Monday, February 05, 2018

Idaho Transportation Department budget for next year includes replacing an aging state airplane

Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness makes his budget presentation to lawmakers on Monday, February 5, 2018.



The budget request for the Idaho Transportation Department for next year includes a request to replace one of the airplanes in the state’s three-plane fleet, a 45-year-old Cessna 182, “replacing an aging 45-year-old single prop airplane with a modern aircraft that will be safer for our customers,” ITD Director Brian Ness told the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning. “Triple prop planes have a much better safety rating” and are better suited for use in emergencies such as search and rescue, he said.

ITD’s current fleet includes a King Air, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 182. The King Air, which can carry 10 passengers, can be flown in all types of weather, and can reach most places in Idaho within an hour, is used the most. The Cessna 206 was purchased in 1978, can carry five passengers and is capable of carrying oversized cargo. The Cessna 182, which was purchased in 1972, can carry three passengers.

More than 40 state agencies use the state planes, ITD reports, including for emergency transportation for the Idaho State Police and the state Department of Correction; for search and rescue; for emergency transport of hazardous materials; and for non-emergency transportation of state employees.

Ness requested that the $2 million for the purchase of the plane come from the Aeronautics Fund, which comes from aviation fuel taxes, aircraft licensing fees, fines and penalties. Gov. Butch Otter recommended a $1.475 million transfer from the state general fund to the Aeronautics Fund next year, with the fund then making transfers back to the general fund annually until the transfer is fully repaid. Because of that “gymnastics,” Ness said, the budget request appears to show a total of $3.475 million, but only $2 million is being requested to buy the new plane.

JFAC members had few questions about the plane replacement during this morning’s budget hearing, though Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, asked a legislative budget analyst to explain the transfer mechanism.

Read more here ➤ http://www.spokesman.com

Sonex Trainer, N543SX: Fatal accident occurred February 05, 2018 near Carrabelle-Thompson Airport (X13), Franklin 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; Tampa, Florida

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

Gregory W. Newman: http://registry.faa.gov/N543SX 

Location: Carrabelle, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA083
Date & Time: 02/05/2018, 1125 EST
Registration: N543SX
Aircraft: GREGORY NEWMAN SONEX TRAINER
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 5, 2018, at 1125 eastern standard time, an experimental, amateur-built Sonex Trainer airplane, N543SX, sustained substantial damage when it collided with terrain after a loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff from the Carrabelle-Thompson Airport (X13), Carrabelle, Florida. The private pilot, who was also the owner/builder of the airplane was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed near the airport at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the flight that was being conducted as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident with intentions to stay in the local area.

A witness stated the pilot had been having some mechanical issues with the engine and the purpose of the flight was to test the engine. On the morning of the accident, the witness heard the pilot start the airplane's engine and taxi to runway 5. Everything sounded normal. The airplane then departed. When it was about halfway down the 4,000-foot-long runway, he heard the engine lose power. There was no sputter or sound of a rough running engine, the rpm just decelerated. The witness looked up and saw the airplane about 100 ft above the runway. The pilot then made an "aggressive bank" to the left and the airplane stalled and descended straight down toward the ground. The witness did not see the impact.

The airplane came to rest upright in a nose down attitude in heavily wooded and swampy terrain about 250-yards north of the airport. There was no postimpact fire.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His last Federal Aviation Administration third-class medical was issued on May 3, 2016. At that time, he reported 571 total flight hours.

Weather at Apalachicola Regional Airport-Cleve Randolph Field, Apalachicola, Florida, located about 18 miles west of the accident site, at 1053, was reported as wind from 050° at 9 knots, clear skies, temperature 15° C, dew point 8° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.23 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information


Aircraft Manufacturer: GREGORY NEWMAN
Registration: N543SX
Model/Series: SONEX TRAINER NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
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: AAF, 19 ft msl
Observation Time: 1053 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 50°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Carrabelle, FL (X13)
Destination: Carrabelle, FL (X13) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 29.841944, -84.701111 (est)

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


Greg Newman


· Franklin County Sheriff's Office  - A.J. "Tony" Smith, Sheriff 


Tremendous effort this morning by the Carrabelle Police Department, FCSO and the EMS in response to a small aircraft crash. The victim went down in the woods near the Carrabelle airport. Thank you to all who rushed out to search for the plane. Help came to the victim quickly and wouldn’t have been possible without such a rapid effort. Please keep this man in your thoughts and prayers.


Special thank you to Mark Nobles for taking his personal plane out to search from the sky. Teamwork!





FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - A man died in the hospital after his plane crashed in Franklin County on Monday morning. 

Greg Newman, 68, was airlifted to a hospital. His small plane went down in woods near the Carabelle airport, deputies said. 

"The Carrabelle Aviation Advisory Board lost their dear comrade this evening," Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz said in a Facebook post. "The loss is a tragedy to our community. We are all heartbroken. ... Deepest sympathy to Greg’s beloved wife, Laurel."

The Carrabelle Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and EMS responded to the crash.

Story, video and photos ➤ http://www.wtxl.com



A 68-year-old Carrabelle man was injured Monday morning, after the small plane he was piloting went down in the woods near the Carrabelle Airport.

Greg Newman was unconscious inside of his Sonex two-seater aircraft when Carrabelle Office Brice Carlson and Sheriff’s Deputy Wade Blevins found him in Tate’s Hell State Forest about 250 yards from the runway, said Amber Jochim, Carrabelle’s assistant police chief.

She said a Weems ambulance responded to the call, and that Newman was flown by helicopter to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

Carlson and Blevins responded to the call about 11:25 a.m, Jochim said.

“People in the hangar said they saw the plane having engine troubles and it went down near the northeast end of the runway,” Jochim said.

Private pilot Mark Nobles flew overhead and helped identify where officers needed to go,” she said.

The officers trekked into the woods, and then carried him about 250 yards on a spinal board back to the airport.

Tim Sullivan, chairman of Carrabelle aviation advisory board, said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and will investigate the crash.

Story and photos ➤  http://www.apalachtimes.com

· Carrabelle Police Department

At approximately 11:25 am on February 5th, 2018, Officer Brice Carlson assisted by Deputy Wade Blevins, FCSO responded to a report of a plane crash at Carrabelle Airport off Airport Road.


Upon arrival Ofc. Carlson learned from witnesses that a single passenger plane was observed having engine trouble and going down approximately 200 yards off the northeast end of the runway. 


With air assistance from pilot Mark Nobles, Carlson and Blevins located the wreckage in the wooded area of Tate's Hell Swamp.


The pilot, Gregory Newman of Carrabelle suffered unknown injuries and was unconscious when located. 


CPD, FCSO and Franklin Co. EMS were able to get Newman on a backboard and carry him 200 yards back out of the woods. 


Newman was life-flighted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.  His condition is unknown at this time.

Helio H-295-1200 Super Courier, N5072K, Univest Aviation LLC: Incident occurred February 03, 2018 in Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

Aircraft nose gear collapsed on landing.

Univest Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N5072K

Date: 03-FEB-18
Time: 20:50:00Z
Regis#: N5072K
Aircraft Make: HELIO
Aircraft Model: H 295
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SCOTTSDALE
State: ARIZONA

Cessna T210N Turbo Centurion, N828RJ: Incident occurred February 04, 2018 at San Diego International Airport (KSAN), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego

Aircraft landed gear up.

http://registry.faa.gov/N828RJ

Date: 04-FEB-18
Time: 04:23:00Z
Regis#: N828RJ
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: T210N
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: SAN DIEGO
State: CALIFORNIA

Southwest Airlines, Boeing 737-700, N7726A: Incident occurred February 04, 2018 at Sacramento International Airport (KSMF), California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento

Flight 1987:  Reported a bird strike on takeoff. Returned to airport and landed without further incident.

Southwest Airlines Company: http://registry.faa.gov/N7726A

Date: 05-FEB-18
Time: 03:30:00Z
Regis#: N7726A
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Flight Number: 1987
City: SACRAMENTO
State: CALIFORNIA

Piper PA-46-310P Malibu, N46WX, TBBC Aviation LLC: Incidents occurred December 06, 2017 and February 23, 2017 at Wimauma Air Park (FD77), Hillsborough County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

12/06/17:  Aircraft nose gear collapse during takeoff.

TBBC Aviation LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N46WX

Date: 06-DEC-17
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N46WX
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 46 310P
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: WIMAUMA
State: FLORIDA

02/23/17:  Aircraft on takeoff roll, nose gear collapsed.  


Date: 23-FEB-17

Time: 20:20:00Z
Regis#: N46WX
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
City: WIMAUMA
State: FLORIDA

Frontier Airlines, Airbus A320-200, N205FR: Incident occurred February 04, 2018 near Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Flight 1883:  Experienced a battery fire from a laptop in the cabin. Fire contained. Two (2) people treated for minor burns and released.

http://registry.faa.gov/N205FR

Date: 04-FEB-18
Time: 02:39:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: AIRBUS
Aircraft Model: A320
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: FRONTIER AIRLINES
Flight Number: 1883
City: TAMPA
State: FLORIDA

Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow, N3718T: Incident occurred February 04, 2018 at Waterloo Regional Airport (KALO), Black Hawk County, Iowa

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines

http://registry.faa.gov/N3718T


Aircraft struck a bird on approach. Landed without incident.


Date: 04-FEB-18
Time: 22:15:00Z
Regis#: N3718T
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28R 180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
City: WATERLOO
State: IOWA

Cessna T303 Crusader, N303TL: Fatal accident occurred August 17, 2019 in Union Vale, Dutchess County, New York -and- Accident occurred February 04, 2018 at Walter J. Koladza Airport (KGBR), Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kanas

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N303TL

Location: Lagrangeville, NY
Accident Number: ERA19FA249
Date & Time: 08/17/2019, 1613 EDT
Registration: N303TL
Aircraft: Cessna T303
Injuries: 2 Fatal, 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On August 17, 2019, about 1613 eastern daylight time, a Cessna T303, N303TL, was destroyed after impacting a house shortly after takeoff from Sky Acres airport (44N) in Lagrangeville, New York. The private pilot and one person in the house were fatally injured. Two passengers and one person in the house sustained serious injuries, one person in the house sustained minor injuries. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the business flight, which was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed 44N at 1612 and was destined for Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to the passenger seated in the copilot's seat, on the morning of the accident the pilot and two passengers departed FRG and flew to Orange County Airport (MGJ), Montgomery, New York where the pilot had a business meeting. After the meeting, they departed MGM with a final destination of FRG, which included a stop at 44N to purchase fuel. The passenger reported that those flights were uneventful. The pilot fueled the airplane at 44N, where fuel records indicate he purchased 100 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel, which was the only type of fuel available at 44N.

After the fueling, surveillance video at the airport showed several unsuccessful attempts to start the left engine for about 30 seconds. Next, the pilot attempted to start the right engine several times over period of about 30 seconds, and on the last attempt, the engine started. The left engine was then started after about 10 seconds of engine cranking. The airplane remained in position with the engines idling for about 2 minutes before it taxied around to the opposite side of the fuel pump and stopped for about 45 seconds with the engines at or near idle. The airplane then taxied from the fuel pump to the beginning of runway 17 (3,830 x 60 ft) without stopping for an engine run-up and performed a rolling takeoff. The airplane lifted off the runway in the vicinity of the windsock, which is located on the left side of the runway about 2,100 feet from the threshold.

According to the passenger in the copilot's seat, shortly after liftoff at an altitude of less than 50-100 ft, both engines lost partial power. They did not stop completely, they sounded as though they were "not getting full RPM" and they began "studdering", which continued until impact with the house. As the airplane proceeded down the runway, it began to drift toward the left until they were over the grass next to the runway. The pilot corrected the drift and the airplane then tracked straight and remained over the grass. As the airplane continued beyond the end of the runway, it was not climbing, and he noticed obstacles that he described as trees and a structure or building. The pilot pitched the airplane up to clear those obstacles. The airplane then began a left banked turn and as it reached the house the left wing struck the ground and the right wing struck a tree and the house. The airplane had "very little forward motion" after the initial impact. He estimated that the airplane remained below 100 ft of altitude for the entire flight.

The airport manager who was mowing the grass at the airport described the airplane's rotation as "very abrupt" as compared to the other light twin airplanes that he has observed taking off at the airport many times. Immediately after rotation, he noticed the airplane maintained very shallow bank angles, however the nose was "high", and the airplane appeared to yaw slightly to the left. The airplane appeared to correct toward the right before he lost sight of it behind the airport fuel tank; when the airplane emerged from the other side of the tank, the nose was initially lower, but then it pitched up again near the end of the runway before it disappeared behind some trees. The airport manager was wearing ear protection and listening to music and did not hear any engine noise.

The passenger reported that all on board were wearing seatbelts with shoulder harnesses.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that most of the fuselage forward of the aft bulkhead was destroyed by fire. Except for the empennage, most of the wreckage that remained was found within the extents of the right (north) half of the house foundation perimeter. The north half of the house structure and roof was consumed by fire. The empennage remained largely intact and was found with the right horizontal stabilizer leaning against what remained of the rear wall of the house, oriented on a heading of about 030° magnetic. The damaged left wingtip, left engine, right engine, and the right (green) navigation light lens were found oriented along a line from the rear of the house to a bush by the front wall of the house, roughly the length of the wingspan and oriented perpendicular to the empennage. The cabin heater, which is mounted in the nose of the airplane was found about 15 feet away from and in line with the orientation of the empennage.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from what remained of the flight control tubes near the cockpit, to the rudder, the elevator and to the outboard aileron bell cranks in each wing. Neither of the aileron pushrods were found. All cable ends were found at their respective attachment points. The right aileron cable was fractured in one location near the bell crank. The rudder and elevator trim actuators were near their neutral position. The aileron trim condition could not be determined. The remnants of the landing gear were found in the retracted position. The flap jackscrew actuator was consistent with the retracted position. All of the cockpit instruments were consumed by fire and none were located except for one 2-inch diameter dial face that was illegible but consistent with a vacuum gauge. A metal avionics rack was located with ash inside. Several loose metal unidentified toggle switches were found near the cockpit area. Neither of the two electric fuel boost pumps were located. Remnants of both fuel selector valves were found; however both were too thermally damaged to determine their position.

The cockpit engine and propeller controls were located, however the preimpact position of the levers and the cable continuity to each engine could not be determined due to thermal damage.

Several spark plugs, rocker arm assemblies and pushrods were found loose in the wreckage and could not be associated with a specific engine or cylinder.

The left engine was found in an upright position with damage consistent with thermal and impact forces. The crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. All six cylinders remained attached but exhibited impact and thermal damage. Cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 exhibited impact and thermal damage with cooling fins being crushed. Cylinder Nos. 2, 4, and 6 were impact and thermally damaged with the top half of each cylinder melted away. The intake and exhaust rocker arms and shafts were separated from cylinder Nos. 2 and 4. The No. 6 cylinder head separated exposing a thermally destroyed piston dome. Only the piston skirt remained in the cylinder with the piston pin in place.

The left and right magnetos remained attached, but both exhibited thermal damage to the case assemblies. The top sparkplugs removed from cylinder Nos. 2 and 4 were normal in wear when compared to a Champion Sparkplug "Check-A-Plug" chart and slightly dark in color.

The induction components exhibited impact and thermal damage. The throttle body and mixture unit separated and were not located. The fuel manifold was thermally destroyed. The engine-driven fuel pump was thermally damaged, and the drive coupling was stuck in the drive gear resulting in the damaged fuel pump not being removed.

Exhaust components were impact damaged but the turbocharger and associated components remained attached. The compressor side of the turbocharger was thermally destroyed. The turbine section of the turbocharger remained intact. The V-band clamps were intact and in place. The turbine wheel was intact and did not exhibit any abnormal wear or impact damage.

The three-blade constant speed propeller assembly remained attached to the crankshaft propeller flange. A single propeller blade was visible in the debris with the other two blades thermally destroyed. All three propeller shanks remained attached to the thermally damaged propeller hub.

The right engine was found inverted with damage consistent thermal and impact forces. The crankshaft could not be rotated by hand. All cylinder bases remained attached at their respective mounting pad. The cylinder Nos. 1 and 3 rocker covers were partially separated with thermal and impact damage. Rocker arms and shafts were intact on cylinder Nos. 1 and 3. The cylinder No. 5 cylinder head (forward portion) was missing exposing an intact piston. The Nos. 2, 4, and 6 cylinder heads were separated or melted away exposing intact pistons.

The 3-blade constant speed propeller was separated from the crankshaft propeller flange. Three propeller blade inboard shanks were located near the inverted right engine however the blade portions were thermally destroyed. A partial propeller hub was also located nearby with the dome cover and spring intact.

The left magneto was separated from the engine and not recovered. The right magneto remained attached but was impact and thermally damaged. The outer case assembly separated exposing the internal shaft and bearings. The sparkplugs remaining in cylinder Nos. 1, 3, and 5 were removed and examined. When compared to a Champion Sparkplug "Check-A-Plug" chart, bottom sparkplugs 1, and 3 were normal in wear but slightly dark in color. Bottom sparkplug 5 contained debris due to the compromised cylinder head. The top No. 1 sparkplug contained debris consistent with fire retardant foam. The top No. 3 sparkplug was normal in wear but slightly dark in color when compared with a Champion "Check-A-Plug" chart.

The induction components exhibited impact and thermal damage. The throttle body and mixture unit separated and were not located. The engine-driven fuel pump was thermally destroyed. The oil sump was breached and no oil was present. An oil filter was discovered near the engine. This oil filter was cut open and found thermally damaged with no metal particles present.

The exhaust components were impact damaged. The turbocharger and associated components remained attached. The compressor side of the turbocharger was thermally destroyed. The turbine section of the turbocharger remained intact. The V-band clamps were intact and in place. The turbine wheel was intact and did not exhibit any abnormal wear or impact damage.

The twin engine, 6-seat low-wing airplane was manufactured in 1984. It was equipped with two Continental Motors turbo-charged, fuel injected engines which produced 250 horsepower each at 2400 RPM, turning counter-rotating constant speed propellers.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued on November 1, 2017. According to his logbook, he had accrued a total of 1,586 hours of flight experience, of which 845 hours were in multi-engine airplanes, including 358 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

An FAA inspector obtained a fuel sample from the fueling station at 44N. He reported that it was blue in color and no water was present.

At 1653, the weather conditions at Hudson Valley Regional Airport (POU), Poughkeepsie, New York, located about 8 miles southwest of the accident site included temperature 30° C, dewpoint 20° C, wind from 170° at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles with broken clouds at 4,700 and 5,500 ft, altimeter setting 29.93 inches of mercury.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N303TL
Model/Series: T303 No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pegasus Aviation Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPOU, 166 ft msl
Observation Time: 1653 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4700 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Lagrangeville, NY (44N)
Destination: Farmingdale, NY (FRG)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal, 3 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  41.700000, -73.729167

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

Woodmere resident Francisco “Frank” Knipping-Diaz was one of two people who died in the crash of his Cessna T303 Crusader that struck a house in Dutchess County on August 17th. Knipping was considered a prominent Dominican lawyer with the Upper Manhattan law firm of Knipping-Diaz & Associates Inc. He earned his law degree from Touro College in Central Islip and a bachelor’s from Queens College.

Wil Bocker (left) and Gerald Bocker pose for a photo together.

Molly
Molly succumbed to her injures. 


Buow and Charlie
Buow was found safe and Charlie remains missing as of Tuesday.


Gerard Bocker loved his community.

Wil Bocker called his dad "a social butterfly."

Around Union Vale, Gerar would often check in with fellow residents, and would chat with parents at his children's sporting events. 

And, the 61-year-old loved his family, a tight-knit group that remained close even when separated by distance. He was a source of support for his two daughters and his son in their careers, Wil said, and also their hobbies.

"No matter where we went to school, my dad always had a presence," Wil, 24, said. "He had such good conversations with people and that's what we've heard time and again as people have reached out, talking about my dad's personality."

Gerard was killed Saturday when a plane crashed into the Bockers' Union Vale home. The pilot of the plane, identified by police as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, a 61-year-old Woodmere man, was also killed. Hannah Bocker, Gerard's 21-year-old daughter, sustained life-threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation by state police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. None of the organizations responded to Journal inquiries Monday.

Hannah remained in critical condition Monday, Wil told the Journal. The family is hopeful. And his older sister, 30-year-old Sarah Bocker, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, is doing well.

“We’ve regrouped as a family and we are at Westchester Medical Center," Wil said.

Gerard worked for Verizon for more than 30 years and retired from the company about five years ago, Wil said. Since then, he's worked part-time as a town employee. 

"He loved working with people," Wil said. 

A fundraising page was set up on Facebook to support Bocker's family. More than $68,000 was raised by 3 p.m. Monday. Those in the community said the Bocker family were good neighbors.   

A tight-knit family

This week, Hannah's summer internship with the United States Army Corps of Engineers out of Hopewell Junction is ending. She was scheduled to head back to start her junior year at SUNY Buffalo on Aug. 25, Wil said.

"She's an intricate kid," Wil said, describing his younger sister. "She loves puzzles, being out with the puppies, brain games and reading. She reads more than anybody I know. She loves spending time with the family, we are a pretty outdoorsy type family. We love doing yard work and working on the house, stuff like that."

Each year on the first week of December, the Bockers would go Christmas tree shopping. That, Wil said Monday, is his favorite family tradition.

"It was one of the few times I remember growing up that we were all able to do something together," Wil said. "We'd go up to Pleasant Valley and go pick out a Christmas tree together. We'd come home and set it all up and decorate everything."

Wil said he moved to California a year ago this week to pursue a job in the wine business. He said although the separation was obviously difficult, that it brought his family together even closer. 

"It was even stronger after I left because we have that connection," Wil said. "We all love each other very deeply. We were lucky to have the family that we did."

The crash

Just after 4 p.m. Saturday, a Cessna T303 Crusader struck the south side of the Bockers' two-story South Smith Street Road home, and the structure burst into flames. Gerard, Hannah and Sarah were home at the time.

The Bockers have lived in the home for more than 30 years, neighbors said Sunday. Bill and Judy Keating were among several neighbors who said they rushed to the property upon hearing the collision and seeing towering flames.

Bill Keating said he saw six men, who were neighbors in the area, pulling out two men from the house. It took about half an hour before an ambulance would arrive, he said. 

Hannah, he said, had been "blown out the picture window and landed in a small kiddie pool that they had for their dogs.” Men, he said, helped Sarah out of the house. Barrie Bocker, Gerard's wife and the family's mother, arrived at the house after the incident, the Keatings said.

Two passengers on the plane, identified by police as Eduardo Tio, 50 of Woodmere, Nassau County, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, 52 of the Dominican Republic, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The plane headed from Orange County Airport in Montgomery to Sky Acres Airport in LaGrangeville to refuel, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash. From Sky Acres Airport, located less than a mile from the crash, the plane was headed for Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Journal inquiries to Sky Acres Airport were declined on Monday. Republic Airport directed any inquiries to the state Department of Transportation. Calls to Orange County Airport went unanswered.

How to help the family

On Sunday, neighbors and friends helped search for the family's pets, including four cats and three dogs. One dog, Buoy, was found safe. Another, Molly, was found wounded and died.

Wil said his family is extremely grateful for all the donations that have poured in to the family in the wake of the tragedy. 

"Everything that people are doing, the community, we are still looking for one puppy," said Wil, who was searching on Monday for a puppy named Charlie, noting he would expect him to be in surrounding area. "If people can keep an eye out for him, that would be excellent."

He added the money will go toward medical bills and getting the family back on their feet and into a home. Wil said his parents bought their home in 1986, the same year they were married. 

"I want it to be known that we, as a family, are extremely flabbergasted by how generous everyone is being, whether they are contributing money, clothes, their time to help search for the dogs," Bocker said. "Obviously we can use any help we can get at this point and time."

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



















New York State Police Capt. Paul DeQuarto speaks at a news conference Saturday on the Cessna T303 Crusader crash in Dutchess County, New York.

NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Richard L. Mazzone
Troop K Commander

PRESS RELEASE

Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police have tentatively identified those involved in Saturday's plane crash at 235 South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale.

The aircraft pilot was tentatively identified as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, age 61, of Woodmere, NY, who died at scene.  His two passengers were identified as Eduardo Tio, age 50, also of Woodmere, NY, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, age 52, of the Dominican Republic, both of whom sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the crash, the home at 235 South Smith Road was occupied by Gerard Bocker, age 61, who has been tentatively identified pending confirmation at autopsy.  Also present in the home was Hannah Bocker, age 21, who was critically injured, and Sarah Bocker, age 30, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.  

The New York State Police, NTSB, and FAA continue to investigate the cause of the crash. 

Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police investigating the fatal plane crash on South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale on August 17, 2019, confirm there have been two fatalities, and four injured individuals. 

The aircraft pilot and one occupant of the residence were unfortunately found deceased.  Two additional occupants of the aircraft sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.  One resident of the house struck by the aircraft sustained life-threatening injuries, and the third resident present sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

The New York State Police and fire officials will hold a press briefing on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Union Vale Fire House, 3373 Route 82, Verbank, NY,  regarding the place crash that occurred earlier today on South Smtih Road in LaGrange, New York.



Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley, Connecticut

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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N303TL


Location: Great Barrington, MA
Accident Number: GAA18CA134
Date & Time: 02/04/2018, 1655 EST
Registration: N303TL
Aircraft: CESSNA T303
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis


The pilot reported that, while taxiing onto the snow-covered runway for departure, he was unable to see the runway markings. He added that he decided to cancel the flight and return to the ramp, but when the airplane exited the runway, it went down an embankment.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see the taxiway when returning to the ramp from the snow-covered runway, which resulted in the airplane rolling down an embankment.

Findings

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snow/slush/ice covered surface - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/05/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1427 hours (Total, all aircraft), 223 hours (Total, this make and model), 1205 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N303TL
Model/Series: T303 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: T30300286
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/07/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2650 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-AE3B
Registered Owner: PEGASUS AVIATION INC
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operator: PEGASUS AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPSF, 1194 ft msl
Observation Time: 2149 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft agl
Visibility:  
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Snow; Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: FARMINGDALE, NY (FRG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Great Barrington, MA (GBR)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1215 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: WALTER J KOLADZA (GBR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Snow
Airport Elevation: 739 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Snow
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2579 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.184444, -73.406667 (est)



Woodmere resident Francisco “Frank” Knipping-Diaz was one of two people who died in the crash of his Cessna T303 Crusader that struck a house in Dutchess County on August 17th. Knipping was considered a prominent Dominican lawyer with the Upper Manhattan law firm of Knipping-Diaz & Associates Inc. He earned his law degree from Touro College in Central Islip and a bachelor’s from Queens College.

Wil Bocker (left) and Gerald Bocker pose for a photo together.

Molly
Molly succumbed to her injures. 


Buow and Charlie
Buow was found safe and Charlie remains missing as of Tuesday.


Gerard Bocker loved his community.

Wil Bocker called his dad "a social butterfly."

Around Union Vale, Gerar would often check in with fellow residents, and would chat with parents at his children's sporting events. 

And, the 61-year-old loved his family, a tight-knit group that remained close even when separated by distance. He was a source of support for his two daughters and his son in their careers, Wil said, and also their hobbies.

"No matter where we went to school, my dad always had a presence," Wil, 24, said. "He had such good conversations with people and that's what we've heard time and again as people have reached out, talking about my dad's personality."

Gerard was killed Saturday when a plane crashed into the Bockers' Union Vale home. The pilot of the plane, identified by police as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, a 61-year-old Woodmere man, was also killed. Hannah Bocker, Gerard's 21-year-old daughter, sustained life-threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation by state police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. None of the organizations responded to Journal inquiries Monday.

Hannah remained in critical condition Monday, Wil told the Journal. The family is hopeful. And his older sister, 30-year-old Sarah Bocker, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, is doing well.

“We’ve regrouped as a family and we are at Westchester Medical Center," Wil said.

Gerard worked for Verizon for more than 30 years and retired from the company about five years ago, Wil said. Since then, he's worked part-time as a town employee. 

"He loved working with people," Wil said. 

A fundraising page was set up on Facebook to support Bocker's family. More than $68,000 was raised by 3 p.m. Monday. Those in the community said the Bocker family were good neighbors.   

A tight-knit family

This week, Hannah's summer internship with the United States Army Corps of Engineers out of Hopewell Junction is ending. She was scheduled to head back to start her junior year at SUNY Buffalo on Aug. 25, Wil said.

"She's an intricate kid," Wil said, describing his younger sister. "She loves puzzles, being out with the puppies, brain games and reading. She reads more than anybody I know. She loves spending time with the family, we are a pretty outdoorsy type family. We love doing yard work and working on the house, stuff like that."

Each year on the first week of December, the Bockers would go Christmas tree shopping. That, Wil said Monday, is his favorite family tradition.

"It was one of the few times I remember growing up that we were all able to do something together," Wil said. "We'd go up to Pleasant Valley and go pick out a Christmas tree together. We'd come home and set it all up and decorate everything."

Wil said he moved to California a year ago this week to pursue a job in the wine business. He said although the separation was obviously difficult, that it brought his family together even closer. 

"It was even stronger after I left because we have that connection," Wil said. "We all love each other very deeply. We were lucky to have the family that we did."

The crash

Just after 4 p.m. Saturday, a Cessna T303 Crusader struck the south side of the Bockers' two-story South Smith Street Road home, and the structure burst into flames. Gerard, Hannah and Sarah were home at the time.

The Bockers have lived in the home for more than 30 years, neighbors said Sunday. Bill and Judy Keating were among several neighbors who said they rushed to the property upon hearing the collision and seeing towering flames.

Bill Keating said he saw six men, who were neighbors in the area, pulling out two men from the house. It took about half an hour before an ambulance would arrive, he said. 

Hannah, he said, had been "blown out the picture window and landed in a small kiddie pool that they had for their dogs.” Men, he said, helped Sarah out of the house. Barrie Bocker, Gerard's wife and the family's mother, arrived at the house after the incident, the Keatings said.

Two passengers on the plane, identified by police as Eduardo Tio, 50 of Woodmere, Nassau County, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, 52 of the Dominican Republic, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The plane headed from Orange County Airport in Montgomery to Sky Acres Airport in LaGrangeville to refuel, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash. From Sky Acres Airport, located less than a mile from the crash, the plane was headed for Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Journal inquiries to Sky Acres Airport were declined on Monday. Republic Airport directed any inquiries to the state Department of Transportation. Calls to Orange County Airport went unanswered.

How to help the family

On Sunday, neighbors and friends helped search for the family's pets, including four cats and three dogs. One dog, Buoy, was found safe. Another, Molly, was found wounded and died.

Wil said his family is extremely grateful for all the donations that have poured in to the family in the wake of the tragedy. 

"Everything that people are doing, the community, we are still looking for one puppy," said Wil, who was searching on Monday for a puppy named Charlie, noting he would expect him to be in surrounding area. "If people can keep an eye out for him, that would be excellent."

He added the money will go toward medical bills and getting the family back on their feet and into a home. Wil said his parents bought their home in 1986, the same year they were married. 

"I want it to be known that we, as a family, are extremely flabbergasted by how generous everyone is being, whether they are contributing money, clothes, their time to help search for the dogs," Bocker said. "Obviously we can use any help we can get at this point and time."

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



















New York State Police Capt. Paul DeQuarto speaks at a news conference Saturday on the Cessna T303 Crusader crash in Dutchess County, New York.

NEW YORK STATE POLICE
Major Richard L. Mazzone
Troop K Commander

PRESS RELEASE

Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police have tentatively identified those involved in Saturday's plane crash at 235 South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale.

The aircraft pilot was tentatively identified as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, age 61, of Woodmere, NY, who died at scene.  His two passengers were identified as Eduardo Tio, age 50, also of Woodmere, NY, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, age 52, of the Dominican Republic, both of whom sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the crash, the home at 235 South Smith Road was occupied by Gerard Bocker, age 61, who has been tentatively identified pending confirmation at autopsy.  Also present in the home was Hannah Bocker, age 21, who was critically injured, and Sarah Bocker, age 30, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.  

The New York State Police, NTSB, and FAA continue to investigate the cause of the crash. 

Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police investigating the fatal plane crash on South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale on August 17, 2019, confirm there have been two fatalities, and four injured individuals. 

The aircraft pilot and one occupant of the residence were unfortunately found deceased.  Two additional occupants of the aircraft sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.  One resident of the house struck by the aircraft sustained life-threatening injuries, and the third resident present sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

The New York State Police and fire officials will hold a press briefing on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Union Vale Fire House, 3373 Route 82, Verbank, NY,  regarding the place crash that occurred earlier today on South Smtih Road in LaGrange, New York.



Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley, Connecticut

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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N303TL


Location: Great Barrington, MA
Accident Number: GAA18CA134
Date & Time: 02/04/2018, 1655 EST
Registration: N303TL
Aircraft: CESSNA T303
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis


The pilot reported that, while taxiing onto the snow-covered runway for departure, he was unable to see the runway markings. He added that he decided to cancel the flight and return to the ramp, but when the airplane exited the runway, it went down an embankment.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see the taxiway when returning to the ramp from the snow-covered runway, which resulted in the airplane rolling down an embankment.

Findings

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snow/slush/ice covered surface - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/05/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1427 hours (Total, all aircraft), 223 hours (Total, this make and model), 1205 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N303TL
Model/Series: T303 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: T30300286
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/07/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2650 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-AE3B
Registered Owner: PEGASUS AVIATION INC
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operator: PEGASUS AVIATION INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPSF, 1194 ft msl
Observation Time: 2149 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft agl
Visibility:  
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Snow; Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: FARMINGDALE, NY (FRG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Great Barrington, MA (GBR)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1215 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: WALTER J KOLADZA (GBR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Snow
Airport Elevation: 739 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Snow
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2579 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.184444, -73.406667 (est)






GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS — Walter J. Koladza Airport is temporarily closed to all air traffic except in an emergency after a plane overshot the west end of the runway upon takeoff Sunday evening and crashed into a hayfield on a neighbor's land.


It appears there were no injuries; according to the town police incident log, the occupants of the plane refused medical treatment. The number of passengers is still unclear. 


The plane was still sitting upright Monday morning in the ice-encrusted field below the end the 2,600-foot runway, where an investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration was seen climbing out of the twin propeller aircraft. 


He declined comment, citing the investigation.


The airport's business manager, Mark Roggen, told The Eagle he had not yet heard of the incident but was about to call the airport.


At about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police received a call for a "plane crash," and soon fire and rescue trucks were sent to the scene, and the National Transportation Safety Board was contacted, according to the police incident log.


Claudia Shapiro and Daniel Bell own the land beyond the runway, and their home sits about 100 feet from where the plane came to a rest.


Shapiro declined to speak to The Eagle, but gave permission to take photographs from her property.


Holly Hamer, who lives near the airport, is again raising concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration-required "Runway Safety Area" at Koladza. 


"The pilot bailout shouldn't be someone's backyard," she said.


In Massachusetts, only 49 percent of airports meet this Federal Aviation Administration standard, according to a state Department of Transportation report.


The small airport off Route 71 and Seekonk Cross Road has, over the last two years, been the center of zoning and environmental controversies after filing for a permit to build three hangars. 


The runway safety area has been just one of many issues of concern to the airport's neighbors.


Original article and photo ➤ http://www.berkshireeagle.com