Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dynamic Aviation celebrates milestone anniversary

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) — Dynamic Aviation marked a half a century of serving people in the Shenandoah Valley with a community celebration on Saturday.

Hundreds of people from a variety of age groups came to the company's Bridgewater facility for aircraft flights, displays on aviation history and music.

Visitors also lined up to get a look inside the very first Air Force One.

"It's been wonderful. People here have been very helpful," said Max Tahir, from Harrisonburg.

A refurbished DC-3 aircraft, known as 'Miss Virginia, was also on display. It was dedicated the night before to Maddie Shinaberry, a friend of the Dynamic Aviation family who passed away in 2016 after receiving a double lung transplant.

A portion of proceeds from the event will go to the Children's Miracle Network in Maddie's name.

Since its incorporation in 1967, Dynamic Aviation has built a client list that includes state and local governments, military intelligence and national defense agencies.

Original article can be found here ➤

Football fans, would-be pilots make Ohio State University Airport (KOSU) a busier place

If you think there’s been more activity lately around Don Scott Field, or Ohio State University Airport, you’re right.

The general-aviation airport’s numbers have been rising for several years.

They got a boost just last weekend thanks to a highly anticipated Buckeye football game against the University of Oklahoma.

Airport officials estimate that traffic — 2,200 takeoffs and landings — during the four-day period before and after the Sept. 9 game was the second-highest for the airport, behind only the 2006 contest between No. 1-ranked OSU and No. 2-ranked Michigan in the ’Shoe.

“It was an extremely busy weekend for us, starting midday Friday and going through midday Sunday,” said Doug Hammon, director of the airport.

Hammon cited the game — a matchup between two Top 10-ranked teams with passionate fan bases — and the distance between the schools: too far for a comfortable drive and not connected by nonstop commercial flights.

“This was a very pleasant, nice crowd” of Oklahoma fans, said Mike Eppley, who manages the service operation at the airport on the Northwest Side. “We took care of them. We made them happy, and we sent them away very happy,” he said dryly, referring to Ohio State’s loss to the Sooners.

The OSU-Army game Saturday isn’t expected to be nearly as busy for the airport, although the airport expects that some visitors — including military officers — will be flying in for the game.

The busy weekend isn’t an anomaly for Don Scott Field.

Measured by takeoffs and landings, it’s the third busiest airport in the state behind John Glenn Columbus and Cleveland Hopkins international airports. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport isn’t included in those figures as it’s not in Ohio.

But the steadily growing number of flights at Don Scott over the past few years reflects a couple of larger trends.

A good portion of the increased activity is linked to the university’s flight school. Enrollment has steadily increased with the news in recent years that airlines desperately need pilots. And the regional airlines, where most pilots begin their careers, have increased pay somewhat and often offer signing bonuses.

“They know they’re going to get a job offer at a regional (airline) if they complete their training and get their hours here,” said Brandon Mann, director of flight education at the airport. “It’s hard to even keep instructors now, there are so many pilot jobs to be had.”

The higher numbers also reflect overall growth in private aviation. The segment is finally getting close to a recovery from the financial crisis and its lingering effects.

“The last three or four years, we’ve seen nice month-over-month, year-over-year growth,” said Scott Liston, executive vice president of Cincinnati-based Argus International, an aviation services and data company focused on business aviation.

According to Argus, Ohio ranked 10th among U.S. states in the number of departures of business aviation aircraft in 2016. The top three states were Texas, California and Florida, all with more than 240,000 departures. After that, the numbers drop off significantly. Ohio had more than 69,000 departures.

Nationally, the latest data from Argus shows that overall private aviation activity was up 5.2 percent for August compared with August 2016. Last month was the busiest month since May 2008. That comes on top of a 3 percent increase in private flight activity in August 2016 compared with August 2015.

Virtually all aircraft types and operational categories of business aviation are seeing growth. Activity for fractional aircraft, a segment dominated by Columbus-based NetJets, is up 7 percent in the past year. NetJets accounts for nearly two-thirds of fractional market flight activity.

At its annual meeting this year, NetJets owner Berkshire Hathaway said NetJets revenue for the first quarter was up 19 percent over the previous year. NetJets spokeswoman Kristyn Wilson said the company’s total number of flights last year was still down about 15 percent from 2007, but said the company is now “more profitable (and) stable” than it was 10 years ago.

For Don Scott, more flight activity is “good for everybody,” Hammon said.

In addition to bringing in revenue that can help make the airport more self-supporting, added flights often mean added local spending on things such as food and accommodations.

Hammon said many coming to Columbus for a football game come in early to play golf, go shopping at Easton Town Center or visit attractions such as the North Market.

Story and photo gallery ➤

Pittsburgh International Airport (KPIT) $1.1B overhaul: Prematurely cleared for takeoff

More than $900 million was borrowed to build the current Pittsburgh International Airport, which opened 25 years ago, to US Airways' hub specifications. That turned out to be a profound mistake when US Airways' declining fortunes led it to close its Pittsburgh hub in 2004, taking 500 daily flights and 10,000 jobs with it and leaving much of the airport unused.

Now, the Allegheny County Airport Authority insists on spending $1.1 billion on a massive overhaul that includes building a new landside terminal, renovating the existing airside terminal, eliminating the existing terminals' connecting tram, redeveloping or demolishing (for about $20 million) the existing landside terminal, and replacing the baggage-handling systems.

After a quarter-century, the airport no doubt needs work. The authority wants to eliminate the growing maintenance costs and headaches of the tram and existing baggage systems, and to “align the facility with the needs of a modern passenger experience.” But is a $1.1 billion overhaul really necessary for an airport ranked this summer by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine as the nation's sixth best?

“The plan does not include the local use of tax dollars,” the authority says, referring to revenue collected by the county and its municipalities — phrasing that leaves ample room for state and federal tax dollars. Actually, bonds are to pay most of the cost — still more borrowing, despite 25 percent of the current airport's construction debt remaining to repay as of next year.

Curiously, a breakdown showing bonds paying for 51 percent of the cost — $550 million-plus in new borrowing — disappeared from the project's website the day it was announced. Still, authority CEO Christina Cassotis maintains “the airlines are paying for this” — and uses that to justify the utter lack of public input before the authority voted for the project.

Indeed, one especially troubling aspect is this plan's presentation to the public as pretty much a done deal, albeit one sketchy on details — and by an unelected authority board with no direct voter or taxpayer accountability. The authority claims three years' work with airlines on the plan. But it was announced shortly after Amazon made known its search for a second headquarters city, to which Ms. Cassotis alluded. Taxpayers thus should question whether this project is more about an “artificial sweetener” for Amazon now than it is about air travelers' actual future needs.

All this is more than enough to give pause. Yet the authority's charging ahead, intending groundbreaking in 2019 and completion in 2023. And though it claims the budget “includes price escalations and contingencies,” it's rare that any project of such scope finishes on time and on budget. Thus, that $1.1 billion is just an initial estimate, one sure to rise.

Given Pittsburgh International's importance for Western Pennsylvania's economy and quality of life, rushing a new overhaul poses too great a risk of botching this one as badly as the last one. The airport's future should be thoroughly debated, in public and by the public, before any new overhaul goes forward.

To do otherwise prematurely clears this $1.1 billion plan for takeoff. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Great Lakes hopes to return to Scottsbluff, Utah airline among those offering competition in Essential Air Service bid

After recent problems, first with Great Lakes Aviation and then with PenAir, the Western Nebraska Regional Airport sought bids for a new carrier to service the area. Six bids were placed with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The bids were more than expected and officials around the region have said that is a good sign for Scottsbluff.

The Star-Herald will examine the companies submitting bids in stories this week. In this edition, the Star-Herald looks at SkyWest Airlines and Great Lakes Aviation.

Utah airline bids to fly Scottsbluff to Denver route

SCOTTSBLUFF – SkyWest Airlines, headquartered in St. George, Utah, has proposed to serve the Scottsbluff to Denver Essential Air Service (EAS) route with 12 roundtrip flights per week for a two-year term.

The airline has codeshare partnerships with the world’s largest network carriers, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

In its $3.1 million bid proposal, SkyWest will be associated with United Airlines and will be marketed as United Express. The agreement allows travelers to take advantage of United’s frequent flyer program for seamless booking and baggage transfers to their entire network. SkyWest has a long history in many EAS communities in the United States.

For the Scottsbluff to Denver run, the airline will fly the 50-seat Canadair CRJ200 twin engine jet. Since 2007, they’ve been named five times as the most reliable CJR200 operator in North America.

SkyWest has replaced its prop plane service in several markets and the transition has stimulated a strong jump in passenger traffic. They expect to see similar increases in the western Nebraska market.

The flight schedule features both morning and afternoon departure times from Western Nebraska Regional Airport. The flights are coordinated to facilitate seamless connections to United’s large and diverse flight schedule from the Denver market. That includes more than 5,400 daily flights to more than 370 airports.

SkyWest has a fleet of 415 aircraft and recently placed and order for 25 additional larger planes for use in its partnerships with Delta and Alaska Airlines. SkyWest currently operates more than 2.000 flights per day to 229 destinations throughout North America.

The proposal states that kind of conductivity “makes it simple for passengers to plan their travel and is a key factor in the area’s continued economic development.”

Greg Atkin, managing director for market development for SkyWest, said there are more than 400 United and United Express daily departures from Denver International Airport.

“Because of these attributes, as well as the local demand to visit Denver, we expect to see a significant increase in passenger traffic in the community.”

On June 19, 1972, SkyWest Airlines made its first flight from St. George to Salt Lake City, Utah, with a stop in Cedar City along the way. It’s grown into an air service provider offering global access to millions of travelers each month.

Along the way, Professional Pilots magazine named SkyWest the Top Regional Airline for 2000 and Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine chose them as the Best Managed Regional Airline of the Year for both 2000 and 2001. Air Transport World magazine picked SkyWest as its Top Regional Airline of the Year for 2003.

Cheyenne-based airline bids to return to Scottsbluff

SCOTTSBLUFF — Great Lakes Aviation, one of six companies that have put in bids for the Western Nebraska Regional Airport, announced its bid to be $2,767,187.

Based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Great Lakes has provided essential air service for over 32 years throughout Midwest and Western regions of the United States. Great Lakes formerly served the Scottsbluff area until November 2016 when it was replaced by PenAir due to pilot issues and unreliability.

The Great Lakes proposal would offer three round-trip flights on Beechcraft 1900D 28 aircraft, which typically seats 19 passengers. Great Lakes would also offer two round-trip flights on EMB-120 Brasilia 6 aircraft, which seats 30 passengers as an alternative. Both bids would be for the same annual subsidy.

If Great Lakes Aviation were chosen as the carrier in Scottsbluff, passengers would have the ability to fly on other major airlines. Great Lakes has a codeshare with United Airlines, which allows passengers easy transfer to United flights as well as baggage transfer to final destinations. Interline ticketing with American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines is also offered in the proposal.

Great Lakes Aviation submitted the proposal to provide essential air transportation at Scottsbluff, Kearney and North Platte, as well as Dodge City and Liberal, Kansas, and Crescent City, California. According to their bid, Great Lakes said each market should be considered as a stand-alone proposal.

Doug Voss, CEO of Great Lakes, said fares began at $39, but the average would be at $50 each way between Scottsbluff and Denver.

The airline has several planes available to serve its needs. Voss said there are 28 1900s — 14 are in storage and 14 are flying. Great Lakes has a maintenance base in Denver and Cheyenne.

The airline was founded by Voss and Ivan Simpson on April 5, 1977, and began flying in Oct. 12, 1981, on flights between Spencer and Des Moines, Iowa. From 1992 to 2002, the airline was a large United Express “feeder” carrier, with operations in more than 100 cities. By Dec. 17, 2016, that number had reduced to 11 cities, with all flights operating under its own brand. At one time, Great Lakes was the largest EAS provider in America. Today, only four of its 11 destinations is through the EAS program.

Government restrictions in 2013 on pilots and crew caused the airline to suffer along with many other commuter airlines. Services to many airports, including Scottsbluff, were lost as cancellations mounted.

Scottsbluff was among several airlines who sought new carriers in 2016 in an attempt to rectify the situation. Voss said the situation today is still all about the pilots.

“PenAir clearly had the same issues,” he said.

Everyone is in recruitment mode, Voss said.

“We have the unique ability to hire retirees,” he said. “In Denver, there is a large number of pilots retiring from United and Frontier who will continue to live in Denver.”

Great Lakes is operating as a smaller carrier than it was five years ago and has worked on several ways to alleviate the pilot shortage. The airline will compensate pilots if they make themselves available for 15 days per month. If they assure the airline they can fly for 10, they will be provided with seniority.

“The fundamental issue for all small communities right now is pilot supply,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9924Q: Aircraft broke loose from the tiedowns during Hurricane Irma - blown across ramp upside down

AIRCRAFT: 1975 CESSNA C172M N9924Q, s/n: 17265868 
TTAF 7007.6 at the last annual inspection on 05/24/17
Current Tach 7017.2; Hobbs 1752.0

ENGINE: Lycoming O-320-D2J, s/n: RL-15878-39A
TSMOH 110.7 at the last annual inspection on 05/24/17
Overhauled 03/08/16 by JB Aircraft Engines.  TTSN 2150.  Tach 6896.4

EQUIPMENT: Removed and stored separately.  Condition not known or warranted.

(1) GPS - Apollo 2001 NMS
(1) Transponder Narco AT 165 TSO
(1) Audio Selector Panel PMA 6000
(1) DME King KN 62
(1) ADF 300 ADF R-546E

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  N9924Q broke loose from the tiedowns during Hurricane Irma, and was blown across the ramp upside down at Homestead, Florida

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:    Damage includes but may not be limited to the following:       
- Tail was broken in half and is separated from the fuselage
- Tail, horizontal stabilizer and elevators damaged
- Wings and fuselage are also damaged      

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Florida Air Recovery, Fort Pierce, Florida


Salvage is sold AS IS/WHERE IS. 

Logbooks are NOT complete - no airframe logs prior to 2003. 
03/08/16 - Ram STC SA2375SW-D dated November 1, 1976, amended August 28, 1987, reissuance Aug 25, 2008 and Ram Drawing No R17201-H dated December 10, 1986

Wings were removed for retrieval.

Read more here:

LAKELAND — Dr. Charles Llano, a Lakeland dentist, owns a second home on Summerland Key, one of the islands hit hardest by Hurricane Irma’s assault on the archipelago south of Miami.

Llano’s getaway survived the monster storm fairly intact, so he’s spending much of his time assisting his island neighbors in need.

A private pilot with a Piper Lance PA-32 single-engine aircraft, Llano is part of a large, all-volunteer effort to airlift food, water and other supplies into Summerland Key. Their efforts dovetail with government and military operations.

Working from Lakeland’s Sun ’n Fun complex adjacent to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, this band of volunteer pilots, amateurs and professionals alike, are united by the desire to help storm victims in the Keys, where disaster relief operations are barely underway, they said.

“One of my neighbors lost his house completely,” said Llano, who attended an early morning briefing Friday at Sun ’n Fun orchestrated by the nonprofit AERObridge. “It’s so devastating ... you just feel you can’t do enough (to help).”

Llano was joined Friday by pilots from across the country and throughout Florida, including Michael Hare, 63, a commercial pilot from Gainesville, co-owner of a Cessna Cardinal, a light, single-engine aircraft.

With the assistance of a volunteer ground crew, he loaded the small plane with boxes of ready-to-eat meals and cases of water.

“I had the day off so now I’m off to Homestead (Executive Jet Center),” Hare said. “My plan is to come back here and see how the loads (of donated goods and supplies) are coming. The whole idea is to be flexible.”

Hare’s solo flight to the southern tip of peninsular Florida will take approximately 90 minutes. Once in Homestead, volunteers will off-load the supplies and load them into one of several larger planes commissioned by AERObridge for delivery to a small, private airstrip on Summerland Key.

AERObridge is operating a second staging area at an Ocala airport, where volunteer pilots are picking up more food and supplies for delivery to the Homestead airport. The supplies, including charcoal, gasoline and personal hygiene items, are being collected through a network of suppliers that work with groups like AERObridge in times of crisis.

Individual donations are being accepted through Monday. Items needed most include non-perishable food, pet food and water. Deliveries may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sun ’n Fun Expo Campus Aerospace Pavilion, 4175 Medulla Road.

All delivery vehicles should place a sign on the dashboard that reads: “Drop-Off.”

“We’re ferrying in as much food and water as possible,” said Marianne Stevenson, president of AERObridge, an independent disaster relief organization that also is coordinating relief flights into St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was strafed by Irma’s winds.

AERObridge flights out of Lakeland began earlier this week and are expected to continue into next week.

The group’s mission is authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has limited the mercy flights to Summerland Key, where first-responders and other volunteers are assisting in warehousing and distributing supplies, said Michael Burwell, who is overseeing AERObridge’s Lakeland operation.

AERObridge pilots have assisted in other ways, such as the emergency delivery of an elderly Key West resident to a Fort Lauderdale hospital, and transporting a Keys woman left homeless by the storm to Lakeland, where she was picked up by relatives.

By order of FEMA, AERObridge pilots are forbidden from bringing members of the media into the Keys, Burwell said. Pilots spotting damage from the air are saying that the devastation is widespread, he said.

“It’s heart-wrenching what’s been going on down there,” said Burwell, a resident of greater Minneapolis. “It’s devastating from what I’ve heard.”

John Parrish, 51, left his job with a commercial cleaning business in Columbia, S.C., Thursday morning to pick up a load of supplies in Ocala and fly them to Homestead in his Beechcraft Bonanza. He returned to Lakeland and was ready Friday morning to take to the air with another load.

“It’s a six-seater and I took three out so we could fit a bunch of stuff,” he said. “We just wanted to come help.”

Story and photo gallery ➤

Piper J3C-65, N38365: Accident occurred September 16, 2017 in Hanover Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA328
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 16, 2017 in Hanover Township, PA
Aircraft: PIPER J3C, registration: N38365
Injuries: 2 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 September 16, 2017, about 1650 eastern daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N38365, was substantially damaged while maneuvering near Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight that departed Herron Airport (7G1), New Cumberland, West Virginia. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he and the passenger made two previous local flights that day before the accident flight. During the third flight of the day, approximately 1,000 ft above ground level, he started a left turn and the airplane rolled over. The pilot further stated, "it rolled over in a blink of an eye." He then corrected the roll and when the airplane was straight and level, he saw some tree tops. He tried to pull-up but the airplane contacted the tree tops and impacted the ground. The pilot stated there were no mechanical issues with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.

According to the pilot-rated passenger, they were flying along with friends, who were flying their airplanes. One of their friend's airplanes passed them to the left and they were going to turn left and follow it. During the turn to the left, the airplane rolled over. She further stated, "it rolled over so fast she could not believe it." They contacted some tree tops and impacted the ground. She stated there were no mechanical issues with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane had sustained damage to the forward and aft wing spar on the left wing. The right main landing gear was separated. The propeller had one blade bent. The bulkhead fuel tank was ruptured. Cable continuity was established to all flight controls.

Two men were injured when a two-seat airplane crashed Saturday afternoon in Beaver County.

The crash occurred about 4:50 p.m. in the 200 block of McKenzie Road in Hanover, county emergency officials said.

A 23-year-old Hookstown man and a 24-year-old man from Arlington, Va., were on board when the Piper J3C-65 crashed into a tree on private property, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Both men were taken to Allegheny General Hospital with moderate but non-life threatening injures, according to police. 

At the crash site, the small, yellow aircraft was positioned nose-down in the ground, and its tail was held up by tree limbs.

State police and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating, officials said.

Original article can be found here ➤

HANOVER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A small plane crashed in Hanover Township on Saturday afternoon.

It happened in the 200 block of McKenzie Road around 5 p.m.

State police and Federal Aviation Administration officials were at the scene.

Two people were reportedly injured.

Original article can be found here ➤

New report says noise complaints are up at Reagan National (KDCA), Dulles (KIAD) airports

Residents from across the Washington region filed a record number of complaints about noise from flights at Reagan National and Dulles International airports in 2016 — more than four times the number recorded in the previous year, according to new data released this month.

And those tens of thousands of complaints are coming from a broader geographic area than ever before — a trend residents and some elected officials say is driven by changes the Federal Aviation Administration has made to flight paths at the region’s three major airports.

In all, airport officials logged 42,683 complaints about flights at National and Dulles in 2016, compared with just under 10,000 in 2015. As in previous years, most of the complaints were about flights at National. Noise reports for National jumped more than fourfold to 36,653 in 2016, from 8,760 in 2015. Dulles also saw a significant increase, with slightly more than 6,000 complaints in 2016, from about 1,200 in 2015.

Noise complaints also are increasing at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

In 2015, when new flight paths were in place, complaints at BWI increased to 1,850 from just over 850 the previous year. In 2016, there were almost 2,700 complaints. As with National and Dulles, one person can be responsible for making multiple complaints.

Officials with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages National and Dulles airports, concede new flight patterns are partly to blame for the increase in complaints, but they contend increased resident awareness, media attention and more early-morning and late-night flights at National also have contributed to the rise.

They also note that more than half of the complaints filed came from just three individuals. One resident of Northwest Washington’s affluent Foxhall neighborhood filed 17,273 complaints about noise at National — an average of 47 a day. That far surpasses the 6,500 complaints filed by one person in 2015.

A second person in the same neighborhood filed more than 1,800 complaints.

A resident of Poolesville, Md., in western Montgomery County, who filed nearly 3,800 complaints, accounted for about 63 percent of the total complaints for Dulles.

But residents who say takeoffs and landings at National are giving them headaches and disturbing their sleep say focusing on the outsize number of complaints from three people shows that MWAA is trivializing their concerns and not committed to addressing them.

The noise problem, they say, is serious and widespread.

“They would like to marginalize the community complaints, that’s what that is,” said Janelle Wright, who lives in Potomac, Md. “Frankly, it’s a little offensive. It really shows that they’re not taking the complaints seriously.”

Complaints about airplane noise are as old as airports themselves. But in recent years grumbling has intensified as the FAA has worked to modernize the air traffic system. The goal of the program — the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen — is to replace radar navigation with a satellite-based GPS network. FAA officials say the change would allow planes to travel crowded skies safely at much closer distances. Pilots also would be able to fly more direct routes, they add.

But in some cases, the shift replaced old flight patterns with new ones. As a result, areas where airport noise had not been a problem now say they are being rattled by the sound of flights. In the D.C. region, about 4,000 aircraft operate in Washington airspace each day.

FAA officials said they are not ignoring residents’ complaints. adding that they’ve held numerous meetings with residents and local officials about the changes made as part of the transition to NextGen as well as shifts that were made to address concerns about noise in McLean and Arlington. Earlier this month, for example, FAA officials met with staff members of Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) to discuss the issue.

“The FAA is working with airports and airlines throughout the country to improve the safety and on-time performance of air travel,” said Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman. “These actions have noise implications. As a result, the FAA has worked closely with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) to address community noise complaints in neighborhoods near the three DC-area airports.”

But that’s of little consolation for residents like Wright.

Wright and her family moved to Potomac in 2014, shortly before the FAA began phasing in the new flight patterns. The family was delighted to find a home where they could hear the sounds of crickets and birds. But starting last summer, the sounds of nature began to be drowned out by jets.

“The arrivals are like a dropping bomb, the departures just a loud roar,” said Wright, a member of the Montgomery Quiet Skies Coalition, which formed to fight for changes to the flight paths.

Her neighborhood in Potomac is only one of the areas where complaints rose in 2016, according to the MWAA report. In 2014, the year before the FAA began different paths, there was one complaint. In 2016, the first full year the new routes were in place, the number rose to 43. Complaints also increased in other Montgomery County neighborhoods, including Bethesda and Cabin John. In Prince George’s County, there was an uptick in reports from Fort Washington and Accokeek.

On the Virginia side, the report showed an increase in complaints from Springfield, McLean and Great Falls in Fairfax County and in Arlington County and the city of Alexandria. However the most complaints — more than 6,400 — came from residents in the Alexandria section of Fairfax. This is the first year MWAA put complaints from the Alexandria section of the county in their own category; before, they were included in the count for the city of Alexandria.

“Between Reagan National and Dulles International airports, my constituents in Northern Virginia are greatly impacted by aircraft noise,” said Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who pushed to include a provision mandating a study of the affects of aircraft noise in the region in the FAA reauthorization bill.

Maryland residents won support for their cause from a bipartisan slate of high-profile backers, including the state’s two Democratic senators and its Republican governor.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) upped the stakes last week, directing Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) to sue the FAA. Hogan’s directive came after he wrote to FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao demanding action.

In a response to Hogan last month, Huerta wrote that the concerns the governor raised have been given a “high priority” and that the agency has made some changes as a result of community input — directing pilots to climb to higher altitudes before turning, for example. However, he said it would not be possible to return to the previous flight paths and procedures.

In the District, where residents have formed the Washington, D.C. Fair Skies Coalition, a lawsuit filed in 2015 could be scheduled for oral arguments this fall.

A spokesman for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) did not return requests for comment. But other elected officials have heard the complaints and are working with both the FAA and Virginia residents to find a solution.

Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) voiced support for the FAA’s efforts to modernize the air traffic system, but said the agency must also work with communities as they make the changes.

“No one wants to move backward, and I for one have been saying for years that we need to act quicker in implementing NextGen modernization,” Warner said in a statement. “However, the FAA cannot operate in a vacuum. They need to start listening to impacted communities before they make these route changes, and I have urged the FAA and the Airports Authority to work on some modest changes that would take into account these noise concerns.”

Original article  ➤

Small consumer drones unlikely to cause head injury, study says: Results offer more justification for opening the door to unmanned operations over crowds

WASHINGTON — The small drones flooding the commercial market are unlikely to cause severe head injuries if they fall out of the sky and strike people, a new study has concluded.

The results are similar to findings earlier this year by researchers associated with the Federal Aviation Administration and offer more justification for opening the door to unmanned operations over crowds.

Researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, the site of an FAA-sanctioned drone testing facility, concluded that the risks of a catastrophic head injury were less than 5 percent in an impact with a 2.6-pound unmanned vehicle, according to results published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Larger drones create higher risks of injury, which may limit their uses until other safety standards can be devised, the study found.

“Risk of injury was observed to increase with increasing UAS mass, and the larger models tested are not safe for operations over people in their current form,” the researchers said in the journal article, referring to drones as unmanned aircraft systems.

The risks of a head injury are also greater if a drone falls on a person than if it runs into them while flying, they concluded. Because the FAA defines small drones as weighing as much as 55 pounds, the agency may want to reclassify its guidelines to restrict the heavier ones from flying over people, the authors said.

The study focused solely on head trauma and didn’t assess the potential for rotor blades cutting the skin or other injuries.

The FAA had planned to release by the end of 2016 a preliminary outline for allowing at least some drone flights over people. Such rules are needed by multiple industries from network television news shows to drone delivery pioneers, such as Inc. and Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

The U.S. government temporarily put the effort on hold after law enforcement agencies objected, saying there needs to be better ways of tracking unmanned vehicles before they’re unleashed over people.

The Virginia Tech study looked at three models made by China-based SZ DJI Technology Co. The smallest was the Phantom 3, which was flown straight into a crash-test dummy’s head and also dropped on the dummy to simulate falling from the sky.

While the risks from the Phantom 3 were minimal, the potential for injury increased dramatically as drones weighed more. A DJI S1000+ model, an eight-rotor copter weighing 24 pounds, had an injury risk of about 70 percent in some tests.

The FAA in April released similar results of studies it had financed. “So many people are watching these studies,” said Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA’s Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration. “FAA needs it to support our rulemaking activities, but so does every other civil aviation authority and interest groups throughout the world.”

The agency last year adopted regulations allowing routine small-drone flights for commercial purposes, but restricted them to within sight of the operator, no higher than 400 feet above ground and not directly over people.

Original article can be found here ➤

Milwaukee County auditors did not seek criminal charges in General Mitchell International Airport (KMKE) investigation

Milwaukee County auditors did not refer the findings of their investigation into alleged misconduct by former Mitchell International Airport Director Ismael "Izzy" Bonilla to the district attorney's office for review of possible criminal charges, Audit Services Director Jerry Heer confirmed Friday.

County Executive Chris Abele fired Bonilla Thursday after reviewing auditors' findings that he had violated a county ordinance prohibiting disclosure of privileged information when he helped a contractor gain a "competitive advantage" in winning a contract.

Auditors determined Bonilla used privileged information to financially benefit former co-workers. But there is no indication in the report that Bonilla personally benefited from his actions.

The audit division's investigative report was submitted to the Ethics Board for action on a possible violation of the county ethics code.

The Ethics Board will meet Nov. 14 and has not scheduled a special meeting before that for any purpose, Executive Director Stephanie Hunnicutt said. Once the board reviews the audit division report, it cannot impose any discipline on Bonilla since he is no longer an employee of the county, Hunnicutt said.

The Ethics Board, however, could refer the auditors' findings of ethical misconduct to the district attorney's office, she said.

Document: Read the Audit Division report of its investigation

Related: Misconduct allegations raised as Mitchell International Airport director fired

Bonilla arranged for the contractor, Hanson Professional Services Inc., to visit Timmerman airport in August 2016 regarding a proposed business plan for the airport, according to the audit report.

The site visit was held in advance of the county publishing a request for proposals for the plan in September of that year. After the request was sent out and the project was made public, Bonilla did not offer similar visits to competing companies.

In November 2016, the county awarded the $250,000 contract to develop a Timmerman business plan to Hanson.

Auditors also confirmed that Bonilla had a prior working relationship with Hanson employees and a Hanson subcontractor.

The Audit Services Division in the Comptroller's Office began receiving complaints of misconduct by Bonilla in August 2016, six months after he started work at Mitchell.

Those complaints alleged abuse of a county purchase card, personal use of a county vehicle, and hiring his best friend, Yul McNair, as deputy director of Mitchell airport.

McNair, too, had a prior working relationship with Hanson employees and McNair participated in the Timmerman site visit, according to the report.

Timmerman is also owned and operated by Milwaukee County.

McNair remains employed at Mitchell airport.

Bonilla's salary was $175,000 a year.

Story and comments ➤

Mooney M20C Ranger, N53CP: Fatal accident occurred September 16, 2017 in North Branford, Connecticut

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley; Enfield, Connecticut
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Charles P. Dundas: 

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA327
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 16, 2017 in North Branford, CT
Aircraft: MOONEY M20C, registration: N53CP
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 16, 2017, at 1300 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20C, N53CP, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain near North Branford, Connecticut. The airline transport pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane, and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Robertson Field Airport (4B8), Plainville, Connecticut, and was destined for Francis S Gabreski Airport (FOK), Westhampton Beach, New York.

Earlier on the day of the accident about 1000, the pilot/owner flew from FOK north to 4B8, where he planned to pick up his passenger for a subsequent flight back to FOK. The route of flight was about 60 miles. The pilot and passenger had been flying together for over 10 years and had flown the route many times.

At 1109, the airplane was fueled with 15.8 gallons of 100 low-lead aviation gasoline; 9 gallons in the right wing tank and 6.8 gallons in the left wing tank. After he topped-off both fuel tanks per the pilot's request, the fueler witnessed the pilot sample the fuel in the airplane's fuel system, before he departed with his passenger about 1230.

Several witnesses near the accident site stated that they did not see the airplane or hear any engine sounds, but they heard what sounded like a "crash" in the trees. One witness described it as the sound of "gravel being dumped out of a dump truck." Several homeowners searched for the source of the sound and found the airplane wreckage about 1 hour after hearing the impact.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multiengine land. He held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and airplane single-engine sea. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for instrument airplane. In addition, he held a mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, the pilot reported a flight experience of 31,300 total hours as of his last medical exam, dated October 16, 2006.

According to FAA airworthiness records, the airplane was issued a standard airworthiness certificate on September 4, 1964. The airplane was a low wing, four-seat, monoplane of conventional metal construction. It was equipped with retractable landing gear, and was powered by an air cooled, Lycoming IO-360, 180-horsepower engine, driving a Hartzell 3-blade constant-speed propeller.

At 1353, the weather conditions reported at Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut, which was located at 12.5 ft elevation, 9 miles southwest of the accident site, included variable wind at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken clouds at 1,400 ft, temperature 24°C, dew point 19°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane first struck 75-ft-tall pine trees in a steep descending attitude before coming to rest up against trees in a nose-down position on its right side. The wreckage path was 170 ft-long and oriented on a north-northeast magnetic heading of 021°. The right wing separated from the fuselage at the wing root during impact, and was the first piece of wreckage discovered at the start of the debris path. The outboard 3 feet of the left wing was found 75 ft north of the right wing and was wrapped around a tree. The remaining fuselage, cockpit, left wing and tail assembly remained intact. The landing gear were in the extended position and the landing gear selector was in the down detent. The wing flaps were in the retracted position.

The right fuel tank was breached during the accident and evidence of fuel was found on the trees and vegetation near the initial impact point. The left fuel tank contained approximately 7.5 gallons of fuel. Visual examination through the firewall indicated that the fuel selector in was in the left fuel tank position.

The engine remained attached to the mounts and remained largely intact. All cylinders remained attached to the crankcase and there were no broken fuel lines or oil lines discovered at the scene. The engine oil was measured using the dip stick and it was at the full indication

The three-blade constant-speed propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange and was largely intact. There was no evidence of rotational scoring and two of the blades were not damaged. One of the blades was bent aft about 30° and the propeller spinner was crushed on one side.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

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

 Aaron McCarter
 National Transportation Safety Board

The pilot who died in the Saturday afternoon plane crash that killed race-car driver Ted Christopher en route to a competition at Riverhead Raceway was a Long Islander who had a longtime friendship with the driver, a Connecticut police spokesman said Monday.

North Branford police Lt. James Lovelace identified the pilot as Charles Patrick Dundas, 81, of Hauppauge. He said Dundas had flown Christopher many times before.

“From what I’ve been told he was a very well-experienced pilot who had a long friendship with the driver,” Lovelace said.

Dundas was a veteran pilot who held ratings for commercial multi-engine aircraft, including the DC-9, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 and other heavy aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Investigators believe the two were headed from Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, where Christopher, 59, lived, to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, but the destination airport has not yet been confirmed, Lovelace said.

The Mooney M20C aircraft owned and piloted by Dundas was hangered at Gabreski, which is not far from where Christopher was scheduled to compete in a modified division race Saturday night, Lovelace said.

Officials at Riverhead Raceway paid tribute to Christopher Saturday night, including a ceremonial lap by the orange No. 82 modified car in which he was scheduled to compete.

The FAA said the single-engine plane crashed into a wooded area on the North Branford-Guilford border near New Haven early Saturday afternoon. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the cause of the crash, said the right wing was sheared off on impact.

The NTSB investigator, Aaron McCarter, said in a televised statement from the scene that a preliminary report was expected in seven to 10 days and that a more definitive incident report would likely be issued in 12-18 months. The NTSB, citing the ongoing investigation, would not cite an area of focus Monday.

Christopher was a widely known modified division race driver in the Northeast who had 109 division wins at Stafford Speedway in Connecticut, where he also was a nine-time division champ. He had another 99 wins at Thompson Speedway and 47 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Original article can be found here ➤

A legend of short-track racing, Ted Christopher of Plainville, Connecticut,  was killed in a plane crash Saturday in Connecticut while en route to Riverhead Raceway where he was scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race, according to NASCAR. He was 59.

Fans and drivers paid tribute to Mr. Christopher prior to Saturday’s racing in Riverhead. The public address announcer Bob Finan described Mr. Christopher as a throwback racer, someone who always found a way to get to a race, whether it be by plane or boat.


A Suffolk County man has been identified as the second person killed in a Connecticut plane crash that claimed the life of a NASCAR champion.

Police said Sunday that 81-year-old Charles Patrick Dundas, of Manorville, was killed along with modified champion racer Ted Christopher in woods near North Branford.

Federal officials say the plane had left Plainville's Robertson Airport headed for Long Island on Saturday.

Dundas, who also lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., and Christopher were the only two aboard the Mooney M20-C plane when it crashed.

Christopher, 59, was to have competed Saturday night at Long Island's Riverhead Raceway.

NASCAR authorities had said Christopher was a passenger, but North Branford police wouldn't confirm that detail Sunday or say if Dundas was the pilot.

However, Federal Aviation Administration records show that Dundas was a certificated pilot based out of Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach.

Police found no evidence of fire or an explosion accompanying the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

Two people, including Ted Christopher, one of the winningest race car drivers at Connecticut tracks over the past decades, died when a small plane crashed Saturday afternoon in a wooded area near the North Branford-Guilford border.

Police confirmed that the crash killed the pilot and passenger, but as of Saturday night were not releasing their names. Christopher’s family confirmed that he was one of the victims. He was 59.

The crash happened a little before 2 p.m. in the woods of North Branford just behind a small Guilford neighborhood.

"We heard a noise, it almost sounded like a dump truck opening the back and gravel falling out," said Carrie Carignan, who lives a few doors away from where the plane went down near West Street and Taylor Lane.

Carignan and her fiancé hiked into the woods a little later, and about 40 minutes afterward came across the wreckage, she said.

“The plane is literally straight up and down. They were saying maybe it hit a tree and literally went straight down — it was just horrific,” Carignan said. “The nose is down and the wings and everything are just spread out through the woods. I really didn’t want to look at it too much.”

A neighbor who accompanied the couple back into the woods to try to help, and who did not want to be named, said that one victim had been thrown out of the cockpit, and that there were pieces of the plane scattered on the ground.

The plane, a Mooney M20C, a propeller-driven aircraft, crashed at 1:53, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate the incident.

“The plane is down in a heavily wooded area. The FAA has started its investigation; the NTSB will be here later tonight,” police Lt. James Lovelace said.

Police could not say where the plane was coming from or going to, and Lovelace said it was too early to discuss a cause. There was no sign of fire or explosion, he said.

Christopher was known as one of the leading and most diverse short-track drivers in America over the past two-plus decades. He was also known for a confident bravado and unique swagger like few others in the local short track racing scene. In the ranks of New England Modified racing he was most commonly referred to by two monikers, either simply “TC” or “The King.”

Christopher was the all-time winningest driver at both Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway. He was also a longtime regular competitor at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

At Stafford Motor Speedway, he competed weekly in the track’s premier division, the SK Modifieds. He had a division-leading six victories this year, with his last win coming on Sept. 8. He finished fourth in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

He had 109 career SK Modified victories at Stafford Speedway and nine championships in the division. Overall, he had 131 victories at the track overall since 1986. His next closet competitor on the all-time wins list at the track was Woody Pitkat with 77 victories.

At Thompson Speedway he had won one of two SK Modified features at the track in the last event there on Sept. 10. It was his 99th victory overall at the facility.

At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl he had 47 career victories.

He was the third winningest driver of all-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with 42 career victories in 372 starts dating back to the 1987 season.

Christopher long had a reputation for racing anything anytime — from local Midgets divisions, to SuperModifieds, to indoor events in Three-Quarter Midgets to competing twice at the top level of Sports Car racing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

He had made six career starts in NASCAR’s top-level Monster Energy Cup Series and had 21 career starts in NASCAR’s second level Xfinity Series. In NASCAR’s regional K&N Pro Series East he had 10 career victories in 92 starts from 1990 to 2008.

“We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft’s pilot," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a statement Saturday night. "As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR’s roots. He was a tough racer’s racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country. He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Original article can be found here ➤

GUILFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – NASCAR driver Ted Christopher was killed Saturday in a small plane crash in Connecticut.

The Mooney M20C aircraft crashed in a wooded area near Guilford shortly before 2 p.m., according to the FAA.

Authorities said two people were on board the plane at the time. The second person’s name has not been released.

“We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft’s pilot,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.

“As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR’s roots. He was a tough racer’s racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country,” France continued. “He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

Christopher was scheduled to compete Saturday in a race in Connecticut.

“All of us at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park are saddened to learn of Ted Christopher’s passing. Last Sunday, he recorded his 99th victory on our oval. He will be remembered as one of the greatest Modified drivers of all time,” Thompson Speedway Motorsports said in a statement. “May Ted rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Christopher family, and all those impacted by this tragic loss.”

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

NORTH BRANFORD, CT (WFSB) -  The racing community is mourning the loss of a veteran modified NASCAR driver, Ted Christopher, they said was one of the victims in a plane crash.

Police said the 2 people on board a Mooney M20C aircraft were killed when it crashed in North Branford on Saturday. 

Crews responded to a plane crash with injuries on West Street that happened around 1:53 p.m. on Saturday. Police said they do not yet know where the plane took off, or to where it was headed. Police did not release the names, but Eyewitness News learned through several sources the identification of one of the victims.

"It was really strange," described neighbor Carrie Carignan. "It almost sounded like a dump truck opening the back and gravel falling out."

Carignan and her fiancee told Eyewitness News they assumed the noise was a tree falling in the woods, but it wasn't until an hour later, when she said her husband made the gruesome discovery while on a hike. 

"All of a sudden, he called me frantic, you got to call 911, you got to call 911," said Carignan "There's been a plane crash and I'm like 'Oh my God.'"

The FAA is investigating the crash.

News of the crash spread quickly to the racing community when it was learned that veteran NASCAR Whelen Modified driver, 59-year-old Ted "Teddy" Christopher was one of the victims killed in the crash.

Before a race tonight at Waterford Speedbowl, General Manager, George Whitney said racers followed Christopher's #13 car as it was driven around the track twice in remembrance of the driver killed in the crash this afternoon. Whitney said Christopher often raced at speed ways in Waterford and Thompson. 

NASCAR CEO Brian France made a statement of the driver's passing. 

"We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft's pilot. As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR's roots. He was a tough racer's racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country. He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Guilford Police and Fire, and North Branford units are also responded. The remains of the plane will be removed in the coming days. 

Original article can be found here ➤

NORTH BRANFORD >> NASCAR officials say modified championship racer Ted Christopher was one of two people killed when a small plane crashed in Connecticut.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirms that two people were aboard a Mooney M20C plane that went down in the woods near the North Branford-Guilford border shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday. They didn’t release names.

NASCAR says Christopher and the plane’s pilot died.

Jeff Mulready, who lives nearby, was out for a walk behind his house when he found the plane. He and his fiance, Carrie Carigman, immediately called 911.

When they heard the noise, they had no idea it was a crash, Mulready said.

Carigman said she saw two men in their 50s or 60s in the small plane. One man had crashed through the windshield, she said.

The 59-year-old Christopher captured 13 track championships and competed at every level of NASCAR during his career. In 2006, he was selected as one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.

Racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Saturday night that Christopher “was a legend.”

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

Original article can be found here ➤

GUILFORD — A plane crashed near West Street in Guilford, along the North Branford line, according to police.

The call came in shortly before 3 p.m. A witness said she and her fiancé heard a loud noise and thought a tree fell when they made the horrific discovery.

“They just described it to me and I came on scene later and then the responding officers and they heard a loud noise,” said Lt. James Lovelace of the North Branford Police Department.

“It almost sounded like a dump truck like opening the back and gravel falling out,” said Carrie Carignan of Guilford.

Carignan said she and her fiancé discovered the crash an hour after it happened. She also said if it was not for them walking into the field to see what happened, no one would have known about the incident.

“There was like two people dead inside the plane. It was so much all at once,” added Carignan.

North Branford Police confirmed two men have died in the crash. Their names have not been released yet, but Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park confirmed that once of the victims was local racing legend Ted Christopher.

In a Facebook post from the Speedway, they said Ted was “one of the greatest modified drivers of all time.”

Connecticut State Police assisted the Guilford Police Department at the scene of the crash. The North Branford Fire Department appeared on scene just before 6 p.m. The FAA and NTSB are also on the scene and will be for several hours.

“You can see the plane is literally like straight up and down. I don’t know. They were saying maybe it hit a tree and it just literally went straight down,” added Carignan.

North Branford Police have not released details on where the plane was coming from and where it was headed. They said the NTSB is expected to do another press conference Sunday morning to answer more questions.

Original article can be found here ➤