Monday, February 13, 2017

Titan T-51 Mustang, N51LJ: Incident occurred February 13, 2017 at Tucson International Airport (KTUS), Pima County, Arizona

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Scottsdale

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed. 

Date: 13-FEB-17
Time: 01:00:00Z
Regis#: N51LJ
Aircraft Make: TITAN
Aircraft Model: T51
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

A small plane crashed at Tucson International Airport Monday. 

No one was injured and the plane is intact, authorities said.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the plane appeared to have mechanical issues on landing, according to a Tucson Airport Authority tweet.

The plane was being removed from the runway shortly before 8 p.m., officials said.

"Airport operations are continuing as normal with minimal, if any delays," stated a tweet.


Yellowstone Regional Airport (KCOD) only cancels three flights due to recent storms

Although this has been one of the worst winters in recent memory, not many flights have been cancelled at Yellowstone Regional Airport, the Joint Powers Board said during its meeting last week.

Only two flights in January and one in early February failed to make a scheduled landing in Cody.

“We’ve had snow on the ground since Dec. 17, so our crews have done a great job of keeping the runways clear,” YRA manager Bob Hooper said. “Especially with the new FAA requirements about ice on the runways.”

YRA Operations Supervisor Bruce Ransom added: “You know what we’re doing.”

While Ransom was speaking to the board on Feb. 8, one of the plows went cruising past the windows of the Duggleby Board Room. Ransom’s crews have been burning up diesel fuel in their machines trying to keep things cleared for the planes.

“We’re one of the few Skywest airports not to have many cancelled flights,” YRA Board member Bucky Hall said. “The crews have done a great job.”

Keeping snow off the runways isn’t the only problem, the white stuff also drifted in by the hangars where private planes are stored. With the magnitude of snow this winter there is simply no place to put it.

“We made a decision that it was unsafe on hangar row, so we hired Harris Trucking to remove the snow,” Hooper said. “With two trucks and a front-end loader, it took them four hours to clear it out.”

Winter weather may have also had an effect on the numbers for passenger boardings and rental cars. There was a 12.2 percent decrease in the number of car rental days for January. There was also a 13.9 percent decrease in the number of airplane passengers last month as compared to a year ago.

Looking ahead to the summer tourist season, United Airlines will resume service to Denver on May 5. United will also operate one flight per week to Chicago starting on June 10.

Skywest is scheduled for three flights during the week and two additional flights on Saturdays and Sundays.

Keeping the fence around the perimeter of the airport intact has also been a concern. On Jan. 27, a vehicle failed to stop at the intersection of the Greybull and Meeteetse highways.

Apparently traveling at a high rate of speed, the vehicle went off the road and crashed through the airport’s fence. The vehicle came to rest on the taxiway.

“How he missed the hangars and the vehicles parked there is almost a miracle,” YRA Board Chairman Bob Adrian said. “There must have been somebody riding on his shoulder to prevent the crash from being worse.”

A claim has been filed with the driver’s insurance company. The airport management will likely wait until the snow melts to determine the extent of the damage.

If people keep driving through the perimeter fence, board members joked they might have to build a wall around the airport.

Choice Aviation requested approval to build T-Hangars in the area now vacant after the removal of the old Armory building. The board has not made any decision on what to do with that parcel of land, which encompasses 6.1 acres.

With all of the current hangars now being leased, there is a need for more storage space at the airport. No work can be done to address this situation unless the airport makes infrastructure upgrades to the vacant land.

“We have no funds available,” Adrian said. “We already have projects to pay for going out five years.”

Representatives from Choice acknowledged this type of project will take time. They just wanted to get the process started.

“We have to take steps to develop that property,” said Doug Johnston, Secretary for the Board. There was no timetable decided on for this project.


It isn't over yet: Aviation interests seek federal court review of deal to close Santa Monica Airport (KSMO)

The decades-long battle over the fate of Santa Monica Municipal Airport isn’t over.

A group of aviation interests on Monday asked a federal appeals court to review a recent agreement between Santa Monica and the Federal Aviation Administration to shorten the runway immediately and close the embattled facility at the end of 2028.

In an attempt to keep the airport open, the National Business Aviation Assn., the Santa Monica Airport Assn. and four airport tenants requested a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which handles cases involving federal agencies.

"Santa Monica's airport is a vital asset to our aviation system, both locally as well as nationally, and serves as a critical transportation lifeline for the entire Los Angeles Basin," said Ed Bolen, the business association’s president and chief executive officer.

"NBAA remains committed to aggressively supporting unrestricted business aviation access to Santa Monica Airport through this petition and other available channels," he said.

The FAA and City Council agreed last month that the historic airport can be closed on Dec. 31, 2028, and the 4,973-foot runway could be shortened immediately to 3,500 feet, a move that could cut jet operations substantially. City officials have said they plan to reduce the runway in three months.

The agreement settled all litigation between the city and FAA, and held out the real possibility that the bitter fight over the future of the airport would end.

However, Bolen contended that the FAA’s “seeming acquiescence to a vocal minority of Santa Monica residents” represented “a one-of-a-kind development that would severely restrict aviation access throughout Southern California and across the U.S.”

FAA officials declined to comment, stating that they do not comment on pending litigation.

Joining the appeal were four airport tenants, Bill's Air Center Inc., Kim Davidson Aviation Inc., Redgate Partners LLC and Wonderful Citrus LLC.

Bolen said city officials have repeatedly attempted to curtail access to the airport by aviation users and other stakeholders in violation of various federal agreements dating back to the 1948 instrument of transfer that returned control of the former military airfield back to the city.

Meanwhile, the NBAA continues to pursue a separate complaint to the FAA, which alleges that the city imposed illegal landing fees, diverted airport funds to non-aviation uses and set unfair leasing policies to force out aeronautical tenants.

Also involved in the so-called Part 16 complaint are the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn., Kim Davidson Aviation, Bill’s Air Center and Mark Smith, a local pilot and aircraft owner.

Another lawsuit brought against Santa Monica by two airport businesses, Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers, will be dropped, said David Shaby, an attorney in the civil case. He added that the city has agreed to drop its eviction actions against the companies and grant them leases.

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City attorneys to review issue of skydiving at Lawrence Municipal Airport (KLWC)

This aerial photograph from March 17, 2009, shows the Lawrence Municipal Airport. This view is from the southeast looking to the northwest. The three areas framed with a red dashed line have been determined by an off-site Federal Aviation Administration study to be potentially safe to accommodate parachute landings, as long as certain provisions are met. However, the Lawrence City Commission will still have to determine whether skydiving should be allowed at the airport, and that decision likely will not come as early as this week. 

No action will be taken on skydiving drop zones at the Lawrence Municipal Airport until city attorneys complete a legal review of the issue, the Lawrence City Commission decided at its Tuesday meeting.

An off-site safety assessment by the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that three areas at the airport could safely accommodate parachute landing areas for skydiving, but city leaders want to know if that means they have to allow the activity.

“My big deal is, I just want to know what the rules are, and if we’re being told that absolutely we have to do this,” City Commissioner Mike Amyx said.

City Attorney Toni Wheeler told the commission that the city has not directly asked the FAA what would happen if the city decides to disallow the activity, but that people could potentially petition the FAA as a result. At issue would be federal grant money from the FAA, which provides 90 percent of the funding for improvements at the airport.

Several people expressed concerns about allowing skydiving at the airport and how it could negatively impact the other operations that use the facility, particularly the air ambulance service LifeStar.

Greg Hildenbrand, executive director of LifeStar of Kansas, told commissioners that the company has previously operated alongside skydiving drop zones, and that safety is not the only factor. Instead, he was concerned about the possibility of delays, which he said could be up to 15 minutes should a skydiver miss the drop zone. For that reason, Hildenbrand said skydiving and EMS are “incompatible uses” of the same airspace.

“Time is very critical in determining whether that person is going to survive,” Hildenbrand said. “…Time is critical, and we count that time in minutes.”

Concerns were also voiced about the effect on other operations at the airport.

Lloyd Hetrick, a pilot who operates out of the Lawrence airport, said he has talked to some pilots who said they would make other arrangements if the airport were to allow skydiving.

“I do think there’s a lot of loss,” Hetrick said. “The operation at the airport will be affected.”

But not all those who spoke expressed reservations.

Skydiving operator and Lawrence resident William McCauley criticized the city for what he said was an unfriendly attitude toward skydiving. McCauley, who has previously submitted a proposal to operate a skydiving business at the airport, said the procedures were already in place to ensure safety of the existing operations and skydiving. He also said that concerns about LifeStar delays were overblown.

“There is plenty of opportunity for us to coexist,” McCauley said.

The FAA looked at eight proposed parachute landing areas and determined that three were safe as long as 13 provisions were met. The FAA also determined it would be safe for skydiving to operate alongside LifeStar by placing approximately four-tenths of a mile between the parachute landing area and the helicopter operation. The memo regarding the assessment that was provided to the city did not specifically address the concern of delays.

Since 1929, the city has owned and operated the airport, which is located on U.S. Highway 24 and covers nearly 500 acres. The airport averages more than 100 daily flight operations of single-engine, twin-engine and business jets, according to the city’s website.

City Manager Tom Markus told the commissioners that before they could decide, they needed to know how much authority they had on the issue.

“I’m not taking a plus-minus position on this issue, I’m saying you should be clear about what the FAA is telling you and whether you have any discretion in the end,” Markus said.

Commissioners took Markus’ recommendation and referred the topic to legal staff for a specific opinion on whether the commission has discretion in allowing skydiving. The commission also instructed the city’s Aviation Advisory Board to begin making an operational plan for allowing skydiving at the airport.

The legal and AAB reviews are expected to come back before the commission in 90 days. 


Skydiver injured in DeLand remains hospitalized

DELAND — A skydiver who took a hard landing at Skydive DeLand remains in intensive care and is unable to communicate, a nurse at Halifax Health Medical Center said Monday.

The skydiver, 40-year-old Nikolay Likhachev, suffered a compound fracture to his left leg and a head injury, an incident report released Monday by DeLand police states. The report states that Likhachev had completed 200 jumps, most of them at Skydive DeLand.

Likhachev, whose address in the report is listed in Reston, Va., was injured Friday just before 9:15 a.m. Another customer at the skydiving facility reported it, but the person did not see Likhachev go down, police said.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Likhachev lying near a tent that had some blood on it, the report states. Likhachev was breathing, but was unresponsive.

DeLand spokesman Chris Graham said police also recovered a camera among Likhachev's belongings. It's not clear whether the camera was videotaping when Likhachev went down, Graham said. The recording device, along with Likhachev's helmet, a pair of shoes, his parachute and safety glasses, have been placed in a sealed bag and are at the DeLand Police Department's evidence room, Graham said.


Documents released to The Seattle Times by the Federal Aviation Administration concerning a 2015 settlement with Boeing reveal a pattern of quality issues in aircraft production

Though Boeing paid $12 million in late 2015 to settle more than a dozen Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigations, details of the problems found by the safety agency were not disclosed at the time.

Documents obtained this month by The Seattle Times through a Freedom of Information Act request show the cases revealed a disquieting pattern of falsified paperwork and ignored procedures that created quality issues on the production lines of Boeing and its suppliers.

The FAA found that Boeing repeatedly failed to follow protocols designed to guard against production errors that put safety at risk.

Some tasks were signed off as completed and checked when they were not. Other work was done without authorization.

The result was multiple errors in manufacturing, some of which passed right through the system to airplanes in service.

Boeing also failed to take corrective action in a timely way after issues were discovered, the FAA found.

In one case, Air Canada ground crews in January 2015 discovered a 3-foot-wide puddle of fuel that had leaked from an engine pylon of the airline’s first 787 Dreamliner after it landed at an unnamed airport.

Leaking fuel around a hot engine is a fire hazard.

An FAA investigation revealed that Boeing had noted the leak nine months earlier, before it delivered the plane, and had supposedly reworked the pylon at the Everett plant to fix the problem.

A mechanic and a quality- control inspector signed off on the rework as completed. But as the FAA noted, this “did not represent work performed.” In other words, the repair work hadn’t been done.

Even after this instance of leaking fuel discovered on a jet carrying passengers, Boeing’s actions to prevent such an error from re-occuring were “unsatisfactory,” the FAA found.

The FAA investigations also reached down into Boeing’s supply chain, where a more egregious violation was noted.

In January 2015, a mechanic rigging a large 777 cargo door at a Boeing supplier was questioned about his work by an FAA investigator. The mechanic acknowledged that “he does not use the inspection tools required and enters false inspection data on the work order.”

“He admitted to falsely entering the data for approximately 7-8 years,” the FAA letter of investigation states.

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Low-cost Allegiant Airlines defends maintenance record

Jacksonville, Fla -- When Allegiant Airlines evacuated flight 864 a year and a half ago after reports of smoke in the cabin, passenger Joan Morin was pushed down an emergency exit slide.

"He said, 'This is an evacuation. Everybody evacuate," Morin remembers. "'Evacuate' didn't even register. I've never evacuated."

She'd never heard of the low-cost carrier when she booked a flight from St. Petersburg, FL to Hagerstown, MD to see her daughter.

"Narrow, I mean narrow little pad going down, and all you're thinking about is your head hitting the cement," she said.

First Coast News obtained a year's worth of Allegiant records from the Federal Aviation Administration detailing maintenance issues and emergency landings.

We found at least 54 times in 2016, a plane turned back to its airport or was diverted mid-flight because of a mechanical failure. Records detail landing gear not retracting after takeoff, electrical burning smells in cabins, and autopilot failures.

"That is too high. We want it always to be lower," said Jude Brinker, the airline's Chief Operating Officer.

During an interview at the airline's training center in Las Vegas, NV, Brinker said Allegiant's diversion rate is higher than industry giants Delta and American.

He calls 2016 an improvement from 2015, when the evacuation of Morin's flight started a wave of negative stories about the airline. Most notably, the Tampa Bay Times used 2015 numbers to report Allegiant's planes were four times more likely to fail during flight compared to other major US carriers.

"That number is not the case today," Brinker said.

Three different aviation experts interviewed by First Coast News attribute many of the mechanical issues to one of the planes Allegiant flies, the same kind Joan Morin was aboard.

It's called an MD-80. Most of Allegiant's were manufactured in the late 80's and early 90's. The older model is cheap to buy and makes up more than half of the airline's fleet.

Allegiant's Service Difficulty Reports, filed with the FAA, show 30 percent of its fleet had 4 or more safety issues last year. Most of those issues happened with the older MD-80 aircraft.

The airline says that number mis-represents its planes.

It says out of the 30 percent, only half of the reported maintenance issues actually affected passengers. 

Allegiant's most problem-prone planes had cracks in wings and the fuselage, irregular cabin pressure, malfunctioning engines and lost navigation capabilities.

"We require more mechanics, more spare parts, and more aircraft as spares to continue operating," Brinker said.

The FAA requires airlines to self report issues with their aircraft.

Compared to other low-cost carriers, Allegiant's planes in the middle of the pack when comparing the service difficulty reports.

The FAA says they use those and many other reports to detect trends and mitigate risk with all airlines. With Allegiant, they've added FAA inspector resources and help evaluate their operations.

"As long as the FAA signs off on them, that's really all we can be concerned about," said Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Steve Grossman.

At Jacksonville International Airport, Allegiant has grown from 1 percent to 2.5 percent of the airport's traffic.

"We really don't have a right to say 'No'. We have to allow carriers in in a non-discriminatory way. So, if a carrier wants to come in here, as long as they meet our rules and regulations, we have to let them in and we do not have the right to regulate how they do maintenance, what they do on maintenance. That's the federal government's role," Grossman said.

As Allegiant continued to report problems last year, the FAA moved up a regularly scheduled audit.

The FAA released a Certificate Holder Evaluation Process report where inspectors said they "identified several element design and element performance deficiencies." Inspectors reported problems with crew training and emergency drills, missing signatures on flight documents, and failures of protocol.

"These experts don't just walk in and look around. They've got well documented procedures of everything they're supposed to look for," said Keith Mackey, a pilot and expert witness in aviation court cases.

Mackey says only a few US carriers, mainly American and Delta, still fly the aged plane Allegiant does.

"Parts are getting harder to find because not many airlines are operating them any longer," he said.

During it's review, the FAA spent 3 months with Allegiant.

"The outcome of it sort of proved our point which is, yea, we have some reliability issues we need to improve on but we're a safe airline," Allegiant COO Brinker said.

At the airlines training facility in Las Vegas, pilots are learning to fly a new Airbus aircraft.

Allegiant is building a duplicate training center in Sanford, FL, outside of Orlando, where East Coast pilots will train on the new plane. The Airbus will replace the MD-80 fleet wide by 2019. The new planes won't initially be common for Jacksonville flights.

"Given that we don't have control over the quality of a carrier, we'll take all comers," Grossman said.

As the airport chief, he considers the airline a good business partner for the city, even among the documented reliability concerns. He says the airline flies full planes to destinations not served by other main carriers at the airport, like Cincinnati and Pittsburg.

"My legs were up in the air, you're all turned around, my totes on this shoulder, my body is going this way, and it was a complete mess," Morin said of her 2015 evacuation. She didn't know about the history of Allegiant's maintenance failures.

Now, she says she's dealing with medical problems and has to walk with a cane. Her attorney, Bob Spohrer, says he doesn't expect a lawsuit but believes his client Joan Morin is entitled to restitution for her injuries.   

"We are having a conversation with the insurance carrier for Allegiant Airlines. My prediction is a lawsuit is not going to be necessary," he said.

No matter what happens, she says she'll never fly the low cost carrier again.

"Never," Morin said. "It could be free. It's not worth it."


Baltimore Police Department: It would be foolish not to pursue aerial surveillance

It wasn't unveiled until last summer, but a Cessna plane has been surveying Baltimore on-and-off since last January. 

The very idea of Persistent Surveillance Systems and its somewhat clumsy reveal to the public was met with a flurry of push back and privacy concerns.

That aside, Baltimore Police commissioner Kevin Davis would use again in a second.

"So that's an easy yes. It is absolutely something we should continue to explore," he said.

And he is not the only one.

Last week a report by the Police Foundation, a group that studies policing through innovation and science released its findings on Baltimore's surveillance pilot from last year.

It too concluded it was “highly suggestive that persistent surveillance technology may prove effective in solving these crimes.”

It was a validating finding Davis flipped to when receiving the report.

"Well I went right to the last paragraph Brian [Kuebler]. I wanted to read their conclusion first and I wasn't surprised at all. I appreciate the Police Foundation and their thoughtful review of this pilot program and their after-action report and it said everything I anticipated it would say," Davis said.

The report found that in 210 flight hours, the technology was able to assist in 105 investigations including five murders.

The view from this aircraft in pictures is more of an assist; the images are only clear enough to see shapes, but when cross referenced with CC-TV cameras on the ground, they become leads. 

Which is important since BPD says more than fifty percent of its murders happen outdoors during daylight hours. It's the reason why the department is now exploring whether or not to fund this surveillance program in next year's budget.

"I think now that we've tried it, now that we have an after action report that seems to indicate that it’s worthwhile and it is something that we should stick with, I think it would be foolish not to pursue some type of aerial camera technology to help us fight violence," Davis said.

Mayor Catherine Pugh also read the report and says she is consulting with Davis on “the final determination on the next steps for the aerial surveillance program.”

But this report also came with recommendations.

Several of them suggest public explanation, transparency, accountability and an assurance of the constitutionality of the program.

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Montana House supports restricting governor's use of plane

HELENA, Mont. - The Montana House has given initial approval to a measure that would require the governor to pay for use of the state airplane to travel to campaign events.

Monday's 58-42 vote mostly followed party lines, with one Republican joining Democrats in voting no. The bill must pass a final vote before it goes to the Senate.

Rep. Brad Tschida is one of several GOP lawmakers who complained last year that Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock used the state plane for a combination of campaign events and official business during his re-election bid.

The Missoula Republican's bill would require the governor's campaign to reimburse the state for the cost of a charter aircraft if it's used for campaign events. The governor would not be able to use the plane for campaign activity within 60 days of an election.


Following Lodi deaths, Stockton lawmaker calls for state oversight of skydiving

A Stockton lawmaker is proposing state oversight of the parachuting industry following an August tandem jump that killed two men outside Lodi.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman said Yong Kwon and Tyler Nicholas Turner were the 12th and 13th people killed in flights out of Lodi Parachute Center since 2000. Kwon, 25, was the instructor and Turner, 18, was a first-time jumper in the tandem parachute crash.

Eggman, a Democrat, expressed disappointment in the level of regulation provided by the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has twice levied fines against Lodi Parachute Center for maintenance and operations problems, but Eggman noted that owner Bill Dause did not pay the fines and the U.S. Attorney’s Office apparently decided not to prosecute him.

“He won’t pay fines and continues to act with impunity,” Eggman said.

Eggman’s bill, Assembly Bill 295, would require parachute operators to follow federal law for tandem jumps, including making sure instructors are certified, can properly control a parachute and know how to pack the parachute. In making violations of federal regulations a state offense, the bill would give state and local officials and the general public the power to seek relief in state court, according to Eggman's staff.

Dause said Thursday that he wasn’t aware of Eggman’s bill. Told that it would enact state penalties for FAA violations, Dause said, “Everyone follows FAA regulations.”

In September, the national organization that certifies tandem instructors said Kwon was not certified. The executive director of the United States Parachute Association said at the time that the FAA requires instructors to have the certification.

The FAA has been investigating the case for five months. While the agency issued preliminary findings about the fatalities in September that determined the main parachute did not open, among other things, the case remains under investigation, spokesman Ian Gregor said Thursday.

Gregor said the agency does not comment on pending legislation.

Eggman said the number of deaths at Lodi Parachute Center suggests that it is operating unsafely and that the FAA hasn’t been able to bring it under control.

“I don’t know if it lacks teeth or the will, but they’ve had 13 deaths out there and should take notice,” she said.

A 2008 report by the National Transportation Safety Board found “inadequate Federal Aviation Administration oversight and direct surveillance of parachute operations.”

Gregor said previously that the FAA implemented the recommendations made in the NTSB report.

In November, the FAA said it has taken enforcement action against the parachute center two times – in 2011 and 2012. The first action stemmed from operating a plane when “critical parts were well past their life limits and without inspecting portions of the wings for corrosion,” according to an FAA news release.

The same release quoted then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood saying, “Putting parachutists at risk by neglecting to follow safety procedures is unacceptable.” The agency proposed a $664,000 civil penalty.

In the second action, the FAA proposed a $269,000 civil fine against the center for operating a plane on 41 flights without conducting proper inspections.

According to Gregor, Dause refused to pay the fines and the cases were forwarded to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has declined to comment on them.

The fatal tandem jump was the third major accident to occur at Lodi Parachute Center in 2016. A skydiver died from a parachute malfunction last February, and a skydiving plane carrying 18 people crash-landed upside down in an Acampo vineyard, though no passengers were hurt.

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Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, Air Arctic, N3589B: Incident occurred February 10, 2017 in Fairbanks, Alaska

Air Arctic Inc:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Fairbanks, Alaska 

Aircraft on landing, nose gear collapsed.

Date: 10-FEB-17
Time: 21:48:00Z
Regis#: N3589B
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA31
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: AIR ARCTIC INC

Cessna 310P, North Aire Aviation, N3000P: Incident occurred February 10, 2017 in Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona

North Aire Aviation LLC:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  Scottsdale, Arizona 

Aircraft on taxi, gear collapsed. 

Date: 10-FEB-17
Time: 22:15:00Z
Regis#: N3000P
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C310
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)

Beech H35 Bonanza, N5507D: Incident occurred February 12, 2017 in Hayward, Alameda County, California

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Oakland, California  

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed.

Date: 12-FEB-17
Time: 19:55:00Z
Regis#: N5507D
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: BE35
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Vans RV7A, Dragon Aero, N3105L: Accident occurred February 11, 2017 at Front Range Airport (KFTG), Denver, Colorado

Dragon Aero Inc:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Denver, Colorado 

Aircraft on landing nose gear collapsed.

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 17:15:00Z
Regis#: N3105L
Aircraft Make: VANS
Aircraft Model: RV7A
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cessna 150, Malone Air Holding LLC, N921MA: Incident occurred February 12, 2017 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida

Malone Air Holding LLC:

FAA  Flight Standards District Office: Orlando, Florida 

Aircraft on landing, went off the runway into the grass.

Date: 12-FEB-17
Time: 19:01:00Z
Regis#: N921MA
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C150
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cessna 172S, N5253C: Incident occurred February 11, 2017 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan

Trumbull Leasing LLC:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: East Michigan  

Aircraft went off the departure end of the runway.

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 15:43:00Z
Regis#: N5253C
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)

Beech E17B, N233EB: Incident occurred February 11, 2017 in Fort Ripley, Crow Wing County, Minnesota


FAA Flight Standards District Office: Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Aircraft force landed in a swampy field. 

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 21:20:00Z
Regis#: N233EB
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: E17B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG, American Truck and Equipment, N7592R: Incident occurred February 12, 2017 in Tioga, Williams County, North Dakota

American Truck and Equipment Inc:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Fargo, North Dakota

Aircraft on landing, went off the runway into a snowbank. 

Date: 12-FEB-17
Time: 19:10:00Z
Regis#: N7592R
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N9814P: Incident occurred February 11, 2017 at Fair Weather Field Airport (TX42), Monaville, Waller County, Texas

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Houston, Texas

Aircraft on taxi, propeller struck the taxiway. 

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 18:45:00Z
Regis#: N9814P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
State: TEXAS

Bellanca 8GCBC, N5063W: Incident occurred February 11, 2017 in Dallas, Texas

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Dallas, Texas

Aircraft force landed in a field.

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 14:52:00Z
Regis#: 5063W
Aircraft Make: BELLANCA
Aircraft Model: 8GCBC
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: TEXAS

Harmon Rocket, N85TP: Incident occurred February 11, 2017 in Manassas, Virginia

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Washington, DC

Aircraft during taxi, nosed over onto propeller.

Date: 11-FEB-17
Time: 15:45:00Z
Regis#: 85TP
Aircraft Make: HARMON ROCKET
Aircraft Model: HARMON ROCKET
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow, N4504X, Flying Arrow LLC: Fatal accident occurred February 12, 2017 in Cedar Key, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration/FSDO; Tampa, Florida
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Flying Arrow LLC: 

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA108
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 12, 2017 in Cedar Key, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N4504X
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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

On February 12, 2017, about 1106 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28R, N4504X, was destroyed when it impacted the Gulf of Mexico about 7 miles southeast of Cedar Key, Florida. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The flight departed Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV), Brooksville, Florida, at 1037, destined for George T. Lewis Airport (CDK), Cedar Key, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the area of the accident site, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane flew a northwesterly track from BKV toward CDK, over the western coastal key islands and the Gulf of Mexico. The radar data ended over the water about 7 miles southeast of CDK, as the airplane was on a northwesterly track at an altitude of about 1,100 feet mean sea level.

The airplane was recovered from the Gulf of Mexico and moved to a secure facility for examination. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. All major components of the airplane were accounted for, except for a large section of the left wing, including the left main landing gear. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit area through recovery cuts to the attach points on the rudder, stabilator, and stabilator trim jackscrew. Aileron control continuity was established from the cockpit area through overload fractures to the right aileron pushrod, and to the left wing root area. The right main and nose landing gear were found in the retracted position. The flaps were not recovered; however, the left rod end of the flap torque tube was found in the forward position, consistent with the fully retracted position.

The engine, with the propeller attached, was separated from the airframe. The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft flange, and the spinner was crushed against the hub. Two of the propeller blades exhibited longitudinal twisting. The third blade was bent aft about 180 degrees, and exhibited leading edge gouging at a distance from the hub consistent with impact damage found on the No. 2 engine cylinder.

The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller, and crankshaft continuity was observed to the rear accessory section. Valve action was observed at each cylinder, and thumb compression and suction were present on cylinder Nos. 1 and 3. Cylinder No. 2 was significantly damaged and exhibited an impact mark consistent with a strike from a propeller blade. A damaged spark plug precluded compression testing of cylinder No. 4. Neither magneto produced spark when rotated by hand. Internal examination of both magnetos revealed that sand, water, and corrosion were present. The vacuum pump remained attached to the engine; the drive coupling, carbon rotor and carbon vanes were intact.

According to airmen FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He did not possess an instrument rating. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued February 19, 2015, at which time he reported 579 total hours of flight experience. According to his logbook, as of January 28, 2017, he had accrued a total of 606 flight hours, including 3 hours in the 90 days preceding the accident.

The Cross City Airport (CTY), Cross City, Florida, was located about 36 miles north of the accident site. At 1055, the reported weather included an overcast ceiling at 400 feet above ground level (AGL) with 10 statute miles of visibility. Preliminary weather information indicated the conditions at the accident site included fog and low stratus cloud cover up to about 4,000 feet agl. National Weather Service Center Weather Advisories and an AIRMET warnings were issued for the accident area, warning of cloud ceilings lower than 500 feet agl and/or visibility less than 1 statute mile.

A portable GPS receiver was recovered from the accident site and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder laboratory for examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

CEDAR KEY, Fla. - Levy County deputies believe they have recovered some of the remains of Dylan Jerrels. He's the 17-year-old Steinbrenner High School student who was on a plane that crashed in Cedar Key in February

Divers recovered the body of Dylan's dad, Jasper Jerrels and his father's finance Hue Singletary shortly after the crash.

But for days there was no sign of Dylan, a senior at Steinbrenner High School.

His mother Sarah made a tearful plea on Action News. A man living hours away in Fort Walton Beach saw it and felt compelled to help, bringing the family some peace.

Speaking via Skype, you could hear the emotion in Dan Griffith's voice on finding what's believed to be Dylan Jerrels's remains.

"I think that gave her a little bit of comfort that somebody was still looking for her son," said Griffith.

Sarah Jerrel's, Dylan's mom, and his uncle Craig Goldstein made an emotional plea the day crews pulled the remnants of the small plane from the Gulf.

"Dylan needs to be found, our family needs closure," said Goldstein.

Six hours away, Dan heard their cries for help. Now retired, he's dedicated his life to helping families like Dylan's. He started his own independent search form called Florida Sonar Search Team.

He has purchased thousands in sonar equipment. He loaded up his boat and headed to the crash site in Cedar Key.

"I get emotional about it." said Griffith.

He scanned the area for two days and came up with sonar images just 200 feet from where the single-engine Piper Cherokee went down.

"I knew that I had additional objects that needed to examined by divers, and that is what we worked off of," said Griffith.

And he is grateful Levy County deputies listened.

"I am a privateer here. I do this on my own and law enforcement doesn't always want me involved frankly," said Griffith.

But the sheriff made it his personal mission to help find Dylan. He sent a dive team and based on Griffith's images, they found remains.

And while It could take up to a year for a DNA match, deputies believe it is the 17-year-old. Sarah Jerrels also believes it is, and sent the following message: 

"As much as we all wanted a different outcome, I finally have my closure. I have asked for no physical details. I want to preserve my memory." said Sarah Jerrels

"The grief is still there and it's going to be there. We wish them a little bit of comfort knowing their loved one is home," said Griffith.

Griffith volunteered all his time and money. The search still isn't over. Levy county spokesperson Lt. Scott Tummomd said divers will go back to the area at the end of the week to look for more remains.

Dylan's mom is now starting a scholarship fund in her son's name.

Sarah Jerrels posted this message for all those who have shown their support

Friends and family,

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.  19 days ago, my life changed. I have been through something no one should ever go through, but I'm stronger than ever.

Today, God has brought Dylan home.

Although the ending isn't happy, I am at peace knowing he is near me but truly with his dad.

The Levy County Sheriff's office (Scott Trummund), Dan Griffith, Brian Cummings, my family and friends never gave up. I never gave up on my son even when others thought I should. God was waiting for me to be ready.

Please take this time to reach out to your loved ones. Make peace with those you've had differences with. Never forgot what is important in life.  

Dylan never had an enemy and never hesitated in giving a hug. He never hesitated to tell me he loved me. We should all be more like Dylan.

I love you all.

Story and video:

Late Sunday afternoon, officials in Cedar Key located the plane that went missing last week, along with the remains of a second passenger. The body of the plane’s pilot, Jasper Jerrels, 65, was found Wednesday.

Sea Tow and Florida Air Recovery in collaboration with the Levy County Sheriff’s Department discovered the wreckage beneath 10 to 12 feet of water about seven miles off the coast of Cedar Key, according to officials. Recovery crews also found the remains of 60-year-old Hue Singletary, Jerrels’ fiancĂ©e.

Her body was removed from the scene on Sunday night, but the recovery crew returned Monday afternoon to remove the plane.

“It’s definitely the plane. I’ve rode in it,” Teresa Cooper, Jerrels’ niece, said as the wreckage was brought into the Cedar Key Marina. “It’s a whole tragedy that we’ve lost three people. There’s another family member out there that has not been found as of yet.”

Jerrels’ 17-year-old son, known to friends as Dylan, was also in the plane when it went missing. The Levy County Sheriff’s Office said they will continue searching for him.

“I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that the Sheriff’s Office is not done with this search,” said Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Scott Tummond. “We have a job to do, and we want to make sure this family knows exactly what happened.”

Tummond said this was one of the most difficult cases of his career. Tummond also said, along with the recovery crew, that it was one of the worst plane wrecks they’ve seen.

According to a member of one of the recovery crews, the entire side and roof of the plane were torn off upon impact, and it was difficult to see distinguishing features in the wreckage.

The plane will be taken to a facility in Jacksonville for investigation. Meanwhile, the search for Dylan will continue.

“You can replace a plane. You can replace a car,” Cooper said. “But you can’t replace a life.”