Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cessna 210-5, registered to and operated by the pilot, N8347Z: Fatal accident occurred October 16, 2017 in Russian Mission, Alaska

Kyle Stevens, 31

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bethel, Alaska
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

Location:  Russian Mission, AK
Accident Number: ANC18FA003
Date & Time: 10/16/2017, 1430 AKD
Registration: N8347Z
Aircraft: CESSNA 210
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: VFR encounter with IMC
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 16, 2017, about 1430 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 210-5 airplane, N8347Z, impacted the Yukon River about 10 miles southwest of Russian Mission, Alaska. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, 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 Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. No flight plan had been filed for the visual flight rules (VFR) flight, and no record of the pilot receiving a preflight weather briefing could be found. The flight originated about 1415 from Kako Airport, Kako, Alaska, with a destination of Bethel Airport (PABE), Bethel, Alaska. 

Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the time of departure. According to a pilot of an airplane that departed about 10 minutes ahead of the accident airplane on the same route of flight and also destined for Bethel, widespread areas of low-level fog (between 400 and 600 ft above ground level [agl]) existed along the route. This pilot stated, during a postaccident interview, that he conversed with the accident pilot (after he departed from Kako) about the fog layers. No further radio communications occurred between the pilots. The interviewed pilot indicated that he tried to contact the accident pilot about 15 minutes after their conversation but received no response. After arriving at PABE and loading passengers, the interviewed pilot departed for a return flight to Kako. During that flight, he searched for the accident pilot's airplane but could not locate the airplane. After landing at Kako, the interviewed pilot notified the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Service Station about the overdue airplane, and the FAA issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 1748. On October 17, the accident airplane was located submerged in the Yukon River about 10 miles southwest of Russian Mission. 

The interviewed pilot stated that he flew his airplane at 1,500 ft agl above the fog and with 20-mile visibility. The pilot also stated that, at that altitude, he could see fog laying on the ground, on hills, and over the Yukon River. He did not know the altitude of the accident airplane but indicated that, in the area of the accident site, the fog was thick with no holes visible.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/01/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  35 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot, age 31, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot did not have an instrument rating. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on February 1, 2014, without waivers or limitations. At the time of the pilot's application for his medical certificate, he reported 35 hours of total flight experience. A relative of the pilot estimated that he had accumulated about 160 hours of total flight experience. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N8347Z
Model/Series: 210 5
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1963
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 205-0347
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  09/08/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5533.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-470
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 265 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane was manufactured in 1963 and was equipped with a Continental Motors IO-470 series engine. The airplane's last annual inspection was completed on September 8, 2017. At that time, the airplane had accumulated 5,533.7 total hours, and the tachometer displayed 1,649.2 hours. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PARS, 51 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2213 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 24°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 300 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3600 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 29.68 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: RUSSIAN MISSION, AK (9AK2)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: BETHEL, AK (BET)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1415 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) performed a detailed weather study for this accident. Russian Mission Airport, located about 9 nautical miles (nm) north-northeast of the accident site, was the closest airport with official weather observations. At 1413 (about 17 minutes before the accident), a METAR reported the following information: wind from 140° at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; scattered clouds at 300 ft agl, scattered clouds at 2,600 ft agl, and broken ceiling at 3,600 ft agl; temperature 37°F; dew point 36°F; and altimeter setting 29.68 inches of mercury. At 1446 (about 16 minutes after the accident), a METAR reported the following information: wind from 170° at 4 knots; visibility 10 statute miles with light rain; scattered clouds at 1,000 ft agl, broken ceiling at 2,300 ft agl, and overcast skies at 3,400 ft; temperature 37°F; dew point 34°F; and altimeter setting 29.68 inches of mercury. In addition, the 1446 METAR reported that the rain began at the airport at 1432.

Marshall Don Hunter Sr. Airport, Marshall, Alaska, the next closest airport with official weather observations, was located 21 nm northwest of the accident site. At 1356 (34 minutes before the accident), a METAR reported wind from 250° at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken ceiling at 2,700 ft agl and overcast skies at 3,500 ft agl, temperature 37°F, dew point 35°F, and altimeter setting 29.67 inches of mercury.

Only one pilot report (PIREP) was available for the 3 hours surrounding the accident at an altitude below 18,000 ft and within 200 nm of the accident site. The PIREP was reported over Aniak, Alaska (about 50 nm southeast of the accident site), at 1512. The pilot of a Cessna 208 reported an overcast ceiling at 700 ft with cloud tops at 4,000 ft.

The area forecast issued at 1206, which was valid at the time of the accident, forecasted an AIRMET for instrument conditions, broken to overcast ceiling at 300 ft with cloud tops at 10,000 ft, and visibilities below 1 mile in mist with improving conditions forecast into the afternoon and evening hours.

The closest National Weather Service Weather Surveillance Radar-1988, Doppler (WSR-88D) was near PABE, located 52 miles south-southwest of the accident site. The radar detected reflectivity targets and associated rain showers above the accident site at 1422 and 1432. The area of rain showers was moving from southwest to northeast and had moved over and past the accident site between 1402 and 1442. No lightning strikes were at or near the accident site at the accident time.

The FAA's aviation weather cameras in Russian Mission showed the weather conditions surrounding the time of the accident. Images from the south- and southwest-facing cameras depicted rain shower conditions with the rain showers moving across the area with low ceiling and visibility conditions within the rain showers beyond the visibility reference point. The south-facing camera also indicated a low bank of clouds toward the Yukon River, the accident site, and along the intended flight route.

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: 61.640000, -161.445556 

The airplane was located about 10 miles southwest of Russian Mission, submerged about 15 ft in the Yukon River. The main wreckage was recovered and moved ashore. A portion of the forward fuselage, the engine, and the wings were located but could not be recovered. The location of these parts items has been confirmed using SONAR equipment and will be examined if they are eventually recovered at a later date.

The horizontal and vertical stabilizers remained attached to the empennage. The vertical stabilizer and left horizontal stabilizer were relatively free of impact damage. About 3 ft of the outboard portion of the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator was displaced about 45° up and was absent any leading-edge nicks or gouges.

The aft fuselage separated from the forward fuselage at the upper production joint near the forward end of the rear windows. The rivets from the upper production joint on the left side were pulled through the joint, which was consistent with the left wing rotating forward during impact. The rivets from the upper production joint on the right side did not pull but were popped out, which was consistent with the right wing rotating aft during impact.

The front left (pilot) seat was located about 5 miles downstream from the main wreckage location. The seat did not show any evidence of compression damage. The front right (copilot) seat was located about 10 miles downstream from the main wreckage location. Compression damage appeared on the bottom of the seat on the right side. More compression was found on the forward right side of the seat than on the rear right side. The left side of the seat showed relatively little crushing damage.

Medical And Pathological Information

The State of Alaska Medical Examiner's Office, Anchorage, Alaska, conducted an autopsy of the pilot. His cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot, which were negative for drugs, ethanol, and carbon monoxide. 

Tests And Research

The airplane was equipped with a J.P. Instruments (JPI) Engine Data Monitor (EDM) model 730, installed under STC SA00432SE and STC SA2586NM. The EDM model 730 is a panel-mounted LCD display that can monitor and record up to 24 parameters related to engine operations, including cylinder head temperature for each cylinder, exhaust gas temperature for each cylinder, fuel flow, fuel pressure, RPM, manifold pressure, and oil pressure and temperature.

The EDM was removed from the accident airplane and sent to the NTSB's Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, DC, for download. The data began recording at 1418:42 and were recorded in 6-second intervals. At 1420:30 and 1421:30, the engine parameters appeared consistent with the engine run-up. The manifold pressure, rpm, and other engine parameters appeared consistent with the takeoff roll at 1421:40.

For about the next 9.5 minutes, until the data recording ended at 1431:06, all engine parameters appeared nominal. Specifically, the final set of recorded data indicated that the cylinder head temperatures ranged from 290° to 365° F, exhaust gas temperatures ranged from 1,404° to 1,503° F, fuel flow was 13.1 gallons per hour, rpm was 2,415, manifold pressure was 23.4 inches of mercury, oil pressure was 39 psi, and oil temperature was 123° F. The EDM specialist's factual report is in the public docket for this accident.

The attitude indicator was also removed from the airplane and was examined by the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC. The indicator's glass face was intact with slight scratching damage. No significant deformation damage was found on the outside of the case. After disassembly, the gimbals were found to move freely. Further disassembly to the gyro revealed wetness and corrosion, but the rotor spun freely on the shaft within its housing. No scoring or deep gouge marks were observed in either the rotor or gyro housing surfaces.

Additional Information

An FAA safety brochure, titled "Spatial Disorientation Visual Illusions," included the following information:

The flight attitude of an airplane is generally determined by the pilot's visual reference to the natural horizon. When the natural horizon is obscured, attitude can sometimes be maintained by visual reference to the surface below. If neither horizon nor surface visual references exist, the airplane's attitude can only be determined by artificial means such as an attitude indicator or other flight instruments. Surface references or the natural horizon may at times become obscured by smoke, fog, smog, haze, dust, ice particles, or other phenomena, although visibility may be above VFR minimums. This is especially true at airports located adjacent to large bodies of water or sparsely populated areas, where few, if any, surface references are available. Lack of horizon or surface reference is common on over-water flights, at night, or in low visibility conditions.

To prevent spatial disorientation, the brochure recommended relying on flight instruments when flying in reduced visibility conditions and not attempting visual flight when there is a possibility of being trapped in deteriorating conditions.


NTSB Identification: ANC18FA003
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 16, 2017 in Russian Mission, AK
Aircraft: CESSNA 210, registration: N8347Z
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 October 16, 2017, about 1430 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 210-5 airplane, N8347Z, impacted the waters of the Yukon River, about 10 miles southwest of Russian Mission, Alaska. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The flight was being operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules (VFR) flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at the time of departure. No flight plan had been filed and there is no record of the pilot receiving a preflight weather briefing. The flight originated about 1415 from the Kako Airport, Kako, Alaska, and it was destined for Bethel, Alaska. 

According to a pilot that departed about 10 minutes ahead of the accident pilot on the same route of flight and also destined for Bethel, wide-spread areas of low level fog existed along the route. He stated in an interview that after both aircraft departed and were airborne, he conversed with the accident pilot and discussed the fog layers. He flew his route at 1,500ft above ground level (agl), above the fog and in good visibility but he was unsure of the altitude of the accident pilot. He estimated the fog existed between 400ft agl and 600ft agl. When he tried to contact the accident pilot about 15 minutes later, there was no response and no further radio communications were received.

After arriving in Bethel and loading passengers, the interviewed pilot departed for a return flight to Kako. Along the flight, he searched for the second airplane, but was unsuccessful in locating the airplane. After landing at Kako, he notified the FAA Flight Service Station and an alert notice (ALNOT) was issued at 1748. On October 17, the airplane was located about 10 miles southwest of Russian Mission, submerged in the waters of the Yukon River. The main wreckage was recovered and moved to shore. To date, a portion of the forward fuselage, the engine and wings remain submerged. The location of these items has been confirmed using SONAR equipment and will be examined if recovered later. 


The closest official weather observation station is Russian Mission, which is located about 10 miles northeast of the accident site. At 1413, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 140° at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and ceiling 200 ft scattered, 2,600 ft scattered, 3,600 ft broken; temperature 37° F; dew point 36° F; altimeter 29.68 inches of Mercury.



The remains of a pilot who went missing Monday while flying a small plane from Russian Mission to Bethel were found Friday evening, Alaska State Troopers said.

Around 7 p.m. Friday, the remains of Kyle Stevens, 31, were recovered from the Yukon River, troopers said in a dispatch Saturday afternoon. Troopers located the remains using sonar. Stevens' family has been notified, troopers said.

Stevens worked at the Kako Retreat Center in Russian Mission. He had been flying to Bethel to pick up volunteers, according to the center's Facebook page.

"Kyle was vivacious, funny, honest and kind," the Christian mission said in a Facebook post. "He loved the Lord with all his heart and he poured his life, passion and love into serving the Yupik and Athabascan kids of the (Yukon-Kuskokwim) Delta."

Stevens and his family — his wife, Ella, and their two daughters, Kate and Lauren, according to the Kako Retreat Center website — also lived at the Christian mission, said his co-worker Sharon Penz. He was the director of the kids' summer camp there, she said.

Another pilot traveling with Stevens in another airplane had reported "that he had encountered heavy fog," troopers said earlier this week. Stevens' plane was located in the Yukon River, about 10 miles downriver from Russian Mission on Tuesday, troopers said.


https://www.adn.com

Photo of missing pilot, Kyle Stevens, and family.


BETHEL, Alaska (KTUU) - 10:00 p.m. Wednesday update:

Bad weather Wednesday prevented search crews from reaching the site where wreckage of a small plane was found in the Yukon River.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said they will fly to Bethel on Thursday, with hopes of reaching the wreckage by helicopter.

The family of the missing pilot, Kyle Stevens, released a statement Wednesday:

Cheri Stevens, the pilot's mother, wrote "Kyle is known and loved in Alaska villages by the native children, whom he has served for 12 years at Kako Retreat Center, first as a counselor, and then as a camp director. He has delighted in making it a secure and happy place for the children who come. His passion in life has been to help them to know the truth about God from the Bible, so that they can have their sin forgiven and receive eternal life by repenting of their sin and trusting and following Jesus Christ . Kyle has also delighted in mentoring the young people who come to work and counsel at the camps. He is loved by all who know him and has impacted the lives of many people. Kyle is extremely loved by his family---his wife Ella and two young daughters, Lauren, 7 months, and Kate, 2 years, who live at the Kako Retreat Center near Russian Mission, and his mother and eight siblings, many of whom have counseled at the children's camps through the years. Kyle's plane went down while doing the work of the ministry that he has cared so much about. He was not afraid to die because death means being with the Lord that he loves."

6:00 p.m. Update:

Tuesday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers located Stevens' plane approximately 10 miles downriver from Russian Mission in the Yukon River. Officials towed the plane out of the river and onto the bank, where it was positively identified as the missing plane.

Troopers said Stevens remains unaccounted for, and that his next of kin have been updated as to the situation.

Correction: In a previous release, Alaska State Troopers incorrectly stated that a USCG helicopter was participating in the search effort. Instead, it is the Air National Guard who is assisting in the search.

Original Story:

The search is underway for a missing pilot, after he did not arrive at his Bethel destination on Monday.

Early Tuesday, Alaska State Troopers confirmed that Kyle Stevens, 31 of Russian Mission, was missing. Officials say Stevens was flying from Kako to Bethel along with another pilot in a separate aircraft. When that pilot arrived in Bethel, but Stevens did not, he notified authorities with the Rescue Coordination Center.

"The other pilot had reported that he had encountered heavy fog around the area of the Russian Hills," troopers wrote in a dispatch. Stevens was last seen near Russian Mission, and search efforts were concentrated in that area Tuesday.

Stevens was flying a Cessna 205, tail number N8347Z, maroon in color with a white stripe.

"Right now we're playing the waiting game," said Clint Johnson with the National Transportation Safety Board.

On Monday, AST says aircraft with the Civil Air Patrol was launched from Bethel and an Air National Guard HH-60 launched from JBER to assist in the search efforts; however, they had to turn back due to "weather related issues." Both CAP and ANG continued their search efforts early Tuesday morning. 


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




Rescuers searching for a Russian Mission pilot found the man's airplane in the Yukon River downriver from the village, but the man himself is still missing, Alaska State Troopers said Tuesday.

Kyle Stevens, 31, went missing Monday while flying a small plane from Russian Mission to Bethel to pick up volunteers for the Christian mission where he works, a co-worker said.

His plane was found about 10 miles downriver from Russian Mission, and boats towed it to shore, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

"Stevens remains unaccounted for," Peters said, adding that troopers have updated his family about the situation.

Stevens is well known across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta for his role as a summer camp counselor at the Kako Retreat Center, about 10 miles north of the village, said Sharon Penz, who works at the mission.

"A lot of people are desperately praying for him," Penz said Tuesday morning.

Stevens was flying his own personal plane, a donation from his mother that arrived just last week to help Stevens provide outreach in villages across the region, Penz said.

Stevens is married with two young children, she said. He has worked at Kako for many years.

Penz said her husband, Jonathan, was traveling ahead of Stevens in a separate Cessna plane on Monday. Her husband encountered heavy fog along the route. He notified authorities when Stevens failed to land in Bethel.

Russian Mission is situated along the Yukon River, about 70 miles north of Bethel.

State troopers received a report of the missing pilot at 6:29 p.m. Monday, the agency reported Tuesday.

Aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol in Bethel conducted aerial searches Tuesday, along with an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The helicopter had also taken off Monday night in an effort to search for the plane but turned back because of poor weather, said Peters.

Daryl Polty, a former search and rescue coordinator in Russian Mission, said he helped with the search on Tuesday.

A boater traveling along the Yukon River from another village spotted the plane in the water Tuesday and contacted Russian Mission by short-wave radio, Polty said. The boater's information was relayed to a small commercial airplane leaving Russian Mission, whose pilot relayed the plane's coordinates to state troopers, Polty said.

Polty said Tuesday evening that Russian Mission search teams will continue looking for Stevens, with a "full-scale" search expected on Wednesday.

"They'll be looking on the river, and the islands and sandbars and fish camp areas," Polty said, for any sign of Stevens.

Polty said he hopes the break in the weather on Tuesday continues to hold, and there won't be the rain, fog and sometimes snow that the area has been seeing lately.

"With God's hands, I hope we find him and he's OK," Polty said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story, citing Alaska State Troopers, said the Coast Guard was conducting an aerial search, but the Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon it was not.

Story and photos ➤ https://www.adn.com

Update: On Tuesday at about 1:36 p.m., Kyle Stevens' family was notified that the wreckage of Stevens' plane has been found. Kyle Stevens himself is still missing. 

Original article, published on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.:

Local volunteers and law enforcement are searching the area for Kyle Stevens, age 31.

Stevens took off from Russian Mission yesterday, piloting his small, maroon plane. 

A beloved summer camp counselor at the Kako Retreat Center, Stevens was headed to Bethel to pick up volunteers for the Christian mission that he works with.

He was supposed to land in town yesterday, but his plane never arrived. Another pilot who was traveling with Stevens in a separate plane said that he encountered heavy fog as he flew above the Russian Hills.

State Troopers and rescue workers are looking for Stevens, and the Civil Air Patrol and Air National Guard are helping conduct an aerial search for the pilot and his plane.

Stevens’ missing plane is a maroon Cessna 205 with a white stripe. Its tail number is N8347Z. If you see any sign of it, or have any information about his whereabouts, please contact the Bethel State Troopers at 907-543-2294.

KYUK's reporting on Stevens' disappearance is ongoing.

Correction: In a previous version of this story, we reported that Stevens was a resident of Russian Mission. According to his brother-in-law, James Buckingham, he resides at the Kako Retreat Center outside of the village. We regret the error.

Story and photo ➤ http://kyuk.org

UPDATE: While an aircraft was found 10 miles downriver of Russian Mission, and verified as being the missing airplane, there is no sign of the missing pilot. 

The aircraft was towed to the bank of the river.

Steven’s next of kin were notified of the discovery.

ORIGINAL: Alaska State Troopers received a report at 6:29 pm on Monday evening, advising them that there was a missing aircraft that was traveling between Russian Mission and Bethel.

According to the report by troopers, 31-year-old Kyle Stevens, of Russian Mission was flying from Russian Mission to Bethel with another pilot flying with him in a separate aircraft.

The pilot flying the same flight path as Stevens reported the aircraft, a maroon Cessna 205 with a white stripe, bearing the tail number N8347Z, called in the report, when that plane failed to land in Bethel. The pilot reported that they had encountered heavy fog in the Russian Hills area.

Although Civil Air Patrol aircraft in Bethel flew the area, the searchers failed to locate the aircraft. An Air National Guard HH-60 launched from JBER, but was forced to turn back because of adverse weather conditions.

Civil Air Patrol and the Air National Guard will continue their search of the area today.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://alaska-native-news.com

Robinson R44 Raven II, N422PE, Barbers Point Flight School LLC: Incident occurred October 17, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

Rotorcraft force landed on a soccer field.

Barbers Point Flight School LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N422PE

Date: 17-OCT-17
Time: 22:58:00Z
Regis#: N422PE
Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Aircraft Model: R44
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: HONOLULU
State: HAWAII

A private helicopter, which was headed to help in the search for a downed chopper off Molokai, lost power and made an emergency landing at the Waipio Soccer Complex in Central Oahu at around 1 p.m. today.

The pilot and his passenger were not injured, and the helicopter appeared undamaged. 

The passenger, Reggie Perry of Barbers Point Aviation Services, is the owner of the helicopter. 

The pilot refused to give his name.

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation said fields 15 through 19 of the park are closed as authorities respond to the situation.

The pilot said the helicopter lost power after leaving Kalaeloa for the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, where they were to receive instructions on helping with the search for two men who were aboard the chopper that went down off Molokai Monday night. He said he is a friend of the pilot in the Molokai crash.

Both rotorcraft were identified as Robinson R44 helicopters.

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

Nelson Ezell continues recovery after plane crash: Hawker FB60 Sea Fury, N254SF, accident occurred July 25, 2017 near Stephens County Airport (KBKD), Breckenridge, Texas

Chad and Anna Ezell, son and daughter of Ezell Aviation Founder Nelson Ezell continue running their father’s business while he continues to recover from a plane crash in July.

Nelson Ezell’s prominence in Breckenridge had never been higher after re-launching the once famed Breckenridge Air Show, along with efforts from the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, which added to the shock when his World War II-era CSEA Seafury British Hawker crashed on private property near Hwy. 183 before reaching the Ezell Aviation runway.

While speaking with the Breckenridge American, Chad Ezell thanked the staff of Ezell Aviation for stepping up in Nelson Ezell’s absence and doing whatever is asked of them.

“Their commitment to whatever was needed has been so appreciated by the Ezell family,” Chad Ezell said.

While piloting the experimental World War II-era airplane in July, an engine malfunction downed the Warbird and resulted in injuries to Ezell and his passenger Dustin Mayfield. Mayfield walked away with a broken arm, but Ezell’s injuries were significant. He remained in ICU Trauma Unit at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth for 10 days, where the doctors operated on his severely injured arm, when he was stable enough to manage it. 

Ezell was later moved to another trauma recovery site, where he has remained the past nine weeks. At this point, the Ezell family anticipates Nelson being moved to another recovery hospital that is more equipped to handle the next stage of his recovery now that he is breathing on his own and his severely bruised lungs have had a chance to heal.

The Ezell family is so thankful and appreciative of all the prayers on their behalf and expressed the need for those thoughts and prayers to continue while Nelson continues his long recovery and meets each new challenge in that recovery. Chad and Anna expressed their deep appreciation for the community of Breckenridge and that they are part of such a caring community. 

Ezell is still not ready for visitors, but both Nelson and his wife Helen “Dude” Ezell appreciate the concern that has been conveyed to them through their children, other family members and close friends.

“They have all felt the concern and thoughtful prayers that have been lifted on behalf of their parents as Nelson continues to meet the new challenges in his recovery,” Chad Ezell said.

Original article ➤ https://www.breckenridgeamerican.com

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
  
http://registry.faa.gov/N254SF

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA285 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 25, 2017 in Breckenridge, TX
Aircraft: HILLARD CHARLIE R HAWKER FB60, registration: N254SF
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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

On July 25, 2017, about 0900 central daylight time, an experimental Hawker FB60 airplane, N254SF, experienced a loss of engine power and impacted trees and terrain near Stephens County Airport (BKD), Breckenridge, Texas. The private pilot and one passenger were seriously injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane was on short final for runway 17 when the engine experienced a loss of power and the airplane descended into the trees and terrain. The pilot and passenger and were flown to a hospital for treatment. 

A cell phone video of the accident flight was obtained. A review of the video revealed the airplane was near the approach end of runway 17 as it descended and made a left turn, then disappeared into the tree line. 

The airplane has been retained for further examination.

Robinson R44, N820DF, registered to Stasys Aviation Leasing LLC and operated by Hawaii Pacific Aviation: Fatal accident occurred October 16, 2017 in Molokai, Hawaii

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

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


Registered to Stasys Aviation Leasing LLC

Operated by Hawaii Pacific Aviation

http://registry.faa.gov/N820DF




NTSB Identification: WPR18LA010

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 16, 2017 in Molokai, HI
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44, registration: N820DF
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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


On October 16, 2017, about 1918 Hawaiian standard time, a Robinson Helicopter R44, N820DF, impacted the waters off the island of Molokai, Hawaii. The flight instructor and commercial pilot receiving instruction are missing and presumed to be fatally injured. Debris from the helicopter was observed floating on the water northwest of the shores of Molokai. The helicopter was registered to Stasys Aviation Leasing LLC., and operated by Hawaii Pacific Aviation doing business as Mauna Loa Helicopters under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed in the area at the time of the accident, and the flight was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The flight originated from the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (PHNL) at an undetermined time.


Preliminary information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that Air Traffic Control cleared the flight for a practice RNAV (GPS)-B instrument approach to the Molokai Airport and provided instructions for the missed approach procedure which included instructions to climb to 4,000 feet and maintain a heading of 040 degrees. Following completion of the instrument approach and subsequent execution of the missed approach, the flight reestablished radio contact with Air Traffic Control. The controller informed the flight that radar contact was identified and subsequently issued a clearance to PHNL with instructions to fly a heading of 260 degrees and ascend to an altitude of 4,000 feet. Shortly after, the controller issued a heading change to 240 degrees to intercept the Victor 8 airway, of which the flight verified. Shortly after, the controller noticed the flight had descended to 3,600 feet before radar and radio communication with the accident helicopter was lost.


A representative from the United States Coast Guard reported that after the helicopter was reported missing, an air unit located debris and a red chemlight floating in the ocean water northwest of Molokai. The following day, another air unit from Maui Fire Department located an uninflated life jacket along the northwestern shoreline of Molokai. The search for the helicopter was suspended on the evening of October 19, 2017.


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

Jeremy Dossetter


Jeremy Dossetter, age 27, beloved son and brother, died tragically on October 16, 2017 in a helicopter crash off the coast of Molokai, Hawaii. Hundreds of brave men and women of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Fire Department searched for days for the downed and missing helicopter with Jeremy and his flight instructor, but, sadly, after extreme efforts, the search was called off October 19. 


Jeremy was a cherished friend to many, and a source of strength and pure happiness to his mother, Susan, father, David, and siblings Benjamin, Asher, Clara and Violetta. He had a passion for the earth, the ocean, for flying and life. He had many plans to clean and heal the world through his flying, and was literally one check ride away from being able to start to pursue that passion.


Jeremy had a smile that radiated throughout, and that was contagious. He will be excruciatingly missed by all who knew him, and it is safe to say the world will be sorely lacking this gentle, giving and passionate soul. 


A memorial service for Jeremy will be held Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 pm at Congregation Emanu-El, 2 Lake Street, San Francisco.


All who knew and loved Jeremy and his family are encouraged to attend.


In lieu of flowers, food or gifts, donations may be made to a fund the family has established in Jeremy's honor, The Jeremy Dossetter Living Ocean Fund.

For details, please email jdossetterlivingocean@gmail.com. 



A helicopter that crashed into the ocean off Molokai on Oct. 16 acknowledged a course change from the tower at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu before descending 400 feet to 3,600 feet and then falling out of radar and radio communication, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary accident report released Thursday.

The crash of the Robinson R44 helicopter occurred at 7:18 p.m. with Jeremy Dossetter, 27, and Oliver Kirsch, 25, aboard, the NTSB and news reports said. They are missing and presumed dead, the preliminary report said.

The men departed the Honolulu airport for Molokai Airport on an instructional flight rules flight plan, the report said. The departure time was not determined.

Air traffic control at the Honolulu airport cleared the flight for a practice “missed approach procedure” on instruments to Molokai Airport, the report said. Air traffic controllers instructed the pilots to climb to 4,000 feet.

After completing the altitude adjustment and practice procedure, the pilots radioed air traffic controllers, the report said. Air traffic controllers cleared the helicopter to return to the Honolulu airport with instructions to fly a heading of 260 degrees at an altitude of 4,000 feet.

Air traffic controllers then issued a heading change to 240 degrees to align with a runway for landing, which the pilots confirmed, the report said. Shortly after that, air traffic controllers noticed the flight had descended to 3,600 feet before radar and radio communications with the helicopter were lost.

A U.S. Coast Guard air unit located debris from the helicopter and red chemlight floating on the water northwest of Molokai that night. An uninflated life jacket was found the following day along the northwestern shoreline by the Maui Fire Department.

A Molokai fisherman at Moomomi Bay told The Maui News that he saw a red blinking light plummet from the sky northwest of the island on the evening of Oct. 16.

The helicopter was registered to Stasys Aviation Leasing LLC and operated by Hawaii Pacific Aviation doing business as Mauna Loa Helicopters.

The report said visibility was 10 miles with few clouds and winds from the northeast 15 to 27 mph.

Kirsch was listed as a certified flight instructor on Mauna Loa Helicopters’ website. He grew up in the Swiss Alps and began his flying career by paragliding, according to the website.

The NTSB preliminary report identified Dossetter as a commercial pilot. An obituary notice published in the San Francisco Chronicle described him as a “cherished friend to many, and a source of strength and pure happiness to his” mother, father and siblings.

“He had a passion for the earth, the ocean, for flying and life,” the notice said. “He had many plans to clean and heal the world through his flying and was literally one check ride away from being able to start to pursue that passion.”



MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -  Rescue crews continued their search Tuesday for a downed chopper near Molokai by air and sea, but the whereabouts of the two on board remain unknown. 

Multiple agencies are working together to conduct search efforts.

Tuesday morning, the Maui Fire Department's Air 1 recovered an uninflated life vest floating on the water's surface about 100 yards from shore and a mile east of Ilio Point, officials said. 

The vest was eventually turned over to the Coast Guard for proper identification, and no other debris has been found. 

Maui fire officials also said a man fishing Monday night at Moomomi Beach witnessed the aircraft go down. He described what he saw as "a red beacon of an aircraft" that descended rapidly to the ocean and then it disappeared in the direction of Molokai's Ilio point.

The chopper, which was on its way back to Honolulu with a flight student and instructor on board, was from Mauna Loa Helicopters. The company is also assisting in the search.

"Our thoughts and prayers are for the people involved and their families," said company President Benjamin Fouts. "You try to prepare in the training and do the best you can in the situation you're given."

Officials said debris and chemlights were located about one and half miles from shore, but it's unclear if the items were from missing helicopter.

Coast Guard officials were notified of the suspected downed helicopter at 7:26 p.m. Monday, when it vanished from radar. 

Fouts said the two men left Honolulu about 6 p.m. Monday for a training flight to Molokai, and were supposed to return by 8 or 8:30 p.m. 

There was no mayday call, according to Mauna Loa Helicopters.

"It's just so sad, but bad weather and nighttime, that's often a formula, a recipe for tragedies," said John Corboy, a Molokai pilot who owns a Robinson R-44. "I understand there was a lull maybe at 6 o'clock when they took off, but pretty soon it was gusting back up," he said.

Fouts said the flight school's standard policy is not to allow students to fly in winds above 25 knots, which is roughly 29 miles per hour.

The Coast Guard said that crews searching for the helicopter on Monday night dealt with 30 mph winds and 12 to 15-foot seas.

On Tuesday, rescue crews were working in less than ideal conditions, with 25 mph winds and 15-foot seas.

Company officials said the student on board the flight moved to Hawaii from California about a year ago, and is close to completing the school's Professional Pilot Program which is designed to help students earn five ratings and certificates.

His teacher, officials said, is one of the most experienced at the company and has been working for Mauna Loa Helicopters for at least two years.

Amanda Levasseur, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd class, said the helicopter is a Robinson R-44, a four-seat light helicopter.

Company officials says the R-44 is a good aircraft for training, but aviation attorney and pilot Rick Fried disagrees.

"These Robinsons are a very tricky helicopter," said Fried. "You need to be very experienced. Hughes, Bells, others, similar to that, are far easier."

Its tail number was confirmed as N820DF and, according to FAA records, it was manufactured in 2002.

In 2013, the same chopper was involved in a "precautionary landing" at Magic Island. It had a crack on the left door window, and no injuries were reported.

A Coast Guard airplane, helicopter and vessels are participating in the search along with a Navy helicopter and a Maui Fire Department chopper and ground crews.

The chopper search comes last than a year after a well-known attorney Gary Galiher and Honolulu realtor Keiko Kuroki were killed in a helicopter crash on Molokai. Weather is believed to be a factor in the crash.

In 2011, five people were killed when a tour helicopter crashed into a hillside on the east end of Molokai. Two newlyweds from Pennsylvania, a Canadian couple and the pilot were killed. Authorities said pilot error is to blame for the crash.

Story, video, photo gallery ➤ http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com

Bell 206L-3 LongRanger III, N206CJ, registered to CB Couch Inc and operated by Couch Helicopter Service Inc: Accident occurred October 15, 2015 in Dickinson, Clarke County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia Hills, 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

Registered Owner: CB Couch Inc

Operator: Couch Helicopter Service Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N206CJ

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA015
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, October 15, 2015 in Dickinson, AL
Aircraft: BELL 206L 3, registration: N206CJ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 15, 2015, about 1500 central daylight time, a Bell 206L-3, N206CJ, experienced a loss of tail rotor thrust and contacted trees during an emergency descent near Dickinson, Alabama. The commercial pilot was not injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to CB Couch, Inc., and operated by Couch Helicopter Service, Inc., as an aerial application flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated about 5 minutes earlier from a nearby field.

The operator reported that, toward the end of the flight, during a left turn while flying at an airspeed less than 15 knots and between 70 and 120 ft above trees, the pilot heard a "pop" sound followed by a loss of tail rotor thrust. The pilot added full left anti-torque pedal input but that was not effective. He then lowered the collective but did not reduce throttle. As the helicopter descended, the main rotor blades, mast, and a portion of the tailboom contacted trees and fractured. The helicopter descended to the ground and came to rest on its left side.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration operations inspector revealed that the tailboom with attached tail rotor had separated but was found near the main wreckage. The tail rotor blades were intact and showed little damage except for scratches from contact with trees. Examination of the tail rotor drive system revealed that the first driveshaft assembly (shaft S1) aft of the oil cooler blower, and the second driveshaft assembly (shaft S2) aft of the oil cooler blower, were both fractured about midspan. One of the fasteners used to attach shaft S1 to the disc pack coupling at the shaft's aft end was missing, and the securing hardware was not located. The third tail rotor driveshaft (shaft S3) aft of the blower was not fractured. The forward flange of the fourth tail rotor driveshaft (shaft S4) aft of the blower was fractured on one side, and the fractured section remained attached to the disc pack coupling. The opposite side bolt remained trapped in the disk pack coupling, and the bolt was bent and fractured. Components of the tail rotor drive system consisting of fractured shafts S1 and S2, non-fractured shaft S3, and the fractured section of the forward end of shaft S4 with disc pack couplings and securing hardware were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory located in Washington, DC.

According to the NTSB Materials Laboratory report, the fracture surface of shaft S1 showed irregular fracture features with postfracture damage and inward deformation consistent with an overstress fracture, and the fracture features on shaft S2 were on slant planes and matte gray, which is consistent with overstress. There was no evidence of preexisting damage to either fracture surface. Examination of the fractured section of shaft S4 revealed fracture features consistent with an overstress fracture under shear loading.

Examination of the flange of the aft portion of shaft S1 associated with the missing hardware revealed wear in the hole bore corresponding to contact with the threads of the missing fastener. The outside face of the flange of the aft end of shaft S1 diametrically opposite from the flange with the missing fastener displayed circumferential sliding contact marks, and no torque paint was observed on the flange, washer, or bolt threads. At the missing attachment location, the forward plate in the disc pack coupling was cracked across the width of the plate between the inner and outer diameter, and the crack intersected the middle of the attachment hole. Contact marks were observed at the aft end of shaft S1 at the sides approximately orthogonal to the flanges. The shape and location of the contact marks were consistent with contact with the heads of the bolts attaching shaft S2 to the disc pack coupling and shaft S1 as it rotated about the remaining attachment bolt.

The prevailing or tare torque for one nut at the forward end and of the remaining nut at the aft end of shaft S1 were below the minimum torque specified in Bell Helicopter's Standard Practices Manual (SPM), and the prevailing or tare torque for the remaining fasteners were above the minimum torque specified in the SPM. (The prevailing torque is a measure of the turning resistance of a lock nut, and the turning resistance generally decreases as nuts are reused.) Returning torque measurements were conducted on each of the coupling attachments, which revealed that only the two fasteners on the forward end of shaft S1 were within limits.

According to the helicopter's maintenance records, on March 15, 2015, at helicopter total time 6,059.9 hours, the helicopter was modified in accordance with Bell Helicopter Technical Bulletin 206L-07-226 dated October 8, 2007. The modification included installation of an improved upper left longeron/fitting assembly, P/N 206-031-314-217B, and aft fuselage bulkhead, P/N 407-030-027-103. According to the technical bulletin accomplishment instructions, preparation included, in part, removal of: the tail rotor driveshaft between the engine and oil cooler, the oil cooler and oil cooler blower assemblies, the engine, the tail rotor drive shaft segment aft of the oil cooler blower, and the tailboom assembly. The maintenance record entry returning the helicopter to service after the modification did not specify whether new hardware was used during reinstallation of the tail rotor drive shaft segments or if the old hardware was re-installed. Since the modification was performed, the helicopter had undergone four 100-hour inspections, the latest of which was completed on September 10, 2015. The helicopter total time at its last 100-hour inspection was 6,456.5 hours, and the total time at the time of the accident was reported to be 6,550 hours.

In May 2002, Bell Helicopter issued Revision A to Operations Safety Notice (OSN) 206L-02-43, which required a 100-hour recurring torque check for the tail rotor disc pack coupling hardware as well as the application of torque stripes after torqueing. The OSN also indicated that the 206L maintenance manual (MM) would be revised to incorporate the new torque check and torque stripe requirement and reminded mechanics of the need to include tare torque of the nut in the torque value. Postaccident review of the 206L maintenance manual revealed no reference to adding torque stripes to the disc coupling fasteners following torque check. As a result, Bell Helicopter changed the MM to incorporate application of torque stripes after torque check of the disc pack coupling fasteners.

On May 25, 2015, Transport Canada issued Revision 1 to Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) 2013-04, which identified certain defective MS21042-4 nuts, which are the type of nuts used to secure components of the tail rotor drive shaft system. The alert indicated that failures of nuts due to hydrogen embrittlement had occurred, and the defective nuts were from 3 lots produced by a single manufacturer in 2009 and 2010. According to the operator, they could not determine whether they had ever had in their inventory any nuts from the suspected lots of nuts specified in Revision 1 of CASA 2013-04.

On March 29, 2017, Transport Canada issued CASA 2017-02, titled "Loss of Hardware – Tail Rotor Drive Shaft Couplings," which called attention to six previous NTSB investigations of Bell 206 helicopters involving in-flight loss of tail rotor authority. The recommended action section of the alert specified using a calibrated torque wrench when installing hardware pertaining to the tail rotor drive shaft system, avoiding re-use of the hardware, verifying that tare or run-on torque of nuts meets the minimum specification, requiring torque checks per the maintenance manual, and finally, applying torque stripe material to the hardware after torque check.

Review of the six NTSB investigations cited in CASA 2017-02 revealed that all identified separation of a fastener securing one of the tail rotor driveshafts to a disc pack coupling. Of the six fastener separations, only one separated nut was found. The report prepared by Bell Helicopter concerning the separated nut indicated that the prevailing or tare torque was greater than the minimum specified in the SPM. The NTSB metallurgy reports for two of the investigations indicated that the remaining fasteners of the provided parts were not checked with an instrument of sufficient accuracy; therefore, it could not be determined whether they met the minimum prevailing or tare torque value specified in the SPM.

The accident helicopter was manufactured in 1992, but certificated in accordance with Civil Air Regulations (CAR) 6, dated December 20, 1956, Amendments 6-1 thru 6-4, CAR 6.307(b) and 6.637 of Amendment 6-5, special conditions dated October 2, 1962, as revised February 8, 1966. Review of CAR 6.303, titled "Standard Fastenings," revealed that it stated, "Self-locking nuts shall not be used on bolts which are subject to rotation in operation." According to Bell Helicopter and Transport Canada personnel, the bolts used to secure the tail rotor driveshaft disc pack couplings are in rotation, but do not serve as the axis of rotation itself. Therefore, CAR 6.303 was not applicable.