Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cessna 120, N72552: Accident occurred October 21, 2017 at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (KEWN), New Bern, North Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Greensboro, North Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: New Bern, NC
Accident Number: GAA18CA027
Date & Time: 10/21/2017, 1030 EDT
Registration: N72552
Aircraft: CESSNA 120
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during landing, he believed he "just hit a little to[o] hard," and the airplane porpoised. He added that he attempted to recover but could not get control of the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane exited the runway to the left and nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage and the left wing lift strut.

The pilot 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 pilot's improper landing flare and subsequent failure to maintain directional control during landing.



Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight


Hard landing
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Nose over/nose down 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/10/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 446 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6 hours (Total, this make and model), 307 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N72552
Model/Series: 120 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 9722
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/30/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5005.12 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: C85 SERIES
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: KEWN, 24 ft msl
Observation Time: 1451 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 219°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 70°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.35 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: WASHINGTON, NC (OCW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Bern, NC (EWN)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1000 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 18 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6453 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  35.073611, -77.042500 (est)

Preventing Similar Accidents  

Stay Centered: Preventing Loss of Control During Landing

Loss of control during landing is one of the leading causes of general aviation accidents and is often attributed to operational issues. Although most loss of control during landing accidents do not result in serious injuries, they typically require extensive airplane repairs and may involve potential damage to nearby objects such as fences, signs, and lighting.

Often, wind plays a role in these accidents. Landing in a crosswind presents challenges for pilots of all experience levels. Other wind conditions, such as gusting wind, tailwind, variable wind, or wind shifts, can also interfere with pilots’ abilities to land the airplane and maintain directional control.

What can pilots do?

Evaluate your mental and physical fitness before each flight using the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “I'M SAFE Checklist." Being emotionally and physically ready will help you stay alert and potentially avoid common and preventable loss of control during landing accidents.

Check wind conditions and forecasts often. Take time during every approach briefing to fully understand the wind conditions. Use simple rules of thumb to help (for example, if the wind direction is 30 degrees off the runway heading, the crosswind component will be half of the total wind velocity).

Know your limitations and those of the airplane you are flying. Stay current and practice landings on different runways and during various wind conditions. If possible, practice with a flight instructor on board who can provide useful feedback and techniques for maintaining and improving your landing procedures.

Prepare early to perform a go around if the approach is not stabilized and does not go as planned or if you do not feel comfortable with the landing. Once you are airborne and stable again, you can decide to attempt to land again, reassess your landing runway, or land at an alternate airport. Incorporate go-around procedures into your recurrent training.

During landing, stay aligned with the centerline. Any misalignment reduces the time available to react if an unexpected event such as a wind gust or a tire blowout occurs.

Do not allow the airplane to touch down in a drift or in a crab. For airplanes with tricycle landing gear, do not allow the nosewheel to touch down first.

Maintain positive control of the airplane throughout the landing and be alert for directional control difficulties immediately upon and after touchdown. A loss of directional control can lead to a nose-over or ground loop, which can cause the airplane to tip or lean enough for the wing tip to contact the ground.

Stay mentally focused throughout the landing roll and taxi. During landing, avoid distractions, such as conversations with passengers or setting radio frequencies.

Interested in More Information?

The FAA’s “Airplane Flying Handbook” (FAA-H-8083-3B), chapter 8, “Approaches and Landings,” provides guidance about how to conduct crosswind approaches and landings and discusses maximum safe crosswind velocities. The handbook can be accessed from the FAA’s website (

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) provides access to online training courses, seminars, and webinars as part of the FAA’s “WINGS—Pilot Proficiency Program.” This program includes targeted flight training designed to help pilots develop the knowledge and skills needed to achieve flight proficiency and to assess and mitigate the risks associated with the most common causes of accidents, including loss of directional control. The courses listed below can be accessed from the FAASTeam website (

Avoiding Loss of Control
Maneuvering: Approach and Landing
Normal Approach and Landing
Takeoffs, Landings, and Aircraft Control

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute offers several interactive courses, presentations, publications, and other safety resources that can be accessed from its website (

The NTSB’s Aviation Information Resources web page,, provides convenient access to NTSB aviation safety products.

The NTSB presents this information to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. Note that this should not be considered guidance from the regulator, nor does this supersede existing FAA Regulations (FARs). 


NEW BERN, Craven County - A small single passenger plane went off the runway and flipped over Saturday just before noon.

The plane was leaking fuel, according to the Craven County Fire Facebook page. Station 21,31, & Medic 20 responded.

According to Ira Whitford, Assistant Director of Emergency Services for Craven County, there were no injuries.

Original article can be found here ➤

Air Force may recall up to 1,000 retired military pilots to address 'acute shortage'

The United States Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired military pilots to active-duty service to address an acute shortage in its ranks.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday allowing the Air Force to call back to service up to 1,000 retired aviation officers who wish to return, the White House and the Pentagon announced.

By law, only 25 retired pilots can be recalled through voluntary programs to serve in any one branch. Trump's executive order temporarily removes this limit by expanding a state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 as part of efforts "to mitigate the Air Force's acute shortage of pilots," according to Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross. 

Secretary of Air Force Heather Wilson has said the service was short 1,555 pilots at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, including 1,211 fighter pilots.

To help make the pilot job more attractive, the Air Force expanded its aviation bonus program in August and increased incentive pay earlier this month for officers and enlisted crew members for the first time since 1999, according to Wilson.

“We need to retain our experienced pilots and these are some examples of how we’re working to do that,” Wilson said in a statement announcing the new measures on Aug. 25. “We can’t afford not to compensate our talented aviators at a time when [commercial] airlines are hiring unprecedented numbers.”

On Friday, the government announced it was going further with a recall of retirees into active service.

"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years," Ross said in a statement Friday. "The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come.," 

Story and comments ➤

Extra EA 300/L, N414MT, registered to KD Leasing LLC and operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC doing business as Sky Combat Ace: Fatal accident occurred October 21, 2017 in Alpine, San Diego County, California, California

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

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Registered to KD Leasing LLC

Operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC doing business as Sky Combat Ace 

NTSB Identification: WPR18FA013
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Four Corners, CA
Aircraft: EXTRA FLUGZEUGPRODUKTIONS-UND EA 300/L, registration: N414MT
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 October 21, 2017, at 1611 Pacific daylight time, an Extra Flugzeugproduktions-Und EA 300/L, N414MT (Callsign Ace 5), collided with terrain within the watershed of the El Capitan Reservoir, near Four Corners, California. The flight instructor and passenger sustained fatal injuries and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to KD Leasing LLC., and operated by California Extreme Adventures LLC. (doing business as Sky Combat Ace), under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local instructional flight departed Gillespie Field Airport, San Diego/El Cajon at 1557. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The operator's website described itself as an "extreme aviation attraction," providing a series of aviation related "experiences", including aerobatics, air combat, and flight training. The passenger had signed up for the 25-minute-long, "Top Gun" experience, which according to their website was a flight which included, "Advanced Aerobatics", "Basic Aerobatics", a "Low Level Bombing Run", "You Fly Maneuvers", and "You Fly Departure".

Preliminary radar data provided by the FAA indicated a target initiating a climbing left turn after departing from runway 17, and reaching a mode C reported altitude of about 4,700 ft mean sea level (msl), 5 miles northeast of the airport. For the next 10 minutes, the target followed a track along the general path of the San Diego River, then east of the El Capitan Reservoir, and north towards the town of Four Corners. The track followed a meandering path at varying airspeeds and altitudes ranging between 4,500 and 7,100 ft in a manner consistent with aerobatic maneuvers, and multiple witnesses along the route indicated seeing an airplane performing aerobatic-like maneuvers about that time.

At 1610 the target had reached its farthest point from the airport, just north of the reservoir. It then began to track back to the southwest, climbing from 5,000 ft to 6,900 ft over the next 90 seconds. About 15 seconds later, the last target was recorded just to the southeast at an altitude of 4,500 ft.

The accident site was located within the river valley, on a hillside slope at an elevation of about 775 ft, about 1,000 ft east of the last radar target. The primary wreckage consisted of a 4-ft-deep by 6-ft-wide crater which contained fragmented engine and airframe components. The outboard left wingtip rib, along with shards of the red position lamp were located about 14 ft west, with the corresponding right wingtip rib and green position lamp shards about the same distance to the east. The debris field continued about 75 ft downhill to the north, and contained the engine crankcase, instrument panel components, fragmented tubular airframe material, the crumpled tubular steel remains of the tail section, and burnt composite structure.

Most of the airplane's structure was consumed by fire, except for the right rear section of the canopy frame and about a dozen composite skin fragments which were interspersed in the surrounding trees and immediate vicinity of the impact site. The impact ignited a brushfire, which burnt about 45 acres of land northeast of the accident site along the flank of the adjacent hillside.

A secondary debris field was located in the dry river bed about 400 ft north of the crater. The debris was oriented east-west, about 800 ft long, and contained the left (lock side) and rear sections of the canopy frame, multiple pieces of canopy plexiglass material, and a fragmented headset. Neither the debris field, nor the canopy components displayed any indications of fire.

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

Peter Casey Gillcrist 

July 19, 1963 - October 21, 2017 

Paul Garrett Engler
September 1, 1983 - October 21, 2017

A passenger who was one of two people killed in a plane crash at the El Capitan Reservoir last month signed up for a "Top Gun" experience before the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Paul Garrett Engler and pilot Peter Gillcrist died when a small plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir on October 21, according to a spokesperson for the pilot's employer.

The crash sparked a 45-acre brush fire. 

In its preliminary report, the NTSB said the website for the operator California Extreme Adventures LLC, which was doing business as "Sky Combat Ace," described itself as an "extreme aviation attraction."

"'The passenger [Paul Garrett Engler] had signed up for a 25-minute long 'Top Gun' experience, which, according to its website was a flight which included 'Advanced Acrobatics,'" the NTSB wrote in its preliminary report.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar data showed the plane reached an altitude of 4,700 feet and followed a track along the general path of the San Diego River. It then went East of the El Capitan Reservoir, towards the town of Four Corners.

"The track followed a meandering path at varying airspeeds and altitudes ranging between 4,500 and 7,100 feet in a manner consistent with aerobatic maneuvers," the NTSB wrote.

Witnesses told NTSB they saw the plane performing "aerobatic-like" maneuvers before crashing.

Sky Combat Ace operates out of Henderson, Nevada, but has a location out of Gillespie Field, which is where the plane was headed Saturday.

Megan Fazio, a spokesperson for Sky Combat Ace told NBC 7 there were no distress calls before the accident.

"We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our SCA team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot," she said in a written statement.

The wreckage was in a remote area near the El Capitan Reservoir and was not accessible to ground crews.

Gillcrist, known as "Bandito" in the air, taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training, and spin training, according to the company. His mother was an aviation physiologist, his father was a Navy pilot and his wife is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

Gillcrist will be laid to rest in Rancho Santa Fe on Saturday, according to his obituary page.

Engler, a Texas native, was a father of two, according to his obituary. He was laid to rest on Nov. 14.

The two people killed in a plane crash near El Capitan Reservoir on Saturday were on a paid flight experience from a company that offers adrenaline-fueled rides for adventure seekers.

A spokeswoman for Sky Combat Ace identified the victims as Peter Gillcrist, one of the company’s pilots, and Garrett Engler.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and have been affected by this unfortunate accident,” said spokeswoman Megan Fazio in a statement. “We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our (Sky Combat Ace) team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot.”

The EXTRA EA 300 plane took off from Gillespie Field about 3:50 p.m. When it failed to return, Sky Combat Ace employees notified air traffic control.

Sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol officials said 911 callers in the Lakeside area reported a possible crash east of El Monte Road about 4:20 p.m. The impact sparked a fire that charred 20 acres.

Debris from the crash was located about an hour later.

“To our knowledge, there were no distress calls made prior to the accident,” Fazio said.

Sky Combat Ace, which operates out of Las Vegas and San Diego, sells a variety of flight packages that include aerobatic and simulated “air combat” experiences.

“You’re not just a passenger on a joy ride. You are a steely-eyed fighter pilot at the controls of your very own ‘fighter jet,’ pulling Gs and squeezing the trigger to ‘get the kill,’ ” the company’s website reads.

It’s unclear which experience Engler had purchased or who was flying the plane at the time. Some flight packages allow the student to control the aircraft.

The aircraft, which was built in 2009, had up-to-date certification and was categorized for normal and acrobatic flights, federal records show.

The company said on its website that safety is its No. 1 priority, and stressed that the planes are expertly engineered and that pilots go through rigorous training. It also said that “air combat and low-level flying comes with an inherent amount of risk that cannot be entirely eliminated without jeopardizing the inherent nature of the experience.”

Gillcrist is the chief pilot for Sky Combat Ace’s San Diego location, according to the company’s website. After graduating from the University of Virginia, he worked at Lockheed Martin with the Skunk Works, an experimental engineering group that develops aircraft and associated technologies.

He later taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training and spin training.

A similar fatal crash involving the same company occurred in April 2016.

In that incident, a student passenger and an instructor pilot were performing “air combat” maneuvers when they crashed near Las Vegas. Fazio said the passenger had paid for the “Sky Combat” experience offered by the company, and that the crash happened as they were returning to the hangar.

The “Sky Combat” package allows the participant to fly the plane while the pilot teaches “air-to-air combat” techniques. It’s unclear who had control of the aircraft when it crashed, Fazio said at the time.

The National Transportation Safety Board is continuing to investigate Saturday’s crash.

A pilot and his passenger died when a small plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir Saturday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the pilot's employer.

The victims were identified Monday as pilot Peter Gillcrist and passenger Garrett Engler, according to Sky Combat Ace spokesperson Megan Fazio. 

The men died after their plane crashed around 4:15 p.m. Saturday, sparking a 20-acre brush fire.

The National Transportation Safety Board identified the wreckage as a Extra EA 300/L.

Fazio said the plane was registered to KD Leasing and operated by California Extreme Adventures. 

Sky Combat Ace operates out of Henderson, Nevada, but has a location out of Gillespie Field, which is where the plane was headed Saturday. 

"To our knowledge, there were no distress calls made prior to the accident," Fazio said. 

The wreckage is in a remote area near the El Capitan Reservoir and was not accessible to ground crews Saturday.

Gillcrist, known as "Bandito" in the air, taught competitive aerobatics, emergency maneuver training, and spin training, according to the company. His mother was an aviation physiologist, his father was a Navy pilot and his wife is a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration have now taken over the investigation with the NTSB in the lead.

Sky Combat Ace locations are closed until further notice, Fazio said. 

"We are devastated and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families and to our SCA team members who have lost a beloved colleague and pilot," she said in a written statement.

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — New information emerged Sunday about a plane crash that sparked a brush fire in the East County. 

It happened around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday near the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside. 

But the crash site was difficult for crews to access. 

Firefighters brought in heavy equipment Sunday to access the wreckage of the Extra EA-300 plane.   

A spokesperson for the US Forestry Service called the crash "unsurvivable."   

The fire sparked by the crash burned 15 to 20 acres and it took several hours to get under control through a series of aerial drops and ground efforts.   

By Sunday, lines of retardant marked the hillside.   

An investigator with the NTSB arrived on scene Sunday to start the process of figuring out what went wrong.  

Federal records show the plane's tail number, given to News 8 by the NTSB, is registered to KD Leasing in Henderson, Nevada.   

It appears frequently on the website of Sky Combat Ace, a company that operates out of the Las Vegas area and Gillespie Field, offering thrill seekers the chance to ride as a passenger or even perform their own aerobatic stunts from the pilot's seat.   

There are several videos online showing this same plane in action over Las Vegas and the East County.   

Residents say they often see pilots performing stunts near the reservoir.   

So far investigators aren't saying how many people were on board, but the manufacturer says the plane is typically equipped with two seats.   

News 8 reached out to Sky Combat Ace's headquarters in Las Vegas, but no one answered the phone.   

On its website, the company says "safety has always been the #1 priority at SCA."

Story and video:

LAKESIDE (CNS) - Firefighters put out a small fire north of the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside and sheriff's deputies were securing the scene where a small plane crashed, authorities said Sunday.

The fire was first reported at 4:18 p.m. Saturday as the result of a possible plane crash, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The blaze was estimated at 20 acres by nightfall with its forward progress stopped, sheriff's officials said.

The flames were out and deputies were securing the scene until officials from the National Transportation Safety Board arrive to begin their investigation, sheriff's officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported an EXTRA EA 300 plane with two people on board was missing after taking off from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Allen Kenitzer from the FAA Office of Communications gave the following statement to New 8 regarding the plane crash:

There was an aircraft accident Saturday at the North end of the El Capitan reservoir.  The aircraft registration and type is unknown at this time.  The number of people onboard also cannot be confirmed at this time. The FAA and the NTSB will investigate.

Story and video ➤

A small plane crashed at the base of a remote hill near El Capitan Reservoir Saturday, presumably killing those onboard as no survivors were found, authorities said. 

The crash sparked a brush fire that had grown to about 20 acres shortly after nightfall.

Officials were not able to confirm what aircraft was down, but a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said the agency got a report of an EXTRA EA 300 plane with two people onboard missing from a local flight from Gillespie Field in El Cajon.

Sheriff’s and California Highway Patrol officials said 911 callers in the Lakeside area reported the possible crash east of El Monte Road about 4:20 p.m.

Some callers said they didn’t see the crash, but heard what they thought was an impact, then saw a fire.

Deputies headed that way and a sheriff’s helicopter scanned the area, finding the fire but no confirmation of a plane crash, sheriff’s Lt. Mario Zermeno said.

Authorities said they couldn’t get close to verify the possible wreckage while air crews were dropping retardant and water on the fire. It was about 7 p.m. before the debris was confirmed that of a plane, with few parts identifiable.

About 5:20 p.m., a Cal Fire air tanker crew working on the blaze reported seeing some type of debris in the area, Zermeno said.

U.S. Forest Service fire crews worked the blaze on the ground, as it was within the boundaries of the Cleveland National Forest east of the reservoir. The area is known as Four Corners.

The fire burned about 20 acres, forest service spokeswoman Wende Cornelius said.

Footage from News 8 showed the smokey fire at the base of steep, rugged hills, with air tankers and helicopters dropping water and fire retardant on the flames while it was still daylight.

According to Wikipedia, an EXTRA EA 300 is an aerobatic plane, usually a two-seater, built by Extra Flugzeugbau.

Original article  ➤

SAN DIEGO -- A plane crashed near the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside Saturday afternoon, sparking a brush fire.

The crash happened sometime after 4 p.m., according to Wende Cornelius, a spokesperson for Cleveland National Forest. Cornelius described the crash as "non-survivable."

Officials have not confirmed the type of aircraft that went down or how many people were onboard, but Allen Kenitzer, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson, said an EXTRA EA300 plane with two people onboard was reported missing from a local flight from Gillespie Field in El Cajon around 6:30 p.m.

The blaze, estimated to be 45 acres, was northeast of the reservoir.

No homes or structures were threatened by the fire.

Crews from Cal Fire, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the Barona Fire Department were assisting the Cleveland National Forest in responding to the blaze.

Story and video ➤

A small plane has crashed into a hillside just east of the El Capitan Reservoir.

A Cleveland National Park spokesperson says the crash started a brush fire that had burned 30 acres by 8 p.m.

Ground fire crews are working to reach the site but they say it is very isolated.

Air tankers and helicopters are attacking the blaze from the air.

Authorities working on the crash include Cleveland National Fire, Calfire and two strike teams from San Diego Fire.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesperson for the FAA told 10News "the aircraft registration and type is unknown at this time.  The number of people onboard also cannot be confirmed at this time."

He said the plane may have been flying from Gillespie Field in El Cajon, but all information was preliminary. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

Maule MT-7-235 Super Rocket, C-FMSM, Human Systems Associates Inc: Incident occurred October 21, 2017 near Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

A small plane made an emergency landing in a field near the Gatineau airport Saturday afternoon.

A Maule MT-7-235 passenger plane made a distress call to air traffic control at the Executive Gatineau-Ottawa Airport just before 3 p.m., police said. 

The pilot tried to land on Highway 50, but there were too many cars. Instead, the plane landed in a field but hit a hill and the momentum flipped the aircraft. 

The pilot and sole passenger sustained minor injuries when the plane finally stopped about six kilometres northwest of the airport. 

Hidir Cetin said he was in his house when he heard a loud noise. 

"I heard a loud noise at home, like metal. I was with my brother and my family. When I went out, I saw that he had fallen. I left the phone and said [to my family]: call the police and the ambulance," he said. 

Cetin then helped a woman and a man to climb out of the overturned plane. He said he smelled fuel and was afraid the plane would explode.

Firefighters said mechanical problems are likely to blame for the emergency landing. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Incident occurred October 21, 2017 at Centennial Airport (KAPA), Englewood, Arapahoe County, Colorado

A pilot escaped without injuries after the landing gear on their single-engine plane malfunctioned at Centennial Airport Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Runway 17 was shut down for a little under an hour as cleanup crews removed the plane, South Metro Fire said.

The pilot was the only person in the plane when the gear malfunctioned and the plane left the runway just before 1 p.m.

The plane has since been removed and the runway at Centennial Airport has reopened.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, C-GNOE, Warren Charles Productions Ltd: Accident occurred October 21, 2017 in Saint-Lazare, Quebec, Canada

SAINT-LAZARE, Que. - Three people have been injured in a small plane crash in a western suburb of Montreal.

Emergency services received a call at about 4:20 p.m. about a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee that landed in a tree on a private property in Saint-Lazare, Que.

Police say one man was found outside the aircraft suffering from injuries that appeared to be minor.

A firefighter looks at a Cessna that crashed in Saint-Lazare Saturday afternoon.

The other two men were removed from the plane and transported to hospital, where they were said to be in serious condition but conscious.

Quebec provincial police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

Story, video and photo gallery:

A Cessna plane carrying three passengers crashed in a forced landing in the Montérégie region south of Montreal Saturday afternoon, leaving two men seriously injured. 

The plane had left from Saint-Lazare, but it's unclear whether it had just taken off or was at the end of its flight, Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Christine Coulombe said. 

The plane crashed in a wooded area at 4:20 p.m. and when police arrived, one of the passengers was already outside of the aircraft, the SQ said. The two others were trapped inside and sustained serious injuries, but were conscious.

The forced landing took place on a private property in the north east of Saint-Lazare, near Hudson. 

Investigators are on their way to the crash site to determine what happened, the SQ said. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Provincial police said a Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee crashed in St Lazare.

Two of three passengers were rescued, with injuries described as serious.

It happened Saturday afternoon on private property on Chemin St Louis.

Authorities added when police arrived, one passenger was already outside the aircraft with what appeared to be minor injuries, but two men were still stuck inside.

Investigators were called to the scene.  

Original article can be found here ➤

Conyers, Georgia: City Council tweaks no-drone ordinance

CONYERS — The no-drone zone at the Georgia International Horse Park has undergone a slight adjustment as a result of federal law.

The Conyers City Council in August adopted an ordinance that prohibited the use of unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, within the boundaries of the horse park, including Cherokee Run Golf Course.

The purpose of the ordinance, according to City Councilman Chris Bowen, was to protect horses and hikers from drones flying along the trails.

Bowen said that some visitors had complained that drones had come in close contact with them while they were walking or biking on the trails. Concerns were also raised about spooking horses.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, however, City Attorney Michael Waldrop advised council members that a recently enacted federal law has forced the city to revise this ordinance.

Waldrop said that federal legislation that went into effect July 1 prohibits local governments from controlling airspace over their jurisdictions.

“That is reserved for the Federal Aviation Administration,” he said.

Therefore, the city’s ordinance was amended to “prohibit the launch and intentional landing” of an unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of the horse park.

“We cannot legally prevent someone who takes flight elsewhere from flying over the horse park,” Waldrop said.

Original article ➤

Wrongful death lawsuit: Beech A36TC Bonanza, N60WB, Peak 2 Peak LLC, fatal accident occurred July 26, 2017 near Ogden-Hinckley Airport (KOGD), Weber County, Utah

OGDEN — The family of a couple who died in a plane crash in Weber County in July filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Weber County District Court.

West Haven residents Perry and Sarah Huffaker, ages 45 and 42, and Taylor residents Layne and Diana Clarke, ages 48 and 46, died July 26 when the Beech A36 Bonanza plane they were in crashed on I-15 in Riverdale. The plane had taken off from Ogden-Hinckley Airport just before 1 p.m. on July 26 and crashed about half a mile away from the airport.

It could take more than a year for officials from the National Transportation Safety Board to determine exactly what caused the crash.

A complaint filed Friday in Weber County District Court says Layne and Diana Clarke were owners of the plane and were operating it at the time of the crash.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Perry and Sarah Huffaker’s surviving family members, including their children and parents. The lawsuit is filed against Donette Crayton, who represents the estates of Layne and Diana Clarke.

The complaint alleges that the Clarkes failed to “use reasonable care” in the operation of the airplane, which led to the wrongful deaths of Perry and Sarah Huffaker.

The Huffakers are seeking a jury trial to determine damages to pay for medical and other expenses, other financial losses and to provide relief for emotional suffering the family experienced as a result of the crash, as well as court and attorney fees, according to the complaint.

Story and comments:

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Hartzell Propellers; Piqua, Ohio

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Peak 2 Peak LLC:

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA166
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in Ogden, UT
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N60WB
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 26, 2017, about 1240 mountain daylight time, a Beech A36TC airplane, N60WB, was substantially damaged when it collided with the freeway shortly after departing from Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD), Ogden, Utah. The private pilot, and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Peak 2 Peak, LLC., and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was destined for Yellowstone Airport (WYS), West Yellowstone, Montana. 

According to an air traffic control recording from the OGD tower, shortly after departing the runway, the pilot reported "hey, I'm going down, zero-whiskey-bravo." The controller cleared the pilot for landing and four seconds later, another pilot flying in the area reported seeing the airplane impact the highway.

Witnesses who were also general aviation mechanics, located between hangar rows adjacent to the runway at OGD, heard the airplane during its departure. They stated that the sound was unusual which made them look up to see what it was. When the airplane first came into view they stated it was about 100 ft above the ground, and that it should be about 500 feet or higher at that location [which was about 3,700 ft down runway 17]. As the airplane passed by, they noticed the engine sound was underpowered and the tail of the airplane going up and down, as if the pilot was struggling to keep the airplane at altitude.

Dash Cam video from a car on a southwest-bound street, captured the accident airplane in flight. The airplane was first observed flying wings level from the right side of the video frame. As it approached the center of the video frame, it entered a right turn and flew away, paralleling the street. Shortly after, the airplane entered a descending right banking turn until out of view. 

The accident site revealed that the first identified point of contact (FIPC) was the outer edge of the northbound freeway, and came to rest in the median, along the guardrail. The debris field was about 150 feet long with debris in both north and southbound lanes. The main wreckage remained intact with post-crash fire damage. The wing tip tanks and the leading edge of the wings were crushed, consistent with vertical impact damage. All flight controls were accounted for and flight control continuity was attained. The propeller assembly separated from the engine during the accident sequence and was subsequently relocated about 200 feet further up the freeway from the debris field, after being impacted by a passing tractor trailer. No other vehicles were involved in the accident sequence. 

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Airbus Helicopters H125, 5Y-NMJ, Flex Air Charters: Fatal accident occurred October 21, 2017 in Lake Nakuru, Kenya

A team of 10 geologists from the Ministry of Mining has arrived in Nakuru to help in the recovery of of debris and bodies of three victims of last Saturday's Lake Nakuru helicopter crash.

However, they could not start their work immediately as it was still raining.

The team from the Geology Department brought with them a magnetometer that will complement the rest of the equipment being used in the recovery efforts.


A geologist at the ministry, Mr. Enoch Kipseba, said the magnetometer detects any metallic object inside the water.

"We are expecting that the remaining material of the chopper is metallic and if detected it will lead to recovery of the bodies," he said.

On Thursday, a sonar was brought in to help scan for any object trapped inside the water. So far nothing has been recovered in the past four days.

"Due to the shallowness of the lake, the sonar can only cover a narrow area but with the magnetometer, we are hopeful that we will have results," said Mr Kipseba.


Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo, who is also part of the recovery team, said they have so far acquired eight boats and more than 40 divers who are currently taking part in the operation.

"I want to assure the families we shall not leave the site until we recover the bodies no matter how long it will take us," said Mr. Musiambo.

He further said that so far they have all it takes for the operation in terms of equipment and expertise.

He said with the equipment and expertise having been reinforced, there was hope that the recovery mission would yield fruit.


Mr. Musiambo said the team leaders had decided to seek divine intervention as the search enters its ninth day on Sunday.

"On top of that we have decided to seek for spiritual intervention and we shall be having an inter-denominational service tomorrow (Sunday) on the shores of the lake," he added.

He said a number of churches have confirmed participation in the prayers.

The prayers will be held amid desperation in the search for the three remaining bodies of victims of the helicopter crash.


Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Mr. Musiambo promised families of the victims that the search which entered its eighth day on Saturday would go on, dispelling fears that there were plans to call it off.

The ill-fated aircraft crashed early Saturday morning killing five occupants, three who were members of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika’s media team.

It is suspected that the three whose bodies are yet to be retrieved might have fastened their seatbelts at the time of the crash and could still be trapped in the wreckage of the main body of the helicopter.

For the last four days, the search team has not reported any success in its mission despite spending over eight hours every day in the water.


On Friday, more divers from the Kenya Navy joined in the search and more equipment was brought in.

The body of the pilot, Mr Apollo Malowa, and one of the victims, Mr. Anthony Kipyegon, were retrieved on Monday.

The bodies of Mr. Sam Gitau, Mr John Mapozi and Ms Veronica Muthoni are yet to be found.

The national and county governments promised not to abandon the search until the remaining victims are found.

On Friday, Governor Kinyanjui remained hopeful the remaining bodies would be located and retrieved from the lake soon.

“We pray for the family and we are giving them proper counselling and working together in this mission,” he said.


The governor said the county has learnt critical lessons on how to respond to emergency situations and would work on a response strategy for future occurrences.

“We shall be working with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and other agencies to come up with a comprehensive emergency response system for better response in future,” he said.

On Saturday, Ms. Kihika spent time talking to families of the victims whom she described as sharp and hardworking young men.

“They worked very hard for my campaign until the last minute. Sometimes we went for a whole day without a meal but none of them complained,” she said.

She said she had advised them to enrol for various courses to secure a brighter future.


Counsellors at the recovery centre say those who have so far gone through the process have responded positively.

Some of the challenges being encountered by search and recovery teams are poor visibility in the lake due muddy water, a wide search area, presence of wild animals and bad weather among other things.

The operation involves personnel from both the national and county governments, Kenya Defence Forces (Kenya Navy) divers, National Police Service, KWS, divers from the Kenya Red Cross Society and the Sonko Rescue Team, Lake Naivasha Divers, the local community and relatives of the victims

A photo of Mr. Apollo Malowa, the pilot of the helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru on October 21, 2017.

This image shows John Mapozi (left) and Sam Gitau, passengers of the helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru on October 21, 2017. They are still missing.

Divers try to locate the area in Lake Nakuru where a helicopter crashed on October 21, 2017. 

 Veronica Muthoni Kamau perished in the Lake Nakuru helicopter crash.

Details are emerging that the pilot of the chopper that crashed into Lake Nakuru National Park could have been under the influence of alcohol.

The chopper had five people aboard, including the pilot, and the bodies have not been recovered.

Kenya Navy divers suspended the mission Saturday night to resume today (Sunday) morning.

Interviews with sources who had contact with the five in their last moments point to reckless partying which might have left the pilot drunk.

Sources at Jarika County lodge where the chopper had been parked told the Sunday Standard that the four checked into the hotel on Friday evening but did not spend the night there.

They left and sources at several popular joints in the town have admitted seeing them for a few minutes in their clubs.

Apparently, they were club-hopping sampling the popular joints in the town which are usually lit every Friday as revelers turn into party animals.

Impeccable sources said the team was last seen at a popular club along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway where 'they had mad fun' until around 5:30 am.

The club is a den of alcohol lovers usually frequented by skimpily dressed university girls  and old men ready to spend cash.

Sources at the club confirmed to a team of journalists from the Sunday Standard that actually the ill-fated four left there Saturday morning while 'looking drunk'.

“I had a brief chat with the pilot who was seated at the counter. He was drinking beer and appeared drunk. I called his friends to take him away to rest. He could not walk on his own and his friends had to hold him. They left the club at 5:30am,” a waiter at the club said.

At Jarika hotel, a security personnel told this writer the four were to sleep in the hotel on Friday evening before heading to Narok on Saturday.

"They were to spend the night here but did not do that. They came in the morning accompanied by the young woman," he said.

A Nakuru MP who was among the first to arrive at the Lake Nakuru National Park when the news of the crash spread told this writer: "You see what alcohol do, all this morning evil is due to alcohol."

Original article can be found here ➤

The operation to search and rescue passengers of a helicopter that crashed into Lake Nakuru on Saturday has been suspended.

Mr Pius Masai, National Disaster Management Unit's deputy director, said the operation will continue on Sunday morning as he called on the victims' family members to be patient.

"Due to darkness and safety for all, the operation has been suspended temporarily, it will resume tomorrow by 0630 hours.

"We appeal to the affected families and members of the public to remain calm," he said in a press statement.


The mission had delayed for more than eight hours, putting the country’s disaster response into serious question.

Aboard the 5Y-NMJ were five passengers, among them three members of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika’s communication team.

The traumatised legislator had confirmed.

As at 6:30pm, the fate of occupants remained unclear after the search was called off.

The chopper attached to the Jubilee Party campaign team had left Jarika County Lodge in Nakuru Town shortly after 6:00am and had flown barely 30 minutes before it went down in the middle of the lake.

It is owned by Flex Air Charters run by Captain Bootsy Mutiso.


Mr. Sam Gitau, Mr. John Mapozi, Mr. Anthony Kipyegon, a woman identified as Veronicah and the pilot Mr. Apollo Malowa are still missing.

It has since emerged that the pilot and the crew may have been on an early morning adventure around the lake contrary to earlier reports that the crew was being ferried to a political rally in Narok.

Sources at Jarika County Lodge indicated that the crew had returned to the hotel at around 5:30am.

The sources also said that the occupants had been out drinking at the popular Platinum 7D joint the whole night before returning to the hotel and taking the ride.


Fortunately, it was a lucky day for five journalists who would have boarded the same helicopter later that morning to Oletipis, where President Uhuru Kenyatta was scheduled to address a rally before flying to Kajiado for another one.

They included Citizen TV reporters Jacque Maribe and cameraman Paul Chirchir who had spent the night at Jarika County Lodge.

Others were Jane Goin, Kiama Kariuki and John Nyagah of Media Max.

They said they have been using the helicopter to attend Jubilee rallies since May this year.


The journalists were shocked to learn about the crash as they prepared to be flown to the venue.

Ms. Maribe broke down while giving a live report from Lake Nakuru where she had gone after learning about the incident.

Ms. Maribe said the pilot was to refuel the chopper after dropping the first team before coming back to pick the rest of the group.

Witnesses said they noticed the plane flying very low over the waters before it crashed.


The search and rescue operation, which the NDMU said was being conducted by multiagency disaster management stakeholders, put both the national and county governments on the spot over their poor preparedness.

Nakuru residents, including families of the victims, had started thronging Lake Nakuru National Park immediately the incident was reported in the media and waited helplessly for hours on the shores of the lake.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui and County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha were among those who first arrived at the park, and urged for calm.


Although they had arrived early, crew from the Kenya Red Cross could not do much as they waited for the rescue team, boats and apparatus from Naivasha, which is about 70 kilometres away and just about an hour’s drive to the scene.

The National Disaster Management Unit released its first statement at 10:22am, saying it had activated a National Police Service Chopper to support the Nakuru County Disaster Team on a search and rescue operation.

A police chopper arrived at 11am and flew around the lake severally trying to locate the signal of the chopper.


It was not until 1pm when the first rescue team comprising divers and wardens from the Kenya Wildlife Services arrived from Naivasha.

Its mission was to locate the aircraft before a retrieval operation could commence.

In their second update at 12:11pm, NDMU said it had activated the Kenya Defence Forces Disaster Response Unit (KDF-DRU) through the National Operation Centre to bring in divers from the Kenya Navy.


The Navy team arrived at around 4pm and proceeded into the lake.

Leaders and members of the public complained about the slow response.

"It is very sad that we have witnessed this delay in rescue efforts. We will push for training of divers as we have three lakes in the county," Nakuru Woman Representative Liz Chelule said.

Leisure activities such as boat riding, swimming and fishing do not take place in the lake, hence the reason why there are no rescue boats, a source at Lake Nakuru National Park said.

But Lake Naivasha has rescue boats.


Mr. Charles Chirchir, an eye witness, said the chopper was producing strange sounds minutes before it went down.

"There is a possibility that it might have been faulty because of the sounds it was producing," he observed.

Another eye witness, Ms. Caroline Maina, said: "I saw the chopper before it crashed. I thought it was touring the lake but upon enquiring I learnt it had crashed."

Members of the public were, later in the afternoon, barred from accessing the site when the rescue operation commenced.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) in a statement denied social media reports that the chopper belonged to President Uhuru Kenyatta.


Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe also said the ill-fated chopper belonged to Flex Air Charters.

He said investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of the incident.

"We cannot give further details at this time," Captain Kibe said.

Original article can be found here ➤