Friday, April 7, 2017

Todd Dugan: New Pekin Municipal Airport (C15) manager plots course



PEKIN — The Pekin Municipal Airport has a new pilot at the helm charged with taking the facility in a more profitable direction.

Airport Manager Todd Dugan, 25, a native of Peoria, started the position on March 13. This is his first position as an airport manager since graduating from Southern Illinois University in December 2016. He received a masters of public administration, aviation administration specialization in 2016, and in 2014, received a degree in aviation management. He also minored in airport management and planning, marketing and environmental studies.

His salary as airport manager is $54,080.

Dugan said that when he went to school for aviation, he thought he would never live in his hometown again.

“So, when this opportunity came up I thought it was a great opportunity to come back home, be around my family,” said Dugan. “I’m expecting my first kid in June, so to be around family when we have the kid will be nice.

“When I was in school, one of our classes, you had to do an interview with somebody in the industry and the person I was assigned to was actually (Pekin Municipal Airport Manager) Clayton (Stambaugh). So I talked with him a few times. So when it opened up he let me know the position opened up and I applied right away.”

Dugan said he sees the airport as a place for community.

“I’d really just like to make it be a better place for the community, have events and stuff like that to show the community what the airport is like, what aviation can be,” said Dugan. “At my position at ISU, I was in charge of recruitment for the aviation department and I really liked showcasing aviation to kids.

“So if I can figure out a way to get kids out to the airport, get them an intro flight and stuff of that nature, I think would be really great. When you have a small community like this, they are lucky to have an airport because what it brings in is the stuff you don’t see. Like prison’s — prisons, a lot of them around the country are located near airports so they can get the inmates in and out quickly. That’s a couple hundred jobs to Pekin right there. The small aspect is the people coming by for fuel sales. And a lot of businesses want to be near an airport so they can get in and out quick.”

The airport will host the Pekin Pilots Association Wings & Wheels event on June 17. The event has food, airplane rides for children, a car and motorcycles show and more.

Dugan said the airport had a $30,000 deficit in operations last year, which he wants to bring down to zero. But, he said, the airport generates $3.1 million in economic gain in the community.

“Not a bad investment, but we do want to bring it closer,” said Dugan. “Part of that is marketability. I’m getting more people to stop in here on their cross country trips rather than other local small airports. And those community events — if you have nice events people will fly in for those.”

The airport currently has 25 tenants and it is at capacity. There is a waiting list for another 15 companies or individuals for hangar space. He said Federal Aviation Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation approval is needed before additional hangars can be built.

That could happen in approximately four years, he said, and new hangars are in the airports’ five-year plan. Federal grants would pay 95 percent of the cost and the city 5 percent.

“We don’t want to go spend a half million dollars to $1 million on a hangar that’s going to get us $1,000 a month,” said Dugan. “We want to wait until the FAA is going to give us most of that and then build it so it makes the most economic sense.”

City Manager Tony Carson said he was impressed with Dugan’s education background and his interest in aviation.

“I believe that’s going to be a great asset to the airport going forward,” said Carson. “It’s just going to ensure that the projects we have in place — the lighting projects for one is some of the biggest expenses we’re going to be having going forward over the next year — someone to manage the projects, to make sure that the airport is efficiently run and available for all the users.

“... Our local businesses feel that this is important for us to have and airport that’s close by that they can come into very quickly in an efficient manner. It’s a great asset to any community to have a municipal airport.”

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

Incident occurred March 29, 2017 at Grand Forks International Airport (KGFK), North Dakota

Two airplanes belonging to the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences hit each other on the ground at Grand Forks International Airport on Wednesday, March 29. Fortunately, no one was hurt, although both airplanes sustained damage. Both planes were Cessna 172 Skyhawks.

According to Chief Flight Instructor Jeremy Roesler, the incident happened on the “Charlie” ramp, the largest of the tarmac areas for UND aviation. The aircraft that caused the collision was being operated by a student pilot preparing for a solo flight. The engine and propeller had been started, and the student went to grab something from behind them, accidentally taking their feet off the the brake pedals, letting the airplane move forward into the other one.

A student and their flight instructor were outside their plane doing preflight checks, and the spinning propeller missed one of them by mere feet.

“It was a close call,” Roesler said.

Fortunately, no one was harmed, although the solo pilot suffered from significant mental trauma following the incident,and the aerospace organization is concerned for their well-being, working to help them recover appropriately.

The rear airplane hit the tail of the parked Cessna, causing some damage, but had the propeller instead cut into the cabin, where fuel lines run down the sides of the plane, a more serious accident could have occurred.

“In my opinion,” Roesler said, “the most dangerous thing we do (at the airport) is the ramp.”

The Aerospace department has strict guidelines for students and instructors on the ramp, such as no running, no cell phone use, and no earbuds, but this incident shows an “unfortunate reminder,” as Roesler says, about the risk of aviation.

The two airplanes have been stored for insurance evaluation. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have classified the collision as an incident, but neither has released any report regarding the airplane fender-bender.

An aircraft incident, as described by the NTSB’s section 830, is any occurrence other than an accident, which is where serious damage and injury is caused, associated with the operation of an airplane, and could affect the safety of operations.

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

Piper PA-28-180, N9179J, registered to Green Castle Aero Club LTD and was being operated by the instructor: Fatal accident occurred April 07, 2017 in Oxford, Johnson County, Iowa

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa
Piper; Vero Beach, Florida 
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9179J 

Location: Oxford, IA
Accident Number: CEN17FA147
Date & Time: 04/07/2017, 1507 CDT
Registration: N9179J
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On April 7, 2017, about 1507 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N9179J, collided with terrain in Oxford, Iowa, following a loss of control. The flight instructor and the private pilot receiving instruction were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Green Castle Aero Club LTD and was being operated by the instructor as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 training flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight. The airplane departed the Green Castle Airport (IA24), Oxford, Iowa, about 1449.

There were no communications between air traffic control and the accident airplane. The airport surveillance radar located at the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), Cedar Rapids, Iowa, showed that the airplane departed IA24 to the north, and shortly after takeoff, the airplane made a turn to the south. The airplane continued flying south about 8.4 miles until it crossed IWV Road SW at which time it turned and appeared to make S-turns along the road as it headed west. The airplane then turned south and continued for about 4 miles as it climbed to an altitude of 3,500 ft mean seal level (msl). The airplane then turned east and flew about 5.5 miles. The airplane then turned north and descended to 3,200 ft msl in the turn. The airplane continued flying north about 6 miles until reaching Interstate 80 at which time the airplane made a left 180° turn back to the south at an altitude of 3,400 ft msl. The airplane continued flying south about 2.7 miles until it entered a left turn and began a rapid descent; between 1507:08 and the last radar return at 1507:12, the airplane descended from 3,400 ft msl to 1,500 ft msl.

A witness located about 1 mile east of the accident site stated that his attention was drawn to the airplane when he heard an engine popping and backfiring. The airplane appeared to be heading south-southeast, and it looked like it wasn't moving. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the airplane entered a "downward spiral." He stated that he did not hear the engine at this point. The airplane made eight or nine spirals before it stopped rotating and continued in a nose-down descent. He lost sight of the airplane behind the hillside and shortly thereafter heard the impact. The witness stated that the airplane was spiraling in a clockwise rotation. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/13/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/26/2015
Flight Time: 6475.4 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Waiver Time Limited Special
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/07/2017
Flight Time: 

The flight instructor held a flight instructor certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings; the certificate was initially issued on February 19, 2003, and most recently renewed on November 30, 2015. He also held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane ratings. The instructor held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate dated August 13, 2015. The last entry in the instructor's most recent logbook, logbook number 11, was dated April 7, 2017. The logbook showed that he had a total of 6,475.4 hours of flight experience.

The pilot receiving instruction held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating, which was issued on October 7, 1986. The pilot held an FAA third-class airman medical certificate dated February 5, 2016. On the application for this medical certificate, the pilot reported that he had accumulated 97 hours of flight experience, none of which were flown in the previous 6 months. According to the pilot's family, he was just beginning to fly again after not having flown in quite a while.

The last entry in the instructor's logbook was a 0.6-hour flight in a Cessna 150 on the day of the accident. This flight entry contained a remark, "T&G Ldg, BFR [biennial flight review] & Eval" along with the name of the pilot receiving instruction. The back pages of the logbook contained a list of endorsements the instructor had given. The page contained an entry showing that he had given the pilot receiving instruction his BFR endorsement earlier on the day of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N9179J
Model/Series: PA-28-180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-3245
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/06/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7652.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A3A
Registered Owner: GREEN CASTLE AERO CLUB LTD
Rated Power: 360 hp
Operator: GREEN CASTLE AERO CLUB LTD
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane, manufactured in 1966, was a four-place, single-engine, low-wing airplane with fixed tricycle landing gear. The airplane was certificated as both a normal and utility category airplane, depending on the operating weight and center of gravity. A review of FAA records revealed that the airplane was purchased by the Green Castle Aero Club LTD on July 15, 2000.

A spokesman for the aero club stated that the maintenance logbooks were in the airplane at the time of the accident. The logbooks were not located in the wreckage, which was partially consumed by a postimpact fire. The mechanic who worked on the airplane provided documentation showing that the airplane's last annual inspection was performed on February 6, 2017, at an airframe total time of 7,652.1 hours. The aero club provided an aircraft summary sheet dated March 1, 2017, which showed the airplane had a tachometer time of 7,657 hours. The pilot who flew the airplane before the accident flight reported that he filled the airplane nearly full of fuel before his 1.8-hour flight.

The actual gross weight of the airplane at the time of the accident could not be determined as the weight and balance records were destroyed in the accident, and the basic empty weight of the airplane was unknown. Using the licensed empty weight of the airplane when it was manufactured, an estimated fuel load based on when the airplane was last fueled, and the passenger weights, the estimated gross weight of the airplane was about 1,915 lbs at takeoff with a center of gravity of 85.98 inches. The maximum gross weight for utility category operations is 1,950 lbs with center of gravity limits between 85.8 inches and 86.5 inches. Spins, steep turns, lazy eights, and chandelles are permissible in utility category operations.

The Procedures Section of the PA-28-180 Airplane Flight Manual states, in part:

3. The PA-28-180 airplane is approved under FAA Regulations CAR 3 which prohibits intentional spins for normal category operation. The following information is noteworthy:

a. The stall characteristics of the PA-28-180 are normal with the nose pitching down moderately following the stall, occasionally with a moderate roll which can be corrected by normal use of ailerons and rudder against the roll.

b. Prolonged use of full rudder during stall practice may result in a rapid roll followed by a spin and should be avoided. Recovery from an incipient spin may be effected in less than one additional turn by use of opposite rudder followed by full forward control wheel.

c. In the event that a fully developed spin is inadvertently experienced, recovery is best made by using full opposite rudder followed by full forward wheel and full opposite aileron. The control positions against the spin should be maintained during the entire recovery, which may require several turns and a substantial loss of altitude if the airplane is loaded heavily with a rearward center of gravity.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: IOW, 683 ft msl
Observation Time: 1452 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 98°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Oxford, IA (IA24)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Oxford, IA (IA24)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1449 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E; Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.656667, -91.698056 

The airplane came to rest upright in a plowed corn field. The wreckage was upright, and it sustained impact damage and was partially consumed by a postimpact fire.

Other than minor debris, the wreckage was contained in one area. The farthest piece of wreckage from the main wreckage was the top engine cowling, which was located about 36 ft away. A burned area surrounded the wreckage, which extended out to a maximum of about 50 ft from the wreckage.

The airplane came to rest in a near-60° nose-down attitude, and the front of the engine was partially buried in the soft terrain. The propeller was buried in the ground with the tip of one of the blades visible.

Examination of the airframe and engine was conducted on April 8 and 9, 2017, both on scene and in a hangar at the Iowa City Municipal Airport, Iowa City, Iowa. The examination was conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, with the assistance of representatives of the engine and airframe manufacturers. Most of the fuselage and cockpit were consumed by the postimpact fire. Both wings were crushed aft and partially consumed by the fire. The empennage was separated from the fuselage. The vertical stabilizer and rudder remained attached to the stabilator. The right side of the vertical stabilizer and rudder and the right side of the stabilator sustained thermal damage. Control continuity was established from the flight controls to the cockpit.

The engine sustained impact and thermal damage. All of the accessories, including both magnetos, were destroyed by the fire and could not be tested. A turning tool was inserted into the vacuum pump drive housing, and the engine was rotated by hand. It furnished suction and compression at all cylinders, and the rear accessory gears were observed turning. Valve train and crankshaft continuity were established throughout the engine. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. A detailed summary of the examination is included in the public docket associated with the investigation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The UI Diagnostic Laboratories, Iowa City, Iowa, performed autopsies of the both the flight instructor and the pilot receiving instruction, and their deaths were attributed to multiple blunt force injuries.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing for both pilots. Results for the flight instructor were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. The testing detected atorvastatin, ranitidine, and triamterene in the liver and cavity blood. Atorvastatin is a prescription medication used to lower cholesterol; ranitidine is a prescription and over-the-counter medication used to treat heart burn; and triamterene is a prescription diuretic used to treat high blood pressure. The pilot reported the use of these medications during his last FAA medical examination, and none of these medications are generally considered to be impairing. Results for the pilot receiving instruction were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, ethanol, and all drugs in the testing profile.

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA147 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2017 in Oxford, IA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N9179J
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 7, 2017, about 1507 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N9179J, collided with the terrain in Oxford, Iowa, following a loss of control. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and private pilot were both fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to Green Castle Aero Club LTD and was being operated by the CFI as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 training flight. Visual flight rules conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed for the local flight. The airplane departed the Green Castle Airport (IA24), about 1445.

A witness located about one mile east of the accident site stated he heard an engine popping and backfiring which drew his attention to the airplane. The airplane appeared to be heading south-southeast and it looked like it wasn't moving. The nose of the airplane then dropped and it entered a "downward spiral." He stated he did not hear the engine at this point. The airplane made eight or nine spirals before it stopped rotating and continued in a nose down descent. He lost sight of the airplane behind the hillside and shortly thereafter heard the impact followed by seeing black smoke. The witness stated he believes the airplane was spiraling in a clockwise rotation.

Jim Spicer (left) and Terry Kroehn



CEDAR RAPIDS — Funeral services have been set for two men killed Friday in an airplane crash near Oxford.

A funeral Mass for James A. “Jim” Spicer takes place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Ludmila Catholic Church, 211 21st Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids. Visitation is from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the church with a scripture service planned for 3 p.m.

A funeral service for Terry J. Koehn takes place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1701 Eighth St., Coralville. Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Lensing Oak Hill, 210 Holiday Road, Coralville.

Spicer, 53, of Cedar Rapids, and Koehn, 70, of rural Iowa City, were killed in the crash of a single-engine, 1965 Piper Cherokee 180 around 3:08 p.m. Friday, according to a statement issued by Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek.

Koehn was a longtime Coralville police officer and also was one of the people who ran the Green Castle Aero Club in Oxford. A full obituary is to be published Tuesday, according to the funeral home.

According to his obituary, Spicer was born Sept. 25, 1963, in Luverne, Minn. He served for six years in the National Guard and earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Dakota State University in 1986.

He went on to work for Interstate Power & Light, Alliant Energy and ITC Midwest, which brought him and his family to Cedar Rapids in 2008.

According to his obituary, Spicer enjoyed coaching baseball and officiating football. He loved cars, traveling, concerts, sporting events and flying.

He was a past president of the Mason City School Board and was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 5677.

He is survived by his wife, Laura; children Brian and Ashley; parents Mary Ann Hustad and Gene Spicer; and siblings Val Carmody and Melissa Spicer.

Interment for Spicer is at the Linwood Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Arrangements are by Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids.

Pulkrabek said the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and medical examiner are continuing to assist the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board in investigating the cause of the crash, which remained unknown as of Sunday.

On Friday, Sgt. Brad Kunkel of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, said the plane took off from the Green Castle Airport, 2154 250th ST. NW, Oxford. The plane was on fire when authorities arrived at the scene at 2383 IWV Road SW.

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

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – UPDATE (4/8): The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has identified the victims of Friday's plane crash near Oxford.

The victims were Terry Koehn of rural Iowa City and James Spicer of Cedar Rapids.

The airplane was a single engine, 1965 Piper Cherokee 180. The FAA and NTSB have custody of the airplane and are handling the investigation.

Koehn is listed as one of the Green Castle Aero Club’s board members.

Koehn's family sent TV9 this statement:

"Terry gave much to his family, community, and church, and especially enjoyed time he spent with his grandson, Liam."

Authorities haven't released who was flying the plane yet, but if it had been Koehn-- his son Aaron told TV9 he doubted the crash had been caused by pilot error. Koehn’s son told TV9 his father was an experienced and meticulous flyer.

TV9 has also reached out to Spicer's family. They declined to comment.

As of Saturday afternoon, authorities were still investigating the scene. The FAA had yet to release any preliminary data on the crash.
Johnson County deputies were expected to have more details, later Saturday evening.

UPDATE (4/7): Two people are confirmed dead after a plane crash in Johnson County. The Johnson County Sheriff's Office tells TV9 they aren't releasing the victims' identities until family is notified.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened just after 3:00 pm Friday at 2383 IWV Road SW and that the plane took off from Green Castle Airport in Oxford.

It's not known where the plane was headed or what caused the plane to crash.

The agencies that responded included the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, the Iowa State Patrol, Tiffin Fire Department, Oxford Fire Department and the Johnson County medical examiner. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are expected to join the investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY (4/7): A plane has crashed in a rural area of Johnson County just west of Iowa City.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office confirms the plane went down south of Interstate 80 shortly after 3:00 pm Friday. It is unclear the type of plane, where it was headed or how many people were onboard or if anyone was hurt.

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



The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has identified two people who were killed in a plane crash Friday afternoon.

Terry Koehn, 70, of rural Iowa City, and James Spicer, 56, of Cedar Rapids, were killed in the crash in rural Johnson County.

The incident occurred around 3 p.m., according to a news release.

The airplane was a single engine, 1965 Piper Cherokee 180.  The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Bureau have custody of the airplane.

Koeh and Spicer were the only passengers aboard the single-engine plane that took off from the Green Castle Airport, Johnson County Sheriff Sgt. Brad Kunkel said at the scene Friday afternoon. The airport is a small, private airfield in Oxford, about 15 miles northwest of Iowa City, near Kent Park.

The Johnson County Joint Emergency Communication Center received a report of the crash shortly after 3 p.m. Friday near 2383 IWV Road SW in Oxford, Kunkel said.

The plane was on fire when officials arrived, and the blaze was extinguished by both the Oxford and Tiffin fire departments.

The sheriff's office and the Johnson County Medical Examiner will continue assisting federal agencies with the case.


Original article can be found here:   http://www.press-citizen.com






OXFORD — Two people are dead after a single-engine airplane crashed into a field near Oxford in rural Johnson County Friday afternoon.

Sgt. Brad Kunkel of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said authorities responded to the crash site after a call was received at 3:08 p.m. by the Johnson County Joint Communications Center.

Kunkel said the plane, which took off from the Green Castle Airport in Iowa City, was on fire when authorities arrived to the scene at 2383 IWV Road SW. The destination of the plane is unknown and there are no known radio calls from the plane before the crash, Kunkel said. The sheriff’s office is working with Iowa State Patrol in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to investigate.

Officials are not releasing the identities of those killed in the crash, pending notification of family members. Kunkel said autopsies are to be performed.

First responders included the Oxford and Tiffin fire departments.

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





Officials are investigating a plane crash in rural western Johnson County on Friday afternoon, but they are releasing few details

The Johnson County Joint Emergency Communication Center received a report of the crash at 3:08 p.m. Friday near 2383 IWV Road SW in Oxford, Sgt. Brad Kunkel said in a news release.

The identities of the passengers and their injuries are not being released at this time, Kunkel said. The type of plane, where it flew out of and where it was headed are also not being released, Kunkel told the Press-Citizen by phone.

The Johnson County medical examiner is at the scene.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office and Iowa State Patrol are investigating the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will also assist in the investigation.

A Press-Citizen reporter and photographer are at the crash site.

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.press-citizen.com 










IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - UPDATE: The Johnson County Medical Examiner has arrived on the scene of a small plane crash west of Iowa City.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened just after 3:00 pm Friday at 2383 IWV Road SW. The Office says it will not release the names or injuries of those involved.

ORIGINAL STORY: A plane has crashed in a rural area of Johnson County just west of Iowa City.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office confirms the plane went down south of Interstate 80 shortly after 3:00 pm Friday. It is unclear the type of plane, where it was headed or how many people were onboard or if anyone was hurt.

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

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N123SB: Fatal accident occurred April 07, 2017 near Mahlon Sweet Field Airport (KEUG), Harrisburg, Linn County, Oregon

Airplane pilot Mark Gregory Aletky of Acton, California, with the Piper PA-46-310P  Malibu that crashed on April 07, 2017 near Harrisburg, Oregon.
 (Photo courtesy of Joseph Aletky)

John Zitting, wife Karen Zitting and son John “Brendan” Zitting of Thousand Oaks. The family, along with pilot Mark Aletky of Acton, California died in a Piper PA-46-310P Malibu plane crash in Oregon on April 07, 2017.


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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon
Piper Aircraft 
Continental Motors Inc

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

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N123SB 


Location: Harrisburg, OR
Accident Number: WPR17FA085
Date & Time: 04/07/2017, 1048 PDT
Registration: N123SB
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 7, 2017, about 1048 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N123SB, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Harrisburg, Oregon, during an instrument approach to Mahlon Sweet Field Airport (EUG), Eugene, Oregon. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Park City Aviation, LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California, at 0727.

Data from an onboard Appareo Stratus 2S indicated that the airplane took off from VNY at 0721:37 and leveled off at its cruise altitude of 14,200 ft GPS altitude on a generally direct route toward EUG.

At 1019, the pilot began a descent consistent with arrival in the EUG terminal area. During the approach to EUG, the pilot was in radar contact with the Cascade Approach/Eugene Tower control facility. Review of air traffic control communications revealed that, at 1038:24, the controller instructed the pilot to descend to 4,000 ft mean sea level (msl) and to expect the ILS RWY16L approach. About two minutes later, the controller advised the pilot of an area of moderate to heavy precipitation at his 11-to-2'o-clock position. He asked the pilot to verify that he had received the current weather observation at the airport; the pilot confirmed that he had. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported that the airplane was in heavy precipitation and requested vectors to the localizer and a descent to 2,000 ft msl. By 10:43:48, the airplane passed east of EUG, descending through 3,573 ft as it was being vectored for the approach at EUG. At this time, the recorded pitch attitude was about 3.5° nose down. At 1045, Cascade Approach advised the pilot of heavy to extreme precipitation in the area. Between 1046:36 and 1047:04, the airplane turned west at an altitude about 1,870 ft, and the groundspeed changed from 144 knots to 75 knots. At 1047:41, the recorded pitch angle began to increase as the pilot began to turn left at an altitude of 1,923 ft. At 1047:49, the recorded left bank angle was 42° and the recorded pitch angle was 13.6° nose up, as the airplane turned through a heading of 205°. At 1047:56, the recorded left bank angle reached 95°, with a pitch attitude of 35° nose down. The airplane descended through 1,125 ft with a nose-down pitch attitude of 30° and a left bank angle of about 70°. Shortly thereafter, the airplane briefly rolled wings-level before entering a right roll. As the airplane continued to descend, the right bank increased to 173° and the pitch angle reached 66° nose-down. At 1048:12, the groundspeed decreased to 0, consistent with ground impact. At 1048:13, the controller advised the pilot to maintain 2,000 ft msl until he intercepted the glideslope and cleared him for the approach. The pilot acknowledged the clearance. About 13 seconds later, the controller requested that the pilot check his altitude and instructed him to climb and maintain 2,000 ft msl. The pilot did not respond. The controller then issued the pilot multiple low altitude alerts and attempted to contact him on guard frequency; there were no further communications from the accident airplane. (NOTED: slight time discrepancy between Appareo Stratus and ATC clocks)

A witness located about 1/2 mile from the accident site, heard a loud engine noise and observed the airplane flying above her house toward the north. A second later, the engine went completely quiet. She continued to watch the airplane as it descended before it disappeared from her sight behind a tree line.

Another witness, who was located about 1.2 miles from the accident site, observed the airplane flying in a northerly direction above the treetops. The airplane then entered a near-vertical nose dive and disappeared behind a tree line. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/02/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 5060 hours (Total, all aircraft), 4890 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 109 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument ratings. The pilot was issued a second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certificate on February 2, 2017, with the limitation that he must wear corrective lenses. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported 5,025 total hours of flight experience of which 45 hours were in the previous six months. The pilot's digital logbook, dated February 8, 2017, indicated that he had accumulated a total of 5,060 flight hours, with about 163 hours in the accident airplane make and model, and 25 hours of instrument time in the preceding 6 months. His total instrument flight experience could not be determined.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N123SB
Model/Series: PA 46-310P 310P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 46-8508023
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/24/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4101 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3681.72 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520BE2F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The six-seat, single-engine, low-wing, retractable landing gear airplane, serial number 46-8508023, was manufactured in 1984. It was powered by a Continental Motors, Inc., TSIO-520-BE2F reciprocating engine, serial number 273821-R, rated at 310 horsepower. The airplane was also equipped with a Hartzell two-bladed constant speed propeller, model F8052. A review of maintenance records showed that the most recent annual inspection was completed January 24, 2017, at a total aircraft time of 3,681.72 hours.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEUG, 373 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1054 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 190°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2400 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 18 knots / 26 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.51 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Rain
Departure Point: VAN NUYS, CA (VNY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: EUGENE, OR (OG32)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0722 PDT
Type of Airspace: 

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) staff meteorologist prepared a factual report for the area and time surrounding the accident.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issued Day 1 Convective Outlook at 0917, predicting areas of general thunderstorms for the accident site during the day of the accident.

An Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) located at EUG reported at 1054 wind from 200° at 18 knots with gusts to 26 knots, 7 miles visibility, light rain, few clouds at 2,400 ft above ground level (agl), overcast ceiling at 3,500 ft agl, temperature 8°C, dew point 7°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.51 inches of mercury. The observations from EUG indicated that surface wind gusts to 35 knots were observed around the accident time with marginal visual flight rules (VFR) to VFR ceiling conditions.

A High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model sounding for the accident site at 1100 indicated a conditionally unstable environment from the surface through 4,500 ft msl, a possibility of low-level wind shear (LLWS) between the surface and 1,000 ft msl, and a possibility of clear-air turbulence in two layers between the surface and 9,000 ft msl.

Several pilot reports (PIREPs) were made near EUG around the time of the accident, which included base and top cloud information, LLWS on approach to Redmond, Oregon, and icing conditions above 6,000 ft; however, none of these PIREPs were given to the accident pilot, nor did the controller solicit a PIREP from the pilot during the approach. 

The visible satellite data imagery indicated cloud cover above the accident site at the time of the accident, with cumuliform cloud cover moving from southwest to northeast. The clouds were expanding in coverage above the accident site at the time of the accident, consistent with rain shower growth and strong updrafts and downdrafts.

AIRMET advisories Sierra and Tango, issued for the area of the accident site at the time of the accident, warned of mountain obscuration conditions in clouds and precipitation, moderate turbulence below 16,000 ft msl, and LLWS conditions.

An area forecast issued at 0345 and valid at the time of the accident forecast a broken ceiling at 6,000 ft agl, with layered clouds through 24,000 ft, moderate rain, and a south wind gusting to 45 knots. A Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) issued at 0917 forecast wind from 180° at 15 knots with gusts to 25 knots, greater than 6 miles visibility, light rain showers, broken ceiling at 2,000 ft agl, and overcast skies at 5,000 ft agl. The 1020 TAF forecast wind from 180° at 25 knots with gusts to 35 knots, greater than 6 miles visibility, light rain showers, scattered clouds at 2,500 ft agl, broken ceiling at 3,500 ft agl, and overcast skies at 4,000 ft agl.

The local NWS Office in Portland, Oregon, issued a wind advisory at 0727 and valid through 1700, to warn of a south wind of 25 to 35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph at the surface. A similar wind advisory was issued at 0240, warning of the gusty south winds between 0700 and 1700 for the accident site and the surrounding area.

The pilot obtained weather information through ForeFlight and Leidos graphics and texts at 0416 and 0417. In the ForeFlight graphical and text weather briefing, the pilot received AIRMETs Sierra and Tango. All were valid along the route or at the intended destination. The pilot also received the Area Forecast, the SPC Day 1 Convective Outlook, and the winds aloft forecast, with no urgent PIREPs along the route of flight before 0417. The 0354 surface observation at EUG included temperature 11°C, dew point 7°C, altimeter 29.92 inches of mercury, peak wind from 180° at 37 knots at 0357, rain ended at 0349, sea level pressure 891 hPa, and a one-hour precipitation total of 0.01in.

The pilot did not receive an official weather brief through Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS), voice Lockheed Martin Flight Service (LMFS) or Leidos. It is unknown if the accident pilot checked or received additional weather information before or during the accident flight.

Several hours after the accident, the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) observed a 140-ft-by-150-ft area of disturbed, flattened tall grass located about 450 ft southwest of the accident site. That was the only area in the field where tall grass had been flattened. Images of the grass were provided to NWS personnel, who estimated that it would take greater than 35-knot winds to lay over tall grass as the images indicated. The NWS indicated that a microburst or bow echo type of outflow event could not be ruled out.

The complete weather report is in the public docket for this accident.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.292500, -123.182222 (est) 

The airplane impacted terrain about 12 miles north of EUG at an elevation about 276 ft.

The wreckage debris path was oriented on a magnetic heading about 001° and was about 93 ft in length; the main wreckage was oriented on a heading about 010° magnetic. The first identified point of contact (FIPC) was characterized by a 22-ft-by-35-ft area of disturbed soil that resembled a silhouette of an airplane, consistent with impact in a level attitude. Visible evidence of the landing gear impact was present. Both the left and right ailerons were separated from the fuselage and located within the area of the FIPC. All three landing gear were separated; both left and right landing gear were located resting adjacent to each other on their respective sides of the fuselage, about 75 ft from the FIPC. The main wreckage comprised of the engine, fuselage, both wings, and the empennage. The wreckage exhibited significant impact damage. As a result of the impact sequence, the cabin area was displaced, with significant compression of the fuselage structure into the area of the two front seats. The engine cowling was found open and crushed backward toward the windshield. Both the forward and side windows were shattered.

The propeller was found attached to the engine. One blade was straight and the other was bent backward about 90°, consistent with the blade impacting the ground. The engine was covered with dirt.

The instrument panel exhibited impact damage, with multiple instruments displaced from the panel. Flight instruments on the right side of the instrument panel were readable; the airspeed indicator indicated 100 knots, the altimeter indicated about 2,700 ft with a Kollsman setting of 29.5 in, the vertical speed indictor indicated about 2,200 ft per minute rate of climb, the heading indicator indicated 312°, and the inclinometer on a turn-and-slip indicator was in its right-most position. Throttle, propeller and mixture levers were found in a full forward position.

Both wings remained partially attached to the fuselage at their roots. The left and right flaps remained attached to their respective wings. The empennage remained partially attached to the fuselage. The rudder and both horizontal stabilizers remained attached to the empennage. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site. 

Examination of the airframe, engine, and system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal operation. The complete engine and airframe examination report is appended to this accident in the public docket. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the State Medical Examiner at Linn County, Clackamas, Oregon, completed an autopsy on the pilot and concluded that the cause of death was multiple blunt force traumatic injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The results of the testing were negative for ethanol and listed drugs.

Additional Information

An Apple iPad Mini 3, a Garmin Aera 796, and an Appareo Stratus 2S were located at the accident site and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for download. Due to extensive damage, no data was recovered from the iPad. The Garmin Aera user interface was inoperative, and only the startup screen was documented. No further information was obtained from the device. The Appareo Stratus 2S recorded the accident flight; data were recovered using the Foreflight application.

The FAA's Advisory Circular AC 00-6B, "Aviation Weather" describes many weather hazards, including downbursts and microbursts. Section 19.6.3 states,

Downbursts can create hazardous conditions for pilots and have been responsible for many low-level wind shear accidents. Smaller, shorter-lived downbursts are called microbursts. A downburst is especially dangerous to airplanes when it is encountered when climbing for takeoff or approaching to land. During this phase, the aircraft is operating at relatively slow speeds. A major change of wind velocity can lead to loss of lift and a crash.

FAA Order JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, prescribes air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by personnel providing air traffic control services. Chapter 2, Section 6, Weather Information, states that, "Timely dissemination of PIREPs alerts pilots to significant weather reports." Paragraph 2-6-2 a. states:

Solicit PIREPs when requested, deemed necessary or any of the following conditions exists or is forecast for the area of your jurisdiction:

1. Ceilings at or below 5,000 feet. These PIREPs must include cloud base/top reports when feasible. When providing approach control services, ensure that at least one descent/climb-out PIREP, including cloud base(s), top(s), and other related phenomena, is obtained each hour.

2. Visibility (surface or aloft) at or less than 5 miles.

3. Thunderstorms and related phenomena.

4. Turbulence of moderate degree or greater.

5. Icing of light degree or greater.


6. Wind shear.

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA085
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2017 in Harrisburg, OR
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-310P, registration: N123SB
Injuries: 4 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 7, 2017, about 1046 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-46-310P, N123SB, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Harrisburg, Oregon during an instrument approach to Mahlon Sweet Field Airport (EUG), Eugene, Oregon. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Park City Aviation, LLC as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules plan had been filed for the cross-country flight that originated from Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California at 0727.

Preliminary weather report indicated that the airplane was landing in strong wind conditions, moderate to severe turbulence, and low level wind sheer with precipitation and mountain obscuration due to clouds/mist/precipitation. Several witnesses located near the accident area reported they observed the airplane flying at a treetop level.









The brother of a man killed in a small plane crash Friday along with his wife and their teenaged son in Oregon recalled the Thousand Oaks family Sunday as fun-loving go-getters with a zest for life and pursuing their dreams.

John A. Zitting, 42, his wife, Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their 17-year-old son, John “Brendan” Zitting, died in the tragic crash just before 11 a.m. Friday in a field near an airport about 2 miles north of Harrisburg, Ore., according to Linn County sheriff’s officials.

“We were definitely not expecting this because (John Zitting) lived life to the fullest, he loved to travel and see new places, loved the ocean,” said brother Mark Zitting, 34, of Heber City, Utah, by phone. “He had a yacht and they spent a lot of time on the ocean when they could. They were all great examples and good people. They were definitely way too young to go.”

Also killed was Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, of Acton, a certified pilot hired by the Zitting family to fly them from Van Nuys to Eugene, Ore., in a single-engine, six-seat 1984 Piper PA-46-310P, sheriff’s officials said. All four occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

Aletky was an “excellent pilot” who started flying in the 1980s, got his commercial license and flew charter and private jets all over the country for various companies, said long-time friend Jay, who declined to give his last name and works at the Whiteman Airport-based Rotor FX company, where Aletky functioned as a chief pilot for more than a decade.

Jay said he probably received more than 100 calls in the last two days at Rotor FX, which offers flight training with airplanes, helicopters and drones as well as aerial tours, regarding Aletky’s death. The experienced pilot was friendly, well liked and well respected, he said.

He was “probably the best tour pilot in Los Angeles,” Jay said. “He just had that personality. He connected with people, loved flying people around and showing them around the city. He did thousands and thousands of tours over the years.”

Aletky, who is survived by a wife, three children and two grandchildren, had fairly recently passed his medical exam, which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration of commercial pilots every two years, Jay said.

To qualify for insurance, Aletky also had received specialized training in the Bay Area to fly the specific plane he flew the Zittings in, Jay said. Aletky was recently hired to fly the plane for John Zitting’s company, TruNorthe LLC, to shuttle people between offices, Jay said.

On Friday, the tight-knit Zitting family had flown up to Oregon so that Brendan, a senior at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks, could tour the University of Oregon. He was days away from celebrating his 18th birthday, his uncle said.

While Brendan had already been accepted into a university in Arizona, he was still exploring his options, Mark Zitting said.

“Brendan was a great student, top of his class, on the swim team,” he said. “He was a very smart, fun, young man to be around and know.”

Brendan, who was noticeable for his great stature, was skilled with computers and was making his own computer game programs, said Karen Zitting’s brother, Arthur Blackmore, by phone from a suburb of Salt Lake City. Brendan was interested in studying computer science, he said.

John Zitting met his wife Karen through acquaintances while they were both living in northern Utah and they started their life together there. John Zitting owned a construction company in Utah, Diamond Z Construction, with his wife assisting him with the business. The family moved to Southern California and John Zitting started TruNorthe LLC, a Simi Valley-based construction management company, about seven years ago. His wife helped out with this business in addition to working as an esthetician, Mark Zitting said.

“They put everything they had into what they did; whether it was traveling or working, they were nonstop,” Mark Zitting said.

Karen Zitting, one of 12 siblings, was a family-oriented woman who was “very loved” by those who knew her, touching lives with her positive and fun-loving personality, her brother said.

She was “just one of those people you always enjoyed having around,” Blackmore said.

John Zitting was also one of 12 siblings, his brother said. Just two days before the crash, Mark Zitting said he saw his brother in Long Beach for coffee during a spring break trip to Southern California.

“We were just talking about life. ... And how busy it is and Brendan going to college. ... How time flies,” he said. “We definitely didn’t talk about death.”

The Zittings also had a small dog named Leno, who was a part of the family for many years and whom they all adored, Mark Zitting said. He said he believes Leno was being cared for by a friend at the time of the plane crash and will now be taken in by a family member.

Funeral arrangements for the family were still pending as of Sunday morning.

“John was not only my brother but my role model from the day I was born,” Mark Zitting added Sunday via text message. “He will be extremely missed and never forgotten by many. They were as sweet and beautiful as a family can be.”

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





Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley reports the victims of a plane crash that occurred on April 7, 2017, have been identified.Harrisburg Plane Crash

Investigators have learned that a 1984 Piper PA-46-310P, registered to Park City Aviation LLC from Park City, Utah was piloted by Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, from Acton, California. The plane is a single-engine, six-seat plane, and was based out of Van Nuys, California. The plane left Van Nuys yesterday at approximately 7:22 a.m., enroute to Eugene, Oregon.


Aletky was hired by Park City Aviation for the flight and was a certificated pilot.


Investigators learned the plane was flying on instrument and was approaching the Eugene Airport. Witnesses in Harrisburg described seeing the plane flying north at a low altitude when, for unknown reasons, it suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field just west of Peoria Road, which is approximately two miles north of Harrisburg. It is unknown at this time why the plane continued north past the Eugene Airport.


The Linn County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Center received the call at 10:53 a.m.


It was discovered that John A. Zitting, 42, hired Aletky to fly him, his wife and their son, to Eugene. John Zitting was found in the front passenger seat. Seated behind the pilot was Zitting’s spouse, Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their son, John Brendan Zitting, 17, was seated behind his father. The Zitting family is from Thousand Oaks, California.


All occupants of the plane died in the crash.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) arrived on scene yesterday at 4:40 p.m. to assist with the investigation. Linn County Sheriff deputies were also assisted by the Harrisburg Fire Department.


The wreckage is scheduled to be removed this weekend.


Autopsies on Aletky and John Zitting are being conducted today and the investigation is on-going as to the cause of the crash.


• Audio: 911 dispatch tape of plane crash discovery:  https://www.linnsheriff.org



Officials in Linn County, Oregon, have identified a family of three from Thousand Oaks and a pilot from Acton who died in a small plane crash on Friday.

John A. Zitting, 42, his wife Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their 17-year-old son, John Brendan Zitting, died in the 10:53 a.m. crash in a field near an airport about two mile north of Harrisburg, Oregon, Linn County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement Saturday.

Also killed was Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, of Acton, a certified pilot hired by the Zitting family to fly them from Van Nuys, California to Eugene, Oregon in a single-engine, six-seat 1984 Piper PA-46-310P, sheriff’s officials said.

“Investigators learned the plane was flying on instrument and was approaching the Eugene Airport,” according the Linn County Sheriff’s Office statement. “Witnesses in Harrisburg described seeing the plane flying north at a low altitude when, for unknown reasons, it suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field just west of Peoria Road.”

The aircraft flew past Eugene Airport prior to the crash, authorities said. It was unclear why.

All four occupants of the airplane were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Oregonian reported that the family was on their way to a college scouting trip for John Brendan Zitting, a high school senior, at the University of Oregon.

In a 911 dispatch tape released by the sheriff’s department, a man who identified himself as Loren Later reports discovering the grisly scene.

“A small aircraft just crashed into a field,” the witness reported as he made his way to the crash scene to try to help with coworkers after seeing the airplane fall from the sky from a nearby office.

“Is anybody in there? Yeah, there’s people in here,” Later is heard saying. “Four people.”

“Nobody is conscious,” he said. “We’re checking to see if there’s a pulse or anything... four people, no pulse.. there’s nobody that appears to be alive.”

“The cockpit is really smashed up. The windshield has got blood splattered on it,” the witness reported.

He added that the weather conditions at the crash scene were “brutal.”

The aircraft was based out of Van Nuys Airport, and the pilot worked for Park City Aviation, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on scene Friday afternoon to join the investigation into the cause of the crash, sheriff’s officials said. Authorities planned to remove the wreckage sometime over the weekend.

Source:  http://www.dailynews.com

A construction management company executive, his wife and their 17-year-old son along with the 67-year-old pilot died when their small plane crashed on a college scouting trip to the University of Oregon, officials said Saturday. 

The family from Thousand Oaks, California, was headed to Eugene with their son, who is a high school senior, because he was considering attending the university, a family friend told The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office identified them as  John A. Zitting, 42, Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and John Brendan Zitting, 17.

Mark Gregory Aletky of Acton, California, was the pilot of the 1984 Piper PA-46-310P that crashed Friday morning in a field near Harrisburg.

The single-engine, six-seat plane known popularly as a Piper Malibu, is based out of Van Nuys, California, and is registered to Park City Aviation LLC in Park City, Utah.

The plane left Van Nuys at 7:22 a.m. Friday, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators learned the plane was flying on instrument and was approaching the Eugene Airport, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

Witnesses in Harrisburg described seeing the plane flying north at a low altitude when, for unknown reasons, it suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field just west of Peoria Road, about two miles north of Harrisburg.

"It is unknown at this time why the plane continued north past the Eugene Airport," the news release says, adding that the Linn County Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 Center received a call about the crash at 10:53 a.m.

The wreckage is scheduled to be removed this weekend.

Autopsies on Aletky and John Zitting are being conducted Saturday. John Zitting was found in the front passenger seat of the plane. Karen Zitting was seated behind the pilot. Their son was seated behind his father.

Zitting is president of TruNorthe LLC, a construction management company.

TruNorthe's director of human resources, Tara Harris, described John Zitting as fun, entertaining and a hands-on leader.

"He was very well liked, well loved," Harris said. "I've had a lot of bosses, and I really didn't care when their birthday was. Everybody cared about his birthday. We had a party."

Zitting had recently been traveling a lot in an effort to grow TruNorthe, Harris said. The company now employs about 30 people. Six or seven were hired in the past couple of weeks, Harris said.

Zitting was excited to have bought a plane and hired a pilot, said Harris, who met Mark Aletky when he dropped off paperwork at the office. Aletky was a full-time employee of TruNorthe, Harris said.

"They were great people," said Sean Sullivan, marketing director for TruNorthe.

"His son was going off to college and that's why they were going to Oregon," Sullivan said, adding that the younger Zitting, a senior at West Lake (California) High School was also considering the University of Arizona and other schools. The son was the couple's only child.

Zitting started TruNorthe in 2010, Sullivan said. While it is based in Park City, Utah, Zitting primarily worked out of the company's Burbank, California, office.

"John by trade was a builder. He built homes, hotels, chalets," in Utah and Wyoming, Sullivan said.

Aletky was a professional drummer in California before deciding at age 45 that he wanted to be a pilot, embarking on a second career in which he rose in qualifications to the point where he flew Lear jets, said his son Joseph Aletky.

Joseph Aletky said his father had attended a training course in northern California specific to the Piper PA-46-310P. He also said his father had experience in flying aircraft in a wide variety of situations and, in a profession that measures experience in time in the aircraft, "had thousands and thousands of hours."

Aletky, 30, said his father, who also has worked as a flight instructor, started teaching him how to fly when he was a boy. He said he knew he was biased in his opinion of his father's flying abilities.

But, "Out of all the pilots I've met, he was extraordinary in his ability. I know if any situation would arise, he would be the guy to meet that."

Aletky, one of the pilot's three children, said he was perplexed by what he has read thus far about the crash.

"I can't understand it. We've had things happen in the air. We've dealt with it. He's not the type to panic. He takes things by the reins and makes sure what needs to get done gets done."
A National Transportation Safety Board investigator, meanwhile, plans to interview three witnesses Saturday who saw an airplane plummet to the ground.

The investigator also will work to continue gathering data on the plane, pilot and circumstances surrounding the crash, said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson.

Three witnesses interviewed by The Oregonian/OregonLive on Friday gave a similar version of events preceding the crash: A low-flying plane suddenly flipped on its side then traveled traveled straight down until it was out of sight. Strong winds buffeted the area at the time.

The investigator for the NTSB, which is the agency that will determine the cause of the crash, expects to be in the Harrisburg area until Sunday, Knudson said. More than one tablet computer was recovered from the site, he said, and they will be shipped to the NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., for inspection because one of them likely was used for navigation.

In addition to looking at weather conditions at the time of the crash, the investigator will want to know what weather information was available to the pilot prior to departure and how current the information was. In general, the investigator will want to know the pilot's pre-flight planning, he said.

"We'll try to understand what happened to pilot three days prior," he said, a routine part of a crash investigation, searching for "anything that could have affected the pilot's ability to safely operate that aircraft (such as) sleep, rest cycle."

Also, the pilot's license will be considered, along with hours of experience, recent flying experience, medical certification and medical records.

The aircraft will be examined along with its maintenance records, Knudson said. "Was there sufficient fuel?" he said, posing another area the NTSB would consider. The fact there was no post-crash fire was "helpful," he said, as no instrumentation was destroyed.


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



Mark Gregory Aletky, 67, of Acton, California, was identified Saturday as the pilot of a 1984 Piper PA-46-310P that crashed Friday near Harrisburg, killing Aletky and three passengers, the Linn County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday.

The sheriff's office said John A. Zitting, 42, hired Aletky to fly him; his wife and their son, to Eugene. John Zitting was found in the front passenger seat. Seated behind the pilot was Zitting's spouse, Karen Blackmore Zitting, 37, and their son, John Brendan Zitting, 17, was seated behind his father. The Zitting family is from Thousand Oaks, California.

The single-engine, six-seat plane is based out of Van Nuys and is registered to Park City Aviation LLC in Park City, Utah. Aletky was hired by Park City Aviation for the flight and was a certificated pilot.

The plane left Van Nuys at 7:22 a.m. Friday en route to Eugene, the sheriff's office said.

The sheriff's office said in a news release that investigators learned the plane was flying on instrument and was approaching the Eugene Airport.

Witnesses in Harrisburg described seeing the plane flying north at a low altitude when, for unknown reasons, it suddenly turned and crashed into a grass field just west of Peoria Road, which is approximately two miles north of Harrisburg.

"It is unknown at this time why the plane continued north past the Eugene Airport," the news release says, adding that the Linn County Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 Center received a call about the crash at 10:53 a.m.

The wreckage is scheduled to be removed this weekend.

Autopsies on Aletky and John Zitting are being conducted today and the investigation is on-going as to the cause of the crash.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator, meanwhile, plans to interview three witnesses Saturday who saw an airplane plummet to the ground.

The investigator also will work to continue gathering data on the plane, pilot and circumstances surrounding the crash that was reported to 911 shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, said NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson.

Three witnesses interviewed by The Oregonian/OregonLive on Friday gave a similar version of events preceding the crash: A low-flying plane suddenly flipped on its side then traveled traveled straight down until it was out of sight. Strong winds buffeted the area at the time.

The investigator for the NTSB, which is the agency that will determine the cause of the crash, expects to be in the Harrisburg area until Sunday, Knudson said. He said more than one tablet computer was recovered from the site and those will be shipped to the NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., for inspection because one of them likely was used for navigation.

In addition to looking at weather conditions at the time of the crash, the investigator will want to know what weather information was available to the pilot prior to departure and how current the information was. In general, the investigator will want to know the pilot's pre-flight planning, he said.

"We'll try to understand what happened to pilot three days prior," he said, a routine part of a crash investigation, searching for "anything that could have affected the pilot's ability to safely operate that aircraft (such as) sleep, rest cycle."

Also, the pilot's license will be considered, along with hours of experience, recent flying experience, medical certification and medical records.

The aircraft will be examined along with its maintenance records, Knudson said. "Was there sufficient fuel?" he said, posing another area the NTSB would consider. The fact there was no post-crash fire was "helpful," he said, as no instrumentation was destroyed.


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


Investigators are still searching for the cause of a plane crash that killed four people Friday morning in a farmer's field off of Peoria Road about one mile outside of Harrisburg.

The field, owned by Leon Kropf, is located about 10 miles north of the Eugene Airport and sits directly under the final approach for pilots landing at the airport.

The Piper PA-46-310P Malibu crashed at 11:02 a.m. A 911 call to the Linn County Sheriff's Office alerted deputies, as well as the Harrisburg Fire Department. Both agencies responded.

According to Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley, employees at Knife River Corp., about two miles away, called 911 after the noise of the engine drew their eyes skyward, where they noticed the plane flying north at about 600 feet. One employee said he watched the plane go down.

"It just kind of twisted a little bit and then it went in," Riley said.

Riley also said the witnesses did not observe the plane struggling to fly. But the crash happened on a day when southerly winds in the valley near the airport were gusting to 21 and 30 mph.  

"It hit the ground hard about 30 yards from where it came to rest," he said.

According to the aviation tracking service FlightAware, the plane, bearing the tail number N123SB, had taken off from Van Nuys airport in California at 7:22 a.m., bound for Eugene. The log last shows the aircraft traveling at 58 knots at about 1,800 feet at 10:50 a.m. 

Riley said investigators with the National Transportation Safety Bureau and the Federal Aviation Administration began their investigation Friday evening, when they removed the bodies and searched for next of kin. The names and residences of the victims were not released on Friday.


Story, video and photo gallery:   http://democratherald.com





HARRISBURG — Four people were killed on Friday in a plane crash north of Harrisburg, Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley said.

Harrisburg firefighters and Linn County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash that occurred in a field near Cartney County Park, about a mile north of Harrisburg, around 11 a.m. Friday.

The plane crashed about 10 miles north of the Eugene Airport during a time when gusty winds were prevalent in the area.

At 10:54 a.m. Friday, wind speeds near the Eugene Airport had reached about 21 miles per hour with 30 mph gusts, according to the National Weather Service.

The Eugene Airport control tower first reported that a small plane approaching the airport had crashed north of the airport at about 10:50 a.m.

Eugene Airport spokesman Casey Boatman said the plane was initially reported as a Piper Malibu. A Piper Malibu is a single-engine plane that can carry up to six people.

Linn County sheriff’s deputies are on the scene investigating the crash and are being assisted by the Harrisburg Fire Department, Riley said. Motorists in the area have been asked to find alternate routes.

Riley said 911 received a call from someone who reported either seeing the plane heading to the ground or having already crashed.

He estimated the plane struck the ground about 30 yards from where it came to rest.

Riley said he did not know where the plane came from or where it was headed.

Authorities are investigating if the cause of the crash was weather-related or mechanical, he said.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on the way to the scene.

Story, video and photo gallery:   http://registerguard.com





HARRISBURG, Ore. - Four people died in a small plane crash in a field off Peoria Road north of Harrisburg on Friday, the Linn County Sheriff's Office said.

The crash happened around 11:02 a.m., the sheriff's office said.

"We have discovered a small single engine plane that has crashed," Sheriff Bruce Riley said at the scene. "We can confirm that there are 4 deceased in the wreckage. We have secured the scene, we've notified FAA and NTSB, and they are en route to conduct their investigation."

There is no word yet on where the plane was coming from nor where the plane was headed. 

Investigators will use the plane's registration number to determine who owned the plane, as well as its flight plan, crew and passengers.

"At this point, we do not know what the cause of the crash is, whether it is weather related or mechanical difficulties," Sheriff Riley. "It's too early to tell that at this point." 

The plane crashed in a field off Peoria Road about a mile north of Harrisburg, the sheriff said.

Sheriff's deputies and firefighters are on scene. Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

Story, video and photo gallery:  http://kval.com











Four people died after a plane crashed in a field off of Peoria Road about one mile outside the city of Harrisburg on Friday morning, according to a Linn County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The crash happened at about 11:02 a.m., and deputies and the Harrisburg Fire Department responded to the scene.

Sheriff Bruce Riley asked motorists to find an alternate route to travel around the area.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph were reported throughout the Willamette Valley floor on Friday morning, and Marys Peak had a gust of 91 mph at about 9:10 a.m. 

Story, video and photo gallery: http://www.gazettetimes.com