Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Brazilian Airline Azul Focused on Cutting Debt, Adding Capacity After Initial Public Offering: Carrier is adding higher-capacity planes to long-haul routes



The Wall Street Journal 
By Luciana Magalhaes
May 15, 2017 6:44 p.m. ET


SÃO PAULO—Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras SA is focusing on cutting debt after its recent initial public offering while rebalancing its fleet to add more capacity to long-haul flights, Chief Executive David Neeleman said Monday.

Azul, Brazil’s third-largest airline by passengers, was able to swing to a profit of 55.3 million reais ($17.8 million) in the first three months of 2017 from a loss of 66.9 million reais in the first quarter of last year.

Founded in 2008 by Mr. Neeleman—who also founded U.S. discount carrier JetBlue Airways Corp. —Azul raised about $644 million in its April IPO, with $406 million in net proceeds to the airline.

The airline has recently paid about 401 million reais of working capital debt, which is owed mostly to Brazilian banks, and intends to gradually continue reducing its most expensive borrowing while keeping some cash available, taking advantage of still-high interest rates in Brazil, said Mr. Neeleman, who is also Azul’s chairman.

At the end of the first quarter, Azul had total debt equivalent to about 3.7 billion reais, roughly half of it denominated in the Brazilian currency.

“Every real of profit we make will be used to pay off debt,” Mr. Neeleman said.

The airline made the right choice when it decided to cut debt, said Pedro Galdi, an analyst at São Paulo-based investment firm Upside Investor.

“The company has to use this money to get its house in order,” he said.

Upside Investor doesn´t usually recommend the airline sector, given its dependence on factors it can´t control, such as the currency and oil prices, Mr. Galdi added. “This sector is not for any investor.”

Azul postponed previous efforts to sell shares in past years because of economic and political problems in Brazil. The company is now seeing some signs the country’s recession has bottomed out, but the economy isn’t out of the woods yet, Mr. Neeleman said.

“It will be ‘Hallelujah!’ when the economy does [recover],” Mr. Neeleman said.

After declining for several quarters, “business travel has flattened [since October or November],” Azul President Antonoaldo Neves said, noting about 65% of Azul´s client base are corporate. “It’s very hard to predict when it will come back, but we are right-sized for the economy now.”

Azul trimmed staff about two years ago, Mr. Neves said. Instead of firing workers, the company offered a leave-of-absence program, and about 300 of its employees accepted, he said. Azul is now calling them back.

The airline’s performance this year is being helped by the introduction of new Airbus A320neo aircraft to its fleet starting in December for use for long-haul flights, Mr. Neeleman said.

The new aircraft, which add 56 seats per flight compared with the previous model used on the same routes, reduced costs by about 30% per seat, he said.

The real’s gains against the dollar over the past year also helped reduce some costs, according to Chief Financial Officer John Rodgerson.

The company is expanding its network in 2017 and adding five to seven new destinations, mainly in Brazil, Mr. Neeleman said.

Azul says it is Brazil’s leading airline in terms of departures and cities served, with 792 daily flights serving 104 airports. It recently expanded its network to include international destinations such as Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in Florida, and Lisbon.

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

Aviation fuel sniffing sparks health emergency warning (with video)

Closed-circuit television footage shows young people climbing onto plane and siphoning fuel.


Authorities are warning of an unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land, where dozens of young people are recording dangerously high lead levels after sniffing aviation fuel.

Security camera vision obtained by the ABC shows children climbing onto the fuselage of planes on Elcho Island and siphoning avgas from fuel tanks in the wings.

"If these children don't stop, they will have a very serious brain damage issue," said Joan Djamalaka Dhamarrandji, an Aboriginal health practitioner at Miwatj Health, which runs clinics across north-east Arnhem Land.

Petrol sniffing is not uncommon in remote communities, but rarely does it involve avgas, which contains lead.

At least 70 young people on Elcho Island are known to have sniffed the volatile substance, with the youngest believed to be seven years old.

About 30 more young people have elevated lead levels at Gapuwiyak.

Children in Milingimbi are also believed to be sniffing avgas.

Nine children and one adult have been transported from the region to Royal Darwin Hospital for medical treatment.

"We are talking about a high number of children with high blood lead levels."

Yolngu leaders on Elcho Island are deeply concerned and have held community meetings in an effort to end the problem.

"Our kids are ending up in hospital by getting infected by chemicals which is bad for them," said John Gurrumgurrum Burarrwanga from Makarr Dhuni, an organisation which represents clan groups on Elcho Island.



Lead levels of sniffers well above health guidelines

National health guidelines require investigations of blood lead levels higher than five micrograms per decilitre.

The majority of Elcho Island sniffers have levels six to 10 times that amount.

The health risk is particularly great for children, with lead exposure causing long-term physical and behavioural problems, as well as learning difficulties.

Young people have been breaking into the airport and sniffing avgas since March last year.

The behavior follows a previous sniffing outbreak, which involved aerosol spray cans, in 2015.

"The issue became an absolute crisis because it became a practically every night event," said Yvonne Sutherland, the chief executive of the local Marthakal Group, which runs the airport.

Concerns of avgas explosion

Ms. Sutherland is concerned not only for the health of the children, but also the safety of aircraft.

There is also the real risk of an explosion involving avgas, which is extremely flammable.

Marthakal has taken numerous steps to prevent access to avgas, including increased security lighting and CCTV coverage at the airport.

It also tried relocating three of its charter planes each night to Nhulunbuy, hundreds of kilometres away, over a two-week period last year.

But at a cost of $32,000 for the fortnight, it was an unsustainable measure.





Hopes guard dog will curtail break-ins

The Department of Chief Minister has now provided $70,000 for a guard dog and security officer to be stationed at the airport for 10 hours each night over the next three months.

"That's been extremely successful," Ms Sutherland said.

"There has not been a single incursion into the airport since the security guard was installed."

Marthakal believes building a high-secure facility to lock its planes in overnight would be the best long-term solution.

That would cost about $400,000, but Ms Sutherland said it would be money well spent.

'Kids are important'

In an effort to educate young people about the dangers of sniffing, Miwatj's mental health team has been meeting with the families of those involved.

It has also developed a poster in English and Yolngu Matha, which explains that continued sniffing could lead to death.

"The community has taken steps and are still looking at other steps to stop what is happening," Ms Dhamarrandji said.

Community leaders want extra government funding for local staff to expand health education campaigns in Yolgnu Matha, as well as extra recreational programs to keep young people on the island engaged.

"Kids are very important to our life because they are the future generations," Mr Burarrwanga said.

"So we don't want these things happening in the community or elsewhere."

The Northern Territory Government says it has set up a "critical response" involving all stakeholders affected by avgas sniffing.

"Any volatile substance abuse is very dangerous and concerning," said Jim Rogers from the NT Department of Chief Minister.

"However the emergence of avgas sniffing and the potential long-term consequences of elevated blood lead levels is a significant concern."

Story and video:  http://www.abc.net.au

Airplanes vandalized at Walter J. Koladza Airport (KGBR), Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts: Airport manager says damage would have caused planes to roll in flight

GREAT BARRINGTON — Police are investigating the vandalism earlier this month of two airplanes at Walter J. Koladza Airport in an open hangar on the north side of the runway, according to airport manager Kenneth Krentza and co-owner Jim Jacobs.

Krentza said vandals bent the tail rudders of two Piper J-3 Cubs in what he described as a "direct attack" on the airport's flight school airplanes owned by airport co-owner Richard Solan. He said the rudders were bent in exactly the same way on both.

Krentza said the two airplanes were "sabotaged" overnight as they sat inside with three privately owned airplanes that went untouched. Another flight school plane had a mark on it, but was not damaged.

"And there was no other damage to any other aircraft on the field," he added.

"Rick took it very personally, and checked every other customer's plane for damage," Krentza said.

Aircraft owners and town police were notified right away.

Krentza said town police told him they have no leads so far. Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh said in an email the investigation into the "malicious destruction of property," a felony offense, is being conducted by his department, state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, and the state police Crime Scene Services Section.

Krentza said the damage amounted to about $8,000 to $10,000. The airplanes were repaired and are flying again, but he said there was a "significant" loss in income during the repair time. Dual instruction in one of the Pipers is $115 per hour.

With the airport embroiled in controversy over its plans to build three new hangars next to the north hangar, Krentza said the timing was unfortunate. Yet it does appear to support Jacob's claim to the Select Board at a Monday hearing that safety is yet another reason the hangars — with enclosed and locked bays — are much needed.

The airplanes were put away in the north hangar on the night of May 2, and the lights turned off, Krentza said. The damage was noticed when the Pipers were taken out on May 4.

"It was quite obvious the damage was done once they were brought into the sunlight," he said.

Had it not been noticed, that type of rudder damage would have caused the airplane to roll in flight, though Krentza said it is unlikely a pilot wouldn't have noticed the problem before he took off.

"Every pilot does a thorough walk-around before he flies," he said.

Krentza said as far as he knows, something like this has never happened in the airport's 86 years.

"It's a malicious attack," he said.

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

Mitsubishi MU-2B-40, N220N, Ithaca Consulting Inc: Fatal accident occurred May 15, 2017 in Eleuthera, Bahamas

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Mitsubishi; Dallas, Texas
Honeywell; Phoenix, Arizona

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

Ithaca Consulting Inc:   http://registry.faa.gov/N220N

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Eleuthera, Bahamas
Aircraft: MITSUBISHI MU2B, registration: N220N
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On May 15, 2017, at 1339 eastern daylight time, radar and voice communication were lost with a Mitsubishi MU2B-40 airplane, N220N, over international waters near Eleuthera, Bahamas. Debris associated with the airplane was found floating amidst a fuel sheen the following day. The United States Coast Guard conducted a search by air and sea for 3 days, but the commercial pilot and three passengers were not found. The airplane departed Rafael Hernandez Airport (TJBQ), Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, about 1100 and was destined for Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX), Titusville, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the airplane was a recent purchase, and registered January 23, 2017. A review of the airplane's flight history revealed that it was flown on the same route as the accident flight several times during the 4 months that the pilot operated the airplane.

Preliminary radar and voice communication information from the FAA revealed the airplane departed TJBQ, climbed to FL240 (24,000 ft), and maintained the same relative heading, airspeed and altitude for about 2.5 hours. The airplane was handled by the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZMA) as it entered an area of overlapping radar coverage. The overlapping facilities were ZMA, Nassau Approach Control, and Grand Turks Radar.

ZMA management reported that radar targets transitioning this area at "low" altitude will enter "coast" status for about 1 minute before the targets are fully reacquired. After approximately 3 minutes in a coast status, the ZMA controller attempted to contact N220N without success. There were no further communications with the airplane despite multiple attempts by air traffic control, and no further radar targets that could be associated with the airplane were acquired. The floating debris and fuel sheen were in an area consistent with the airplane's final radar target.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued December 12, 2016, and the pilot reported 1,480 total hours of flight experience on that date.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1981. Its most recent annual inspection was completed December 30, 2016 at 4,634.2 total aircraft hours. The airplane was scheduled for a 100-hour inspection to be performed on May 16, 2017.

At 1400, the weather recorded at Linden Pindling International Airport (MYNN), about 80 miles west of the airplane's track, included scattered clouds at 1,200 ft, a broken ceiling at 3,000 ft, and an overcast ceiling at 10,000 ft, calm wind, and visibility 10 statute miles in light rain. The temperature was 26° C, and the dew point was 23° C. The altimeter setting was 29.97 inches of mercury.

Satellite imagery in the area surrounding the airplane's radar track depicted a consistent cloud layer with cloud tops around FL400 (40,000 ft), and upper air soundings confirmed icing conditions between -10° and -20° C in clouds.

At 1340, a PIREP (pilot report) was issued for light to moderate rime icing. The PIREP was received from a Boeing 737 airplane.

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.

Pilot Nathan Ulrich



MIAMI (AP/NBC) — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for a family aboard a Florida bound plane, piloted by a New Hampshire man that disappeared near the Bahamas. 

Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire was piloting the small plane that was taking Jennifer Blumin, a prominent  New York businesswoman, and her 3- and 4-yer-old sons to Florida. 

The U.S. Coast Guard said the Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 was east of the island of Eleuthera on Monday when air traffic control in Miami lost radar and radio contact with the plane. It was en route from Puerto Rico and never made it to its destination of Titusville, on the northeastern coast of Florida.

Debris that appeared to be from a plane and an oil slick was spotted in the search area east of Eleuthera but authorities were still trying to determine whether it came from the missing plane, said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman.

Coast Guard officials searched through the night Monday. 

Blumin was founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides event space around New York City, specializing in the fashion industry. The company released a statement confirming that she and members of her family were on the plane.

"Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time," the company said.

Their plane was at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact. "There's no indication of significant adverse weather at the time," Kelly said.

Ulrich was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying it at the time, the spokesman said. Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company, according to New York State and aviation records.


Coast Guard aircraft were searching along with Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Eleuthera. A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to the area and was expected to arrive later Tuesday to assist with the search.





MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Airplane debris found floating in the water about 15 miles east of Eleuthera, Bahamas is from the same type of plane that vanished on Monday with four people on board.

The Coast Guard began their search for the MU-2B aircraft on Monday after Miami Air Traffic Control lost radar and radio contact from the pilot around 2:10 p.m. Communication was lost with the aircraft traveling at 24,000 feet at a speed of 300 knots about 37 miles east of Eleuthera.

On Tuesday, they reported they had spotted some debris.

“It’s confirmed to be from the type of aircraft that is overdue but we haven’t been able to tie it definitively to that plane, but it is believed to be from that plane,” said Petty Officer Eric Woodall.

Woodall told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the items included a piece of a seat and a removable tag which is more commonly known as an engine intake exhaust plug.

Onboard the plane at the time it disappeared were Jennifer Blumin, 40, her two sons, ages 3 and 4, and the boyfriend, Nathan Ulrich, 52, who was the pilot.

Blumin is a well-known CEO for the company Skylight Group, which specializes in finding event space around the greater New York City area.

Ulrich, who flew for the Coast Guard Auxiliary for nine years, is an engineer and designer of high performance race cars. He is from Lee, New Hampshire.

The Coast Guard said the plane took off from Borinquen, Puerto Rico around 11 a.m. and was headed to Titusville.

It’s not known what happened to the plane.

Monday’s and Tuesday’s search off the Bahamas involved a Coast Guard helicopter, a cutter, and three planes. Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force also assisted in the search.

Woodall said the search was aided by the good weather.

“Conditions are favorable ,” he said. “There have been good conditions for the search since Monday. And we have had mild seas.”

On Wednesday, the search force was scaled back to a C-130 plane and a cutter.

The search has covered more than 8,200 miles over a 30 hour period.

Story and video:  http://miami.cbslocal.com




The Coast Guard said Tuesday it's now searching for survivors after it found a debris field in Bahamian waters where a plane disappeared while carrying a prominent New York executive and her two sons, along with the pilot. 

 Jennifer Blumin, 40, founder and chief executive of the New York fashion event organizer Skylight Group, was aboard the twin-engine MU-2B along with her 3- and 4-year-old sons when the plane fell off radar Monday, Skylight confirmed.

The plane was en route from Puerto Rico to Titusville, Florida, when U.S. air traffic control lost all contact with it east of Eleuthera island about 1:30 p.m. Monday, the Coast Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Coast Guard said a search-and-rescue helicopter crew spotted the debris field Tuesday afternoon 15 miles east of Eleuthera. What had been a search for a missing plane is now a search for survivors, it said. 

Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire, was listed as the pilot of the plane, which is owned by Blumin. In a post on Facebook, the actress Rae Dawn Chong said Ulrich is her ex-husband, and she asked for "prayers to his family." 

 Ulrich's family said in a statement that they were "devastated and shocked" to learn that the plane went missing.

"Nathan is our beloved son, brother and uncle and we wish for resolution as the Coast Guard search continues," the family said. "Our prayers and thoughts are with the Blumin family and (the father of the children) James Ramsey in this difficult time." 

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

Searchers on Tuesday spotted debris from a plane that disappeared over the Bahamas with four people on board, including a New York woman and her two children, the Coast Guard said.

Air-traffic controllers in Miami lost contact with the Mitsubishi multi-engine plane about three hours after it departed Monday from Puerto Rico, bound for Titusville, Fla., said Eric Woodall, a Coast Guard spokesman.

He identified the plane’s passengers as Jennifer Blumin and her two sons, 3 and 4 years old, and Nathan Ulrich. Ms. Blumin, 40, is the founder of Skylight Group, a high-end event management firm.

It isn’t clear who was piloting the plane. Public records show that Mr. Ulrich, 52, from Lee, N.H., has had a pilot’s license since at least 2008.

Stephanie Blake, a spokeswoman for Ms. Blumin’s company, confirmed that the plane carrying Ms. Blumin and members of her family was missing. “Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time,” Ms. Blake said in a statement.

The Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 plane, which typically holds six to seven passengers, left Borinquen, Puerto Rico, around 11 a.m. ET Monday. It was 37 miles east of Eleuthera, Bahamas, traveling at 300 knots at a height of 24,000 feet, when Miami Air Traffic Control lost contact with it shortly after 2 p.m.

At about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Coast Guard helicopter spotted debris from the plane 3 miles east of Eleuthera, Mr. Woodall said.

“We’re certainly factoring that into our search patterns,” he said. “And continuing to search for survivors.”

Mr. Woodall said a Coast Guard swimmer was dropped into the ocean to gather some of the debris and bring it back to shore for analysis.

“It’s a pretty expansive search area,” Mr. Woodall said, adding that it encompassed 810 square miles.

On Tuesday, a family member of Mr. Ulrich didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment and, separately, family members for Ms. Blumin requested privacy.

Ms. Blumin’s company puts on fashion shows and other large marketing events. The firm’s specialty is staging events in unused, raw spaces in noteworthy buildings.

In a 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Blumin was noted as the co-author of “Power Sleep: Preparing the Mind for Peak Performance.”

The Coast Guard sent a C-130 airplane crew to search the area on Monday afternoon and on Tuesday sent an additional helicopter.

Mr. Woodall said the Coast Guard deployed the more-than-100-foot-long Bernard C. Webber patrol boat to search for the plane and was expected to arrive on scene Tuesday afternoon.

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

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has located a debris field believed to be the wreckage of a Florida-bound plane with four people on board, including a prominent New York businesswoman and her two children, that went missing in the Bahamas after leaving Puerto Rico. 

The Coast Guard tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the agency's Southeast helicopter crew found a debris field about 15 miles east of Eleuthera, and were continuing to search for survivors.

The debris appeared to be from a plane and an oil slick was spotted in the search area but authorities were still trying to determine whether it came from the missing plane, said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman.

 "We are still searching and that search is going to go on through the night and into tomorrow," Kelly said.

The twin-engine MU-2B was about 37 miles east of the island of Eleuthera on Monday when air traffic control in Miami lost radar and radio contact with the plane at 2:10 p.m., the Coast Guard said. It was was en route to Titusville, along the northeastern coast of Florida, but never made it to its destination.

The passengers on board the plane were identified as Jennifer Blumin, 40, of New York, and her 3-year-old and 4-year-old sons. Kelly confirmed Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying the plane when it disappeared.

Blumin is the founder and CEO of Skylight Group, a New York-based event space company specializing in the fashion industry. Skylight confirmed Blumin and members of her family were on the plane in a statement.

"Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time," the company said.

Blumin is married to architect James Ramsey. The couple was featured in an Open House New York video in 2015.

Their plane was at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact. Officials said it's unknown why the plane never made it to its destination.

"There's no indication of significant adverse weather at the time," Kelly said.

Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company she owned, according to New York State and aviation records. 

Ulrich was a Coast Guard Auxiliarist out of Air Station Cape Cod from 2005 to 2014.

Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force are assisting the Coast Guard in the search.

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

Authorities were searching Tuesday in the Bahamas for a small overdue plane with four people from the U.S. on board, including a prominent New York businesswoman and her two children.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the twin-engine MU-2B was east of the island of Eleuthera on Monday when air traffic control in Miami lost radar and radio contact with the plane. It was en route from Puerto Rico and never made it to its destination of Titusville, along the northeastern coast of Florida.

The people on board the plane were identified as Nathan Ulrich, 52, of Lee, New Hampshire, and Jennifer Blumin of New York, along with her 4-year-old and 10-year-old sons.

Blumin, 40, was founder and CEO of Skylight Group, which provides event space around New York City, specializing in the fashion industry. The company confirmed she and members of her family were on the plane in a statement.

"Her family is working with investigators and we politely ask that you respect their privacy at this time," the company said.

Their plane was at about 24,000 feet when air traffic control lost contact. "There's no indication of significant adverse weather at the time," said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelly, a Coast Guard spokesman.

Ulrich was listed as the pilot but it was not known who was flying it at the time, Kelly said. Blumin owned the plane through a consulting company, according to New York State and aviation records.

Coast Guard aircraft were searching along with Customs and Border Patrol and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force about 40 miles east of Eleuthera. A Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to the area and was expected to arrive later Tuesday to assist with the search.

Original article can be found here: http://abcnews.go.com

Air Tractor AT-802A, N319BM, Tiger Aviation LLC: Accident occurred May 15, 2017 in Dumas, Moore County, Texas



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

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

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

Tiger Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N319BM

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA285
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dumas, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 802, registration: N319BM
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, while maneuvering at a low altitude during an agricultural application flight, a wind gust lifted the right wing and the left wing descended striking the “wheat” crop. Subsequently, the airplane was “sucked” into the wheat, and it then impacted the ground and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation system about 4 nautical miles from the accident site, about the time of the accident, reported that the wind was from 160° at 13 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain lateral control while maneuvering at a low altitude.

The pilot reported that while maneuvering at a low altitude during an aerial application flight, a gust of wind lifted the right wing and the left wing descended striking the "wheat" crop. Subsequently, the airplane was "sucked" into the wheat, the airplane impacted the ground and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

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


The automated weather observation system about 4 nautical miles from the accident site, about the time of the accident, reported the wind at 160° at 13 knots.




NTSB Identification: GAA17CA285
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dumas, TX
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 802, registration: N319BM
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that while maneuvering at a low altitude during an aerial application flight, a gust of wind lifted the right wing and the left wing descended striking the "wheat" crop. Subsequently, the airplane was "sucked" into the wheat, the airplane impacted the ground and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

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

The automated weather observation system about 4 nautical miles from the accident site, about the time of the accident, reported the wind at 160° at 13 knots.




AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -  A pilot was shaken up after the small airplane he was inside crashed in a field near Dumas Monday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The plane, identified as an Air Tractor AT-802A in the report, took substantial damage after it went down near noon. 

It crashed about 4 miles outside the small town. 

The pilot, who was not identified, only reported minor injuries.

The FAA did not list a potential cause for the crash.
Original article can be found here: http://www.newschannel10.com

Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, N177CA, Aerosim Flight Academy: Incident occurred May 15, 2017 at DeLand Municipal Airport (KDED), Volusia County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aerosim Flight Academy: http://registry.faa.gov/N177CA

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed. 

Date: 15-MAY-17
Time: 23:00:00Z
Regis#: N177CA
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA44
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: DELAND
State: FLORIDA

Van's RV-8, N184ME: Accident occurred May 15, 2017 at Nut Tree Airport (KVCB), Vacaville, Solano County, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

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/N184ME


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA280
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Vacaville, CA
Aircraft: WEAVER STANLEY R/ROBINSON SCOT VANS RV-8, registration: N184ME
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, while landing in a crosswind, and as the tailwheel set down, the airplane veered to the right. He added that, despite left rudder input, the airplane exited the right side of the runway and impacted a 20 ft. deep drainage ditch.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

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

The automated weather observation system on the airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 240° at 15 knots. The pilot landed on runway 20.

Fantasy Air Allegro 2000, N433FA: Incident occurred May 15, 2017 at Liberty Municipal Airport (T78), Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

http://registry.faa.gov/N433FA

Aircraft on landing, gear collapsed. 

Date: 15-MAY-17
Time: 16:00:00Z
Regis#: N433FA
Aircraft Make: ALLEGRO
Aircraft Model: 2000
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: LIBERTY
State: TEXAS

Beech BE58 N6649D: Incident occurred May 15, 2017 at Sierra Vista Municipal Airport (KFHU), Cochise County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Bingham Leasing Co LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6649D

Aircraft landed and gear collapsed. 

Date: 15-MAY-17
Time: 14:45:00Z
Regis#: N6649D
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: BE58
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SIERRA VISTA
State: ARIZONA

Mooney M20E, N9265M: Accident occurred May 15, 2017 at W. K. Kellogg Airport (KBTL), Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Michigan

Aviation Accident Final 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/N9265M

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dowling, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2017
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N9265M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The private pilot stated that, during the flight, the airspeed indicator displayed a lower than normal airspeed. The pilot landed the airplane at an intermediate airport to drop off a passenger, then continued to his home airport, a privately-owned, 2,000-ft-long turf runway. During the first attempted landing, the airplane would not “settle,” and the pilot initiated a go-around. During the second landing, the airplane floated again, consistent with a higher-than-indicated airspeed, and the pilot "forced" the airplane onto the runway. The airplane porpoised and continued off the runway, hitting trees, a fence, and a pole, resulting in substantial damage. During postaccident examination, the remains of an insect were found in the pitot tube. A functional test of the airspeed indicator revealed no anomalies. It is likely that the inaccurate airspeed indications were due to the contamination of the pitot static system, which subsequently resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Innacurate airspeed indications due to contamination of the pitot-static system with insect remains, which resulted in a high approach and landing speed and subsequent runway overrun.


On May 15, 2017, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N9265M, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees, a fence, and a pole, while landing at a private grass airstrip near Dowling, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed W K Kellogg Airport (BTL), Battle Creek, Michigan, and was en route to the private airstrip.

According to the pilot, during the flight the airspeed indicator did not indicate as high as it normally would. He landed uneventfully at BTL to drop off a passenger and then continued to the private airstrip (2,000 feet by 120 feet, grass) for a full-stop landing. While on final approach, the pilot decreased airspeed to 70 miles per hour (mph); however, the airplane would not settle so he initiated a go around. During the second attempt to land, the pilot decreased airspeed to 60 mph, but the airplane still would not land. The pilot stated that he "forced" the airplane to land.

During touchdown the airplane porpoised and continued off of the runway hitting trees, a fence, and a pole. According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspectors who responded to the accident, the left main landing gear and nose gear collapsed. The right wing sustained substantial impact damage to the leading edge and the spar. The pitot tube separated from the airplane and could not be functionally tested.

During the examination of the pitot static system debris was recovered from the pitot tube that appeared organic in nature, consistent with the remains of an insect. A functional test of the airspeed indicator revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA184
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Dowling, MI
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N9265M
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 15, 2017, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20E airplane, N9265M, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees, a fence, and a telephone pole, while landing at a private grass airstrip near Dowling, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed W K Kellogg Airport (BTL), Battle Creek, Michigan, and was en route to the private airstrip.

According to the pilot, the airspeed indicator was not indicating as high as it normally does during flight. He landed at BTL to drop off a passenger and then continued to the private airstrip to land. While on final approach for landing, the pilot decreased his airspeed to 70 miles per hour; however, the airplane would not settle so he initiated a go around. During the second attempt to land, the pilot decreased his airspeed to 60 miles per hour and continued to have issues with the airplane settling to land so he "forced" the airplane to land. During the landing the airplane porpoised and continued off of the runway hitting trees, a fence, and a telephone pole.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident, the left main landing gear and nose gear collapsed. The right wing sustained substantial impact damage to the leading edge and the spar.

Gary, Indiana: Air Show grounded this year

GARY — Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson announced Monday the city will not host an air show at the Gary/Chicago International Airport this year.

The show, however, may take flight next year.

"We will not host the show this year; we will focus on next year,” said Freeman-Wilson in a statement early Monday afternoon.

The announcement doesn't come as a surprise based on comments made by the mayor last week.

"The risk inherent in incurring a $350,000 debt without having secured all the sponsors cannot be justified under our current financial conditions," Freeman-Wilson said in a statement Friday.

"Our first job is to be good stewards and our team has determined that we cannot afford to host the Gary Air Show. We know that a fully sponsored show is attainable and we will begin immediately to work on making that happen," she said.

Gary's Communications Director LaLosa Burns said last week that Monday was the deadline for the city to notify the air teams who would perform. She told The Times the city contributes about $50,000 to the show in public safety support, but cannot afford the remaining $300,000 or more needed to get it off the ground again.

A corporate sponsor could not be found in time for this year's event.

Freeman-Wilson noted the event not only offers the ability to provide recreational opportunities for residents, but also to showcase "two of our greatest jewels, the Gary Chicago Airport and Marquette Park."

While the event has been one of the most visited in Northwest Indiana, the venue on Gary's Miller beaches made it difficult to collect admission from the hundreds of thousands watching the show.

Speros Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, said last week the authority lost $1.4 million during the nine-year period it was involved in the show. The show was canceled in 2013 because federal budget issues made military demonstrations unavailable and in 2014 because the city could not afford police, ambulance and park support services for the event.

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

Royal Canadian Snowbirds cancel appearance at Rhode Island Air Show

QUONSET, R.I. (WLNE) — Days before the annual Rhode Island Air Show, the Royal Canadian Snowbirds have decided not to fly.

The team was scheduled to headline the weekend event at the Quonset Air Base, but pulled out citing an internal safety stand-down.

However, the National Guard says the show will go on.

This is not the first time a headliner has pulled out of the Quonset show. In fact, last year, the Thunderbirds cancelled their appearance following a jet crash in Colorado.

The Snowbirds explained their reasoning for cancelling on their Facebook page:

"We have decided to undertake additional practice and training from our home base at 15 Wing Moose Jaw before returning to our 2017 scheduled air performance season. While we have had several well-executed shows and practices early in the season, our Team Lead has determined that additional training is required.

'A reduced training period hampered by poor weather which continued into the show season, resulted in numerous cancelled practices. As a result, more training is required before the Snowbirds resume the 2017 schedule’, said Major Patrick Gobeil, Snowbirds Team Lead.

We have cancelled our participation in some upcoming air shows, and intend to return to the air show circuit once we have the consistency required for our dynamic nine-aircraft aerobatic performance. The Snowbirds thank the air show organizers for their understanding and all our fans for their continued encouraging messages."

Original article can be found here:  http://www.abc6.com

EasyJet launches biggest pilot recruitment drive yet



EasyJet is seeking more pilots at its Edinburgh and Glasgow bases as part of Scotland’s largest airline’s biggest recruitment drive to date.

An extra 450 pilots - with a starting salary of £40,000 - will been taken on.

It follows a record 426 being enlisted last year, the carrier announced today.

There will be a particular focus on more female pilots as part of EasyJet’s drive to double the number of women in its cockpits.

The move further underlines strong UK aviation growth and comes days after Edinburgh Airport - Scotland’s busiest - reported a further 13 per cent surge in passengers last month.

EasyJet, which launched in 1995 with Glasgow-Luton flights, said around 300 of the new pilots were likely to be cadets. 

It also wants more experienced co-pilots and captains. 

They will join more than 3,000 employed by the airline, who fly some 265 aircraft on around 870 routes in 31 countries.

Easyjet said the “For the love of Flying” campaign, to be launched next month, came at an “exciting time of continued growth”.

Its bases at Edinburgh and Glasgow bases are among 11 in the UK. The airline’s drive to recruitment more female pilots is called the Amy Johnson Initiative, after the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia.

Launched in October 2015, it has already achieved its initial aims of doubling the number of female new entrants from 6 percent to 12 percent in two years. 

A new target has been set of 20 percent - one in five - new entrant pilots being female by 2020.

EasyJet has 164 female pilots - some 5.5 percent of the total, compared to 3 percent across the industry. 

It also has 62 female captains, 14 percent of the 450 across all airlines.

An EasyJet spokeswoman said: “Based on current plans, this would mean EasyJet would be recruiting around 50 female pilots a year, which will really start to change the face of the industry. “This is a long-term strategy which is hoped will eventually lead to EasyJet recruiting, retaining and developing many more female pilots.”

Head of flight operations Captain Brian Tyrrell said of the overall recruitment campaign: “We pride ourselves on having a team of the highest talent. “We offer our pilots a clear career path with the opportunity to develop from first officer to captain quicker than at other airlines.” 

Cadets typically train for a year at specialist firms such as CTC Aviation, CAE and FTE Jerez before joining the airline as a second officer. They normally become a first officer after three years.

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