Sunday, December 10, 2017

Indiana State Police conduct 100+ traffic stops with help from Cessna 172 Skyhawk

LAKE COUNTY Ind. – Indiana State Police conducted a traffic blitz Friday with help from the air.

Indiana State Police say they issued more than 100 traffic citations and warnings along I-65 in Lake County with help from a Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane Friday morning. State Police Sergeant Lee Wright of the ISP Aviation Section piloted the aircraft equipped with technology to monitor vehicles below. He radioed troopers on the ground to stop drivers spotted not following the rules.

The plane also aided in several truck inspections, an accident investigation and two criminal arrests -- all within a five-hour window.

Police say this exercise is just the first of what will be an ongoing statewide effort using aircraft for traffic enforcement.

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

Rehab that puts alcoholic pilots back in the cockpit



The words CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF are welcomed by air travelers in a hurry. They're even more welcomed by airline pilots who once feared they'd never fly again. Our Cover Story is reported by Tony Dokoupil:

Many alcoholics can tell you the exact moment they hit rock bottom. Former airline Captain Lyle Prouse hit his at 30,000 feet.

On March 8, 1990, he was at the controls of Northwest Flight 650, Fargo to Minneapolis, with 58 people aboard, and after a night of heavy drinking on a layover, he was drunk.

Captain Prouse
"I think on the tab were 14 rum and cokes for me," Prouse said. "And depending on the testimony you listen to, the figure goes up to 18 or 19. I don't know."

His blood-alcohol content that morning was at least 0.13 percent: Too drunk to drive, and more than triple the limit for flying.

Dokoupil asked, "Did you have any doubts about getting on that plane?"

"No. I mean, I wouldn't fly the airplane if I thought I was gonna die."

The plane landed safely, but Prouse and his crew were arrested, and became the first commercial airline pilots convicted of flying while intoxicated. Prouse was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.

"No other pilot in all of American commercial aviation damaged the profession like I did," he said. "That was a knife in my heart. That hurt."

Lyle Prouse's career was a longshot from Day One: Raised by alcoholic parents, he joined the Marines and fought his way from a ground unit into a fighter jet, and a decorated career. Somewhere along the way, though, he became an alcoholic himself.

Peggy Gilligan
"Our pilots are just like all people; they have some of the same shortcomings that any of us could have," said Peggy Gilligan, the former FAA administrator in charge of safety. She says a drinking problem is not necessarily the end of a pilot's career.

"There are lots of things that initially might disqualify you from being a pilot, but with proper care and treatment, with proper rehabilitation, you can return to the flight deck," she said.

And in fact, for decades, the FAA has been doing exactly that: quietly sending pilots diagnosed as substance abusers back to work.

It's called the Human Intervention Motivation Study, or HIMS. And before you panic, consider this: it may be one of the most successful rehab programs ever.

Eighty percent of pilots who enter the program do not relapse at all. And of those that do relapse, most relapse only once.  

Dokoupil asked, "There's never been an issue with a pilot undergoing treatment while flying?"

"That's right," said Gilligan.

"Why aren't you screaming this good news from every rooftop in Washington, D.C.?"

"That's a really good question!" she laughed.

Right now, under the HIMS program, there are upwards of 1,300 pilots flying with a special medical license for addiction.

Since the mid-1970s, 6,000 pilots have been treated and returned to the cockpit … pilots like Captain Dana Archibald, whose career nearly crashed in the late 1990s when he missed a flight after a drunken binge.

"I just stopped showing up for work," he said.

"You're just telling your boss that you got the flu?" asked Dokoupil.

"I would tell him every story in the book, because I'm an alcoholic. I'd tell 'em anything they wanted to hear, just so I wouldn't get in trouble."

In another era, addicted pilots would be fired or forced to keep their addictions a secret. The FAA says that's all changed.

"What we don't want, to this day, are pilots who hide something that could present a risk," Gilligan said. 

Of course, addiction isn't just a pilot's problem; millions of Americans are struggling with addiction. Most of the people who need treatment are not in it, and relapse is common. But for airline pilots, those rules don't seem to apply.

Dr. Lynn Hankes, who ran an addiction treatment center in South Miami. He says the airline pilots he treated were more likely to get sober, and stay that way.

A member of the general public, he notes, is three times more likely to have a relapse than a pilot.

Why? "Because they don't have the system in place," Dr. Hankes said.

For pilots, that system means a month or so in an FAA-approved rehab facility, then monitoring and drug tests. And if the FAA clears them to fly again, the treatment usually continues for at least three years.

It's not foolproof, but it works. 

Dr. Hankes
"Since the inception of the HIMS program, in the last 43 years there has never been even one, not a single commercial passenger-carrying airline incident or accident, that has been alcohol- or drug-related," Dr. Hankes said. "That's the proof in the pudding."

"If the general public had a HIMS-style program available to them, do you think relapse rates would fall as low as they are for pilots?" Dokoupil asked.

"Well, that's the big question. There's a key element missing in the general public, and that is, we don't have the leverage."

"Everybody is afraid of losing something."

"Yeah, but it's very easy to hide out there in the general public.  If you threaten a pilot with taking away his wings, it's like threatening a doctor with taking away his stethoscope. That's a lot of leverage. If they want to get back to the cockpit or the operating room, they gotta jump through the hoops."

And jump they do: Similar programs have been used successfully by doctors and flight attendants, and now police and fire departments are interested, too.

For pilots, it's about a lot more than just winning back their wings.

Captain Archibald
Dana Archibald told Dokoupil that, were it not for the HIMS program, "I certainly wouldn't be a pilot, but more importantly, I don't know if I'd be alive."

Archibald is now a full-time 737 captain with a major airline flying out of Miami.

And the Lyle Prouse story ends far differently than he ever could have hoped. After his arrest, he was a broken man on the verge of suicide.

"I lost the will to live," he said. "And I thought I was too tough for that."

"How close do you think you came to taking your own life?" Dokoupil asked.

"I was within an eyelash. I was not romancing the idea or considering the idea -- I was within an eyelash of executing the idea."

But after he got out of prison, he was placed into the HIMS program, and in 1993 -- against all odds -- he was re-hired by Northwest Airlines.

Five years later, Prouse retired honorably as the captain of a 747.

"I've gotten to live out more miracles than anybody I know," he said.

What are the miracles?  "That I flew again. That my wife stayed with me. That my kids still love me. That I got sober. That I didn't die like my parents did.

"I just came back from a pilot reunion at Northwest. And I get an email from one of the gals. She said, 'You're a very loved and respected member of the Northwest Family.' I didn't have that in 1990."

Prouse added, "I suppose without sounding preachy or evangelistic, the only thing I can attribute it to is God's grace."

Dokoupil said, "What's that saying? 'God watches over --'"

"'Fools and drunks'? Something like that. Well, I certainly earned that!"

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ https://www.cbsnews.com

Editorial: Give firefighters the best tools to save us



This year residents in this area witnessed the Goodwin Fire, which forced some to leave their homes, and we paid close attention to the wildfires in California, that caused so much death and destruction.

And we wondered why the United States Forest Service refused to use what could have been a valuable weapon in fighting those fires, Very Large Air Tankers such as the Global SuperTanker 747.

It made no sense, and that’s not just the editorial board of this newspaper saying it, but also the General Accounting Office.

Last month the GAO upheld a protest against the restriction, telling the Forest Service to reconsider its needs and revise its solicitation accordingly.

The USFS solicited new air tanker services on May 16, 2017. For the first time in air tanker contracting history, they placed a maximum size of retardant tanks, specifying they must be between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons.

Their logic, according to paperwork filed with the GAO in trying to defend that decision, is that most of the work they need these planes for is to put out small wildfires before they become big. Hiring big planes would be a waste of taxpayer money.

The GAO wasn’t buying that in its 22-page decision, saying that the Forest Service’s position was wrong, unreasonable, illogical, or, it did not apply to the issue.

They wrote that the Forest Service, “…failed to provide reasonable justifications for the challenged specification, such that we are unable to conclude that the challenged specification is reasonably necessary for the agency to meet its needs. … We also recommend that the protester be reimbursed the costs of filing and pursuing the protest, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.”

The protester in this case is Global SuperTanker Services, based in Colorado, which was a little upset their large planes could not bid for jobs putting out wildfires.

A Global SuperTanker 747 carries up to 19,200 gallons of retardant and they are currently in use fighting fires in California.

The Forest Service has mismanaged this from the start. Their list of justifications for wanting smaller tankers reads like they threw every excuse they could dream up, which were all found lacking by the GAO.

We still don’t know who the person was that put in the limit and what their true motivation was. In the absence of transparency, doubts will emerge, especially when you’re dealing with large government contracts.

A SuperTanker may not be right for every fire. Its cost may not be justifiable to use on a small blaze. There might be real safety concerns, or technical issues that the average person doesn’t understand. There might be logistical problems, such as those big planes flying in and out of small regional airports.

There could be any number of legitimate reasons why a SuperTanker isn’t right for a fire.

But banning them all outright? Taking that option off the table? That made no sense.

Kudos to the GAO for coming to the right conclusion. A slap on the hand to the Forest Service for not being transparent and making the wrong call in the beginning.

When lives and property are at risk, no one is going to care about which plane is coming to save them. Give our firefighters all the options and let them decide what they need.

Story and photo ➤ https://www.dcourier.com

What's that odd object in the sky? There's an app for that



BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Over the weekend, Denver7 viewers lit up the station’s phones about a string of mysterious lights in the sky.

The mystery has been solved. The low-lying line of lights were at least 30 military planes in training.

Viewers continued posting on social media, skeptical about those findings.

Denver7 reporter, Amanda del Castillo, reached out to aviation experts about other ways to determine exactly what is in our skies at any given time.

“If you see a red light, a green light and a white light—all together— in kind of in a triangle shape… more than likely it's an airplane,” Jackie Burant said.

Burant is the Chief Instructor at Western Air Flight Academy in Broomfield. It is one of three flight schools near the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

“Sometimes you'll also see white flashing lights on the wing-tips as well,” she added.

We told her about the dozens of social media responses from viewers who aren’t convinced the mysterious lights over the weekend were military.

She responded, “I think there are enough conspiracy theories about it, out there.”

Burant even explained the lighted clusters we see in the sky. She said the lights are likely several aircraft flying in formation (or so they say.)

With a quick internet search, it wasn’t difficult to find several videos of unexplained objects flying fast, flying low and flying too close to home.

There are phone applications like Plane Finder 3D, GoSat Watch Satellite Tracking, and websites like FlightRadar24 or FlightAware that will let you know which specific aircraft are overhead.

The apps cost a few dollars to download.

“So, as long as those planes are actually in the system, then we can log them and track them,” Burant said.

She explained, if you can’t find the aircraft, it could be a student pilot logging one of 45 to 250 hours of required flight time.

If that still isn’t the case, Burant said it could also be the Military, “They normally keep that pretty quiet.”

If you have concerns about what might be in your airspace, Burant said you should contact your nearby airport for answers.

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

Mysterious South Carolina Plane Lights Mystery Solved



Charleston, SC (WLTX) - It looks like the mystery of the planes over Lexington has been solved.

Last night, WLTX got dozens of calls and e-mails and video about strange lights over Lexington and Calhoun Counties. In the videos, you could hear and see multiple planes apparently flying in formation at low-speed. 

All the local military bases and airports said it wasn't them. Well, it turns out we now have what apparently is the answer.

A spokesperson for Joint Base Charleston told WLTX Sunday morning that a group of 12 C-17 cargo jets took off from their base around 7 p.m. Saturday.

The large aircraft went cross-country to Nevada for a training exercise involving HALO drops--high altitude military parachuting. The exercise was done in coordination with multiple air military installations and groups, including the 82nd Airborne. As the group moved westward, more C-17s and other aircraft joined the effort. 

It's part of a joint forcible entry exercise that's routinely done. The spokesperson said it would have been a large formation. 

The planes returned to Charleston around 6 a.m. Sunday. 

All this matches up with other reports, including one that the same pattern of lights was seen near Denver, Colorado about 11 p.m. our time.  There were also similar sightings in Missouri. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.wfmynews2.com

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N1114A, registered to Flanagan Enterprises (Nevada) Inc and operated by the Parachute Center: Accident occurred May 12, 2016 near Lodi Airport (1O3), San Joaquin County, California



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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California
Cessna Aircraft; Wichita, Kansas
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Montreal
Blackhawk Modifications Inc; Waco, Texas

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1114A



Location: Acampo, CA
Accident Number: WPR16LA107
Date & Time: 05/12/2016, 1413 PDT
Registration: N1114A
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 17 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Skydiving 

On May 12, 2016, about 1413 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N1114A, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Acampo, California. The airplane was registered to Flanagan Enterprises (Nevada) INC., and operated by the Parachute Center under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and his 17 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight originated about 1 minute prior to the accident.

The pilot reported that following takeoff from runway 26, he made a right turn and continued his climb for the skydive drop, however, as the airplane passed 1,000 ft above ground level (agl), the engine lost power. The pilot initiated a turn toward the airport, however, realized he was unable to make it, and landed in an open field. During the landing roll, the airplane exited the field, crossed a road, impacted a truck, continued into a vineyard, and nosed over.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuselage and left wing were substantially damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Examination of the recovered wreckage was conducted on May 17 and 18, 2016. The engine remained partially attached to the fuselage. The fuel pressure line that connects the fuel control unit to the airframe fuel pressure transducer, Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) part number 3033981, was fractured below the fuel control unit fitting swaged seat. The supporting clamp, PWC part number 3006614, was fractured and was separated from its mating fuel pressure fuel line, PWC part number 3032010. In addition, the airframe P3 air line that provides air to the vacuum system exhibited a hole within the tube.

The operator reported that they had replaced the fuel line, PWC part number 3033981, the night before the accident due to the original fuel line being fractured. They stated that the new fuel line had about 4 hours of operational time since the installation. Review of the maintenance logbooks revealed that an entry regarding the replacement of the fuel line was dated April 11, 2016, with no airframe, engine, or HOBBS meter times listed. The operator was further questioned about what manual they used regarding engine maintenance and they replied they used the manufacturers manual for all engine related maintenance. When questioned about the supporting clamp, PWC part number 3006614, the operator stated that the clamp was attached at the time of the fuel line replacement.

Both the new and old fuel lines and separated clamp were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further examination. A Senior Materials Engineer examined the fuel lines and clamp and reported that the fuel line fracture surfaces were examined with the aid of a digital optical microscope and a scanning electron microscope and both fractured tubes were found to exhibit features consistent with crack initiation due to reverse bending fatigue.

The metal band of the clamp was fractured near the intersection of the tab and the loop portion of the clamp. The fracture surfaces were examined and exhibited features consistent with crack initiation at the inward-facing side of the tab due to bending fatigue. The fracture surface exhibited a comparatively flat appearance with curved crack progression marks on the fracture surface consistent with the crack initiating on the inward-facing side of the tab.

For further information, see the Materials Laboratory Factual Report within the public docket for this accident. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/04/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/02/2015
Flight Time:  7050 hours (Total, all aircraft), 253 hours (Total, this make and model), 6680 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1114A
Model/Series: 208B B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1992
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 208B0309
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:  
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/10/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 7449 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 69 Hours
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 12848.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: P&W
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: PT6A SER
Registered Owner:  FLANAGAN ENTERPRISES (NEVADA) INC
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operator: Parachute Center
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSAC, 15 ft msl
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 328°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Acampo, CA (1O3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Acampo, CA (1O3)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: LODI (1O3)
Runway Surface Type: 
Airport Elevation: 60 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 17 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 17 None
Latitude, Longitude:  38.203333, -121.255278


NTSB Identification: WPR16LA107
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, May 12, 2016 in Acampo, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 208B, registration: N1114A
Injuries: 1 Minor, 17 Uninjured.

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

On May 12, 2016, about 1413 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 208B, N1114A, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Acampo, California. The airplane was registered to Flanagan Enterprises (Nevada) INC., and operated by the Parachute Center under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and his 17 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the skydiving flight. The local flight originated about 1 minute prior to the accident.

The pilot reported that following takeoff from runway 26, he made a right turn and continued his climb for the skydive drop, however, while passing through 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), the engine lost power. The pilot initiated a turn toward the airport, however, realized he was unable to make it, and landed in an open field. During the landing roll, the airplane exited the field, crossed a road, impacted a truck, continued into a vineyard, and nosed over.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the fuselage and left wing were structurally damaged. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

SkyWest Airlines, Bombardier CRJ-200ER, N961SW: Accident occurred April 28, 2016 in San Francisco, California

SkyWest Airlines Inc:  http://registry.faa.gov/N961SW

NTSB Identification: DCA16CA139
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier
Accident occurred Thursday, April 28, 2016 in San Francisco, CA
Aircraft: BOMBARDIER INC CL 600 2B19, registration: N961SW

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Mooney M20R Ovation, N57GX, William M. Powell Inc: Incident occurred April 03, 2016 in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida -and- Accident occurred July 14, 2017 at Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC), Sarasota County, Florida

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

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


Location: Jacksonville, FL
Incident Number: OPS16IA010
Date & Time: 04/03/2016, 1345 UTC
Registration: 
Aircraft: MOONEY M20R
Injuries: N/A
Flight Conducted Under: 

On April 3, 2016, at about 0945 EDT, N57GX a Mooney M20P executed an evasive maneuver while climbing through 7,500' for 9,000' in response to N758PK, a Cessna C172G, at 8,000 feet. N57GX turned left and crossed below and in front of N758PK; the closest proximity was estimated to be 0.85 NM and 200'. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and instrument flight plans for both aircraft were filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flights. There was no damage to either aircraft, and there were no reported injuries. 


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY

Registration: 
Model/Series: M20R NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: 
Operator: Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 

Condition of Light: 
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Observation Time: 
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: 
Departure Point: 
Destination: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: N/A

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

Accident occurred July 14, 2017 at  Venice Municipal Airport  (KVNC),  Sarasota County, Florida


Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida


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

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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


William M. Powell Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N57GX

Location: Venice, FL
Accident Number: ERA17CA244
Date & Time: 07/14/2017, 1030 EDT
Registration: N57GX
Aircraft: MOONEY M20R
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The pilot of the single-engine airplane reported that, during landing to the southeast, a wind gust contacted the airplane's tail from the left side, which caused the airplane to veer left. The airplane departed the runway, crossed a taxiway, and impacted a ditch.

The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the nose landing gear collapsed and that the propeller was bent aft. The engine firewall was wrinkled below the left engine mount. The recorded weather at the airport, about the time of the accident, included wind from 080° at 10 knots.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing in gusting crosswind conditions. 

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Response/compensation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
  
Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 37, 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: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/04/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/30/2016
Flight Time:  119 hours (Total, all aircraft), 4 hours (Total, this make and model), 54 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 27 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 42, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/01/2012
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/22/2016
Flight Time:  7000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 6500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 75 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOONEY
Registration: N57GX
Model/Series: M20R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 29-0357
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/09/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 46 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 987 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 280 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: KVNC, 19 ft msl
Observation Time: 1435 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 123°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 26°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots, 80°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: FORT MYERS, FL (FMY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Venice, FL (VNC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: VENICE MUNI (VNC)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 17 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 13
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4999 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go

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:  27.073611, -82.442778 (est) 

Preventing Similar Accidents 

Stay Centered: Preventing Loss of Control During Landing

Loss of control during landing is one of the leading causes of general aviation accidents and is often attributed to operational issues. Although most loss of control during landing accidents do not result in serious injuries, they typically require extensive airplane repairs and may involve potential damage to nearby objects such as fences, signs, and lighting.

Often, wind plays a role in these accidents. Landing in a crosswind presents challenges for pilots of all experience levels. Other wind conditions, such as gusting wind, tailwind, variable wind, or wind shifts, can also interfere with pilots’ abilities to land the airplane and maintain directional control.

What can pilots do?

Evaluate your mental and physical fitness before each flight using the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) “I'M SAFE Checklist." Being emotionally and physically ready will help you stay alert and potentially avoid common and preventable loss of control during landing accidents.

Check wind conditions and forecasts often. Take time during every approach briefing to fully understand the wind conditions. Use simple rules of thumb to help (for example, if the wind direction is 30 degrees off the runway heading, the crosswind component will be half of the total wind velocity).

Know your limitations and those of the airplane you are flying. Stay current and practice landings on different runways and during various wind conditions. If possible, practice with a flight instructor on board who can provide useful feedback and techniques for maintaining and improving your landing procedures.

Prepare early to perform a go around if the approach is not stabilized and does not go as planned or if you do not feel comfortable with the landing. Once you are airborne and stable again, you can decide to attempt to land again, reassess your landing runway, or land at an alternate airport. Incorporate go-around procedures into your recurrent training.

During landing, stay aligned with the centerline. Any misalignment reduces the time available to react if an unexpected event such as a wind gust or a tire blowout occurs.

Do not allow the airplane to touch down in a drift or in a crab. For airplanes with tricycle landing gear, do not allow the nosewheel to touch down first.
Maintain positive control of the airplane throughout the landing and be alert for directional control difficulties immediately upon and after touchdown. A loss of directional control can lead to a nose-over or ground loop, which can cause the airplane to tip or lean enough for the wing tip to contact the ground.
Stay mentally focused throughout the landing roll and taxi. During landing, avoid distractions, such as conversations with passengers or setting radio frequencies.
Interested in More Information?

The FAA’s “Airplane Flying Handbook” (FAA-H-8083-3B), chapter 8, “Approaches and Landings,” provides guidance about how to conduct crosswind approaches and landings and discusses maximum safe crosswind velocities. The handbook can be accessed from the FAA’s website (www.faa.gov).

The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) provides access to online training courses, seminars, and webinars as part of the FAA’s “WINGS—Pilot Proficiency Program.” This program includes targeted flight training designed to help pilots develop the knowledge and skills needed to achieve flight proficiency and to assess and mitigate the risks associated with the most common causes of accidents, including loss of directional control. The courses listed below can be accessed from the FAASTeam website (www.faasafety.gov).

Avoiding Loss of Control

Maneuvering: Approach and Landing

Normal Approach and Landing

Takeoffs, Landings, and Aircraft Control

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Institute offers several interactive courses, presentations, publications, and other safety resources that can be accessed from its website (www.aopa.org/asf/).

The NTSB’s Aviation Information Resources web page, www.ntsb.gov/air, provides convenient access to NTSB aviation safety products.

The NTSB presents this information to prevent recurrence of similar accidents. Note that this should not be considered guidance from the regulator, nor does this supersede existing FAA Regulations (FARs).

==========

VENICE — The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident involving a small airplane Friday morning at Venice Municipal Airport.

Venice Airport Director Mark Cervasio said a male pilot under training and a female flight instructor had taken off earlier in the day from Page Field in Fort Myers. As the pilot attempted to land at around 10:40 a.m., he encountered a crosswind and lost control of the plane, according to the instructor, who then took control of the aircraft.

The airplane, a Mooney Ovation2, ended up in a drainage ditch near midfield with damage to the nose gear and propeller. There were no injuries.

The aircraft is in a secured hangar at the airport until the FAA’s Flight Standards District Office out of Tampa completes its investigation.

Story and photo: http://www.heraldtribune.com

Aeronca 7AC Champion, N84580: Fatal accident occurred March 20, 2016 in Ellsworth, Sheridan County, Nebraska

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

Analysis 

The private pilot departed for a local personal flight on a winter day with an outside air temperature of about 6°C. About 1 hour after takeoff, the pilot's brother saw the airplane maneuvering near his home, which was in a rural area about 31 miles from the departure airport. The airplane did not return to the departure airport, and the accident site was located in an open field 2 days later, about 4 miles from the pilot's brother's home. Examination of the accident site revealed wreckage and impact signatures consistent with the pilot losing control of the airplane. Examination of the engine's exhaust muffler revealed cracks in several locations, and the muffler's shroud contained a layer of exhaust residue. Six months before the accident, the pilot and the mechanic who had previously performed an annual inspection on the airplane became aware of a crack in the muffler near a weld that the pilot had performed. The pilot had purchased a replacement muffler, but it was not installed before the accident. A carbon monoxide detector was not on board the airplane.

Toxicology testing of the pilot's blood revealed a carbon monoxide level of 40%, which was more than enough to severely impair the pilot. The carbon monoxide likely entered the airplane's cabin because of the cracked engine exhaust muffler. The toxicology testing also revealed several non-impairing medications and two potentially impairing medications (temazepam and buspirone). According to the pilot's medical records, he was being treated for anxiety with temazepam and buspirone, and he may have been fatigued from insufficiently treated sleep disorders (insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea). However, it could not be determined whether the pilot's anxiety, the medications used to treat it, or fatigue contributed to his poor judgment in flying the airplane with known cracks in the exhaust muffler. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's impairment due to carbon monoxide poisoning from a known cracked engine exhaust muffler, which resulted in a loss of aircraft control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to continue flying the airplane without properly repairing the exhaust muffler. 

Findings

Aircraft
Engine exhaust - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)
Engine exhaust - Damaged/degraded (Cause)

Personnel issues
Carbon monoxide - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Factor)

Ben F. Andrick, Jr., 68, passed away March 20, 2016 flying his Aeronca 7AC Champion. Flying was his true passion in life.


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N84580

Location: Ellsworth, NE
Accident Number: CEN16FA130
Date & Time: 03/20/2016, 1110 MDT
Registration: N84580
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On March 20, 2016, about 1110 mountain daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC airplane, N84580, impacted terrain near Ellsworth, Nebraska. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan from Alliance Municipal Airport (AIA), Alliance, Nebraska.

At 1000, an airport surveillance camera captured the airplane departing from AIA. About 1100, the pilot's brother observed the airplane maneuvering near his home, which was in a rural area about 31 miles northeast of AIA. After concerned family members reported the pilot missing, the accident site was subsequently located on March 22, 2016, about 4 miles southwest of the pilot's brother's home.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/07/2005
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/26/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 355 hours (Total, all aircraft), 39 hours (Total, this make and model), 294 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

The pilot, age 68, held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot was last issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate on July 7, 2005. The pilot held a valid driver's license.

The Aeronca 7AC is defined by the FAA as a light sport aircraft (LSA). Pilots flying LSAs are only required to possess a valid driver's license and comply with 14 CFR 61.53(b), which states that no person may act "as pilot in command, or in any other capacity as a required pilot flight crewmember, while that person knows or has reason to know of any medical condition that would make the person unable to operate the aircraft in a safe manner."

A review of the pilot's logbook showed that the pilot had accumulated 355 flight hours of which 3 flight hours were in the last 30 days. The pilot's most recent flight review was completed on February 22, 2016. 



Photo courtesy Andrick Family


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: AERONCA
Registration: N84580
Model/Series: 7AC
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 7AC-3289
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/25/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1220 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 7 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1855 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235-C1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane, serial number 7AC-3289, was manufactured in 1946 and registered to the pilot on September 10, 2013. It was a two-place, tandem, high-wing monoplane equipped with a Lycoming O-235-C1 engine, rated at 115 horsepower at 2,600 rpm.

Review of the maintenance records showed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on July 25, 2015, at a total time of 1,848.2 hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 7 hours since the annual inspection. Although the airplane held a standard airworthiness certificate, it met the definition of an LSA as contained in 14 CFR Part 1.1.

The mechanic who performed the last annual inspection stated that he and the pilot became aware of an engine exhaust muffler crack in September 2015. The crack was located near a weld that the pilot had performed. The pilot had intended to replace the muffler; a new muffler was in the pilot's hangar when the accident occurred. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAIA, 3929 ft msl
Observation Time: 1053 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 27 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 255°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / -12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable, Variable
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ALLIANCE, NE (AIA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ALLIANCE, NE (AIA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

At 1053, the weather observation station at AIA, located about 27 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind variable at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 6°C, dew point minus 12°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.23 inches of mercury. 

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: 42.173056, -102.209167 (est) 

The aircraft impacted rolling terrain on a southeasterly heading. The main wreckage came to rest upright on a northerly heading, about 340 ft from the initial impact point. The left and right wings separated from the fuselage with the front and rear wood spars of both wings fractured near the wing roots. Both spars of the right wing were also fractured near the wing tip. The right wing was about 210 ft northwest of the main wreckage, and the left wing was about 5 ft to the right of the main wreckage. The propeller separated from the engine and came to rest about 180 ft northwest of the main wreckage.

The flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective airframe surfaces. The elevator, rudder, and elevator trim tab cables had normal continuity with their respective cockpit controls. The aileron flight control cable was fractured in four locations. The fractures had a broomstraw appearance consistent with overload. Both aileron bellcrank connecting rods were fractured adjacent to the bellcranks, and the fracture surfaces were consistent with overload. No preimpact anomalies were noted with the flight control system.

The engine remained attached to the airframe. The top Champion REM40E spark plugs were removed from the cylinders. All displayed a normal worn condition when compared to the Champion Aviation Service Manual (AV-27). A borescope inspection of the four cylinders was conducted, which revealed no anomalies with the pistons, cylinder barrels, cylinder heads, valves or valve seats. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and produced spark at all leads. The carburetor float bowl was removed with no anomalies noted.

Both propeller blades were significantly twisted and curled aft with chord-wise polishing. The engine and propeller exhibited damage consistent with operation at impact. The cabin heat control was in the "off" position. The left muffler shroud was removed, and the muffler was found rusted and cracked in several locations. The muffler shroud contained a layer of exhaust residue. A carbon monoxide detector was not located in the wreckage.

Medical And Pathological Information

The pilot had reported no chronic medical conditions and no medications during his last FAA medical exam in 2005. However, according to his personal medical records, he had been treated for prostate cancer in 2000 and had intermittently been treated for hypertension. In 2009 and 2011, he underwent a series of interventions (angioplasty and stenting) for severe coronary artery disease. Since 2013, he had been treated for stress, insomnia, and anxiety with two antianxiety medications, temazepam and buspirone; both of these drugs carry warnings about behavior changes. In 2011, he had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and instructed to use a continuous positive airway pressure machine. A physician's review in 2016 revealed that he was not using his machine to the desired extent (at least 4 hours/night).

As of February 18, 2016, the pilot was taking the following medications that are not generally considered impairing:

aspirin (an antiplatelet drug to decrease the risk of recurrent heart attack),

finasteride and tamsulosin to treat symptoms from his prostate gland (known also as Proscar and Flomax, respectively),

simvastatin (a cholesterol lowering drug also known as Zocor),

metoprolol (a blood pressure medication that also decreases the risk of recurrent heart attacks), and

clopidogrel (an antiplatelet drug used to prevent clots in coronary stents, also known as Plavix).

As previously mentioned, the pilot was also taking the potentially impairing anti-anxiety medications buspirone and temazepam. Finally, the pilot used nitroglycerin as needed for chest pain.

According to the autopsy performed by the Regional West Medical Center, Western Pathology Consultants, P.C., Pathology Departmentin Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the pilot's cause of death was blunt force trauma, and the manner of death was accident. The autopsy also identified coronary artery disease with a 50% stenosis in the proximal left anterior descending artery.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory identified carbon monoxide (carboxyhemoglobin) at 40% in subclavian blood. In addition, metoprolol, buspirone, and temazepam (0.123 ug/ml) were identified in subclavian blood. These drugs and clopidogrel, diazepam, oxazepam, and ranitidine (a heartburn medication) were identified in urine. The finding of diazepam and oxazepam only in urine and not in blood was consistent with their presence as metabolites of temazepam.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless, nonirritating gas formed by hydrocarbon combustion. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin with much greater affinity than oxygen, forming carboxyhemoglobin; elevated levels result in impaired oxygen transport and utilization. Nonsmokers may normally have up to 3% carboxyhemoglobin in their blood; heavy smokers may have levels of 10% to 15%. The pilot was not a smoker.

Carboxyhemoglobin levels between 10% and 20% can result in confusion, impaired judgment, and difficulty concentrating. The primary effects of acute carbon monoxide poisoning are on the brain and heart and include headache, arrhythmias, confusion, coma, and death.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FAA Advisory Circular 91-59A, Inspection and Care of General Aviation Exhaust Systems, emphasizes the safety hazards of poorly maintained exhaust systems and highlights points at which exhaust system failures occur.



NTSB Identification: CEN16FA130
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 20, 2016 in Ellsworth, NE
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N84580
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On March 20, 2016, about 1110 mountain daylight time, an Aeronca 7AC airplane, N84580, impacted terrain near Ellsworth, Nebraska. The airplane was destroyed and the pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed from the Alliance Municipal Airport (AIA), Alliance, Nebraska without a flight plan.

At 1000, an airport surveillance camera captured the accident airplane depart from AIA. About 1100, the pilot's brother observed the accident airplane maneuvering near his home, which was located in a rural area about 31 miles northeast of AIA. The airplane was subsequently located on March 22, 2016, about 4 miles southwest of this home.

The airplane impacted into rolling terrain on a southeasterly heading. The main wreckage came to rest upright on a northwesterly heading, about 340 feet from the initial impact point. The left and right wings separated from the fuselage, with the front and rear wood spars of both wings fractured near the wing root. The right wing was about 210 feet northwest of the main wreckage and the left wing was about 20 feet to the northwest of the main wreckage. The propeller separated from the engine and came to rest about 180 feet northwest of the main wreckage.

At 1053, the weather observation station at AIA, located about 27 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind variable at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 6 degrees C, dew point minus 12 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.23 inches of mercury.