Monday, January 15, 2018

Spirit Launching New Jamaica Flights

Spirit Airlines is expanding its route network in the Caribbean with new service between Baltimore/Washington and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The new service, which will begin March 22, will operate daily, year round, according to the Miramar, Fla.-based company.

“We are excited to celebrate our growth in these key markets and offer even more ultra-low fares to some of our guests’ favorite destinations,” said Mark Kopczak, Spirit Airlines’  Vice President of Network Planning. “We know these new, nonstop flights will bring more friends together and allow more families to go on vacation.”

Spirit also recently announced the planned launch of new service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Cap-Haitien, Haiti in April.

Original article can be found here ➤

Norwegian Air to end service to Connecticut

WINDSOR LOCKS — Norwegian Air, one of two foreign airlines serving Bradley International Airport, announced Monday it is ending service to Connecticut.

Service between Edinburgh Airport and Bradley — New England’s second busiest airport after Boston’s Logan International Airport — will end as of March 25, said Anders Lindstrom, a U.S.-based spokesman for the airline. He said the decision by Norwegian Air was motivated by an ongoing tax dispute with the Scottish government.

“The decision to pull the route, along with decreasing service to Edinburgh from other United States airports, is due to the Scottish Government’s postponement of a reduction to air passenger taxes,” Lindstrom said. “Following Norwegian’s launch of affordable trans-atlantic routes from the U.S. to Edinburgh last year, the prospect of a reduction in air passenger taxes meant we had been planning for continued future growth to Scotland.”

Norwegian Air has “seen great potential” in providing service out of Bradley and “is continuously reviewing other future opportunities in Hartford,” he said..

Lindstrom said all passengers who have been affected by the decision have been informed and offered alternative flights, or full refunds, if they chose to cancel their booking.

Norwegian Air’s decision leaves Aer Lingus as the only foreign-based airline providing international service to Bradley. It also leaves the airport at a distinct disadvantage in its efforts to keep Connecticut residents from choosing other airports in neighboring states.

For example, Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport, located in Warwick, is often an attractive travel alternative for residents of eastern Connecticut because of its proximity to the region. T.F. Green is seeing service to Scotland reduced, but not eliminated, according to the Providence Journal.

Bradley is operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority. Kevin Dillon, executive director of the state agency, said airport officials are “disappointed by the discontinuation of Norwegian’s nonstop service.”

“Unfortunately, despite the strength of the Bradley business case for continuing the service, external factors have deteriorated the service’s viability at this time,” Dillon said in a statement. “The United Kingdom’s Air Passenger Duty, which is levied on passengers who utilize Edinburgh Airport, has had a debilitating effect on Norwegian’s business model. For an airline that prides itself on serving as an ultra-low cost option for travelers, the APD incurred by passengers at Edinburgh Airport often essentially doubles the passenger’s total flight costs and undercuts the attractiveness of Norwegian’s low fares.”

Bradley is not the only airport with Norwegian service to Edinburgh that is being impacted by these dynamics, he said.

“We knew from the start that the lack of connecting options at Edinburgh Airport would make the Norwegian service a challenge to maintain,” Dillon said. “However, we were pleased to see that Norwegian’s performance was in line with expectations for a new airline entrant starting operations at Bradley.”

Dillon said Aer Lingus’ route between Dublin and Bradley has shown promising growth, and, after recent discussions, “we are confident that the Bradley route is currently in line for an aircraft upgrade in 2019.”

“This investment is indicative of the strong partnership between Bradley and Aer Lingus, and we look forward to growing together to continue meeting the region’s transatlantic travel needs,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Akron-Canton Regional (KCAK) director bleeds ‘airport blue’

Rick McQueen

GREEN Although he’s announced retirement plans, Rick McQueen isn’t done working as president and chief executive officer at Akron-Canton Airport.

Later this year he hopes see ground broken for several new gates, the last of 10 projects in CAK 2018. He also expects to spend time helping the next CEO transition to the job.

“I will always bleed airport blue,” McQueen said, referring to the color used in the Akron-Canton Airport’s logo.

Deciding to retire hasn’t been an easy decision, but the Akron-Canton staff is a close-knit team that cares about the airport and has made it a success, McQueen said. “I could do none of this by myself,” he said.

McQueen, 58, joined Akron-Canton’s staff as an accountant in 1982. “It’s home to me,” he said. He climbed the ranks and served as assistant airport director before taking the helm after Fred Krum retired as director.

He’s seen and directed plenty of changes over the past 35 years. The CAK 2018 projects — $118 million of capital improvements — started in 2008 as McQueen moved into the lead role. The projects include extending a runway, improving the entrance road and parking lots, new facilities for rescue and fire fighting equipment, and numerous improvements and renovations to the terminal.

When McQueen joined the airport staff, Krum had been director for two years. McQueen said he had the good fortune to spent 26 years working with Krum, who is credited with sparking the string of changes that have transformed the facility. Krum set a course and direction that McQueen followed, making tweaks to adjust with changes in the commercial airline industry.

Because of several factors, the biggest being airline consolidation, Akron-Canton has seen passenger use numbers fall over the past few years. McQueen believes the trend will bottom out and cited the decision by United Airlines to add service to Houston as a sign the situation is changing. McQueen said he hopes the airport’s next CEO will be able to lead the facility to the next level.

The airport’s eight-member board, which is appointed by officials in Stark and Summit counties, plans a nationwide search. McQueen anticipates someone will be hired before the year ends. He hopes to help the next CEO get to know the operation and the community. “I’m committed to making sure we can have a smooth transition,” he said.

Read more here ➤

Vacation Express Expands Flights to Cozumel, Grand Bahama

Sunwing’s Vacation Express is launching new flights from Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport to a pair of Caribbean destinations.

The carrier is slated to launch new nonstop flights from CVG to both Grand Bahama and Cozumel, Mexico.

“We are excited about adding these additional flights from CVG and to return with our Grand Bahama Island program, and we know Cozumel will become a popular destination for us this summer,” said Kevin Hernandez, VP Marketing and Sales at Vacation Express. “We have had requests from many passengers and travel agents looking for great deals on quick and easy four-night packages with non-stop flights to exciting destinations and we are here to deliver.”

The Cozumel flights will operate between May 24 and Aug. 23, while the Grand Bahama flights will operate between May 30 and Aug. 18.

“The addition of Cozumel, Mexico and return of Grand Bahama Island to Vacation Express’ existing service to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica and Cancun, Mexico provides CVG passengers the most nonstop flight options in the Vacation Express network,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG. “We’re pleased that local travelers now have the opportunity to travel with Vacation Express to five different exotic destinations.”

The flights to Grand Bahama and Cozumel will be operated by Swift Air on Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

Original article can be found here ➤

Hughes 369HM, N4QX, owned and operated by Vista One Inc: Fatal accident occurred January 15, 2018 in Perrysburg, Wood County, Ohio

Jeffrey Lysle Fluharty 

Tyson Snyder

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio
Boeing; Mesa, Arizona
MD Helicopters Inc; Mesa, Arizona
Rolls-Royce; Indianapolis, Indiana 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Vista I Inc:

Location: Perrysburg, OH
Accident Number: CEN18FA074
Date & Time: 01/15/2018, 1140 EST
Registration: N4QX
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On January 15, 2018, about 1140 eastern standard time, a MD Helicopters Inc. 369HM helicopter, N4QX, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Perrysburg, Ohio. The commercial pilot and crew member were fatally injured. The helicopter was owned and operated by Vista One Inc. The aerial observation flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The local flight departed Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio, at an undetermined time.

According to Vista One Inc., the pilot departed in the accident helicopter from the company base at the Wayne County Airport (KBJJ), Wooster, Ohio, on the morning of the accident. The pilot flew to 1G0 to pick up the crew member, fueled the helicopter, and then departed on the accident flight. The accident flight was the first leg of aerial inspections on the transmission towers for the Toledo Edison power grid. The team was scheduled to conduct aerial inspections for the next four weeks.

A witness, located just south of the accident site, observed the helicopter descend "at an angle" before it impacted terrain. The wreckage came to rest about 120 feet west of the power lines. There was no evidence that the helicopter impacted either the power lines or the transmission towers. Ground scars and damage to the helicopter were consistent with the helicopter impacting terrain in a near vertical attitude. The helicopter rolled during the impact and came to rest on its left side. The main wreckage included the fuselage, tailboom, and main rotor system. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MD HELICOPTERS INC
Registration: N4QX
Model/Series: 369HM
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: VISTA I INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft External Load (133) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Bowling Green, OH
Destination: Bowling Green, OH

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.501667, -83.445278 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

WOOSTER, OH - As federal authorities try to determine the cause of a deadly helicopter crash outside Toledo, the family of the pilot says their only solace is that the Wooster native was doing exactly what he always wanted to do.

The mother of 32-year-old Tyson Snyder told Fox 8, "He wanted to try anything dangerous from a very young age and he lived up to that with his choices in vocation and in the military."

According to Julie Snyder, her son loved the challenge of his job as a helicopter pilot inspecting power lines. “He really loved it and he was good at his job, he was good at flying helicopters. It was his passion and he got to fulfill his passion," said Mrs, Snyder.

Tyson Snyder and a colleague, 62-year-old Jeff Fluharty, were killed on Monday, when their chopper crashed in a farm field, just south of the Ohio Turnpike in Wood County. First Energy says Tyson Snyder and Jeff Fluharty were contractors, inspecting the utility company’s transmission lines at the time of the crash. The FAA and the NTSB are now trying to determine the cause of the crash.

Tyson Snyder was a 2004 graduate of Wooster High School. His parents say he had been deeply affected by the events of 9/11, and that's why they were not surprised when he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps after graduating.

During his eight years as a Marine, Sgt. Tyson Snyder served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but his heart was never far from home. His sister, Ashley Escola told Fox 8, “I'll never forget the day, I was pregnant with my daughter and he called me on Mother's Day from Afghanistan and he said he was waiting to make those calls to me and my mom."

After completing his service to the country, Tyson Snyder began training to become a helicopter pilot and then got his dream job inspecting power lines.

"I think the adrenaline rush, he loved the challenge and he loved being in the air and he loved the difficulty of it, but he loved that he was good at it, I mean he worked so hard," said Tyson’s girlfriend, Kalli Hugus.

Tyson Snyder's parents says that after Tyson made it home safely after fighting in the War on Terror, they never suspected that they would get the knock on the door that every parent dreads. His father, Jeff Snyder, told us, “One thing that I would like to say is 'hug your kids, tell them that you love them because you never know, it may be the last time, so hug your kids and tell them that you love them.’"

Story and video ➤

STONY RIDGE, Ohio — The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a helicopter crash in Wood County that killed two people Monday, and plans to release a preliminary report in about a week.

Helicopter pilot Tyson Snyder, 32, of Wooster, Ohio, and passenger Jeffery Fluharty, 62, of West Virginia, both died at the scene of the crash, which was reported just before noon Monday. Both were contracted to do utility work for Toledo Edison. 

The helicopter crashed into a field near State Rt. 163 and Pemberville Road in Troy Township.

The NTSB will recover the helicopter later Tuesday evening, and its full investigation could take up to a year, Jennifer Rodi, a senior air safety investigator with the safety board, said Tuesday during a news conference at the scene.

“We do not rush our process,” Ms. Rodi said. 

A preliminary report should be issued within five to seven days, she said, at which point an advisory could be issued for other helicopter pilots, if necessary. She did not speculate on any potential cause for the crash.

She said the pilot had between 1 and 1.5 miles of visibility at the time of the crash, and there was noticeable fuel at the scene of the crash. 

The helicopter, manufactured in 1971, was owned by Vista I, Inc., a Smithville, Ohio, company that has five other aircraft registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. A call to the company was not immediately returned on Tuesday.

Story and video ➤

"The two men who were tragically killed today in a helicopter crash were FirstEnergy contractors doing transmission line inspection work. Their employer is still in the process of notifying family members. FirstEnergy would like to express our sincere condolences to their families and fellow workers."

WOOD COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - Two people are dead after a helicopter crash in Wood County.

The crash happened just before noon near Bradner Road, just south of the Ohio Turnpike in Genoa.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn tells 13abc that the helicopter is affiliated with a utility company. They were out doing survey work on lines in the area. Two people were on board, and both of them died. The company is said to not be based in Toledo, and the two killed were not from northwest Ohio.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected on the scene Tuesday morning to being an investigation.

Some people living near Monday’s deadly helicopter crash scene heard the crash, not realizing exactly what they heard until they saw the wreckage.

The sound of a low flying helicopter is something residents living off Pemberville and Bradner roads hear quite often. Monday though they heard a sound they're not familiar with hearing.

"All I heard was a big boom. I thought it was a tire that blew off a truck on the turnpike," said Sandra Minarik who lives near the crash scene.

Unfortunately that's not what Minarik heard after she got a phone call from another neighbor.

"A neighbor called and said a plane had crashed in my woods. And I ran out into the woods and I didn't see anything," said Minarik.

She eventually found the wreckage in another person's yard. Another neighbor says they heard what they now believe was this helicopter while in flight this morning.

"The helicopter going back and forth but it's not unusual out here," said Ken Reeves who lives near the crash site.

Reeves and others say they see if a few times a month, inspecting the power lines.

"You see the helicopter buzzing up and down. They follow the high tension lines as afar as you can see in both directions," said Reeves.

"It's very sad. Very sad. I feel bad for all the families involved," said Minarik.

Minarik flies her own plane in this area. While it's far too early to tell how this crash occurred, she is always cautious around one part of these lines.

"The one thing that scares us is that there are these stabilizing wires along the line and they're very, very difficult to see. When we take off we go left or right to get over them. With these snowy conditions it would be hard to see those lines," said Minarik.

Those neighbors say the helicopters do fly pretty low in this area looking at the lines but they're not sure exactly how low the pilot was flying Monday.

Story and video ➤

GENOA, OH (WTOL) -  Two people are dead after a helicopter crash in Wood County Monday.

Deputies were called to the scene of the crash a little before noon Monday near the Turnpike on Bradner Road. The call said that the helicopter went down suddenly.

The Sheriff's deputies and the Troy Township Fire Department responded to the crash. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sheriff's Office says the helicopter was contracted to patrol the power lines by. 

Statement sent from FirstEnergy said both the pilot and the passenger who died in the crash, were FirstEnergy contractors doing transmission line inspection work.

"The two men who were tragically killed today in a helicopter crash were FirstEnergy contractors doing transmission line inspection work. Their employer is still in the process of notifying family members. FirstEnergy would like to express our sincere condolences to their families and fellow workers."

Police say neither pilot or the passenger were from our areal. 

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says the helicopter never caught fire but the damage was extensive.

The NTSB will come to investigate the scene and inspect every inch of the commercial helicopter. 

Sheriff Wasylyshyn says the coroner will remove the bodies by Monday evening and the helicopter will remain until the NTSB shows up Tuesday. He says his department will do whatever it takes to preserve the scene so investigators can determine a cause. 

"As least one deputy on scene 24/7 until they come and remove the helicopter," Sheriff Wasylyshyn explained. "They will take it into a building somewhere and completely disect it and try to find out if it was human error or mechanical failure but it will be many months before we know the actual cause of the crash."

Sheriff Wasylyshyn says the names of the two men won't be released until family have been notified.  The crash is under investigation.

Story and audio ➤ 

STONY RIDGE, Ohio — Two men doing work for FirstEnergy were killed Monday when their helicopter crashed into a field near State Rt. 163 and Pemberville Road in Troy Township.

The helicopter crashed about 11:40 a.m. in a large, harvested, snow-covered field east of Pemberville Road, between Route 163 and Recker Road, Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said on scene. 

Doug Calafella, a spokesman for FirstEnergy, said the crash victims were employees of a contractor for the utility. He said they were inspecting high-voltage transmission lines.

The company that employed the men were in the process of notifying family members, he added.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn said there was no obvious cause of the crash: no signs of fire or flames, and no indication the aircraft struck any utility lines. The crash was reported by a person in a nearby house who was looking out a window “and just saw the helicopter come down out of the sky and hit the ground,” he said.

The sheriff said his office was told by the National Transportation Safety Board that investigators from the agency will be on the scene on Tuesday, and the Federal Aviation Administration also had been notified.

"We will secure the scene. We are taking initial measurements. The NTSB will haul off the helicopter and do their dissecting to try to determine the cause," he said.

Tony Molinaro, an FAA spokesman, said in an email the helicopter was an MD-369 and the agency is sending investigators to the scene.

NTSB spokesman Christopher O'Neil said Monday afternoon an investigator was en route to the crash scene.

Story, video and slideshow ➤


 TROY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WNWO) —  Wood County authorities are investigating a helicopter crash that killed two men today.

Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn tells NBC24 two men died when their helicopter went down in a field just before noon in the vicinity Pemberville and Bradner Roads in Troy Township.

Wasylyshyn said the pair were working as independent contractors for Toledo Edison and were observing power lines throughout the area.

The men will be identified pending notification. No other details are available at this time.

Original article can be found here ➤

Self-repairing ceramic eyed for aircraft engines

Japanese researchers say they have developed a ceramic material that self-repairs cracks in just a minute and could drastically change manufacturing methods for the transportation industry.

The team from the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Yokohama National University said the material could be used in plane engines to keep them operating even if they are damaged in collisions with airborne objects.

“When the plane engine suffers a crack during a flight, the ceramic material will enable the aircraft to repair the damage by itself before landing without stopping the engine,” said Toshio Osada, a senior researcher at the NIMS.

Wataru Nakao, an engineering professor at the university, said the material “can be used for a wide variety of products,” and the team is planning studies to commercialize the ceramic.

Ceramics are lighter and more heat-resistant than nickel and titanium.

Ceramic-made engines had been seen as a possible way to significantly improve fuel-efficiency, but the material was considered too fragile for use in aircraft engines.

To solve the problem, the university added silicon carbide to a ceramic material made of aluminum oxide. When the ceramic cracked at high temperatures, the silicon carbide was exposed to air and turned into silicon dioxide that filled in the crack and repaired the damage.

The self-healing process initially required nearly 1,000 hours to complete.

The NIMS later reduced the time to one minute under temperatures of 1,000 degrees by adding a tiny amount of manganese oxide.

When silicon dioxide fills in the cracks, it reacts with the surrounding aluminum oxide and temporarily turns into a liquid-like substance. The manganese oxide promotes the phenomenon, according to the researchers.

The scientists said they are working on improvements so that the material can repair damage even at lower temperatures, making it possible for use in the undercarriages of Shinkansen. The bullet trains could continue running with cracked undercarriages because the material would fix the damage, they said.

Story and photo ➤

Raw video: Plane flies low over Stafford County, Virginia, before making emergency landing at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD)

An Ethiopian Airlines plane flew low over parts of Stafford County Monday as it returned to Dulles International Airport for an emergency landing because of a possible mechanical problem.

The Boeing 777 en route to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, took off from Dulles at 11:40 a.m. before safely returning about an hour later, according to flight tracker website flightradar24. Andrew Trull, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said the plane turned around “out of an abundance of caution” after a warning light indicated a potential hydraulic failure.

It landed at Dulles without incident.

“Long story short: A mechanical issue caused the plane to return,” Trull said.

The plane was more than 9,000 feet above ground when it entered Stafford airspace, but its altitude dropped to 4,400 feet as it flew over Mountain View Road on its way back to Dulles.

Witnesses said the plane released fuel over Stafford, and a picture appears to back them up. It’s not uncommon for pilots to dump fuel—which vaporizes in the air—to lower a plane’s weight before an emergency landing.

Trull, the airports authority spokesman, said the plane “may have jettisoned some fuel to meet safe landing weight limits.”

Story, video and slideshow ➤

Piper PA-23-250 Aztec, N54857, registered to Mach Tuck LLC and operated by Air America Flight Center LLC: Fatal accident occurred January 11, 2018 in Elko County, Utah

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

Additional Participating Entity;
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Mach Tuck LLC:

Location: Elko, NV
Accident Number: WPR18FA073
Date & Time: 01/11/2018, 1800 PST
Registration: N54857
Aircraft: PIPER PA 23-250
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On January 11, 2018, about 1800 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-23-250, twin engine airplane, N54857, collided with mountainous terrain about 42 miles south of Elko, Nevada. The commercial pilot was the sole person on board and was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to Mach Tuck, LLC, and operated by Air America Flight Center, LLC., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a cross-country positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight departed about 1500 from McClellan Airfield (MCC), Sacramento, California and had a destination of Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to preliminary Air Traffic Control (ATC) information, the pilot reported that he was encountering clouds and was asked by the controller if he would like information on nearby airports. The pilot asked for the nearest airport and that he would "head over there." Directions and information on Elko Regional Airport (EKO), Elko, Nevada were provided to the pilot. He replied, "Alright, I'm getting super turbulent over here I'm going to head over there." Shortly after, communication and radar contact were lost.

Review of preliminary radar data revealed a primary target, consistent with the accident airplane, traveling on an eastbound heading at an altitude of about 11,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The target continued eastbound over Pearl Peak's with a summit of 10,848 ft msl, and dropped off from radar shortly after.

After an initial search for the airplane at local airports was unsuccessful, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT) for the airplane. Search and rescue efforts ensued, and on January 19, 2018, wreckage was identified from aerial photography on the east face of Pearl Peak near it's summit. An onsite examination by ground personnel identified the wreckage as the accident airplane.

The nearest weather reporting station was EKO, about 42 miles north of the accident site. According to recorded information, the winds were 030 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles or greater, few clouds at 9,000 ft above ground level, temperature 5° C, dew point -1° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N54857
Model/Series: PA 23-250 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Air America Flight Center
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEKO, 5074 ft msl
Observation Time: 0156 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 30°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point: Sacramento, CA (KMCC)
Destination: Salt Lake City, UT (KSLC) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  40.398889, -115.419722 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

"It's been a while but I'm finally back at it.  Now I just have to wait for the weather to clear up and I'm off to Utah." - Paul Graham, January 9th, 2018

Celebration of Paul's life Saturday, January 27th at 2:00 at Highland Chapel Church in Madison Mississippi, 1620 Mannsdale Road. 

Elko County Sheriff's Office
January 19 at 4:11pm · 

Contact: Ron Supp, Undersheriff 
Telephone: 775.738.3421 
Date: January 19, 2018


Elko, NV - Assistance provided by the pilot’s employer Air America/Eagle View, has led investigators to believe the airplane reported missing the night of January, 11 2018 has possibly been located near Pearl Peak in the Ruby Mountains.

Although this possible sighting of the aircraft looks promising, Undersheriff Ron Supp warns this information is thus far preliminary and it will be some time before investigators will be able to access the location due to terrain and weather.

Photographs appear to reveal wreckage of an aircraft resembling that of the missing Piper aircraft with tail number N54857.  It was reported to be piloted by Paul R. Graham, a 26 year old male from Brandon, Mississippi.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the pilot’s family for their patience and understanding during a very trying time. The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank Air America/Eagle View, Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Military agencies, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers and Utah Air Resources (a volunteer air search and rescue organization) as well as other volunteers and Government agencies providing assistance.

A crashed plane photographed Friday in the mountains of Nevada during a weeklong search effort reportedly is that of Mississippi native Paul Graham.

Stormy weather Friday prevented a helicopter from reaching the site in the Ruby Mountains near the Utah state line to make an official confirmation, said Sgt. Nick Czegledi of the Elko County Sheriff's Department in Nevada.

"We believe we have located it, it's just not easy to get up there right now," Czegledi said Friday. "We're just waiting for the weather to clear. Hopefully, God willing, we can get up there tomorrow and do what we need to do."

According to a post by Graham's father on Facebook, Graham — a 2009 Ridgeland High graduate — went missing January 11 after being diverted to Elko Regional Airport.

The 26-year-old had been flying from Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City when the plane went down in "icing and turbulent conditions," the post said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told The Associated Press Friday there's been no confirmation of wreckage. He said the pilot was the only one onboard when the Piper PA-23-250 Aztec disappeared from radar south-southeast of Elko. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Paul Graham

ELKO — Searchers might have identified the location of a missing pilot and plane in the Ruby Mountains, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office reported January 19.

“We believe we have possibly, possibly, we’ve located it, and we’re going to attempt to try to retrieve the pilot and the plane when the weather clears, hopefully real soon,” Sgt. Nick Czegledi said.

A Piper PA-23-250 Aztec disappeared from radar Jan. 11 about 37 miles south-southeast of Elko after the pilot reported icy conditions at about 8:30 p.m. The plane, with the aircraft tail number N54857, was flying from McClellan Airfield in Sacramento, California, to Salt Lake City, according to Federal Aviation Administration Pacific Region Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor. Paul R. Graham, the 26-year-old pilot from Mississippi, was the only person onboard.

The county worked with the pilot's employer, Air America/Eagle View, to conduct aerial photography of the area during the search, which has been pursued over approximately the past week as weather safely allowed. The private partner took pictures of the terrain then sent them to its parent company for analysis. On the morning of Jan. 19, the company reported to the sheriff that it had possibly identified the location of the plane in the mountains south of Harrison Pass on the east slope near Pearl Peak, Czegledi said.

“We have a possible location,” Elko County Undersheriff Ron Supp said. “It’s real preliminary at this point.”

Czegledi said he is cautious to believe the report “until we touch it.”

Retrieval, however, is hampered by the wintery weather that rolled into the area Friday, delivering inches of snow and icy conditions in even the lower elevations around Elko and Spring Creek. The Ruby Mountains contain peaks up to 11,388 feet high with rugged terrain.

“We are not going to be able to get to it for an undetermined [amount of time],” Supp said.

On Jan. 18, Czegledi said he called off a temporary flight restriction, originally scheduled through Jan. 20, because of the incoming weather that would interfere with continuation of the search.

“I stopped [it] last night not because they had found it but because of the weather,” Czegledi said.

The TFR was necessary to conduct a methodical search and “control the amount of people wanting to come out and fly,” he said, explaining that too many volunteer search aircraft sometimes fly on top of each other.

Preliminary accident and report data is not yet listed on the FAA website because the plane is still considered missing, Gregor said. If and when wreckage is found, the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

"The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the pilot’s family for their patience and understanding during a very trying time," the Sheriff's Office stated in a press release. "The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank Air America/Eagle View, Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Military agencies, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers and Utah Air Resources (a volunteer air search and rescue organization) as well as other volunteers and government agencies providing assistance."

Original article can be found here ➤

A Mississippi pilot is missing and his family is asking for prayers after his plane disappeared somewhere near the Ruby Mountains in Nevada.

Elko County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Nick Czegledi said over the weekend the small plane headed for Salt Lake City Thursday was believed to have crashed somewhere in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains.

According to family members, the pilot is a 26-year-old Paul Graham. According to the FAA, Graham has a commercial pilot's license.

His Instagram post from Jan. 10 says, "It's been a while but I'm finally back at it. Just have to wait for the weather to clear up and I'm off to Utah."

Czegledi said the Elko County Sheriff’s office received a call of a plane down in the Ruby Mountain wilderness area Thursday. A helicopter search began, though it had to be temporarily discontinued due to heavy winds Thursday night.

The plane was believed to be flying to Salt Lake City from California.

On Tuesday, Czegledi said the search is ongoing with new information in regards to what may have happened to Graham's plane.

"Based on that we're redirecting the search," he said. 

The website Skyvector shows a large area covering part of the Ruby Mountains and southeast of the mountains that has been covered by a Notice To Airmen message "to provide a safe environment for search and rescue." The NOTAM runs through Saturday.

Czegledi said he couldn't release any more information immediately.

Graham's family indicated that they weren't ready to speak about the situation on Tuesday, but in posts on Facebook have asked for the public's continued prayer and help in the search.

The Civil Air Patrol has also been a part of the search, Czegledi said. 

Original article can be found here ➤

ELKO – The search for a missing plane found no traces on Monday but will resume Wednesday in a narrower area, according to the Elko County Sheriff’s Office.

A private party has been assisting with the search, reported Sgt. Nick Czegledi. Stormy weather on Tuesday put the search on hold for the day. National Weather Service radar showed a band of rain moving across the search area from west to east Tuesday morning.

A 26-year-old pilot from Mississippi was flying the plane across the south Ruby Mountain range Thursday night when he reported the twin-engine Piper started to ice up at about 8:30 p.m. There were strong wind gusts in the area at the time, of 60 knots or 70 mph.

The plane was reportedly transporting aerial photography equipment from California to Salt Lake City, with no passengers on board.

Searchers have scoured the vicinity of the Ruby Marshes and Harrison Pass but Czegledi said the focus will move farther south because of new information received by the sheriff’s office. Wednesday’s search will focus between Pearl Peak and Overland Pass in the southern Ruby range.

Czegledi said GPS data indicated the plane cleared the 10,777-foot Pearl Peak by six or seven hundred feet.

The search area is high altitude, rugged terrain that can only be searched by air.

Original article can be found here ➤

ELKO, Nevada (ABC4 News) - Authorities around Elko are searching for an aircraft that was travelling from California to Salt Lake City on Thursday but never arrived. 

Sgt. Nick Czegledi with the Elko Sheriff's Officer said they received a call of possible downed plane somewhere in their area after reports that a 26-year-old Mississippi man flying on his own from California to Salt Lake City went missing.

Czegledi said they started a search on Thursday and into Friday with ground crews and additional air searches in an attempt to locate the missing plane.

At one time authorities thought they had found something in the area during the search on Friday but when they got closer they realized it was not what they were looking for.

The search has covered some area of the Ruby Marshes, just south of Elko, Nevada and along a very long mountainous range.

Czegledi said this is a huge area and may take some time to find him. 

A new search was started Sunday with assistance from several private search parties and law enforcement and search and rescue.A chopper was also among those searching for the missing plane.

So far, have still have not located any aircraft, or evidence of that may have crashed. 

The identity of the man is not being released at this time. 

Story and video ➤

ELKO – Searchers from the Elko County Sheriff’s Office and the Civil Air Patrol will be out for the third day today attempting to find a small aircraft that went down near the Ruby Mountains.

Undersheriff Ron Supp said the pilot, a 26-year-old from Mississippi, contacted the airport around 8:30 p.m. Thursday and said his plane was icing up.

There were strong wind gusts in the area at the time.

The twin-engine Piper was reportedly transporting aerial photography equipment from California to Salt Lake City.

The Nevada Department of Emergency Management contacted the sheriff's office about the plane Thursday night. The incident occurred just before an officer-involved shooting in Spring Creek, in which a man shot and killed his wife and was killed by officers.

A ground search was launched but turned up no sightings.

Searchers scoured the vicinity of the Ruby Marshes and Harrison Pass on Friday and believed they had spotted the plane in the Ruby Marshes but that report turned out to be false.

“Right now we’re speculating that he might be further east,” Supp said Monday morning.

Several parties have been helping with the search, according to Sgt. Nick Czegledi. They include Reach air ambulance, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge and volunteers.

The sheriff’s new drone team also has be involved with the search.

Czegledi said winds on Thursday night were measured at 60 knots, which is roughly 70 miles per hour.

It also may have been snowing at the time, and Czegledi said the pilot may have climbed above 9,000 feet to avoid it.

Several peaks in the Ruby Mountains exceed 11,000 feet.

Original article can be found here ➤

(KUTV) - The Utah National Guard has joined crews in a search near Elko, Nev., for a small airplane that disappeared en route to Salt Lake City from California, Jan. 11, 2018.

The Elko County Sheriff’s Office was contacted to help locate a missing plane that was thought to have gone missing in the area of the Ruby Mountains.

The Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, Civil Air Patrol, NV Department of Wildlife, and the Ruby Marsh Management Team along with other agencies are still trying to locate the plane described as a twin-engine Piper aircraft.

The 26-year-old pilot from Mississippi was the only person occupying the plane at the time of the last contact.