Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pusher aviator felt pull of adventure: Pilot died when his ‘tractor flying machine’ crashed

Pioneering aviator Silas Christofferson in a 1911 photo.



By today’s standards, Silas Christofferson’s flight 105 years ago from Portland to Vancouver could be described as brief but spectacular.

That, unfortunately, is a pretty good description of Christofferson’s life.

We recently caught up with a team of volunteers that is building a full-scale replica of the aircraft that Christofferson flew from the roof of the Multnomah Hotel on June 11, 1912.

That aircraft was a 1912 Curtiss Pusher. It took its name from designer Glenn Curtiss and the rear-facing engine, mounted behind the pilot.

Christofferson’s flight took 12 minutes. It ended when he landed on the polo grounds at Vancouver Barracks.

Christofferson made his final flight four years later, when he was in his mid-20s. He was killed on Oct. 31, 1916 when he lost control of a new plane he was flying and crashed.

The Columbian had a front-page story, datelined Redwood City, Calif.

Piloting a tractor

“Silas Christofferson, auto racer and aviator, was killed today at this place by a 100-foot fall of his big military tractor flying machine. Mr. Christofferson was well known here in Vancouver where he located one summer trying out various flying machines. He also married a former Vancouver girl. ”

Today’s reader might trip over some of that word: tractor flying machine.

“Tractor” referred to an advance in aviation technology, said Bob Cromwell, manager of Pearson Air Museum. It’s the opposite of “pusher.”

In a tractor aircraft, the engine is in the front and the propeller “pulls the aircraft like a tractor pulls a plow,” Cromwell said. “A pusher pushes.”

That transition reflected a lot of changing technologies in that era.

“It was all about experimentation,” Cromwell said. “There was a lot of debate whether it was safer to operate with or without seat belts.”

Story and photo ➤ http://www.columbian.com

Titan Tornado II D, N2200T: Fatal accident occurred December 03, 2017 near Portage County Regional Airport (KPOV), Shalersville Township, Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland FSDO; North Olmsted, Ohio

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N2200T

Location: Ravenna, OH
Accident Number: CEN18FA045
Date & Time: 12/03/2017, 1140 EST
Registration: N2200T
Aircraft: PIPER TITAN TORNADO II D
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 3, 2017, at 1140 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Piper Titan Tornado II D, N2200T, impacted terrain, while on final approach, about 0.8 miles from runway 27 at Portage County Airport (POV), Ravenna, Ohio. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The sport pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight departed from POV about 1110. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER, PAUL A.
Registration: N2200T
Model/Series: TITAN TORNADO II D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes 
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: POV, 1198 ft msl
Observation Time: 1133 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ravenna, OH (POV)
Destination: Ravenna, OH (POV)

Wreckage and Impact Information

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

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.




Friends and family said Steve Paulus loved to fly.

His brother, Rootstown Trustee Joe Paulus, said Steve built his own plane about five or six years ago, and purchased a second craft, the one he was piloting Sunday night when he crashed, within the past two months. Both planes were stored at the Portage County Airport.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and FAA are investigating the crash of the homemade, single-engine Titan Tornado II that Steve Paulus, 60, was flying when he died in a crash Sunday evening on Nicodemus Road in Shalersville — less than a mile east of the Portage County Regional Airport.

Joe Paulus described his brother as a good pilot and said he rode in his brother’s craft a few times. He remembers talking to his brother’s flight instructor at the FAA, who described Steve’s knowledge of airplanes as “instinctual.” One time, the instructor said, Steve ran into cross winds, and immediately knew what kind of corrective action to take. “There are some things you can’t teach,” he remembers the instructor saying.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Paulus was a trained electrician who at one time owned Paulus Electric in Rootstown. He used to help maintain and repair the Record-Courier’s presses when they were located in Ravenna, former pressroom superintendent and current R-C Circulation Director Gary Hurst said.

Paulus also was an electrician for Portage County Water Resources from 2003 to 2011 said JoAnn Townend, director of the county’s Internal Services Department. He also did some electrical work on her home years ago, she recalled.

“He was such a nice guy, very easygoing,” Townend said. “Very laid-back and mannerly.”

Paulus most recently was working as an electrical technology instructor at the Portage Lakes Career Center in Uniontown. A secretary for Superintendent Benjamin Moore acknowledged Paulus worked there but said Monday the school would have no comment.

Paulus was born in Akron and had seven brothers. He was a Rootstown High School graduate, and he and Kim, his wife of 39 years, raised two sons in the township.

Joe Paulus said his brother was a skilled electrician who learned his trade while serving in the Air Force. In addition to his business and work for the county, he also taught at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna for a few years before moving on to the Portage Lakes Career Center two years ago. When a former Maplewood student called him looking for help, Steve told the young man that he’d be there in 10 minutes.

“That’s the kind of things he did,” he said. “Quiet, not a lot of fanfare, the kind of things people do that impact lives.”

North Coast Lite Flyers, a Northeastern Ohio-based ultralight and light plane sport club, sent an email message to members informing them of Paulus’ death “with deep regret and sadness.”

“Steve was a thoughtful and friendly flying companion,” the club wrote in the email.


Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.record-courier.com

Stephen Paulus at MAPS Air Museum earlier this year with Experimental Aircraft Association chapter member Homer Lucas (left). 


Stephen Paulus at MAPS Air Museum earlier this year. 


Maybe it was his love for technology or his years working on airfield lighting fields while he was in the U.S. Air Force.

Whatever it was, Stephen Paulus couldn’t get his head out of the clouds.

“His passion for flying was infectious,” said Chris Mars, a fellow pilot and friend of Paulus' for the last three years. “He was just so fun to be around. I was shocked and saddened to hear what happened.”

The 60-year old Kent State alum was found dead Sunday night, after an apparent plane crash in the backyard of a home in Shalersville Township.

Residents of the home found Paulus in his 2017 Titan Tornado II D aircraft hours after the crash occurred. 

“Our initial report says the pilot was just flying out enjoying his day,” said Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ravenna Division of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Now, close friends and family grieve as they try to understand how this happened to Paulus, the man with snow-white hair, a telltale smile and a wicked drive to fly.

“He died doing what he loved to do, flying his plane,” said David Bedard, a cousin, in a social media post.

Paulus was an experienced pilot who was a regular at the Portage County Regional Airport, his “home away from home” when he wasn’t at his Rootstown residence.

“(Paulus) was a really nice guy and was always around here," said Jeff Cales, the owner of Jeff Cales Custom Aviation, an aircraft refinishing and painting company located within the port. He helped paint one of Paulus’ former planes.

Paulus volunteered at nearly every event and was heavily involved in the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter he co-founded with Mars.

“If someone was new, he would give them pointers,” Mars said. “He would always give them a hand. He was just like that.”

When talking about Paulus, Mars often tells others about the Young Eagles Flights, a yearly event where pilots can give young aviation enthusiasts a ride in an airplane.

“He would have his plane stationed on the ground (before the flight), and he would walk them around and show them how every part works,” Mars said. “He was a great volunteer.”

Paulus began teaching at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio, before he taught at Portage Lakes Career Center, or PLCC, in 2015. He taught electrical technology, a skill he learned during his time in the Army working on voltage lines in Germany and the U.S.

He was known as being a hands-on teacher who rarely had students sit at desks.

Travis Murdock, a robotics student at PLCC, describes Paulus as strict, but in a good way, with a sarcastic sense of humor. While he never had him for class, the two would get coffee together every morning before school.

“He was kind and caring," Murdock said. "He had a big personality, but that is what made him extraordinary. Like I said, I wasn’t his student, … but I do know he was knowledgeable and consistent in his trade, and that made him a great teacher.”  

Paulus talked about his planes all the time in the classroom. When students were not working on assignments, he would often show the class the planes he wanted or the flight routes he took that week.

“He seriously flew every weekend,” said Matt Macerol, a junior high school student in the electrical technology class. “ ... It’s strange, him not being in the classroom. We always had an inside joke that he would be immortal and live out all of us. It’s very shocking.”

PLCC declined to comment on his death, and his immediate family was not available for comment.


Story and photo gallery ➤  http://www.kentwired.com









A small plane crashed near a home in Portage County after take-off at a local airport.

The crash occurred at 7979 Nicodemus Rd. in Shalersville Township, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The OSHP pronounced the operator of the plane dead at the scene.

A former owner of the plane confirmed Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown as the pilot. Paulus was a Kent State alumni and veteran of the U.S. Air Force. 

On the Portage Lakes Career Center website, where Paulus was employed as an electrical technology instructor, his profile says his hobby was “flying his own airplane” and he “..built his first airplane himself, and flew it for 5 years.”

“Our initial report says the pilot was just flying out enjoying his day,” said Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ravenna division of the OSHP.

No passengers were on the aircraft. EMS and FAA were also on the scene.

The plane is believed to have crashed hours earlier, but Portage County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call from residents of the home around 5:40 p.m.

The plane dropped down from the air, hitting the side of the deck and then veering off into the grass.

The single-engine plane, which officers described as a “home-built” plane, was taking off from Portage County airport.

Paulus attained his Sport Pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Association on Oct. 6, 2010. According to his record, he did not meet all of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s requirements — the minimum cabin safety standards.

The plane, a 2017 Titan Tornado II D, is classified as an amanter-built, experimental aircraft. It is still licensed to its former owner, Paul Piper, of Waynesfield, Ohio.

The OSHP said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Story and photo gallery ➤ http://www.kentwired.com



SHALERSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A plane crashed into the back deck of a home on Nicodemus Road in Shalersville Township, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol. 


Officials say they do not know exactly when the crash happened, but the family living at 7978 Nicodemus Road noticed the pane around 5:39 p.m. Sunday. The crash reportedly happened while the family was not home. They noticed the plane through the kitchen window after they had been home for awhile.


Authorities have identified the pilot as Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown.


The single-engine aircraft had only Paulus inside, who died as a result of the crash.


He left flying westbound from the Portage County Regional Airport in his 2017 Titan Tornado II fixed wing single-engine plane when the plane struck a wooden deck attached to a private residence.


The home is about two-tenths of a mile away from the Portage County Regional Airport. Initial reports indicate the pilot took off from the airport, was flying around enjoying the day and heading back to the airport when the plane crashed.


Paulus was an electrical technology instructor at Portage Lakes Career Center and an owner of an electrical contracting company that he started in 1985. He began teaching at the Portage Lakes Career Center in 2015 after serving in the U.S. Air Force where went to Germany, Nevada and Texas.


His hobby revolved around flying his own airplane. He built his first airplane himself and flew it for 5 years, according to the Portage Lakes Career Center website.


Portage County sheriff's department and fire department were called to the scene. EMS and the FAA are also on scene.


The Portage County Coroner's office does not yet have an official cause of death. A full autopsy will be performed Monday morning.


Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.news5cleveland.com




SHALERSVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- When you live across the street from an airport, you get used to hearing planes flying over your house.

But when a plane crashed in their neighbor's yard in Shalersville Township on Sunday, Dave and Carrie Shanley didn't hear anything.

The couple lives across the street from the Portage County Regional Airport.

"I was home and did not hear a thing," Dave Shanley said. "It's very quite out here. Absolutely this is quite a surprise to me."

"My daughter and I were coming home from a choir concert that she had at the high school and we saw all of the lights and knew that something had happened," Carrie Shanley said.

"We've had balloons land in our yard, but never an airplane crash," Dave Shanley said.

Early Monday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol released the identity of the pilot killed in the crash as Stephen Paulus, 60, of Rootstown.

"Once we arrived on scene we observe that it was a single engine airplane crash and there was one occupant that was still inside the airplane," Sgt. Scott Louive, Ohio State Highway Patrol, said.

"The airplane from what we saw had actually dropped on the backside of the property. It did not strike the residence," Louive said.

"What it did was struck the back deck," he said. "The landing gear on the one side hit and it caused it to tilt forward and it struck the ground at the time."

Louive said nobody was home at the time of the crash.

"The homeowners arrived home and just happened to noise whenever they were in the backside of their home," he said. "They were inside their kitchen when they saw it."

Because nobody was home at the time of the crash, Louive said it's possible that the plane had been there for some time before it was discovered. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was called to the scene around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Louive said the family didn't know the pilot.

"They're doing pretty well at this point, however, they are emotional considering what has happened," Louive said of the family that discovered the crash.

It was believed that Paulus took off from the Portage County Regional Airport.

He "was just flying around and enjoying the day and may have been back en route to the airport," Louive said.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration did respond to the scene.

Louive said it would take a while before a full report was ready. He could not say what might have caused the crash.

Story and video ➤ http://fox8.com




PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -  Authorities have released the name of the pilot who was killed when he crashed his small plane into the backyard of a Portage County home on Sunday.

Investigators say 60-year-old Stephen Paulus, of Rootstown, died when his single-engine airplane crashed into the back deck of a home on Nicodermus Road in Shalersville Township after taking off from Portage County Regional Airport.

Sgt. Scott Louive from the Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said the family discovered the crashed plane in their backyard around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

"It's believed that the pilot took off from the Portage County airport," says Sgt. Louive. "He was just flying around enjoying the day, and may have been back en route to the airport."

Officials believe that because of the debris field, the plane crashed straight down and did not hit ground at an angle.

"From the debris we saw back there, it doesn't appear it was coming from any angle. It appears that it just dropped straight down," said Sgt. Louive.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FAA and NTSB, are continuing the investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crash.

The Portage County Coroner is expected to perform an autopsy on the pilot Monday to determine the official cause of death.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.cleveland19.com





PORTAGE CO., Ohio (WKBN) – A pilot is dead after a single-engine airplane crashed into a Portage County house Sunday evening.

The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Shalersville Township, near Ravenna.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 60-year-old Stephen Paulus, of Rootstown, was piloting a home-built plane when it came down in someone’s backyard, crashing into a deck.

No one was in the house at the time of the crash. Paulus was the only person on board the aircraft.

“It is believed the pilot took off from the Portage County Airport and that he was just flying around enjoying the day and may have been back en route to the airport,” said Sgt. Scott Louive.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Portage County Sheriff’s Officer were back on the scene Monday morning.

An autopsy is planned for Monday.

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

Air Tractor AT-502B, N502G, registered to G B Aerial Applications Inc and operated by King Ag Aviation Inc: Fatal accident occurred October 24, 2017 in Olton, Lamb County, Texas

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.


Joshua Kyle Hollis , 23, passed away on December 03, 2017, at University of Texas Hospital-Lubbock in Lubbock, TX. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced later by Holland Funeral Directors-Tupelo.


Obituary

Tupelo-Joshua Kyle Hollis, 23, died Sunday, December 3, 2017 at the University Hospital in Lubbock, Texas from injuries sustained in an airplane crash on October 24, 2017. Kyle, an adventurous soul avid outdoorsman, was born in Tupelo on March 8, 1994. He graduated from Tupelo Christian Prepatory School in 2012 where he was on the swimming team. Kyle furthered his education at Hinds Community College in Raymond receiving a Technical Degree in Aviation Mechanics in 2014. His love for airplanes and flying were legendary from his days as a young child. Active in Boy Scouting at Harrisburg Baptist Church growing up, he achieved the Eagle Scout Award. Kyle enjoyed rock climbing and repelling. A professional Ag pilot, he was contracted with King Agricultural Aviation in the Lubbock, Texas area at the time of his untimely death. Kyle was a gentle young man who connected with God’s creation and made a difference in the lives of many in his short earthly pilgrimage.

A service celebrating his life will be held at Noon Thursday, December 8, 2017 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Roger Smith, pastor of Bissell Baptist Church where he recently attended, officiating. Private burial will be in the Lebanon Baptist Church Cemetery in Tippah County. Visitation will be from 5 PM-8 PM today and from 10 AM-service time at Noon Thursday, all at Holland-Tupelo Chapel, which is honored to be serving the Hollis family.

Kyle leaves behind his mom and dad, Joe and Joann Ralph Hollis of Tupelo; his brother, Joseph Chad Hollis and his wife, Hanna Lynn Hollis of Forth Stewart, GA.; his sister, Melissa Whitten and her husband, Troy of Slate Springs, MS.. his nieces, Josie Lynn, Hanna and Dakota; his grandmother, Linda Ralph of Ripley and his great grandmother, Jessie Mae Newby of Ripley. numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, his beloved dog, Andy and a wide circle of friends all over the country. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, J.R. Ralph , his paternal grandparents, Franklin G. and Maggie S. Hollis.

Pallbearers will be his cousins: Kevin, Chris, Brandon and Chase Ralph, Mart Murphree, Jay and Franklin Hollis and his friends, Dustin Tutor, Luke Riley and Andrew Griffin. 

Memorials may be made to the Trail Life Program c/o Harrisburg Baptist Church, 4695 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo, MS. 38801. Condolences may be e mailed tohollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net The service may be viewed at hollandfuneraldirectors.com/Livestreaming at Noon Thursday and for 60 days thereafter.


http://www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com



OLTON, TX (KCBD) - Family confirms that 23-year-old Joshua Kyle Hollis of Tupelo, MS has died after a crop duster he was piloting crashed in Lamb County back in October. 

According to The Olton Enterprise, at least two people saw the single-engine crop duster crash into a field near the intersection of US 70 and FM 1842.

Witnesses say the plane was over a field west of FM1842 and was climbing when they saw black smoke. They said the plane came to rest in a field on the east side of FM 1842. The pilot was able to get out of the plane, which was on fire.

The witnesses said the pilot spoke to them and was concerned about his legs.

Hollis was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock with critical injuries. He died from his injuries on December 3rd.

Family members posted in the Prayers for Kyle Facebook group, saying, "Thank you for every prayer. Kyle is enjoying a new body in Heaven now. He has been such a joy to us."

Story and photos ➤  http://www.kcbd.com



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Air Tractor; Olney, Texas

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

Registered to G B Aerial Applications Inc
Operated by King Ag Aviation Inc

http://registry.faa.gov/N502G



Location: Olton, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA019
Date & Time: 10/24/2017, 0820 CDT
Registration: N502G
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502B
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On October 24, 2017, about 0820 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B airplane, N502G, impacted a field about 5 miles west of Olton, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the airplane was destroyed by a postimpact fire. The airplane was registered to G B Aerial Applications Inc., and operated by King Ag Aviation Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had departed Fairview Field Airport (XA05), Sudan, Texas.

The airplane's owner stated that the airplane was being utilized by another operator, King Ag Aviation, who was the pilot's employer.

Local law enforcement stated that multiple witnesses observed the accident sequence. The witnesses reported that the airplane was flying north over highway 70 and made a left turn towards west. During the left turn the airplane descended, impacted a field and burst into flames. The pilot exited the airplane and was transported via helicopter to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane came to rest facing south and was mostly consumed by a postimpact fire (figure 1). The engine was buried in the mud and only one propeller blade was visible.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N502G
Model/Series: AT 502B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No 
Operator: King Ag Aviation Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPVW, 3374 ft msl
Observation Time: 0815 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 330°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.49 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: SUDAN, TX (XA05)
Destination: SUDAN, TX (XA05)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  34.188611, -102.235833 (est)

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Sikorsky Workers Approve New Contract In Landslide Vote



Sikorsky Aircraft workers voted overwhelmingly Sunday to adopt a new contract that provides raises worth well more than 15 percent over the next five years.

Teamsters Local 1150 members in Connecticut, Florida and Maryland ratified the deal on a 2,235-to-66 vote.

The union negotiated givebacks last year after United Technologies sold the company to Lockheed Martin, and union spokesman Rocco Calo said the new contract had no additional concessions.

“This was just great, from the standpoint that it’s the first time out of the box with Lockheed Martin,” Calo said Sunday evening. “When they came to us for concessions to keep some work in Connecticut, we stepped up. This contract is all forward-moving.”

Local 1150 represents 3,123 hourly employees at Sikorsky facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport and Shelton, and 698 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Some employees are currently working in Maryland as well.

“We are pleased to have ratified the contract. The negotiating teams for both the company and the union worked hard to reach an agreement acceptable to both sides,” said Jay Bennett, Sikorsky’s vice president of human relations.

Last year’s concessions required a 25 percent cut in starting pay for employees hired after July 1, 2017. Calo said such workers are being hired at $22 to $38 an hour.

The most senior employees in the top-paid crafts will be paid $57 an hour by the time the new contract runs out in 2022, he said.

The ratification vote in Connecticut was 1,857-64, and in Florida and Maryland was 378-2.

Workers will receive 3 percent raises this month and in each of the next four years. In addition, they will get nine cost-of-living adjustments during the life of the contract.

The company will give a ratification bonus of $5,000, with half next month and half in February 2021.

Lockheed Martin acquired the company for $9 billion in 2015.

Seeking to keep well-paid engineering and manufacturing jobs in the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration reached a deal with Stratford-based Sikorsky last year. It provides as much as $220 million in grants and tax breaks in return for the company increasing employment in Connecticut and raising spending with state-based suppliers.

Story and photo ➤ http://www.courant.com

Cessna 152 , N714TD, Regal Air Flight School: Accident occurred December 03, 2017 at Paine Field (KPAE), Everett, Snohomish County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Everett, Washington

Aircraft sustained substantial damage after takeoff.

Morcom Aviation Services Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N714TD

Date: 03-DEC-17
Time: 21:25:00Z
Regis#: N714TD
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 152
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
City: EVERETT
State: WASHINGTON




EVERETT, Wash. -- A small plane crashed Sunday afternoon on the south end of Paine Field, according to Paine Field Fire.

A man and woman on board the plane were transported to the hospital for precaution.

The plane is a Cessna 152 that crashed under unknown circumstances in a field off the departure end of a runway about 1:25 p.m. Sunday, according to a Federal Aviation Administration official.

There was substantial damage to the plane and the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, according to the official. 

Story and photo gallery ➤ http://komonews.com



EVERETT — Two people walked away after a small plane crashed at Paine Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Cessna had been taking off from the airport shortly before 1:30 p.m., airport director Arif Ghouse said. It wound up near Commando Road, where it struck a tree.

“There was a report of a potential engine issue and it crash-landed in the fields,” Ghouse said.

A student pilot and flight instructor were onboard, he said. They were transported to a local hospital as a precaution. Their ages and gender were not immediately available.

The airport notified the National Transportation Safety Board about the accident.

Story and photo ➤ http://www.heraldnet.com

Six 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers honored for rescuing crew from Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk crash



FORT CAMPBELL, Ken. (KDKA) — A soldier from Harmony and five others who helped rescue crew members after a helicopter crash in January have received the Soldier’s Medal recognizing their heroism.


Spc. Christopher White, of Harmony, was one of six 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers honored during the ceremony held at the division’s Kentucky headquarters on Nov. 28.


Maj. Martin Meiners reports that four crew members were on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter on Jan. 31 when the aircraft crashed into a forest shortly after takeoff. The helicopter landed upside down in a ravine and quickly began to catch fire.


White was one of the first three soldiers to arrive at the scene of the crash. He says he pulled one crew member out of the wreckage, then helped another soldier cut the seat belt off a crew member who was trapped and hanging upside down.


After joining efforts to free the crew chief, who was trapped on the helicopter, White helped move the three other injured crewmen farther away from the crash site to safety.


The five others honored were:


Staff Sgt. Beau Corder, of Memphis, Tennessee

Staff Sgt. Richard Weaver, of Indianapolis, Indiana
Staff Sgt. Engel Becker, of Miami, Florida
Sgt. Damon Seals, of Sparta, Tennessee
Pfc. Ryan Brisson, of Waterford, New York 

The Soldier’s Medal is the Army’s highest peacetime award for valor.


Story and photo gallery ➤ http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com 




Soldiers rushed into burning wreckage to save 3 after helicopter crash

Six Soldiers belonging to C Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division received the Soldier’s Medal during a ceremony held, Nov. 28, at McAuliffe Hall, the division headquarters.

Staff Sgt. Beau Corder, Staff Sgt. Richard Weaver, Staff Sgt. Engel Becker, Sgt. Damon Seals, Spc. Christopher White and Pfc. Ryan Brisson were recognized by Gen. Mark A. Milley, Army chief of staff, for their heroic actions following a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash, Jan. 31, on Fort Campbell.

“I’m very humbled to be a part of this,” said Milley. “I’ve been in the Army for 40 years and I’ve only seen a few Soldier’s Medals. It’s a very rare thing. What you (Soldiers) did took tremendous courage; you knew it was very likely you would be hurt yourself, but you did it anyway. You make anyone who has been associated with the 101st enormously proud.”

The aircraft, flown by four crew members from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st ABN DIV (AASLT), crashed into a forest on the installation shortly after takeoff. According to eyewitness accounts, the location of the crash, and the fact that the aircraft suffered major fuselage damage and was inverted, created a complex scene.

“The way it landed upside down in the ravine made it very difficult to access the crew. It also began to catch fire very quickly,” said 1st Sgt. Adolfo Dominguez, C Troop, 1st Sqdn., 32nd Cav. Regt. senior enlisted leader. “The whole experience opened our eyes that these emergencies can happen. But it was amazing to see the Soldiers’ mentality of ‘I will do anything I have to do’ in order to save these pilots lives.”

A post-crash fire soon engulfed the aircraft wreckage in heavy smoke and flames. The responding Soldiers used water, fire extinguishers and soil to control the fire, allowing them to remove and treat three of the injured crewmembers. They then performed multiple immediate and inventive actions to remove the fourth trapped crew chief, ultimately freeing him from the still-burning wreckage. All of their actions were taken with full understanding of the significant risk to their own safety, and contributed directly to saving the lives of their fellow Soldiers that day.

“What this unit did, from the time the incident happened, was pure agility and pure instinct,” said Lt. Col. Adisa King, 1st Sqdn., 32nd Cav. Regt. commander. “It is what they do on a daily basis. When you know that your brother is down, nothing is going to stop you.  We talk about leaving no Soldier behind, and they proved that. It didn’t matter what it took to get that crew and those pilots out, these Soldiers were going to do it.”

The Soldiers recognized were happy to receive this notable commendation, but at the time of the incident it was the furthest thing from their mind.

“At first, none of us really thought about it. We were just happy that everyone survived,” said Corder. “We were just doing our job, we wanted to save them.”

Although six individual Soldiers received the medal, the entire unit responded to the crash. Some commented that they were just a member of a great team.

“I’m happy to be receiving it, but it was a combined effort of everybody,” said White. “I don’t think I’m any more special than anyone else that was out there.”

In attendance at the ceremony were friends, families and fellow Soldiers of the awardees. But one individual had an extremely close connection to the incident. Spc. Grant Long, 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st CAB crew chief, was on-board the helicopter and injured in the incident. In a touching moment, Milley invited Long to help him pin the medals on the Soldiers who saved his life.

Memories of heroes


More details about each of the six Soldier’s Medal recipients, including reflections about their response to the crash follows:

Staff Sgt. Beau Corder of Memphis, Tennessee, now assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st BCT, displayed unparalleled fearlessness and heroics when he, with complete disregard for his own safety and in the face of life-threatening danger, climbed onto a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to dislodge a trapped crew chief, ultimately saving his life.

Corder displayed immense gallantry by sprinting to the crash site. Without hesitation he moved into intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions to help rescue the fourth and final crewman whose foot was pinned in between the collapsed engine and aircraft paneling. 

“I was helping move one of the crew members out, and I looked back into the aircraft and realized that the fourth Soldier was actually stuck underneath the body of the aircraft,” said Corder. “His leg was lodged underneath the engine or transmission.”

Making the situation worse, the trapped Soldier’s position was directly adjacent to the fire, which was expanding with each passing minute. While only inches away from the flames and smoke, Corder braved the danger and crawled into the wreckage, put out the fire that was beginning to burn the crewman’s feet, and made multiple inventive and immediate attempts to pull him to safety. 

“At first I tried to cut off his boots, but we saw that was going to take too long. We tried pushing on the body of the bird, that’s when the first explosion went off,” said Corder. “We kept pulling on his equipment, and used a truck to try and pull the engine off his legs. I could feel the fire getting closer, it was the hottest I’ve ever been.”

With the heat and smoke beginning to take its toll on other rescuers, Corder displayed his most heroic act by climbing on the aircraft and jumping on the paneling. While conducting this valorous act, a second explosion blew Corder off the aircraft where he immediately got back on his feet and on the aircraft to continue. After repeated attempts, Corder’s efforts broke the paneling free, creating enough space for others to pull the trapped crewman out of the wreckage.  

Staff Sgt. Richard Weaver of Indianapolis, Indiana, now assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT, displayed crucially quick reactions and agile leadership when, with complete disregard for his own safety, and in the face of life threatening danger, he sprinted to a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.  Weaver led the first four responders in rescue efforts, and was personally responsible for successfully tying together ropes to attach to and pull out one of the trapped crew chiefs, ultimately saving the lives of three Soldiers. 

As one of the first three Soldiers on the scene, and without hesitation, Weaver moved into intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions, to help rescue the crew. He immediately took control of the initial rescue efforts and treatment of three crew members. He then assisted others in multiple attempts to remove the trapped crew chief.

“By then flames had really begun to engulf the aircraft, and everyone was getting worried that we wouldn’t get the Soldier out,” said Weaver. “It was very intense at that point.”

Ultimately, Weaver was directly responsible for tying together personal safety lines that would end up enabling the rescue team to pull the crew chief free. Throughout the entire rescue process, Weaver, along with one other noncommissioned officer, was directly responsible for controlling the area facing direct and dangerous conditions.

Staff Sgt. Engel Becker of Miami, Florida, displayed heroic leadership, unparalleled composure under stress, and vital ingenuity. With complete disregard for his own safety, and in the face of life-threatening danger, he orchestrated rescue efforts for the crew of a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. He personally maneuvered in and out of the most dangerous areas multiple times to position vital equipment, ultimately saving the life of a trapped crew chief. 

Becker displayed immense gallantry by sprinting toward the crash site to begin command and control of the rescue operations.  As he saw other Soldiers running to the crash site, he first moved to the road and ensured the medics and ambulance were located in the best spot. Without hesitation, Becker then ran into the crash site full of intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions, to help rescue the crew. After personally removing three crew members and ensuring their safe transport to a waiting ambulance, he joined the efforts to remove the fourth trapped Soldier. Throughout the entire process, he was critical to developing courses of action and controlling the rescue operation, often times monitoring his own men, ensuring they were pulled away to recover from smoke inhalation.

Sgt. Damon Seals of Sparta, Tennessee, displayed immediate heroic actions when, with complete disregard for his own safety, in the face of life threatening danger, he sprinted to a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, immediately pulling crew members from the wreckage, ultimately saving the lives of at least two Soldiers. 

“We heard a loud pop and saw the Blackhawk falling, and we immediately began running toward the scene,” said Seals. “We came over a berm and saw the helicopter flipped over and the fire had already started.” 

As one of the first three Soldiers on the scene and without hesitation, Seals moved into intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions, to help rescue the crew. He and two other Soldiers safely treated two injured members of the flight crew and moved them away from the dangerous scene.

“From my point of view I remember the fire was extremely hot,” he said. “It was scary to see how hot it was and how close the fourth guy was. I didn’t realize just how dangerous this was until the first explosion, which knocked me to the ground.”

While more Soldiers arrived to help rescue the final trapped crew chief, Seals and one other Soldier, moved to the right side crew chief, who was already outside the wreckage, and carried him 50 meters to the ambulance. Seals also played a vital role in controlling the scene and ensuring safety of all Soldiers as multiple rescue vehicles moved in and around the crash site. He personally contributed to the rescue and recovery efforts longer than nearly every other Soldier.

Spc. Christopher White of Harmony, Pennsylvania, displayed quick and courageous actions when he, with complete disregard for his own safety and in the face of life-threatening danger, sprinted to a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. As one of the first three Soldiers on the scene, he pulled out and moved three of the crewmen from intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions, ultimately saving their lives.

“All of a sudden we heard a loud crashing noise, I looked up to see the Blackhawk falling upside-down into the woods,” said White. “I ran down into the ravine and pulled the first crew member up and out of the wreckage. After that, I helped [Brisson] cut the seatbelt off another crew member who was trapped and hanging upside down.”

After assisting the first three crewmen, White joined efforts to free the fourth and trapped crew chief. During this time, he realized the increasing danger to the injured crewmen still near the crash site. He and another Soldier moved them to safety. Throughout the rescue efforts, White braved the immediate danger of explosions, symptoms of smoke inhalation and heat from the fire, without ever needing to remove himself to recover.

“The flames were the last thing on my mind, the whole time I just thought that these were my brothers in the bird and we needed to get them out,” said White.

Pfc. Ryan Brisson of Waterford, New York, displayed exceptionally courageous initiative when he, without orders or guidance and complete disregard for his own safety in the face of life threatening danger, cut free two crewmen from a crashed UH-60 Blackhawk and crawled into the wreckage to help dislodge one of those crewmen who was trapped, ultimately saving his life.

Only seconds behind the first Soldiers on the scene and without hesitation, Brisson moved into intense flames, severe smoke, and violent explosions to help rescue the crew. First, he moved to the right side pilot who was in obvious pain and stuck upside down with his harness still on. Brisson immediately pulled his own knife out, cut the pilot’s harness, and with the assistance of others, pulled him from the aircraft.

“When I first got there, I saw a couple Soldiers hanging upside-down, they were still strapped in,” said Brisson.  “I used my Gerber to cut his belt, and he fell down from the seat.”

While braving increasingly dangerous conditions, Brisson quickly moved to the left side crew chief, who, was stuck in his harness, and also cut him free. This crew chief dropped to the ground but was not completely free because his foot was pinned between the collapsed engine and aircraft paneling, only inches from the expanding fire. During this initial attempt to recover the crew chief, Brisson was mere feet from the flames and had been breathing in heavy smoke.

“The second Soldier was also trapped, and I could see the flames were nearing his back,” he said.  “I just acted on instinct, when I saw he was in pain. I wasn’t thinking about how dangerous it was, I just thought if it was me I hope they would help get me out. I have a brother in the Army and I hope someone would help him out in a situation like that.”

He then joined the group effort to free the fourth trapped crew chief, showing extreme bravery by crawling into the burning wreckage to try and cut the boots off of the crew chief. Brisson aided in the rescue efforts longer than any other Soldier on the scene.

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