Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N5295Y, registered to Mike Bravo LLC: Fatal accident occurred October 10, 2015 in Seville, Volusia County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Orlando, Florida
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N5295Y

Location: Seville, FL
Accident Number: ERA16LA008
Date & Time: 10/10/2015, 1400 EDT
Registration: N5295Y
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Windshear or thunderstorm
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The commercial pilot reported that, during a local flight, he encountered a downdraft while maneuvering the airplane between 300 and 600 ft above ground level at an airspeed about 75 knots. He stated that he attempted to recover, but the airplane continued to sink and subsequently impacted trees and terrain. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal evidence of any mechanical any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The conditions reported by the closest weather observation facility, located 23 nautical miles away, included scattered towering cumulus clouds and 6-knot winds. Additionally, towering cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds were noted near the airport. Atmospheric modeling data noted the potential for strong low-level thermal activity near the accident site about the time of the accident. Given the weather conditions that prevailed about the time of the accident, it is likely that the airplane encountered a downdraft; given the airplane's altitude and airspeed at the time of the encounter, the pilot had insufficient time to regain control of the airplane before it impacted the ground. 

Probable Cause and Findings


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The airplane's encounter with a downdraft, and the pilot's decision to maneuver the airplane at a low altitude and airspeed, which provided insufficient time and altitude to recover before impacting terrain. 

Findings

Personnel issues

Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues

Downdraft - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information 


On October 10, 2015, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5295Y, was substantially damaged after a loss of control during a low altitude maneuver near Seville, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries, and the rear seated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Mike Bravo LLC., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona, Florida at 1300.

According to the pilot, while flying about 600-650 feet above ground level (agl) at a speed of 75 knots with 20° of flaps, the airplane suddenly "fell out from under" him. The airplane lost 300-350 feet of altitude within a few seconds. He applied full power to recover the altitude but the airplane continued to "sink." He maneuvered the airplane towards a clearing to avoid trees, lost control, and collided with the ground.

According to the operator of the airplane, the pilot called twice on the day of the accident. He initially called to apologize for the accident and in the evening, he called to explain what happened earlier that day. The pilot stated earlier that day he brought one passenger and then picked up another. He said that the intent of the flight was to "drop boxes" south of Lake Crescent, at a campsite managed by St. Johns River Water Management District. The pilot said he was aware that dropping objects out of the airplane was prohibited, but assured the operator that he had coordinated with the people on the ground to stay out of the way when the items were dropped. When the pilot reached the campsite, he descended to an altitude between 300 and 600 feet agl, configured the airplane with 20° of flaps, and slowed it to 75 knots. After successfully dropping several boxes, and during the final drop, the airplane encountered a downdraft and lost altitude. The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain.

Examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The 1453 weather conditions reported at DAB included scattered, towering cumulus clouds at 3,500 feet, scattered clouds at 5,000 feet, scattered clouds at 7,500 feet and a broken ceiling at 25,000 feet, and winds from 060° at 6 knots. Additionally, towering cumulus clouds were noted to the south, and cumulonimbus clouds were noted in the distance to the east, southwest, and northwest of the airport. DAB was located 23 nautical miles southeast of the accident site.

The National Weather Service National Radar Mosaic for the period depicted isolated echoes associated with rain showers approximately 5 miles west and 10 miles southwest of the accident site, near Georgetown and Aster, Florida on the ends of Lake George, with a small isolated intense area of echoes immediately east of DAB at the time.

A North American Mesoscale Model sounding for the area of the accident site suggested the potential for strong low-level thermal activity and an unstable atmosphere, with expected clouds developing near 3,000 feet agl. The sounding did not depict the presence of low-level turbulence or windshear.

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying

Windshear or thunderstorm (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information


Certificate: Commercial
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/26/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 425 hours (Total, all aircraft), 340 hours (Total, this make and model), 350 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information


Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 24, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):  Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/19/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1300 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N5295Y
Model/Series: 172S S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S9236
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/22/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 65 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6119 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: MIKE BRAVO LLC
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDAB, 41 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 114°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3500 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 23°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Daytona, FL (DAB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Daytona, FL (DAB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1314 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  29.343056, -81.451944


Jeffrey Luong
April 12, 1988 - October 10, 2015






NTSB Identification: ERA16LA008 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 10, 2015 in Seville, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N5295Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 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 October 10, 2015, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N5295Y, was substantially damaged after a loss of control during a low altitude maneuver near Seville, Florida. The commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained serious injuries, and the rear passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to Mike Bravo LLC., and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Daytona, Florida at 1314.

According to the operator, who had rented the airplane to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to "drop boxes" south of Lake Crescent, at a campsite managed by St. Johns River Water Management District. After loading the airplane with cargo, the pilot departed on the accident flight with the two passengers. After departing from DAB, the pilot descended the airplane to between 300 and 600 feet above the ground, configured the airplane with 20 degrees of flaps, and slowed it to 75 knots. After successfully dropping several boxes, and during the final drop, the airplane encountered a downdraft and lost altitude. The pilot attempted to recover, but the airplane subsequently impacted trees and terrain.

The airplane was recovered from the accident site and retained for further examination.

The 1453 weather conditions reported at DAB included scattered, towering cumulus clouds at 3,500 feet, scattered clouds at 5,000 feet, scattered clouds at 7.500 feet and a broken ceiling at 25,000 feet, and winds from 060 degrees at 6 knots. Additionally, towering cumulus clouds were noted to the south, and cumulonimbus clouds were noted in the distance to the east, southwest, and northwest of the airport.

Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, Aircraft Guaranty Corp: Accident occurred November 19, 2015 at Brackett Field Airport (KPOC), La Verne, Los Angeles County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

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: Aircraft Guaranty Corp

Operator: Aircraft Guaranty Corp

http://registry.faa.gov/N91HC



NTSB Identification: WPR16LA030 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 19, 2015 in La Verne, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N, registration: N91HC
Injuries: 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 November 19, 2015, about 1335 Pacific standard time, a Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a sign while the pilot was making an emergency approach to land at Brackett Field, La Verne, California. Aircraft Guaranty Corp was the registered owner and was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The aerial surveying personal flight originated from Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California about 0910 and the pilot had intended to land back at that airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that he was an airplane mechanic for his profession, but had been down in southern California for the previous two days helping doing an aerial surveying job. Earlier in the morning he had the fuel tanks filled to maximum capacity and flew his intended route down in the San Diego area. As he began to return back to the destination airport, he recalled having 15 gallons of fuel on board, which the JP Instrument (JPI) gauge indicated equated to about 40 minutes of flight time. About 1325 he began to descend from his en route altitude of about 13,500-14,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and opted to land at Brackett due to the airplane's low fuel quantity.

Before landing, the pilot switched to the fullest tank (left side) which showed about 6-7 gallons and the right side had about 4-5 gallons. While on final approach, the engine suddenly lost power and despite his attempts, he was unable to successfully have it restart. With the propeller wind milling he aligned with the closest runway and configured the airplane for the best glide. The left wing suddenly impacted a sign that he did not previously observe and the airplane dove toward the ground. The pilot egressed through the windshield and shortly thereafter, the airplane erupted in flames. The airplane came to rest about 620 feet east of runway 26R.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided the audio recording of the Brackett Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication with the pilot. The pilot made his initial radio call about 1330 stating that he was inbound to land and had the current ATIS (Automated Terminal Information System) information. The tower instructed him to enter the right base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 26L. After reading back the controller's instructions, the pilot stated that he was "quite low on fuel." The tower cleared the pilot to land on runway 26L at 1335 and he acknowledged. After about one minute and 15 seconds, the pilot transmitted that he was now requesting to land on runway 26R. About 5-10 seconds after the pilot made a radio call reading back his amended clearance, the airplane impacted the sign.

AIRPLANE INFORMATION

The airplane, a Cessna Aircraft T210N, serial number 64441, was equipped with a Continental Motors TSIO-520-R engine, serial number 512148. The operator provided excerpts from the engine logbooks that included the last maintenance performed. The records indicated that the last annual inspection was recorded as being completed in May 2015 at a tachometer time of 6,788.6 hours and a total airframe time of 10,862.5 hours; the tachometer time at the time of the accident was 5,435 hours, or about 35 hours after the maintenance.

A fuel consumption calculation prepared by a Cessna Aircraft Company representative (contained in the public docket for this accident) showed that the airplane should have had about 21 gallons of fuel on board at the time of the accident, assuming that the airplane was filled to maximum capacity (89 gallons) prior to departure, as reported by the pilot. According to the pilot, the airplane climbed to about 14,000 ft msl and cruised at about 13,600 msl at an average speed of 165 kts. According to the Cessna Aircraft Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) for the airplane, to maintain that airspeed, the engine would be operating at 2,400 rpm and 24 inches of manifold pressure. Based on this assumption, with the airplane configured at a gross weight of 3,7000 lbs, the fuel consumption to reach the cruising altitude would be about 44.5 lbs and the consumption during cruise flight would be about 81 lbs per hour. With the engine operating about 4 hours and 20 minutes, this would equate to a total fuel consumption of 68 gallons.

The pilot stated that he was averaging about 18 gallons per hour and should have had enough fuel to make it to the runway. He estimated that he was airborne for about 4 hours and 20 minutes and he recalled that in the past, the airplane could fly for 4.7 hours. He thought there might have been a fuel starvation event but didn't know what the reason would be.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

A post accident examination was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector and a mechanic. The airplane had been disassembled during the recovery process and the center fuselage section was consumed by fire. A complete examination report with accompanying photographs are in the public docket for this accident.

The left wing was separated from the airframe and only a small outboard section remained; the rest was consumed by fire. The right wing was partially burned and remained loosely attached to the airframe at the accident site; the Monarch-style fuel cap was secure. The wreckage retrieval personnel recovered 2 gallons and 1 quart of fuel from the right wing and stated that there was water in the sample. He noted that foam had been used to extinguish the fire and could not determine if the water was present because of the foam.

The fuel system had been severely compromised by the fire and investigators were unable to establish continuity from the wing through the fuselage to the engine-driven fuel pump. The fuel selector was found, and removed from the deformed cabin area; post crash fire precluded it from turning.

An external examination of the engine revealed that cylinder fins and outer cooling fins were crushed and bent on the left side of the engine. After the spark plugs had been removed the cylinder heads were bore-scoped with no internal cylinder anomalies identified during that internal inspection. The exhaust system was observed to have sustained ductile bending and crushing aft of the turbo-charger. The turbo-charger exhibited no apparent damage and rotated freely by hand.

The ignition harnesses were attached from both magnetos to their respective spark plugs. The magnetos remained securely attached to their respective mounts. Investigators removed the right magneto and tested the internal continuity via hand rotation which produced spark. The top spark plugs were removed; no mechanical damage was noted and the electrodes and posts exhibited no abnormal or remarkable color markings. Continuity of the fuel system could not be established due to the post crash fire.

The Hartzell propeller blades were observed attached to their hub assemblies, which were attached to the propeller shaft flange. The propeller blades were torsionally twisted and exhibited an "S" bend.

There was no evidence of mechanical malfunction or failure with the airframe or engine.



NTSB Identification: WPR16LA030 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 19, 2015 in La Verne, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA T210N, registration: N91HC
Injuries: 1 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 November 19, 2015, about 1335 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna T210N Centurion, N91HC, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a sign while the pilot was making an emergency approach to Brackett Field, La Verne, California. Aircraft Guaranty Corp was the registered owner and was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The aerial surveying flight originated from Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California, about 0910, and the pilot had intended land back at that airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot stated that he was an airplane mechanic for his profession, but had been down in southern California for the previous 2 days helping doing an aerial surveying job. Earlier in the morning, he had the fuel tanks filled to maximum capacity and flew his intended route down in the San Diego area. As he began to return back to the destination airport, he recalled having 15 gallons of fuel on board, which the JP Instrument (JPI) gauge indicated equated to about 40 minutes of flight time. About 1325 he began to descend from his en route altitude of about 13,500-14,000 feet mean sea level (msl) and opted to land at Brackett due to the airplane's low fuel quantity.

Before landing, the pilot switched to the fullest tank (left side), which showed about 6-7 gallons and the right side had about 4-5 gallons. While on final approach, the engine suddenly lost power and despite his attempts, he was unable to successfully have it restart. With the propeller windmilling he aligned toward the closest runway and configured the airplane for the best glide. Suddenly the left wing impacted a sign that he did not previously observe and dove toward the ground. The pilot egressed through the windshield and shortly thereafter, the airplane erupted in flames. The airplane came to rest about 620 feet east of runway 26R and was consumed by fire.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided the audio recording of the Brackett Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication with the pilot. The pilot made his initial radio call about 1330 stating that he was inbound to land and had the current ATIS (Automated Terminal Information System) information. The tower instructed him to enter the right base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 26L. After reading back the controller's instructions, the pilot stated that he was "quite low on fuel." The tower cleared the pilot to land on runway 26L at 1335, and he acknowledged. After about 1 minute and 15 seconds, the pilot transmitted that he was now requesting to land on runway 26R. About 5-10 seconds after the pilot made a radio call reading back his amended clearance, the airplane impacted the sign.

Video, resurfacing part of wrong runway prevention at Tucson International Airport (KTUS)

Junaid Adil flew Tucson News Now around for a pilot's eye view of the runways at Tucson International Airport  (KTUS)


TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -  A construction team working to reduce wrong runway landings at Tucson International Airport accidentally caused a runway issue of its own.

The crew was resurfacing Runway 29R/11L when it damaged electrical circuits, according to a release from the Tucson Airport Authority.

The work is part of the larger renovation project at the airport, according to COO and VP of Operations and Projects Danette Bewley.

She acknowledged that TIA has two hotspots, which have been troublesome for pilots flying into the airport.

The first is the 29 direction, previously highlighted in a Tucson News Now special report. The 29L runway is shorter than its 29R counterpart, which is now being resurfaced.

The taxiway, boldly labeled 'TAXI', is also right next to 29R. Bewley said it can be confusing for some pilots.

The second hotspot is the distinction between 11L/29R and the taxiway, which is where the pilot of a Learjet 35 landed on Friday, Nov. 3.

The FAA is investigating the wrong surface landing. Nobody was hurt.

"We still have some issues going on, and it is our desire that when we get the airfield completely revamped and revitalized with the new program that this will mitigate wrong runway landings and also pilot confusion," said Bewley.




Tucson Airport Authority has a running list of projects, priorities and payments. The airport is still going through the FAA's National Environmental Police Act (NEPA) process.

In the meantime, Bewley said leadership collaborates with the FAA Safety Team and pilot organizations on awareness as another level of wrong runway landing prevention.

Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) are issued by the FAA to notify pilots about the conditions flying into Tucson and the airport is currently writing an educational video to inform pilots about the runway situation.

"It's really the entire airfield, because these types of things can happen anywhere, wherever confusion exists," said Bewley. "And if it's something that we need to do on an airfield, whether it's construction related or if it's pilot awareness, those are the things we're interested in doing."

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

Nebraska Air Force base expands protection against drones



OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE — Officials say an Air Force base south of Omaha has expanded its defenses against drones and can stop any that venture within its boundaries of airspace.

A news release from the Offutt Air Force Base says it now has "a number of unique defense systems" to protect against drones. The release doesn't go into specifics.

"Our mission is to ensure the safety and security of resources and personnel on base and this is just one method of keeping pace with an ever-evolving threat," said Lt. Col. William Smith, commander of the 55th Security Forces Squadron at the base.

Drones are entirely off-limits within 3 miles of the base's airfield. Drone use between 3 miles and the edge of its Federal Aviation Administration airspace at 5 miles is very limited.

The message follows recent guidance from the Pentagon that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a U.S. base. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said a classified policy covering drones had been approved in August.

Davis said the policy details the actions the military can take to stop any threat, including destroying or seizing any unmanned aircraft flown over a base.

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

Two guns seized, two men charged at Richmond International Airport (KRIC)



Two men have been cited on weapons charges after they were stopped with handguns at the Richmond International Airport on Monday, according to a press release sent out by airport officials.

The incidents are not believed to be connected, according to an airport press release.

The first man from Blacksburg, Va., whose name has not been released, was stopped by TSA officers after he tried to pass through a security checkpoint with a 9mm pistol in his carry-on bag.

The pistol was loaded when it went through the checkpoint’s x-ray security screening. TSA agents discovered 15 rounds in the handgun.

The second man, a Floridian whose name and city has not been released, was stopped by TSA officers after he tried to pass through a security checkpoint with a .38 caliber revolver in his carry on bag, the release said.

The revolver was unloaded when it went through the checkpoint’s x-ray security screening, according to the release. There were 11 loose rounds of ammunition in the man’s carry-on bag.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items,” the release said.

TSA agents contacted airport police in each instance, who took the gun and cited each man on weapons charges, according to the release.

According to TSA guidelines, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition cannot be transported in carry-on baggage, but can be transported in checked bags if the firearm is unloaded, secured and declared to the airline.

Travelers who bring such items to a security checkpoint can be subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties up to $12,000.

Story and photos ➤ https://wydaily.com

United Airlines' flight attendant with bad feet sues over right to wear clogs: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says airline violated federal disability law requiring accommodation

A flight attendant sued United Airlines  for allegedly violating federal disability laws after she was instructed to stop wearing clogs recommended by her doctor to ease foot pain because they did not meet the Chicago-based carrier's dress code.

Edie Hall accused United Airlines of disability discrimination and retaliation after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in May that the airline denied Hall a reasonable accommodation for her foot problems, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Hall, 60, began wearing the clogs — Dansko XP Pro brand – in 2004 after her doctor prescribed them to provide the support she needed for her job,  according to the lawsuit filed this month in federal court in Houston. But four years ago, Hall said in her lawsuit,  she was ordered by her boss to stop wearing clogs in the airport because they did not comply with United's uniform policy.

"It's such a petty thing for United to have done," said Houston lawyer Robert R. Debes, Jr., who is representing Hall.

United spokesman Charles Hobart said there is no legal basis for the lawsuit because Hall has been allowed to wear the shoe of her choice since 2013 and has been told she may continue to wear them as long as she needs. He would not comment further.

But United required Hall to get doctors' notes every year to keep wearing clogs, which the EEOC has ruled violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the law, an employee with a permanent condition does not have to make requests for accommodation year after year, according to the EEOC.

Hall has worked for United and its predecessor, Continental Airlines, for 32 years and lives in Spring. She flies international routes out of Houston.

Hall damaged her feet after from years of playing sports, including basketball and volleyball.  After trying steroid injections and other treatments without success, her doctor suggested she wear Dansko clogs.

They fit well and Hall wore them without any special permission until 2013.  By then, United had launched a uniform policy that allows flight attendants to wear clogs during flights,  but limits their footwear choice to plain black shoes while they're walking in airports before and after their flights, according to the lawsuit.

Flight attendants could not deviate from the uniform without proof of a medical condition. Hall, who had just undergone foot surgery, was instructed to go through the airline's disability accommodation process.

Her doctor filled out forms, explaining how her permanent disability required Dansko clogs, according to court documents. But United said the Dansko clogs were not in compliance with the airline's uniform standards for airport use and she was instructed to find another shoe, according to the lawsuit.

If she didn't, the lawsuit alleged, Hall was told that she would be removed from duty until she could find footwear that fit the airline's dress code.

Hall filed a disability complaint with the EEOC in 2013, and soon after, United Airlines granted Hall a temporary accommodation to wear the Dansko clogs, but later revoked it.  United Airlines rescinded the accommodation two more times, most recently in 2016, according to court documents.

Hall said in her lawsuit that she repeatedly provided written proof of her condition. Hall, who paid for the clogs and the cost of the annual medical exams to obtain necessary documentation, is seeking unspecified damages.

On Monday, Hall received a letter at her home from United Airlines telling her she is no longer required to get an annual doctor re-certification of her disability or submit a new request to wear the clogs each year, said Debes, her lawyer.

"I don't know whether it gives her a heck of a lot of comfort," he said. It was not signed by anyone and the accommodation could be rescinded, as the airline has done three times before, Debes said.

Hall, meanwhile, is still wearing the Dansko clogs, said Debes, but she remains at risk of getting grounded for violating the uniform rules. 

Story and comments ➤ http://www.chron.com

Wife Discovers Husband’s Affair Mid-Flight, Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing: Not a good place to get caught

NEW DELHI: An inebriated woman passenger created such a ruckus on Qatar Airways' Doha-Bali flight of Sunday (November 5) that the plane had to be diverted to Chennai. 

According to sources, the Iranian lady reportedly unlocked her sleeping husband's mobile phone by putting his finger on its scanner and then she realized that he was allegedly cheating on her. 

The woman, who was a few drinks down by then, reportedly got into a fight with her husband and also misbehaved with crew members who tried to pacify her.

With the situation getting out of hand, the pilot decided to divert the plane to Chennai. Once there, the Iranian family — husband, wife and their young child — were offloaded there and the plane resumed its journey to Bali. 

Since there was no security issue and given the reasoning offered by the lady, authorities in Chennai kept the family at the airport. Once the lady got a little sober, the family was put on a flight to Kuala Lumpur and they were to take a connecting flight to Doha from there. 

Confirming this case of unruly passenger, a Central Industrial Security Force official said: "On November 5, at about 10 am, Qatar Airways flight QR-962 (Doha-Bali) was diverted to Chennai. A lady along with her husband and a child, all Iranian nationals, were offloaded by Qatar Airline as the lady passenger (who was intoxicated) misbehaved with crew members inflight.They were sent to Kuala Lumpur by Batik Air flight 6019 for further travel to Doha."

Qatar Airways said in a statement, "In respect of passenger privacy we do not comment on individual cases." 

Story and video ➤ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

ICON A5, N922BA: Fatal accident occurred November 07, 2017 near New Port Richey, Florida


The story of Chris Nocco: Philly native, Florida sheriff, man who told the world Roy Halladay was gone

Capt. Bill Davis (left) sits quietly as Chris Nocco speaks about the day he announced the death of Roy Halladay. 

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco speaks about the day he announced Roy Halladay’s death. 


Chris Nocco announcing on November 7, 2017 that Roy Halladay had died.

The dock over the Pithlachascotee River, near where Roy Halladay’s plane crashed.


NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — It has been nearly four months since Chris Nocco told the world that Roy Halladay was dead, and one of his clearest memories of that day is a moment that no one else saw.

On the late afternoon of Nov. 7, minutes before he held a press conference to confirm that Halladay’s ICON A5 plane had crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, Nocco, the Pasco County (Fla.) sheriff, called his parents’ home in Northeast Philadelphia. Nocco often made such phone calls to his wife, Bridget, whenever, he said, “things got rough.” A grisly quadruple murder and kidnapping in August 2014. A fatal shooting inside a movie theater last March. I’m not going to be home on time, he’d tell her. Say a prayer.

This time, he called his father, James, and his mother, Linda. They were Phillies fans, too, just like he was. They still lived in the same Brookhaven neighborhood where Chris had grown up. James is a retired Philadelphia police detective. Linda has taught CCD at St. Katherine of Siena, on Frankford Avenue, for 28 years. They had watched Halladay over his four seasons with the Phillies, watched him win a Cy Young Award and pitch a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter. They knew that Chris, 42, had known Halladay, 40, and had come to call him a friend. They got on the phone line together.

“Hey Dad, say a prayer,” Chris said. “You’re going to see this on the news. It’s Roy’s plane that crashed.”

“Oh, my God,” his father said.

“That poor man,” Linda said. “That poor young man …”

Chris Nocco hung up. A few minutes later, six officers stood ramrod straight in an arc behind him. In front of him, a cluster of microphones tilted upward toward his face. He held a notebook in his right hand, glanced down at it, and began to say the thing that everyone feared he would say.

A connection with greatness

If there was anyone in the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office who could appreciate what Roy Halladay and Philadelphia’s brief encounter with his greatness had meant to the city, its baseball team, and its baseball fans, the sheriff himself could. Chris Nocco is 6-foot-4 and solid, with a short shock of black hair, and when he speaks, it doesn’t take long to recognize where he is from; all his thats and theirs are dats and dares. His boyhood home was a row house near the intersection of Frankford and Morrell, and he loved the Phillies of the mid-1980s – Mike Schmidt, Juan Samuel, Milt Thompson.

His father did not push him into law enforcement. He didn’t have to. The Noccos and their neighbors shared the same experiences, the same social capital. They were the families of cops and firefighters, of roofers and carpenters. The same men who coached Chris’ football and baseball teams wore uniforms and drove squad cars, and to him, those emblems signified men who were worthy of respect, who had authority, who were making their community better.

After graduating from Archbishop Ryan, Nocco attended the University of Delaware on a football scholarship, playing left tackle for coach Tubby Raymond’s Blue Hens, becoming an Academic All-America candidate. He was under no illusions about extending his football career beyond college. The pull of police work was too strong, anyway. His first job in law enforcement was as an officer at Shallcross Academy, a since-closed reform school on Woodhaven Road for students so troublesome and undisciplined that they had been removed from their traditional public schools. From there, he moved on to Fairfax County, Va., where he met Bridget, then to Broward County, Fla., closer to where she was from. There, he worked as a deputy chief of staff to Marco Rubio, then the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and met Bob White, who was Broward County’s sheriff. When White became Pasco County’s sheriff, Nocco followed him to the Gulf Coast region. In 2011, he succeeded him.

“I thank God I had the law-enforcement background to go into,” Nocco said Tuesday in a conference room at his office, “because a lot of times in politics, you deal with B.S.”

In a way, it was what he liked most about Halladay, who lived in nearby Odessa. There was no B.S. to him, no pretention. Halladay had grown close with Capt. Bill Davis, the commander of Pasco County’s juvenile investigative division, and through his friendship with Davis, he had gotten to know Nocco and several other officers. He accompanied them on a couple of ride-alongs. He and his wife, Brandy, purchased a dog — named Doc, Halladay’s nickname — for the office’s K9 unit and donated baseball memorabilia to a silent auction to raise money for two officers with cancer; the items sold for $20,000. On the Friday before his death, he joined the officers at a fishing tournament: T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, a cooler full of beer and food in his hand, running late because he’d had to drop off his kids somewhere.

“It was like God blessed the average Joe with unbelievable talent, inhuman talent,” Nocco said. “The humility never left him.”

On Nov. 7, Nocco was attending a meeting with local religious leaders – two days earlier, 26 people had been killed at a church near San Antonio – when his chief deputy pulled him aside to tell him that there had been a plane crash. “We think it’s Roy,” the deputy told him. “I’m like, ‘Roy who?’ ” Nocco said. “I didn’t put two and two together.” By the time he arrived at the scene, the body of a man who was at least 6-foot-6 had been recovered. Halladay was 6-foot-6. Nocco didn’t have to look to know who it was.

Already, details and rumors were leaking out. TMZ had obtained video of the crash and posted it online. Brandy, sobbing, had called Davis. Nocco, himself a father of three, sent officers and victim advocates to find Halladay’s sons, Braden and Ryan, before any reporters did. “The tidal wave was coming,” he said.

Finally, it was time. He began with the notes on his pad, the cold details of the crash: the plane’s make, its tail number, single-engine, two-passenger, the National Transportation Safety Board would handle the investigation, his office would assist. That took 52 seconds. He lowered the notepad. The story that’s told the first time, he thought, is the story that lives forever. What he said next took 59 seconds.

I can tell you, sadly, it had turned into a recovery. … There was only one body involved, and it’s sad to say it’s a friend of ours. It’s Roy Halladay. Many know Roy as a Cy Young winner, a future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch in the game of baseball. We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband … and he loved his two boys tremendously. I can tell you, when he spoke of his family, he spoke with pride. I can tell you, Brandy and the boys and the entire family: We are so sad for your loss.

Neither Nocco nor Davis would comment on either the NTSB’s crash report, which detailed Halladay’s erratic flight path, or on Halladay’s autopsy, which revealed that he had amphetamine, morphine, and an insomnia drug in his system at the time of his death. The officers are protective of Halladay’s image, of his family. They are loyal to a man who was loyal to them.

“The legacy of Roy, who we know Roy to be, is never going to be tarnished, no matter what,” Nocco said. “He was an unbelievable man. In society today, if somebody can do something to tear down anyone, even God himself, they’ll do it. In our eyes, Roy can’t be torn down.”

‘Can you show me where he left?’

A week after the crash, the Phillies held a memorial service for Halladay at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. There, Nocco met Halladay’s father, Roy Jr., and when Nocco shook his hand, Roy Jr. asked him a question.

“I know where my son came into this world,” he said. “Can you show me where he left?”

Just a 40-minute drive from Spectrum Field, just a 15-minute drive from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, there’s a winding dock behind a waterfront restaurant. The Pithlachascotee River flows under that dock, continuing its northwest turn through this town and running on into the Gulf, toward the horizon. From that dock, there is an unobstructed view of the place where Chris Nocco accompanied a grieving father the day after the service – of the spot on a vast sheet of shimmering indigo where, in that halting and terrible descent, Roy Halladay’s plane fell from the sky.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, a motorboat trundled in that direction, leaving a wake of scattered white foam. A cloud, tinged with gray and shaped like a large turtle, hung low against sunlit blue. The conversations of the patrons on the restaurant’s outdoor deck were whispers. It was so quiet and so beautiful and, because of what had happened there, so heartbreaking that it would have been appropriate to say a prayer.

http://www.philly.com


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida
Rotax Aircraft Engines; Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Icon Aircraft Inc.; Vacaville, California
BRS Aerospace; Miami, Florida

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

N529PG LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N922BA

NTSB Identification: ANC18FA007 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 07, 2017 in Clearwater, FL
Aircraft: ICON AIRCRAFT INC A5, registration: N922BA
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 November 7, 2017, about 1204 eastern standard time, an amphibious, light sport Icon Aircraft, Inc., A5 airplane, N922BA, impacted open water in the Gulf of Mexico while maneuvering at low level near New Port Richey, Florida. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to N529PG LLC, and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local area flight departed from a lake near the pilot's home in Odessa, Florida, about 1147.

The airplane was equipped with a digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters. The data track from the accident flight showed that the airplane departed from a private lakeside home north of Lake Keystone in Odessa about 1147 and climbed to a GPS altitude of 1,909 ft and tracked north for 4 miles before turning to the west toward the coastline. The airplane then flew for 10 miles and crossed over US Highway 19 about 600 ft GPS altitude, then descended to 36 ft over the water before turning south. The airplane then flew on southerly track past Green Key Beach at 11 ft GPS altitude and 92 knots. The airplane then performed a right 360° turn while climbing to about 100 ft. The airplane continued on a southerly track, flying as close as 75 ft to the Gulf Harbor South Beach houses. The last data point recovered indicated the airplane at an altitude of 200 ft, a speed of 87 knots, and tracking 196°. Video footage taken of the airplane before the accident, shows the airplane in a descending left 45° banked turn and then maneuvering about 10 ft above the water. A witness to the accident stated, during an interview with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator, that he saw the airplane perform a climb to between 300 and 500 ft on a southerly heading and then turn and descend on an easterly heading about a 45° nose-down attitude. He then saw the airplane impact the water and nose over. 

The airplane came to rest in 4.5 ft of saltwater oriented on a 192° heading with the fuselage and wings inverted. The front fuselage and cockpit were highly fragmented. The empennage section separated from the airframe and came to rest forward of the wings in an inverted position. Two inflated life vests and numerous fragments were recovered within a 300-ft radius from the wreckage. All the flight controls and major components were located at the main wreckage site. The CAP ballistic parachute system was not deployed, and the handle pin was installed.

On November 8, 2017, the wreckage was recovered from the water and transported to a secure facility for further examination. 

The airplane was a certificated light sport aircraft that was outfitted with a Rotax 912iS engine. The pilot accepted delivery of the airplane on October 10, 2017.

The pilot's logbook indicated that he had logged a total of 703.9 flight hours, of which 51.8 hours were in an Icon A5 airplane, and 14.5 hours were in the accident airplane. 

The closest weather reporting facility was the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE), about 19 miles southeast of the accident site. At 1153, a METAR from PIE was reporting, in part: wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, clouds and sky condition clear, temperature 83°F, dew point 67°F, altimeter 30.08 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.






ST PETERSBURG, Fla. - Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, with drowning as a contributing factor, when his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey in November.

Halladay was found in about six feet of water with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.01. Evidence of amphetamine, morphine and a drug typically used to treat insomnia were found in his system.

Halladay's ICON 15 aircraft flew very close to homes and near the water before crashing on Nov. 8, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Halladay, 40, was an all-star pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He lived on Odessa and coached baseball at Calvary Christian High School, where his oldest son played.

Story, video and photos ➤ http://www.wtsp.com



SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —  Roy Halladay’s death in a plane crash is putting Vacaville-based ICON Aircraft in the spotlight again this year.

The former MLB star pitcher’s death happened almost six months to the day an ICON test pilot and designer were killed in a crash in Lake Berryessa.

The 40-year-old former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and he was among the first to fly the model. In one of many enthusiastic tweets about the plane, Halladay said it felt "like flying a fighter jet."

ICON is known for building tiny, two-seater, sport planes that are amphibious with retractable wings.

“It’s a cute airplane, it’s well engineered,” William Myers with Myers-Pacific Aviation Insurance said. “There’s nothing challenging about it -- with the exception of the loss of depth perception when you are landing or you are close to the water.”

Seaplanes have the complexity of facing the risk of “glass water operations” when placid conditions create a mirror-effect impacting depth perception.

“If you’re coming down close to the water, and the water is flat, you really don’t know just how far off the ground you are,” Myers said. “There’s nothing that stands out that gives perspective.”

“We’d like to think that all pilots are trained to a level of safety and judgment that they’d be able to prevent these things, but experience does give you more tools to reach down to use,” Sacramento pilot and aeronautics professor Scott Miller said.

National Transportation Safety Board Investigator Noreen Price said Wednesday that Halladay's ICON A5 experienced a "high-energy impact" with the water. She said both flight data recorders were recovered and the plane did not have a voice recorder.

She said Halladay had been a licensed pilot since 2013 and logged about 700 hours of flight time before Tuesday's crash near Tampa. She said a preliminary report on the cause likely will be issued in seven to 10 days, but the full investigation could take up to two years.

The man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old John Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8, along with passenger Cagri Sever, the company's newly hired director of engineering.

The NTSB attributed the crash to pilot error.

“To have had three fatalities in such a short period of time casts a big cloud on what it is that they are doing,” Myers explained. “What it is that they are doing is nothing wrong. The aircraft is structurally tight. They are easy to fly. But the unknown component is who is flying it.”


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






Baseball star Roy Halladay’s fatal crash opened a window on the growing popularity of smaller aircraft that are cheaper to fly than traditional private planes, but that also carry risks because pilots don't need as much training to fly them.

Halladay, 40, crashed an Icon A5 on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the accident, whether from a mechanical problem, pilot error or something else.

Despite the risks, small planes are growing in popularity. The Icon A5 is called a light-sport aircraft, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. A light-sport plane has seating for two and FAA set a top speed of 138 mph and maximum weight of 1,430 pounds for landing on water.

Other types of small planes are called experimental, which includes hand-made and exhibition planes. Pilots don’t need as much training to fly into the wild blue yonder in the smaller planes as they would with a traditional Cessna or Beechcraft.

“It is a level of aircraft that is very popular because it is designed purely for recreation,” said Dick Knapinski, spokesman for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wis. “People want to go out on a sunny day and enjoy the world from up above.”

The number of sport-pilot certificates for planes like the A5 grew to nearly 5,889 last year, up from 939 in 2006, according to FAA. The number of sport-light aircraft reached 2,369 in 2015. And the total number of experimental aircraft grew to 27,922 that year from 23,048 in 2006, according to FAA.

A pilot can buy a light-sport aircraft for about $100,000, compared to more than $500,000 for a Beechcraft Bonanza, Knapinski said. The cost to maintain and operate would also be lower, because a light-sport plane burns four to six gallons of fuel per hour, compared to 20 gallons per hour in the Beechcraft, he said.

“They might be airline pilots, but they might say, ‘That’s a cool little airplane, I want to fly that,’” Knapinski said.

Simpler flights come with fewer training requirements.

The least training is required for aircraft called ultralights, which weigh up to 254 pounds and fly up to 63 mph. The FAA doesn’t require pilot training for these aircraft, which are prohibited over congested areas and are sometimes described as chaise lounges with wings and lawnmower engines.

The next rung on the training ladder is for light-sport aircraft, which require a pilot to have 20 hours of experience and pass a test for a certificate. Pilots for both ultralights and light-sport aircraft are limited to flying during the day and avoiding clouds.

“It’s a less complicated airplane, as far as flying is concerned,” said Ron Carr, a former Air Force and airline pilot who is a professor of aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. “It’s to get more people involved who would not normally be allowed. It’s for fun. It’s for pleasure.”

The next rung is a private pilot’s license for planes like Cessna and Beechcraft. Licenses require 40 hours of flight time, with additional training for flying at night, through clouds or by monitoring dashboard instruments without being able to see the ground.

Commercial pilots have the highest levels of training.

Halladay had a private pilot’s license with ratings for flying with multiple engines and solely by instruments. Since getting the license in 2013, Halladay logged about 700 hours of flight time, according to Noreen Price, NTSB’s investigator for the crash.

Halladay, whose father was a military and corporate pilot, had a long-time love of flying. He got his license soon after retiring from baseball and bought his A5 in October. He tweeted Oct. 31 that flying over water is “like flying a fighter jet.” 

Despite Halladay's experience, experts said it can still be tricky moving from one type of plane to another. This is why pilots often have an instructor fly with them initially on a new plane, to remind them how it works.

“It’s almost like climbing into a different car,” Knapinski said. “The speedometer is the same. The gas gauge is the same. But everything feels a little bit different.”

Aviation lawyers warn that riskier pilots are drawn to experimental aircraft because of the lower level of training required. Experimental planes tend to fly low, so there is less room for error if a pilot has a problem or the plane malfunctions, experts say.

While there haven’t been any fatal crashes of U.S. passenger airlines since 2009, the NTSB is investigating at least five fatal crashes of small planes other than Halladay’s since August.

“It is putting novice pilots in an unforgiving machine in an incredibly unforgiving environment,” said Ladd Sanger, a licensed commercial pilot who is an aviation attorney at Slack and Davis in Dallas.

In the case of Halladay’s A5, Icon has only produced about two dozen of the planes that it began delivering in July 2015. Three have crashed – with fatalities in two cases.

“When you look at it per hour, it’s a much more staggering accident rate,” said Steve Marks, an aviation lawyer at Podhurst Orseck in Miami.

The first crash was in April, in the water off Key Largo, Fla. The pilot and passenger were injured.

On May 8, the plane’s lead designer, John Karkow, crashed with a passenger near Lake Berryessa, Calif., and both died. And Halladay crashed Tuesday.

Investigations haven’t suggested a problem with the plane yet.

"ICON will do everything it can to support the accident investigation going forward and we will comment further when more information is available," the company said in a statement.

The pilot in the April crash told investigators the plane descended faster than expected. The NTSB faulted Karkow in the May crash. And no conclusions have been drawn yet about Halladay, whose investigation could take a year.

“I’m not saying the airplane is inherently unsafe,” Sanger said. “What I’m saying is you’re putting inexperienced people in the most difficult flight environments and they’re not up to the task of safely operating aircraft like that.”

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







NEW PORT RICHEY — A number of witnesses reported that a sport plane piloted by Roy Halladay was flying low over the Gulf of Mexico off New Port Richey before crashing and killing the former All Star pitcher, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Halladay, 40, was flying alone in the ICON A5 when it hit the water shortly after noon on Tuesday. Halladay’s body was found floating among the wreckage and patches of mangroves near Ben Pilot Point.

The wreckage of the plane and two flight data recorders were recovered Wednesday afternoon for further analysis, which should yield flight data including GPS locations and the aircraft’s performance, altitude and airspeed, she said.

"Our mission is to understand not just what happened but why it happened," Price said. "If we see anything we think is unsafe we’ll make the necessary recommendations immediately."

It could take two years to complete the investigation, Price said. A preliminary report should be released in seven to 10 days.

Halladay likely took off from Odessa, where he lives with his wife Brandy and two teenage sons, Price said. The National Weather Service reported clear skies and unlimited visibility in the area at the time of the crash.

The time of death was 12:19 p.m., said William A. Pellan, director of investigations with the Medical Examiner’s Office in Largo. Toxicology tests and Halladay’s autopsy were completed Wednesday morning, It could take up to two months to get results so the cause of death remains pending.

The son of a commercial pilot, Halladay spoke in articles and on social media about his love of flying but his Major League Baseball contracts prohibited him from obtaining a pilot’s license until he quit playing in 2013. Since then, he has logged 700 flight hours, Price said.

Halladay pitched 16 years in the majors and was a star with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, both teams that train in Pinellas County. He was a two-time winner of baseball’s top pitching honor, the Cy Young Award.

Halladay had owned the new Founders Edition of the ICON A5 aircraft for less than a month and it had just been certified Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. He was the first person to take possession of the 2018 model, only 20 of which have been manufactured, according to an article on the company’s website.

There are orders for more than 1,800 more, most of them from the Tampa area, selected by ICON as its East Coast headquarters. Last November, ICON opened a flight school at Tampa’s Peter O. Knight Airport on Davis Islands, the only training center outside its headquarters in Vacaville, Calif.

The website article features video of a beaming Halladay taking his wife Brandy on a flight. Although she grew to enjoy her husband’s passion for flying, she said in the article, she initially "fought hard. I was very against it."

The company declined to comment Wednesday. Price said ICON and Rotax, maker of the airplane’s three-blade, push-prop engine, are cooperating in the investigation.

An "amphibious airplane," the ICON A5 can land on water and can be flown with only a sport pilot license, which requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training — less than half the time required for a traditional private pilot’s license.

In May the plane’s designer, ICON’s chief test pilot Jon Karkow, was flying an ICON A5 when he crashed into a canyon wall at Lake Berryessa in Napa, California. Both he and passenger Cagri Sever, a new employee at ICON, died in the crash, the reports said.

The NTSB determined Karkow was to blame, saying, "It is likely that the pilot mistakenly thought the canyon that he entered was a different canyon that led to the larger, open portion of the lake."

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


ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins announced a new set of low-altitude flying guidelines in an email to customers on October 17, just weeks before Cy Young-winning pitcher Roy Halladay fatally crashed his sport plane into the Gulf of Mexico. 

“There is little formal training required by the (Federal Aviation Administration) or provided by traditional transportation-focused aviation training programs to adequately prepare you for low altitude flying,” Hawkins said in the email. “Given this, our goal is to take a proactive, leadership role in the flight training process and we have developed our own low altitude guidelines from lessons learned over decades of military, seaplane, and bush flying.”

The ICON guidelines said flying 300 feet above water or undeveloped ground “provides a reasonable margin for a pilot to make decisions and maneuver the aircraft away from terrain or stationary hazards.” 

The FAA is investigating the crash, while the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident. Details have emerged about the safety of the plane itself (Halladay had been the proud owner for less than a month of his ICON A5, and was among the first to fly it, with only about 20 in existence). But there is also evidence to suggest low flying — over water — was an element at the cause of the crash. 

Federal investigators determined that low flying was part of the problem when the man who led the plane's design, 55-year-old Jon Murray Karkow, died while flying an A5 over California's Lake Berryessa on May 8. The NTSB blamed the crash on pilot error, saying Karkow mistakenly entered a canyon while flying too low, causing the plane to strike the canyon wall.

Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying magazine, told the Associated Press that a new pilot with little flying experience taking the plane over water at low altitude would have been highly unsafe, even though the plane was marketed as a craft that could handle that. 

Halladay's plane crashed in water. But the plane was promoted as an amphibious aircraft built to land on water. So the focus of the NTSB's investigation will likely center on what sent the plane into water too sharply, whether a mechanical problem or pilot error. 

Another A5 crashed in April, making a hard landing in the water off Key Largo, Fla., injuring the pilot and his passenger. The pilot told investigators the plane descended faster than he expected.

"They still think that that's the way the airplane should be flown, and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that," Pope said. "They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."

The FAA recommends flying at least 1,000 feet above congested areas and 500 above open people or structures on the ground or water, other than while taking off or landing. 

The ICON guidelines also suggested caution in flying in mountainous terrain, to avoid box canyons where there might not be enough room to turn around. The guidelines said the plane could turn around in as little as 500 feet of lateral movement, but it would be safer to allow 1,000 feet for human error.

Halladay, the 40-year-old former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher, had his ICON A5 go down around noon of the coast of Florida, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters at a news conference. He was the lone known occupant, and three mayday calls were made to air traffic control.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a general-aviation convention on Oct. 24 that 2017 is shaping up to be the safest year yet for private pilots, with “far below” the target rate of one fatality per 100,000 flight hours.

“We’re still finalizing the numbers, but it looks like 2017 will end up being our safest year yet,” Huerta said. “This is a significant accomplishment.”

General aviation ranges from amateur-built aircraft and balloons to sophisticated turbojets. The U.S. has more than 220,000 general-aviation aircraft registered. 

During the year that ended Sept. 30, the FAA said 347 people died in 209 general-aviation accidents. A pilot’s loss of control in flight, mainly through stalls — where the nose of the plane is tipped up to the point where the aircraft no longer stays aloft — accounts for the largest number of fatal accidents, according to FAA.

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



Roy Halladay was one of the first people in the world to own and fly the plane he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, Nov. 7. 

The Associated Press that the ICON A5 aircraft was designed for beginner pilots, and that there are only about 20 of them in existence. The A5 was introduced three years ago, and its head designer and newly-appointed director of engineering were actually killed while flying one earlier in 2017. 

The crash involving designer John Murray Karkow and engineer head Cagri Sever was blamed by the National Transportation Safety Board on pilot error as the plane struck a canyon wall over a California lake. 

"The way that a lot of people described it (the aircraft) is a Jet Ski with wings," Stephen Pope, editor-in-chief of Flying Magazine, told A.P. "It's really a plaything. 

"They still think that's the way the airplane should be flown (at low altitude, like Halladay was), and there are people in aviation who completely disagree with that. They think you should not have a low-time pilot flying low over water. That's a recipe for disaster."

Halladay, a two-time Cy Young winner, and his small private plane crashed around noon Tuesday, off of Florida's coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports its marine unit found Halladay's body in shallow water. 

Police have said that no other survivors were found, but that they are unable to confirm if Halladay was flying alone or not. A.P. reports that Halladay had owned the plane for less than a month. 

The pitcher, who retired in 2013, routinely shared his love of aviation and owning the A5 on his Twitter page. Halladay, 40, was the son of a corporate pilot and was not allowed to pursue aviation during his playing career due to contract stipulations. 

The 40-year-old was an aforementioned two-time Cy Young Award winner, which recognizes baseball's top pitcher in each league, and pitched a perfect game and a rare playoff no-hitter while playing for Philadelphia. Halladay, who retired in 2013, pitched 67 complete games and recorded 20 shutouts in his 12-season career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. 

"Many of you know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch the game of baseball," Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. "We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously ... and we are so sad for your loss.

"For somebody who won two Cy Youngs, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, he would walk in the room as if he was anybody. Didn't matter who he met, he was kind, generous. His family purchased a dog for us -- K-9 Doc. K-9 Doc is out there working, saving lives, making our community safer."

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



HOLIDAY, Fla. - Eight-time MLB All-Star and two-time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay died Tuesday after his plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

Halladay's ICON A5 light sport aircraft crashed 10 miles west of St. Petersburg just past noon, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

Halladay was so much a fan that an October article by the company featured him receiving the first 2018 model of the plane.

"I've been dreaming about flying since I was a boy but was only able to become a pilot once I retired from baseball," Halladay said in the article. "I've owned other aircraft, but no aircraft embodies the adventure or captured the dream of flying like the A5. Not only is it the safest and easiest aircraft I've ever flown, it is hands-down the most fun. The beaches, lakes, and waterways my family and I get to explore around Florida are mind-blowing. Words don't do justice to what the A5 allows us to experience. Even my wife, who used to be uncomfortable in small planes, now asks where we should take the A5 for the weekend. I'm honored to own the first A5 Founders Edition."

The company said they were notified of the crash and is investigating.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco announced Halladay's death during an afternoon press conference.

Halladay is one of only six pitchers to win the Cy Young in the American and National leagues. During his 16-year career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay finished with a 203-105 record and a 3.38 ERA. He placed in the top five of Cy Young voting seven times and led MLB for five consecutive seasons in complete games.

The Phillies released a statement following the confirmation of his death.

Halladay is expected to be on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot.

Following his career, Halladay remained in Tampa Bay where he spent time as a pitching coach at Calvary Christian, where his son, Braden, is a relief pitcher. 

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HOLIDAY (FOX 13) - Former Major League Baseball star and aviation enthusiast Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash off the coast of Pasco County this afternoon, shocking sports fans from Florida to Philadelphia.

The crash happened just after noon in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, just north of Bailey’s Bluff in Holiday.  Deputies say a resident called 911 after seeing the aircraft crash into the water, but there were no reports of problems ahead of the crash, either from neighbors or the aircraft itself.

The view from SkyFOX over the scene showed a small white plane upside down in the water.  The first boat to respond to the crash could not get to the plane because the area is so shallow, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said, forcing them to call in a swift-water rescue team.

Halladay, 40, was a private pilot and had tweeted about the brand new amphibious sport plane that he liked to fly over the beach.

“I keep telling my dad flying the Icon A5 low over the water is like flying a fighter jet!” one tweet boasted.

The aircraft’s manufacturer confirmed Tuesday that they were aware of the crash.

“We can confirm that an ICON A5 was involved in an incident in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida earlier today,” company spokesman Zac Herndon told FOX 29 in Philadelphia.  “We are in the process of finding out more information and will provide more details as facts come in.”

Halladay retired to his offseason home in Tarpon Springs in 2013 after 15 years in the major leagues with Toronto and Philadelphia.  He pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history in 2010, and threw the second no-hitter in postseason history later that season.  He’s an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner.

Aside from aviation, Halladay helped coach several local youth baseball teams, including Calvary Christian High School’s state champion team.

Halladay is survived by his wife Brandy and two children.  Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco remembered him as a friend of the department -- “one in a million,” Nocco opined – who had donated funds to buy a K9 officer and who humbly participated in charity events.

“I saw him Friday,” Nocco said sadly.  “We had a charity fishing event.  Sadly, we were right here in these waters right here, fishing for charity.  Roy was right here with us.  And I can tell you, being a pilot and flying planes – that was his passion.”

The response from around Major League Baseball was similar.  The Philadelphia Phillies said the team was “numb” over the news.

“There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game,” a team statement offered.  “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we pass along our condolences to Brandy, Ryan and Braden.”

"We're saddened by the tragic loss of Colorado native & former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay. We send our deepest condolences to Roy's loved ones," the Colorado Rockies said.

Story and video ➤ http://www.fox13news.com