Saturday, January 7, 2017

Laser pointer strikes military plane flying across New Jersey

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST - The flight crew of a military transport plane had more to contend with the light from a laser pointer Friday night, causing a serious safety risk, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

No one was injured, but officials said that the light caused a considerable risk to the pilots and crew.

"High-powered lasers can temporarily blind pilots flying aircraft carrying hundreds of people," the FAA said in a statement.

In addition to being hazardous, shining a laser at a plane is a violation of federal law, authorities said. In 2016, that law was violated 135 times in laser incidents reported across the state.

The Seaside Heights Police Department and the FAA are investigating the incident. 

Story and comments: http://www.nj.com

Freedom Flyers: Pilot Certification expands horizons

Mandy and Brian Onstad, of Wheatland, Wisconsin



When parents see their child graduate high school, oftentimes the child embarks on a new journey at a college or university away from home, leaving the parents without their presence.

However, when the recent graduate plans to play NCAA Division 1 collegiate softball – which requires long-distance travel to compete for their new school – it poses a challenge for parents.

For parents who want to see their child play on road trips, they are forced to make the same long-distance trips, but Wheatland’s Brian and Mandy Onstad prepared after their daughter, Chyanne, graduated from Westosha Central High School.

Currently, Chyanne attends the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The Onstands other two children are Amanda, 27, and Britan, who is 26.

“I went to get my pilot’s license, so that when my daughter went to college to play softball, we could easily fly around to watch her play,” said Brian, who received his license at Aeris Aviation at the Sylvania Airport in Sturtevant.

Brian, who has held his license for 1 1/2 years, has flown to a handful of states, including Colorado, Minnesota and Indiana using a Diamond DA40 model plane stored at the Sylvania Airport.

The pilot’s license and access to a plane, he said, gives the family another benefit when their daughter wants to pay a weekend visit.

“It has been great so far, because it gives plenty of freedom to go and do what you want,” Brian said. “We have flown up (to Green Bay) to pick up Chy for dinner or to bring her home for the weekend.”

While Green Bay is a short trip, they have taken longer flights, including Colorado to see Chy play softball.

“We have had a blast with flying ourselves where we want to go. So far our longest trip has been to Boulder for a softball tournament,” Brian said.

Flying for themselves has created a new freedom, one where they don’t have to book a trip with a commercial airline for trips. It gives the family more flexibility.

“You get to set your own schedule and not deal with flying commercial flights,” Brian said.

The freedom to fly, however, takes extensive training with a certified flight instructor and a set of responsibilities.

Brian, like others before and after him, need to take written exams and log hours in the air with a certified instructor.

“(It) takes 90 days to a year depending on how the person is,” said Brian, adding course costs vary between $8,000-$10,000 at Sylvania.

Greg Smith, who serves as treasurer for the nonprofit Westosha Flying Club, is one flight instructor offering the freedom to fly.

Self-discipline recommended

Smith, who received a Private Pilot License in 2000, later earned accreditation as a Master Flight Instructor through the National Association of Flight Instructors.

Through his experiences, he has guided several students through the process of receiving their pilot certificate.

Like Brian, Smith cited freedom as a primary motivator for people to earn a pilot certification, with ideal trips already planned.

“Some have a destination already in mind – vacation home, child at school, out of town relatives. Some just find the destination after they get their certificate,” Smith said.

The certification process, he said, takes months to complete.

“Consider the amount of time that getting your pilot certification is going to take,” Smith said. “You should figure it’ll take nine months to a year for most people with a day job and family to get their certificate.”

For those willing to put in the time, dedication is another recommendation.

“Make certain that you can spend at least twice a week taking lessons, and then figure on two to four hours a week studying,” said Smith. “The more consistent you fly and study the easier and quicker you’ll have that certificate.”

According to the Westosha Flying Club website, the Federal Aviation Administration has set requirements for people to earn their certificate.

Requirements consist of a minimum of 40 hours total flight time, including 20 with a certified instructor and the purchase of course materials and exam costs.

“If you were able to become proficient in this minimum time, it would cost approximately $4,650,” the website stated.

“While this represents a minimum cost if completed in the minimum time, your actual costs will probably run higher. This is due to very few people being ready for the practical test in minimum 40 hours.”

The national average is 80 hours, the website stated.

While costs are high, the website noted fees could get spread out over time, making payments manageable.

Flying clubs beneficial

At Westosha Flying Club, Smith noted several member benefits, including social engagement and cost savings.

Smith, a part owner of five different aircraft, acknowledged maintenance and upkeep for an airplane.

“The social aspect of being around people who have similar likes, buying and maintaining an aircraft is an expensive endeavor and sharing those costs among a group makes it much more affordable,” said Smith. “It is also time consuming to upkeep an aircraft so the club will take care of those things and the aircraft will be ready when you want to use it.”

Westosha Flying Club, a membership of 85 people, have hosted social activities and flown to other clubs holding social events of their own.

Most recently, the Westosha Flying Club hosted a Flying Social Hamburger event last summer.

“We do some fly-in events to other airports for breakfast/lunch, and we do a club plane wash twice a year,” Smith said.

Additionally, Smith states members have paired up for expeditions.

“Members often join up to split the costs of flying to a mutual destination,” said Smith.

Smith, who has traveled to regional destinations, enjoys the challenges that come with his expeditions.

“The thing that I enjoy the most with taking a trip somewhere is the satisfaction of planning a successful trip in spite of things that comes up,” said Smith, noting unpredictable weather, airspace constraints and other flight issues.

Source:   http://mykenoshacounty.com

Cessna 152, N4918H: Accident occurred June 16, 2016 in Immokalee, Collier County, Florida

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

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA504
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Immokalee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N4918H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The student pilot reported that while on a solo cross country flight, after he landed at his destination, the weather degraded. He reported that he called his flight instructor and the flight instructor told him to wait out the weather. About three hours later, his flight instructor called him to check on the weather conditions. The student pilot reported that he checked the local weather reporting station, “but everything [was] missing” (referring to the weather information). His flight instructor told him to “get back and check the weather and I’ll call you back”. The student pilot interpreted that as “[it’s] ok to takeoff”. 

During the takeoff roll the airplane veered off the runway to the left and impacted a ditch.

The flight school President reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
A review of recorded data from a weather observation station located about 1.6 miles to the northeast, revealed that, about the time of the accident the wind was 360 degrees true at 3 knots. The airplane departed on runway 36.

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

The student pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion. 

Operator:  Dean International Inc.

Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


PINHEIRO DUQUE INC: http://registry.faa.gov/N4918H 

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

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

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA504
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Immokalee, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N4918H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The student pilot reported that while on a solo cross country flight, after he landed at his destination, the weather degraded. He reported that he called his flight instructor and the flight instructor told him to wait out the weather. About three hours later, his flight instructor called him to check on the weather conditions. The student pilot reported that he checked the local weather reporting station, "but everything [was] missing" (referring to the weather information). His flight instructor told him to "get back and check the weather and I'll call you back". The student pilot interpreted that as "[it's] ok to takeoff".

During the takeoff roll the airplane veered off the runway to the left and impacted a ditch.

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

A review of recorded data from a weather observation station located about 1.6 miles to the northeast, revealed that, about the time of the accident the wind was 360 degrees true at 3 knots. The airplane departed on runway 36.

British Aerospace BAe-125-700A, Rais Group International NC LLC -- operated by Execuflight, N237WR: Fatal accident occurred November 10, 2015 near Akron Fulton International Airport (KAKR), Summit County, Ohio

Two Ellet residents displaced by jet crash in 2015 file suit against plane owner, estates of two deceased pilots





Two of the Ellet residents displaced when a corporate jet crashed into their apartment building in 2015 have filed suit against the owner of the plane and the estates of the two deceased pilots.

In a filing Thursday with the Summit County Common Pleas Court, Kayleigh Scarpitti and Geoff Priebe are seeking nearly $76,000 for loss of property and unspecified punitive damages for emotional distress. The couple is represented by Orville Reed III of the Akron law firm Stark & Knoll.

Scarpitti and Priebe were living in one of the four units of a brick apartment building at 3042 Mogadore Road that were destroyed by the 10-seat Raytheon Hawker and the fire it caused when the plane crashed Nov. 10, 2015.

The plane, owned by ExecuFlight Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was chartered by a real estate development firm looking for investment opportunities in the Midwest.

The investors were on a multistate tour and were on their way from Dayton to Akron when pilots Renato Marchese and Oscar Chavez lost control while approaching Akron Fulton International Airport.

The two pilots and seven passengers died. None of the residents of the destroyed apartment building were home when the crash occurred, and there were no deaths or injuries on the ground.

The complaint alleges the pilots were “physically unfit and not competent to safely operate” the Hawker, and they were “negligent in failing to land the plane in a reasonably safe manner.”

In October, the National Transportation Safety Board said the probable cause of the crash was the flight crew’s “mismanagement of the approach and multiple deviations from company standard operating procedures which placed the airplane in an unsafe situation.”

Federal investigators cited numerous mistakes, a “disregard for safety,” and a “casual attitude toward compliance with standards, inadequate hiring, training and operational oversight of the flight crew, and the company’s lack of formal safety program.”

The complaint filed on behalf of Scarpitti and Priebe said Execuflight is also culpable because a “checkered employment history” of the pilots was known and the company employed them anyway.

Scarpitti, a night shift nurse, had been awakened that afternoon by her dog and decided on a whim to take him to Petco.

Compounding the loss of physical property, Scarpitti has been haunted by the event since without the “fortuitous intervention of her pet dog, she would have been violently killed in her sleep,” the complaint said.

The case was assigned to Judge Joy Oldfield.

Source:  http://www.ohio.com



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

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:   http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

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

FAA  Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Cleveland FSDO-25

NTSB Identification: CEN16MA036
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Akron, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2016
Aircraft: BRITISH AEROSPACE HS 125 700A, registration: N237WR
Injuries: 9 Fatal.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Safety Board's full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/aviation.aspx. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-16/03.

On November 10, 2015, about 1453 eastern standard time (EST), Execuflight flight 1526, a British Aerospace HS 125-700A (Hawker 700A), N237WR, departed controlled flight while on a nonprecision localizer approach to runway 25 at Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR) and impacted a four-unit apartment building in Akron, Ohio. The captain, first officer, and seven passengers died; no one on the ground was injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Rais Group International NC LLC and operated by Execuflight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), Dayton, Ohio, about 1413 and was destined for AKR.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight crew's mismanagement of the approach and multiple deviations from company standard operating procedures, which placed the airplane in an unsafe situation and led to an unstabilized approach, a descent below minimum descent altitude without visual contact with the runway environment, and an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident were Execuflight's casual attitude toward compliance with standards; its inadequate hiring, training, and operational oversight of the flight crew; the company's lack of a formal safety program; and the Federal Aviation Administration's insufficient oversight of the company's training program and flight operations.

Rais Group International NC LLC - operated by Execuflight: http://registry.faa.gov/N237WR

NTSB Identification: CEN16MA036

Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in Akron, OH
Aircraft: BRITISH AEROSPACE HS 125 700A, registration: N237WR
Injuries: 9 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 traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On November 10, 2015, about 1452 eastern standard time (EST), Execuflight flight 1526, a British Aerospace HS 125-700A, N237WR, departed controlled flight while on approach to landing at Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR) and impacted a 4-plex apartment building in Akron, Ohio. The pilot, copilot, and seven passengers died; no ground injuries were reported. The airplane was destroyed by the crash and a postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to Rais Group International NC LLC and operated by Execuflight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 as an on-demand charter flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (MGY), Dayton, Ohio, about 1413 EST and was destined for AKR.


The airplane, which was based at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, departed Cincinnati Municipal Airport-Lunken Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1112 EST on the day of the accident and arrived at MGY about 1125 EST. The airplane remained parked on the ramp at one of the fixed-base operators until departing for AKR.


According to Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control and radar data, about 1438 EST, the Akron-Canton terminal radar approach control facility provided radar vectors to the accident airplane for the localizer runway 25 instrument approach procedure at AKR. 


A Piper PA-28-161 airplane performing flight training at the airport completed the localizer runway 25 instrument approach procedure at AKR before the accident airplane began its approach. According to the flight instructor on board the Piper PA-28-161, the airplane "broke out at minimums" on the localizer runway 25 approach and landed on runway 25. After the Piper PA-28-161 exited the runway, the flight instructor reported that he heard one of the pilots of the accident airplane state "Hawker Jet on a 10 mile final localizer 25" over the Unicom frequency. Subsequently, the flight instructor radioed to the accident airplane and stated "we broke out right at minimums." According to the flight instructor, one of the pilots of the accident airplane acknowledged this transmission with "thanks for the update." 


About 1452 EST, a motion-activated security camera located about 900 ft to the southeast of the accident site captured the airplane as it came in over the surrounding trees in a left-wing-down attitude about 1.8 nautical miles from the approach end of runway 25 at AKR. An explosion and postcrash fire were observed on the video just after the airplane flew out of the security camera's view.


The postcrash fire consumed most of the airplane; however, the airframe, engines, primary flight controls, and landing gear were all accounted for at the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a Fairchild GA-100 tape unit cockpit voice recorder, which was recovered and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for examination. 


About 1450 EST, the surface weather observation at AKR was wind from 240 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 1 3/4 statute mile in mist; ceiling broken at 600 ft above ground level (agl); overcast ceiling at 900 ft agl; temperature 11 degrees C (52 degrees F); dew point 9 degrees C (48 degrees F); and altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury. 

American Legend AL3, N38LC: Incident occurred January 07, 2017 in Lowell, Michigan


http://registry.faa.gov/N38LC

FAA Flight Standards District Office: GRAND RAPIDS

AIRCRAFT ON LANDING ON A FROZEN LAKE, BROKE THROUGH THE ICE AND WAS PARTIALLY SUBMERGED, MURRAY LAKE, LOWELL, MICHIGAN 

Date: 07-JAN-17
Time: 17:37:00Z
Regis#: N38LC
Aircraft Make: AMERICAN LEGEND
Aircraft Model: AL3
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: LOWELL
State: MICHIGAN

























AIRCRAFT:   2008 American Legend Cub AL3C, N38LC

ENGINE - M&M, S/N:  TCM O-200A48 Serial # 256425

PROPELLER – M&M, S/N: Sensenich

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:   852.1

PROPELLER:    852.1  

AIRFRAME:   852.1                   

OTHER EQUIPMENT:      Garmin SL40 COMM/GTX 327 Transponder

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Skis broke through ice on take off roll/AC flipped over into icy water

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    lower fuselage, all wing struts, lower firewall, ailerons, wings, right hand gear, LH horizontal, prop and was partially submerged in icy water. Engine preserved, avionics removed.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:     Sparta Aviation Services, LLC Lowell, MI (24C)   

REMARKS:  aircraft is securely stored indoors; logbooks stored with field adjuster office


Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N38LC.htm











GRATTAN TOWNSHIP, MI -- A pilot is grateful for the help of a Murray Lake resident after his ski plane broke through the ice and partially sunk.

The Murray Lake resident, identified as Dave Emaus, used a kayak to shimmy out onto the ice and rescue a cold and wet Jim Bakeman from the single-engine plane.

Both men then used the kayak as a weight distributor to slide their way back to shore on the ice.

Bakeman, 59, had been doing take-offs and landings on several Kent County ice-covered lakes, including Bostwick and Wabasis lakes, and the ice thickness was not an issue.

At Murray Lake, he landed uneventfully and was turning to take off again when the ice gave way. He later learned he was at the deepest part of the spring-fed lake, making the ice thinner and unsafe.

As the plane began to sink, the cockpit began to fill with water. Bakeman, an orthopedic surgeon, climbed out of his door and was in icy cold water up to his chest before scrambling on top of the engine compartment and wing fixture.

Bakeman's plane is a single-engine American Legend AL3C aircraft built in 2008. He's been flying for about 10 years.

He said he figured the ice was safe because there were ice fishermen on the various lakes.

Bakeman said he's grateful for Emaus' help, because he wasn't sure how he would make it off the plane and to shore without breaking through more ice. And he already was wet in temperatures in the low teens.

Bakeman wasn't immediately certain how the plane would be retrieved from its precarious position.

He was able to joke about the adventure later Saturday, referencing the adage "any landing you can walk away from is a good one."

"I guess here it's any landing you can swim away from is a good one," he said.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.mlive.com

Airlines Face New Test Amid Rising Fuel Prices, Labor Costs: Delta to kick off industry’s earnings results; sector has notched seven consecutive years of profitability



The Wall Street Journal
By SUSAN CAREY
Jan. 7, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET

Delta Air Lines Inc. is expected to kick off fourth-quarter earnings results for U.S. airlines on Thursday, as the industry faces a fresh test of its financial resilience amid rising fuel prices and labor costs.

The sector has notched seven consecutive years of profitability, the longest and strongest cycle in what has traditionally been a turbulent industry prone to big booms and busts. While no one is betting on a recession soon and airlines are expected to be profitable this year, some investors are questioning how long the winning streak can last.

Delta’s results likely will telegraph the outlook for the sector. The No. 2 carrier by traffic already has warned that higher costs will shrink its operating margin in 2017 from last year’s solid 16.5% performance. Other big carriers are expected to report later this month.

Cowen & Co. has lowered its ratings on five U.S. carriers on signs that margins “are expected to compress” because revenue growth isn’t outpacing cost increases. The International Air Transport Association trade group suggested that global airline profits peaked in 2016 and will decline this year.

Meanwhile, low-cost carriers continue to gain market share. The industry also remains vulnerable to external shocks such as terrorism. Some analysts question whether airlines can wring more revenue from fliers for perks such as advanced boarding and better seats. Adjusted for inflation, domestic airfares have fallen by more than a quarter since 1999.

Yet industry executives believe airlines are better prepared to withstand a downturn than in any of the five downturns that have battered the sector since 1980.

Doug Parker, chief executive of American Airlines Group Inc., the nation’s largest by traffic, said, “Our projections, even in difficult economic environments, have this company being nice and profitable.”

Bankruptcies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks were followed by a series of mergers that left the top four U.S. airlines controlling more than 80% of domestic capacity. These changes allowed them to increase efficiency, repair balance sheets and funnel profits into new products. Economic recovery since the latest recession ended in 2009, coupled with low fuel prices, gave airlines a strong tailwind.

“This business is not only more durable and sustainable; it’s something you can count on for some time,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said recently. Delta continues to aim for operating margins of 17% to 19% in the future, targets that seemed unattainable a few years ago.






Investor sentiment toward U.S. airlines has improved. Two months ago, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. disclosed stakes in American, Delta and United Continental Holdings Inc. that totaled $1.3 billion—even though he had previously spurned airline shares, calling the business capital-intensive and not very profitable.

Those investments are “an endorsement that things are different this time,” said Jamie Baker, a J.P. Morgan analyst. Mr. Baker anticipates that airlines would remain profitable even if margins slip to about 10%, the former peak.

Smead Capital Management, a Seattle-based investment firm, is another investor that has changed its perspective. “Over the long term, we thought airlines were a bad place to put capital,” said Tony Scherrer, research director for the Smead Value Fund. But the fund recently placed its first bet on an airline stock by acquiring a stake in Alaska Air Group Inc.

Not only has broader consolidation made the industry “a better business now,” he said, but Smead was attracted to Alaska’s business model and opportunity to gain from its recent acquisition of Virgin America Inc.

Airlines also are adding fewer seats as traffic continues to rise, helping to drive up fares. Unit revenue—the amount earned for each seat flown a mile—is approaching positive territory after two years of declines.

That the industry is checking its capacity growth “is lining up as good for a recession scenario,” said Kristopher Kelley, an equity analyst at Janus Capital Group Inc., a Denver-based investment manager with holdings in American, United and Southwest Airlines Co.

Airlines also are hopeful about President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to cut corporate taxes. “The potential impact of tax reform on earnings and cash flows for the airlines is broadly positive, but very company-specific,” said David Vernon, a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst.

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

Eurocopter EC 130B4, Helidubai, A6-DYR: Accident occurred January 22, 2014 at Atlantis Palm Heliport, United Arab Emirates

Air Accident Investigation 
AAI Case No: AIFN/0002/2014
Loss of Control Inflight 

Accident Final Report:    https://www.gcaa.gov.ae/pdf

Helidubai
Airbus EC-130B4
A6-DYR
Dubai, UAE
United Arab Emirates
January 22, 2014












DUBAI // The pilot of a helicopter that crashed shortly after take-off from a Dubai hotel three years ago operated the aircraft in "a negligent and reckless manner", a report has found.

The General Civil Aviation Authority final report gives a detailed background into the circumstances surrounding the crash on January 22, 2014, at Atlantis, The Palm.

The aircraft was making a final journey from the hotel to Dubai International Airport after a full day and no commercial passengers were on board.

A pilot and a helicopter landing officer were in the aircraft at the time and both suffered serious injuries but they both made full recoveries. They were subjected to an alcohol and drug tests at Rashid Hospital, and the results were negative.

The 52-page document, published online on January 5, said the pilot’s aggressive, "aerobatic" manoeuvre was not in compliance with civil aviation regulations.

"The rapid onset of the high-speed rotation combined with the effects of the rotational inertia which forced the pilot and helicopter landing officer most probably resulted in disorientation of the pilot," said the report.

The GCAA’s air investigation sector report said the contributory factors included "unforced skills-based errors of the handling pilot" and "poor pilot judgment of the aircraft handling requirements for the intended manoeuvre".

The pilot, who had resigned from the company and was working his notice period at the time of the accident, was unable to apply the corrective actions necessary to return to a stable, steady state condition.

The report found the aircraft was airworthy and weather conditions were good at the time of the accident.

It was not caused by a loss of tail rotor effectiveness or by a mechanical systems failure.

However, the collective – used to increase the main rotor pitch simultaneously at all points of the rotor blade rotation – was lowered, resulting in an uncontrolled descent onto the helipad.

Despite the findings, the report makes clear that the objective of the investigation is to prevent aircraft accidents and incidents, and not to apportion blame or liability.

Accident investigators have made 10 safety recommendations to help prevent a repeat of the crash.

It was proposed that Helidubai, the scenic tours company that had operated the helicopter, establish a safety data collection and processing system, and update its safety management system to accurately reflect the risk associated with unmonitored pilot behaviour.

The company was also told to optimise its organisational structure to enhance oversight on a daily basis.

There was no published final approach and take-off (Fato) plates or procedure available to the pilots using the helipad. Hence, it was suggested that all operators using the helipad define Fato approach plates and standard operating procedures for heliport arrivals and departures.

The GCAA was asked to consider mandating the installation of a flight data recorder, a cockpit voice recorder or an airborne image recorder for light commercial aircraft operating under a UAE air operator certificate.

The European Aviation Safety Agency was told to provide adequate guidance on the definition of "aerobatic flight".

The report said: "Specifically, a manoeuvre in the flight manual, which clearly and unambiguously states that yaw rates have to be controlled within defined margins with a clear warning that excessive intentional induced yaw can lead to pilot disorientation and onset of uncontrollable flight condition."

In flight, rotation around the vertical axis is called yaw.

The agency was also asked to consider the option for a mandated locking mechanism to crew harness restraints.

The report suggested that due to the pilot’s seat lowering vertically as a result of the high deceleration loads, the pilot was not fully restrained in the harness as the aircraft began to rotate, resulting in several serious injuries to the head and upper body.

Source:  http://www.thenational.ae

Charles Kirkconnell International Airport reopens for small aircraft



Following the accident Thursday on the Cayman Brac runway, in which one of the fire trucks overturned during a routine speed test, authorities say that the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport reopened for the smaller Cayman Airways Limited aircraft Thursday evening, though the jet services has not yet resumed. Meanwhile, one of the two officers injured in the incident, which happened on January 5th, remains in hospital in stable condition, while the other officer has been treated and released.

Both officers were transported by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s helicopter to Grand Cayman to the Health Service Authority (HSA) Thursday afternoon, according Government Information Services.

The fire truck involved in the crash was removed from the airport runway after the accident analyst completed his on-site assessment, enabling normal airport operations to resume for all smaller CAL aircrafts Thursday evening.

Senior management with the Cayman Islands Fire Service (CIFS), Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) and other stakeholders are in the process of identifying an interim strategy that will support the resumption of jet services at the earliest opportunity.

It is a requirement that a fire truck be on standby when the jets land. The other CIFS truck on Cayman Brac belongs to the domestic branch of the fire service and therefore remains on call for fires elsewhere on the island.

The GIS release said that full investigations are being conducted by the RCIPS as well as an independent accident analyst. In addition, the CIFS is arranging for the manufacturer of the Osh Kosh T-3000 truck to send one of their experts to assess the vehicle, which was purchased directly from them in 2006.

The authorities stated that mandatory speed testing of the fire trucks that support airport operations is conducted monthly by the fire service in accordance with regulatory requirements that must be complied with by all rescue and fire fighting service (RFFS) providers.

“Under the RFFS regulations, systems and procedures must be in place to ensure the best possible response time in the case of an emergency. The operational objective of the RFFS procedure is to achieve a response time not exceeding two minutes to any point on the runway. ‘Response time’ is defined as the time between when the call is initially received and the time when the first responding vehicles arrive.

“Speeds between 65 to 69 miles per hour are attained during speed tests as well as in response to an actual aerodrome emergency. These speeds comply with those allowed under the RFFS regulations,” the release said.

The authorities further explained that fire officers are required to hold a Group 4 driver’s licence and must undergo specialist training to qualify to drive a fire truck. “Driver skill and expertise is augmented by technology, including integrated on-board safety systems which alert the driver before excessive speeds are attained.”

The release said, “In the 12 years since the last airport based fire truck accident occurred on the runway at Owen Roberts International Airport in January 2005, an average of 144 performance tests for speed have been conducted at that location and a similar number have been executed in Cayman Brac without incident. In addition to the monthly performance checks, the vehicles also undergo daily inspections as part of shift handover.”

The cause of the crash has yet to be determined pending the completion of the ongoing investigations, however GIS will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.

Source:  https://caymannewsservice.com

Airline fatalities rose in 2016 but the year was still one of the safest in decades

The November crash of a flight carrying a Brazilian soccer team, which killed all but six of the 77 people on board, was one of 18 fatal airline crashes in 2016, an increase from 14 fatal aviation accidents in 2015, according the Aviation Safety Network.

The 18 accidents resulted in 324 deaths, compared with the 186 fatalities from the 14 aviation accidents in 2015, according to the network, which tracks fatalities worldwide on airlines, corporate jets and military aircraft.

The good news is that, despite the increase in accidents in 2016, the total number of aviation crashes and fatalities per year have dropped sharply in the past few years.

The worldwide accident rate is now one fatal passenger flight per 3.2 million flights, according to the network.

Industry experts attribute the decline in accidents to a push for higher safety standards by international aviation groups, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the United Nations.

“Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline,” said Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network.

Source:  http://www.baltimoresun.com

Ocala high school students soar with aeronautics program

 
In this Dec. 15, 2016 photo, flight instructor David Kissel, right, and Trinity Catholic High School senior Clayton Wilson go over the checklist as they prepare for an afternoon instruction flight at Ocala Aviation at the Ocala International Airport in Ocala, Fla. Trinity Catholic students can get their private pilots license for a much cheaper cost through taking classes ground study classes through the hight school and flight training through Ocala Aviation. Wilson is expected to get his license before the end of the year. 




OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Alexandra Sexton had always dreamed of becoming a pediatric oncologist. But all that changed about a year ago when she was introduced to Ocala Trinity Catholic High School's Aerospace Career Academy.

Alexandra, an Irish-born 17-year-old who has lived in Marion County for most of her life, fell in love with aviation, thanks to academy instructor John Edsall, who also is an adjunct professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.

"He lit the fire of aviation in me," said Alexandra, who now wants to be an airline pilot. "And I also thought about flying in the medical field (delivering supplies). I love helping people."

Alexandra is one step closer to realizing her dream. In November, she became the first student in the academy to get her pilot's license, an arduous process that took hours of classes, testing and, of course, flying.

It's been a year since the academy took flight at Trinity Catholic. Now there are 20 students taking aerospace courses and about 33 percent are currently taking flying lessons.




This month, the academy will add more unmanned flying instruction for students who want to make a career of flying in the ever-expanding drone markets, like in real estate or the military. One day soon, officials said, drones will require a traditional pilot's license once the drones are allowed to fly frequently in Federal Aviation Administration-regulated airspace.

Edsall said these joint educational ventures between high schools and Embry-Riddle are vital for the future of the commercial airline industry. With new guidelines that force pilots into retirement at age 65, coupled with a law that requires pilots to be U.S. citizens, there is a pilot crisis brewing around the country.

According to numerous studies that have been conducted during the past five years, the industry will need about 12,000 new pilots between 2017 and 2022 because of the forced retirement.

Edsal said that is why Embry-Riddle is expanding programs into high schools throughout the state. In 2004, there were only a handful of schools that offered aviation; today, Embry-Riddle has teamed with 77 schools and counting.

Trinity Catholic's president, David McKenzie, said Embry-Riddle pays about $100,000 annually to Trinity to run the program. That covers the instructor and other program costs.

The parents of each student who enrolls must pay $2,500, which is cheap considering it costs about $10,000 for student flying lessons. The remainder of the money is collected from donors through fundraisers by McKenzie and staff to keep the students airborne.

The academy started last January with two courses: pilot ground school and principles of aeronautical science. In August, the school beefed up the instruction to include unmanned flight.

Trinity Catholic students enrolled in the Aerospace Career Academy may receive up to 21 college credits, McKenzie said. All college credits earned through Embry-Riddle while at Trinity Catholic will be transferable to any college or university.

The new program has evolved quickly, considering the aerospace concept first lifted off the ground in June 2015.

Edsall, who taught at Francis Marion Military Academy until June 2014, had planned to launch the program at the military charter school. When that didn't work out, he spoke with the officials with the public school district and Trinity Catholic High about the need for such an academy locally.

"Trinity Catholic jumped on the idea," said Edsall in a previous interview, adding that students also can get industry certification in addition to college credits.

Edsall said any student who completes the Aerospace Career Academy program is guaranteed admission to Embry-Riddle following high school graduation, with an $8,000 scholarship.

Embry-Riddle's Aerospace and Engineering Program is the largest in the nation and is consistently ranked No. 1 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Very soon, Trinity Catholic High senior Clayton Wilson will take his final flying exam. Trinity uses Ocala Aviation Services, and owner Ron Towater agreed to charge cheaper rates.

Wilson, 17, said he plans to attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, to become a mechanical engineer. "I want to design drones," he said.

Source:  http://www.mysanantonio.com