Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cessna A188B, N4845R: Aircraft caught fire while unattended and burned








AIRCRAFT:   Cessna A188B N4845R

ENGINE – Continental IO550D22; SN: 680175

PROPELLER – Hartzell HC-C3YF-1RF; SN: E61668B

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:   1571 TTSN

PROPELLER:    1396.5 TTSN  

AIRFRAME:    8087.9

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  AC caught fire while unattended and burned.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Fuselage and wings.     

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:      Newton, GA

REMARKS: Logbooks with field adjuster.  

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N4845R.htm

Socata TB-20 Trinidad, N28070: Fatal accident occurred April 17, 2017 in Sierraville, Sierra County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Daher; Pompano, Florida 
Lycoming Engines; Milliken, Colorado 
 
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/N28070


Location: Sierraville, CA
Accident Number: WPR17FA105
Date & Time: 04/17/2017, 1610 PDT
Registration: N28070
Aircraft: SOCATA TB 20 TRINIDAD
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: VFR encounter with IMC
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 17, 2017, about 1610 Pacific daylight time, a Socata TB-20 Trinidad airplane, N28070, was destroyed during impact with remote mountainous tree-covered terrain while maneuvering about 5.5 nautical miles (nm) southwest of Sierraville, California. The noninstrument-rated private pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the pilot and another individual and was being operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) prevailed in the area at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed for the personal cross-country flight. The flight originated from Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California, about 1550, and was destined for Petaluma Airport (O69), Petaluma, California.

In a written statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the co-owner of the airplane reported that he had flown with the pilot from TRK to O69 on three occasions. On departure, they had climbed to the north toward Sierraville, then turned left (west) on a direct track toward O69, a route that took them over a valley and between mountain peaks. The co-owner further reported that on the day before the accident, he received a text message from the pilot that read, "…tomorrow is looking iffy on getting out," followed by, "…I think I'll have a window or two to get out." On the day of the accident during the morning, the pilot called the co-owner during which the pilot asked his opinion as to whether she could climb through the overcast and fly home under visual flight rules (VFR) on top; the co-owner told the pilot not to try it. Additionally, the co-owner suggested staying overnight; however, the pilot did not want to do that. The pilot then asked him if he thought the weather was likely to improve, and he advised her to call the aviation weather briefing service.

In a telephone interview with the IIC, the TRK airport operations manager stated that, as the pilot was taxiing out for takeoff, he heard her make normal before-takeoff radio transmissions. The manager also mentioned that about the time the airplane departed, there were significant cloud buildups to the west of the airport, which would have been directly in line with the pilot's route to O69. The pilot subsequently departed to the north where higher cloud bases existed.

The airplane departed TRK about 1549. Radar track data revealed that at 1556:25, about 7 minutes after departing TRK, the airplane was about 13 nm north of TRK, with a groundspeed of 142 knots (kts). At an unknown time, the airplane began to track west. Radar contact was lost for about 9 minutes, and when it was regained, at 1605:25, the airplane was observed about 13 nm west of the last radar return. At 1605:37, the airplane made a left turn to a southwest heading of 227°, at a groundspeed of 80 kts. About 36 seconds later the flight was proceeding southwest at a groundspeed of 98 kts. The airplane was then observed to turn right about 11°, and about 36 seconds later, at 1506:49, it was on a heading of 232°, and at a groundspeed of 97 kts. About 24 seconds later, at 1507:13, the flight had turned right to a heading of 236° and was at a groundspeed of 82 kts. It continued this heading for about 1 nm. About 48 seconds later, at 1608:01, the airplane was observed on a heading of 226° and at a groundspeed of 74 kts. The last radar return, which was at 1608:13, revealed that the airplane had turned left to a heading of 209°, and was at a groundspeed of 65 kts. At this time, the airplane was located about .47 nm southeast of the accident site.

The airplane did not arrive at O69, and, at 2037, the co-owner of the airplane became concerned and notified the FAA. The Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center then issued an alert notice (ALNOT), and search and rescue (SAR) operations commenced the following morning. However, due to inclement weather, which included heavy snowfall throughout the search area, SAR operations were suspended on April 23. The airplane was subsequently located on May 17 in remote mountainous terrain.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/18/2015
Flight Time:  191.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 37.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 99.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating. The pilot did not hold an instrument rating. She was issued a third-class FAA medical certificate on March 27, 2017, with the limitation "must have available glasses for near vision."

A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that she had accumulated a total of 191.8 hours of flight experience as of April 5, 2017, which was the date of the last logbook entry. Additionally, the pilot had logged 99.8 hours as pilot-in-command, 7 hours of cross-country flight time, 4.6 hours of night flight time, and 37.3 hours of flight time in the same make and model as the accident airplane. Further, the pilot's logbook revealed that she had flown 33.2 hours, 23.8 hours, and 4.6 hours within the preceding 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days preceding the date of the accident. The pilot satisfactorily completed her most recent flight review on November 18, 2015. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SOCATA
Registration: N28070
Model/Series: TB 20 TRINIDAD NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1990
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1082
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3086 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 28 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3131.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540 SER
Registered Owner: SHERLOCK WILLIAM H TRUSTEE
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The four-seat, low-wing, tricycle, retractable-landing-gear airplane, serial number 1082, was manufactured in 1990. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540 series, 250-horsepower engine, and equipped with a Hartzell HC-C3YR-1RF/7693FB, 3-blade, constant-speed propeller. A review of airplane maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on January 1, 2017, at a tachometer time of 3,103.2 hours and a time since engine major overhaul of 1,390.5 hours. The tachometer reading at the time of the accident was 3,131.6 hours. The airplane had accumulated a total of 28.4 hours since its most recent annual inspection.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TRK, 5901 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1450 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 14 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Truckee, CA (TRK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Petaluma, CA (O69)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1530 PDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown 

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1700 showed the majority of station models in northern California and northwestern Nevada reporting overcast skies, with one station model near the accident site reporting light rain.

WSR-88D2 Level-II weather radar imagery from Reno, Nevada, located about 48 miles east-northeast of the accident site, identified light reflectivity values in the area of the accident site between about 9,600 ft msl and 14,400 ft msl.

A vertical cross section of the KGRX radar imagery for the immediate area of the accident location depicted very light values of reflectivity up to about 22,000 ft msl to 23,000 ft msl above the accident location.

Advanced Very-High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and infrared data depicted cloudy skies over the area of the accident site.

At 1450, the automated weather observing station at TRK, located about 20 miles southeast of the accident site at an elevation of 5,901 ft msl, reported wind from 190° at 10 knots with gusts to 14 knots, prevailing visibility 6 to 10 statute miles or greater, ceiling broken at 3,400 ft agl, overcast cloud base at 4,200 ft agl, temperature of 8°C, dew point temperature of 4°C, and altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.

At 1645, TRK reported wind from 190° at 5 knots, prevailing visibility of 10 statute miles or greater, ceiling broken at 2,600 ft agl, overcast cloud base at 3,900 ft agl, temperature of 7°C, dew point temperature of 4°C, and altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury.

A terminal aerodrome forecasts issued at 1040 for TRK forecasted for the accident time: wind from 220° at 13 knots with gusts to 24 knots, prevailing visibility greater than 6 statute miles, light rain showers, few clouds at 2,500 ft agl, and ceiling broken at 4,000 ft agl.

An area forecast that included the region of northern California (north of a Santa Rosa-Sacramento-South Lake Tahoe line) was issued at 1245 by the Aviation Weather Center (AWC) in Kansas City, Missouri. The portion of the area forecast directed toward the northern Sierra Nevada range and valid for the accident time indicated broken clouds at 9,000 ft msl with clouds layered to flight level (FL)250 and scattered light rain showers.

The following Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET) advisories were valid over the airplane's route of flight at the time of the accident:

At 1345, an AIRMET SIERRA was issued for mountain obscuration.

At 1345, an AIRMET ZULU was issued for moderate icing between the freezing level and FL220.

At 1345, two AIRMET TANGOs were issued for moderate turbulence between FL220 and FL390 and moderate turbulence below FL180.

For further information, see the weather study in the public docket for this report.

The co-owner of the accident airplane stated that when he called the FAA's Oakland Operations Watch Desk at 2037, he was informed that the pilot had called in for a weather briefing at 1400. However, during the investigation, attempts to retrieve a transcription of the briefing that the weather briefer provided the pilot were unsuccessful. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  39.541111, -120.470556 

An onsite examination revealed that the airplane came to rest on the rising face of a mountain about 20 nm northwest of TRK at an elevation of 7,697 ft msl. The initial impact point (IIP) was identified by a broken tree branch, right wing fragments, and a green position light. Several broken tree branches were located about 15 ft beyond the IIP around the base of an approximate 70-ft-tall tree; the tree displayed a large impact scar. About 5-inch-long striations were observed along the left side of an impact scar, oriented in a 45° downward angle. Additionally, fragments of airframe skin were embedded in a second tree, about 42-ft tall, which comprised the beginning of the main wreckage site.

The wreckage debris path, which was estimated to be about 20 ft in length, was oriented on a northerly heading. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The right wing spar and portions of the right wing skins were found at the base of the scarred tree. The spar was broken outboard beyond the fuel tank sight gage, and the wing flap was separated about midspan. The right aileron, which had separated from the wing, was co-located with the empennage.

The left wing was intact with the exception of its wingtip, which had separated. The left wing leading edge displayed aft crushing. The left wing flap was intact and remained attached to the left wing. The wing spar was broken inboard, and the left main landing gear was in the retracted position. The aileron was co-located with the left wing.

The vertical stabilizer and rudder were found at the base of the scarred tree, the only tree that was scarred during the impact sequence. The upper vertical stabilizer had separated from the spar but was co-located with the rest of the airfoil at the base of the scarred tree. A large concave depression was found in both the rudder and lower vertical stabilizer that matched the large impact scar on the tree.

The horizontal stabilizer was intact and attached to the tailcone and part of the aft fuselage. A small concave depression was found about midspan on the leading edge of the right horizontal stabilizer.

The cabin, forward fuselage, and engine compartment were located beneath several feet of snow.

The engine instrument panel was located. However, individual instrument readings could not be determined due to postimpact damage.

The engine was buried in deep snow at the base of the impacted tree. The propeller remained attached to the engine. All 3 propeller blades were impact damaged and remained attached to their respective hubs. Two of the blades remained relatively straight, and one blade was bent aft almost 90°.

The postaccident examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Sheriff-Coroner, Sierra County, Downieville, California, performed an autopsy on the pilot. The examination revealed that the cause of death was massive blunt force trauma.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on the pilot. According to the toxicology report, 11 (mg/dL, mg/hg) ethanol was detected in muscle, no ethanol was detected in brain, and ibuprofen detected in liver. Carbon monoxide and cyanide tests were not performed. The detection of alcohol in muscle but not in brain was consistent with postmortem production. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter medication used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation; it is not generally considered to be impairing.

TEST AND RESEARCH


Five electronic devices were sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder lab, but no data were able to be recovered due to damage or lack of a passcode.

NTSB Identification: WPR17FAMS3 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 17, 2017 in Loyalton, CA
Aircraft: SOCATA TB 20 TRINIDAD, registration: N28070
Injuries: Unavailable

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 17, 2017, about 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Socata TB-20 Trinidad, N28070, departed Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. Since that time, the private pilot and one passenger have not been located, and the airplane is missing. Radar track data was lost when the airplane was about 16 nautical miles north of TRK, and is presumed to have crashed in remote mountainous terrain. The personal cross-country flight was being operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulator Part 91. There was no record that the pilot had filed a flight plan.

TRK airport operations personnel reported that about the time the airplane departed, lowering cloud bases were observed west of the airport, which would have been the direction of flight en route to O69. However, the pilot elected to depart to the north in an area where higher cloud bases existed.

Search and rescue efforts commenced the morning following the disappearance of the airplane, April 18th, and were subsequently suspended during the evening of April 23rd. To date the airplane has not been located, and an emergency locator signal has not been reported.

Mark and Brenda Richard
~

RICHARD, Mark Stephan RICHARD, Brenda Jane (Fauss) 

Husband and wife, Mark Stephan Richard (54) and Brenda Jane (Fauss) Richard (53) of Santa Rosa, CA, passed away on Monday, April 17th, 2017 when their four-seat plane went down in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Truckee, CA. Mark and Brenda were both born and raised in Petaluma, CA. Mark was one of four brothers, and Brenda had one older brother. They were high school sweethearts and had been happily married for 32 years. Along with parents and siblings, they are survived by four daughters Danielle (28), Ashley (25), Madeline (21), and Lauren (19). In addition, they were overjoyed to become grandparents to Danielle's daughter, Callie Rose (3), who had a special relationship with each, and lovingly refers to them as "Ma and Pa." As parents, they constantly fostered each of their daughters' passions and instilled independence in them. They had many passions themselves. Brenda loved tapping into her creativity through art, poetry, and dream interpretation. She didn't like to sit still for long and was always finding a new outlet to satisfy her curiosity and yearning to learn new things. In recent years, she was consumed with an interest in flying which was passed down by her late father, Byron Fauss. Mark was very involved in creating a good life for his family by growing his company, Icon Design and Display, which he started with only a high school diploma and an idea. Through the success of his company, he was able to retire at 49 years old and spend more time with his family and follow other passions such as motorcycle riding, car racing, and investing. Mark and Brenda traveled extensively, especially in later years, both as a couple and with their family. They thoroughly enjoyed immersing themselves in any culture they visited. They loved connecting deeply with people, and had a love for life that rubbed off on anyone who met them. These qualities have been passed on to their daughters, who will miss them dearly, as will extended family and friends. Survived by: parents - Phil Richard, Jean Nelson, and Alma Fauss of Petaluma; siblings - Phil Richard Jr., Mike Richard, Dave Richard, and Bruce Fauss; daughters and granddaughter mentioned above A memorial service is to be held on Saturday June 17th 2:00 p.m. at Petaluma Valley Baptist Church 580 Sonoma Mountain Parkway Petaluma, CA 94954. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choice.

The bodies of Brenda and Mark Richard, the Santa Rosa couple whose single-engine airplane went missing last month in the Sierra Nevada mountains, have been found, Sierra County Sheriff’s officials said Friday.

Sheriff Tim Standley said a recreational snowmobiler found a piece of the plane’s tail in the snow on Tuesday. Authorities confirmed the discovery early Wednesday and on Thursday found the bodies, in the separated cockpit buried in six to seven feet of snow.

Officials said the couple’s family have been notified of the discovery, in a remote area southeast of Yuba Pass in Sierra County.

“Our hearts go out to the Richards, to their friends who have called for information, to the family that have called in,” Standley said. “It’s a great tragedy.”

Undersheriff Robert Yegge said an autopsy to determine cause of death is underway.

The couple flew out of Truckee Tahoe Airport April 17 headed for Petaluma. At the time of their takeoff around 4 p.m., the temperature was 41 degrees with overcast skies and wind gusts exceeding 20 mph. A friend of the couple last month described Brenda Richard, 53, as a good pilot familiar with flying in the mountains.

The couple were in their white-and-blue single-engine Socata TB-20 Trinidad and were thought to have crashed in a 400-square-mile stretch of rugged backcountry in Sierra County, 18 miles northwest of Truckee. The general location of the plane was determined by radar and cellphone data. On April 23, after six days of unsuccessfully scouring the rough terrain, a search effort was called off.

Standley said it appears the plane struck a tree and split apart. He said he believes centrifugal force caused by the impact flung the cockpit and engine deep into powdery snow. Subsequent snowstorms encased the cockpit in icy, hard-packed snow, he said.

The tail portion of the plane that was found by the snowmobiler was located under a thick tree canopy, he said.

The area had been previously surveyed by rescue aircraft, but the wreckage would not have been visible due to the tree canopy, Standley said.

After the Sheriff’s Office received the report of the wreckage, Standley organized a party to search for the Richards. Standley said the team included those who had previously spent days last month searching for the plane.

The team, which included snowmobiles and specially equipped all-terrain vehicles, went out in snowy weather on Wednesday night. They found the plane by 2:30 a.m. but could not immediately find the cockpit, officials said.

On Thursday morning, a team went out with shovels to dig in the snow. The team found the cockpit and the couple, deceased, inside. Local investigators and federal agencies confirmed the bodies were that of Brenda, 53, and Mark, 54.

The Richards have four adult daughters, Lauren, Madeline, Ashley and Danielle, and a young grandchild, according to neighbors in Santa Rosa.

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






Authorities found a missing airplane, which crashed while carrying a married couple from Truckee to Petaluma, California, in mid-April, after receiving a tip from a citizen.

The plane was found on Tuesday in a remote area southeast of Yuba Pass in Sierra County, according to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities found two occupants in the plane, later identified as 54-year-old Mark Steven Richard and his 53-year-old wife, Brenda Jane Richard. Both were reported missing on April 18 after they failed to land on schedule.

The couple departed at about 4 p.m. on April 17 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport in a small four-seat Socata TB20 Trinidad with tail No. N28070. They were scheduled to land at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, but they never arrived, Sierra County Sheriff’s deputies said in a previous news release.

Early the next morning, authorities with the Office of Emergency Services in California notified Sierra County deputies that the plane was overdue. 

Investigators with the Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center conducted radar analysis and traced the couple’s cellphones. They narrowed the search to an area near Yuba Pass Road, between Webber Lake and Jackson Meadow. The area is about 22 miles northwest of Truckee.



Authorities said they extensively searched the area with the help of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team as well as other agencies in California.

Neighboring agencies from Nevada also helped in the search. But the search was later suspended after authorities failed to find the missing plane.

John Clausen, 58, who works as a sales representative for Granite Chief in Olympic Valley, Calif., often spends his time hiking and skiing in the Tahoe-area.

The former sports photographer said he was enjoying several hours riding around in his snowmobile when he came across torn pieces of the plane. He walked around the area and found that a large portion of the plane was still intact, he said.

“I didn’t look inside to see if there was anyone there,” Clausen said.

He said he felt surprised that a small plane would even survive a crash in the rugged mountainous area. He found the plane between Yuba Pass and Webber Lake—the same general area where authorities believed the plane had crashed.

“There was no way anyone could have found it because of the thick forest and the deep snow,” Clausen said. “My first thought was, ‘Wow!’”

Clausen said the trailhead where he was riding his snowmobile “easily had 2 to 3 feet of snow.” And the area where he found the plane was covered in even more snow.

“It was like finding a needle in the haystack,” he said. “I was not looking for it. I was just enjoying several hours of snowmobiling.”

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




May 19, 2017 – On Tuesday, April 18, 2017 the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office initiated a search effort based on a report of an overdue aircraft reported as traveling from Truckee to Petaluma California the previous day. The overdue aircraft was reported to have been occupied by Brenda Jane Richard, age 53 (Reported Pilot) and Mark Steven Richard age 54 (Reported Passenger), a married couple both of Santa Rosa California.

An extensive search was performed by members of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team as well as numerous agencies from throughout the state, in addition to neighboring agencies from Nevada providing mutual aid to the extensive search effort. The search was later suspended with no evidence of the missing aircraft discovered.

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017 the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office responded to a citizen report of an airplane crash in a remote area south/east of Yuba Pass in Sierra County. Upon locating the crash site, the Sierra County Sheriff's Office was able to determine the crashed airplane was that of the missing aircraft from the April 18, 2017 search effort.

A subsequent investigation by the sheriff’s office as well as federal agencies confirmed two occupants on board the aircraft. Both occupants were found deceased and later identified as Brenda Jane Richard and Mark Steven Richard. The family of the couple has been notified. The Sierra County Sheriff's Office extends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mark & Brenda Richard.

Original article can be found here: https://yubanet.com

Authorities found a missing airplane, which crashed while carrying a married couple from Truckee to Petaluma, Calif. in mid-April, after receiving a tip from a citizen.

The plane was found on Tuesday in a remote area southeast of Yuba Pass in Sierra County, according to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities found two occupants in the plane, later identified as 54-year-old Mark Steven Richard and his 53-year-old wife, Brenda Jane Richard. Both were reported missing on April 18 after they failed to land on schedule.

The couple departed at about 4 p.m. on April 17 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport in a small four-seat Socata TB20 Trinidad with tail No. N28070. They were scheduled to land at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, but they never arrived, Sierra County Sheriff’s deputies said in a previous news release.

Early the next morning, authorities with the Office of Emergency Services in California notified Sierra County deputies that the plane was overdue. Investigators with the Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center conducted radar analysis and traced the couple’s cellphones. They narrowed the search to an area near Yuba Pass Road, between Webber Lake and Jackson Meadow. The area is about 22 miles northwest of Truckee.

Authorities said they extensively searched the area with the help of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team as well as other agencies in California.

Neighboring agencies from Nevada also helped in the search. But the search was later suspended after authorities failed to find the missing plane.

John Clausen, 58, who works as a sales representative for Granite Chief in Olympic Valley, Calif., often spends his time hiking and skiing in the Tahoe-area.

The former sports photographer said he was enjoying several hours riding around in his snowmobile when he came across torn pieces of the plane. He walked around the area and found that a large portion of the plane was still intact, he said.

“I didn’t look inside to see if there was anyone there,” Clausen said.

He said he felt surprised that a small plane would even survive a crash in the rugged mountainous area. He found the plane between Yuba Pass and Webber Lake—the same general area where authorities believed the plane had crashed.

“There was no way anyone could have found it because of the thick forest and the deep snow,” Clausen said. “My first thought was, ‘Wow!’”

Clausen said the trailhead where he was riding his snowmobile “easily had 2 to 3 feet of snow.” And the area where he found the plane was covered in even more snow.

“It was like finding a needle in the haystack,” he said. “I was not looking for it. I was just enjoying several hours of snowmobiling.”


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

The Civil Air Patrol ended its search Monday morning for the missing airplane that was carrying a couple from Truckee to Petaluma, California.

Deputies with the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office unsuccessfully searched for the aircraft along the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Authorities decided to suspend the search at about 9 p.m. on Sunday.

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” Incident Commander Maj. Shane Terpstra of the Civil Air Patrol said in news release on Monday.

“We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search,” Terpstra said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Mark Richard and his wife, Brenda, departed from the Truckee Tahoe Airport on April 17. Their four-seat Socata TB20 Trinidad was scheduled to land at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, but it never arrived, authorities said.

The Civil Air Patrol was notified shortly after midnight the following day by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

For six days, authorities from various agencies searched an area 18 miles northwest of Truckee. Civil Air Patrol aircrews from California and Nevada took photos of the search area, which they described as rugged, heavily-wooded and snow-covered.

Crews logged more than 60 flight hours over the area.

Civil Air Patrol volunteers reviewed more than 8,000 digital images of the search area, which was taken by cameras that were mounted on the search planes.

More than 117 volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol helped in the search. That included crews from the California National Guard. The California Highway Patrol also used aircrafts to help with the search.

In total, the Civil Air Patrol used 15 aircraft and 12 vehicles during the search.

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

Civil Air Patrol concluded its operations Monday morning in the search for a missing aircraft with two persons on board in the Sierra Nevada mountain range after the

search was suspended by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office at 9 p.m. Sunday night. The aircraft has not been found.

The Socata TB-20 Trinidad took off April 17 from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee and never arrived at its intended destination of Petaluma Municipal Airport. Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search shortly after midnight Tuesday by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Aerial assets from the California Highway Patrol and California National Guard also participated in the multi-agency search, as did CAP ground teams and those from multiple agencies. The search was conducted in a unified command in support of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

Throughout the six-day search, CAP aircrews from California and Nevada conducted visual and photographic searches while logging more than 60 flight hours over the rugged, heavily-wooded and snow-covered search area located 18 miles northwest of Truckee. 

CAP volunteers on the ground reviewed more than 8,000 high resolution digital images of the search area, which were captured by wing-mounted cameras on the CAP search planes. 

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search,” said CAP Incident Commander Maj. Shane Terpstra. “We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

More than 117 CAP volunteers, 15 CAP aircraft and 12 CAP vehicles participated in the search.


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

Authorities resumed their search Sunday morning for a Santa Rosa couple whose Petaluma-bound plane went missing on April 17 after taking off from Truckee.

Two Civil Air Patrol planes took off around 10 a.m. to search for Mark and Brenda Richard’s white-and-blue Socata TB-20 Trinidad, said Maj. Kathy Johnson, spokeswoman for the Civil Air Patrol. A third plane left in the afternoon to assist.

The patrol suspended its search Saturday afternoon because of strong winds above an area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range where the plane had last been tracked by radar and cellphone information.

The Civil Air Patrol, along with the California National Guard, the CHP and local authorities are focusing on a 270-square-mile area located 18 miles northwest of the Truckee-Tahoe Airport, Johnson said.

Fresh snow on the mountain range has made it difficult to spot the aircraft, especially because the plane’s bottom is white, Johnson said.

“Everything is covered in snow,” she said. “They had fresh snow just after they went missing.”

Flight crews have taken more than 8,000 high-resolution images within the past week to try to pinpoint where the aircraft might have landed, Johnson said.


“It takes about five minutes a photo to go through,” she said. “As you can imagine, it’s a huge undertaking.”

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

A Civil Air Patrol aircrew from California Wing is briefed Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Sacramento, during a search for a missing aircraft near the Sierra Nevada mountain range with two persons on board. The Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search early Tuesday morning by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Rescue crews continued to scour the Sierra Nevada on Sunday as the search for a Santa Rosa couple and the single-engine plane they were piloting stretched into its sixth day.

The Civil Air Patrol launched three planes Sunday morning to conduct visual and photographic searches of an area about 18 miles northwest of Truckee.

The California Highway Patrol and the Air National Guard also have planes in the air to complement a ground search being led by the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane, a four-seat Socata TB-20 Trinidad, took off from Truckee-Tahoe Airport just before 4 p.m. last Monday, the CAP said. The plane was being piloted by Brenda and Mark Richards of Santa Rosa.

Family members reported the aircraft as overdue when it failed to arrive at its intended destination at Petaluma Municipal Airport, about 180 miles away.




An aerial photo taken by a Civil Air Patrol aircrew Wednesday afternoon, April 19, 2017, shows snow, tree covering, and rugged terrain in an area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range being searched for a missing aircraft with two people on board. The Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search early Tuesday morning by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Air and ground teams from multiple agencies are participating in the search. 


Weather hampered Thursday’s search efforts for a Santa Rosa couple not heard from since taking off in their single-engine plane Monday afternoon from the Truckee-Tahoe Airport en route to Petaluma.

One surveillance flight was able to take off Thursday morning in the search for Mark and Brenda Richard’s Socata TB-20, which officials estimate disappeared five minutes after leaving the 5,900-foot elevation airport about 4 p.m. Monday.

In a statement released Thursday morning, the Richards’ family, which includes daughters Lauren, Madeline, Ashley and Danielle, remained hopeful.

“We have confidence in the search and rescue team and are grateful for the support and efforts of everyone involved,” the statement said.

“We are staying positive and would appreciate privacy at this time.”

When the Richards took off Monday in Truckee, the National Weather Service said it was 45 degrees, with a 6-mph southerly wind and 10-miles visibility.

But about 18 miles northwest of the airport where the Richards’ plane disappeared, the weather can be “drastically different,” said Hardy Bullock, director of aviation and community services for the airport. Because of the high altitude and rugged terrain, flying in and out of the mountain airport can be tricky..

It implemented a “Fly Aware” campaign posting signs at the airport and on its website to educate pilots about the unique circumstances.

“We have a pilot and passenger coordinator who walks around the airport, trying to catch passengers before they depart,” Bullock said, “to talk to them about the challenges that they’re going to face flying into and out of Truckee.”

Altitude, air density, changing weather and wind shear — the abrupt changes in wind speed and direction that can occur over the Sierra Nevada peaks — are among the hazards pilots face flying in and out of the mountain airport, Bullock said.

He said no airport staffers made contact Monday with the Richards and security footage shows they didn’t visit the terminal.

Robert Bousquet, board member of the Tahoe Flying Club based at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport, said a pilot flying a single-engine plane should consider the temperature drops 3 degrees for every thousand feet climbed.

“If you don’t have a plane that can climb through the weather with de-icing equipment, and get above it, then you don’t have a lot of other options other than to fly through it,” Bosquet said.

“So, if you’re at the freezing level, and it was pretty close on Monday ... and it was misting and kind of wet and rainy, those aren’t great plane conditions.”

With no de-icing equipment, a single-engine plane would have two options: Fly above the weather, or drop down to a low enough altitude for the ice to melt.

“The problem with flying a single-engine piston aircraft in the mountains is that you cannot descend to get rid of ice because you have the terrain beneath, and you can’t climb because ice disrupts the airflow over the wings, and produces less lift,” Bousquet said.

Because of the terrain and “desolate wilderness” surrounding the Truckee-Tahoe Airport, Bousquet creates his own flight plans that give him as many landing options as possible in an emergency. In eastern Sierra County, there aren’t many landing options, he said.

When flying to Petaluma, he said, there are two typical routes pilots take.

The most direct path is to Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport, just west of Truckee, and then Interstate 80 southwest before heading west to the Petaluma Airport.

Bousquet said the flight takes about an hour.

Neighbors of the Richards’ said Brenda Richards, the pilot, had been flying for several years.

“She was out flying quite a bit,” Don Jereb said.

Neighbor Tom Torgeson said a pilot friend relayed that Brenda Richards is known as a good pilot who “knows mountain flying.”

So far, search efforts have included the Civil Air Patrol and multiple other agencies, including more than 60 volunteers, nine aircraft and seven vehicles.

Nine sorties had been flown by midday Thursday, with more than 3,100 aerial photographs taken of the heavily wooded snow-covered area, where the snowpack can reach about 10  feet.

“This is truly a team effort and everyone is dedicated to the same goal of finding the aircraft,” said Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Crystal Housman.

Original article can be found here:   
http://www.petaluma360.com

Authorities expanded their search Saturday across the snow-covered northern Sierra Nevada for a single-engine plane flown by a Santa Rosa couple that went missing five days ago after taking off from Truckee.

Five search planes were criss-crossing a nearly 400 square mile area about 18 miles northwest of the Truckee-Tahoe Airport for any signs of Mark and Brenda Richard’s white and blue  Socata TB-20 Trinidad. The couple departed the airport Monday afternoon, bound for Petaluma.

“We’re flying grid patterns,” said Maj. Kathy Johnson, spokeswoman for the Civil Air Patrol. “It’s all divided up. Every plane has its own area. You search it methodically.”

Johnson said the search area has grown slightly from earlier in the week and is now 28 miles by 14 miles wide. The couple was tracked there by radar and cellphone information.

Searchers had clear weather Saturday morning but clouds were expected to close in by the afternoon. Snow on the ground coupled with the plane’s color have hampered search efforts so far, she said.

“When you’ve got a white plane it just blends in,” Johnson said.

Other aircraft from the CHP and state Air National Guard joined in the search Friday while numerous other agencies led by Sierra and Nevada county law enforcement conducted ground searches.

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

Members of Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing are helping the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office search for a missing Socata aircraft with two people on board.

Officials say the Socata TB-20 Trinidad left the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee, California, just before 4 pm on Monday and family members reported the aircraft was overdue Monday night it failed to arrive at Petaluma Municipal Airport.

The Socata is described as  a four-seat low wing aircraft that is blue and white with gold trim. It is equipped with a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT), but officials say no satellite hits have come in from the beacon.

Civil Air Patrol was activated for the search shortly after midnight on Tuesday by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

AFRCC say radar analysis and cell phone forensics were conducted overnight and they are narrowing the search to a rugged area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range northwest of Truckee.

Bad weather in the area prevented CAP aircrews from launching overnight and Tuesday morning, but three crews and aircraft are standing by for launch.

“Our hope is that the weather will clear and we can fly a visual search Tuesday afternoon,” said Civil Air Patrol incident commander Maj. Steven DeFord.

A California-based CAP aircrew from Auburn, and two Nevada Wing aircrews from Minden and Carson City are prepared to fly and do visual searches over the mountainous terrain once the weather clears.

A CAP ground team consisting of four search and rescue volunteers from Palo Alto and Sacramento say they are en route to assist Sierra County Sheriff’s Office search teams near Little Truckee Summit in the Tahoe National Forest.

Officials say there are 22 CAP volunteers, three CAP aircraft and one CAP vehicle being used in the search mission.

Tuesday evening there was a shift change at incident command and Civil Air Patrol incident commander Maj. David Boehm said, "We will be flying until sundown. If the aircraft is not located this evening, we plan to resume aerial search operations at sunrise, so long as the weather cooperates."

Boehm continued, "We want to find them, and we will search as long as we are needed."

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

An airplane that departed from the Tahoe-Truckee Airport (KTRK) on Monday, April 17 has been reported missing.

According to a press release issued by the Civil Air Patrol, the plane departed the Truckee Airport yesterday around 4 p.m. The two people on board were heading for the Petaluma Municipal Airport (O69), but family members say they never arrived.

The Civil Air Patrol, which is an all-volunteer U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is assisting the Sierra County Sheriff's Department with the search near Little Truckee Summit in Tahoe National Forest, northwest of the town of Truckee.

Civil Air Patrol Incident Commander Major David Boehm said Tuesday afternoon, "We will be flying until sundown. If the aircraft is not located this evening, we plan to resume aerial search operations at sunrise, so long as the weather permits."

The missing aircraft is equipped with an emergency location transmitter, though as of Tuesday afternoon no signal had been sent. The airplane is a four-seat low wing aircraft, known as a Socata TB-20 Trinidad. It is blue and white with gold trim.

“We want to find them, and we will search as long as we are needed,” he said.

The California Highway Patrol is also assisting in the search, according to Civil Air Patrol spokesperson Lt. Col. Crystal Housman.

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

Waco Regional Airport (KACT) makes progress with infrastructure projects



A public information workshop last week updated the Waco community on the progress and direction of the Waco Regional Airport master plan.

“The master plan is literally a plan to help us identify what we need,” said Joel Martinez, director of aviation at Waco Regional Airport. “As the funds become available, that’s when we act on those project lists. So, we’ll start as early as next year, but again the master plan is just mapping out the next 15 years worth of projects for how our facility will progress. It will be an ongoing thing.”

The meeting was held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the airport terminal building. Martinez said the meeting focused on recommendations in terms of infrastructure for the airport. Martinez reviewed a list of about 30 various projects to consider for construction, as well as budgeting for the projects. Martinez said a major focus and the next project was to relocate runway 1432 by moving it to the north to eliminate a safety area concern.

“I’m currently identifying projects and securing funds to complete those projects, whether that is acquisition of properties or drainage plans and implementing that,” Martinez said. “Implementation is what my focus will be once the plan is complete.”

Martinez also said there has not been any imposing feedback that he is aware of up to this point. There has been a lot of public interest, he said. The meeting last Thursday had about 15 members of the general public present to participate, review and discuss sketches and recommendations, Martinez said. The target for finishing the master plan is still set for June.

“A big part of the master plan was to bring the community in on the planning aspect of the airport,” Martinez said. “I hope the community and those involved recognize going forward that this project was discussed and they remember why we need that. So, that type of support, not to say we don’t have support, but sometimes we have to re-justify why we have projects going forward.”

A representative from the Federal Aviation Administration was also present at the meeting and had no glaring feedback, so Martinez believes they are moving in the right direction.

“With upcoming construction and hopeful improvements, I’d definitely consider traveling via the Waco airport because I don’t have a car and getting a ride there would be a lot easier than commuting to Dallas,” Columbia, Tenn., freshman Micaela Freeman said. “Disregarding connecting flights, I’d be one to try out the Waco airport. I’ve heard nothing but positives about it in the past.”

In October, the airport announced the creation of the master plan in order to implement changes over the next 20 years. The master plan considers various ideas for construction, relocation and generating income from expanding the runway and parking area. Walker Partners, Coffman Associates, Martinez Geospatial and DKMG Consulting are all working on the project.

Jacob Bell, client manager for Walker Partners told the Lariat in October about the creation of the master plan, a 20-year road map that looks at alternatives for the construction of the airport. Engineers working on the project plan to work with the Federal Aviation Administration to keep the Waco Regional Airport up to standard, in addition to related renovations.The master plan is done in five year increments, with the next five years already planned. The project will move forward after the next five years focusing first on safety, then expansion.

“As an out of state student, the Waco airport tends to be my first reunion with Baylor and Waco,” Peoria, Ill., freshman Lindsay Walton said. “It is currently very small and kind of dated. I am excited for it to be refurbished so that when my friends and family fly down to visit, the good impression of Baylor begins when they touch down.”

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

Luscombe 8A, N8554Y: Fatal accident occurred April 18, 2017 near Skylark Airpark (7B6), Warehouse Point, Hartford County, Connecticut

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

Analysis 

The two private pilots were making a local flight in the airplane, which was equipped with dual flight controls. Both pilots were qualified to fly the airplane, and it could not be determined which pilot was manipulating the flight controls at the time of the accident. Following a flight of about 30 minutes duration, witnesses observed the airplane make a full stop landing, taxi back, and take off to the east. The engine sounded normal during the takeoff and initial climb. One witness then observed the airplane shaking, then tipping left and right, followed by an abrupt turn to the left. The nose of the airplane dropped, and the airplane descended rapidly to ground impact. The wreckage was found in a wooded area about 1/2 mile northeast of the airport in an inverted, nose-low attitude. An examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preexisting mechanical malfunctions or anomalies. Although the right fuel tank selector handle was installed backwards, the fuel valve was in the correct position for fuel to feed normally.

Toxicology testing of the left-seat pilot revealed the presence of diphenhydramine; however, the level detected was too low to quantify and was unlikely to be impairing.

Although the exact amount of fuel on board at the time of the accident could not be determined, estimates of the airplane's gross weight indicated that the airplane was between 54 lbs and 156 lbs over maximum gross weight. Based on the witness observation that the wings were rocking before the airplane abruptly turned left and then descended, it is likely that the pilot failed to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering aggressively, which resulted in exceedance of the critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 

The flying pilot's excessive maneuvering of the airplane at a slow airspeed, which resulted in exceedance of the critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilots' operation of the airplane over its maximum allowable gross weight. 

Findings

Aircraft
Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Maximum weight - Capability exceeded (Factor)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Weight/balance calculations - Pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hartford, Connecticut
Continental Motors Inc.; Mobile, Alabama

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

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

Robert J. Plourde: http://registry.faa.gov/N8554Y




Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: East Windsor, CT
Accident Number: ERA17FA156
Date & Time: 04/18/2017, 1840 EDT
Registration: N8554Y
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 18, 2017, about 1840 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N8554Y, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Skylark Airport (7B6), East Windsor, Connecticut. The two private pilots were fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by one of the pilots under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

A witness reported that the pilot and passenger pulled the airplane out of its hangar and added fuel. The airplane then took off, and the engine sounded "strong and smooth." The airplane departed the airport traffic pattern for about 30 minutes and returned for landing. After landing, the engine was not shut down, and the occupants did not exit the airplane. About 5 minutes later, the airplane taxied for takeoff. During the takeoff roll, the engine again sounded "strong and smooth." The witness observed the airplane until it was about 50 to 75 ft in the air. He did not notice anything unusual about the airplane or the takeoff.

A second witness, who was adjacent to the mid-point of the runway, observed the takeoff and reported that the engine sounded like it was at full power and "normal." The airplane appeared to be at the correct altitude for the takeoff. He called it a "nice and steady takeoff."

A third witness, who was standing at the departure end of runway 10, observed the takeoff and reported that, as the airplane passed overhead, it seemed to be lower and slower than most airplanes that he had observed. He then saw the airplane shaking and tipping left and right as it barely cleared the tree line past the end of the runway. He saw the airplane make a "drastic, sharp, and abrupt" turn to the north. He stopped hearing the engine, and the airplane "dropped like a stone." He then called the local authorities to report the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/04/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/02/2017
Flight Time: 305 hours (Total, all aircraft), 31 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/24/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/10/2017
Flight Time: 650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 37 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot seated in the right seat, who was the registered owner of the airplane, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 292 hours of total flight time on his most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate application, dated March 4, 2016. An examination of the pilot's logbook revealed that he had logged about 305 hours total time at the time of the accident, including 31 hours in the Luscombe. He completed a 14 CFR section 61.56 flight review on January 2, 2017, in a Cessna 172. He had completed his previous flight review on December 27, 2014, in the Luscombe.

The pilot seated in the left seat held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. He reported 600 hours of total flight time on his application for his most recent FAA third class medical certificate, dated March 24, 2017. A review of his pilot logbook revealed 650 hours total time at the time of the accident, including 37 hours in the Luscombe. He completed a 14 CFR section 61.56 flight review on April 10, 2017, in a Cessna 152. He had completed his previous flight review on March 24, 2015, in the Luscombe.

Both pilots were qualified to fly the airplane, and it could not be determined which pilot was manipulating the flight controls at the time of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LUSCOMBE
Registration: N8554Y
Model/Series: 8 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2658
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/29/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1260 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2163 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: A65-8
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The single-engine, high-wing, two-seat, tailwheel-equipped airplane was manufactured in 1946. It was powered by a Continental A65-8 reciprocating engine rated at 65 horsepower. The airplane was not equipped with wing flaps or a stall warning system; dual flight controls were installed.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BDL, 173 ft msl
Observation Time: 1851 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 0°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.41 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: East Windsor, CT (7B6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: East Windsor, CT (7B6)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1838 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

The nearest weather reporting station was located at Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut, about 5 miles west of the accident site. The BDL weather at 1851 included wind from 170ยบ at 15 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 2,000 ft, few clouds at 6,500 ft, few clouds at 22,000 ft, temperature 13°C, dew point 0°C, and altimeter setting 30.41 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Skylark Airpark (7B6)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 120 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3242 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  41.933056, -72.565833 (est) 

The airplane came to rest against trees in a wooded area about 1/2 mile northeast of 7B6. The wreckage was found in an inverted, nose-low attitude. All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. There was no fire. Numerous tree branches were found adjacent to the wreckage; some exhibited smooth, angular cuts and black paint transfer on the cut surfaces.

Flight control continuity was established from the ailerons, elevator, and rudder to the cockpit controls. The elevator trim tab was in place on the elevator; however, the trim cable was slack, and the tab moved freely from stop to stop.

The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing. Both fuel caps were found detached from the tanks and on the ground adjacent to the wreckage. The rubber seals inside each cap were dried, cracked, and chipped. The vent tubes on the caps were unobstructed. A small amount of residual fuel, which could not be quantified, was observed in the tanks. The left tank fuel selector handle was in the "OFF" position. The right tank fuel selector valve was found in the "ON" position; however, the handle was installed backwards. In this configuration, fuel fed from the right tank without restriction.

The wreckage was recovered to a storage facility where an examination of the engine was performed. The engine was removed from the airframe to facilitate the examination. The top spark plugs were removed for inspection. The electrodes were normal in wear and color when compared to a Champion Check-A-Plug chart.

The carburetor was broken off due to impact; the intake system remained attached to the carburetor. The foam intake element was covered in organic debris from impact with the ground.

The cylinder rocker covers were removed for the examination. The engine was rotated by hand-turning the propeller. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders, and valve action was correct.

The ignition harness leads were damaged and/or severed by impact forces. The magnetos were removed and installed on a test stand. Both magnetos produced spark on all leads when the magnetos were rotated.

The No. 1 cylinder exhaust tube was cracked from impact, and there was corrosion/rust in the area. The cylinder cooling fins in the area near the exhaust port were discolored. The No. 1 cylinder was removed and inspected; there were visible deposits of an unknown nature on the exhaust and intake valves. The valves were intact and showed no signs of excessive wear or burning.

The carburetor was partially disassembled. The carburetor bowl was clean and dry; there was no fuel residue evident. The brass float was intact and operable. The inlet fuel screen was clean and free of debris. The venturi was in place, and the intake was unobstructed.

The fuel strainer was broken free, and the bowl was missing; no fuel residue was found. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The State of Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Farmington, Connecticut, performed autopsies of the two pilots. For both pilots, the cause of death was blunt impact injuries of the head, torso, and extremities.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from both pilots. For the right-seat pilot, valsartan, a medication used to treat high blood pressure, was detected in the blood and liver; this medication is not generally considered impairing. For the left-seat pilot, an unquantifiable amount of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, was detected in the urine but not in the blood.

Tests And Research

During the wreckage examination, the airplane's weight at the time of the accident was estimated. Based on the airplane's maintenance records, the maximum allowable gross weight was 1,260 pounds (lbs), and the empty weight, not including fuel, oil, baggage/cargo, or occupants, was 881 lbs.

The combined weight of the occupants, based on the autopsy findings, was 355 lbs. The miscellaneous items found inside and outside the cockpit were weighed and totaled 37 lbs. The weight of the engine oil was about 7 lbs. The empty weight of the airplane plus the weight of the occupants, miscellaneous items, and engine oil was about 1,280 lbs or 20 lbs over the maximum allowable gross weight.


The airplane's fuel tanks held a total of 25 gallons, and fuel records indicated that 8 gallons were added before the first flight that day. The amount of fuel in the tanks before refueling could not be determined. The weight of 100 low lead aviation gasoline is about 6 lbs per gallon. Notes found inside the cockpit indicated that the airplane used about 4.5 gallons per hour, and a witness reported that the airplane flew for about 30 minutes after fueling. Given a maximum fuel capacity of 25 gallons, the estimated fuel on board at the time of the accident was between 5.75 gallons (minimum) and 22.75 gallons (maximum), or between 34.5 lbs and 136.5 lbs. The airplane's gross weight at the time of the accident was estimated to be between 1,314.5 lbs and 1,416.4 lbs or between 54.5 and 156.5 lbs over the maximum allowable gross weight.

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 18, 2017 in East Windsor, CT
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8, registration: N8554Y
Injuries: 2 Fatalities.

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 18, 2017, about 1840 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N8554Y, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Skylark Airport (7B6), East Windsor, Connecticut. The private pilot seated in the left seat, and the private pilot seated in the right seat were fatally injured. The privately-owned airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

A witness was standing at the departure end of runway 10 and observed the airplane take off. He reported that the airplane seemed to be lower and slower than most airplanes that he had observed as it passed overhead. He then saw the airplane shaking and tipping left and right, barely clearing the tree line past the end of the runway. He observed the airplane make a "drastic, sharp, and abrupt" turn to the north. He stopped hearing the engine, and the airplane "dropped like a stone." He then called the local authorities to report the accident.

The airplane came to rest against trees in a wooded area, about 1/2 mile northeast of 7B6. The wreckage was found in an inverted, nose-low attitude. All structure and components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. There was no fire. The airplane was equipped with a fuel tank in each wing. Both fuel caps were found detached from the tanks and on the ground, adjacent to the wreckage. A small amount of residual fuel, which could not be quantified was observed in the tanks. Numerous tree branches were found adjacent to the wreckage; some exhibited smooth, angular cuts and black paint transfer on the cut surfaces.

The pilot seated in the left cockpit seat held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He reported 600 hours of total flight time on his most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third class medical certificate, dated March 24, 2017.

The pilot seated in the right cockpit seat held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single engine land rating. He also held a remote pilot certificate for small, unmanned aircraft systems. He was the registered owner of the airplane. He reported 292 hours of total flight time on his most recent FAA third class medical certificate, dated March 4, 2016.

The single-engine, high-wing, two-seat airplane was manufactured in 1946 and incorporated fixed, tailwheel landing gear. It was equipped with a Continental A65-8 reciprocating engine rated at 65 horsepower. The airplane was not equipped with wing flaps or a stall warning system. The cockpit featured dual flight controls.



Obituary: George Janssen II, 51

George R. Janssen, II, 51, of Vernon, beloved husband of Jennifer and father of two children George Thomas and Grace, passed away on Tuesday April 18, 2017 from injuries sustained in an aircraft accident.

Born April 13, 1966 in Hackensack, NJ to the late George R. and Irmgard Janssen and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. George was an engineer at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford and best known for his love of spending time with his family enjoying the outdoors.

His passion for flying began when he was 16 learning to fly at an airport near his childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to flying, George loved to restore cars, boats, and anything with an engine!

Besides his wife and children, he is survived by his sisters; Janet Michael and her husband Elliot, Jeanne Johnson and her husband John; his in-laws, Mark and Connie Himelberger; his brothers-in-law, Cory Himelberger, Jeremy Himelberger and his wife Katie; his sister-in-law, Aimee Lewis and her husband Charles and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Unitarian Universalist Society East in Manchester.   Memorial services will be held at a later date.


Obituary: Robert J. Plourde

ELLINGTON — Robert J. Plourde, 61, of Ellington, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 in East Windsor.
Robert was born Nov. 22, 1955 in Spokane, Wash. He grew up in Naugatuck and spent the last 23 years as a resident of Ellington. He served in the United States Air Force as a sergeant specializing in electronic mechanics. Throughout the course of his life he worked at many technology companies as a sales executive, and most recently was involved with an aerial video and photography agency.

Bob, the son of the late Norman (Bob) Plourde and Anita Plourde, is survived by his beloved wife of 25 years, Jacqueline O’Brien Plourde; his children, Robert Plourde Jr., Nicole Barry, Mitchell Plourde, Spencer Plourde; his beloved grandchildren, Bobby Plourde III, Benjamin Barry, Brielle Plourde, Makena Barry; his siblings, Joe and wife, Lori, Steven, Gary, Bill and wife, Nancy, Plourde, Anita McCowan and husband, James. He was predeceased by his brother, Patrick. He also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and a wonderful network of friends and neighbors.

Bob was a loving father and husband who touched the lives of all those who knew him. Some of his most precious times were spent making homemade pizzas out of his wood fired oven, and playing guitar around the campfire with his family and friends. He followed his desire to become a pilot, and mentored others who shared his love of flying. Most importantly, he will be remembered by all as kind, loving and wonderful man.

The funeral was held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Ellington Congregational Church.  In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Robert may be made to the EAA Skylark Chapter 1310, 54 Wells Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016.




Obituary for George R. Janssen


George R. Janssen, II, 51, of Vernon, was a beloved husband of Jennifer and father of two children George Thomas and Grace, passed away on Tuesday April 18, 2017 from injuries sustained in an aircraft accident. Born April 13, 1966 in Hackensack, NJ to the late George R. and Irmgard Janssen and raised in Boca Raton, Florida. George was an engineer at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford and best known for his love of spending time with his family enjoying the outdoors. His passion for flying began when he was 16 learning to fly at an airport near his childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to flying, George loved to restore cars, boats, and anything with an engine! Besides his wife and children, he is survived by his sisters; Janet Michael and her husband Elliot, Jeanne Johnson and her husband John; his In-Laws, Mark and Connie Himelberger; his brother-in-laws, Cory Himelberger, Jeremy Himelberger and his wife Katie; his sister-in-law, Aimee Lewis and her husband Charles and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Unitarian Universalist Society East in Manchester CT. 






EAST WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -  Investigators continue to look into what caused a small plane to crash and kill two people in East Windsor on Tuesday night.

The National Transportation Safety Board was said to have arrived on the scene just before noon on Wednesday.

A Luscombe 8A aircraft, which is a 1946 model, departed from Runway 10 at the Skylark Airport around 6:45 p.m. and crashed, about a half a mile from Skylark Airport, a short time later. 

"The indication is the airplane struck trees about 100 feet up and came to rest straight down," NTSB Sr. Air Safety Investigator Ralph Hicks said.  

An official with Skylark Airport called the two men who died "experienced pilots" and that the airport was "devastated." He called the one who was flying extremely careful. He said they didn't understand what went wrong.

The official with Skylark Airport said they had been up flying for between 30 and 45 minutes while performing landings and takeoffs. He said everything appeared fine.

On Wednesday, federal officials launched their own investigation. Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were called to the scene. 

Wednesday evening, family members confirmed that the pilot who died was Bob Plourde, of Ellington.

The NTSB said the plane took a nose dive and landed in ground. The propeller was stuck in the ground and they were working with a local company to remove it.  

"Basically the aircraft is inverted and embedded in the ground and below ground level and we see one propeller blade out of the ground. We are unable to move it right now," Hicks said. 

The plane never caught on fire, Hicks added. 

Eyewitnesses said they heard the single-engine aircraft stall in the air then plunge into the woods.

“It's terrible. I don't know who they are or anything,” East Windsor resident Flo Hall said. "It's so quiet here. It's unexpected."  

Hall lives a few houses down from where the plane crashed down on private property near Rolocut Road.

“I'm not worried,” Hall said. “It's just something freaky that happened."

It's unclear where the Luscombe 8A aircraft was headed.

NTSB officials said if these planes are maintained, they will last. 

"We have plenty of airplanes like this flying," Hick said. "As long as they're maintained properly and maintained annually with their inspections, they can fly for a long time." 

Federal investigators were expected to be on the scene for at least two days to sift through evidence and try to figure out what led to the crash. NTSB officials said they still don't know why it happened and don't comment on occupants. NTSB officials added they will take it to Delaware to analyze and were trying to get maintenance reports.

There are no towers at Skylark Airport, so NTSB officials said there were no communications. 

Story and video:  http://www.wfsb.com

EAST WINDSOR —  An investigation continues after two people were killed in a plane crash near Skylark Airport Tuesday evening.

Fire officials from Broad Brook confirmed that both died in the crash. Det. Sgt. Matthew Carl said the plane came down in the woods near the airport. There was no fire at the crash scene about 1,000 feet off Rolocut Rd.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the aircraft crashed in the woods shortly after taking off from privately owned airport. It happened around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The names of the two people who died have not been released.

The FAA is investigating the crash of the Luscombe 8A aircraft and will determine its cause.

He said it was a single engine plane that witnesses said stalled and went down. The plane is nose down according to Carl.

Police said witnesses describe that the plane looked like it stalled before it went down.

“It just sounded like it was dead, the motor just killed, just shut off, that was it,” neighbor Justin Griswold said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

The airport is located on Wells Road in East Windsor and typically handles small, private aircraft. The call came in around 6:30 p.m.

Broad Brook Fire Chief Tom Arcari said he’s been with the department about 40 years and recalls about four plane crashes in the area.

“The last bad crash was probably 35-40 years ago,” he said. “Three or four were killed.”

The identity of the victims in Tuesday’s crash have not been released.

Lifestar medical helicopters were called to the scene but later canceled.

Story and video:  http://fox61.com


EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – East Windsor police have identified the two men killed when a small plane crashed in a wooded area near Skylark Airport Tuesday evening.

Police say autopsies will be performed on the bodies of Robert J. Plourde, 61, of Ellington and George R. Janssen II, 51, of Vernon.

The plane, a 1946 Luscombe Silvaire A8, was found nose down into the ground in an area of Wells Road.

The crash remains under investigation by the East Windsor Police Department, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.





























Two people are dead following a plane crash in East Windsor, according to the Broad Brook Fire Department. 

Tolland County Dispatch said a small plane crashed on Rolocut Road by Wells Road in Broad Brook in East Windsor.

According to the Skylark Airpark manager, the plane had just taken off before the crash. The airport is located on 54 Wells Road, within the area of the crash. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they are investigating crash of a Luscombe 8A in Connecticut, according to a tweet. 

Officials said NTSB will be in charge of the investigation in the morning. 

During a press conference on Tuesday night, officials said the plane had stalled.

Two LifeStar helicopters were called to the scene before being cancelled. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has been requested to the scene. 

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