Sunday, September 10, 2017

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA526
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 10, 2017 in Coolin, ID
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N5703A

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

Aircraft on takeoff, flipped over.

Date: 10-SEP-17
Time: 21:47:00Z
Regis#: N5703A
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C172
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
State: IDAHO

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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

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
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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:

Vallee Development Corp: 

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, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

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.

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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 ➤

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  ➤

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
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)

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 ➤

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, 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 ➤

Kitfox 4-1200, N51TM: Accident occurred August 20, 2016 at Canandaigua Airport (D38), Ontario County, New York

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:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

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.

Aero Commander S2R, N5599X, registered to and operated by Lakeview Aviation Inc: Accident occurred August 05, 2016 in Valley City, Barnes County, North Dakota

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Registered Owner: Lakeview Aviation Inc
Operator: Lakeview Aviation Inc

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA314 
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2016 in Valley City, ND
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER S2R, registration: N5599X
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 5, 2016, about 1450 central daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R airplane, N5599X, made a forced landing to a swampy field following a total loss of engine power. The commercial pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by Lakeview Aviation Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed from a private grass strip at an unknown time.

The pilot reported that prior to the departure the airplane was loaded with 300 gallons of water and spray solution and an undetermined amount of fuel. After departure, the pilot flew 5 miles south of the private strip and proceeded to spray a 130 acre field. When the spray solution was depleted, the pilot flew back toward the private strip and noticed the fuel quantity indicators showed 1/4 remaining in the right tank and 1/8 remaining in the left tank. About 1.5 miles southeast of the private strip and about 400 ft above ground level the engine "sputtered" and experienced a loss of power. He made a forced landing to a field and the airplane nosed over when it entered a swampy area. The pilot noted that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

According to the pilot's statement, the person who fueled the airplane stated that before the fueling process began, the fuel indicators were reading ½ full in the right tank and ¼ full in the left tank. The fueler only added fuel to the left tank, but he could not remember the exact amount added and assumed the fuel system would equalize the amount both tanks. The pilot stated the capacity of each fuel tank is 53 gallons and if the fueler only added fuel to the left tank then he couldn't have added more than 40 gallons. The pilot did not visually check the fuel tanks before departure for the flight that reportedly lasted over an hour. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the engine and found no presence of fuel in the fuel lines to the engine. The fuel filler caps were removed and no fuel was present. The propeller blades did not sustain any leading edge damage or chordwise scratches. The inspector noted that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA314
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2016 in Valley City, ND
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER S2R, registration: N5599X
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 5, 2016, about 1500 central daylight time, an Aero Commander S2R airplane, N5599X, made a forced landing to a wet field following a total loss of engine power. The pilot sustained minor injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to an operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. 

The pilot reported that he was completing an aerial application run and was returning to his home base when he noticed the fuel quantity indicators showing 1/4 on one side and 1/8 on the other side. About 450 ft above ground level (agl) the engine "sputtered" and then experienced a total loss of power. He made a forced landing into a field and the airplane nosed over when it entered a swampy area. The airplane came to rest inverted and the pilot pushed out the windscreen in order to exit. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the engine and found no presence of fuel in the fuel lines to the engine. The propeller blades did not sustain any leading edge damage or chordwise scratches. The fuel filler caps were removed and no fuel was noted.

Socata TBM700N (TBM900), N900KN: Fatal accident occurred September 05, 2014 in Caribbean Sea

Larry and Jane Glazer

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration; Washington, District of Columbia
Federal Aviation Administration; Miami, Florida
Bureau d'EnquĂȘtes et d'Analyses; Toulouse, France

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


 Larry Glazer

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA424
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 05, 2014 in Caribbean Sea, Unknown
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N900KN
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 5, 2014, about 1410 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Daher-Socata TBM700 (marketed as a TBM900 model), N900KN, was destroyed when it impacted open water in the Caribbean Sea near the northeast coast of Jamaica. The commercial pilot and the passenger were fatally injured. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the cross-county flight that originated from Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, New York, at 0826 and was destined for Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

The pilot used a fixed based operator (FBO) at ROC, his home airport, to hangar the airplane. On the day of the accident, FBO personnel towed the airplane to the ramp in advance of the pilot's arrival. The pilot arrived at the airport before the passenger, who was his wife, and briefly spoke with two of the FBO employees, who described his demeanor as relaxed. Once his wife arrived, they loaded their bags and then boarded the airplane. An FBO employee pulled the chocks and marshalled the airplane off the FBO ramp. 

Surveillance video retrieved from the ROC airport showed that the airplane departed at 0826. According to recorded Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) information, a controller instructed the pilot to climb to 9,000 ft mean sea level (msl) and fly direct to a waypoint on the pilot's flight plan. Several minutes later, the controller instructed the pilot to climb to Flight Level (FL) 280, and the pilot complied. The flight proceeded without incident for about 45 minutes. 

About 0912, ATC lost communications with the airplane for a few minutes. The airplane was operating in Cleveland Center's airspace at FL280 when the pilot was instructed to contact the controller of the next sector; however, he did not acknowledge the handoff or attempt to contact the handoff controller on the provided frequency. The controllers made multiple attempts to contact the pilot, but the pilot did not respond until about 4 minutes 30 seconds after the controller's initial handoff instruction. The pilot reported to the controller that "ah something happened I don't know what happened to you but we're back." The controller subsequently issued a new frequency, which the pilot acknowledged. 

About 0917, the passenger contacted the new sector as previously instructed. The sector controller instructed the flight to contact Washington Center and provided a new frequency. The passenger acknowledged the instruction and checked in with the controller at Washington Center. All further radio communications from the airplane were made by the pilot. 

At 1003:11, the pilot checked in with an Atlanta Center controller as instructed and confirmed that the flight was level at FL280. About 1 minute later, the pilot radioed "nine hundred kilo november we need to descend ah down to about one eight zero we ah have an indication that's not correct in the plane." The controller cleared the flight to FL250, and the pilot acknowledged, "two five zero and we need to get lower nine hundred kilo november." The controller asked whether the pilot was declaring an emergency, and at 1004:50, the pilot replied, "ah not yet but we'll let you know;" radar data indicated that the airplane had started to descend from FL280 and was at FL277 when this transmission occurred. The controller instructed the flight to turn left 30°, and at 1005:02, the pilot acknowledged, "thirty left nine hundred kilo November." The pilot's speech during this period did not display any anomalies.

About 1005, the controller contacted another ATC facility to coordinate the airplane's clearance to a lower altitude. Although the pilot had not declared an emergency and had not specified the nature of his problem, the second facility agreed to redirect another airplane after the controller reported that the pilot had "a pressurization issue." By 1006, the controller had coordinated efforts to descend the airplane to FL200 and then to FL180. 

At 1006:35, while the airplane was at FL250, the controller cleared the flight to descend and maintain FL200. After receiving no acknowledgement, the controller repeated his instruction at 1006:43, and the pilot quickly acknowledged, "two zero zero nine hundred kilo november." A continuation of the carrier signal on the audio recording indicated that the airplane transmit switch remained keyed (activated) for about 4 seconds after the pilot concluded his statement. Radar data showed that the airplane remained at FL250 instead of descending as cleared by ATC and acknowledged by the pilot.

At 1007:17, the controller cleared the flight direct to the Taylor VOR. No verbal response from the flight occurred, but the audio recording contained about 2 seconds of carrier signal, indicating that the airplane's radio transmit switch was keyed. The controller repeated his clearance, and at 1007:36, the pilot immediately responded, "direct taylor nine hundred kilo november." Radar data shows the airplane did not alter its course toward the Taylor VOR. 

At 1008:10, the controller asked the flight to confirm that it had received the descent clearance to FL200. At 1008:15, the pilot replied, "two zero zero kilo November." Review of the audio recording indicated that the pilot's voice was faint during this transmission.

At 1008:40, the controller stated, "November zero kilo November descend and maintain flight level two zero zero and you are cleared direct taylor." The pilot responded immediately with, "direct kilo November nine hundred kilo November." Review of the audio recording indicated that the faintness in the pilot's voice associated with the previous call was gone. Subsequently, the controller made numerous attempts to contact the pilot, but no further radio transmissions (either verbal or carrier signal) from the flight were received. 

About 1039, two Air National Guard (ANG) F-16s from McEntire Joint National Guard Base (MMT), Eastover, South Carolina, were vectored to intercept N900KN about 40 miles southeast of MMT. Minutes later, the F-16s intercepted the airplane on a 165° magnetic heading at FL250 and 175 knots indicated airspeed. One of the ANG pilots made several radio calls to the accident airplane but did not receive a response. The F-16s completed a visual inspection of the airplane, which did not reveal any visible damage to the airplane or an accumulation of ice; however, there was a small line of condensation noted along the bottom of the right cockpit window. The engine was running, and the anti-collision lights were operating normally. According to a statement from one of the ANG pilots, he observed two occupants in the cockpit. The left seat was occupied by a male seated with his back straight, while the right seat occupant's torso and head were slouched against the fuselage aft of the right cockpit window. The ANG pilot also observed headsets on both occupants and noted that the left seat occupant's boom mic was pointed straight up. About 1 hour 20 minutes after the airplane was first intercepted, the left seat occupant's head slumped forward, which enabled the ANG pilots to see his chest rising and falling. Neither occupant was wearing an oxygen mask. 

Two F-15s from Homestead Air Reserve Base (HST), Homestead, Florida, relieved the F-16s about 70 miles east of Daytona Beach, Florida about 1 hour after the initial intercept. According to one of the F-15 pilots, the airplane maintained the same heading, airspeed, and altitude as noted by the F-16 intercept from MMT. According to one of the F-15 pilot's statement, he did not observe any signs of smoke or fluids coming from the engine, which continued to function normally. The exterior lights and instrument panel were illuminated; however, the distance between the airplanes prevented the intercept pilots from reading the indications on the glass panel display. According to one of the F-15 pilots, the intercept group disengaged from the airplane before the flight reached Cuba. 

The intercept from HST captured several digital camera photographs of the airplane that were forwarded to the NTSB. Review of the photographs confirmed that neither occupant was wearing an oxygen mask. Magnification of the photographs showed that the bottom corners of the emergency exit door on the right side of the cabin appeared to be recessed into the fuselage frame. A postaccident demonstration by the manufacturer revealed that the airplane's emergency exit door protruded out from the fuselage frame when the airplane was pressurized. 

According to a review of FAA radar data, about 1409, the airplane entered a high rate of descent from FL250. The last radar target was recorded over open water about 10,000 ft msl, about 20 nautical miles north of Port Antonio, Jamaica. 

Search aircraft and watercraft from the Jamaican Defense Authority and the United States Coast Guard observed an oil slick and small pieces of debris scattered over 1/4 mile near the last radar target. The airplane was subsequently located by an autonomous underwater vehicle and recovered by a salvage effort about 4 months after the accident.



The pilot, age 68, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on August 6, 2013, with the limitation "must wear glasses for distant [vision], [and] have glasses for near vision." A pilot data information sheet provided by SIMCOM Aviation Training showed that, at the time of his most recent training, which took place 1 week before the accident, the pilot reported a total of 7,100 flight hours with 240 hours within the preceding 12 months. The pilot's personal logbook(s) were not located after the accident. According to a friend of the pilot, the pilot had a high altitude endorsement, but he may not have received any training experience in an altitude chamber.

Before he purchased the accident airplane, the pilot had owned two other Daher-Socata TBM700 airplanes, a TBM700 "A" model (N51HT) and a TBM850 "Legacy" model (N51LG). According to a service center, the pilot purchased the A model in 1994 and accumulated about 2,700 flight hours in the airplane. He subsequently purchased the TBM850 model without a G1000 avionics suite, which he flew for about 1,250 hours before buying the accident airplane in April 2014. 

The pilot's insurance policy authorized only the pilot and one other person to act as pilot in command of the accident airplane. Maintenance records indicated that the airplane was flown about 52 hours between the time the pilot purchased it and June 20, 2014. Data retrieved from a public flight tracking service showed that the airplane had accumulated about 50 additional flight hours between June 20, 2014, and the date of the accident. A cross-check of the flight tracking service's data with the FBO's departure/arrival log validated each flight with the exception of two arrivals. Thus, the maintenance records and flight tracking service data indicated that the airplane had been flown about 102 hours since the pilot acquired it.

The pilot completed a 5-day training course on the TBM900 at SIMCOM Aviation Training Center, Orlando, Florida on August 29, 2014, to satisfy an insurance policy requirement. According to a representative of SIMCOM, the course duration would have been about 8 hours per day for the first 3 days and about 6 hours per day for the remaining 2 days. The representative stated that the course's ground training addressed the technical aspects of the TBM900's airframe, engine, and avionics and included a review of the environmental system. The course's simulator training included environmental system inspections, failures, the controls for smoke or fume elimination, and emergency descent procedures. Proper oxygen mask donning procedures were also demonstrated and discussed. The pilot's instructor at SIMCOM stated that he instructs students to don their oxygen masks before troubleshooting any pressurization problems. The instructor further stated that he likely spent 45 minutes on pressurization system training in the classroom and another 45 minutes in the simulator. The airplane manufacturer reported that, at the time of the accident, SIMCOM had the only simulator that could present crew alerting system (CAS) messages related to the TBM900 pressurization system.

The pilot attended the course with a friend who was the other named pilot on the airplane's insurance policy, frequently accompanied him during personal flights, and commonly shared crewmember duties. According to the friend, who attended the first 3 days of the 5-day course, the pilot used a Garmin G1000 simulator program on his personal computer to familiarize himself with the system in advance of the SIMCOM course as this was his first airplane with a full glass cockpit display. 

The pilot and his friend completed numerous flights together, including twelve flights in the accident airplane. He stated that the pilot was "religious" about adjusting the cabin altitude in flight; in the TBM850, the pilot would normally enter a climb and adjust cabin altitude simultaneously. During flights in the TBM900, he observed the pilot monitor cabin altitude by placing his finger on the multi-function display to verify cabin altitude during each instrument scan. 

According to the pilot's friend, the pilot completed an "external walk around" inspection of the airplane before each flight. During inspections, the pilot's friend observed him physically open the door to the oxygen bottle and verify that the oxygen cylinder's valve was on. The pilot further used a gauge in the cockpit to confirm the flow of oxygen after he turned the cockpit oxygen switch on and tested the oxygen masks. 

Family and friends indicated that the pilot was in excellent health. He was an occasional cigar smoker, took one medication for cholesterol, rarely consumed alcohol, and exercised regularly. The family did not report any unusual behaviors with the pilot or his wife in the 72 hours before the accident. A friend of the pilot stated that the pilot appeared to be in "excellent health and spirits" when he met with him the day before the accident.

Pilot-Rated Passenger

The pilot-rated passenger, age 68, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. She reported a total flight experience of 410 hours on her latest third-class medical certificate application, dated July 1, 1992. The pilot-rated passenger's personal logbook(s) were not located after the accident.


According to FAA records, the Daher-Socata TBM900 model, serial number 1003, was manufactured in 2014 and powered by a single Pratt and Whitney PT6A-66D turbo-prop engine. A standard airworthiness certificate was issued on March 6, 2014, and the airplane was subsequently registered to the pilot on April 8, 2014. 

In March 2014, the factory-new airplane was delivered from the manufacturer's facility in France to an airplane sales and service company in Connecticut with a total of 37.6 flight hours. The service center completed several flights in the airplane before the pilot took possession of it in April 2014, at a total time of 44.3 flight hours. The first in-service inspection prescribed by the manufacturer was performed on June 20, 2014, at which time, the airplane and engine had accrued an additional 52 flight hours.

Airplane Fuel Performance 

A report furnished by the FBO indicated that the airplane was last serviced with 177 gallons of fuel on August 29, 2014. According to the manufacturer's performance calculations, the airplane would have consumed about 23 gallons of fuel in 20 minutes during its climb to cruise altitude (FL280). After reaching FL280, the airplane then flew for about 5 hours 25 minutes. Based on the manufacturer's computation, this corresponds to a mean fuel flow of about 49 gallons per hour, which is consistent with normal cruise flight fuel performance.

Bleed Air and Cabin Pressurization System 

The pilot's operating handbook (POH) states that the global air system is composed of three main subsystems: the engine bleed air system, the environmental control system, and the cabin pressure control system. These three subsystems are managed by a single-channel digital global air system controller (GASC) that receives the information from the sensors in the subsystems and from the cockpit displays and controls and issues the proper commands to the subsystem actuators and indication or warning elements. Specifically, the GASC controls the cabin pressure by modulating the amount of air dispelled from the cabin through the outflow valve. According to the POH, when the BLEED switch is set to AUTO, a ground fan cools down engine bleed air through the main heat exchanger, and the outflow valve (OFV) remains in the full open position until takeoff. After departure, the airplane's GASC controls the aperture of the OFV to reach its computed cabin altitude and rate of change. 

Cabin Pressurization Control Panel

The airplane's maintenance manual shows that, once pressurized bleed air passes ports from the engine case, the BLEED switch enables GASC control of the opening of the flow control shut-off valve (FCSOV) and other components. When the BLEED switch is set to AUTO, the pilot controls cabin pressure by the PRES MODE (pressurization mode) switch through one of two modes, AUTO and MAX DIFF. In AUTO mode, the cabin altitude will remain below 10,000 ft msl, and the cabin differential pressure will not exceed 6.2 psi. In MAX DIFF mode, the system will maintain a cabin pressure of 0 ft when the airplane's altitude is below 13,500 ft msl. When the airplane climbs above 13,500 ft msl, the cabin altitude will not exceed 10,000 ft msl or a differential pressure of 6.0 psi. The system can be reset or turned off by setting the BLEED switch to OFF/RST (off/reset). A blocking device between the AUTO and OFF/RST positions prevents the pilot from inadvertently turning the switch to the OFF/RST position.

According to the normal procedures section of the POH, the pilot sets the BLEED switch to the OFF/RST position before starting the engine. After engine start, the pilot sets the BLEED switch to AUTO once the ammeter display is less than 100 amperes. The pilot also sets the A/C and PRES MODE switches to AUTO and adjusts the cabin temperature as necessary. After the adjustments have been made, the checklist does not call for the pilot to check the pressurization system until cruise altitude is reached. 

Engine Bleed Air System 

Bleed air is supplied to the pressurization system by the engine bleed air system, which is comprised of two engine bleed air ports: the P2.5 port, a lower pressure port, and the P3 port, a higher pressure port. A non-return valve (NRV) is fitted at the outlet of the P2.5 port, and an intermediate pressure port sensor (IPPS) is housed between the engine P2.5 port and the NRV. The P3 port contains a solenoid-activated shutoff valve (SOV) installed at the outlet of the P3 port. The SOV is normally sprung-closed and requires the solenoid to open. An overheat thermal switch (OTSW) is fitted beyond the junction of the P2.5 NRV and P3 SOV and before the bleed air reaches the FCSOV. 

The GASC electronic module is designed to maintain a cabin altitude of less than 10,000 ft msl regardless of the pressurization mode setting. For most operations, the P2.5 bleed air supply is sufficient to pressurize the cabin until the airplane reaches a cruise flight altitude where it can operate with a reduced throttle setting. Should the air pressure measured by the IPPS decrease below 9.5 psig, the GASC programming laws will then automatically command the SOV to the open position, thus allowing higher pressure bleed air flow from the P3 line into the pressurization system. The increase in pressure from the P3 line will close the NRV, which isolates the P2.5 port. The GASC will command the SOV to the closed position once the P2.5 pressure returns to a value above 14.5 psig, which resumes the supply of bleed air from the P2.5 port to the pressurization system. 

OTSW Design and Function

The OTSW is a stainless steel tube with a 3-pin threaded connector at one end and a switch module at the opposing end, which contains a bimetallic disc that controls the position of an open-closed electric switch. The switch is threaded into a pneumatic bleed tube upstream of the FCSOV, so that the flow of air from the P2.5 or P3 ports will pass the OTSW. The switch module is flush with the inner wall of the tube. As the module heats to 315° C +/- 5° C, the bimetallic disc will change from a concave to a convex shape. A pin is pushed by the disc during the shape transition to move the contacts to the open position. As the switch cools to 295° C +/- 5° C, the disc is designed to revert to its concave shape, thereby closing the contacts.

Pressurization System Overheat Protection

A function of the GASC programming is to protect the cabin in the event of a bleed air overheat or engine fire. According to the pressurization system manufacturer, when the OTSW detects a temperature of 315° C, the contacts will open, which removes the electrical power that holds the spring-loaded SOV open. This causes the SOV in the P3 tube to close so that the P2.5 port becomes the primary source of bleed air for the cabin. 

The GASC indirectly determines if the OTSW contacts are open or closed by measuring voltage in a parallel circuit. When the GASC detects an open OTSW state, a BLEED_OVHT fault code is recorded in the GASC non-volatile memory (NVM), accompanied by the activation of a 30-second timer. Should the temperature drop below 295° C within 30 seconds, the OTSW will close, and the SOV will be re-energized, which returns the system to P3 mode. 

If the OTSW contact state is still detected as open after the 30 seconds have elapsed, BLEED TEMP and BLEED OFF indications will be annunciated on the CAS, and the GASC will close the FCSOV, which discontinues the flow of bleed air into the cabin. This prompts an illumination of the cockpit master caution warning annunciator light and an aural alarm. In addition, the GASC will record a BLEED_TEMP fault code in the GASC NVM.

Loss of Engine Bleed Air Input to Cabin

Reduced engine bleed air supply to the environmental control system will cause a decrease in cabin pressure that will then cause the GASC to command the OFV to close. Without a bleed air supply to maintain selected cabin pressure, the cabin altitude will continue to increase until it equalizes with the ambient altitude. The rate of cabin depressurization depends upon the difference between the cabin and atmospheric pressures and upon the cabin leakage rate. Cabin leakage is normal and unavoidable, but the rate is limited to a maximum value specified in the airplane maintenance manual. A PC_COMP_OOR fault code will be recorded in the GASC NVM when the cabin pressure is detected to be out of range (below -3,550 ft or above 15,960 ft msl).

Leak Rate Chart

The airplane manufacturer developed and published "leak rate charts" to determine the overall pressure integrity of the airplane, both during manufacture and in service operation. The airplane was equipped with an additional door located on the left side of the cockpit referenced by the airplane manufacturer as a "pilot door." The manufacturer published two separate cabin leak rate charts: one for airplanes equipped with a pilot door and one for those without a pilot door. Each chart contains a line plotted as differential pressure versus time. The line represents the threshold (minimum allowable) time for the cabin pressure to decrease from one differential pressure value to another; that time is inversely proportional to the cabin leak rate. Thus, bleed-down times faster than those defined by the line indicate unacceptably high cabin leak rates, which must be corrected to render the airplane airworthy. 

Review of the chart for airplanes equipped with a pilot door indicated that, at 28,000 ft, once pressurized air ceased to be supplied, the cabin pressure would bleed down to the ambient atmospheric pressure in about 4 minutes. The chart presumes that the cabin integrity is in compliance with the manufacturer's standards and that the OFV closes completely once pressurized air ceases to be supplied. 

Emergency Oxygen System

The airplane's emergency oxygen system is intended to provide oxygen to the flight crew and passengers in the event of a loss of cabin pressurization. Oxygen is stored under high pressure in a single cylinder mounted outside the airplane's pressure vessel and inside the right wing root fairing. The cylinder holds the equivalent of 50.3 cubic ft of oxygen at sea level pressure. 

The flight crew emergency oxygen system is comprised of two oxygen masks with smoke goggles and is manually controlled by a normally-closed OXYGEN switch-operated valve that must be turned ON in order for the system to supply oxygen to the masks. The BEFORE STARTING ENGINE procedure contains a step that calls for the pilot to turn the OXYGEN switch to the ON position. As long as the valve mounted on the physical oxygen cylinder is opened during the relevant PREFLIGHT INSPECTION procedure and the OXYGEN switch is in the ON position, both flight crewmembers will receive oxygen as they breathe if their oxygen masks have been donned.

The flight crew masks are secured in stowage cups located behind the cockpit seats, and each mask is equipped with a microphone, a three-position selector, and a button labeled PRESS TO TEST. To don a cockpit oxygen mask, the occupant must reach behind the opposite seat, remove the mask from its stowage cup, depress two vanes on the mask to inflate the harness, and then place it over their nose and mouth. The remaining oxygen quantity is transmitted by an electrical analog signal output and displayed to the flight crew on the Garmin GDU 1500 multi-function display (MFD). Once the mask is in use, the occupant can enable the mask microphone through the MICRO/MASK switch, which is normally set to MICRO via a switch guard. 

The normal checklists in the POH specified the following numbered steps regarding the emergency oxygen system:


13 - Rear R.H. karman [wing root fairing]

• Oxygen cylinder – Open

• Oxygen quantity – Checked

14 - Oxygen pressure – Checked


10 – MICRO/MASK micro inverter - MICRO

42 – Pilot's OXYGEN switch – ON

43 – Front oxygen masks – Checked

Press push button "PRESS TO TEST": the blinker shall turn red momentarily, then turns transparent. 


4 – Oxygen supply – Available for the planned flight (see tables of paragraph "IN-FLIGHT AVAILABLE OXYGEN QUANTITY" in Chapter 4.4 and Chapter 7.10 for a FAR 135 type operation)

Oxygen Cylinder Maintenance

According to the airplane's maintenance records, a hydrostatic test was last performed in January 2013, and the airplane's oxygen cylinder was last refilled on March 28, 2014. An entry in the airplane logbook showed that the oxygen cylinder was last checked for security, corrosion, distortion, and attachment during the airplane's first inspection in June 2014. A representative of the airplane's service center stated that, at the first inspection, they would have added oxygen and recorded the work in the airplane's logbook if the service quantity was below full. 

Emergency Procedures 

According to the POH, the Emergency Descent procedures are as follows:


1 – Throttle – Flight IDLE

2 – OXYGEN – USE if necessary

3 – DESCENT - from - 10° to - 20°

Procedure in smooth air

6 - Speed 266 KIAS

Procedure in rough air or in case of structure problem

10 – Maintain IAS = kts

The POH also includes an Emergency Descent procedure for a Maximum Range Descent using the following procedures:


1 – Throttle – CUT OFF

2 – Flaps – UP

3 – Landing gear control – UP

4 – SPEED IAS - 120 KIAS

5 – Oxygen – USE if necessary (Check oxygen duration before reaching 12,000 ft and check flow to passengers)

In the event of an anomaly, the avionics system will present warning messages in two different areas of the instrument panel; the CAS box in the MFD and lights labeled as "Master Caution" (red colored) and "Master Warning" (amber colored) located in the upper left corner of the panel between the left seat occupant's primary flight display and the glareshield. When a message appears in the CAS annunciator box, it is accompanied by the illumination of the master light that coincides with the colored CAS message and an aural tone to capture the pilot's attention. A red CAS message will be accompanied by a flashing red "Master Caution" indicator, which requires immediate action from the pilot. An amber CAS message will be accompanied by a fixed amber "Master Caution" indicator, which requires pilot action as soon as practical. The pilot must depress the corresponding red or amber light to terminate the warning tone. 

The 656-page POH includes a 96-page emergency procedures section and a separate 98-page normal procedures section. Four separate pressurization system procedures are included in the emergency section, each of which corresponds to a color-coded CAS message. BLEED TEMP, CABIN DIFF PRESS, and CABIN ALTITUDE appear in red-colored text and BLEED OFF appears in amber-colored text. 

A red BLEED TEMP CAS message, accompanied by both master and aural warnings, indicates an overheat of the bleed air system, which can lead to a termination of bleed air into the cabin and an amber warning and a BLEED OFF CAS message, also accompanied by both a master caution and aural warning. In the event of a "BLEED TEMP" indication, the pilot is instructed to do the following:

1 – If possible – REDUCE POWER

2 – HOT AIR FLOW distributor – turn to the right

3 – CONTROL selector – COCKPIT

4 – TEMP/°C selector – MINI

5 – BLEED switch – OFF/RST

6 – As soon as warning BLEED TEMP off, set BLEED switch to AUTO

When the BLEED OFF amber CAS message indication appears, the pilot is instructed to:

1 – CHECK BLEED switch position and – CORRECT

2 – If possible, reduce power


3 – BLEED switch – OFF/RST (Reset)

4 – BLEED switch – AUTO

5 – If warning BLEED OFF displayed:

6 – Limit flight altitude to maintain cabin altitude < 10,000 feet

7 – If necessary (no oxygen available) – EMERGENCY DESCENT

8 – Continue flight

A red CABIN ALTITUDE CAS message accompanied by a master and aural warning will appear when the cabin altitude exceeds 10,000 ft ± 500 ft. The POH instructs the pilot to complete the following procedure in the event of this indication:

1 – Pressurization indicator – CHECK

If cabin altitude is greater than 10,000 feet ± 500 feet:

2 – OXYGEN – USE, if necessary


3 – BLEED switch – CHECK AUTO



6 – Limit flight altitude to maintain cabin altitude < 10,000 feet

7 – If necessary – EMERGENCY DESCENT

A CABIN DIFF PRESS message will appear if the cabin pressure differential is over 6.4 psi ± 0.2 psi. The POH instructs the pilot to complete the following procedure in the event of this indication:

1 – Pressurization indicator – CHECK

If pressure change is greater than 6.4 PSI ± 0.2 PSI:

2 – BLEED switch – OFF/RST

3 – Oxygen – Use, if necessary


According to an NTSB weather study, the winds aloft at the airplane's cruising altitudes of FL280 and FL250 were from about 270° at 15 knots and 140° at 4 knots, respectively. The study found that the flight encountered some convective activity along the South Carolina coast, about 30 minutes after the pilot's final transmission to ATC. 


According to radar data, the airplane impacted the water at more than 300 knots and separated into small fragments. The wreckage was located by an underwater search vehicle, which revealed a 984-foot-long debris field, at a depth of about 10,000 ft. The debris field included the engine and several sections of the fuselage. Fuselage and engine components of the wreckage were recovered about 4 months after the accident and transported to Panama City, Florida, where NTSB and airplane manufacturer personnel identified and sorted the recovered components. 

Among the components recovered by the investigative team were the FCSOV, the GASC, the SOV, and the Garmin G1000 primary flight display and its SD flash memory card. These items were packaged in sealed containers with distilled water to hinder corrosion before all of the recovered wreckage was transported to a secure facility in Maryland for further examination.


A forensic examination was performed on the recovered occupant remains by the District Fourteen Medical Examiner, Panama City, Florida. The forensic report confirmed the identity of the occupants through an osteological examination. 

According to a laboratory technician at the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, a hypoxia clinical study could not be completed due to a lack of physical specimens.


Sound Spectrum Study

An NTSB sound spectrum study showed that the pilot's microphone release time following each statement increased significantly about 2 minutes 30 seconds after he initially reported the "abnormal" indication to ATC. Further, a spectrograph of the radioed call sign revealed that the pilot began slurring his speech about 3 minutes after his initial report of the problem to ATC. 

Non-Piloted Airplane Behavior

According to the airplane manufacturer, once the engine shuts down due to fuel starvation, the airplane will decelerate and increase its angle of attack as the autopilot continues to attempt to maintain altitude until the airplane stalls and the autopilot disengages. 

OFV Examination

The OFV modulates the discharge airflow to control the cabin pressure and is controlled by the GASC through a torque motor. During ground operations, the OFV is normally in the full open position. When the airplane is airborne, the GASC controls the aperture of the OFV to reach the target cabin altitude at an optimized control rate. The OFV and safety valve (SFV) are equipped with overpressure and negative relief safety valves that are controlled by independent pneumatic modules that override the GASC control; these are intended to prevent excessive differential pressure values. The pressurization system manufacturer stated that the OFV and SFV are designed to close within 1 second in response to a cessation of bleed airflow into the cabin. The OFV will remain closed unless negative differential pressure is encountered during a descent. 

The accident airplane's OFV was recovered from the ocean; it remained attached to the aft pressure bulkhead and was not damaged by impact. Saltwater immersion damage and accumulated organic ocean material prevented testing of the torque motor. Scars at the contact interface indicated that the valve was shut at impact. 

SFV Examination

According to the manufacturer's reference materials, the SFV ensures negative pressure relief and prevents cabin overpressure. The SFV is designed to open when the cabin altitude is greater than the outside pressure.

The accident airplane's SFV was recovered from the ocean; it remained attached to the aft pressure bulkhead, but the valve body was fractured at each of the six aluminum braces, and the center body was broken. The valve body could not be manipulated by hand due to damage and accumulated oceanic material, which precluded testing the unit in the manufacturer's air chamber. Multiple functional tests of the subcomponents were completed at the pressurization system manufacturer's facility, including leak tests of the manometric chamber overpressure relief valve, servo chamber, and cabin pressure valve. The SFV tests did not reveal any anomalies, and the component examination indicated that the valve was open about 13 mm at the time of impact. 

GASC NVM Data and Garmin G1000 primary flight display SD Flash Memory Card

According to the pressurization system manufacturer, the GASC NVM stores fault codes in its memory, which are overwritten after each take-off. The fault codes are recorded in the sequence in which they occur without time stamps.

Both the recovered GASC unit and primary flight display SD card were submitted to the NTSB Recorders laboratory for possible data download. The SD card was successfully read but did not contain any accident-related data. 

The GASC was severely damaged by impact forces. The internal NVM data was extracted using laboratory hardware and software provided by the manufacturer of the pressurization system. The data showed multiple CAS message fault codes that were generated by the GASC during the flight, in the following sequence: ECS_HEATING FAULT, BLEED_TEMP, BLEED_OVHT, and PC_COMP_OOR. 

FCSOV Examination

Examination of the recovered FCSOV revealed that the unit was in the closed position and sealed by oceanic deposits. The valve was subsequently disassembled at the pressurization system manufacturer's facility in Toulouse, France. Further examination of the unit's witness marks and actuator components confirmed that it was in a closed position at impact. 

BLEED and PRES MODE Switch Examinations

The recovered BLEED and PRES MODE switches were both found in the AUTO position. The locking gate of each switch displayed an imprint on its AUTO position, and the OFF/RST side of each switch did not display any deformation or imprints, consistent with the switches being in the AUTO position at impact. 

OTSW Examination

The OTSW was recovered from the wreckage and subsequently tested at the manufacturer's facility in Redmond, Washington. After an electrical resistance test, the switch was inserted into a mounting rack alongside an exemplar switch and placed in a static oven that was slowly heated to 336° C. The exemplar unit's contacts opened after 2 minutes 47 seconds. At 3 minutes 25 seconds, the switch burst open with a loud noise and sufficient force to bend the mounting rack, which precluded further testing as the welded area of the switch had split open. Disassembly revealed that the switch had been filled with sea water, which had turned to steam and pressurized the switch until it burst. The dielectric and insulation tests were not performed as a result of this damage.

The top of the switch module was covered in a black residue typical of corrosion and exhibited extensive surface pitting. The larger pits were near the wire terminals and proximal to different types of metal. A microscope examination revealed no evidence of heat or molten globules, but confirmed the presence of flaking, consistent with salt water corrosion. The switch module was subsequently tested inside the static oven after the wires were intentionally separated from the welds at the switch module terminals. Similar to the previous test, the unit was slowly heated until the switch contacts opened, which occurred at 326.8° C. The switch is designed to open at 315° +/- 5°C and close at 295°C +/- 5°C. 

Disassembly of the switch module revealed the presence of brown deposits and extensive rust on the interior surfaces of the module wall that were the result of long-term saltwater immersion. The sleeve that held the bimetallic thermal disc in place was rusted over. A subsequent examination of the switch contacts at the manufacturer's facility showed evidence of electrical wear and material transfer pitting on the contact surfaces. An evaluation was completed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Materials Integrity Branch. The AFRL reported that the wear and pitting were consistent with arc erosion. The evaluation also stated that the damage was typical for a used switch and not considered excessive. 

Examination of OTSWs from Other Airplanes

According to records supplied by the airplane manufacturer, at least 18 OTSWs had been replaced between 2008 and October 2015, including 3 that were replaced after the accident. At least 12 of the records included statements from pilots or mechanics that the cabin had depressurized in flight. 

The three OTSWs that were replaced after this accident were examined and tested at the switch manufacturer's facility. The examinations revealed small amounts of contact wear, which was consistent with having been in service. Two of the three switches passed functional testing, and it was later determined that the third switch had been improperly field tested. The contacts of this unit were not burned, welded, or otherwise abnormal.

The OTSW manufacturer provided contacts from two test switches that had accumulated 100,000 resistive load cycles. The wear area of the contacts from one of the test switches exhibited a wider area of material transfer between the contacts and a pit depth similar to the accident switch contacts. For additional details, please refer to the Systems Group Chairman Factual Report in the NTSB public docket. 

Oxygen Switch Examination

The airplane's oxygen cylinder and flight crew masks were not recovered. An examination of the cockpit OXYGEN switch revealed that it was in the OFF position, which would have prevented the flow of oxygen to the oxygen masks. A subsequent microscopic inspection of the toggle switch base did not show any indication that the switch was in a different position at impact. 


The FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (Section 8-1-2) states that "the effects of hypoxia are usually quite difficult to recognize, especially when they occur gradually."

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 61-107B (Aircraft Operations at Altitudes Above 25,000 Feet Mean Sea Level or Mach Numbers Greater Than .75) states that altitude hypoxia is caused by "an insufficient partial pressure of oxygen in the inhaled air resulting from reduced oxygen pressure in the atmosphere at altitude. Altitude hypoxia poses the greatest potential physiological hazard to a flightcrew member when at altitude. Supplemental oxygen will combat hypoxic hypoxia within seconds. Check your oxygen systems periodically to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen and that the system is functioning properly. Perform this check frequently with increasing altitude. If supplemental oxygen is not available, initiate an emergency descent to an altitude below 10,000 ft MSL."

AC 61-107B includes the following warning concerning altitude hypoxia:

"If hypoxia is suspected, immediately don oxygen mask and breathe 100 percent oxygen slowly. Descend to a safe altitude. If supplemental oxygen is not available, initiate an emergency descent to an altitude below 10,000 ft MSL. If symptoms persist, land as soon as possible." 

AC 61-107B also describes the concept of "time of useful consciousness" (TUC) or "effective performance time" (EPT) as follows:

"This is the period of time from interruption of the oxygen supply, or exposure to an oxygen-poor environment, to the time when an individual is no longer capable of taking proper corrective and protective action. The faster the rate of ascent, the worse the impairment and the faster it happens. TUC also decreases with increasing altitude. Figure 2-3, Times of Useful Consciousness versus Altitude, shows the trend in TUC as a function of altitude. However, slow decompression is as dangerous as or more dangerous than a rapid decompression. By its nature, a rapid decompression commands attention. In contrast, a slow decompression may go unnoticed and the resultant hypoxia may be unrecognized by the pilot."

AC61-107B includes the following warning concerning TUC:

"The TUC does not mean the onset of unconsciousness. Impaired performance may be immediate. Prompt use of 100 percent oxygen is critical."

Figure 2-3 in AC 61-107B indicates that the TUC/EPT for a slow decompression at 28,000 ft is 2.5 to 3 minutes, and at 25,000 ft it is 3 to 5 minutes. The table notes that "the times provided are averages only and based on an individual at rest. Physical activity at altitude, fatigue, self-imposed stress, and individual variation will make the times vary." 

According to The Principles of Clinical Medicine for Space Flight, the "EPT tables were designed with data largely derived from young healthy military aviators seated at rest in altitude chambers." The accident pilot was typical of a more mature population of business owners and non-professional pilots that are required to hold a high altitude endorsement to act as pilot-in-command of an airplane that has a service ceiling or maximum operating altitude above 25,000 ft msl as prescribed by 14 CFR Part 61.31(g)(1). The regulation does not require the endorsement candidate to experience a simulated sudden depressurization in an altitude chamber. 


Airplane Manufacturer Service Bulletin SB70-226 

About 14 months after the accident, in November 2015, the airplane manufacturer issued a service bulletin to address the reports of BLEED OFF CAS messages and the associated shutdowns of the airplane's pressurization system. The service bulletin implements a GASC software revision to maximize bleed availability through a wiring adjustment that causes the FCSOV to remain open and continue the flow of bleed air into the cabin after the OTSW contact state is detected as OPEN. The service bulletin results in the cabin losing heat without depressurizing, and the pilot will continue to receive the visual CAS warning message and aural warning alarm. 

POH Revision

Following the accident, the airplane manufacturer revised some of the emergency checklists in the POH for the TBM930 model (the model of the TBM700 currently in production) to make "Use Oxygen Mask" the first checklist item in the "relevant emergency procedures." The manufacturer plans, in 2017, to make similar revisions to the checklists in the operating handbooks of prior models.

Glazer v. Socata by David Andreatta on Scribd

Transcript of N900KN conversations with air traffic control before the pilot lost consciousness

Pilot: TBM 900KN flight level 280

ATC: November 900KN Atlanta…

Pilot: 900KN we need to descend down to about [flight level] 180, we have an indication … not correct in the plane.

ATC: 900KN descend and maintain 250.

Pilot: 250 we need to get lower 900KN.

ATC: Working on that.

Pilot: Have to get down. And reserve fuel… limit a return… thirty-three left… have to get down.

ATC: Thirty left 900KN

Pilot: 00900KN (holds transmit button)

ATC: N0KN you’re cleared direct to Taylor.

ATC: 0KN, cleared direct to Taylor.

Pilot: Direct Taylor, 900KN.

ATC: Copy that you got descent (slope?) 200…

Pilot: (mumbling)

ATC: Descent and maintain flight level 200, and you are cleared direct Taylor.

Pilot: KN900KN (sounds confused)

ATC: Understand me, descend and maintain flight level 200, flight level 200, for N900KN

ATC: TBM, TBM 0KN, descend and maintain flight level 200

ATC: 0KN, if you hear this, transmit and ident.

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta center, how do you read?

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center… AC5685, keep trying N900KN

AC5685: TBM900KN, this is AC5685, how do you read? (Military aircraft?)

ATC: N900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you read?

AC5685: TBM900KN, AC5685, how do you read?

ATC: N900KN, TBM, 900KN, Atlanta Center, how do you hear this…

ATC: N0KN, descent now, descent now to flight level 200.

ATC: N900KN, TBM 900KN, if you hear this transmission, contact … center 127.87

ATC: N0KN, TBM 0KN, contact … center 127.87 if you hear this…

NTSB Identification: ERA14LA424
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 05, 2014 in Open Water, Jamaica
Aircraft: SOCATA TBM 700, registration: N900KN
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 5, 2014, about 1410 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Socata TBM700 (marketed as TBM900), N900KN, impacted open water near the coast of northeast Jamaica. The commercial pilot/owner and his passenger were fatally injured. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the planned flight that originated from Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC), Rochester, New York at 0826 and destined for Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), after departing ROC the pilot climbed to FL280 and leveled off. About 1000 the pilot contacted ATC to report an "indication that is not correct in the plane" and to request a descent to FL180. The controller issued instructions to the pilot to descend to FL250 and subsequently, due to traffic, instructed him to turn 30 degrees to the left and then descend to FL200. During this sequence the pilot became unresponsive. An Air National Guard intercept that consisted of two fighter jets was dispatched from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover, South Carolina and intercepted the airplane at FL250 about 40 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. The fighters were relieved by two fighter jets from Homestead Air Force Base, Homestead, Florida that followed the airplane to Andros Island, Bahamas, and disengaged prior to entering Cuban airspace. The airplane flew through Cuban airspace, eventually began a descent from FL250 and impacted open water northeast of Port Antonio, Jamaica. 

According to a review of preliminary radar data received from the FAA, the airplane entered a high rate of descent from FL250 prior to impacting the water. The last radar target was recorded over open water about 10,000 feet at 18.3547N, -76.44049W. 

The Jamaican Defense Authority and United States Coast Guard conducted a search and rescue operation. Search aircraft observed an oil slick and small pieces of debris scattered over one-quarter mile that were located near the last radar target. Both entities concluded their search on September 7, 2014.