Sunday, June 4, 2017

AutoGyro Cavalon, N509PH, Airgyro Aviation LLC: Incident occurred June 04, 2017 near Spirit of St. Louis Airport (KSUS), Chesterfield, St. Louis County, Missouri

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Saint Louis, Missouri

Airgyro Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N509PH

Aircraft force landed on a road.

Date: 04-JUN-17
Time: 14:08:00Z
Regis#: N509PH
Aircraft Make: AUTOGYRO
Aircraft Model: CAVALON
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: CHESTERFIELD
State: MISSOURI




A gyrocopter crashed near Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield on Sunday morning. 

Authorities say the crash happened just after 9 a.m., and that everyone was able to walk away without significant injuries. 

It is unknown how many people were in the aircraft at the time of the accident. No other information is available. 

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

Piper PA-28-180, privately owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, N4871L: Fatal accident occurred June 04, 2017 in Moorpark, Ventura County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Piper Aircraft, Inc.; Vero Beach, Florida

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/N4871L

Location: Santa Rosa Valley, CA
Accident Number: WPR17FA120
Date & Time: 06/04/2017, 1529 PDT
Registration: N4871L
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abrupt maneuver
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 4, 2017, about 1529 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N4871L, collided with terrain in a residential neighborhood in Santa Rosa Valley, California. The commercial pilot and passenger, who was the pilot's son, were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was privately owned and was being operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed Camarillo Airport (CMA), Camarillo, California, at 1513.

Air traffic control and radar information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) indicated that the pilot contacted the CMA ground controller at 1506 and requested a right crosswind departure from runway 26. About 3 minutes after takeoff, the pilot was given a traffic advisory for an aircraft 1 mile ahead at the Saticoy Bridge. Radar data indicated that by this time the airplane was at a transponder mode C reported altitude of 1,600 ft and flying northbound. The pilot responded that he had located the traffic, and 1 minute later, the controller issued the pilot a frequency change to the Point Mugu Radar Air Traffic Control Facility for flight following. The pilot acknowledged, but did not contact Point Mugu; there was no further communication recorded with the accident airplane.

About 1525, the pilot's daughter was on her horse in an outdoor horse arena 14 miles east of CMA. She was accompanied by two riding instructors; one who was at her side, and another in an adjacent wash rack area next to a barn. Both instructors reported seeing an airplane approach from the northwest and fly over the arena in a southeast direction. The airplane then began a 180° left turn, tracking back past the arena to the northwest. They later told investigators that the father had flown the airplane over the arena before, and although they could not definitively judge the airplane's altitude, it was about the same as on those previous occasions.

The airplane continued northwest for about 1/3 mile, and as it overflew a house on top of an adjacent hill, it began to turn left. The riding instructors reported that the engine started to "sputter," then stopped producing sound. The airplane continued the turn until it was traveling southeast again. The instructors heard the engine sound increase as the airplane flew directly toward the arena at a much lower altitude than before. The airplane continued to descend with the engine operating and flew directly overhead and over the arena about 100 ft above the ground, startling the horses.

Electrical power transmission lines were just east of the arena. Before reaching the lines, the airplane began a steep right turn, such that the instructors could see the complete wing profile. The turn progressed, with the nose pointing up, then dropping back down, as the airplane passed out of view behind trees. They then heard two loud thuds and immediately ran in the direction of the noise. They found the airplane in the center of another sand-covered horse arena on an adjacent property about 600 ft south of their arena. (See Figure 1)

The pilot's daughter stated that she was facing west when she first observed the airplane. The airplane was flying toward her, and although she did not see who was onboard, she stated that she knew it was her father. She was aware that he and her brother were flying that day and was under the impression that they would be flying to the Channel Islands. The airplane circled overhead two or three times, and everything sounded and looked normal. However, on the final pass, as the airplane flew toward her, the engine sound stopped, and the airplane began to rapidly descend. It was much lower than before, and as it approached, she was concerned that it might scare the horse and that she might be thrown off. She stated that, just as the airplane flew overhead, the engine sound started again, and the airplane turned right behind the trees and out of her view. She then heard the sound of a crash.

The daughter reported that she had flown with her father about 15 to 20 times, and about three weeks before the accident, he flew over the same area but at a higher altitude. He had told her he knew about the power lines and always mentioned that they were "a pilot's worst enemy."

Another witness, located on the accident property, stated that the left turn following the initial overflight was very aggressive, and that the engine was operating at that time. As the airplane came in for the second pass toward the arena, he was shocked at how low it was flying. After overflying the arena, and just above the tree line, the airplane pulled up before reaching the power lines, and immediately rolled aggressively to the right.

At 1532, the pilot of a Cessna 172 reported on the CMA tower frequency that he had just observed a small airplane crash while the airplane was performing low-level maneuvers in the Moorpark area.

The pilots onboard the Cessna 172 subsequently provided statements indicating that they were at an altitude of 2,500 ft mean sea level (msl) about 14 miles east-northeast of CMA when they observed an airplane below them, and just south of their position. It was flying back and forth, very low, and performing banking maneuvers that one of the pilots described as "crazy eights." One pilot stated that she was familiar with the undulating terrain and was concerned that the airplane was going to crash into the hillside. The other pilot stated that, every time he looked over, the airplane was flying in a different direction, and that it was so low that he could see its shadow on the ground. They continued to watch as the airplane, while traveling at high speed, made a final "hard right bank," circled back around, and impacted the ground.

Figure 1 - Accident Area

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/28/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 1989 hours (Total, all aircraft), 500 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Pilot

The pilot, who was seated in the front right seat, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane.

The pilot's most recent third-class FAA medical certificate was issued on January 28, 2016, with a requirement to have available glasses for near vision. He had reported no medical conditions and no medications on his application.

No flight logbooks were recovered for the pilot. At the time of application for his medical certificate, he reported 1,989.9 total hours of flight experience, including 43.2 hours in the previous 6 months. One of the airplane's co-owners stated that, although the pilot did not own a share in the airplane, he started flying it about 3 years before the accident and typically flew it one or two times per week. He estimated that the pilot had about 500 hours of flight experience in the accident airplane make and model.

Passenger

The pilot's 15-year-old son was seated in the front left seat of the airplane. He did not hold a pilot certificate, although according to family members, he often sat in the left seat when flying with his father.

His mother, who was divorced from the pilot, stated that she did not know they would be flying that day. She was aware that her son had previously flown in the airplane while seated in the front left seat. She further stated that she was never happy with the idea of her children flying with their father, and had been told that he had flown low over the accident site before, but after discussing the situation with legal counsel, concluded that there was nothing she could do to stop him from taking them.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N4871L
Model/Series: PA 28-180 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-4226
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  02/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 29 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5939.9 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4A
Registered Owner: HERMANSON ALAN P
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane was manufactured in 1967 and was equipped with a Lycoming O-360-A4A engine, which was last overhauled in 1992. The most recent maintenance event was for an annual inspection, which was completed on February 1, 2017. At that time, the airframe had accrued 5,939.9 total flight hours, and the engine 1,796.4 hours since major overhaul.

The airplane was equipped with dual cockpit flight controls. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCMA, 65 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2255 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 262°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: CAMARILLO, CA (CMA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: CAMARILLO, CA (CMA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1513 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

At 1555, the automated surface weather observation facility at CMA, elevation 65 ft mean sea level, reported wind from 250° at 5 knots, 10 miles visibility, temperature 70°F, dew point 61°F, and an altimeter setting of 29.86 inches of mercury. Using these values, the density altitude at the accident site was about 1,700 ft.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.242222, -118.866667 

The airplane came to rest in the middle of a horse arena, which was 175 ft long and 85 ft wide, and oriented north-south. The arena was at an elevation of 590 ft msl and situated within a geographic bowl-like depression, flanked about 1/3 mile to the northwest by a 790-ft-tall hill, and by 1,030-ft-tall hills at a similar distance to the south and east. About 1,000 ft to the west of the arena, the terrain rose to about 770 ft, then gradually fell away through the Santa Rosa Valley before reaching CMA, 13 miles to the west. The Channel Islands were about 28 miles beyond CMA.

The area surrounding the accident site was interspersed with hills, fields, and densely-populated housing developments. Open agricultural fields were located at an elevation of 625 ft about 1/2-mile northeast. Fields were also located at an elevation of 310 ft about 1 1/2 miles southwest.

The arena was bordered to the east by three separate sets of power transmission lines oriented north-south. The lines were positioned about 60, 85, and 180 ft east of the arena edge. The closest two sets of lines were about 65 ft above ground level (agl), with the farthest line about 75 ft agl. The horse arena where the airplane crashed and the arena that the airplane initially overflew were separated by 50- to 80-ft-tall trees (See Figure 2).

The first identified point of impact was a metallic 4-ft-long transfer mark on the power line closest to the arena (See Figure 3). The outboard right wingtip and aileron section was located about 30 ft south of the mark and exhibited striation marks on the wing leading edge, consistent with power line contact.




Figure 2 - Accident Site


Figure 3 - Accident Site with Power Transmission Lines in the Background

The steel railings on the eastern edge of the arena were crushed and fragmented, and a fan of debris consisting of oil, the gascolator, and plexiglass and composite fragments extended on a heading of 250° toward the main wreckage.

The airplane came to rest about 120 ft southwest of the initial power line impact point. The empennage was largely intact and upright. The forward cabin area had folded back over and under the aft cabin, leaving the wings inverted and the engine resting on the top side of the aft tailcone. The leading edges of both wings sustained crush damage along their entire length. A faint smell of aviation gasoline was present at the site by the time investigators arrived about 2 hours later.

The airplane and engine were examined both at the accident site and 8 days later at a recovery facility. A complete examination report is contained within the public docket; the following is a summary of pertinent findings.

The fuselage sustained extensive crush damage through to the tailcone. Both wings sustained leading edge crush damage about 90° relative to the direction of travel. Outboard of the fuel tanks, the damage displayed an accordion-like appearance. The wing tanks displayed bulging damage, consistent with hydraulic deformation, with both tanks breached at their outboard rib seams.

The right wing remained attached and the left wing had completely separated from the fuselage at the wing root. Both flaps remained attached to the trailing edges of their respective wings.

The aileron cables for both wings remained attached to their respective bellcranks. Movement of the cables at the wing root resulted in corresponding movement of the aileron inboard rib.

The tab of the stall warning switch in the left wing was crushed against the wing leading edge. Subsequent testing of the switch assembly revealed that it was operational. The pitot mast remained attached to the underside of the left wing. The associated ram air and static lines were free of obstruction from their separation point at the wing root through to the mast.

The empennage was largely intact, and the rudder and stabilator cables were continuous to the main cabin. Movement of the cables at the cabin resulted in corresponding movement of their respective control surfaces. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer at all of its hinges. The stabilator trim drum exhibited 5 exposed threads on the top, consistent with a neutral pitch trim position.

The cockpit controls, along with all instruments and avionics, were crushed and fragmented.

Both fuel tank caps were in place and undamaged at their respective filler necks; the cap gaskets were pliable, and the fuel supply screens were free of debris. The supply and vent lines were clear, and the fuel drain for the left tank was in the closed and locked position, and did not leak when tested. The fuel drain for the right tank appeared to have sustained damage consistent with impact and was broken away at the tank fitting.

The fuel selector valve was found in the left tank position. The valve handle felt stiff when moved, although once moved, the detents could be felt. The valve was functionally tested in each position and passed air appropriately. Disassembly of the valve revealed radial score marks to the valve body and cavity, and light, tan-colored fragments of material broke away from the valve seal. The O-ring at the top of the valve was intact and pliable.

The fuel lines from the selector valve to the carburetor sustained extensive disruption and multiple breaches. All lines appeared to be free of obstruction, and no traces of fuel were found.

The engine remained attached to the firewall and had folded aft and over the top of the instrument panel. The carburetor remained attached to the inlet manifold, which separated from the engine.

The carburetor was disassembled following recovery and no fuel was present in any of the lines, the bowl, or the accelerator pump chamber. The brass floats were intact and undamaged. There was no foreign debris observed within the bowl or accelerator pump chamber. The accelerator pump seal was intact and pliable. The fuel inlet line had broken away from the carburetor case, and the inlet screen was clear.

The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. The nose cone base plate was crushed around the hub and both blade roots. One of the blades was intact, free of significant damage, and exhibited leading edge polishing, with smooth abrasions in the paint radiating about 45° relative to the leading edge. The second blade was curved about 90° aft along its entire span; the blade exhibited polishing and paint abrasions almost perpendicular to the chord.

Oil was present in the crankcase, the engine could be rotated by hand from accessory drive input, and borescope examination did not reveal any catastrophic internal failures. Both magnetos were intact and operated appropriately when tested. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office, Ventura, California, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The pilot's cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. No significant natural disease was identified.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory performed toxicology testing on specimens of the pilot, which identified alprazolam and its metabolite, Alpha-hydroxyalprazolam; gabapentin; and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active compound in marijuana, in urine and liver tissue. THC was identified but not quantified in lung tissue, but testing of liver and kidney tissue for THC was inconclusive. Finally, ibuprofen was identified in urine.

Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine available as a Schedule IV controlled substance via prescription used to treat anxiety and panic disorders and is commonly marketed with the name Xanax. It carries the warning, "Can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination. Combining with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and possibly lead to death."

Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat nerve pain and prevent seizures and is commonly marketed as Neurontin. Gabapentin increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It carries the warning, "Patients should be advised that gabapentin may cause dizziness, somnolence, and other symptoms and signs of CNS depression."

Both alprazolam and gabapentin are disqualifying for aeromedical certification.

THC is the active component in marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance; tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid is an inactive metabolite. THC causes mood- altering effects, euphoria, and relaxation for a few hours after use. In research involving actual flying and/or use of flight simulators, impairment for up to 24 hours was noted following smoking marijuana. Of interest was the lack of pilot awareness of impairment or decreased performance in those studies.

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter analgesic often marketed with the names Advil and Motrin. It is not considered impairing.

The pilot's personal medical records indicated that he visited a doctor after complaining of minor ailments including a cold, but there were no records indicating that he had been prescribed alprazolam or gabapentin. 

Additional Information

Fuel

The fixed base operators (FBOs) at local airports, including CMA, were contacted in an effort to determine the last time the airplane was serviced with fuel. None of the FBOs could provide evidence indicating that the airplane had been recently fueled; however, some did not record airplane registration numbers, but rather credit card numbers and their associated names only. The pilot's brother reviewed the pilot's credit card statements, and the last time he used his credit card to purchase fuel was in January 2017. However, the brother stated that the pilot often purchased fuel with cash.

According to one of the airplane's co-owners, the standard protocol required that the last pilot to fly the airplane was required to top it off with fuel. This protocol was adhered to by all who flew the airplane. The co-owner stated that the one time the accident pilot was unable to service the airplane with fuel, he immediately called the owners to apologize. The co-owners reported that the pilot was the primary operator of the airplane over the months leading up to the accident, and that they did not keep a flight log.

Performance

The airplane flight manual indicated a flaps up, power off stall speed of 67 mph calibrated airspeed. At bank angles of 40°, 50°, and 60°, the stall speed increased to 76, 83, and 94 mph, respectively.

Due to the vintage of the airplane, glide distance data was not included in the original flight manual. According to the PA-28-180 flight manual for a similarly equipped 1974 version of the airplane, the glide distance with the propeller windmilling, flaps set to 0°, and an airspeed of 85 mph was about 3.75 miles from an altitude of 2,000 ft agl, and about 1.7 miles from 1,000 ft.

Based on the airplane's final location (600 ft from its initial overflight track) and the fact that it came to rest on an almost reciprocal heading, the turn radius prior to impact was likely about 300 ft.

According to the publication, "Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators" (NAVWEPS 00-80T-80), Figure 2.29, General Turning Performance (Constant Altitude, Steady Turn), the bank angle required to maintain a turn radius of 300 ft, at a true airspeed of 73 knots (85 mph), would have been about 58°. At 100 mph, the bank angle required would be about 66°.

Title 14 CFR 91.119 addresses minimum safe altitudes of aircraft:

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 04, 2017 in Moorpark, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N4871L
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

On June 4, 2017, about 1545 Pacific daylight time a Piper PA28-180, N4871L, collided with the ground in a residential neighborhood in Moorpark, California. The commercial pilot and his 15-year-old son passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight departed Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California, about 1445. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported to friends that he planned to fly to Santa Cruz Island (about 40 miles southwest of Camarillo), and then back over an equestrian neighborhood in Moorpark, where his daughter was receiving horse riding lessons.

The pilot's daughter was on her horse in an outdoor horse arena, and was accompanied by two riding instructors, one who was at her side, and another in an adjacent wash rack area. Both instructors reported seeing the airplane approach from the northwest and fly over the arena in a southeast direction. They stated that the pilot had flown over the area before, and although they could not definitively judge the airplane's altitude, it was about the same as on those prior occasions. The airplane then began a 180° left turn, tracking back past the arena and to the northwest. The pilot's daughter exclaimed to them that she could see her brother in the front left seat as the airplane passed by.

The airplane continued on the same track for about 1/3 of a mile, and as it overflew a house on the top of an adjacent hill it began to turn left. The witnesses reported that the engine started to "sputter," and then stop producing a sound. The airplane continued the turn, until it was now lined up on the original inbound track. The witnesses then heard the engine sound increase, as the airplane flew directly towards the arena, but now at a much lower altitude. The airplane continued to descend with the engine operating, and flew about 100 ft directly overhead, startling the horses.

Electrical power transmission lines were situated just to the east of the arena. Prior to reaching the lines, the airplane began a steep right turn, such that the witnesses could see the complete wing profile. One witness stated that the turn and engine sound were reminiscent of an airplane performing aerobatic maneuvers at an airshow. The turn progressed, with the nose pointing up, and then dropping back down, as the airplane passed out of view behind trees. The witnesses then heard two loud thuds, and immediately ran in the direction of the noise. They found the airplane in the center of another sand-covered horse arena, on an adjacent property, about 600 ft to the south of their arena.

Another witness, who was located on the accident property, recounted similar observations. He stated that the left turn following the initial pass was very aggressive, and that the engine was operating at that time. As the airplane came in for the second pass, he was shocked at how low it was flying. After overflying the arena, and just above the tree line, the airplane pulled up before reaching the power lines, and immediately rolled aggressively to the right.

The airplane came to rest in the middle of the arena, which was 175 ft long and 85 ft wide, and oriented north-south. Both horse arenas were bound to the east by three separate sets of power transmission lines running north-south. The lines were positioned 60, 85, and 180 ft east of the arena edges. The closest two sets of lines were hanging at an elevation of about 65 ft above ground level (agl), with the farthest line about 75 ft agl.

The first identified point of impact was a metallic 4-ft-long transfer mark on the closest power line. Fragments of sheet metal were found directly below that mark. The outboard right wingtip was about 30 ft south of that mark, and exhibited striation damage to the leading edge consistent with power line contact.

The airplane came to rest about 120 ft southwest of the initial power line impact location. The empennage was largely intact and upright. The remaining forward section of the airplane had folded back over the tailcone, and was inverted. The engine, instrument panel, and leading edges of both wings had sustained crush damage.

The pilot's son was located in the left seat of the airplane, which according to family members, was not unusual, as he had flown with his father from the left regularly since the age of 13. The airplane was equipped with dual controls.



CALABASAS, Calif. (KABC) -- The wife and mother of a Calabasas father and son killed in a single-engine plane crash in Ventura County Sunday confirmed the identities of the two victims.

The occupants of the plane were 57-year-old Jim Harlan from Calabasas and his 15-year-old son, Dylan. The coroner also independently released the victims' names.

Loved ones say Dylan lived life to the fullest. He was a member of the Burbank Bears Club hockey team, where he had recently made the AAA team.

"Plays hockey, surfs, dives, travels the world," said Dylan's hockey coach Peter Torsson. "On the day he died, he surfed in the morning and flew in the afternoon."

Dylan had a bright future ahead. According to Torsson, he was well on his way to becoming a student athlete at a Division 1 college.

Torsson said he always taught the boys he coached to play like it was their last shift. "I guess it was his last shift," Torsson said of Dylan, through tears.

The plane that the two were aboard, described as a single-engine Piper PA-28, crashed around 3:30 p.m. Sunday on private property near the 2700 block of Marvella Court, in an area of Ventura County near Thousand Oaks.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane fly low over the area before the crash. The aircraft clipped at least one power line before it crashed into a horse arena, according to authorities.

No one on the ground was injured.

Authorities did not have immediate information on the likely cause of the crash. The FAA and NTSB continue to investigate.


Story and video:  http://abc7.com







A father and son died Sunday afternoon after a small plane they were flying in  crashed in the Santa Rosa Valley, according to Ventura County Fire Department.

The victims, both from Calabasas, were a 57-year-old man and his 15-year-old son, said Capt. Garo Kuredjian, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. There were no other occupants on the plane.

Authorities were alerted to the crash at 3:30 p.m. along the 2700 block of Marvella Court, near the Norwegian Grade on Moorpark Road.

This is the second fatal plane crash in Ventura County in four days. On Thursday, a single-engine Cessna 180 crashed in the hills east of Solimar Beach, killing the pilot later identified as Michael Brannigan, 52, of Lake Sherwood.

Authorities said the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee originally took off from the Camarillo Airport. The cause of the crash was under investigation, according to authorities.

The plane crashed in a gated community called Hidden Meadow Estates, where properties include large portions of land, many with horse stables. 

According to Sheriff's officials, most of the airplane landed in the horse arena of a nearby residence. A piece of the wing landed on the other side of a nearby chain-link fence, and a third piece of debris landed about 100 feet away from the crash site, authorities said.

Officials from Southern California Edison confirmed one of their power lines had been struck by debris from the crash, causing minor damage. No other structures were reported to be damaged from the incident.

Steve Swindle, a fire engineer and spokesman with county fire, said the plane caught on fire after crashing but neighbors quickly extinguished the fire.

A neighbor in the area, Gary Blackwell was throwing a graduation party for his son at the time when he said he heard the plane crash. 

"I saw a plane flying super low," Blackwell said. "I heard it circle once, then twice, and then I heard a gigantic thud."

Blackwell said he didn't think much of it until his guests alerted him that they saw the plane go down.

Anne Carter, of Camarillo, was flying with her son and saw the plane before it crashed. She said her son had been flying their aircraft at 2,500 feet and she could see the Piper aircraft below them.

"I looked down and thought 'What are they doing? They're way too low. It's dangerous. You could crash into houses,'" Carter said.

Crews removed the bodies from the aircraft shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday night. They later worked to remove the aircraft from the location.

Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash. 

The California Highway Patrol also responded to the incident.

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



MOORPARK, Calif. - [Update: 6:15 p.m.] The two males that died in a single-engine plane crash Sunday afternoon in Ventura County were a father and son.

The 57-year-old father was piloting with his 15-year-old son when their plane went down in the Santa Rosa Valley near the towns of Camarillo, Thousand Oaks and Moorpark.

The father and son took off from Camarillo Airport. Their destination is unclear at this time.

Authorities say the two are both from Calabasas. Their families have been notified.

Two men are dead following a plane crash near Moorpark on Sunday afternoon.

The small plane went down at around 3:30 p.m. near Marvella Court in the Santa Rosa Valley.

The plane, described as a single-engine piper aircraft, crashed inside a horse enclosure on private property.

Two male occupants of the plane were pronounced dead at the scene. No one on the ground was injured.

Ventura County Fire, Ventura County Sheriff's Office and California Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

Fire hose crews were on hand but the crash did not spark a fire.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified and are en route.

This is the second fatal plane crash in Ventura County in less than a week.

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


Two people died after a small plane crashed Sunday in eastern Camarillo, on the edge of the Santa Rosa Valley, firefighters said.

Officials responded to a downed aircraft on private property 2700 block of Marvella Court around 4 p.m., according to alerts from the Ventura County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol.

The plane’s two occupants, a 57-year-old father and his 15-year-old son, were dead on arrival, VCFD Capt. Garo Kuredjian said.

Kuredjian could not identify the victims except to say they were Calabasas residents.

No bystanders on the ground were injured, officials said.

It was unclear what led to the crash, which occurred in an open, hilly area behind the Norwegian grade.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were traveling to the crash scene to investigate the incident.

Cessna 150H, N6511S, Olde New England Properties LLC: Accident occurred June 04, 2017 at Plum Island Airport (2B2), Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts



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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA326 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 04, 2017 in Newburyport, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N6511S
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 solo student pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll, the pilot’s side window blew open as full power was applied. He added that he “reached over with [his] right hand to close [the] window,” but as he did so, the airplane veered off the runway to the left into a wooded area and impacted terrain. The student pilot reported that he had noticed on previous flights that the window latch was loose and that he had planned to get it fixed but had not done so.

Both wings sustained substantial damage.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's decision to attempt to close the cockpit window during takeoff and his subsequent failure to maintain directional control.

Additional participating entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

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

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

Olde New England Properties LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6511S

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA326
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 04, 2017 in Newburyport, MA
Aircraft: CESSNA 150, registration: N6511S
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 solo student pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll the pilot's side window blew open as full power was applied. He added that he "reached over with [his] right hand to close [the] window," but as he did so, the airplane veered off the runway to the left into a wooded area and impacted terrain. The student pilot reported that he had noticed on previous flights that the window latch was loose, and he had planned to get it fixed, but had not done so.

Both wings sustained substantial damage.

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




NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) — A small plane crashed into some bushes at the Plum Island airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna C150 ran off the end of the runway around 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

The pilot, Tim Gillette, said he was on his takeoff run at Plum Island Airport when a window popped open. He lost control of the single-engine plane as he tried to close the window, and the plane skidded off the runway, he said.

No injuries were reported.

The plane reached about 40 mph and stopped after it crashed into the bushes.

Gillette is a student pilot from Ipswich.



PLUM ISLAND – An Ipswich man was unharmed after a botched takeoff Sunday morning at Plum Island Airport sent his single-engine plane into bushes just off the runway. 

Student pilot Tim Gillette said he was on a takeoff run in his Cessna 150 from the airport's paved runway about 11 a.m. when a window popped open. As Gillette tried to close the window, he lost control of the plane and it skidded off the runway. 

The plane, with an estimated value of $15,000, had reached about 40 mph and only stopped after striking thick bushes. 

"The window went open and I lost my focus," Gillette said. 

Gillette, who was busy sawing away brush in preparation for the plane being towed, said he was fine after the crash. Gillette added that he bought the plane a few months ago and the flight Sunday morning was one of his first flying solo. 

"I sure learned something today," he said. 

John Murray, the airport's chief flight instructor, said the runway was closed while emergency responders were at the scene. The airport's grass runway remained open.

The airport was expected to feature 10 landings and takeoffs Sunday, according to Murray. 

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



NEWBURYPORT, Mass. —  A small plane crashed into the bushes at the Plum Island Airport Sunday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna C150 ran off the side of the runway in Newburyport at 10:45 a.m. 

The pilot, identified as Tim Gillette, told WCVB photographer Stanley Forman he was taking off when the window on his door opened. Gillette said he got distracted and ended up in the bushes. 

No injuries were reported, but the plane did sustain extensive damage. 

The FAA is investigating.

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













AIRCRAFT:   1967 Cessna 150H, N6511S, serial number 15067311

ENGINE- M&M, S/N:  Continental O-200A, serial number 61699-5-A; installed since 7/1992.

PROPELLER – M&M, S/N: McCauley 1A101/DCM6948, serial number G6975

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

ENGINE; As of last annual inspection of Nov. 7, 2016, Tach Time 507.2, TTE 4298.6, SMOH 233.4

PROPELLER:    As of last annual inspection of Nov. 11, 2016, Tach Time 507.2, AFTT 5498.4       

AIRFRAME: As of last annual inspection of Nov. 11, 2016, Tach Time 507.2, AFTT 5498.4.

On May 15, 2017, Tach Time is 529.9, AFTT 5521.1.                     

OTHER EQUIPMENT: One MX300 Nav/Comm. serial number 6055 

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  Pilot lost control of the airplane during takeoff roll resulting in the aircraft going off runway and striking shrubs off the runway.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES: Damage to both wings, and prop strike, possible hidden damage.         

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT: Plum Island Aerodrome, Newbury, MA         

REMARKS: Logbooks located with adjuster in Atlanta, GA. Prior written permission required from adjuster for inspection of wreckage. 


Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com/N6511S.htm

Cessna 172K Skyhawk, N79534, MacAir Aviation LLC: Accident occurred October 19, 2014 at Greene County–Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport (I19), Xenia, Ohio

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 


MacAir Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N79534


Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cincinnati, Ohio

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 19, 2014 in Xenia, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172K, registration: N79534
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 reported that, during takeoff for the local personal flight, his seat unexpectedly moved rearward, and the seat back tipped rearward. As the seat slid rearward, the pilot inadvertently applied aft yoke and his feet came off the rudder pedals, which resulted in a loss of directional control. The airplane went off the left side of the runway and struck a ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane. 


A postaccident examination of the pilot seat revealed that the forward outboard metal tang on the seat base that retained the base to the track was deformed. The forward outboard position of the base also contained the locking pin mechanism that adjusted the seat fore and aft and locked the seat into position. The deformation of the metal tang likely allowed the seat to become detached from the track and disengaged the locking pin, which allowed the seat to slide rearward. The seat back structure would not lock in any position after the accident. The reason why the seat back could not lock in position could not be determined. 


The Federal Aviation Administration had previously issued an airworthiness directive (AD), which required repetitive inspections of the seat mechanism, including inspections of the tangs on the seat base. A review of airplane’s maintenance records showed that the inspections had been performed in accordance with the AD. The deformation of the tang was consistent with a lateral deformation due to a sideways force, but it could not be determined if the deformation was present during the most recent inspection. 


A review of the airplane maintenance discrepancy records showed that, the day before the accident, a different pilot had entered a maintenance discrepancy, which noted that the "left seat slid back three times during flight." The following day, a mechanic repaired the hold-down spring and returned the airplane to service. After that repair and before the accident flight, another pilot entered a maintenance discrepancy, which noted that the "left front seat was in the reclined position and would not lock in the upright position." The records showed that the discrepancy had not been corrected before the accident flight. It could not be determined whether or not the accident pilot was aware of the previous discrepancy reports.


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

The failure of the seat track mechanism, which led the pilot to inadvertently apply aft yoke and lift his feet off the rudder pedals and resulted in a loss of directional control during takeoff. 

On October 19, 2014, about 1805 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172K airplane, N79534, was substantially damaged during a loss of control on takeoff at the Greene County-Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport (I19), near Xenia, Ohio. The pilot, who was the sole occupant, received serious injuries. The aircraft was registered to and operated by MacAir Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that during takeoff, about the time that he was rotating for takeoff, the seat unexpectedly slid rearward and the seat back tipped aft. This resulted in his inadvertent application of rearward yoke, his inability to reach the rudder pedals, and the subsequent loss of control. The airplane went off the left side of the runway and struck a ditch bank, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane. 

Aircraft records showed that on the day before the accident, a different pilot had entered a maintenance discrepancy with a notation that the "left seat slid back three times during flight". On the following day, prior to the accident flight, a mechanic made a repair to the hold-down spring and returned the airplane to service. After that repair and prior to the accident flight another maintenance discrepancy was noted by another different pilot that the "left front seat was in the reclined position and would not lock in the upright position". Records showed that discrepancy had not been corrected before the accident flight. It was undetermined whether or not the accident pilot was aware of those previous discrepancy reports.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that a metal tang adjacent to the forward outboard seat track roller had deformed. The tang was part of the seat base and the formed lip retained the seat base to the T-shaped seat track. The deformation was consistent with lateral deformation due to a sideways force. It was not possible to determine if the deformation would have been present during the examination required by the AD. The forward outboard position of the base also retained the pin mechanism that allowed for fore-aft adjustment of the seat position. The pin engaged holes in the track to lock the fore/aft position of the seat. Postaccident examination also showed that the pilot's seat back structure could not be locked in any position. No determination was made as to why the seat back would not lock. 

The seat mechanism in the accident airplane was the subject of an Airworthiness Directive (AD) AD 2011-10-09, implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration to prevent seat slippage or the seat roller housing from departing the seat rail. The AD stated that such a failure could cause the pilot/copilot to be unable to reach all the controls and lead to the pilot/copilot losing control of the airplane. The AD instituted repetitive inspections of the seat mechanism to prevent such occurrences. One of the items to be inspected was the tang length from the inner edge of the tang to the outer edge (the bend area) of the roller housing. The AD specified a minimum tang length that would affect the width of the opening between the outer and inner tangs. 

Review of an airworthiness directive compliance sheet for the accident airplane confirmed that the inspections detailed in the AD had been complied with within the required time frame.