Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Honeywell Hit With Wrongful Death Suit: Aviastar Mandiri, de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300, PK-BRM, fatal accident occurred on October 2015 in Makassar, Indonesia

Law360, Chicago (October 3, 2017, 7:09 PM EDT) -- The heirs of four people killed in a 2015 plane crash in Indonesia sued Honeywell International Inc. in Illinois state court Monday, claiming the accident was caused by defects in the terrain warning system and autopilot feature made by the company.

The lawsuit filed in Cook County circuit court claims Honeywell sold defective terrain awareness warning and autopilot systems to airline Aviastar, which was operating the flight from Masamba, Indonesia, to Makassar, Indonesia, that crashed on Oct. 2, 2015. 

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.law360.com

Elbow Lake Municipal - Pride of the Prairie Airport (Y63) plans for the future



Yesterday morning, Elbow Lake Municipal Airport — Pride of the Prairie Airport — launched a new website. The website details the history of the airport, includes a photo gallery and a 25 year master plan for the airport.

According to Joe LaRue, airport manager, the city of Elbow Lake took on the 25 year master plan to keep the airport eligible for FAA requirements and state funding for local airport needs.

“The master plan puts in a plan for infrastructure, building improvements for the next 25 years along with kind of reestablishing the want list for people in the community,” LaRue said.

An advisory board made of community members and organizations helped layout the details of this plan and what they would like to see at the airport.

“The Community Advisory Board is put together from all aspects of the community to put in their input and help the airport be what everyone envisions to see,” LaRue said.

In addition to the advisory board, the Business Prairie Air management group, FAA, MnDOT and Bollig Engineering are helping Elbow Lake Municipal Airport through the processes of the plan. LaRue said the planning process takes about two years and they are not quite half way through.

Sue Kulbeik, the executive director of Elbow Lake Area Chamber of Commerce was asked to help create and launch the airport website. She said that part of the reason for the new website was to provide the master plan information to the public, for them to make comments and understand what changes they may see at the Elbow Lake airport.

Three public forums also took place to inform the public of the airport master plan and one more will be planned closer to the holidays.

“This is a constantly changing and organic plan as final decisions are made and new policies come down from the FAA,” Kulbeik said.

LaRue said there are various aspects of the 25 year master plan split into chapters.

“There are chapters that introduce the airport history, where the airport has been and where we are at now and a small bit of where we are looking to go,” LaRue said.

The master plan also includes a basic inventory of airport conditions, aviation demands and forecasts of what they estimate the airport will need in the future.

Currently, LaRue said the airport is focusing on facility requirements, reviewing what MnDOT and FAA and the local government want out of the facility. This includes features such as analyzing runway length, analyzing a parallel taxiway, power requirements, fencing, how a new seaplane base interacts with zoning or expansion of the airport’s ramp.

As for the concerns of the advisory board, LaRue said they want to see an overall continuance of involvement in making the airport accessible and user friendly to the public. This could mean appropriate signage depicted to make easy location of the airport.

Of all the possible changes at the airport, LaRue is most excited to see an expansion of the accessibility for the seaplane base and the ramp.

“This will help with the flow of traffic at the airport,” LaRue said. “We have grown over the last 10 years and when airplanes are moving around on the ground it gets congested.”

According to LaRue, the public will not see any changes at the airport until three or five years down the road.

“The city only has so much funding and budget each year and the planning process is an expensive process,” LaRue said.

Once the planning is done toward the next year, then LaRue said plans to move ahead and get projects done will be underway.

To access the master plan and get more information on the Elbow Lake Municipal Airport, go to prideoftheprairieairport.com

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

Colorado Supreme Court denies hearing Quiet Skies' Vance Brand Airport (KLMO) noise lawsuit



The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday denied Citizens for Quiet Skies' request for the high court to review the Colorado Court of Appeals' decision in favor of local airport business Mile-Hi Skydiving.

Citizens for Quiet Skies and members of the group sued Mile-Hi Skydiving and the company's owner, Frank Casares, in October 2013. The plaintiffs alleged that Mile-Hi planes corkscrew over some homes in Boulder County with loud planes in order to gain altitude, causing a nuisance.

Casares' attorneys argued that he was following Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for where he can operate his planes and abiding by Longmont regulations in regards to airport noise.

In May 2015, Boulder District Court Judge Judith LaBuda sided with Mile-Hi Skydiving and Casares, awarding him with more than $120,000 in damages and attorney's fees.

In July 2015, the plaintiffs took the case to the Colorado Court of Appeals, and Citizens For Quiet Skies founder Kimberly Gibbs said the awards to Casares were "very vindictive and unreasonable."

The Court of Appeals also sided with Casares and Mile-Hi Skydiving in December 2016, prompting Gibbs and the plaintiffs to take the case to the Colorado Supreme Court in March. 

The Colorado Supreme Court justices didn't issue an opinion, but denied the plaintiffs' request that they review the case.

Casares' attorney, Anthony Leffert, said the Colorado Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case reaffirms what he and his client have said all along — Mile-Hi Skydiving isn't breaking any laws.

"Federal regulatory and state law are all really consistent here. The city of Longmont does regulate Mile-Hi Skydiving. They do have sound limits on operations and Mile-Hi are well within that sound limit," Leffert said. "This case that was brought by the Citizens for Quiet Skies and Kim Gibbs was always contrary to the law and ignored what the law was and created new claims to get around it."

Gibbs said she and the other plaintiffs saw going to the Colorado Supreme Court as part of their commitment to see the lawsuit through to a conclusion. She said she wanted to thank the other plaintiffs — her husband, Timothy Lim, Suzanne Webel, Richard Dauer and John and Carla Behrens.

"I do want to make it really clear how grateful I am to the other plaintiffs and to all of our supporters — (who number) in the hundreds — who made a financial contribution to this effort," Gibbs said. "The plaintiffs in particular were very brave for standing up for what we believe on an important local issue."

She said the high court defeat was disappointing and that she still disagrees with both the Boulder District Court and Colorado Court of Appeals decisions in the case.

"In summary, what this District Court decision and the higher court decision really means is that this carnival ride operating over our home with no regulation and routinely violating the local noise ordinance was not a nuisance," Gibbs said.

She said that Citizens for Quiet Skies will continue lobbying elected representatives on the federal level to change national aviation law to give communities more local control over general aviation airports such as Vance Brand Municipal Airport.

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

Piper J-3C, N48694: Accident occurred October 03, 2017 at Yakima Air Terminal / McAllister Field (KYKM), Yakima County, Washington

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N48694

Location:  Yakima, WA
Accident Number: GAA18CA001
Date & Time: 10/03/2017, 1030 PDT
Registration: N48694
Aircraft: PIPER J3C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

Analysis

The flight instructor of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that the purpose of the flight was to demonstrate a short-field takeoff to an observing student.

During the takeoff roll, about rotation speed, the left wing unexpectedly dropped and impacted the ground. Subsequently, the airplane ground looped and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the empennage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight instructor's failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll. 

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)


The flight instructor of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that the purpose of the flight was to demonstrate a short field takeoff to an observing student.

During the takeoff roll, about rotation speed, the left wing unexpectedly dropped and impacted the ground. Subsequently the airplane ground looped and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the empennage.

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

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 84, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s):  Balloon; Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  10/29/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 3500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  BasicMed Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/25/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/02/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N48694
Model/Series: J3C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 10377
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/08/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1220 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3037.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C-85-12F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KYKM, 1066 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 285°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1030 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: YAKIMA AIR TERMINAL/MCALLISTER (YKM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1098 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7604 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  46.566667, -120.535833 (est) Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N48694

Location:  Yakima, WA
Accident Number: GAA18CA001
Date & Time: 10/03/2017, 1030 PDT
Registration: N48694
Aircraft: PIPER J3C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The flight instructor of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that the purpose of the flight was to demonstrate a short field takeoff to an observing student.

During the takeoff roll, about rotation speed, the left wing unexpectedly dropped and impacted the ground. Subsequently the airplane ground looped and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the empennage.

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

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 84, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s):  Balloon; Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  10/29/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 3500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  BasicMed Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/25/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/02/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N48694
Model/Series: J3C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 10377
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/08/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1220 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3037.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C-85-12F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KYKM, 1066 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 285°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1030 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: YAKIMA AIR TERMINAL/MCALLISTER (YKM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1098 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7604 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  46.566667, -120.535833 (est)

YAKIMA, Wash. — No one was injured when a small, two-seat plane went off the runway Tuesday morning at the Yakima Air Terminal.

The plane somehow deviated and exited the runway during its takeoff around 11 a.m., but the two people on board are OK, said airport manager Rob Peterson.

The plane sustained minimal damage, but operations at the airport were quickly reopened when the National Transportation Safety Board allowed officials to move the plane from the spot where it went off the runway, Peterson said.

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

Zenair CH 601 XL SLSA Zodiac, N4218, registered to and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred December 09, 2016 in Marengo, McHenry County, Illinois -and- Incident occurred March 08, 2016 at Bolingbrook's Clow International Airport (1C5), Will County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4218


Location:  Marengo, IL
Accident Number: CEN17FA053
Date & Time: 12/09/2016, 1819 CST
Registration: N4218
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC CH601XL SLSA
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis

The light sport pilot decided to conduct a night cross-country flight in his light sport airplane even though he was not current to act as pilot-in-command at night. Radar data depicted the airplane departing after sunset and proceeding along the intended route of flight. The last radar contact was at 3,500 ft above mean sea level (msl), about 2,600 ft above ground level, about 0.5 mile from the accident site. There were no witnesses to the accident, and the wreckage was located the following morning in a plowed field along the intended route of flight about 12.6 nautical miles from the departure airport.

The impact damage to the airframe was consistent with the airplane impacting the terrain while inverted. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction.

The pilot's sport pilot certificate did not authorize him to fly at night. In conjunction with his private pilot training, he had an expired 90-day endorsement for night flight that was dated about 14 months before the accident. It is possible that the pilot became spatially disoriented and lost control of the airplane; however, given that the pilot had been flying at night and that there were no mechanical anomalies identified during the investigation, the reason for the loss of control could not be determined. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of control in flight for reasons that could not be determined because no anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were identified during the investigation.

Findings

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Unknown or undetermined

On December 9, 2016, about 1819 central standard time, an Aircraft Manufacturing and Design, LLC, Zodiac CH601XL SLSA, light sport airplane, N4218, impacted terrain following a loss of control in Marengo, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1812, with an intended destination of the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois.

The pilot planned to fly from C7 to 06C, a distance of about 38 nautical miles, to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapter holiday party. The pilot did not arrive at the party. The wreckage was discovered about 0730 the following morning.

There were no communications between air traffic control and the pilot. The airport surveillance radar (ASR) located at the Rockford International Airport, Rockford, Illinois, showed the airplane departing C77 and proceeding on a course toward 06C. The airplane climbed to an altitude of 3,700 ft above mean sea level (msl). The last radar return showed the airplane at an altitude of 3,500 ft msl about 0.5 miles northwest of the accident site.

The airplane came to rest in a plowed cornfield. The site was 12.6 miles southeast of C77 along the direct route between C77 and 06C. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/27/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/21/2016
Flight Time:  274 hours (Total, all aircraft), 274 hours (Total, this make and model), 189 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a sport pilot certificate that was issued on November 30, 2012. The pilot's logbook contained entries from July 22, 2008 through November 26, 2016. The pilot had logged total flight time of 274 hours, all of which was in the accident airplane. Of these hours, 189 hours were logged as pilot-in-command and 9.5 hours as night flight time. The pilot's last logged 0.5 hours of night flight on November 14, 2016. The pilot's logbook contained a night flight endorsement dated October 1, 2015. The pilot's last flight review was completed on October 21, 2016.

The pilot had been taking flight instruction toward his private pilot certificate. He had passed the private pilot written knowledge examination on September 15, 2016.

Title 14 CFR section 61.315 states that the holder of a sport pilot certificate may not act as pilot in command of a light sport aircraft at night.

Title 14 CFR 61.87 (o)(3) states that a student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight at night unless that student pilot has received "an endorsement in the student's logbook for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown by an authorized instructor who gave the training within the 90-day period preceding the date of the flight." 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC
Registration: N4218
Model/Series: CH601XL SLSA
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: 601-068S
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/02/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 263.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

The pilot purchased the light sport airplane from the factory when it was manufactured in 2008. Maintenance logbook records showed that the airplane's wings were modified in June 2010 in accordance with the manufacturer's safety alert dated November 7, 2009.

The maintenance logbooks showed that the last annual inspection was performed on September 2, 2016, at an airplane total time of 263.8 hours. The last entry in the logbook was a battery replacement on November 9, 2016, at an airplane total time of 280.3 hours.

The pilot's wife was the passenger during the last flight logged in the pilot's logbook, which occurred about 2 weeks before the accident. She stated that she was not aware of any anomalies with the airplane at that time.

The airplane was fueled with 12 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel on December 6, 2016. It is unknown if the airplane was flown between the time it was fueled and the accident flight. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: RFD, 742 ft msl
Observation Time: 1754 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 265°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 18000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: -7°C / -12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:  4 knots, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  30.53 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Poplar Grove, IL (C77)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Schaumburg, IL (06C)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  1812 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Official sunset on the night of the accident was at 1622. The moon was 46° above the horizon at the time of the accident. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.225556, -88.627500 

The airplane came to rest inverted on a magnetic heading of 15°. The wings and tail were folded up and over the cockpit and engine. There was an impact crater under the engine, which was partially buried in the frozen ground. Most of the wreckage was located at the main impact location. The left main landing gear was located about 190 ft southeast of the main wreckage; a piece of the lower right-wing skin was located about 100 ft southeast of the main wreckage; and a leather satchel belonging to the pilot was located about 500 ft south of the main wreckage.

A postaccident examination was conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, with the assistance of a representative of the engine manufacturer. The examination did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. The observed damage to the airframe was consistent with the airplane impacting the terrain while inverted. A detailed summary of the examination is included in the docket associated with the investigation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot was performed at the McHenry County Coroner's Office, Woodstock, Illinois, on December 12, 2016. The pilot's death was attributed to multiple injuries sustained in the accident.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. The testing was negative for drugs in the testing profile except that atorvastatin which was detected in the liver. Atorvastatin, commonly known as Lipitor, is used to treat elevated cholesterol and is generally considered to be non-impairing.

Tests And Research

A Garmin GPSMAP, a Dynon EFIS-D100 electronic flight instrument system and a Dynon EMS-D120 engine monitoring system were recovered from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington DC, for examination and download.

Both the Garmin GPSMAP and the associated SD card sustained impact damage. The non-volatile memory (NVM) chip that stores track history was cracked. The chip was repaired; however, data could not be retrieved. The SD Card was cracked and the NVM component was missing.

The Dynon EFIS-D100 sustained significant impact damage. The NVM chip was intact. Minor pin damage was repaired, and the chip was successfully downloaded. However, historical data was not found on the chip because either the logging function was turned off or, the firmware version did not support data logging.


The Dynon EMS-D120 sustained significant impact damage. The NVM chip was repaired and about 16 recorded historical sessions were downloaded. There was no recorded geographical data that matched either C77 or the accident site, indicating that data from the accident flight was not recorded.

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA053
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 09, 2016 in Marengo, IL
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC CH601XL SLSA, registration: N4218
Injuries: 1 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 December 9, 2016, about 1819, an Aircraft Mfg & Design LLC, CH601XL SLSA, N4218, impacted the terrain following a loss of control in Marengo, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1812, with an intended destination of the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois.

The pilot reportedly planned to fly to 06C to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) holiday party. There were no witnesses to the accident. The wreckage was discovered the following morning.

There was no communication between air traffic control and the pilot. The time of departure and the time of the accident are based on preliminary air traffic control radar data.

The airplane came to rest in a plowed cornfield on the corner of Meyers and Pleasant Grove Roads. The site was 12.6 miles southeast of C77 along the route between C77 and 06C. The majority of the wreckage was located at the main impact location. The left main landing gear was located about 190 ft southeast of main wreckage, a piece of the lower right wing skin was about 100 ft southeast of the main wreckage, and a small satchel type bag was located about 500 ft south of the main wreckage.




Rob Sherman — well-known in the Chicago area as an atheist activist who ran for Congress this year — has been identified as pilot of a small plane who died when it crashed into a field in rural Marengo over the weekend.

The wreckage of the single-engine plane was discovered off Meyer Road in Marengo by a passer-by at about 7:30 Saturday morning, and the single victim was pronounced dead at the scene less than a half hour later.

Sherman was due Friday evening to attend a holiday party at the Schaumburg airport for a local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association but never arrived, said John Tatro, past president of the group.

An FAA representative has said the plane was a Zenair Zodiac CH-601 XL.

The National Transportation Safety Board examined the wreckage at the crash site Saturday, said spokesman Keith Holloway. Because of poor weather the aircraft was taken to a nearby hangar for further examination.

As of Monday morning, authorities were still seeking to determine what caused the crash and when it occurred. The NTSB expects a preliminary report by next week.

Sherman, 63 and a longtime resident of the northwest suburbs, ran for Congress for the Green Party in Illinois' 5th District this year and was known for legal challenges in defense of separation of church and state.

The plane that crashed — a fixed-wing, light sport aircraft of a type the National Transportation Safety Board once sought to ground amid safety concerns — is sold both ready-to-fly and in kits for home builders. Authorities earlier said Sherman's plane was home-built but on Monday afternoon an NTSB spokesman said the aircraft apparently was manufactured.

Between 2006 and April 2009, there were six instances, four in the United States and two in Europe, in which a Zodiac CH-601 XL broke apart in midair, killing a total of 10 people, according to NTSB news releases from 2009.

The rash of fatal incidents led the NTSB to issue an "urgent safety recommendation" to the Federal Aviation Administration, asking the agency to ground the style of plane until the flight control issue was resolved. The FAA determined that it lacked "adequate justification to take immediate certificate action to ground the entire fleet," according to the NTSB.

Seven months later, after another Zodiac CH-601 XL broke apart in flight, killing the pilot, the FAA issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin strongly recommending that all owners and operators of Zodiac CH-601XL and CH-650 aircraft comply with a safety directive from the manufacturer.

The directive involved making structural modifications to the airplane and adding counter-balances. The NTBS had suspected aerodynamic flutter, a phenomena in which the airplane's control can vibrate and result in structural failure, in all of the accidents.

Manufactured planes that didn't get the safety fix were effectively prohibited from flight; the manufacturer of kit-built planes asked owners to make the same modification but it was not required, according to the NTSB.

Several friends and associates have attested to Sherman's enthusiasm for aviation.

At Poplar Grove Airport, about 17 miles from where the plane went down, Sherman operated a "builder assist center," called Rob Sherman Airplanes, where he offered use of his builder facilities and tools to those interested in building Zenith Aircraft Co. kits in exchange for a "modest fee," according to his website.

According to records, neighbors and associates, Sherman and his family had recently moved from Buffalo Grove to an airport community at Poplar Grove, where many of the homes have their own hangars with taxiways that lead to the airport's runways.

Sherman was active on the Experimental Aircraft Association's board and with its Young Eagles program at both Schaumburg airport and Chicago Executive Airport on the Prospect Heights-Wheeling border. As part of the program, he has offered youth free introductory rides in his plane.

"He was certainly passionate about aviation," Tatro said. "He loved flying, and he wanted to share it."

For decades, though, Sherman was better known as an activist and politician seeking to maintain the separation of church and state through numerous legal challenges against school districts, libraries and other state institutions.

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, Inc., said the movement has lost an asset, and the country has lost a fighter for good. Sherman was a past state director and board member of the group.

"I've known Rob for all my 20 years as an activist. He was a proud fighter for religious freedom and the separation of church and state. He was a great activist and a great person," Silverman said in an email. "I've flown with him in that very plane when he gave me a tour of Chicago. He loved that plane and loved flying it."

Sherman, who jokingly declared himself Illinois' most prominent atheist, was on the Nov. 8 ballot as a Green Party candidate for the 5th Congressional District. Though he lost the race, trailing the Democratic incumbent and the Republican challenger, Sherman's most recent campaign was his best.

He won 60 percent of the Green Party votes in the primary. Previously he tried to secure a nomination for several public offices including local library board, village clerk and twice for state representative.

Sherman ran on a platform appealing to secular voters, vowing to eliminate the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance and remove "In God We Trust" from U.S. currency. In a photo on his website, in an example of his often witty approach to issues, Sherman is pictured next to Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and is wearing an airbrushed T-shirt with his likeness on a penny inscribed "In Rob We Trust."

George Milkowski, 50th Ward Committeeman for the Illinois Green Party, said Sherman will be remembered as an "intensely passionate person who was not afraid" to speak his mind. Sherman, who once described himself as "175 pounds of walking, talking disbelief" in a 1993 Chicago Tribune interview, was regarded as "famous or infamous" depending on people's viewpoints, Milkowski said.

"I think a lot of people felt his belief, or I should say lack of belief, really pushed him forward," Milkowski said.

The office supply dealer turned atheist advocate sparked controversy in 1987 when he challenged the city of Zion over its seal that contained Christian symbols of a cross, dove and crown and a banner reading "God Reigns." Sherman assisted Clint Harris, a Zion resident and fellow atheist, with the litigation, which later involved Rolling Meadows as well.

His exploits and bumper-sticker candor earned him appearances on numerous talk shows including "The Oprah Winfrey Show"

In 1992, the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which allowed the lower court ruling to stand, and the towns were ordered to drop the religious symbols. He sued Zion again in 2011 after a city commissioner used the former city seal in a newspaper ad.

Sherman's children were no strangers to his advocacy efforts and legal ventures.

In 1997, Sherman's son Richard, who was 15 at the time, sued the Boy Scouts of America for denying him membership because he refused to pledge allegiance to God.

In 2007, Sherman and his daughter Dawn, then a 14-year-old freshman at Buffalo Grove High School, sued Township High School District 214 over the state's new law mandating a moment of "silent prayer or silent reflection" at the start of classes. Two years later, a federal judge overturned the law when he ruled that it amounted to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion intended to bring prayer into public schools.

That victory for the Shermans was short-lived, however. A federal appeals court eventually revived the matter, opining that there is no harm in silence, which could be implemented for a practical purpose in calming students at the start of classes.

Attorney Miriam "Mimi" Cooper, a longtime school board member for Arlington Heights-based District 214, has known Sherman for years as a frequent critic of board policies that he felt violated the separation of church and state.

In addition to Sherman's battles over the moment of silence, his opposition to a blessing at the end of a school choir performance prompted the board to separate the blessing from the school event, Cooper recalled.

Though Sherman was willing to stand up for unpopular causes, Cooper said, his respectful manner made it easier to consider his point of view.

Cooper said Sherman told her that he was born and raised in the Jewish faith, and he knew some Hebrew and could speak some Yiddish.

"He was dedicated to his causes, for sure," Cooper said. "Our politics were certainly not the same, but he was a very interesting man, very charming, very respectful."

According to his website, Sherman also hosted a morning drive talk show on WJJG-1530 AM where topics ranged from politics to religion to pop culture. He chronicled every show on his website.


Read more here:   http://www.chicagotribune.com











A man piloting a plane that crashed in a Marengo farm field has died, authorities said.

Officials believe the only known occupant of the aircraft — the pilot — died shortly after the plane crashed into a cornfield near Meyer Road, just north of Pleasant Grove Road, said Joe Taylor, a Marengo firefighter and paramedic. Officials believe the aircraft is a small, single-engine plane, he said.

A passer-by called 911 at 7:27 a.m. to report seeing the plane crash, at 6105 Meyer Road, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said in an email. The only victim, a man, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:53 a.m., she said.

No scientific identification of the victim has been made at this time,  according to Majewski.

An autopsy will be performed Monday morning at the McHenry County coroner’s office.

A representative of the FAA said the plane is a Zenair CH 601 XL SLSA Zodiac that crashed under unknown circumstances. 

The tail number of the plane, N4218, matches the black block letters and numbers on the side of an orange plane shown in photos on Rob Sherman’s website. On the site, Sherman says he is an airplane pilot and the photo shows him in the plane, with the words Rob Sherman Airplanes written on it.

Sherman is widely known as an atheism advocate and activist and ran as a Green Party candidate earlier this year to represent the 5th Congressional District.

Sherman, who once jokingly described himself as Illinois' most prominent atheist, fought many battles in defense of separation of church and state.

Attempts by the Tribune to reach Sherman were not successful.

Paulette Bodnar lives on a horse farm across from the cornfield where the plane went down. Bodnar, who had been up since 4:30 a.m., did not hear anything unusual Saturday morning.

Then her husband, Stan, came home from doing errands and told her he spotted the flashing lights of several police cars.

When she peeked outside, she was shocked to see the mangled pile of orange metal about 1,200 feet away. The plane didn’t appear to have caught fire.

“It was a shocker to see it there and not have heard it," Bodnar said. “I have three dogs and none of them heard it. There should have been a thump. ... You’d have thought there would have been something."

Bodnar believes the aircraft possibly went down while they were out at a friend’s wedding Friday night.

“It’s horrible."

Source:   http://www.chicagotribune.com






The pilot of a small plane was killed after the home-built aircraft crashed in a corn field near Marengo overnight, authorities said.

The single-engine plane belonged to longtime suburban atheist activist Rob Sherman, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

The pilot's name has not yet been released.

A passer-by called 911 at 7:27 a.m. reporting the plane wreckage in a farm field off Meyer Road, according to the McHenry County Coroner's office.

Marengo firefighters found the single victim, a man, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:53 a.m.

The plane, a Zenair CH 601 XL SLSA Zodiac, crashed under unknown circumstances, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators were planning to take the plane to a secure facility because of forecasts for heavy snow Saturday night, spokesman Keith Holloway said.

The crash occurred either late Friday night or early Saturday morning near Meyer Road, just north of Pleasant Grove Road, said Marengo firefighter-paramedic Joe Taylor.

The McHenry County Coroner's office will perform an autopsy on the pilot Monday morning.


Source: http://www.dailyherald.com



CHICAGO (CBS) — The small plane that crashed in Marengo, killing the pilot, was owned by a well-known political figure from suburban Chicago.

The plane’s owner is Rob Sherman, from Poplar Grove.

He’s been a congressional candidate, national spokesman for the American Atheists and a board member of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Schaumburg, WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.

The plane’s tail number, provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, matches the tail number on Sherman’s Zenair CH 601 XL SLSA Zodiac aircraft.

A source told WBBM that Sherman had been flying last night and never made it to an event at the Schaumburg Airport.

The wreckage, barely resembling an aircraft, was discovered this morning in a corn field in Marengo.

Crews received a call around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, after someone spotted wreckage around Meyer Road just north of Pleasant Grove Road.

The FAA said the pilot was the only person on board. Authorities have not identified Sherman as the pilot yet.

The NTSB says an investigator has done an initial examination of the plane and it was being moved to a secure area indoors and a team would assemble on Monday for further investigation and documentation.

Source:   http://chicago.cbslocal.com

Incident occurred March 08, 2016 in Bolingbrook, Illinois 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA W. Chicago-DuPage (NON Part 121) 

AIRCRAFT ON TAXI, WENT OFF THE RUNWAY INTO A DITCH, BOLINGBROOK, IL.

Date:  09-MAR-16
Time:  04:41:00Z
Regis#:  N4218
Aircraft Make:  ZENITH
Aircraft Model:  CH601
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  None
Flight Phase:  TAXI (TXI)FSDO-03
City:  BOLINGBROOK
State:  Illinois
Robert I. Sherman, age 63, passed away on December 10, 2016. Robert loved flying and was working on obtaining his private pilot license. He was proud of building aircraft and the parts he made for them.



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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Plaines, Illinois 
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4218




Location:  Marengo, IL
Accident Number: CEN17FA053
Date & Time: 12/09/2016, 1819 CST
Registration: N4218
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC CH601XL SLSA
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 9, 2016, about 1819 central standard time, an Aircraft Manufacturing and Design, LLC, Zodiac CH601XL SLSA, light sport airplane, N4218, impacted terrain following a loss of control in Marengo, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1812, with an intended destination of the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois.

The pilot planned to fly from C7 to 06C, a distance of about 38 nautical miles, to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) chapter holiday party. The pilot did not arrive at the party. The wreckage was discovered about 0730 the following morning.

There were no communications between air traffic control and the pilot. The airport surveillance radar (ASR) located at the Rockford International Airport, Rockford, Illinois, showed the airplane departing C77 and proceeding on a course toward 06C. The airplane climbed to an altitude of 3,700 ft above mean sea level (msl). The last radar return showed the airplane at an altitude of 3,500 ft msl about 0.5 miles northwest of the accident site.

The airplane came to rest in a plowed cornfield. The site was 12.6 miles southeast of C77 along the direct route between C77 and 06C. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/27/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/21/2016
Flight Time:  274 hours (Total, all aircraft), 274 hours (Total, this make and model), 189 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a sport pilot certificate that was issued on November 30, 2012. The pilot's logbook contained entries from July 22, 2008 through November 26, 2016. The pilot had logged total flight time of 274 hours, all of which was in the accident airplane. Of these hours, 189 hours were logged as pilot-in-command and 9.5 hours as night flight time. The pilot's last logged 0.5 hours of night flight on November 14, 2016. The pilot's logbook contained a night flight endorsement dated October 1, 2015. The pilot's last flight review was completed on October 21, 2016.

The pilot had been taking flight instruction toward his private pilot certificate. He had passed the private pilot written knowledge examination on September 15, 2016.

Title 14 CFR section 61.315 states that the holder of a sport pilot certificate may not act as pilot in command of a light sport aircraft at night.

Title 14 CFR 61.87 (o)(3) states that a student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight at night unless that student pilot has received "an endorsement in the student's logbook for the specific make and model aircraft to be flown by an authorized instructor who gave the training within the 90-day period preceding the date of the flight." 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC
Registration: N4218
Model/Series: CH601XL SLSA
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: 601-068S
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/02/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 263.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

The pilot purchased the light sport airplane from the factory when it was manufactured in 2008. Maintenance logbook records showed that the airplane's wings were modified in June 2010 in accordance with the manufacturer's safety alert dated November 7, 2009.

The maintenance logbooks showed that the last annual inspection was performed on September 2, 2016, at an airplane total time of 263.8 hours. The last entry in the logbook was a battery replacement on November 9, 2016, at an airplane total time of 280.3 hours.

The pilot's wife was the passenger during the last flight logged in the pilot's logbook, which occurred about 2 weeks before the accident. She stated that she was not aware of any anomalies with the airplane at that time.

The airplane was fueled with 12 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel on December 6, 2016. It is unknown if the airplane was flown between the time it was fueled and the accident flight. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: RFD, 742 ft msl
Observation Time: 1754 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 24 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 265°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 18000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: -7°C / -12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:  4 knots, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:  30.53 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Poplar Grove, IL (C77)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Schaumburg, IL (06C)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  1812 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Official sunset on the night of the accident was at 1622. The moon was 46° above the horizon at the time of the accident. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.225556, -88.627500 

The airplane came to rest inverted on a magnetic heading of 15°. The wings and tail were folded up and over the cockpit and engine. There was an impact crater under the engine, which was partially buried in the frozen ground. Most of the wreckage was located at the main impact location. The left main landing gear was located about 190 ft southeast of the main wreckage; a piece of the lower right-wing skin was located about 100 ft southeast of the main wreckage; and a leather satchel belonging to the pilot was located about 500 ft south of the main wreckage.

A postaccident examination was conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, with the assistance of a representative of the engine manufacturer. The examination did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction. The observed damage to the airframe was consistent with the airplane impacting the terrain while inverted. A detailed summary of the examination is included in the docket associated with the investigation. 



Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot was performed at the McHenry County Coroner's Office, Woodstock, Illinois, on December 12, 2016. The pilot's death was attributed to multiple injuries sustained in the accident.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ethanol. The testing was negative for drugs in the testing profile except that atorvastatin which was detected in the liver. Atorvastatin, commonly known as Lipitor, is used to treat elevated cholesterol and is generally considered to be non-impairing.



Tests And Research

A Garmin GPSMAP, a Dynon EFIS-D100 electronic flight instrument system and a Dynon EMS-D120 engine monitoring system were recovered from the wreckage and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory, Washington DC, for examination and download.

Both the Garmin GPSMAP and the associated SD card sustained impact damage. The non-volatile memory (NVM) chip that stores track history was cracked. The chip was repaired; however, data could not be retrieved. The SD Card was cracked and the NVM component was missing.

The Dynon EFIS-D100 sustained significant impact damage. The NVM chip was intact. Minor pin damage was repaired, and the chip was successfully downloaded. However, historical data was not found on the chip because either the logging function was turned off or, the firmware version did not support data logging.

The Dynon EMS-D120 sustained significant impact damage. The NVM chip was repaired and about 16 recorded historical sessions were downloaded. There was no recorded geographical data that matched either C77 or the accident site, indicating that data from the accident flight was not recorded.



NTSB Identification: CEN17FA053
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 09, 2016 in Marengo, IL
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC CH601XL SLSA, registration: N4218
Injuries: 1 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 December 9, 2016, about 1819, an Aircraft Mfg & Design LLC, CH601XL SLSA, N4218, impacted the terrain following a loss of control in Marengo, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1812, with an intended destination of the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois.

The pilot reportedly planned to fly to 06C to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) holiday party. There were no witnesses to the accident. The wreckage was discovered the following morning.

There was no communication between air traffic control and the pilot. The time of departure and the time of the accident are based on preliminary air traffic control radar data.

The airplane came to rest in a plowed cornfield on the corner of Meyers and Pleasant Grove Roads. The site was 12.6 miles southeast of C77 along the route between C77 and 06C. The majority of the wreckage was located at the main impact location. The left main landing gear was located about 190 ft southeast of main wreckage, a piece of the lower right wing skin was about 100 ft southeast of the main wreckage, and a small satchel type bag was located about 500 ft south of the main wreckage.

Incident occurred March 08, 2016 in Bolingbrook, Illinois 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; W. Chicago-DuPage

Aircraft on taxi, went off the runway into a ditch.

Date:  09-MAR-16
Time:  04:41:00Z
Regis#:  N4218
Aircraft Make:  ZENITH
Aircraft Model:  CH601
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  None
Flight Phase:  TAXI (TXI)FSDO-03
City:  BOLINGBROOK
State:  Illinois
Rob Sherman 



Just-released autopsy and toxicology reports have ruled out impairment and health problems as factors in activist Rob Sherman's fatal plane crash last year near Marengo. 

The McHenry County coroner's office also found no suicidal intentions or notes, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Herald Tuesday.

"There was no evidence of significant natural disease, which caused or contributed to his death," a pathologist wrote. "Routine (drug and alcohol) tests were negative."

The National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the Dec. 9 crash that occurred while Sherman, well-known for his atheist activism, was flying from the Poplar Grove Airport to Schaumburg.

Authorities said there were no obvious defects in the aircraft.

A preliminary NTSB report stated the Poplar Grove resident was flying after dark contrary to restrictions on the type of pilot's license he had, and the plane went down after a loss of control.

A representative from the Poplar Grove Airport also told police that Sherman would not have been cleared to fly at night.

"There are no obvious defects in (the) plane and although weather was clear/cold it was evening," documents indicated. Officials also noted that damage to the instrument panel was extensive and the "black box" had yet to be reconstructed.

The coroner's report found Sherman died of multiple injuries but concluded the manner of death was not determined.

Sherman, 63, had left in his Zenair CH601 at 6:12 p.m. from the Poplar Grove Airport headed to the Schaumburg Regional Airport to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association holiday party, the NTSB said.

A family living near the crash site told police they had heard a "boom" and their house shook the night of Dec. 9, but they did not go outside to check.

Sherman was certified as a sport pilot. Sport pilots may operate light, single-engine aircraft with seating for just two people. In general, sport pilots have certain restrictions that include not flying after dark, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

There were no communications between any air traffic controllers and Sherman, the NTSB said, adding the weather was clear during the flight.

The longtime Buffalo Grove resident and aviation enthusiast moved to Poplar Grove in 2016 to a home with a hangar. Sherman had a wife and two grown children.

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

Rob Sherman: http://registry.faa.gov/N4218

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; W. Chicago-DuPage, Illinois

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



NTSB Identification: CEN17FA053
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 09, 2016 in Marengo, IL
Aircraft: AIRCRAFT MFG & DESIGN LLC CH601XL SLSA, registration: N4218
Injuries: 1 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 December 9, 2016, about 1819, an Aircraft Mfg & Design LLC, CH601XL SLSA, N4218, impacted the terrain following a loss of control in Marengo, Illinois. The sport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois, about 1812, with an intended destination of the Schaumburg Regional Airport (06C), Schaumburg, Illinois.

The pilot reportedly planned to fly to 06C to attend an Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) holiday party. There were no witnesses to the accident. The wreckage was discovered the following morning.

There was no communication between air traffic control and the pilot. The time of departure and the time of the accident are based on preliminary air traffic control radar data.

The airplane came to rest in a plowed cornfield on the corner of Meyers and Pleasant Grove Roads. The site was 12.6 miles southeast of C77 along the route between C77 and 06C. The majority of the wreckage was located at the main impact location. The left main landing gear was located about 190 ft southeast of main wreckage, a piece of the lower right wing skin was about 100 ft southeast of the main wreckage, and a small satchel type bag was located about 500 ft south of the main wreckage.

Incident occurred March 08, 2016 in Bolingbrook, Illinois 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Chicago-DuPage, Illinois

Aircraft on taxi, went off the runway into a ditch. 

Date:  09-MAR-16
Time:  04:41:00Z
Regis#:  N4218
Aircraft Make:  ZENITH
Aircraft Model:  CH601
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  None
Flight Phase:  TAXI (TXI)FSDO-03
City:  BOLINGBROOK
State:  Illinois