Saturday, May 5, 2018

Belair Raven, registered to the pilot and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, C-FNKZ: Fatal accident occurred May 05, 2018 at Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Airport (KANJ), Chippewa County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

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://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca




Location: Sault Ste Marie, MI
Accident Number: CEN18FA160
Date & Time: 05/05/2018, 1002 EDT
Registration: C-FNKZ
Aircraft: BELAIR RAVEN
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On May 5, 2018, at 1002 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Belair Raven airplane, Canadian registration C-FNKZ, impacted terrain during the initial climb after takeoff from Sault Ste. Marie Municipal Airport (ANJ), Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was owned by the pilot who was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan.

According to witnesses, the airplane taxied to runway 32 and departed in a nose-high attitude. A flight instructor compared the climb to an aggressive short-field takeoff or a banner pilot's climb after picking up a banner. Witnesses noticed that, after reaching about 100 ft above ground level, the airplane turned right and transitioned to a steep nose-down spin until ground impact. The flight instructor stated that the engine noise sounded normal throughout the takeoff until ground impact.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/08/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:   505 hours (Total, all aircraft), 61 hours (Total, this make and model), 455 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/24/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 

The pilot, age 67, held a Canadian private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. On February 8, 2018, the pilot was issued a Canadian Category 3 medical certificate with a requirement for glasses to be worn and a restriction of day visual only flight due to color vision deficiencies. The pilot had accumulated 505 total hours of flight experience, with 61 hours in the accident airplane. Flight reviews were not recorded in the pilot's logbook.

The pilot-rated passenger, age 75, held a Canadian private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. On January 24, 2018, the passenger was issued a Canadian Category 1 medical certificate with a requirement for glasses to be worn. The passenger frequently flew with the pilot in the accident airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELAIR
Registration: C-FNKZ
Model/Series: RAVEN
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 12351
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 61 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Honda
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 3.5 Litre
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 245 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane was completed by the pilot in 2012 and was issued a Canadian Special Certificate of Airworthiness. The airplane was equipped with a Honda 3.5-liter engine and a Performance three-blade, fixed pitch wooden propeller. The airplane was not equipped with any stall warning devices. On the day of the accident, the airplane was lightly loaded with cargo.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KANJ, 724 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0955 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 70°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SAULT STE MARIE, MI (ANJ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: SAULT STE MARIE, MI (ANJ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1002 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

At 0955, the automated weather observation station (AWOS) at ANJ reported wind from 270° at 11 knots with gusts to 15 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 12°C, dew point 3°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.93 inches of mercury. The AWOS was located about 1/4 mile east of the runway.

Airport Information

Airport: SAULT STE MARIE MUNI/SANDERSON (ANJ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 716 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 32
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5234 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

ANJ was a public, non-towered airport owned by the City of Sault Saint Marie. The airport had one runway and surveyed elevation of 716 ft above mean sea level. Runway 14/32 was a 5,234 ft by 100 ft runway with an asphalt surface. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 46.477500, -84.363056 

Examination at the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted terrain and came to rest in a near-vertical, nose-down attitude on a heading about 201° about 180 ft east of runway 32.

Both wings were crushed aft and remained attached to the fuselage. The fixed main landing gear assemblies were attached to the fuselage and the flight control surfaces remained attached to their respective airframe surfaces; elevator control, elevator trim, and rudder control continuity was established to the cockpit area. Aileron control continuity was established from both ailerons to the cockpit. The left aileron cable, which was slack, was disengaged from its respective bellcrank.

All three multilaminate wood propeller blades were fractured near the hub. The propeller remained attached to the engine and the spinner was crushed aft. The engine was rotated by hand from the front crankshaft. Thumb suction and compression was observed at all cylinders with normal valve train and crankshaft continuity. Spark plug electrodes exhibited normal wear signatures.

Witness marks on the seat rails indicated that both pilot and passenger seats were in a normal position during ground impact. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Chippewa County Medical Examiner, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, conducted autopsies of the pilot and passenger and determined that the cause of their deaths was due to blunt force injuries.

The pilot's autopsy revealed left ventricular hypertrophy, a thickening of the wall of the left ventricle. The coronary arteries were free from atherosclerosis. An area of scar in the subepicardial area of the anterior wall of the left ventricle as well as some fibrosis in the lateral and posterior walls were identified with microscopy. The remainder of the cardiac examination was unremarkable. The pilot's wife stated that the pilot had experienced chest pains about 3 years before the accident, but she was not aware of any recent significant health issues.

The passenger's autopsy revealed evidence of bilateral corneal transplants and emphysema. An area of 70-80% stenosis was identified in the left anterior descending coronary artery and there was some evidence of perivascular fibrosis on the microscopic examination in the anterior and lateral walls, as well as the left side of the septum. The passenger's son stated that, during the 2 years before the accident, his father would get tired more easily during walks and while climbing stairs.

The Federal Aviation Administration Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing on specimens from the pilot and passenger. The results were negative for all tests conducted.

Additional Information

According to the flight instructor who witnessed the accident, during departures from runway 32 with westerly winds present, he would often notice turbulence and swirling air. He attributed this effect to the tall trees located about 100 yards west of the runway.
======
Location: Sault Ste Marie, MI
Accident Number: CEN18FA160
Date & Time: 05/05/2018, 1002 EDT
Registration: C-FNKZ
Aircraft: BELAIR RAVEN
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 5, 2018, at 1002 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Belair Raven airplane, Canadian registration C-FNKZ, impacted terrain during takeoff from Sault Ste Marie Municipal Airport (ANJ), Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident for the local flight, which departed without a flight plan.

According to several witnesses, the airplane taxied to and departed from runway 32. After climbing with a nose high attitude until about 100 ft above ground level, the airplane made a sharp right turn. The airplane continued turning right and entered a steep nose down dive until ground impact, damaging both wings and the fuselage. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BELAIR
Registration: C-FNKZ
Model/Series: RAVEN
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: Gilbert Belair
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KANJ, 724 ft msl
Observation Time: 0955 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots/ 15 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: SAULT STE MARIE, MI (ANJ)
Destination: SAULT STE MARIE, MI (ANJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 46.477500, -84.363056


Gilbert Origene Belair


Born in Chapleau, Ontario, later residing in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, suddenly went home to be with the Lord while enjoying his aviation passion, leaving behind his beloved wife Lorna, daughter Nicole (deceased), son Marc and son Adam (Carissa). He'll be greatly missed by brother Jean-Guy (Beth), sister Marie-Therese (Pierre), sister Joceline and brother Robert (Lynn) leaving behind numerous nieces and nephews. Friends and family are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre on Friday, May 11, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Funeral service to follow in the chapel at 2:00 p.m. with Mr. Robert Clark officiating. Interment Greenwood Cemetery. Memorial donations to the charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated by the family.



Gilbert Belair, one of two Sault men who died in a plane crash in Sault, Michigan May 5, 2018, is shown at far right explaining flight to children and youth at the third annual COPA for Kids event, held at the MNRF hangar beside the Sault Ste. Marie Airport, Aug. 12, 2017.


Family members, friends and local aviation enthusiasts are mourning the deaths of two Sault Ste. Marie men who died in a plane crash Saturday.

Although the identities of the deceased in the crash have not been officially released, family and friends have confirmed that pilot Gilbert Belair, 67, and passenger John Paul Finck, 76, died when Belair’s registered homebuilt aircraft crashed at Sanderson Municipal Airport in Sault Ste. Marie Mich. Saturday morning.

“When I heard, I nearly fainted. I was shocked. Totally shocked. We were out for coffee Wednesday night, that’s the last time I saw him,” said the Sault’s David West, a friend of Belair’s.

“He would do anything for anybody. He did a lot of work for people. If you needed a hand with something he’d be the first guy to come and say ‘what can I do for you?’” 

A native of Chapleau and retired electrical inspector, Belair was a member of the Canadian Owners Pilot’s Association (COPA) Flight 66, a group of Sault and area pilots and flight enthusiasts, which forms the local chapter of the Canadian Owners Pilot’s Association.

He was also very active with West in the Gospel Hall, his church located at the corner of Spring and Wellington Streets.

“It makes you think of your own mortality…(but) I have faith, I know where he is and he’s better off, but I’m thinking of his wife and family,” West said. 

In a twist of tragic irony, West and his son-in-law towed John Paul Finck’s own plane to shore after it flipped over in the area of the St. Marys River near Bell's Point Campground in Aug. 2016 

Finck made it to shore after sustaining minor injuries in that incident.

Belair’s plane “stalled and nose dived to the ground near the runway,” wrote Tony Molinaro, a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson, in an email to SooToday Saturday.

“The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) will lead the investigation," Molinaro wrote.

Sanderson airfield was closed until further notice, and was expected to be closed for “two or three days” while the initial investigation is underway, an NTSB spokesperson told SooToday Saturday evening.

https://www.sootoday.com


Jean-Paul Finck
JULY 17, 1942 – MAY 05 , 2018

FINCK, Jean-Paul – It is with profound sadness that we announce his sudden passing on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the age of 75. Jean-Paul’s passion was flying and he went to his heavenly home doing what he loved. He will be greatly missed by his wife Thérèse (nee Cauwel) for 53 years. Family and friends are invited to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E. – 706-759-2522) on Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 6 – 9 pm. Funeral mass to be celebrated from Paroisse Sainte-Marie-Du-Sault on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 11 am. Rev. Jean-Pierre Mukuna officiating. Reception to follow. Memorial donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated. Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.arthurfuneralhome.com

What lies beyond the zone of clouds, that whispers urgently to me? The length and breadth and sweep of sky, Suddenly, my soul is free!

https://www.dignitymemorial.com





An official with Sanderson Municipal Airport in Sault Sainte Marie MI, has told SooToday two people are deceased after a light plane crashed at the airfield at approximately 10 a.m. Saturday.

There were no survivors, the official said.

"A Canadian registered homebuilt aircraft departed Sault Ste. Marie (Michigan) Municipal Airport, stalled and nose dived to the ground near the runway. We have been told by local law enforcement officials that there are two fatalities," confirmed Tony Molinaro, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesperson in an email to SooToday.

"The FAA will be on site to begin an investigation. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) will lead the investigation," Molinaro wrote.

Air traffic was diverted to Chippewa airfield in Kinross after the fatal crash.

"Family members of the deceased have been notified. The FAA and NTSB have been notified and have agents responding to the scene to conduct the crash investigation. Sanderson airfield will be closed until further notice," said Sault Michigan Police Sgt. Francis DeSchano, speaking to SooToday.

DeSchano said the two crash victims are Sault, Ontario males.

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

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