Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Plane crazy: These Southwest Floridians build their own

Tom Kracmer 

“This is my little bird,” said Tom Kracmer, beaming like a proud Papa at a sporty-looking two-seat plane nesting in a hangar at Page Field.

“It was in my living room at one time.”

You read that right: Kracmer started building his Van’s RV-7A aircraft from his home. He did it while running his music-supply store and playing the tuba in the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, among other gigs.

With all those demands on his time, the plane took about eight years to complete.

At the recent Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo in Lakeland, it earned “Outstanding Aircraft” honors in the homebuilt division.

Build your own airplane? A real aircraft – one you will fly?

It sounds plain crazy to some folks, but Kracmer and other private pilots are doing just that, in Southwest Florida.

Nationally, more than 33,000 amateur-built aircraft are registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. That number has doubled since 1994, although it still represents not quite 10 percent of the U.S. general aviation fleet.

Once built, these planes undergo similar testing and maintenance as any other aircraft. They must be flown by licensed pilots, and can be used only for recreational flying.

Kit makers do offer two-week do-it-yourself-options at factories; however, many plane builders opt to toil and tinker for 1,000 hours or more – often starting in the home garage before the sheer size of the "home-built" requires renting an airport hangar.

Although most build from tried-and-true kits, others choose to build from plans. It’s exacting work, requiring periodic infusions of cash for tools, parts and accessories.

Risks include running short of money, falling ill or suffering some other setback, and failing to finish the plane.

The pilot-builders who stick to it, however, seem to relish the journey. They follow safety measures, and don't allow themselves to be rushed.

“It’s like eating a cow. One hamburger at a time, one small project at a time,” said David Burns of Fort Myers, who’s nearly two years into building a high-wing Glasair Sportsman that he thinks will enhance his aerial photography hobby. He hopes to finish about a year from now.

“I have thousands of projects to do,” Burns said. “I get rewarded every time I complete one.”

David Burns

Why DIY?

Burns noted that, as long as he owns the plane he’s building, he can repair or modify it himself without running afoul of FAA rules. It’s a privilege extended only to the aircraft’s original builder.

Builders give a variety of reasons for taking on such a big task: It’s a personal challenge; a learning opportunity.

But money savings are a big motivator. Homebuilts offer a way to get a new, customized aircraft at roughly the same cost as a 20-year-old, factory-built plane that’s in need of a new engine and avionics upgrades.

A homebuilt plane costs a fraction of a new factory-built, comparable plane.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based national advocacy group for amateur-built aircraft, estimates a homebuilt’s total cost could range from less than $20,000 to more than $100,000, depending on capacity and preferences on engines, electronics and the like.

That doesn’t include tool purchases, parts delivery, and the “sweat equity” the builders provide.

By comparison, a new, factory-built Cessna 172 costs about $370,000.

Cape Coral pilot Mike DeGeorgio estimates he and fellow pilot Art Coll will save “tens of thousands of dollars” by forgoing factory-built planes for a two-seat Zenith CH 750 they began building together in Art’s garage in Cape Coral.

“When we’re done, we’ll know every nut and bolt,” DeGeorgio said.

DeGeorgio added: “You’re going to be flying this thing. You want to know everything is right.”

Bob Willaford

How long does it take?

The EAA estimates the average DIY builder spends 1,000 to 3,000 hours to complete a plane. Some do it in less than a year; for others, it's a decade or more. Everyday life gets in the way.

In about a month, Bob Willaford hopes to start the engine of his Van’s RV-9 for the first time. The retired Cape Coral firefighter began building it more than nine years ago, and estimated he's put in 1,500 hours so far.

"I probably could have done this in a year-and-a-half if I wasn't working two jobs, had kids and stuff," Willaford said.

It's also pay-as-you-go for most plane builders, with occasional delays as they save up for the next big part.

Some take out second mortgages to finance the engines, Willaford said, which alone can cost $10,000 for a rebuilt engine to more than $30,000 for a new engine from the factory.

How safe are these planes?

Statistics show homebuilts have an accident rate that’s higher than that of factory-built aircraft that  typically are used for general aviation; however, the EAA said the difference is  less than one percentage point.

Further, the EAA said the accident rate is dropping as more home-built planes take to the sky each year.

Also, new navigation equipment required to be installed in all aircraft by 2020 is expected to make flying safer.

The National Transportation Safety Board took a close look into amateur-built aircrafts’ accident record most recently in 2011. That year, the NTSB logged 224 accidents involving amateur-built planes, resulting in 54 deaths.

That represented roughly 15 percent of the accidents and 21 percent of general aviation aircraft-related fatalities in 2011.

The NTSB report said pilot error and mechanical failure were key factors, and that structural failures were uncommon. It worked with the EAA on ways to enhance aircraft and pilot safety.

Burns in Fort Myers noted amateur-built aircraft-related deaths are but a fraction of those from motor vehicles. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded more than 5 million motor vehicle crashes and more than 32,000 deaths.

Few build alone

Building an airplane can mean long hours in a hot garage or hangar.

It could get lonely and frustrating. Fortunately, few take on the task totally solo.

For Burns and many others, Fort Myers’ EAA Chapter 66 is a source of information, advice and camaraderie.

Chapter President Bill Bresnan estimates there are more than 10 planes in various stages of construction by its members.

The chapter also is building a Zodiac plane from plans, which when finished, will be sold to raise funds for other chapter efforts.  Building the plane is intended to be a learning experience, Bresnan said.

As with most long-term and costly projects, building an airplane can cause stress within a builder’s household. Commitment is crucial.

Nancy Burns said she’s “100 percent behind” husband David’s plan.

“He’s semi-retired; I’m still working. This fills the (time) gap,” Nancy said.

She added her husband “meets new people every day” while working on the plane at the Page Field hangar they’re renting.

And, although he’s always been mechanically inclined, this is teaching him new things.

Nancy Burns also attends the EAA meetings and seminars with her husband: “It becomes a family thing.”

That first flight

Do-it-yourself plane builders don’t have grandiose plans for their crafts’ maiden journey.

That’s because after an amateur-built plane passes inspection, the builder must fly between 25-40 hours of solo test flights over specified unpopulated areas, to make sure everything is working properly.

After these test flights, friends and family members can come along. Travel horizons broaden.

DeGeorgio wants to fly to the Bahamas. Coll wants to fly to Chicago to visit his daughter.

David Burns dreams of getting a group of local pilots to fly “out West,” to big, blue skies and towering buttes in Arizona’s Monument Valley, to Leadville Airport in Colorado, North America's highest airport in elevation at 9,927 feet or to Alaska.

“This has been fun,” Burns said of building an airplane.

“And it’s going to be a lot more fun when it’s done."

Why are homebuilt planes called experimental?

Amateur-built aircraft are registered with the Federal Aviation Administration under a broad category called Experimental.

It was created in the early 1950s to differentiate the planes from those general aviation aircraft built in factories and from commercial airliners or military aircraft.

Homebuilt is one of several subcategories under Experimental: Others cover aircraft used for racing and historic planes flown to air shows and exhibitions.

The Experimental Aircraft Association also notes that only a handful of homebuilt airplanes are original designs, The overwhelming majority are built using standardized kits or plans that have been successfully used thousands of time.

The FAA is willing to license an airplane as amateur-built if 51 percent of it, as determined by a task-based checklist, is built by amateurs.

Builders take great care to document the when, where and how of construction through notes and photos.

The airplanes must be inspected by an FAA inspector or an agency designee before an airworthiness certificate is issued.

They also must be test-flown for up to 40 hours before the pilot-builder can take on passengers. 

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

Mooney M20R Ovation2, N20835, Premier Metals Recovery LLC: Accident occurred May 09, 2017 near Myrtle Beach International Airport (KMYR), Horry County, South Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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

Premier Metals Recovery LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N20835

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA175
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 09, 2017 in Myrtle Beach, SC
Aircraft: MOONEY M20R, registration: N20835
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 9, 2017, about 1630 eastern daylight time, a privately owned and operated Mooney M20R, N20835, was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was not recovered and presumed substantially damaged. The flight was destined for Charleston International Airport (CHS), Charleston, South Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he departed runway 18 and began climbing on a 180° heading. About 300 feet above ground level, he "felt a strong jolt, as if something had hit [the airplane]" and a few seconds later he realized the engine had stopped. He advised the tower controller that he had a problem, and performed a ditched landing straight ahead. The airplane initially remained afloat, he egressed through the cabin door, and stood on the wing until the airplane began to sink. A tour helicopter operating in the area responded and dropped a life preserver to the pilot. He was rescued by an individual on a personal watercraft.

Attempts by a salvage company to locate the submerged airplane were unsuccessful.

According Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued July 28, 2015. The pilot reported that he had accrued 2,727 total hours of flight experience, of which 1,500 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

Review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2016, about 154 flight hours prior to the accident. The engine was overhauled in November 2016, and had accrued 138 hours since overhaul. The engine oil was changed and the oil filter element was inspected three times (January 3, February 2, and March 20, 2017) since overhaul with "no abnormalities found". The engine accrued 46 hours since the last oil change.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The National Transportation Safety Board will not be investigating the events that led to a small plane crashing into the ocean near Myrtle Beach State Park on Tuesday, according to a spokesman.

According to Terry Williams, NTSB spokesman, the agency is gathering information on the crash, but won’t start an investigation. He added that is more in-depth due to the launching of a team to determine the probable cause of an airplane crash.

Right now, the NTSB is simply trying to gather preliminary information, but nothing on what led to the plane going down, Williams said.

The crash happened shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday. The pilot reportedly took off from Myrtle Beach International Airport and then reported engine trouble, Myrtle Beach Fire Deputy Chief Tom Gwyer previously said.

At that point, the pilot ditched the plane in the water. He got out and was thrown a life jacket from a helicopter circling above.

The pilot did not suffer severe injuries in the crash.

James Wasserman is accustomed to picking people up who have fallen into the ocean after working for eight years with Downwind Sails Watersports, but he said Tuesday was the first time he rescued someone who had crashed a plane.

“I just had the mindset that I was going out there to help somebody that I knew needed some help,” Wasserman said.

He said he didn’t witness the plane land on the water off Myrtle Beach State Park.

“We saw Oceanfront Helicopters fly over. They were just hovering over the water and we were trying to figure out what in the world was going on,” he said.

However, Wasserman heard from a woman on the beach that a plane had gone down, so he decided to launch a jet ski and, within minutes, ended up on the crash scene.

“When I pulled up to the pilot in the water, you could no longer see the plane,” he said. “He was in the water by himself. Oceanfront Helicopters had dropped him a Jim Buoy float and he was holding onto that float for dear life.”

Wasserman got the man out of the water.

“I reached down, extended my hand to him,” he said. “His words to me were, ‘Man I’m really glad you’re here.’”

He then brought the pilot to shore.

“I told him we had him,” Wasserman said. “I said, ‘Buddy, you’re safe now man.’”

He said the man was relieved when he got him onto the jet ski, but was distraught about what had just happened.

“The man had just crashed his airplane. He was dazed and confused, had no idea what was going on,” he said.

Wasserman said he was happy to be part of a community effort to rescue the pilot.

“I’m glad that we could all be out there to make a tragedy just an accident,” he said. “Loss of life anytime is not a good thing. I’m glad we could pull him out of the water and get him to the beach safe and sound.”

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

David Pace

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Emergency crews say one person was rescued Tuesday evening after they responded to reports of a plane that crashed in the water near Myrtle Beach State Park.

Tuesday evening, the FAA issued a statement confirming a Mooney M20R Ovation2 crashed into the water one-half mile off the coast of Myrtle Beach around 5 p.m.

“Something hit the airplane, or it felt like something hit the airplane, and the engine stopped so that’s when I knew something was a problem,” said David Pace, who said he was flying the airplane from Myrtle Beach to Charleston.

Lt. Jonathan Evans, spokesperson for Myrtle Beach Fire, says the small plane went down between Springmaid Pier and the state park.

Pace said he couldn’t turn back to Myrtle Beach International Airport because he was flying too low and too slow.

“Really the only option was to go straight ahead into the ocean because the beach was full of people,” he added. “Then you just try to land it like you land it on the ground and it worked out this time.”

Pace said he prepared for the landing on the water like he would prepare for a normal landing and the plane floated in the water for a few minutes.

“I was able to get out and get out on the wing but I was a lot further out than I anticipated being so when the airplane sunk I had to start swimming,” said Pace.

A few helicopters were able to drop him a life preserver while rescue crews were arriving on the beach.

“He was swimming hard, fighting against the current a good half mile out from the beach itself,” said Jeremy Bass from Oceanfront Helicopters. Three of his pilots arrived on the scene in minutes.”The pilot, I gotta say, he did an excellent job. I could tell he did an excellent job by the aircraft position and the fact it didn’t come apart.”

Pace has been flying for forty years and was on a trip for his business, Premier Metals Recovery LLC, when the plane when down.

“I didn’t consider it a crash,” he said. “I consider it a forced landing because the plane didn’t crash. I’m not injured I’m in good shape.”

Pace plans to take about a week off and then get back in the sky.

“Every time something happens with an airplane, even though it’s very rare, it’s news all over the place and then people talk about how unsafe airplanes are but I’ve been flying for 40 years and I’m still here and never hurt anybody,” he added.

A tweet from Horry County Fire Rescue sent at 5:15 p.m. states Horry County Fire Rescue, Myrtle Beach Fire Department and Surfside Beach Fire Department responded to the scene.

The FAA says they will investigate and the NTSB says they are also gathering information.

Story and video:  http://wspa.com

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — A small plane crashed in the ocean near Myrtle Beach State Park and the sole occupant has been rescued, according to Horry County police officials.

Kirk Lovell, with the Myrtle Beach Airport, says the plane was a private aircraft, called a Mooney, with one person on board.

Jeremy Bass with Oceanfront Helicopters said he sent three of his helicopters to help with the rescue and they threw the man a life vest.

Horry County police say the man was treading water next to the plane when crews got to him. The plane submerged a short time later.

Emergency crews on scene say the man was helped out of the water via jet ski.

No information has been released about his current condition, but police say he was conscious when he was taken from the scene for treatment.

The plane left Myrtle Beach Airport and crashed a short time later after possible engine issues, police said.

Crews from Horry County Fire Rescue, Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and Surfide Beach Fire all responded to the scene.

ABC15 New's Eddie Kadhim spoke with the owner of Beachfront Helicopters about his company's assistance in the rescue.

Bass said the effort truly was a team effort.

"The plane had nosedived and ascended down into the ocean where it's not longer visible from the air even," he said.

While the pilot of the small plane was fighting for his life in the water, people took to the water and the air to help.

When one of the Oceanfront Helicopters crews dropped a life vest to the pilot, Bass said it appeared as though the water and current was giving the pilot a hard time.

"He appeared very worn out at that point. We were able to get one of the offshore helicopters over to him take one of our inflatable life vests, prep it for him, ball it up into a ball, and throw it right in front of him so he could grab it. He was able to don the life vest, pull the life cord, lay back and inflate it, and he was able to just lay back and wait," Bass said. 

Just then, Bass said more help arrived. A jet ski rushed in and pulled the exhausted pilot from the ocean.

"The tide was running really hard. He was in a current that was pulling him out further out into the ocean so, as hard as he was swimming, he was not making any progress at all. Thankfully got there just in the knick of time. I'm proud of the team doing what they've been trained to do," he said. 

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

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Crews responded to a plane crash in the water near Myrtle Beach State Park Tuesday evening.

According to a tweet from Horry County Fire Rescue, crews from Horry County, Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and Surfside Beach Fire are responding.

Kirk Lovell, spokesperson for the Myrtle Beach International Airport, said it was a private aircraft with one person on board.

Myrtle Beach Fire Deputy Chief Tom Gwyer said the pilot took off from MYR, reported engine trouble and then laid the aircraft down in the ocean.

The pilot got out of the Mooney M20R Ovation2 the occupant of a helicopter from a private company dropped him a float, according to Gwyer.

A jet ski was launched to get the pilot and bring him on shore. Gwyer said he was treated on the beach and then driven to an ambulance.

According to Gwyer, the pilot was shaken up but didn’t seem to have any medical issues.

“The lord was with them today,” said Charles Smith, who was at the state park when the plane went in the water.

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

Horry County Fire Rescue and Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue responded to a plane crash between Springmaid Pier and Myrtle Beach State Park Tuesday afternoon.

According to Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue deputy fire chief Tom Gwyer, the pilot took off from Myrtle Beach International Airport and had engine trouble over the ocean.

The pilot was able to “ditch the plane into the ocean,” meaning that the pilot completed a water landing, according to Kirk Lovell with Myrtle Beach International Airport.

A local helicopter company, Oceanfront Helicopters, was informed by Air Traffic Control that a plane had gone down, and it sent three helicopters to assist in the rescue.

“One soul was on board the aircraft,” said Lovell. “The pilot has been rescued and is on shore being treated by EMTs.”

According to Gwyer, the man was treading water when rescuers arrived, fully dressed in jeans and shoes.

Lovell said the plane was a Mooney M20R Ovation2.

“It was a lot of excitement, but it ended with a good outcome,” said Gwyer.

Several people witnessed the crash live.

“I saw the airplane take off, it lost its height and started going real low, skimmed the water, stopped; it was floating for about five minutes, then you saw the tail go up and under,” said witness Russ Magee.

Gwyer said the FAA will take over the investigation because the incident involved an aircraft.

“The plane is at the bottom of the ocean,” said Gwyer.

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

Spirit's customers are mad .... Its pilots are furious: Company says it can't afford the pay pilots want

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - A lot of Spirit Airlines' passengers don't like the airline. Neither do its pilots.

The low-cost airline, which regularly scores at the bottom of customer satisfaction among passengers, has been locked in bitter contract negotiations with the Air Line Pilots Association for two years.

The issue is salary, and the two sides are wide apart.

Spirit accuses the union of staging a slowdown that has forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and stranded 20,000 passengers. Things got so bad this week at the Fort Lauderdale airport that police had to be called to arrest angry passengers.

The airline won a federal court order on Tuesday ordering the union to have its members again start flying their normal allotment of flights.

Airline customers have long been vulnerable to bad labor relations at airlines.

Pilots may refuse to take the extra flights an airline needs to operate smoothly. That's what Spirit says its pilots are doing, although the union denies it is urging members not to accept assignments.

A low-cost carrier like Spirit is even more vulnerable to that kind of pressure tactic because of its more limited schedule, said Mike Boyd, an airline consultant.

"If United cancels, they have eight more flights to get passengers on. If Spirit cancels, they've got a flight next Tuesday and it's full," said Boyd.

The history of labor relations between Spirit and the union is bad.

The pilots went on strike for five days in 2010, the most recent strike at a U.S. airline. And they have been holding pickets to protests recently the lack of progress on a contract.

"While pilots at comparable airlines have seen substantial improvements in compensation, our pilots continue to work under a seven-year old agreement that puts us well below the industry-standard," said Stuart Morrison, a Spirit captain and union officer. He said Spirit has made more than $642 million in net profits since the two sides started negotiations in 2015.

Spirit pays about $39,000 a year to starting co-pilots and up to $189,000 for an experienced captain, according to Kit Darby, an pilot compensation expert.

The $39,000 salary is about half of what large carriers such as United, American and Delta pay. And an experienced Spirit pilot would make 50% more at a large carrier.

The company says it can't afford what the pilots want.

Spirit estimates the union's most recent demand would raise its labor costs by $1.9 billion over the course of five years. The company says its offer would increase pilot pay by 30% immediately, but it would increase costs by only $440 million over the same five years.

And the company says it can only afford that 30% wage offer if it gets changes in work rules to use pilots more efficiently.

"We expect the pilots to get a substantial increase and we expect to get an improvement in work rules that are necessary and are typical across the industry," said CEO Robert Fornaro when speaking to investors in February. The airline did not respond to a request for comment on negotiations.

Spirit has been growing fast. Its revenue was up 8% last year, while the number of passengers was up 20%. But profits were down about 17%.

To sustain that growth, it needs to keep hiring pilots -- it added 430 in the last two years, an increase of more 40%. So there is an incentive for the airline to reach a deal with pilots that makes the union, and new hires, happy.

Story and video:  http://money.cnn.com

Beech P35 Bonanza, N35JG: Incident occurred May 09, 2017 near Athens-Ben Epps Airport (KAHN), Athens, Clarke County, Georgia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta 

Swink Aircraft Services LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N35JG

Aircraft force landed in a field.

Date: 09-MAY-17
Time: 18:37:00Z
Regis#: N35JG
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: BE35
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

An engine failure reportedly forced a single-engine four-seat airplane to make an emergency landing in the field across from UGA’s Livestock Instructional Arena off South Milledge Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

No injuries were reported after the 1963 Beechcraft Bonanza, with pilot Bobby Swink of Bishop and a friend, Mark Sulimirski, made the emergency landing at around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“God is good,” Swink said at the scene. “Nobody was hurt and the airplane is OK.”

Swink, a veteran pilot with more than 50 years of experience, was ascending after taking off from the nearby Athens-Ben Epps Airport when his engine lost power.

The 70-year-old pilot glided for more than a minute before touching down in the field at the end of South Milledge Avenue near Whitehall Road.

The airplane will remain in the field for the time being, until representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration have a chance to survey the scene. A meeting with the FAA at the landing site is expected Wednesday morning, according to Swink.

University of Georgia police were on the scene in the aftermath of the emergency landing. One lane of South Milledge Avenue was partially blocked as emergency personnel responded to the scene.

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

Scuffed wings incident: Hercules planes' pilots to be jailed

A week after Israel's Independence Day flyover, during which two Samson planes had come into close contact—the army decided to send the two captains to the slammer; the rest of the ten crew members were grounded. 

The two pilots who flew the heavy transport planes were sent to several days of incarceration, while the rest of the ten crew members in the building were grounded for various periods. 

After the incident, it was decided to ground the transport aircraft for one day, as part of the investigation, during which it became apparent that the pilots did not observe the rules of caution and keep a minimum of distance from each other, as is customary in such non-operational flights, in a way that would endanger their safety and lead to a more serious injury, and possibly even a crash.

Despite the IAF investigation, they still don't know where the dangerous contact occurred.

Videos posted online of amateur photographers revealed that the two planes were indeed very close to each other over Tel Aviv, but the investigation revealed that only after landing at Nevatim base in the south, the ground crews noticed the suspicious scuff marks on the end of the wings, which indicated contact between the two planes.

The IDF Spokesperson's Office said in response, "Last week, the Independence Day flyover investigation ended. Following the investigation, immediate steps were taken regarding the flight procedures in the building. The aircraft crews were grounded for various times. The pilots of the planes were also sentenced to prison. The Air Force views such incidents seriously and investigates them in depth to prevent their recurrence." 

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

Boeing 737-800, American Airlines, N925AN: Incident occurred May 08, 2017

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas 


American Airlines, flight AAL2549, Boeing 737 

Aircraft executed a rapid descent due to loss of pressurization.  Sixteen (16) persons on board sustained unknown injuries.  Landed without incident. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW), Texas

Date: 08-MAY-17
Time: 12:04:00Z
Regis#: AAL2549
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: B737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: AMERICAN AIRLINES
Flight Number: AAL2549

Grumman-Schweizer G-164C, N171BW, owned by HDS Inc and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred May 08, 2017 in Beech Grove, Greene County, Arkansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

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

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


Aviation Accident Factual Report -  National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Beech Grove, AR
Accident Number: CEN17LA177
Date & Time: 05/08/2017, 1130 CDT
Registration: N171BW
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G-164C
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 137: Agricultural 

On May 8, 2017, about 1130 central daylight time, a Grumman G-164C airplane, was destroyed by ground fire after it veered off a private airstrip during takeoff near Beech Grove, Arkansas. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned by HDS, Inc., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of flight, which was not on a flight plan. The airplane was departing the private airstrip for a local flight when the accident occurred.

The pilot reported that while on takeoff roll about halfway down the runway, the right main tire "went flat and possibly blew." The airplane suddenly veered right, and it went off the side of the runway. It hit a field ditch, bounced, turned sideways, and slid to a stop. The pilot saw fuel running out of the engine compartment and it caught fire. The pilot exited the airplane without injury. The airplane continued to burn, and the engine compartment, cockpit, fuselage, empennage, and left wing were largely consumed by fire.

The photographs taken of the wreckage at the accident site revealed that the airplane, including the main landing gear wheels, brakes, and tires, were largely consumed by fire. The wheels, brakes, and tires were not tested due to fire damage.

At 1000, the surface weather observation at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (ARG) located 10 miles east of the accident site was: wind 220° at 6 knots; 10 miles visibility; sky clear; temperature 24° C; dew point 14° C; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  3668 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1258 hours (Total, this make and model), 3560 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 85 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 85 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: GRUMMAN
Registration: N171BW
Model/Series: G-164C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 21C
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/20/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 8505 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 7192 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Honeywell
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:  TPE-10-511M
Registered Owner: HDS INC
Rated Power: 665 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Kinco Ag
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ARG
Observation Time: 1000 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 220°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Beech Grove, AR
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Beech Grove, AR
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1130 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None

Latitude, Longitude: 36.084167, -90.748056

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA177
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, May 08, 2017 in Beech Grove, AR
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G-164C, registration: N171BW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 8, 2017, about 0945 central daylight time, a Gruman G-164C airplane, was destroyed by ground fire after it veered off a private airstrip during takeoff near Beech Grove, Arkansas. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned by HDS, Inc., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of flight, which was not on a flight plan. The airplane was departing the private airstrip on a local flight. 

The pilot reported that while on takeoff roll about halfway down the runway, the right main tire "went flat and possibly blew." The airplane suddenly veered right and it went off the side of the runway. It hit a field ditch, bounced, turned sideways, and slid to a stop. The pilot saw fuel running out of the engine compartment and it caught fire. The pilot exited the airplane without injury. The airplane continued to burn and the engine compartment, cockpit, fuselage, empennage, and left wing were largely consumed by fire. 

At 0935, the surface weather observation at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (ARG) located 10 miles east of the accident site was: wind 220 degrees at 6 knots; 10 miles visibility; sky clear; temperature 22 degrees C; dew point 13 degrees C; altimeter 30.10 inches of mercury.

Beech 76 Duchess, N6002L: Incident occurred May 08, 2017 at Executive Airport (KORL), Orlando, Orange County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando 

Badawi Aviation LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N6002L

Aircraft on taxi, struck a taxiway light.  

Date: 08-MAY-17
Time: 14:30:00Z
Regis#: N6002L
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: BE76
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)

Aviat A-1B Husky, N125MS: Incident occurred May 08, 2017 in Cedar Lake, Traverse City, Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids

47 Yankee LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N125MS

Aircraft, floatplane, landed on the water and flipped over.  

Date: 08-MAY-17

Time: 13:34:00Z
Regis#: N125MS
Aircraft Make: AVIAT
Aircraft Model: A-1B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

LEELANAU COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A man was rescued after a plane crash in Cedar Lake.

It happened just after 9:30 a.m. in Cedar Lake off of Cherry Bend Road.

According to the Leelanau County Sheriff's Office, the pilot, 59-year-old Kevin Malone, made an uncontrolled landing causing the water plane to overturn.

Malone said he thinks the crash may have had something to do with the plane's wheels.

"The wheels were down when we landed," Malone said. "We'll have to figure out why that happened later. When that happens in a sea plane, it goes end over end and it winds up upside down."

We are told there was only one person in the plane. Malone was rescued and able to walk away from the scene.

Before emergency crews arrived, Father Christopher Jarvis and his dad paddled out in a rowboat to get Malone safely to shore. They found him on top of the floating plane.

"You know it's kind of like Divine Providence because to be honest with you, I was going to be heading downstate today and I shouldn't even have been here," said Father Jarvis. "We started to talk for a little while and it delayed us enough time but Providence of God that that happened and we were still here."

A witness at the scene says he has seen the plane land in Cedar Lake several times before. The witness says he saw the plane coming in pretty quick.

Crews did get the plane out of the lake Monday afternoon around the two, with the help of a dive team from the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office and Team Elmer's. 

Team Elmer's brought a crane in to hoist the airplane out of the water and onto the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating to determine an exact cause of the crash.

Story and video:   http://upnorthlive.com 

TRAVERSE CITY — A failed water landing triggered an early morning rescue on Cedar Lake.

Leelanau County Sheriff Michael Borkovich said a man flipped his floatplane after attempting a morning water landing on Cedar Lake on Monday at about 9:30 a.m. The man — who was rescued by a local pastor and his father — was “very cold” but likely will walk away from the failed landing without injury, he added.

Noel Flohe, who lives on Cherry Bend Road along the shores of the lake, said he noticed an airplane heading toward the water and pulled over at the public boat launch to watch the landing. The plane was tipped vertically by the time he arrived.

“I thought, that’s the (plane) that usually comes down on Cedar Lake,” Flohe said. “As I turned to get on Cherry Bend Road, he was coming down pretty steep. … When I got around the corner, he was already in the water with his pontoons up on its nose. I hit 911 because I know that water is cold.”

Monday’s temperature was 45 degrees; Borkovich said Cedar Lake's water temperature was about 52 degrees and noted the frigid temperatures could quickly cause some potential health issues. But “divine providence” might have prevented the situation was growing worse.

The Rev. Christopher Jarvis, associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and his father, Donald Jarvis, were visiting with family when the plane came down. The two launched a 14-foot rowboat and a kayak to retrieve the stranded pilot after he climbed aboard his overturned plane.

The duo gave credit to God for the timing. They were previously scheduled to travel downstate but a prolonged conversation delayed their departure. Donald Jarvis said the man looked cold and wet — but otherwise safe — sitting atop his plane with a life preserver before they rowed out.

The pilot recovered in the back of an ambulance as the plane was retrieved from the water. The Jarvis’ — who later came to check on the pilot — said he looked a lot better than when they found him. Borkovich said the man is expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities at the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department were assisted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Elmwood Township Fire and Rescue. And this wasn’t Donald Jarvis’ first time helping out in a dicey situation.

Christopher Jarvis said his dad went out to help after a boat overturned on the lake about a decade ago.

“He’s making a habit out of it,” Christopher Jarvis said.

Original article can be found here:   http://www.record-eagle.com