Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grumman American AA-1C, N9556U: Accident occurred November 10, 2016 in Hemet, Riverside County, California

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9556U

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Riverside FSDO-21

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

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Hemet, CA
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA 1C, registration: N9556U
Injuries: 2 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 November 10, 2016, about 1135 Pacific standard time, a Grumman American AA-1C airplane, N9556U, experienced a complete loss of engine power and landed on a field east of Hemet, California. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were uninjured; the airplane sustained substantial damage throughout. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT), Hemet, at 1043.


The pilot reported that after takeoff he climbed to 5,000 feet when the engine lost partial power. The pilot switched fuel tanks and the engine operated normally. He continued the local flight and climbed to about 8,000 feet. While cruising, the engine suddenly lost complete power. The pilot attempted to restart the engine multiple times, however, to no avail. He landed the airplane uneventfully onto a nearby field; the airplane rolled along the rocky field and nosed over coming to rest inverted.




SOBOBA – At least two people were injured after a small plane crashed into a ravine off of Indian Truck Trail, southeast of Soboba Road Thursday morning, Nov. 10. The plane came to rest upside down at the end of a residence east of the Soboba Sports Complex, where Soboba Road comes to a dead-end at the dirt extension of Indian Creek Road.

The air emergency was reported to emergency dispatchers at 10:44 a.m. By 11:30 a.m., firefighters and other emergency first responders had extricated two victims from the wrecked aircraft and they were being transported by ground ambulances to local area hospitals. No information regarding the victim’s medical status had been provided.

The plane, a white and red, single-engine 1977 Grumman AA1, is registered to an Idyllwild area resident with an Idyllwild P.O. box listed.

The wrecked plane reportedly ran out of gas and attempted to make an emergency landing on or near the reservation, according to a CHP incident log. Other reports indicated the plane had possibly lost power. While landing, the plane flipped over and came to rest on it’s roof.

At least two occupants were inside the plane when it went down. It was not immediately known if there were additional occupants inside the plane.

Riverside Sheriff’s Aviation Unit “Star 9” responded to the area to guide rescuers in to the location the plane had come to rest, which was described as “rugged and inaccessible.”

Hemet/Ryan AirOps are en route to assist with the air emergency and crash investigation.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators have been notified and are also en route to the location to conduct a crash investigation.

Julie Jamison, a Hemet resident, said she heard what sounded like a plane in distress just moments before the plane went down. “I could tell something was wrong with the plane,” Jamison said. “After I stopped hearing the motor struggling, I was waiting to hear a crash.”

It was not immediately known where the plane had departed from or where it was traveling to.

Source:   http://myvalleynews.com




Two people suffered minor injuries during the forced landing of a small airplane on the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Reservation near Hemet on Thursday morning, Nov. 10.

The red and white, single-engine Grumman AA1 lost power about 10:30 a.m., landed in a field and flipped, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot, David F. Pelham, of Idyllwild, said by phone from Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley that the engine cut out when it stopped receiving fuel. Why that happened, he said, is under investigation.

"I'm fine," he said. "They're poking and prodding and testing."

Pelham said his passenger will be OK as well.

Both had to be cut out of the plane, said Deputy Armando Muñoz, a Riverside County sheriff's spokesman. The plane was found in a rocky field to the east of a dry riverbed off Cedar Avenue.

Pelham said his plane is based at Hemet-Ryan Airport. He has been a pilot for 23 years.

Firefighters from the Soboba Department of Public Safety and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department responded to the incident.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Source:   http://www.pe.com

North American Navion, N8849H: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2016 (and) Incident occurred December 12, 2015 at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Warren County, New Jersey

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

Sam Singer: http://registry.faa.gov/N8849H

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA042
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Blairstown, NJ
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN NAVION, registration: N8849H
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 10, 2016, about 0915 eastern standard time, a North American Navion, N8849H, was substantially damaged following a loss of control during engine startup at Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned flight to Capital City Airport (CXY), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a mechanic who witnessed the accident, the pilot/owner last flew the accident airplane in December 2015, when it experienced a gear-up landing at 1N7. The airplane remained at the airport while the mechanic repaired damage from the gear-up landing. The repairs were completed and the airplane was supposed to be ferried to CXY for an annual inspection during the day prior to the accident. A different pilot was going to ferry the airplane, but poor weather postponed the flight. That pilot was not available on the day of the accident and the owner/pilot elected to fly the airplane to CXY himself.

During the morning of the accident, the mechanic taxied the airplane from the hangar to the fuel pump. During which, he performed an engine run-up and did not notice any anomalies with the airplane. The mechanic added that he had performed several run-ups while the airplane was at 1N7 and never experienced any anomalies with the throttle control or brakes. After fueling the airplane and completion of a preflight inspection, the pilot/owner started the engine and it went immediately to full power. The engine remained at full power and the airplane taxied at high speed into a tree.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The inspector noted that the throttle, propeller, and mixture controls were all in the full forward position. The hydraulic and alternate air controls were in the retracted position. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot/owner, age 73, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on January 30, 2016. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 1,445 hours.

The four-seat, low-wing, retractable tricycle-gear airplane, serial number NAV-4-849, was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 285-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed Hartzell propeller. The pilot purchased the airplane in 2009. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2015. At that time, the airframe had accumulated approximately 2,052 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated about 417 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for about 14 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.

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. 

Samuel Singer



Samuel Singer was a decisive man, a quality a former colleague said served him well in the business world.

So how the 73-year-old pilot could have failed to act in the small plane crash that took his life Thursday is a mystery to Rich Faherty.

The fellow aviator who worked with Singer for some 20 years was among the first to learn Singer's plane had crashed about 9:30 Thursday morning at a Blairstown Township airport in northern Warren County. Another pilot had called him, saying emergency officials needed his help to get in touch with Singer's family.

Authorities have said the plane finished refueling, then went full-throttle across the runways before crashing into trees. Singer, of Warren Township in Somerset County, was pulled from the wrecked aircraft and flown to Morristown Medical Center, where he later died.

"As a pilot, the first thing you think of is if the plane suddenly went full throttle, what would you do? ... I would assume Sam would have the same mental checklist," Faherty said Friday. "The fact that Sam didn't stop the plane before it struck the trees makes me believe that something else prevented him from going through the mental checklist."

Faherty is the executive vice president of administration at BioReference Laboratories, where Singer worked for 30 years. Under Singer's guidance as chief financial officer, the company based in Elmwood Park — which provides testing services for physicians, hospitals and other clinics — went from making $1 million a year to almost $1 billion by the time he retired in 2015, Faherty said.

Singer's family said that he served in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserves, for about 20 years starting in the 1960s. He was a father to five and a grandfather to three, devoted to his local Catholic parish and other charities. Three of his children have or are working at BioReference, Faherty said.

Singer served for nine years as a trustee at Mount St. Mary Academy, a Catholic prep school for girls in Watchung.

"The death of Sam Singer is a profound and devastating loss for the Mount St. Mary Academy community," the school said in a statement Friday. "He demonstrated a steadfast devotion to the academy's mission and values and was deeply devoted to his Catholic faith. He was a loyal friend and member of our family who will always be appreciated and missed."

A post from October on the school's Facebook page congratulated him on his retirement from the board, noting that his four daughters all graduated from the school and a granddaughter is applying there.

Singer had gotten into flying later in life, Faherty said. Federal Aviation Administration records say he got his license in 2011, though Faherty said his colleague had been flying for 10 years, frequently logging hours in the sky.

FAA records also say Singer owned the plane that crashed Thursday, a North American Navion fixed-wing, single-engine craft manufactured in 1947. The same plane was involved in a crash last December at the airport.

Faherty said it is part of the piloting community to meet up at various airports — he had met Singer and others at Blairstown Airport before.

When he heard of the crash, Faherty got in touch with Singer's wife. At the time, he said, it sounded serious but not fatal.

It wasn't until Thursday night that Faherty said he found out from another former colleague that Singer was gone. The Warren County Prosecutor's Office on Friday said Singer died of blunt force trauma, and his death was ruled an accident.

"It's really sad," Faherty said. "This is a man who was a wonderful family man, a great business associate, someone I worked with for many years. ... I missed him because he had retired. I used to see him virtually every day.


"I know how much he loved to fly," he continued. "Certainly, no one would ever have expected this to happen to him. ... The last thing you want to do is have a car accident in your plane. And that's virtually what this was."

Story, comments and photo gallery: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

---Fatal Plane Crash Update---

At 9:23 AM, police responded to the Blairstown Airport for a plane crash. Upon arrival police found the pilot, identified as Samuel Singer of Warren Township, entrapped with serious injuries. Blairstown Hose Company and police used the jaws of life to extricate the pilot from the aircraft. Atlantic Air 1 transported the pilot to Morristown Medical Center where the pilot later passed away from his injuries. A witness stated the plane had just been refueled and the plane went full throttle across both runways and into the trees. It's still unclear what caused the plane to be in full throttle. The FAA is still investigating the cause of the crash. Blairstown Ambulance Corps, Paramedics from Atlantic, Warren County Prosecutor's Office, Warren County Hazmat, and Blairstown OEM also assisted at the scene.




BLAIRSTOWN — The pilot injured when his plane went off the runway and struck trees at Blairstown Airport on Thursday morning died at the hospital Thursday evening, according to police.

Samuel Singer, 63, of Warren Township, Somerset County, died at Morristown Medical Center as a result of his injuries.

The North American Navion aircraft crashed around 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The pilot had finished refueling the aircraft and was preparing to take off when the plane went full throttle, shot across the runway and hit trees on the outskirts of the runway, according to Lt. Scott Johnsen of Blairstown police. Investigators will determine if the issue was caused by mechanical or operator error.

Singer was extracted from the plane by Blairstown Police officer Paul Choe and a member of Blairstown Hose Company. He was flown to Morristown Medical Center. Johnson said the pilot suffered broken bones.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Blairstown Hose Company, Atlantic Health Systems, Blairstown EMS, Blairstown police and Warren County Hazmat responded to the scene.


Source: http://www.njherald.com





A pilot sustained major injuries during a runway mishap Thursday morning at Blairstown Airport that resulted in his single-engine aircraft leaving the runway and crashing into trees, according to Blairstown police.

Lt. Scott Johnson said the crash occurred while the pilot was taxiing onto a runway and the plane somehow "got stuck in full-throttle position."

An Associated Press article previously cited Federal Aviation Administration officials reporting that the plane struck trees and crashed while landing. The plane, in fact, crossed two runways while still on the ground and before crashing into nearby trees, Johnson said.

The injured pilot was airlifted to Morristown Medical Center by Atlantic Ambulance's Air 1 helicopter, according to Johnson. The pilot was not identified and his condition is unknown.

Township police and members of the Blairstown Hose Co. and Office of Emergency Management responded and extricated the pilot from the wreckage, according to Johnson. The Blaistwon Ambulance Corps, haz-mat unit and the FAA also responded to the scene.  The crash is still under investigation.

Source:   http://www.dailyrecord.com




























A small plane struck a tree while landing about 9:15 a.m. Thursday at Blairstown Airport, the Blairstown Township fire chief said.

The pilot survived and was being removed from the plane by medical personnel just after 9:30 a.m., Chief Darren Occhiuzzo confirmed by text.

The plane was leaking fuel and Warren County's hazardous materials team was called in, county Public Safety Director Frank Wheatley said.

The pilot was loaded into a medical helicopter just before 10 a.m., Occhiuzzo said. The pilot was taken to Morristown Medical Center, according to Wheatley.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration search based on the plane's registration number, N8849H, the North American Navion is owned by Sam Singer, of Warren, New Jersey, in Somerset County. 

The fixed-wing single-engine plane was built in 1947, according to the FAA.

It was not immediately confirmed that Singer was piloting the craft at the time of the crash. Calls to a number listed for his home went unanswered Thursday afternoon.

The same plane was involved in a incident last December at the airport.  Township police, fire and emergency medical personnel responded Thursday, as will the FAA, Occhiuzzo said.

Source:   http://www.lehighvalleylive.com




BLAIRSTOWN, N.J. - The pilot of a plane suffered multiple injuries when the aircraft crashed at an airport in Warren County, New Jersey, on Thursday.

The single-engine plane somehow got stuck in full throttle and went across two runways at the Blairstown Airport before hitting some trees around 9:30 a.m., according to Blairstown police Lt. Scott Johnsen, who said that the plane did manage to get a few feet off the ground before the crash.

"It was just like a weird sound like a crash,” said Blairstown resident, Chris Wester. “Thought it was a car accident."

The pilot was taken to a hospital with broken bones, but his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, Johnsen said.

Police have not released the name of the pilot or where he was heading to.

The pilot was the only person on the four passenger, North American Navion aircraft and emergency crews used the jaws of life to remove him from the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration is leading the investigation. 

Story and video:  http://www.wfmz.com




FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Allentown FSDO-05

AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP, BLAIRSTOWN, NEW JERSEY

Date:     12-DEC-15
Time:     15:45:00Z
Regis#:     N8849H
Aircraft Make:     NORTH AMERICAN
Aircraft Model:     NAVION
Event Type:     Incident
Highest Injury:     None
Damage:     Minor
Flight Phase:     LANDING (LDG)
City:     BLAIRSTOWN
State:     New Jersey

Cessna 150H, N23473: Accident occurred November 14, 2016 in Snow Hill, Greene County, North Carolina

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N23473

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Greensboro FSDO-39


NTSB Identification: ERA17LA045
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2016 in Snow Hill, NC
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N23473
Injuries: 2 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 November 14, 2016, about 0530 eastern standard time, a privately owned and operated Cessna 150H, N23473, nosed over during a forced landing in a field near Snow Hill, North Carolina. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated about 30 minutes earlier from Raleigh East Airport (W17), Knightdale, North Carolina, and was destined for Kinston Regional Jetport (ISO), Kinston, North Carolina.

During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot stated that during cruise flight at 3,000 ft mean sea level, the engine suddenly lost total power. He maneuvered for a forced landing in a field, and while the propeller continued to windmill. After the nose landing gear contacted the ground, the airplane nosed over. The airplane was recovered for further examination of the engine.





SNOW HILL, Greene County - The federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating after a small aircraft crashed in Greene County on Thursday morning.


The incident happened just before 6 a.m. Thursday. Luckily, the two passengers in the plane were not hurt, even though the plane landed upside down in a field.


"The plane was upside down. It was a Cessna 150, two passengers, they were both out and actually met us at the roadway. So they were not injured," Shine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeremy Anderson said.


The two passengers work for Mountain Air Cargo in Kinston. They usually fly this route to Raleigh every morning but something went wrong.


"They encountered some difficulty," Anderson said. "We're not really sure. FAA and NTSB have been notified and they'll be doing some further investigation."


Officials said the passengers tried to make a safe landing at the Wayne Executive Jetport but quickly realized they couldn't make it.


Story and video:  http://www.wcti12.com





Snow Hill, N.C. — Two people on board a single-engine airplane were not hurt early Thursday when the plane crashed into a field in Greene County.


According to WITN, the plane went down at about 6 a.m. near the community of Snow Hill.


The Cessna 150 was on its way from Kinston to Raleigh when it went down, officials said.


Source:   http://www.wral.com





GREENE COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Officials are saying the two people in the plane that crashed in Greene County Thursday morning are "lucky" that they were not injured.

Greene County Emergency Services director Berry Anderson says the FAA and the NTSB have been notified and will be investigating.

Anderson says the crash happened just before 6 a.m. on Oakdale Road in Snow Hill.

He said the aircraft did flip upon landing, while the plowed up field helped it land since the ground was softer.

The FAA says the Cessna 150 single-engine aircraft left Raleigh East Airport and was headed to Kinston.

It is registered to Patrick Tobler of Wake Forest.

The Shine Fire Department and other law enforcement officials also responded to the scene.

Previous Story​

Greene County Emergency Management says they are currently responding to the scene of a plane crash.

They say it happened on Oakdale Road in Snow Hill and that the pilot is fine.

Piper PA-34-200T, FlyDreams Aircraft Corp, N32494: Incident occurred November 09, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida

FLYDREAMS AIRCRAFT CORP: http://registry.faa.gov/N32494

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING, GEAR COLLAPSED, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

Date: 09-NOV-16
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N32494
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA34
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: FORT LAUDERDALE
State: Florida

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N52246: Incident occurred November 09, 2016 in Titusville, Brevard County, Florida

BRAVO LEASING LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N52246

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

AIRCRAFT DURING FLIGHT, WING SUSTAINED UNKNOWN DAMAGE DUE TO A BIRDSTRIKE, LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA. 

Date: 09-NOV-16
Time: 16:21:00Z
Regis#: N52246
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: TITUSVILLE
State: Florida

Beech F33A Bonanza, Kansas State University Salina, N855KS: Incident occurred November 09, 2016 in Salina, Kansas

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY SALINA: http://registry.faa.gov/N855KS

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Wichita FSDO-64

AIRCRAFT WHILE INFLIGHT, SIDE WINDOW SUSTAINED MINOR DAMAGE DUE TO A BIRDSTRIKE, LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT, SALINA, KANSAS.

Date: 09-NOV-16
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N855KS
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 33
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: SALINA
State: Kansas

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus, N484KS: Accident occurred November 06, 2016 in Port Matilda, Centre County, Pennsylvania

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N484KS

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA063
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 05, 2016 in Port Matilda, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2017
Aircraft: SCHEMPP-HIRTH FLUGZEUGBAU DUO DISCUS, registration: N484KS
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 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 of a glider reported that during the landing roll, near the location where he wanted to stop, he felt a “thump.” He further reported that he observed a person lying on the ground on the runway and did not see the bystander previously. 

According to the pilot-rated passenger, who was also the airport manager, the bystander was taking photographs of the glider and had moved onto the runway surface during the landing roll. Subsequently, the bystander was struck by the left wing. He further reported that he also did not see the bystander before the collision. 

The airport manager reported that the airport had a sign near the runway, which stated “Caution Aircraft Operations.” Postaccident, the airport manager reported that he installed cones delineating the boundary of the runway and added an additional sign stating “Remain Behind Cones.”

The bystander sustained a serious injury.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The bystander's decision to walk onto the runway, which resulted in him being struck by the glider's left wing.

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: Cell tower ruling could be appealed

 An appeal could soon come after a Westmoreland County judge overturned the rejection of a cellphone tower in Unity Township.

President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. last month reversed the local zoning hearing board's 2-1 decision in April to deny a request for a special exception that developer SBA Towers IX needs to build the tower to be used by Verizon Wireless in a residential zone at Pershing Park, not far from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

In his Oct. 27 opinion and order, McCormick said the board abused its discretion in objecting to the tower on safety and health issues and in finding that Verizon failed to make a good-faith effort to find an existing structure where it could place new antennae.

Verizon has said the 150-foot tower would improve area cell service.

Gabe Monzo, executive director of the airport authority, testified at a February hearing that the tower would create a hazard for aircraft using the airport.

But McCormick noted SBA provided a Federal Aviation Administration study indicating the tower would not be a hazard to air navigation. He said Monzo's statement and similar testimony by a local helicopter pilot were “based on their personal, limited experience... their opinions on the broader topic are no substitute for that of the federal agency that engages in a comprehensive analysis of the situation and has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring air traffic safety across the nation.”

The zoning board also argued that an SBA exhibit relating to federal standards for human exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell towers lacked sufficient detail to satisfy health and safety concerns — an issue raised by residents of the neighboring Palmer Place development.

Greensburg attorney Bernard Matthews, representing a group of eight residents that is a party to the case as an appellee intervenor, argued SBA failed to demonstrate the tower would comply with electromagnetic-radiation standards set by the Federal Communications Commission. As a result, he said the special-exception application falls short of requirements in the township zoning ordinance.

But McCormick concluded there is substantial evidence the tower would not present a health and safety concern, noting that Verizon employees ensured it would comply with FCC guidelines.

The judge also said Verizon evaluated other antenna sites within a quarter-mile of the proposed location. Alternate locations suggested by residents at the February zoning board hearing are outside that distance, McCormick said.

Matthews also has contended that SBA lacks standing to seek a zoning exception because it does not own the property or have an active lease.

In late 2015, SBA purchased a two-year option to lease the site from the Columbus Home Association, McCormick noted in finding the developer has standing.

Matthews said he intends to appeal McCormick's decision to Commonwealth Court on behalf of the residents.

“We feel the evidence presented was insufficient to comply with the ordinance,” Matthews said. “Judge McCormick disagreed, and we respectfully disagree with Judge McCormick's analysis.”

Solicitor Daniel Hewitt said he doesn't expect the airport authority would file its own appeal but indicated it would consider “piggybacking” on an appeal by the residents.

David DeRose, solicitor for the zoning hearing board, noted there is a 30-day window to appeal.

An appeal by the zoning board would have to be filed by the township, he said.

Township solicitor Gary Falatovich could not be reached for comment. 

Source:  http://triblive.com

Helicopter Operator Erickson Files for Bankruptcy: Blames oil and gas companies that cut back on drilling operations during energy prices slump



The Wall Street Journal
By KATY STECH
Nov. 9, 2016 2:06 p.m. ET


Helicopter operator Erickson Inc. has put its flying fleet into bankruptcy, blaming oil and gas companies that cut back on drilling operations during a slump in energy prices.

Lawyers who put the Portland, Ore., company into bankruptcy on Tuesday said that profitability has declined since 2013 and that it couldn’t overcome “sustained economic distress” in the oil-and-gas industry, where it provides lift services for production rig equipment. Erickson officials said they plan to negotiate with lenders behind some of its roughly $561 million in debt.

The 700-worker company also struggled with the slower pace of U.S. military activity in Afghanistan, cutting the need for moving troops, delivering cargo to ships, airdropping supplies and rescuing personnel. Its defense revenues fell about 32% throughout last year to $105.2 million, said Chief Restructuring Officer David W. Lancelot in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas. Workers have installed the HVAC unit on top of Dallas’s Chase Tower, removed the Statue of Freedom on top of the U.S. Capitol Dome, recovered sailboat wreckage, rescued an endangered rhino and delivered snow for the winter Olympics in Vancouver, according to court papers.

Any debt-cutting plan that Erickson officials put forward will need approval from Judge Barbara J. Houser.

The company, founded in 1971, has 69 aircraft, including its Aircrane model. It expanded in 2013 with the $26 million purchases of Brazil’s Air Amazonia Servicos Aeronauticos Ltda and the $298 million purchase of Evergreen Helicopters Inc., which expanded its military work.

Aside from its work in the defense and oil-drilling sectors, Erickson officials work on transmission lines for utility companies, wind turbine construction, timber harvesting and humanitarian relief efforts.

The company’s helicopters designed to fight forest fires can drop more than 25,000 gallons of water. It recently lost its “small business” designation because of an ownership change, causing it to lose $5.9 million in revenue from contracts with the U.S. Forest Service, according to court papers.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.wsj.com