Monday, January 22, 2018

Powerplant System / Components Malfunction / Failure: Beech A36 Bonanza, N3600: Accident occurred January 22, 2018 near Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Taylor County, Texas

Maintenance Logbook Entry 1 of 2

Maintenance Logbook Entry 2 of 2

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama 
Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Abilene, TX

Accident Number: CEN18LA084
Date & Time: 01/22/2018, 0845 CST
Registration: N3600A
Aircraft: BEECH A36
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The private pilot was conducting a cross-country, personal flight. He stated that, upon leveling off at cruise altitude, there was a "severe vibration" coming from the engine compartment, followed by a sound of the engine "coming apart." Oil covered the windshield, and the smoke entered the cockpit. The pilot was unable to return to the departure airport because it was beyond gliding distance, so he performed a forced landing on a field with the landing gear and flaps retracted. The pilot sustained serious injuries.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed a large hole in the left crankcase half over the No. 2 cylinder attachment point and a small hole in the right crankcase half over the No. 5 cylinder attachment point. The No. 2 main bearing had shifted in the bearing saddle, which cut off the oil supply to the No. 2 rod cap bearing. Shifting/slipping of the bearing can result from either improper torque application during cylinder replacement or improper grinding of the bearing journal during maintenance.

The engine had been disassembled twice before the accident. An engine logbook entry showed that the No. 2 cylinder had been removed and replaced about 328 hours before the accident. It is likely that maintenance personnel did not conduct proper maintenance on the No. 2 cylinder during reassembly of the engine and that this ultimately led to the catastrophic engine failure due the shifting/slipping of the No. 2 bearing and the subsequent oil starvation and total loss of engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Maintenance personnel improper maintenance of the engine, which resulted in a catastrophic engine failure due the shifting/slipping of the No. 2 bearing and the subsequent oil starvation and total loss of engine power during cruise flight. 


Engine (reciprocating) - Failure (Cause)
Oil - Not specified (Cause)
Scheduled maint checks - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Personnel issues
Repair - Maintenance personnel (Cause)

Factual Information

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 private pilot then performed a forced landing to a field near Abilene, Texas. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the airplane sustained minor damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was operating on a visual flight rules flight plan. Day 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.

The pilot stated that upon level off at cruise altitude, there was a "severe vibration" from the engine compartment followed by a sound of the engine "coming apart." Oil covered the windshield and the smoke entered the cockpit. The pilot stated that he was unable to return to ABI due to its distance from his position and attempted a forced landing to Dyess Air Force Base (AFB), Texas. The pilot was unable to attain Dyess AFB due to the airplane's altitude. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field about one mile southwest of Dyess AFB with the landing gear and flaps retracted.

Post-accident examination revealed the engine was intact with all the accessories attached. A large hole was observed in the left crankcase half over the number two-cylinder attachment point, and a small hole was observed in the right crankcase half over the number five-cylinder attachment point. Cylinders two, four, and six were Continental cylinders and had chrome markings. Cylinders one, three, and five were ECI cylinders.

The number 2 main bearing shifted in the bearing saddle, which cut off the oil supply to the number 2 rod cap bearing. The number 2 connecting rod separated from the connecting rod journal on the crankshaft. The number 2 rod journal on the crankshaft was very dry and partly melted. The number 2 rod cap bearing was melted and most of it was found in the oil sump.

The engine logbook had an entry dated January 23, 2015, at a tachometer time of 4,173 hours, for the removal and replacement of the number two cylinder.

The most recent entry for disassembly of the engine, as part of an annual inspection, was dated February 12, 2016, at a tachometer time of 4,299.6 hours and 1,796.0 hours since overhaul. The entry states, "#4 and #6 cylinders were removed due to exhaust leaks." The mechanic who performed the annual inspection dated February 12, 2016 performed the most recent annual dated February 9, 2017, at a tachometer time of 4,442.7 hours.

The tachometer indication at the time of the accident was 4,501.0 hours. 

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event

Enroute-climb to cruise
Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Off-field or emergency landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/22/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/02/2016
Flight Time:  702 hours (Total, all aircraft), 350 hours (Total, this make and model), 702 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BEECH
Registration: N3600A
Model/Series: A36
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: E-1328
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 58 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4501 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-BA
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 285 hp
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
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: CST
Direction from Accident Site: 225°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 5°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Abilene, TX (ABI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Abilene, TX (DYS)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0835 CST
Type of Airspace: Class C 

Airport Information

Airport: Dyess Air Force Base (DYS)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1790 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

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: 32.448611, -99.733056 (est) 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 ➤