Saturday, October 21, 2017

Extra EA 300/L, N414MT, registered to KD Leasing LLC and operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC doing business as Sky Combat Ace: Fatal accident occurred October 21, 2017 in Alpine, San Diego County, California, California





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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California

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

Registered to KD Leasing LLC

Operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC doing business as Sky Combat Ace

http://registry.faa.gov/N414MT 

NTSB Identification: WPR18FA013
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Four Corners, CA
Aircraft: EXTRA FLUGZEUGPRODUKTIONS-UND EA 300/L, registration: N414MT
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 October 21, 2017, at 1611 Pacific daylight time, an Extra Flugzeugproduktions-Und EA 300/L, N414MT (Callsign Ace 5), collided with terrain within the watershed of the El Capitan Reservoir, near Four Corners, California. The flight instructor and passenger sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to KD Leasing LLC., and operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC. (doing business as Sky Combat Ace), under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local instructional flight departed Gillespie Field Airport, San Diego/El Cajon at 1557. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The operator's website described itself as an "extreme aviation attraction," providing a series of aviation related "experiences", including aerobatics, air combat, and flight training. The passenger had signed up for the 25-minute-long, "Top Gun" experience, which according to their website was a flight which included, "Advanced Aerobatics", "Basic Aerobatics", a "Low Level Bombing Run", "You Fly Maneuvers", and "You Fly Departure".

Preliminary radar data provided by the FAA indicated a target initiating a climbing left turn after departing from runway 17, and reaching a mode C reported altitude of about 4,700 ft mean sea level (msl), 5 miles northeast of the airport. For the next 10 minutes, the target followed a track along the general path of the San Diego River, then east of the El Capitan Reservoir, and north towards the town of Four Corners. The track followed a meandering path at varying airspeeds and altitudes ranging between 4,500 and 7,100 ft in a manner consistent with aerobatic maneuvers, and multiple witnesses along the route indicated seeing an airplane performing aerobatic-like maneuvers about that time.

At 1610 the target had reached its farthest point from the airport, just north of the reservoir. It then began to track back to the southwest, climbing from 5,000 ft to 6,900 ft over the next 90 seconds. About 15 seconds later, the last target was recorded just to the southeast at an altitude of 4,500 ft.

The accident site was located within the river valley, on a hillside slope at an elevation of about 775 ft, about 1,000 ft east of the last radar target. The primary wreckage consisted of a 4-ft-deep by 6-ft-wide crater which contained fragmented engine and airframe components. The outboard left wingtip rib, along with shards of the red position lamp were located about 14 ft west, with the corresponding right wingtip rib and green position lamp shards about the same distance to the east. The debris field continued about 75 ft downhill to the north, and contained the engine crankcase, instrument panel components, fragmented tubular airframe material, the crumpled tubular steel remains of the tail section, and burnt composite structure.

Most of the airplane's structure was consumed by fire, except for the right rear section of the canopy frame and about a dozen composite skin fragments which were interspersed in the surrounding trees and immediate vicinity of the impact site. The impact ignited a brushfire, which burnt about 45 acres of land northeast of the accident site along the flank of the adjacent hillside.

A secondary debris field was located in the dry river bed about 400 ft north of the crater. The debris was oriented east-west, about 800 ft long, and contained the left (lock side) and rear sections of the canopy frame, multiple pieces of canopy plexiglass material, and a fragmented headset. Neither the debris field, nor the canopy components displayed any indications of fire.

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


Peter Casey Gillcrist 

July 19, 1963 - October 21, 2017 


Paul Garrett Engler
September 1, 1983 - October 21, 2017


A passenger who was one of two people killed in a plane crash at the El Capitan Reservoir last month signed up for a "Top Gun" experience before the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Paul Garrett Engler and pilot Peter Gillcrist died when a small plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir on October 21, according to a spokesperson for the pilot's employer.

The crash sparked a 45-acre brush fire. 

In its preliminary report, the NTSB said the website for the operator California Extreme Adventures LLC, which was doing business as "Sky Combat Ace," described itself as an "extreme aviation attraction."

"'The passenger [Paul Garrett Engler] had signed up for a 25-minute long 'Top Gun' experience, which, according to its website was a flight which included 'Advanced Acrobatics,'" the NTSB wrote in its preliminary report.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data showed the plane reached an altitude of 4,700 feet and followed a track along the general path of the San Diego River. It then went East of the El Capitan Reservoir, towards the town of Four Corners.

"The track followed a meandering path at varying airspeeds and altitudes ranging between 4,500 and 7,100 feet in a manner consistent with aerobatic maneuvers," the NTSB wrote.

Witnesses told NTSB they saw the plane performing "aerobatic-like" maneuvers before crashing.

Sky Combat Ace operates out of Henderson, Nevada, but has a location out of Gillespie Field, which is where the plane was headed Saturday.

Megan Fazio, a spokesperson for Sky Combat Ace told NBC 7 there were no distress calls before the accident.

"We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our SCA team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot," she said in a written statement.

The wreckage was in a remote area near the El Capitan Reservoir and was not accessible to ground crews.

Gillcrist, known as "Bandito" in the air, taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training, and spin training, according to the company. His mother was an aviation physiologist, his father was a Navy pilot and his wife is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

Gillcrist will be laid to rest in Rancho Santa Fe on Saturday, according to his obituary page.

Engler, a Texas native, was a father of two, according to his obituary. He was laid to rest on Nov. 14.


https://www.nbcsandiego.com




The two people killed in a plane crash near El Capitan Reservoir on Saturday were on a paid flight experience from a company that offers adrenaline-fueled rides for adventure seekers.

A spokeswoman for Sky Combat Ace identified the victims as Peter Gillcrist, one of the company’s pilots, and Garrett Engler.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and have been affected by this unfortunate accident,” said spokeswoman Megan Fazio in a statement. “We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our (Sky Combat Ace) team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot.”

The EXTRA EA 300 plane took off from Gillespie Field about 3:50 p.m. When it failed to return, Sky Combat Ace employees notified air traffic control.

Sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol officials said 911 callers in the Lakeside area reported a possible crash east of El Monte Road about 4:20 p.m. The impact sparked a fire that charred 20 acres.

Debris from the crash was located about an hour later.

“To our knowledge, there were no distress calls made prior to the accident,” Fazio said.

Sky Combat Ace, which operates out of Las Vegas and San Diego, sells a variety of flight packages that include aerobatic and simulated “air combat” experiences.

“You’re not just a passenger on a joy ride. You are a steely-eyed fighter pilot at the controls of your very own ‘fighter jet,’ pulling Gs and squeezing the trigger to ‘get the kill,’ ” the company’s website reads.

It’s unclear which experience Engler had purchased or who was flying the plane at the time. Some flight packages allow the student to control the aircraft.

The aircraft, which was built in 2009, had up-to-date certification and was categorized for normal and acrobatic flights, federal records show.

The company said on its website that safety is its No. 1 priority, and stressed that the planes are expertly engineered and that pilots go through rigorous training. It also said that “air combat and low-level flying comes with an inherent amount of risk that cannot be entirely eliminated without jeopardizing the inherent nature of the experience.”

Gillcrist is the chief pilot for Sky Combat Ace’s San Diego location, according to the company’s website. After graduating from the University of Virginia, he worked at Lockheed Martin with the Skunk Works, an experimental engineering group that develops aircraft and associated technologies.

He later taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training and spin training.

A similar fatal crash involving the same company occurred in April 2016.

In that incident, a student passenger and an instructor pilot were performing “air combat” maneuvers when they crashed near Las Vegas. Fazio said the passenger had paid for the “Sky Combat” experience offered by the company, and that the crash happened as they were returning to the hangar.

The “Sky Combat” package allows the participant to fly the plane while the pilot teaches “air-to-air combat” techniques. It’s unclear who had control of the aircraft when it crashed, Fazio said at the time.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate Saturday’s crash.


http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com

A pilot and his passenger died when a small plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir Saturday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the pilot's employer.

The victims were identified Monday as pilot Peter Gillcrist and passenger Garrett Engler, according to Sky Combat Ace spokesperson Megan Fazio. 

The men died after their plane crashed around 4:15 p.m. Saturday, sparking a 20-acre brush fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board identified the wreckage as a Extra EA 300/L.

Fazio said the plane was registered to KD Leasing and operated by California Extreme Adventures. 

Sky Combat Ace operates out of Henderson, Nevada, but has a location out of Gillespie Field, which is where the plane was headed Saturday. 

"To our knowledge, there were no distress calls made prior to the accident," Fazio said. 

The wreckage is in a remote area near the El Capitan Reservoir and was not accessible to ground crews Saturday.

Gillcrist, known as "Bandito" in the air, taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training, and spin training, according to the company. His mother was an aviation physiologist, his father was a Navy pilot and his wife is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration have now taken over the investigation with the NTSB in the lead.

Sky Combat Ace locations are closed until further notice, Fazio said. 

"We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our SCA team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot," she said in a written statement.


http://www.nbcsandiego.com

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — New information emerged Sunday about a plane crash that sparked a brush fire in the East County. 

It happened around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday near the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside. 

But the crash site was difficult for crews to access. 

Firefighters brought in heavy equipment Sunday to access the wreckage of the Extra EA-300 plane.   

A spokesperson for the US Forestry Service called the crash "unsurvivable."   

The fire sparked by the crash burned 15 to 20 acres and it took several hours to get under control through a series of aerial drops and ground efforts.   

By Sunday, lines of retardant marked the hillside.   

An investigator with the NTSB arrived on scene Sunday to start the process of figuring out what went wrong.  

Federal records show the plane's tail number, given to News 8 by the NTSB, is registered to KD Leasing in Henderson, Nevada.   

It appears frequently on the website of Sky Combat Ace, a company that operates out of the Las Vegas area and Gillespie Field, offering thrill seekers the chance to ride as a passenger or even perform their own aerobatic stunts from the pilot's seat.   

There are several videos online showing this same plane in action over Las Vegas and the East County.   

Residents say they often see pilots performing stunts near the reservoir.   

So far investigators aren't saying how many people were on board, but the manufacturer says the plane is typically equipped with two seats.   

News 8 reached out to Sky Combat Ace's headquarters in Las Vegas, but no one answered the phone.   

On its website, the company says "safety has always been the #1 priority at SCA."


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




LAKESIDE (CNS) - Firefighters put out a small fire north of the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside and sheriff's deputies were securing the scene where a small plane crashed, authorities said Sunday.

The fire was first reported at 4:18 p.m. Saturday as the result of a possible plane crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The blaze was estimated at 20 acres by nightfall with its forward progress stopped, sheriff's officials said.

The flames were out and deputies were securing the scene until officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrive to begin their investigation, sheriff's officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported an EXTRA EA 300 plane with two people on board was missing after taking off from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Allen Kenitzer from the FAA Office of Communications gave the following statement to New 8 regarding the plane crash:

There was an aircraft accident Saturday at the North end of the El Capitan reservoir.  The aircraft registration and type is unknown at this time.  The number of people onboard also cannot be confirmed at this time. The FAA and the NTSB will investigate.


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




A small plane crashed at the base of a remote hill near El Capitan Reservoir Saturday, presumably killing those onboard as no survivors were found, authorities said. 

The crash sparked a brush fire that had grown to about 20 acres shortly after nightfall.


Officials were not able to confirm what aircraft was down, but a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the agency got a report of an EXTRA EA 300 plane with two people onboard missing from a local flight from Gillespie Field in El Cajon.


Sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol officials said 911 callers in the Lakeside area reported the possible crash east of El Monte Road about 4:20 p.m.


Some callers said they didn’t see the crash, but heard what they thought was an impact, then saw a fire.


Deputies headed that way and a sheriff’s helicopter scanned the area, finding the fire but no confirmation of a plane crash, sheriff’s Lt. Mario Zermeno said.


Authorities said they couldn’t get close to verify the possible wreckage while air crews were dropping retardant and water on the fire. It was about 7 p.m. before the debris was confirmed that of a plane, with few parts identifiable.


About 5:20 p.m., a Cal Fire air tanker crew working on the blaze reported seeing some type of debris in the area, Zermeno said.


U.S. Forest Service fire crews worked the blaze on the ground, as it was within the boundaries of the Cleveland National Forest east of the reservoir. The area is known as Four Corners.


The fire burned about 20 acres, forest service spokeswoman Wende Cornelius said.


Footage from News 8 showed the smokey fire at the base of steep, rugged hills, with air tankers and helicopters dropping water and fire retardant on the flames while it was still daylight.


According to Wikipedia, an EXTRA EA 300 is an aerobatic plane, usually a two-seater, built by Extra Flugzeugbau.


Original article  ➤ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com


SAN DIEGO -- A plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside Saturday afternoon, sparking a brush fire.

The crash happened sometime after 4 p.m., according to Wende Cornelius, a spokesperson for Cleveland National Forest. Cornelius described the crash as "non-survivable."

Officials have not confirmed the type of aircraft that went down or how many people were onboard, but Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, said an EXTRA EA300 plane with two people onboard was reported missing from a local flight from Gillespie Field in El Cajon around 6:30 p.m.

The blaze, estimated to be 45 acres, was northeast of the reservoir.

No homes or structures were threatened by the fire.

Crews from Cal Fire, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the Barona Fire Department were assisting the Cleveland National Forest in responding to the blaze.

Story and video ➤  http://fox5sandiego.com



A small plane has crashed into a hillside just east of the El Capitan Reservoir.

A Cleveland National Park spokesperson says the crash started a brush fire that had burned 30 acres by 8 p.m.

Ground fire crews are working to reach the site but they say it is very isolated.

Air tankers and helicopters are attacking the blaze from the air.

Authorities working on the crash include Cleveland National Fire, Calfire and two strike teams from San Diego Fire.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesperson for the FAA told 10News "the aircraft registration and type is unknown at this time.  The number of people onboard also cannot be confirmed at this time."

He said the plane may have been flying from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, but all information was preliminary. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.10news.com

2 comments:

SpaXpert said...

Sad, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Jeez what a waste of life. My thoughts & prayers go out to the wife and family.

Anonymous said...

True aviation is about good judgment … period! Shame on you FAA for allowing this type of business to operate! Shame on you as well SCA. Shameful!

ATP/CFI Air Carrier
40 years and thousands of hours