Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hughes 369D, registered to McCall Helicopters Inc and operated by Kiwi Air doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters, Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight, N369TH: Fatal accident occurred January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Garfield County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington
MD Helicopters; Mesa, Arizona
Rolls-Royce Corporation; Indianapolis, Indiana 

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


http://registry.faa.gov/N369TH 


Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of tail rotor effectiveness
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific Standard time, a Hughes 369D helicopter, N369TH, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one crewmember were seriously injured, and the second crewmember was fatally injured. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and was being operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the wildlife capture flight that originated from a nearby staging area.

The purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking. The operator reported that a wildlife capture flight requires three crewmembers: a pilot, a "mugger," and a "gunner." The pilot sits in the front left seat and flies the helicopter, the gunner sits in the left rear seat and shoots nets out of a net gun in order to capture the deer, and the mugger sits in the front right seat and exits the helicopter to handle the tagging and release of the deer. The guns usually have an empty cartridge inside; live ammunition is only put into the cartridge when the crew is in pursuit of a deer. The pilot always indicates when it is safe for the gunner to shoot. On the day of the accident, the mugger was training as a gunner; therefore, the helicopter was equipped with two net guns rather than the typical one.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that, after the helicopter was flying for about 2 hours, he met it during its refueling stop, when the crew dropped off samples from previously captured deer and took on additional collars. During the stop, the pilot mentioned that it was quite windy.

Data retrieved from an onboard Garmin 496 GPS unit indicated that, after refueling, the helicopter proceeded generally southwest then turned west. The helicopter flew south of the ravine, turned northeast through the ravine, then reversed its course southwest before the flight track ended in the vicinity of the accident site.

The pilot did not recall the accident flight. The gunner only recalled portions of the flight. He remembered that it was windy that day; however, the nets were still opening. He recalled the pilot hovering, which was challenging due to the wind. He also remembered catching between 5 and 7 deer, and he vaguely remembered the mugger working on a deer after the refueling stop. He reported that the mugger had gunned in the past, but he did not recall him gunning on the accident flight. He also remembered the helicopter spinning shortly before impact.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 33, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/12/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  8000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6000 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot had about 8 years of experience flying wildlife capture flights and had owned Kiwi Air for about three years at the time of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted; Normal
Serial Number: 1000830D
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/17/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 45 Hours
Engines:  Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 11793 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20B
Registered Owner: MCCALL HELICOPTERS LLC
Rated Power: 420 hp
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent maintenance on the helicopter was a 100-hour inspection of the airframe and a 150-hour inspection of the engine, which occurred on January 17, 2018, at an airframe total time of 11,793 hours and an engine total time of 4,760 hours.

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Direction from Accident Site: 71°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 23 knots / 35 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 250°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Gould City, WA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1515 PST
Type of Airspace:

The station models surrounding the accident site depicted west-southwest winds of 25 knots with higher gusts, scattered clouds, temperatures around 40°F, and dew points around 30°F. At the time of the accident, nearby airports were reporting wind gusts between 23 and 35 knots. A High Resolution Rapid Refresh model over the accident site identified strong low-level winds with a wind maximum at 1,000 ft above the surface from 230° at 48 knots. Inflight weather advisories current for the region at the time of the accident included an AIRMET Tango for low-level wind shear and turbulence due to strong winds.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  46.605000, -117.669722 

The accident site was located in a small northeast-to-southwest-oriented ravine about 6 miles west of the refueling location. The helicopter came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with its nose oriented on a northeast heading. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks along the lower portion of the western ravine wall consistent with the helicopter's two skids; the right skid was fracture-separated in this area. The cabin was mostly intact, although the right side and floor sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture-separated and were found near the main wreckage; the blade tips were scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture-separated about 2 1/2 ft forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. Continuing further north at the bottom of the ravine was a net that was mostly closed, with one weight extended farther than the others. This weight exhibited damage inconsistent with the other weights and was missing its rubber ring. A second, half-opened net was located about 6 ft north of the first net and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 ft farther north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 ft up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

During a postaccident examination of the engine, a borescope examination of the gas generator turbine revealed no evidence of operational damage, thermal discoloration, or damage consistent with abnormal combustion. Metal splatter was observed on the first stage turbine nozzle shield. Examination of the compressor revealed damage consistent with foreign debris; however, the compressor moved freely when rotated by hand. Control continuity could not be established from the cockpit to the engine due to deformation of the fuselage and cabin area. All pneumatic engine control lines were intact and the fittings were secure.

The helicopter's forward fuselage exhibited substantial impact damage, with the right side crushed inward. The lower fuselage exhibited upward and inward crushing on the right side; the canted frame and lower bulkhead behind the front seats were bent and distorted. Control continuity could not be established from the cyclic, collective, and anti-torque pedal controls due to broken and seized flight controls and control tube assemblies. The main rotor hub exhibited multiple fractures and deformation, as did the pitch housing assemblies, swashplates, strap packs, main rotor dampers, and main rotor blades. Continuity was established from the engine through the main drive shaft to the main transmission. From the main transmission, continuity was established up to the main rotor hub and back to a fracture in the tail rotor drive shaft. The main drive shaft was rotated by hand, but rotation was limited due to the damage of the main rotor hub. The tail rotor drive shaft was fracture-separated into three pieces and exhibited extensive rotational scoring, particularly toward the aft end of the drive shaft.

The empennage was fracture separated but was mostly intact. Light-colored diagonal marks were observed on the side of the tailboom immediately adjacent to the tail rotor. The tail rotor assembly and transmission were mostly intact and fracture-separated from the end of the tailboom. The four bolts that connect the tail rotor transmission to the tailboom sustained damage; two of the bolts were sheared, one was missing, and one was bent downward. The tail rotor transmission rotated freely when manipulated by hand. The tail rotor stop and tail rotor hub exhibited contact marks and dents consistent with excessive tail rotor blade flapping. The tail rotor blades remained attached at the hub. One blade appeared undamaged, and the second blade sustained damage to the outboard two inches. One side of the tail rotor skin was fracture-separated, and the remaining section of the blade was dented, bent, and curled. The blade tip weight and endcap were fracture-separated and not located.

Tailboom fragments and tail rotor skin components were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for further examination. The leading edge of the tail rotor blade exhibited a dent with gouge marks. The gouge marks displayed evidence of metal transfer (iron, nickel, chromium) consistent with stainless steel material similar to that of the net weight. In addition, the round surface of the net weight exhibited metal transfer consistent with contact with aluminum.



Benjamin M. Poirier of Berthoud died January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Washington in a helicopter accident. He was working under contract with the Washington State Division of Wildlife capturing and collaring mule deer. Benjamin was born on March 14, 1998 in Thornton, Colorado.

Benjamin M. Poirier of Berthoud died January 27, 2018 in Pomeroy, Washington in a helicopter accident. He was working under contract with the Washington State Division of Wildlife capturing and collaring mule deer. Benjamin was born on March 14, 1998 in Thornton, Colorado. He attended Berthoud schools where he was a multisport athlete. One of his proudest moments was receiving the Derek Good Scholarship Award for his dedication in the sport of football. Upon graduating high school he moved to Laramie, Wyoming where he began his studies of Wildlife Biology. Within a year, he was working full time in the field of wildlife conservation. He was an avid outdoorsman. He loved hunting and fishing, but his true passion was working in the wilderness. He took pride in his job that allowed him to protect wild animal species and their habitats. During his free time, you could find him ripping on his KTM near Walden, Colorado or dancing amongst his many friends. Benjamin is survived by his father, Dennis; his momma, Deborah; his Significant Otter (sister), Polly; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The celebration of life will be Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 2:00 at Grace Place Church, 375 Meadowlark Drive in Berthoud, CO. In lieu of cards and flowers, please bring a printed photograph of Benjamin, with the story that belongs to that moment, to the celebration of life on February 8th.

Location: Pomeroy, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA074
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1534 PST
Registration: N369TH
Aircraft: HUGHES 369D
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

On January 27, 2018, about 1534 Pacific standard time, a Hughes 369D Helicopter, N369TH, impacted terrain under unknown circumstances about 10 miles northwest of Pomeroy, Washington. The commercial pilot and one passenger were seriously injured, and one passenger was fatally injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter was registered to McCall Helicopters Inc, and operated by Kiwi Air, doing business as Hells Canyon Helicopters as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 wildlife capture flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from a nearby staging area about 1515.

A biologist from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that the purpose of the flight was to capture and collar mule deer for tracking purposes. The helicopter originally took off from a helipad in Clarkston, Washington about 1306 and departed the area to the west before proceeding north of highway 12. The helicopter meandered generally along the snake river for about two hours before meeting the biologist to refuel at about 1500. During the refueling stop, the pilot had mentioned that it was quite windy. About 1515, the helicopter departed the area to the west, and the biologist returned to the helicopter's helipad.

The helicopter was later located in a northeast to southwest running ravine about six miles to the west of the refueling location. The main wreckage came to rest on its right side at the bottom of the ravine with the nose of the helicopter facing towards the north. Immediately adjacent to the main wreckage were impact marks, consistent with two skid marks, along the lower portion of the western ravine wall; the right skid was fracture separated in this area. The cabin area was mostly intact although the right side and lower fuselage sustained crush damage. The main rotor head was intact and one main rotor blade was wrapped around it. The four remaining main rotor blades were fracture separated and were found near the main wreckage and with blade tips scattered to the south. The tailboom was fracture separated about 2.5 feet forward of the empennage, and the empennage came to rest just north of the cabin area. The tail rotor assembly and tail rotor transmission were found just north of the main wreckage slightly up the western ravine wall. One tail rotor blade was undamaged, and the second tail rotor blade sustained damage to the blade tip. Continuing further north was a net that was mostly closed at the bottom of the ravine, followed by a second half opened net about six feet north and slightly up the western ravine wall. About 5 feet further north was a piece of tail rotor skin, and about 15 feet north and partially up the eastern ravine wall was a main rotor blade tip cap.

The helicopter was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: HUGHES
Registration: N369TH
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Kiwi Air
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Hells Canyon Helicopters
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PUW, 2555 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 23 knots/ 35 knots, 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Gould City, WA
Destination: Gould City, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 46.605000, -117.669722



POMEROY, WA - The names of those involved in a helicopter crash in Garfield County at about 2:00 p.m. yesterday have been released by the Washington State Patrol. 

Officials say 33-year-old Blake Malo was the pilot; 
30-year-old Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon sat behind Malo;
and according to family, the right front passenger was 19-year-old Benjamin Poirier of Berthoud, Colorado. 

NOTE: Washington State Patrol had a different name/age for right front passenger.

Poirier died at the scene of the crash.  Malo is now listed in critical condition and Bradshaw is listed in fair condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.  They had been airlifted from the crash site in Ping Gulch north of Pomeroy.

The helicopter was considered a "biology crew" for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  The agency had announced in December that it would be conducting surveys of mule deer populations and using nets fired from a helicopter to capture some of them.

PREVIOUS STORY: 

The investigation into the cause of a fatal helicopter crash in Garfield County yesterday could take up to two years to complete.  Officials say one person was killed and two others were airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center after the crash, which happened at around 2:00 p.m. north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

The 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (also known as Hells Canyon Helicopters), was reportedly piloted by Blake Malo.  He was listed in serious condition.  Names of the other individuals have not been released.

According to reports, the helicopter was being used to conduct big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The National Transportation Safety Board has assigned an investigator to the crash and they will conduct an in-depth investigation.  Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson says the investigator will work with others in determining the cause of the crash.

"Usually with the manufacturer of the aircraft, sometimes the engine manufacturer, and as always, the FAA will be there with us," Knudson says.

The investigator will initially document any "perishable" evidence. 

"[We will] be gathering information like air traffic control, information about the weather - what the weather situation was is something we always want to look at; and communication, radar - anything that's sort of perishable - we want to lock that down and get that documented," Knudson says.

Knudson says the investigator will also talk to witnesses, and to surviving members of the crash if they are available.

"Obviously they need to recover sufficiently to be able to speak to investigators, so we're going to wait till they're ready to speak to us.  But we certainly want to talk to those who survived the accident," Knudson says.

Knudson says the helicopter itself will also be part of the investigation.

"There's examination of particular components of the aircraft; if there's indication of a pre-accident failure that played a role in the accident," according to Knudson.

Once all of the information is collected, the NTSB investigator will write up a preliminary report.

"[It] lays out the facts and circumstances of the accident at this early stage in the investigation," Knudson says.  "Once that's approved, that'll be published on the NTSB website."

Knudson adds that it will be the first official document that comes out of the investigation.

"It is not analytical, it won't point to a cause or won't do any sort of analysis," Knudson says.  "That will come at the very end of the investigation."

Knudson says the complete investigation will take anywhere from 12 to 24 months to complete.

The NTSB has confirmed that this is the helicopter involved in the crash: http://registry.faa.gov/N369TH

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com





POMEROY, Wash. - According to the Garfield County Sheriff's office, a helicopter crashed between Meadow Creek road and Lower Deadman road around 2:00 p.m. Saturday with three people on board.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Chris Thorson tells KXLY the 369D helicopter, operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston, was carrying a biology team, reportedly conducting big game surveys for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to WSP, one of the passengers died at the scene. There have been conflicting reports of that person's identity, KXLY is working to confirm the name and age of the person who passed away. 

The pilot, Blake Malo of Clarkston, and the other passenger, Garrett Bradshaw of Eagle Point, Oregon, were airlifted to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

It's not known what caused the helicopter to go down.

The Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation into the crash, which could take up to two years to complete. 

Story and video   https://www.kxly.com



POMEROY, WA - UPDATE: Pilot Blake Malo is listed in serious condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. There is no information available at this time regarding the other individual who was airlifted to Lewiston.

UPDATE: One person was killed and two other airlifted to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center following a helicopter crash at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.  The helicopter, identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a 369D model, was operated by Kiwi Air of Clarkston (aka Hells Canyon Helicopters). It went down north of Garfield County between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

"With the assistance of Fish and Wildlife, Garfield County Fire District #1, WSP, and Lifeflight, they assisted with the crash," according to an updated press release.

As of 9:00 p.m., the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board took command of the incident.

No names will be released at this time due to the next of kin being notified.

Federal Aviation Administration's Allen Kenitzer confirms that a Hughes 369D aircraft crashed due to unknown circumstances approximately 30 miles west of Clarkston.

"Local authorities say that three people were onboard the aircraft," Kenitzer says.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office says there was a helicopter crash at about 2:00 this afternoon.  It reportedly happened between Mavyiew City Road and Breakdown Road. The incident has been turned over to the Washington State Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board. There are no further details at this time, the Sheriff's Office says in a press release.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://lcvalley.dailyfly.com

POMEROY, Wash. -  The Garfield County Sheriff's Office confirmed early Sunday that a person was dead following a helicopter crash Saturday afternoon.

The sheriff's office reports the Kiwi Air of Clarkston helicopter went down around 2 p.m. north of Garfield County, between Meadow Creek Road and Lower Deadman Road.

Fish and Wildlife officials, firefighters, Washington State Patrol and Lifeflight responded to the scene to assist with the crash. One person was dead at the scene, and two others taken by Lifeflight helicopter to St. Joe's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Their conditions are not known as of Sunday morning.

Washington State Patrol, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board took over the investigation of the crash Saturday night. Names of the people involved have not been released.

The investigation continues.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://www.khq.com 

Officials have yet to positively identify the man who died when a Clarkston-based helicopter crashed in Garfield County Saturday afternoon while working on a mule deer study for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Garfield County Prosecutor Matt Newberg, who is also the county coroner, said the victim didn't have identification on his person. He also hadn't been able to speak with the two other people in the helicopter because they were hospitalized in Lewiston.

Read more here ➤   http://lmtribune.com

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N7905P, N7905P LLC : Incident occurred January 27, 2018 at North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT), Clark County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas

Aircraft on landing experience a gear collapsed.

N7905P LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N7905P

Date: 28-JAN-18
Time: 01:36:00Z
Regis#: N7905P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 24 250
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: LAS VEGAS
State: NEVADA

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KSNV) —   A small plane was involved in an emergency landing Saturday evening at the North Las Vegas Airport.

According to McCarran International Airport, the emergency landing was reported around 5:37 p.m.

The small plane, identified as a Comanche, landed without its landing gear.


The plane landed safely and no injuries were reported.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://news3lv.com

A small aircraft had to make an emergency landing at the North Las Vegas Airport around 5:37 p.m. 

Officials say it didn't have any landing gear.

The plane was able to land safely with no injuries.

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

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) E/A-18G Growler Electronic Warfare Platform: Incident occurred January 27, 2018 on Nellis Air Force Base, Clark County, Nevada

An airman from the Royal Australian Air Force participates in Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Clark County, Nevada, January 26, 2018


An aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force arrives at Nellis Air Force Base for Red Flag exercises, Clark County, Nevada, January 26, 2018 



ST. GEORGE — A military aircraft burst into flames Saturday morning at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada following an incident during takeoff.

Emergency personnel responded to the incident at 10:45 a.m. PST on the Nellis Air Force Base flight line.

A Royal Australian Air Force E/A-18G Growler Electronic Warfare Platform experienced a critical engine failure upon takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base, according to a Twitter post by national security analyst firm Strategic Sentinel.

“The aircraft skidded off the runway and the pilot was able to exit the aircraft safely,” the tweet reads. “Both the pilot and ground crew are safe.”

No serious injuries have been reported, according to a news release issued by the base.

Smoke could reportedly be seen billowing from the area of the crash from several miles away. The base is situated just northwest of Las Vegas.

Members of the Royal Australian Air Force are currently at Nellis Air Force Base participating in Red Flag exercises currently underway.

Story and photos ➤ https://www.stgeorgeutah.com

Incident occurred January 27, 2018 in New Jersey

Authorities ended their search for a missing plane after the aircraft was reported to have landed in New Jersey.

Contact with the plane, described as a propeller plane, was lost at about 10:30 a.m., according to police radio reports. 

Authorities were initially converging on the area of Walnut Drive and Sycamore Drive in Lehigh Township.

The Northampton County 911 Center was told the plane had landed in New Jersey.

The Federal Aviation Administration could not immediately be reached for more information.

Original article can be found here ➤  http://www.mcall.com

Low-flying helicopter to measure radiation levels during Super Bowl festivities

If you're headed downtown to partake in Super Bowl festivities over the coming week, you might see a low-flying helicopter circling above you.

It's a good chance that helicopter is measuring "naturally occurring background radiation," a routine test performed by the federal government during large public events, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

A twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter is expected to take measurements around Minneapolis from Monday to February 5, according to the NNSA. It is operated by the Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System in Joint Base Andrews, a Maryland military facility.

The helicopter will fly about 80 miles per hour in a grid pattern 300 feet above ground or higher. The tests will only be done during daylight hours and usually take about three days, according to the administration.

This baseline level of radiation in the city is then used toward security and emergency preparedness measures, according to the NNSA.

The radiation-testing helicopter will be just one of many small planes and copters buzzing the city's skies during Super Bowl week.

Many of them owe their presence to heightened security measures, others to monitoring traffic, yet others for aerial TV coverage and practice flights before the game itself.

Story and comments ➤ http://www.startribune.com

American Airlines, Airbus A330-300: Incident occurred January 27, 2018 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Maricopa County, Arizona



An American Airlines flight headed toward Honolulu returned to Phoenix on Saturday afternoon because of a mechanical issue, officials said.

Flight 692 left Sky Harbor International Airportabout 2 p.m., but the pilot reported a mechanical issue and rerouted the flight back to the airport, Phoenix fire spokesman Capt. Rob McDade said. 

The plane carrying 270 passengers and 10 crew members was nearing California when the plane's maintenance indicator light turned on, said American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody.

Fire crews were staged at the airport's north runway at 3:30 p.m. Online flight-tracking systems showed the plane, an Airbus 330, landed about 3:35. McDade confirmed the plane landed without incident. 

Cody said the flight was canceled and passengers were being rebooked on other flights as of Saturday afternoon. 

No further details about the aircraft were immediately available.

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

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N9673W: Accident occurred January 27, 2018 near Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (KMMK), Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Windsor Locks, Connecticut 

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N9673W

Location: Meriden, CT
Accident Number: ERA18LA071
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1615 EST
Registration: N9673W
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 27, 2018, about 1615 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N9673W, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while approaching Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (MMK), Meriden, Connecticut. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for flight that originated at Oxford County Regional Airport (81B), Oxford, Maine about 1330.

The pilot reported that he performed the preflight inspection at 81B and determined that there were 36 gallons of fuel on board prior to departure. Earlier that day, his passenger flew the airplane from MMK to 81B and reportedly departed MMK with full tanks, or 50 gallons of fuel on board. The airplane was not refueled at 81B. For the flight from 81B to MMK, his flight planning showed that he would land with 6 gallons of fuel on board.

Just prior to passing Worcester, Massachusetts, while on the right tank, the fuel gauge began to "flicker," then the engine "faltered." He intentionally exhausted the right tank fuel supply to maximize his available fuel. He switched to the left tank and the flight continued. Approaching the Hartford, Connecticut area, his passenger suggested that they stop for fuel, but he was confident in his fuel calculations and did not want to pay a higher price for fuel there, so he continued. About 2.5 miles north of MMK, the fuel pressure gauge "faltered" and the engine subsequently lost power. He looked for a place to land and realized that a nearby pond would be the best option. During the forced landing attempt, the airplane collided with a fence and came to a stop on dry land.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane came to rest on an embankment after colliding with a chain link fence. Both wings and the lower, forward fuselage was structurally damaged. The nose gear snapped off during the impact sequence and was found under the airframe. The left and right wing fuel tanks were not compromised. The airplane was moved to a level position and no visible fuel was observed in either fuel tank. During the subsequent recovery of the wreckage, about 1/2 gallon of fuel was recovered from both tanks. No fuel stains were observed on the exterior surfaces of the airframe.

The pilot reported on the NTSB Form 6120.1, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure prior to the accident. In a subsequent correspondence with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that there was a leak at the gascolator found on November 17, 2017. The gascolator gasket had slipped out of place, resulting in the leak. He found the gascolator components to be in good condition and he reassembled the unit. The airplane was then flown at least 10 hours without any observed leaks prior to the accident flight.

On March 26, 2018, the gascolator was removed from the wreckage and examined by a NTSB investigator. The unit was intact, and no evidence of obstructions, leaks or fuel staining was found.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/02/2016
Flight Time:  16650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 16000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9673W
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-23137
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/28/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2575 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MMK, 103 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 30°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Oxford, ME (81B)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Meriden, CT (MMK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Meriden Markham Muni (MMK)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 103 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  41.520000, -72.820000 (est)



A small plane crashed in Meriden, Conn., Saturday afternoon, leaving multiple occupants with non-life-threatening injuries, a Meriden police sergeant said.

Police received a report of the crash near 835 Hanover Road at 4:16 p.m., Fry said.

Tony Gianakos, 75, said he was at the American Legion Post at that address with about a dozen other people when he saw the plane quickly descend from the sky. It clipped the top of a fence surrounding a nearby baseball field before coming to a rest on the ground about 150 feet behind the building, he said.

“The first thing [we did] was to see if someone needs help,” Gianakos said. The Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee was damaged, and a man and a woman were inside, he said.

“The woman was already out of the plane, and [the man] was halfway out of the wing, and we pulled him out,” Gianakos said. “He was banged up a bit, but nothing life-threatening. We called 911 right away.”

Neither person’s injuries appeared life-threatening, he said. The man who piloted the plane was bleeding and his face was “banged up,” and the woman was clutching her leg, he said.

No one on the ground was injured, Gianakos said.

Meriden police and firefighters quickly arrived at the scene, and both of the plane’s occupants were taken away by ambulance, he said.

A Meriden Fire Department dispatcher said no one was immediately available to provide further information.

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





MERIDEN, CT (WFSB -  Police, Fire, and EMS crews are responding to a small plane crash on Hanover Rd in Meriden.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Piper PA-28 aircraft made a crash landing with two people on board behind the American Legions Post 45 building at around 4 p.m. on Saturday.

A bartender at the American Legions told Eyewitness News that she heard the crash and called 911 to report that an older couple was injured. 

Eyewitness News Reporter Jennifer Lee is on scene of the crash. 

Story and video ➤ http://www.wfsb.com




A small plane carrying two people crashed in Connecticut on Saturday afternoon, officials said. 

The conditions of the two passengers aboard the Piper PA-28 aircraft wasn't immediately known. 

The Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee crashed in Meriden around 4 p.m., according to Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Photos from the scene show the aircraft in a park near Hanover Pond off Hanover Road. The plane doesn't appear to be seriously damaged. 

Bergen said the FAA will release the aircraft registration after local authorities release the names and conditions of the two people on board. 

The FAA is investigating and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the accident, Bergen said. 

Story and video ➤ https://www.nbcnewyork.com

Vans RV-10, N9738J, regisiered to Gemini Professionals LLC: Accident occurred December 07, 2017 near Limon Municipal Airport (KLIC), Lincoln County, Colorado

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 


Gemini Professionals LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N9738J




Location: Limon, CO

Accident Number: GAA18CA075
Date & Time: 12/07/2017, 1950 MST
Registration: N9738J
Aircraft: JONES KENT C VANS RV-10
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The pilot reported that, during a night approach, the runway precision approach path indicator lights indicated that the airplane was on a proper glidepath. Shortly after, the airplane encountered a "strong gust of wind" and "lost significant altitude." He added engine power and raised the airplane's nose to intercept the glidepath. A few seconds later, he felt a slight bump and heard a scraping noise to his right. He looked to the right, and when he returned his focus to the approaching runway, he noticed that the airport lights were no longer lit, and the airport was in "complete darkness." He added that he "couldn't really see anything and wasn't sure exactly where the runway was, [but he] knew [he] was going to have a hard landing." He then pulled the power back, moved the mixture to idle cut off, and turned the fuel selector off. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard off the runway, bounced, slid sideways, struck a tree, and then came to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and empennage.

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

Following the accident, it was discovered that, during the approach, the airplane struck a power line that supplied the airport power.

The automated weather observation system at the accident airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 330° at 6 knots. The pilot was on a visual approach for runway 34.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector assigned to the accident, the power line was estimated to be 75 ft above the ground and 1/2 mile from the runway threshold. The power line crossed perpendicular to the runway.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 
The pilot's unstabilized approach and failure to go around at night, which resulted in the airplane impacting a power line and a subsequent hard landing.

Findings

Aircraft
Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on operation (Cause)
Gusts - Effect on operation
Dark - Effect on personnel
Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach
Other weather encounter
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Landing
Hard landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 45, Male 
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/01/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/23/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 355 hours (Total, all aircraft), 259.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 315 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 109.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 28.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: JONES KENT C
Registration: N9738J
Model/Series: VANS RV-10 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 40296
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/05/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 925 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-X
Registered Owner: GEMINI PROFESSIONALS LLC
Rated Power: 290 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLIC, 5374 ft msl
Observation Time: 0255 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -3°C / -12°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: OLATHE, KS (OJC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Limon, CO (LIC)
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1745 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: LIMON MUNI (LIC)
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 5374 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4700 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Precautionary Landing; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  39.275000, -103.665833 (est)