Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cessna 177 Cardinal, N3179T: Accident occurred December 19, 2017 at Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport (3J1), Jasper County, South Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; West Columbia, South Carolina

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: Ridgeland, SC
Accident Number: ERA18LA054
Date & Time: 12/19/2017, 1658 EST
Registration: N3179T
Aircraft: CESSNA 177
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On December 19, 2017, about 1658 eastern standard time, a Cessna 177, N3179T, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hangar during takeoff from the Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport (3J1), Ridgeland, South Carolina. The flight instructor and the student pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the student pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that was destined for the Statesboro - Bulloch County Airport (TBR), Statesboro, Georgia.

The flight instructor stated that he and the student had flown earlier that day and had no issues with the airplane. On the second flight, they performed one takeoff and made a full stop landing without incident before taking off again. The flight instructor, who was seated in the front right seat, said that the student pilot performed the takeoff on runway 21 while he gently held the control wheel with both hands. The student pilot, who was seated in the front left seat, had his left hand on the control wheel and his right hand on the throttle as the airplane accelerated down the runway. When the airspeed reached 65 knots, the student pilot initiated a climb, but the airplane began to "pull to the left." The flight instructor tried to take control of the airplane, but the student pilot continued to hold the control wheel and throttle. The flight instructor said he had good aileron and elevator control as he tried to maneuver away from the approaching hangars and maintain airspeed; however, he could not recall if the rudder pedals were moving when he pushed them. The airplane continued left, touched down momentarily, then bounced back in the air. The flight instructor realized the airplane was not going to clear the hangars, so he shut off the engine with the mixture control. The airplane struck a hangar with the left wing, pivoted, and struck another hangar with its right wing, before coming to a stop. There was no post-impact fire.

The student pilot stated that he remembered adding full power to takeoff and then initiating a climb at 70 knots. He did not remember clearly what happened after that except that they had "no rudder control" and could not maintain runway centerline. The student pilot said the instructor took control of the airplane and the "impact happened so fast."

An on-scene examination of the airplane revealed that it sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and empennage. The propeller blades were also damaged.

The flight controls were checked for continuity. The rudder moved freely and was connected to the rudder pedals, which moved in both directions but was restricted by impact damage from moving to full deflection. The elevator moved but was also restricted due to impact damage. The ailerons could not be moved due to impact damage, but the left aileron was down, and the right aileron was up. The flaps were extended for takeoff and the elevator trim tab was positioned 5° nose down.

The flight instructor received his flight instructor certificate, with an airplane single engine land rating on November 11, 2017. He also had a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on February 17, 2017. The flight instructor reported a total of 525 total flight hours, of which, about 12 hours were in the accident airplane.

The student pilot had not applied for an FAA student-pilot certificate at the time of the accident.

At 1656, weather reported at the Beaufort Marine Air Corps Station (NBC), Beaufort, South Carolina, about 14 miles east of the accident site, included, wind from 240° at 4 knots, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

According to FAA Advisory Circular AC-61-23C, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

"The effect of torque increases in direct proportion to engine power, airspeed, and airplane attitude. If the power setting is high, the airspeed slow, and the angle of attack high, the effect of torque is greater. During takeoffs and climbs, when the effect of torque is most pronounced, the pilot must apply sufficient right rudder pressure to counteract the left-turning tendency and maintain a straight takeoff path." 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/17/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/11/2017
Flight Time:  525 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12 hours (Total, this make and model)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: , Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  10 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N3179T
Model/Series: 177 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17700479
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: NBC, 37 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1656 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ridgeland, SC (3J1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Statesboro, GA (TBR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1658 EST
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Ridgeland (3J1)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 79 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2692 ft / 70 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  32.493333, -80.991667 (est)

Ridgeland, S.C. — A plane crashed into a hangar at the Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Ridgeland Fire Department says the single-engine Cessna plane was damaged, but the pilot and co-pilot were not injured.

Firefighters say the plane experienced trouble during take-off, and collided with one of the hangars on the airfield.

The airport has since resumed regular operations.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Story and photo ➤ http://www.wjcl.com

Injured doctor’s flight home proves costly for University of Vermont Medical Center

News in pursuit of truth 

The company that flew an injured UVM Medical Center doctor home from the Dominican Republic uses modified Learjet 35 aircraft. Wikipedia photo

The University of Vermont Medical Center paid more than $250,000 for a hospital doctor to be flown home by air ambulance from the Dominican Republic earlier this year, according to sources.

A Florida-based medevac service sent the hospital an invoice for $536,000 for transporting the doctor, who was injured while on vacation, from the Caribbean country back to Burlington in late January.

The medical center’s CEO, Dr. John Brumsted, paid $38,135 at the time his colleague’s flight was booked, the sources said. In June, hospital officials directed that REVA, the Fort Lauderdale-based air ambulance service, receive an additional $218,116, bringing the amount paid to more than a quarter of a million dollars.

The status of the nearly $280,000 balance is unknown. The doctor who was transported told VTDigger that REVA has not sought personal payment of the balance.

Initially, top hospital officials told VTDigger they were unaware of any large air ambulance claims, but later amended their answers and acknowledged a large payment had been made. They declined to comment further, citing medical privacy. An official with the air ambulance company also declined to comment about the status of any balance due.

VTDigger is not identifying the doctor, who requested medical privacy. The doctor and other sources described the injuries as serious. The doctor said the injuries required care not available in the Dominican Republic “as soon as possible.”

The doctor confirmed to VTDigger not knowing the flight would cost more than $38,135; sources indicated the doctor and Brumsted both said they would have canceled the flight if they’d known what the REVA invoice would be. A hospital spokesperson said the doctor had to cover a portion of what the hospital paid and described the amount as “substantial.”

“We are still working out the details of this very complex situation,” the doctor said by email.

In an interview with VTDigger in November, Brumsted and hospital senior legal counsel Spencer Knapp initially said they were unaware of any large air ambulance payments made by the hospital. Medically necessary flights are a covered health care benefit for employees at the hospital, which is self-insured.

Two days after the interview, a hospital spokesperson said Brumsted and Knapp had “reflected” on the interview and wanted to provide “a more accurate answer.” They then acknowledged a large payment had recently been made.

According to sources, Brumsted signed an agreement with REVA to transport the doctor from the Dominican Republic to Burlington on Jan. 30, after receiving a “quote” for $38,135, which Brumsted thought was the full cost of the flight. Sources said Brumsted paid with his American Express card and was later reimbursed by the hospital. However, the contract amount apparently was only a retainer; the agreement called for charges of $122 for every air mile.

After transporting the doctor home, REVA sent the hospital an invoice on Jan. 30 for $536,000, billing for more than 4,200 air miles. The medevac company charged for flying from its base in Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic, then to Burlington and back to Fort Lauderdale, a method of billing that is standard industry practice.

Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic is more than 800 miles; the Dominican Republic to Burlington is almost 1,800 miles, and the return trip to Fort Lauderdale is about 1,300 miles. (No explanation was given why REVA charged for several hundred additional miles.)

REVA bills itself as the biggest air ambulance service in North America and offers emergency and non-emergency medical transport. The company has a fleet of 19 jets, including 14 Learjets modified and “configured and staffed to resemble a self-contained critical-care unit,” according to the company’s website.

In June, after reviewing the bill, the UVM Medical Center’s Human Resources Department determined the hospital’s insurance plan typically covered medically necessary air transport to the closest hospital. Based on that opinion, the department directed the hospital’s health insurance administrator to pay $218,116 to REVA — the cost of an evacuation to Fort Lauderdale, which medical center officials determined would have been the closest U.S. hospital.

The UVM Medical Center uses Blue Cross Blue Shield as administrator of its self-insurance program. When a company is self-insured, it assumes the financial risks for health insurance benefits, typically with a third party processing the claims.

Sources said Knapp told skeptical colleagues that Blue Cross had not raised any questions and maintained that Blue Cross had “stupidly” paid REVA the $218,116, despite the direction given by the hospital Human Resources Department. Brumsted, the sources said, was unaware of the June payment to REVA until after it was made.

Read more here ➤ https://vtdigger.org

McCarran International Airport (KLAS) fuel tanks targeted by Las Vegas shooter are safe, report says

McCarran International Airport fuel supply system, which was struck by gunfire during the October 1 Las Vegas shooting, is safe and secure, a leading aviation consultant has concluded.

But following a six-week review, Florida-based Armbrust Aviation Group has recommended a barrier be constructed in front of a road by the tanks that were targeted by the Mandalay Bay shooter. The barrier would better protect the tanks from vehicles.

The report, made available Tuesday by airport officials to County Manager Yolanda King, also recommends improving the 24-hour video surveillance system for the tanks near the hotel and other tanks on the east side of the airport.

Additionally, a catering company located near the east tanks is a security risk and should be moved, the report said.

“I support the findings,” Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said late Tuesday. “I’m sure that the airport will analyze the findings and put out a design bid to make the recommended improvements.”

Armbrust Aviation was hired last month to review the safety of the fuel system after one of the jet fuel tanks near Mandalay Bay was struck by rifle fire during the mass shooting that left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured at a country music festival.

The Review-Journal first reported that the Mandalay Bay shooter had fired at two tanks from his 32nd-floor suite, penetrating one of the tanks but causing no fire or explosion.

At the time, experts said it would be virtually impossible for rifle fire to ignite jet fuel, and the Armbrust report agreed.

The findings cited news stories that the shooter had used incendiary rounds.

“Even if that report proves true, based on the analysis there is no likelihood it would have ignited the jet fuel leading to an explosion of the tank,” the Armbrust report concluded.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in October told the Review-Journal the fuel tanks needed “another layer of protection.”

Two bullet holes and black powder burns were found at the top of one of the tanks, which airport officials said was partially filled at the time of the shooting. Only one bullet made its way inside the tank, officials said.

Lombardo said the gunman may have tried to create an explosion or diversion by firing at the tanks before he fired on the Las Vegas Village concert grounds.

Airport officials and John Armbrust, the owner of the company that prepared the report, declined further comment late Tuesday.

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

World's largest aircraft aces taxi test in eastern Kern County, California

Eastern Kern County-based Scaled Composites has successfully executed a low speed taxi test of the Stratolaunch aircraft, the company said Monday in a news release.

For the first time, the aircraft traveled down the runway under its own power, utilizing all six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines.

The world's largest airplane was designed and built at Mojave Air and Space Port to develop an air launch platform to make access to space more convenient, reliable, and routine.

Saturday's initial taxi test was intended to demonstrate the fundamental ability to control the aircraft speed and direction on the runway.

Joe Sweat, project pilot, talked about what it's like to move the world’s largest aircraft.

"It was a lot less intimidating once we had it out there, in terms of how much runway we take up. From a visual standpoint, we had a lot more room than I was anticipating," he said. "Getting the airplane moving under its own power was really interesting — just seeing and feeling how the nose wheel steering reacts and how the brakes respond to the inputs."

Scaled has been working with Stratolaunch for the past five years designing, building, and testing the giant aircraft. Microsoft co-founder and founder of Stratolaunch Paul Allen financed the endeavor.

Scaled Composites is a specialty aerospace and composites development company offering design, build, and test capabilities. Founded by Burt Rutan in 1982 and located in Mojave, Scaled has averaged one first flight of a unique, new airplane per year.

The taxi test was just one of many to come before the massive twin-fuselage bird takes flight.

“Later taxi testing will include faster speeds and more challenging steering and braking tasks, all in preparation for first flight," Test Conductor Brandon Wood said in the release. "It was exciting to see this magnificent machine on the runway for the first time."

The primary purpose of this activity was to test the aircraft’s ability to steer and stop. The ground team monitored a number of systems, including steering, braking, anti-skid and telemetry. The company reported that all systems operated as anticipated.

"This was another exciting milestone for our team and the program," said George Bugg, aircraft program manager for Stratolaunch Systems Corp. "Our crew was able to demonstrate ground directional control with nose gear steering, and our brake systems were exercised successfully on the runway. Our first low speed taxi test is a very important step toward first flight. We are all proud and excited."

Since the first engine runs in September, the team has performed a series of engine tests from the newly established Stratolaunch Mission Control Center, located at its facility at the space port, Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said in a separate release. Mission Control serves as the hub for testing communications and will eventually be the center of the company's aircraft and launch operations.

Once they have safely completed low-speed taxi tests, they will begin the next phase of taxi testing which will include increased speeds.

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

University of Vermont Medical Center Argues Air Ambulance Proposal Doesn't Need Review

The University of Vermont Medical Center wants to bypass state regulators as it seeks to expand air ambulance service.

The hospital on December 14 sent a letter to the Green Mountain Care Board arguing that its proposal should not trigger a permit review. The letter specifically seeks a "non-jurisdictional" ruling from the board to affirm that it agrees with the hospital's interpretation of the law.

The board has not responded or discussed the request but will do so within 30 days, board spokesman Conor Kennedy said Tuesday.

Under the proposal, a medical helicopter would be permanently based in the Burlington area for the first time. UVM flight nurses, paramedics and a physician would staff the air ambulance under an expanded agreement with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART).

The operation already flies to the hospital helipad off East Avenue but does not keep a helicopter there or at the Burlington International Airport. It instead is based at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical center in Lebanon, N.H. 

UVM hospital execs, meanwhile, want more air rescue capacity to serve patients in its growing six-hospital network across Vermont and New York. The three-hour drive from Massena, N.Y., to Burlington would take about 35 minutes via helicopter, for example.

Burlington attorney Tristram Coffin, writing to the GMCB on behalf of the UVM Medical Center, noted that DHART has continuously operated a Vermont air ambulance service for almost 20 years under a 1998 state permit.

The increase in service does not constitute a new health care project on its own and therefore does not trigger a certificate of need review with the state, Coffin contended. 

He also argued that recent case law suggests the expansion might be exempt from a new review under a federal preemption provision of the Airline Deregulation Act.

The letter outlines only limited details about the expansion with DHART, which would manage and bill for the additional service. DHART would also be responsible for ensuring the aircraft is properly provisioned.

The UVM flight crew would be under contract with DHART. It's unclear what the costs per hour would be. No financials are included in the letter. 

UVM Medical Center executives declined to comment Tuesday.  

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

Transportation Security Administration: Cortland County woman caught with loaded gun at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (KSYR)

A Homer woman was caught with this loaded handgun at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport checkpoint by officers, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A Transportation Security Administration officer at Syracuse-Hancock International Airport stopped a Cortland County resident from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane on Sunday.

The Homer woman was stopped when a TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray monitor spotted the loaded 9mm handgun in her carry-on bag. The semi-automatic handgun was loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber, according to the TSA.

The woman had a valid New York State permit, but firearms are not allowed in carry-on bags. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition, according to the TSA.

Individuals who show up with weapons at airport checkpoints cause the checkpoint lane to come to a halt until police arrive and handle the situation

The Syracuse Police Department was called to the checkpoint, where they confiscated the handgun. Police did not charge the woman because she had a valid permit, however the police will notify the issuing authority of the gun violation.

"It is a federal offense to try to bring a gun on an airplane and detecting guns at checkpoints brings to light the critical role that the Transportation Security Administration, and the dedication of the officers assigned to Syracuse Hancock International Airport, demonstrate in protecting the flying public--by keeping loaded firearms from being allowed onto a plane," said TSA Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson in a news release.  "It is also a stark reminder of the importance that passengers play in making sure that they stop and think about what they have in their carry-on bags to ensure that they do not bring any prohibited items to an airport checkpoint."

Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900.

To learn more about traveling with a firearm, visit the TSA's website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Story, photo and comments ➤ http://www.syracuse.com

Incident occurred December 19, 2017 at North Central West Virginia Airport (KCKB), Bridgeport, Harrison County, West Virginia

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. - First responders were on scene at the North Central West Virginia Airport after a National Guard plane reported experiencing complications with its landing gear. Around noon, an "Alert 2" was issued to all first responders.

These first responders included Bridgeport Fire Department and Anmoore Fire Department. The plane ultimately landed safely but the added precaution was taken because it was unsure if the deployed landing gear on the plane would work or collapse upon landing. 

The director of the airport described why the "Alert 2" was issued on Tuesday at noon. 

"The indicator light is not on to tell or confirm whether or not the landing gear is engaged. We visually have determined that the landing gear is engaged so we are prepared at this moment," explained Rick Rock, airport director. 

Before landing, the plane spent more than an hour circling  the airport. Rock said this was done as procedure for landing without proper landing gear. The plane needed to nearly empty its fuel supply to make for a safer landing. 

Rock said, "If the landing gear would collapse then the front of the aircraft could spark and you just wanted to make sure to decrease the likelihood of any kind of fire, explosion, or toxic chemicals." 

The plane did land smoothly just after 1 p.m. The pilot and one other passenger on board were safe and unharmed. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.wboy.com

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — A successful landing at the North Central West Virginia Airport has ended nearly two hours of emergency response to an airplane’s landing gear complications that arose during training for the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Multiple first responders were on scene to the “Alert 2” call at 11:38 a.m.

Airport Director Rick Rock said the plane’s indicator light failed to come on for landing, leaving the pilots without confirmation that the landing gear was engaged. Rock said the plane had been circling for at least an hour in effort to burn off as much fuel as possible.

“You just want to lessen the probability of any fire,” Rock told the AJR News Network. “When the aircraft comes down, if the landing gear is not engaged there will be a lot of sparks. If there’s a lot of fuel, it becomes volatile and obviously you don’t want that.”

As a precaution, the plane burned up as much fuel as possible prior to landing to prevent any sparks or fires.

The state’s Air National Guard was stationed on the field today for training, which will now resume with the successful landing.

Original article ➤ http://wvmetronews.com


A National Guard plane has landed at North Central West Virginia Airport after an issue with its landing gear.

A 5 News reporter on the scene witnessed the plane-a Beechcraft King Air- land at around 1:15 p.m. Two people were onboard the plane, but no injuries are apparent at this time.

According to airport director Rick Rock, the landing gear on the incoming plane had lowered properly, but the light indicating that the gear was engaged for landing did not go on. As a precaution, the plane remained in the air burning fuel before attempting to land.

No commercial flights were affected.

The National Guard plane had been taking part in a training.


According to airport director Rick Rock, the plane in question is a National Guard plane that was participating in a training exercise. The landing gear is down as it should be, but the light indicated it is engaged is not on.

As a precaution, the plane is remaining in the air to burn fuel, a process that is expected to continue for around 40 minutes. 

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

Amazon pilots step up campaign with video

A union of air cargo pilots instrumental to Amazon shipping is stepping up a campaign against its contracts and working conditions as the Christmas shopping season draws to a close.

Pilots who fly for Amazon’s Prime Air unveiled a video Tuesday targeting what it calls “the intensifying staffing and operational issues at their airlines and the grueling conditions faced by pilots at Amazon’s network of contracted cargo carriers.”

Ads with the video are slated to run on Facebook and Instagram starting Tuesday, linked to a website called “CanAmazonDeliver.com.”

Some of the pilots fly to and from Wilmington Air Park for ABX Air Inc, a subsidiary of ATSG, both based in Wilmington.

“Families nationwide are counting on Amazon Prime this holiday season, and as pilots on the frontlines, we think our customers deserve to know the full story about Prime Air,” Capt. Robert Kirchner, executive council chairman at Teamsters Local 1224 and a pilot at Prime Air contractor Atlas Air, said in a statement.

“Years of substandard pay and working conditions at Amazon Prime Air’s contractors are prompting our veteran pilots to leave in droves, and our operation is stretched so thin that some of us spend as many as 20 days a month away from our loved ones,” Kirchner said.

The pilots fly for Amazon’s Prime Air via contracts with Atlas Air, Inc. and ABX Air Inc, a subsidiary of ATSG. Atlas Air and ABX are contracted to operate 40 planes for Amazon Prime Air by 2018, the union, the Airline Professionals Association, said in a release Tuesday.

The pilots were planning protests outside Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, as well as the U.S. headquarters of DHL Express in Plantation, Fla.

“At ATSG’s ABX Air, where contract violations and chronic under-staffing led pilots to go on strike at the start of the holiday season last year, 20 percent of new pilot hires have resigned since May 2016,” the union said in its statement.

A message seeking was sent to Amazon.

A spokesman for ATSG said the union’s charges have no basis.

“As far as ATSG's two airlines, ABX Air and ATI, are concerned, our airlines are currently at their target staffing levels, having hired crews for all of the aircraft to which they are committed under their contracts,” spokesman Paul Cunningham said in an email. “They are not experiencing a pilot shortage. In fact, our airlines haven't experienced any delays due to staffing issues in 2017.”

ABX Air crew members average just under 15 flight duty days per month, while ATI crew members are averaging 16 flight duty days per month, Cunningham added.  

The union noted that Amazon has announced that it will build a $1.5 billion hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport and will partner with German shipping giant Deutsche Post DHL at the same airport.

“The company has also secured warrants to purchase substantial equity in AAWW and ATSG, driving speculation among some analysts that the tech giant may consider acquiring its cargo contractors in the future,” the Teamsters said.

The union’s video can be seen here.

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

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec E, N40285, registered to Lakelizard Aviation Training Company LLC and operated as an instructional flight: Accident occurred December 19, 2017 near Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Tennessee

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Knoxville, Tennessee

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


Location: Knoxville, TN
Accident Number: ANC18LA016
Date & Time: 12/19/2017, 1500 EST
Registration: N40285
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-250
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

On December 19, 2017, about 1500 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-23-250 multi-engine retractable gear airplane, N40285, sustained substantial damage during an impact with trees while attempting to return to Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knoxville, Tennessee following a complete loss of engine power on the left engine during an attempted go-around. The airplane was registered to Lakelizard Aviation Training Company, LLC and operated as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and visual flight rules when the accident occurred. The certified multi-engine flight instructor (MEI), and certified flight instructor (CFI) observing from the back sustained minor injuries, the multi-engine rated pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the MEI providing instruction, the purpose of the flight was to practice maneuvers for the student's upcoming commercial multi-engine check ride. After completing a series of maneuvers, they returned to execute the Localizer approach to runway 26 at KDKX. He stated that he simulated an engine failure outside the final approach fix by retarding the left engine's manifold pressure to 12 inches. After completing the approach to the missed approach point, they circled for landing on runway 26, but were too high on the approach. In an effort to correct for the high approach, the student retarded the right engine to idle, selected full flaps, and began a rapid descent. The runway threshold was crossed about 500 ft above ground level (AGL) and the MEI called for a go-around. The student applied full power to the right engine, and attempted to fly the pattern with a simulated engine failure. Shortly after initiating the go-around while making the left crosswind turn the student said he had lost the left engine. The MEI stated that he observed that the left prop was stationary and said, "I have the controls". He checked to ensure the throttles, props and mixtures were full forward and attempted to retract the flaps, but was unable due to the one hydraulic pump being operated by the left engine, and elected not to use the hand pump. He stated, that in his judgement the best option was to attempt to restart the left engine. Unable to reach the controls to restart the engine from the left seat he asked the student to restart the engine, while he concentrated on flying the airplane. He stated that lowering the nose to increase airspeed to Vyse with gear and flaps deployed and the left propeller unfeathered would have resulted in a rapid loss of altitude, so he elected to hold the airspeed at Vmc (80 mph) while banking slightly into the right engine and avoiding terrain. Unable to restart the left engine, he attempted to maneuver the airplane for a landing on runway 8 at KDKX but was unable to complete the required 180° turn and flew through the extended centerline and towards rising terrain. Approaching a residential area, the MEI maneuvered the airplane to avoid a house and impacted trees. The trees stopped the forward movement of the airplane and it fell to the ground, coming to rest on top of an automobile. After the accident, the MEI returned to the airplane to shut off the fuel and electrics when he noticed the left fuel selector was in between the on and off position.

According to the multi-engine rated pilot receiving instruction after the engine failure the MEI stated, "I got the controls" and attempted to restart the engine while flying away from KDKX. He stated that he became very concerned as the airspeed degraded to Vmc, and called the MEI's attention to the airspeed multiple times, and each time he reacted by lowering the nose of the airplane. He said that at some point he told the MEI the flaps were down, and the MEI moved the flap selector to the up position. In addition, he remembered the back-seat observer stating that the landing gear was down at which point the MEI selected the landing gear to the up position.

According to the CFI observing from the back seat, they were on a downwind leg to runway 26 at KDKX with a simulated engine failure. While turning base to final they realized the airplane was too high to land and attempted a two-engine go-around. Shortly thereafter, prior to the crosswind leg, the left engine lost all power. He stated that the airplane was maneuvered in an effort to avoid terrain and return for right traffic runway 8 at KDKX, but while attempting to turn right base to final the airplane continued to the left. He said the airspeed was too slow, right on the edge of 80 mph, and they lowered the nose in an effort to avoid a stall and a Vmc roll. While attempting to enter a left base for runway 8 at KDXX they were too low and on the edge of a stall when he heard them hollering "Were going to stall lower the nose" and he braced for impact.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, FAA Flight Training Handbook AC 61-21A, Engine Failure on Takeoff, states in part: "When the decision is made to continue flight, the single-engine best-rate of climb speed should be attained and maintained. Even if altitude cannot be maintained, it is best to continue to hold that speed because it would result in the slowest rate of descent and provide for the most time for executing the emergency landing."

The Aztec E Pilot's operating Manual, Emergency Procedures, Engine Failure During Takeoff, states in part:

"If no landing can be made directly after the failure, the following steps should be followed:

a. Apply full power to good engine.

b. Feather dead engine.

c. Retract landing gear and flaps, if extended (using hand pump if left engine is out). If enough altitude has been reached for reaching the airport with the gear extended, leave the landing gear in the down position.

d. Maintain a best rate of climb airspeed."

The closest weather reporting facility was Knoxville Downtown Island Airport (KDKX), Knoxville, Tennessee. At 1553, an METAR from KDKX was reporting, in part: wind from 240 °at 7 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, broken clouds at 7,000 ft, broken clouds at 12,000 ft, overcast clouds at 25,000 ft; temperature, 59 °F; dew point 48° F; altimeter, 30.08 inches of mercury.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N40285
Model/Series: PA 23-250 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDKX
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:  15°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 240°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Knoxville, TN (DKX)
Destination: Knoxville, TN (DKX)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.968333, -83.900000 (est)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knoxville Police Department has identified the three people who were on board a plane that crashed into a neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.

Gerald Marotta, Michael Spinazzola and Robert Gintz, all from the Knoxville area, were on the plane that crashed just after 3:15 p.m. Tuesday east of downtown on Groner Avenue.

Police said the plane left Island Home Airport minutes before it crashed into the driveway of a home, hitting a car.

All three adults were taken to UT Medical Center. Marotta and Gintz have been discharged and Spinazzola is listed in stable condition. No one on the ground was hurt.

Just before the crash, witnesses reported the aircraft struggled to climb.

“I saw it. It flew over me,” Robert Wayne Foss said. “I was in the parking lot when it went overhead and I heard it and I realized that something was amiss and I saw it over the trees. It didn’t look like it could climb. There was obviously something wrong. What exactly went wrong we’ll find out in the study report by the NTSB.”

Foss is the chief flight instructor at the Knoxville Flight Training Academy.

He has been training people to fly planes for years. He said most pilots learn to fly single-engine aircraft, leaving the multi-engine planes, like the one that crashed Tuesday, to be flown by more experienced airmen.

“It’s a performance-based training,” he said. “When you have more than one engine, you have operating differences in particular. Systems are more sophisticated and the emergency procedures are different. You are normally already a licensed pilot and then you get the multi-engine training and start flying the more sophisticated airplanes.”

Though it still remains unclear what caused the plane to go down, whether it was human error or a maintenance issue, Foss said pilots are trained to make in the air decisions and to mitigate potential risks.

“Learning judgment… the FAA is big on decision making and risk management,” Foss said. “They attribute most of the accidents that occur to failures there.”

People who live close by to the crash site have a number of questions still.

“What the heck happened and how did it happen and why did it fall right here and did somebody die? Did it run out of gas? A whole bunch of questions, a little bit farther it could’ve been the house we were in. Just a whole bunch of questions and prayers,” said Dustin Turner.

Of the three people in the plane, two of them are certified flight instructors. Foss said experience saved lives.

“The fact that there are no fatalities says they did something right,” Foss said.

“I’m wondering why no one is calling him a hero and the reason why I say that is he could’ve crashed on the house, he could’ve hit a couple others, he saved his whole crew and civilians. The pilot did an amazing job. He really did,” added neighbor Jervis Brown II.

The plane was registered by the Lakelizard Aviation Training Company out of West Knoxville.

The FAA says its investigation will take some time.


Aviation instructor Wayne Foss gestures to where he saw the struggling plane.

Federal officials are in Knoxville investigating what caused a small plane to crash into a front yard Tuesday afternoon.

The Piper PA-23 crashed in a neighborhood on the North side of the Tennessee River about a mile from Island Home airport. Three men on board survived the crash and were taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. No one on the ground was hurt.

Knoxville Police identified the three men on the plane as Gerald Marotta, Michael Spinazzola, and Robert Gintz, all from the Knoxville area. The plane was registered to Lakelizard Aviation in Seymour.

Grintz and Marotta have been released from University of Tennessee Medical Center, where they were taken Tuesday afternoon. Spinazzola was in stable condition on Wednesday, according to the hospital.

The FAA has investigators at the crash, along with a salvage team that is working to remove the wreckage.

An FAA spokesperson told 10News that the pilot did not file a flight plan but did have some communication with air traffic controllers.

The NTSB will determine the cause of the crash, but will rely on the FAA investigators' observations.

Wreckage of the plane was removed Wednesday afternoon, and Groner Drive reopened.

Wayne Foss is the chief instructor at Knoxville Flight Academy. He said he saw the plane flying over South Knoxville minutes before it crashed.

"The were up over the trees, barely holding altitude, and the engine didn't sound right," Foss said.

Foss has been flying since the 70s, when he piloted helicopters in the Vietnam War.

"In 47 years, I've never had an engine failure," he said.

But based on his observations, he believes that could be a contributing factor to this crash. He believes at least one engine was out.

He said in a situation like that, the non-operating engine can increase drag from the air, and make the plane difficult to control. Some aircraft have the power to fly with one functioning engine, and some do not, he said.

He also noted that pilots practices incidents like this to perform under pressure.

"If you get over-anxious, you tend to make a mistake and that's part of training, is to practice those maneuvers over and over so you can deal with them without losing control," he said.

He doesn't want to speculate on the specifics of what may have happened, but he said one thing is sure -- the fact that no one was killed is either luck, or skill.

"The fact he didn't hit any houses or people, and they're alive and walked away from it -- the first thing you think is they must have done something right," Foss said.

An NTSB spokesman said the initial report should be ready in 7-10 days, and the final report could take more than a year.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wbir.com

Three people were taken to a hospital after a small plane crashed in the front yard of an East Knoxville home on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The plane landed on top of a car in the driveway of 1114 Groner Drive. 

The crash was reported to Knox County E-911 at 3:18 p.m.

Three adults inside the plane were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, according to Knoxville Police Department Sgt. Samuel Henard. Their conditions were not immediately available.

"I’ve seen a lot of plane crashes in the Knoxville area, but I’ve never seen one right here so close to all these houses," Henard said.

"Our hearts are going out to the folks that are obviously in the plane, but we’re also blessed that all the folks that were outside on this warm December day were not injured as well."

When the plane crashed, Tarell Bingham, 23, said he was inside the home at 1114 Groner Drive with his grandmother, uncle and three-year-old cousin.

Bingham said he was asleep when his family members heard a "boom."

"My granny walked outside and said, 'Oh it's a plane in the yard.' ... She opened the door, talking about it's a plane in the yard."

Bingham said the plane landed on a Mazda owned by his uncle, and that a piece of the plane fell onto another car, a BMW, also owned by his uncle.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane is registered as a 1973 Piper PA-23-250, also known as an Aztec, which can carry up to six people. The plane's owner is listed as John Burt III, of Seymour.

FAA officials will arrive Wednesday to investigate the crash, Henard said. KPD officers plan to stay overnight to secure the scene.

Residents of 1114 Groner Drive will stay at a hotel during the investigation due to "some concerns of gas coming down from the plane near the home," Henard said.

Jonathan Holloway said he was on Lombard Place off Riverside Drive when he saw the plane "coming up the hill ... flying low as the trees are tall."

Holloway said he and his friend began listening to a police scanner app on their phones, then traveled to where the plane had crashed.

"Eyes behold the plane is in these people's yard and whoever the pilot was, he had to be a good one because he avoided hitting these houses and blowing up," Holloway said.

"Could have been worse than what it is."

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

Three adults were injured when after a small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood near downtown Knoxville.

The plane went down Tuesday around 3:15 p.m., coming to rest on a vehicle in a driveway on Groner Drive, just off Riverside Drive, near the Tennessee River. The propeller of the plane when through another car. No one was in either vehicle.

Three adults in the plane were transported to UT Medical Center for unknown injuries, according to Sgt. Samuel Henard with KPD. No one on the ground was hurt.

The scene of the crash is on the other side of the river from Island Home Airport.

There's no word on what may have caused the crash or where it was headed. The names of those on board have not been released.

KFD has responded to about 4 crashes at Island Home in the past 10 years

“Fortunately they’ve all been minor-type injuries that the patients have all been able to walk away from,” said Knoxville Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran.

Corcoran told 10News the plane that crashed was a training plane with Lakelizard Aviation. According to registration information, the plane is a Piper PA-23-250 fixed wing multi-engine aircraft.

Corcoran said there was some fuel leaking from the plane, but they've got it contained and don't believe it poses any fire danger.

Local authorities are securing the scene while they wait for federal investigators to arrive. KPD said Faa and NTSB officials are on their way to the scene, and are expected to arrive Wednesday.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wbir.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Police in Knoxville are on the scene of a small plane crash just north of Island Home Airport.

A witness reports to WATE 6 On Your Side the crash was reported around 3 p.m. Tuesday just east of downtown Knoxville on Groner Avenue. The plane hit a car in the driveway of a home.

The Knoxville Police Department says three adults were on the plane and were taken to UT Medical Center for treatment of unknown injuries. Knoxville Fire Department spokesman Capt. D.J. Corcoran says they walked away from the crash.

The crash involved a 1975 Aztec twin engine plane. 

The FAA shows it is registered with Lakelizard Aviation Training Company in Seymour.

No one in the home was injured. They will be put up in a hotel due to concerns about gas lines and a possible leak

The FAA and the NTSB are expected in the area on Wednesday.

Knoxville police will stay at the scene overnight.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wate.com