Thursday, August 31, 2017

Van's RV-12, N212ZF: Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2017 at Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport (KUMP), Fishers, Hamilton County, Indiana

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

Additional Participating 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana
Rotax Aircraft Engines; Vernon B.C, FN
Van's Aircraft, Inc.; Aurora, Oregon

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Norman B. Levine:

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA334
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 31, 2017 in Fishers, IN
Aircraft: VANS AIRCRAFT INC RV-12, registration: N212ZF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 August 31, 2017, about 1130 eastern daylight time, a Vans Aircraft Inc. RV-12 airplane, N212ZF, impacted terrain following a takeoff from runway 15 at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport (UMP), near Fishers, Indiana. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed during the impact and a post impact ground fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight was originating from UMP at the time of the accident.

A flight instructor giving dual instruction at UMP reported that he was with a student in a Robinson R22 helicopter preparing to execute an autorotation landing to runway 15. His student made a radio call approximately 4 miles from the field that announced their intentions to make a straight in landing on 15. As the helicopter descended through short final, an airplane began to cross the runway hold short line to take 15 while simultaneously announcing his departure over the radio. As soon as radio call ended the aircraft was just reaching the runway 15 threshold markings. The instructor immediately made a radio call announcing that the helicopter was already on short final. The airplane pilot did not respond and continued to take the runway. The instructor indicated, "At this point it was clear we would have to initiate a go around in order to avoid a collision. Instead of proceeding upwind and risking a collision while he was taking off, I opted to do a right 360 off of the southwest side of the approach end of 15 to ensure we would remain clear of his departure path. As we began the right 360 I made a calmly mannered radio call directed toward the aircraft explaining that it was bad practice to cut off approaching aircraft on short final." The airplane pilot never responded to this or any other radio calls from the helicopter. The instructor further stated, "As we came back around on final after executing the right 360 I noticed a fire in the grass off of the departure end of the runway. I began to look for the departing airplane and also noted that he had not made any other radio calls announcing his departure from the pattern. At this point I realized it was pretty clear that the fire was likely the departing airplane. I immediately initiated a go around and radioed the Metro unicom instructing them to call 911 for the wrecked airplane. I then executed the rest of the go around and flew over the wreckage to try and assess the damage. I immediately landed the helicopter direct to the ramp and then called 911 again from my phone." The instructor said that he never had two-way radio communication with the pilot of the airplane and that he did not see the airplane takeoff or impact terrain.

According to preliminary information given to the airport police, another witness saw the airplane during its climbout. The airplane descended, impacted grassy terrain southeast of the runway, and caught on fire.

The 78-year-old pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. His most recent application for a FAA third-class medical certificate was dated June 28, 2012. As of this medical exam, the pilot reported that he had accrued 1,200 total hours of flight time and 23 hours of flight time in the six months before the medical certificate. That medical certificate had a limitation: Must wear corrective lenses.

N212ZF was an experimental operating light-sport kit-built Van's Aircraft Inc. RV-12 airplane with serial number 120136. The airplane was a single engine, low-wing monoplane, configured to seat two occupants in a side-by-side seating arrangement. It employed a fixed tricycle landing gear arrangement and was constructed primarily from aluminum alloy materials. The airplane was powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS engine. The engine drove a two-bladed, Sensenich composite, adjustable pitch, propeller. The airplane was equipped with a forward opening, tip-up canopy. An endorsement in the airplane's logbooks indicated that a condition inspection was completed on November 20, 2016, and that the airplane had accumulated 153.4 hours of total time at that date.

The airplane was equipped with a Dynon FlightDEK-D180 seven-inch wide screen display unit.

The unit's primary functions include attitude, airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, gyro-stabilized magnetic compass, slip/skid ball, turn rate, clock, timers, g-meter, and horizontal situation indicator. This instrument features ADAHRS (Air Data, Attitude and Heading Reference System), which integrates over a dozen solid-state sensors. The unit can continuously monitor up to 27 available sensor inputs that cover the engine, fuel and other miscellaneous systems and annunciate any abnormality immediately upon detection. The Dynon's internal memory is capable of logging data depending on the firmware version installed in the unit. The data logging must be configured by the operator to enable logging and set the data log interval.

At 1129, the recorded weather at the Indianapolis Regional Airport, near Indianapolis, Indiana, was: wind 070° at 5kts; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition clear; temperature 21° C; dew point 17° C; altimeter 30.11 inches of mercury.

UMP was a public, non-towered airport, which was owned by the Indianapolis Airport Authority. It was located near Fishers, Indiana, about eight miles northeast of Indianapolis, Indiana. The airport had one runway and a surveyed elevation of 811.3 ft above mean sea level. Runway 15/33 was a 4,004 ft by 100 ft runway with a grooved asphalt surface. The airport listed 123.0 megahertz as its common traffic advisory frequency. Airport operations personnel examined the runway after the accident and no liberated airplane parts were found.

An on-scene examination of the wreckage was conducted. A page from the airplane's checklist, a section of foam, and a pair of glasses were found in the grass near the departure threshold of the runway. The airplane impacted the ground about 225 ft southeast of the departure end of runway 15 where a linear impact mark with a depression at its center, consistent with the size of the airplane's wings, engine cowling, and nose landing gear, was found. That linear mark revealed an impact heading or 140°. The airplane came to rest upright on about a 100° heading about 104 ft after that impact mark. The grass along a linear path between the impact witness mark and where the airplane came to rest was chafed. That linear path heading was about 150°. The nose landing gear was separated from the airplane and was found near the depression at the witness mark. Sections of the airplane were liberated along the path. One side of a headset was found about 13 ft from the impact mark. A composite propeller was found about 20 ft from the impact mark. A section of cowling was found about 80 ft from the impact mark. The fuselage by the cabin and inboard sections of the wings exhibited discoloration, deformation, and consumption damage consistent with a ground fire. Flight control cables from the rudder and elevator were traced from their flight control surfaces to the cabin area near their controls. Aileron control continuity could not be traced due to the fire damage present. The throttle, choke, and cabin heat were found in their forward positions. Engine control cables were traced from the cabin to the engine. Electrical power was applied to the trim motor and the trim motor was found to be operational.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office arranged for an autopsy to be performed on the pilot.

The engine and Dynon unit were retained for further detailed examination.

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

Norman B. Levine
September 19, 1926 - August 31, 2017

Norman B. Levine, 78, of Carmel, passed away on August 31, 2017. He was born in Detroit, MI to Saul and Evelyn Levine on June 8, 1939.  He was the founder of Glass and Mirror Craft Industries.  Norman moved from West Bloomfield, MI.  He then was able to spend his summers in Carmel, IN and winters in Ocean Ridge, FL. 

He is survived by his wife, Cynthia; sons, Scott (Tina) Levine, Adam (Laura) Levine, and Shawn (Sarah) Levine; 7 grandchildren; sister, Micki Lasher; and brother-in-law, Martin (Irene) Agrest.

Graveside services will be held Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Congregation Beth-El Zedeck North Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Weitzman Institute in Israel or to the charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements entrusted to A.R.N. Funeral & Cremation Services.  Friends may leave a memory or message of condolence by visiting the online obituary at

The pilot who died Thursday in a crash at Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport in Fishers has been identified as 78-year-old Carmel resident Norman Levine.

Investigators are working to determine what caused his plane to crash Thursday about 11:15 a.m. at the airport near East 96th Street and Allisonville Road. He was the only occupant.

Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency investigating the incident, told IndyStar on Friday that the plane struck the ground about 225 feet from the departure end of the runway after takeoff.

The plane came to a stop about 100 feet beyond that initial point of impact and at some point after the crash caught fire, Knudson said.  

Hamilton County Coroner Chalfin said Thursday that Levine sustained trauma to his upper body and face and severe burns to his legs. Chalfin notified the media of the pilot's identity on Friday.

The plane, a Van's RV-12, is a two-seat, single-engine propeller aircraft that can reach speeds up to 135 mph, according to the manufacturer's website.

Investigators are sifting through the wreckage and talking to witnesses. Knudson said the plane's engine and attitude  indicator, which relays information to the pilot regarding the aircraft's position relative to the ground, will be taken to a lab for further testing. 

The entire investigation could take a year or more to complete, he said, but a preliminary report will be available in one to two weeks. 

The 445-acre airport, surrounded on most sides by suburban development, has a 3,850-foot-long runway. The airport accommodates about 24,000 flights per year, said Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis International Airport, which owns the Fishers airport. About 150 small planes are based there.

FISHERS, Ind. — Investigators are working to determine what caused a deadly crash Thursday morning at Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport after a small plane burst into flames shortly after takeoff.

The sole passenger of the single-propeller aircraft was killed about 11:15 a.m. at the airport near East 96th Street and Allisonville Road, authorities said. The pilot has not been identified. 

Preliminary information indicates that the plane, a Van's RV-12, crashed under unknown circumstances and caught fire shortly after departing the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

Molinaro said damage to the plane was "substantial." 

Hamilton County Coroner John Chalfin said he was informed before receiving the body that the man had trauma to his upper body and face and that his legs were charred by fire.

Authorities did not have any preliminary identification, so Chaflin said he would try to determine who the pilot was by any identifying scars or other marks.

Jay Nolan, a barista at Starbucks on East 96th Street, said she had a clear view of the plane crash through the coffee shop's large windows. Whether the plane was returning to the airfield immediately after takeoff was unclear.

"It just looked like he came in fast and low then exploded," Nolan said.

Grant Kirsh, an Indianapolis lawyer who takes flight lessons about three times a week at Metropolitan, said an official at the airport told him the pilot was not one of the 150 airplane owners based there.

“It was someone new to the airport,” said Kirsh, whose father, Steve Kirsh, flies at Metropolitan one to three times a week.

Kirsh said he was told the plane overran the runway and crashed when the plane left the landing strip. He said he drove by the airport and saw the damaged tail of the aircraft in the grass 200 feet past the end of the runway.

“It’s really hard to overrun; usually you need only half the runaway,” Kirsh said. “It would appear something else was going on for that to happen.”

He said the airport is very safe and he could not remember another accident there.

“It’s very well-maintained, top-notch, and I see airport authority officials there all the time inspecting it,” Kirsh said.

The 445-acre airport, surrounded on most sides by suburban development, has a 3,850-foot-long runway. The airport accommodates about 24,000 flights per year, said Stephanie McFarland, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis International Airport, which owns the Fishers airport. About 150 small planes are based there.

McFarland said Metropolitan will be closed pending a National Transportation Safety Board investigation. She declined to provide any further details on the crash.

A final determination on a plane crash can take up to 18 months, NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said. A preliminary report is usually available in a week to 10 days. 

The Van's RV-12 is a two-seat, all-metal plane that reaches a top speed of 135 mph, according to the manufacturer's website. 

Story and video ➤

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport officials reported around 11:30 a.m. Thursday that a small, private plane crashed into the grass in the airfield, killing the pilot. 

The Fishers Fire Department, Fishers Police Department and Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport Police responded to the wreckage. Officials have not released the identity of the pilot; however, fellow pilots on the scene told 24-Hour News 8 the victim is a local man and an experienced pilot.

Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine said the victim was the sole occupant of the aircraft. Perrine said the investigation is now a federal issue with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We’re going to assist the FAA and NTSB in any way that they ask us to do, but right now the investigation will be in their hands,” Perrine said. “We have an interest because it’s a crash that occurred in the state of Indiana. That’s why we’re here but at this point we’re merely playing an assist role.”

Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport Police spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said the airport will be closed pending the investigation.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport officials said the airport is a reliever airport of the Indianapolis Airport Authority and accommodates approximately 24,000 flights per year. It includes one asphalt runway and several hangars. The site is also the home of the Tom Wood Aviation School.

Story and video ➤

FISHERS, Ind. -- One person died Thursday morning in a plane crash in Fishers, Indiana. 

The crash happened at the Metro North Airport in Fishers around 11:30 a.m.

Fishers Police Department spokesperson Tom Weger said the pilot was the only occupant.

A single-engine plane crashed during its takeoff, according to the FAA. Initial sources said the plane was landing at the time of the crash.

The crash is now under investigation by the FAA and the NTSB.

Mike Young, who lives near the airport in Fishers, said he heard his dog barking and looked up.

"There was rolling black smoke just beyond the treeline," Young said. "There are no businesses over here. It was rolling pretty good. Which to me, indicated a problem here."  Young said small planes frequently come in and out of the airport.

Original article can be found here ➤

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm confident that it was another RV12 unlatched canopy accident. If the forward tipping canopy opens during flight, the nose violently pitches down and the occupants are raised out of their seat away from the controls. The RV12 canopy latch design fails to provide a redundancy that protects the pilot from the canopy opening if the latch is not properly secured. Vans has ignored owners who do not have a Dynon Skyview EFIS installed which alarms the pilot to an unlatched canopy when RPM increases. My assessment comes from the fact that investigators had located the pilots glasses, checklist, and seat back foam, near the departure end of the runway and nearly 225 feet away from the crash site and the canopy which was found separated from the main impact site had no signs of fire damage. I saw the wreckage first hand. Vans needs to address this fatal flaw for all their RV12's not just the ones with high end flight displays.