Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Latest: Flight school denies claims in students’ lawsuit

In this Wednesday, June 14, 2017 photo, Arslan Mamiliyev, who was training to become a commercial pilot at the American Flight Academy in Hartford, Conn., stands outside the building where the school was located. He and other international students are suing the school, saying they lost thousands of dollars and are being forced to leave the country after the school closed following two fatal plane crashes. Federal authorities are investigating the crashes and have seized records from the school. 



HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Latest on students suing a Connecticut flight school under investigation after two fatal plane crashes in five months (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

A Connecticut flight school under investigation after two fatal plane crashes is denying allegations by international students who say they are being forced to return to their home countries without finishing the training that they paid tens of thousands of dollars for.

The Hartford-based American Flight Academy released a statement Thursday denying allegations in a lawsuit filed by three students.

The students say they paid $28,000 to $39,000 apiece for commercial pilot training but were far short of the required training hours when the Hartford-based school closed abruptly in April. Two of the students also allege the school cancelled their student visas and they’re being forced to return home Sunday.

The three are from Turkmenistan, Peru and Ecuador.

The two crashes in October and February remain under investigation by federal authorities.

11:34 a.m.

International students at a Connecticut flight school that closed after two fatal plane crashes say they’re out thousands of dollars and are being forced to return to their home countries because their student visas were canceled.

Three students are suing the American Flight Academy. They say they paid $28,000 to $39,000 apiece for commercial pilot training but were far short of the required training hours when the Hartford-based school closed abruptly in April.

The three are from Turkmenistan, Peru and Ecuador.

School owner Arian Prevalla has not returned messages seeking comment. The school’s lawyer declined to comment Thursday.

Authorities are investigating the two crashes. A student was killed and Prevalla survived a wreck in East Hartford in October. Prevalla told authorities the student crashed the plane on purpose. Another student was killed in a crash in East Haven in February.

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

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — International students at a Connecticut flight school that closed after two fatal plane crashes say they’re out thousands of dollars and are being forced to return to their home countries because their student visas were canceled.

Three students are suing the American Flight Academy. They say they paid $28,000 to $39,000 apiece for commercial pilot training but were far short of the required training hours when the Hartford-based school closed abruptly in April.

The three are from Turkmenistan, Peru and Ecuador.

School owner Arian Prevalla and its lawyer didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Authorities are investigating the two crashes. A student was killed and Prevalla survived a crash in East Hartford in October. Prevalla told authorities the student crashed the plane on purpose. Another student was killed in a crash in East Haven in February.

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

Beechcraft King Air B100, N343KK, TreeLine Transportation Inc: Incident occurred June 14, 2017 at  Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (KTCL), Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham

TreeLine Transportation Inc:   http://registry.faa.govN343KK

Aircraft landed, gear collapsed.

Date: 14-JUN-17
Time: 20:26:00Z
Regis#: N343KK
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B100
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: TUSCALOOSA
State: ALABAMA

De Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter, N510PR, Talkeetna Air Taxi Inc: Incident occurred June 14, 2017 - Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage

Talkeetna Air Taxi Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N510PR

Aircraft on landing, ski caught a crevasse.

Date: 14-JUN-17
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N510PR
Aircraft Make: DEHAVILLAND
Aircraft Model: DHC3
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Operator: TALKEETNA AIR TAXI
City: DENALI
State: ALASKA

Gulfstream Schweizer G-164C (Grumman Ag-Cat), N7501Z, registered to HDS Inc and operated by Kin-Co Ag Aviation Inc: Accident occurred June 14, 2017 in Delaplaine and Accident occurred June 19, 2014 in Beech Grove, Greene County, Arkansas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock

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

Registered to HDS Inc and operated by Kin-Co Ag Aviation Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N7501Z


NTSB Identification: CEN17LA230 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in Delaplaine, AR
Aircraft: GULFSTREAM SCHWEIZER A/C CORP GULFSTREAM AM G 164C, registration: N7501Z
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 June 14, 2017, about 1820 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT64C agricultural airplane, N7501Z, registered to HDS Inc., of Beech Grove, Arkansas, and operated by Kin-Co Ag Aviation Inc., of Beech Grove, Arkansas, was substantially damaged following a forced landed after a loss of engine power near Delaplaine, Arkansas. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The local agricultural flight was being operated under the provisions of Federal Code of Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was filed. The flight originated at 1800 from the operators private airstrip located in Delaplaine, Arkansas.

The pilot reported that he was enroute to spray a rice field after loading chemicals at the company base. While approaching the field, the engine was not making full power. The pilot elected to executed a forced landing into a rice field. As the airplane landed in the field, the right main landing gear struck a levee and the airplane flipped inverted, resulting in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. There were no witness to the accident. 


Initial examination of the wreckage by and FAA inspector, did not reveal any anomalies. The airplane wreckage was transported to Dawson Aviation, Clinton, Arkansas, for further examination.

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


NTSB Identification: CEN14LA308
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Beech Grove, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/2015
Aircraft: GULFSTREAM SCHWEIZER A/C CORP GULFSTREAM AM G 164C, registration: N7501Z
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 pilot reported that the airplane took off with a quartering tailwind of about 10 to 15 mph. The takeoff was normal; however, shortly after lifting off, the airplane began to settle back toward the ground. The pilot started to dump the fertilizer load, but the airplane subsequently descended to the ground and then hit a rice levee. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He noted that the accident might have been prevented if he had paid closer attention to the density altitude; the density altitude was calculated to be 2,205 feet, which would have increased the airplane’s ground roll and decreased its climb performance.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in his attempt to take off with insufficient climb performance to climb out of ground effect in the high-density altitude conditions. 

On June 19, 2014, about 1200 central daylight time, a Gulfstream Schweizer G-164C (Grumman Ag-Cat) airplane, N7501Z, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after takeoff from a private airstrip near Beech Grove, Arkansas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by HDS Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported he took off to the north from a 2,500-foot long asphalt runway, with 2,500 lbs. of fertilizer on-board. He added that there was a south wind from about 220 degrees at 10 to 15 miles per hour. The takeoff was normal; however, shortly after lifting off, the airplane began to settle back toward the ground. The pilot started to dump the fertilizer load, but he was unable to recover. The airplane subsequently settled onto the ground and encountered a rice levee. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings. The pilot noted that the accident might have been prevented by paying closer attention to density altitude.

The accident airplane was powered by a 600-shaft horsepower Garrett model TPE-331-10 turboprop engine. The maximum gross weight for the airplane was 8,625 lbs. The pilot reported that the airplane weight at the time of the accident takeoff was 7,125 lbs. He stated that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions associated with the airplane prior to the accident. 

Weather conditions recorded at the Jonesboro Municipal Airport (JBR), located about 20 miles south of the accident site, at 1153, were: wind from 230 degrees at 8 knots; scattered clouds at 3,200 feet agl, scattered clouds at 3,900 feet agl; 10 miles visibility, temperature 30.0 degrees Celsius, dew point 22.2 degrees Celsius, altimeter 30.11 inches of mercury. The associated station pressure was 29.81 inches of mercury. The calculated density altitude was 2,205 feet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A) noted that density altitude represents pressure altitude corrected for nonstandard temperature. A decrease in air density corresponds with an increase in density altitude and a decrease in airplane performance. Density altitude is used in calculating airplane performance. The handbook also noted the effect of wind on takeoff distance is large, requiring proper consideration on takeoff performance. A tailwind of 10-percent of the takeoff airspeed will increase the takeoff distance approximately 21-percent.

Bombardier CL-600-2B19, N883AS, ExpressJet, flight ASQ5397: Incident occurred June 14, 2017 at Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL), Atlanta, Georgia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta

Delta Air Lines Inc:   http://registry.faa.gov/N883AS

Aircraft on taxi, struck by a baggage cart.  No injuries. Damage minor.

Date: 15-JUN-17
Time: 00:40:00Z
Regis#: N883AS
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: CL600
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: EXPRESS JET AIRLINES
Flight Number: ASQ5397
City: ATLANTA
State: GEORGIA

Cessna 172M, N9912Q: Accident occurred June 14, 2017 at Smiley Creek Airport (U87), Ketchum, Blaine County, Idaho

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9912Q

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA341
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in Galena, ID
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N9912Q
Injuries: 2 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 pilot in the airplane reported that he attempted to perform a crosswind, soft-field take off from a dry turf airstrip. The pilot configured the airplane with full throttle application, flaps 10°, and a nose high attitude until the stall warning horn sounded. He then relaxed pressure on the yoke until the stall warning horn subsided. Shortly after rotation the airplane entered a power-on stall and the pilot lost directional control of the airplane. The airplane impacted a barbed wire fence and sustained substantial damage to the right wing strut.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented, if he had received instruction from a Federal Aviation Administration Certificated Flight Instructor that was specific to the accident airplane, specifically for a soft-field takeoff because each individual aircraft has nuances that can affect the operation.

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

Piper PA-28-180, N33764, Estherville Aviation Inc: Accident occurred June 14, 2017 at Estherville Municipal Airport (KEST), Emmet County, Iowa

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines

Estherville Aviation Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N33764 

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA338
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in Estherville, IA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N33764

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

Aircraft on landing, went off the runway into a field.

Date: 14-JUN-17
Time: 14:15:00Z
Regis#: N33764
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: ESTHERVILLE
State: IOWA

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N755PR, Flight 101 LLC: Incident occurred June 10, 2017 at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK), Waterford Township, Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids

Flight 101 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N755PR

Aircraft on takeoff, experienced a birdstrike.

Date: 10-JUN-17
Time: 22:29:00Z
Regis#: N755PR
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
City: PONTIAC
State: MICHIGAN

Cessna 172RG Cutlass, N6274R, Flight 101 LLC: Incident occurred June 14, 2017 at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK), Waterford Township, Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids

Flight 101 LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N6274R

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 14-JUN-17
Time: 19:38:00Z
Regis#: N6274R
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: WATERFORD
State: MICHIGAN

Mooney M20E, N93RE, 5549M Inc: Incident occurred June 13, 2017 at Medina Municipal Airport (1G5), Medina County, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland

5549M Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N93RE

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 13-JUN-17
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N93RE
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: MEDINA
State: OHIO

Cessna 182K Skylane, N3019Q: Incident occurred June 14, 2017 in Toquerville, Washington County, Utah

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City

http://registry.faa.gov/N3019Q

Aircraft force landed on a highway.

Date: 14-JUN-17
Time: 18:15:00Z
Regis#: N3019Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: TOQUERVILLE
State: UTAH

Learjet 35A, N452DA, registered to A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC and operated by Trans-Pacific Air Charter LLC: Fatal accident occurred May 15, 2017 near Teterboro Airport (KTEB), Bergen County, New Jersey

Pilot remains unidentified a month after Teterboro crash

CARLSTADT - A smattering of details about the pilot crop up in a handful of online media reports.

The man was from the Western United States and worked for Hawaii-based Trans-Pacific Jets for about one year. He was older than his 33-year-old co-pilot and had 15 to 20 years of flying experience.

The man worked for a variety of charter companies. According to public records, the aircraft he flew was built in 1981 and owned by A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC in Billings, Montana.

Still, a full month later, authorities have not released the name of the pilot of the LearJet 35 that crashed May 15 in Carlstadt on approach to Teterboro Airport.

The fiery accident killed First Officer Jeffrey Alino of Union, who was identified by fingerprints, and Alino's piloting partner, who remains unidentified.

"It's weird," said Joe Orlando, spokesman for the borough of Carlstadt. "You would think after all this time we would have heard something. I can't figure out why we only have one name."

The National Transportation Safety Board will examine the plane's cockpit voice recorder, which was recovered from the plane that crashed near Teterboro Airport.

While Alino was identified through print analysis, Bergen County and federal officials have said the pilot's remains were too badly burned for anything other than DNA testing.

A cockpit voice recorder, which was recovered by the National Transportation Safety Board after the crash, was found intact and should contain the voices of both pilots.

However, neither the recorder nor a transcript of its contents have been made public.

"We have an idea of who both pilots are," Jim Silliman, a senior National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said a day after the fatal crash. "But confirmation is something we don't have right now."

At the time of the accident, county officials said investigators would rely on DNA testing to confirm the man's identity. Those tests are being conducted by a state forensics team in Trenton, a county official said.

Asked this week why, a month later, the pilot's name still has not been released, a spokesman stated in an email: "DNA testing can take a long time when there is no body."

Orlando, who was at the accident scene, concurred.

"The scene was pretty brutal," Orlando said.

The U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 published a guide on genome research so families of victims could understand how DNA is used to identify their loved ones.

"The process of identifying a victim might be relatively quick or it can be quite lengthy," the department states in "Identifying Victims Using DNA: A Guide for Families."

DNA can be isolated from human remains found at a disaster site and then matched to DNA known to be from the victim - such as the victim's prior bloodwork or personal items.

"In some instances, not every victim can be identified," states the Department of Justice.

Forensic scientist and DNA expert Lawrence Kobilinsky, who has not worked on the Teterboro case, said Tuesday he finds it odd the pilot's name has not been released.

"I would find it hard to believe in a plane crash there is no identifiable DNA," said Kobilinsky, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"If the fire department put out the fire in a reasonable amount of time, there is usually teeth or bone -- those are good sources of DNA," Kobilinsky said.

Kobilinsky said if a fingerprint was recovered from one victim, there should have been recoverable DNA from the other.

"Did the fire burn hotter in one area than another?" Kobilinsky asked. "Usually it does not."

A blaze would have to roar for hours at temperatures of at least 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to completely disintegrate a human body, the professor said.

According to an National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, the LearJet was on approach to Teterboro when it turned late and banked hard during an attempted landing, clipped some buildings and burst into flames as it crashed on Kero Road.

In addition to the late turn, investigators are looking at high winds prevalent in the Northeast that day.

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

Jim Silliman, Investigator In Charge 
National Transportation Safety Board


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey
Bombardier; Montreal, Quebec
Honeywell; Phoenix, Arizona

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N452DA

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA183
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2017 in Teterboro, NJ
Aircraft: GATES LEARJET 35A, registration: N452DA
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 May 15, 2017, at 1529 eastern daylight time, a Gates Learjet 35A, N452DA, operated by Trans-Pacific Jets, departed controlled flight while on a circling approach to runway 1 at the Teterboro Airport (TEB), Teterboro, New Jersey, and impacted a commercial building and parking. The captain and first officer died; no one on the ground was injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The airplane was registered to A&C Big Sky Aviation LLC and operated by Trans-Pacific Air Charter LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, about 1504 and was destined for TEB. 

The accident flight was the crewmembers' third flight of the day. The first flight departed TEB about 0732 on a Part 91 positioning flight and landed about 0815 at the Laurence G. Hanscom Field (BED), Bedford, Massachusetts, where they refueled and boarded a passenger. They departed BED about 1009 on a Part 135 on-demand charter flight and landed at PHL about 1104. 

The captain filed an IFR flight plan to TEB planning a 28-minute flight at a cruising altitude of flight level 270 (27,000 feet) with a cruise speed of 441 knots and a departure time of 1430. After departure about 1504, the flight was cleared to climb to 4,000 feet above mean sea level (msl). The flight reached a maximum altitude of 4,000 feet msl. About 1515, the flight was cleared to descend to 3,000 ft msl. The New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) cleared the flight for the TEB ILS Runway 6 Approach, circle to land runway 1. TRACON instructed the flight to switch frequencies and contact TEB air traffic control (ATC) about 9 miles from the airport; however, the flight did not check onto the ATC's frequency until 4 miles from the airport. ATC cleared the flight to land on runway 1 and issued the TEB winds of 320 degrees at 16 knots, gusting to 32 knots. 

Radar track data indicated that the flight did not start its right circling turn until it was less than 1 mile from the approach end of runway 6. According to TEB ATC, aircraft typically start the right turn at the final approach fix for runway 6, which is located 3.8 nm from the approach end of runway 6. 

A TEB ATC controller reported that he observed the airplane bank hard to the right and he could see the belly of the airplane with the wings almost perpendicular to the ground. The airplane then appeared to level out for just a second or two before the left wing dropped, showing the entire top of the airplane. Other ground witnesses also reported that they observed the airplane in a right turn with the wings in a high angle of bank. Some witnesses described seeing the airplane's wings "wobbling" before the left wing dropped and the airplane descended to the ground. Security video cameras installed at numerous commercial buildings also captured the last moments of the flight, showing the airplane at high angles of bank. One security camera showed the airplane in a steep right wing low, nose down attitude at impact. 

The accident site was located on a 180-degree bearing about 1/2 nautical miles from the threshold of runway 1 at TEB. The main wreckage was distributed in the parking lots of commercial businesses. The wreckage path and debris field was about 440 ft. long on a 135-degree heading, and 3 buildings and 16 vehicles were damaged by impact or fire. Although impact forces and postcrash fire destroyed and consumed much of the airplane, the examination of the wreckage revealed that all components of the airplane were located at the accident site. 

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was located in the wreckage and was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Vehicle Recorder Laboratory. The CVR was auditioned by NTSB senior management staff and found to be operating at the time of the accident. A CVR Group will be formed and a transcript of the flight will be produced. 

Four other airplane components that store non-volatile memory (NVM) and an iPhone were collected and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination. All 4 components and the iPhone exhibited impact and fire damage. The 4 components were: 2 Honeywell N1 Digital Electronic Engine Controls (DEEC); 1 Flight Management System (FMS); and 1 Honeywell KGP-56 Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).

At 1452, the surface weather observation at TEB was: wind 350 degrees at 20 knots gusting to 30 knots; 10 miles visibility; scattered clouds at 4,500 ft; temperature 19 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.75 inches of mercury.

The TEB automated terminal information services (ATIS) Z was in effect at the time of the accident. The 1451 ATIS Information Z stated that the current weather was: wind 350 degrees at 18 knots gusting to 29 knots; visibility 10; light rain, 5,500 ft scattered; temperature 18 degrees C; dew point 6 degrees C; altimeter 29.74 inches of mercury. ILS Runway 6 circle approach in use…Low level wind shear advisory in effect… ." 

Textbook Lesson on How to Exit an Airline Stock: Veteran investor sells out of Wizz Air three weeks after it issues surprisingly bullish guidance



The Wall Street Journal
By Stephen Wilmot
June 15, 2017 8:03 a.m. ET


When is the best time for an executive to sell stock? How about three weeks after the company issues surprisingly bullish guidance that sends the shares to a record high.

Veteran airline investor Bill Franke is executive chairman of Wizz Air, a low-cost carrier focused on previously neglected Eastern European routes such as Gdansk to Grenoble and Katowice to Kiev. The 80-year-old Texan was also, until Thursday, its anchor shareholder, with a 19% stake through private-equity vehicle Indigo.

On Thursday, Indigo sold all its ordinary stock to institutions for £249 million ($317.7 million) or £23.20 a share—only a slight discount to Wednesday’s closing price, which was a record. He retains convertible stock and notes that, if converted, would give him a 54% economic interest.

Indigo initially outlined plans to float Wizz in 2014, but was forced to scrap them due to “market volatility in the airline sector.” It finally got the initial public offering off the ground in 2015. Then terrorist attacks and other problems hit European airline demand just as cheap oil fueled a renewed push for scale. Wizz Air’s share price struggled to make headway last year.

Sentiment has recovered this year. But Wizz stock only regained its 2015 highs three weeks ago, after the company wowed the Street with bullish guidance in annual results. The shares finished the day up 13%. “Particularly surprising,” noted brokerage HSBC, was Wizz’s expectation of growth in unit revenues—essentially airfares. Its key peer, Ryanair, expects a 5% to 7% decline in fares over the same fiscal year through March 2018.

Don’t be surprised if Wizz’s future guidance features a new note of caution.

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

Seawind 3000, N57TJ: Accident occurred September 18, 2016 at Renton Municipal Airport (KRNT), King County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Renton, Washington

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N57TJ 

NTSB Identification: WPR16LA187
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 18, 2016 in Renton, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/14/2017
Aircraft: JURCAN Seawind 3000, registration: N57TJ
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 was conducting a cross-country personal flight. He reported that, after arriving at his destination and trying to ensure that the airplane was configured for the water landing, he observed that the right main landing gear (MLG) indicator light was off and that the hydraulic pressure read 0. The pilot then attempted to retract the right MLG several times to no avail. He chose to fly to a nearby airport with a paved runway, where the tower controller confirmed that the right MLG was extended but that the left MLG and nose landing gears were retracted. The pilot attempted to use the backup manual hydraulic pump and abrupt maneuvers to extend the remaining landing gear to no avail. The pilot chose to land on the runway with the landing gear partially retracted. The airplane touched down on the runway with the right MLG first. The pilot held the left wing off the runway as long as possible, but then the wing touched the runway, and the airplane veered off the runway surface. The airplane slid along the grass, impacted an airport sign and light, spun 180°, and then came to a rest. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that a hydraulic leak had originated from a cracked flare in a hydraulic line fitting, which caused the hydraulic fluid to leak, decreased the hydraulic pressure to 0, and prevented the landing gear system from fully extending or retracting.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the landing gear system to either fully retract or extend due to a cracked hydraulic fitting flare, which resulted in the loss of hydraulic pressure.

On September 18, 2016, about 1500 Pacific daylight time, a Jurcan Seawind 3000 airplane, N57TJ, impacted a runway sign after landing with a landing gear malfunction at the Renton Municipal Airport (RNT), Renton, Washington. The pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a personal flight under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane departed from Lampson Field Airport (1O2) Lakeport, California at 1040 and was originally destined for Lake Sammamish, Issaquah, Washington. 

The pilot reported that after arriving at Lake Sammamish, they observed that the right main landing gear indicator light was off and the hydraulic pressure read zero. The pilot attempted to retract the right landing gear several times, but to no avail. He elected to fly to a nearby airport, where the control tower confirmed that the right main landing gear was extended, while the left main and nose landing gears remained retracted. The pilot attempted to use the back-up manual hydraulic pump as well as abrupt maneuvers to lower the remaining landing gears, however, to no avail. The pilot elected to land onto the runway with the abnormal landing gear configuration. The airplane touched down onto the runway right landing gear first. The pilot held the left wing off the runway as long as possible, but when the wing touched the runway, the airplane veered off the runway surface. It slid along the grass and impacted an airport sign and light, before spinning 180 degrees and coming to a rest. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed a hydraulic leak that originated at a cracked flare in a hydraulic line fitting. This fitting was located on the bulkhead between the cabin and nose compartment that leads directly into the nose gear actuator.

Scottish Aviation Bulldog, Series 100 MDL 101, N432BD. Accident occurred September 22, 2016 near Colonel James Jabara Airport (KAAO), Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas

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

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA381
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 22, 2016 in Wichita, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/06/2017
Aircraft: SCOTTISH AVIATION SERIES 100 MDL 101, registration: N432BD
Injuries: 2 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 reported that the engine "sputtered and went to idle" during cruise flight while returning to the departure airport after a local flight. His attempts to restore engine power were not successful. The pilot subsequently conducted a forced landing, during which the airplane impacted a fence and sustained substantial damage.

During postaccident examination, the fuel totalizer indicated that 7.3 gallons of fuel remained; however, only about 1.5 gallons of fuel was recovered from the airplane. After fuel was added to each tank, an engine run was conducted, and the engine ran smoothly at idle and about 1,000 rpm, and no anomalies were noted. 

The pilot reported that the airplane fuel gauges were unreliable, so he used the fuel totalizer for fuel quantity information. However, the totalizer’s operating instructions stated that the instrument does not provide a measurement of the fuel in the tanks and that it “should never be used as the primary indicator of the fuel quantity.” The pilot should not have used the totalizer to determine the amount of fuel onboard the airplane and his reliance on the instrument without ensuring that sufficient fuel was on board for the flight led to fuel exhaustion and a total loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper preflight inspection during which he relied on the fuel totalizer and failed to ensure that sufficient fuel was onboard for the flight, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a total loss of engine power.
 


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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N432BD

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA381
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 22, 2016 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: SCOTTISH AVIATION SERIES 100 MDL 101, registration: N432BD
Injuries: 2 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.

On September 22, 2016, about 1055 central daylight time, a Scottish Aviation Series 100 Model 101 airplane, N432BD, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to the pilot-rated passenger and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Augusta Municipal Airport (3AU), Augusta, Kansas, about 1040.

The pilot reported that he planned to complete a three-leg local flight from 3AU to the Cpt Jack Thomas Memorial Airport (EQA), to the Col. James Jabara Airport (AAO), and return to 3AU. He proceeded to EQA and completed a takeoff and landing. He then flew to AAO for two additional takeoffs and landings. After departing from AAO to return to 3AU, about 2,500 ft mean sea level, the engine "sputtered and went to idle." His attempts to restore engine power were not successful. The airplane struck a wooden fence during the subsequent forced landing. The airplane sustained damage to the leading edges of the wings.

A postaccident examination was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. During that examination, about 1.5 gallons of fuel was recovered from the accident airplane. The inspector did not observe any evidence of a fuel spill at the accident site. The fuel totalizer indicated that 7.3 gallons remained. A postrecovery engine exam was conducted under the supervision of an FAA inspector. Five gallons of fuel were added to each fuel tank. A slow leak (approximately 1 drip every 10 seconds) was observed from the left-wing fuel tank at two rivets near the area of the fence post strike. No leaks were observed from the right-wing fuel tank. The engine started and ran smoothly at idle and about 1,000 rpm. No anomalies with respect to the engine were observed.

The pilot reported that about 16 gallons of fuel were on-board upon the initial departure from 3AU, with about 8 gallons remaining at the time of the takeoff from AAO. He added that "the aircraft utilizes a fuel totalizer to calculate fuel on board. A method to verify the totalizer's measurement of fuel remaining versus the actual fuel in [the] tanks is suggested." The pilot informed an FAA inspector that the airplane fuel gauges were unreliable so he used the fuel totalizer for that information.

The fuel totalizer operating instructions noted that "the fuel remaining displayed by the FP-5(L) is not a measurement of the fuel in the tanks. . . . Even after verifying the calibration of the FP-5(L) it should never be used as the primary indicator of fuel quantity in the tanks." The instructions also added that "the use of the FP-5(L) does not eliminate or reduce the necessity for the pilot to use good flight planning, preflight and in-flight techniques for managing fuel."

Federal regulations [14 CFR 91.205(b)(9)] require an operable fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank for all types of operations.



NTSB Identification: CEN16LA381
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 22, 2016 in Wichita, KS
Aircraft: SCOTTISH AVIATION SERIES 100 MDL 101, registration: N432BD
Injuries: 2 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 September 22, 2016, about 1050 central daylight time, a Scottish Aviation Series 100 Model 101 airplane, N432BD, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Wichita, Kansas. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by private individuals under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Augusta Municipal Airport (3AU), Augusta, Kansas, about 1040.


The pilot informed FAA inspectors that about 10 minutes after takeoff, during cruise flight, the engine lost power. While the engine continued to run at idle power, it would not provide sufficient power to maintain level flight. The pilot executed a forced landing to a field, encountering a small roadway embankment and a fence before coming to rest.

Schweizer 269C, N2096W, Precision Flight Training Inc: Fatal accident occurred July 01, 2015 near Chehalem Airpark (17S), Newberg, Yamhill County, Oregon

Families of men killed in helicopter crash file lawsuits against flight training company


Anthony Gallerani, Certified Flight Instructor

Kristian Blackwell, Pilot Undergoing Instruction



PORTLAND, Ore. – Family members of the two men who died nearly two years ago in a crash in Newberg are suing a flight training facility for negligence. 

Student pilot 29-year-old Kristian Blackwell and his instructor, 31-year-old Anthony Gallerani, both died on July 1, 2015 in a crash during a routine night training flight.

About 15 minutes into a "night orientation" training flight, the 2004 Schweizer 300c helicopter went down in a field near the Chehalem Airpark and Precision Aviation Training - the company that owned the helicopter. Gallerani was flying the helicopter.

Attorneys representing Blackwell’s family filed a lawsuit May 22 against Precision Aviation Training seeking more than $8 million in compensation.

The lawsuit claims that Gallerani became a certified flight instructor just 40 days before that night orientation flight. The suit further alleges that the company was negligent by letting “an inexperienced instructor” fly with Blackwell.

Family members of Gallerani filed a suit on June 1 that claims the company was negligent in hiring staff that was adequately trained and supervised to perform helicopter inspections and maintenance, which ultimately caused the crash.

The company replaced the "short shaft" - a part that sends power from the engine to the rotor system - about a month before the flight. The suit also claims that the crash could have been because the part was improperly installed.

Precision employees weren't adequately trained or supervised on helicopter maintenance and inspections.

The family is seeking economic and general damages "in amounts to be proven at trial."

Below is a statement from Precision Aviation Training about the lawsuit:

We have just learned that the Complaint was filed. Everyone here at Precision remains very saddened by the loss of Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Gallerani, we all lost a friend and a colleague. It was an emotional and challenging period for us at Precision and the families involved. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Anthony Gallerani. We had timely cooperation with the NTSB on all matters that pertain to the accident. Because now there is a pending lawsuit we cannot provide any additional comments as to the filing made by the Galleranis but know we respect their family very much.

Regards,

David Rath

Managing Director / CEO

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




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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon
Schweizer Aircraft Corporation; Horseheads, New York
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N2096W

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA205
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 01, 2015 in Newberg, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/2016
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: N2096W
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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

The instructor and student were conducting a night orientation flight. According to a witnesses who worked for the operator, about 15 minutes after the helicopter departed, he heard what sounded like an engine rollback and the helicopter making an autorotation. This was followed by the sound of an increase in engine rpm and the drive belts squealing, culminating with the sound of the helicopter making a loud thud-type noise. Another witness stated that the engine sounded rough and that the helicopter was making a high pitch whining/squealing sound, after which it went silent. A third witness also heard the helicopter making high pitch noise just before the accident. The helicopter was subsequently located in an open field near the departure airport; a postcrash fire erupted, which consumed the helicopter. 

A postaccident examination of the lower coupling drive shaft showed evidence of severe wear completely around the forward spline that extended beyond the root of the spline teeth. Severe wear of the forward spline teeth could have been caused by a loss of alignment between the engine and the drive shaft or an inflight loss of lubrication in the rubber boot. The rubber boot that retains grease for the forward spline portion of the drive shaft was not recovered and was presumed missing. Loss of grease coverage for the forward spline, either from a rupture of the rubber boot or a loss of the clamp for the rubber boot, could cause sudden inflight wear and overheating of the spline teeth. Severe wear of the forward spline portion of the lower coupling drive shaft most likely led to sudden and complete loss of translational/rotational power between the engine and the transmission. The reason for the severe wear of the forward spline could not be definitively determined due to fire damage and the loss of associated components, which were not located during the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of translation/rotational power between the engine and the transmission due to the severe wear of the forward spline portion of the lower coupling drive shaft. The reason for the severe wear of the forward spline could not be definitively determined due to fire damage and the loss of associated components, which were not located during the investigation.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 1, 2015, about 2215 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, N2096W, was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire as a result of a hard landing during an emergency autorotation near the Chelaham Airpark (17S), Newberg, Oregon. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot received fatal injuries. The helicopter was owned by Precision Flight Training Incorporated, of Newberg, and operated by Precision Aviation Training, LLC, also of Newberg. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local instructional flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The operator reported the flight departed 17S about 2200.

During the postaccident investigation, the company's Director of Operations revealed to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), that the purpose of the instructional flight was for student night orientation. In a statement provided by a mechanic/witness who had worked for the operator for about three years, the witness reported that he observed the helicopter take off about 15 minutes prior to the accident. It then departed to the northwest, and when it was about 500 feet above ground level he heard the engine roll back, followed by the helicopter making an autorotation. The witness stated the he heard the engine rpm increase and the drive belts squeal, then heard the helicopter make a loud thud. The witness opined that he knew the helicopter was in trouble because of how low it was. Further, he recalled that the engine sounded normal during the flight, including the autorotation, and that the only thing he heard before the crash that raised his concern was the squealing belts.

In a telephone interview with the NTSB IIC, a second witness reported that at the time of the accident he was in his home with the windows open, and the helicopter passed his residence very, very low. He said the engine sounded rough, somewhat like the sound cards make in bicycle spokes, and that it went by very fast toward the south. He further stated that the helicopter was making a high pitch whining/squealing sound, after which it went silent. He heard it hit, and then called 911. The witness added that he drove to the accident site, which was just a short distance away, and said that the fire started right away, right after it hit the ground.

It a written statement submitted to the NTSB IIC, a third witness, also an employee of the operator, reported that at about the same time as the accident, he heard a high-pitched noise like ungreased belts on a car, followed by a loud sound similar to a backfire. About five minutes later he was advised of the accident.

A postaccident examination of the accident site by the NTSB IIC and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector, revealed that while the helicopter was on a left downwind leg for the departure airport, the flight crew experienced an inflight anomaly, which was followed by an emergency descent and a hard landing. The helicopter impacted a harvested wheat field on a magnetic heading of about 173 degrees, and came to rest on a magnetic heading of about 355 degrees, and about .75 nautical miles northwest of the departure airport. The first point of impact was located about 27 feet north of the main wreckage site. A postcrash fire subsequently erupted, which consumed the helicopter. 

The helicopter was recovered to a secured location for further examination.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

The CFI, age 31, possessed a commercial pilot certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument helicopter ratings. He also possessed a flight instructor certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter, and instrument rotorcraft ratings. The CFI's most recent flight review was successfully accomplished on March 13, 2015, and his most recent second-class airman medical certificate was awarded on August 28, 2014, with the stated limitation, "Must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision."

A review of the CFI's personal flight records revealed that he had accumulated a total flight time of 354.6 hours, 278.1 hours in the same make and model as the accident helicopter, and 123.7 hours of flight instruction given. Additionally, the CFI had accumulated 122.5 hours, 66.8 hours, and 3.8 hours in the last 90 days, 30 days, and 24 hours respectively.

The CFI was given a company evaluation flight by the operator on February 9, 2015, and a company Federal Aviation Regulation Part 141 check ride on March 13, 2015. The CFI began performing flight instructor duties for the operator on April 22, 2015. This was the CFI's initial employment as a flight instructor.

Pilot Undergoing Instruction (PUI)

According to records provided by the operator, the PUI, age 29, received his student pilot certificate concurrent with his airman third-class airman medical certificate on April 17, 2015, with no limitations.

According to the PUI's personal flight logbook, he had logged a total of 41.6 hours of flight time, of which 38.4 hours were in helicopters, 6.0 hours was as pilot in commend/solo flight time, and 35.8 hours were in the same make and model as the accident helicopter. Additionally, the PUI had flown 32.0 hours and 19.1 hours in the preceding 90 days and 30 days respectively.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The helicopter, N2096W, serial number S1865, was manufactured in 2004. It was powered by a Lycoming HIO-360-D1A reciprocating engine, serial number RL-7497-51A, rated at 190 horsepower.

According to the operator, the engine had accumulated a total time of 3,729.2 hours, 21.9 hours since its most recent inspection, which was performed on June 22, 2015, and 849.8 hours since its last major overhaul. Additionally, the most recent 100-hour inspection was performed on June 2, 2015, at an airframe total time of 3,757.5 hours. It was also noted that the engine lower coupling drive shaft, part number 269A5559, serial number S345, was installed on this date with a total time of 5,199 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 2253, the weather reporting facility at the McMinnville Municipal Airport (MVV), McMinnville, Oregon, which is located about 8.5 nautical miles south-southwest of the accident site, reported wind 260° at 4 knots, visibility 7 miles, sky clear, temperature 22°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The aircraft and engine were examined at the facilities of Nu Venture Air Service, Dallas, Oregon, on August 20, 2015, under the supervision of the NTSB IIC and FAA inspectors. Participants to the examination included representatives from Sikorsky Aircraft and Lycoming Engines. The results of the examinations revealed the following.

Airframe

Photos of the site provided by a Portland Flight Standards District Office aviation safety inspector revealed that the helicopter was severely damaged by a postcrash fire. All components appeared to be closely located to the main fuselage.

The frame tubing exhibited multiple fractures, kinks and bends. It also showed it had been exposed to the fire, with all paint burned away. Both forward cluster fittings that attach the cross beam were separated from the frame tubing. Other portions of the frame were separated by fractures of the tubing or welds.

The aft mast support strut was intact. The right support strut exhibited minor mid span bending, and the left strut appeared straight. All exhibited thermal damage.

The tail boom was separated from the fuselage, appeared intact with minor damage, with no blade strikes apparent. The forward bulkhead attachment lug was fractured and was consistent with overload separation. There was minor fire damage to the paint on the forward end, and oily soot deposits further aft. The tail gear box adapter remained in the boom with several attach bolt holes deformed. The tail stinger was separated at the adapter. Both tail boom support struts exhibited a compression buckle at mid-span, and separated attach fittings at the center attachment to the tail boom. The horizontal stabilizer forward attach fitting was fractured. The vertical stabilizer was crushed and bent aft with vegetation remaining in the folded sheet metal.

The landing gear and crossbeams were severely damaged. The aft crossbeam was largely intact, separated from the frame, and exhibited significant bending, and was fractured and separated at the right side cluster fitting; additionally, the right outboard end was burned away. All landing gear dampers were separated at one or both ends and several were burned.

The left skid was fractured and separated just forward of the forward skid strut. The right skid appears to have been intact but suffered melting and burning. The support struts were separated at the crossbeam attach areas, and several suffered significant fire damage and burning.

The root ends of all three main rotor blades remained attached to the main rotor head; the outer airfoils were cut away to facilitate recovery. Each blade was relatively intact, and exhibited minor impact damage. Two blades exhibited thermal damage, with some of the aluminum airfoil consumed.

The main rotor head was intact and remained attached to the drive shaft. The swashplate and rotating scissor links were intact. The rotor head turned freely in the mast bearing.

Both tail rotor blades were intact, with one having remained attached to the hub via the strap pack. The opposite blade had separated thru a fracture at the inboard end of the hub spindle and fractured the strap pack also. Tip damage and some airfoil compression damage was present with the separated blade tip cap gone. The pitch change links were attached, although the separated blade link was badly bent. Both blades exhibited thermal damage to the paint.

The tail rotor fork and teetering bolt were intact, and the assembly teetered properly. The fork was equipped with the elastomeric bearings. The pitch control unit was intact, rotated freely, slid in and out on the pinion, and was attached to the pitch links. The control bell crank was engaged in the pitch control housing and attached to the tail gear box and the control rod. The inboard rubber boot was consumed by fire.

The tail rotor gear box (TGB) remained attached to the tail boom with elongation of several of the attachment bolt holes. The TRG was rotated and exhibited continuity from the input to the TGB output. The chip detector was not examined.

The tail rotor drive shaft (TRDS) was separated at the forward end from the main gear box (MGB) pinion drive spline. The retention nut exhibited damage to the flange. MGB drive adapter splines were intact. The forward TRDS splines were intact, and the cup contained grease. The forward end of the TRDS exhibited no torsional buckling with some minor tearing and flattening, and was fractured and separated at the point where it passed through the forward bulkhead. The aft spline joint at the TGB was intact, remained assembled and exhibited continuity through the TGB.

The main gearbox (MGB) housing was consumed by fire. The pinion and pinion shaft bearings survived. The ring gear and support structure survived and were engaged on the lower drive splines of the main rotor drive shaft. All gear teeth were intact with no indications of breakage. The lower portion of the mast was consumed by fire.

The belt drive assembly was largely gone, having been consumed by the fire. The lower pulley was intact and thermally damaged, with both bearings in proper location, and complete except for seals. The linear actuator was in the fully engaged position. The idler pulley tension cable was separated mid-span. Subsequent to an examination with a magnifying glass, it exhibited clean fresh cut marks which occurred during recovery operations. The upper pulley internal wheel was consumed by fire, while the outer ring remained intact. The over- running clutch in the upper pulley functioned properly, engaged counterclockwise (looking forward), and rotated freely clockwise when mounted on the pinion. The engine coupling shaft (short shaft) was located in the lower pulley, and was separated from the engine. The shaft was removed from the pulley, found to be intact, and appeared to be straight. The aft splined end appeared intact with no obvious damage to the teeth. The rubber grease retention boot was melted. The forward splines exhibited severe damage to the extent that they were not visibly discernable. The rubber boot was not present, although the snap ring and safety wire retention hardware remained on the shaft. The engine mounted spline adapter exhibited an external strike with minor deformation. The rubber grease boot retention clamp was observed in place. The engine mounted adapter splines were present with little damage, although there was a hard metallic deposit in the spline groove covering through about a third of the circumference It was about a quarter of an inch long, positioned about the mid-point longitudinally in the spline. The forward end of the pulley hollow shaft exhibited a deformation from internal contact with the drive shaft, bending the outer wall outboard.

Several parts were retained by the NTSB IIC to be sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, located in Washington, D.C. The engine driveshaft, the engine mounted drive adapter, and a bag of sample grease and debris from the Impeller were retained.

The helicopter was equipped with the optional 60-gallon fuel system, which is made up of an additional fuel tank mounted on the left aft of the cabin wall; plumbing is connected to the standard right side mounted tank. The tanks were breached, and exhibited significant burning. Due to impact forces and thermal damage, the throttle and mixture cables were not able to be examined. No investigation of rotation, timing or compression was possible due to the extensive postcrash thermal damage.

The majority of the flight control system, which is comprised of aluminum and magnesium, was consumed in the postcrash fire. Control continuity was established for the MR swashplate input control rods to the pitch housings. The input rods ended in melted aluminum at about the same point that the mast was consumed. The steel TR pedal torque tube survived the fire, with the TR pedal arms incurring a varying degree of thermal damage.

TR control continuity was established from the TR blades through the TGB mounted bell crank and control rod in the tail boom, to the forward bulkhead where the rod was fractured.

The electric cyclic trim system was not located, and was presumed to have been consumed in the postcrash fire.

Engine

The engine was separated from the airframe and sitting upside down on a tarp for the examination.

The number 1 and 3 cylinder heads and oil sump were consumed by fire. The rear accessory case was deformed and partially consumed by fire. The engine case was deformed by heat. Both magnetos were partially consumed by fire and deformed. The fuel servo was also consumed by fire. The starter ring gear support center was broken apart. The attached fan blades were separated. The edge of the fan blade disk revealed signs of rotation at impact.

The engine to airframe drive coupler shaft splines were found sheared off and ground down on the engine side. The engine drive adapter splines contained the sheared off spline from the shaft, and also had damaged splines.

The cooling fan disk with the starter ring gear attached was located about 20 feet south of the main wreckage.

The engine crankshaft prop flange was observed cracked in several places.

No evidence was found of a catastrophic in flight engine failure.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

Flight Instructor

On July 2, 2015, an autopsy on the flight instructor was performed at the Office of The State Medical Examiner, Clackamas, Oregon. The examination revealed that the cause of death was the result of blunt force chest trauma.

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on the flight instructor. The test was negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and tested drugs. Acetone, which was not quantified, was detected in the blood. Testing for cyanide was not performed.

Pilot Undergoing Instruction

On July 2, 2015, an autopsy on the pilot receiving instruction was performed at the Office of The State Medical Examiner, Clackamas, Oregon. The examination revealed that the cause of death was the result of blunt force chest trauma.

The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on the flight instructor. The test was negative for carbon monoxide and ethanol. Testing for cyanide was not performed. Pheniramine, a drug commonly used for hay fever, was detected in the urine but not in the blood.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

During the investigation, several of the helicopter's components were retained by the NTSB IIC and subsequently shipped the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for examination. The components included the impeller that was attached to the starter ring gear assembly, the drive adapter, the drive shaft assembly, remains of the bump stop, and a grease sample from the engine cooling fan.

All parts received were examined at the Safety Board's Materials Laboratory on July 18, 2016, by a Senior NTSB Metallurgist, with a representative from Sikorsky Aircraft in attendance. Sikorsky is the current holder of the type certificate for the Schweizer 269 helicopter. The results of the examination revealed the following:

Impeller and Starter Ring Gear Assembly

The impeller was attached by twelve bolts and nuts to the starter ring gear assembly. All the blades on the aluminum fan assembly were fractured at the root portion. The impeller fractured completely around the circumference in the areas near the twelve attachment bolts. Bench binocular microscope examination of the fracture faces on both assemblies contained a rough texture on a slant fracture consistent with overstress separation, with no evidence of a pre-existing crack, such as a fatigue crack.

Drive Adapter

The drive adapter's surface contained a blue/gray tint, and isolated areas of the adapter contained scale; both conditions are consistent with a steel part that had been exposed to heat. The outer surface contained a dent. The drive adapter contained an inner spline, with several of the spline teeth having exhibited severe inward deformation and gaping cracks in the general area that corresponded to the dent. The spline teeth were intact and showed evidence of minor wear. Fragments of the mating spline teeth were found wedged in between the inner spline teeth.

Drive Shaft Assembly

The drive shaft contained spline teeth on the forward and aft ends. The shaft portion between the forward and aft spline showed evidence of bending deformation. The as-received aft spline was covered with black lubricant (grease), and all of the spline teeth were intact. The rubber boot for the aft spline was partially torn, attached to the drive shaft, and covered with black grease. A sample of the black grease was removed from the aft spline prior to cleaning and retained. No further work was performed on the grease sample. The aft spline teeth completely around the assembly showed evidence of minor wear.

The forward spline was dry, exhibited a light brown oxide film consistent with iron oxide, with no evidence of grease. The rubber boot (a component that is used to retain grease) was not attached to the forward end. The forward spline exhibited severe wear and deformation damage that extended beyond the root of the spline teeth. The forward and aft ends of the forward spline completely around the spline exhibited metal squeeze out (metal flow that extended forward and aft). The root radii between the spline teeth were not visible. A circumferential-radial section was made through the forward spline. Examination of the section revealed that the spline was worn beyond the root of the spline teeth.

Examination of the aft spline revealed that all of the teeth were intact. The surfaces of the aft spline teeth exhibited minor wear. A circumferential-radial section was made through the intact aft spline. Examination revealed that the core of the shaft contained a microstructure of tempered martensite, typical for a quench and tempered steel, and the surfaces adjacent to the spline teeth contained a darker band consistent with a carburized surface treatment. According to the representative from Sikorsky, the spline teeth are specified to be carburized to a depth of between 0.02 inch and 0.04 inch. The hardness of the carburized layer is specified to be between 57 HRC and 61 HRC. The carburized layer was to have a minimum hardness of 56 HRC at a depth of 0.002 inch below the surface. The measured hardness values adjacent to the spline surface were consistent with the hardness values specified for a carburized surface.

The drive shaft is specified to be made from steel per the composition indicated in SAE-AMS 6425. The polished section from the drive shaft was analyzed with a Thermo Scientific Niton XL3t-980 X-ray fluorescence (XRF) portable alloy analyzer. The alloy analyzer indicated the drive shaft contained 1.31% manganese, 0.383% chromium, 1.85% nickel, 0.449% molybdenum and 0.242% copper, consistent with the elements specified for the drive shaft.

The core portion of the plug was missing, but the outer circumferential portion remained intact throughout its circumference. The circumferential portion of the plug was covered with black deposits, and revealed no evidence of a fracture feature. It exhibited a smooth surface consistent with an aluminum alloy that had fused and re-solidified.

Grease Sample from Engine Cooling Fan

Bench binocular microscope examination of the grease sample revealed the grease contained evidence of solid particles (fragments).

(Refer to the NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report No. 16-060, which is appended to the docket for this investigation.)

NTSB Identification: WPR15FA205
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 01, 2015 in Newberg, OR
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269C, registration: N2096W
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 July 1, 2015, about 2215 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer 269C helicopter, N2096W, was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire as a result of a hard landing during an emergency autorotation near the Chelaham Airpark (17S), Newberg, Oregon. The certified flight instructor and student pilot received fatal injuries. The helicopter was owned and operated by Precision Flight Training Incorporated, of Newberg. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local instructional flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The operator reported the flight departed 17S about 2200.

A witness, who is a helicopter mechanic, reported that after observing the helicopter depart to the northwest of the airport at about 500 ft above ground level, he heard the engine roll back (power reduction), which was followed by the helicopter starting an auto rotation. The witness reported that he heard the main rotor blades flutter, and then heard the engine rpms increase, followed by hearing the drive belts squeal prior to the impact. A second witness, who was located at the departure airport, stated that he heard a high-pitched squealing noise, similar to that of an ungreased belt on a car, followed by a sound similar to a backfire. The witness opined that prior to the accident he heard the helicopter operating at the airport, and at that time there were no audible concerns with the helicopter.

A postaccident survey of the accident site revealed that the helicopter impacted terrain upright on a southerly heading, and subsequently came to rest in a somewhat upright position oriented on a northerly heading. With the exception of the tail boom, tail rotors, tail rotor gearbox and associated components, and two of the three main rotor blades, the helicopter was destroyed as a result of impact forces and thermal damage. 

The helicopter was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.