Thursday, March 16, 2017

Van's RV-8, N46BV: Incident occurred March 16, 2017 in Willcox, Cochise County, Arizona

Two people were in the aircraft at the time of this incident.

Pilot and wife passenger are ok, no injuries. Engine failed and was able to land on a dirt road next to a pecan orchard.

The pilot called Albuquerque Center FAA Air Traffic Control Center and told them of the engine failure. They kept talking to him until he was close to the ground then lost radar and radio contact. He landed on Last Outpost Road.

Thank you SAR and all involved in responding to this call!

On Thursday March 16, at 12:10 p.m., the Cochise County Sheriff's Office received information of a possible downed aircraft near Willcox.

Albuquerque Air Traffic Control advised that the Van's RV-8 with one occupant left the airport there earlier this morning enroute to the Willcox airport.

Sheriff's Deputies responded along with Willcox Department of Public Safety and Albuquerque advised of last known GPS coordinates for the aircraft.

The pilot sent a text message to his son advising that he was not injured and that he crashed in a pecan orchard.

Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue personnel are in the area attempting to locate the plane and pilot and have not yet been physically located.

Original article can be found here:

WILLCOX, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say a man and his wife have escaped injury after their small plane crash-landed on a dirt road next to a pecan orchard in southern Arizona.

Cochise County Sheriff's officials say the single-propeller plane experienced engine failure shortly after noon Thursday near Willcox.

It was headed to the Willcox airport after a flight from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The pilot told authorities that he and his wife were not injured and the plane went down between San Simon and Bowie.

The man called Albuquerque's air traffic control center and told them of the engine failure.

Original article can be found here:

Porreco College student first to earn pilot license through new aeronautics program

Bryan Plucknett knew in high school that he wanted to be a pilot.

While a junior at Northwestern High School in Albion, Pa., Plucknett attended Aero Camp at North Coast Flight School, where he caught the flying bug.

“I’ve always liked planes – especially World War II planes,” he said. “I figured I’d give it a try and see how it goes. 

Plucknett, who launched his two-year pilot-education program through North Coast and the Porreco College of Edinboro University right after high school, is already getting noticed. During this past semester, he became the first student in the Porreco College and FAA-certified North Coast Flight School dual program to earn his private pilot license.

“These kids learn literally every aspect of aviation,” said Gregory Hayes, owner of the Erie-based flight school located within the Erie International Airport. “(Plucknett) has just been exceptional. He’s doing very well at this.” 

At Porreco College, Plucknett is enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science – Aeronautical Science program. The program prepares graduates to immediately pursue a career as a commercial pilot, equipping them with the required knowledge in mathematics, physics, communications and aeronautics.

In addition to his flight-school training, Plucknett said that he plans to complete courses in microeconomics, business in society, trigonometry and meteorology. Hayes said much of the pilot curriculum features STEM-based academics – in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“It definitely helps me with my critical-thinking skills and how I can organize my school work and flying time,” Plucknett said of his Porreco College courses.

Graduates from the AAS – Aeronautical Science program can pursue careers in aviation such as non-passenger commercial pilot, private charter pilot, flight instructor or other flight-training related careers.

Plucknett said his initial goal was to become an airline pilot. Through the AAS program, he also considered becoming a flight instructor or completing a four-year Edinboro University degree and advancing as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Pilot certification training is much more than flying a plane, Hayes said. The FAA mandates that student pilots complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight time. Additionally, students must take an online pilot exam and, in some cases, an oral exam that lasts between three and five hours.

“You have to be pretty dedicated. No one should start (the pilot program) thinking it’s just going to be fun,” Hayes said. “It’s a lot of work.”

At first, Plucknett’s parents were somewhat reluctant for him to fly solo. Now that he has filled requirements  to fly for three hours a day, twice a week, Plucknett said  his parents have grown comfortable with him behind the wheel – “yoke” in aeronautical terms) – of an airplane.

“I think now they’d like to fly with me,” he said.

Up next for Plucknett and his classmates is training with flight instruments in the airplane cockpit, which can help dictate the flight’s altitude, direction and speed. This fall, if all goes as planned, Plucknett will be taking his commercial pilot exam.

For more information about the AAS – Aeronautical Science program, and other offerings at the Porreco College of Edinboro University, visit

Original article can be found here:

Brandywine Flight School’s new owner takes new pilots under his wing

WEST GOSHEN, Pennsylvania >>  Be passionate about your work and every day is a dream. That is the philosophy adopted by Stephen Richards, who a year ago retired from his job and took ownership of Brandywine Flight School.

“I was a lawyer in a pharmaceutical company and as I turned 60, I thought ‘if not now, when?’” Richards said from the flight school offices at the Brandywine Airport (KOQN) complex on Ward Avenue.”This is my passion.”

That passion is seconded by longtime flight school owner Ted Behrle, who sold him the business.

“I selected Stephen Richards because of his passion, business experience and focus on actively engaging students,” Behrle said.

Richards, who grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, went to George Washington University for his undergrad and law degree, then the University of Pennsylvania, where he got an MBA. His most recent company was Incyte Corp.

Richards is not new to flying; he is a glider pilot and serves on the board of directors of the Brandywine Soaring Association.

Richards said business growth has been robust over the past year. The flight school has gone from four to eight planes and is planning on adding a ninth. With the added planes, the company also doubled the number of instructors.

“Our instructors are highly experienced and trained,” Richards added. “We have former military and active corporate pilots who love teaching how to fly.”

Richards’ requirements for instructor include: experience, proximity to airport, the right personality, someone with a sense of the community, the ability to teach and the proper motivation.

“We ask, why do you want to teach? Are they just looking to get in flight hours or do they really want to train pilots?” Richards said. “I’m looking for a passion and love of flying.”

Chief instructor at Brandywine is Jim Wawrzyniak, a retired Navy instructor from Reading who has 20 years of air service in active military and reserves.

“Flying is relativity easy; it takes a person who really wants to do it and has the time,” said Wawrzyniak. “Thinking and flying (together) is the hard part. Making good decisions, flying weeds out the incompetents.”

Richards said in Brandywine Flight School training, the focus is on safety and the basics of flying. The two new plane models the flight school have purchased conform to that view. They are a Cessna 140A and Cessna 170B – known as tail draggers or tailwheel aircraft.

“They will offer full ‘classic flying’ instruction,” Richards said. “Taildraggers are harder to operate on the ground but they prevent complacency, which the FAA has identified as a major problem.

Richards said new pilots often train on more modern planes with three-wheeled gear known as tricycles, that have better maneuverability on the ground and while landing. Taildraggers are harder to operate and have a different center of gravity than planes with more modern tricycle-style landing gear.

“They make you a better pilot and will improve your landing,” Richards stressed. “Too much technology creates pilots who don’t learn the basics. That is what many pilots like about the taildraggers — they will make you a better pilot, they focus your basic piloting skills.”

Richards said there aren’t many schools around where a student or trained pilot can learn the skills necessary to operate a tailwheel aircraft. The flight school also rents the planes to certified pilots who want to keep their skills sharp.

Richards said you can own a plane for the price of a car. The taildraggers can cost in the $30,000 range, but the maintenance costs of owning a plane are high. Planes need to be inspected every 100 flight hours and oils changed every 50 flight hours. A gallon of 100 octane fuel is $5.40 a gallon.

“We don’t delay any maintenance,” Richards said.

Richards said his students range in age from 13 to 77, and that the West Chester area is a good place for prospective pilots. He said clients can expect to spend as much as $13,000 for the training to allow them to pass an FAA practical and written test. The flight school also uses a flying simulator students can use to train up to 20 hours toward certification.

Richards recently re-instituted an old flying tradition of honoring students’ first solo flight. The instructor cuts off the shirt tail the new pilot was wearing and pins it to the wall. That is the point when the instructor trusts the student can safely fly on their own. Richards said that typically happens halfway though the training, but there is still more study and instruction ahead.

“Learning to fly requires time, sacrifice, discipline, focus and money. You learn leadership,” he stressed. “The ability to control a plane in space.

“You need to be totally engaged in a changing environment. It’s a process of risk analysis and contingency planning, but you can have serious fun.”

Many of the flight school’s students are in high school.

“Parents love coming around and seeing their kids learning,” Richards said.

Henry Elgin, a senior at Downingtown East, has been working toward getting his wings for the past couple of years. He said he loves flying a plane and seeing everything from 1,000 feet in the air.

“It’s completely different,” said Elgin, who is considering pursuing a career with an airline and has been accepted to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which specializes in aviation.

“Our motivation here is create a safe pilot using the process and resources,” Richards said. “We’re going to get you through efficiently. Efficient learning corresponds to safety.”

Story and photo gallery:

Bell 47G: Incident occurred March 10, 2017 in Mojave, Kern County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office:  Van Nuys, California 

Excessive spinning upon landing. Right skid collapsed.  

Date: 10-MAR-17
Time: 19:32:00Z
Regis#: N6359
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 47G
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Piper Meridian M600, KGS Investments LLC, N600ST: Accident occurred March 15, 2017 at Bellefontaine Regional Airport (KEDJ), Logan County, Ohio

KGS Investments LLC:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbus, Ohio

Aircraft crashed on landing. 

Date: 15-MAR-17
Time: 12:30:00Z
Regis#: N600ST
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: 46
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: OHIO

A Celina man was not injured Wednesday morning when he experienced problems landing his plane at the Bellefontaine Regional Airport. 

According to the Marysville post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 67 year old Leonard Schoenleben was trying to land his 2016 Piper Meridian M600 at approximately 8:30 am when he lost control and went off the left side of the runway.

The nose and propeller struck the ground. 

The plane sustained moderate damage, Schoenleben, who was the lone occupant, was not injured. 

He had left earlier in the morning from the Neil Armstrong Airport in New Knoxville. The FAA has been contacted. 

This incident remains under investigation.

Original article can be found here: