Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cessna 172 Skyhawk, N5703A: Accident occurred September 10, 2017 at Cavanaugh Bay Airport (66S), Coolin, Bonner County, Idaho

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N5703A

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA526
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 10, 2017 in Coolin, ID
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N5703A
Injuries: 1 Serious, 3 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 reported that he completed a normal landing to the south at a grass airstrip, near a lake and surrounded by 75 ft. tall pine trees. He added that he and his passengers ate lunch at the airstrip, and during that time, he noticed "mostly calm" wind with an "occasional gust from the south." The pilot further reported that, due to the runway gradient, he decided to takeoff downhill to the north, as the windsock was indicating a calm wind.

During the soft field takeoff, he reported that the take-off roll was normal, but about 100 ft. above ground he noticed that the "climb had slowed" and the "airspeed was dropping." The pilot lowered the nose, the airplane "descended quickly," and touched down on the runway with about 30 ft. remaining. Subsequently, the airplane overran the runway, crossed a road, and impacted a dumpster and trees.

The fuselage and both wings sustained substantial damage. 

The pilot reported that the airplane was 25 lbs. under maximum gross weight. 

The pilot did not report that there were any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

An automated weather observation station (AWOS), about the time of the accident, 13 nautical miles from the accident site, reported wind from 240° at 6 knots. A review of four, hourly AWOSs, south and east of the accident site, around the time of the accident, recorded wind variable from the southwest to westerly direction, at 5 to 10 knots, gusting 15 to 18 knots. The pilot reported that the takeoff was on runway 33. The calculated density altitude was 3,700 ft. According to the Federal Aviation Administration density altitude Koch Chart, the airplane would have likely experienced a 32% decrease to the normal climb rate, and a 50% increase to the normal takeoff distance. 

The Federal Aviation Administration's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, FAA-H-8083-25B, contains a section titled "Effect of Obstructions on Wind" which stated in part:

"Another atmospheric hazard exists that can create problems for pilots. Obstructions on the ground affect the flow of wind and can be an unseen danger. Ground topography and large buildings can break up the flow of the wind and create wind gusts that change rapidly in direction and speed. These obstructions range from man-made structures, like hangars, to large natural obstructions, such as mountains, bluffs, or canyons. It is especially important to be vigilant when flying in or out of airports that have large buildings or natural obstructions located near the runway.

The intensity of the turbulence associated with ground obstructions depends on the size of the obstacle and the primary velocity of the wind. This can affect the takeoff and landing performance of any aircraft and can present a very serious hazard."




COOLIN, Idaho - A Cessna 172 with four people onboard crashed while taking off from the Cavanaugh Bay Airport around 2:45 p.m. on Sunday near the south banks of Priest Lake.

The Spokane pilot and his three passengers walked away from the crash with minor injuries.

The pilot told KXLY he encountered windshear (a phenomenon that can affect a plane's airspeed) during takeoff. He declined to provide any further comments.

Witnesses described seeing a plane struggling to takeoff. At one point, the plane pitched 90 degrees, struck its wing on the pavement and slid across Cavanaugh Bay road on its nose. The Cessna came to a stop feet away from a propane tank and several buildings. 

"The fact that they walked out of there alive was amazing," said Gena Costa, who was bartending in a restaurant nextdoor to the crash site. Employees and customers rushed to help those inside. Costa said one man had a cut on his head.

"I'm so happy that they are alive," said Costa. "To see the actual collision and crash in front of your eyes, it's just crazy. How did they live?"

Story and video ➤  http://www.kxly.com




COOLIN, Idaho -  Firefighters are investigating after a small plane crashed near Priest Lake in Coolin, Idaho, Sunday afternoon.

Coolin Fire Chief Peggy Smith reports four people were in the plane when it crashed trying to take off from a grass air strip at Cavanaugh Bay. Smith says there were minor injuries as a result of the crash, but no one was taken to the hospital. 

The plane landed nose down up against a fence.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation Sunday.

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

American Airlines grounds plane after scorpion hitches a ride

A scorpion on board a plane caused the cancellation of an American Airlines flight at Sacramento International Airport this morning, according to airline officials.

More than 100 passengers were told of the scorpion as they lined up at the gate for the 10:40 a.m. flight, said Jim Zuber, a passenger on the flight. The flight crew was trying to decide what to do, he said.

The Boeing 737 had been in Phoenix, Ariz. the night before, said American Airlines spokesperson Leslie Scott.

“The flight was canceled because we want passengers and crews to feel comfortable,” she said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, scorpion stings hurt but are rarely life-threatening. Most stings do not require treatment among adults, but children are at risk for complications.

It is unknown if the scorpion is still on board so the plane will go to a maintenance facility in the Dallas Fort Worth area to be fumigated, Scott said.

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

Lake LA-4-200, N80125: Incident occurred September 10, 2017 in Gordonsville, Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aircraft force landed in a field.

Harry Shannon dba Amphibians Plus

 http://registry.faa.gov/N80125

Date: 10-SEP-17
Time: 23:30:00Z
Regis#: N80125
Aircraft Make: LAKE
Aircraft Model: LA4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: GORDONSVILLE
State: VIRGINIA





LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -  A pilot and his family are safe after their plane crashed this evening along Route 15 in Louisa County.
    
A pilot from New York and his family came crashing down around 7:30 p.m. on September 10. 

Emergency responders on the scene say the engine failed in the family's plane, and they had to perform an emergency landing.

"As the pilot came into the field, he did an excellent job of landing in this field right here. You can see the only damage that occurred was to the fence right here. He has to be commended for keeping the plane under control and bringing it in safely," said Michael Schlemmer, Louisa County fire captain. 

The family of four was flying from Buffalo, New York to Greene, North Carolina when the pilot says he was having engine trouble.

Emergency crews say the pilot was trying to land the plane at a nearby airport, but it began to go down.

The plane crashed in a field and then bounced into a fence.

Everyone on-board the plane escaped without injuries, and no one was hurt on the ground.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.nbc29.com

Without option to "flightshare," students left high and dry relying on traditional airlines: Out-of-state students would largely benefit from having more flight opportunities

Following Labor Day, many students’ Instagram and Twitter feeds are awash with travel photos. Images of sandy beaches and the bright lights of Vegas are posted to advertise just how much out-of-town fun people are having.

However, for some, it seems impossible to travel that far and that often for leisure. The costs associated with driving and flying are too high, and this problem is further exacerbated for out-of-state students, who are almost guaranteed two cross-country trips to go home for Christmas and the summer. 

This problem could have been easily resolved through the concept of "flightsharing," which was birthed from the minds of Alan Guichard and Matt Voska a few years ago when they founded Flytenow. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s regulations proved too costly. 

Flytenow aimed to help private pilots trim down the cost of flying while opening up a unique and inexpensive method of transit.Unfortunately for Flytenow, these FAA regulations were based on faulty logic, and now the ruling is essentially irreversible.

The service would work like a digital bulletin board for pilots, where they can also post their pre-scheduled flights. On Flytenow, pilots can also maintain public profiles containing information about their credentials and aircraft.

They also can include a price per seat, which, due to FAA regulations banning them from turning a profit, would almost always be cheaper than flying commercial.

The wonderful thing about this service, besides the cost, is the convenience. Never again would you be subject to the pat downs and gropes of the TSA. No longer would you have to navigate large crowds in sprawling airports. Instead, just fly into the small, private airfields that are three times as plentiful as public ones. This means more direct flights, and flying closer to your destination than previously possible.

“(Whether the flight is) cheaper or more expensive, people would definitely want to fly into a place that is closer to home,” Andrew Fox, a sophomore economics major at ASU, said.

Brennan Garnett, a junior accountancy major, saw specific benefits for his social life. 

“I have friends in Irvine, California that I would love to visit, but there is no cheap way to do so," Garnett said. "A flight sharing service would be interesting and helpful.”

The bottom line is, this company, or any other that could offer a similar service with more competitive pricing, would benefit a large part of the population, especially out-of-state students who travel a lot and are not necessarily enrolled in an airline rewards program.

I say “would have” because Flytenow is no longer in operation, despite it being a novel idea that meets a common demand. This is because the FAA arbitrarily decided in 2015 that they should not exist.

The FAA argues that programs like Flytenow pose a safety issue that prevents them from green-lighting flight sharing services, which would be compelling if their enforcement was not entirely arbitrary. 

While it is illegal to post flight details on a digital bulletin board called Flytenow, it is not illegal to do so on a digital wall with Facebook. Pilots can just use physical bulletin boards, or any other type of advertising that occurs offline, so the flight-sharing company should pose no new safety issues. 

The FAA does not want private pilots flying with people that are not friends and acquaintances. Yet, they do not actually stop that from happening, as a physical bulletin board can attract anyone capable of reading and paying for a seat.

Michael Pearson, a lawyer with expertise in aviation law, spoke about the inconsistencies in the FAA's reasoning. 

“I don’t see any legitimate rationale and I think it slows down trade and impinges transportation," Pearson said. "I think it’s an artificial barrier and it should be removed. It would reduce the price of flight so you’re gonna get Airlines for America ... and in fact the National Business Aviation Association may come out against it (flightsharing), because what they’re gonna try to do is protect the box, protect their livelihood.” 

The fact is, this decision by the FAA does nothing more than enforce a soft monopoly on behalf of commercial airlines and private charters, showing that our government is more concerned with protecting corporate interests than the citizens’ well-being. 

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

SES Bets on New Fleet of Smaller, Flexible Boeing Satellites: Move toward cheaper design reflects industry uncertainty about demand for global internet connectivity

SES Chief Executive Karim Sabbagh, shown in 2015, said the satellites will add capacity and replace some bandwidth now provided by big, high-flying spacecraft.




The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall in London and  Andy Pasztor in Los Angeles
Sept. 10, 2017 3:03 p.m. ET


Satellite-services provider SES SA on Monday intends to announce a deal for a new fleet of smaller, easily reprogrammable Boeing Co. satellites, reflecting widespread industry uncertainty about demand for global internet connectivity.

The Luxembourg-based company, the world’s largest commercial communication satellites operator, is opting for a less-expensive, lower-altitude design to seek an edge in the intensifying battle to beam web access to remote regions. SES expects to spend more than $1 billion on the seven Boeing satellites and associated ground systems. Each satellite is projected to cost less than half the amount for the biggest, high-altitude versions.

Like other parts of the satellite industry, SES faces depressed prices for its current offerings and also has been hurt by growing competition from legacy rivals, as well as anticipated challenges from aggressive startups with deep pockets.

The new spacecraft, significantly smaller and more flexible than older models, are slated to be put into orbit starting in 2021. They will be deployed primarily to serve mobile users in developing regions, but with prospects for such markets still unclear, SES seeks to maximize its maneuvering room and reduce capital expenditure risks.

Chief Executive Karim Sabbagh said the satellites will add capacity and replace some bandwidth now provided by big, high-flying spacecraft that need replacement. Indicating that the emphasis on smaller spacecraft built to be swiftly reconfigured in orbit is gaining momentum, he said the constellation will be “radically different” from traditional concepts because it is designed to be “more flexible and scaleable.”

In an interview, Mr. Sabbagh said the principle of smaller satellites, optimized to seamlessly supplement each other as customers and markets change, is “what we have been missing for three decades in our industry.”

The move comes at a time cash flow and profitability for operators is under pressure, so they generally have been reticent to make investments in large, more-expensive satellites that have traditionally dominated the telecommunications segment. Advisory firm Euroconsult says big satellites have experienced a “dramatic downsizing of traditional pricing” for their primary services.

At the same time, an abundance of available bandwidth and questions about the future direction of the market have contributed to a protracted and sharp drop in orders for big satellites, some of which can cost about $400 million to build, launch and insure.

Such procurement contracts have slumped 50% below historic levels, with Boeing and Space Systems Loral, a unit of Canada’s  MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. , among the satellite makers that have laid off staff in recent years. Industry officials said manufacturers, SES and a big chunk of its competitors are all considering smaller, less costly models.

Budding rivals are focusing on launching swarms of hundreds—or even thousands—of still-smaller satellites to pipe fast, inexpensive connectivity to remote locations. This increasingly contested segment includes OneWeb Ltd., the startup backed by European aerospace heavyweight Airbus SE and Japanese internet and telecommunications giant SoftBank Group Corp.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk and his high-profile Space Exploration Technologies Corp., commonly called SpaceX, are actively planning to compete. Google parent Alphabet Inc. also has publicly expressed interest in providing space-based web links.

At the same time, long-time rival Inmarsat PLC is positioning its Global Xpress constellation of traditional, high-altitude satellites to connect planes with high-capacity internet. Intelsat SA and ViaSat Inc. also are developing ever larger, more-powerful spacecraft to reduce customer access costs. Yet industry experts increasingly emphasize the benefits of faster connections and enhanced productivity from hybrid constellations such as the one SES favors, featuring a blend of high-earth orbit and lower-positioned satellites.

The company’s next-generation spacecraft are designed to beam highly tailored signals to serve many more but smaller customers, according to Steve Collar, another senior SES official.

Both Intelsat and Canada’s closely held Telesat, another major operator with 15 satellites, have made modest moves to embrace lower-orbit satellites to target similar market segments.

SES, which built its reputation with top-of-the-line satellites hovering 23,000 miles above a specific point on the globe, initially increased its bet on smaller spacecraft last year. It acquired the 49.5% in O3b Networks Ltd. it didn’t already own in a $710 million transaction.

The latest decision doubles down on the strategy of targeting O3b’s network for growth. The additional satellites are being designed to be more powerful than O3b’s existing models, enabling SES to tap fast-growing mobile and transportation markets. “We can build a mobile network in a country without having to lay any fiber,” according to Mr. Collar.

O3b already operates 12 spacecraft with plans to loft eight more in the next two years. Funds for all the satellites already are incorporated in SES’s long-term spending blueprint.

SES last year announced plans to launch a big satellite to provide aviation coverage over busy trans-Atlantic routes. But Mr. Collar said the expanded constellation of smaller spacecraft would cover 80% of the globe.

The market to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi is expected to grow rapidly, with some estimates showing connections to roughly 17,000 commercial aircraft by 2021, versus less than 7,000 today. Some current offerings have failed to attract as many passengers as anticipated, however, largely because they remain capacity constrained and the connectivity is relatively slow.

For his part, Mr. Sabbagh said SES isn’t abandoning big satellites entirely despite the growing investment in O3B. He said the company still plans one-for-one replacements for some of its big spacecraft, which can remain in use for 15 years or more. But he emphasized the downsized versions require only a “fractional investment” of what a traditional fleet would cost.

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

Prosecutors: Man Flew Plane To Ohio For Sex With 13-year-old

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say a 34-year-old California man has been indicted after flying a company plane to Ohio to have sex with a 13-year-old girl during a business trip.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office says Ryan Johnson, of Camarillo, California, drove a rental car to a planned rendezvous with the teen Aug. 30 but was instead arrested by police and members of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Johnson was indicted Friday on charges that include importuning and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Prosecutors say Johnson had explicit online conversations and sought nude photos from someone he thought was the teen and that he planned to meet her for sex during a business trip to Akron.

A message seeking comment was left Saturday with Johnson’s attorney.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://thecourier.com

False fire alarm causes evacuation at Mineta San Jose International Airport (KSJC)

SAN JOSE — Travelers evacuated a terminal at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Sunday morning in response to an apparently false fire alarm.

Airport officials said the alarm was triggered on the airport tarmac around 11:30 a.m., sounding an alarm in Terminal B and prompting travelers to briefly evacuate.

The alarm came from a station on the tarmac in an area not accessible to the general public, said airport spokeswoman Rosemary Barnes.

“We believe it was someone working on the tarmac,” Barnes said.

Barnes said firefighters investigated and found no evidence of fire. A tweet from the  airport said that the “Initial finding is fire warning intentionally activated.”

“At this time, we have everyone back in the terminal and are focused on getting everything back to normal,” she said.

Barnes did not have an estimate on how many travelers “self-evacuated” upon hearing the alarm. She added that only Terminal B was affected, and that a fire door between the two terminals closed as a result of the false alarm.

Passengers in the Southwest terminal were startled by the alarm and an announcement over loudspeakers that there was an emergency and they needed to evacuate. With the security doors shut, some congregated by a stairwell exit but those who went in came back out, finding no egress.

People did not appear to be panicking, but were getting frustrated when police showed up. A sound was heard, like the door was being rammed open, and then people began to file out.

Barnes said one outbound Alaska Airlines flight was delayed by about 15 minutes because of the alarm, but other flights were not affected.

Less than a month ago, travelers in Terminal A were delayed after a security scare involving unsecured baggage prompted authorities to re-screen every passenger.

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

Gulfstream Aerospace jets find safe haven at Fort Smith Regional Airport (KFSM)



The Fort Smith Regional Airport has become a safe haven for over a dozen Gulfstream Aerospace aircraft flown in last week from Savannah, Ga., for protection from Hurricane Irma.

Heidi Fedak, director of corporate communications for Gulfstream, said by phone Saturday that pilots ferried the aircraft to the Fort Smith airport starting Wednesday after the company’s “severe weather action team” made arrangements.

“It’s unusual, or at least not typical, to see that many Gulfstreams in one spot unless there is a big event like a conference or something,” Fedak said. “We still have some at our facility that either can’t be flown yet or are in service. It’s a balancing act to not leave any of the aircraft outside during a hurricane.”

The arrival of the gleaming Gulfstream aircraft was enough to prompt a post on the airport’s Facebook page. The ensuing chatter from local airplane geeks on other channels was topped off with an aerial shot from a local photographer.

Several of the aircraft still have a protective green coating that signals that are just off the assembly line. The green coating is sanded off before a final paint job, Fedak noted.



Last year, during Hurricane Matthew, Gulfstream sent many of their aircraft to an airport in Alabama, she added. Pilots with Gulfstream flew the jets into Fort Smith beginning Wednesday. They were then ferried back for more planes.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration database, the aircraft’s N-numbers indicate there are several G500s and G550s, as well as a G400 and G450, and at least one G600 on the tarmac next to TAC Air.

And according to Gulfstream’s website, the G600 has a long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.85, or about 652 mph, and the ability to fly an “unrivaled 4,800 nautical miles/8,890 kilometers at a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90.” Along with the Gulfstream G650ER, Gulfstream G650 and the “all-new Gulfstream G500,” the G600 shares a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925, or about 709 mph. The new G500 and G600 were unveiled to the public in 2014, according to an article in AOPA Magazine.

The G500 has a base price of about $43.5 million, while the G600 goes for about $54.5 million pending options, the AOPA article adds.

“The G500′s nonstop reach connects distant cities such as Istanbul to Cape Town, South Africa; Los Angeles to London; and San Francisco to Tokyo,” the Gulfstream Aerospace website notes.

A Gulfstream product support semi-truck and trailer was also seen at the Fort Smith airport Saturday, but it was more likely the trailer was full of water bottles headed for Houston as assistance to recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey, Fedak said.

In addition to the manufacturing facility and service center at Savannah, Gulfstream Aerospace has service centers at Brunswick, Ga., and West Palm Beach, Fla. All of the facilities were closed Thursday with plans to reopen Monday, Fedak said.

Gulfstream delivered about 130 mid- and large-cabin aircraft to customers last year. The Savannah facility employs about 10,000 people.

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

Raytheon G36 Bonanza, N7215J, registered to Vallee Development Corporation and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred September 09, 2017 in Benicia, Solano County, California

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

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

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

Vallee Development Corp: http://registry.faa.gov/N7215J 

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA200
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 09, 2017 in Benicia, CA
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY G36, registration: N7215J
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 September 9, 2017, about 1413 Pacific daylight time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company G36, N7215J, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain about 9 miles northwest of the Buchanan Field Airport (CCR) Concord, California. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Vallee Development Corporation and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the cross-country flight. The flight departed CCR about 1408, and was destined for Arcata Airport, Arcata/Eureka, California. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notice (ALNOT) for the missing airplane after a family member reported that the flight was overdue. A search ensued and the wreckage was located near the top of a hillside by the Civil Air Patrol the following morning.

Examination of the accident site by the National Transportation Safety Board, investigator-in-charge, revealed that all the major components of the airplane were contained within a confined area. The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

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


Preston Vallee, far right, is shown in a photo from high school. He attended Arcata High and graduated in 1991.


When the program coordinator for the Humboldt County airport in McKinleyville got a call stating an aircraft was missing she got a bad feeling. Emily Jacobs knew it was Terry Vallee’s plane but she didn’t know his co-pilot was his son, her friend from elementary school in Arcata.

“I found out the next day,” Jacobs said.

The flight crashed Sept. 10 and left not only a father and son dead, but also left two holes in the community.

“It’s been devastating for all of us,” Jacobs said.

Terry Vallee, 67, was said to have worn many hats at Lima’s Pharmacy in Eureka. Although Terry Vallee’s co-workers said it was too early to discuss his death, they remembered him as a community member who was a friend to all in his life.

His son, Preston Vallee, 42, grew up in Humboldt County and graduated from Arcata High School in the class of 1991.

Jacobs recalled cheering for him as a cheerleader while he played basketball. Preston Vallee began learning to fly about 15 years ago and Terry Vallee flew as long as she can remember.

“Nobody knows what happened and why the aircraft failed,” Jacobs said.

According to Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, a preliminary report focused on what was found in the wreckage will be released by the National Transportation Safety Board within seven to 10 days after the incident.

“It usually takes the NTSB months if not over a year to determine a probable cause for an accident,” Gregor wrote in an email. “The NTSB is the lead investigative agency. The FAA is a party to the investigation.”

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass is the former sister-in-law of Terry Vallee. She said that while she isn’t a blood relative, he would always make her feel that way. She remembered always seeing a Terry Vallee around the community and the large smile he carried.

“No matter when I saw him, it felt like I was always part of the family,” Bass said.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday, Bass said she received a call from her ex-husband telling her the news that Terry and Preston Vallee were the pilots in the crash. She said when you hear about these things you never think it’s going to be someone you know, until it is.

“That’s not what I was expecting” said Bass, who remembered Terry Vallee as a “bundle of happiness.”

Bass also remembered Preston Vallee as a well-loved community member, although she said he didn’t know him too well. She said she always looked at Preston Vallee as a role model for her kids when they were younger.

“There’s going to be a big piece missing for the community,” Bass said.


http://www.times-standard.com

BENICIA, Calif. --  Officials are investigating after a father and his son died in a small plane crash near Benicia in Solano County on Saturday.

A 67-year-old man and his 43-year-old son were the only two people on board.

A ground team located the plane early Monday morning in Solano County north of Benicia, Civil Air Patrol officials said.

The Beechcraft BE-36 airplane took off from Buchanan Field Airport in Concord Saturday afternoon on its way to Arcata-Eureka Airport in McKinleyville, but had not landed by Saturday night.

The Civil Air Patrol was activated Saturday night to search for the aircraft.


Story and video ➤  http://abc7news.com



BENICIA, Calif. (KTVU) - A father and son were killed when a small plane crashed in Benicia on Saturday, according to officials.

Terry Vallee, 67, of Arcadia, and Preston Vallee, 42, were identified as the passengers on board. The crash site was discovered on Sunday.

A spokesman for the FAA says a single-engine Beechcraft BE36 crashed sometime Saturday after departing from Buchanan Field in Concord. The FAA says the passengers were on their way to the Arcata-Eureka Airport.

Story and video ➤  http://www.ktvu.com



BENICIA- A small plane that left the Bay Area heading to the Arcata-Eureka Airport crashed killing a father and son.

The single engine Beechcraft BE 36 took off from Buchanan Field in Concord on Saturday and was in the air for about ten minutes before crashing in Benicia.

The plane was found Sunday morning.

Terry Vallee, 67 of Arcata and 43 year-old Preston Vallee of Concord both died in the crash.

The cause is under investigation by the  Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://kiem-tv.com

BENICIA, Calif. (KCRA) —  A father and son were killed after their plane crashed in Benicia Saturday, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office said.

Terry Vallee, 67, of Arcata, and Preston Vallee, 43, of Concord, were identified as the two people on board when the plane crashed Saturday.

The plane was found Sunday.


The plane was flying from Buchanan Field in Concord to Arcata-Eureka Airport Saturday when it crashed for unknown reasons, the Federal Aviation Administration said.


The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate.


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

Loaded gun found in woman's luggage at Greater Rochester International (KROC)

This loaded handgun was found in a carry-on bag at Greater Rochester International Airport on Saturday.
(Photo: U.S. Transportation Security Administration)  



A loaded handgun was found in the carry-on luggage of a woman passing through security at Greater Rochester International Airport Saturday.

The woman, whose name was not released, told authorities she had no idea the .357-caliber revolver, which allegedly belonged to her boyfriend, was in her duffel bag. The weapon was found as her bag passed through an x-ray machine at a security checkpoint, according to a U.S. Transportation Security Administration news release.

The woman, who lives in Whitakers, N.C., was arrested by Monroe County Sheriff's deputies and faces an unspecified weapons charge, the TSA said. 

It was the fourth time this year that screeners had detected a gun at airport security checkpoints in Rochester this year. There were no such cases last year, five cases in 2015 and three the year before that, according to the TSA.

The agency news release said the incident was "a stark reminder of the importance that passengers play in making sure that they stop and think about what they have in their carry-on bags to ensure that they do not bring any prohibited items to an airport checkpoint.”

Original article  ➤ http://www.democratandchronicle.com

Unregistered powered parachute: Incident occurred September 09, 2017 in Halifax, Plymouth County, Massachusetts

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boston, Massachusetts

Unregistered powered parachute crashed into a lake.

Date: 09-SEP-17
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: UNREG
Aircraft Make: POWERED PARACHUTE
Aircraft Model: POWERED PARACHUTE
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: HALIFAX
State: MASSACHUSETTS

The pilot of an powered parachute was taken to a hospital after the aircraft went down in some water.

Quincy Fire Capt. Matt Cunningham told WATD, it happened late Saturday afternoon, when the powered parachute, flying at an altitude of 300 feet, lost engine power and went into West Monponsett Pond.

The powered parachute had taken off from the airport in Hanson.

The unidentified operator was picked up by a boat and taken to the state boat ramp, where an ambulance took him to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://959watd.com

Alabama community colleges hire aviation program director

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -   The Alabama Community College System has hired a new director for aviation programs.

Michael "Mac" McDaniel was hired to the post, Al.com reported. The hiring is part of ACCS ramping up its programs to help fill what officials say is a surging demand for aircraft mechanics.

McDaniel takes on the new position at ACCS after a stint with ExpressJet Airlines as a general manager of aircraft maintenance training in Atlanta. He says aviation education programs need to connect with employers and make sure students are attaining the skills to launch and advance their careers.

"This is a great chance for somebody who's been in the industry 30 years to step on the other side of the fence, to get into the educational environment, to try to address the needs of the workforce community through the school system, to align our students with the needs of the workforce, with the needs of the employers all through the state." McDaniel said.

Three Alabama community colleges include Coastal Alabama, Enterprise State and Snead State. Each offers aviation technology programs certified by the Federal Aviation Administration include airframe maintenance and technology, power plant technology, avionics technology, aviation composite materials and general aviation technology.

Baker said Boeing, Airbus, GE Aviation and other major aviation companies have a presence in Alabama.

"There are different companies in the Huntsville area that are literally looking for hundreds of folks," Snead State President Robert Exley said.

Jeff Lynn, senior executive of workforce and economic development for the ACCS, said aviation and companies already in the state create about 300 new jobs annually.

"We'll be meeting with all of our companies across the state, working to make sure that they have a steady pipeline from our colleges at the caliber that they need to hire them," Lynn said. "We'll also be working with our Department of Commerce to recruit more companies similar to them and grow that industry in the state."

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

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, A and N Company Inc., N2241Q: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2016 near Hogan Airport (NY05), Esperance, Schoharie County, New York

SCHOHARIE COUNTY — A plane that crashed shortly after takeoff last year, killing a Major League Baseball official and two others, was over its maximum allowable gross weight at the time, according to a new National Transportation Safety Board report.

The report also cites air conditions at the Schoharie County airport as contributing to the accident.

No probable cause was included in the report, which was filed online late last week. Such a determination could come in the final report, which may come by the end of the year.

The small Piper PA-28 aircraft, with four people aboard, crashed into a wooded, swampy area about 6:45 p.m. July 16, 2016. All three passengers died. The pilot survived but suffered severe injuries.

The plane was en route from the private Hogan Airport near the Schoharie County hamlet of Sloansville, town of Esperance, to Tweed-New Haven Airport in Connecticut.

Those killed were Andrew M. "Mike" Mydlarz, 50, and his wife, Susanne Hilgefort, 48, both of Stamford, Connecticut, and Lisa Marie Quinn, 48, of New York City.

Hilgefort served as MLB's senior director of broadcasting and business affairs and was one of the league's longest-serving employees, the league said. Her husband was an optician, according to their obituaries.

Jason Klein, owner of Connecticut-based Force 3 Pro Gear, a baseball equipment company, piloted the aircraft and survived. Klein continues to recover, more than 16 months later, a Force 3 company spokeswoman said this week.

NTSB investigators did not interview Klein, due to his injuries, the new report reads. Instead, he submitted a written statement in which he indicated he has no memory of the incident. 

The report also ruled out drugs or alcohol as factors, noting test results from samples taken from the pilot.

The four people aboard the plane were in Esperance to attend a gathering of family and friends near the airfield, sheriff's officials have said. Several of those remaining at the gathering saw the plane gain altitude and then descend into the trees.

They made their way to the crash site and found one man outside the plane with burns to his face and hands trying to help the others still in the wreckage, officials have said.

The NTSB estimated the takeoff weight of the aircraft, including fuel and passengers, to be about 66 pounds over the maximum allowable gross weight. They estimated the takeoff weight as 2,816.5 pounds; the maximum is 2,750 pounds.

At the maximum weight, the "estimated takeoff ground roll" is 2,180 feet, the report states. The plane got off the ground in about 1,500 feet, based on surveillance footage cited in the report.

The report also highlights the air density at the Schoharie County airport. The report says an FAA pamphlet and pilot handbook warn that air densities at higher altitudes require increased takeoff distances and cause reduced rates of climb, among other complications.

Witnesses described the takeoff as slow and sluggish. Another reported the plane as under full power the entire time. The engine did not fail, according to witnesses. 

The report confirms an examination of the engine showed no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical problems.

Another issue cited by the report is that the "flap control handle" was found set at 10 degrees. The plane's handbook did not include performance charts or procedures for 10-degree flaps during takeoff.

https://dailygazette.com




NTSB report by Dan Shepard on Scribd

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA296
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Canandaigua, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2017
Aircraft: MANTELL ALLAN T KITFOX 4 1200, registration: N51TM
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, who was also the owner/builder of the experimental, amateur-built, tailwheel-equipped airplane, was conducting a cross-country personal flight. He reported that, during landing, a rudder pedal torque tube separated, which resulted in a loss of directional control and the airplane departing the right side of the runway. 

Metallurgical examination revealed that the vertical torque tube for the right rudder pedal had fractured at a fillet welded intersection where it attached to a horizontal torque tube. The fracture surface exhibited a small thumbnail-like fatigue region followed by an overstress region. 

The pilot had assembled the airplane about 16 years before the accident, and it had accrued about 551 hours of operation. The actual kit model was manufactured 22 years before the accident, and 1 year later, the kit manufacturer published a service letter (SL) applicable to the accident airplane model, which advised owners that the company had recently noticed signs of fatigue in rudder pedal torque tubes. The SL instructed owners to inspect the areas for fatigue and offered a reinforcement kit. Further, 6 years later, the kit manufacturer redesigned the rudder pedal torque tubes for subsequent models to include a reinforcement similar to the reinforcement that had previously been offered in the reinforcement kit. The accident airplane was not equipped with the reinforcement kit recommended in the SL nor was it equipped with the newer rudder torque tube design.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the right rudder pedal torque tube due to fatigue, which resulted in a loss of directional control during landing. Also causal to the accident was the airplane owner/builder's failure to install a rudder torque tube reinforcement or replacement in accordance with the kit manufacturer's recommendation.

On August 20, 2016, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM, was substantially damaged while landing at Canandaigua Airport (D38), Canandaigua, New York. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Whitfords Airport (B16), Weedsport, New York, about 0920.

The pilot reported that while landing on a turf airstrip adjacent to runway 31, a rudder pedal torque tube separated and the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane subsequently impacted an uneven field and came to rest upright.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The separated section of rudder pedal torque tube was retained and forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further examination. Metallurgical examination revealed that the vertical torque tube for the right rudder pedal fractured at a fillet welded intersection where it attached to a horizontal torque tube. The fracture surface exhibited a small thumbnail like fatigue region followed by an overstress region.

The single-seat, high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane, serial number C9406-0031, was assembled from a kit by the pilot in 2000 and issued an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate. Its most recent condition inspection was completed on August 8, 2016. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 547.4 total hours of operation. It had flown an additional 3.3 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.

The FAA inspector that examined the wreckage further stated that although assembly of the accident airplane was completed in 2000, the kit was actually a 1994 model. On August 22, 1995, the kit manufacturer released Service Letter No. 47 (SL-47), applicable to the accident airplane model, which advised owners that the company had recently noticed signs of fatigue in rudder pedal torque tubes. The SL instructed owners to inspect the areas for fatigue and offered a reinforcement kit (P/N 35015.000) for $59.95. Further, in 2000, the kit manufacturer redesigned the rudder pedal torque tubes for subsequent models, to include a reinforcement similar to what had previously been offered in the reinforcement kit. The inspector added that the accident airplane was not equipped with the newer rudder torque tube design, nor was it equipped with the reinforcement kit offered in SL-47.

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA192
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 19, 2016 in Batavia, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N7781W
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 student pilot successfully performed two touch-and-go landings and returned to the same runway to perform a third. He reported that, after a normal touchdown, he applied engine power, and at rotation speed the airplane veered to the left. He was unable to correct with right rudder input. The airplane subsequently traveled off the side of the runway and impacted signs, which resulted in damage to both left and right wing fuel tanks. The pilot continued the takeoff, and, after becoming airborne, noted fuel streaming from the left fuel tank; the engine subsequently experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane and landed uneventfully on a road. Postacccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Neither fuel tank contained fuel, and it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel exhaustion caused by the breaches of the fuel system.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in a collision with runway signs.

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA255
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Rhinebeck, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/2017
Aircraft: FLEET FLEET 16B, registration: N666J
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 commercial pilot stated that, during takeoff from a turf runway, the left main landing gear collapsed but did not separate from the airplane; the pilot continued the takeoff. During the subsequent landing, the airplane touched down, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. Examination revealed that the left main landing gear strut mount nut was stripped, consistent with wear, and the bolt was missing. The airplane was manufactured in 1942, and there was no required inspection for the gear strut mount. The most recent inspection was completed about 38 flight hours before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Failure of the gear strut mount nut due to wear.



FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — After a string of small plane crashes in the New York area, the NTSB is hosting a small plane safety seminar — the first on Long Island.

Every day, dozens of small planes lift off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale. As CBS2’s Alice Gainer explained, the airport is surrounded on all sides by neighborhoods, hotels, and a busy mall where shoppers worry about the planes just hundreds of yards away.

“There are a lot of lives around here, and like any plane crash it would be a disaster,” one shopper said.

The fears are not unfounded. Pilots in both of the last two small plane crashes last month took off from Republic Airport. One was badly hurt after crashing his malfunctioning plane on the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey after just missing homes and businesses.

The other pilot and a passenger were killed when they crashed into trees at Gabresky Airport in Westhampton Beach.

The threat to the public prompted Senator Chuck Schumer to arrange a small pilot training seminar — run by the NTSB — later this year.

Teachers at SUNY Farmingdale’s flight training school based at Republic Airport believe the extra training could help the recreational flyer.

“The most important part of being a proficient, good pilot is recurrent training. You have to stay current, you have to fly,” Dr. Michael Canders said.

Student pilots said they’re always conscious of the threat to neighbors when practicing their flights near the airport.

“It is an issue and a threat, especially because on Long Island there are congested areas,” John Pelosa said.

Recreational pilot Paul Delmore said pilots are already well trained, and the threat is being overblown.

“There’s a threat from everyone. There’s a threat from walking across the parking lot,” he said.

A spokesman for Senator Schumer told CBS2 that any pilots who sign up for the seminar will qualify for a discount on insurance.

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

Press Release
03.30.17

SCHUMER: AMIDST SPATE OF LI PLANE CRASHES & FOLLOWING PUSH, NTSB WILL HOST FIRST-EVER LONG ISLAND SEMINAR ON AVIATION SAFETY; AVIATION MEETING WILL ADDRESS RECENT TREND OF SMALL PLANE CRASHES ACROSS REGION & A LEADING CAUSE OF AVIATION ACCIDENTS - LOSS OF CONTROL

Following Two Small Plane Crashes Already This Year & 18 Others Last Year, Schumer Urged the NTSB To Determine Steps Necessary to Ensure Safer Skies

As a Result, NTSB Will Host Aviation Safety Seminar for Pilots On LI; NTSB Says 156 NY Crashes Have Occurred in NY Over Past 5 Years

Schumer: NTSB’s First-Ever Aviation Safety Seminar On LI Could Help Prevent Future Tragedies Across The Region 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced, today, that after his push asking the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to undergo a comprehensive safety review in response to a string of small plane crashes on Long Island, the agency has agreed to host a first-ever plane safety seminar on Long Island. Seminars like the one committed to Long Island have been extremely popular and helpful in other parts of the country. These seminars are well attended, make the skies safer, and even allow pilots educational credits they can use to lower their insurance costs. 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that’s why it’s good news that the National Transportation Safety Board is heeding the call and taking smart steps to address small plane crashes and pilot safety on Long Island,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The aviation safety seminar that will land on Long Island will help pilots from across the region prevent a leading cause of aviation accidents, loss of control, and will touch on issues of upkeep and other safety topics that have contributed to Long Island crashes. I am pleased that the NTSB continues to be committed to making local aviation safety issue a top priority and working to ensure safer skies above.”

Earlier this year, Schumer urged the NTSB to look into the alarming spate of crashes and determine whether additional steps are necessary to ensure safer skies. Schumer’s renewed call came when two small plane crashes occurred just days apart; one plane crashed smack in the middle of a neighborhood in New Jersey and nearly hit a home after taking off from Long Island, and the other crashed on Long Island. However, Schumer said that at least 18 other small plane crashes occurred in New York State last year, including 10 on Long Island alone. Schumer said that the NTSB’s decision to hold a seminar on Long Island will help prevent future tragedies.

Schumer added, “Safety must be our number one priority because these crashes have unfortunately resulted in death, injuries and even downright frightened neighbors. That’s why I have been pushing to see what more can be done, because if we can improve safety in the air, we can help prevent these kinds of crashes and inevitably save lives, too”

According to the NTSB, since 2012, there have been 156 aviation accidents in New York and one-third of the accidents were due loss of control in-flight or on the ground. The NTSB says preventing loss of control in-flight within the aviation community is on its “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.” According to the NTSB,  other causes of aviation accidents include loss of engine power, controlled flight into terrain, and hard landings. 

In response to Schumer’s push, the NTSB has said they will host an aviation safety seminar on Long Island this year and invite members of New York’s aviation community to attend. According to the NTSB, possible topics to be addressed may include: in-flight loss of control, and other issues that pilots believe to be important to air safety, like, mechanics or up-keep.

Earlier this year, two New York-area and Long Island-related crashes occurred in the span of just days:

February 19, 2017- a single-engine Piper PA-28 took off from Republic Airport and crashed into a residential area of Bayonne, N.J. Only the pilot suffered minor injuries, but the plane crashed in a neighborhood and nearly hit a home.

February 26, 2017- a Nation F. being used for practice at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach crashed feet away from the runway causing two fatalities and leaving one passenger with minor injuries.  

And in 2016, at least 18 crashes occurred in New York, many in the LI-region:

On February 12th, a Cessna 152 taking off from Long Island MacArthur Airport caught fire after landing at Calabro Airport in Shirley. The NTSB has determined the probable cause to be the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance while landing, resulting in a collision with a snow berm, nose gear collapse and post impact fire. 

On February 20th, a Piper Archer flying from Fitchburg Municipal Airport in Massachusetts crashed into Setauket Harbor; one passenger was tragically killed. 

On March 5th, a Cirrus SR22 flying from Rhode Island crash landed in Hauppauge industrial park. 

On March 11th, a Cessna 152 flying from Republic Airport made an emergency landing on a Kings Park beach.  

On April 10th, a Piper Cherokee flying from the Bayport Aerodrome crashed and caught fire on a Bayport residential street. The pilot and passenger were injured.  

On April 18th, a Cessna 172C, N1863Y collided with trees and terrain during takeoff from Westmoreland, New York. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries.  

On April 30th, a 1947 Stinson made an emergency landing in Riverhead. No injuries were reported. 

On May 3rd, a  Beechcraft V35B Bonanza flying from North Myrtle Beach to Connecticut broke up midair and crashed in Syosset; all three passengers on board were tragically killed.

On May 19th, a Piper PA-28-180, N7781W, experienced a loss of control during a touch and go landing and collided with airport signage at Genesee County Airport. The pilot was not injured. 

May 27: The pilot was killed when a World War II-era single-seat P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane crashed into the Hudson River during a promotional flight for the American Airpower Museum. 

June 20: A twin-engine plane was badly damaged when it crash-landed at Republic Airport. The pilot, who said the plane’s landing gear and a warning system failed, and a second occupant were not injured. The aircraft was owned by Ponderosa Air.  

On July 2, a Fleet 16B biplane, N666J, was damaged during landing at Old Rhinebeck Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured.  

On July 16, a Piper PA-28R-201, N2241Q, was destroyed by collision with terrain and a post-crash fire after takeoff from Hogan Airport. The pilot was seriously injured and three passengers were fatally injured.   

On August 8, a Cessna 177, N30923 was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering near McDonough, New York. The pilot and three passengers incurred minor injuries.  

On August 20, an experimental, amateur built Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM, was substantially damaged while landing at Canandaigua Airport. The pilot was not injured.  

On September 25, a Cessna 120, N3580V and a Piper PA-28-140, N612FL, collided in midair while flying over North Collins, New York. The Cessna was destroyed and the pilot was fatally injured. The Piper was destroyed and the pilot and its passenger were fatally injured.  

On October 31, a Cessna TR192, N4657S was substantially damaged when the main landing gear collapsed while landing at Watertown International Airport. The pilot was not injured.  

Dec. 11: Two men were rescued from frigid waters off Shoreham when their single-engine aircraft crashed into the Long Island Sound. The men swam from the plane to a large boulder, which they clung to until rescuers arrived. 

A copy of Schumer’s March letter to the NTSB is below:

Dear Chairman Hart: 

I write to request the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) undertake a comprehensive safety review of the recent string of small plane accidents on Long Island and across the country in order to help develop recommendations that could prevent future incidents. As the independent and objective federal agency charged by Congress with conducting thorough safety investigations, I call on your expertise and authority to immediately begin a comprehensive review of these repeated incidents. I strongly urge you not just to conduct yet another investigation following the recent crash in Southampton, NY, but to also undertake a comprehensive and system-wide review to understand why these accidents are happening and what can be done in order to decrease the occurrences. The number of airplane crashes across the system must be reduced.

As you know, on February 26, it was reported that a single-engine plane crashed in Southampton, NY, killing two people and injuring a third on the aircraft. Last May, a single-engine plane crashed in Syosset, New York killing three people on board and showering debris over a two-mile heavily populated area, close to two public schools. In the months before that incident, a small plane crashed in a Bayport neighborhood when the pilot lost power shortly after takeoff from a nearby airport and a Cessna flying from Republic Airport had to make an emergency landing on a Kings Park beach. Fortunately, in both incidents the passengers survived and neither incident harmed anyone on the ground. There is considerable and well-founded concern on Long Island about the frequency of these accidents, their lethalness to those involved, and their potential to induce catastrophe to residents on the ground. Thus far, horrible collateral damage has been avoided, but the potential for this kind of devastating harm remains all-too-possible, and your agencies’ recommendations on how to reduce this risk is sorely needed.

The NTSB has a long history of strong and independent safety advocacy. In that light, we ask that, as you examine the most recent accident in Southampton, you broaden your scope. We strongly urge you to not look at this accident just as an isolated incident, but rather to take a thorough examination of all related safety issues both in New York and across the country. Last May, I wrote to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Huerta expressing my concern about a recent uptick in aviation accidents on Long Island and asked the FAA to examine if this is a trend. I also wrote to the FAA last June over my concern about continued reports of drops in RAMP inspections – critical safety checks that occur before flights take off. With both the reduction in inspections and the continued instances of small plane crashes on Long Island, I believe strongly that the time has come for NTSB to conduct a top to bottom review of this issue.   

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your response and to reviewing the findings of the examination to reduce the number of accidents. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

###

Original article can be found here:  https://www.schumer.senate.gov
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York

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/N51TM

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA296
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Canandaigua, NY
Aircraft: MANTELL ALLAN T KITFOX 4 1200, registration: N51TM
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.

On August 20, 2016, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM, was substantially damaged while landing at Canandaigua Airport (D38), Canandaigua, New York. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Whitfords Airport (B16), Weedsport, New York, about 0920.

The pilot reported that while landing on a turf airstrip adjacent to runway 31, a rudder pedal torque tube separated and the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane subsequently impacted an uneven field and came to rest upright.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The separated section of rudder pedal torque tube was retained and forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further examination. Metallurgical examination revealed that the vertical torque tube for the right rudder pedal fractured at a fillet welded intersection where it attached to a horizontal torque tube. The fracture surface exhibited a small thumbnail like fatigue region followed by an overstress region.

The single-seat, high-wing, fixed tailwheel airplane, serial number C9406-0031, was assembled from a kit by the pilot in 2000 and issued an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate. Its most recent condition inspection was completed on August 8, 2016. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 547.4 total hours of operation. It had flown an additional 3.3 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.

The FAA inspector that examined the wreckage further stated that although assembly of the accident airplane was completed in 2000, the kit was actually a 1994 model. On August 22, 1995, the kit manufacturer released Service Letter No. 47 (SL-47), applicable to the accident airplane model, which advised owners that the company had recently noticed signs of fatigue in rudder pedal torque tubes. The SL instructed owners to inspect the areas for fatigue and offered a reinforcement kit (P/N 35015.000) for $59.95. Further, in 2000, the kit manufacturer redesigned the rudder pedal torque tubes for subsequent models, to include a reinforcement similar to what had previously been offered in the reinforcement kit. The inspector added that the accident airplane was not equipped with the newer rudder torque tube design, nor was it equipped with the reinforcement kit offered in SL-47.

Cessna 177B Cardinal, N30923, Mei-Chu Corporation

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

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

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

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA286
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 08, 2016 in McDonough, NY
Aircraft: CESSNA 177, registration: N30923
Injuries: 4 Minor.

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 August 8, 2016, about 1535 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N30923, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering near McDonough, New York. The private pilot and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Sidney Airport (N23), Sidney, New York and was destined for Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

During an interview, the pilot stated that prior to the accident flight, he filled the airplane's fuel tanks, for a total fuel load of 50 gallons. The purpose of the flight was to fly back to HWV, where the airplane was based, and give the three passengers an opportunity to view and photograph a local landmark on-the-way. After making two passes over the landmark, the passengers asked the pilot to flyover again, but at a slower speed. The pilot then fully deployed the flaps in preparation for the next flyover. During the flyover, the pilot noted that the airplane was slow, and had descended to a height near the tops of the trees. He added full power and fully retracted the flaps. The airplane did not appear to be climbing, and in "a wink of an eye the nose dropped." The pilot was then looking straight down at the ground. The pilot's next recollection was that the airplane was on the ground. He and his passengers subsequently egressed before the airplane was consumed by a postimpact fire.

During separate statements to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, first responders and an NTSB investigator, the pilot did not report any mechanical functions during the accident flight. In a subsequent written statement he reported that the engine experienced a total power loss prior to the impact.

One of the passengers reported that he and the other two passengers were taking pictures of the landmark when he noticed the airplane descending and then hitting a tree. He did not remember hearing anything strange before the accident. Another witness that was standing on the north side of the landmark, saw the airplane fly overhead three times. During the third flyover, the airplane was flying north very low near the tree tops. He then heard the breaking of branches and a loud bang. He stated he ask someone to call 911 while he tried to help the passengers out of the airplane. Shortly after they all were out of the airplane, it erupted in flames.

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane was destroyed by fire. The engine was intact, but exhibited extensive thermal damage. All other components were unrecognizable.

The weather conditions reported at Greater Binghamton Airport, Binghamton, New York, located 16 nautical miles south of the accident site, at 1553, were clear sky, wind calm, and visibility 10 statute miles.

The pilot held a private certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He also held a third-class medical certificate, issued on June 24, 2016. His last flight review was completed on June 27, 2015. At the time of the accident, the pilot reported 378 total hours of flight experience, with 100 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA296
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 2016 in Canandaigua, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2017
Aircraft: MANTELL ALLAN T KITFOX 4 1200, registration: N51TM
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, who was also the owner/builder of the experimental, amateur-built, tailwheel-equipped airplane, was conducting a cross-country personal flight. He reported that, during landing, a rudder pedal torque tube separated, which resulted in a loss of directional control and the airplane departing the right side of the runway. 

Metallurgical examination revealed that the vertical torque tube for the right rudder pedal had fractured at a fillet welded intersection where it attached to a horizontal torque tube. The fracture surface exhibited a small thumbnail-like fatigue region followed by an overstress region. 

The pilot had assembled the airplane about 16 years before the accident, and it had accrued about 551 hours of operation. The actual kit model was manufactured 22 years before the accident, and 1 year later, the kit manufacturer published a service letter (SL) applicable to the accident airplane model, which advised owners that the company had recently noticed signs of fatigue in rudder pedal torque tubes. The SL instructed owners to inspect the areas for fatigue and offered a reinforcement kit. Further, 6 years later, the kit manufacturer redesigned the rudder pedal torque tubes for subsequent models to include a reinforcement similar to the reinforcement that had previously been offered in the reinforcement kit. The accident airplane was not equipped with the reinforcement kit recommended in the SL nor was it equipped with the newer rudder torque tube design.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The failure of the right rudder pedal torque tube due to fatigue, which resulted in a loss of directional control during landing. Also causal to the accident was the airplane owner/builder's failure to install a rudder torque tube reinforcement or replacement in accordance with the kit manufacturer's recommendation.

On August 20, 2016, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM, was substantially damaged while landing at Canandaigua Airport (D38), Canandaigua, New York. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Whitfords Airport (B16), Weedsport, New York, about 0920.

The pilot reported that while landing on a turf airstrip adjacent to runway 31, a rudder pedal torque tube separated and the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane subsequently impacted an uneven field and came to rest upright.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The separated section of rudder pedal torque tube was retained and forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further examination. Metallurgical examination revealed that the vertical torque tube for the right rudder pedal fractured at a fillet welded intersection where it attached to a horizontal torque tube. The fracture surface exhibited a small thumbnail like fatigue region followed by an overstress region.

The single-seat, high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane, serial number C9406-0031, was assembled from a kit by the pilot in 2000 and issued an FAA experimental airworthiness certificate. Its most recent condition inspection was completed on August 8, 2016. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 547.4 total hours of operation. It had flown an additional 3.3 hours from the time of the last inspection, until the accident.

The FAA inspector that examined the wreckage further stated that although assembly of the accident airplane was completed in 2000, the kit was actually a 1994 model. On August 22, 1995, the kit manufacturer released Service Letter No. 47 (SL-47), applicable to the accident airplane model, which advised owners that the company had recently noticed signs of fatigue in rudder pedal torque tubes. The SL instructed owners to inspect the areas for fatigue and offered a reinforcement kit (P/N 35015.000) for $59.95. Further, in 2000, the kit manufacturer redesigned the rudder pedal torque tubes for subsequent models, to include a reinforcement similar to what had previously been offered in the reinforcement kit. The inspector added that the accident airplane was not equipped with the newer rudder torque tube design, nor was it equipped with the reinforcement kit offered in SL-47.

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA192
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 19, 2016 in Batavia, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N7781W
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 student pilot successfully performed two touch-and-go landings and returned to the same runway to perform a third. He reported that, after a normal touchdown, he applied engine power, and at rotation speed the airplane veered to the left. He was unable to correct with right rudder input. The airplane subsequently traveled off the side of the runway and impacted signs, which resulted in damage to both left and right wing fuel tanks. The pilot continued the takeoff, and, after becoming airborne, noted fuel streaming from the left fuel tank; the engine subsequently experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered the airplane and landed uneventfully on a road. Postacccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Neither fuel tank contained fuel, and it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel exhaustion caused by the breaches of the fuel system.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in a collision with runway signs.

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

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA255
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 02, 2016 in Rhinebeck, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/2017
Aircraft: FLEET FLEET 16B, registration: N666J
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 commercial pilot stated that, during takeoff from a turf runway, the left main landing gear collapsed but did not separate from the airplane; the pilot continued the takeoff. During the subsequent landing, the airplane touched down, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. Examination revealed that the left main landing gear strut mount nut was stripped, consistent with wear, and the bolt was missing. The airplane was manufactured in 1942, and there was no required inspection for the gear strut mount. The most recent inspection was completed about 38 flight hours before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Failure of the gear strut mount nut due to wear.



FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — After a string of small plane crashes in the New York area, the NTSB is hosting a small plane safety seminar — the first on Long Island.

Every day, dozens of small planes lift off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale. As CBS2’s Alice Gainer explained, the airport is surrounded on all sides by neighborhoods, hotels, and a busy mall where shoppers worry about the planes just hundreds of yards away.

“There are a lot of lives around here, and like any plane crash it would be a disaster,” one shopper said.

The fears are not unfounded. Pilots in both of the last two small plane crashes last month took off from Republic Airport. One was badly hurt after crashing his malfunctioning plane on the streets of Bayonne, New Jersey after just missing homes and businesses.

The other pilot and a passenger were killed when they crashed into trees at Gabresky Airport in Westhampton Beach.

The threat to the public prompted Senator Chuck Schumer to arrange a small pilot training seminar — run by the NTSB — later this year.

Teachers at SUNY Farmingdale’s flight training school based at Republic Airport believe the extra training could help the recreational flyer.

“The most important part of being a proficient, good pilot is recurrent training. You have to stay current, you have to fly,” Dr. Michael Canders said.

Student pilots said they’re always conscious of the threat to neighbors when practicing their flights near the airport.

“It is an issue and a threat, especially because on Long Island there are congested areas,” John Pelosa said.

Recreational pilot Paul Delmore said pilots are already well trained, and the threat is being overblown.

“There’s a threat from everyone. There’s a threat from walking across the parking lot,” he said.

A spokesman for Senator Schumer told CBS2 that any pilots who sign up for the seminar will qualify for a discount on insurance.

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

Press Release
03.30.17

SCHUMER: AMIDST SPATE OF LI PLANE CRASHES & FOLLOWING PUSH, NTSB WILL HOST FIRST-EVER LONG ISLAND SEMINAR ON AVIATION SAFETY; AVIATION MEETING WILL ADDRESS RECENT TREND OF SMALL PLANE CRASHES ACROSS REGION & A LEADING CAUSE OF AVIATION ACCIDENTS - LOSS OF CONTROL

Following Two Small Plane Crashes Already This Year & 18 Others Last Year, Schumer Urged the NTSB To Determine Steps Necessary to Ensure Safer Skies

As a Result, NTSB Will Host Aviation Safety Seminar for Pilots On LI; NTSB Says 156 NY Crashes Have Occurred in NY Over Past 5 Years

Schumer: NTSB’s First-Ever Aviation Safety Seminar On LI Could Help Prevent Future Tragedies Across The Region 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced, today, that after his push asking the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to undergo a comprehensive safety review in response to a string of small plane crashes on Long Island, the agency has agreed to host a first-ever plane safety seminar on Long Island. Seminars like the one committed to Long Island have been extremely popular and helpful in other parts of the country. These seminars are well attended, make the skies safer, and even allow pilots educational credits they can use to lower their insurance costs. 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that’s why it’s good news that the National Transportation Safety Board is heeding the call and taking smart steps to address small plane crashes and pilot safety on Long Island,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “The aviation safety seminar that will land on Long Island will help pilots from across the region prevent a leading cause of aviation accidents, loss of control, and will touch on issues of upkeep and other safety topics that have contributed to Long Island crashes. I am pleased that the NTSB continues to be committed to making local aviation safety issue a top priority and working to ensure safer skies above.”

Earlier this year, Schumer urged the NTSB to look into the alarming spate of crashes and determine whether additional steps are necessary to ensure safer skies. Schumer’s renewed call came when two small plane crashes occurred just days apart; one plane crashed smack in the middle of a neighborhood in New Jersey and nearly hit a home after taking off from Long Island, and the other crashed on Long Island. However, Schumer said that at least 18 other small plane crashes occurred in New York State last year, including 10 on Long Island alone. Schumer said that the NTSB’s decision to hold a seminar on Long Island will help prevent future tragedies.

Schumer added, “Safety must be our number one priority because these crashes have unfortunately resulted in death, injuries and even downright frightened neighbors. That’s why I have been pushing to see what more can be done, because if we can improve safety in the air, we can help prevent these kinds of crashes and inevitably save lives, too”

According to the NTSB, since 2012, there have been 156 aviation accidents in New York and one-third of the accidents were due loss of control in-flight or on the ground. The NTSB says preventing loss of control in-flight within the aviation community is on its “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.” According to the NTSB,  other causes of aviation accidents include loss of engine power, controlled flight into terrain, and hard landings. 

In response to Schumer’s push, the NTSB has said they will host an aviation safety seminar on Long Island this year and invite members of New York’s aviation community to attend. According to the NTSB, possible topics to be addressed may include: in-flight loss of control, and other issues that pilots believe to be important to air safety, like, mechanics or up-keep.

Earlier this year, two New York-area and Long Island-related crashes occurred in the span of just days:

February 19, 2017- a single-engine Piper PA-28 took off from Republic Airport and crashed into a residential area of Bayonne, N.J. Only the pilot suffered minor injuries, but the plane crashed in a neighborhood and nearly hit a home.

February 26, 2017- a Nation F. being used for practice at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach crashed feet away from the runway causing two fatalities and leaving one passenger with minor injuries.  

And in 2016, at least 18 crashes occurred in New York, many in the LI-region:

On February 12th, a Cessna 152 taking off from Long Island MacArthur Airport caught fire after landing at Calabro Airport in Shirley. The NTSB has determined the probable cause to be the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance while landing, resulting in a collision with a snow berm, nose gear collapse and post impact fire. 

On February 20th, a Piper Archer flying from Fitchburg Municipal Airport in Massachusetts crashed into Setauket Harbor; one passenger was tragically killed. 

On March 5th, a Cirrus SR22 flying from Rhode Island crash landed in Hauppauge industrial park. 

On March 11th, a Cessna 152 flying from Republic Airport made an emergency landing on a Kings Park beach.  

On April 10th, a Piper Cherokee flying from the Bayport Aerodrome crashed and caught fire on a Bayport residential street. The pilot and passenger were injured.  

On April 18th, a Cessna 172C, N1863Y collided with trees and terrain during takeoff from Westmoreland, New York. The private pilot and one passenger were fatally injured and one passenger sustained minor injuries.  

On April 30th, a 1947 Stinson made an emergency landing in Riverhead. No injuries were reported. 

On May 3rd, a  Beechcraft V35B Bonanza flying from North Myrtle Beach to Connecticut broke up midair and crashed in Syosset; all three passengers on board were tragically killed.

On May 19th, a Piper PA-28-180, N7781W, experienced a loss of control during a touch and go landing and collided with airport signage at Genesee County Airport. The pilot was not injured. 

May 27: The pilot was killed when a World War II-era single-seat P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane crashed into the Hudson River during a promotional flight for the American Airpower Museum. 

June 20: A twin-engine plane was badly damaged when it crash-landed at Republic Airport. The pilot, who said the plane’s landing gear and a warning system failed, and a second occupant were not injured. The aircraft was owned by Ponderosa Air.  

On July 2, a Fleet 16B biplane, N666J, was damaged during landing at Old Rhinebeck Airport. The pilot and passenger were not injured.  

On July 16, a Piper PA-28R-201, N2241Q, was destroyed by collision with terrain and a post-crash fire after takeoff from Hogan Airport. The pilot was seriously injured and three passengers were fatally injured.   

On August 8, a Cessna 177, N30923 was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain while maneuvering near McDonough, New York. The pilot and three passengers incurred minor injuries.  

On August 20, an experimental, amateur built Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM, was substantially damaged while landing at Canandaigua Airport. The pilot was not injured.  

On September 25, a Cessna 120, N3580V and a Piper PA-28-140, N612FL, collided in midair while flying over North Collins, New York. The Cessna was destroyed and the pilot was fatally injured. The Piper was destroyed and the pilot and its passenger were fatally injured.  

On October 31, a Cessna TR192, N4657S was substantially damaged when the main landing gear collapsed while landing at Watertown International Airport. The pilot was not injured.  

Dec. 11: Two men were rescued from frigid waters off Shoreham when their single-engine aircraft crashed into the Long Island Sound. The men swam from the plane to a large boulder, which they clung to until rescuers arrived. 

A copy of Schumer’s March letter to the NTSB is below:

Dear Chairman Hart: 

I write to request the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) undertake a comprehensive safety review of the recent string of small plane accidents on Long Island and across the country in order to help develop recommendations that could prevent future incidents. As the independent and objective federal agency charged by Congress with conducting thorough safety investigations, I call on your expertise and authority to immediately begin a comprehensive review of these repeated incidents. I strongly urge you not just to conduct yet another investigation following the recent crash in Southampton, NY, but to also undertake a comprehensive and system-wide review to understand why these accidents are happening and what can be done in order to decrease the occurrences. The number of airplane crashes across the system must be reduced.

As you know, on February 26, it was reported that a single-engine plane crashed in Southampton, NY, killing two people and injuring a third on the aircraft. Last May, a single-engine plane crashed in Syosset, New York killing three people on board and showering debris over a two-mile heavily populated area, close to two public schools. In the months before that incident, a small plane crashed in a Bayport neighborhood when the pilot lost power shortly after takeoff from a nearby airport and a Cessna flying from Republic Airport had to make an emergency landing on a Kings Park beach. Fortunately, in both incidents the passengers survived and neither incident harmed anyone on the ground. There is considerable and well-founded concern on Long Island about the frequency of these accidents, their lethalness to those involved, and their potential to induce catastrophe to residents on the ground. Thus far, horrible collateral damage has been avoided, but the potential for this kind of devastating harm remains all-too-possible, and your agencies’ recommendations on how to reduce this risk is sorely needed.

The NTSB has a long history of strong and independent safety advocacy. In that light, we ask that, as you examine the most recent accident in Southampton, you broaden your scope. We strongly urge you to not look at this accident just as an isolated incident, but rather to take a thorough examination of all related safety issues both in New York and across the country. Last May, I wrote to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Huerta expressing my concern about a recent uptick in aviation accidents on Long Island and asked the FAA to examine if this is a trend. I also wrote to the FAA last June over my concern about continued reports of drops in RAMP inspections – critical safety checks that occur before flights take off. With both the reduction in inspections and the continued instances of small plane crashes on Long Island, I believe strongly that the time has come for NTSB to conduct a top to bottom review of this issue.   

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your response and to reviewing the findings of the examination to reduce the number of accidents. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

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Original article can be found here:  https://www.schumer.senate.gov