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:

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.


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

Operator:  Dean International Inc.

Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


Aviation Accident Factual Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

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.

Cirrus SR22, N5VK: Accident occurred January 07, 2017 in Meeker, Colorado

FAA Flight Standards District Office: SALT LAKE CITY


Date: 07-JAN-17
Time: 16:51:00Z
Regis#: N5VK
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)

MEEKER, Colo. (KKTV) 11 News is talking to the Colorado Springs man who, along with his wife, survived a plane crash over the weekend.

Russ Ford and his wife Sheri were flying their Cirrus SR22 plane over the remote Flat Tops Wilderness Area near Meeker, CO, on Saturday when he says the engine cut out.

They were at about 12,000 feet over rough terrain and Russ had to make a quick decision; whether or not to deploy the plane's emergency parachute, which is designed to bring the entire plane safely to the ground.

Russ Ford/Pilot, crash survivor: "I feel that if I pull the parachute at that time our momentum and the wind would have carried us into the cliff. The plateau is flat, but there's about a 700 foot drop on either side and I felt that we would've probably crashed, if I pulled the parachute would have crashed into the side of that cliff and I don't think that would've ended well."

Ford was able to land the plane on that plateau. It skidded for several hundred yards, and stopped just 75 yards short of a 700 foot cliff.

Ford says he believes the roughly six feet of snow helped cushion the crash landing.

Ford and his wife were stranded at the crash for about an hour and a half before a rescue helicopter picked them up. He says they're incredibly thankful to all of the rescuers who helped find and save them.

"that's the biggest thing I just want to thank all the pilots, search and rescue, the sheriffs department, ATC all those people who helped." "It was definitely a miracle."

Miraculously, the only injury in the crash was a bruise to Ford's wife's pinky finger.

The NTSB will be investigating what caused the plane's engine to fail.

Story and video:

A Colorado Springs couple walked away with only minor injuries after crashing their small plane in the wilderness in northwestern Colorado on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The couple was flying over the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in Garfield County when they sent a distress call and later made a hard landing into rugged terrain. They were airlifted out by helicopter.

Authorities say the site of the crash was at about 11,200 feet, where temperatures fell to minus-18 degrees with up to 4 feet of snow. When help arrived, the pilot and his wife were standing outside of a 2003 Cirrus SR22 aircraft near Devil's Causeway and McGinnis Lake.

The  Cirrus SR22 is owned by Russell Henry Ford, 43, of Colorado Springs. His wife is listed as Sherilyn Ford. Attempts to reach the couple Sunday were unsuccessful.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office received a call from the Federal Aviation Administration about a downed plane about 32 miles east of Meeker. Several other agencies responded, including the Civil Air Patrol's National Radar Analysis Team, which nailed down the plane location's within 10 minutes of being notified.

CAP reported that it took less than two hours for the couple to be rescued by helicopter and taken to the Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker. Hospital employees told The Gazette that no one by the names of Russell or Sherilyn Ford were being treated at the facility as of Sunday afternoon.

"It was an awesome team effort by team Colorado and the National Radar Analysis Team with their quick work," Lt. Col. Mark Young, a member of the CAP radar team, said in a report. The team's "Google Earth file showed the radar track and where the airplane went down; it was emailed, so everyone had a copy and could see three-dimensionally the path the aircraft took and what the terrain was like."

Sheriff's offices from Garfield and Rio Blanco coordinated resources and plans during the plane crash mission, while the High-Altitude Air National Guard Training Site in Eagle dispatched a Black Hawk helicopter and the state's Division of Fire Prevention and Control launched a multimission aircraft to help with communications.

Two helicopters from St. Mary's CareFlight and Classic Helicopters were also launched, and Meeker Fire and Emergency Medical Services set up a helicopter landing zone.

Randy Coursolle told KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction that he was flying from Las Vegas to Eagle when he heard about the plane crash.

"I made a very low pass to see if I could see any people," he told the TV station. "I wanted them to know they had been found. And after I made that low pass, I climbed to an altitude I could talk to Air Traffic Control again and gave them the exact position."


KUSA - The couple on board a small plane that crashed on the western slope is lucky to be alive.

That's what members of the rescue team are saying after the plane crash-landed Saturday in Garfield County then came dangerously close to sliding off a cliff.

The mayday calls that came from the Cirrus SR22 sent a clear message the husband and wife on board were still alive.

"The closer we can get, the quicker we can get search and rescue helicopters to the area," Lt. Col John Henderson said with the National Radar Analysis Team.

Within an hour, Henderson got a call from the Air Force on Saturday to activate his team of analysts, who are a part of the Civil Air Patrol.

"Our goal is to cut down on the time from a crash to rescue," Henderson said. 

They did this despite the fact Henderson is based out of Washington State and his team lives in different cities. But they all have access to extensive radar data and coordinated with the Air Force and local authorities to track the airplane down.

"Trying to sort the billions of radar dots and find the one we are looking for," Henderson said. 

Saturday, the plane went down in the Flat Top Wilderness around 30 miles away from Meeker, 300 feet away from the edge of a steep cliff.

But instead of searching a huge swath of land, the specialists used their own radar data, the possible speed of the airplane, its directions and weather information.

"The last radar hit was .7 miles from where they went into the snow," Henderson said. 

They were able to zero in on the crash site in under 30 minutes and give coordinates to local research and rescue teams to get to the couple stranded in negative 18 degree weather.

The pilot has some minor injuries and his wife wasn't hurt, according to authorities.

The Civil Air Patrol is made up of all volunteers, often people who are in the Air Force like Henderson or members of the FAA.

They are involved in almost every missing aircraft search in this country, which means they are on missions as frequently as more than once a week.

Story and video:

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — When a small plane crashed in the wilderness in northwestern Colorado in sub-zero temperatures, rescue teams scrambled to reach the two survivors.

The Cirrus SR22 aircraft sent a distress call and crashed in the Flat Tops Wilderness in Garfield County on Saturday, according to a statement released by the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).  The temperature was reported to be 18 below zero.

The CAP  produced a radar track of the plane’s path and an aerial search team spotted the downed plane and two survivors standing outside the aircraft.

The CAP, the High-Altitude Air National Guard Training Site in Eagle and the Colorado State Division of Fire Prevention and Control launched aircraft for the recovery mission.

Two civilian medevac helicopters were also launched by St. Mary’s Careflight and Classic Helicopters, according to the statement.

The two survivors were rescued and transported to Pioneer Hospital in Meeker less than two hours after the CAP was notified. They were treated for minor injuries.


A husband and wife from Colorado Springs were rescued Saturday afternoon involving after their small plane made a forced landing in the Flat Tops Wilderness several miles north of Glenwood Springs near the Devil’s Causeway/McGinnis Lake area.

The plane, a Cirrus SR22, went down on a bitter cold day in the far northeastern section of Garfield County, west of the town of Toponas on Colorado 131.

The Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that it got a call from the Federal Aviation Administration at 10:24 a.m. saying a plane was down 32 miles east of Meeker — the crash turned out to be about 5 miles farther east.

The two people were in the plane alive and talking with other aircraft in the area, authorities said.

“There was another pilot in the area who spotted them going down, and that’s one reason they were able to get there so quickly to make the rescue,” Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Walt Stowe said.

Coulter Aviation from Meeker responded and was able to find the exact location of the crash. Due to the terrain of the coordinates provided, ground teams were not sent out and St. Mary’s Care flight from Grand Junction and Classic Air Medical, which has a helicopter at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood, were contacted.

The Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center also contacted was and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was also requested. St. Mary’s Care flight and Classic Air Medical were able to land, extract the couple and take them to Meeker.

Stowe said they were being treated for exposure to the cold. No one else was on board.

Stowe said the location of the forced landing was above 11,000 feet, and the air temperature at the time was minus 18 degrees, not counting wind chill.

The names of the pilot and passenger were not released, and the cause of the forced landing was not yet known.

The plane is registered to Russell H. Ford of Colorado Springs, according to FAA records, based on the tail number of the plane provided by Rio Blanco County authorities.


GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Garfield County and Rio Blacno County sheriff's offices were investigating a plane crash Saturday afternoon.

Around 10:24 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration contacted the Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office, saying a plane crashed 32 miles east of Meeker.

Around 12:15 p.m., the Garfield County Sheriff's was contacted to assist with the crash.

"Initial report had two parties in the plane alive and talking with other aircraft in the area," the Garfield County officials said in a press release.

Authorities identified the occupants as a pilot and his wife, of Colorado Springs.

By 1:50 p.m., officials said a helicopter picked up the people, and no one else was on board.

"The Colorado National Guard Joint Operations Center was also contacted and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was also requested," according to authorities. " St. Mary’s Care flight and Classic Air Medical were able to land and extract the pilot and one other party that was not injured in the crash."

Officials said ground teams were not used because of the area's terrain.

Authorities did not say what caused the plane go down.

The couple was flown to Meeker.


A small airplane crashed Saturday afternoon in Garfield County, about 37 miles east of Meeker, in the Flat

The pilot and his wife, from Colorado Springs, were not injured. The cause of the crash is still being determined.

According to a news release by Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, the department’s communication center received a call from the Federal Aviation Administration that a plane had gone down east of Meeker, in the Devil’s Causeway/McGinnis Lake area.

The plane was a single-engine Cirrus SR22 four-seater aircraft with tail number N5VK. According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the tandem of St. Mary’s and Classic Air were able to land and extract the pilot and one other party and transported them to Meeker shortly before 2 p.m.

Lannie Coulter, of Coulter Aviation, in Meeker, found the downed aircraft so that Classic and St. Mary's could pick them up, said Blaine Tucker, of Mountain Air Spray in Craig, in an email to the Daily Press.

Due to the quick response and combined efforts of several entities a High Mountain Rescue, the survivors from the downed aircraft made the rescue successful in less than four hours from the time the plane initially was forced to land, stated a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

The plane was spotted going down by a pilot of another aircraft in the area, and the other aircraft was able to communicate with the two people on the ground and identify their location, the release stated.

Rescue efforts were immediately put into motion. It was learned that there were only two people on board. The pilot and the passenger were alive and able to move around the plane. By 1:30 p.m. the rescue helicopter reached the site.

“With an elevation of nearly 11,700 feet and ambient temperatures reported at minus 18 degrees, it was fortunate that everything came together quickly for the rescue,” stated the release.

The couple was transported, via helicopter, to a landing site near Meeker. There they were taken by ambulance to an area hospital. There they will be examined for possible injuries and exposure to the extreme cold.


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.


Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary  -    National Transportation Safety Board:

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 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:

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

FAA Flight Standards District Office: GRAND RAPIDS


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

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:

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
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:

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:

Airbus EC-130B4
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.