Friday, February 3, 2017

Sidney, Delaware County, New York: Aviator offers lessons, flights

Bernie Ford, owner and operator of Delaware Aviation at 199 River St. in Sidney, has had his eyes on the sky, he says, ever since he can remember. 

“When I was a kid, I used to look up and always watch the planes and build models,” said Ford. Giving a childhood preoccupation wings, Ford first got his pilot’s license in 1965 and has “flown everything from a 300-seater to a two-seater” in the intervening years.

It was in 1991, after working for a string of commercial airlines that ultimately went bust, that Ford first got the notion to take matters into his own hands.

 “After three or four of those [bankruptcies], I said, ‘well, I guess I’ll just do it myself,’” Ford said.

He was keen to launch the business in Sidney because of its municipal airport and because, fresh out of school, he was already working in the village for the Amphenol Corporation.

Today, with the three other pilots, full-time mechanic and part-time mechanic he employs, Ford offers services from aircraft maintenance and inspection to year-round lessons and corporate transport. Ford estimated that about 75 percent of Delaware Aviation’s business is derived from chartering business people around the country.

“I can be to Albany, Syracuse, [or] Binghamton in about 20 minutes,” said Ford.

Standing between the two seven-passenger jet-powered turbo prop aircraft that he owns and uses most often, Ford said that traveling with him gives business people the leisure of arriving just before the scheduled flight and simply walking out to the hangar and onto the airplane. “It’s the convenience and the time factor,” remarked Ford, mentioning quick turnaround trips to such places as Minneapolis, Boston, Washington, D.C. and New Jersey that offer clients the option of arriving and returning home in the same day.

In some ways, noted Ford, his services are not unlike that of a taxicab. And, because his business transport airplanes have pressurized cabins, Ford can fly even when driving is untenable. “Days when it’s snowing down here,” said Ford, “I can go up in the blue sky.”

Ford, who many may know from rides taken during the Fagan Flyers Club’s biannual fly-in breakfasts held at the airport, said his line of work has its memorable moments. Recalling a “fella” who asked to be taken up with his sweetheart, only to fly over a giant backyard sign asking her hand in marriage, Ford said, “sometimes you get some interesting stories.” He also counted flying people over their properties to scatter the ashes of a loved one as a special honor.

Ford shared that, in terms of Delaware Aviation’s future, he hopes to hire an additional pilot and mechanic and continue upgrading equipment as needed. He also mentioned that he looks forward the springtime fly-in breakfast, held yearly in the first weekend of June.

Asked if he ever still flies for the fun of it, Ford, wearing a mechanic’s coverall, bobbed in and out of the wide wings of the eight planes filling the main hangar at Sidney Municipal Airport to settle near a 65-year-old yellow-striped Cessna-195. It’s an aircraft he rebuilt himself and he said he does, on the occasional weekend, take it up for a joyride.

Delaware Aviation online:


1,600 extra planes expected at Houston airports

HOUSTON - The Super Bowl is bringing a whole new level of traffic to Houston.

Approximately 1,600 extra planes are expected to occupy Houston's airspace during Super Bowl weekend.

"This is our Super Bowl and we're definitely going to win this thing,"  said Clay Matheny, of Houston TRACON or Terminal Approach Radar Control, the FAA facilities responsible for separating and delivering planes safely to our airports.

Nearly double the usual number of flight controllers are on duty this weekend in Houston.

While most of the Super Bowl air traffic actually goes through Hobby Airport, the added traffic at IAH is expected to catapult the "big" airport from one of the nation's 10 busiest airports to one of three busiest.

Houston's air-traffic controllers started planning for this weekend about a year ago.

"During the training for this process, I told them this will be the busiest traffic that some of you will ever see in your careers," said Jason Hubbard, a TRACON manager.


Delta Air Lines, Airbus A319: Incident occurred February 02, 2017 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

FAA Flight Standards District Office: DENVER

Aircraft engine ingested wheel chock during taxi.

Date: 02-FEB-17
Time: 20:25:00Z
Regis#: ?
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A319
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: DELTA
Flight Number: DAL2132

Piper PA-28-140, All American Aviation Services LLC, N1197X: Incident occurred February 02, 2017 in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina

All American Aviation Services LLC:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Greensboro 

While turning onto taxiway nose wheel collapsed. 

Date: 02-FEB-17
Time: 19:09:00Z
Regis#: N1197X
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Epic LT, Epic Aero LLC, N385MM: Incident occurred February 02, 2017 in Miami-Dade County, Florida

EPIC AERO LLC: http://registry.faa.govN385MM

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Florida

Aircraft landed without nose wheel resulting in a propeller strike.

Date: 02-FEB-17
Time: 19:13:00Z
Regis#: N385MM
Aircraft Make: EPIC
Aircraft Model: EPIC LT
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspends two Delhi airport electrical engineers for keeping lights on of wrong taxiway

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended two electrical engineers of Delhi Airport for keeping lights of a taxiway that was not in use, due to which an aircraft wrongly entered that bay while it was not supposed to. The regulator found this as a major cause of the February 1st incident at IGI Airport when an IndiGo aircraft wrongly entered a taxiway where a Jet Airways aircraft was already parked and then an alarmed air traffic control had to tell the IndiGo pilots to screech the brakes to avoid colliding with the other plane.

"The distance between the IndiGo and Jet aircraft was much less than 30 metres. The IndiGo pilots and electrical engineers of Delhi Airport were found responsible for this episode. The electrical engineers kept lights on of a taxiway that was not supposed to be used due to which the pilots entered the wrong taxiway. But the pilots by doing so entered the runway and they should have looked to their left and right also to see what they were doing," said a senior DGCA official.

The regulator has grounded the IndiGo pilots and suspended the two engineers of Delhi Airport. "On January 30, a GoAir pilot had raised a hazard report to the airport and to us about lights being on at the wrong taxiway. Despite this the same mistake was repeated that led to the issue on February 1," said the official.

Since December 27, the IGI Airport has seen two averted collisions on ground. The first incident was when an IndiGo and a SpiceJet plane came face to face. The regulator is fuming as in low visibility periods like the ongoing foggy winter, runway lights are a vital guide to safe aircraft movement on ground and keeping lights on or of where they are not required could lead to a major accident. 


Nearly 50 percent rise in air safety violations by crew in 2016: Directorate General of Civil Aviation

DGCA said Jet Airways along with its subsidiary JetLite had the highest number of enforcement actions (116) followed by SpiceJet and Air India with 101 and 61 instances of safety breach, respectively. 

There were 422 air safety violations by the crew of various air operators in 2016, a rise of nearly 50 percent from 2015, resulting in de-rostering of 42 pilots besides suspension of 272 crew members, DGCA said on Friday.

As per latest data available with the aviation regulator, there were safety violations involving 422 crew members of various air operators including scheduled airlines in 2016 as against 275 in 2015 and 391 in 2014.

Significantly, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN aviation monitoring body, is scheduled to carry out a comprehensive audit of India’s aviation safety audit. Last time ICAO had conducted such an audit in 2015.

Air services-wise data for 2016 shows the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) initiated 422 enforcement actions which include 272 suspensions of crew members and de-rostering of 42 pilots. In addition, 108 crew members were let off after issuing warnings.

According to DGCA, private carrier Jet Airways along with its subsidiary JetLite had the highest number of enforcement actions (116) initiated against its crew. It was followed by SpiceJet and Air India with 101 and 61 instances of safety breach, respectively.

The number of enforcement action against IndiGo stood at 55. SpiceJet reported the highest number of suspensions (68) in the previous year, followed by Jet Airways (53) while 41 pilots and cabin crew members of IndiGo also faced suspensions for various air safety violations.


High rollers in private jets invade Houston for Super Bowl 51

HOUSTON (KTRK) --   Wouldn't it be nice to fly in a private jet to the Super Bowl?

While it's a luxurious dream for most of us, the Houston Airport System is gearing up to welcome more than 1200 of these amazing jets to the area.

The migration to Houston has already begun for Super Bowl 51.

ABC13 reporter Foti Kallergis got an exclusive look at just some of these jets inside the Signature Flight support hangar at Hobby Airport this morning.

SkyEye was over the airport yesterday afternoon as jets made their way to a taxiway shut down exclusively for their use.

Air traffic is expected to pick up again at Hobby Airport today and especially tomorrow, with a few expected in on Super Bowl Sunday.

This morning, we'll see even more private jets coming in for Super Bowl LI.

The airports have required jets to RSVP for takeoff and landing times since air space will be really crowded.

Some jet operators told ABC13 these flights have been booked up to a year in advance.

Nose to tail, these aircraft are being lined up as they come in, with riders intent on having a good time here in Houston for the big game.

Story, video and photo gallery:

Spartan lands $300,000 flight simulator

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Airplanes have been a regular sight at Spartan since 1928.

"You're seeing state of the art right here," said student Clint Morgan.

But now there's an entirely new sight at Spartan that's just landed.

"Trays and seats in their upright position," he said.

A $300,000 flight simulator.

"Altitude 1,660. Speed 105."

An indication of just how much demand has taken off for the school.

"It's really exploded for us over the last three years," said the president of the flight campus, Ryan Goertrzen, on cloud nine over the school's latest addition.

"There's a lot of things you can do in the simulator that you can't do in the real airplane," he said.

"We have an engine failure," said Clint.

"I've been in flight school since October," he said.

He's looking forward to becoming a flight instructor.

"I wanted to teach and here's a good place to do it," he said.

It's a future with security, a new study by Boeing estimates that globally the world will need 600,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. Some of which he might eventually train…

"Mayday, mayday, mayday!"

If his co-pilot doesn't get him killed first.

Spartan College of Aeronautics, soaring into the future in bold new ways.

Surely you can't want to try and land in this captain? Yes, we're going to have to land in this and don't call me Shirley," smiled Clint.

Story and photo gallery:

Long Beach Airport (KLGB) decision wasn’t grounded in reality: Guest commentary

By Randy Gordon

Recently our city council voted not to move forward with a customs facility at the Long Beach Airport.

After two years of waiting through studies, public comments and outreach to provide information for all of those concerned — which includes residents and businesses — the Long Beach City Council sided with emotions and misinformation over facts and economics.

The facts collected from the independent, professional study commissioned by the City Council and the multiple reports by the talented Long Beach Airport staff were simply ignored.

Simply, a customs facility would have allowed for international flights, potentially opening up new nonstop destinations from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to cities in Mexico and Central America. The ability to travel internationally without facing the inconvenience of traffic and crowds at Los Angeles International Airport would open new business opportunities and more reasons for travelers to visit LGB, creating jobs and a new source of sustainable economic stimulus for our city.

A customs facility would not lead to airport expansion. Long Beach’s strict noise ordinance limits the number of daily flights to 50. The study the city council commissioned — validated by the Long Beach city attorney and the Federal Aviation Administration — confirmed the ordinance is safe if a customs facility were to be built at LGB.

The same airplane flying internationally produces no more or less noise than it does when flying domestically. Where the planes go doesn’t matter: the noise ordinance will always limit the amount of noise and number of flights, period.

To be sure, JetBlue as the requester of the customs facility would have benefitted from the ability to fly internationally. However, let’s not forget what type of corporate citizen JetBlue has been since arriving in Long Beach.

JetBlue has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars of support into our community through nonprofits and charitable organizations, such as Long Beach State athletics, Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride and many others. JetBlue employs more than 700 people at LGB, many of whom also live in Long Beach.

But one has to ask how much longer can a good corporate citizen continue to give to a community whose elected officials have signaled it may not be wanted here.

This project is about more than just what’s good for JetBlue. Others would have benefited as well, such as all of the non-commercial aviation companies in and around the airport. While JetBlue employs many Long Beach residents, so does the non-commercial aviation community. Many are considered small businesses and provide value to our local economy, including well-paying jobs, and give back to the community in their own right.

Statements that the economic benefits of a customs facility did not outweigh the potential risks are simply not true. Indeed, the reasoning pedaled by those who opposed customs — particularly council members Stacy Mungo (who made the motion) and Suzie Price (who seconded it) does not stand on facts cited by the city’s own study.

A customs facility is indeed financially feasible and would put taxpayers at no risk they would ever foot the bill. The cost of the facility would be paid partially by LGB user fees — not taxes — and JetBlue is offering to pay at least 70 percent of the cost to build the facility. While LGB does have outstanding debt, so does almost every airport; in fact, Moody’s, a credit rating agency, recently reaffirmed LGB’s solid investment grade rating of A3.

This project is a good deal for Long Beach: a customs facility will cost the taxpayers nothing and would generate thousands of jobs and $185 million in economic activity year after year without any risk to the noise ordinance.

We thank Council member Dee Andrews for his support on this issue and the need for new dollars and jobs that the data indicated would come to the city if a customs facility had been approved. We also commend the airport and city staff for a well-run process and good information. It was simply ignored this time.

In the end, I hope we have not lost a good corporate citizen in JetBlue. Ultimately, the company must make a business decision based on numbers and potential revenues now that domestic travel is the only way at Long Beach Airport now.

This decision will not be based on niceties and lofty pronouncements from the council dais. Those don’t employ people, pay the bills or allow for charitable donations to the community.

Randy Gordon is president and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.


Mystery: Ice falls through Georgia home

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A Grayson family said it’s a wonder no one was hurt or worse when a big piece of ice fell from the sky Tuesday morning.

The big chunk of frozen water fell around 7:45 a.m., leaving a big hole in the roof of the Grayson home of the Whitaker family.
Whitaker said upon further inspection of the hole in the garage roof, of the scattered pieces of ice mixed in with debris and of the constant flow of commercial jet liners on a flight path to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, he figured it had something to do with a plane flying overhead.

“I can’t see anywhere else it would have come from,” said Whitaker.

A representative with the Federal Aviation Administration told FOX 5 News the ice could be what is known as “blue ice,” which occurs when liquid leaks from a commercial aircraft lavatory waste system and freezes to the plane.

When the jet reaches lower altitudes and warmer temperatures the ice can detach and fall to the ground.

“You can see there was a lot of debris that exploded and went everywhere,” said Whitaker as he pointed to a baby stroller where debris had landed.

The falling ice gave the Whitakers pause for concern. The live next door to a school and have two youngsters children of their own.

“Just on the other side of the house, it would have hit one of the girl's rooms, so yeah very lucky,” said Coral Whitaker.

Jamey Whitaker retrieved a piece of the ice from a freezer in the garage.

He said he intends to file a report with the Federal Aviation Administration to try to track down what fell from the sky.

“It’s the safety part of it, the house the cars all that stuff can be fixed. Just really don't want to see anybody get hurt,” said Whitaker.

The Federal Aviation Administration representative told FOX 5 News one of their inspectors could possibly pinpoint what air carrier dropped the ice based on their records and time of the incident.

Jamey Whitaker said his home he just wants to know it won’t happen again.

“It’s the safety part of it, the house the cars all that stuff can be fixed. Just really don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” said Whitaker.

Story and video:

'Essential Air Service' and Its Impacts in Vermont

Rutland, Vermont --    Since taking office last month President Trump has looked to cut federal programs that he finds wasteful, one of them is believed to be the essential air service.

The Essential Air Service is a federal subsidy program to help connect smaller facilities like the Rutland Southern Vermont Airport to larger airports.

"When we deregulated the airlines rural America was left behind and the essential air service provides some subsidy to maintain access for rural parts of our country,” said Rep. Peter Welch, Vermont.

For Rutland the nearest hub is Boston, Cape Air offers three round-trip flights to Boston for about $200 daily year-round. The airline receives $1.3 million from the federal government to fly the route.

Guy Rouelle is Vermont's aeronautics administrator, he says the service is very beneficial to the state's economy.

"Our airports they provide the connection for people to come and enjoy our skiing and things of that nature but they are also used by business people,” explained Rouelle.

However, there are some concerns among some lawmakers and others in Washington. According to The Heritage Foundation, conservative think tank based in D.C. the essential air service is counterproductive and is only costing taxpayers more money. Nearly $200 million can be saved if the program were to be eliminated according to its report titled ‘A Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017’.

Rouelle said, "6,700 enplanements every year from Rutland which means people go to Rutland to fly to Boston"

Other airports in the area where you can find an essential air service include the Lebanon Municipal Airport in New Hampshire. The airline offering the service there was given a subsidy in the amount of $3,072,276.

Rouelle says the airlines generally use the subsidy for fuel costs and equipment maintenance. He says without the subsidy, they could potentially terminate the service.

"Cape Air would have to go from a subsidized to route to an unsubsidized route... So it would be a great impact to not only Rutland but the state of Vermont,” explained Rouelle.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch says cuts to the program are not a good idea. "I would be opposed to any cutbacks in that service when it will just further isolate rural America,” said Welch.

The current essential air service contract is set to expire in October but work is already underway to renew.

President Trump has not yet made any announcement regarding potential cuts to the program.

Story and video:

Law enforcement eyes will be in sky over stadium area

Houstonians may glimpse UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters monitoring the skies on Super Bowl Sunday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will have three Black Hawks prepared to intercept unauthorized planes if they fly into restricted areas. Also assisting in the agency's game day security are three Cessna C-550 Citation jets and two Airbus AS350 helicopters.

The government agency took reporters and photographers on a ride Thursday afternoon to showcase the Black Hawks and discuss how it will work with other agencies on Super Bowl security.

"Any time you have large crowds, there's a potential there for criminal activity," said David Grantham, a pilot with Air and Marine Operations, which is a component of Customs and Border Protection. "We have a multitude of law enforcement agencies, so we will work together to improve our mutual capabilities."

Restricted travel

Between 4 p.m. and midnight on Sunday, air travel will be restricted in the 30-mile radius around NRG Stadium as the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary flight restriction.

To fly in the perimeter of this area, pilots need to be in contact with air traffic control.

The core, 10-mile radius around NRG Stadium is a stricter no-fly zone. Very few aircraft are authorized in this area, such as planes with scheduled airlines, military aircraft, air ambulances and law enforcement aircraft.

Usually, pilots who fly into the restricted area aren't malicious. "All but just a minor handful are honest pilots making mistakes," Grantham said.

Being intercepted by a Black Hawk isn't the first tactic to reach these pilots. Unauthorized pilots in the restricted area will be radioed first.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will also have fighter jets and tanker aircraft to fuel those jets on alert if a plane needs to be intercepted on Super Bowl Sunday.

Anthony Roman, president of global investigation and risk management firm Roman & Associates, said the agencies have different levels of expertise and aircraft equipped with different security and surveillance capabilities.

He said the temporary flight restriction "is highly effective and highly efficient and inter-agency regulated."

To practice aircraft interceptions, volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol in Houston have acted as unauthorized planes flying into the restricted area. They flew Jan. 24, Tuesday and Wednesday to help the 138th Fighter Wing, Detachment 1 of the Air National Guard.

This is the Civil Air Patrol's 16th year assisting in air defense exercises to protect the Super Bowl's airspace.

Outside of such practices, it assists with taking flood assessment photos and search and rescue missions, among other things.

'It's an honor'

"It's an honor to come out and to do this type of thing," said Maj. Ken Wiggins, incident commander for the Civil Air Patrol in Houston.

In addition to these intercepts, Customs and Border Protection will be using its Airbus AS350 helicopters to shoot video that can provide a better perspective to law enforcement on the ground.

Jeff Price, professor of aviation management at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said such surveillance is critical if there were to be a shooting or explosion.

It can help secure the scene and provide the best route for emergency responders to take.

"The quicker you can get people into the response site, the quicker you can start saving lives," Price said.

Story and photo gallery:

Mooney M20C Ranger, N9149V: Accident occurred February 02, 2017 in Ellendale, Steele County, Minnesota

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Minneapolis  

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA101
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 02, 2017 in Ellendale, MN
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N9149V
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

On February 2, 2017, at 1950 central standard time, N9149V, a Mooney M20C, collided with a field in Ellendale, Minnesota, following a pilot incapacitation. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Duluth International Airport (DLH), Duluth, Minnesota, with an intended destination of the Winona Municipal Airport (ONA), Winona, Minnesota.

If you don’t believe in God, guardian angels, miracles and fate you may think twice about the airplane crash that took place north of Beaver Lake on Thursday night, February 2.

Daniel Johnathan Bass, 39, who works in the area of metal fabrication, filed a flight plan and left the Duluth airport at 6:10 on Thursday night.  It is thought that he headed his Mooney M20C Ranger on a direct flight, south bound for home, to Winona.

Bass has experienced many hours of flying time, and once in the air it is thought that he had put his plane on automatic pilot.

The Federal Aviation Administration later that evening reported the plane missing when it disappeared from radar.  Somehow the plane got about 85 miles off course from what should have been a straight-line flight.

Cynthia Crabtree, who lives a little bit north of Beaver Lake, had been sitting in her sunroom that night, when she heard a noise and assumed a large portion of an oak tree on the farm had come down.  Then, about 9:00, she heard a banging sound on the outside of her home, as well as a cry for help. 

She went to investigate but was concerned about opening the door as she was home alone.  She looked out the window and discovered a man with blood on his face standing outside her home.

Cynthia happens to be a nurse and felt a need to help the man. She asked him to come into her home and immediately called 911. She said it didn’t take long before help arrived, probably because there had already been people out looking for the missing plane.

Cynthia did what she could to help the injured pilot, and was pleased to find that though his speech was impaired he was alert and responsive.

Following the initial review of Bass’ medical condition, he asked if he could call his wife as she would have been expecting him home.  He was also concerned about his plane.

Bass told Cynthia that it may have taken him about 20-30 minutes or more to free himself from the plane, which had crashed just west of 72nd Avenue SW.  Once he got his bearings in the dark, he started walking toward the light he had seen in the area, which he later learned was the Crabtree farm.  It was later determined that Daniel had walked about 500 yards looking for someone to help him.

When the plane crashed, the windshield shattered, and Bass hit his head on the dash. He was transported to St. Marys’ Hospital in Rochester by a North Memorial helicopter and remained in the hospital for a few days following the accident. 

Bass sustained a broken jaw as a result of the plane crash and had to undergo surgery to repair the break before he was released from the hospital. 

Several local sheriff’s departments, Steele, Waseca and Freeborn, the Minnesota Highway Patrol, local ambulance and EMTs, members of the fire department, and others assisted at the scene.  Chuck Crabtree said he was surprised to see about 20 emergency vehicles in the area when he returned home that night. 

Once word was released that there was a plane missing, people from the area commented they had heard planes flying low over the area, something they felt was a bit unusual for this time of the year, especially at night.   People may have first heard the plane that had gotten off course, as well as the aircraft that had been sent out to look for the missing plane. 

The plane came down in an area that is owned by Evelyn Lee and Chuck and Cynthia Crabtree and came to rest in a northwesterly direction on a snowbank a short distance from a grove of trees on the north side of the Crabtree farm.  Bass was fortunate that the plane came down in an area that was clear of trees and buildings.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB were called in to investigate the plane crash.  Following the initial investigation, the plane, which sustained substantial damage, was disassembled into sections and loaded unto trailers and all the debris from the accident was cleared from the scene.

It is unknown how long it will take to determine the cause of the plane crash.  It can take months for the National Transportation Safety Board to complete their investigation and anything less is pure speculation.

Bass’s brother, who lives in the Twin Cities area, visited the site of the crash the following day and expressed his appreciation to the Crabtrees for their help.  He also said that his brother planned to come back for a visit with them sometime in the future, which would allow him to thank them personally for all the help that they had offered him.

On Sunday afternoon, a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a brief note were delivered to Cynthia, which brought tears to her eyes.  The note said, “Thank you so much for everything.  I am doing well, better every day. Looking forward to seeing you again. I will be more cleaned up and will drive there to visit you. Yours truly, Dan and Deanna Bass.”

We are glad to report Bass was able to walk away from his accident and thankful for the many people from our southern Minnesota area who offered him their assistance when he so desperately needed it.  

It has been said before and I am sure it will be said again, “Any landing one can walk away from is a good one.”


ELLENDALE — A plane crash Thursday outside Ellendale put to the test the old saying that any landing one can walk away from is a good one.

According to a National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson, a single-engine Mooney M20M aircraft took off from Duluth at about 6:10 p.m. and disappeared from radar at about 7:50 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration reported the plane missing to the Rice-Steele Dispatch Center at about 8:15 p.m., according to Steele County officials.

But it was not until about 9:10 p.m. that the plane and pilot — identified by the Steele County Sheriff’s Office as Daniel Bass, 39, of Winona — were located, after Cynthia Crabtree of rural Ellendale heard a noise outside her home.

“I was just sitting in the sun room, and I heard this bang on the siding of the house, and I heard, ‘Help me!’” she said. “So I looked out the window, and there he was looking at me. I saw his face was all full of blood, so I brought him into the house and called the ambulance.”

The plane had come down in a field just west of 72nd Avenue Southwest and north of Beaver Lake, and Crabtree’s was the closest home. Crabtree said she had heard a noise at about 8 p.m. that she had thought at the time was a falling tree, but it was not clear when exactly the crash occurred, or what transpired between the crash and the pilot arriving at her home.

Crabtree said the pilot, who was taken from the scene by a North Memorial helicopter, seemed alert and responsive after reaching her home.

“He was talking the whole time and wanted me to call his wife, let her know he was OK,” she said.

Sgt. Gary Okins of the Steele County Sheriff’s Office said the flight path filed for was from Duluth to Winona, but the plane “went off course” and ended up in the field north of Ellendale. Bass was flown to Rochester for treatment and remained in St. Marys Hospital on the Mayo Clinic campus as of Friday afternoon, Okins said. FAA records show the plane (identified as an M20C model) is registered to Bass.

The pilot’s wife, Deanna Bass, told the Pioneer Press that her husband may have been affected by carbon monoxide fumes during the flight. She described his injuries as non-life-threatening.

A spokesperson for St. Marys reported his condition Friday afternoon as fair.

Both NTSB and the FAA are investigating the crash, which the FAA said caused substantial damage to the plane. The FAA spokesperson said his agency’s investigation will take several weeks at minimum, while the NTSB said a preliminary report could be finished in about a week.

The Steele, Waseca and Freeborn County Sheriff’s offices; Minnesota State Patrol; and Ellendale Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene. Officials continue to ask the public to avoid the immediate area.


STEELE COUNTY, Minn. – The Federal Aviation Administration continues to investigate a small plane crash in a field just west of Ellendale.

After crashing on Thursday night, the pilot, 39 year old Daniel Bass, was able to walk to a nearby home to get help. That home belongs to Chuck and Cynthia Crabtree. Cynthia was home at the time.

“I was sitting in my chair and I heard some noise outside, like something banging on the wall. And I got up and I looked out the window, and i heard ‘Please help me’,” said Cynthia.

Seeing that the man was injured, she let him into her home. He told her that he crashed his plane into the nearby field.

“He was more concerned about his wife. He said ‘Please call my wife and let her know I’m ok.’ But I said first I had to call 911 and get the ambulance out here,” Cynthia said.

As Cynthia reflects on the scary scene that happened so close to her home, she’s grateful that she was in the right place at the right time.

“I just thought about all the things that he went through and how God was with him and protected him. It’s a miracle that he walked away from that airplane.

Bass was eventually airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities. His condition is unknown, but the Crabtrees’ were told he had to have surgery on his jaw.

Bass told Cynthia that he ran out of fuel and that’s why the plane crashed. The FAA is still investigating to determine the official cause.


UPDATE: According to the Steele County Sheriff’s Office, the pilot of the plane has been airlifted to North Memorial Hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time. Before being transported, the pilot was able to walk to a nearby residence to seek help. 

The small plane was reported missing by the Federal Aviation Administration at 8:15 p.m. Thursday.  It was located west of Ellendale near 72nd avenue and Beaver Lake. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and Steele County Sheriff’s Office are being assisted by the Minnesota State Patrol, Waseca County Sheriff’s Office, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Ellendale Fire Department and Ellendale Ambulance.

The public is asked to avoid the immediate area.

ELLENDALE, Minn. –  According to the Steele County Sheriff’s Office a small plane has crashed in rural Ellendale near Beaver Lake. Officials are on the scene and they are asking the public to stay away from the area.

Witnesses on the scene say they heard a plane flying over their homes Thursday evening.  

Responders are still on the scene as of 10:15 Thursday night.


The Steele County Sheriff's Office says the pilot of a small plane that crashed in rural Ellendale was able to walk away from the crash, but was airlifted to the hospital.

At about 8:15 p.m., the sheriff's office says the Federal Aviation Administration reported a missing plane. That plane was located just west of Ellendale.

The scene is being handled by the Federal Aviation Administration, and secured by the Steele County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol, Waseca County Sheriff's Office, Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, Ellendale Fire Department and Ellendale Ambulance.

The condition of the pilot is currently unknown.


ELLENDALE — Steele County first responders were called Thursday evening to a reported small plane crash in rural Ellendale. 

County officials sent out an email alert at 9:49 p.m., saying that the Steele County Sheriff’s Office was on the scene and asking the public to stay away from the area.

No further information was available at press time.