Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee, Superior Food Distributors LLC, N8569L: Fatal accident occurred March 04, 2017 in Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic

José Ernesto Rosario Alvarez
~


Superior Food Distributors, LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N8569L

NTSB Identification: ERA17WA124
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Saturday, March 04, 2017 in Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic
Aircraft: PIPER PA25, registration: N8569L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

On March 4, 2017, about 1330 coordinated universal time, a Piper PA-25-235, N8969L, was destroyed following a collision with antenna wires and terrain during an aerial application flight near Villa Tapia, Dominican Republic. The pilot was fatally injured.

The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Dominican Republic.

Further information can be obtained from:

Comisión Investigadora de Accidentes de Aviación
Junta de Aviación Civil
Calle José Joaquín Pérez no. 104, Gazcue
Santo Domingo
República Dominicana
Tel.: (1) 809 689-4167
E-mail: ciaa.jac@gmail.com
Fax: (1) 809 221-8616

This report is for informational purposes, and only contains information released by the Government of the Dominican Republic.




Saab 340B, Regional Express Airlines, VH-RXS: Incident occurred March 23, 2017 in Dubbo, Australia

NTSB Identification: ENG17WA019
Incident occurred Thursday, March 23, 2017 in Dubbo, Australia
Aircraft: SAAB 340, registration:
Injuries: 26 Uninjured.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.


On March 23, 2017, a Saab 340B, registered in Australia as VH-RXS, had an in-flight shutdown of the right engine, a General Electric CT7-9B. During the climb, the crew detected abnormal turbine temperatures and vibrations from the right engine. The crew shut down the engine and the airplane returned to Dubbo, Australia. The examination of the engine after the airplane landed revealed damage to the stage 4 turbine blades.


The investigation of this incident is under the jurisdiction of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. This report is for informational purposes only and contains information released by or obtained from the Government of Australia.


Further information pertaining to this incident may be obtained from:

Australian Transport Safety Bureau
PO Box 967
Civic Square ACT 2608
Tel: +61 2 6257 4150
Website: http://www.atsb.gov.au
Email: atsbinfo@atsb.gov.au

Aviation safety investigation and report: http://www.atsb.gov.au

Engine failure or malfunction involving SAAB 340, VH-RXS, near Dubbo, NSW, on March 23, 2017

Investigation number: AO-2017-034
Investigation status: Active
Investigation in progress

Summary:   The ATSB is investigating an engine malfunction involving a Regional Express (Rex) SAAB 340, VH-RXS, near Dubbo, New South Wales, on March 23, 2017.

After departure, the flight crew observed unusual indications and detected vibrations from the right engine. The flight crew shut the engine down and returned to Dubbo. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained damage to the engine.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will interview the flight crew and gather additional information.

A report will be released within several months.

Azul Raises More Than $570 Million in Initial Public Offering: Company’s shares to begin trading in United States and Brazil Tuesday morning



The Wall Street Journal
By Luciana Magalhaes
April 11, 2017 6:32 a.m. ET


SÃO PAULO— Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras SA, Brazil’s third-largest airline by passengers, said it raised $571.2 million in an initial public share offering Monday in Brazil and in the U.S., and will begin trading Tuesday morning.

Azul sold 85.4 million preferred shares for 21 reais each and ADSs for $20.06. Shares will trade on Brazil’s B3 stock exchange, until recently known as the BM&FBovespa, and on the New York Stock Exchange.

The budget airline was quickly able to reverse the sale’s suspension last Thursday by Brazil’s financial market regulator, just as banks leading the IPO were setting the price for the shares.

The market regulator, known as CVM, cited an irregular release of information related to the offering as the reason for the suspension, and asked for a correction for those problems. The CVM didn’t provide details on the released information.

Azul said on its investors relations site Friday that it took the requested measures to proceed with the equity sale, without giving specific details.

The airline, which saw three previous efforts to sell shares to the public sink due to economic and political problems in Brazil, said in regulatory filings that had  it expected to sell as many as 72 million preferred shares, for up to 23 reais ($7.32) each in Brazil and  as much $21.81 a unit in the U.S.

Founded in 2008 by businessman David Neeleman —who also created U.S. discount carrier JetBlue Airways Corp. —Azul said in the documents that it plans to use the net proceeds of the sale to repay indebtedness of approximately 315 million reais and the rest for general corporate purposes.

The company has applied for the shares to trade on the B3 stock exchange in Brazil, which recently changed its name from BM&FBovespa, under the symbol “AZUL4,” and on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AZUL.”

Original article can be found here:  https://www.wsj.com

Aventura UL, N580TX: Accident occurred, April 03, 2017 in Garden Ridge, Comal County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas 

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N580TX

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA149
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 03, 2017 in Garden Ridge, TX
Aircraft: HUGHES WILLIAM J AVENTURA UL, registration: N580TX
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 April 3, 2017, about 1934 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Hughes model Aventura UL amphibian airplane, N580TX, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Garden Ridge, Texas. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight departed Kitty Hawk Flying Field (TS67), located near Garden Ridge, Texas, about 1915.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was to simulate water landings by performing low passes over a grassy area that was situated along the western edge of runway 14/32 (700 feet by 200 feet). The pilot reported that he had completed several low passes before the accident. The pilot stated that after completing an uneventful low pass, while on the right crosswind leg, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power and the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot subsequently completed a forced landing to a nearby clearing; however, he did not recall the impact sequence.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed the postaccident examination of the airplane at the accident site. The airplane landing gear were positioned for a water landing. The emergency ballistic parachute recovery system was armed but had not deployed. The three fuel tanks (1 main, 2 auxiliary) contained automotive gasoline premixed with engine oil. The fuel filter assembly and both carburetors contained fuel. Engine crankshaft continuity was confirmed by rotating the propeller. The spark plugs exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and appeared undamaged. One of the three propeller blades had punctured the fabric-covered aft fuselage during the impact sequence. The propeller was removed from the engine to facilitate an operational engine test run. The engine, a 55-horsepower Hirth model 3202, serial number 901269, started and ran at various engine speeds without any hesitation or anomalies. The postaccident examination and operational test run revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal engine operation.

At 1958, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) located at Randolph Air Force Base (RND), about 6 miles south of the accident site, reported: wind 200 degrees at 5 knots, clear sky, 10 mile surface visibility, temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point 8 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.69 inches of mercury.

Cessna T210M Turbo Centurion, N1215M, Great PLains Leasing LLC: Accident occurred April 05, 2017 at Detroit Lakes Airport (DTL), Becker County, Minnesota

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

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA148
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 05, 2017 in Detroit Lakes, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA T210M, registration: N1215M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot reported that, before the accident flight, the airplane had been experiencing intermittent landing gear problems and that the purpose of the flight was to bring the airplane to a maintenance facility to examine the landing gear system. He added that, before the flight, the landing gear circuit breaker was pulled out “in order to keep the gear in the down position and eliminate the gear warning horn” for the flight. While landing, the pilot noticed that the left wing slightly dropped after touchdown, and the pilot corrected with aileron to maintain the runway centerline. Shortly thereafter, the pilot could feel the right main landing gear (MLG) slowly collapse. The pilot was unable to maintain the airplane on the runway centerline, and the airplane exited the runway surface. The airplane came to rest upright with the right MLG collapsed, and the right horizontal stabilizer was bent.

During a postaccident examination, the landing gear were retracted and extended multiple times. Each gear retraction was normal; however, the gear extension cycles resulted in the left MLG and nose landing gear extending and locking, and the right MLG extending with no movement from the downlock actuator. The actuator was removed for further examination, and it was difficult to move. After removal, the actuator released, and the internal spring mechanism freely moved the actuator. The actuator was disassembled with no internal problems noted. 

According to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, Section 3, “Emergency Procedures, Landing Gear Malfunction Procedures,” the landing gear pump circuit breaker was to be positioned to the “in” position for all landing gear malfunction scenarios.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The malfunction of the right main landing gear actuator for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Contributing to the accident was the improper decision to disengage the landing gear system circuit breaker before the flight, which was contrary to the manufacturer-recommended procedures.

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

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


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

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

Great PLains Leasing LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N1215M

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA148 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 05, 2017 in Detroit Lakes, MN
Aircraft: CESSNA T210M, registration: N1215M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 5, 2017, at 1410 central daylight time, a Cessna 210M single-engine airplane, N1215M, experienced a right main landing gear collapse at the Detroit Lakes Airport (DTL), Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. The airplane was registered to Great Plains Leasing, LLC, Dickinson, North Dakota, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Moorhead Municipal Airport (JKJ), Moorhead, Minnesota, about 1350.

According to the pilot, before the accident flight, the airplane had been experiencing intermittent landing gear problems, and the purpose of the flight was to bring the airplane to a maintenance facility at DTL to examine the landing gear system. Before the flight, the landing gear circuit breaker was pulled out "in order to keep the gear in the down position and eliminate the gear warning horn" for the flight to DTL. While landing at DTL, the pilot noticed the left wing slightly dropped after touchdown, and the pilot corrected with aileron to maintain runway centerline. Shortly thereafter, the pilot could feel the right main landing gear slowly collapse. The pilot was unable to maintain the airplane on runway centerline, and the airplane exited the runway surface. The airplane came to rest upright with the right main landing gear collapsed, and the right horizontal stabilizer was bent.

On April 18, 2017, the airplane was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and a mechanic. During the initial examination, the landing gear was retracted and extended multiple times. Each gear retraction was normal, and the gear extension cycle resulted in the left main and nose gear extending and locking, and the right gear extending with no movement from the downlock actuator. After loosening the hydraulic line fittings at the downlock actuator, hydraulic fluid was present at the actuator. The actuator was removed for further examination, and was found difficult to move. According to the inspector, after removal, the actuator released, and the internal spring mechanism freely moved the actuator. The actuator was disassembled with no internal problems noted. 

On April 24, 2017, a former pilot of the accident airplane stopped into the FAA office in Fargo, North Dakota, to discuss the accident. According to the pilot, he had previously flown the airplane in September 2016 from DTL to JKJ, and experienced an unsafe gear warning horn and advised the airplane owners. During his landing, he landed with the landing gear pump circuit break in and the gear warning horn functioning. He stated that with the landing gear pump operating (circuit breaker in), the pump pressure on the landing gear actuator held the gear in the "saddle" until the airplane was on the ground. The weight of the wheels would then keep the gear in the down position. To his knowledge, the airplane had been in storage since his flight. 


According to the Cessna Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), Section 3, Emergency Procedures, Landing Gear Malfunction Procedures, all landing gear malfunction scenarios listed in the POH require the landing gear pump circuit breaker to be in the "IN" position.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA148
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 05, 2017 in Detroit Lakes, MN
Aircraft: CESSNA T210M, registration: N1215M
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 April 5, 2017, at 1410 central daylight time, a Cessna 210M single-engine airplane, N1215M, experienced a landing gear collapse at the Detroit Lakes Airport (DTL), Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right horizontal stabilizer. The airplane was registered to Great Plains Leasing, LLC, Dickinson, North Dakota, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Moorhead Municipal Airport (JKJ), Moorhead, Minnesota, about 1350.

According to the pilot, before the accident flight, the airplane had been experiencing intermittent landing gear problems, and the purpose of the flight was to bring the airplane to a maintenance facility to examine the landing gear system. Before the flight, the landing gear circuit breaker was pulled in order to keep the gear in the down position for the flight to DTL. While landing at DTL, the pilot noticed the left wing slightly dropped after touchdown and the pilot corrected with aileron to maintain runway centerline. Shortly thereafter, the pilot could feel the right main landing gear slowly collapse. The pilot was unable to maintain the airplane on runway centerline, and the airplane exited the runway surface. The airplane came to rest upright with the right main landing gear collapsed. The airplane was recovered for further examination.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cessna 150M, N3601V (and) General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon, US Air Force, 96-0085: Fatal accident occurred July 07, 2015 in Moncks Corner, South Carolina

The federal government has conceded it was at fault for the fatal 2015 midair crash between a civilian airplane and a fighter jet over Moncks Corner.

The U.S. Attorney's Office submitted its response Thursday to a lawsuit filed in April, according to court documents. The lawsuit alleges the Federal Aviation Administration personnel responsible for air traffic control on July 7, 2015, failed to react appropriately when a Cessna piloted by 30-year-old Joseph Johnson got on a collision course with an F-16 fighter jet piloted by Air Force Maj. Aaron Johnson (no relation).

Joseph Johnson's 68-year-old father, Michael, was also aboard the civilian plane. Both were killed.

"The United States admits that its employees’ acts and omissions proximately caused the subject accident and resulted in the deaths of Michael and Joseph Johnson," the government's response said. "Accordingly, the United States does not contest its liability for their deaths in this case but does contest the existence, type and quantum of damages available to Plaintiffs."

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbia, said he could not comment on ongoing litigation. 

Mary Schiavo, an attorney representing the Johnson family for the Motley Rice law firm in Mount Pleasant, called the government's response an important first step.

"Obviously it's important for the government to accept responsibility," Schiavo said. "It was certainly appropriate but a bit overdue."

Attorneys for the family intend to pursue a jury trial to decide whether the family will be awarded damages, she said.

Schiavo also praised the government's attorneys for acknowledging that Joseph Johnson, who was flying the Cessna, was blameless in the crash.

The Johnsons' Cessna took off from Berkeley County Airport in Moncks Corner and was headed to Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach. At 11 a.m., an air traffic control radar received a warning that the airplanes were two miles apart and just moments away from a collision. A controller sent an alert to the F-16, at first telling Johnson the Cessna was two miles away and straight ahead.

The Air Force pilot was then sent the transmission: “If you don’t have that traffic in sight, turn left heading one eight zero immediately,” according to air traffic control transcripts obtained by Motley Rice. Johnson began to turn the F-16.

Seconds later, the fighter jet shore the Cessna in two.

Aaron Johnson parachuted to safety while the civilian plane fell toward the Cooper River.

Michael and Joseph Johnson were killed. It was four minutes since they'd taken off.

http://www.postandcourier.com

Joseph Johnson of Moncks Corner, South Carolina


Michael Elman Johnson of Pinopolis, South Carolina 



The family of a father and son killed when an Air Force jet cleaved their civilian Cessna in half mid-air over rural Berkeley County filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week against the federal government.

The suit, filed by the Motley Rice law firm, alleges the Federal Aviation Administration personnel responsible for air traffic control that day failed to react appropriately to the situation.

The FAA “did not take action until a collision was imminent,” attorneys said.

Jim Brauchle, lead attorney on the case, said family of the two men killed in the crash feel forgotten. The firm has been negotiating with the government for about six months to no end, Brauchle said. 

"The families are very disappointed and feel the government hasn’t taken responsibility for this accident," he said. 

The suit details that the Cessna, a small two-seat airplane, was hit four minutes after taking off from Berkeley County Airport in Moncks Corner on July 7, 2015. Joseph Johnson, 30, and Michael Johnson, 68, were headed to Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach.

Air traffic control radar received a warning at 11 a.m. that the two airplanes were two miles apart and just moments away from a collision. A controller sent an alert to the F-16, piloted by Air Force Maj. Aaron Johnson (no relation), at first telling Johnson the Cessna was two miles away and straight ahead.

The Air Force pilot was then sent the transmission: “If you don’t have that traffic in sight, turn left heading one eight zero immediately,” according to air traffic control transcripts obtained by the law firm. Johnson began to turn the F-16.

Seconds later, the Air Force plane sliced the Cessna in half, and it careened out of control toward the Cooper River. Both Michael and Joseph Johnson were killed in the crash. Aaron Johnson parachuted to safety.

Brauchle, a former U.S. Air Force navigator, said given that a crash was imminent, the controller should have had more urgency. 

"She gave too much control up to the aircraft, instead of being direct with what he should have done," he said.

The government's response to the suit is due July 3. 

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



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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
United States Air Force; Albuquerque, New Mexico
FAA/AJI; Washington, DC
National Air Traffic Controllers Association; Washington, DC
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; Fort Worth, Texas

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

Joseph Elman Johnson: http://registry.faa.gov/N3601V





NTSB Identification: ERA15MA259A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 07, 2015 in Moncks Corner, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/15/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N3601V
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Minor.

NTSB Identification: ERA15MA259B
14 CFR Armed Forces
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 07, 2015 in Moncks Corner, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/15/2016
Aircraft: LOCKHEED-MARTIN F-16CM, registration: 96-0085

Injuries: 2 Fatal, 1 Minor.

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

The pilot of the F-16, who was operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, was in contact with air traffic control (ATC) and was provided radar vectors for a practice instrument approach to Charleston Air Force Base/International Airport (CHS), Charleston, South Carolina; the F-16 descended to an altitude of about 1,600 ft mean sea level as instructed by the air traffic controller. Shortly thereafter, the Cessna departed under visual flight rules (VFR) from a nearby nontowered airport; the Cessna pilot was not in contact with ATC, nor was he required to be, and had not requested traffic advisory (flight-following) services. As the Cessna continued its departure climb, the airplanes converged to within about 3.5 nautical miles (nm) laterally and 400 ft vertically, triggering a conflict alert (CA) on the controller's radar display and an aural alarm. About 3 seconds later, the air traffic controller issued a traffic advisory notifying the F-16 pilot of the position, distance, and indicated altitude of the radar target that corresponded to the Cessna, stating that the aircraft type was unknown. When the F-16 pilot replied that he was looking for the traffic, the controller issued a conditional instruction to the F-16 pilot to turn left if he did not see the airplane. The F-16 pilot did not see the airplane and responded, asking "confirm two miles?" The controller responded, "if you don't have that traffic in sight turn left heading 180 immediately." As the controller began this transmission, the F-16 pilot initiated a standard rate (approximately) left turn using the autopilot so that he could continue to visually search for the traffic; however, the airplanes continued to converge and eventually collided about 40 seconds after the controller's traffic advisory notifying the F-16 pilot of traffic. (Figure 1 in the factual report for this accident shows the calculated flight tracks for the Cessna and F-16.)

Air Traffic Controller and F-16 Pilot Performance

During postaccident interviews, the controller reported that when she observed the Cessna's target on her radar display as it departed, she thought that the airplane would remain within its local traffic pattern, which was not the case. Therefore, it was not until the airplanes were within about 3.5 nm and 400 vertical ft of one another that the controller notified the F-16 pilot of the presence of the traffic by issuing the traffic advisory, which was about 3 seconds after the ATC radar CA alarmed. (Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, paragraph 2-1-21, "Traffic Advisories," states, in part, that a controller should "Unless an aircraft is operating within Class A airspace or omission is requested by the pilot, issue traffic advisories to all aircraft (IFR or VFR) on your frequency when, in your judgment, their proximity may diminish to less than the applicable separation minima. Where no separation minima applies, such as for VFR aircraft outside of Class B/Class C airspace, or a TRSA [terminal radar service area], issue traffic advisories to those aircraft on your frequency when in your judgment their proximity warrants it. …") 

When the controller issued the traffic advisory, about 40 seconds before the eventual collision, the F-16 and the Cessna had a closure rate of about 300 knots. If the F-16 pilot had reported the Cessna in sight after the controller's traffic advisory, the controller likely would have directed the F-16 pilot to maintain visual separation, which is a common controller technique to separate aircraft. While the controller tried to ensure separation between the airplanes, her attempt at establishing visual separation at so close a range and with the airplanes converging at such a high rate of speed left few options if visual separation could not be obtained. 

The options available to the controller when issuing instructions to the F-16 pilot to avoid the conflict included a turn, climb, some combination thereof, or not issuing an instruction at all. (An instruction to descend was not an option because the F-16 was already at the minimum vectoring altitude for the area.) The controller indicated in a postaccident interview that she chose not to instruct the F-16 to climb because the altitude indicated for the Cessna's radar target was unconfirmed (the Cessna pilot had not contacted ATC). An element informing the controller's decision-making as to which instruction to provide was likely the flow of other traffic into the airport at that time. Arriving aircraft, including the accident F-16, were being sequenced to runway 15 via the final approach course extending from the approach end of the runway. Given the traffic flow, the left turn instruction to the F-16 would have kept the airplane on a heading closer toward, rather than farther from, its destination and would have made returning the F-16 to the intended final approach course much easier. However, the controller's instruction to the F-16 pilot to turn left required the F-16's path to cross in front of the Cessna. Although this decision was not contrary to FAA guidance for air traffic controllers, it was the least conservative decision, as it was most dependent on the F-16 pilot's timely action for its success.

Further, the controller issued the instruction to turn left if the F-16 pilot did not have the Cessna in sight. The F-16 pilot responded to the controller's conditional instruction with a question ("confirm two miles?") that indicated confusion about the distance of the traffic. The F-16 pilot's attempt to visually acquire the Cessna per the controller's conditional instruction likely resulted in a slight delay in his beginning the turn. The collision likely would have been avoided had the F-16 pilot initiated the left turn, as ATC instructed, when he realized that he did not have the traffic in sight. About 7 seconds elapsed between the beginning of the controller's first conditional instruction to turn and the beginning of her subsequent conditional instruction to the F-16 pilot to turn "immediately." Analysis of the radio transmission recordings and the F-16's flight recorder data showed that, as the controller was making the subsequent conditional instruction, the F-16 pilot began turning to the left, which pointed his aircraft toward the Cessna. 

Due to the closure rate, the close proximity of the two airplanes, and human cognitive limitations, the controller did not recover from her ineffective visual separation plan, which placed the airplanes in closer proximity to each other, and switch to an alternative method of separation. The controller's best course of action would have been to instruct the F-16 pilot to turn before the airplanes came into close proximity with each other and preferably in a direction that did not cross in front of the Cessna's path.

In postaccident interviews, the controller stated that when she issued the command to the F-16 pilot to turn left "immediately," she expected that the F-16 pilot would perform a high performance maneuver and that she believed that fighter airplanes could "turn on a dime." The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Pilot-Controller Glossary defines "immediately" as a term used by ATC or pilots "when such action compliance is required to avoid an imminent situation." Further, the AIM states that controllers should use the term "immediately" to "impress urgency of an imminent situation" and that "expeditious compliance by the pilot is expected and necessary for safety." As described above, the F-16 pilot did not meet her expectation that the turn be conducted at a greater-than-standard rate. 

The controller's expectation of the F-16 pilot's performance was based on her assumption that a fighter airplane would perform a high performance turn to the heading; however, this expectation of performance was not clearly communicated. Based on the controller's instructions and the actions of the F-16 pilot in response, it is clear that the term "immediately" held different expectations for both parties. Although the controller's use of the term "immediately" was in keeping with FAA guidance, further clarification of her expectation, such as directing the pilot to "expedite the turn," would have removed any ambiguity.

See-and-Avoid Concept

According to 14 Code of Federal Regulations 91.113, "Right-of-Way Rules," "when weather conditions permit, regardless of whether an operation is conducted under instrument flight rules or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to see and avoid other aircraft." The concept that pilots are primarily responsible for collision avoidance was similarly stressed in US Air Force training documents. In addition, FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-48C, "Pilots' Role in Collision Avoidance," which was in effect at the time of the accident, stated that the see-and-avoid concept requires vigilance at all times by each pilot, regardless of whether the flight is conducted under IFR or VFR. (AC 90-48D replaced AC 90-48C in 2016 and contains the same statement.)

The see-and-avoid concept relies on a pilot to look through the cockpit windows, identify other aircraft, decide if any aircraft are collision threats, and, if necessary, take the appropriate action to avert a collision. There are inherent limitations of this concept, including limitations of the human visual and information processing systems, pilot tasks that compete with the requirement to scan for traffic, the limited field of view from the cockpit, and environmental factors that could diminish the visibility of other aircraft.

Factors Impacting the Pilots' Ability to Detect Other Traffic

The collision occurred in a relatively low-density air traffic environment in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The Cessna was equipped with an operating transponder and single communication radio but was not equipped with any technologies in the cockpit that display or alert of traffic conflicts, such as traffic advisory systems, traffic alert and collision avoidance systems, or automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast systems. The Cessna had departed from a nontowered airport and was still in close proximity to the airport when the collision occurred. The Cessna pilot had not requested or received flight-following services from ATC at the time of the collision, nor was he required to do so. Based on his proximity to the departure airport, it is reasonable to expect that the Cessna pilot likely was monitoring that airport's common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for awareness of airplanes in the vicinity of the airport, as recommended by the FAA's AIM. Based on statements from the Cessna pilot's flight instructor and from his logbook entries, which both cited past experience communicating with ATC, it is also reasonable to assume that had the collision not occurred, the pilot likely would have contacted ATC at some point during the flight to request flight-following services.

Due to the Cessna's lack of technologies in the cockpit that display or alert of traffic conflicts and the pilot's lack of contact with ATC, his ability to detect other traffic in the area was limited to the see-and-avoid concept. While not required, had the Cessna been equipped with a second communication radio, the pilot could have used it to contact ATC while still monitoring the departure airport's CTAF. Had the Cessna pilot contacted ATC after departing and received ATC services, the controller would have had verification of the Cessna's altitude readout and its route of flight, which would have helped her decision-making process. The controller also could have provided the Cessna pilot awareness of the F-16. 

The F-16 was operating under IFR in VMC. The F-16 pilot's ability to detect other traffic was limited to the see-and-avoid concept, supplemented with ATC traffic advisories. While the F-16 pilot could use the airplane's tactical radar system to enhance his awareness of air traffic, it was designed to acquire fast-moving enemy aircraft rather than slow-moving, small aircraft and was thus unable to effectively detect the Cessna. (The radar system did detect a target 20 miles away, which is likely what led the F-16 pilot to question the location of the traffic that the controller had indicated was 2 miles away.) The F-16 was not otherwise equipped with any technologies in the cockpit that display or alert of traffic conflicts. The F-16 pilot did eventually visually acquire the Cessna but only when the airplanes were within about 430 ft of one another, about 1 second before the accident.

A factor that can affect the visibility of traffic in VMC is sun glare, which can prevent a pilot from detecting another aircraft when it is close to the position of the sun in the sky. For the F-16 pilot, the sun would have been behind and to his left as the airplanes approached one another. Although the Cessna pilot would have been heading toward the sun, the sun's calculated position would likely have been above a point obstructed by the Cessna's cabin roof and would not have been visible to the Cessna pilot. Thus, sun glare was not a factor in this accident.

Aircraft Performance and Cockpit Visibility Study

Our aircraft performance and cockpit visibility study showed that, as the accident airplanes were on converging courses, they each would have appeared as small, stationary, or slow-moving objects to the pilots. Given the physiological limitations of vision, both pilots would have had difficulty detecting the other airplane. Specifically, the study showed that the Cessna would have appeared as a relatively small object through the F-16's canopy, slowly moving from the center of the transparent heads-up display (HUD) to the left of the HUD. As the F-16 started the left turn as instructed by the air traffic controller, the Cessna moved back toward the center of the HUD and then off to its right side, where it may have been obscured by the right structural post of the HUD. It was not visible again until about 2 seconds before the collision. (Figures 3a and 5a in the factual report for this accident show the simulated cockpit visibility from the F-16 at 1100:18 and 1100:56, respectively.) The F-16 pilot reported that before the controller alerted him to the presence of traffic, he was actively searching for traffic both visually and using the airplane's targeting radar. He reported that after the controller advised him of traffic, he was looking "aggressively" to find it. By the time he was able to visually acquire the Cessna, it was too late to avert the collision.

Our investigation could not determine to what extent the Cessna pilot was actively conducting a visual scan for other aircraft. Our aircraft performance and cockpit visibility study showed that the F-16 would have remained as a relatively small and slow-moving object out the Cessna's left window (between the Cessna's 9 and 10 o'clock positions) until less than 5 seconds before the collision. Given the speed of the F-16, the Cessna pilot likely would not have had adequate time to recognize and avoid the impending collision.

Cockpit Display of Traffic Information

Although the Cessna and F-16 pilots were responsible for seeing and avoiding each other, our aircraft performance and cockpit visibility study showed that, due to the physiological limitations of vision and the relative positions of the airplanes, both pilots would have had difficulty detecting the other airplane. Research indicates that any mechanism to augment and focus pilots' visual searches can enhance their ability to visually acquire traffic. (AC 90-48D highlights aircraft systems and technologies available to improve safety and aid in collision avoidance, and our report regarding a midair collision over the Hudson River [AAR-10/05] states that "traffic advisory systems can provide pilots with additional information to facilitate pilot efforts to maintain awareness of and visual contact with nearby aircraft to reduce the likelihood of a collision. …") One such method to focus a pilot's attention and visual scan is through the use of cockpit displays and aural alerts of potential traffic conflicts. Several technologies can provide this type of alerting by passively observing and/or actively querying traffic. While the accident airplanes were not equipped with these types of systems, their presence in one or both cockpits might have changed the outcome of the event. (The images from our in-cockpit traffic display simulation are representative of the minimum operations specifications contained in RTCA document DO-317B, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Aircraft Surveillance Applications System [dated June 17, 2014], but do not duplicate the implementation or presentation of any particular operational display exactly; the actual images presented to a pilot depend on the range scale and background graphics selected by the pilot.)

Because the Cessna pilot was not in contact with ATC and was relying solely on the see-and-avoid concept, an indication of approaching traffic might have allowed him to visually acquire the F-16 and take action to avoid it. While most systems are limited to aiding pilots in their visual acquisition of a target and do not provide resolution advisories (specific maneuvering instructions intended to avoid the collision), the augmentation of a pilot's situational awareness might allow the pilot to change the flightpath in anticipation of a conflict and, thus, avoid airplanes coming in close proximity to one another. The Cessna pilot might have noted the presence of the F-16 and its level altitude of about 1,600 ft as he continued his departure climb. With this information, the Cessna pilot might have arrested his airplane's climb as he began a visual search, thus creating an additional vertical buffer between his airplane and the approaching F-16.

While the F-16 pilot's visual search was augmented by the controller's traffic advisory, a successful outcome would have depended upon the pilot's visual acquisition of the target airplane in time to take evasive action. Our in-cockpit traffic display simulation showed that the F-16 pilot might have first observed the Cessna when it was about 15 nm away, or nearly 3 minutes before the collision. As the F-16 closed to within 6 nm of the Cessna, or slightly more than 1 minute before the collision, the conflict might have become even more apparent to the pilot showing that not only were the airplanes in close proximity laterally but also that they were only separated vertically by 600 ft. As the F-16 pilot was beginning his left turn as instructed by ATC, the presence of the Cessna would have been aurally annunciated, and its traffic symbol would have changed from a cyan color to a yellow color. The information presented on the in-cockpit traffic display would have clearly indicated that the airplanes were on a collision course that might not be resolved by a left turn and that the vertical separation between the airplanes had decreased to 300 ft. 

Consequently, an in-cockpit traffic display could have helped the F-16 pilot recognize the potential for a collision in advance of the controller's instruction to turn left. The earlier warning also could have provided him additional time to conduct his visual search for the Cessna and potentially take other preemptive action to avoid the collision. Had the F-16 been equipped with a system that was able to provide the pilot with resolution advisories, the F-16 pilot could have taken action in response to that alarm to avoid the collision, even without acquiring the Cessna visually.

Postaccident Actions

In November 2016, we issued safety recommendations to the FAA and Midwest Air Traffic Control, Robinson Aviation, and Serco (companies that operate federal contract towers) to (1) brief all air traffic controllers and their supervisors on the ATC errors in this midair collision and one that occurred on August 16, 2015, near San Diego, California; and (2) include these midair collisions as examples in instructor-led initial and recurrent training for air traffic controllers on controller judgment, vigilance, and/or safety awareness.

In November 2016, we also issued a safety alert titled "Prevent Midair Collisions: Don't Depend on Vision Alone" to inform pilots of the benefits of using technologies that provide traffic displays or alerts in the cockpit to help separate safely. (In May 2015 [revised in December 2015], we issued a safety alert titled "See and Be Seen: Your Life Depends on It" regarding the importance of maintaining adequate visual lookout.)

After the accident, the Cessna's departure airport engaged in several outreach efforts (including posting midair collision avoidance materials locally and having outreach meetings with pilots) to raise awareness regarding midair collisions and encourage contact with ATC. The airport also updated its chart supplement to note the presence of military and other traffic arriving at and departing from CHS.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The approach controller's failure to provide an appropriate resolution to the conflict between the F-16 and the Cessna. Contributing to the accident were the inherent limitations of the see-and-avoid concept, resulting in both pilots' inability to take evasive action in time to avert the collision. 


NTSB Air Safety Investigator Dennis Diaz 




Gulfstream expanding services for growing Asia Pacific fleet



Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced Monday that it continues to add resources for operators in the Asia-Pacific region, home to the company’s largest and fastest-growing international fleet.

“Our Asia-Pacific fleet grew by 25 aircraft in 2016 and is now well over 300,” said Derek Zimmerman, president of Gulfstream Product Support.

“Strong customer response to our aircraft over the past several years in the region, especially Greater China, has resulted in us building a significant support presence there, which we enhance and supplement whenever possible.

“As always, we are committed to providing our customers first-class support throughout their Gulfstream ownership experience.”

Zimmerman is in Shanghai for the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, which runs Tuesday through Thursday. Three Gulfstream business jets – the super-midsize G280, the high-performance G550 and the company flagship G650ER – are on display.

ABACE is Asia’s biggest business aviation event, bringing together the most influential providers of business aviation products and services with the entrepreneurs, decision-makers and others using business aircraft.

It’s also an opportunity to strengthen business ties.

Gulfstream now has 314 aircraft operating in Asia-Pacific region. More than 180 of those are based in the Greater China region, which encompasses China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Zimmerman said the company has strengthened its depth of customer support in the area, doubling the number of field service representatives in Hong Kong from two to four. The company also has two field service representatives in China and one each in Japan, Singapore, Australia and India.

“The additional field service representatives give Gulfstream operators easy local access to our growing network,” Zimmerman said. “Their technical expertise complements our robust and strategically located presence in the region and is a resource that can be called upon 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

At Gulfstream Beijing, the first factory-owned business jet service center in China, technicians have serviced more than 600 aircraft in the facility’s four-plus years of operation at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Earlier this year, Gulfstream Beijing was certified as an authorized maintenance organization by the Cayman Islands, which means the site’s technicians can perform maintenance on aircraft registered in that British territory. They are also authorized to work on most Gulfstream aircraft registered in the U.S., China, Macau and Hong Kong.

To support its growing fleet in the Asia Pacific, Gulfstream maintains a parts inventory of approximately $55 million, strategically placed in Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Melbourne.

ABOUT GULFSTREAM

Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports a line of technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream’s fleet of business jets includes the Gulfstream G280, G550,G500, G600, G650 and the G650 ER. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales.

ON THE WEB

www.gulfstream.com

www.generaldynamics.com

Original article can be found here:  http://savannahnow.com

‘Grim Reaper’ fighter jets to make loud exit from Pease




PORTSMOUTH — A squadron of F-15C fighter jets that have stayed at the Air National Guard Base at Pease will begin leaving early Tuesday morning.

David Mullen, the executive director of the Pease Development Authority, acknowledged they won’t be going quietly.

“My understanding is they’re going to use their afterburners when they take off,” Mullen said. “They take off, then turn on their afterburners and go straight up, it’s like a rocket ship.”

“We do get calls when that happens,” Mullen said.

The PDA issued a “community advisory” on Monday, letting area residents know that the F-15Cs would be leaving Pease.

In the advisory, Sandra McDonough, the PDA’s operations specialist, noted that the fighter jets are “required to utilize the engines’ afterburners as an operational necessity with this aircraft.”

“Consequently, area residents may perceive a significant noise event as a result of the jet aircraft departures,” she added.

The F15Cs will begin leaving at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, with six jets leaving the airport, followed by six more at 5 a.m. on Wednesday and the final two at 7 a.m. on Thursday, airport officials said.

“It’s really something to see,” Mullen said about the fighter jets using their afterburners. “It’s like a mini-air show.”

The jets are part of the 493rd U.S. Air Force wing out of England.

Andrew Pomeroy, airport operations manager for the Pease Development Authority, said pilots from the 493rd wing landed at Pease on Sunday, April 2.

The 493rd fighter squadron, who are nicknamed the “Grim Reapers,” are part of the Air Force’s 48th fighter wing, and are located at RAF Lakenheath, England.

The F-15Cs, which are also called F-15 Eagles, “are an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to permit the Air Force to gain and maintain air supremacy over the battlefield,” according to the official website for the Royal Air Force Base where the 493rd is stationed. “The Eagle’s air superiority is achieved through a mixture of unprecedented maneuverability and acceleration, range, weapons and avionics. It can penetrate enemy defense and outperform and outfight any current enemy aircraft.”

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

Nepal Airlines captain nabbed with undeclared USD $93,000 from Tribhuvan International Airport

Apr 10, 2017- A captain of the Nepal Airlines has been arrested with a huge amount of undeclared United States dollars from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in the Capital on Sunday.

According to SSP Chabilal Joshi of the Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, captain Subarna Awal was nabbed with USD 93,000 while he was entering the airport for a flight to Dubai last night.

Following the incident, captain Mahesh Man Dangol was assigned to fly the NAC flight RA 229 to the destination.

Original article can be found here: http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com

Team Rocket F1 Rocket, N3839Y: Accident occurred April 07, 2017 at Bessemer Airport (KEKY), Jefferson County, Alabama

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

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA220 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2017 in Bessimer, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: SHILT JERRY C F-1 ROCKET, registration: N3839Y
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 reported that, during the landing roll as the tailwheel was almost in contact with the ground, the airplane started to veer to the right. He attempted to correct to the left but lost directional control, and the airplane ground looped to the left. 

The airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing and firewall.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation system on the airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 340° at 10 knots, gusting to 17 knots. The pilot landed on runway 23.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing rollout in gusting crosswind conditions. 

The pilot reported that during the landing roll as the tailwheel was almost in contact with the ground, the airplane started to veer to the right. He attempted to correct to the left, but lost directional control, and the airplane ground looped to the left. 

During the ground loop, the airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing and firewall.

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

The automated weather observation system on the airport, about the time of the accident, reported the wind at 340° at 10 knots, gusting to 17 knots. The pilot landed on runway 23.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N3839Y

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA220
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2017 in Bessimer, AL
Aircraft: SHILT JERRY C F-1 ROCKET, registration: N3839Y
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 reported that during the landing roll as the tailwheel was almost in contact with the ground, the airplane started to veer to the right. He attempted to correct to the left, but lost directional control, and the airplane ground looped to the left.

During the ground loop, the airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing and firewall.

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

The automated weather observation system on the airport, about the time of the accident, reported the wind at 340° at 10 knots, gusting to 17 knots. The pilot landed on runway 23.

Piper PA-22-150, N7236D: Incident occurred April 08, 2017 in Talkeetna, Alaska

http://registry.faa.gov/N7236D

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aircraft after departure, fuel tank cover separated from aircraft. 

Date: 08-APR-17
Time: 01:00:00Z
Regis#: N7236D
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: TALKEETNA
State: ALASKA