Monday, January 22, 2018

Beech A36 Bonanza, N3600A, registered to and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred January 22, 2018 near Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Taylor County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Abilene, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA084
Date & Time: 01/22/2018, 0845 CST
Registration: N3600A
Aircraft: BEECH A36
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 22, 2018, at 0845 central standard time, a Beech A36, N3600A experienced a total loss of engine power during climb after departing from Abilene Regional Airport (ABI), Abilene, Texas. The pilot then performed a forced landing to a field near Abilene, Texas. The airplane received minor damage. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was operating on a visual flight rules flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from ABI at 0835 and was destined to Sierra Blanca Regional Airport (SRR), Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N3600A
Model/Series: A36
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: DYS, 1790 ft msl
Observation Time:  CST
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / -8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots, 280°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Abilene, TX (ABI)
Destination:  Abilene, TX (DYS)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:

ABILENE, Texas -- A small plane made an emergency landing Monday morning near Dyess Air Force Base.

Shortly after taking off from Abilene Regional Airport, the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit. He then lost contact with the tower.

The Department of Public Safety says the pilot -- experiencing engine trouble -- tried to make it to Dyess, but was unable. So he made an emergency landing on Drummond Road (CR 311), about a quarter mile off FM 707. The location is near Hwy 277.

When emergency crews arrived on scene, the pilot – who was the only person onboard – was out of the single-engine aircraft and walking around.

He was not injured and declined to talk to KTXS.

The plane -- a 1978 Beech A36 -- is owned by Gerald L. Johnson, an Abilene attorney.

According to FlightAware, the pilot took off at 8:34 a.m. headed for Ruidoso, New Mexico. The plane was an an altitude of 6,500 feet -- with a flying speed of 151 mph -- when the pilot turned back around.

Thee Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating.

Story, photo gallery and video ➤

Gerald L. Johnson, a local attorney, confirmed via phone he was the pilot of the plane that crash landed south of Dyess Air Force Base Monday morning.  He said he was OK.


The single-engine plane that crash-landed a half-mile south of the Dyess Air Force Base runway Monday morning is registered to Gerald L. Johnson, a local attorney.

It was not confirmed that Johnson was the pilot, but there was only one occupant of the aircraft, who was not injured.

The plane departed Abilene Regional Airport at 8:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Frederick Biddle of the Department of Public Safety and the pilot reported engine problems.

The plane, a six-seat 1978 Beech A36, tried to land at Dyess but set down in a pasture south of the air base. The plane was facing south, away from the air base.

Johnson is listed as an oil and gas, real estate and wills-trust-probate attorney.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the FAA.


A single-engine plane crash-landed Monday morning in a field in 200 block of Drummond Road, southwest of Dyess Air Force, just off of U.S. Highway 277 South.

Sgt. Cliff Griffin of the Taylor County Sheriff's Office reported in an email message to media there were no injuries.

The plane took off shortly before 9 a.m. Monday from Abilene, headed to Ruidoso, New Mexico. The pilot reported the plane being in distress shortly after 9 a.m., the sheriff's office reported. 


First responders are investigating reports of a single-engine plane experiencing engine issues and possibly landing in a field south of Dyess Air Force Base on Monday morning.  This is not a military plane, the air base is reporting.  The area is FM 707 and County Road 311.  Taylor County Sheriff's Office has not confirmed a plane landing.

Original article can be found here ➤

University Senate report urges selling off Cessna Citation CJ4, N414KU

Topeka — A group of faculty, staff and students at the University of Kansas is urging the administration to sell off its private jet, a move it says could generate upwards of $6.6 million immediately and save the university more than $1 million a year in operating costs.

The administration does not appear likely to do that, calling the plane an important business tool used for donor relations, athletics recruitment, and outreach initiatives by the KU Medical Center.

But the issue may come up anyway this year at the Kansas Legislature, where the chairman of the House budget committee has said he wants to review the entire state aircraft fleet, with an eye toward possibly liquidating some of them.

The recommendation to sell the plane came in an 88-page report by the University Senate’s Planning and Resources Committee that was released last spring, along with a separate report criticizing the administration for what it viewed as excessive consulting fees being paid out by KU.

Administration officials issued their written response to it in December.

The plane in question is a Cessna CJ4, a twin-turbine jet plane that seats up to 10 passengers and can fly at high speeds with a range of just over 2,000 miles.

But the report noted that most of the flights the plane is used for are for distances of less than 300 miles, with few passengers on board, and it suggests the university could easily get by using smaller, propeller-driven planes that KU’s Aerospace Engineering Department uses for educational and research purposes.

“It’s akin to owning a Lamborghini and using it to haul hay half a block to feed your horses. It’s that wasteful,” Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, an aerospace engineering professor at KU, and a member of the nine-member committee that approved the report, said in a phone interview. “We’ve got the wrong aircraft, we’re utilizing it the wrong way and it’s wasteful.”

The report analyzed the plane’s use over a period from January 2015 through February 2017 and found that 61 percent of the flights on the jet were for traveling less than 300 miles.

During that period, the jet was used to make 492 trips, or 494 flight hours, traveling a total of 157,955 nautical miles, or 580,088 passenger miles.

KU Athletics accounted for nearly half of the trips and about 62 percent of the flight hours. The KU Medical Center accounted for 16 to 27 percent of the plane’s utilization, depending on which measure is used, while the chancellor’s office accounted for about 10 to 15 percent.

The athletics department, however, does not pay for those trips directly.

“The (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations the University operates under require that all payments for flights come from the state treasury,” Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Neeli Bendapudi said in their written response to the report. “An allocation from general fees is made to the Department of Athletics, which the department may use to pay for air travel.”

Barrett-Gonzalez said he found that unacceptable.

“Kansas Athletics would probably like to show up in a jet on their recruiting trips. I understand that,” he said. “But the amount of wasted money in tight budgetary times, we just can’t justify.”

But what really grabbed the committee’s attention was the cost of operating the plane, at just over $1 million a year, the bulk of which goes toward salaries, fuel and maintenance. It was a figure that the committee said was probably too low.

“Missing from the accounting is the cost of capital for the jet, aircraft depreciation, utilities, hangar rent, and other nontrivial categories which would be included in accounting for an equivalent commercial operator,” the report stated.

Even with that low figure, however, the committee said KU’s operational costs were considerably higher than the industry average: $4,856 per flight hour, which the report said was 1.6 to 2.5 times higher than average; $15.01 per nautical mile flown, which is 6.2 times higher than average; and $3.95 per passenger mile, which the report said was nearly 10 times higher than average.

“There are several factors that are causing this, including low occupancy rates, low utilization rates and exorbitant expenses,” the report stated.

Girod and Bendapudi, however, defended the expense, saying in their written response, “Operational costs are more than offset by the benefits back to the university through funds received through philanthropic efforts and athletics as well as savings through opportunity and lost productivity cost avoidance.”

But Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said he is not yet convinced.

“We’re taking a look at all of the aircraft owned by the state of Kansas, and possible liquidation,” he said in a recent interview.

Last year, Waymaster said, he and fellow Appropriations Committee member Rep. J.R. Claeys, R-Wichita, began reviewing the state’s aircraft fleet.

“And there were some interesting things that popped up when we started looking into that,” he said. “Why some departments have an aircraft. And basically it’s owned by the state of Kansas and they have to get permission to use the aircraft, but still, they’re the frequent user of it. And that’s what kind of got me a little interested with this (KU) plane.”

Waymaster did not suggest that a specific proposal for selling off aircraft is currently in the works, but he indicated it would be part of the committee’s deliberations this year as it tries to balance the budget while still funding what could be a large increase in K-12 education spending.

Original article and comments ➤

Editorial: University of Kansas jet creates perception issue

The University of Kansas should, at a minimum, revise policies for use of its jet in light of questions raised about operation of the jet since it was purchased at the end of 2014.

The university’s Cessna Citation CJ4 carries up to 10 passengers and was paid for by an $8.1 million grant provided by KU Endowment, the university’s nonprofit fundraising foundation. The jet is used for KU Medical Center’s medical outreach program, administrator travel and KU Athletics recruiting trips.

But the University Senate’s Planning and Resources Committee has issued a report that shows the jet is mostly used for flights of less than 300 miles, and most of the flights are below full occupancy.

The report analyzed the plane’s use from January 2015 through February 2017. The jet was used to make 492 trips that totaled 157,955 miles, an average of 321 miles per trip. The report found that 61 percent of the flights were for less than 300 miles.

KU Athletics accounted for nearly half of the trips. The KU Medical Center accounted for about 27 percent of the plane’s utilization, and the chancellor’s office accounted for about 10 to 15 percent.

The report concludes selling the jet would raise more than $6 million and save the university more than $1 million per year in operational costs.

Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, an aerospace engineering professor at KU and a member of the nine-member committee that approved the report, said the university could accomplish its mission with a propeller-driven plane that is significantly less expensive to purchase and operate.

Operation of KU’s jet is paid for out of the state treasury, and entities such as KU Athletics reimburse the treasury per trip. But the University Senate report raised questions about reimbursement rates compared to actual costs, raising concerns that taxpayers are unfairly subsidizing the jet.

University Chancellor Douglas Girod and Provost Neeli Bendapudi defended the jet, saying its costs are offset by “the benefits back to the university through funds received through philanthropic efforts and athletics as well as savings through opportunity and lost productivity cost avoidance.”

But three years into its use, the university should carefully weigh those benefits against the perception that the jet is an expensive luxury that simply isn’t necessary. Most universities don’t own such jets. An Associated Press report last year identified just 20 schools that did. In the Big 12, only Texas, Iowa State and Kansas had jets, and Iowa State has decided to sell its jet.

If the university decides to keep the jet, at a minimum, policies for its use should be reviewed. The current policy does not have a distance limit, though flights to locations less than 90 miles away require approval of either the chancellor or provost. The university should consider a more restrictive limit and higher reimbursement rates to ensure they are fully adequate to cover all costs.

At a time when tuition continues to increase and the university’s top legislative priority is getting the state to restore millions in lost funding, KU can ill afford the perception problems its private jet creates.

Original article and comments ➤

Kobach flew in KU jet for lunch, speaking engagement; university says cost to taxpayers was $4,400

Topeka — In February 2015, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach chartered a private jet owned by the University of Kansas so he could attend a luncheon in Wichita and speak at the Kingman County Career Day in the town of Kingman, about 45 miles west of Wichita.

The cost of that flight, according to KU officials, was $4,400. That cost ultimately was charged to the Secretary of State’s office.

That flight, which was documented in a recent University Senate report, represents one example of why some faculty, staff and students at KU are now calling on the administration to sell that plane, a move they say would not only generate about $6.6 million in immediate cash, but also save the university more than $1 million a year in operational costs.

But it also has caught the attention of some in the Kansas Legislature who are calling for a broad review of the state’s entire aircraft fleet, with an eye toward liquidating at least part of it.

Kobach, a Republican who was first elected Secretary of State in 2010, is now a candidate for governor in the 2018 election. And as part of his campaign, he has frequently criticized the Legislature for what he has called its “culture of corruption.”

That has rankled the feathers of some GOP leaders in the Statehouse, and those feathers weren’t smoothed when learning about Kobach’s $4,400 flight to a lunch and speaking engagement.

“When we’re talking about, obviously, the corruption in Topeka, why couldn’t you drive to Wichita? Why would you need to take a plane?” Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, asked rhetorically during a recent interview.

Waymaster said he plans to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s aircraft fleet as part of this year’s budget-writing process.

“I know there might be time constraints; there might be scheduling issues,” Waymaster said. “But if I have to go anywhere in the state, I have to drive. Now, I’m not an elected executive officeholder. But I still think, if you’re looking at trying to use the dollars that taxpayers send to Topeka, driving would be far more efficient than using a state plane.”

The University Senate committee that wrote the report, however, said the actual cost to KU may have been considerably higher.

After examining all of the flights taken by the jet over a 25-month period, from January 2015 through February 2017, the committee concluded that the actual operational cost penciled out to $4,856 per hour flown, or $15.01 per nautical mile flown — rates that the committee said were far above industry averages for that type of plane.

At that rate, according to the committee’s figures, the actual cost would have been between $5,341 (for the 1.1 hours of flight) and $10,567 (for the 704 nautical miles flown).

A KU spokesman said KU officials do not necessarily accept those estimates.

The private jet that Kobach and one of his aides used for the trip, a Cessna CJ4, has been the target of questions and criticism since the university acquired it around January 2015 at a reported cost of $8.1 million, a purchase funded by the KU Endowment Association.

And while its purpose ostensibly is to serve the university’s own travel needs — athletics recruiting, donor relations and operations of the KU Medical Center, according to KU officials — the university says the jet also is made available on occasion to other state agencies.

“Since KU is a state agency, we have occasionally allowed state agencies to use the university’s aircraft,” KU spokesman Joe Monaco said in an email. “Relatedly, KU occasionally uses state aircraft when we have multiple requests that we are not able to fulfill with our own university aircraft.”

Monaco added that the university operates the plane under Federal Aviation Administration regulations that require all flights to be paid for from the state treasury, explaining why the costs were billed to the Secretary of State’s office.

Kobach did not respond personally to telephone messages requesting comment. But his spokeswoman, Samantha Poetter, said in an email that Kobach limits his use of state airplanes, but at times, he travels by state plane due to scheduling reasons. She also said Kobach has reduced other overhead costs in the Secretary of State’s office.

“This flight took place in (fiscal year 2015), costing the agency $4,400 in a year that the agency spent $300,000 less than the prior year,” she wrote. “The state planes that are normally used by statewide officers were unavailable. The KU plane is one of the alternatives that is used under such circumstances. Secretary Kobach’s record of fiscal responsibility is undeniable.”

Original article and comments ➤

Mooney M20D Master, C-FESN

A plane from Alberta carrying an Edmonton-area couple — that’s been missing for nearly a year — was located on Monday afternoon in the rugged wilderness of B.C.’s southern interior.

RCMP said the plane was found on Monday, when a B.C. Ambulance Service helicopter crew spotted the wreckage near Revelstoke.

The plane, missing since November 2017, matched the description of the missing white-and-burgundy plane, a Mooney M20D, and also had the matching tail marker, C-FESN.

RCMP said the wreckage was located east of Revelstoke in Glacier National Park. The BCAS helicopter was returning to Kamloops from Field when it spotted the aircraft.

“The RCMP wishes to thank the helicopter pilots and crew of the BC Ambulance Service for their watchful eyes in locating this plane and assisting to bring closure to the two families,” said a Tuesday news release.

On social media, Tammy Neron said “We got word this morning the plane has been found! Cannot thank B.C. Ambulance enough, as they were flying through Rogers Pass to Golden yesterday, Sept, 10, they spotted it. My birthday wish yesterday came true!!!

“RCMP, SAR, BC Transport and the coroners are going out today. Our families cannot thank each and every one of you enough for embracing us during what’s been the hardest 10 months of our lives!”

The missing, four-passenger plane left Penticton, B.C., on Nov. 25, 2017, and was bound for Edmonton. On board were Dominic Neron, 28, from Spruce Grove, Alta., and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault — a 31-year-old mother of three — from Edmonton.

In late November, the pair had flown to Penticton to visit family and do some Christmas shopping. Their plane disappeared near Revelstoke on the way home.

A nine-day search took place, but neither the plane nor the occupants were found.

There’s no word on if Neron and Bourgeault were found in the crashed plane. RCMP said currently, the site of the plane crash is being accessed to conduct the investigation in partnership with the BC Coroners Service.

On Tuesday, Revelstoke RCMP said the missing persons-and-plane case has remained open since last year, and that police have frequently deployed search resources while also working and meeting with the families of Neron and Bourgeault.

Police noted that the families have been very active in the area, using drones, seeking tips from the public and searching various areas.

Resources involved in investigation include the RCMP Integrated Forensic Identification Services, Revelstoke Search and Rescue, Transportation Canada, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and the B.C. Coroners Service.

The family of a missing woman who was last seen taking off in a single engine plane from Penticton are hopeful that an image taken from a drone may help locate her.

Dominic Neron, 28, Ashley Bourgeault, 31, were expected to land in Edmonton on November 25, but vanished.

Victoria's Joint Rescue Coordination Centre scoured the surrounding Revelstoke area for the white-and-burgundy Mooney aircraft but were unable to find anything.

The JRCC suspended their search on December 4, but the family acquired permits to have drones search the area where Neron’s cell phone last pinged.

Thousands of images were taken during the search and one particular photograph from December 11 stood out to the family.

“We’ve been looking and looking and something just popped out to us,” said Carol Barnes, Bourgeault’s cousin.

The family believes the word “help” or “here” was written in the snow and that there is visible plane wreckage just to the left of the words in the photo.

“We are not sure but… there is something that definitely looks like a propeller and it looks like wreckage under the tree,” Barnes said.

The coordinates of the image are taken from 51°15'21.3"N 117°36’47.9"W and they believe the plane could be on Cougar Mountain.

“It does fall within the path,” Barnes said. “We are just hopeful this is where they are and it is the end of it.”

Bourgeault has three children who were staying with her sister Samantha McClellan when the two vanished.

McClellan said her sister had said the weather was rough on the way down in Penticton and if they were in that kind of situation again they would be stopping.

“It’s nice to have a bit of hope,” she said. “The kids need closure.”

A GoFundMe account was created to fund ongoing search efforts.

Barnes said RCMP, the JRCC and Revelstoke Search and Rescue crews are on standby, as weather has prevented further searching. 

Story and video ➤

Titan T-51 Mustang, G-DHYS: Accident occurred May 31, 2017 at Gloucestershire Airport, UK

Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigation to Titan T-51 Mustang, G-DHYS:

Main landing gear collapse, Gloucestershire Airport, Gloucestershire, May 31, 2017:

The pilot of this three-quarter size replica of an American Second World War fighter plane walked away unscathed after the landing gear collapsed when it landed in Gloucestershire.

The Titan T-51 Mustang was landing at Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton between Cheltenham and Gloucester when metal components buckled and it skidded to a halt with the propeller and a wing touching the ground, an accident report has revealed.

"Following a local flight in good weather conditions, with light winds, the pilot landed the aircraft normally on Runway 27," the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report, released recently, says.

"As the aircraft slowed to approximately 10-15 mph at the end of the landing roll the pilot gently applied the brakes, but as he did so the aircraft yawed to the left which he could not control using right rudder and right brake.

"The pilot reported that the wings remained level as the aircraft yawed to the left. The weight transferred to the right main landing gear leg, which collapsed inwards, causing the propeller and right wingtip to contact the runway as the aircraft came to a stop."

Links in the main landing gear had buckled, investigators found, and the manufacturer said in four other cases, those links had not been adjusted properly.

But the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said it was not possible to determine whether the right main landing gear torque links failed before or after the right main landing leg collapsed.

In conclusion the Air Accidents Investigation Branch report said: The aircraft’s right MLG leg collapsed during the latter stages of a normal landing rollout, whilst the aircraft was travelling at low speed. Inspection of the damaged MLG components did not positively identify the cause of the right MLG leg collapse."

A modification for strengthened MLG components for has been suggested.

Original article  ➤

BAe Hawk T1, XX177, Red Arrows RAF: Ejector Seat Manufacturer Admits Failings

An ejector seat company has admitted breaching health and safety law over the death of Red Arrows pilot Sean Cunningham.

Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, the maker of the seat, admitted the failings at Lincoln Crown Court this morning.

Flight Lieutenant Cunningham died in November 2011 after his ejector seat initiated while his Hawk jet remained on the ground at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

The seat fired him 300ft into the air and he hit the ground with ‘tremendous’ force, an inquest into his death heard.

He suffered multiple injuries in the incident and was pronounced dead after being airlifted to hospital.

The Health and Safety Executive brought charges against Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd and representatives of the Buckinghamshire-based firm entered a not guilty plea at Lincoln Crown Court last May.

The charge was  that Martin Baker Aircraft failed to conduct its undertaking in relation to the design, manufacture, supply and support of the ejection seat in a way that did not expose non-employees to risk.

Statutory Director of ejector seat manufacturer Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, John Martin, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company, to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in connection with Mr Cunningham’s death.

The parachute on the 35-year-old’s ejector seat did not deploy and the South African-born airman later died.

Flight Lieutenant Cunningham, an experienced pilot and Iraq war veteran, moved to Coventry from Johannesburg at the age of nine.

After joining the RAF he completed tours in Iraq before he was selected for the Red Arrows in September 2010.

Hundreds turned out at Coventry Cathedral for his funeral.

In 2014, after a three-week inquest into his death, a coroner recorded a narrative verdict and criticised the manufacturer of the ejector seat.

Story and photos ➤

Recommendations issued to prevent recurrence, following the Service Inquiry into the accident involving Hawk TMk1 XX177 on November 08, 2011 ➤

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Phuket International Airport baggage handlers arrested for theft

The three baggage handlers are presented along with the stolen items. Photo: Sakoo Police

Sakoo Police Chief Col Jirasak Sieamsak told The Phuket News January 21st that Sakoo Police were notified that passengers’ items had been being stolen since December last year.

“A team of Sakoo Police led by Lt Col Salan Santisatsanakun together with a team of Phuket Tourist Police led by Maj Eakkachai Siri investigated the incidents and checked CCTV footage,” Col Jirasak said.

“Today (January 21st) Police arrested two suspects; Nirut Saksri, 29 and Manot Nakpijit, 30 both from Phichit. Police then carried out a search of a house in Sakoo and seized several items. Police also found one more suspect; Chakrit Janprasert, 23 also from Phichit,” Col Jirasak explained.

Police seized more than 100 items including laptop computers, mobile phones, whiskey, watches, sunglasses, jewelry and other items,” Col Jirasak explained.

“All three suspects admitted to stealing passengers’ items while working as baggage handlers at the airport.,” Col Jirasak noted.

“Nirut and Manot were charged with carrying forbidden limited items in to the kingdom by not passing the customs process and illegal possession of Category 5 drug (marijuana) while Chakrit was charged with possession of Category 1 drug (ya bah),” Col Jirasak said.

“The arrests came after victim(s) reported having has items gone missing from their luggage at the airport. In the past police have randomly checked baggage staff and arrested them. Sometimes passengers did not take action against as they stole small items. Sometimes passengers were not sure where they had lost their items.

“Following this incident we will increase security. In addition, we will ask baggage handlers and airport staff to join a meeting where it will be explained what will happen to tourism and what the punishments are for these kinds of criminals,” Col Jirasak added.

Story and photo ➤

Prosperity Preacher Kenneth Copeland Acquires Private Jet Bought With Followers’ Money, Has Goal of Raising $17 Million

FORT WORTH, Texas — Prosperity preacher Kenneth Copeland recently acquired a Gulfstream V private jet, which his staff says is “debt free” because of the donations of his followers. The announcement has drawn both applause and outrage.

Copeland’s organization announced on Jan. 12 that the 81-year-old took possession of the jet, which he purchased from actor, comedian and gospel songwriter Tyler Perry.

“[T]he Holy Spirit confirmed to Brother Copeland that the Gulfstream V was the plane the Lord had set aside for KCM,” claimed Charlie Bollinger, who identified as a volunteer Elite CX Team Leader. “Right away discussions began, and Brother Copeland developed a wonderful personal relationship with the seller, Christian businessman and moviemaker Tyler Perry.”

“Soon a contract was signed, a cash deposit was paid, and the aircraft was brought to Dallas for a very thorough pre-buy inspection process, which [was] wrapped up in November,” he continued. “And praise God, it was actually during Thanksgiving week that the purchase was completed, the title was signed, and thanks to the CX Team, the cash was in the bank to mark it paid in full!”

The Elite CX Team is a group of Copeland supporters who purpose to assist the prosperity preacher financially with his stated projects. Copeland points to a 2002 “prophecy” given by friend Keith Moore of Faith Life Church in Branson, who stated that the Lord was going to raise up wealthy supporters to back Copeland.

“Thus saith the Lord: I am rallying and raising up support to you. It will far surpass all you have previously seen or known,” Moore said. “I’m joining to you new partners who are very strong financially, and they will obey Me. I’m prospering your longtime partners with supernatural increase and they will obey Me.”

Copeland opined in a video posted to YouTube that he believed that the prophecy was coming to pass with the purchase of the Gulfstream V.

While it is unclear as to how much was paid for the jet, Bollinger notes that another $2.5 million is desired to upgrade the avionics in light of soon-coming FAA standards, and that the ultimate goal is to raise $17 million, which will include constructing a hanger for the plane.

Read the post on the KCM website in full here.

“[E]arlier this year when the CX leadership team met to pray and hear from the Lord, the word we heard was harvest. Yes, harvest, harvest, harvest!” he wrote. “The Lord reminded us that, through our CX Team giving, together we have sown into KCM a Citation X, a state-of-the-art HD TV truck, and now we’ve sown a Gulfstream V—all of which are producing a bountiful harvest for every single team member.”

As previously reported, in 2015, Copeland asserted on his television broadcast, “The Believer’s Voice of Victory,” that he flies on a private jet to avoid being bothered by “demon” passengers.

“Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines,” he said. “But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spirit—people coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanted him to pray for them and all that. You can’t manage that today [in] this dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.”

While he said that he didn’t want to fly with a “bunch of demons,” moments later, Copeland contended that he needed a private jet to help reach the lost.

“We’re in soul business here. We’ve got a dying world around us. We’ve got a dying nation around us,” Copeland proclaimed. “We can’t even get there on the airlines.”

Last month, in the midst of a series on “supernatural wealth transfer,” his organization posted to social media the exhortation to make the faith confessions, “The wealth of the sinner comes to me now,” “The Lord is increasing me more and more,” and “I call in the harvest on every seed sown.”

The announcement of the purchase of the Gulfstream V has generated mixed reaction, with some praising God for the plane and others lamenting that the money was not used to help the poor and hungry.

“My Father God is raising me to become like the Elite CX Team partners, moving His kingdom forward through prosperity. Hallelujah!” one commenter wrote.

“I am so happy it is here. I know God is going to use you and the plane to bless so many people. I am praying and believing for finances for the hanger and the runway,” another stated.

“Reminds me of the man who said, ‘I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones,'” a third wrote, referring to Christ’s words in Luke 12. “And, oh yes, whilst half the world goes to sleep each night with an empty stomach. Keep on your blindfolds all you gullible people who give to this scam. What a shame.”

“So somehow sowing the Gospel of Christ crucified and reaping a harvest of righteousness has become sowing money into an organization and reaping a harvest of sweet vehicles for said organization and its leader?” another asked.

Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

Story, comments, video and photo ➤

Mosquito XEL: Accident occurred January 21, 2018 in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County, Florida

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

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

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: ERA18LA082
Date & Time: 01/21/2018, 1545 EST
Registration: UNREG
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 21, 2018, about 1545 eastern standard time, an unregistered experimental amateur-built, Mosquito XEL helicopter was substantially damaged after a loss of control and collision with terrain near Loxahatchee, Florida. The non-certificated pilot/owner was seriously injured. The flight was operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed a private residence.

Witnesses reported that the pilot was performing a test flight. This was his first flight in the accident helicopter. He performed a brief takeoff to a hover maneuver followed by a normal landing. During the second attempted takeoff and hover, the helicopter gained altitude and started yawing to the left. It reached treetop height and continued to spin before descending and impacting the ground. The helicopter struck the ground on the belly, spreading the skids to both sides, then turned over on its side, causing the blades to strike the ground and shear off. Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the helicopter was substantially damaged.

According to FAA and pilot records, the pilot had accrued a total of 70 hours of dual instruction in two other make and model helicopters in the previous 24 months. The pilot did not possess any FAA-issued pilot certificate. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MOSQUITO
Registration: UNREG
Model/Series: XEL
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: Yes
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: PBI, 20 ft msl
Observation Time: 1541 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 13 knots, 70°
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: LOXAHATCHEE, FL
Destination: LOXAHATCHEE, FL 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 26.729444, -80.311667 (est)

LOXAHATCHEE, Florida  (CBS12) — A small experimental helicopter crashed Sunday afternoon in Royal Ascot Estates, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

The helicopter crashed while taking off from the owner's backyard on West Lancashire Drive, according to fire officials.

The pilot, an adult man, was taken to a local hospital for treatment, fire officials said. He was the only one on board.

Story and photo gallery ➤

Iowa City Municipal Airport (KIOW) celebrates 100 years: Staff planning events for June 8-10 anniversary while envisioning future

Airmail is unloaded at the Iowa City Municipal Airport in 1920. 
(State Historical Society of Iowa)

IOWA CITY — As World War I was coming to an end and the United States was shifting its focus on aviation from warfare to peacetime uses, Iowa City flew into the airport business with its new facility.

In 1918, the Iowa City Municipal Airport opened its doors as a stop for airmail planes. Fast forward to today, and the general aviation airport is completing about 36,000 operations per year, which includes both takeoffs and landings, all while planning a centennial celebration.

“Commercial aviation in Iowa was basically born here with the airmail route,” said Michael Tharp, airport operations specialist. The Midwest route for airmail would typically go from Omaha to Chicago with a stop in Iowa City, he said.

Now, the airport is a general aviation facility, which Tarp said typically means any airport that doesn’t serve military or commercial airline flights.

As aviation use in the country grew, the airport added passenger service, which lasted up until the 1970s, Tharp said. The airport mostly serves flights such as business charters, medical transports and crop-dusting planes.

Aircraft, a Cessna Citation (left) and a Cessna 182, occupy the newest hanger built at the Iowa City Municipal Airport in Iowa City on January 19, 2018. The airport is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The airport is home to 92 different aircraft as well as the University of Iowa’s Operator Performance Laboratory for aviation research.

“Even if you can’t see the whole aspects of aviation, there are so many ways aviation touches a community,” Tharp said. “We’re ... still serving a pretty healthy general aviation community.”

As part of the 100-year anniversary celebration, airport staff are planning events for June 8-10. While the exact details are still yet to be determined, Tharp said he wanted activities that touch on the different eras in aviation history, as well as features that explain what the future of aviation could be during the next 100 years.

“One hundred years, we obviously want to mark that. It’s not only important to the airport, we think it’s a pretty important event to the community,” Tharp said.

Tharp said he hopes the events help to get the next generation interested in aviation. He said the already-existing Young Eagles program to give children free plane rides every year already helps do that.

Tharp said that airport staff also hope to upgrade the public viewing area of the airport to a more parklike atmosphere to make it a destination for activities such as family picnics.

“That’s the whole purpose, is get them at least exposed to aviation, talk a little bit about what aviation can do, how they can get more involved,” Tharp said. “It’s one of those things where if you’re not directly involved in it, sometimes it’s hard to see the benefits.”

Story and slideshow ➤

Air Tractor AT502, N301LA, registered to and operated by Pioneer Flying Service Inc: Fatal accident occurred April 18, 2016 in Kilbourne, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana

Danny Morgan
October 9, 1967 - April 18, 2016 
Danny Morgan was an Ag Pilot and had been for 16 years.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Air Tractor, Inc; Olney, Texas
Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp.;  Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Pioneer Flying Service Inc:

Location: Kilbourne, LA
Accident Number: CEN16LA154
Date & Time: 04/18/2016, 0910 CDT
Registration: N301LA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event:  Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On April 18, 2016, about 0910 central daylight time, an Air Tractor Inc AT-502 airplane, N301LA, impacted terrain during spray operations near Kilbourne, Louisiana. The pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by Pioneer Flying Service, Inc., under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed a private airport about 0900. 

According to operator personnel, the pilot was conducting his second load of spray operations for the day to the same farm area, which was about ¼ mile north of the accident site. A witness near the accident noticed the airplane enter a rapid descent while in a turn until it impacted the ground. A post-crash fire ensued.

The farmer whose field was being sprayed stated the pilot was "dressing up" a field, which had a tight area shaped like a bull nose, with trees at the end. The farmer did not witness the accident. He remarked the pilot was able to spray tight areas of fields that other pilots elected not to spray. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification:  Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/01/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/15/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 13261 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2463 hours (Total, this make and model), 13261 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

The pilot, age 48, held a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot held a second-class medical certificate issued on June 1, 2015, with the restriction that he must wear corrective lenses for near vision. The date of his last flight review was March 15, 2016. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: AIR TRACTOR INC
Registration: N301LA
Model/Series: AT 502
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1989
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 502-0037
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/17/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 9400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 9585 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt and Whitney
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-34G
Registered Owner: Pioneer Flying Service
Rated Power: 750 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code:  JQBG 

The single-engine low-wing conventional-geared airplane was equipped with a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-34AG turbo-prop engine. According to the operator, the last annual inspection was performed on February 17, 2016. The airframe total time was 9,585 hours and the engine total time was 7,022 hours, with 445 hours since the last hot section inspection. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBQP, 167 ft msl
Observation Time: 0915 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 243°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 15°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 80°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pioneer, LA (PRI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pioneer, LA (PRI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

At 0915, the weather observation station at Morehouse Memorial Airport (BQP), Bastrop, Louisiana, located about 32 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 080 degrees at 4 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 19°C, dew point 15°C, altimeter setting 30.24 inches of mercury. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.999722, -91.315000 

The airplane impacted a soft open field. Other than a set of electrical lines, no obstacles were in the immediate area of the wreckage. The wreckage had no signs of an in-flight impact with wires, trees, or other obstacles. The wooded area toward the sprayed field was searched for broken branches or other signs of tree impact, with none observed. 

The wreckage was confined to the immediate vicinity of the impact site. The impact crater contained pieces of engine cowling, windshield plexiglass, and the hopper top and lid. The engine penetrated about 3 ft deep into the soft soil. Radiating from the crater were impressions in the soil, consistent with impact marks from the leading edge of both wings. The wings were located about 10 feet away from these impressions. Both wings were crushed aft, with the left wing receiving more damage than the right wing. The aft fuselage and rudder showed signs of momentum toward the left side of the airplane. The ground impact markings and wreckage were consistent with a steep, nose down impact at low groundspeed. The fuselage was mostly destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire.

All control surfaces were located and identified, except for the vertical stabilizer. The only piece of the vertical stabilizer that was located was a short piece of the stabilizer rear spar that remained attached to the lower portion of the rudder. The lower hinge point of the rudder was found fully intact with minimal damage. The end of the wire deflector cable that was attached to the top of the stabilizer was found underneath the cockpit wreckage. Multiple pieces of fire-damaged aluminum were identified as possible vertical stabilizer components, but none could be confirmed. A witness mark was observed on the top fuselage skin that corresponded to the shape of the vertical stabilizer's leading edge.

The wings flaps were in the full up position. Flight control continuity was confirmed to the extent possible, with several components consumed by the fire or cut by emergency response personnel during the pilot's extrication. The aileron/rudder interconnect system, which is a system of cables that connect the rudder pedals to the aileron controls to assist the pilot with coordinated flight, had been removed from the airplane.

The engine was damaged by the post-crash fire, with the inlet case fractured, causing complete separation of the accessories gearbox from the engine. Rotational signatures were observed throughout the compressor and power turbines and adjacent static components, consistent with the engine rotating under power during impact. There was no evidence of pre-impact anomalies of the engine, airframe, or propeller.

Due to fire damage, data from a GPS unit found in the wreckage could not be downloaded. 

Medical And Pathological Information

During his last FAA medical examination, the pilot reported heterophoria (cross-eyes), previous treatment for a kidney stone, and long-standing hypertension. He also reported using nisoldipine, valsartan, and hydrochlorothiazide, commonly sold with the names Sular and Diovan-HCT. Used to treat his blood pressure, none of these medications are generally considered impairing.

According to the autopsy report from the West Carroll Parish Coroner's Office in Oak Grove, Louisiana, the cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries and the manner of death was accident. The heart weighed 550 grams and was enlarged due to concentric left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). The left wall of the ventricle was reported as 1.8 cm thick; measurements in other areas were not reported. Average for a man with the pilot's weight of 282 pounds is 443 grams with a range of 335-584 grams; average left ventricular wall thickness is about 1.3 cm. LVH is commonly caused by longstanding hypertension. Toxicology performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory identified valsartan in urine and cavity blood. Valsartan is described above.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA154
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Monday, April 18, 2016 in Kilbourne, LA
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 502, registration: N301LA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

On April 18, 2016, about 0910 central daylight time, an Air Tractor Inc. AT-502 airplane, N301LA, was destroyed after impact with terrain near Kilbourne, Louisiana. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Pioneer Flying Service Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial spraying flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The local flight departed a private airport about 0900.

According to operator personnel, the pilot was conducting his second load of spray operations to the same farm area. A witness located near this farm stated she noticed the airplane in a turn and subsequently enter into a rapid descent until impacting the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration inspector responding to the accident site reported the airplane impacted into an open field with a steep nose down attitude.

At 0915, the weather observation station at Morehouse Memorial Airport (BQP), Bastrop, Louisiana, located about 32 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following conditions: wind 080 degrees at 4 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear skies, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 15 degrees C, altimeter setting 30.24 inches of mercury.