Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Keep Funding for Rural Hawaii Airports



Following President Donald Trumpʻs recent budget request, Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) have introduced a measure to prevent proposed cuts to air service which could affect over 170 small airports nationwide, including in Kohala and Kalaupapa.

The Keeping Our Commitment to Essential Air Service (EAS) Act would reauthorize program funding through 2022.

Sen. Hirono said EAS provides reliable, affordable air transportation for some 20,000 people in Hawaii, including communities like Kalaupapa and Waimea.

“President Trump’s deep cuts to EAS would critically impact individuals in these communities who depend on air travel to get the health care they need and support local commerce and jobs,” said Hirono. “This is why I introduced this bill with Senator Sullivan–helping to ensure our rural residents and their families continue to have access to air service which is their lifeline.”

“Aviation is absolutely essential to reaching the many remote communities across Alaska’s vast, geographically diverse territory,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Essential Air Service provides the only means of transportation for residents in more than 60 Alaska communities—more than one-third of the communities served nationwide. There are no roads or highways connecting these Americans to the rest of the country—just an airstrip. We must work to maintain this strong and safe aviation network which supports jobs and economic opportunities for Americans living in rural areas.”

EAS was established by Congress to ensure small communities would continue to receive passenger service from air carriers after the industry was deregulated in the 1970s. Under President Trumpʻs Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal, rural airports could be forced to close or suspend service. The proposed budget cuts to EAS represent over half of the programʻs total funding.

The EAS Act reauthorizes the $175 million in annual funding which is currently appropriated by Congress to continue through 2022. EAS funding is currently set to expire on September 30, 2017.

“Air transportation is Kalaupapa’s lifeline to the outside world – not only for us residents who need to travel for medical needs and to conduct personal business in Honolulu, but also to see our families and to allow family members and friends to visit us and pay respects to the graves of their relatives who died here,” said Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa, president of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. “We fully support Senator Hirono’s bill to reauthorize the Essential Air Service program which will ensure air travel continues to be available for Kalaupapa residents and appreciate her longstanding leadership in support of our community.”

“The Essential Air Service program has been critical to maintaining Waimea-Kohala Airport as a gateway for Kohala District communities to the rest of our state,” said Dale Suezaki, chair of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. “We fully support Senator Hirono’s bill to save the program from proposed cuts and thank her for standing up for our communities who rely on the airport to access potentially life-saving medical services as well as support local businesses and jobs.”

Currently, Kalaupapa and Waimea-Kohala Airports receive subsidized air services under EAS from Makani Kai Air and Mokulele Airlines, respectively. In 2016, an estimated 11,000 passengers flew on Makani Kai Air from Kalaupapa and 9,000 flew Mokulele Airlines from Waimea.

Original article can be found here: http://bigislandnow.com

Cessna 175 Skylark, N6832D: Accident occurred May 26, 2017 near San Gabriel Valley Airport (KEMT), El Monte, Los Angeles County, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N6832D 

EL MONTE (CBSLA.com) – Three people were injured after a small plane crashed in a wash that runs parallel to the San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte Friday night.

The Cessna 175 crashed around 8:30 p.m. in the area Ranger Avenue and Whitney Drive, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The aircraft landed just feet away from some homes. “I was lucky that he didn’t come to my house,” one resident said.

Oil was leaking from the wreckage. “The motor came off of it ...  We put a blanket of foam around the actual plane itself. After that, we secured the plane” said Capt. Art Jimenez of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A pilot and two passengers aboard the plane suffered minor injuries.

The circumstances of the crash were not immediately confirmed.

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




EL MONTE >> Three people suffered apparently minor injuries after a small airplane crash-landed in a wash next to the San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte on Friday night, officials said.

The incident was first reported at 8:16 p.m., El Monte police Lt. Ben Lowry said.

A small airplane went down in a wash alongside the Rio Hondo River just west of the airport, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Ron Haralson said.

Three patients were treated for injuries described as minor, the captain said. There were no initial reports of any fire involved with the incident.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the aircraft had been described as a Cessna C175, and had “crashed off airport under unknown circumstances.” The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

Federal Aviation Administration records showed the tail number painted on the aircraft belonged to a single-engine Cessna 175, manufactured in 1959, with a valid flight status through November of 2019 and a registered owner based in Montebello.

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

A small plane crashed in Temple City near the San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte on Friday night, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Authorities were called to the scene near Rio Hondo River and Lower Azusa around 8:22 p.m. after receiving reports of a plane down, the Department said.

There were three people on onboard the plane, identified as a Cessna C175, and none were seriously injured, according to Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot and two passengers were able to extract themselves from the plane and were transported to a local hospital, police said.

"The victims are all doing okay right now. They're at County USC Medical Center; there were no life threatening injuries and they self-extricated out of the plane," said Art Jimenez with the LAFD. "The Cessna did crash into the wash itself and then actually crash landed into a tree against the wall behind these neighbor's facility."

Over five gallons of fuel leaked onto the ground next to the trees and authorities had to put a blanket of foam around the aircraft to prevent fire, Jimenez added.

Story and video:  http://ktla.com

Beechcraft C23 Sundowner, N9246S: Accident occurred June 18, 2016 near Ernest A. Love Field Airport (KPRC), Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9246S




NTSB Identification: WPR16LA128 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2016 in Prescott, AZ
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N9246S
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 Uninjured.

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 June 18, 2016, about 0815 mountain standard time, a Beech C23 airplane, N9246S, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Prescott, Arizona. The private pilot/owner was not injured, and the pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross-county flight, which departed Grants-Milan Municipal Airport (GNT), Grants, New Mexico about 0715 mountain daylight time. The personal flight was destined for Ernest A. Love Field Airport (PRC), Prescott, Arizona.

The pilots were participating in a point-to-point air race event. They departed Philip Billard Municipal Airport (TOP), Topeka, Kansas, the previous day at 0815 central time with about 52 gallons of fuel onboard. They reached a cruise altitude of 6,500 feet and flew for about 4 hours before they arrived at their second waypoint, Dalhart Municipal Airport (DHT), Dalhart, Texas. After they topped off the fuel tanks with 35.5 gallons of fuel, they departed for Tucumcari, New Mexico (TCC). As they reached their cruise altitude of 8,500 ft, they leaned the mixture control and, moments later, the engine lost power. The pilot enrichened the mixture and engaged the fuel boost pump and the engine "came back to life."  Later in the flight, an Air Route Traffic Control Center controller informed the pilot of a temporary flight restriction (TFR) along their route of flight. After 2 hours and 20 minutes of flight, the pilots chose to land at an airport in Sandia, New Mexico to adjust their route of flight around the TFR. They subsequently departed to the east and flew an indirect route to Socorro Municipal Airport (ONM), Socorro, New Mexico. They refueled the airplane with 27 gallons of fuel and filled the left tank until it reached a fuel quantity of 26 gallons usable fuel. The right tank was filled to the tabs, which, according to the aircraft's flight manual, provided 15 gallons of usable fuel. During their subsequent flight to PRC, the destination airport, they leaned the mixture after they reached their cruise altitude, 8,500 ft, and the engine lost power again. The pilot enrichened the mixture and engaged the fuel boost pump, and engine power was restored approximately 20 seconds later. As the evening approached, they decided to land at GNT and spend the night. 




The following morning, the pilot/owner contacted her mechanic to discuss the engine problems they had encountered. The mechanic attributed the power loss to vapor lock as a result of the density altitude and hot temperature conditions, and suggested a higher run-up power setting and to lean the mixture for best power on the ground. They followed the mechanic's instructions by learning the mixture out on the ground and subsequently departed with the fuel selector on the left fuel tank. According to the pilot's recount, they leaned the mixture knob out on the ground for "best power," but did not adjust it during the accident flight. About 1 hour and 10 minutes into the flight at a cruise altitude of 10,500 ft, the pilot determined they had about 49 minutes of flight time remaining. She then selected the right fuel tank, "believing at this point there was now more fuel in the right tank than the left." Within a few miles of their destination airport, the pilot/owner told the pilot-rated passenger seated in the right seat, who had assumed control of the airplane for the cruise portion of the flight, that they needed to initiate a descent. The pilot/owner reviewed the descent checklist and activated the fuel boost pump, ensured the fullest (right) fuel tank was selected, the landing gear was down, and the mixture was in the full rich position. After they retarded the throttle to approximately 1,800 rpm, the engine experienced a total loss of power. They advanced the throttle and cycled the mixture control, but did not receive a response from the engine. Seconds later, they observed a burst of engine power, so the pilot gradually leaned the mixture control, but the engine did not produce any further power. She subsequently attempted to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. The pilot/owner notified the tower controller at PRC, who cleared them to land on runway 21L. They descended the airplane rapidly, but then determined they would not reach the runway due to the 30 degree turn that was required, so they proceeded to land straight ahead. The airplane impacted the ground hard at approximately 80 mph and bounced. The airplane then returned to the ground and stopped. According to the pilot-rated passenger, the main landing gear separated shortly after the airplane touched down, and the airplane skidded up the rising face of a small berm. An initial report from an airport operations representative indicated that the airplane came to rest in an area of sparse desert vegetation about 1/2 mile north of PRC. The pilot/owner subsequently reported that she did not attempt to switch fuel tanks after the loss of power. Photographs provided by an airport operations representative and the Federal Aviation Administration revealed substantial damage to the right aileron and the left wing.

A fuel performance computation was completed based on the flight plan information provided by the pilots. According to the pilot/owner's statement, they departed ONM with approximately 26 gallons of usable fuel in the left tank and 15 gallons of usable fuel in the right fuel tank, and completed a 1 hour flight to GNT at a cruise altitude of 8,500 ft with the fuel selector on the L tank. Based on these values, the engine would have consumed about 10.9 total gallons of fuel. Before they departed GNT, the pilot-rated passenger confirmed the presence of fuel in both fuel tanks. They subsequently departed GNT on a 2-hour flight with approximately 16.6 gallons of fuel in the left tank and 15 gallons of fuel in the right tank. Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes into the flight, they switched the fuel selector from the left tank to the right tank. Given these calculations, at the time of the loss of power, the left tank should have contained about 9.7 gallons of usable fuel, and the right tank should have contained about 7.6 gallons of usable fuel. 

According to a representative of the airport who arrived on scene about 1 minute after the fire department, both occupants stated to him that they had turned the fuel off before they exited the airplane. The representative did not detect a fuel odor at the site, nor did he observe any indication of a fuel leak during the time he was in proximity of the airplane. The airport representative did not observe any traces of fuel on the ground when the airplane was lifted on the flatbed truck during the recovery effort. A representative of the recovery team stated that 10 gallons of fuel were drained out of the left fuel tank, and the right fuel tank was void of fuel. 

A fuel system inspection and engine test run was completed by a representative of the airplane manufacturer under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. During the inspection of the fuel system, the representative did not observe any breaches of the right or left fuel tanks. The fuel strainer, located between the fuel selector valve and the engine, was equipped with a quick drain at its base that had been sheared off during the accident sequence. According to a representative of the airframe manufacturer, placing the fuel selector valve in the OFF position prevents fuel in the tanks from moving to the fuel strainer. A bolt was installed in place of the quick drain to prevent fuel from draining out during the engine test run. Both fuel gauges indicated full fuel when the fuel transmitters were moved by hand to the full position, but showed ¼ full when the fuel transmitters were placed in the empty position. The engine was subsequently test run with new fuel that was introduced from an external tank attached to the fuel system at the right wing root as both wings had been removed during recovery of the aircraft. After the right fuel tank was selected, the engine was run to 2,200 rpm. The engine functioned normally during the magneto check and engine run up as the fuel flow indicator remained within the normal range. The engine did not show any power interruptions when the throttle was advanced rapidly. An engine backfire was heard once when the throttle was rapidly reduced from 2,200 rpm to 700 rpm; however, the engine continued to run. The engine test was repeated with fuel fed from the left side and no anomalies were observed. 

During a follow-up interview, the pilot-rated passenger reported that she sumped and visually inspected the fuel tanks to verify the presence of fuel. According to her recount, she observed that the fuel quantities "were enough to take off." Although she did not normally use the fuel gauges to track the fuel quantities, the pilot/owner stated that with about 45 minutes of flight time remaining, she observed the left fuel gauge needle entering the yellow band, a slightly below half-full indication, and the right gauge needle in the yellow band, which she equated to about 9 gallons of fuel remaining in the right tank. 

According to the pilot's operating handbook (POH), the yellow band of the fuel gauges represents a fuel quantity between empty and 3/8 full, approximately 9 gallons. The POH shows a fuel consumption of 8.7 gallons per hour (gph) at a power setting of 66% and 10.2 gph at a power setting of 75%; with the fuel-air mixture leaned to produce maximum rpm, then slightly enrichened. 



NTSB Identification: WPR16LA128
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2016 in Prescott, AZ
Aircraft: BEECH C23, registration: N9246S
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

On June 18, 2016, about 0815 mountain standard time, a Beechcraft C23 airplane, N9246S, was substantially damaged during a landing attempt in Prescott, Arizona following a loss of engine power. The private pilot and pilot rated passenger were not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the cross county flight that departed Grants-Milan Municipal Airport (GNT), Grants, New Mexico at approximately 0630 mountain daylight time. The personal flight was destined for Ernest A Love Field Airport (PRC), Prescott, Arizona. 

The pilot reported that she and her friend, a pilot rated passenger, were on their way to PRC to participate in an air race. They departed GNT with the fuel selector in the left tank position and about 36 gallons of fuel onboard. After the occupants reached their cruise altitude, the pilot handed the controls over to the pilot rated passenger for the remainder of the flight, while the pilot continued to operate the radio. They made contact with the tower controller about 5 nautical miles east of the airport and reduced engine power to begin a descent. When the engine suddenly lost power, the occupants immediately cycled the throttle and mixture and activated the fuel boost pump, which produced a brief surge of engine power. They contacted the tower controller to report the engine failure and to declare an emergency. The controller cleared the airplane to land on runway 21L, but as the pilot rated passenger turned towards the runway she realized the airplane would not reach the airport. The pilot reported that they had experienced two separate power losses in the days leading up to the accident, but successfully restarted the engine during both events. 

According to the pilot rated passenger, the main landing gear separated shortly after the airplane touched down. The airplane then skidded up the rising face of a small berm. An initial report from an airport operations representative indicated that the airplane came to rest in an area of sparse vegetation about one half mile north of PRC. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

Air guards practice defense of New Jersey, Trump airspace



GALLOWAY - While local, county and state law-enforcement protects President Donald Trump on the ground during his weekend visits to Bedminster, a well-organized coalition of military pilots guard the skies above him.

Tuesday, those combined defense forces scrambled from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing base at Atlantic City International Airport for a complex drill over the southern coast of New Jersey to practice first responses on aircraft that cross into restricted airspace, not only above Bedminster during the president's weekend visits to Trump National Golf Club, but throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

The "Cross Tell" exercise presented six different scenarios for pilots of U.S. Coast Guard helicopters and armed F-16 fighter jets from three regional Air National Guard units.




"We're trying to solve the inter-agency problems, bringing together the agencies, the Air National Guard, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, all the entities that are involved in making sure we defend the United States airspace," said 177th Operations Group Commander Col. Bradford R. Everman.

"We do a couple of missions, and we can all see the mission from our different perspectives," Everman said. "At the end, we debrief those missions, we take out the lessons learned and share them across all the entities involved. That way, if it becomes a real-world mission, and we actually have to execute this to truly defend the United States, we're better at it, because we've solved some of those inter-agency problems."

The exercise was opened to the media to give them a literal bird's-eye view of the engagements, seating them in single-prop Cessna 182 planes piloted by volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), who played the roles of "tracks of interest" in the dramatic sortie.

CAP provides essential and cost-effective support for the combined forces, also conducting 90 percent of all inland search and rescue missions in the continental United States.

Identical CAP Cessnas transported three reporters — one crossing into Pennsylvania — to three different engagement zones. One Gannett New Jersey reporter joined CAP Capt. Kenneth A. Korwin, left, and Maj. Lorraine Denby in the sky between Ocean City and Sea Isle City on the Jersey Shore.

Operating by script, the Cessna was cruising at about 125 knots, at an altitude of 2,500 feet, awaiting a close encounter with the Coast Guard.

"Can you see it yet?" Korwin asked.

Soon enough, an orange helicopter was spotted in the distance, approaching rapidly from behind before settling just above and behind the Cessna, which Korwin referred to as his "blind spot."

"It makes me nervous when they are that close and I can't see them," Korwin said.








A few seconds later, the helicopter dipped and advanced to a position about 500 feet off his left wing, by Korwin's estimate.

"Notice how he positions just low enough so I can see him under the wing," Korwin said.

The radio crackled with the Coast Guard announcing itself "just off your left wing. You have entered restricted airspace and you have been intercepted. Rock your wings to acknowledge."

Korwin complied, rocking the aircraft left and right while maintaining his course. Finally, after transmitting instructions where to land, the Coast Guard pilot acknowledged the end of the engagement and broke away.









The Cessna, however, remained in the same airspace for about 90 minutes, circling as it altered speed and altitude for five more engagements. Three followed a similar pattern, while Korwin was instructed to veer off in another, simulating an escape attempt. In another scenario, he did not respond, maintaining defiant radio silence and course.

Varying the direction, altitude, speed and reaction gave the helicopter pilots a variety of variables to practice reacting to, Denby explained.

"If we were heading like this to the White House, we would be shot down," Korwin posed.

Back on the ground, Scott clarified that since 9/11, NORAD has safely escorted all violators out of restricted airspace.

"I would also note that (shooting down the track of interest) is a final resort, and most times, the violating aircraft is unaware that they have flown into restricted airspace," Scott said.

The FAA posts temporary flight restriction information in affected areas to warn general-aviation pilots about the temporarily-prohibited airspace on their website at http://www.tfr.faa.gov









Following the exercise, Everman offered an upbeat assessment of the simulated missions.

"It went amazingly well," he said. "We had a chance to get everyone together. The best way to figure out how this went will happen in about three hours. We get all the players in the room. We'll share the lessons learned that came out in various parts of the exercise. We'll wrap all those up and put that in a report that we can pass along to other units."

"From the Air Force perspective, it really gives us an opportunity to see the other sides of the mission," said Maj. Andrew J. Scott. "The Air Force doesn't always get to see the Coast Guard side of the mission, and the Coast Guard doesn't get to see the Air Force side of the mission, So it's great opportunity for us to share and see the air-defense mission as a whole."






Adding to the relevance of the exercise are the temporary flight restrictions that will be imposed in Northern and Central New Jersey during the president's anticipated weekend trips to Bedminster over the next several months.

"With that happening, the FAA establishes the temporary flight restriction that will be occurring in the Bedminster New Jersey area," Scott said. "NORAD's job will be to enforce that. We can do that through a number of means, by fighter aircraft, also the Coast Guard helos."

"We're always concerned with all of the airspace that's over the sovereign U.S.," Everman said. "Sometimes it's Bedminster. Sometimes it's other places. It really depends on where the president is, and where our other areas of vulnerability are. But we always defend all of the United States airspace, from Maine to Florida, all the way out to the West Coast as well."

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://www.app.com

Steen Skybolt 300, N511GS, Bearfeat Aerobatics: Fatal accident occurred July 21, 2016 near Enid Woodring Regional Airport (KWDG), Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma

Air Force 1st Lt. Dale Bryan Shillington

Randy Harris 



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
United States Air Force

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N511GS





NTSB Identification: CEN16FA278 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 21, 2016 in Fairmont, OK
Aircraft: HARRIS-RUNYAN Skybolt 300, registration: N511GS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 21, 2016, about 1840 central daylight time, a Harris-Runyan Skybolt 300 experimental amateur-built airplane, N511GS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain northeast of Fairmont, Oklahoma. The commercial-rated pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. 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 originated from Enid Woodring Regional Airport (WDG), Enid, Oklahoma, at 1834.

The pilot-rated passenger was a 1st Lieutenant T-38 instructor pilot in the US Air Force and was stationed at Vance Air Force Base (AFB). According to his wife, the flight was arranged on the day prior to the accident when a spot on the flight became available. The pilot-rated passenger expected the flight to depart between 1800 and 1815 and last no more than 15 minutes, characterizing the flight to his wife as a "quick loop." His wife stated that there was "no expectation that he would be flying."

The pilot was a demonstration pilot for Bearfeat Aerobatics. He was scheduled to perform his acrobatic airshow at the 2016 Vance AFB Open House. According to the US Air Force, the pilot had given acrobatic rides to several other airmen on the day of the accident.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, on the day of the accident the pilot of the accident airplane contacted WDG local control at 1832 and requested clearance to taxi to runway 17. The pilot stated that he was going "to the east to do some air work for 10 to 15 minutes." At 1834, the pilot received clearance to takeoff on runway 17 and at 1835, the pilot acknowledged a frequency change. No other communications were recorded between the pilot and WDG controllers.

According to the US Air Force, the pilot was provided flight following by Vance AFB Approach at 1837 and was in radar contact. Neither primary nor secondary radar information was provided for the accident airplane and the exact route of flight could not be established.

A witness located ½ mile north of the accident location reported seeing the accident airplane flying earlier in the day. He also observed the accident airplane flying for 20 to 30 seconds prior to the accident. He stated that the airplane flew over his house at a high altitude and performed a barrel roll. The airplane continued south and then pitched up to climb straight up. "The nose of the airplane came down through the horizon and the airplane started tumbling," similar to what he had seen other aerobatic airplanes do. He stated that 1/3 of the way through the tumble the airplane rolled over on its back and entered an inverted flat spin. The airplane went behind the trees and he did not see the collision.

The witness stated that he heard the airplane's engine running until the sound of the airplane hitting the ground.



PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Pilot

The pilot, age 55, held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a repairman – experimental aircraft builder certificate. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued on September 21, 2015. The certificate contained the limitations "must wear corrective lenses." He reported 3,591 hours total time; 39 hours were logged in the previous 6 months.

The pilot held a Statement of Acrobatic Competency (SAC) card (FAA Form 8710-7), issued by the FAA on September 26, 2015, for the Skybolt S/D. The card was valid until December 31, 2016. The card contained the maneuver limitations "solo aerobatics, formation aerobatics", and the altitude limitation of Level 1, unrestricted. According to FAA Notice 8900.356, Level 1 designates the minimum altitude above ground level authorized to start and complete aerobatic maneuvers as unrestricted. While not required for the accident flight, the SAC was required for the airshow the pilot was performing in later in the week.

Pilot-rated Passenger

The pilot-rated passenger was a pilot and a 1st Lieutenant in the US Air Force, and had been flying since February of 2014. According to Air Force personnel, he had logged no less than 460 hours and was serving as a T-38 instructor pilot at Vance AFB. A review of FAA records showed that he held a civilian student pilot certificate.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the 1993 experimental amateur-built bi-plane, a Harris-Runyan Skybolt 300 (serial number HR30091001) was manufactured by the pilot/owner. It was registered with the FAA on a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental-amateur built category. A Lycoming IO 540-K1G5D engine rated at 300 horsepower at 2,700 rpm powered the airplane. The engine was equipped with a 2-blade, Hartzell propeller.

The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot, and was maintained in accordance with an annual condition inspection. A review of the maintenance records indicated that a condition inspection was completed, by the pilot, on April 3, 2016, at an airframe total time of 2,183.2 hours. The airplane had flown about 23.7 hours between the last inspection and the accident and had a total airframe time of 2,206.9 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The closest official weather observation station was WDG, located 14 nautical miles (nm) west of the accident site. The elevation of the weather observation station was 1,167 ft msl. The routine aviation weather report (METAR) for WDG, issued at 1850, reported wind 170° at 10 knots gusting to 20 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky condition few clouds at 8,000 ft, temperature 38° Celsius (C), dew point temperature 18° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.98 inches of mercury.

Calculations of relevant meteorological data revealed that the density altitude was 4,217 ft.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The accident site was located in a dormant wheat field. The accident site was at an elevation of 1,140 ft msl. The main wreckage came to rest inverted and included the left and right wing assemblies, the empennage, the fuselage, and the engine and propeller assembly. The wreckage came to rest oriented on a heading of 295°.

The upper right wing was crushed, torn, and broken and partially separated from the upper fuselage. The right aileron strut between the upper and lower right aileron was bent at mid span and remained attached to the upper and lower right aileron. The right aileron control tubing was continuous from the lower right aileron inboard to the cabin area. The lower right wing remained partially attached to the fuselage.

Both the upper and lower left wings were crushed, twisted, and broken and remained partially attached to the fuselage. The left aileron strut between the upper and lower left aileron was bent at mid span and remained attached to the upper and lower left aileron. Left aileron control tubing was continuous from the lower left aileron inboard to the cabin area.

The upper forward fuselage was crushed down and aft into the cabin area. The fuel tank was crushed down and was compromised. The floor of the fuselage was crushed and broken. The entire fuselage was bent, twisted, crushed, and broken. The occupiable space, for the front and aft seats, was reduced. The cockpit instruments were impact damaged and did not convey reliable readings.

The upper portion of the rudder and the vertical stabilizer was crushed down and to the left. The elevator control tubing was continuous from the forward cabin aft to the elevator control. The rudder cables were continuous from the forward cabin aft to the rudder control surface. The horizontal stabilizer and elevator were bent and twisted.

The engine and propeller assembly remained attached to the fuselage. For identification purposes, the two propeller blades were arbitrarily marked as "A" and "B." Propeller blade "A" was bent aft 90° and embedded in the ground beneath the airplane. The blade exhibited faint leading edge scoring and scratches on the face of the propeller blade. Propeller blade "B" did not exhibit any visible damage.

The top portion of the engine, including the upper portion of the cylinders and the pushrod guides, was impact damaged. The fuel manifold and fuel injector lines were impact damaged. The upper bank of spark plugs were removed and signatures were consistent with normal operation when compared to a Champion Spark Plug chart.

The scope of the examination was limited by fragmentation due to impact damage; however, no anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were observed.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Board of Mediocolegal Investigations – Office of the Chief Medical Examiner – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on July 22, 2016. The autopsy concluded that the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and the report listed the specific injuries.

The FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI), Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the autopsy. Results were negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Cyanide tests were not performed. Azacyclonol and fexofenadine were detected in the urine; however, they were not detected in the cavity blood.

According to the CAMI Toxicology Drug Information, Azacyclonol is a metabolite of Fexofenadine. Fexofenadine, commercially referred to as Allegra, is a nonsedating antihistamine used for the treatment of hay fever and the common cold. The pilot reported using Allegra D and Flonase on his medical certificate application.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to FAA Advisory Circular 91-45C an aerobatic maneuver is "an intentional maneuver in which the aircraft is in sustained inverted flight or is rolled from upright to inverted or from inverted to upright position." Aerobatic maneuvers include rolls, snap rolls, loops, immelmanns, cuban eights, spins, and hammerhead turns.



NTSB Identification: CEN16FA278
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 21, 2016 in Fairmont, OK
Aircraft: RUNYAN S / HARRIS R SKYBOLT 300, registration: N511GS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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.

On July 21, 2016, about 1840 central daylight time, a Runyan/Harris Skybolt 300 experimental amateur-built airplane, N511GS, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain northeast of Fairmont, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Enid Woodrig Regional Airport (WDG), Enid, Oklahoma, about 1830.

According to the passenger's wife, the flight was a "last minute flight," and she was supposed to meet the airplane at Vance Airforce Base, (END), Enid, Oklahoma, about 15 minutes after their scheduled departure time.

A witness located ½ mile north of the accident location reported seeing the airplane flying earlier in the day. The witness observed the accident airplane flying for 20 to 30 seconds prior to the accident. He stated that the airplane flew over their house at a high altitude and performed a barrel roll. The airplane continued south and then pitched to climb straight up. The nose of the airplane came down through the horizon and the airplane started "tumbling" similar to what he had seen other aerobatic airplanes do. He stated that 1/3 of the way through the tumble the airplane rolled over on its back and entered an inverted flat spin. The airplane went behind the trees and he did not see the collision.

The witness stated that he heard the engine of the airplane running the entire time – all through the maneuvers - until the sound of the airplane hitting the ground.

The wreckage of the airplane came to rest inverted in a dormant wheat field. Both bi-wing assemblies, the fuselage, and empennage were bent, crushed, and twisted.

Schleicher ASW 28-18E, N63KR: Fatal accident occurred May 26, 2017 in Ephrata, Grant County, Washington

http://registry.faa.gov/N63KR

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov

Near Ephrata, WA - A 64-year-old Richland man was killed in a glider crash Friday afternoon May 26 about eight miles west of Ephrata.

According to a press release from Grant County Sheriff's Office, Kyle R. Roberson was piloting a glider when it crashed into a remote farm field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest late in the afternoon, killing Roberson died on impact.

Roberson’s body is in the care of Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison, whose staff will conduct an autopsy. Roberson’s family has been notified.

Robertson was piloting an Alexander Schleicher model ASW28-18 glider, when he crashed.

The Ephrata area is popular among glider enthusiasts due to summertime atmospheric thermal layering which helps keep gliders aloft.

“I’m saddened by this news so early in the Memorial Day weekend, when people are enjoying their hobbies such as gliding,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “I pray Mr. Roberson’s family and friends will find peace and I will continue to pray for them.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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

A Richland man died when his glider crashed late Friday afternoon about eight miles west of Ephrata, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Kyle R. Roberson, 64, was piloting a glider that crashed into a remote agricultural field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest.

He died immediately when the glider hit the ground, according to police reports.

An autopsy is planned and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The Ephrata area is popular with glider pilots because of atmospheric thermal layering during hot weather that helps keeps gliders aloft, the sheriff’s office said.

Original article can be found here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com

Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam P2008, N615BS: Accident occurred July 19, 2016 at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (KHWY), Warrenton, Fauquier County, Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Herndon, Virginia

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 

http://registry.faa.gov/N615BS

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA263
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 19, 2016 in Warrenton, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/25/2017
Aircraft: TECNAM P2008, registration: N615BS
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 sport pilot reported that he was on the ramp ready for departure and that he was aware of helicopter traffic in the airport traffic pattern. He turned right onto the runway and saw a helicopter hovering over the runway ahead of him. He initiated the takeoff roll but then chose to reject the takeoff to avoid a possible collision. He stated that he pushed too hard on the left toe brake and that the airplane then departed the left side of the runway. The airplane then nosed down in the grass, which resulted in structural damage to the right wing. 

The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported that he had recently transitioned to the airplane with toe brakes from his previous airplane, which was equipped with a hand brake. He had only logged about 7 hours of flight time in the accident airplane make and model. It is likely that the pilot’s lack of experience using a toe brake led to his failure to use it properly.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s decision to begin the takeoff roll with helicopter traffic on the runway, which led to a rejected takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper use of the toe brakes, which he had limited experience using and resulted in a runway excursion.

On July 19, 2016, at 1233 eastern daylight time, a Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam P2008, N615BS, was substantially damaged following a rejected takeoff and runway excursion at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (HWY), Warrenton, Virginia. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that he was on the ramp and ready for departure when he heard via the airplane's radio a helicopter calling "downwind, base, final, and departure." He made a right turn onto the runway and observed a helicopter hovering over the runway, ahead of his position. After initiating the takeoff roll, he elected to reject the takeoff to avoid a possible collision. He had recently transitioned to a new airplane with toe brakes, and his previous airplane was equipped with a hand brake. He pushed hard on the brakes, "very likely too much on the left side" and the airplane departed the left side of the runway. The airplane departed the runway surface and nosed down in the grass. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot, age 87, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land and glider. He also held a FAA experimental aircraft builder certificate. The pilot held a FAA third class medical certificate and reported 1,295 total hours of flying experience on his most recent medical certificate application that was dated October 28, 2013. He reported 7 hours of flying time in the accident airplane make and model.

Fatal accident occurred May 26, 2017 in Spiro, LeFlore County, Oklahoma

SPIRO (KFSM) — One person is dead after they crashed while flying a small aircraft north of Spiro Friday (May 26) night, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The person was flying a paramotor ultralight aircraft, according to OHP Trooper Cody Jackson. 

An ultralight aircraft is a lightweight, one or two seat fixed-wing aircraft.

The incident happened just off County Road D4815 near Arkoma.

An eyewitness at the scene told authorities he saw the pilot takeoff and crash. 

The pilot was in the air for about 20 minutes before making a steep right turn and spiraling to the ground, said Jackson.

The pilot’s vehicle was found parked nearby and was towed away, according to troopers on scene.

Original article can be found here: http://5newsonline.com

LEFLORE COUNTY, Okla. (KTUL) — Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Texas man died when his plane crashed in LeFlore County Friday.

Richard Biggerstaff Jr., 43, was flying a Tera Motor Ultralight plane when the plane suddenly went started flying in a steep banked spiral, a witness told OHP.

The plane entered a downward spiral before crashing into the ground and causing a small explosion.

Biggerstaff, who is from Midland, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the plane crash is still under investigation. 

Original article can be found here:  http://ktul.com

Brandt Sonex, N393SX: Accident occurred July 18, 2016 at Lodi Lakeland Airport (9WN5), Columbia County, Wisconsin

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N393SX

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA273

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 18, 2016 in Lodi, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2017
Aircraft: BRANDT SONEX, registration: N393SX
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

During a local flight, the pilot of an experimental amateur-built airplane had a partial engine power loss. He said that the engine sounded different but remained running. He turned the airplane back to the airport and noted he was high and fast. He indicated that he bled off airspeed, as he wanted to avoid buildings before landing. He subsequently reduced power and performed a landing with calm wind present. The airplane's nose and left main landing gear collapsed after touchdown, the airplane skidded to the north side of the runway, and exited the runway into a ditch where it sustained the substantial damage. The airplane was powered by an engine that the pilot/builder assembled from a kit. The airplane accumulated 25 hours of flight time at the time of the accident. The kit manufacturer engine assembly and installation manual had specific rocker shaft instructions that included procedures on how to adjust and install rocker arms. An examination revealed that the threaded shaft of a rocker arm swivel pad had separated at a point on the shaft where there was a cross drilled hole. The remaining rocker arms did not exhibit the appearance of arm adjustment in accordance with the kit manufacturer's assembly manual. Detailed examination of the failed valve adjuster showed it separated into two portions approximately mid length in the shank area between the two threaded areas. This location was coincident with a hole drilled crosswise through the shank of the valve adjuster. The fracture surfaces exhibited crack arrest patterns consistent with a fatigue fracture. The origin of the fatigue fracture appears to be coincident with the edge of the cross-drilled hole. Examination of the exemplar valve adjuster and specifically the cross-drilled hole revealed a roughly finished surface with a pronounced burr around the circumference of the hole. A professional materials engineering publication, in part, stated, "The fatigue strength of components can be reduced merely by the presence of a drilled hole; it is further reduced by failure to remove burrs (incurred during drilling) from the hole edges. Fractures originating at drilled holes are common in complex parts containing internal, intersecting machined passages because of the difficulty and expense of providing adequate break-edge radii at such locations. It could not be determined if the failure of the rocker arm was due to the misassembly of the rocker arm assembly and/or the toolmarks left by the manufacturing process.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The separated rocker arm assembly for undetermined reasons, which resulted in the partial loss of engine power and led to the landing gear collapsing during the subsequent forced landing.

On July 18, 2016, about 1915 central daylight time, a Brandt Sonex experimental amateur-built airplane, N393SX, impacted a ditch when it exited runway 9 (1,875 feet by 105 feet, turf) at the Lodi Lakeland Airport (9WN5), near Lodi, Wisconsin, during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power. The sport pilot was uninjured. The airplane fuselage was substantially damaged during the impact with the ditch. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from 9WN5 at time unknown.

The pilot reported a partial loss of engine power, which occurred northwest of 9WN5. He said that the engine sounded different but remained running. He turned the airplane back to the airport and noted he was high and fast. He indicated that he bled off airspeed, as he wanted to avoid buildings before landing. He subsequently reduced power and performed a landing. The airplane's nose and left main landing gear collapsed after touchdown, the airplane skidded to the north side of the runway, and exited the runway into a ditch where it sustained the substantial damage.

The pilot, age 71, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sport pilot certificate and he reported that he accumulated 180 hours of total flight time.

N393SX was a low-wing, fixed tricycle gear, 2-seat, experimental amateur-built airplane with serial number 393. It was powered by a 70-horsepower AeroVee engine driving a fixed pitch Sensenich propeller. The pilot reported that the airplane had a condition inspection completed on December 4, 2015, and that the airplane accumulated 25 hours of flight time at the time of the accident.

The airplane and engine were sold as kits that the owner assembled. The kit manufacturer engine assembly and installation manual had specific rocker shaft instructions that included procedures on how to adjust and install rocker arms.

At 1953, the recorded weather at the Dane County Regional Airport-Truax Field, near Madison, Wisconsin, was: Wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 5,500 feet; temperature 27 degrees C; dew point 17 degrees C; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.

An FAA inspector examined the wreckage and observed that the threaded shaft of a rocker arm swivel pad on the rocker arm assembly had separated at a point on the shaft where there was a cross drilled hole. The accident engine's remaining rocker arm assemblies did not exhibit the appearance of arm assembly adjustment in accordance with the adjustment directions in the kit manufacturer's assembly manual. The separated rocker arm swivel pad and an exemplar pad from the accident engine were shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for detailed examination.

An NTSB Materials Laboratory Engineer examined the items and produced Materials Laboratory Factual Report No. 16-101, which is appended to the docket material associated with this investigation. The report, in part, indicated the failed valve adjuster separated into two portions approximately mid length in the shank area between the two threaded areas. This location was coincident with a hole drilled crosswise through the shank of the valve adjuster. The fracture surfaces exhibited crack arrest patterns consistent with a fatigue fracture. The origin of the fatigue fracture appears to be coincident with the edge of the cross-drilled hole. The ball bearing on the end of the valve adjuster had seized in place and could not be rotated. A measurement of the hardness on a section of the fractured valve adjuster revealed a hardness of 20.2 on the Rockwell C scale.

Examination of the exemplar valve adjuster and specifically the cross-drilled hole revealed a roughly finished surface with a pronounced burr around the circumference of the hole.

ASM International Handbook, Volume 11, Failure Analysis and Prevention, in part, stated:

The fatigue strength of components can be reduced merely by the presence of a drilled hole; it is further reduced by failure to remove burrs (incurred during drilling) from the hole edges. Fractures originating at drilled holes are common in complex parts containing internal, intersecting machined passages because of the difficulty and expense of providing adequate break-edge radii at such locations.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA273
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 18, 2016 in Lodi, WI
Aircraft: BRANDT SONEX, registration: N393SX
Injuries: 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 July 18, 2016, about 1915 central daylight time, a Brandt Sonex experimental amateur-built airplane, N393SX, impacted a ditch when it exited runway 9 (1,875 feet by 105 feet, turf) at the Lodi Lakeland Airport (9WN5), near Lodi, Wisconsin, during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power. The sport pilot was uninjured. The airplane fuselage was substantially damaged during the impact with the ditch. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from 9WN5 at the time unknown.

According to preliminary information, the pilot reported a partial engine power loss, which occurred northwest of 9WN5. He said that he had to cut his base short to runway 9 due to buildings that he wanted to avoid in case of total power loss. The wind favored runway 27. However, he did not think he would make it to that runway. The airplane's nose and left main landing gear collapsed after touchdown, the airplane skidded to the north side of the runway, and exited the runway into a ditch where it sustained the substantial damage.

At 1953, the recorded weather at the Dane County Regional Airport-Truax Field, near Madison, Wisconsin, was: Wind calm; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 5,500 feet; temperature 27 degrees C; dew point 17 degrees C; altimeter 30.15 inches of mercury.