Friday, February 17, 2017

Senator Trip Pittman, 10 years after plane crash: 'It's very emotional still'; Bellanca 17-30A Super Viking 300A, N6641V, Accident occurred February 17, 2007 in Fountain, Bay County, Florida

Then & Now: Trip Pittman in 2007, after surviving a plane crash that resulted in burn wounds to his arm and, right, as an Alabama senator since 2007. 

Ten years ago to this day, Trip Pittman closed his eyes, tucked his head and prepared to die.

He was the passenger inside a single-prop 1970 Bellanca Super Viking that had experienced engine problems about 4,000 feet above the swamps of northwest Florida.

"How do you forget something like that," said Pittman, who was elected to the Alabama state Senate eight months after surviving the airplane crash. "I wasn't scared but I was a little sad thinking that you're at the end of physical life and I remember hitting the trees and blacking out thinking that it was over."

But it wasn't. Pittman came back to consciousness moments after the plane had crashed into trees within a remote area near Fountain, Fla.

The memories of the day's events have become more vivid in recent weeks, Pittman said, as he contemplates a political future that began while he was recovering from injuries he sustained in the crash.

"People would come up to you and say, 'God has a plan for you, what will you do?'" said Pittman, a Republican who lives in Montrose with his wife of 28 years, Lynn. They have three grown children.

"It was after I got out of the hospital and stayed home for about a month and people would come by and see you and you'd write 'Thank You' notes and give you flowers and you'd have conversations ... at some point, I said I would like to run for office."

Pittman was a 46-year-old tractor dealer at the time of the crash. A few months later, he was running for the vacated Senate seat occupied at the time by Bradley Byrne, who is now in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pittman defeated a better-financed opponent during the Republican runoff in September, before winning a special election to fill the District 32 seat in October.

Pittman has been in office ever since, but questions loom as to his future. He's opting not to seek re-election in 2018, and the memories of the plane crash are starting to flood back, he said.

"You start thinking about things and the door opens and here you are about to make a decision not to run for office again," said Pittman, saying he's "still praying about" a possible run for higher office. Pittman was among the few politicians from coastal Alabama interviewed by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to replace U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Sessions resigned from the Senate seat this month to become President Donald Trump's choice for attorney general.

Bentley, instead, chose Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to fill Sessions' seat.

"It's very emotional still and it makes you reminisce when you have an anniversary on something that led you to believe where you are now," said Pittman. "I tell people I lived through the end of the crash, but must've hit my head because I decided to run for office."

Pittman suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face and arms, covering about 10 percent of his body. The plane's pilot, Roger James of Daphne, also survived after suffering first- and second-degree burns.

Pittman spent eight days at the University of South Alabama burn unit, and had a skin graft on his left forearm.

The following is the Mobile Press-Register account of Pittman's plane crash survival printed on March 26, 2007.

Fliers' story of survival

Two Baldwin men who crashed into a swamp in northern Florida last month tell their tale


Smoke drifted from the dashboard.

The pilot killed the electrical system. He checked the fuel gauge. And the passenger prepared to die.

Two Baldwin County businessmen - Roger James, the pilot, and Lee "Trip" Pittman, his passenger - were 4,500 feet in the air, somewhere over the swamps of northwest Florida last month.

The engine coughed and sputtered.

The landing gear on the single-prop 1970 Bellanca Super Viking seemed to have malfunctioned, sparking a fire.

James saw two fields: one about a mile away, another slightly farther. But with a 30-knot headwind, they didn't have enough altitude to get to either. He made a split-second decision, straightened the aircraft and picked out a big, old cedar tree. It looked like the softest place to land, a little higher than the rest. He aimed for it.

Struck at just the right angle, the cedar's branches would slow the plane's momentum. They could live.

James clutched the yoke, and Pittman tucked his head down. Both men closed their eyes.

Four thousand feet.

Three thousand.

Two thousand.

One thousand...

"Basically, I thought it was all over with," Pittman said recently, recalling details of the crash in an interview with the Press-Register. "I remember hearing us hit four, maybe five trees. Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!"

Miraculously, they survived. And a month later, they're almost completely healed.

Pittman, who suffered the more serious injuries, can't stop bragging about the treatment he received at the University of South Alabama Medical Center. As recently as Friday, James took off from Foley Airport for an hour-long trip to "get checked out" for a solo flight in a rental plane.

On that clear but windy Saturday afternoon in mid-February, they had been flying back to the Fairhope Municipal Airport from Tallahassee, where Pittman looked to purchase some equipment for his tractor business.

The single-engine four-seater smacked the ground, upright.

Flames thrust at their faces, arms and legs.

Pittman tried to muscle his door open. Wouldn't budge. James shouldered him and the two flung themselves out.

"I'm on fire," James said. "It's hurting."

They fell into the soggy grass and rolled.

"I could look back and see the airplane, and the whole cabin and tail section disintegrated," James said. "When I was in that roll, it was there. And by the time I finished the roll, it was gone."

The men were bleeding and burnt - not to mention, practically in the middle of nowhere.

"But overall in pretty good shape," Pittman said.

Gene Russell's trailer in Fountain, Fla., was about the only home for miles.

He had been tinkering with his old Thunderbird when he heard the crash, probably 150 yards away.

"Ain't nothing supposed to be making noise in that swamp," Russell said in a recent telephone interview.

He popped his head up, saw the fire and bolted toward the plane.

"I seen them right away," Russell said.

"Come on with me, and I'll call 911," he recalled telling the men.

"I was surprised that they was alive. They was just kind of a little disoriented."

When the ambulance finally arrived, a paramedic took their blood pressure, poured saline on their burns and wrapped them in gauze. The driver told them they'd be OK.
They were whisked to Bay Medical Center in Panama City, a 40-minute ride.

But they needed better treatment.

James, 61, suffered first- and second-degree burns to his hands, face and ears.

Pittman, 46, was worse off. Second- and third-degree burns to his face, arms and face, covering about 10 percent of his body.

What about the burn center at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, a doctor asked. They'd have to take a helicopter.

They arrived early Sunday morning. James was released from the hospital after a day. But Pittman spent eight days in the burn unit. He had a skin graft on his left forearm.

For weeks, Pittman has gone to the fourth floor of the medical center for wound treatment and physical therapy. A nutritionist put him on a special diet, and he'll have to protect his skin for a year. He regularly sees a team at the hospital: Jay DiFusco, the internist; Kimberly Curtis, the registered nurse; Sharon Richard-Hughes, the nurse practitioner; Angela Duffy, the nurse manager; Dr. Arnold Luterman, who runs the hospital's burn unit; and a host of others.

The unit is one of only a few in the Southeast, with the nearest in Gainesville, Fla.

The Mobile hospital treats about 500 adults and as many as 200 children a year for burns, making it one of the top 10 busiest in the country, according to Luterman. The burn team serves an area with about 2 million people in south Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. There are only about 1,700 burn beds in the United States.

Last year, the burn unit had to turn away more than 100 patients, Luterman said.

"If a bomb went off in the United States, God help us," Luterman said. "There's a serious shortage in terms of beds."

Pittman said he has been inspired by the care he received and wants to help raise awareness and funding for burn care at the medical center.

"There are always things they could use to make their job better," Pittman said. "It's always good to be appreciated."

He acquired a new outlook since the crash.

"You're just really so alert to everything that's going on in life because you've been there," Pittman said. "You thought you were going to die. You live through something like that, and you just want to appreciate everything."

The recovery process for James has been much quicker.

The Daphne resident had flown about 200 hours in the Viking, which he owned for seven years. He works in excavation, and rebuilt a 1946 Aeronca Champ that he plans to fly again soon.

In conversation, he shrugs off the crash.

"It's just another experience," he said. "Been to Vietnam, been shot at, had mortar rounds go off and pull me out of bed at night. It's just another part of my life."
But Pittman hasn't been in the air since the emergency helicopter ride.

"Will I fly again? Yes," Pittman said. "Am I going to be careful in how I fly and when I fly. You know, flying is safe, but things can go wrong fast.

"We were just blessed. The good Lord was looking after us. I don't shy away from saying it was a miracle for us to come through."

Story, photos and comments:

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration/Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama 
Teledyne Continental Motors, Inc.; Mobile, Alabama 
Alexandria Aircraft LLC; Alexandria, Minnesota 

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: MIA07LA050
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, February 17, 2007 in Fountain, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N6641V
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 airplane experienced an electrical short and total loss of engine power during cruise flight. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane's left engine exhaust muffler fractured resulting in an exhaust leak. The nacelle electrical wiring run was proximate to the leak, resulting in a nose landing gear indication discrepancy and the magneto "P" leads to ground out. The total loss of engine power forced an off airport landing into trees. The inspection procedures in the Airworthiness Directive for the exhaust system were inadequate to detect the crack in the aft section of the muffler.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power due to a cracked engine exhaust muffler. Contributing to the accident were the inadequate inspection procedures of the muffler system and the routing of the "P" leads wiring for the magnetos.

On February 17, 2007, about 1350 central standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N6641V, registered to and operated by a private individual, impacted trees during a forced landing in Fountain, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight from Tallahassee, Florida, to Fairhope, Alabama. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were seriously injured, and the airplane was destroyed from a postcrash fire. The flight originated from the Tallahassee Commercial Airport, earlier that day, about 1245.

The pilot stated that during cruise flight, at 4,500 feet mean sea level, he noticed the nose landing gear position light illuminate. He advised the air traffic controller at the Tyndall Approach Control, which was giving him VFR advisories at the time. The controller arranged for another airplane in the area to rendezvous with the accident airplane for a visual inspection of the nose gear. As the pilot was waiting for the second airplane to arrive, he lowered the gear and observed three green lights. Upon retracting the gear, all three lights extinguished. The nose gear light immediately illuminated again and the pilot saw smoke coming from the vicinity of the electrical master switch. The switch was turned off and the smoke dissipated. A few seconds later, the engine lost power, but the propeller was still windmilling. The pilot switched fuel tanks but did not elect a restart due to the suspected short in the electrical system. The pilot observed an open field and attempted to land in the open area; however, he was not able to reach the area and landed in trees. A postcrash fire ensued; he and the passenger were able to get out of the airplane before the fire destroyed it.

The postrecovery wreckage examination conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed the aft one-third of the left muffler was crushed. The ball joint was separated from the muffler at the weld and remained attached to the tailpipe/ resonator. The clamp remained in place on the left ball joint with its associated hardware. The ball joint was not damaged. The amphenol connector/cannon plug located on the left side of the firewall, which houses the electrical wiring for the nose landing gear indication and the "P" leads for the engine's magnetos, was fire damaged. The routing of those wires was in the proximity of the separated muffler ball joint. The left muffler and the ball joint assembly were sent to the Safety Board Office of Research and Engineering Materials Laboratory Division. The examination revealed, among additional findings, a fracture from the 1:30 o'clock to 5:30 o'clock position on the circumferential weld of the muffler aft tube, which was completely covered with oxidation and edges of the fracture were rounded consistent with the presence of a preexisting crack or through-the-wall corrosion.

The last annual inspection to the accident airplane was September 20, 2006, at a total airframe time of 2,639.7 hours, which was about 11 hours before the accident flight. Airworthiness Directive (AD) 76-23-03R1, dated November 7, 1986, which calls for an inspection of the muffler and tailpipe areas, was complied. The mentioned AD states "To prevent exhaust system failures which could result in cabin air contamination and heat damage to components in the nacelle. Visually inspect the muffler and tailpipe assemblies for cracks paying particular attention to the ball joint welds and the outlets of the muffler and resonator."

Moore County Airport (KSOP) Education Initiatives Taking Off

The Moore County Airport is spreading its wings as a community education resource.

The airport is working on two fronts to improve its use as a center for learning. It is helping Sandhills Community College start an associate’s degree program for pilots and is joining forces with Moore County Schools to offer elementary and middle school students an introduction to the world of flight.

A pair of aviation-themed STEM camps at New Century Middle School this summer will expose students to flight simulation, drone racing, 3-D wing design and rocketry. The camps are open to rising 3-8 grade students and will also include a First Tech Challenge robotics component for students entering grades 8-10.

The school district’s STEM summer programs, which explore science, technology, engineering and math, have taken off in popularity over the last four years, usually filling well before the first day of camp.

Moore County Schools’ digital integration facilitators will lead students through hands-on projects. Over the course of the four days, campers will test their wing designs in a wind tunnel and improve upon them, build rockets safe enough to land without breaking an egg and program drones to maneuver without human input.

“It’s cool to see the kids come up with an idea, come up with a problem, and figure out a way to solve it using some pretty simple things with complex thought,” said DIF Tyler Callahan. “If you give them the tools, they’re going to take it and run with it even though it might not be in the direction you thought they would. You can see the growth in a week.”

For the grand finale, campers will tour the Moore County Airport. Volunteer pilots will be on hand to give tours of the county at a few thousand feet.

“They’re going to meet with all the different types of people who work there: aviation mechanics, pilots, flight control, and parents will have the option of sticking around and having the kids go up for a flight ,” said Steve Johnson, Moore County Schools’ assistant technology director.

“We’ve never done anything with the airport like this — some of our people didn’t even know the airport was there — so we’re excited.”

Though the aviation camps are the first contact for the airport and public schools, officials on both sides are eyeing opportunities for that partnership to evolve. Moore County Schools’ Advanced Career Center, which will specialize in teaching high school students skilled trades, is scheduled to open adjacent to Sandhills Community College in 2019.

Bob Zschoche

“We would like to expand our community involvement,” said Bob Zschoche, chairman of the airport authority. “(Authority member) Mike Jones has taken the lead in talking with the schools about how the airport could offer scholarships for young people to come to the airport and learn how to fly.”

The airport could begin that effort as early as 2018, with the goal of reaching high school students from throughout Moore County. Students can qualify for a pilot’s license at age 16 and begin learning under a qualified flight instructor even earlier.

“We’re trying to generate interest and reach out to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity,” said Zschoche. “Not everybody’s going to end up being a 747 pilot, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

In a planning retreat this past week, the Moore County Airport Authority reaffirmed its commitment to the associate’s degree program for professional pilots that Sandhills Community College has been considering for several years. The authority earmarked $20,000 to support the necessary preparations, which could involve adding instructors and upgrading its available aircraft.

That program was scheduled to begin this fall, but the college put it on hold after Steve Borden’s resignation as executive director. Since Borden’s departure and the resignation of airport authority member Bill Bateman, the authority in December hired Greg Hudson as interim director. Last week, Moore County’s commissioners appointed Partners in Progress Executive Director Pat Corso to serve out the remainder of Bateman’s term.

“We have maintained all along that we have the funds in our fund balance to support whatever it is that is the right thing to do for the community,” said Zschoche. “As far as what that means in terms of the exact start date of the program, we don’t know at this point.”

Sandhills is considering a pilot training program in response to a national shortage already straining lower-paying regional carriers. Currently, only three North Carolina community colleges offer commercial pilot training: Guilford Technical, Asheville-Buncombe Technical and Lenoir.

Moore County Schools will open registration for 2017 STEM camps on March 13. This year’s camps will be held from June 19-22 and June 26-29, both at New Century.

The school district started the camps with a $2.1 million grant from the Mebane Foundation. With the expiration of that funding, the schools have continued the camps with a $160 fee attached. The fee includes lunch each day and a T-shirt.

Scholarship slots are available, on a first come first served basis, for up to 30 students who demonstrate financial need. The registration link will be available at


Yakovlev (Aerostar) YAK-52, Redstar Aviators, N624PT: Accident occurred February 01, 2017 at St. Elmo Airport (2R5), Mobile County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Redstar Aviators LLC:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  Birmingham, Alabama 

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA105
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 01, 2017 in St. Elmo, AL
Aircraft: S C AEROSTAR S A YAK 52, registration: N624PT
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

On February 1, 2017, about 1715 central standard time, an experimental S C Aerostar S A Yak-52, N624PT, was substantially damaged while landing at St. Elmo Airport (2R5), St. Elmo, Alabama. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from 2R5 about 1700.

The pilot reported that the landing gear was a pneumatic system. Shortly after takeoff and retracting the landing gear, he noticed that the pneumatic pressure was low. He then attempted to extend the landing gear using normal and emergency procedures, but the right main landing gear remained retracted. The pilot subsequently performed an emergency landing with the right main landing gear retracted. During the landing roll, he was able to keep the right wing from contacting the runway for about 1,000 feet. Once it contacted the runway, the pilot was unable to maintain directional control and the airplane came to rest upright in a grass area off the right side of the runway.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed substantial damage to the right aileron. The inspector and a local mechanic also noted that the pneumatic cylinder (P/N 524705-30) that released the right main landing gear uplock was not functioning properly. The mechanic planned to perform a teardown examination of the cylinder.

The airplane was manufactured in the former Soviet Union in 1985, imported to the U.S. in 2003 and issued an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate. Some of the maintenance records did not import and the total time on the airframe could not be determined. The airplane's most recent annual condition inspection was completed on October 1, 2016. At that time, the engine had accumulated about 504 hours since overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 18 hours from the time of that inspection, until the accident.

Piper PA-22-160, N72999: Accident occurred February 15, 2017 in Ruby, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Fairbanks, Alaska

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA187
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 15, 2017 in Ruby, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA22, registration: N72999
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the tailwheel, ski-equipped airplane reported that, while landing off airport in flat light conditions, he was unable to maintain a good visual reference of the hard packed snow covered landing area. After touchdown, the airplane drifted off the hard packed snow, and the left ski sunk in softer snow. He increased power and attempted to recover with “hard right control” to no avail. The airplane’s left ski struck a snow-covered tank.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left-wing lift strut.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control while landing in flat light conditions on a hard-packed snow-covered landing area. 

Southwest Airlines, Boeing 737-8H4, N8303R (and) Frontier Airlines, Airbus A320-214, N202FR: Incident occurred February 16, 2017 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Maricopa County, Arizona

Frontier Airlines Inc:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Phoenix, Arizona

N8303R Southwest Airlines flight SWA4182 Boeing 737. Aircraft right wingtip, on taxi, struck N202FR Frontier Airlines flight FFT756 Airbus A320 aircraft left wingtip. No injuries reported. Damage to be determined.

Date: 17-FEB-17
Time: 02:56:00Z
Regis#: N202FR
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A320
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: FRONTIER AIRLINES
Flight Number: FFT756

Southwest Airlines Co:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  Phoenix, Arizona

N8303R Southwest Airlines flight SWA4182 Boeing 737. Aircraft right wingtip, on taxi, struck N202FR Frontier Airlines flight FFT756 Airbus A320 aircraft left wingtip. No injuries reported. Damage to be determined.

Date: 17-FEB-17
Time: 02:56:00Z
Regis#: N8303R
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: B737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SOUTHWEST
Flight Number: SWA4182

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -   A plane was taxiing at Phoenix Sky Harbor when it hit another plane on Thursday. 

According to the airport, a Frontier Airlines plane was pushing back from its gate at Terminal 3 when it "clipped the wings" of Southwest Airlines Flight 4182 that was taxiing.

Airport crews said there was a fuel leak because of the collision.

No one was hurt.

Megan Wohr was on the Southwest Airlines flight. 

"It took me a second to release what happened," Wohr said.

She said her plane had more damage than the Frontier's plane.

"It felt like a speed bump more than anything else," Wohr said.

She said everyone remained calm and the pilot was informative and polite. 

Frontier said there were 163 passengers on board their Airbus A320 and six crew members. The flight was heading from Phoenix to Denver and was cleared to push back from the gate.

Southwest Airlines said its aircraft just arrived from Oklahoma City. There were 174 passengers on the plane. The plane was going to go to Denver but the airline said it's out of service for repairs.

No passengers or Southwest employees were hurt.

Statement from Frontier Airlines:

"Frontier Flight 765, an Airbus A320, scheduled to operate from Phoenix to Denver was cleared to push back from the gate in Phoenix. While the aircraft was being pushed back, an aircraft belonging to another airline made contact with our aircraft. No injuries have been reported. There were 163 passengers on board and a crew of six. Frontier is cooperating with the NTSB and FAA in the investigation and is working with customers to accommodate them on other flights."

Statement from Southwest Airlines:

"Southwest Flight 4182 was taxiing to the gate at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport when another airline's aircraft pushed back from a gate and made contact with our aircraft. There were no Customer or Employee injuries. Our aircraft is currently out of service for repairs and the Customers who are traveling to Denver will be accommodated on another aircraft, arriving approximately 50 minutes late." 

Story and video:

Thatcher CX4, N15AT: Incident occurred February 16, 2017 in Larkspur, Douglas County, Colorado

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Denver, Colorado

Aircraft force landed in a field and went into a ravine.

Date: 16-FEB-17
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N15AT
Aircraft Make: THATCHER
Aircraft Model: CX4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cirrus SR22T, Reeds Metals Inc., N58BR: Incident occurred February 16, 2017 at Cross City Airport (KCTY), Dixie County, Florida

Reeds Metals Inc:  

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Tampa, Florida  

Aircraft on landing, struck a deer.

Date: 17-FEB-17
Time: 00:49:00Z
Regis#: N58BR
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22T
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, Missionary Air Group Inc., N381MG: Accident occurred February 16, 2017 at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport ( KBUY), Burlington, Alamance County, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Greensboro, North Carolina

Missionary Air Group Inc:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA140
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Burlington, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N381MG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, during landing in a gusting crosswind, following the main wheels touching down and as the nosewheel was about to touch down, the airplane “abruptly lifted into the air.” He immediately added full power to go-around, but the airplane drifted to the left off the runway surface and impacted an embankment.

The left wing sustained substantial damage.

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

The automated weather observing station at the accident airport, about the time of the accident, recorded wind from 270° at 16 knots, gusting to 31 knots. A peak wind of 260° at 31 knots was recorded about 5 minutes before the accident. The airplane landed on runway 24.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain the runway heading during an attempted go-around in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a runway excursion.

Cessna 152, Green Airport Development Corp, N5087L: Incident occurred February 15, 2017 in Angleton, Brazoria County, Texas

Green Airport Development Corp:

FAA Flight Standards District Office:  Houston, Texas

Aircraft force landed in a field. 

Date: 15-FEB-17
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N5087L
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C152
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
State: TEXAS

Cessna 340, C-GPPD: Incident occurred February 16, 2017 at Austin Executive Airport (KEDC), Travis County, Texas

FAA Flight Standards District Office: San Antonio, Texas

Aircraft, Canadian registry, on departure, went off the runway and the nose gear collapsed. 

Date: 16-FEB-17
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: CGPPD
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C340
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
State: TEXAS

Cessna TR182, N5257S: Incident occurred February 16, 2017 at Orcas Island Airport (KORS), Eastsound, San Juan County, Washington

FAA Flight Standards District Office: Seattle, Washington 

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 17-FEB-17
Time: 01:40:00Z
Regis#: N5257S
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

Airline incentive program renewed for Stewart International Airport (KSWF)

NEW YORK – The Port Authority Board approved a two-year extension of an airline incentive program for Stewart Airport.          

The program, which provides discounted landing fees, rentals, marketing support and other benefits, is credited with attracting Allegiant Air to the Mid-Hudson Valley and provide St. Pete-Clearwater and Myrtle Beach service.

Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence told the Port Authority Board the program has been a success.

“The rationale for this program is by mitigating the start-up and marketing costs due in the first 24 months of service, a critical time for the airlines that are beginning new service, Stewart will be in a more competitive position to attract and retain air service over airports in the vicinity such as Albany, Westchester and Hartford,” Lawrence said. “The incentive program is also expected to raise the international profile of Stewart Airport as a viable alternative gateway to the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region.”


Go Air, Airbus A320: Incident occurred February 08, 2017 in Dehli, India

NTSB Identification: ENG17WA012
Scheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Wednesday, February 08, 2017 in Dehli, India
Aircraft: AIRBUS A320, registration:
Injuries: 193 Uninjured.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On February 8, 2017, about 1932 local (1402 UTC), a Go Air (Indian air carrier) A320 equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1127G engines experienced a loss of power in the No. 1 engine. The airplane had to return to Delhi immediately after takeoff because of a low pressure warning that was followed by an auto shutdown of the engine.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of India. This report is for information purposes only and contains only information released by the Government of India. Further information pertaining to this accident may be obtained from:

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau

Safdarjung Airport,
New Delhi, India - 110003
Tel: (+91) 11-24658051
Fax: (+91) 11 2469-3963

Florida’s Space Coast Is Filling the ‘Crater’ Left by NASA: SpaceX launch illustrates region’s rebirth as a more-diverse aerospace economy

The Wall Street Journal
February 17, 2017 5:30 a.m. ET

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.—Launch pad 39A hasn’t hosted a liftoff since July 2011 when orbiter Atlantis’ final flight marked the end of NASA’s space shuttle program, a painful moment for the region that resulted in the loss of 9,000 jobs.

As soon as Saturday, the launch pad will be back in use but not under the auspices of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It has been refurbished by commercial launch company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, which will send a Falcon 9 rocket ferrying an unmanned Dragon capsule to the international space station.

The pad’s rebirth illustrates the economic rebound of Florida’s Space Coast as it transitions to a more-diverse aerospace economy, with a significant commercial sector, from one powered by government investment dating back to the administration of John F. Kennedy.

In the past six years, the area’s economic development agency has announced projects bringing in $1.4 billion in capital investment and generating an estimated 7,900 jobs. That includes 1,800 new jobs announced by Northrop Grumman Corp., which landed a Pentagon contract in 2015 to build long-range bombers.

“The Space Coast is kind of on fire right now,” said Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb Ltd., which aims to use hundreds of satellites to provide internet access in rural and emerging markets.

In a joint venture with a division of Airbus SE, OneWeb plans to break ground soon on a high-tech manufacturing facility at Exploration Park, which borders the Kennedy Space Center and is managed by Space Florida, the state’s aerospace development authority. The facility, expected to employ 250 people, is designed to crank out three satellites a day when it opens next year.

Commercial space companies like SpaceX, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, and Blue Origin, started by Inc. Chairman Jeff Bezos, are setting up facilities. Smaller startups such as Moon Express Inc., which plans to send a tiny spacecraft to the lunar surface later this year, also are making investments. And a host of others are expanding operations and hiring engineers and technicians, including Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA, which employs 650 people in the area.

One of them is Brian Hammer, who used to work for a NASA contractor on the shuttle program and received a layoff notice in 2012. He landed a job later that same year at Embraer, which was expanding in Melbourne with the creation of a new engineering support center.

“We’re not done growing here,” he said. “It’s really exciting, with all these new opportunities.”

For SpaceX, two major accidents have done little to slow the pace of development.

Construction crews are busy building a 750,000-square-foot Blue Origin facility where the company will manufacture its New Glenn rocket, a reusable booster aimed at sending astronauts and satellites into low-Earth orbit.

Blue Origin executive Scott Henderson said the company had several reasons for choosing Florida’s Space Coast, a 65-mile stretch along the state’s central Atlantic coast encompassing Kennedy Space Center and neighboring Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Among them: the area’s proximity to the equator, which allows more weight to be launched per load; its existing launch infrastructure; and a well-trained workforce.

The Space Coast “could really be the nexus of this new commercial space enterprise,” Mr. Henderson said.

But commercial space companies tend to be lean and aren’t likely to generate as many jobs as NASA’s shuttle program, said Ramon Lugo, director of the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida. The region also faces competition. Florida leaders bemoaned SpaceX’s announcement in 2014 that it would build a commercial orbital launch pad in Brownsville, Texas.

Even so, the revival has helped lower the unemployment rate in Brevard County, home to the Space Coast, to 4.9% in December from 11.2% in July 2011.

Of the more than 9,000 aerospace workers laid off as a result of the shuttle program’s end, nearly 5,400 were employed at the end of 2014, according to CareerSource Brevard, which helped retrain and place them but stopped tracking them at that point. Around one-fifth of those laid off ended up retiring, and another large portion moved elsewhere for employment, the agency said.

“The end of the shuttle program left a pretty large crater in the Space Coast economy,” said Sean Snaith, a UCF economist.

Brevard County was better prepared for the end of the shuttle program than they were for the Apollo program’s departure in 1972, officials said.

State and local officials “made a conscious decision to get away from two things: dependence on government, and just being a launch site” with little assembly or manufacturing work, said Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances for Space Florida. The state aerospace authority has helped lure companies by arranging financing and leasing them property it manages.

The area is making strides on both counts. Commercial space companies are developing a sector that doesn’t rely on federal funding. And companies are using the area for not only launches but also manufacturing. Lockheed Martin Corp. is assembling the Orion capsule, which is slated to take humans deep into space, in a restored Apollo building at the Kennedy Space Center, under a NASA contract.

That also draws more suppliers and subcontractors to the area like Tsunami Tsolutions, an aerospace information technology firm from Glastonbury, Conn., and RUAG, a Swiss defense company, which is opening a new facility in the area to build satellite parts for OneWeb.

“We realized that the Space Coast is an area in transformation,” said Franck Mouriaux, a RUAG general manager. “We thought it would be a good opportunity to be part of this ecosystem.”

Original article can be found here: