able to check if the landing and take off were communicated via the radio before the crash occurred.

“There is no tower there, they are on a unicom, so basically everyone should be on the same frequency when they are at the airport. It is their responsibility to know what they are doing and what their intent is.”

He said investigators are asking for people who were listening to the airport frequency at about 2 p.m. last Thursday to come forward with information. Witnesses can call the airport at (905) 714-1000.

Rowntree said it’s hard to predict how long the investigation will take.

If one of the pilots is found to be at fault, Rowntree said the Transportation Safety Board does not take disciplinary action. The Transportation Safety Board doesn’t determine any civil or criminal liability. Rowntree said they focus on how to better safety procedures and ensure better safety practices in the future.

“It would be up to transport Canada that if they were interested in this occurrence it would be up to them to investigate the circumstances of the accident,” Rowntree said about whether there could be a police investigation.

Source:  http://www.wellandtribune.ca

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N429ES: Incident occurred May 11, 2018 and Accident occurred October 05, 2016 at John Rodgers Field (PHJR), Kapolei, Hawaii

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

Aircraft landed hard with a prop strike.

Barbers Point Flight School LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N429ES

Date: 11-MAY-18
Time: 17:45:00Z
Regis#: N429ES
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: KAPOLEI
State: HAWAII

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

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 Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Kapolei, HI
Accident Number: GAA17CA025
Date & Time: 10/05/2016, 1200 HDT
Registration: N429ES
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The pilot reported that during the landing flare he pitched up "higher than what is normal" and the airplane bounced three times during the touchdown. The pilot further reported that he was able to taxi the airplane to the ramp, but he noticed the nose wheel was flat.

During a 100-hour maintenance inspection conducted a week later, it was revealed that the firewall sustained substantial damage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 
The pilot's use of an excessive pitch attitude during the landing flare, which resulted in a bounced landing.

Findings

Aircraft
Pitch control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Hard landing (Defining event) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age:40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/30/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/31/2015
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2034 hours (Total, all aircraft), 39 hours (Total, this make and model), 1302 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 47 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N429ES
Model/Series: 172 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1997
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17280296
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/12/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: IO-360 SER
Registered Owner: BARBERS POINT FLIGHT SCHOOL LLC
Rated Power: hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PHNL, 7 ft msl
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 81°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3300 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 22°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LIHUE, HI (LIH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Kapolei, HI (JRF)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1100 HDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: KALAELOA (JOHN RODGERS FIELD) (JRF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 30 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 200 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None

Latitude, Longitude:  21.302778, -158.078611 (est)

Cessna 210-5 (205), Wings Over The Wasatch, N1809Z: Incidents occurred October 13, 2016 (and) May 14, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah

WINGS OVER THE WASATCH:   http://registry.faa.gov/N1809Z

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, WINGTIP AND PROP STRUCK THE RUNWAY, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.

Date: 13-OCT-16
Time: 16:57:00Z
Regis#: N1809Z
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 210
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SALT LAKE CITY
State: Utah

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING STRUCK THE PROP AND WING, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Salt Lake City FSDO-07


Date: 14-MAY-16
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N1809Z
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 205
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SALT LAKE CITY
State: Utah

Piper PA-18A Super Cub, N2791P: Accident occurred April 07, 2020 on Powell Glacier, Alaska; accident occurred October 13, 2016 in Palmer, Alaska and accident occurred December 21, 2015 in Girdwood, Alaska

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

April 07, 2020: Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on Powell Glacier.


https://registry.faa.gov/N2791P


Date: 07-APR-20

Time: 20:39:00Z
Regis#: N2791P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: MATANUSKA
State: ALASKA


October 13, 2016


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

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


Location: Palmer, AK
Accident Number: GAA17CA027
Date & Time: 10/13/2016, 1645 AKD
Registration: N2791P
Aircraft: PIPER PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that while braking during the landing roll on a gravel airstrip the right main tire encountered a ground depression. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over and sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut and vertical stabilizer.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The airplane's encounter with a depression while the pilot applied excessive braking during the landing roll on a grass airstrip, which resulted in a nose-over.

Findings

Aircraft
Brake - Incorrect use/operation (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Soft surface - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Nose over/nose down (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 36, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/26/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 276.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 219.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 276.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N2791P
Model/Series: PA18 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1955
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-4426
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/13/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3409.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAAQ, 230 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 310°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.33 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: GIRDWOOD, AK (AQY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:Palmer, AK 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1530 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 61.401111, -148.600556 (est)


View of damage to right wing.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of damage to right aileron.
Federal Aviation Administration



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


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

Location: Girdwood, AK
Accident Number: GAA16CA102
Date & Time: 12/21/2015, 1400 AKS
Registration: N2791P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel contamination
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis

According to the pilot, the airplane departed the runway and climbed to 3000 feet above ground level. She reported that while maneuvering, the airplane lost engine power. After several attempts to restart the engine, the pilot made a forced landing on a highway bridge. She reported that during the landing roll, the airplane's right wing struck a sign that was affixed to the bridge.

According to the pilot, at the time of the accident, there were twenty gallons of fuel on board the airplane. She reported that the airframe and power plant mechanic removed approximately two cups of water from the fuel tanks after the accident in preparation for the airplane's recovery. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar and aileron.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Fuel contamination resulting in the loss of engine power, a forced landing on a highway, and subsequent right wing impact with highway signage. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid condition (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Knowledge of equipment - Pilot

Environmental issues
Low temperature - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering
Fuel contamination (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 35, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/26/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2015
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 263.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 206.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 263.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N2791P
Model/Series: PA-18A-105 SPECIAL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-4426
Landing Gear Type: Ski/wheel; Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/06/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1499 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3396.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: OKONEK KELLIE L
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: OKONEK KELLIE L
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ANC, 150 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 210°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -10°C / -12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation; Moderate - In the Vicinity - Fog
Departure Point: GIRDWOOD, AK (AQY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: GIRDWOOD, AK (AQY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1345 AKS
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: GIRDWOOD (AQY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Snow
Airport Elevation: 150 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Snow
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 60.940000, -149.150000 (est)

Out with the Old; Martha's Vineyard Airport Celebrates Rescue Building Demolition

Airport manager Ann Crook takes a whack at World War II-era rescue building. 


Demolition will make way for new $10.5 million to house fire trucks, rescue equipment, and office. 

Airport commission chairman Myron Garfinkle. 


Swinging gold sledge hammers, members of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission took a symbolic whack at the airport rescue and fire fighting building Friday morning, marking the beginning of construction to replace the World War II-era structure.

A few moments later, an excavator moved in to start the job in earnest. The demolition makes way for a new building that will house fire trucks and snow removal equipment, offices, and staff quarters.

Commission vice-chairman Robert Rosenbaum said when he was appointed in 2015, he was “horrified” at the status of the project four years after the Federal Aviation Administration awarded a grant to replace the building.

“It was 30 per cent complete and the cost was twice the allotted budget,” Mr. Rosenbaum recalled. He said FAA administrators were also angry when they learned the status. “The project was within a hair’s breadth of being cancelled entirely.”

The project is now back on track, with a project cost of $10.5 million. The FAA has committed $7.4 million for the building, which is required under federal law.

The airport has set aside $1.6 million of its own funds for design and construction, and is working to find state or other sources of funding for the remaining $1.5 million to complete the project.

The new building is scheduled to be reviewed next month by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission as a development of regional impact.

The Island’s only commercial airport is expecting modest growth in the coming years, according to an airport master plan discussed at the commission’s monthly meeting on Thursday. Members reviewed a summary of the plan, which includes growth projections, capital improvements, and an extensive assessment of airport buildings and equipment.

Projections call for an increase of about 2,000 airport operations (defined as a landing or takeoff) by 2034. In 2014, the airport recorded approximately 42,000 operations.

The number of aircraft based at the airport is expected to increase from 77 in 2014 to 112 in 2034.

The airport master plant conflicts with FAA projections, which predict no substantial growth over the next 20 years, according to the consultant who presented the plan summary.

The plan lists capital improvements at a cost of $27.1 million over the next 18 years. The commission expects $24.8 million of that cost to be funded by the FAA, with $1.4 million contributed by the airport, and the rest from state funds and other sources.

Among the projects slated for 2017 are painting new taxiway lines and reconstructing runway shoulders. In 2018, the runways are slated for reconstruction and repaving.

Some of the projects may not be funded as needs evolve over the next two decades, but they must be listed in the master plan in order to be eligible for FAA grants, according to airport manager Ann Crook.

Source:   https://vineyardgazette.com

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, Westmoreland Aviation, N9097U: Accident occurred October 14, 2016 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (KLBE), Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

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

Westmoreland Aviation Holding Co., Inc:  http://registry.faa.gov/N9097U

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Allegheny, Pennsylvania


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

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA026
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 14, 2016 in Latrobe, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N9097U
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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, while on right downwind and after being cleared for a touch-and-go landing, the tower controller instructed him to make a short approach. The pilot further reported that, during approach, the airplane was to the left of the runway, so he attempted to correct to the right, and “believe[s] that…[he] had applied full right rudder.” Subsequently, the right wing impacted the ground and the airplane cart-wheeled. The right wing separated from the fuselage. 

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

The pilot reported as a safety recommendation that the accident could have been prevented if he had executed a go-around. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s unstabilized approach, which resulted in the airplane’s wing striking the ground while the pilot was maneuvering to realign with the runway.

The pilot reported that while on right downwind and after being cleared for a touch-and-go landing, the tower instructed him to make a short approach. The pilot further reported that during approach the airplane was to the left of the runway, he attempted to correct to the right, and "believe ['s] that I[he] had applied full right rudder." Subsequently the right wing impacted the ground and the airplane cart-wheeled. The right wing separated from the fuselage.

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

The pilot reported as a safety recommendation that the accident could have been prevented if he had executed a go-around.

Doug Splitstone was injured when his plane crashed at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.





A pilot was injured Friday morning when the single-engine plane he was flying crashed on landing at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, according to Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority.

The 10:30 a.m. crash during a routine flight tore away one wing of the small aircraft flown by Doug Splitstone, Monzo said. The pilot's address was not available.

Splitstone is expected to fully recover from a head laceration, according to a statement from Westmoreland Aviation, which owns the plane that Splitstone was flying. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for evaluation; a hospital spokeswoman said he was not a patient there Friday afternoon.

Splitstone is a certified private pilot with significant experience and a good safety record who regularly flies out of the Unity airport, the co-owners of Westmoreland Aviation, J.T. Spangler and David Castaldo, said in the statement. He is a member of the Aviators Flying Club, Spangler said.

“We don't know yet exactly what happened, but we are cooperating fully with the (Federal Aviation Administration) and (National Transportation Safety Board) as they investigate,” the owners said in the statement.

The Piper Warrior, which is available for use by club members, was severely damaged when it landed in the airport's infield between the runway and the taxiway, Monzo said. The wreckage was cleared in about 90 minutes and the airstrip reopened just before noon, he said.

Regular training helped with the quick turnaround to get the airport running again, Monzo said. An incoming Spirit Airlines flight was diverted to Cleveland but landed at the Westmoreland County airport at about 1 p.m., he said.

“We train with the local fire departments ... about how to handle situations like that,” Monzo said. “The guys are fantastic, they do a wonderful job.”

Airport fire Chief Moe Haas said training preparations served them well.

“The response went good. All our outside agencies work well together,” he said.

Every three years, they are required to perform a disaster drill to test the area's emergency response. The next drill is scheduled in May, Haas said.

Westmoreland Aviation is a club and flight school operated by Westmoreland Aviation Holding Co. of Murrysville. After an increase in demand for flight instruction since the group took over the business from Fly Wright Center in 2009, the company purchased the hangar space it had been leasing and expanded into another building.

Source:   http://triblive.com



LATROBE (KDKA) – One man was injured when a small plane crashed at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Friday morning.

According to emergency dispatchers, a Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II plane crashed shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Doug Splitstone was the only person on board at the time of the crash. They were flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, but their condition is unknown. However, his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

According to the FAA, Splitstone was doing practice maneuvers when the plane rolled off the runway and flipped.  As a result, one of the plane’s wings was torn off.

The plane is owned by Westmoreland Aviation Holding Company.

So far, one Spirit Airlines flight has been diverted to Cleveland.

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


UNITY TOWNSHIP, Pa. —The pilot of a small plane was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital after crashing at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport on Friday morning.

Doug Splitstone was the only person aboard the Piper Warrior when it crashed at about 10:30 a.m., said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority. Splitstone was talking and alert after the crash.

The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA spokesman Jim Peters said the plane was doing practice maneuvers when it flipped over into a grassy infield.

Splitstone is a member of the Westmoreland Aviation flying club. His son, who also flies, said Splitstone has had a pilot's license for years.

"He does like to fly. I knew that. He, on occasion, he requests that I go up with him. I never do because I'm nervous about one-engine aircrafts," neighbor Bob Gaydos said. "I'm glad to hear he's in reasonably good shape, we think."

Splitstone's son said that initial tests showed no damage to his father's organs, but that they were awaiting more information.

A Spirit Airlines flight bound for Latrobe was diverted to Cleveland because of the accident.

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



LATROBE, Pa. - One person was injured when a small plane crashed Friday morning at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport near Latrobe.

Emergency officials told Channel 11 News that the single-engine Piper Cherokee, owned by Westmoreland Aviation, crashed as it was landing at about 10:30 a.m.

Officials said the pilot, Doug Splitstone, suffered moderate injuries. Splitstone was taken by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital, said Gabe Munzo, a spokesperson with the airport. He was the only person on board, and officials said he was alert and conscious as he was flown to the hospital. 

The cause of the crash was not known as of Friday afternoon, but officials said weather is not believed to have been a factor. Airport officials said pretty much anything could have caused the crash. 

"All kinds of things could happen. You try to prepare for anything," Munzo said. 

Officials said Splitstone, of Murrysville, has been a pilot for six years and is part of Westmoreland Aviation.  He is a pilot who is recognized highly by the FAA, which means he met or exceeded the high educational and licensing standards established by the administration.

The front of the plane was heavily damaged, as was the landing gear, and the right wing fell off during the crash. 

One Spirit Airlines flight was diverted to Cleveland as a result of the crash. The airport reopened shortly before noon.

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