Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N8648N, True North Aviation: Fatal accident occurred December 07, 2016 in Port Alsworth, Alaska

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

Analysis


The non-instrument-rated private pilot and three passengers departed from an airport along a lakefront in an airplane not equipped or certified for flight into known icing conditions. A couple of minutes after the airplane departed, a pilot who was descending to land at the departure airport spoke with the accident pilot. The pilot of the descending airplane told the accident pilot that the tops of the clouds were about 2,000 ft. The accident pilot replied, "looking good under here, I'm gonna keep going." No further radio transmissions were received from the accident pilot. When the airplane failed to arrive at its intended destination, a search was launched.

The day following the accident, airplane debris and personal items that were positively identified as belonging to the occupants of the airplane were found floating on the surface of the lake. The debris indicated that the airplane impacted the surface of the lake. Despite an extensive search, neither the occupants nor the airplane have been recovered, and, due to the depth of the lake, a recovery mission is unlikely.

Weather camera images, surface weather observations, and upper air observations indicated that the weather conditions at the time of the accident likely included freezing fog and mist, low visibilities and ceilings, and moderate or greater icing conditions in the clouds covering the accident area. Therefore, the accident flight likely encountered instrument meteorological conditions shortly after departure and rapidly began accumulating structural and/or induction icing. However, because the airplane was not available for examination by investigators, the possibility of mechanical failure or malfunction could not be ruled out.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Undetermined due to a lack of physical evidence. 

Findings

Not determined

Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aviation Accident Factual 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/N8648N



Location: Port Alsworth, AK
Accident Number: ANC17FA010
Date & Time: 12/07/2016, 0935 AKS
Registration: N8648N
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On December 7, 2016, about 0935 Alaska standard time, a wheel-equipped Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N8648N, impacted the open waters of Lake Clark shortly after takeoff from the Port Alsworth Airport (PALJ), Port Alsworth, Alaska. The noninstrument-rated private pilot and three passengers are missing and presumed to have sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was not recovered and is presumed to have sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual in Port Alsworth, and the pilot had rented the airplane for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 visual flight rules cross-country personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the airplane's point of departure, but instrument meteorological conditions were reported along the flight's anticipated route. The flight departed PALJ about 0930 with a destination of Merrill Field Airport (PAMR), Anchorage, Alaska. No flight plan was filed for the flight.

During a telephone conversation with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator on December 8, a friend of the pilot and passengers reported that the three passengers were part of a family traveling to Anchorage to meet up with other family members. They were originally scheduled to travel on a scheduled air carrier flight on the day of the accident, but canceled their reservations and elected to fly to Anchorage with the pilot instead. Another family member departed for Anchorage aboard the scheduled air carrier flight.

A pilot who was completing a flight from Anchorage to PALJ about the time of the accident reported speaking with the accident pilot a couple minutes after the accident airplane departed from PALJ. He told the accident pilot that the tops of the clouds were about 2,000 ft and that, from his perspective, it looked open at Miller Valley, which is located about 10 miles northeast of PALJ along the northern shore of Lake Clark. The accident pilot replied, "looking good under here, I'm gonna keep going." No further radio transmissions were received from the accident pilot.

When the airplane failed to arrive in Anchorage, family members and friends of the passengers reported the airplane overdue. An alert notice was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at 1501 on December 7, and an extensive search was launched. According to the airplane's owner, the airplane was equipped with a 406 MHz emergency transmitter locator, but no signal was received by search personnel.

On December 8, about 1530, searchers located personal items floating about 11 miles northeast of the airport in Lake Clark that were later positively identified as belonging to the occupants of the airplane. Also recovered were three airplane landing gear wheel assemblies, a co-pilot (right side) seat, and cargo from the airplane. The rest of the airplane was not located, and it is presumed to have sunk in Lake Clark.

The official search was suspended by the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and the Alaska State Troopers on December 12, 2016. Family friends and volunteers continued to search for the missing airplane.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/01/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: (Estimated) 257.2 hours (Total, all aircraft)
  
Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/08/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 32 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The pilot, age 25, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued on February 1, 2013, and contained the limitation, "must wear corrective lenses."

A logbook belonging to the pilot was recovered from the waters of Lake Clark during the search for the airplane. The last entry, dated November 9, 2016, was for a flight in the accident airplane. The total flight time listed in the logbook was 257.2 hours. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N8648N
Model/Series: PA 28-180 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7105149
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/15/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2152.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer:  LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4A
Registered Owner: ALSWORTH GLEN R
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

The airplane was manufactured in 1971 and equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine. The airplane was not equipped or certified for flight into known icing conditions. No airframe or engine logbooks were located for the accident airplane. 




Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAIL, 192 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 AKS
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Temperature/Dew Point:  -16°C / -17°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 1200 ft agl
Visibility:   10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots/ 22 knots, 360°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Port Alsworth, AK (TPO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ANCHORAGE, AK (MRI)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time:  AKS
Type of Airspace:  Class G

The closest official weather station was at PALJ, located about 8 miles southwest of the accident site. PALJ used Aviation Paid Weather Observers (A-Paid) who are individuals trained by the National Weather Service and/or the FAA and stationed in locations where the NWS has determined that it is necessary to take weather observations to help provide NWS forecast responsibilities. A-Paid observers are certified by the NWS to take surface observations (that is, hourly reports of temperature, dew point, estimated cloud cover, estimated visibility, pressure, weather, and wind direction and speed) using equipment provided by the NWS. These observers are compensated for their work on a per-observation basis. Between December 5 and December 7, there were a total of four observations taken by the A-Paid observer at PALJ. The only observation from the day of the accident was timestamped 1459 and stated in part: wind from 140° at 5 knots, 7 miles visibility, overcast ceiling at 500 ft above ground level (agl), temperature 3°F, dew point 0°F, and altimeter setting 30.18 inches of mercury.

Iliamna Airport (PAIL), Iliamna, Alaska, was the next closest official weather station, located 40 miles southwest of the accident site. PAIL had an Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS); the reports were supplemented by air traffic controllers.

At 0911, a METAR from PAIL reported in part: wind from 360° at 13 knots with gusts to 23 knots, 10 miles visibility, overcast ceiling at 1,100 ft agl, temperature of -3°C, dew point temperature of 1°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.17 inches of mercury.

At 0953, a METAR from PAIL reported in part: wind from 360° at 16 knots with gusts to 22 knots, 10 miles visibility, overcast ceiling at 1,200 ft agl, temperature of -3°F, dew point temperature of 1°F, and an altimeter setting of 30.16 inches of mercury.

The closest official upper air sounding to the accident site was from King Salmon, Alaska, (PAKN), located 124 miles southwest of the accident site at an elevation of 46 feet.

The 0300 PAKN sounding indicated a conditionally unstable layer between the surface and 750 feet with a stable layer from 750 feet through 3,250 feet. An inversion (increase in temperature with height) was located immediately above the surface to 2,488 feet and this inversion would have kept any clouds that formed below the inversion in place if the background wind environment was relatively light. With the relative humidity greater than 80% from the surface to 10,000 feet, the complete Rawinsonde Observation program (RAOB) indicated that clouds were likely from the surface through 10,000 feet. Moderate or greater icing conditions were indicated by RAOB in the cloud cover between 750 feet and 6,500 feet. A detailed meteorology study is located in the public docket for this accident. 

Airport Information

Airport: PORT ALSWORTH (TPO)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 280 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  60.297222, -154.117222 (est) 

The airplane is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with the open waters of Lake Clark shortly after takeoff. Due to the depth of the lake, about 500 ft in some locations, there are no search and recovery efforts planned at the time of this report. 

Medical And Pathological Information

To date, the remains of the pilot have not been located; therefore, no pathological or toxicology information exists. At the time of his last medical examination, the pilot reported no medical concerns, and no significant issues were identified by the aviation medical examiner.

• Port Alsworth walks in memory of four who died in Lake Clark plane crash 

Four Port Alsworth residents died last December when a plane crashed into Lake Clark. The community gathered this week to remember those who died and to support their surviving friends and family.


Scott Blom and the two youngest Blom children, Zach and Kaitlyn, passed away in a plane accident December 7, 2016.


Kyle Longerbeam, 25, was piloting a Piper PA-28 Cherokee that crashed after leaving Port Alsworth.


The Port Alsworth community gathered Thursday for a walk and bonfire in memorial to those who died in a fatal airplane crash one year ago.

Scott Blom and his two children, Zach Blom, 13, and Kaitlyn Blom, 14, were on their way to Anchorage, where Tanalian School was competing in the Mixed Six Volleyball State Championship. Private pilot, 25-year-old Kyle Longerbeam rented the single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee from Lake Clark Air to make the trip.

The four took off from Port Alsworth the morning of December 7, 2016, but they never arrived in Anchorage. Authorities believe that the plane went down in Lake Clark, killing all onboard. The plane and bodies were not recovered.

The loss was devastating to the tightknit community of about 150 people. The community came together Thursday in remembrance.

“They were all outdoor people,” said Matthew Grossman, a teacher at Tanalian School who helped organize the memorial. “As a student, I remember Zach, he always wanted to be outside rather than in the classroom. So we thought of a community walk—just to remember, to share stories, to celebrate their life.”

Caleb Alsworth is a ninth grader at Tanalian School and president of the student council. He said that as students have processed the tragedy of losing classmates this year, they’ve done it together.

“It’s definitely hard. There is grieving and it’s sad, but we have hope that we’re going to see them again. We know that they’re in heaven right now and we’re going to see them when our time comes. But we’ve all been there for each other and been with each other and really went through it all together,” said Alsworth.

Grossman said Longerbeam and the Bloms’ passing has left a big hole in the community. The memorial walk was also an expression of support for the family they left behind.

Conditions on the day of the crash were reported to be limited visibility, but the National Transportation and Safety Board has not determined an official cause of the accident.

http://kdlg.org

Four (4) souls missing and presumed to have sustained fatal injuries:

Pilot Kyle Longerbeam, 25

Scott Blom, 45, and his children, Kaitlyn Blom, 14, and Zach Blom, 13.

Scott Blom (back, second from left),  and his children Zach (front in the orange jacket) and daughter Kaitlyn (front, right).




Kyle Longerbeam

Blom Family 
Back row:  Sam, Julie, Scott, Josh
Front row: Zach, Kaitlyn


Lyle Longerbeam

NTSB Identification: ANC17FA010 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 07, 2016 in Port Alsworth, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180, registration: N8648N
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

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

On December 7, 2016, about 0935 Alaska standard time (AST), a wheel-equipped Piper PA-32-180 airplane, N8648N, is presumed to have sustained substantial damage during impact with the open waters of Lake Clark shortly after takeoff from the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, Alaska. Of the four occupants on board, the non-instrument rated private pilot and three passengers are presumed to have sustained fatal injuries, and all remain missing. At the time of the accident instrument meteorological conditions were reported in the area. The airplane was registered to a private individual in Port Alsworth, and it had recently been rented to the accident pilot for the 14 CFR Part 91 visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the airplane's point of departure, but reduced visibility conditions were reported along the flight's anticipated flight route, including low-lying ice fog over Lake Clark. The accident flight originated at the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, about 0930, en route to the Merrill Field Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, the flight's final destination for the day. No flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the owner, the missing airplane was equipped with a 406 MHz emergency transmitter locator (ELT), but no signal was received by search personnel.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chief on December 8, a family friend of both the pilot and passengers reported that four family members were originally scheduled to fly to Anchorage on a scheduled air carrier on the day of the accident. The friend explained that on the morning of the accident, three of the four passengers canceled their reservations on the scheduled air carrier, and they elected to fly to Anchorage with the accident pilot instead, while the other family member departed for Anchorage aboard the scheduled air carrier's flight. 

When the airplane failed to arrive in Anchorage, concerned family members and friends of the passengers called the NTSB's Alaska Regional Office to report the airplane overdue. Consequently, an alert notice was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on December 7, at 1501, and an extensive search was launched. Search operations were conducted by personnel from the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska Air National Guard, Alaska State Troopers, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many Good Samaritan pilots. 

On December 8, about 1530, searchers located personal items floating in Lake Clark that were later positively identified as belonging to the missing occupants. Also recovered were three airplane landing gear wheel assemblies, a co-pilot (right side) seat, as well as cargo from the missing airplane. The rest of the airplane has not yet been located, and it is presumed to have sunk in the deep waters of Lake Clark. 

The official search was suspended by the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and the Alaska State Troopers on December 12, 2016. Family friends and volunteers continued to search for the missing airplane. 

The closest weather reporting facility was at the Port Alsworth Airport, Port Alsworth, Alaska, about 10 miles south of the debris location. At 1453, a weather observation from the Port Alsworth Airport was reporting, in part: Wind, 150 degrees (true) at 04 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles; cloud and sky conditions, 500 feet overcast; temperature, 3 degrees F; dew point, 0 degrees F; altimeter, 30.18inHg. Remarks: "EST PASS CLOSED." 

A pilot operating in the area at the time the airplane disappeared reported speaking with the accident pilot during the descent phase of his flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth. He stated that he spoke with the accident pilot a couple minutes after the pilot departed the Port Alsworth Airport and he told him the tops of the clouds were about 2,000 feet and from his perspective, it looked open at Miller Valley. The accident pilot replied "looking good under here, I'm gonna keep going." No further radio transmissions were received from the accident pilot.

The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-360 series engine.

A detailed wreckage and engine examination is pending recovery of the airplane.

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N7682P: Accident occurred November 08, 2016 at Houlton International Airport (KHUL), Aroostook County, Maine

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

Analysis 

The private pilot had recently purchased the airplane; he and a flight instructor were conducting a local familiarization flight. After about 1 hour of flying with the left inboard fuel tank selected, he returned to the airport traffic pattern and performed two additional takeoffs. While on the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot checked that the fuel pump was on while the flight instructor attempted to determine why the engine lost power. The flight instructor then took control of the airplane and turned toward the runway. The airplane contacted the tops of some trees and landed on uneven terrain covered with tall grass and brush about 500 ft short of the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and wings. Before exiting the airplane, the pilot moved the fuel selector to the "off" position.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage and found that the left inboard fuel tank was absent of fuel, while the right inboard fuel tank was full. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated, "switched to the other fuel tank."

Probable Cause and Findings

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

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which resulted from the pilot's mismanagement of the available fuel.

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Not used/operated (Cause)
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)
Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Terrain - Contributed to outcome

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Factual 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/N7682P

Location: Houlton, ME
Accident Number: ERA17CA039
Date & Time: 11/08/2016, 1610 EST
Registration: N7682P
Aircraft: PIPER PA 24-250
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The private pilot had recently purchased the airplane; he and a flight instructor were conducting a local familiarization flight. After about one hour of flying with the left inboard fuel tank selected, he returned to the airport traffic pattern and performed two additional takeoffs. While on the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot checked that the fuel pump was on while the flight instructor attempted to determine why the engine lost power. The flight instructor then took control of the airplane and turned towards the runway. The airplane contacted the tops of some trees and landed on uneven terrain covered with tall grass and brush about 500 feet short of the runway, resulting in substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and wings. Before exiting the airplane, the pilot moved the fuel selector to the off position. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage and found that the left inboard fuel tank was absent of fuel, while the right inboard fuel tank was full. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. When asked how the accident could have been prevented, the pilot stated, "switched to the other fuel tank." 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/28/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 312 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1 hours (Total, this make and model), 265 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)
  
Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor
Age: 89, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied:  Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): 
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2
Last FAA Medical Exam: 
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N7682P
Model/Series: PA 24-250 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1961
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-2891
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/17/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2899 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5617.4 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-540 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 250 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: HUL, 489 ft msl
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 200°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Houlton, ME (HUL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Houlton, ME (HUL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: HOULTON INTL (HUL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 489 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5015 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  46.115278, -67.800833 (est)

Incident occurred December 06, 2017 at Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI), West Palm Beach, Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A small plane landed safely after a report of smoke in the cockpit, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

The plane landed safely at Signature Aviation.

Palm Beach International Airport spokeswoman Cassandra Davis said the plane, a Galaxy aircraft, landed without incident just before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

There's no word on if anyone on board was treated for injuries or smoke inhalation. 

Original article can be found here ➤ http://cbs12.com

Port Richey, Florida: Man Charged With Pointing Laser At Pasco County Sheriff's Office Air Unit


Pasco Sheriff's Office


Pointing Laser at Aircraft


7515 Ironbark Dr. Port Richey


On 12/5/2017 at 10:50pm the Air Unit was assisting with a barricaded suspect call. 


Air6 was providing cover for the units setting up for an entry into the barricaded suspect's residence when they were targeted by a laser pointer. 


The suspect aiming the laser at the Aircraft was blinding the pilot and causing a hazard while interfering with the mission of the aircraft. 


The pilot was forced to disengage from the primary mission and address the laser suspect. 


Pilot Stephen Bowman tracked the suspect. 


Pilot Bowman noticed a parking lot about 1/4 mile from the suspect location which is large enough to safely land the helicopter.

He landed the helicopter and walked over to the suspect's residence where he detained the suspect.


Patrol units responded to the location and took over the arrest and transport of the suspect, Ryan Fluke W/M DOB 3/29/1990, who was arrested for Misuse of laser lighting devices.


Pasco County Sheriff's Office




PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Port Richey man, who deputies say was pointing a laser at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, wound up behind bars after the PCSO pilot landed the agency’s helicopter and helped take him into custody on Tuesday night.

Around 10:50 p.m, the PCSO helicopter was dispatched to help with a call about a barricaded suspect at 7515 Ironbark Dr. in Port Richey.

The helicopter was over the house where the suspect was barricaded and was providing cover for the deputies who were preparing to enter the suspect’s home, when the suspect aimed a laser pointer at the chopper.

The suspect aiming the laser was blinding the pilot and causing a hazard while interfering with the mission of the helicopter, according to the sheriff’s office.

The pilot was forced to stop providing cover for the deputies and address the issue about the laser.

Pilot Stephen Bowman noticed a parking lot about 1/4 mile from the suspect’s location. The parking lot was large enough to safely land the helicopter.

Pilot Bowman landed the helicopter and walked over to the suspect’s residence where he detained the suspect.

Patrol units responded to the location and took over the arrest and transport of the suspect, Ryan Fluke, 27, who was arrested for misuse of laser lighting devices.

Arrest documents say Fluke is employed as a bartender at Gill Dog Marina in Port Richey.

Story and comments ➤ http://wfla.com

Worcester speech: JetBlue boss to discuss New York City flights

JetBlue President and CEO Robin Hayes is expected to announce the start date for flights from Worcester Regional Airport to New York when he attends the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting Thursday morning.

JetBlue announced in February that it was adding daily flights from Worcester to John F. Kennedy International Airport following the completion of a Category III landing system that would allow planes to land in all kinds of weather. The landing system was scheduled to be completed this month. At the time of the announcement, JetBlue said the JFK flights would likely start in early 2018.

JetBlue already has flights connecting Worcester with Orlando International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Mr. Hayes will be the keynote speaker for the chamber’s breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Return to telegram.com for coverage of the speech.

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

Shawnee, Johnson County, Kansas

SHAWNEE, Kan. —   The Shawnee Police Department and city officials responded to an area around Lake Quivira Wednesday to investigate a possible plane crash.

A man called 911 around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon to say he saw a plane flying low.

City officials said the man didn't see any smoke, he didn't hear a crash, just that the plane was flying low.

Police responded to the area and could not locate any wreckage or signs of a wreck.

The Federal Aviation Administration also said there were no missing planes, or distress calls in the area.

At this time, authorities do not believe a plane actually crashed.

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

Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina: Stolen Credit Card Used to Purchase $20K of Aircraft Parts

A stolen credit card was used to purchase about $20,000 worth of aircraft parts according to a Rock Hill police report. The Rock Hill company called police this past Monday to report the sale.

The employee told police the unknown person ordered $20,000 worth of aircraft parts by phone, and paid with an American Express card on Nov. 18.

The transaction was approved by the credit card company initially however, the employee was later notified the card was reported stolen, according to published reports.

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

Your New Business-Class Seat Isn’t Ready, But Here’s a Pillow: United has been marketing its improved Polaris service for over a year, but has been slow installing seats and upgrading airport clubs



The Wall Street Journal
By Scott McCartney
Updated Dec. 6, 2017 9:37 a.m. ET


The biggest delay for airlines isn’t your flight or your luggage. It’s their long-promised new business-class seats.

United Airlines trumpeted its new Polaris business class in June 2016 with a roadshow to let top customers try the new cocoon-like lie-flat bed and a promise of nine fancy new Polaris clubs at key airports by the end of 2017. Airports are covered with Polaris ads. New Polaris-labeled pillows, bedding, meals and china are in all the international business-class cabins.

The only thing missing? The seats. Eighteen months after the launch, only two planes have been retrofitted with Polaris seats. A third is scheduled to enter service by the end of the week. The airline has received 14 new Boeing 777-300s with the seats, so the current tally on Polaris comes to only about 10% of United’s long-haul international fleet.

Polaris Clubs have come no faster. Only the one at Chicago O’Hare has opened.

“Marketing and the reality are often not the same thing. They simply haven’t delivered on it very well,” says Corey Terrell, a 6-foot-5 senior information technology manager from Charlotte, N.C., who travels to China frequently on United and looks forward to the Polaris seat that stretches out to 6 feet, 6 inches.

Airlines are quick to announce new luxury seats to attract marketing buzz and give the appearance to customers that they’re catching up with rivals in the white-hot fancy-seat race, where carriers from Asia and the Persian Gulf continually innovate. Two months after United’s Polaris hoopla, Delta one-upped its rival with an announcement of business-class suites with sliding privacy doors.

But many are slow to deliver. In 2012, American Airlines announced new lie-flat beds for its business class and even ran promotional videos on planes. The first seat didn’t actually fly until 2013, and American completed its retrofit only this year. It took Delta six years to complete its upgrade to all lie-flat seats with aisle access in 2014. Then in 2016, Delta announced its suite, 14 months before it actually had its first flight on a newly delivered Airbus A350.

Last month, Lufthansa announced it would roll out a new business-class product in, um, 2020. A spokeswoman says the announcement was meant as a “sneak peek.”

Carriers say international business-class seats are complicated and much more difficult to get into airplanes than coach seats crammed closer together.

Business-class seats have thousands of parts and can each cost $100,000 or more. Think of them as high-end sports cars. They get scrutinized by an airline’s best customers, who pay as much as $10,000 or more for a trip and often find themselves regularly eating, sleeping and living in the seats. Once installed, it’s difficult to tweak designs. One small flaw can lead to bad reviews and lost revenue.

With airlines around the world frantically upgrading and leapfrogging each other, seat manufacturers have run into delays. American switched to a different manufacturer after delays. United ran into delays with the same seat maker, Zodiac Aerospace , but says Zodiac is now on track.

United knew when it announced Polaris in 2016 that it would be years before large numbers of customers were actually sleeping in Polaris seats.

“Maybe that was not as clearly defined a year ago as it should have been,” says Andrew Nocella, United’s chief commercial officer. “But we’re going to take the necessary time to do this right.”

The main issue with its slow rollout has been design, United says. Polaris was announced when a basic concept was completed, but a prototype seat has to be constructed for each type of aircraft, since cabin dimensions and seating layouts are different. Mr. Nocella says to expect “many, many more” of the seats this spring.

To blunt the delays, United began using the Polaris “soft product”—big pillows, blankets, china and other amenities—on all its long-haul international flights. With that, it began calling its business class Polaris. You don’t book business class on United international trips, anymore, you buy a Polaris ticket.

The seat did arrive in February, a couple months behind schedule, aboard a new Boeing 777-300.

When they do get to see it, customers like the Polaris redesigns. Ben Stolt, a computer hardware engineer based in Austin, Texas, rode in a Polaris seat on a new 777-300 flight between Newark, N.J., to San Francisco last June. Then his connecting flight to Shanghai was on one of the old United seats, some of which he finds not much wider than coach seats. He picked that itinerary just to get a few hours with the new seat.

“When they actually get these planes retrofitted with these new seats, it’ll be nice,” he says.

Mike LaRosa, who develops shared workspaces at hotels and office buildings around the world, was “blown away” by the Polaris club in Chicago.

“Finally, something to get excited about after all those mindless, stupid ads I see at O’Hare,” he says. The club isn’t all that different from top clubs offered by foreign airlines, but it’s comparable, he says, and that’s a huge change in the U.S.

“I can finally get a shower in O’Hare,” he says, and he has been impressed by the service. On one trip, he forgot a needed USB cable and a United agent brought a box of different cables and gave him the one he needed.

Mr. Terrell, the tall tech manager who travels frequently on United, hasn’t experienced the Polaris seat yet. He appreciates the new Polaris gel pillows, which keep heads cooler, and the fancy bedding, but “most of that stuff is window dressing,” he says. It’s the seat that makes the difference flying 14 or 16 hours.

“They are trying to sell tickets now based on a product that doesn’t exist,” he says. (Gel pillows and mattress pads are available only in limited numbers, and you have to ask a flight attendant when boarding.)

Mr. Terrell is also frustrated by paying an annual lounge membership fee, then finding large sections of clubs, or whole clubs, closed for renovations for most of the year, leaving remaining space overcrowded and even unusable.

United says the club construction delays stem from a realization that the Polaris designs United had were too small, based on crowds at the Chicago Polaris club. So the airline opted to redraw plans and build bigger clubs. Some will open in 2018, including those in San Francisco and Newark.

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

Piper PA-34-200T, N47536, registered to and operated by Angel Aviation Inc: Accident occurred December 05, 2017 at Glendale Municipal Airport (KGEU), Maricopa County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

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


Angel Aviation Inc:  http://registry.faa.gov/N47536


Location: Glendale, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18LA044
Date & Time: 12/05/2017, 1835 MST
Registration: N47536
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200T
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On December 5, 2017, about 1835 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N47536, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion after landing at Glendale Municipal Airport (GEU), Glendale, Arizona. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and a commercial pilot were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Angel Aviation Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

Both pilots reported that during landing roll, the left wing dipped. Despite their control inputs, the airplane veered to the left side of the runway, collided with a runway sign, and came to a stop in a grassy area. During the landing sequence, the left main landing gear collapsed. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N47536
Model/Series: PA 34-200T 220T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: ANGEL AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day 
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGEU, 1066 ft msl
Observation Time: 1650 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / -6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Glendale, AZ (GEU)
Destination: Glendale, AZ (GEU)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.526944, -112.295278 (est)

Bell 407, N686AM, Air Methods Corporation: Incident occurred December 05, 2017 at Front Range Airport (KFTG), Watkins, Colorado

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Rotorcraft landed hard on taxiway.

Air Methods Corporation:  http://registry.faa.gov/N686AM

Date: 05-DEC-17
Time: 21:37:00Z
Regis#: N686AM
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 407
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: FRONT RANGE
State: COLORADO

Robinson R44, N99RW, Atlas Aviation LP: Accident occurred December 05, 2017 at Treasure Coast International Airport (KFPR), Fort Pierce, Florida

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

Atlas Aviation LP:  http://registry.faa.gov/N99RW


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

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

Location: Fort Pierce, FL
Accident Number: GAA18CA072
Date & Time: 12/05/2017, 1315 EST
Registration: N99RW
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The helicopter pilot reported that, while hovering to land on a helipad, the tail struck the ground. He added that the helicopter landed hard and rolled over onto the left side.

The helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, main rotor blades, and tail boom.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 20 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 130° at 10 knots. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 77, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/16/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2300 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N99RW
Model/Series: R44 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 0793
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/24/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2559 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-540-F1
Registered Owner: ATLAS AVIATION LP
Rated Power: 225 hp
Operator: ATLAS AVIATION LP
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFPR, 24 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 306°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 19°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 130°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: BOCA RATON, FL (BCT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fort Pierce, FL (FPR)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1200 EST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: TREASURE COAST INTL (FPR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 23 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 27.492222, -80.368056 (est)





FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A helicopter crashed near Fort Pierce Monday afternoon, the St. Lucie County Fire District says.

Fire rescue responded to the crash around at 1:08 p.m. at the Treasure Coast International Airport.

Two people were onboard the helicopter when it crashed and no injuries were reported.

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