Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sequestration taking toll on Marine aviators' safety



By AMY SCHAFER

The collision of two Marine jets off the coast of Southern California in November gave San Diego a front-row seat to the life-or-death consequences of delaying maintenance and denying training hours to Marine Corps aviators. The lack of funding for these core elements of the USMC mission — due mostly to Congress’ self-inflicted wound of sequestration — constitutes a breach of faith with the men and women who risk their lives serving our nation.

Sequestration’s toll on the core “man, train, and equip” missions now has a body count, and United States Marine Corps aviation is the canary in the coal mine. 

The recent removal of USMC Fighter Attack Squadron 232’s commander is the fourth involuntary change in aviation leadership in 2016, a phenomenon underscoring a much broader deterioration in the quality of USMC aviation. Facing untenable budgetary instability and frequent deployments, readiness has plummeted and crashes have increased precipitously. Department of Defense accountability may come via an inspector general report in 2017, but that is too little, too late.

Pilots are not being given enough flight time to safely perform their duties, creating unnecessary and deadly risk for pilots and their crews. After a Sept. 2, 2015 CH-53E Super Stallion crash, USMC aviation deaths were already at a five-year high. Less than five months later, two more Super Stallions collided off the coast of Hawaii, with 12 more Marines lost in the crash. The investigation cited pilot error, based on “low aircraft readiness that led to inadequate pilot proficiency.” Following these devastating losses, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller testified to Congress, “our aviation units are currently unable to meet our training and mission requirements,” also noting, “when you don’t have enough airplanes to fly, then your flying hours go down and it becomes difficult to maintain your currency.”

In the wake of these accidents, the Marine Corps Times highlighted the endemic problems facing USMC aviation; the mandatory sequester — followed by budget caps — has limited flight training hours, the maintenance and upgrading of platforms, and the purchase of new systems, plaguing readiness and corresponding with a marked increase in aviation accidents. In the wake of these accidents, USMC spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns confirmed there are 85 F/A-18s available for training, less than half the 171 required.

The aviation community is hamstrung and struggling to prepare to fight future conflicts, all while facing increasingly dangerous training conditions at home. With a high operational tempo, aging equipment, and a shortage of funding, it is nearly impossible to rectify the deadly cocktail of slashed training hours, equipment that hasn’t received on-time maintenance and prioritization of deploying squadrons. Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commandant for USMC aviation, has acknowledged that not only is the situation dire, but “we’re in a deep hole and have a ways to go to climb out.” 

After Gen. Neller’s March testimony, the USMC began investigating whether there was a “linear correlation” between the lack of training hours and increase in aviation accidents. As part of debate over the National Defense Authorization Act in April, Lt. Gen. Davis testified to issues arising with the F/A-18 Hornet, noting the operational tempo and overutilization had led to a “low flight time and short training progression” for pilots. Since the beginning of the summer of 2016, there have been seven “legacy hornet” crashes or incidents involving U.S. forces, three of which have killed their pilots. On Oct. 26, an F/A-18 crashed on a training flight, and two weeks later two F/A-18s collided midair, while in June a Blue Angels pilot was killed in a crash, and on Dec. 17, Naval aviation grounded all F/A-18s in response to yet another problem.

Without change, armed forces aviation will be defined by maintenance failure and deadly training accidents. The USMC stand-down on all nondeployed aviation over the summer played well with critics, and is a first step in re-evaluating the safety with which aviation can function at these low levels of funding, but does not go far enough. The problem is so dire that a single safety review is a drop in the bucket of deferred costs. 

Aviation has always been a high-risk endeavor and even in the best of operating environments, accidents do happen. However, the inexcusable degradation of readiness at the hands of an irresponsible Congress is simply unacceptable. This should be a bipartisan issue. Those suffering at the hands of sequestration are our men and women in uniform. It is imperative that Congress remove the danger inherent in allowing aviation to degrade by providing robust funding increases and further safety measures. “It’s a dangerous business” is no longer a sufficient explanation.

Schafer is a research assistant for the Military, Veterans & Society program at the Center for a New American Security.

Source:   http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion

Surf Air resuming flights over Atherton homes: Six-month trial of over-Bay approach has ended as Federal Aviation Administration study continues



For a six-month period that ended Wednesday, the noisy Surf Air planes flew the Bayside Visual Approach into San Carlos at least 60 percent of the time, “when weather and air traffic conditions” allowed, according to Assistant San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy.

On Thursday, the planes are to resume using the GPS approach, which had drawn thousands of complaints from residents in Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Altos and elsewhere.

“I just got a letter from San Carlos Airport,” Atherton Mayor Michael Lempres said on Tuesday, revealing the news that isn’t likely to please many of his constituents.

The Bayside approach, which took the planes out over the Bay for part of the flight, was “a real help,” Lempres said. “Clearly, not going over as many homes has really made a difference. That they will be flying over Atherton homes again will generate a lot of complaints.”

According to Callagy’s letter, “The Bayside Visual Approach was developed for use by Surf Air in an effort to reduce aircraft noise for approximately 140,000 residents living near the GPS approach into the San Carlos Airport.”

Gretchen Kelly, manager of the San Mateo County Airports Division, said in a letter to Lempres and others that “Surf Air will resume flying the GPS approach into the San Carlos Airport while the FAA completes its operational, community and environmental analysis of the Bayside Visual Approach for effectiveness. The FAA’s analysis will include an opportunity for public comment.”

Kelly said noise complaints can continue to be made by phone on the Noise Complaint Hotline at 844-266-6266, or online at http://www.planenoise.com/sanmateo/tY5Ru4wa/.

Lempres noted that Atherton already sends people to a working group tasked with working on the issue.

In August, the pavilion at Atherton’s Holbrook-Palmer Park was filled to overflowing when 185 people showed up to talk about the noise from Surf Air airplanes.

Many were angry about Surf Air, which began operations in 2013 with a few flights per day from San Carlos to Los Angeles and back. By August, it had expanded to 22 outgoing and 22 incoming flights a day.

There have been thousands of complaints, citing annoyances such as ruined phone calls, woken babies (and adults) and glassware shaking on shelves caused by low-flying aircraft.

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, host of the meeting, told the crowd that when Surf Air began operations, the county was surprised, and asked the Federal Aviation Administration, “How did we end up with a commercial airline in what had been a general aviation airport?”

The county was told, Horsley said, that not only were there no regulations stopping Surf Air from operating out of San Carlos Airport, but that there are federal regulations that make it so the county can’t stop Surf Air, at least not while it is receiving federal transportation grant money.

Source:  http://www.mercurynews.com

Southwest Airlines leaving Dayton and heading to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport



DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Southwest Airlines will stop operating at Dayton International Airport come early June and will be going to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon that Southwest will be operating out Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport.

The company said in a statement, “Decisions to leave a city are never easy as we constantly strive to utilize our People and Planes to serve markets aligning with long-term business plans. Our main focus now is on impacted Employees who we’re assisting to find other positions within Southwest.”

It will officially cease operation on June 3rd, the end of their current flight schedule.

The City of Dayton released a statement regarding the decision Wednesday.

It said, “City of Dayton leadership was informed by Southwest Airlines that despite its success in the Dayton market with passenger load factors in the high seventy and low eighty percent range, the airline has decided to leave the market in June 2017.

Southwest’s announcement signals a growing trend in the airline industry of concentrating service in larger hub markets.

“Unfortunately the trend has meant smaller to medium-size markets including Dayton have been losing routes,” said Terrence Slaybaugh, Dayton’s Director of Aviation.

“Although we hate to lose any airline service, especially one that the community has been very supportive of, we realize the volatility of the industry and the current trend of airlines to focus on hubs.”

Southwest has been flying out of Dayton since 2012. Last year, the airline made a change in service by limiting their flights to Chicago only. They had three flights a day out of Dayton.

The city says this move will not affect the number of flights with non-stop service from Dayton to Chicago because American and United have several to O’Hare every day.

Story and video:  http://wdtn.com

Man wanted by Yeager Airport Police in connection with fraud case



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is wanted in connection with a stolen credit card investigation in Charleston.

Police say Melick Hall, of Nitro, ran from officers at Yeager Airport.

According to the Yeager Airport Police Department, Hall is wanted in connection with a stolen credit card and two felony counts of fraudulent use of electronic access device.

Hall allegedly ran from airport police Wednesday Jan. 4.

Police say Hall is also wanted for failing to appear in Kanawha County Magistrate Court from back in November of 2016.

Investigators say Hall is known to carry a gun.

He is described as a 23-year-old black man, 6'3 and 190 lbs.

Hall is known to have an address in Crossroads Village in Nitro.

If you have any information about his whereabouts, contact your local police department or the Yeager Airport Police Department at 304-344-5158.

Mooney M20K 231, N1159G: Accident occurred January 04, 2017 near A.L. Mangham Jr. Regional Airport (KOCH), Nacogdoches County, Texas

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N1159G


NTSB Identification: CEN17LA068
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 04, 2017 in Nacogdoches, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2017
Aircraft: MOONEY AIRCRAFT CORP. M20, registration: N1159G
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 private pilot was conducting a cross-country personal flight. He reported that he entered the downwind pattern at his home airfield and prepared the airplane to land using the manufacturer's checklist, which included selecting the fullest fuel tank, setting flaps to 5°, and lowering the landing gear. While on an extended downwind leg, the pilot noticed that the airplane had descended to between 700 and 800 ft above ground level, so he added engine power to climb back to pattern altitude, but the engine stopped producing power. The pilot turned the airplane toward the runway, which he estimated was more than 1.5 miles away. He realized that he was not going to be able to glide the configured airplane to the runway, so he performed a forced landing to a field but landed short in a wooded area. 

Examination and testing of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Maintenance had recently been conducted on the fuel selector’s union fitting. The mechanic who conducted the maintenance reported purging the lines of air and conducting a successful postmaintenance test flight before releasing the airplane to the pilot. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination and testing of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

On January 4, 2017, about 1545 central standard time, a Mooney M20K airplane, N1159G, conducted a forced landing near Nacogdoches, Texas. The private rated pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight departed the Kerrville Municipal Airport and was about to land at the A L Mangham Jr Regional Airport (OCH), Nacogdoches, Texas.

The airplane had recently undergone an annual inspection and the flight was the second flight since the inspection. The pilot reported that the preflight and flight was uneventful until he entered the pattern to land at OCH. The pilot prepared the airplane to land using the manufacturer's checklist, which included changing to the fullest fuel tank, which was the left fuel tank, setting flaps to 5° and lowering the landing gear. While on an extended downwind leg, the pilot noticed that his altitude dropped to 700 to 800 ft above ground level, so he added engine power to climb back to pattern altitude. The airplane's engine stopped producing power without any vibrations or sputtering. The pilot turned the airplane towards the runway and estimated the distance to be more than 1.5 miles from the end of the runway. He set up best glide but perceived that the airplane was descending too quickly to make the runway. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field but landed short in a wooded area.

The airplane was moved to a secure location and several engine runs were conducted. Testing included scenarios with the fuel lines not purged of air. Engine runs with the left fuel line not purged of air, the engine would stop producing power if the pilot did not intervene and either activate the boost pump or switch back to the right tank. Testing found that when purged of air, the engine operated normally. Examination of the airframe found no anomalies. Examination of the fuel selector found no anomalies and each switch position was easily discerned.

The mechanic, who has worked on Mooney airplanes for 48 years, provided a statement concerning the work performed on the airplane prior to the accident. During N1159G's annual inspection, a discrepancy found were numerous fuel stains throughout the belly panels. The source of the leak was determined to be the o-rings on fittings in the fuel selector valve. The mechanic was familiar with the fuel selector valve and suspected that the o-rings were deteriorated. To perform the required replacement, both fuel tanks were drained and the fuel selector valve was removed from the airplane. The fuel selector was not disassembled and the four unions were removed. The O-rings were replaced and the fittings were torqued. The selector valve was reinstalled and the fuel tanks were refilled with the fuel that had been previously removed and filtered. The fuel selector was moved from the off position to the left position and the fuel supply to the valve was purged of air thru the gascolator drain valve. The selector was then moved to the right position and the right fuel line to the selector was purged of air thru the gascolator drain valve. Inspection showed no leaks and after several days was re-examined and found not leaking. The annual inspection and repairs were completed. The mechanic, who is also a pilot, performed a post maintenance flight that included selecting both the left and right tanks during the preflight, taxi, and flight portions. He did not detect any leaks during the post flight inspection.

The pilot has owned N1159G for almost 25 years and has at least 941 hours in the airplane without a similar incident occurring.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA068
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 04, 2017 in Nacogdoches, TX
Aircraft: MOONEY AIRCRAFT CORP. M20, registration: N1159G
Injuries: 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 January 4, 2017, about 1545 central standard time, a Mooney M20K airplane, N1159G, conducted a forced landing near Nacogdoches, Texas. The private rated pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged . The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight departed the Kerrville Municipal Airport and was about to land at the A L Mangham Jr Regional Airport (OCH), Nacogdoches, Texas.

According to preliminary information, the airplane had recently undergone an annual inspection and the flight was the first flight since the inspection. While in the pattern to land at OCH, the pilot switched fuel tanks and the engine stopped producing power. The pilot performed a forced landing; however, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings during the landing.


The airplane was retained for further examination.




Nacogdoches County, Texas --  An East Texas pilot was able to walk away from a Nacogdoches County crash site with no injuries.

According to officials, the plane went down around 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, near Terry Crawford Road. The crash site is located off Highway 7 near the A.L. Mangham Jr. Regional Airport.

The plane, identified as an Mooney M20K 231, is registered to Donald Keith Irby of Cushing.

Officials say Irby began to have engine failure before gliding into the field. He was not seriously injured in the crash.

According to the pilot, he had flown from Nacogdoches to Longview to get his yearly inspection. On the way back, Irby stated he had engine failure close the airport. The pilot said he was able to put the plane down safely in a field which had recently been clear cut. 

Irby said despite the scary incident, he will continue to fly, but he will need to replace his now totaled aircraft.

No other passengers were on board the plane.

The FAA is investigating the accident.


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









NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -  A plane has crashed in the area of State Highway 7 in Nacogdoches County.

According to DPS spokeswoman Stephanie Davis, the crash occurred in a wooded area near Terry Crawford Road around 4 p.m.

Donald Keith Irby, 63, of Sugarland, said he had picked up his plane in Longview after having it inspected. He was on his way to the Nacogdoches County airport when his engine began cutting out and he knew he had to find a safe landing spot and landed it in a clearing of dead trees.

Irby, who owns a ranch in Cushing, said he has some pain to his legs but, other than that, is fine.

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

Gun, box cutter confiscated from man at Yeager Airport checkpoint




CHARLESTON, WV (WCHS/WVAH) — Yeager Airport Police confiscated a semi-automatic pistol and box cutter from a man at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint Tuesday night in Charleston.

The gun, a Browning .25 caliber, was loaded and in the man's carry on bag, according to a news release from the airport.

The incident occurred about 6:25 p.m., the release said.

Police said the man, identified as James Cordell Menear, 62, of Huntington, was issued a citation by police.

The firearm was the first of 2017 to be confiscated by Yeager Airport police. Ten firearms were confiscated in 2016 at the airport.

"We strongly urge all travelers to pay heed to the signage in the airport regarding firearms and double check their carry on baggage before attempting to pass through the security check point, " Yeager Airport police chief Joe Crawford said in the release.

Weapons, including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition, are not permitted in carry-on bags at airports, but can be transported in checked bags if the guns are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.

Passengers who bring guns to airports could face criminal charges and fines of up to $11,000 from the TSA.

Source:   http://wvah.com

Bede BD-4, N311SD: Fatal accident occurred January 04, 2017 at Capitol Airport (02C), Brookfield, Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Dr. Cory Marvin C. Papenfuss 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

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

 
http://registry.faa.gov/N311SD


Location: Brookfield, WI
Accident Number: CEN17FA067
Date & Time: 01/04/2017, 1208 CST
Registration: N311SD
Aircraft: Demmer BD-4
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 4, 2017, about 1208 central standard time, an experimental, amateur-built BD-4 airplane, N311SD, sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion and subsequent impact with a parked vehicle while attempting to take off from Capitol Airport (02C), Brookfield, Wisconsin. The private pilot was fatally injured. One passenger received serious injuries; an additional passenger was not injured. The pilot owned and was operating the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed but not opened for the personal flight, which was destined for New River Valley Airport (PSK), Dublin, Virginia. 

The pilot's wife reported that she and her 6-month-old son waited inside airport office while the pilot loaded the bags onto the airplane and conducted a preflight inspection. She then helped the pilot push the airplane out of the hangar. The infant was buckled into a car seat that was secured in the left rear seat, and she sat in the right rear seat with her seat belt on. After the pilot completed his inspection, he boarded the airplane and buckled his seat belt. After engine start, he taxied the airplane to the runway 21 and performed a run-up, checking the flight controls and engine power; there were no anomalies. The wife reported that he properly deflected the ailerons for the wind conditions and applied full engine power while holding the brakes. He then released the brakes and the airplane began its takeoff roll. She could not see over the nose of the tailwheel-equipped airplane, but she felt it depart the ground then quickly settle back onto the runway; she assumed that the pilot was aborting the takeoff. She stated that the airplane became airborne again as the pilot applied more right rudder to maintain the runway centerline. She stated, "I felt us unnaturally veer left and thought 'more right rudder.'" The airplane turned farther left and veered off the runway. She reported that the pilot was "vigorously pumping the rudders back and forth (left and right). It was at this time everything went black." The airplane subsequently impacted a parked sport utility vehicle (SUV), which rolled over onto its side upon impact.

A witness reported that the pilot was in and out of the airport office while preparing for the flight. He stated that the wind condition was "pretty obvious with the wind sock being straight out," but that the pilot did not specifically mention the wind. Although the witness could not see the airplane when it started its takeoff roll, when it came into view, it appeared that the airplane was "having difficulty." The nose was slightly up, the right wing was down, and the tail was "oscillating." He stated that the airplane never got more than 10 ft in the air after it drifted off the runway surface. He watched the airplane for 3 to 5 seconds before it went out of sight; the impact occurred about 2 seconds later.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No 
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/29/2003
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1241 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model), 1190 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

The pilot, age 41, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate was issued on February 26, 2013, with no restrictions. Review of the pilot's logbook indicated that he had about 1,241 total hours of flight experience, with 50 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot's most recent flight review was conducted on December 12, 2015. 

The pilot and the airplane's co-owner had purchased the airplane in 2015 and started flying it in 2016. The pilot's logbook indicated that he flew 32 flights between April 24, 2016, and November 14, 2016. In the "Remarks, Procedures, Maneuvers" column in the logbook, the pilot mentioned crosswind conditions in 5 of the 32 flights. On May 7, he wrote that he practiced crosswind landings with an instructor pilot. On May 13, he wrote, "MC 1st flight. Takeoff X-W (illegible mark) drift. More cruise test w/pants +10?" On May 20, he wrote, "X-W solo practice (80° off @ 8 kts). On June 22, he mentioned, "Heavy gusting landing – PLOP!" On October 23, he added a remark, "Gusty!"

The pilot made numerous entries in the Remarks section concerning airplane performance, such as cruise airspeed tests, stall speeds with and without flaps, Vx (best angle of climb airspeed), Vy (best rate of climb), maximum rate of climb, and a maximum gross weight test flight. He made no entries concerning the airplane's crosswind limitations or stopping distance. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Demmer
Registration: N311SD
Model/Series: BD-4
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 11361
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/01/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 25 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 586.44 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane, serial number 11361, was manufactured in 2002. It was a tailwheel-equipped, high-wing cantilever monoplane with a 200-horsepower Lycoming IO-360-A1A reciprocating engine, serial number L-11173-51A. The airplane's last annual condition inspection was completed on September 1, 2016, at a tachometer time of 586.44 hours. The tachometer read 610.99 hours at the accident site. 

The airplane was equipped with four seats and had a maximum gross weight (MGW) of 2,400 lbs. The empty weight was 1,494 lbs with a useful load of 906 lbs. The combined weight of the pilot and passengers was estimated at 361 lbs. Numerous bags were found in the wreckage and their total weight was 187 lbs; the location of the bags in the airplane during the accident flight could not be determined. The airplane held a total of 80 gallons of fuel. A fuel receipt showed that the pilot purchased 25 gallons of fuel at 02C. It was not determined how much fuel was on the airplane during the accident flight; however, in order to remain within the 2,400-lb MGW limitation, the fuel load could not have exceeded 60 gallons. The distance between 02C and PSK was about 500 nautical miles, which would have required about 30 gallons of fuel. 

The pilot made the following aircraft logbook entry on April 23, 2016: 

Completed Phase-1 test flight hours IAW operating limitations dated 11/24/2015. I certify that the prescribed flight test hours have been completed and the aircraft is controllable throughout its normal range of speeds and throughout all maneuvers to be executed, has no hazardous characteristics or design features, and is safe for operation. The following aircraft operating data has been demonstrated during the flight testing: Vso (65mph), Vx (90 mph), and Vy (110 mph), at the weight (2300#), and CG location (89.1")

The BD-4 kit builder's website provided aircraft performance information for a BD-4C airplane, which is a newer kit version than the accident airplane. The performance specifications listed on the website indicated that the landing roll distance was 600 ft. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: UES, 912 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1145 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 220°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2200 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Obscured
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 20 knots / 28 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -13°C / -18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Brookfield, WI (02C)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Dublin, VA (PSK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1208 CST
Type of Airspace:

At 1145, the surface weather observation at Waukesha County Airport (UES), Waukesha, Wisconsin, located 4 nm southwest of 02C, included wind from 280° at 20 kts gusting to 28 kts; 10 miles visibility; scattered clouds at 2,200 ft above ground level (agl); temperature -13°C; dew point -18°C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.

At 1245, the surface weather observation at UES included wind from 260° at 15 kts gusting to 25 kts; 10 miles visibility; few clouds at 2,200 ft agl; temperature -12°C; dew point -18°C; altimeter 29.94 inches of mercury.

The pilot received a preflight weather briefing at 0915 provided by Lockheed Martin Flight Service (LMFS). During the weather briefing, the pilot and the weather briefer discussed the AIRMET Tango valid at 0915, including all the AIRMETs along the intended route of flight, and that current surface observations near the departure airport were VFR. The weather briefer asked if the pilot would like any Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF), and the accident pilot replied that he had the TAFs. The accident pilot did not request any additional weather information and only requested an abbreviated briefing.

Airport Information

Airport: Capitol Airport (02C)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 850 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3010 ft / 44 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

02C is a privately-owned airport and is open to the public. The airport was equipped with three runways; runway 03/21, runway 09/27, and runway 18/36. Runway 03/21, which measured 3,010 ft by 44 ft with a 172-ft displaced threshold, was the only paved runway, and was intersected by runway 09/27 about 1,200 ft from the displaced threshold.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 43.090278, -88.178056

On the day of the accident, FAA inspectors examined the skid marks on the runway, the wheel tracks in the grass between the runway and the taxiway, and the wheel tracks in the grass leading to the aircraft parking ramp where the collision with the vehicle occurred. The total distance from where the skid marks began on the runway to the parked SUV, a Chevrolet Tahoe, was 953 ft. The skid marks were not continuous. About 63 ft of tire skid marks that were veering to the left were found at the intersection of runways 21 and 27. The airplane departed the edge of the runway with no tracks through the snow or grass for about 298 ft on a southerly heading. This was followed by 110 ft of ground movement indicated by tire skid marks on the paved taxiway and tire tracks through the grass. Then there were no tire tracks for 220 ft, and then the tire tracks reappeared and traveled through the grass for 262 ft, to where the airplane impacted the SUV. The impact with the SUV caused it to be displaced about 8 ft and tipped over onto its left side. The airplane's engine, fuselage, and empennage were found on the left side of the SUV. The entire wing separated from the fuselage during impact and came to rest about 91 ft beyond the main wreckage. The SUV was parked in an aircraft tie-down area about 250 ft from the runway 21 centerline.

Examination of the wreckage after it was recovered to a hangar revealed rudder control cable continuity from the rudder pedals to the control surface. The elevator control tube was connected to the elevator bellcrank, but the control tube was fractured and was not connected to the control stick. The fractures were consistent with overload. The aileron control system did not exhibit continuity, but the fractures were consistent with overload failure.

The propeller spinner did not exhibit aft crushing or torque signatures. One of the propeller blades had a leading-edge gouge, span-wise scraping of the cambered surface, and aft bending. The other blade exhibited aft bending but no significant leading-edge nicks or gouges and no chordwise scratching. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office, Waukesha, Wisconsin, conducted an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was multiple injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing on the pilot. No carbon monoxide was detected in the blood. The test for cyanide was not performed. No ethanol was detected in the vitreous. Testing detected 1.808 (µg/ml, µg/g) Ketamine in liver and 0.767 (µg/ml, µg/g) in blood (cardiac); Midazolam in blood (cavity) and in the liver; Morphine in the blood (cavity); 0.492 (µg/mL, µg/g) Norketamine in liver and 0.058 (µg/mL, µg/g) in blood (cavity).


Ketamine is an anesthetic, midazolam is a sedating benzodiazepine, and morphine is an opioid pain medication. Review of postaccident treatment records for the pilot revealed that ketamine was administered as part of his initial postaccident medical care. Given that midazolam and morphine are commonly used to sedate patients during medical procedures such as surgery, it is most likely that all of the identified medications were administered during postaccident care.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA067
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, January 04, 2017 in Brookfield, WI
Aircraft: Demmer BD-4, registration: N311SD
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 4, 2017, about 1208 central standard time, an experimental, amateur-built Demmer BD-4 airplane, N311SD, sustained substantial damage during takeoff when it veered off the left side of runway 21 (3,010 ft by 44 ft, asphalt) at the Capitol Airport (02C), Brookfield, Wisconsin, and impacted a parked vehicle. The pilot was fatally injured; one passenger received serious injuries; and one passenger was not injured. The pilot owned and operated the airplane under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was departing 02C under visual flight rules (VFR) with New River Valley Airport (PSK), Dublin, Virginia, as the destination. The flight had an instrument flight plan on file, but the pilot had not contacted air traffic control to obtain the clearance.

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the airplane and the accident site. Their examination revealed skid marks on the runway and in the grass leading to the accident site. The total distance from where the skid marks began on the runway to the parked vehicle was 953 ft. The skid marks indicated that the airplane had become airborne momentarily twice before it traveled through the grass for 262 ft and impacted the parked vehicle. The entire wing separated from the fuselage during impact and came to rest 91 ft beyond the parked vehicle. 

A witness reported that he observed the airplane takeoff and drift downwind (left) of the runway. He saw the airplane became airborne but its altitude was less than 10 ft. He did not observe the crash due to obstacles that limited his view. 

At 1145, the surface weather observation at the Waukesha County Airport (UES), Waukesha, Wisconsin, located 4 nm southwest of 02C was: wind 280 degrees at 20 kts gusting to 28kts; visibility 10 miles; sky condition scattered clouds at 2,200 ft; temperature -13 degrees C; dew point -18 degrees C; altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury.



A Virginia Tech researcher has died after he and his family were in a plane crash in Wisconsin this week. 

Cory Papenfuss of Dublin died from injuries sustained during a plane crash in Brookfield, Wisconsin, on Jan. 4, according to a university press release.

The City of Brookfield Police Department responded to the crash at Capitol Airport about noon that day and found the 41-year-old pilot and his 37-year-old wife, Carmen Papenfuss, seriously injured, according to a press release from the department. Their 5-month-old son was found with less severe injuries.

The single-engine plane crashed into an unoccupied SUV parked in the grass east of the runway during takeoff. The adults were taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and the child to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, also in Milwaukee.

An administration official with Froedtert Hospital declined to comment on Carmen Papenfuss’ condition on Saturday.

According to a website set up as a fundraiser for the family, the mother is in critical condition with serious injuries, but is conscious and stable, while the son, Ben, suffered two broken legs in the incident, but is otherwise fine.

Cory Papenfuss had been employed by Tech since 2006, where his work in the vibrations and acoustics lab was based on passive and active noise and vibration control applications that included commercial aircraft, military diesel generators, and prenatal hospital incubators, according to the university.

The family was attempting to return to Virginia after visiting extended family in Wisconsin at the time of the crash.

As of Saturday the fundraiser had already topped its goal of $5,000, reaching $5,490.

Source:  http://www.roanoke.com


Cory Papenfuss





BROOKFIELD, Wis. —  The pilot of a small plane that crashed into an SUV at Brookfield's Capitol Airport at midday Wednesday died several hours later, a hospital spokesperson said.

Dr. Cory Papenfuss, 41, was a research scientist at Virginia Tech. A colleague who asked not to be identified said Papenfuss was well-liked and very well respected in his field.

Papenfuss' wife and small child survived the 12:08 p.m. Wednesday crash, though the 37-year-old woman was said to be in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital. Their 6-month-old son was not injured but was taken to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin as a precaution, Brookfield Capt. Phil Horter told reporters about an hour after the incident.

Flight for Life transported at least one of the people, but Horter couldn't identify who it was.

The cause of the crash is still unknown, but wind speed and direction may have played a role.

"There's got to be some extenuating circumstances that would cause that problem today I would say," said pilot David Mann, who was out flying Wednesday in another plane that's a little larger than the one that crashed.

"I flew a light twin from here up to Waukesha just this afternoon, and it was quite bumpy out," Mann said. "You had to be careful, but I don't think it was too windy to fly."

Wind speeds at Mitchell International Airport and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport exceeded 20 mph shortly before noon. A gust at Mitchell at 11:52 a.m. reached 29 mph.

No one was in the SUV that was struck by the plane, Horter said. A trailer attached to the SUV has a "Bad News Racing Team" logo on the side.

The airport at is 21500 Gumina Road in Pewaukee. Several dozen aircraft use the airport each day.

The FAA and NTSB are now investigating the crash. 


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



UPDATE: The pilot of the plane that crashed Wednesday afternoon in Brookfield has passed away.

Froedtert Hospital says he passed away Wednesday evening at the hospital. His wife remains hospitalized in critical condition. 

The couple’s son was treated at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and is in good condition.

The family has asked for privacy during this difficult time. 

BROOKFIELD, Wis.-- A small plane crash injured two adults with an infant on board at the Capitol Airport in Brookfield Wednesday.

Around noon Wednesday, police said a single engine airplane was attempting to take off when it ran off the runway. The plane crashed into a parked SUV with an attached trailer.

"The airplane itself appears to have significant damage," said Capt. Phil Horter with the Brookfield Police Department.

Police and fire crews arrived on scene to find three occupants of the mangled plane, a Virginia family that was in town visiting for the holidays.

The pilot, a 41-year-old man, and his 37-year-old wife were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

"I believe all of the patients were conscious,” said Horter.

Police say their 6-month-old baby was in the back of the plane in a child seat.

"The infant did not appear to be injured at all, but was taken to the hospital to be checked out," said Horter.

Horter said some of the victims were taken to the hospital by Flight for Life, others were taken by ambulance.

Chris Adams owns a small business across the street from the airport. He came back from lunch to a flood of police, fire crews and first responders covering the rural airport's property.

"Coming back from lunch it was really, really windy so I imagine that doesn’t help when you’re in a small experimental type of aircraft," he said.

Police said the cause of the crash is unknown at this time, however preliminary stages of the investigation are underway.

"I just hope everyone is OK I mean that’s obviously the first priority especially the infant and the family up there," said Adams.

Brookfield investigators reconstructed the crash Wednesday afternoon. The FAA will conduct its own investigation. 


Story and video:   http://www.tmj4.com



Two people were seriously injured in the crash of a small plane at the Capitol Drive Airport in Brookfield.

Emergency crews responded to the scene at approximately noon Wednesday, Jan. 4.

There were three passengers from Virginia aboard the single-engine aircraft — a woman, her husband and their infant son, according to a news release from City of Brookfield Police Capt. Phil Horter.

The 41-year-old man — the plane's pilot — and his 37-year-old wife were seriously injured in the crash, Horter said. Their son, approximately 6 months old, was in a child seat in the back seat with his mother and did not appear to have any obvious injuries.

Horter said the family had been in Waukesha County visiting family and were on their way back to Virginia after the holidays. The man and his wife were transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa and the infant was taken to Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa to be checked out.

Spokespeople for Froedtert and Children's Hospital declined to release any information regarding the names or the conditions of those involved in the crash.

Horter said the airplane crashed during takeoff, going off the east side of the runway and crashing into a parked SUV with a trailer attached. No one was in the vehicle, Horter said.

There did not appear to be any fire in the plane or the vehicle, but the plane did appear to have significant damage.

The initial investigation into the accident was conducted by the City of Brookfield Crash Reconstruction Team, Horter said, but has since been turned over to the FAA, which will be working with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The airport will be closed for 24 hours but the roads and traffic in the area will not be impacted, Horter said.

Story and video:  http://www.brookfield-elmgrovenow.com



BROOKFIELD -- A pilot and his wife were seriously hurt when a plane crashed while attempting to take off from Capitol Airport in Brookfield Wednesday, January 4th. Miraculously, their six-month-old child is OK.

It happened around noon at the airport on Gumina Road.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, while attempting take off from the airport, the single-engine plane ran off the runway, and crashed into a parked blue SUV that had a trailer attached to it.

The plane crashed to the east of the paved north-south runway, approximately mid-field.

There was no one in the parked SUV -- but there were three people in the plane.

"A husband and wife, approximately in their 30s, and they also had a small infant in the airplane with them -- approximately six to 12 months old," Brookfield Police Captain Phil Horter said.

Miraculously, the pilot -- a 41-year-old man from Virginia, his 37-year-old wife and the six-month-old baby boy were alive and conscious when first responders arrived. Officials said the baby didn't appear to be hurt. He was in the back seat with his mother -- in a child seat. The pilot and his wife were seriously hurt.

The two adults were transported to Froedtert Hospital, the child to Children's Hospital -- all were transported by Flight for Life or by the City of Brookfield Fire Department.

Police have not identified the family involved in the crash. Police said the pilot has family living in Waukesha County and had been in town visiting. They were headed back to Virginia after the holidays when this crash happened.

Chris Adams works at CCA Computers across the street from where this happened.

"As soon as we got here, we noticed Flight for Life was here already," Adams said.

Captain Horter said by no means is Capitol Airport a busy airport -- especially this time of the year.

"Certainly during the winter, it`s unusual to see planes going in and out of here in the winter," Captain Horter said.

The City of Brookfield Police Department has turned this investigation over to the FAA and NTSB.

Authorities say the airport is expected be closed for approximately 24 hours.

Story and video:   http://fox6now.com



A Virginia couple and their infant son were injured after their plane crashed while taking off at Capitol Drive Airport in Brookfield during the noon hour Wednesday.

Brookfield police said the single-engine plane may have been caught in crosswinds while taking off, causing it to crash midway along the airport's only paved runway, on the east side of the airfield. Strong westerly winds of 18 knots, gusting to 23 knots, were recorded at the airport, which has no flight control tower, at the time of the crash.

The pilot, a 41-year-old Virginia man, and his 37-year-old wife were seriously injured in the crash, City of Brookfield Police Capt. J. Philip Horter said in a release. The baby, who is approximately 6 months old, did not appear to have any obvious injuries but was taken to Children's Hospital by ambulance as a precaution, police said.

Flight for Life took the adults to Froedtert Hospital.

The mother was sitting in the plane's back seat with her son, who was restrained in a child seat.

The wings broke off the plane, which was laying in pieces Wednesday afternoon as investigators from the Brookfield's crash reconstruction team worked to learn what happened. The plane struck a vehicle towing a trailer that was parked in the grass at the side of the runway at the airport, 21500 Gumina Road. No one was inside the vehicle.

The couple was visiting family in Waukesha County for the holidays and flew out of the airport to travel home to Virginia.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA.

Capitol Drive airport will be closed for at least 24 hours, police said.

Source:   http://www.jsonline.com




BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Three people were on board a small plane that crashed into a vehicle parked near a runway shortly after takeoff at Capitol Airport on Wednesday.

All three -- a male pilot, his wife and a small child -- survived the crash, Brookfield Capt. Phil Horter told reporters about an hour after the 12:08 p.m. crash.

The 6-month-old boy was not injured but was taken to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to be checked out, Horter said. The pilot, 41, and his wife, 37, were both injured and taken to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

The family lives in Virginia but has family in Waukesha, an official said.

Flight for Life transported at least one of the people, but Horter couldn't identify who it was.

Wind speeds at Mitchell International Airport and Lawrence J. Timmerman Airport exceeded 20 mph shortly before noon. A gust at Mitchell at 11:52 a.m. reached 29 mph.

No one was in the SUV that was struck by the plane, Horter said. A trailer attached to the SUV has a "Bad News Racing Team" logo on the side.

The airport at is 21500 Gumina Road in Pewaukee. Several dozen aircraft use the airport each day.

Source:  http://www.wisn.com



(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) — Three people, including an infant, survived after a small plane crashed into a parked car near an airport runway in Wisconsin, according to authorities.

A male survivor suffered the most serious injuries, according to the Brookfield Police Department. The extent of his injuries was not known.

The man’s wife was not as seriously injured, and the infant did not appear to be injured, police said. All three passengers were conscious when emergency responders arrived at the scene.

The man and his wife were taken to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, while the infant was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to be checked out as a precaution, police said.

The three were from out of state, according to police.

The single-engine plane had departed from Capitol Airport when it lost altitude, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson. It is not clear where the plane was traveling to.

It is not clear whether the plane struck something before it crashed into the parked car, police said. No one was in the vehicle when the plane crashed into it.

Both the plane and vehicle suffered significant damage, according to police.

The FAA is investigating the crash. The airport will be closed for the next 24 hours.

The plane and vehicle each suffered significant damage according to authorities.

Source:  http://www.wwgp1050.com




BROOKFIELD, Wis.-- A small plane crash injured two adults with an infant on board at the Capitol Airport in Brookfield Wednesday.

Around noon Wednesday, police said a single engine airplane was attempting to take off when it ran off the runway. The plane crashed into a parked SUV with an attached trailer.

"The airplane itself appears to have significant damage," said Capt. Phil Horter with the Brookfield Police Department.

Police and fire crews arrived on scene to find three occupants of the mangled plane, a Virginia family that was in town visiting for the holidays.

The pilot, a 41-year-old man, and his 37-year-old wife were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

"I believe all of the patients were conscious,” said Horter.

Police say their 6-month-old baby was in the back of the plane in a child seat.

"The infant did not appear to be injured at all, but was taken to the hospital to be checked out," said Horter.

Horter said some of the victims were taken to the hospital by Flight for Life, others were taken by ambulance.

Chris Adams owns a small business across the street from the airport. He came back from lunch to a flood of police, fire crews and first responders covering the rural airport's property.

"Coming back from lunch it was really, really windy so I imagine that doesn’t help when you’re in a small experimental type of aircraft," he said.

Police said the cause of the crash is unknown at this time, however preliminary stages of the investigation are underway.

"I just hope everyone is OK I mean that’s obviously the first priority especially the infant and the family up there," said Adams.

Brookfield investigators reconstructed the crash Wednesday afternoon. The FAA will conduct its own investigation. 

Story and video:  http://www.tmj4.com









BROOKFIELD, Wis. (AP) -   Police say three people on board a small plane have been injured when the aircraft crashed into an SUV and trailer as it tried to take off from a suburban Milwaukee airport.

Aerial video shows the plane was destroyed when it hit the SUV around noon Wednesday at Capitol Airport in Brookfield. Authorities say no one was in the SUV when it was struck.

Police say the three injured people were rushed to a hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Story and video:   http://www.nbc26.com