Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cadets fly over Terre Haute during orientation



TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Christopher Walsh has always wanted to fly, or at the very least be involved with aviation in some capacity.

Walsh, a cadet lieutenant colonel and group commander with the Terre Haute North Vigo High School Air Force JROTC, was one of about a dozen students to get hands-on experience Saturday during orientation flights at the Hulman Field main terminal.



Christopher Walsh


"I have a lot of family members that were involved in aviation, so that kind of sparked a little interest," Walsh said describing the root of his passion.

Orientation flights are just part of the education cadets get in the JROTC program, Joshua Hall, chief master sergeant and instructor at North Vigo, said.

"In our curriculum we also talk about aviation and aviation principles and things of that nature," Hall said. "They get it not only at home, but they get it in the classroom."

Hall said 30 to 40 students are able to participate in the program every year, and it, to his knowledge, is the only JROTC in the state to offer such an experience.

"We're the only JROTC in the state that's doing this," he said. "We pursue the funds, going after it and taking our time to make it all happen."

This year's flight was Walsh's second since joining JROTC, and he said that events like it give him invaluable experience moving forward.

"ROTC is definitely going to help me in the military," Walsh said, "and this program where we do orientation flights will help me understand the aircraft and how they work."

Walsh said he didn't know which branch of service or military occupational specialty he intends to choose just yet, but knows he wants to be involved, at some level, with aviation.




Maj. Ron Sedam of the Civil Air Patrol piloted the flights and walked the cadets through the in-and-outs of the Cessna 172 and preflight checks.

He showed them various parts of the plane — elevator, rudders and aileron — during idle near the runway. After completing the checklist, cadets strapped in and took a half-hour flight around Terre Haute, viewing downtown from 2,000 feet.

The cadets were also warned to be on the lookout for geese and to serve as Sedam's eyes and ears, he said.

Walsh was on one of the first flights of the day, and he said that even though he has been a part of the orientation flights before, flying never gets old.

"It was awesome," he said fighting back a smile to maintain military bearing. "It really makes you think about the weather because the plane would be facing one way, but you'd be drifting in another. So it really kind of makes you think. It was really awesome to see Terre Haute from up there. It was just really cool."

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

de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300, Grand Canyon Airlines, N190GC (and) Eurocopter EC 130B4, Papillon Airways Inc., N154GC: Accident occurred July 25, 2014 at Boulder City Municipal Airport (KBVU), Clark County, Nevada

N190GC Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N190GC  Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

N190GC  Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Monarch Enterprises Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N190GC

N154GC Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

N154GC Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

N154GC Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration/Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Papillon Airways; Las Vegas, Nevada

Papillon Airways Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N154GC

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA313A
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, July 25, 2014 in Boulder City, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2016
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4, registration: N154GC
Injuries: 9 Uninjured.

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA313B
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, July 25, 2014 in Boulder City, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2016
Aircraft: DEHAVILLAND DHC 6 300, registration: N190GC

Injuries: 9 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 commercial helicopter pilot was operating on his first day of revenue service for the aerial tour company and was returning to the nontowered airport at the completion of a tour with six passengers. The pilot complied with the published arrival procedures, including flying the prescribed route and making the appropriate radio position callouts on the airport’s common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). Concurrent with the helicopter’s arrival, the captain and first officer of an aerial tour airplane were beginning the taxi-out for departure of the positioning flight. The airport arrival procedures, layout, and wind conditions resulted in the two aircraft having to use the same portion of taxiway Delta, in the same direction, for their respective operations. 

The helicopter pilot reported that he first saw the airplane when the helicopter was turning westbound and descending over Delta; at that time, the airplane was taxiing southbound on the ramp toward Delta. The helicopter pilot announced his location and intentions and continued descending along Delta. When the airplane reached Delta, the first officer announced on the CTAF that the airplane was planning to proceed westbound on Delta. The captain reported that he looked but did not see any helicopters and that he then proceeded to turn westbound onto Delta, which placed the airplane directly into and under the helicopter’s flightpath and prompted the helicopter pilot to radio that he was “right above” the airplane and repeat his landing intentions. The helicopter pilot continued the descent based on his hearing a “double-click” on the CTAF, which he interpreted as the airplane flight crew’s acknowledgement that they saw and would avoid the helicopter. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter collided with the airplane; damage patterns indicated that the two aircraft were aligned in nearly the same direction (westbound) at the time of impact. 

Because the helicopter was approaching from the airplane’s left, along taxiway Delta, and was close in, it should have been readily visually detectable by the captain. Given that the first officer was aware of the inbound helicopter and should have been aware of its location and intentions based on the radio calls, the airplane’s flight crew should have recognized the high potential for conflict and operated the airplane in a manner to ensure that a collision would not occur. In addition, the helicopter, as the landing aircraft, had the right of way over the departing airplane. The simplest and most effective method to prevent any conflict would have been for the airplane flight crew to stop on the ramp and not proceed onto taxiway Delta until the helicopter was positively determined to no longer pose a collision threat. However, there was no evidence that the airplane stopped before it turned from the ramp onto taxiway Delta. The evidence indicated that the airplane taxied out just ahead of and below the descending but faster moving helicopter, which significantly reduced the helicopter pilot’s ability to avoid the airplane. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The airplane flight crew’s failure to exercise the necessary vigilance and precautions and yield the right of way to the landing helicopter, which resulted in the airplane colliding with the helicopter. Contributing to the accident was the helicopter pilot’s decision to continue his descent without positively determining that the airplane did not pose a collision hazard. 

HISTORY OF FLIGHT 

On July 25, 2014, about 1646 Pacific daylight time, a landing Eurocopter/Airbus EC-130 helicopter, N154GC, and a taxiing DeHavilland DHC-6 airplane, N190GC, collided at Boulder City airport (BVU) Boulder City, Nevada. Neither the two pilots on board the airplane, nor the pilot and six passengers aboard the helicopter, were injured. The helicopter, operated by Papillon Airways Inc. (dba Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters dba Grand Canyon Helicopters) as an aerial sightseeing flight, sustained substantial damage. That flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The airplane, operated by Grand Canyon Airlines, was beginning a repositioning flight, and was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Both Papillon and Grand Canyon Airlines (GCA) are part of the same parent company, Papillon Airways. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. 

According to the helicopter pilot, he was inbound from the south, and planned to land on the airport location designated as "Spot 2," which was a dedicated helicopter arrival and departure location. He followed the company-designated arrival procedure, in which the helicopter flew a descending pattern first north along the centerline of taxiway A (also referred to as "alpha"), and then west along the centerline of taxiway D (also referred to as delta) to Spot 2. Spot 2 was a 50 foot painted square situated on the airport ramp. Taxiway Delta was 40 feet wide, was oriented approximately east-west, and comprised the southern perimeter of the previously-cited ramp. The center of Spot 2 was located about 50 feet north of the centerline of taxiway Delta. Since BVU was not equipped with an operating air traffic control tower, the pilot communicated his positions and intentions via radio transmissions on the BVU common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). 

The helicopter pilot first saw the airplane when the helicopter was making the left turn from north to west near the junction of taxiways Alpha and Delta. At that time, the airplane was moving south, towards taxiway Delta, along a taxi line just east of Spot 1, on ramp about 600 feet east of Spot 2. The airplane crew announced their intentions on CTAF to taxi to runway 15 via taxiway Delta. The helicopter pilot reported that the last time that he saw the airplane prior to the accident was as the helicopter overflew the intersection of taxiway Delta and the taxi line just east of Spot 1. At that time, the airplane was turning westbound onto taxiway Delta. The helicopter pilot realized the potential for conflict, since the two aircraft were now both traveling westbound along taxiway Delta. The helicopter pilot stated that he "immediately" queried on CTAF whether the airplane crew had him in sight. The helicopter pilot heard a "double click" on the CTAF frequency, which he interpreted as acknowledgement by the airplane crew that they had him in sight. Based on this information, the helicopter pilot was convinced that the airplane was behind him, and that its flight crew had him in sight. 

The helicopter pilot therefore continued his descent along the centerline of taxiway Delta towards Spot 2. About 8 to 10 seconds later, as the helicopter came almost abeam of Spot 2, the pilot began a right pedal turn to traverse to and set down on Spot 2. At the commencement of that pedal turn, the pilot simultaneously spotted the wings and nose of the airplane through his chin windows, and felt an" impact." He stopped the turn and descent, transitioned to the ramp, descended, and landed on Spot 2. 

The flight crew of the airplane was unaware that there had been a collision, and they continued with their taxi-out and departure from BVU. Shortly after departure, the airplane was recalled to BVU by company personnel, after the company personnel learned of the collision. The airplane was equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR). The device was obtained by the NTSB, and sent to the NTSB recorders laboratory in Washington DC for readout. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION 

Helicopter Pilot 

Papillon records indicated that the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a helicopter instrument and instructor ratings. He had approximately 1,102 total hours of flight experience, all of which was in helicopters, and which included approximately 9 hours in the accident helicopter make and model. His most recent flight review was completed on July 22, 2014, and his most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on December 2, 2013. 

The helicopter pilot had recently been hired by Papillon, and the accident occurred on his first day flying in revenue service for the operator. The helicopter pilot did not recall whether he observed the airplane stop on the ramp prior to its turn onto taxiway Delta. 

Airplane Captain 

The captain of the airplane was an 11 year employee of the operator, and was also an instructor pilot. The captain had been on duty for 8 of the 9 days before the accident. He began his duty day at 0507 that morning, and the collision occurred during his sixth flight of the day. He was off duty the day prior to the accident. The day prior to that, he was on duty from about 0645 to 1845, and flew 7 trips, with a total of 3.5 hours of flight time. 

In his written account of the event, the Captain stated that the crew completed the before takeoff checklist prior to taxiing, which was "a procedure designed to ensure maximum situational awareness, so each pilot can listen for pertinent radio calls and look outside the aircraft for conflicting aircraft" during taxi. Nowhere in his written statement did the Captain report that he stopped the airplane on the ramp prior to turning onto taxiway Delta. Except for his description of the closest proximity of the helicopter and airplane, the Captain's report did not include any information regarding his awareness of the helicopter. 

Airplane First Officer 

According to Grand Canyon Airlines, the First Officer was on his second day as a pilot for the airline. 

Except for his description of the closest proximity of the helicopter and airplane, the First Officer's written report did not include any information regarding his awareness of the helicopter. His report did not state whether the airplane did or did not stop on the ramp prior to turning onto taxiway Delta. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION 

Helicopter 

The single-main-rotor helicopter was manufactured in 2010, and was powered by a single turboshaft engine. It was used for aerial tours, and was configured to seat seven passengers. It was flown by a single pilot, who operated from the left front seat. 

Airplane 

The high-wing, twin-turboprop airplane was manufactured in 1970. It was used for aerial tours, and was configured to seat 17 passengers. It was operated by a two-person crew. 

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION 

The 1646 BVU automated weather observation included winds from 160 degrees at 15 knots, gusts to 23 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 40 degrees C, dew point 11 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.84 inches of mercury. 

COMMUNICATIONS 

BVU was equipped with a dedicated CTAF for radio communications use by arriving and departing aircraft, and the CTAF communications were recorded. Radio transmissions from both the helicopter (radio call sign "Papillon 31") and the airplane (radio call sign "Canyon View 90") were captured by the CTAF system, and reviewed by investigators. 

The helicopter pilot first reported on the CTAF at 1644:10, and announced that he was "south of the [electrical power] substation," a geographic reference landmark, at an altitude of 2,800 feet above mean sea level, and flying towards "the ponds," another geographic reference landmark that was situated just south of the airport. At 1644:55, the airplane crew first reported on the CTAF, announcing that it was taxiing from the "east apron" (a BVU ramp area) to runway 27 via taxiway Delta. That runway selection and taxi route required the airplane to first taxi south on the ramp, and then east on taxiway Delta. 

At 1645:08, the helicopter pilot announced that he was "over the Ponds, coming over [taxiway] Alpha for a westbound [taxiway] Delta approach." At 1645:39, the airplane crew announced that it was "taxiing [taxiway] Delta [taxiway] Bravo for runway one five." That new runway selection required that the airplane taxi westbound on taxiway Delta, instead of eastbound as originally planned. According to the airplane captain's written statement, that radio call was made as the airplane was turning right (westbound) onto taxiway Delta. The captain also noted that at that time, he "looked out the left window," but did not "see any in or out bound helicopters." 

At 1645:45 the helicopter pilot radioed "Canyon View Papillon 31 right above you for Spot Two." The helicopter pilot's vocal cadence in that communication was different than that of his previous transmissions, and the transmission was accompanied by noticeable breathing, which was not evident in his prior transmissions. 

The next communication from either aircraft was at 1647:51, when the airplane crew announced that it was "taking runway one five" for departure. 

According to information provided by the operator, the first officer was handling the radio communications, and the captain was taxiing the airplane. The first officer was aware of the inbound helicopter, but the captain was not specifically aware of that helicopter. 

AIRPORT INFORMATION 

BVU elevation was 2,200 feet. BVU was equipped with two runways, 9/27 and 15/33. The runways intersected at about the midpoint of 9/27 and the two-thirds point of runway 15. The ramp area was oriented east-west, and situated about 750 feet north of runway 9/27. Taxiway Delta was the paint-demarcated southern boundary of the ramp area. Taxiway Alpha was oriented north-south, and connected the threshold end of runway 27 with taxiway Delta and the ramp area. Taxiway Bravo was parallel to, and on the east-northeast side of runway 15/33. 

The airport maintained a dedicated website to provide relevant airport information, including a two-page document of helicopter arrival and departure procedures. That document contained both text and pictorial descriptions of those procedures, and also depicted the airplane runway traffic patterns. The descriptions included the geographic landmarks referenced by the helicopter pilot. 

The FAA airport/facilities directory entry for BVU contained a note that stated "LARGE NUMBER OF GRAND CANYON TOUR ACFT OPERATIONS IN VICINITY. HELICOPTERS CROSS ACTIVE RYS AND TWYS." (emphasis original) 

FLIGHT RECORDERS 

The CVR from the airplane was successfully read out at the NTSB recorders laboratory in Washington DC. The recorded intra- and extra-cockpit communications were essentially congruent with the pilots' accounts of events that were provided to the NTSB at the beginning of the investigation. 

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION 

Examination of the two aircraft revealed that the most significant damage occurred where the inboard trailing edge of the helicopter's right horizontal stabilizer contacted the leading edge of the airplane's vertical stabilizer at about the vertical stabilizer's two-thirds span point. Additional damage was observed on the underside end of at least one of the helicopter main rotor blades, and the top of the airplane's vertical stabilizer. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Aircraft Right of Way Information 

Paragraph 91.113 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) provides some guidance on aircraft right of way rules. Subparagraph 'b' stated that "vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft," and that the "pilot shall give way to that aircraft and may not pass over, under, or ahead of it unless well clear." Subparagraph 'g' stated that "Aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the surface." 

The FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25) reiterated the essence of the applicable FAR, and augmented it with the statement "Even if entitled to the right-of-way, a pilot should yield if another aircraft seems too close." 

Three days after the accident, GCA's Flight Operations department published and distributed "Read and Initial File" (RIF) 2014-02 to its pilots. The RIF "designated taxiway Delta between Alpha and Bravo as a Hot Spot," and stated that "Regardless of direction traveling on taxiway Delta, extra vigilance is required." In addition, the RIF explicitly required that pilots of airplanes departing the ramp are to come to a "complete stop," report their position, and scan for traffic prior to taxiing onto taxiway Delta. 

Cockpit Visibility 

According to a representative of GCA, the external visibility from the cockpit of the DHC-6 was somewhat limited, and could have impeded the captain's ability to visually detect the inbound helicopter. Subsequent to the accident, the two operators began a program to familiarize the helicopter and airplane pilots' with each other's aircraft and procedures, with a focus on cockpit visibility as one area of emphasis. 

Operator Communications Regarding Accident 

In January 2016, the Papillon Airways "Chief Operating Officer/Director of Operations" provided a 4 page document which presented an accident summary, numerous operator-implemented safety improvement steps, and a "root-cause analysis" regarding the accident. The document bore "Papillon Airways, Inc" on its first page, but was otherwise unidentified and unattributed. It was not dated. In response to an NTSB query, to the Papillon COO/DO, the document was reported to be the result of an investigation by Papillon "President and CEO...with the Papillon and GCA senior management team." 

The "root cause analysis" segment of the document posted the following as relevant facts: 
a) The airplane First Officer saw an "inbound helicopter" after Papillon 31 made its CTAF call 
b) The airplane Captain did not hear the radio call or see a helicopter inbound 
c) The airplane had taxied onto taxiway Delta prior to making its CTAF announcement that it was doing so 

Item b) was not substantiated or otherwise known to the NTSB except as stated in this Papillon report, and efforts to independently verify that statement were unsuccessful.

Wildlife strikes on aircraft very common



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wildlife strikes against aircraft may be more common than you might think.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s wildlife strike database, animals came in contact with aircraft roughly 142,000 times between 1990 and 2013.

The FAA says 97-percent of strikes involve birds, but also on the list are deer, coyotes and turtles.

“You know, we have this exploding deer population across the county, and certainly, you’ve seen that there in North Carolina-- but between 1990 and 2015, there were 1100 accidents involving deer and aircraft, and we had nearly 500 accidents involving coyote,” says NBC’s lead aviation correspondent Tom Costello, who’s been covering the aviation industry for more than 10 years.

Costello says the FAA recommends all U.S. airports have a 10-foot high fence with barbed wire, but he says even that doesn’t always keep wildlife out.

“There is a wildlife office within the FAA and you know they work on this constantly. They have found that deer can scale, can jump right over an eight-foot fence,” he says.

In fact, this isn’t the first time an aircraft at Charlotte-Douglas International airport struck a deer. In 2010, a United Airlines Boeing 737 hit a deer with its landing gear. Both strikes happened on runway 36-C.

“When you have a deer strike and aircraft – 84 percent of the time the aircraft is damaged so this is a pretty serious issue,” Costello says.

So serious, Charlotte-Douglas themselves has a full-time wildlife coordinator. During a story in 2013, coordinator David Castenada explained the airport takes several measures to deter wildlife including keeping the grass short, draining standing rain water and he himself carries a pistol that fires a variety of noisemakers.

“I do daily patrols out here, and if I see a flock of birds that potentially cause a problem, that’d be my first go to,” says Castenada.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission estimates the white-tailed deer population in North Carolina is approximately 1.25 million, with between 8,000 and 24,000 in Mecklenburg County.

Chris Matthews, who tracks wildlife for the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Department, says deer populations are not only growing, the herds seem to be more displaced because of the development happening throughout the county.

Matthews says there are now fewer retreats for deer away from humans and that the woods surrounding the airport provide that habitat.

Story and video:  http://www.wcnc.com

Cessna 150M, CowDog Flyers LLC, N66255: Fatal accident occurred July 21, 2014 near Russian Flat Airport (M42), Montana

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

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA305
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 21, 2014 in Russian Flat, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/06/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N66255
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 commercial pilot attempted to take off from an uncontrolled grass runway with an uphill grade; the airplane subsequently impacted an open area of swamp land about 570 ft beyond the end of the runway. The airplane impacted in a right-wing, nose-low attitude; the impact damage was consistent with a near-vertical descent. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

The density altitude at the time of the accident was calculated to be over 8,200 ft. Review of airplane manufacturer's takeoff performance charts revealed that the conditions present at the time of the accident exceeded the airplane's takeoff performance limitations. It is likely that, as the pilot attempted to take off uphill in high density altitude conditions, he exceeded the airplane's critical angle of attack, and the airplane experienced an aerodynamic stall/spin at low altitude.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's inadequate preflight performance planning and his operation of the airplane outside of the manufacturer's specified performance limitations, which resulted in his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall/spin.

Brian Neal Handy, 46, of Bozeman, Montana


Cowdog Flyers LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N66255 

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Helena FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA305
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 21, 2014 in Russian Flat, MT
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N66255
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 July 21, 2014, about 1325 mountain daylight time, the wreckage of a Cessna 150M airplane, N66255, was discovered at the west end of Russian Flat Airport, Russian Flat, Montana, by a driver passing by on the nearby highway. The airplane was registered to Cowdog Flyers LLC, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant of the airplane, sustained fatal injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Bozeman, Montana, about 1236.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector from the Helena Flight Standards District Office who went on-scene reported that the airplane was located about 570 feet from the end of runway 25 at Russian Flat Airport. The wreckage was in an open area of swamp land with the engine and nose of the airplane partially submerged in water. The airplane impacted the water in a near vertical attitude and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. 

The airplane's right wing remained attached to the fuselage, and the entire leading edge exhibited extensive spanwise leading edge aft crushing. The lift strut remained attached to its attach points, and was free of impact damage. The right wing was displaced about 60 degrees aft of the lateral axis of the airplane.

The airplane's left wing remained attached to the fuselage, and was relatively free of impact damage. The left wing was displaced about 60 degrees forward of the lateral axis of the airplane. 

Both left and right wing flaps were found in the retracted or "0" position. Due to a lack of tension on the direct control cables, flight control continuity could not be established on scene.

The tail structure of the airplane was displaced about 50 degrees right of the longitudinal axis.

The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft. One propeller blade exhibited substantial torsional "S" twisting and chordwise scratching. The other propeller blade exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scratching.

The examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Convective rain shower and thunderstorm activity was prevalent around the accident site and central Montana at the time of the accident. Weather radar imagery showed a rain shower near the accident site around the same time as the accident and weather satellite data confirmed the movement of these rain showers/thunderstorms from west to east. Non-official surface observation data from a location next to the accident site indicated the strongest wind and gusts around the estimated accident time. When the rain showers/thunderstorms passed official sites there were surface wind gusts to 31 knots. The forecast valid at the accident time did warn of rain showers and thunderstorms in the central weather service unit advisory (CWA) and Area Forecast and closest terminal area forecast.

A detailed weather study is located in the public docket for this accident.

Remarks listed in the Airport Facilities Directory for Russian Flat Airport stated that Runway 25 had a 2% uphill slope to the west and recommended that pilots take off on runway 07 and land runway 25, conditions permitting. There was also a note cautioning pilots to check density altitude as Russian Flat airport was considered "high elevation." 

The closest non-official weather station, South Fork Judith, located about 1 mile east of the accident location, at an elevation of 6,300 feet, reported a temperature of 68 degrees F and a dewpoint of 47 degrees F. By utilizing the closest altimeter setting of 30.00 from the Lewistown Municipal Airport, 44 miles northeast of the accident site, combined with the Russian Flat Airport field elevation of 6,336 feet, the pressure altitude was about 6,256 feet. Pressure altitude is calculated using the following formula:

[1000 x (standard pressure – current pressure) + field elevation]

By imputing the derived pressure altitude into the density altitude formula, the density altitude at Russian Flat Airport at the time of the accident was about 8,296 feet. The density altitude formula, utilizing degrees Celsius is:

Pressure Altitude + [120 x (OAT – ISA)]

A review of the manufacturer's supplied Flaps Retracted Takeoff Distance chart, located in the Pilot's Operating Handbook revealed that the weather conditions present at the time of the accident exceeded the chart's performance parameters. As a result, takeoff performance calculations were not determined. The maximum altitude for which takeoff data was supplied was 7,500 feet, 796 feet lower than the density altitude at the time of the accident. Furthermore, the data provided did not include penalties or enhancements for sloped or wet grass runways. 

According to the FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-25, an increase in density altitude can produce a greater takeoff speed, decreased thrust and reduced net accelerating force. Also, "an increase in altitude above standard sea level will bring an immediate decrease in power output for the unsupercharged reciprocating engine.

Bell 429 GlobalRanger, N598PB: Fatal accident occurred February 15, 2017 in Wallace Lake, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
Federal Aviation Administration AVP-100; Washington, District of Columbia

Federal Aviation Administration Rotorcraft Directorate; Dallas, Texas 

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N598PB 

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA103
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in Shreveport, LA
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 429, registration: N598PB
Injuries: 2 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 15, 2017, about 0025 central standard time, a Bell 429 helicopter, N598PB, impacted terrain and water at Wallace Lake near Shreveport, Louisiana. The private rated pilot and passenger were both fatally injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument metrological conditions prevailed for the flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from a field in Bossier City, Louisiana, about 0015 and was en route to Center Municipal Airport (F17), Center, Texas.

The helicopter was the subject of an alert notice and was located the afternoon of February 15. The wreckage was located at the southern end of Wallace Lake. The first impact point consisted of tree strikes followed by an impact crater in a muddy area just prior to the lake. The debris field generally followed a 320° heading and was about 200 feet long in a muddy area of the lake. The main wreckage consisted of the engines, top of the fuselage and the main rotor blades. All major helicopter components were located at the accident site.

The helicopter was documented on-scene and recovered to a secure facility.

At 0049, an automated weather reporting facility at Shreveport Regional Airport, about 10 miles northwest of the accident site, recorded a wind from 320° at 9 knots, visibility 7 miles, a broken ceiling at 1,000 ft, an overcast ceiling at 1,400 ft, temperature 46° F, dew point 45° F, a barometric pressure of 29.93 inches, and a remark for a variable ceiling from 600 ft to 1,400 ft.


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


Terry and Pam Bailey



Terry and Pamela Bailey


DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Authorities have recovered the remains of the pilot and passenger killed in the crash of a helicopter in Wallace Lake.

The bodies of two people have been recovered in a deadly helicopter crash in DeSoto Parish.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office confirms that the remains were recovered around 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

The investigation continues into the crash that is believed to have claimed the lives of a couple from Center, TX. 

DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle says that belief is based on information from relatives of Terry and Pamela Bailey, along with the registration information connected to the Bell B429 that crashed into the lake late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. 

"We believe that to be (the case), but the positive ID would have to come through the coroner's office," said the sheriff, whose deputies are guarding the crash site until the wreckage can be removed.  

Family members have told the sheriff's office that the Baileys had flown to Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City for a Valentine's Day dinner. 

"They departed from there and didn't make it home." 

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene at 8 a.m on the lake that straddles Caddo and DeSoto parishes. 

DeSoto sheriff's Capt. Jayson Richardson said the couple was flying in the helicopter at a top speed of 178 miles per hour. 

The wreckage was spotted around 1 p.m. Wednesday after crews were battling overgrowth of giant Salvinia to find it.

The crash left a trail through the trees and seemed to have crashed at a high rate of speed. Fire still was burning late Wednesday night as efforts began to recover their remains.

Richardson said that this recovery operation requires different equipment. 

"We've worked with Caddo, we've worked with Bossier Parish, they brought in an airboat," Richardson said. "We have a hydro track, which allowed us to get in the locations like that, and it still proved difficult even with all that equipment. So it was a mutual thing, and we were able to all come together and make that happen."

Richardson also said that crews are having to build a road to access the crash site. 

Richardson said they've heard a few reports from people near the area who may have heard a crash but did not see the helicopter go down.

Crews from Shreveport Fire Department, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, LifeAir Medical Helicopter assisted with the search.

On Thursday, Center, TX, Mayor David Chadwick released the following statement about the deaths of the Baileys:

"The City of Center grieves with the family of Pam and Terry Bailey in the tragic loss of these two native citizens and friends.  Mr. and Mrs. Bailey had a deep love for their community and enjoyed being a part of its growth and success.  We will miss their devotion to our community and its citizens, their vision and spirit of entrepreneurship, their generosity and Christian witness in their daily walk.  They have enriched our lives and leave a lasting footprint in our community."


Source:  http://www.ksla.com





DESOTO PARISH, LA. - UPDATE: The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of two people from the site of a helicopter crash over Wallace Lake and tentatively identified them as Center, Texas couple Terry and Pam Bailey.

The helicopter crashed early Wednesday on the south side of Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish

Preliminary information indicates that the Bell B429 the crash is registered to an owner in Center which was the apparent destination of the aircraft that took off from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, according to the FAA.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation.

The crash site, which is spread over 75 to 100 yards wide, is located on a swampy area on the south end of the lake. It took over an hour for authorities to get through the difficult terrain of low water, cypress tree knees and giant salvinia.

A command post has been set up at the end of Wallace Lake Road. Authorities expect the recovery effort to span several days.

DPSO crime scene investigators are processing the scene.

Search for the aircraft began around noon in response to a report of a missing helicopter. The regional FAA said it lost track of the aircraft around 12:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Multiple local emergency response agencies worked to track down the helicopter's last known location using GPS provided by the FAA. The wreckage was found around 1 p.m. by Life Air Rescue.

Then, the hard work began trying to reach the crash site by land. DeSoto sheriff's deputies used its Hydrotrac that can maneuver between land and water. Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office sent its airboat, and the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office provided its hovercraft. Shreveport Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also assisted. 

PREVIOUS

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office has recovered the remains of two people from the site of a helicopter crash over Wallace Lake.

The helicopter crashed overnight on the south side of Wallace Lake. Information about the victims is not immediately available.

Preliminary information indicates that the Bell B429 is registered to an owner in Center, Texas, which was the apparent destination of the aircraft that took off from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, according to the FAA.

FAA investigators are on their way to the site and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

The crash site, which is spread over 75 to 100 yards wide, is located on a swampy area on the south end of the lake. It took over an hour for authorities to get through the difficult terrain of low water, cypress tree knees and giant salvinia.

A command post has been set up at the end of Wallace Lake Road. Authorities expect the recovery effort to span several days.

DPSO crime scene investigators will process the scene. The FAA has provided guidance on what information they are looking for. FAA is expected to have personnel on site Thursday.

Search for the aircraft began before noon in response to a report of a missing helicopter.

The wreckage was found around 1 p.m. by the DeSoto Parish sheriff's helicopter pilot who was scouring the area.

Emergency response crews then had to assemble equipment to physically get to the site.

Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle described the location as "in the back of Wallace Lake."

Arbuckle said initial information provided to him indicated a man who was piloting his helicopter did not return home last night. The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was last spotted near the south end of Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish.

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office is joined by Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, Shreveport Fire Department and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the recovery effort. 


Source:   http://www.cbs19.tv





DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

The bodies of two people have been recovered in a deadly helicopter crash in DeSoto Parish.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office confirms that the remains were recovered before midnight on Wednesday.

Two people were on board a helicopter when it crashed today in Wallace Lake, the FAA reports.

The Bell B429 is believed to have been flying from Shreveport Downtown Airport to Shelby County, Texas.

"It appears that nobody has survived this crash. And we are just trying to make the recovery of the body at this time," DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle said.

Preliminary information indicated that the aircraft is registered to someone in Center, Texas, the FAA reports.

The FAA now says the helicopter's tail or N number has been confirmed as N598PB.

The FAA's registry lists that aircraft as a Bell B429 registered to Terry Bailey of the 1000 block of Southview Circle in Center.

People who live in Center tell KSLA News 12 everyone is heartbroken after hearing the news. 

"They were known by everyone here, and everybody loved them and they helped a lot of people. They had a lot of people that worked for them and a lot of people that knew them, and they are both from good families and we're just all devastated," said Lillian Shofner who owns a small business on the square.

Representatives of the DeSoto and Caddo coroner's offices arrived at a well site on the southern end of Wallace Lake and now are being taken to the wreckage.

That's near where first responders searching for a missing helicopter have been battling overgrowth of giant salvinia in their attempts to get to wreckage found on the DeSoto side of the lake.

Authorities from multiple agencies also are working to figure out what led up to the aircraft crashing.

Crews converged on Wallace Lake near the Caddo-DeSoto line after the wreckage was spotted about 1 p.m. today.

DeSoto Parish sheriff's deputies were trying to reach the wreckage from that side of the lake.

Meantime, Shreveport Fire Department crews launched a boat from the Caddo side of the lake.

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office used a helicopter to help search for the missing chopper.

The LifeAir medical helicopter also was asked to help with the search and discovered the wreckage.

Officials from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries confirm that crews from Caddo Parish called and asked for a boat to search Wallace Lake.

FAA investigators are on their way to the site.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and will be in charge of the investigation.

Story and video:   http://www.14news.com




Update 5:51 p.m.: The helicopter that crashed in Wallace Lake is registered to Terry Bailey, owner of High Roller Wells LLC of Center, Texas, which provides water disposal and hauling services for oil and gas companies, according to the aircraft registration number released minutes ago by the FAA.

Update 5:25 p.m.: Manufacturer specifications for the type of helicopter that crashed into Wallace Lake – a Bell B429, according to the FAA – specify maximum seating for seven, maximum flight time of 4.5 hours and a range of 472 miles. Bell received FAA certification for the aircraft in 2009. It is often used as an air ambulance.

Update 4:43 p.m.: DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle said recovery of the wreckage would be a multi-day effort. At this point, officers still can't reach the crash site. Arbuckle said he believes there are no survivors.

The helicopter crashed into water, but the path to the crash site leads through a marshy area studded with brush and trees.

Arbuckle said the helicopter must have hit trees on its way down because there was a small fire when rescue crews arrived on the scene. Police believe the helicopter crashed about a mile into the lake.

Wallace Lake straddles the Caddo and DeSoto Parish line. The crash site is in DeSoto Parish on the south side of the lake.







A helicopter has crashed into Wallace Lake in DeSoto Parish. Police believe two people were on board (Photo: Seth Dickerson/The Shreveport Times)

Update 4:37 a.m.: Two people were on board the helicopter that crashed into Wallace Lake earlier today, said Lynn Lunsford, the FAA's Mid-States public affairs manager.

From an FAA statement:

A Bell B429 helicopter with two people aboard crashed under unknown circumstances into Wallace Lake today, about 10 miles southeast of Shreveport. The aircraft is believed to have been flying from Shreveport Downtown Airport to Center, Texas, when the accident occurred.

FAA investigators are on their way to the site and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

The FAA and NTSB do not release the names of pilots or passengers in air accidents. Those will be provided by local officials after relatives have been notified.

The FAA will release the tail number of the aircraft after accident investigators are able to verify it. Preliminary information indicates that the aircraft was registered to an owner in Center.





Original story:

Crews from Shreveport Fire, Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, DeSoto Sheriff's Office and Desoto Fire are all part of a Wednesday recovery effort of a helicopter that has crashed into Wallace Lake.

Shreveport Fire EMS officer Clarence Reese said the fire department was called to the scene shortly after noon.  After being alerted to the possible crash, Reese said Life Air sent a helicopter up to locate the wreckage.

Blake Woodward with the Desoto Parish Sheriff's Office says the helicopter is believed to have crashed last night.

It is unclear if there were any survivors or if any bodies have been discovered.

Source:  http://www.shreveporttimes.com

Piper PA46-500TP, N406CD: Incident occurred July 07, 2014 at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Denver, Colorado

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

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

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

Aviation Incident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Flight Standards District Office: FAA Denver FSDO-03  

Lavinia Aircraft Leasing LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N406CD

NTSB Identification: ENG14IA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Incident occurred Monday, July 07, 2014 in Denver, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/05/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA46 500TP, registration: N406CD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

AIRFRAME ENGINE CONTROLS

Before the engine was removed, an examination of the aircraft after the event revealed that all FCU control pressure (Py and P3) lines were intact, secured and leak-free. Additionally, the FCU control linkage and cabling from cockpit quadrant to the power lever (PLA) and the MOR lever were connected and operated smoothly and with full range of travel. The MOR linkage was further examined and no rigging errors were detected. 

Findings: No engine control rigging errors on the airframe were detected.

ENGINE 

On September 16-18, 2014, the engine was examined at the P&WC facility in Montreal, Canada.

Findings: Examination of the engine and accessory components revealed no anomalies that would have contributed to the reported event. 

GARMIN DATA

A review of the data from the Garmin onboard readout device revealed that during the last taxi, the engine was allowed to decay to a sub-idle condition with gas generator speed (Ng) approximately 39% (normal idle Ng is 64%) and ITT 830° Celsius (°C) when Ng increased to approximately 47% and the ITT almost to 1300° C, corresponding to the activation of the MOR. According to the P&WC manuals, the maximum operating turbine temperature limit for takeoff is 800°C while the maximum allowable transient (limited to only 5 seconds) temperature during starting is 1000 °C. 

Turbine engines, at idle, require a minimum speed to operate. When operating below this speed, the compressor is operating in an inefficient manner, and cannot supply enough cooling air to the core components, causing a hot condition. When, in this already hot condition, an acceleration demand is made of the engine, excess fuel is injected into the combustor, further heating the core components, causing an overtemperature. 

High bleed air demands from the engine at idle can cause a decaying rpm condition. During this event, a hot day caused the pilot to increase air conditioning in the cabin which took considerable bleed air from the engine, which may have caused a decrease in RPM. To correct this decrease, the pilot must simply increase the power lever until idle speed is maintained. If the pilot does not pay attention to the idle RPM, and allows it to go to a sub-idle condition, a 'bog-down' may result and the fuel control will sense this and refuse to accelerate. The only option for the pilot is to shut the engine down and re-start. If the MOR is used at this time, an engine overtemperature and failure will likely result.

Findings: The pilot did not pay attention to the engine indications and allowed the engine to 'bog down'. His subsequent use of the MOR caused the overtemperature and failure of the engine.

Based on the pilots' statement, the Garmin readout data, and the lack of any anomalies in any of the engine accessories, it was concluded that the cause of the fire from the exhaust was due to the sudden introduction of fuel by the activation of the MOR, which along with the sub-idle speed condition of the engine at the time of the activation, resulted in a significant high temperature exposure of the CT blades, and their subsequent distress and failure of the engine.

PIPER MERIDIAN POH MOR GUIDANCE

The pilot stated that he believed that his use of the MOR was in accordance with the Piper pilot's operating handbook (POH). A review of the Piper POH Section 4 - Normal Procedures (Reference: Piper Report: VB-1689 – Revision June 4, 2013) revealed that the Piper guidance was contrary to the P&WC recommendations, which states "the emergency manual override system which is intended to be used in the event of a loss of Power Lever (PLA) control due to loss of air pressure to the Fuel Control Unit (FCU) during flight.", Piper guidance allows pilots to use the MOR on the ground, even at sub-idle RPM conditions, and further, gives the impression that reverting to the MOR is a normal procedure rather than an emergency procedure.

Findings: A review of the Piper POH revealed an error in the guidance for MOR operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
The pilots' incorrect activation of the Manual Override Lever, during ground operation, in an attempt to correct a sub-idle speed condition of the engine, resulting in an over-temperature of the CT blades, their subsequent distress and failure of the engine.

Contributing to the incident was:

The incorrect guidance of the Piper Meridian Pilots' Operating Handbook which, contrary to the engine manufacturer's recommendation, allowed the operation of the Manual Over ride Lever during ground operation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 7, 2014, a Piper Meridian PA-46-500T airplane, Registration Number N406CD, was holding short of the runway, ready for departure at Denver Centennial Airport, Colorado, when the engine, a Pratt & Whitney (P&WC) PT6A-42 failed to accelerate after two attempts of the pilots' power lever commands. After calling the tower and cancelling his takeoff clearance, the pilot planned to taxi away from the 'hold short line' and elected to use the fuel control unit (FCU) emergency manual over-ride (MOR) lever to increase the engine power. The sudden excess fuel in the combustor resulted in a turbine over-temperature. The pilot stated that as soon as he took the MOR lever out of detent, he heard a bang and saw a big ball of fire at the nose of the airplane and believing the airplane was on fire, he retarded all the levers, shutting the engine down and exited the airplane. He noted several small grass fires in the field which, later, were determined to have been ignited by hot fragments of the over-heated turbine blades that exited the exhaust pipe. 

The pilot stated that he believed that his use of the MOR was in accordance with the Piper pilot's operating handbook (POH). He further stated that he did not believe that using the MOR lever was a cause of the engine over-temperature and failure since he did not even advance it, but that in retrospect, he would not have used it if he were to do it all over again. 

INITIAL ENGINE EXAMINATION

The airplane was transferred to Tempus Aircraft, in Englewood, Colorado and on July 10, 2014 the engine, while it was still installed on the airplane, was examined for any possibilities of control system hardware failures or rigging errors. Distress and fracture of the engine's compressor and power turbines was confirmed and fragments of the power turbine were found in the exhaust plenum and ducts. The examination further revealed that all FCU control pressure (Py and P3) lines were intact, secured and leak-free. Further, the FCU control linkage and cabling from cockpit quadrant to the power lever (PL) and the MOR lever were connected and operated smoothly and with full range of travel. The MOR linkage was further examined for any rigging errors. The lever resided in the detent properly and a positive force was required to lift the knob over the gate and out of the detent to actuate. When out of the detent, the lever appeared to have no free-play and even required positive force to advance it.

REVIEW OF AIRFRAME GARMIN DATA

Data from the Garmin onboard readout device was downloaded and reviewed by the NTSB recorder laboratory. During the last taxi, the engine was observed to be in a decaying sub-idle condition with gas generator speed (Ng) approximately 39% (normal idle Ng is 64%) and inter-turbine temperature (ITT) 830° Celsius (°C) when Ng increased to approximately 47% and the ITT almost to 1300° C, corresponding to the activation of the MOR. According to the P&WC manuals, the maximum operating turbine temperature limit for takeoff is 800°C while the maximum allowable transient (limited to only 5 seconds) temperature during starting is 1000 °C. 

ENGINE TEARDOWN AND EXAMINATION

On September 16-18, 2014, the engine was examined at the P&WC facility in Montreal, Canada.

Examination of the engine accessories components revealed no anomalies that would have contributed to the reported event. Based on the pilots' statement, the Garmin readout data, and the lack of any anomalies in any of the engine accessories, it was concluded that the cause of the fire from the exhaust was due to the sudden introduction of fuel by the activation of the MOR, which along with the sub-idle speed condition of the engine at the time of the activation, resulted in a significant high temperature exposure of the compressor turbine (CT) blades, and their subsequent distress and that of the downstream hot section components. 

REVIEW OF THE PIPER MERIDIAN POH WITH RESPECT TO MOR GUIDANCE

During this investigation, it was discovered that a MOR-triggered over-temperature event on another Piper Meridian had occurred just 2 weeks previously at the Denver airport. The pilot in this event perceived an FCU problem and decided that he could take off and fly home using the MOR. This engine suffered a similar over-temperature and compressor and power turbine failure. 

Similarly, the pilot of this prior event stated that he believed that the Piper POH guidance allowed for the use of the MOR on the ground and for non-emergency purposes which is contrary to the P&WC installation manual guidance. The investigation was concerned that there was an error or inconsistency in the Piper POH guidance for MOR operation and therefore a review and comparison for MOR guidance between the P&WC installation manual as well as the POH other airframe companies was made. 

Piper POH Review With Respect To MOR Usage

A review of the Piper POH Section 4 - Normal Procedures (Reference: Piper Report: VB-1689 – Revision June 4, 2013) reveals the following guidance:

"CAUTION - Isolated reports of no engine response to power lever movement have occurred during low engine power (Ng idle speed below 63%) and high engine accessory load operations in hot environments. The possibility of encountering this condition (referred to as "engine roll back") may be minimized by turning air conditioning and bleed air off before final landing approach. During ground and flight operations, if an engine roll back is detected, immediately perform the FUEL CONTROL UNIT FAILURE OR POWER LEVER CONTROL LOSS (Manual Override Operation) procedure in Section 3. Pilots should review this procedure in advance and be prepared to execute if required."

Clearly, contrary to the P&WC guidance, which states "the emergency manual override system which is intended to be used in the event of a loss of Power Lever (PLA) control due to loss of air pressure to the Fuel Control Unit (FCU) during flight." the Piper guidance allows the pilot to use the MOR on the ground, even at sub-idle RPM conditions, and further, gives the impression that reverting to the MOR is a normal procedure rather than an emergency procedure.

A Comparison With Other Airframe POHs

A review and comparison between the POHs of the Piper Meridian, Cessna 208 and Pilatus PC-12 was made and significant variations and even conflicting differences in the instructions for the use of the MOR were noted. Because the Piper and Pilatus airplanes are both single engine, pressurized installations, they are good comparisons. The Piper Meridian uses a PT6A-42 engine while the Pilatus PC12 uses a PT6A-65B, different engines, however, the MOR system is very similar. The un-pressurized Cessna 208 airplane uses a PT6A-114 engine, also slightly different from the PT6A– 42, however, its FCU also features a MOR and P&WC Service Information Letter (SIL) No. PT6A-053 is applicable. See Service Information Letter Section below for more details.

Significant differences were noted between the POH's with respect to MOR usage on the ground: Piper highlights the possibility of an 'engine roll back' during high bleed-air and electrical demand while taxiing or stationary and specifically recommends to use the MOR to recover from this condition. Piper does not state any minimum Ng limitations for MOR use, giving the pilot an option to use it at any speed below 63% Ng. The Piper guidance allows use of the MOR during non-emergency conditions. In comparison, Pilatus specifically prohibits any use of the MOR on ground, and additionally states that 'On the ground with no forward speed it is not possible to recover low Ng with the MOR lever'. Moreover, even while in flight, Pilatus does not allow any Ng excursions below 65% before using the MOR, a far more restrictive and safe guidance. The Cessna nomenclature for the MOR is emergency power lever (EPL), and the POH allows MOR/EPL usage only during flight and further restricts MOR usage below 65% Ng. The Cessna POH clearly states: 'Inappropriate use of the EMERGENCY POWER Lever may adversely affect engine operation and durability. Use of the EMERGENCY POWER Lever during normal operation of the power lever may result in engine surges, or exceeding the ITT, NG, and torque limits.'

P&WC Installation Manual MOR Guidance Review:

When an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) such as Piper installs an engine onto their airframe, it draws design, installation, performance and operation information about the engine from the installation manual (IM) document that is produced by the engine manufacturer; in this case - P&WC. Every engine type has its own specific installation manual. The IM is a technical manual intended for engineering staff rather than the end user. Guidance in the IM for the use of the FCU and the MOR are technically clearly stated, as are the caution or warning recommendations; however, the interpretation of the recommendations are left to the airframer. 

P&WC Service Information Letter (SIL) Guidance for Use of the MOR:

An SIL is a document that contains clarifying technical or operational information for P&WC engines and is distributed to all end-users, operators and overhaul/repair centers.

• SIL No. PT6A-053 Revision 3 - Emergency Power Lever (EPL)/Fuel Control Manual Override System - Issued on November 10, 2004 This is the only SIL which clarifies the usage of the MOR system; however the applicability is only for PT6A – 114/-114A engines. It states: "P&WC would like to reemphasize that the EPL system is intended 'for emergency purposes only' as outlined in the applicable Cessna pilots operating handbook POH and should be used accordingly"

• SIL No. PT6A-053 Revision 4 - Emergency Power Lever (EPL)/Fuel Control Manual Override System was issued on September 23, 2014 in response to this investigation. The applicability of this SIL has been changed to 'all PT6A engines with fuel control manual override system'. Among the numerous cautions, it states: 'The EPL does not duplicate the function of the Power Lever Angle (PLA) and should not to be used as an optional means of controlling the engine during normal engine operations.'

A Summary of the PT6A Customer Support Response Related to the Use of the EPL/MOR.

P&WC Service Information Letter (SIL) PT6A-053 was revised on September 23, 2014 to expand the applicability of the document to include "All PT6A Engines with Fuel Control Unit Manual Override System". The key message in this revision was to highlight: 
"P&WC would like to re-emphasize that the Emergency Power Lever is intended "for emergency purposes only" during flight and is not intended for on-ground engine operation, as outlined in the applicable Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) and should be used accordingly." 

During the Malibu Mirage Owner Pilot Association (MMOPA) Annual Convention on October 16, 2014 (approximately 70 operators of P&WC powered aircraft were in attendance), the topic was presented during a P&WC seminar presentation. Content included the revision of the SIL noted above and an overview of the relevant maintenance actions for operation of the EPL/MOR. The MOR issue was also presented during the Piper Meridian Owner`s Meeting during the Convention, which was attended by P&WC and Piper representatives. Discussion with this Operator Group indicated that there was previously a misunderstanding for the use of the EPL/MOR. 

There is an active bi-weekly teleconference between Piper and P&WC, where there is currently an open action item to discuss field actions in response to this issue. Following the MMOPA Convention and Meetings, current follow-on actions considered are as follows:

• POH reference to ground usage of the EPL/MOR, amendments required. Specifically, the Caution under "Normal Procedures" may be interpreted that ground use not in an emergency is acceptable.

• Piper release operator communication following P&WC SIL PT6A-053 revision.

• Consideration regarding installation of "witness wire" to the EPL/MOR lever.

• Piper has been made aware that the POH for the Meridian with respect to MOR usage is not reflective of the P&WC IM guidance, and is presently reviewing the document.