Saturday, April 1, 2017

Search called off for plane reported down near Moontown Airport (3M5), Madison County, Alabama

Emergency crews spent part of their evening searching Northeast Madison County investigating a reported crashed small aircraft.

A caller reported a plane crash landing near Madison County High School.

Crews spent nearly two hours searching by air and foot for the reported downed plane.

Don Webster with HEMSI told us the plane could have safely landed at nearby Moontown Airport.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.waff.com

JetBlue, Airbus A320-200, flight B6-897, N589JB: Incident occurred April 01, 2017 at Orlando International Airport (KMCO), Orange County, Florida

JetBlue Airways Corp: http://registry.faa.gov/N589JB

ORLANDO, FLORIDA —

A plane that departed from Boston had to make an emergency landing in Orlando for a possible landing gear problem.

The Federal Aviation Administration said JetBlue Flight 897 was on its way to Liberia, Costa Rica, when it declared an emergency. The flight flew in a holding pattern off the east coast of Florida to burn fuel before landing at Orlando International Airport.

The FAA said the pilot reported that the aircraft may have collided with birds when departing from Logan International Airport.

A spokesperson from JetBlue confirmed the plane did make the landing out of an abundance of caution following a bird strike during take off.

There are no details at this time as to why the pilot continued to fly down the coast after the strike.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.wcvb.com

Icon A5, N672BA, Icon Aircraft Inc: Accident occurred April 02, 2017 in Key Largo, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hollywood, Florida 

Icon Aircraft Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N672BA

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA213
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 02, 2017 in Key Largo, FL
Aircraft: ICON AIRCRAFT INC A5, registration: N672BA


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

Aircraft lost control on landing and right wing broke off.


Date: 01-APR-17

Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N672BA
Aircraft Make: ICON
Aircraft Model: A5
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: KEY LARGO
State: FLORIDA





SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A small plane made a water landing in South Miami-Dade, Saturday afternoon.

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the Icon A5 aircraft landed in the area of Biscayne National Park with two male occupants on board.

A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue boat was requested to assist Florida Fish and Wildlife and park officials.

When crews arrived, they found the men sitting on the wings of the mostly submerged plane. They were not injured.

Colyaer Freedom S100, N787Z: Fatal accident occurred March 02, 2015 in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida



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

Additional Participating Entities
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida
Rotax Engines
Colyaer Aircraft; Pontevedra

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

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

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

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA141
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 02, 2015 in Boynton Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/29/2017
Aircraft: COLYAER SL FREEDOM, registration: N787Z
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

The airline transport pilot departed in his light sport aircraft with a friend, who held a student pilot certificate, on a cross-country flight to another airport for lunch. GPS data showed the airplane maneuvered near the accident site for about 30 minutes, performing multiple climbs, descents, and turns. Several witnesses reported hearing the engine "sputter," which was immediately followed by an advance in engine power. Although the airplane's final movements were not captured by witness reports or radar/GPS data, examination of the accident site showed that the airplane was in a steep descent when it impacted a swamp. The impact geometry was consistent with an in-flight loss of control and subsequent uncontrolled descent to ground impact. A postcrash fire ensued, which consumed most of the airplane.

Postaccident examination of the airplane and the engine did not reveal any mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Although the environmental conditions were favorable for light icing at glide or cruise power, witnesses reported that the engine regained power after "sputtering"; such a gain in power is not consistent with a carburetor ice condition. The cause of the "sputtering" reported by the witnesses could not be determined because the extensive fire damage precluded testing of the engine-driven fuel pump, carburetors, and ignition system components.

The pilot reported a vibration in the control stick to the airplane manufacturer in the days leading up to the accident. The manufacturer responded to the pilot on the morning of the accident and stated that the vibration could be the result of an inadequately balanced engine or propeller. However, the propeller's effect on the airplane's performance could not be determined because two of the blades were not recovered from the accident site and the acetal pitch change slide block within the propeller hub was consumed by postcrash fire.

Although sedating medications were found in toxicological specimens from both occupants, and the pilot's autopsy found evidence of severe coronary artery disease, the investigation could not determine if these physiological conditions contributed to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
An in-flight loss of control for reasons that could not be determined based on the available evidence.




On March 2, 2015, about 1252 eastern standard time, a Colyaer Freedom S100, N787Z, collided with terrain after a loss of control near Boynton Beach, Florida. The airline transport-rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to the pilot and was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA), West Palm Beach, Florida at 1217.

The pilot's wife reported that the pilot and passenger had planned to fly to Okeechobee, Florida, for lunch and then return home. The airplane's flight path was captured by data recovered from an onboard Garmin 496 global positioning satellite (GPS) unit. A review of the data showed that, after its departure, the airplane maintained a westerly course to a wildlife refuge about 9 nautical miles (nm) west of LNA. The airplane then maneuvered over the wildlife refuge completing numerous descents, climbs, and turns. The last GPS point recorded was at 1251:18 and showed the airplane at a GPS altitude of 883 ft with a ground speed of 57 knots.

According to witnesses who were fishing about 1/2 mile from the accident site, they observed the airplane flying over the wildlife refuge for about 20 to 30 minutes and then heard the engine make a sound that they described as a "sputter." One witness said the sound resembled a sound his boat motor makes when it runs out of fuel and the cylinders are misfiring. The engine then "revved up" almost instantaneously, which was followed by a loud boom about 30 seconds later. The witnesses did not observe the airplane's descent or impact but did notice smoke coming from the wreckage after it came to rest.




PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 64, held an airline transport certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land and single-engine sea. He reported a total flight experience of 19,400 hours and 300 flight hours in the previous 6 months on his latest first-class medical certificate application, which was dated February 3, 2015. A copy of the pilot's personal logbook was provided by his family, but it did not contain any entries beyond December 2013. According to the logbook entries, the pilot had accumulated a total of 128 flight hours from March 2008 to December 2013 in the accident airplane make and model. The pilot's wife estimated that the pilot had accrued an additional 5 flight hours between January 2014 and the day of the accident.

A follow-up interview with the pilot's wife was used to construct a 72-hour history of the pilot's activities. In the days leading up to the accident, the pilot completed some construction projects around the house and attended a church service. He received about 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before the accident. The pilot's wife observed no abnormalities in the pilot's behavior or sleep patterns on the day of the accident nor did she detect any unusual behavior from the pilot in the 3 days that preceded the accident. She further remarked that her husband would not have allowed the passenger to fly the airplane.

The passenger, age 66, held a student pilot certificate with an endorsement to conduct solo flights in a Czech Sport Aircraft Sportcruiser. He did not possess a medical certificate. A copy of the passenger's logbook, which included entries from 2013 to February 23, 2015, was provided by his family. According to the logbook, the passenger had accumulated about 36 hours of total flight experience at the time of the accident.

According to a 48-hour history provided by the passenger's wife, he stayed near the house during the 2 days that preceded the accident. The passenger and the pilot had planned the recreational flight a few weeks prior, and her husband had been talking about it in anticipation for several days. She remarked that her husband did not have any health issues and exercised regularly at a local gym; however, he was taking cholesterol medication. He normally went to sleep between 2200 and midnight and woke up around 0700. The passenger's wife did not observe any abnormalities in his behavior or sleep pattern in the days leading up to the accident.



AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to records collected from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the pilot's logbook, the pilot purchased the airplane in 2008 from the previous owner, who provided the accident pilot with 6 hours of instructional flight time in the airplane. At the time of purchase, the airplane had accrued a total of about 23 flight hours. About 6 months after he registered the airplane, the pilot visited the airplane manufacturer in Pontevedra, Spain, to receive supplemental flight training with the airplane's designer/builder.

According to FAA records, the amphibious airplane was manufactured in 2008 and registered to the pilot on May 30, 2008. The airplane was powered by a Rotax 912 ULS, a normally-aspirated, direct drive, 4 stroke liquid and air-cooled, 100 horsepower reciprocating engine. The aircraft logbooks were not recovered. A maintenance history was constructed from hand-written copies of the logbook entries that were provided by the pilot's mechanic. The airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed on February 20, 2015, when the airplane had about 146 total flight hours.

According to the pilot's wife, she and the pilot decided to sell the airplane because they were not flying as much as they had initially planned. The pilot demonstrated the airplane to two prospective buyers about 1 week before the accident. During each flight, he departed from LNA, performed a touch and go in the water near his house, and then returned to LNA. At the conclusion of one of the demonstration flights, a cylinder head temperature probe was replaced. According to the mechanic who replaced the probe, he completed a ground run in the airplane after installing the new probe and did not observe any anomalous temperature indications.

About 1 week before the accident, the pilot wrote to the manufacturer about a small vibration in the control stick that a potential buyer had noticed. The manufacturer responded to the pilot on the morning of the accident and stated that the vibration could be the result of an inadequately balanced engine or propeller. A representative of the mechanic stated that his client installed only "one propeller" in his history with the accident airplane. Maintenance records supplied by the pilot's mechanic indicated that he replaced a Warp Drive propeller with an Airmaster AP332R variable pitch propeller hub with three Warp Drive propeller blades in October 2012. Further, the mechanic stated that he did not observe any anomalies with the propeller following its installation. He did not recall if the propeller had been balanced.




METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1253 recorded weather observation at Boca Raton Airport, Boca Raton, Florida, included wind from 090° at 7 knots gusting 14 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, clouds scattered at 2,200 ft and 2,700 ft, and broken at 3,700 ft, temperature 26° C, dew point 20° C; barometric altimeter 30.23 inches of mercury.

According to an FAA carburetor icing probability chart, the recorded weather conditions were conducive to light icing at glide or cruise power.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest upright in swamp water on a southeasterly heading about 40 ft from a dirt road and 1 nm from the airplane's final GPS target. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. Most of the fuselage and empennage were consumed by fire. The right wing displayed fire damage, the wingtip was separated, and the inboard wood spar was broken at the fuselage. The elevator separated from the tail section and was located several feet behind the main wreckage. All three composite propeller blades had fractured and separated from the propeller hub.

Airframe

Postaccident examination of the airframe was completed at a secure facility by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector (FAA), the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge, and a representative from the engine manufacturer. The aileron flexball cable was traced from the cockpit flight controls to the right aileron through the center bellcrank. The left aileron was destroyed by fire; however, although thermally damaged, the left aileron flexball cable extended from the center bellcrank to an allen bolt that is normally coupled to the left aileron. The wing flap control system was not recovered.

Continuity of the elevator flexball control cable was confirmed from the elevator to the cockpit flight controls. The right and left occupants' rudder pedals moved synchronously, which actuated the center bellcrank assembly. About 6 inches of push rod, which extended from the rudder into the vertical stabilizer, was present; however, the rudder control tubes that connected to the push rod at the vertical stabilizer were not recovered.

The wing fuel tanks were destroyed by fire, but the fuselage tank remained intact and contained trace amounts of blue colored fuel that resembled 100 low lead aviation grade gasoline. The gascolator filter was free of debris, and the gascolator bowl was void of fuel.

The throttle and choke controls were confirmed from the throttle/choke quadrant to the carburetors.

All three composite propeller blades were separated and about 6 inches of each blade remained connected to the propeller hub. Each of the remaining blade sections displayed composite fibers that were thermally damaged. The propeller blade ferrules were covered in soot, and the propeller spinner exhibited blistering, consistent with fire damage. A section of propeller blade that measured about 15 inches in length was co-located with the main wreckage and did not exhibit any fire damage. The other two propeller blades were not recovered. A visual inspection of the propeller extension shaft found that it was about 10 inches in length, which was 4.72 inches beyond the engine manufacturer's maximum limitation.

The propeller hub and blade remnants were sent to the NTSB material's laboratory in Washington, D.C., for further examination. The control wires and metallic components of the pitch change mechanism within the hub were intact; however, the pitch change slide, which was composed of acetal, was melted and not attached to the drive screw.

Engine

The engine was intact and remained attached to the engine mounts. An attempt to rotate the crankshaft at the propeller flange was unsuccessful as a result of the thermal damage to the engine crankcase. A nut on the ignition housing was fused to the crankshaft, which precluded disassembly of the crankcase. A visual examination of the connecting rods and crankshaft through the cylinder portholes did not reveal any anomalies.

The electronic modules and external triggers to the engine's dual capacitor discharge ignition system were consumed by postcrash fire and could not be examined. The functionality of the ignition coils and cables could not be confirmed due to extensive damage. Both the stator and flywheel were damaged by fire, which precluded functional testing.

The engine driven fuel pump was destroyed by fire and could not tested. Both constant depression diaphragm carburetors were displaced from the intake manifolds and destroyed by fire, which precluded an inspection of the floats, fuel bowls, and diaphragms.

Both the top and bottom spark plugs were removed from each cylinder for inspection; each plug appeared grey in color, consistent with normal operating signatures. All 8 spark plug electrode gaps were within the gap range prescribed by the manufacturer. Rust deposits were observed along the rim of several of the spark plug cases.

The cylinder heads exhibited evidence of exposure to postcrash fire; however, each piston displayed signatures consistent with normal combustion, and all of the cylinder valve faces and seats were in place. Each cylinder bore exhibited cross-hatching with no indications of scoring or oil starvation. An inspection of the valves, valve springs, rocker arms, and push rods did not reveal any anomalies.

An inspection of the oil pump did not reveal any anomalies; however, the unit was thermally damaged and could not be functionally tested. The oil tank was partially damaged by fire, but remained intact and displayed some oil residue within the sump case. The oil cooler, oil filter, and oil lines were consumed by postcrash fire and could not be examined.

The engine reduction gearbox displayed some soot residue on the case; however, the internal gearset did not display any anomalies. Remnants of oil were observed within the gearbox.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Autopsies were performed on both occupants by District 15 - State of Florida, Office of the District Medical Examiner, West Palm Beach, Florida. The autopsy reports listed the cause of death for the pilot and the passenger as blunt impact injuries of head, neck, torso, and thermal injuries. The pilot's autopsy found significant diffuse, calcific, severe coronary artery disease with focal narrowing by 75-80% in both the left anterior descending and right coronary arteries and a scar along the septum.

Forensic toxicology testing was performed on specimens of the pilot and passenger by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Testing on specimens of the pilot detected the presence of cetirizine and losartan in the blood and urine and salicylate in the urine. Toxicology testing performed on specimens of the passenger detected cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine, losartan, naproxen, quinine, and salicylate in the urine. Cetirizine, chlorpheniramine (0.022 ug/ml), diphenhydramine (0.0031 ug/ml), and losartan were also identified in the passenger's cavity blood.

Cetirizine is an antihistamine available over the counter, commonly marketed with the name Zyrtec. It carries a warning, "When using this product, drowsiness may occur; avoid alcoholic drinks; alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness; be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery." Chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine are all sedating antihistamines, and each carries a warning about operating machinery due to drowsiness or "marked drowsiness." Chlorpheniramine is commonly sold under the names Chlortrimeton and Chlor-tab; therapeutic blood levels are between 0.0100 and 0.0400 ug/ml. Diphenhydramine is available in a large number of products marketed as treatments for cold symptoms and allergies. Additionally, diphenhydramine is used as the active ingredient in a number of over the counter sleep aids. Therapeutic blood levels are between 0.0250 and 0.1120 ug/ml. Finally, hydroxyzine is a prescription sedating antihistamine commonly sold under the names Atarax and Vistaril.

Due to their warnings of drowsiness, all four of the antihistamines found in the passenger's blood meet the FAA's criteria for waiting 5 maximum dosing intervals before flight.



NTSB Identification: ERA15FA141
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 02, 2015 in Boynton Beach, FL
Aircraft: COLYAER SL FREEDOM, registration: N787Z
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 March 2, 2015, about 1252 eastern standard time, a Colyaer Freedom S100, N787Z, was destroyed after it impacted terrain and a postcrash fire ensued near Boynton Beach, Florida. The airline transport pilot and student pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, that departed from Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA), West Palm Beach, Florida at 1218.

Preliminary radar data indicated that the airplane had been operating over a wildlife refuge area for approximately 25 minutes prior to the accident. According to witnesses who were fishing about a half mile from the accident site, they also observed the airplane flying over the wildlife refuge, and then heard the airplane engine make a sound that resembled a cylinder misfire, similar to what they had heard their boat motor do. The engine then "revved up" almost instantaneously, which was followed by a loud boom about thirty seconds later. The witnesses then rushed to the accident site, and observed smoke coming from the wreckage. About a minute later a postcrash fire ensued.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane had come to rest upright in a swamp on a southeasterly heading about 40 feet from a berm. All major components of the airplane were accounted for. The wings had remained attached to the fuselage and exhibited some fire damage. Both wing flaps and a portion of the left wing aileron were destroyed by fire. A portion of the right wing tip, that measured about 70 inches in length, was impact separated. The fuselage, with the exception of the cockpit hull, and the empennage, were completely destroyed by fire. The elevator had separated from the tail section and was located several feet behind the main wreckage. All three composite propeller blades were fracture separated from the propeller hub. A section of propeller blade that measured about 15 inches in length was co-located with the main wreckage. The other two propeller blades were not recovered. Examination of the accident site and wreckage revealed that the airplane was not rotating around the vertical axis at impact.

Postaccident examination of the airframe was conducted After recovery from the accident site. Continuity of the elevator flex control cable was confirmed from the elevator to the elevator flight controls. Both left and right aileron flex cables were attached to the aileron and displayed continuity to the center bell crank. The wing flap control system was not recovered. The airplane was equipped with three fuel tanks; a left wing tank, a right wing tank, and a fuselage tank. Both wing tanks were destroyed by fire. The fuselage tank remained intact; however, the fuel lines were burned and the fuel vent was impact damaged. The gascolator filter was free of debris and the gascolator bowl was void of contamination. The right and left occupants' rudder pedals moved synchronously, which actuated the center bell crank assembly and push rods. There was approximately six inches of push rod, which extended from the rudder into the vertical stabilizer. The rudder control tubes that connected to the push rod at the vertical stabilizer were not recovered. The throttle and choke controls were confirmed from the throttle/choke quadrant to the carburetors.

The pilot held a FAA airline transport pilot license with a rating for airplane multi-engine land. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on February 4, 2015. At that time, he reported 19,400 hours of total flight experience of; of which, about 149 hours were in the airplane make and model.

A handheld Garmin 496 global positioning system receiver was recovered from the cockpit and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory, Washington, DC, for download.

Baking Duce, N9898R: Accident occurred April 01, 2017 at Cochise County Airport (P33), Willcox, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Scottsdale, Arizona 

http://registry.faa.gov/N9898R 

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 01, 2017 in Willcox, AZ
Aircraft: RONALD J BENDER BAKING DUCE, registration: N9898R


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

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Date: 01-APR-17
Time: 18:54:00Z
Regis#: N9898R
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: BAKING DUECE
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: WILLCOX
State: ARIZONA


On Saturday, April 1, at about noon, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office was advised of a “plane crash” at the Cochise County Airport, Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said.

Sheriff's deputies responded, along with Willcox Fire Department, and located a single-engine airplane that appeared to have significant damage. The 55-year-old pilot and sole occupant received a head injury on impact but refused transport to a hospital, said Capas.

The initial information received indicates that the aircraft took off from Lordsburg Municipal Airport, New Mexico,  enroute to Casa Grande Municipal Airport, Arizona. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and will continue the investigation.

This is the second hard landing in the Willcox area in less than a month. The other was between Bowie and San Simon. There were no injuries.

Original article can be found here: http://www.willcoxrangenews.com

North American AT-6D (SNJ-5) Texan, Rosetta Aviation Inc., N29965: Incident occurred April 01, 2017 near Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD), Charlotte County, Florida

http://registry.faa.gov/N29965

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aircraft landed 1/2 mile south of the airport in a field after reporting an engine failure.  

Date: 01-APR-17
Time: 20:08:00Z
Regis#: N29965
Aircraft Make: NORTH AMERICAN
Aircraft Model: AT-6D
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: PUNTA GORDA
State: FLORIDA




PUNTA GORDA, Fla. A plane force landed about half a mile northwest of the Punta Gorda Airport, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said.

The emergency landing occurred around 2 p.m. A North American SNJ-5 lost power and was unable to reach the runway, deputies said. The pilot was able to land the plane safely on the belly of the aircraft in a nearby cow pasture.

The pilot was uninjured and the copilot suffered only minor injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.

No other injuries were reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Source:  http://www.winknews.com

PUNTA GORDA, Fla - - A plane force landed just half a mile from the Punta Gorda Airport, Saturday.

Charlotte County Deputies responded to a cow pasture where the crash took place.

A North American SNJ-5 had lost power and was unable to make it to the runway, deputies said.

The pilot was able to safely belly land the aircraft and was uninjured. The co-pilot suffered only a minor scratch to his arm.

No cows were injured in the landing.

Cessna P206B Super Skylane, Keystone Seaplane, LLC, N8615Z: Fatal accident occurred September 18, 2015 in Spring Hill, Hernando County, Florida

Gary Cohen


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N8615Z

NTSB Identification: ERA15FA361
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 18, 2015 in Spring Hill, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/29/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA U206, registration: N8615Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

The commercial pilot departed in his amphibious, single-engine airplane on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan for his home seaplane base. When the pilot arrived near his destination, he cancelled his flight plan with air traffic control (ATC), then circled in the area before requesting another IFR clearance to an airport that was equipped with an instrument approach. ATC cleared the pilot for the approach. A review of radar data indicated that the approach was normal until the airplane passed over the final approach fix; it then went off course and entered a steep descent into a residential neighborhood.

Postaccident examination of the airframe, engine, and data downloaded from the electronic engine monitor revealed no mechanical deficiencies that would have precluded normal operation before impact. The pilot’s logbook revealed that he had been actively training for his flight instructor certificate for instrument airplane and had recent IFR experience. The pilot’s toxicology testing was positive for metabolites of cocaine; however, it could not be determined if he was impaired at the time of the accident. The pilot was also under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for not reporting his past use of illegal drugs and suicidal thoughts. The FAA had conducted two psychological evaluations and a review was in process regarding the status of his medical certificate at the time of the accident. However, the investigation could not determine whether any underlying psychiatric or psychological conditions contributed to the pilot’s behavior at the time of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain a stabilized instrument approach, which resulted in a loss of control.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 18, 2015, about 0855 eastern daylight time, a Cessna U206E amphibious airplane, N8615Z, collided with terrain near Spring Hill, Florida. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Keystone Seaplane, LLC, Odessa, Florida, and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Page Airport (FMY), Fort Myers, Florida, about 0727.

A review of air traffic control communications provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed the pilot's original flight plan was from FMY to the Lake Keystone Seaplane Base (57FL), Odessa, Florida, where the airplane was based. When the pilot arrived near 57FL, he told air traffic control that he had the seaplane base in sight and cancelled his IFR flight plan at 0833. A review of radar data revealed that the airplane then made a series of turns in the vicinity of the seaplane base before the pilot requested an IFR clearance to the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV), Brooksville, Florida. The pilot was cleared by air traffic control for the ILS RWY 9 instrument approach into BKV. Radar data revealed that the airplane was established on the approach until reaching the final approach fix, when it descended below the glideslope and radar contact was lost about 1 mile from the airport. There were no distress calls from the pilot. The last recorded radar return indicated the airplane was at an altitude of 625 ft mean sea level (msl) and a ground speed of 68 knots.

A handheld Garmin GPS 796 unit was located in the wreckage. Data downloaded from the unit revealed the airplane departed FMY about 0726:40, proceeded to Keystone Lake, circled the area for several minutes before proceeding to and executing the instrument approach into BKV. The last GPS data point was recorded at 0851:22, about 4 minutes before the accident. At that time, the airplane was on a heading of 081° at 2,121 ft msl and a ground speed of 95 knots.

Several witnesses observed the airplane right before it impacted the ground. One witness stated that he first heard the airplane's engine "cut out." When he looked up, he saw the airplane come out of the clouds and it "started to spiral down" over his house. The airplane then veered to the north before the sound of an impact was heard. A second witness said he heard the airplane approaching and the engine "got extremely loud, almost at full throttle" just before it came into his view. The witness said the airplane was at an "extremely angled," nose-down pitch attitude and was descending at a high speed. He did not see the impact due to trees.

PILOT INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on August 11, 2014. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of September 17, 2015, he had accrued a total of 559 flight hours, of which 320.7 hours were in the accident airplane make and model. He also had 55.5 hours of simulated instrument time, and 15.8 hours of actual instrument experience. In the 6 months preceding the accident, the pilot logged 3.0 hours of actual instrument time, of which 1.8 hours were logged two days before the accident while receiving instruction for his instrument flight instructor rating. The instruction included holding procedures and six instrument approaches. He also logged 5.8 hours of simulated instrument time in the 6 months preceding the accident, which included navigation and standard terminal arrival routes.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a float-equipped Cessna U206E. It was a six-seat, high-wing airplane that was powered by a Continental Motors IO-550F, 300 hp, six-cylinder engine equipped with a three-bladed McCauley propeller. The airplane's last annual inspection was completed on August 12, 2015, at an airframe total time of 2,898 hours. The engine had a total of 301 hours since factory overhaul.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The weather conditions reported at BKV at 0853, included wind from 030° at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, overcast ceiling 500 ft (variable between 400 and 800 ft), temperature 24° C, dew point 22° C, and an altimeter setting of 29.84 inches of Hg.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest in the backyard of a private residence. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site, and there was no postimpact fire. The point of initial impact was a stand of trees that were about 80 ft tall. The airplane then collided with a fence and the ground before coming to rest about 75 ft from the initial impact point. Severed tree limbs, the left elevator, the left elevator tip fairing, a tire, and a propeller blade were scattered along the wreckage path. The main wreckage included the propeller, engine, fuselage, tail section, and both pontoons. Several of the severed tree limbs exhibited flat, 45° cut surfaces with black paint transfer.

Examination of the main wreckage revealed it was twisted, crushed, and partially lying on its right side. Flight control continuity was established for all major flight control surfaces. The flaps were fully retracted and the wheels were extended. The elevator trim tab was in the 10° down position.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage and sustained impact damage. The fuel tank was breached, and first responders reported fuel draining from the wing upon their arrival at the scene. The right wing also sustained impact damage and had separated from the fuselage at the wing root. First responders reported fuel draining from the right wing's tank; in addition, about 5 gallons of 100LL fuel were drained during the recovery process. The two header tanks appeared to be undamaged. The fuel selector valve was selected to the right tank. The firewall fuel strainer remained attached to the firewall and the bowl was full of fuel. Some fuel was also found in the engine-driven fuel pump and fuel manifold valve. No evidence of water or contamination was observed. According to a fuel provider at FMY, the airplane was topped off with 36.5 gallons of 100LL fuel the day before the accident.

The engine remained partially attached to the airframe by control cables, and the three-bladed propeller had separated from the engine at its hub. The spinner exhibited rotational damage. One blade had separated from the propeller hub and was found in the initial impact crater. The blade was bent forward. The other two blades remained in the hub, which was located about 4-ft from the fuselage. The second and third blades were twisted.

The engine crankcase sustained impact damage to the lower forward area and was leaking oil. The top spark plugs were removed and exhibited normal wear as per the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The rocker covers were removed and the engine was manually rotated. Compression and valve train continuity was established on all but the No. 6 cylinder. Further examination revealed the push rod and push rod tube for the No. 6 cylinder was impact-damaged.

The left magneto remained attached to the engine; however, the right had separated from its mounting pad and remained attached via the ignition leads. When the engine was rotated, spark was produced to each of the left magneto's ignition leads. An electric drill was used to spin the right magneto, and spark was produced to each ignition lead.

The fuel manifold valve was removed from the engine and disassembled. A small amount of fuel was in the valve and the diaphragm was intact. The fuel screen was absent of debris. Although the No. 1 injector sustained some impact damage, each of the injectors were removed from the engine and found absent of debris. The fuel pump was removed from the engine and fuel was present in the pump. The pump rotated freely when turned and the drive coupling was intact. The throttle body and metering unit were absent of debris and the throttle body moved freely when the throttle arm was moved manually.

The vacuum pump was removed and disassembled. The pump rotated smoothly and the carbon vanes were intact. The interior of the drum was absent of any rotational scoring.

The oil pump remained attached to the engine. The oil pressure relief valve was removed and inspected. The plunger and spring were intact. The valve seat was inspected, and no damage was noted. The oil filter was removed and the filament was removed. It was absent of debris. The oil sump and cooler sustained impact damage.

The propeller governor remained attached to the engine, but sustained impact damage. The control arm was in the full forward position.

Physical examination of the engine revealed there were no discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation prior to impact.

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments (JPI) EDM-930 engine monitor. The data downloaded from the unit included the accident flight and began at 0713:02 and ended at 0855:13. Eleven engine parameters were recorded every six seconds. These parameters included exhaust gas temperature, cylinder heat temperature, oil pressure and temperature, manifold pressure, outside air temperature, turbocharger inlet temperature, engine rpm, fuel remaining and fuel used, fuel flow, and battery voltage/current. The data was plotted on a graph and reviewed. The recorded engine data did not reveal any anomalies that would indicate abnormal operation of the engine before impact.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was conducted on the pilot by the Florida Medical Examiner's Office - District 5, Leesburg, Florida. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

Toxicology findings from the FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory were positive for the following metabolites of cocaine:

Anhydroecgonine Methyl Ester detected in the liver and cavity blood.

Benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester detected in cavity blood.

The 56-year-old pilot had a history of illegal drug use and suicidal thoughts. At the time of the accident, he was under investigation by the FAA for not reporting this past history on his application for a medical certificate.

As a result of these findings, the NTSB's Chief Medical Officer conducted a postaccident review of the pilot's FAA Medical File and Medical Case Review. According to the NTSB Medical Factual Report, the pilot initially applied for and received an FAA medical certificate and student pilot certificate in 2006. Records in the FAA file indicated that the pilot was pulled over for reckless driving on September 15, 2007, and, after a search of his vehicle, he was arrested and later convicted for possession of 6 grams of marijuana and related paraphernalia. He completed 6 weeks of drug treatment and probation as a result of this conviction, and when the FAA became aware of this event, they reviewed pertinent records pertaining to the conviction. In 2009, the FAA determined that the pilot was eligible for a third-class medical certificate.

On August 11, 2014, the FAA issued the pilot a second-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. At that time, he reported the use of testosterone and vitamin B12 on the medical application.

On September 15, 2014, a call was made to the FAA's Hotline regarding the pilot's mental status and behavior, including the fact that the pilot had recently sued his homeowner's association and neighbors over complaints they had made about his flying.

On September 25, 2014, the FAA began its investigation into the allegations and required the pilot to provide information regarding an incident in June 2007, where the pilot had been committed to a psychiatric ward at the request of the police. According to a copy of the police report obtained separately from the FAA medical file, this was the result of an episode where he had been using cocaine, had made comments to friends and family about suicide, and had been shooting guns inside his residence. According to friends and family, he was threatening to commit suicide using the firearm in his hand at the time.

As part of the ongoing FAA investigation to determine the pilot's eligibility for a medical certificate, complete psychiatric and psychological evaluations were requested in February 2015. The reports from these evaluations are contained in his FAA file; in each, the pilot denied the use of any illicit substance and reported only the occasional use of alcohol. No psychiatric or psychological diagnosis was made by either practitioner who examined the pilot. These reports were provided to the FAA in a letter dated April 16, 2015.

On August 10, 2015, the FAA referred all of the medical files on the pilot to the FAA's psychology consultant, requesting an evaluation and determination of the pilot's eligibility for a medical certificate. No final determination had been made at the time of the accident.

Gary Cohen and his fiance Ericka Ciancarelli with his plane at Bartow Municipal Airport (KBOW), Florida.

















NTSB Identification: ERA15FA361 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 18, 2015 in Spring Hill, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA U206E, registration: N8615Z
Injuries: 1 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 September 18, 2015, about 0855 eastern daylight time, N8615Z, a Cessna U206E floated-equipped airplane, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain near Spring Hill, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Keystone Seaplane, LLC, Odessa, Florida, and operated by the pilot. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Page Airport (FMY), Fort Myers, Florida, about 0727.The personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A preliminary review of air traffic control communications provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed the pilot's original flight plan was from FMY to the Lake Keystone Seaplane Base (57FL), Odessa, Florida, where the airplane was based. When the pilot arrived at 57FL, he told air traffic control that he had the seaplane base in sight and cancelled his IFR flight plan at 0833. A preliminary review of radar data revealed that the airplane then made a series of turns in the vicinity of the seaplane base before the pilot requested an IFR clearance to the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV), Brooksville, Florida. The pilot was cleared by air traffic control for the ILS RWY 9 instrument approach into BKV. Radar data revealed the airplane was established on the approach until reaching the final approach fix, when it descended below the glide-scope and radar contact was lost about a mile from the airport. There were no distress calls from the pilot.

Several witnesses observed the airplane right before it impacted the ground. One witness stated that he first heard the airplane's engine "cut out." When he looked up, he saw the airplane come out of the clouds and it "started to spiral down" over his house. The airplane then veered to the north before the sound of an impact was heard. A second witness said he heard the airplane approaching and the engine "got extremely loud, almost at full throttle" just before it came into his view. The witness said the airplane was at an "extremely angled" nose-down pitch and was at a high rate of speed. He did not see the impact due to trees.

The airplane came to rest in the backyard of a private residence. An on-scene examination of the airplane revealed that all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the site and there was no post-impact fire. The point of initial impact was a stand of trees that were about 80 feet tall. The airplane then collided with a fence and the ground before coming to rest about 75-feet from where it initially struck the trees. Scattered along the wreckage path were severed tree limbs, the left elevator, the left elevator tip fairing, a nose-wheel tire, and a propeller blade. The main wreckage included the propeller, engine, fuselage, tail section and both pontoons. Several of the severed tree limbs exhibited flat, 45-degree fracture surfaces with black paint transfer.

Examination of the main wreckage revealed it was twisted, crushed and partially lying on its right side. Flight control continuity was established for all major flight control surfaces. The flaps were fully retracted and the landing gear was extended. The elevator trim tab was in the 10-degree down position.

The left wing remained attached to the fuselage and sustained impact damage. The fuel tank was breached and first responders reported fuel draining from the wing upon their arrival at the scene. The right wing also sustained impact damage and had separated from the fuselage at the wing root. First responders reported fuel draining from the right wing's tank; however, about 5 gallons of 100LL fuel was drained during the recovery process. The two header tanks appeared to be undamaged. The fuel selector valve was selected to the right tank. The firewall fuel strainer remained attached to the firewall and the bowl was full of fuel. Some fuel was also found in the engine-driven fuel pump and fuel manifold valve. No evidence of water or contamination was observed.

According to a fuel provider at FMY, the pilot had requested the airplane be topped off with fuel and purchased 36.5 gallons of 100LL the day before the accident.

The weather conditions reported at BKV, at 0853, included wind from 030 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast ceiling 500 (with it variable between 400 and 800 feet), temperature 24 degrees C, dewpoint 22 degrees C, and a barometric pressure setting of 29.84 inches of Hg.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine sea, and instrument airplane. His last FAA second class medical was issued on August 11, 2014. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of September 17, 2015, he had accrued a total of 559 total flight hours, of which 320.7 hours were in a single-engine seaplane. He also had 55.5 hours of simulated instrument time and 15.8 hours of actual instrument experience.

Grumman American AA-5B Tiger, Annies Things LLC, N425AE and Cessna 170B, N8082A: Fatal accident occurred April 01, 2017 near Massey Ranch Airpark (X50), New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 

ERA17FA143A - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


ERA17FA143B - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Gary L. Somerton: http://registry.faa.gov/N8082A 

Annies Things LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N425AE

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA143A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 01, 2017 in Edgewater, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 170B, registration: N8082A
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA143B
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 01, 2017 in Edgewater, FL
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AMERICAN AVN. CORP. AA-5B, registration: N425AE
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 April 1, 2017, about 0842 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N8082D, and a Grumman American AA-5B, N425AE, were destroyed during an in-flight collision near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The airline transport pilot flying the Cessna and the airline transport pilot flying the Grumman were both fatally injured. The airplanes were part of a formation flight that departed from Spruce Creek Airport (7FL6), Daytona Beach, Florida, about 0839, and was destined for Arthur Dunn Airport (X21), Titusville, Florida. No flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the personal formation flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

Both accident airplanes were participating in a formation flight with three other airplanes. All five pilots participating in the formation flight were members of a pilot group based at 7FL6. On the morning of the accident, members of the group were flying to X21 to attend a monthly breakfast event.

The five-airplane formation flight involved in the accident included a Great Lakes biplane, the accident Cessna, the accident Grumman, a Grumman AA-1C (Lynx), and an American Champion 8KCAB (Super Decathlon), all of which took off from 7FL6 in elements. The flight leader was flying the biplane and the accident Grumman took off in formation first, followed by the Cessna and the Lynx taking off in formation next, followed by the Decathlon.

After takeoff from 7FL6, the flight initially formed into a five airplane "Vic" or "V" formation, with the flight leader in the biplane at the apex, and the rest of the flight in echelon with the Grumman in the No. 2 position, and the Decathlon in the No. 5 position, to the left of the flight leader, and the Cessna in the No. 3 position, and the Lynx in the No. 4 position, to the right of the flight leader.

The formation flight then turned south towards X21. Due to the position of the sun, the flight leader decided to change to a left echelon formation where the airplanes would be arranged diagonally, to his left, with each airplane being stacked slightly low, behind, and to the left of the airplane ahead. This arrangement allowed the pilots to avoid the sun glare. This would require the Cessna (No. 3) and the Lynx (No. 4) to transition across from right to left behind the leader. The Grumman would remain in the No. 2 position to the left and aft of the leader, the Cessna in the No. 3 position to the left and aft of the Grumman, the Lynx in the No. 4 position to the left and aft of the Cessna, and the Decathlon in the No.5 position to the left and aft of the Lynx.

According to the flight leader, moments after he commanded the Cessna and the Lynx to the left, in the corner of his peripheral vision at approximately his 7 o'clock position, he saw a "flash" or something white, like the bottom of an airplane.

According to the pilot of the Lynx, when the flight leader commanded the Cessna, and himself to the left, he heard the flight leader transmit "cleared to cross," and he observed the Cessna start to move to the left "slow and normal." He stayed with the Cessna, and when it was almost on the left echelon bearing line, he saw the it move into position behind the Grumman. He then suddenly saw "parts" coming back towards him on his right side, along with what appeared to be "vapor." He then saw the Grumman abruptly pitch up, and go past him above and to his right. The Grumman then looked like it was entering a loop as the airplane's nose was already past vertical and he could see the top of the airplane. He then observed something on the right side of the Cessna move upward before its tail began to "slew to the left," and disappeared from view.

The biplane and the Lynx then broke formation, with the biplane immediately pulling up and turning hard left, and the Lynx entering a left 60° banked turn. The flight leader in the biplane could see parts of the airplanes falling to the ground, and he could see the Cessna descending like a falling leaf with what appeared to be the right wing folded over. The flight leader then began to circle the accident site, and reported the accident over the radio to an air traffic controller at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, (EVB), New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He then continued to circle the accident site until emergency responders arrived.

According to witnesses who were driving on Interstate Highway 95 (I-95), they saw the formation flight traveling southbound. They observed that the formation flight was about 1/4 mile west of I-95 when the collision occurred, and they observed the "wing" on one of the airplanes come off, the airplane tumble, and then rapidly descend tail low, until they lost sight of it behind a tree line. They also saw the other airplane descend rapidly, almost straight down, until losing sight of it. The witnesses also watched as parts from both airplanes descend to the ground with one piece landing in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes. Moments after the collision occurred, another formation flight flew north along the east side of I-95.

Examination of the accident site revealed that a 1/4-mile-long debris field, with most the debris being contained in a 1,036 ft long by 290 ft wide section. The Grumman and Cessna came to rest approximately 220 ft apart.

Examination of the wreckage of the Cessna revealed that the monocoque structure of the aft fuselage was completely separated from the rest of the airplanes structure, just forward of the empennage. The empennage was attached to the rest of the airplane by the control cables for the elevator, rudder, and pitch trim, which were twisted around each other multiple times. Further examination of the aft fuselage and empennage also revealed the presence of paint transfers, which matched the trim color of the Grumman. These were present on the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer which had been crushed back, the right horizontal stabilizer, and the right side of the aft fuselage.

The Cessna's right wing flap came to rest approximately 397 ft northeast of the main wreckage of the Cessna. The inboard section of the right aileron was missing, the right aileron control cable had been severed, and the area of the wing just forward of the right wing flap mounting location, displayed evidence of propeller strikes, and was missing large sections of its structure.

Examination of the wreckage of the Grumman revealed that no major portions of the airplane were missing. The leading edges of the propeller blades were damaged and displayed semicircular gouges

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and maintenance records, the Cessna was manufactured in 1952. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2016. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 4596.8 total hours of operation.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the Grumman was manufactured in 1977. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on September 1, 2016. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 1673.4 total hours of operation.

According to FAA records, the pilot of the Cessna held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine, airplane-multi engine, and instrument airplane; a flight engineer certificate with a rating for flight engineer turbojet powered; and a mechanic certificate with ratings for airframe and powerplant. He also held type ratings for the B-737, B-757, B-767, B-777, BE-1900, and BE-300. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on February 10, 2017. He had accrued about 14,620 total hours of flight experience.

According to FAA records, the pilot of the Grumman held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multi-engine land, and commercial privileges for airplane single-engine land, and airplane single-engine sea. She also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine, airplane-multi engine, and instrument airplane; a flight engineer certificate with a rating for flight engineer turbojet powered; and a ground instructor certificate with ratings for advanced and instrument. She also held type ratings for the A-330, B-747, B-757, B-767, BE-1900, and CE-510S. Her most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on October 19, 2016. She had accrued about 11,368 total hours of flight experience.

The wreckage of both airplanes was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

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.






Obituary for Gary Somerton

Gary Lee Somerton, a United Airlines Captain and resident of Port Orange, FL, died unexpectedly on April 1, 2017 at the age of 57.

Gary is survived by his wife Christine Russell Banks; his children, Kyliegh, Cole, Andrew Banks and Katherine Banks; his siblings, David Somerton of Oklahoma City, OK, Linda Foster and Patty (Frank) Merriam, all of Pittsburgh, PA; and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, long-time friends and co-workers. He is predeceased by his parents John and Ruth (Fenton) Somerton and his sister Judith McCaskey.

Gary was born in Pittsburgh, PA on February 16, 1960. He graduated from Brashear High School and Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics where he studied aviation technology and aircraft maintenance. He began his career in aviation as an airplane mechanic, ultimately achieving his dream of becoming a pilot. He has served United Airlines as a pilot for more than 20 years, most recently as a Captain of the 737. On November 21, 2015, Gary and Christine were married in a beachside service in Ormond Beach, FL. 

They settled with their four children at the Spruce Creek Fly-In, where they embraced the family lifestyle of the surrounding aviation community. Gary pursued his passion for flying beyond his career as a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA Chapter 288), serving as an Eagle pilot and an Aviation Explorer volunteer. He took great pleasure in gatherings at “The Tree” and his many gaggle flights. In addition to spending time with his family and fellow-aviation enthusiasts, Gary enjoyed the beach and Jimmy Buffet tunes.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 AM on Friday, April 14 at the Port Orange Presbyterian Church located at 4662 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange, FL 32128. The Reverend Calvin Gittner will officiate. Memorial donations may be offered to the Gary Somerton Memorial Fund administered by EAA Chapter 288, which is intended to support aviation education for youth (https://squareup.com/market/eaa-chapter-288 ). Condolences may be shared with the family at lohmanfuneralhomes.com

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to friends and neighbors, the Port Orange Presbyterian Church and to Gary’s extended aviation family for their outpouring of love and support.

Read more here:  http://www.lohmanfuneralhomes.com




Anne Edmonson and Gary Somerton were both airline pilots. They both shared their love of aviation with the young.

And during a tragic flight last Saturday they both died when their small planes collided while flying in formation over Edgewater.

The Edgewater Police Department on Thursday released their identities. Edmonson, 66, and Somerton, 57, both lived at the Spruce Creek Fly-In. They died in the crash as they flew near Interstate 95 and State Road 442, officials said. The planes left a quarter-mile-long trail of debris.

Edmonson and Somerton had been flying in formation about 8:45 a.m. with at least four other aircraft when the accident occurred, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The Cessna in the crash was registered to Somerton, according to an NTSB database. The other plane was a Grumman Tiger.

Both Edmonson and Somerton had airline transport pilot ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the FAA website. Edmonson, though, had passed the mandatory retirement age of 65.

Somerton was a 737 pilot at United Airlines, according to Lynn O’Donnell, a friend. Officials from the airline did not return a phone message left Thursday.

Both Edmonson and Somerton were members of the EAA Chapter 288, which encompasses the Daytona Beach area, said chapter president Matt Simmons in a phone interview.

“They were both very active members of the chapter and it’s a loss for the community and for the chapter,” Simmons said.

Simmons declined to comment about the flight in which the two members perished. But he said it was not an EAA-sponsored flight.

“The accident had nothing to do with the chapter,” Simmons said.

The chapter has set up the Gary Somerton Memorial Fund to support programs encouraging youth to get involved in aviation, Simmons said.

“Gary was active in supporting youth programs through the EAA,” Simmons said.

Edmonson also had an interest in youth and aviation. She participated in a “Girls Fly” event on March 11 at the Ocala International Airport during Women in Aviation Week, according to a story from the Ocala Star-Banner. The event was designed to increase girls’ interest in aviation.

Edmonson told the girls and others during the event that she began flying when she was 38 and was a retired airline captain. Edmonson said she was a former captain at Delta Airlines and had flown a Boeing 767 for about four years during a 25-year-career which included flying cargo as well as international flights to South America, Europe and Asia, the Star-Banner reported.

Todd Gunther, an investigator with the NTSB, described during a press conference last week what witnesses saw of the two aviators’ last flight.

“According to witness statements, they viewed a formation flight that was in the area of I-95,” Gunther said. “As the aircraft were passing over I-95, according to witnesses, two of the aircraft came together and then the aircraft descended and impacted in the field behind me.”

The debris included large pieces of the aircraft. After hitting the ground, the Cessna 170 and the Grumman ended in up in two separate locations approximately 200 yards apart. Gunther said.

Gunther said it’s believed the planes took off from Spruce Creek Airport. 

Original article can be found here:   http://www.news-journalonline.com





EDGEWATER — Two airplanes that collided in the air over Interstate 95 on Saturday left a quarter-mile-long line of debris before hitting the ground in a wooded field and killing two pilots, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The doomed aircraft, a Cessna 170 and a Grumman American AA-5B, were flying in formation with at least four others when the two aircraft hit each other as they flew past over I-95, said Todd Gunther, the NTSB investigator leading a team looking into crash.

In a press briefing Sunday afternoon near the site of the crash at I-95 and State Road 442, Gunther said 9-1-1 dispatchers were called around 8:45 a.m. about the incident by people who witnessed it.

“According to witness statements, they viewed a formation flight that was in the area of I-95,” Gunther said. “As the aircraft were passing over I-95, according to witnesses, two of the aircraft came together and then the aircraft descended and impacted in the field behind me.”

Gunther said the identities of the pilots will be released either by the Medical Examiners’ Office or local authorities, which in this case, is the Edgewater Police Department, said city spokesperson Jill Danigel.

The debris spread from I-95 and extended a quarter-mile to the crash scene. The debris included large pieces of the aircraft. After hitting the ground, the Cessna 170 and the Grumman ended in up in two separate locations approximately 200 yards apart. Gunther said.

Gunther said it’s believed the planes took off from Spruce Creek Airport. Investigators are working to determine where they were going.

A preliminary report about the incident will be made public in 10 days and a final report with photos, research and diagrams will be completed in a year. The Federal Aviation Administration is helping with the investigation, Gunther said.

A preliminary inspection of the aircraft at the crash scene showed they were functioning well, Gunther said.

“What we know so far looking at the physical wreckage is that there is no indication of any type of a control failure on either aircraft,” Gunther said. “We have no type of structural failure that occurred before the impact sequence. In other words, all the wings, the tail, the fuselage was in place.”

The preliminary inspection at the crash site also did not reveal any type of power failure in the aircraft. Before the midair collision, witnesses said they saw the Grumman airplane was to the right of the Cessna 170, he said.

“Before the aircraft came together, the Grumman was to the right and aft of the Cessna 170 when they came together,” Gunther said. “We don’t know if the Cessna 170 decelerated, we don’t know if the Grumman accelerated and that’s something we are going to look at.”

At this point, investigators don’t whether the airplanes ascended or descended before the collision, Gunther said.

The wreckage of the aircraft, which was removed Sunday afternoon around 4, will be taken to a secure facility. Both airplanes will be reconstructed to look for evidence, weather condition and review them.

Investigators will also be looking at the aspect of “man, machine and environment” during the discovery phase, Gunther said.

“We will be looking at the flight physiology of both of the occupants of the aircraft,” he said.

Story, video and photo gallery:   http://www.news-journalonline.com



EDGEWATER, Fla. —  Investigators removed the two aircraft that collided midair Saturday from where they crashed to the ground in Edgewater.

The planes will be taken to a secure location where the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct a 2-D reconstruction.

The 2-D reconstruction will have a crew laying down the debris from the crash and putting it back together.

The NTSB is searching for paint-to-paint transfers, as they work to figure out how the two pilots collided.

Earlier in the day, Todd Gunther, the lead NTSB investigator said it’s unclear if the Cessna 170B and the Grumman American AA-5B Tiger accelerated or decelerated before crashing.

"There is no indication of any type of control failure on either aircraft. We have no type of structural failure that occurred before the impact sequence. In other words, all the wings, tail, the fuselage, was in place, we have no indication of any type of power plant failure from any aircraft and we have no type of indication or evidence of any type of in flight fire or explosion," Gunther said.

Both pilots, a man and a woman, died in the crash.

Witnesses said there were about six private planes flying in formation after leaving the Spruce Creek Fly-In.

Investigators say they will have a preliminary report in 7-10 days; however, it'll be a year before they release the factual report determining exactly what happened in the sky Saturday morning.


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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Megan O'Keefe told Fox 35's David Williams that she and her husband saw two planes crash in Edgewater Saturday morning.

"The pilots acted very heroically," She said.

Megan O'Keefe and her family were driving to their daughter's soccer game Saturday when her husband said, "'Look! There's a plane and I think it's going down.'"

She said she looked up and saw five planes, three in formation and two in a dive.

"The two of them, it was going really fast and was going to the ground," She said.

Horrified, she called 911.

"It was very intense," She said. "Nothing we've ever seen before. Very surreal like out of a movie. It was a very scary moment."

She says after the two planes collided, pieces began falling out of the sky.

"At first we thought maybe it was a wing coming at us and lots of debris going all over the road," She said. "It could have crashed into my car. I had my entire family in the car with me."

Then, she saw a plane seemingly flying above the crash site.

O'Keefe showed Fox 35 cellphone she took moments after the tragedy, as she and her husband ran into the woods hoping to save someone, but there was nothing they could do. Both pilots were dead.

"My heart goes out to the friends and family of these victims," She said.

She said the pilots died as heroes.

"...They landed in the woods when they could have landed on 95 and it would have caused a lot of other casualties," She said.

Story and video:  http://www.fox35orlando.com






















Two people were killed Saturday after two small planes collided midair and then slammed into a wooded area near Edgewater, authorities said.

The two single-engine planes crashed just after 9 a.m. about a half a mile west of Interstate 95 near State Road 442, according to authorities. Witnesses said the planes were flying in formation with several others just before the collision.

“A witness reported seeing two small airplanes collide, separate and fall to the ground,” said Edgewater Police Chief David Arcieri.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen identified the planes as a Cessna 170 and a Grumman American AA5B, a four-seat light aircraft built in the late 1970s and ’80s.

The two pilots killed were not identified Saturday and authorities did not answer questions about where the planes had taken off from. Investigators said they did not believe there were others on the planes.

Photos, however, showed the Cessna’s tail number as N8082A. According to an FAA database, the Cessna is registered to Gary Somerton, of Port Orange. Property records show that Somerton owns a home at the Spruce Creek Fly-In community, which is about 13 miles north of the crash site. The Fly-In is the largest airpark in the United States, and a group there regularly performs formations.

The tail number of the Grumman American AA5B could not be determined.

At the crash scene, National Transportation Safety Board investigators reviewed a green-and-white plane that was in a crumpled heap next to a large tree.

A witness who asked not to be identified said one of the planes started falling out of the sky and then its wing struck the other plane.

“It went into a spin and the other one fell backwards,” he said.

Megan O’Keefe, who was traveling south on I-95, said she and her family saw the crash from their car.

“All of a sudden I looked and one plane just went into a nosedive,” she said.

Her family pulled off the highway and tried to find the crash victims.

“We were in the woods, trying to find smoke but it was too far,” she said.

What looked to be a red antique biplane circled over the crash site until rescue crews could arrive, O’Keefe said.

“He wouldn’t leave until they could get to his buddies,” she said. “It was really sad.”

The FAA said it was investigating the crash in conjunction with the NTSB, which will determine the official cause.

This is the second deadly plane crash in Volusia County in the last five months. In December, two people were killed when a small experimental plane crashed into the front yard of a home in the Spruce Creek Fly-In community.

The crash Saturday brought the total number of people killed in fatal air crashes to 26 in Volusia and Flagler counties since 2006. The greater Daytona Beach area is a hot spot for general aviation flights, which includes private planes, twin-engine corporate jets, vintage planes and experimental aircraft.

General aviation is riskier than commercial flight. In 2015, there were 229 fatal accidents nationwide, killing 376 people, according to the NTSB.

Story and video:  http://www.news-journalonline.com