Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Directorate General of Civil Aviation grounds foreign pilot for fake medical record

NEW DELHI: In a possible first, an expat pilot working with an Indian charter company has been barred from flying in the country for allegedly fudging his medical tests. Pilots need to be healthy - both physically and mentally - and require valid medical certificates to prove their fitness and operate flights.

"The expat pilot flew without a valid Federal Aviation Administration, regulator for United States) approved medical.  Then he flew without an Indian medical certificate for one month. He later got his medical done here by falsely claiming that he did not operate any flight during the period when his previous medical tests certificates had lapsed.  Unfortunately, for him all the statements were contradicted by his flying record with the charter company which had employed him," said a senior official.

Expat pilots fly in India when the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issues them "foreign aircrew temporary authorization" (FATA) licenses after they clear some exams. On detecting the alleged medical fraud by this pilot, the regulator withdrew his FATA,  which means he can no longer fly for an Indian company. 

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has also been informed of the "alleged illegal" action of this pilot.

The nationality of this pilot could not be ascertained. 

Indian airline or charter companies hiring expats has always been a controversial issue as there are believed to be hundreds of young middle class Indians who spent lakhs of rupees to get a commercial pilot license. 

Original article can be found here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Eurocopter AS-350B-3, County of Riverside, N991SD: Accident occurred August 28, 2014 at Hemet-Ryan Airport (KHMT), Riverside County, California

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

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


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


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


Additional Participating Entity:  

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California 

County of Riverside:
http://registry.faa.gov/N991SD


NTSB Identification: WPR14TA357
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Thursday, August 28, 2014 in Hemet, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2016
Aircraft: AIRBUS HELICOPTERS AS 350 B3, registration: N991SD
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction toward his commercial certificate worked for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) and were conducting a local instructional flight in the helicopter. However, the helicopter remained on alert status in the event of a need for response. The instructor reported that they started a maneuver to simulate a governor failure at 500 ft above ground level (agl) by switching the auto/manual switch to manual. With the switch in manual, the full authority digital engine control governor was disengaged, which required the pilot to use the twist grip throttle control on the collective to increase and decrease power. They then proceeded on an extended left downwind for 2.5 miles, and the pilot practiced manipulating the twist grip. The pilot then turned onto the base leg, turned from the base to final leg, started descending, and reduced the throttle input (rolled off the throttle). As the helicopter approached the runway threshold about 50 to 100 ft agl, the instructor noticed that the rotor rpm was decreasing a little more than he expected. He rolled the throttle on but noticed that the rotor rpm was not increasing. While the helicopter was about 50 ft agl and over the runway threshold, the flight instructor noticed that it was quickly descending and that the rotor rpm was continuing to decrease. His attempts to increase the rotor rpm by pulling aft cyclic and lowering the collective were unsuccessful. The helicopter then impacted the runway surface hard, rotated left 180 degrees, rolled over, and came to rest on its left side facing northeast. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

The pilot was the first RCSD pilot to obtain only a private certificate from an outside vendor and then work on getting a commercial certificate with an RCSD flight instructor. There was no formal training syllabus, and the pilot did not know before the flight what maneuvers were to be performed. After completing in-flight simulated instrument work and with the helicopter still running on the ground, the instructor briefed the private pilot on the simulated governor failure maneuver; however, he did not demonstrate the maneuver in flight before he had the pilot perform it. Further, the instructor did not provide the pilot with an opportunity to adequately practice coordinating movements of the collective and the twist grip throttle before attempting a landing, likely because he had been talking to dispatch since the beginning of the maneuver. 

It is likely that the instructor's failure to demonstrate the maneuver and to provide the pilot with adequate opportunity to practice manipulating the twist grip throttle before attempting a landing resulted in the pilot mismanaging the twist grip throttle during the final approach, which led to a decay in rotor rpm. Further, it is likely that the instructor's inadequate supervision and delayed remedial action during the final approach resulted in the unsuccessful performance of the maneuver.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The flight instructor's failure to adequately brief and demonstrate the simulated emergency procedure to the pilot under instruction and his delayed remedial action and inadequate supervision during the maneuver, which resulted in an excessive sink rate and a hard landing.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 28, 2014, about 1055 Pacific daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B3, N991SD, landed hard and rolled onto its side at Hemet-Ryan Airport, Hemet, California. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department (RCSD) was operating the helicopter under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The deputy flight instructor (FI) and the deputy private pilot under instruction (PUI) sustained minor injuries. The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the airframe. The local instructional flight departed Hemet about 1040. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The FI reported that he and the PUI started a maneuver to simulate a governor failure at 500 feet above ground level (agl) by switching the auto/manual switch to manual. They proceeded on an extended left downwind to runway 23 for 2.5 miles before turning base. They turned base to final, started descending, and reduced the throttle input (rolled off the throttle).

As the helicopter approached the runway threshold at 50 to 100 feet agl, the FI noticed that the rotor revolution per minute (rpm) was decreasing a little more than he expected. He attempted to roll the throttle past the limit switch, but noticed that he was not gaining any additional rpm. About 50 feet agl over the runway threshold, he noticed that the helicopter was descending at a faster rate of descent, and that the rotor rpm continued to decay. He attempted to regain rotor rpm by pulling aft cyclic and lowering the collective, but was unsuccessful in increasing rotor rpm. He noticed that as he moved the cyclic forward to a level attitude, he felt a "resistance" in the movement, and had trouble getting the cyclic to move forward.

The helicopter then impacted the surface of the runway very hard, spun to the left, and came to rest on its left side facing northeast, the same direction from which it approached; it had rotated to the left 180 degrees.

The FI stated that there had been other instances with the cyclic being restricted in this make/model helicopter.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

FI

The operator reported that the 44-year-old FI held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, single-engine helicopter, and instrument airplane. The pilot held a FI certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and helicopter.

The FI held a second-class medical certificate issued on August 12, 2014. It had the limitations that the pilot must have glasses available for near vision.

The operator reported that the FI had a total flight time of 2,542 hours. He logged 95 hours in the previous 90 days, and 18 in the previous 30 days. He had 1,973 hours in this make and model. He completed a biennial flight review on December 12, 2013.

PUI

The operator reported that the PUI held a private pilot certificate with a rating for single-engine helicopter. The PUI held a second-class medical certificate issued on May 16, 2014. It had the limitations that the pilot must wear corrective lenses.

The operator reported that the PUI had a total flight time of 259 hours. He logged 121 hours in the previous 90 days, and 49 in the previous 30 days. He had 77 hours in this make and model. He completed a biennial flight review on July 30, 2014.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The helicopter was a Eurocopter AS350B3, serial number 3325. The operator reported that the helicopter had a total airframe time of 6,312 hours at the time of the accident. It was maintained on a continuous airworthiness program, and the last inspection was on July 25, 2014.

The engine was a Turbomeca Arriel 2B, serial number 22151. Total time recorded on the engine at the time of the accident was 6,026 hours, and time since overhaul was 2,526 hours.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

Investigators from the NTSB, FAA, Eurocopter, and Turbomeca examined the wreckage at the Riverside County Sheriff's hangar in Hemet, California, on September 19, 2014. A full report is contained within the public docket for this accident.

The airframe and engine were examined with no mechanical anomalies identified.

During the airframe examination, there was continuity of the main rotor to the free turbine. Continuity was established from the main rotor system to the tail rotor drive system.

Cyclic control continuity was established, but stiff due to binding near the rotor mast; the fore/aft push/pull rod under the cabin floor had a small upward dent. The cyclic friction was set to midrange.

The collective was also stiff from binding of the push-pull rods near the rotor mast area, however, continuity was established. The right side collective head was damaged from impact forces.

With power off, the throttle was rolled with no binding, ratcheting, or kinking. No binding was felt in the manual emergency throttle when moved from minimum to maximum.

All electrical connections were good.

The engine examination revealed that the gas generator turned freely when manually rotated; there was no binding. The free turbine turned freely by hand; continuity was confirmed to the main rotor transmission.

The transmission shaft between the engine and main transmission was intact with no visible damage. Continuity through the reduction gearbox, as well as the accessory gearbox, was confirmed.

The pilot's helmets were scratched and abraided during the accident. It was noted that the issued RCSD flight helmets were MSA Gallet model LH250, which had been selected for use by the department without a documented selection process. The damaged helmets were taken out of service. After completing the unit evaluation of available replacement helicopter helmets, RCSD decided to issue to a different model.

There are no FAA standards for helicopter helmet protection so it is up to the individual pilot or organization to determine what safety standards are best for them. The US military, through the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratories (USAARL), has studied numerous crash scenarios and the biodynamics involved in rotary wing accidents. They determined the best combination of mission effectiveness, impact protection, user comfort, and weight to develop helmet specifications. The current US military standard is referred to as Military Specification (MilSpec) FNS/PD 96-18. At this time, there is only one military helmet manufactured to these safety standards. There is one commercial version that is manufactured that allows slightly higher impact forces.

There are no commercial equivalent specifications to these military specifications. This is in contrast to the ANSI 290.1 specification for motor vehicular use, or the Snell standards for race car helmets. No known agencies exist that have accumulated the body of biodynamics and physiological data that USAARL used in development of the current military specifications.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Prior to the accident, all RCSD pilots obtained their private and commercial pilot certificates from outside vendors. The PUI was the first to obtain only the private pilot from the outside vendor, and then work on the commercial certificate with an RCSD instructor. The outside vendor had a syllabus, so the student could prepare for the next flight. The FI had a lesson plan, but the student would not know what the next flight was to include until the preflight briefing. There was no standard operating procedures (SOP) manual, training manual, or Safety Management System (SMS) in place. The RCSD did have a policy and procedures manual that stated that all training should be done with an FI on board.

The first part of the flight was to complete 0.5 hours of simulated instrument time. The crew did that, and flew back to the home base airport. While on the ground without shutting down, the FI briefed the simulated governor failure maneuver. The brief noted that once in the manual mode, the PUI would need to slide a red button to the forward position to be able to control the twist grip, which would be stiff. The FI would be on the controls since it would be the PUI's first attempt. The FI had done about 20 governor failure simulations previously with no issues, and they were doing the procedure from memory. The PUI acknowledged an understanding of the procedure and that the FI would be on the controls to assist if needed. The FI went to manual mode just as the helicopter entered downwind.

The helicopter was configured for training mode with a training pilot flying. The helicopter was also set up for patrol, as they were going to use the helicopter for patrol after the training. Even on training missions, the helicopter had to be available for high priority calls. Immediately after liftoff, the FI was in contact with dispatch regarding a photo mission. He continued to talk to dispatch through the downwind leg, and stopped when they turned the helicopter onto final approach.

Post-Accident Changes

Following the accident, the RCSD sent the PUI back to the vendor for commercial pilot certificate completion.

RCSD implemented a computer-based SMS system for their operations.

Pilots were to attend yearly factory simulator training.

RCSD sent two pilots to the Airbus Maintenance Test Pilot course, and will continue to send one per year.

RCSD purchased helicopter rated helmets.

The RCSD Safety Officer organized a yearly safety stand-down.

Van's RV-4, N70PM: Fatal accident occurred October 28, 2014 near John Henry Key Airport (7TA8), Boerne, Kendall County, Texas

Fred Langston



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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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

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

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

Frederick L. Langston: http://registry.faa.gov/N70PM

NTSB Identification: CEN15FA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 28, 2014 in Boerne, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2017
Aircraft: LANGSTON, FREDERICK L RV 4, registration: N70PM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was flying his experimental, amateur-built airplane at an altitude between 500 and 800 ft above ground level when several witnesses heard the engine sounds suddenly stop. The airplane then entered a steep bank toward a nearby airstrip, descended, and disappeared from view. The airplane impacted thickly-wooded, rocky terrain and came to rest upright about 100 ft from the edge of the runway. Although the airplane was destroyed by post-crash fire, examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the formation of carburetor icing at cruise power and a potential for serious carburetor icing at glide power; however, it could not be determined if or to what extent the engine may have accumulated carburetor ice.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined, because post accident examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 28, 2014, about 1433 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built RV-4, N70PM, was destroyed during an off-airport forced landing near John Henry Key Airport (7TA8), Boerne, Texas. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 local, personal flight. The airplane departed from Boerne Stage Field Airport (5C1), Boerne, Texas at an unknown time.

Several witnesses reported that the airplane was maneuvering between 500 and 800 ft above ground level when the engine sounds suddenly stopped. The airplane then entered a steep bank, began flying toward 7TA8, descended, and disappeared from their view. The airplane impacted trees and terrain and came to rest upright about 100 feet from the edge of runway 22 at 7TA8. There was an immediate postimpact fire that consumed much of the airplane. The pilot initially survived the accident, but succumbed to his injures the following day.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 70, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued on September 25, 2014, with the restriction that he must have glasses available for near vision.

Complete copies of the pilot's personal flight records were not available for examination; however, review of the pilot's most recent logbook indicated that he had 1,687 hours of total flight experience. The pilot's flight experience in the accident airplane make and model was about 50 hours, with 10.6 of those flight hours accumulated within the previous three months. The pilot's most recent flight review was completed on January 16, 2013.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The airplane was issued an FAA special airworthiness certificate on March 2, 2013. The low-wing, fixed conventional landing gear, single-engine airplane was powered by a 155-horsepower Lycoming O-320-D2J carbureted engine, which drove a Performance Propellers, Inc. model 70/70, 2-bladed, fixed-pitch, wood propeller. The airplane was of conventional aluminum construction with a cantilever low-wing, conventional tail surfaces, and a 2-seat tandem cockpit, which was accessed through a hinged canopy. A maintenance logbook entry showed the airplane had an empty weight of 939 pounds and a maximum gross weight of 1,500 pounds. The airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed on May 12, 2014, at an aircraft total time of 23.7 hours.

Review of the aircraft logbook, engine logbook, pilot logbook entries and other records indicated that. at the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated a total time of 50.1 hours, and the engine had accumulated a total time of 1,825.1 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1435, the automated weather observation system at 5C1, about 8 miles south of the accident site, reported wind from 200 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 2,800 ft, temperature 27°C, dew point 17°C, with an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury. Review of a carburetor icing probability chart showed the potential for icing at cruise power and a potential for serious icing at glide power.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

7TA8 was a non-towered airport with a field elevation of 1,400 ft msl. The only runway was 4/22, which was a turf runway 2,300 ft long by 100 ft wide. The airport was surrounded by rugged hilly terrain, with much of the area thickly wooded.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted densely-wooded, hilly terrain on a south-southwesterly heading at an estimated elevation about 1,400 ft msl. The impact location was about 200 ft northwest of the runway 22 at 7TA8.

The first impact was to upper branches of cedar trees at about 8 ft above ground level. Both impact-separated propeller blades were found nearby. Ground scars, wreckage debris, and numerous broken branches littered the area along a wreckage distribution path of about 145°.

All flight control surfaces and all major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The main wreckage came to rest upright about 89 ft from the initial tree impact. The tip of the left wing was oriented about 190°, and the partially-separated upright fuselage was oriented about 300°. The engine and engine mount remained connected to the forward firewall. The engine and forward firewall were adjacent to the forward fuselage, which was almost completely separated from the fuselage by fire damage. The hub of the wood propeller remained attached to the propeller flange on the engine crankshaft, but was partially consumed by fire.

The empennage and tail surfaces were completely separated from the airplane, and came to rest partially inverted about 10 ft northwest of the engine. The vertical stabilizer had leading edge impact damage at the root. No significant impact damage was observed to the horizontal stabilizer. The elevator, rudder, and rudder trim tab remained attached. The tail wheel remained attached.

The impact-damaged right wing was mostly consumed by fire, and the right aileron remained partially attached.

The leading edge of the outboard left wing showed impact crushing damage consistent with a 70°nose-down impact angle. The left aileron exhibited impact crushing damage to the inboard trailing edge consistent with impact with a tree. The outer portion of the left wing was not consumed by fire. During wreckage removal, about 2 gallons of clean blue liquid consistent with 100LL aviation fuel (AVGAS) drained from the wing into a clean bucket. No debris or water contamination was observed. The fuel caps on both wings were secure.

The left flap was observed in the full-down position. The position of the right flap could not be determined because of fire and impact damage.

The flight control linkages and engine controls were examined. Severe impact and thermal damage prevented a confirmation of preimpact control continuity; however, all of the control linkage separations examined appeared consistent with impact damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conclusion was that the pilot died as a result of conflagration injuries sustained in the airplane crash.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot. Lorazepam, midazolam, morphine, norketamine, and propofol was detected. These medications were traced to the pilot's post-accident hospital care. Testing also detected cetirizine, an over-the-counter antihistamine, in liver and blood; however, the amount of cetirizine detected was too low to quantify.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The wreckage was moved to another location for further engine examination. The engine and accessories sustained impact, fire, and heat damage. The exhaust system and induction system displayed significant heat and impact damage. The carburetor had separated on impact and also displayed thermal damage. All fluid-carrying lines in the engine compartment were fire-damaged. The oil system was impact- and fire-damaged. Severe thermal damage to the engine prevented a useful examination of the magnetos, fuel pump, carburetor, or any other components. On first attempts, the engine would not rotate. After engine accessories were removed, the engine was partially disassembled to facilitate another attempt to rotate the engine. The crankshaft and valve train then rotated freely with no interference.

Great Lakes: Incident occurred April 25, 2017 near Platte Valley Airpark (18V), Hudson, Weld County, Colorado

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is happy to announce that there were no injuries in the incident, the airplane was not damaged, and no property has been damaged.



No one was injured Tuesday morning when a small airplane made an emergency landing in a field in southern Weld County.

About 11:45 am, the Weld County Sheriff's Office responded to the area of Weld County roads 8 and 45, East of I-76, about 2 miles south of Hudson on report of a single-engine plane that had made an emergency landing, according to a sheriff's office news release.

The plane was a two-passenger Great Lakes biplane with two occupants. It was traveling from Centennial Airport to Platte Valley Airport, 7507 Weld County Road 39 in Fort Lupton, when it ran out of fuel and was forced to land.

The airplane was not damaged, and no property has been damaged. Authorities planned to refuel the plane at its location and push it onto Weld 45, where it would take off and continue to its destination, the release stated.

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




WELD COUNTY - No one was injured after a single-engine plane had to make an emergency landing in a field near Hudson when it ran out of fuel Tuesday morning.

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded shortly after the plane landed near WCR 8 and WCR 45 – east of Interstate 76.

Two people were aboard the plane, which was traveling between Centennial Airport and Platte Valley Airport.

The sheriff’s office says crews will refuel the plane in its current location and then push it out onto WCR 45, where it will take off and continue its flight to Platte Valley Airport.

Original article can be found here: http://www.9news.com

Lockheed Martin Hit By Middle East Charges: Defense company cuts its profit expectations for the year



The Wall Street Journal
By Doug Cameron
Updated April 25, 2017 1:13 p.m. ET


Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday it booked almost $200 million in charges on two Middle East contracts in a move that highlights the potential pitfalls of the overseas deals that have been driving growth for U.S. defense contractors.

The world’s largest defense company by sales took charges on a new missile-defense system being developed for the United Arab Emirates and an Abu Dhabi-based aircraft maintenance joint venture, ending a multi-quarter run of forecast-beating earnings.

Lockheed generated 27% of its revenue from overseas deals last year and aims to raise this toward 30%, with prospective sales including F-16 fighter jets for Bahrain and India.

Overseas defense budgets have generally been growing faster than Pentagon spending, especially in the Middle East and Asia, and investors have recently grown more cautious about the upward trajectory of domestic outlays under President Donald Trump.

Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chief executive, acknowledged the dent to the company’s first quarter earnings from the $184 million in Middle East charges, but said she remained optimistic both ventures could still trigger future sales growth.

The company knocked a dime off its per-share earnings forecast for the year, though also boosted its outlook for sales and cash flow.

Crucially, Lockheed still expects profit margins on its F-35 combat jet to continue rising, even as it pursues an effort to cut the cost of the most popular model to $80 million over the next several years.

President Trump criticized the F-35’s cost last year, though efforts to cut the price through productivity measures have trimmed it to about $95 million apiece.

Lockheed has accepted a contract for one batch of the jets imposed by the Pentagon last year, and after closing a second deal in February, aims to reach agreement on a third batch by the third quarter.

The F-35 is central to Lockheed’s growth plans, and a follow-on multiyear deal for 440 jets could be worth more than $30 billion, one of the largest-ever defense sales.

Lockheed shares dipped following the earnings report, having reached an all-time high on Monday.

The company now expects earnings of $12.15 to $12.45 a share this year on $49.5 billion to $50.7 billion in sales.

For the quarter to March 31 it reported earnings of $763 million, or $2.61 a share a share, down from $898 million, or $2.91 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6.6% to $11.1 million.

Boeing Co. , General Dynamics Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. all report earnings Wednesday, with Raytheon Co. —the most exposed to export markets—following on Thursday.

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

Henry County Airport (KHMP) name change approved

Atlanta Speedway Airport will be the new name of the Hampton airport facility adjacent to Atlanta Motor Speedway, after the Henry County Board of Commissioners approved the change April 18. The three-letter local identifier will be ASA if approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Georgia Department of Transportation.

In 2013 the county changed the facility’s name from Atlanta South Regional Airport to Henry County Airport. The current commissioners said the latest change will better serve the airport’s location within the Atlanta market, as it is the closest airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

AMS officials have indicated that they will allow the county to use the new name which identifies the airport more closely with the race track facility, and it will also help increase visibility around the United States for economic development purposes.

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

Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, Klass Enterprises LLC, N421TK: Fatal accident occurred April 25, 2017 near Huntsville Municipal Airport (KUTS), Walker County, Texas

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

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

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

Klass Enterprises LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/N421TK 

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA167
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 25, 2017 in Huntsville, TX
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N421TK
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 25, 2017, about 1038 central daylight time, a Cessna model 421C, N421TK, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Huntsville, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane sustained impact and fire damage to all structural components. The aircraft was registered to and operated by Klass Enterprises, LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a post-maintenance test flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Lone Star Executive Airport, Conroe, Texas, at an unconfirmed time.

A witness, who was an off-duty police officer, reported seeing the airplane flying in a westerly direction about 150 feet above the ground. He said that the airplane banked left about 45 degrees and he noticed that the left propeller of the airplane was not turning and the airplane was losing altitude. Suspecting a problem, the officer got into his car and in doing so, he heard the operating engine either idle down or shut off completely. The airplane then went out of sight behind a tree line and the officer observed a large plume of smoke. The officer added that when the airplane passed over his residence the flaps appeared to be retracted or at a very low angle and the landing gear was in the retracted position. He noted that the right engine did not did not sound as though it was sputtering or experiencing difficulties until he heard it idle down. He further noted that he did not see any smoke coming from the aircraft as it passed overhead.

The airplane impacted trees and terrain before coming to rest inverted in a shallow ranch pond. The lower portion of the fuselage and the wings remained above the surface of the water and showed evidence of fire damage. Based on the tree impact, the airplane was traveling in a southerly direction when the impact occurred. On-scene examination of the airplane was not possible due to its location in the pond and further examination will be conducted after removal from the accident site.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


Kermit Greer Faulkner Jr.



HUNTSVILLE, Texas - One person has died after a small plane crashed near Huntsville.

According to DPS, divers have recovered the body of the male pilot from the crash site. DPS said that police received a call around 9:30 a.m. from a resident on Armadillo near FM 980. The resident had seen a plane crash into a body of water.

The male pilot has been identified as 62-year-old Kermit Faulkner of Conroe. 

DPS added that the search continues for possible additional victims.

Police found a twin-engine Cessna 421 upside down in the water.

"It was on fire," said neighbor John Syphrett, who owns land near the crash site. "Shocking, you know. It's pretty quiet out there and then all of a sudden you hear a plane crashed in your backyard."

The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot of the plane reported a possible oil problem and a fire before the plane went down. 


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




A pilot died Tuesday and his body was retrieved from a small pond after the plane crashed into a pond just north of Huntsville at 625 FM 980, according to Texas Department of Public Safety officials.

No other passengers were reported on the plane.

Trooper David Harris said a small twin-engine plane crashed into a pond between 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 25.

DPS officials said the plane, a 1979 Cessna, took off from the Conroe Houston Regional Airport in Conroe. Federal Aviation Administration records show the plane is registered to Conroe-based Klass Enterprises LLC.

The small pond is located in a pasture about 100 yards behind a home.

"A witness saw a twin-engine plane strike trees, catch fire and crash into a large pond," said Trooper Erik Burse, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. "It was still on fire (as of 12:30 p.m.). It's upside down." 

According to resident John Syphrett, who lives next door to where the plane crashed, said it wasn't unusual to see small aircraft in the area. He has lived in the area for 11 years. 

"But this is more unusual than a lighting strike," he said of the crash.

Syphrett, who was not home when the crashed happened, said he was told by those on the scene the plane clipped a nearby tree, rolled and landed in the pond before catching fire.

Syphrett said the pond where the plane landed is only about one to two feet deep but the mud and silt makes it much deeper.

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



HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) --  A Cessna 421C crashed into a pasture north of Huntsville Tuesday morning, killing the pilot. He was the only person on board the aircraft, and he knew he was in trouble.

Not long before the plane went down, he had contacted authorities to report he was having engine and oil trouble.

"From what I understand, he contacted FAA and they contacted us, saying we believe we have a plane down somewhere," said DPS Trooper David Harris.

There were also calls from people about a noise and smoke in the area, which led rescuers to the crash site. It turned into a recovery mission.

The plane was registered to an owner in Conroe. It went down in a rolling pasture, into a shallow stock pond and burst into flames shortly after impact.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Story and video:  http://abc13.com







































HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Authorities said they found the body of the male pilot of a plane that crashed on Tuesday.

The pilot has been identified, but since his family has not been identified, we are not releasing it at this time.

The information was released shortly after authorities said finding survivors of the small airplane that had crashed into a pond near Huntsville "would be a miracle."

The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Cessna 421 crashed about 10:40 a.m. in a rural area of Walker County, about 60 miles north of Houston. The crash happened after the pilot reported engine-related trouble and a possible fire, officials said.

Huntsville police said a witness told them the plane was flying low, hit some trees, caught fire and crashed into a body of water believed to be a pond.

Emergency personnel rushed to the scene, where the plane was spotted upside-down in the water.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials said it was unclear how many were aboard, and that divers are still searching the crash site for any survivors.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford says officials believe the plane, which records show is capable of carrying at least six people, was flying from Conroe to College Station. Lunsford had no immediate information on the fate of those on board.

Sky 2 showed the charred plane upside down and on fire in the water in Walker County. Firefighters and a dive crew are on the scene.

Lunsford said Faulkner had reported oil problems and a possible engine fire before the crash.

Story and video:  http://www.click2houston.com

Senate OKs felony for targeting aircraft with lasers

Lansing — Aiming a laser beam at an airplane or helicopter could land an individual up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 under legislation unanimously approved Tuesday by the Michigan Senate.

Michigan State Police and local law enforcement agencies have pushed for the bills, which would create a new class of state felony to deter irresponsible laser beam use they say can have “deadly consequences” for pilots and passengers.

An Oakland County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was targeted with a laser beam on three separate occasions in a single day near Commerce Township in February, and state police have investigated individuals pointing lasers at passenger jetliners near Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus.

“When these events occur, it can cause temporary or permanent blindness for the pilots and can lead an aircraft to crash as a result,” Sheriff Mike Bouchard told legislators in a March 27 letter.

“When a directed beam of energy hits the Plexiglas of an aircraft, a pilot’s field of vision can be tremendously compromised. At certain altitudes, it can engulf and blind an entire cockpit. Many times the pilots have to seek medical attention after such an event.”

Federal law prohibits shining lasers at planes or helicopters, with violators subject to up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. But creating a state law is “critically important” for efforts to crack down on the behavior, state police Sgt. Timothy Fitzgerald said in testimony earlier this year.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Reps. Laura Cox of Livonia and Tom Barrett of Potterville, was approved by the House in an earlier form but must head back to the lower chamber for a final vote. The Senate made slight changes, including expansion of the prohibition to moving trains.

The proposal would also ban individuals from intentionally targeting aircraft or trains with other forms of “directed energy devices,” including sonic or particle-beam weapons, microwaves and radio frequencies.

Bouchard told legislators the federal government has failed to charge in some cases involving laser beams, and when it does, prosecution can take longer that it would if charges were filed at the state level.

“By having an additional tool to crackdown on this irresponsible and potentially deadly behavior, we would be helping to secure our airspace and protect those who patrol the skies each and every day,” Bouchard wrote.

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

40 pounds of methamphetamine, 80 bricks of cocaine flown from California to Blue Grass Airport (KLEX)



LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Three people have been arrested after allegedly bringing a large amount of drugs onto a plane that landed at Blue Grass Airport.

Court documents filed in federal court state that a private Hawker 800 jet landed at Blue Grass Airport on Friday afternoon.

Documents say inside the plane was 40 pounds of methamphetamine and 80 bricks of cocaine, weighing one kilogram each.

Investigators said they saw two people take a suitcase off the plane and put it in a BMW, which they later pulled over for a traffic stop.

Documents state a drug search was conducted on the car, where the meth was found inside the suitcase.

Investigators say they found the cocaine inside three more bags of luggage inside the plane.

Documents identified the suspects as Isaac Rosas, Cedric Fajardo, and Robert Carlson.

All three suspects face charges of distributing a controlled substance.

Documents state the plane flew into Blue Grass Airport from California and was on its way to Miami.

Investigators say the suspects were planning on distributing some of the drugs in the Lexington area before getting back on the plane.

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

Child, woman struck during police chase at Lambert-St Louis International Airport (KSTL)




ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A child and woman were struck during a police chase at the East Terminal (Terminal 2) of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The incident happened just before 10 a.m.

According to Cpl. Tameika Sanders, a spokeswoman for the Normandy Police Department, an officer was conducting routine traffic duty along westbound Interstate 70 when he observed a vehicle commit a moving violation. The officer received information that the vehicle in question had been stolen in an armed carjacking from St. Louis City and began a pursuit to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle exited I-70 at the airport and struck a bystander vehicle occupied by a woman and a 7-year-old child.

Three people were arrested at the scene. A firearm was located inside the suspect vehicle.

The eastbound and westbound lanes of Lambert International Boulevard were closed for at least 90 minutes. As a result, shuttle buses were stuck at the airport and travelers could not get to and from the terminal by vehicle. Passengers had to be let out blocks away from the airport and walk to Terminal 2 with their luggage.

St. Louis Airport created a detour to Terminal 2 drop-offs and pick-ups via the 'arrivals lanes' on the lower level.

Meanwhile, Metro offered free rides from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 to help passengers until all lanes could be reopened and traffic returned to normal.

Southwest and Frontier airlines operate out of the Terminal 2.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol initially reported the child died as a result of the crash. However, authorities later corrected that information, saying the child was given life-saving treatment at the scene and rushed to a hospital.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the pursuit.

Story and video:  http://fox2now.com

Ercoupe 415-D, N93932: Nosewheel broke during hard landing













AIRCRAFT:   1946 Ercoupe  415-D, N93932

ENGINE - M&M, S/N:  Continental  C-90-12, S/N 43486-2-B 

PROPELLER – M&M, S/N:  McCauley  1B90, S/N 48066

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

ENGINE:   430 SMOH, Unknown since new, logbook goes back to MOH on 6/14/1977

PROPELLER:  Unknown                     

AIRFRAME:   1639 Tach and Total Time                   

OTHER EQUIPMENT:  PS Engineering Aerocom II Intercom      

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Nosewheel broke during hard landing

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Engine mount bent, firewall distorted, nose gear damaged, left and right side of fuselage aft of firewall oil canned           

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:   Farmington Regional Airport (KFAM), Farmington, Missouri         

REMARKS:  No engine logbook prior to 6/14/1977.  

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N93932.htm