Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Want to Ride-Share With a Dubious Pilot? The legislative language the authors support would override the Federal Aviation Administration safety regulations

The Wall Street Journal 
Opinion - Letters
Nov. 18, 2016 2:52 p.m. ET

Jonathan Riches and Thomas P. Gross’s “Ride-Sharing for Pilots Is No Flight of Fancy” (op-ed, Nov. 16) suggests the Federal Aviation Administration is barring pilots from using the internet to take advantage of the share economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is part of a campaign to convince people it is now acceptable to allow the public to ride-share with private pilots with potentially little flight time or training for challenging weather conditions. As the U.S. Court of Appeals noted in one of several legal rebukes issued to the authors’ clients, “Pilots communicating to defined and limited groups remain free to invite passengers for common-purpose expense-sharing flights . . . so long as they share a common purpose and do not hold themselves out as offering services to the public.”

Consistent with previous attempts to offer the same service using telephone-based technology, the FAA determined the proposed service cited in the article requires additional safety certifications for both the pilots and their aircraft. It is instructive to look at the legislative language the authors support. It would override the FAA’s safety regulations, something unnecessary if the only issue was internet communication. We doubt the Supreme Court will grant certiorari in this matter because it is neither a novel question of law nor are there any disputes between the lower courts as to the FAA’s interpretation. The National Air Transportation Association will continue to educate lawmakers on how the authors’ clients are simply selling old wine in a new bottle to ultimately undermine the safety of the flying public.

Martin H. Hiller


National Air Transportation Assn. Washington

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

Ride-Sharing for Pilots Is No Flight of Fancy: Supreme Court decision to review Flytenow v. Federal Aviation Administration could make airplane flight-sharing an option for Americans

The Wall Street Journal
November 15, 2016 6:54 p.m. ET

From Uber to Airbnb, the “sharing economy” is revolutionizing industries by letting companies connect directly with consumers. If the Supreme Court decides to review Flytenow v. FAA, Americans could benefit from cost-sharing in the airline industry.

In late 2014 the Federal Aviation Administration banned private pilots from communicating travel plans and sharing flight expenses over the internet. That order shut down Flytenow, a startup that connected pilots and cost-sharing passengers online.

Around the same time, the European Aviation Safety Agency found compelling reasons to allow the very same cost-sharing operations in Europe. On Aug. 26, the agency authorized cost-sharing for general aviation flights in 32 countries. At least two companies similar to Flytenow, called Wingly and Off We Fly, now operate in the European Union.

In American aviation, cost-sharing isn’t a new thing. For over 50 years the FAA has allowed pilots and passengers to communicate about cost-sharing via email and phone as well as by posting notices on airport bulletin boards.

With seed money from Silicon Valley, Flytenow brought that practice into the digital age. And it was working until the FAA shut down the startup. The agency claimed that if a private pilot flying a four-passenger airplane used Flytenow to communicate travel plans and find people to share his expenses, that pilot should be regulated as a commercial flight operation.

Yet the FAA ignored a key difference between commercial and general aviation: Commercial pilots provide services to the public for profit; Flytenow pilots merely share expenses. By regulation, flight-sharing pilots must pay at least a pro rata share of flight expenses, so they can never earn a profit. The FAA’s conclusion also missed that pilots have a First Amendment right to communicate their noncommercial travel plans with others, even over the internet.

The FAA’s job is to ensure safety. Yet its rationale for deeming Flytenow dangerous is based on pre-internet policies. Web-based flight-sharing arrangements, where pilots are screened, and their experience and credentials are displayed for potential passengers, are actually safer than simply posting flight times on an airport bulletin board.

The Goldwater Institute challenged the FAA’s legal interpretation on behalf of Flytenow and the Supreme Court is expected to decide within the next few weeks whether to review the case. Meanwhile, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has passed an amendment to its FAA reauthorization bill that would authorize web-facilitated flight sharing.

The Flytenow case presents an opportunity for the Supreme Court and Congress to say consumers and service providers should be free to choose which innovations work for them. If Europe can ensure the safety of these tech innovations, then so can the U.S.

Mr. Riches, director of national litigation at the Goldwater Institute, represents Flytenow before the Supreme Court. Mr. Gross is an attorney and a private pilot.

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

Incidents occurred November 15, 2016 at San Diego International Airport - Lindbergh Field (KSAN), California

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Aircraft equipment malfunctions had public-safety crews hustling to the flight line Tuesday at Lindbergh Field, where two planes made safe precautionary landings over a several-hour period despite the glitches.
The first emergency began about 10:45 a.m., when the crew of a Horizon Air dual-propeller commuter plane reported a "system issue'' after taking off from the bayside airport en route to Santa Rosa, Lindbergh Field spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield said.
The aircraft doubled back and landed without incident about 11:30 a.m., according to Bloomfield. The precise nature of the equipment problem was unclear, she said.
In the early afternoon, a Southwest Airlines jetliner heading to San Diego from Los Vegas with 127 passengers aboard reported a problem with a hydraulic system. That aircraft touched down safely at Lindbergh Field about 1:15 p.m., the city Fire-Rescue Department reported.

Story and video:   http://www.cbs8.com

Piper PA-34-200T, N5671V: Fatal accident occurred November 06, 1996 in Lehman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania

20 years later, plane crash survivor still saying thanks

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - There are many moments and people we'll never forget in our lives, but for a West Virginia man, a day that changed his life forever is something he can't remember.

Rolf Mielzarek was rendered unconscious after his six-seat aircraft came tumbling down in the Poconos on November 6, 1996. The plane was returning to West Virginia after taking a woman to a doctor's appointment in Boston. The aircraft dropped 10,000 feet. There were only two survivors. Mielzarek, the pilot, was one of them.

Mielzarek said he remembers nothing about the plane's unexpected descent and very little about what came after, but his wife, Lee Anna, remembers the frightening phone call she received that day.

"'Your husband's plane disappeared off the radar,'" she recalled being told. "'We don't know where he is or whether he survived.'"

Mielzarek spent seven weeks at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, being treated for the life-threatening injuries he suffered.

"I remember one broken man. Every limb," said Sue McCauley, a nurse at the hospital.

It's the people who cared for him that the Mielzareks will never forget.

"They embraced our family and gave us so much time," said a teary-eyed Lee Anna Mielzarek.

Every November, the Mielzareks return to the Lehigh Valley to say "thank you" to the caretakers who tended to him in 1996.

Rolf Mielzarek is kindly called "The Pilot" among workers at the hospital. Three years ago, he returned to the hospital that saved his life, unexpectedly.

Shortly after his annual thank you visit, Mielzarek was rear-ended by a tractor trailer. He returned to LVH as a patient.

Mielzarek remembers the care he got that day, and 20 years ago, and while he can't remember the wreck that led him to those special people who were there for him, he'll never forget to say thank you.

"As long as I'm able, I'll be here every November, because they are that special," he said.

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

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

NTSB Identification: NYC97FA013
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 06, 1996 in LEHMAN TOWNSHIP, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200T, registration: N5671V
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was 90 minutes into the flight, level at 10,000 feet mean sea level, on a southwest heading, when air traffic control lost radio and radar contact with the flight. ATC observed primary radar targets only continue in a northerly direction, followed by a northeasterly direction. The cockpit, right wing and engine were found impaled on a tree near the point where radar contact was lost. The left wing and engine were within 200 feet east of the right wing. Debris was scattered northeast of the main wreckage for about 10,500 feet. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the fiberglass nose assembly had failed due to an undetermined reason. Airworthiness directives had been complied with that applied to the forward baggage compartment door.

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

The failure of the forward fuselage nose assembly for an undetermined reason, which resulted in an in-flight breakup of the airplane.


On November 6, 1996, at 1835 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N5671V, was destroyed during an in-flight break-up over Lehman Township, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. Two passengers received fatal injures. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the "mercy flight" that originated at Boston, Massachusetts, about 1701. An Instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, was participating in the AirLifeLine program. The pilot had volunteered his airplane to transport a child for a medical consultation. The flight was conducted at no charge to the family, and the pilot incurred all expenses. The pilot had flown the mother and child, and a friend of their family, from Clarksburg, West Virginia, to Boston, the morning of November 6, 1996. At the conclusion of the medical consultation, the pilot boarded the passengers, and departed Boston for the return trip to Clarksburg. 

After takeoff from Boston, the pilot was issued a climb to 10,000 feet, and cleared direct to Clarksburg. The flight then proceeded uneventful with several frequency changes. At 1826, N5671V was issued a frequency change to the Huguenot sector of the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center. The pilot acknowledged the frequency change and contacted the Huguenot controller, about 1827, and stated, "Good evening New York, Lifeguard five six seven one victor with you at one zero thousand." The Huguenot controller acknowledged N5671V and issued the current altimeter setting.

At 1832.32, the Huguenot controller stated, "Lifeguard five six seven one victor, I lost your transponder sir, recycle." The controller repeated the call, at 1833.10, and stated, "Lifeguard seven one victor, I'm still getting no transponder, I don't even have a primary on you sir." There was no response from N5671V. 

During a post accident interview, the pilot did not recall the accident sequence or events.

Airplane wreckage was found scatter over an area about 2 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, below the area where radar contact with N5671V was lost. 

The accident occurred during the hours of night, approximately 41 degrees, 10 minutes north latitude, and 75 degrees, 59 minutes west longitude.


The pilot held a Private Pilot Certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class Medical Certificate was issued on October 9, 1995.

According to the pilot, he estimated that he had accumulated about 2,060 hours of total flying experience, of which about 1,300 hours were in this make and model airplane. 


The wreckage scatter path was documented on November 7, 8, and 9, 1996. The airplane wreckage was examined at the accident site on November 7, 1996, and at the Lehman Township Municipal Garage on November 7 and 8, 1996, where the wreckage was initially moved. 

The examinations revealed that all major components of the airplane were accounted for within the scatter path. The airplane's main cabin floor, cockpit, right wing, right propeller and engine remained attached, and were impaled on a tree about 40 feet above the ground. Directly below the cockpit on the ground were the center fuselage section, and the remaining interior seats. The left wing and engine were about 200 feet east of the impaled wreckage, at ground level. The left propeller hub and blades were separated from the engine, and about 10 feet from the engine.

The remaining wreckage was scattered along a 2,000 foot wide debris path, that extended to the north over wooded, hilly terrain, for approximately 10,500 feet. The vertical stabilizer and the horizontal stabilator were separated into three components, and located between 1,500 feet and 3,500 feet north of the main wreckage. Debris located 10,500 feet north of the main wreckage included the interior panel of the left rear swing up door, a piece of the left rear main entrance door, pieces of cabin interior fiberglass trim, a sick sack, and exterior fiberglass from the nose section of the fuselage. 

The forward baggage compartment (FBC) door was located about 2,700 feet from the main wreckage. The FBC door remained attached to its hinge, and the hinge was attached to a section of the forward assembly. The hinge was not damaged, and moved freely. The other major pieces of the FBC were located between 2,000 and 5,000 feet from the main wreckage. The locking handle and bars of the FBC door were not located. A vertical slash was observed in the FBC door fiberglass, in the vicinity of missing door locking handle. Black marks, similar to the black paint on the left propeller blade, was observed in the vertical slash.

Control continuity was established from the left aileron to the fuselage wing root separation point. Continuity was also established from the right aileron and rudder to the forward cockpit area. The stabilator balance weight was separated from the stabilator, and located with the cabin wreckage. The upper stabilator cable was separated about 12 inches from the balance arm connection point. The lower cable and connector were separated from the balance arm. The lower cable extended forwarded to the cockpit area.

The manual flap handle was level with the cockpit floor, and the flaps were in the retracted position. The gear handle was in the down position. The right main gear was in the down and locked position. The left gear was found in its respective wheel well and the down lock link was broken. The nose gear strut was partially extended. The lower half of the nose strut and wheel were missing. The stabilator trim cable drum was indicating full up trim; however, both cable ends were separated, and displayed the characteristics of tension overload.

The left horizontal stabilator was separated from the fuselage, and the failed ends were bent down and aft. The right horizontal stabilator was also separated from the fuselage, and the failed ends were bent upward. The leading edges of both stabilators were wrinkled. The right stabilator displayed an indentation on the leading edge, about 10 inches outboard from the fuselage, and about 1/2 inch deep. The left wing was separated from the fuselage, and the outer half of the wing was bent downward. 

The left engine remained attached to the left wing. The spark plugs were of the fine wire type, and gray in color. The flow divider contained fuel and was absent of debris. There was no evidence of a preimpact failure of the engine. The propeller blades remained attached to the hub, which was separated at the engine crankshaft. Propeller blade angles were in the vicinity of a low pitch position.

The right engine remained attached to the right wing. The engine remained in a tilted position for about 18 hours while impaled on the tree. The spark plugs were of the fine wire type. The spark plugs in the numbers 2, 4, and 6 cylinders were light gray in color. The spark plugs in the numbers 1, 3, and 5 cylinders (the down side of the engine) contained a light coat of oil. There was no evidence of a preimpact failure of the engine. The propeller blades remained attached to the hub, which remained attached to the engine. The propeller blades were in a high pitch position, similar to a feathered positioned. The flow divider contained fuel and was absent of debris.


A review of the National Weather data revealed that there were no AIRMETS or SIGMETS issued for moderate or severe turbulence, and there were no weather cells in the Lehman Township area. Additionally, there were no reports from airplanes in the area of wind shear, or moderate to severe turbulence. 


The elevator balance weight and cable sections were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory Division for further examination. In the Metallurgist's factual report, he stated:

"...Optical examination of the tab fracture face on the tube revealed features typical of bending overstress separation. In addition, deformation on the separated tab indicated an out of plane twisting component. No indications of preexisting cracking were found on the fracture faces...Almost all filament wires of the cable separation showed fractures that were consistent with tensile overstress..."

On December 9, 1996, a second reconstruction and examination of the wreckage was conducted at the Dawn Aeronautics Facility, Wilmington, Delaware, under the supervision of the Safety Board investigator. The New Piper Aircraft Inc. representatives were also present during the examination

An examination of another Seneca II was conducted by the NTSB investigator. The examination revealed that the rotation of the left propeller blades were several inches out from, and slightly aft of, the open forward baggage compartment door.


Radar Data

Recorded radar data was provided by the New York Air Traffic Control Center. The latitude and longitudes for each radar target was plotted by the NTSB investigator on a geological survey map, with the basic scatter path of the wreckage. The first four latitude/longitude plots were from the airplane's transponder with an altitude return of 10,000 feet. The fifth plot was from the last "beacon only slash" of the target airplane. The remainder of the plots were from primary radar targets only, both weak and strong returns. When plotted on the map, the general magnetic direction of the primary plots extended northeast about 020 degrees.

Radar Dome

The airplane's date of manufacturer was 1977, where it was delivered without a radar dome. The airplane's nose section consisted of fiberglass construction, with fiberglass ribs for structural support. In July 1979, a King KWX-50 radar system was installed, which included a KT-45 receiver-transmitter in the nose baggage compartment and radar antenna. The installation also included a Norton 4011X radome, installed per STC SA-50-GL. 

A review of the STC limitations and conditions revealed:

"This STC approves only the installation of the radome and associated bracketry shown and does not include the radar system..."

Service Difficulty Reports

The FAA Service Difficulty Reports (SDR) related to the forward baggage compartment (FBC) door were reviewed. Eleven occurrences of the FBC door separating in flight were reported. Ten of the occurrences were between 1974 and 1980. Six of the separations occurred in cruise flight, and three separations resulted in windshield strikes, of which one also struck the vertical stabilizer. The ten occurrences did not result in in-flight break-ups.

One occurrence on March 3, 1985, listed several components that separated from the fuselage. The separation of parts resulted in an in-flight break-up. A review of the NTSB Brief of Accident revealed, "...There was evidence that the aircraft suffered an in-flight separation of the fiberglass nose assembly..."

Service Bulletins

Three service bulletins (SB) that dealt with the forward baggage compartment door were issued by Piper Aircraft. The FAA also published airworthiness directives (AD) that required compliance with the Piper SB's. A review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed; AD-79-23-01 was complied with on December 20, 1979; AD-81-10-03 was complied with on August 30, 1981; AD-88-04-05 was complied with on March 17, 1988. These AD's required the modification of the forward baggage compartment door. 

During a telephone interview with the pilot/owner, he stated that the modification of his airplane's FBC door prevented the locking key from being removed from the lock, when the door was unlocked.

The airplane wreckage was released on June 17, 1997, to John W. Cooley, a representative of the owners insurance company.

No price tag, end date for Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control plan

A government watchdog says the Federal Aviation Administration has little to show for a decade of work on modernizing air traffic control, and faces barriers and billions more in spending to realize its full benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has little to show for a decade of work on modernizing air traffic control, and faces barriers and billions more in spending to realize its full benefits, says a report released Tuesday by a government watchdog.

The FAA estimates it will spend a total $5.7 billion to finish its current work on six "transformational" technology programs at the heart of its NextGen modernization effort, said the report by the Department of Transportation's inspector general. But there are no timetables or cost estimates for completion of most of those programs, and work will extend beyond 2020.

The FAA has sold the six transformational programs to Congress and the public "as core efforts that would fundamentally change the way the agency would manage air traffic, communicate with pilots, and exchange data with airspace users," Matthew Hampton, assistant inspector general for aviation, said in the report. "However, our review has found that, at least until 2020, most of the transformational programs will not transform how air traffic is managed."

Moreover, there has been "significant ambiguity both within FAA and the aviation community about expectations for NextGen," including the transformational programs' role in delivering new significant new benefits, the report said.

Congress has provided $7.4 billion for NextGen overall, not just the core programs, since 2003, according to the inspector general.

Congressman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., the House transportation committee chairman, seized upon the report to renew his call for taking air traffic control operations away from the FAA and entrusting them to a private, non-profit corporation.

The inspector general's report shows "that the FAA's original vision for NextGen is not what is being implemented today," Shuster said. "Instead of fundamentally changing how air traffic is managed, the agency's efforts have shifted to replacing and updating decades-old equipment and systems."

Most of the airline industry has made privatizing air traffic control their top legislative goal — with Shuster as their champion. They have the support of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union that represents controllers. Paul Rinaldi, the union's president, said controllers have lost faith in FAA's modernization effort and want the new air traffic tools they see in use in other countries like Canada, which has privatized air traffic operations.

Most Democrats, other FAA unions and segments of the aviation industry, like business aircraft operators, are opposed to privatization.

"The inspector general's report at most faults the FAA for describing NextGen programs as 'transformational' when they really just improve how the FAA manages air traffic," said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the transportation committee. "Technology changes. The FAA's vision for the NextGen end state has changed."

It is far from clear that privatizing the air traffic control system would expedite NextGen and address the issues raised in the inspector general's report, he said.

In particular, the report said it's not clear that airlines and private aircraft operators will equip their planes by 2020, as the FAA has mandated, with the first phase of the most important NextGen technology, known as "ADS-B out." The technology enables an aircraft to determine its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcast it so that it can be tracked. The information can be received by air traffic control ground stations as a replacement for secondary radar.

Even if operators meet that deadline, the FAA has yet to set equipment standards for the next phase, known as "ADS-B in," which is where aircraft operators will see the biggest benefits. Without standards, manufacturers can't produce the equipment for aircraft operators to purchase. The FAA hasn't said when it will issue "ADS-B in" standards.

Another government watchdog, the General Accounting Office, also released a report Tuesday that discusses lessons learned from other countries that have split air traffic control operations off from their aviation safety regulators, as well as potential impediments aviation experts and air traffic system users see to such a scheme. One of the problems identified in the report is coordination between an air traffic control corporation and the U.S. military.

Source:  http://www.usnews.com

Incident occurred November 14, 2016 at Plattsburgh International Airport (KPBG), Clinton County, New York

PLATTSBURGH — A plane had a rough landing Monday at Plattsburgh International Airport, but no one was hurt.

At 3:30 p.m., a small twin-engine general aviation aircraft was conducting practice approaches when it had to make a forced landing, Airport Manager Christopher Kreig said in an email Monday night.

The Beechcraft BE58 went off the side of the runway at 3:40 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Its right main and nose landing gear collapsed.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board had been notified and were investigating, Kreig said.

The two people on board were uninjured.

"You never want anything of this nature to happen, but this was about the best possible scenario," he told the Press-Republican Tuesday.


Plattsburgh Airport firefighters, rescue crews and maintenance staff, along with Clinton County Sheriff's deputies, responded immediately, Kreig said.

When he arrived about five minutes later, the aircraft had already come to a stop, and the pilots were out of it.

He and the airport crews, he said, "just went through an exercise earlier this year where we practiced, we trained for that type of an incident, and they did exactly what they're supposed to do. I have to give them all the credit in the world for that."

And believe it or not, Kreig said, no flights taking off from or landing at the airport were affected by the incident.

"We did not have to close the airport," he said. "For a brief period of time, we had to close one of the taxiways but beyond that, there was no disruption of service.

"In that regard, we were extremely fortunate."


Kreig referred questions about the investigation into the incident to the FAA and Traffic Safety Board.

He did not have information on how long the plane was airborne before the forced landing.

"This is a daily occurrence, where we have aircraft that come over here and do practice takeoffs and landings, and they were here doing the same thing."

Kreig said airport personnel were in the process of moving the aircraft to another location at the airport Tuesday morning.

"As far as what repairs will be made and the ultimate disposition of the aircraft, I don't have that information at this time."


Kate Benhoff, an air safety investigator for the National Traffic Safety Board, told the Press-Republican she could not disclose the names of the people who were on board.

That information will be available in a preliminary report that will come out within the next few days, she said, and the Safety Board is still investigating what prompted the landing.

According to the Safety Board's website, the cause of an accident may not be determined for 12 to 18 months.

Source:  http://www.pressrepublican.com

American Airlines Boeing 767-300, N345AN: Accident occurred October 28, 2016 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (KORD), Illinois

They were on a burning plane. Now they’re suing for ‘physical and psychological’ harm

Late last month, passengers on a Chicago to Miami flight were sent hurtling down evacuation slides from an American Airlines Boeing 767 after the plane’s engine caught fire, engulfing the runway in billowing black smoke.

Now, 18 passengers — including three from South Florida — are suing the airline, Boeing and GE, the engine’s manufacturer, for the injuries caused by the allegedly “defective and unreasonably dangerous” aircraft, the suit says. The lawsuit was filed in Illinois circuit court, where the incident took place.

On the afternoon of Oct. 28, 170 crew and passengers on Flight 383 from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Miami International Airport were forced to evacuate when the engine on the right side of the plane burst into flames on the tarmac. Footage from the scene shows passengers quickly evacuating on slides on the front and rear left side of the plane and running into a grassy area while smoke and fire rise in the background. The plane’s right wing can be seen melting and drooping.

About 20 people suffered minor injuries, officials said.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs suffered “personal and bodily injuries, both physical and psychological in nature” and either have or will sustain “future medical bills, lost earnings, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering and emotional distress,” as a result of the accident.

The suit claims GE sold the defective engine to Boeing, which was negligent in “designing, manufacturing, assembling, and selling the accident aircraft as as not to cause injury to plaintiffs.” It also alleges that American Airlines failed to maintain, service, inspect and repair the aircraft appropriately enough to avoid the accident.

American Airlines declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The plaintiffs are represented by Chicago-based Wisner Law Firm, which focuses solely on representing people injured or killed in aviation accidents. The firm recently resolved a similar case for an undisclosed amount involving more than 100 passengers and crew on a September 2015 British Airways. Like the Chicago to Miami flight, the British Airways flight involved a faulty GE engine on a Boeing plane that failed and caught fire at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

“GE and Boeing and American, as well, need to take a harder look at this problem because I’m concerned it’s a recurring problem,” said Floyd Wisner, principal at the law firm. “It’s not just a rare occurrence.”

The law firm expects to add other passengers as plaintiffs, as well as other parties, such as material suppliers or component manufactures, as defendants if certain parts of the engine are found as contributing to the fire.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com

AMERICAN AIRLINES INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N345AN

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Chicago PART 121 OPS ONLY - FSDO-31


Date: 28-OCT-16
Time: 19:35:00Z
Regis#: N345AN
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 767
Event Type: Accident
Damage: Substantial
Activity: Commercial
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: AAL-American Airlines
Flight Number: AAL383
State: Illinois

Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel, Pronto LLC, N400LV: Incident occurred November 14, 2016 in Harrisonville, Cass County, Missouri

PRONTO LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N400LV

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Kansas City FSDO-63


Date: 14-NOV-16
Time: 13:00:00Z
Regis#: N400LV
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 560
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Missouri

Maule M7-260C, N753DW: Incident occurred November 14, 2016 in Twin Mountain, Coos County, New Hampshire

VCS ACQUISITION LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N753DW

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Portland FSDO-65


Date: 14-NOV-16
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N753DW
Aircraft Make: MAULE
Aircraft Model: M7
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: New Hampshire

Western Air Express, Swearingen SA226-T(B), N1010V: Incident occurred November 11, 2016 at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Colorado

WESTERN AIRLINES LC: http://registry.faa.gov/N1010V

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03


Date: 11-NOV-16
Time: 08:33:00Z
Regis#: N1010V
Aircraft Make: SWEARINGEN
Aircraft Model: SA226
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Minor
Activity: Other
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: WAE-Western Air Express
Flight Number: WAE21
State: Colorado

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N82752: Incident occurred November 10, 2016 in New London, Campbell County, Virginia


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Richmond FSDO-21


Date: 10-NOV-16
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N82752
Aircraft Make: AERONCA
Aircraft Model: 7AC
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cessna 120, NorCal Flight Center, N120MD: Accident occurred November 14, 2016 in Lincoln, Placer County, California

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA071
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2016 in Lincoln, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 120, registration: N120MD
Injuries: 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 the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the landing roll, the airplane veered to the right. He added that he attempted to correct the veer but was unsuccessful. The airplane continued to the right and exited the runway. During the runway excursion, the airplane nosed over. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right forward lift strut and empennage. 

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California  

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

NorCal Flight Center LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N120MD

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA071
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 14, 2016 in Lincoln, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 120, registration: N120MD
Injuries: 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 the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during the landing roll the airplane veered to the right. He added that he attempted to correct the veer, but was unsuccessful. The airplane continued to the right and exited the runway. During the runway excursion, the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right forward lift strut and empennage. 

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

Piper PA-28R-200, SpanaFlight LLC, N9466K: Accident occurred November 11, 2016 at Pierce County Airport-Thun Field (KPLU), Puyallup, Washington

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 11, 2016 in Payallup, WA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28R, registration: N9466K

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

SPANAFLIGHT LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N9466K

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Seattle FSDO-01


Date: 11-NOV-16
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N9466K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28R
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: Washington

Bell 206B, Morris Equipment LLC, N914HH: Accident occurred November 10, 2016 in Yuma County, Arizona

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

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

MORRIS-EQUIPMENT LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N914HH

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Scottsdale FSDO-07

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA019
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, November 10, 2016 in Yuma, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N914HH
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to apply chemicals to adjacent fields. After applying four loads of chemicals, the pilot flew the helicopter back to the landing pad, which was situated on top of a box-truck, to load more chemicals. While attempting to maneuver the helicopter onto the center of the truck's pad, the right skid became caught on an access hole that ground personnel use to refill the load. The pilot was unaware of the problem and attempted to reposition the helicopter by lifting the right skid. The helicopter dynamically rolled over off the back of the truck and collided with terrain. The pilot stated that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inability to maintain helicopter control after its skid got caught on the landing pad while he was maneuvering the helicopter to land on it, which resulted in a dynamic roll-over.

On November 10, 2016 about 2345 mountain standard time, a Bell 206B3, N914HH, rolled from an elevated landing pad located on top of a truck and collided with the ground near Yuma, Arizona. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The helicopter, operated by Morris Flying Service L.L.C, sustained substantial damage during the crash sequence. The helicopter was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. The helicopter departed the landing area about 10 minutes prior to the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the nighttime local aerial application flight, and a flight plan had not been filed.

The commercial pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to apply chemicals to the adjacent fields. After applying four loads of chemical that night, the pilot was returning back to the landing pad that was situated on top of a box truck where he could reload. While attempting to maneuver the helicopter onto the center of the truck's pad, the right skid became caught on an access hole (where ground personnel refill the load). The pilot was unaware of the problem and attempted to reposition the helicopter by lifting the right skid. The helicopter dynamically rolled over off the right rear of the truck and collided with terrain.

The pilot sustained injuries as a result of the accident sequence. He stated that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

AIRCRAFT: 1977 Bell B206, N914HH, Serial No. 2297

ENGINE:  Allison 250, Serial No. CAE-270108
APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information)

ENGINE: 5446.4 TTSN, 1053.1 TSMOH,

 AIRFRAME:  13,108.9          

OTHER EQUIPMENT:     KX155, KT76A, Hemisphere GPS

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Helicopter skid struck the truck causing the helicopter to roll off the truck and onto the ground.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    The helicopter sustained damages to the tailcone, main rotor blades, tail rotor, landing skids, cabin section and spray boom. 

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

REMARKS:    Inspection of aircraft is highly recommended. 

Read more here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N914HH.htm

Wyoming Air Guard restores jet that is part of unit history in Cheyenne

Cheyenne, Wyo. - During the 1950's and early 60's, the skies over Cheyenne would rumble with the sounds of T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer aircraft.

Above the open prairies, rocky outcroppings and rising mountains, the silver streaks of speed were handled by Wyoming Air National Guard pilots on missions to improve their flying and tactical capabilities.

Today that is no longer the case. The C-130 Hercules soars through the skies now. But sitting in a corner of the Wyoming Air Guard's airfield is a T-33, no longer flying, instead used for static displays at events. Wyoming's weather had worn the aircraft's once pristine appearance down. There is no engine in it. No electronic controls. Just a shell with hail damage, faded paint and a silver skin that lost its shimmer decades ago.

Until now.

Recently, Master Sgt. Michael Konegni of the Aircraft Structural Maintenance section, 153rd Maintenance Squadron, 153rd Airlift Wing put his team on the job of restoring the T-33's appearance.

"We dressed it up and restored it," Konegni said. "We brightened her up, buffed the oxidation out. Did a lot of work to make it shine."

Sitting in Building 16's hangar, the T-33 almost glowed, with a fresh coat of paint and polish on its sheet metal. A mixed team of full-time maintenance and drill status guardsmen put over two weeks of time and effort to make the aircraft look new. Fiberglass had to be replaced and wheels found to replace dry rotted tires.

"We spent a week cleaning, sanding and painting, then another week to buff the whole aircraft," Konegni said. "The last time this aircraft was restored was 1990, so there was a lot to buff."

Records showed that the particular aircraft was manufactured in 1956 and came to Wyoming from Michigan, but it's time in the service was not known.

Some of the cleaning involved removing animal infestations that were in the aircraft, which weren't discovered until after the aircraft rolled into the hangar.

"We had a bees nest on the tail of the aircraft," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Sauls. "I was up on the tail buffing and they just started flying out." The team had to halt the restoring project while the pests were neutralized. But that wasn't the only close call with nature. "We found a raccoon's nest underneath too," Sauls said. Luckily there was no animal.

Once the pests were controlled, Sauls was able to put in the time to polish the sheet metal.

"It took a week polishing with three guys, all by hand," he said. "We tried a polish wheel, but it left marks, so we went to doing it with our own hands. There was a lot to polish." Most of the aircraft is silver sheet metal, so that team polished almost the entire body of the aircraft.

The final touches was printing stickers that could be applied for the Wyoming bucking horse logo. A member of the team researched the design on the T-33 in old photos, then designed a similar logo and printed it for application. Once placed, it was the last step in buffing the beautiful training jet to its former elegance.

"It was a fun project," said Tech Sgt. Kyle Kraft, his face mirrored in the reflection of the T-33.

Next up for the aircraft is being a display in the 153rd's upcoming Christmas party in December. Then it'll be put back in storage to be used again. Not to fly, no those days are gone, but to be displayed so the days of jets flying over Cheyenne can be remembered.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.kgwn.tv