Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cessna 210-5, N8347Z: Fatal accident occurred October 16, 2017 in Russian Mission, Alaska

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bethel, Alaska
TCM; Mobile, Alabama 

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

Kyle D. Stevens: http://registry.faa.gov/N8347Z 

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.

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 




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.

Cessna 152, N6449M, Southern Utah University - Upper Limit Aviation: Fatal accident occurred October 05, 2015 near Cedar City Regional Airport (KCDC), Iron County, Utah

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Dallas, Texas

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: Tumbleweed Leasing Inc

Operator: Upper Limit Aviation


NTSB Identification: WPR16FA002
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 05, 2015 in Cedar City, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N6449M
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On October 5, 2015, at 1300 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 152, N6449M, impacted a dry lake bed about 6 nautical miles southwest of Cedar City Municipal Airport (KCDC), Cedar City, Utah. The two flight instructors were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. Upper Limit Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local company check flight departed KCDC about 1215. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The operator reported that the purpose of the flight was for the chief pilot of the flight school to demonstrate the airplane to a newly hired flight instructor. Witnesses saw the airplane performing various maneuvers over the dry lake bed, which was used as a training area. One witness reported that, just before the accident, the airplane was descending in a near vertical fashion in a slight nose-low attitude and looked "like a fluttering leaf."

The airplane was equipped with an on-board flight tracking system that uploaded recorded data points via satellite to the operator every 2 minutes. The unit retained the recorded data in non-volatile memory at 5 second intervals. The unit was downloaded, and a review of the last 14 minute segment of flight data showed the airplane departing from KCDC at 1246 using runway 26. The data showed the airplane making a right turn to the north at 1248:04. The airplane continued the right turn and made a touch-and-go landing on runway 20.

At 1251:04, the airplane was climbing away from the runway. The flight track continued southwest toward the accident location. At 1256:04, the flight track passed over the accident site elevation (5,457 ft) at an altitude of 7,656 ft mean sea level (msl) and continued southwest in a gradual climb. The flight track showed a gradual left turn followed by a widening right climbing turn back toward the north. At 1259:49, the airplane's altitude was 8,661 ft msl, and the data then showed a descent to 8,179 ft msl during a 15 second period. By 1300:04, the airplane had climbed to an altitude of 8,353 ft msl. At 1300:19, the airplane was at an altitude of 8,559 ft msl (about 3,100 ft above ground level), and the remaining 35 seconds of data showed a near vertical descent toward the accident location. The last recorded data point at 1300:54 showed that the airplane was over the accident site, had a ground speed of 40 knots, and was at 5,580 ft msl.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 15284733, was manufactured in 1980. It was powered by a 125-horsepower Lycoming O-235-L2C engine and equipped with a Sensenich 70CKS6-0-52 fixed-pitch propeller. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed that an annual inspection was completed on July 17, 2015, at an hour meter reading of 99.4 hours, airframe total time of 9,678.2 hours, and engine time since major overhaul of 99.4 hours. Examination of the maintenance and flight department records revealed no unresolved maintenance discrepancies against the airplane before departure.

Fueling records at KCDC established that the airplane was last fueled on October 5, 2015, with 14 gallons of 100-octane aviation fuel. The operator calculated, based on previous flight records, that the airplane departed with a total of 23 gallons of fuel on board.

The current weight and balance documentation for the airplane was found in the airplane flight manual. The maximum gross weight for the airplane was 1,670 pounds. The gross weight at departure was estimated at 1,709 pounds. Based on estimated fuel burn and flight time, at the time of the accident, the airplane had a gross weight of 1,681 pounds.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

Investigators examined the wreckage at the accident scene. The damage to the airplane was consistent with impact in a right-wing-low, nose-down attitude. There were no ground impact marks around the airplane to indicate any forward momentum. Both fuel tanks exhibited hydraulic deformation in a downward direction and were breached.

The outboard right wing leading edge exhibited tapering compression damage. The left wing was canted forward, and the right wing was canted aft. All primary flight control surfaces and major system components were identified and located at the wreckage site before the wreckage was recovered. The aileron and flap cables were cut by recovery personnel at the wing roots.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Utah Department of Health, Office of the Medical Examiner, conducted postmortem examinations of both pilots. The cause of death for both pilots was reported as blunt force injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing of specimens of both pilots, which were negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and tested drugs.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

After the wreckage was recovered, the engine was separated from the main wreckage and placed on a table to facilitate examination and disassembly. The propeller hub remained attached to the engine. Both propeller blades remained straight and exhibited no damage indicative of rotation at the time of impact.

Engine compression and valve train continuity were established. The magnetos produced spark at all leads. The top spark plugs appeared new. The fuel strainer bowl was full of fuel, which tested negative for water, and the strainer screen was clean.

The carburetor was impact displaced and was embedded in the left lower firewall. It was fractured radially at the throttle plate. The float bowl was removed and about 10 drops of fuel were observed and tested using Kolor Kut water disclosing paste with negative results. Hydraulic deformation was observed on one of the floats. All fuel lines were empty of any liquid.

The fuel selector was removed, examined, and determined to be in the "ON" position.

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA002 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 05, 2015 in Cedar City, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N6449M
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 5, 2015, at 1303 mountain daylight time (MDT), a Cessna 152, N6449M, impacted a dry lake bed approximately 6 nautical miles southwest of Cedar City Municipal Airport (KCDC), Cedar City, Utah. Upper Limit Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The airline transport pilot/certified flight instructor (CFI) and commercial pilot/CFI undergoing a company check flight, were fatally injured; the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The local company check flight departed Cedar City about 1215. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses observed the pilot performing various maneuvers in the airplane over the dry lake bed, which was typically used as a training area. A witness observed the airplane in a nose-low descent and fluttering leaf before it impacted terrain. 

The airplane was equipped with an on-board flight tracking system that recorded data points every 2 minutes. The last recorded data point indicated that the airplane was approximately 3,500 feet above ground level (agl) above the accident site, with a ground speed of 40 knots.

The airplane was documented on scene, and recovered to a secure storage facility.

Hughes 369HS, N9068F, Whirlwide Helicopters Inc: Fatal accident occurred September 03, 2015 in Manra Island, Kiribati

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Offices; Los Angeles, California and Honolulu, Hawaii

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:  Whirlwide Helicopters Inc

Operator:   Whirlwide Helicopters Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N9068F

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 03, 2015 in Manra Island, Kiribati
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N9068F
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On September 3, 2015, at 1752 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Hughes 369HS helicopter, N9068F, was destroyed following a forced landing into the Pacific Ocean about 300 nautical miles east of Manra Island, Republic of Kiribati. The El Salvador certificated helicopter pilot was fatally injured, the passenger sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was operated by Whirlwide Helicopters Inc., of Port Vila, Vanuatu. The local aerial observation flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight, which originated from a tuna fishing vessel 35 minutes prior to the accident.

In a written report to the NTSB, a representative from the operator stated that the pilot and passenger/spotter were conducting fish spotting duties when the accident occurred. He reported that the helicopter descended and impacted the water and rolled upside-down. The spotter was able to exit the helicopter when he observed that the pilot's life vest had deployed while inside the helicopter and the pilot was struggling to exit. He saw the pilot stop moving, but due to his injuries was unable to assist him.

A nearby fishing vessel was able to recover the pilot and the passenger but the helicopter sank and was not recovered.

Shortly after being rescued, the passenger, a Vietnamese national, reported to the fish master that "the helicopter went wrong in the air and started rolling over and fell into the water." After the passenger was transported to a hospital in Majuro, Marshall Islands, he was not available for further questioning. 

The operator reported that the flight crews are issued life vests, but that some pilots preferred to use their own vests. The accident pilot had acquired his own vest which was equipped with an auto-inflation activation system which would activate anytime the vest was submerged underwater.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a commercial helicopter pilot certificate issued by the Republic of El Salvador on May 20, 2004, and a first-class airman medical certificate issued on November 6, 2014, with the limitations that the pilot must wear corrective lenses. The pilot's logbook was not recovered for examination. The operator reported the pilot had 5,350 total flight hours with 355 hours in make and model. No personal flight records were located for the pilot.

The pilot did not hold a pilot certificate issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, which is required to operate a US registered aircraft while in international airspace.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The pilot's body was transported to Majuro for further processing. The investigation was unable to obtain any results of any testing or examination of the pilot. The mechanism of his injuries, detailed postmortem information was not available.