Tuesday, October 23, 2018

North American SNJ-5 Texan, registered to Condor Squadron Officers and Airmens Association Inc and operated by the pilot, N7969C: Accidents occurred October 23, 2018 and April 19, 2017

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

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


Location:  Agoura Hills, CA
Accident Number: WPR19LA014
Date & Time: 10/23/2018, 1344 PDT
Registration: N7969C
Aircraft: North American SNJ
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 23, 2018, about 1344 Pacific daylight time, a North American SNJ-5 airplane, N7969C, made an emergency landing onto a highway following a total loss of engine power near Agoura Hills, California. The airline transport pilot was not injured. A postimpact fire ensued, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to Condor Squadron Officers and Airmens Association, Inc., and operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed Van Nuys Airport (VNY), Van Nuys, California, about 1336.

The pilot reported that, shortly after departure he heard two loud bangs, followed by total loss of engine power. Subsequently the pilot elected to land onto a highway. After touchdown, the airplane swerved to the left and the left wing impacted a concrete center divider and a postimpact fire ensued.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further investigation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: North American
Registration: N7969C
Model/Series: SNJ 5
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Condor Squadron Officers & Airmens Assoc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVNY, 770 ft msl
Observation Time: 2051 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Destination: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.138056, -118.724444 (est)

Tuesday was an absolute nightmare for motorists up and down the Conejo and Simi Valley regions, but for Rob Sandberg, the 42-year-old pilot who put his airplane down safely in the middle of a busy 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, it might have just been the luckiest day of his life.

Sandberg, a Camarillo resident and longtime pilot, landed his small training aircraft on the northbound lane of the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon Road at about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday after encountering engine trouble

A large plume of black smoke rose quickly from the crash site.

Sandberg, a professional commercial pilot, survived the ordeal with only singed hair. He was in the aircraft by himself.

With German war insignia on both wings, the plane appeared to be a vintage World War II aircraft, but it was a T-6 Texan, a single-engine airplane used to train pilots in the U.S. Air Force from the 1940s to the 1970s.

It’s part of the Condor Squadron, a nonprofit organization based out of Van Nuys Airport that flies over parades and memorial services,

Capt. Johnny Starling of the California Highway Patrol said the aircraft flew out of the Van Nuys Airport and suffered mechanical trouble shortly after taking off.

“The plan was to do a circle around the Warner Center and then touch down again at Van Nuys (Airport). About eight or nine minutes into the flight he heard two loud bangs, the engine went dead and he lost power,” Starling said.

“(The pilot) was able to maintain control of the aircraft and landed on the freeway. As he landed, there was one car in front of him, and to avoid it he swerved to the left, hit the center divider and (the plane) burst into flames.”

Starling praised the pilot for avoiding any injury to himself or motorists cruising by as rush-hour traffic began to build.

“When I first walked up to the scene, knowing he just climbed out of a burning aircraft, I was surprised to see him just calmly standing on the side of the road going through his phone,” Starling said. “He said he was fine. It was as if he’d had a flat tire on his car and was waiting for AAA to show up.”

Agoura Hills resident Jennifer Buzza was driving southbound on the 101 Freeway and was one of the first people on the scene of the crash.

“All I really comprehended was the (plane’s) last bounce and then it hitting the middle divider. I pulled over and started running to the plane,” Buzza said. “The pilot was out of the plane and a truck driver on the northbound side was getting out of his truck with a fire extinguisher. (When we learned) there was nobody else on the plane, we backed off and said, ‘OK, let’s keep cars away.’”

Buzza is a member of the Agoura Hills Community Emergency Response Team, and said her training helped her keep calm and respond to the situation.

“It was unbelievable. First, it’s an old warplane, so you’re already confused. Next, there’s an airplane on the freeway crashing and burning in front of you. It doesn’t compute in your head,” Buzza said. “My first response was, ‘You need to get out of here.’ Then I went, ‘Nope, calm down, get over there, make sure people are (safe), because somebody could be in there right now.’”

The crash shut down the 101 Freeway for several hours while emergency responders dealt with the situation.

Fire crews extinguished the flaming aircraft, but the road remained blocked through the evening as investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration gathered all the evidence they needed from the scene. 

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

A World War II-style plane crash-landed on the northbound 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills on Tuesday afternoon, with no one getting injured on the ground or in the aircraft.

The pilot was out of the plane as it burned near the center divider of the freeway, said Vanessa Lozano of  the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

It is unclear if the pilot left the plane on his own, or with the assistance of an agency.

The crash was reported about 1:45 p.m. near Liberty Canyon Road, with no vehicles involved, Lozano said.

Fire officials extinguished the burning plane and the fire was declared knocked down at 2:14 p.m.

The cause of the plane’s crash-landing was not immediately known.

After both the north and south bound lanes of the 101 were closed for several hours, the number three and four lanes — the main portion of the freeway — on the southbound side were opened to drivers at about 4:30 p.m., said Alex Rubio, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol. The northbound 101 number four lane and the Lost Hills Road on ramp were also opened.

During the closures, the drivers from the northbound side were being diverted to Lost Hills Road, while southbound traffic was exiting at Liberty Canyon Road, said Elizabeth Kravig, a CHP spokeswoman.

Though it is still unknown where the plane took off from, it was based at the Van Nuys Airport, said Diana Sanchez, spokeswoman with the Van Nuys Airport.

Allen Kenitzer, with the investigating Federal Aviation Administration, said the plane, a North American SNJ-5 airplane, also known as an AT-6, crashed “under unknown circumstances.”

“The aircraft sustained substantial damage,” Kenitzer said.

The plane belongs to the Condor Squadron Officers and Airmen’s Association, Sanchez said. The nonprofit was founded in 1965 by former WWII pilots to preserve aircraft from the war, the group’s website said.

Sanchez said the squadron planes, which are based at the airport, are often used for flyovers at memorials and parades. She said there was no known previous accidents relating to the squadron’s planes.

It is unclear if the plane in the accident was vintage or a model of one.

Terry Williams, a spokesman with the the National Transportation Safety Board, said his agency is also investigating the incident.

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

A plane crashed and burst into flames in the middle of the busy 101 Freeway in Southern California on Tuesday, bringing traffic to a standstill. The accident was reported about 1:50 p.m. near the Liberty Canyon Road exit of the northbound side of the freeway in Agoura Hills, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. 

The cause of the accident wasn't immediately clear. The LAFD rescued the pilot, who was trapped, and said there were no other injuries. CBS Los Angeles reports fire crews extinguished the flames and officials stopped traffic in both directions.

The California Highway Patrol urged motorists to avoid the area. They say some lanes have since reopened to traffic. "Please keep the [freeway] shoulders clear for emergency vehicles," they added.

The Van Nuys Airport said the plane involved in Tuesday's crash is from the Condor Squadron Officers and Airmans Assoc Inc.

Officials said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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

CALABASAS (CBSLA) – A small vintage plane caught fire after crashing on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills Tuesday afternoon.

The plane landed sometime before 2 p.m. near the center divider on northbound Liberty Canyon Road, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Video from the scene showed smoke and flames billowing hundreds of feet into the air.

The pilot – who was the sole occupant – escaped the plane unhurt, the fire department said.

He’s in his 40s and is an experienced pilot for Alaska Airlines, according to CBS2’s Randy Paige.

Responding firefighters quickly extinguished a blaze sparked by the crash.

There was no report of any injuries, but the North American SNJ-5 Texan sustained substantial damage, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.

The 101 Freeway was shut down in both directions before reopening just before 5 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://losangeles.cbslocal.com

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

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

Location: Van Nuys, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA242
Date & Time: 04/19/2017, 1745 PDT
Registration: N7969C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, as the tailwheel was contacting the ground, a "sudden gust of wind" lifted the right wing and that the airplane weather-vaned to the right. Subsequently, the airplane ground looped and exited the right side of the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and aileron.

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

The automated weather observation system on the accident airport, about the time of the accident, reported that the wind was from 270° at 9 knots. The pilot landed on runway 16. 

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 of the airplane during the landing roll with a quartering tailwind.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Effect on operation
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Runway excursion
Dragged wing/rotor/float/other 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; 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: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/17/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/02/2015
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 900 hours (Total, all aircraft), 270 hours (Total, this make and model), 720 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N7969C
Model/Series: SNJ 5
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 43974
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/10/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4982 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6783 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: R1340 AN1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 600 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: KVNY, 770 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0051 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 159°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: VAN NUYS (VNY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 802 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  34.213333, -118.490556 (est)

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