Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Western Air Limited Saab 340, C6-HBW, Flight WT-708: Incident occurred February 07, 2017 at Grand Bahama International Airport



A Western Air plane carrying 33 passengers crash-landed at the Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA) on Tuesday afternoon.

According to reports, the aircraft experienced technical challenges and was forced to make an emergency landing. It skidded off the runway into the bushes.

The incident happened around 5pm, just after the plane had taken off from GBIA on its way to Nassau. The flight originated in Bimini and had made a brief stop in Freeport.

A passenger on board said: "When we take off from Freeport, we had to land back. We had an emergency landing ... we had to land, we ended up through the bush. Now we are on the runway waiting for a ride to come. Fuel leaking from the plane and everything else."

Another passenger told ZNS News that they were first were made aware of the difficulties after the pilot announced that he had to return to GBIA shortly after takeoff.

Onlookers told ZNS News Northern Edition that the plane landed on its side and skidded off the runway at the rear of the airport.

While no one was severely injured, The Tribune was told that two passengers were taken to hospital to receive medical treatment for minor injuries.

Source:  http://www.tribune242.com

White House says airline concerns will focus on U.S. jobs

WASHINGTON – In a pair of U.S. airline disputes with foreign carriers, the White House signaled Tuesday that President Trump’s focus will be on domestic jobs.

The question previewed a meeting Trump scheduled Thursday with the chief executives of American, Delta and United airlines. Those legacy carriers have asked the administration to block additional flights from state-owned Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines because they received an alleged $50 billion in subsidies during the last decade, which the carriers deny.

The question also touched on Norwegian Air International, which won Transportation Department approval in December to serve the U.S. Airline unions have urged Trump to overturn the approval by arguing Norwegian is skirting labor laws with headquarters in Ireland, which the airline denies.

Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said Trump wants to talk with the Big 3 airline executives about economic growth and job creation. Spicer noted that Norwegian has hired American-based crews and is buying Boeing planes that provide “a huge economic interest” for the country.

“I don't want to get ahead of the president on that, but just to be clear, we are talking about U.S. jobs both in terms of the people who are serving those planes and the person who is building those planes,” Spicer said. “That’s a very big difference.”

Anders Lindstrom, a Norwegian spokesman, said the airline flies an all-Boeing fleet of 120 aircraft and has ordered another 120. The airline will take delivery of nine 787 Dreamliners, six 737 MAX and 17 737-800 aircraft this year, he said.

“No other foreign airline invests more in the American economy or creates more American jobs than Norwegian,” Lindstrom said. “We currently have 500 U.S. based cabin crew and is the only foreign airline to be recruiting American pilots, all of which are hired under local laws and regulations with competitive packages.”

The AFL-CIO, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA and the Transportation Trades Department have sued the government to overturn the Norwegian decision. Pilots have said they hope to work with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to overturn her predecessor's approval.

In terms of the Middle East airlines, the Obama administration conducted informal talks with the governments of United Arab Emirates and Qatar. But the previous administration didn’t reopen the so-called Open Skies agreements that provide unhindered flights between the countries.

"Obviously the president's going to want to talk about economic growth and job creation, how he's enacting orders to make sure the country's safe," Spicer said.

U.S. executives hope for a better reception from the Trump administration.

“The subsidies allow the Gulf carriers to operate without concern for turning a profit, unlike U.S. airlines, and therefore focus entirely on stripping market share and driving out competition,” American CEO Doug Parker, Delta CEO Ed Bastian and United CEO Oscar Munoz wrote Feb. 1 to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “In fact, for every long-haul route lost or foregone as a result of subsidized Gulf carrier competition, more than 1,500 American jobs are lost.”

Gulf carriers also buy a few planes. Qatar Airways, for example, announced an $18.6-billion Boeing order in October. The airline already has a combined total of more than 60 777 and 787 "Dreamliners" in its fleet. Elsewhere in the Gulf region, Emirates is the world's largest operator of Boeing's 777 wide-body, with more than 135 already in its fleet and another two dozen on order. Those orders are worth billions of dollars to Boeing. Fast-growing Etihad also has bought Boeing products, with nearly three-dozen Boeing wide-body jets currently in its fleet and future orders that could swell that number to more than 100.

Some U.S. carriers opposed the Big 3 effort, including JetBlue and Hawaiian, which offer connections to the Middle East carriers, and FedEx and Atlas Air, which fly freight to the region.

Those airlines have grouped together to help form a coalition called U.S. Airlines for Open Skies, which is opposed to the push being made by the U.S. Big 3.

"The demands of the legacy carriers would reduce competition, undermine Open Skies, and harm the American economy,"  group spokesman Andrea McCarthy said in statement to Today in the Sky. "Rather than caving to these demands, we should support Open Skies agreements, which benefit American workers, the American military, made-in-America exports, and American travelers."

Source:   http://www.usatoday.com

American Airlines, Boeing 737: Incident occurred February 07, 2017 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (KFLL), Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida

An American Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas was pulled back Tuesday after another airplane’s crew spotted the plane leaking fuel.

There were no injuries among the 130 people aboard Flight 2410, which happened about 9:30 a.m., authorities said.

“The left engine was spraying fuel and it was noticed by a plane behind it,” Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. “They radioed it in immediately.”

The American Airlines aircraft had taxied out for departure at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, but was not yet on the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Passengers stayed on the Boeing 737 as firefighters handled the emergency, the FAA said. 

Water was used to disperse about 20 gallons of fuel that had puddled beneath the engine, Jachles said. There was also a trail of fuel nearly a mile long along the taxiway, he said.

“Fortunately there was no fire,” Jachles said.

The jet was towed back to a gate and passengers were put on different flights, airport spokesman Gregory Meyer said.

A spokeswoman for American Airlines could not be reached for comment.

Source:   http://www.sun-sentinel.com

Lawsuit between Ocean Isle Beach and old airport operator heading back to court

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WECT) -

A case involving the town of Ocean Isle Beach and its old airport operator is heading back to court.

In 2014, the town started to take over operations of the airport after leaders claimed the contracted operator, Jackson/Hill Aviation, Inc., did not always staff the airport with an employee.  The town claimed a breach of contract, based on a violation of a town ordinance. Jackson/Hill sued the town after being locked out.  

A trial court dismissed the case after agreeing with OIB that the company violated the ordinance.  However, the NC Court of Appeals ruled this week that the lower court could not consider that evidence as it was not part of the complaint. 

The higher court reversed the trial court's decision and judgment, sending the case back to the trial court for further consideration. 

Source:  http://www.wect.com

Canada Offers Financial Aid to Bombardier, Less Than Requested: Bombardier’s financial situation had improved since the initial request of $1 billion, government minister says



The Wall Street Journal
By PAUL VIEIRA
Updated February 7, 2017 8:30 p.m. ET


The Canadian government offered a financial-aid package to Bombardier Inc. on Tuesday as the high-profile manufacturer works to ramp up sales of its struggling CSeries aircraft.

After more than a year of negotiations, the Liberal government said it would lend 372.5 million Canadian dollars ($283 million) to Bombardier to aid in the Montreal company’s development of the CSeries and Global 7000 aircraft. The amount is far short of the original request for $1 billion, which would match the amount of financing the province of Quebec put up in 2015 in exchange for just shy of a 50% stake in the CSeries project.

Canada’s Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains—who is responsible for industrial policy—said at a press conference that the money would ensure thousands of well-paying, high-tech jobs remain in Canada. The company and its chief executive, Alain Bellemare, are headed in the right direction, Mr. Bains said.

“This reflects a vote of confidence in this sector…and the leadership of this company,” he said.

Asked why Ottawa didn’t provide $1 billion, Mr. Bains said Bombardier’s financial situation had improved since the initial request. He cited Bombardier’s ability to strike a deal with Delta Air Lines Inc. for as many as 125 of its new single-aisle jets, including a firm order for 75 planes and options for another 50; and a pact with Air Canada for a firm order for 45 CSeries aircraft and options for another 30. Bombardier delivered its first CSeries jet to Swiss International Air Lines last June.

Talks between government officials and Bombardier executives began before the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in October 2015. After his election, Mr. Trudeau said he would only provide a financing deal if there were a strong business case for Ottawa to put up taxpayer-backed financing for the private-sector company.

Troubles and yearslong delays related to the CSeries aircraft—designed to compete in the single-aisle jet field with giants Airbus SE and Boeing Co.—coupled with softness in aircraft demand has placed a severe strain on Bombardier’s cash flow. This has forced the company, one of the highest-profile manufacturers in Canada, to cut thousands of jobs, restructure operations and record billions in write-downs to reflect the declining value of the CSeries.

In early 2015, the company named Mr. Bellemare as CEO, taking over from Pierre Beaudoin, who is a grandson of Bombardier founder Joseph-Armand Bombardier. The children of Joseph-Armand Bombardier maintained voting control of the company through their ownership of the bulk of Class A shares.

Months after taking over, Mr. Bellemare and the Quebec government struck the $1 billion financing deal. The provincial government said the Canadian government should provide a matching $1 billion, given the support Ottawa provided to bailout the auto sector during the financial crisis.

In another move designed to shore up its balance sheet, Bombardier sold 30% of its profitable train-manufacturing business to Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, for $1.5 billion.

Mr. Bellemare said the loan, available over a four-year period, gives Bombardier much-needed financial flexibility in the event of another market shock and enables it to pursue new projects that could boost earnings.

The company would repay the money it borrows, Mr. Bellemare said. “It’s the right solution for where we are” as a company, he said.

Canada’s loan, and the Quebec financing beforehand, underscores the widely held view that Bombardier, which anchors a Canadian aerospace sector that employs about 40,000 people, is too important to the Quebec economy for the government to allow it to fail.

The Canadian government has invested heavily and consistently in Bombardier, issuing more than C$1.3 billion in loans to the company over the last half-century. The company has paid back roughly half of that amount, according to government data.

Bombardier told investors last December it expected to generate single-digit revenue growth for 2016, while reaffirming a goal of breaking even on cash flow by next year. Bombardier’s third-quarter revenue, its most recent quarterly report, fell by nearly 10% by lower aircraft sales, but the company signaled it would beat its profitability targets for the year in all its business segments.

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

Cessna U206G Stationair, N735LS: Accident occurred September 05, 2013 in McGrath, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N735LS

Aviation Accident Final 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: ANC13CA094
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, September 05, 2013 in McGrath, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/02/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA U206G, registration: N735LS
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 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.

Shortly after takeoff from a remote mountain airstrip, at approximately 40 feet above ground level the airplane lost altitude, and began to sink. The pilot elected to conduct an off airport precautionary landing, during the landing the airplane nosed over sustaining substantial damage to the right wing, empennage and vertical stabilizer. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

In the narrative history of flight section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that he was unsure if the loss in altitude was a result of wind shear, or inadvertent movement of the flap selector by the passenger seated in the right front seat. 

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the operator stated that the accident may have been prevented if the company had established mandatory policies limiting loads out of short, high altitude, mountain airstrips, where gusting wind and wind shear is common. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to conduct a precautionary landing following a loss of altitude during takeoff initial climb.




















AIRCRAFT: 1979 Cessna U206G N735LS S/N U20604937       

ENGINE: Continental IO-520-F64B S/N 835154-R

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

ENGINE: 348.4    

AIRFRAME: 5680.8

EQUIPMENT: Gar-aero Wheels with 8.50/10 Tires. Garmin GMA 340 Audio, King KX155 Nav/Comm, Garmin GNC250XL, Bengix King KT76A, ARC R446A ADF.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT: went off strip on takeoff and flipped over.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Left wing has tip and leading edge damage. Right wing is bent outboard of strut. Fuselage is crushed and separated in front of empennage. Vertical and rudder bent.  Fuselage wrinkled on right side by copilot seat. Right gear leg broken. Lower cowl crushed. Horizontal bent.  Doors appear sprung. Cabin roof wrinkled. Prop strike.   

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT: Wasilla, Alaska

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N735LS.html

Aviation Hall of Fame asks Turner for an ‘apology’ and to ‘retract’ his accusations; Sen. Portman joins Turner investigation into group’s finances



Wright-Patterson Air Force Base —

While U.S. Rep. Mike Turner has asked for a panel of community leaders to investigate the finances of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, a Dayton attorney representing the nonprofit group has asked the congressman for a “public apology” and a “retraction of accusations.”

A Feb. 2 letter from the NAHF’s attorney, David C. Greer, to Turner released Monday said board trustees were upset two board members signed form letters “that your office obviously prepared” in support of the probe and “then represented those letters as if they were requests for a Congressional investigation of what sounds like criminal/ethical issues.”

“The reputation of the organization, its Board members and leaders does not deserve that kind of treatment,” attorney David C. Greer wrote. “I trust you will make a public apology and retraction of your accusations.”

The congressman said Monday any allegations were issues the blue ribbon panel would investigate once it’s formed in upcoming weeks. On Monday, he also announced the support of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah and chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, for the probe.

In a Jan. 25 letter to NAHF chairman William R. Harris Jr., Turner referred to his office receiving complaints of “financial mismanagement and misappropriation of NAHF resources and assets.” The letter did not detail what evidence existed for the allegations.

“A congressional inquiry is not a criminal investigation,” Turner, R-Dayton, said Monday in an interview. “(The attorney) is well aware of that. “If I believed anything criminal was happening at the Aviation Hall of Fame, I would be referring it to the sheriff.

“However,” Turner added, “this is an important organization both nationally and locally. They have a congressional charter and they are subject to congressional oversight. There are serious questions about the way they have been operating and those questions need answered.”

Dayton loses Hall of Fame ceremony to Texas

Financial data has shown the Hall of Fame has lost money the past several years. In 2015, for example, the Hall posted a loss of about $185,000, according to GuideStar, which tracks financial data on nonprofits.

Located inside the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Hall has enshrined more than 230 aerospace legends since it launched in 1962.

For decades, the NAHF staged a yearly enshrinement black-tie gala dubbed “Oscar night in aviation” in the Dayton region. But in December, the NAHF Board of Trustees announced this year’s event will move for one year to Fort Worth, Texas, marking the first time the ceremony will be outside the Dayton area.

In a statement Monday, Harris said the hall “welcomes any additional scrutiny” the decision to move the enshrinement ceremony “one time out of Dayton for 2017 may bring.”

Harris said Turner “or for that matter anyone else” was welcome to examine the Hall’s audited statements, meeting records and ask questions.

“The NAHF stands by the integrity of our Board of Trustees, which includes some of the leading industry, aerospace, and military personnel in the county, as well as our independent auditors” and two Dayton area accountants who are board members. Board members are volunteers. Many have made donations to the nonprofit and paid their own expenses to travel to and from the Hall of Fame, officials say.

In recent days, Turner also called on the Hall of Fame to “cease and desist” any talk of selling artifacts to raise money. Harris said in the statement Monday the Hall of Fame scuttled talk of selling a Wright-signed airplane propeller in the spring of 2015.

“No Board action has even been considered since that time almost two years ago,” Harris said.

Days after Turner’s Jan. 25 public announcement he would launch a probe into the NAHF, the congressman announced two board members had signed letters which gave the inquiry access to a broad swath of records the lawmaker had requested. The letters were dated Jan. 23, copies show.

Retired Air Force Col. Donald I. VanDerKarr and fellow board member Katie McCallum said in separate letters released Monday they did not initiate the investigation with complaints, but responded to a request from Turner’s office for authority to probe records if the letters were needed.

Both wrote they did not expect their Jan. 23 letters would be publicly released.

In the NAHF attorney’s Feb. 2 letter to Turner, Greer wrote in part two board members were “misinformed” about the form letter they were asked to sign.

VanDerKarr, 88, of Beavercreek, declined comment Monday and referred questions to NAHF’s attorney and Turner. McCallum could not be reached for immediate comment.

 Local chamber, partnership involvement

Turner has asked Philip L. Parker of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Hoagland, of the Dayton Development Coalition, and Brady Kress, of Dayton History, to select members for the blue ribbon panel. All three men are the president and CEO of the organizations they lead.

“If there are concerns about about the operation and the financial success of the organization we would rather help out sooner rather than later,” Parker said. “The hope is that the folks that are chosen I’m sure will be objective and they want what is best for the NAHF and what’s best for the community.

“I don’t think that there is anything so onerous that people are looking for something specific that would get someone in trouble,” Parker added. “I think this is more about how can we look at their financial position, how can we offer what they need, and then can we offer suggestions to how to go about finding new or additional resources.”

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

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N21679: Accident occurred November 07, 2015 at Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV), San Jose, Santa Clara County, California

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

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The newly-certificated private pilot conducted a local sightseeing flight at night with friends; he was not familiar with the airport. During the initial approach to land, the pilot performed a go-around. The pilot returned to land and, during the landing roll, lost directional control of the airplane, which subsequently exited the runway and came to rest inverted. A post-accident examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane had been rented through a collaborative aircraft rental company wherein the pilot received a checkout in one location, and was permitted to fly the same make and model airplane at locations within the company’s rental network throughout the country. Given his limited overall experience, landing at night at the unfamiliar airport and operating near the maximum gross weight of the airplane could have been challenging for the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll at night, which resulted in a runway excursion.




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

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

Air Thomo LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N21679

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Jose FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured.

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 November 7, 2015, at 2040 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N21679, was substantially damaged during landing at Reid Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California. The personal flight was operated by Trade Winds Aviation under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were uninjured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot was returning to the departure airport after completing a local scenic night flight with three friends. The pilot was cleared to land runway 31R, but then requested to go around. He was then cleared again to land on runway 31R. During touchdown, the airplane departed the runway, and came to rest inverted. The pilot reported that the airplane experienced brake and rudder problems during landing. A post accident examination by an FAA inspector revealed no mechanical anomalies with the braking or control systems.

The pilot had recently obtained his private pilot certificate. At the time of the accident he had accrued approximately 59 hours total time with 7 hours of total night flight, and 3 hours of night flight within the last 90 days. He had accrued 4 hours of flight time in the last 30 days, and no hours of night flight during this time. 

The pilot reported the weight of the airplane to be 2,400 pounds at the time of the accident. The maximum gross weight of the airplane is 2,550 pounds.

The pilot rented the accident airplane through an agreement with OpenAirplane. The OpenAirplane agreement allowed the pilot to be checked out in a specific make and model airplane at one location, and fly the same make and model airplane at OpenAirplane operators throughout the United States. The pilot had completed a check out flight with OpenAirplane in the Boston, Massachusetts area, and the accident flight was his first flight since the checkout. There were no restrictions in the OpenAirplane agreement regarding night flight operations. The airplane operator, Trade Winds Aviation, provided an online Local Procedures Briefing that discussed general operations and procedures for area flights.

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA024 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 07, 2015 in San Jose, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N21679
Injuries: 1 Minor, 3 Uninjured.

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 November 7, 2015, at 2043 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172S, N21679, was substantially damaged during landing at Reid Hillview Airport of Santa Clara County, San Jose, California. Trade Winds Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were uninjured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot was returning to the departure airport after completing a local scenic night flight. During touchdown, the airplane departed the runway and then came to rest inverted.

Robinson R22 BETA, N7685H: Accident occurred February 06, 2017 at North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport (F45), West Palm Beach, Florida

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

NTSB Identification: ERA17CA101 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in West Palm Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/2017
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22, registration: N7685H
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the flight instructor, he was conducting an instructional flight in the helicopter and demonstrating low-rotor rpm operations from a hover. The helicopter was at a 3-ft hover when he initiated the maneuver with the student pilot “on the flight controls” following the flight instructor’s movements. As the throttle was reduced, the helicopter’s nose began to rotate to the left. The flight instructor pushed the right antitorque pedal to counter the rotation, but the pedal initially felt like it was “blocked.” The right skid contacted the taxiway, causing the helicopter to bounce and rotate to the right. The flight instructor applied full throttle and collective to attempt to gain altitude; however, the helicopter departed the taxiway, entered an adjacent grass area, and rolled over onto its left side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor and the tailboom. Examination of the flight control system by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any anomalies. In addition, the flight instructor reported there was no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor’s failure to maintain helicopter control while demonstrating low rotor rpm operations from a hover.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fort Lauderdale, Florida


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

Higgins Leasing Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N7685H

NTSB Identification: ERA17CA101
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in West Palm Beach, FL
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22, registration: N7685H
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the flight instructor, he was conducting an instructional flight in the helicopter and demonstrating low rotor rpm operations from a hover. The helicopter was at a 3 ft hover when he initiated the maneuver, with the student pilot "on the flight controls" following the flight instructor's movements. As the throttle was reduced, the nose of the helicopter began to rotate to the left. The flight instructor pushed the right anti-torque pedal to counter the rotation but the pedal initially felt like it was "blocked." The right skid contacted the taxiway causing the helicopter to bounce and rotate to the right. The flight instructor applied full throttle and collective to attempt to gain altitude; however, the helicopter departed the taxiway, entered an adjacent grass area, and rolled over onto its left side. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the main rotor and the tail boom. Examination of the flight control system by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any anomalies. In addition, the flight instructor reported there was no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Beech F90 King Air, N246CA, Aceite Aviation LLC: Accident occurred February 06, 2017 at Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport (KPOF), Butler County, Missouri

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA150
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in Poplar Bluff, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/07/2017
Aircraft: BEECH F90, registration: N246CA
Injuries: 2 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 pilot reported that, during an instrument meteorological conditions flight, he chose to accomplish an area navigation approach. He reported that he descended to his minimum descent altitude of 800 ft, decreased the airspeed, and began looking outside the cockpit for the runway. He recalled that the visibility was 3/4 mile, and that, about 20 seconds later, the airplane struck tree tops. The pilot immediately executed the missed approach procedure and made an approach to an alternate airport. The right wing sustained substantial damage. 

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s descent below the minimum descent altitude during a nonprecision approach, which resulted in a tree strike.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Memphis, Tennessee

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

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

Aceite Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N246CA

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA150
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in Poplar Bluff, MO
Aircraft: BEECH F90, registration: N246CA
Injuries: 2 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 pilot reported the during an instrument meteorological condition flight, he elected to accomplish an area navigation approach. He reported that he descended to his minimum descent altitude of 800 feet, decreased the airspeed and began looking outside the cockpit for the runway. He recalled that the visibility was ¾ of a mile and about 20 seconds later the airplane struck tree tops. The pilot immediately executed the missed approach procedure and made an approach at an alternate airport. The right wing sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Piper PA-31-350, Kiss Aviation LLC, N4086E: Incident occurred February 06, 2017 in Westhampton Beach, Suffolk County, New York

KISS AVIATION LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N4086E

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  Farmingdale

AIRCRAFT LANDED GEAR UP, WEST HAMPTON BEACH, NEW YORK

Date: 06-FEB-17
Time: 21:19:00Z
Regis#: N4086E
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA31
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: WEST HAMPTON BEACH
State: NEW YORK

Bell 206B, Republic Helicopters Inc., N978RH: Fatal accident occurred February 06, 2017 in Galveston, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Houston, Texas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Bell Helicopters; Fort Worth, Texas
Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana 
Republic Helicopters, Inc.; Santa Fe, Texas

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

Republic Helicopters Inc:   http://registry.faa.gov/N978RH

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA100 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, February 06, 2017 in Galveston, TX
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N978RH
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 6, 2017, about 1906 central standard time, a Bell 206B-III, N978RH, impacted the waters of West Bay 8 miles west of Galveston, Texas. One passenger was fatally injured. The pilot and a second passenger were seriously injured. The helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Republic Helicopters, Santa Fe, Texas, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 as a non-scheduled domestic passenger flight. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. Company flight following was being utilized. The flight originated from the oil tanker Eagle Vancouver, anchored in Galveston Bay, at 1837, and was en route to Republic Helicopters heliport (2TE1), in Santa Fe.

This was the helicopter's third flight of the day. It departed 2TE1 at 1404 and flew to the oil tanker Eagle Vancouver and landed at 1457. The two passengers, both employees of Societe Generalde Surveillance (SGS) deplaned and commenced their work on the tanker. The helicopter was scheduled to depart the tanker about 1600 but was delayed for unknown reasons. The helicopter eventually took off at 1837 and was scheduled to arrive at 2TE1 at 1910. Sunset was at 1802. The last radio communication from the pilot to Republic Operations was at 1906, when he reported he had the lights of Galveston in sight. The helicopter was equipped with a Blue Sky Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking system. The last data point from the Blue Sky system was at 1906, when the helicopter was at N29°11'15.396" and W94°57'7.914", about .27 miles from the Galveston Island coastline. Altitude was 494 feet and speed was 127 mph. The accident site was at N29°14.39' and W94°59.44' in West Bay, between Galveston Island and the mainland, or 4.30 miles from the last data and 8 miles and 283° from GLS.

The wreckage was recovered on February 8. Examination disclosed no evidence of airframe or flight control malfunction or failure. Engine examination disclosed no anomalies.




GALVESTON - A passenger died and the pilot and another passenger were rescued by a good Samaritan after a helicopter crashed into West Galveston Bay, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Tuesday.

The names of the pilot and passengers were not immediately available. Arnold Scott, National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said the survivors were still hospitalized late Tuesday and were undergoing surgery.

The owner of the helicopter, Republic Helicopters Inc. of Santa Fe, issued a statement saying, "the outlook remains positive," for the survivors.

The helicopter was returning from a oil-cargo survey of the Eagle Vancouver, a 1,092-foot oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico, said Scott Smith, Republic saftey officer. Two surveyors had hired the helicopter to land them on the tanker so they could check the quality of the oil, Smith said.

The helicopter made its last radio contact with the company at 7:15 p.m. Monday, said Smith said.

Attempts later to reach the aircraft were unsuccessful and the company put its "lost communications procedure" into action and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, Smith said. The crash is the first of a Republic-owned aircraft, he said.

Sgt. Richard Standifer, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman, said, "It was foggy, so that may have played a role in the ability to navigate the helicopter."

The Coast Guard also failed to make radio contact and began a rescue operation, dispatching a helicopter and a search boat, said Andy Kendrick, Coast Guard petty officer.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said the helicopter crashed about 8 miles west of Scholes International Airport in Galveston.Trochesset said the search operations were initially hampered by fog and that wreckage was discovered about 9:40 p.m. by Sean Welsh, 52, the county building inspector, and his son, Micky Welsh, 17, who were on the bay in their private boat.

Welsh said an acquaintance notified him by phone about the crash. Welsh and his son took their 21-foot boat into the bay and began a search pattern.

He sighted the two crash survivors clinging to a fragment of the wreckage barely poking above the water. Welsh pulled the two survivors into his boat. "They were cold and wet and beat up," Welsh said. He phoned a friend, who called the sheriff's office.

When they arrived at the dock, an ambulance was waiting to take the survivors to the University of Texas Medical Branch. Sgt. Louie Trochesset, the head of the sheriff's marine division, was also waiting for Welsh.

Louie Trochesset returned to the wreck with Welsh, where they received a call from a Coast Guard helicopter that the crew had spotted a body floating near the wreckage. They retrieved the body about 500 yards from the crash site, Henry Trochesset said.


Source:   http://www.houstonchronicle.com




GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A helicopter pilot has died and two passengers pulled from the waters off Galveston Island after their copter crashed.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick says the passengers Monday evening were either being taken to or from the tanker Eagle Vancouver that was about 50 miles offshore.

Kendrick says the helicopter company, Republic Helicopters of Santa Fe, just northwest of Galveston, lost contact with the pilot shortly before 8 p.m. and notified the Coast Guard.

A Galveston County sheriff’s boat found the wreckage in West Bay, more than two miles from Galveston Island’s Jamaica Beach.

The body of the unidentified pilot was recovered. The passengers were taken to a hospital and their conditions were unknown.


Kendrick says it’s not clear if the two passengers were members of the tanker crew.







GALVESTON – A passenger died and the pilot and another passenger were rescued after a helicopter crashed into West Galveston Bay, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Tuesday.

The names of the pilot and passengers were not immediately available. The helicopter, a Bell 206 manufactured in 1966 and owned by Republic Helicopter Inc. of Santa Fe, made its last radio contact with the company at 7:05 p.m. Monday, said Andy Kendrick, U.S. Coast Guard petty officer.

Sgt. Richard Standifer, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman, said, "It was foggy, so that may have played a role in the ability to navigate the helicopter."

The Coast Guard also failed to make radio contact and began a rescue operation, dispatching a helicopter and a search boat, Kendrick said.

The helicopter was either returning from a survey of the the Eagle Vancouver, a 1,092-foot oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico.

Source:   http://www.chron.com




GALVESTON, Texas -- A helicopter with three people on board crashed offshore near Jamaica Beach in Galveston on Monday night, the Coast Guard said.

Two people were rescued, but one person died in the crash. At last check, the victims were still in the hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

According to the Coast Guard, officials lost communication with the helicopter around 7 p.m. as it crashed about 2.5 miles in the West Bay offshore from Jamaica Beach. 

The Coast Guard said it was a private helicopter based out of Santa Fe with a pilot and two passengers on board.

The Houston Chronicle reports the chopper, operated by Republic Helicopters, was being used to transport workers to and from an oil tanker in the Gulf.

Republic described Monday night's incident as a water landing. According to its website, it has no prior reported incidents or safety issues.

The identity of the person who died has not been released. There are conflicting reports from authorities and the company as to whether it was the pilot or a passenger who died.

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

WestJet Posts Profit Decline on Higher Fuel, Maintenance Costs: Canadian air carrier flew 5.4 million passengers in latest quarter, a record amount during the period




WestJet Airlines Ltd. on Tuesday reported a 13% drop in fourth-quarter earnings as rising fuel and maintenance costs outweighed an increase in airline passengers amid the Canadian air carrier’s international expansion push.

WestJet’s profit decline comes as the company expanded its international reach, offering daily flights from six Canadian cities to London’s Gatwick airport beginning last May.

While the new routes led to a 10% rise in passengers, those additional flights weighed on the company’s profit as it incurred additional costs operating its new fleet of Boeing 767-300 jets.

WestJet flew 5.4 million passengers in the quarter, a record amount during the period, the company said.

“I’m very pleased with how our resilient business model has performed, even during an economic downturn in Alberta of unprecedented proportion,” said Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky during an analyst call on Tuesday.

Calgary, Alberta-based WestJet posted a fourth-quarter profit of 55.1 million Canadian dollars ($42.1 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share. Results came in below the C$63.4 million, or 51 Canadian cents, it earned a year earlier but ahead of the 41 Canadian cents analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

Revenue rose 6% to C$1.02 billion, in line with analyst expectations. WestJet also maintained its quarterly dividend at 14 Canadian cents a share.

A stronger Canadian dollar versus its U.S. counterpart led to rising aircraft fuel costs, the company’s biggest operating expense. Fuel costs, which the airline incurs in U.S. dollars, were up 15% from a year earlier, while maintenance charges rose 15% as well.

WestJet’s cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel costs and employee profit-sharing, was 9.87 Canadian cents, a decline of 1.7% from the same quarter last year. The airline’s load factor was 80.2% in the quarter, up from 78.4% in the same quarter last year.

Mr. Saretsky said the airline has improved both its completion rate and its on-time performance on trans-Atlantic routes after some notable stumbles in the second quarter.

WestJet expects annual capacity growth of 6% to 6.5% in the first quarter of 2017, while domestic capacity should grow between 8% and 8.5%, Mr. Saretsky said. Roughly, two-thirds of WestJet’s domestic growth is attributed to expanding its WestJet Encore regional routes and its charter business. WestJet also expects a return to positive revenue per available seat mile growth of 1% to 3% in the first quarter of the year, Mr. Saretsky said.

Cameron Doerksen, an aviation analyst with National Bank of Canada, said investors may be concerned about WestJet’s ability to see revenue growth outpace higher fuel costs. “We therefore forecast another year of declining earnings,” Mr. Doerksen said in a note.

Air Canada, WestJet rival’s and the country’s biggest airline, is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 17.

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

Piper PA-28B-180 Cherokee, N7646W: Accident occurred December 15, 2016 at Monroe County Airport (KMNV), Madisonville, Tennessee

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N7646W


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Madisonville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N7646W
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, during landing after a cross-country solo flight, as the main landing gear touched down, the airplane encountered a crosswind, and he lost control of the airplane. He further reported that the airplane exited the right side of the runway and came to rest in the tree(s). 

The student pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

There was no local historic weather observation facility within 25 nautical miles of the accident airport, but the student pilot reported the wind direction was variable at 5 knots gusting to 10 knots. The student pilot landed runway 5.

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 landing with a gusting crosswind.

The student pilot reported that during landing after a cross-country solo flight, as the main landing gear touched down the airplane encountered a crosswind and he lost control of the airplane. He further reported that the airplane exited the right side of the runway and came to rest in the tree(s).

The student pilot reported there were no pre impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.


There was no local historic weather observation facility within 25 nautical miles of the accident airport, but the student pilot reported the wind direction variable, at 5 nautical miles per hour (knots), gusting 10 knots. The student pilot landed runway 5.