Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Flight path from college to United cockpit with Metropolitan State University of Denver partnership



DENVER —United Airlines has partnered with Metropolitan State University of Denver to put students on a clear flight path to the United cockpit.

"It really helps a student see where they’re going and provides motivation to finish out their classes, their studying and all of training," Bill Jones said. The 19-year-old first-year sophomore at MSU Denver first explored the possibility of piloting when he was only 16 years old. 

He's one of many who are excited to get involved in this new Career Path Program (CPP).

"The biggest thing it can get me is a seat at United," Jones said.

The legacy airline will be the first in the U.S. to create a direct path with a university aviation department. This agreement is different from other regional carriers that have offered students pilot recruitment programs in the past.

CPP is aimed at addressing the growing need for new pilots and creating an additional pipeline for well-trained United pilots.

"There has never been a better time to get into aviation than now," Jones added.




An estimated 32,000 pilots are needed each year on a global level just to meet the demands of basic air travel, according to Boeing.

"There are several factors that have fed into that shortage, that go well back towards the 2000s," Kevin Kuhlmann said. He's an MSU Denver professor and the department's associate chairman.

Kuhlmann mentioned the FAA's mandatory retirement extension, from 60 years old to 65, and the agency's expanded certificate requirements that followed.

In the past, Denver7 viewers have pointed to the high cost of pursuing aviation as a deterrent. 

"Deciding to go into this career field is definitely an investment in yourself," Kuhlmann said.

From a student's perspective, Jones said, "Yes, it’s an expensive career to get into, but the payoff in the end is leaps and bounds above any struggle that you’re going to have to put in in the beginning."

Students are looking at a pilot price tag of anywhere between $100,000 and $300,000.

Kuhlmann added, "I think anybody on Wall Street would take a $200,000 investment, with the promise of $6+ million in return, just in salary." 

Salaries that students would see slightly sooner, with the help of CPP. As students will start an integral interview process while still in school.

Through the program, students are given the option to transition from MSU Denver to United after meeting several specific requirements.

“The career path program helps us to operate our fleet efficiently and continue to provide great service to our customers,” Captain Mike McCasky with United Airlines said. “Additionally, it provides talented students like the ones at MSU Denver with the opportunity to join a global airline that is focused on providing the best experience for our customers while being part of a great team.”

Students can apply for consideration into the CPP in the Fall 2018 semester. 

The minimum requirements to be considered for the CPP interview process include: 


At least two semesters in the professional flight officer program.
Commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating.
Maintain full-time status with 3.0 cumulative GPA in aviation courses. 

Story, video and photo gallery:  https://www.thedenverchannel.com

North American AT-6A Texan, N7055D, registered to and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred March 23, 2016 in Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon

Irene Kazuko Mustain


John McKibbin


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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon

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

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

J Simpson McKibbin Company Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N7055D 



Location: Astoria, OR
Accident Number: WPR16FA087
Date & Time: 03/23/2016, 1542 PDT
Registration: N7055D
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN AT 6A
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 23, 2016, about 1542 Pacific daylight time, a North American AT-6A, N7055D, impacted the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. The private pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and location of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, Washington, about 1506.

The passenger was seated in the aft cockpit, and the flight was intended to be for the dispersal of her deceased husband's ashes. According to representatives of the passenger's family, the plan was to disperse the ashes along the Pacific coast near a beach house the passenger owned in Ocean Shores, Washington, and, if the weather along the coast was bad, they were going to drop the ashes over the Columbia River instead. The beach house was about 115 miles northwest of Pearson Field and about 45 miles north of the entrance to the Columbia River channel.

A witness, who was the captain of a cargo ship moored at an anchorage in the river channel about 1 mile northeast of Astoria, was on the ship's bridge at the time of the accident. He observed the airplane flying about 300 ft above sea level, approaching the ship from the starboard quarter traveling on a north-northeast track. He walked outside to watch as it flew directly overhead and across the ship's port beam. It continued on the same track away from the ship, and, a short time later, he saw the left wing dip as the airplane began a left turn. A few seconds later the wings were almost vertical, and the airplane then rapidly transitioned into an aggressive steep vertical dive. The airplane hit the water in a nose-down attitude, and the captain saw a red tail section bob back into view and then sink. The airplane was flying level over the water surface leading up to the turn, and the captain could hear the engine operating throughout the flight.

Another witness, located inside her apartment close to the southern shore of the waterfront in Astoria, was at a north-facing window with a view of the channel. She observed an airplane directly ahead flying over the water and east toward and over moored ships. She was familiar with the helicopter traffic of the Columbia Bar Pilots, and the airplane immediately seemed unusual to her because of its low altitude. It was flying at the same level as the ship's stacks relative to her position at an altitude typically flown by the helicopters. The airplane was flying at a speed she considered to be slower than normal, and it then began a slow and "graceful" turn to what appeared to be the left. She likened the maneuver to the way a large commercial airplane turns, and, as it progressed, she could eventually see the full wing profile. The turn continued, and, before completing 180°, the nose of the airplane aggressively dropped, and the airplane transitioned into an almost vertical dive, passing out of view behind a ship. The airplane was flying straight and level up until the turn that resulted in the accident.

The witnesses reported that the airplane was not trailing smoke or vapor at any time and that the weather included good visibility, with overcast skies above the airplane's altitude. They further stated that it was not raining at the time of the accident, but rain began later that day. Due to the airplane's low altitude and the local terrain features, there were no radar data for the final portions of the flight.

The witnesses guided search and rescue personnel from the Coast Guard and Clatsop County Sheriff's Department to the approximate accident location. No wreckage was observed floating in the water, and weather, fast water currents, and low water visibility hampered the search efforts. Two days later, divers from the Sheriff's Department located the wreckage in 15 ft of water in a 5-mile-wide section of the channel about 1.5 miles from the southern shore. The location was about 2 miles northeast of Astoria and 11 miles east of the river mouth to the Pacific Ocean.




Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/01/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/01/2013
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1282.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 168 hours (Total, this make and model), 6.4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land issued in 1976 and an instrument airplane rating issued on June 16, 2005. He held a third-class medical certificate issued on July 1, 2014, with no limitations. At the time of the application for this medical certificate, he reported 1,140 hours of total flight time, 5 hours of which occurred in the 6 months before the examination.

The pilot's logbook indicated that, since May 2007, he had accumulated about 168 hours of flight experience in the AT-6A airplane (all in the accident airplane). His last entry in the logbook was dated March 19, 2016, and he reported at that time a total flight experience of 1,282.4 hours. His last flight review took place on October 1, 2013. No logbooks with entries before 2007 were recovered.

The pilot had been involved in an airplane accident in August 2004, during takeoff in a Taylorcraft DC-65 airplane (NTSB accident number SEA04LA156). The NTSB determined the cause to be his inadequate compensation for wind conditions and his failure to maintain airspeed, resulting in a stall. The NTSB cited the pilot's failure to use all of the available runway and the high-gusty winds as contributing factors. 


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: NORTH AMERICAN
Registration: N7055D
Model/Series: AT 6A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1942
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 78-7228
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/23/2014, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 8 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3070.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer:  P & W
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: R-1340-AN-1
Registered Owner:  J SIMPSON MCKIBBIN COMPANY INC
Rated Power: 550 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The tailwheel-configured airplane had retractable main landing gear and was powered by a nine-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 radial engine, which drove a two-blade constant-speed propeller.

Maintenance records indicated that a disassembly and restoration of the airplane was completed in 2006, after which it was issued an experimental special airworthiness certificate in the exhibition category. According to the maintenance records, at that time, the airframe had accrued a total time of 2,931 flight hours. The last logbook entry was on May 23, 2014, and was for a condition inspection. The entry indicated a total flight time of 3,070.7 hours. The recording hour meter had fragmented during the accident, preventing an accurate determination of airframe and engine time. However, according to the pilot's logbooks, he had flown the airplane for 8.5 hours since May 24, 2014.

The pilot reported to a friend before departure that he had recently fueled the airplane, and the last entry in the pilot's flight logbook indicated that the airplane had been fueled on the pilot's last flight, 4 days before the accident. According to the manager of Astoria Regional Airport, the airplane did not arrive at or obtain fuel from Astoria on the day of the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KAST, 22 ft msl
Observation Time: 2255 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 224°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2400 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3100 ft agl
Visibility:  4 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:  15 knots/ 24 knots, 180°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration:  Light - Rain
Departure Point: VANCOUVER, WA (VUO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: VANCOUVER, WA (VUO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1506 PDT
Type of Airspace:  Class G 

The closest weather reporting station was located at Astoria Regional Airport, Astoria, Oregon, about 5 miles southwest of the accident location. An automated report issued at 1455 indicated wind from 190° at 13 knots gusting to 24 knots and variable between 160° and 230°; visibility 10 miles; light rain beginning at 1421; scattered clouds at 4,500 ft, broken ceiling at 5,000 ft, and an overcast ceiling at 6,500 ft; temperature 11°C; dew point 7°C; and altimeter 30.20 inches of mercury.

By 1555, the visibility had reduced to 4 miles with light rain, scattered clouds at 2,400 ft, and an overcast ceiling at 3,100 ft.

The closest weather reporting station to the primary intended ash dispersal location was Bowerman Airport, Hoquiam, Washington, about 10 miles east of Ocean Shores. An automated report issued at 1453 indicated wind from 150° at 22 knots gusting to 25 knots; visibility 4 miles; light rain beginning at 1415; mist; scattered clouds at 1,600 ft, broken at 2,200 ft, and overcast ceiling at 3,100 ft.

By 1553, the visibility had reduced to 1 3/4 miles with light rain and mist, broken clouds at 1,300 ft and 1,700 ft, and an overcast ceiling at 2,400 ft.

A video of the airplane departing for the flight was taken by a friend of the pilot. The video revealed light rain and overcast ceilings.

According to a representative from Lockheed Martin Flight Service, the pilot did not request any weather services. Additionally, there was no record of the pilot obtaining a weather briefing from any Direct User Access Terminal (DUAT) providers. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  46.218889, -123.796667 

The underwater debris field was about 150 ft long and 100 ft wide. The wreckage had broken into multiple sections and was recovered by a diving team. The sections included the fuselage, which was still attached to the empennage, the right wing outboard of the main landing gear, the wing center section, and the engine and propeller. Additionally, the fragmented left wing, along with cabin debris and airframe and control surface skins were recovered. (Photo 1, 2).


Photo 1 – Airframe Following Recovery

Photo 2– Wings Following Recovery 


Medical And Pathological Information

According to the autopsy performed by the Clatsop County Medical Examiner's Office, Clackamas, Oregon, the cause of death for the pilot was multiple blunt force injuries, and the manner of death was accident.

Examination of the body for natural disease was limited by the severity of the pilot's injuries. The heart was lacerated, which complicated the evaluation, but severe coronary artery disease was identified. The proximal third of the left anterior descending coronary artery had about 90% occlusion that was described as a pinpoint lumen. Several millimeters of the proximal left circumflex coronary artery also had 90% or greater occlusion. The myocardium was otherwise grossly normal. No weights or other measurements were given, and microscopic evaluation of the myocardium did not identify any myocardial fibrosis or inflammation.

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory identified sertraline, its metabolite desmethylsertraline, and trazodone in urine and cavity blood.

Sertraline is an antidepressant prescription medication commonly marketed with the name Zoloft. It falls within the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors drug class and is not generally considered sedating. Although the use of antidepressant drugs is usually disqualifying for aeromedical certification purposes, FAA guidance indicates that the authorization decision is made on a case-by-case basis, when a pilot is taking one of four potentially allowable antidepressants. These are sertraline (which the pilot was taking), plus fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram (Lexapro), and citalopram (Celexa).

Trazodone is a prescription antidepressant that can be sedating. It comes with this warning: "Trazodone hydrochloride tablets may cause somnolence or sedation and may impair the mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks. Patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that the drug treatment does not affect them adversely." In addition, trazodone can increase the potential for arrhythmias in patients with pre-existing cardiac disease.

Several hundred people gathered at Pearson Field Historic Hangar in a vigil honoring the memory of John McKibbin, who with passenger Irene Mustain died in a plane crash in the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon.


Pilot's FAA Medical Information

The pilot had reported multiple eye conditions and procedures, multiple orthopedic procedures, chronic back pain, and sinus disease to his FAA medical examiner. He reported brief treatment for depression in 2000 but said that it had resolved. At the time of his most recent FAA medical examination, dated July 1, 2014, he reported frequent or severe headaches, hand surgery, and the use of intranasal steroids (fluticasone and beclomethasone) as well as ocular drops of cyclosporine (a treatment for dry eyes). He did not report his use of sertraline and trazodone, and he was issued a third-class medical certificate without limitations.

Review of the pilot's personal, non-FAA medical records revealed that he had presented multiple times to physicians with complaints of fatigue. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2011, which was treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, data downloaded periodically from his CPAP machine indicated that he was never compliant with the FAA frequency and duration usage requirements.

The pilot was diagnosed with major depression in 1999 and was placed on sertraline. The records document remission of his symptoms, and he stopped receiving prescriptions for the drug sometime between 2002 and 2004. However, in 2014, he told one of his personal physicians that he had continued to use sertraline and had been obtaining it from India for many years out of concern about FAA regulations.

After again complaining of fatigue, the pilot was prescribed and used trazodone for sleep from 2013 onwards. In 2014, he was diagnosed and treated for chronic lung disease (Valley Fever), and he had symptoms of post-concussive syndrome due to sports injures for several months in 2014 and 2015, and although these symptoms were later thought to have completely resolved, he had stopped flying, driving, and working during that period. 

Tests And Research

Ash Dispersal Procedures

Friends and fellow pilots gave similar descriptions of the ash dispersal procedures the pilot planned to use, stating that the bag had been used on multiple occasions by other pilots.

One pilot stated that the bag was made of canvas, with a plastic inner liner that was cinched at the top, and tethered to the airframe from within the cabin. The procedures required slowing down the airplane, following which the passenger would throw the bag out of the window. The ashes would then release into the slipstream, and the bag would be pulled back in.

The pilot's daughter flew with him in the airplane to disperse ashes over the water between downtown Seattle and Bainbridge Island in June 2015. She stated that on that occasion she was briefed by her father on the dispersal procedures both before and during the flight. Before takeoff, the ashes were placed in the bag, which she described as being about the size of a paper lunch bag. The bag was cinched closed with a rope, and tied by a longer rope to an interior airframe member on the right side. She sat in the rear seat, facing forward, and, when the time to disperse came, she slid the rear canopy open. The pilot then performed a shallow banking maneuver to the right, and she reached out with her hand holding the bag along the airframe side. She then let go of the bag, the rope unraveled, and the ashes immediately "puffed" and dispersed, and she pulled the bag back in. She reiterated that the airplane banked gently during the maneuver, and the bank never felt exaggerated.

A friend of the passenger stated that he had initially been approached by her to drop the ashes, but he turned her down due to the design of his airplane not being conducive to performing the procedure. Another friend stated that he had been approached by her to drop the ashes and that they had agreed to do it on March 23. However, about 5 days before, he called asking that they reschedule because the weather looked bad. At that time, she stated that she had decided to cancel the drop altogether.



Airframe Examination

Following recovery, the airplane was examined by the NTSB investigator-in-charge and an airframe and powerplant mechanic who specialized in AT-6 aircraft maintenance. A complete examination report is included in the public docket for this investigation, and the following is a summary of pertinent findings.

The forward fuselage sustained crush damage, compressing and fracturing most of the truss and shedding and separating the side skins. Aft of the cabin, the tailcone remained intact and sustained buckling damage to the forward skins. Aft of that damage, the horizontal and vertical stabilizers remained attached, and the left elevator had bent up about 90° midspan.

The airplane was equipped with dual controls, and the rear control stick was detachable. Examination revealed that the rear control stick, which was found separated from the airframe, was undamaged. Its female socket fitting in the airframe control system did not reveal any indications of damage, and the upper tang of its storage dock on the cabin side had detached, consistent with the aft control stick being disconnected and stowed at the time of the accident.

The rear seat was a swiveling "gunners seat" design and was found in the forward-facing position. Its adjustment pedal was forward and locked, and its locking pin was fully engaged with the forward position detent. The rear lap belt clasp was in the latched and closed position; the lap belt remained attached to the seat on both sides and had been cut by the Sheriff's Department divers during recovery of the passenger. The shoulder straps remained attached to the chair frame and were intact, with both belt clasps free, consistent with the shoulder straps not being used at the time of the accident. Neither the cremation bag, nor its attachment rope were located.

The airplane was equipped with two sliding canopies and a fixed center canopy. The forward (pilot) canopy slid aft to allow for forward cockpit access, and the rear (passenger) canopy slid forward for rear cockpit access. A tubular-steel overturn pylon was mounted just behind the pilot's seat and about midspan of the center canopy. The sliding canopies and the forward cockpit had sustained extensive damage, such that the right sides of both canopy frames, the right sliding rails, and all the plexiglass had detached. Examination of the remaining components on the left side revealed that the rear sliding canopy remnants were in the full-forward (open) position, and the front left side of the rear canopy had wrapped around the overturn pylon. The forward sliding canopy remained attached to the left rail, had bent upwards, and was about 2 inches short of the full-forward (closed) position.

The airplane was equipped with a hydraulically operated three-piece split flap. A wing flap was located below the trailing edge of each wing, and a center flap was located below the cabin. Both wing flaps sustained varying degrees of damage to their mounting hardware and actuation rods. The center flap remained attached and flush with the belly of the airframe. The flap actuator piston rods and the actuator control arm were in a position that corresponded to the flaps being retracted.

The vertical stabilizer remained attached at its forward spar. The castellated nut on its mounting bolt was finger tight and had backed out by about 3 threads; no cotter pin was present.

The wing attach points were examined for indications of corrosion-induced failure of the angle attach brackets as described in FAA Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005-12-51. The lower angle bracket had peeled away from the center section and remained attached to the lower wing skin. All separations were observed traversing through the bolt holes, and the entire area was free of indications of corrosion. According to the airframe logbook, AD 2005-12-51 had been complied with in August 2005 with an inspection due again at 3,128.3 flight hours.

The engine did not exhibit any indications of catastrophic internal failure, and cylinders Nos. 1 and 9 had detached from the crankcase in the aft direction. All spark plugs were manufactured by Champion Aerospace and were of the massive electrode type. Their plug electrodes were dark in color and exhibited wear signatures consistent with normal operation and short service life when compared to the Champion AV-27 Check-A-Plug chart.

Additional Information

During the airframe examination, a 10-inch crescent wrench (with an opening set to about 9/16 inch), along with a 9/16-inch wrench, and a 3-inch-long 9/16-inch (head) bolt were found loose on the floor of the tailwheel strut box area, below the horizontal stabilizer main spar attach points. The rudder cables and lower elevator horn passed within the center of the box area. The errant items were well clear of (about 10 inches below) the flight controls, and no bolts were found to be missing in the tail section.



NTSB Identification: WPR16FA087
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 23, 2016 in Astoria, WA
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN AT 6A, registration: N7055D
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 23, 2016, at 1542 Pacific daylight time, a North American AT-6A, N7055D, impacted the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces. The personal flight departed Pearson Field Airport, Vancouver, Washington, at 1506. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and location of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed.

The passenger was seated in the rear of the airplane, and the flight was intended to be for the dispersal of her deceased husband's ashes.

A witness, who was the Captain of a cargo ship moored at an anchorage in the river channel, about 1 mile northeast of Astoria, was on the ship's bridge at the time of the accident. He observed the airplane flying about 300 ft above sea level, approach the ship from the starboard quarter traveling on a north-northeast track. He walked outside to watch as it flew directly overhead and across the port beam. It continued on the same track away from the ship, and a short time later he saw the left wing dip, as the airplane began a left turn. A few seconds later the wings were almost vertical, and the airplane then rapidly transitioned into an aggressive steep vertical dive. The airplane then hit the water in a nose-down attitude, and he saw a red tail section bob back into view, and then sink. The airplane was flying parallel to the water surface leading up to the diversion, and he could hear the engine operating throughout the flight.

Another witness, located inside her apartment close to the waterfront in Astoria, was at a north-facing window with a view of the channel. She observed an airplane directly ahead, flying over the water and east towards and over moored ships. She was familiar with the helicopter traffic from the Columbia Bar Pilots, and the airplane immediately seemed unusual because of its low altitude. It was flying at the same level as the ship's stacks relative to her position, at an altitude typically flown by the helicopters.

The airplane was flying at a speed she considered to be slower than normal, and it then began a slow and "graceful" turn to what appeared to be the left. She likened the maneuver to the way a large commercial airplane turns, and as it progressed she could eventually see the full wing profile. The turn continued, and before completing 180 degrees, the nose of the airplane aggressively dropped, and the airplane transitioned into an almost vertical dive, passing out of view behind a ship. The airplane was flying straight and level up until the diversion.

Both witnesses reported that the airplane was not trailing smoke or vapors at any time, and weather included good visibility, with overcast skies well above the airplane's altitude, and rain beginning later in the day. 

The witnesses guided search and rescue personnel from the Coast Guard and Clatsop County Sheriff's Department to the approximate accident location. No wreckage was observed floating in the water, and weather, fast water currents, and low water visibility hampered the search efforts. Two days later, divers from the Sheriff's Department located the wreckage in 15 ft of water, in the middle of the channel, about 1.5 miles northeast of Astoria, and 11 miles east of the river mouth to the Pacific Ocean. The airplane had fragmented, separating the wings, engine, and tail section from the fuselage, which sustained extensive crush damage. The wreckage was recovered for further examination.

Flightstar II, N82652: Fatal accident occurred January 14, 2016 in Wake, Middlesex County, Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia
Flightstar, Inc.; South Woodstock, 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


Gilbert Dennis Gregory: http://registry.faa.gov/N82652




Location: Wake, VA
Accident Number: ERA16FA089
Date & Time: 01/14/2016, 1405 EST
Registration: N82652
Aircraft: CAUGHRAN TERRY FLIGHTSTAR II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aircraft structural failure
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 
Analysis 

The sport pilot was conducting a personal cross-county flight back to his home airport in visual flight rules conditions. While climbing through an altitude of about 1,000 ft msl, the airplane's left wing suffered a catastrophic failure, folding upward and rendering the airplane uncontrollable. The airplane descended to ground impact in heavily wooded terrain.

Examination of the left wing revealed that the forward wing spar likely fractured due to compression loading from wing loads combined with preexisting damage on the leading edge, leading to an overstress condition about 4 ft outboard of the fracture location. No indications of fatigue cracks were observed. Damage patterns indicated that the preexisting damage was likely due to an impact on the leading edge.

Examination of the wing did not reveal any bird strike residue, and a witness's observation made on the morning of the accident that an area of the left wing about 4 ft outboard of the wing root appeared to be deformed indicated that damage to the wing likely occurred before the accident flight. While it is possible that this damage occurred 5 days before the accident when the right landing gear wheel broke off and the right axle dug into the ground during landing at the end of the previous flight, the source of the damage observed by the witness could not be definitively determined.

The pilot had a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and a coronary artery bypass. In addition, he had a pacemaker implanted. Atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering medication, and sotalol, an antiarrhythmic heart medication, were found during toxicology. However, there was no evidence that the pilot's heart disease or medications impaired his performance or incapacitated him.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
Failure of the left wing in flight due to compression loading from wing loads combined with preexisting damage.

Findings

Aircraft
Main frame (on wing) - Failure (Cause)
Spar (on wing) - Damaged/degraded (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Miscellaneous/other

Enroute-climb to cruise

Aircraft structural failure (Defining event)

On January 14, 2016, about 1405 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Flightstar II, N82652, experienced an in-flight wing separation and impacted wooded terrain near Wake, Virginia. The sport pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The personal flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Hummel Field Airport (W75) Saluda, Virginia, about 1355 en route to New Quarter Farm Airport (92VA) Gloucester, Virginia.

According to a witness, he saw the airplane at an altitude of about 1,200 ft above ground level flying south toward Hartfield, Virginia. It appeared to be flying normally. He stated that he suddenly heard "a snap or a cracking sound," and then he saw left wing fold up. Within a second, the airplane went into a vertical counterclockwise spiral heading straight down. Additional witnesses described hearing the airplane engine and then a "loud pop" and seeing the airplane with a broken left wing as it descended vertically.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  570 hours (Total, all aircraft), 201 hours (Total, this make and model), 3.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The pilot, age 64, held a sport pilot certificate and a repairman certificate with an inspection rating for the accident airplane. The pilot applied for his sport pilot certificate on October 7, 2010. He had never been issued, nor was he required to have, a Federal Aviation Administration medical certificate.

A review of the pilot's logbooks that were recovered from the scene showed a total flight time of 570.4 hours. According to the pilot's most recent logbook, he had accumulated 93.1 hours of flight time since January 19, 2013, of which 91.2 hours were in the accident airplane. In the 90 days before the accident, the pilot flew 3.8 hours in the accident airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CAUGHRAN TERRY
Registration: N82652
Model/Series: FLIGHTSTAR II NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1995
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate:  Experimental
Serial Number: 083
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/08/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 970 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 311.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 64 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The two-seat, externally-braced high-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane had a high-mounted, tractor-configuration Rotax 582 engine and a three-blade composite propeller. The airplane had an enclosed fiberglass cockpit and a conventional three-axis control system with ailerons, rudder, and elevator. It received a special airworthiness certificate on September 18, 1996. The pilot purchased the airplane on July 3, 2004.

According to witnesses, on January 9, 2016, 5 days before the accident flight, the pilot was landing the airplane at W75. A witness, who did not see the landing, reported that the pilot told him he made a good landing, but, when he turned left to get out of the way of incoming traffic, the right wheel "snapped" off the airplane. The airplane stopped quickly, and the right axle dug into the dirt. Another witness stated that he helped move the airplane off the grass runway after the wheel separated. He stated that he observed "rust" on the landing gear, and he reported that the pilot said the "landing was not hard." The witnesses stated that the skid mark was about 3 ft long. During examination and subsequent repair of the landing gear, the pilot and a witness found rust and a crack on the axle where the wheel came off. After welding repairs to the landing gear had been completed, the pilot elected to fly the airplane back to 92VA, the airplane's home base, on the day of the accident.

Review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed by the pilot 12 days before the accident on January 2, 2016. At that time, the airframe had accumulated 311.1 total hours of operation. The maintenance records showed that, on November 11, 2012, at 217.2 hours, there was a test flight after a "complete aircraft overhaul" that included the installation of new wings, fuel tanks, propeller, fuel lines, new bolts, and an instrument panel. The airplane had flown about 94 hours between this overhaul and the last condition inspection in the logbook.

The pilot's logbook contained references to flights in "very gusty" or "gusty" wind conditions on multiple occasions. On December 27, 2015, "very gusty" conditions were noted with winds between 15 and 40 knots experienced during a 1.1-hour flight. The Flightstar II flight manual, stated, "DO NOT TAKE OFF IN WIND THAT EXCEEDS 15 KNOTS. (LESS IF GUSTY)."

About 0730 on the day of the accident, a commercial pilot witness saw the airplane in a hangar at W75. He walked into the hangar and inspected the airplane. He observed the leading edge of the left wing and noticed that, "within 5 feet of the fuselage, the fabric appeared to be shrunken down and appeared to be too tight." He also described this area of the leading edge as being "dented in." 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: W75, 30 ft msl
Observation Time: 1807 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 182°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots/ 15 knots, 240°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wake, VA (W75)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: GLOUCESTER, VA (92VA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1355 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

At 1307 an automated surface weather observation taken at W75, which was located about 3 nautical miles north of the accident site, reported wind from 240° at 9 knots gusting to 15 knots, clear conditions with visibility of 10 statute miles, temperature and dew point 12°C and -3°C, respectively, and altimeter setting 29.98 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Hummel Field (W75)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 30 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing:  None

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:  37.565278, -76.449167 

The accident site was located at an elevation of 61 ft in a heavily wooded area with dense brush and mature trees that were about 75 ft tall. There were broken branches at the top of the trees directly above the accident site. The wreckage site was compact and measured 30 ft by 30 ft. There was no post-crash fire, and the aluminum tube, fabric, and fiberglass airplane was completely deformed.

The propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft propeller flange. The crankshaft flange appeared to be undamaged, and one blade of the three-blade propeller had separated and was found 20 ft away from the engine. The remaining two blades exhibited rotational damage and were delaminated and splintered.

The engine, which was installed in a tractor configuration on the forward part of the tubular keel beam in front of and above the cockpit, remained attached and was partially buried in the ground. The engine was secured, and one of the propeller blades was removed from the hub; the engine was then rotated manually via the propeller, and no internal restrictions were noted. Compression and suction were observed on both cylinders.

The spark plugs were removed and examined; when compared to the Champion Spark Plug "Check-A-Plug" chart, the spark plugs appeared to be "normal" with light coloration signatures and no excessive soot or discoloration that would indicate abnormal performance. Visual inspection of the valves and inside the cylinders at the exhaust pipes showed that they were clean, lubricated, and exhibited normal combustion signatures with no visible scoring or grooves. All manifolds were seated in place. The carburetors functioned normally, and all lines were secured. The float bowl was free of contamination and contained residual fuel.

An emergency ballistic parachute system was installed on the airplane. The parachute was found partially discharged from the canister. Local police and emergency personnel disabled the unit, which had not been activated by the pilot, to prevent accidental discharge of the rocket during emergency recovery operations.

Flight control continuity was established for the rudder, elevator, and right aileron through tracing of the control cable attach points from the control surfaces through the fuselage to the control sticks. Full control movement could not be achieved due to multiple cuts made by emergency fire personnel, and impact damage to the airplane's tubular construction, but there was some movement in the control surfaces and cables.

Examination of the left wing showed that several internal camber ribs were missing, and the struts were bent. A site survey was conducted, and the perimeter was walked in the direction of flight to look for additional pieces of the wing, but none were discovered. The left wing was reconstructed, and significant differences were noted in the severity of damage when compared to the right wing. The forward spar of the right wing remained intact and relatively straight, and the metal leading edge skin remained attached to the forward spar. The forward spar of the left wing was fractured about 4 feet outboard of the wing root, and it was bent forward about 4 feet outboard of the fracture location. There was upwards buckling deformation on the outboard portion of the forward spar. Several internal ribs were missing and unaccounted for. The left metal leading edge skin was separated from the forward spar, and the skin was wrinkled in the area corresponding to the location of the bend in the spar. There was no bird strike residue found on the left wing, and there were no obvious signs of foreign debris.

Portions of the left wing, including the leading and trailing edge tubular spars and struts were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further analysis. Detailed examination of the forward spar fracture showed buckling deformation at the upper aft side of the spar and curving deformation on the forward face consistent with the outboard end of the spar displacing upward and aft relative to the fracture location. Examination of the bend in the spar showed that deformation of the spar was consistent with the outboard end moving forward and up relative to the bend, and two distinct creases were noted within the inside radius of the bend spaced 5 inches apart. For more information, see the Materials Laboratory Factual Report in the public docket for this investigation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Richmond, Virginia, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, torso, and lower extremities, and the manner of death was accident. The autopsy report noted that the pilot had an enlarged heart with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery bypass grafts to the right and left heart and a pacemaker with leads extending to the right heart.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Research Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology testing on specimens from the pilot. The specimens tested negative for ethanol and major drugs of abuse. Atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering medication, and sotalol, an antiarrhythmic heart medication, were detected; both drugs are not considered to be impairing medications. 

Additional Information

An Adventure Pilot iFly 700 GPS was recovered from the wreckage. The glass was shattered and there was a crack in the case, but an SD card was found that appeared to be in good condition. The SD card was examined and downloaded at the NTSB Regional Field Office. The data extracted included 14 track logs that included the track of the accident flight. The data included longitude and latitude position data, ground speed, true heading, and altitude. The track data recorded for the accident flight consisted of 11 data points, with the first being recorded near W75, at a GPS altitude and groundspeed of 75 ft and 43 kts, respectively. The track continued to the south, maintaining a groundspeed around 45 knots and climbing to a final GPS altitude of 1,017 feet. The accident site was located about 1/4-mile south of the of the final recorded GPS location.



NTSB Identification: ERA16FA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 14, 2016 in Wake, VA
Aircraft: CAUGHRAN TERRY FLIGHTSTAR II, registration: N82652
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 14, 2016 at 1400 eastern standard time an experimental amateur-built Flightstar II, N82652, was substantially damaged when it departed controlled flight and impacted wooded terrain near Wake, Virginia. The sport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane departed Hummel Field Airport (W75) Saluda, Virginia, at 1355. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight to New Quarter Farm Airport (92VA) Gloucester, Virginia. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

After completing repairs to the landing gear, the pilot planned to relocate the airplane from W75 back to 92VA, where it was based. On the morning of the accident, witnesses watched the pilot as he performed an uneventful preflight inspection of the airplane. The pilot subsequently departed. About 2 miles south of W75, a witness observed the airplane as it flew southerly, at an estimated altitude of 1,200 feet above ground level. The witness heard a loud "cracking" sound. He watched as the airplane's left wing folded upwards from its mount on the fuselage, and heard the engine's rpm increase as the airplane entered a spiral nose dive. He further described that the left wing was "flapping wildly" as the airplane descended in a spiral toward the ground. 

The airplane impacted wooded terrain, and wreckage displayed no evidence of a pre- or post-impact fire. The airframe and engine were recovered and retained for further examination. 

Cessna 182T Skylane, N3525T: Fatal accident occurred February 06, 2018 near Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), El Cajon, San Diego County, California

Cherril and John Longhurst



Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego

Aircraft crashed in a field.

http://registry.faa.gov/N3525T

Date: 06-FEB-18
Time: 14:50:00Z
Regis#: N3525T
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 182T
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: SAN DIEGO/EL CAJON
State: CALIFORNIA
Country: UNITED STATES

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.


Police say 70-year-old Dr. John Longhurst and 71-year-old Cherril Longhurst died after their Cessna 182T Skylane crashed on the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.




SANTEE (NEWS 8) - Two people and a dog were killed Tuesday when a light plane crashed into an industrial area adjacent to Gillespie Field shortly after taking off from the El Cajon airport.

The single-engine, four-seat Cessna 182 Skylane went down into a storage lot at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue in Santee shortly before 7 a.m., San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

The pilot and a passenger died in the wreckage of the plane.

The pilot was identified as Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherill was his passenger. They owned homes in Orange County and in Montana. Dr. Longhurst worked at UC Irvine Health. 

The couple would often visit San Diego to see their son Christopher - a doctor employed at UC San Diego Health. 

No one on the ground was hurt.

A pair of dogs that had been riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to an El Cajon veterinary hospital, where one of them succumbed to its injuries, said Dan DeSousa, director of the county Department of Animal Services. The other canine remained at the clinic in guarded condition in the late afternoon, he said.

The Cessna was headed west when it apparently lost power, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane maneuvered around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.

Witness Zachary Hill said that he and his sister watched as the aircraft went down and rushed to help, but found that the front of the Cessna had been utterly "destroyed."

Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up" from what he saw, Smith said.

Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.

Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Story and video ➤  http://www.cbs8.com


SANTEE, Calif. – A professor of medicine at U.C. Irvine and his wife died Tuesday when their light plane crashed shortly after taking off from Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon.

Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherril were flying the single-engine, four-seat Cessna 182 Skylane with their two dogs on board when it  lost power and went down at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue in Santee shortly before 7 a.m. No one on the ground was hurt.

Two dogs that were riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith told news crews. One of the animals seemingly was uninjured.

The Cessna was headed west when its engine apparently failed, Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane wheeled around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.

Witness Zachary Hill told reporters that he and his sister saw the aircraft go down and rushed to help, but found that the front of the Cessna had been utterly "destroyed.''

Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up'' from what he saw, Smith said.

Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.

Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com



EL CAJON, Calif -- Two large dogs were rescued from the wreckage of a small plane crash in Santee Tuesday morning, but one of them died of its injuries later at a veterinary hospital.

The dogs belonged to the pilot and passenger of the doomed Cessna, who did not survive. They were identified as John and Cherrill Longhurst of Montana. The Longhursts had previously lived in Escondido and Orange County.

The dogs were brought to the VCA Animal Medical Center In El Cajon.  One was brought in on a stretcher with very serious internal injuries, including trauma to its chest.  That dog succumbed to its injuries.

The second dog was also hurt in the crash but is said to be in guarded condition and is expected to recover.

Around 3 p.m., a couple arrived in a black car registered to Christopher Longhurst, a doctor with UCSD. He is believed to be the son of the pilot.  The man and woman were inside animal hospital for about 30 minutes, but they did not leave with a dog.

Hospital staff said the surviving dog is in guarded, but stable condition.

Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com




SANTEE, Calif. – Two people and a dog died in a small plane crash in Santee Tuesday morning, according to Heartland Fire officials.


The crash site was in the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue, about 1,000 feet from Gillespie Field. Authorities received a call about the Cessna crash just before 7 a.m.


The Cessna was headed west when its engine apparently failed, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane wheeled around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.


The two people did not survive the crash. Their two dogs were taken to a local animal hospital. One of the dogs ended up dying due to its injuries.


Authorities initially reported a possible third person was missing, but determined that was not the case and ended their search.


Alexis Hill was driving when she and her brother watched the plane come out of the fog. The plane appeared to be having trouble.


"The plane was swerving and started coming down toward our car," she said. "It swerved over to the construction site and went head down."


There was dense fog in the area at the time of the crash, a witness told FOX 5.


Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up" from what he saw, Smith said.


Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.


Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.


Six months earlier, a different small plane crashed on North 2nd Street and El Rey Avenue near Gillespie Field and the two people aboard survived.


Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com




SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two people were killed Tuesday after a small plane crashed in a dirt lot in Santee.

According to authorities, the crash happened at 6:56 a.m. in the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue, just outside of Gillespie Field and a few blocks from Prospect Avenue Elementary School.

Santee Fire officials told 10News the Cessna took off from Gillespie Field at an unknown time, and when the pilot noticed a mechanical issue, the pilot tried to turn around and land safely but was unable to do so.

Officials confirmed to 10News that two unidentified people died in the crash. Two dogs were also on the plane at the time of the crash. Both dogs were taken to the hospital following the crash. 

One of the dogs later died and the other is still being treated for injuries. 

No one on the ground was injured in the incident.

Two teens on their way to school told 10News they spotted the plane and saw that it looked like it was struggling to stay in the air. They pulled over because they thought the plane was going to hit their car.

One of the teens said, "The plane was completely destroyed … there was no way you could've gotten to anyone inside."

Several Santee residents, including the teens who witnessed the crash, noted the foggy conditions in the area on Tuesday morning, but there is no official word on if weather was a factor in the crash.

Story, video and photos ➤ https://www.10news.com


















Tuesday’s plane crash in Santee, which killed two people and injured two dogs, will join more than 200 other aircraft-related accidents that have occurred at or near Gillespie Field, according to federal data.

Based on records from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which tracks and investigates all plane crashes and minor accidents, 214 accidents tied to Gillespie Field have resulted in 17 fatalities and 22 injuries from January 1978 to December of last year.

Those numbers do not include the two people found dead in the small plane that crashed in Santee shortly after taking off from Gillespie Field Tuesday morning.

The Cessna 182 Skylane was found upright, leaning on its left side, appearing to have crashed nose first into the glass company’s yard on Prospect Avenue near Cuyamaca Street.

Witnesses reported hearing some kind of throttling after the single-engine plane took off and headed west, indicating a mechanical issue.

Officials said it appears the pilot circled around after takeoff and was trying to make it back to the airport, came, but came up short and landed in the yard. Two dogs survived the crash and were taken to a local veterinarian to be checked out. No one on the ground was injured.

Data show Cessna planes were involved in 34 percent of all Gillespie incidents, some 73 events, the most among all other types of planes. It’s followed by Pipers with 42 incidents and Beech planes with 14.

The San Diego Union-Tribune combined FAA and NTSB data for the analysis. Only accidents that list Gillespie as an associated airport — indicating that the event took place within 3 miles of Gillespie, or involved an aircraft that was taking off or approaching Gillespie — were included.

Data show not all incidents are major crashes. The vast majority, about 130, resulted in minor or no damage to the aircraft, most likely because the event took place on the ground during taxiing. Less than 10 planes were destroyed and about 60 listed substantial damage.

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