Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mooney 20C, N191AB: Gear up landing

AIRCRAFT:   1963 Mooney 20C, N191AB, Serial No. 2471

ENGINE:  Lycoming O-360-A1A, Serial No. L-26003-36A

PROPELLER:    Destroyed

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

ENGINE:      618.7 TSMOH, Overhaul was completed in 1990


AIRFRAME:     3614              

OTHER EQUIPMENT:     KMA24, MAC1700, KX170B, Narco AT165, ADF


DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    As a result of the gear up landing, damages consist of scraped belly skins, scraped gear doors and antennas have also been damaged.  The is flap hinge damage noted and propeller strike occurred.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:   Lone Star Aviation, 3300 Rickabaugh Dr, Big Springs, TX 79720

REMARKS:   The aircraft has been in storage for about 1 year since this loss. Inspection of aircraft is highly recommended. 

Read more here:

Mooney M20-F, N7786M: Accident occurred August 13, 2014 in Lake Montezuma, Arizona

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA343
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 13, 2014 in Lake Montezuma, AZ
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N7786M
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

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 August 13, 2014, about 0749 mountain standard time, a Mooney M20F airplane, N7786M, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain, following an aborted landing at the Rimrock Airport (48AZ), Lake Montezuma, Arizona. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal cross-country flight, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed; the pilot received minor injuries and the sole passenger received serious injuries. The airplane departed Show Low Regional Airport (KSOW), Show Low, Arizona, bound for Apple Valley, California, about 0630.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 20, the pilot said he had received several weather briefings for the cross-country flight, but the weather was not improving as anticipated. The visibility was above VFR minimums, and the ceiling was greater than 2,000 feet above ground level, but he wanted to land, and get an updated weather briefing. He elected to land at the nearest airport, which was Rimrock Airport. He said he had not landed there previously, and did not know the runway was downhill. It had rained earlier, the runway was wet, and when he applied the brakes the airplane started to skid. He decided to abort the landing, but did not get the flaps up before the airplane sank off the elevated end of the runway and impacted terrain. 

The pilot said there were no mechanical issues with the airplane prior to the accident. The airplane sustained structural damage to the wings and fuselage.

AIRCRAFT:   1974 Mooney M20-F, N7786M, Serial No. 22-0034

ENGINE – Lycoming IO-360A1A, Serial No. L-12382-51A

PROPELLER – Destroyed

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

ENGINE:   531.9 TSMOH, Overhaul was completed in 2007


AIRFRAME:        4632.7               

OTHER EQUIPMENT:      FMS 5000, KT76A, (2) KX170B See photos.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  During a go-around procedure the aircraft crashed off the end of the runway.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Severe damages to wings, engine and fuselage. See Photos.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:      Air Transport: 3011 W Buckeye Road, Phoenix, AZ 85009

REMARKS:   The aircraft has been in storage for over 2 years since this loss. Inspection of aircraft is highly recommended. 

Read more here:

Goodyear christens new blimp, Wingfoot Two

  Senior Pilot for Goodyear Airships, James Kosmos, sits in the cockpit of Wingfoot Two at the company's blimp base in Mogadore on Thursday. 

AKRON - The newest blimp of Goodyear’s fleet was christened by NBA superstar LeBron James’ wife, Savanah, at the company’s air dock near Akron on Friday.

She broke a bottle of champagne over the bow of the 12-person gondola. Wingfoot Two, a 246-foot-long airship, was constructed in Ohio with technicians from Goodyear and Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin.

However, bad weather grounded the blimp from flying on its christening day.

James Kosmos, senior pilot for the company, said he was excited to be flying the new blimp that was unofficially unveiled in April. During a press event on Thursday, Kosmos gave News Journal Media a tour of the high-tech cockpit.

It’s a lot more maneuverable, quieter and faster than the old one, he said, remarking that he’ll be able to hover and even go backward thanks to two rotating side engines. The new engines also help increase the top speed of the airship from 50 mph to 73 mph.

There are more digital components and controls in the cockpit, which allows pilots to fly with electronic controls, instead of relying on levers and wheels linked mechanically to different apparatuses.

“The old airship was more physically challenging to fly,” Kosmos said. “While the new airship is more mentally challenging to fly.”

Flying the blimp is different from an airplane, Kosmos said. While an airplane will turn left if you move the control wheel left, it’s a bit different for the lumbering blimp.

“It’s more of a dance, based on winds and the angle that the sun is hitting you. It’s actually closer to flying a big sailboat.”

As large as Wingfoot Two is, he said, the airship goes too slow for turbulence, creating a nice smooth ride.

The new Wingfoot Two will be based in Carson, Calif.

The components for another new airship have arrived at the Akron Goodyear Airdock, and are ready for assembly. The next new blimp is expected to be completed in Spring 2017.

Story and video:

Is Hollister’s hovering aircraft Google co-founder’s flying car?

Even from a few hundred yards away, the aircraft made a noise strikingly different from the roar of a typical plane.

“It sounded like an electric motor running, just a high-pitched whine,” said Steve Eggleston, assistant manager at an airplane-parts company with offices bordering the Hollister Municipal Airport tarmac.

But it wasn’t only the sound that caught the attention of Eggleston and his co-workers at DK Turbines. It was what the aircraft was doing.

“What the heck’s that?” saleswoman Brittany Rodriguez thought to herself. “It’s just hovering.”

That, apparently, was a flying car, or perhaps a prototype of another sort of aircraft under development by a mysterious startup called Zee.Aero. The company, one of two reportedly funded by Google co-founder Larry Page to develop revolutionary forms of transportation, has set up shop in rural Hollister, far from its Mountain View headquarters and the prying eyes of tech-obsessed Silicon Valley.

The secretive company, in its quest for privacy, has found allies in the small San Benito County town.

“Can I help you?” a woman from the airport’s administration office said, after popping out to investigate when a reporter and photographer came looking for staff at the Zee.Aero building next door. “They’re not here,” she said curtly. Asked when they were typically around, she snapped, “That’s private.”

In Hollister, population 40,000, the first rule about Zee.Aero is you don’t talk about Zee.Aero.

“It was known they wanted their privacy,” said Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, who declined to provide much information about Zee.Aero and its plans. “I just believe in people’s privacy.”

For a while, staff at one airport business said, a guard was posted outside the Zee.Aero building, telling people who approached too closely to back off. When Eggleston first attempted to take photos of the aircraft being towed, its handlers took action, he said.

“They pulled a truck right in front of me,” Eggleston said.

The company has issued no public statements about its work. Bloomberg in June reported that Page had invested more than $100 million in the startup but had tried to keep his involvement secret. Zee.Aero’s sparse website refers to “a revolutionary new form of transportation.” In a May letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the firm said it was building “an entirely new aircraft that will change personal aviation.”

A Zee.Aero spokeswoman said the firm is “currently not discussing (its) plans publicly.”

However, a Zee.Aero patent issued in 2013 describes in some detail an aircraft capable of the hovering seen by people working at the airport. And the drawings showcase a vision of the future in which flying cars park in lots just like their terrestrial, less-evolved cousins.

With traffic congestion costing the U.S. economy more than $120 billion annually and Americans collectively spending 8 billion hours a year stuck in traffic, according to transportation research firm Inrix, lifting off and cruising above snarled roadways has considerable appeal.

Zee.Aero envisions our means of escape from the bounds of gravity as “safe, quiet, and efficient, as well as easy to control, (and) highly compact,” according to the patent submission from Ilan Kroo, a Stanford University professor of aeronautics and Zee.Aero’s founding CEO and principal scientist. Kroo brought in more than 100 aerospace engineers to work on the flying cars, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The patent depicts a car-sized aircraft, wings at the nose and tail, and along the top eight propellers, driven by eight motors, for vertical lift. Two other propellers on the rear wing would provide forward thrust. The aircraft seen at the Hollister airport appears to showcase a change in design but retains some features described and shown in the patent.

Last week, an aircraft was spotted being towed down the runway on two consecutive days, although no hovering or flying was observed by witnesses. Dual propellers in the rear fit with the description and drawings from the patent, but the aircraft appeared to have a single main wing, with pod-like structures beneath it, rather than the smaller wings at the front and rear shown in the drawings. The means for vertical takeoff were not visible from a distance, but Eggleston and his colleagues said this was the same craft they’d seen hovering.

In May, the city of Hollister approved a 34-year lease with Zee.Aero for just under an acre of land near the intersection of the municipal airport’s two landing strips. According to city documents, the company plans to build a 14,000-square-foot hangar and office building, plus nearly 10,000 square feet of employee parking and 16,000 square feet of paved area for aircraft parking and movement.

During both Zee.Aero flights witnessed by DK Turbines staff from several hundred yards away in September and October, the aircraft hovered about 25 feet off the ground, and landed rapidly, straight down, according to the witnesses.  “My initial thought was it was some kind of experiment,” said Saul Gomez, who works in inventory and sales, and described the hovering craft as white, slightly smaller than a Cessna and “like something out of a movie.”

Zee.Aero has built nine aircraft and registered them with the Federal Aviation Administration, according to FAA records. Two are electric-powered gliders. Two are piston-powered, fixed-wing, kit-built planes. The five remaining most closely match Zee.Aero’s patent for a “personal aircraft” with multiple motors — two of them are eight-motor “rotorcraft” and three are dual-motor, fixed-wing aircraft. But these aircraft are in fact electric-powered drones weighing 55 pounds or less and may be the company’s reported prototypes.

Hollister Councilman Victor Gomez, who commutes to work in the Bay Area, would like to see Zee.Aero succeed.

“Oh, man, how much I would love to find another route other than Highway 101 to get to work,” Gomez said. “It’s exciting to see something that’s so innovative. I’m thrilled about the concept. It is something to be expected from Larry Page and people in that area.”

Story and video:

Pioneer 200 Sparrow; N68AA: While taxiing, the throttle was advised in error causing the aircraft to strike a trailer and a hangar

AIRCRAFT:   2003 Pioneer 200 Sparrow; N68AA S/N: NC27

ENGINE: Jabiru 2200; S/N 22A1241

Propeller Type: GT-2/157/VZZ-10: Hub Model: 101

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated Times from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:       TT: 420

Propeller:       TT:   420



DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  While taxiing, the throttle was advised in error causing the aircraft to strike a trailer and a hangar. 

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Prop, wings, engine.        

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:   Lake Chelan Airport, WA (S10).

REMARKS:  Wings have been removed for storage and shipment.

Read more here:

Great Lakes Airlines offers growth

Boone County Airport manager Judy McCutcheon introduces (from left) John Freeman and Charles Howell with Great Lakes Airlines prior to their proposal to provide essential air service at the Boone County Airport. 

Great Lakes Airlines wants to offer essential air service out of the Boone County Airport, and a representative Friday stressed the company’s connections with larger airlines and a strong argument.

Great Lakes president Charles Howell also told airport board members Friday that the company would fly to Dallas/Fort Worth twice a day and Memphis once, but it might be possible to make two round trips to Memphis and one to DFW each day.

SeaPort Airlines’ sudden Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September left the Boone County Airport without an EAS provider. The Department of Transportation requested proposals from interested providers, but said there would be no federal subsidies for flights to Memphis, which is not considered a medium or large airport hub.

Airport officials have wanted to protect those Memphis flights for FedEx employees and it’s been a big part of discussion with all seven airlines who have made proposals.

Howell said Great Lakes was founded in Iowa about 35 years ago. It flies the twin-engine, turbo-prop 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 aircraft, but with 10 seats removed to avoid requirements that would force Boone County to establish Traffic Safety Administration security and additional fire and crash protection. It’s pressurized to fly at higher altitudes.

He did say the company had filed for an exemption through the Federal Aeronautics Administration to fly a 19-seat aircraft without TSA requirements, but he wasn’t sure if or when the FAA might grant that exemption.

Howell said he had no preconceived notions going into the presentation Friday and was there largely to listen to what local officials need, but he stressed Great Lakes’ interline connections with American Airlines, Delta and United.

Because of those interline agreements, a passenger could book a flight from Harrison to Los Angeles or other major destination through the airlines’ websites.

The airline would list the flight from Harrison to DFW with Great Lakes as basically a taxi service, but the flight from DFW to Los Angeles with the major airline. Harrison doesn’t have TSA, so passengers would still have to go through security at DFW and the major airline flight would actually be a separate ticket.

But it would put Harrison on the major airlines’ maps with Great Lakes as the regional carrier, which would allow people to book other flights as Harrison would already be recognized as an airport of choice. People interested in economic development could also book flights into Harrison.

Fares, Howell said, had been bookmarked at about $99 one way, but those prices could change.

EAS flights are federally subsidized to lower cost for consumers, but Howell said use of those subsidies could be a two-edged sword.

For instance, the cap on subsidies for Harrison is $1,000. A lower fare means the airline is using more of those federal dollars. Howell said that if the airport falls below 5,000 boardings a year, the Department of Transportation could target Harrison and cancel its essential air service.

When asked about flights to Memphis and DFW, Howell said the numbers are negotiable.

For instance, he maintained the Great Lakes would be paid for three round-trip flights each week, so two each day could go to DFW and one to Memphis. However, he said the company could change that to one flight to DFW and two to Memphis.

A previous airline making a proposal said that company had to get special permission from the DOT in order to make one round-trip flight to Memphis each day, but the DOT wouldn’t allow more.

Howell told board members Friday that Great Lakes would be happy to provide simple essential air service, but there is potential to do much more if the airport and community want to expand services.

“We think we’re the right people, especially if you want to grow the market,” Howell said.

Airport board member Dr. Lynn Keener said officials want input from the public regarding where they would like to see an EAS airline fly and whether they would be flying for business or personal reasons. Anyone with input is invited to email McCutcheon at

EDITOR’S NOTE: The proposal Friday was the last of seven from airlines. The Boone County Airport Board is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Monday to pick an airline to recommend the DOT as the choice for essential air service.


Inyokern air service not expected until spring

INYOKERN — It may be spring of 2017 before Mokulele Airlines begins offering service from Inyokern Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. Airport General Manager Scott Seymour reported on the progress during a special meeting of the Indian Wells Valley Airport District Board of Directors Friday.

“I received word late yesterday that the airline is looking at a mid-February to early March start date,” said Seymour. “We’ll negotiate a fare structure with them and a flight schedule … hopefully that will all go well and we’ll have an airline in here by March.”

One of the delays has to do with the need for passenger screening by Transportation Security Administration.

“TSA is waiting for us to hand in the new airport security program, which we finished on Monday,” said Seymour. TSA will then need up to 90 days to review and verify the information.

Seymour said he has had three meetings with TSA since the last board meeting and things appear to be going well. “There’s been absolutely no push back at all,” he said.

Hawaii-based Mokulele began offering service to LAX from Imperial/El Centro Airport earlier this year and on Oct. 10 expanded into Santa Maria. A planned expansion into the Carlsbad market has been delayed, according to Seymour.

“There seems to be an extraordinary amount of interest (among the public) in this,” said board President Paul Valovich. “I wish they’d start earlier than March, but it is what it is. I’d rather do it right than fast.”

The Business Development Committee of the board is scheduled to meet with Mokulele representatives in November to discuss more details, according to Valovich.

In related news, Seymour told the board that airport Assistant Manager Nicole Hale will be taking on additional duties as airport security coordinator.

In other business, Seymour reported four days of filming for a Nissan commercial in September.

“We did quite well,” he said. “We made $32,500 and the city also got a lot of TOT tax, the first part of the shoot there were 160 people here. Every hotel was pretty booked.”

He added that a planned gate improvement project is scheduled to start Oct. 31. Seymour also reported that a structural engineer has taken a look at the big hangar at the airport and is preparing a report for board review at a later date.

Following the special meeting, a closed session was held regarding property negotiations with an unidentified potential tenant. There was no reportable action following the closed session.


Ex-mayoral candidate Katz caught carrying marijuana at Philadelphia International Airport

Sam Katz, the documentary filmmaker and three-time mayoral candidate, was found to be carrying marijuana Thursday morning at Philadelphia International Airport while preparing to depart for a weekend fishing trip in Florida.

Authorities found a small amount of the drug before Katz boarded his flight, Philadelphia police spokesman Jeff Chrusch said. Because marijuana was decriminalized in the city two years ago - which pot activists were celebrating Thursday on the Ben Franklin Parkway - Katz was given a citation and allowed to leave, Chrusch said.

Katz, 66, said Thursday afternoon that he had not smoked marijuana in years, but thought a fishing trip with a friend on the west coast of Florida was a suitable environment to try again. He put a small amount in his suitcase, he said, which Transportation Security Administration officers found as he tried to get through security.

The pot was seized, and he was given a $25 ticket, Katz said. Had he been caught with it in Florida, he could have faced up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine under that state's laws.

Katz missed his flight and had to make alternate travel arrangements. He also was not terribly excited to explain the incident to his family.

"This will not go down as one of the smart moves I've made," said Katz, who ran for mayor in 1991, 1999, and 2003.

He now runs History Making Productions, which has produced regionally focused documentaries including Philadelphia: The Great Experiment and Philadelphia Welcomes Pope Francis, which chronicles the pontiff's visit to the city last year.

Chrusch said that it was unclear how much marijuana Katz was carrying, but that the citation indicated it was less than 30 grams.

Katz said the amount was small enough that it probably would not have lasted through the weekend. Now, he said, he will just have to fish with a different substance of choice.

"I am going to smoke," he said. "It's just going to be cigars."