Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cape Air kicks off service at Decatur Airport (KDEC)



DECATUR — Cape Air kicked off its service at Decatur Airport on Wednesday with a 7 a.m. departure to St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The airline also provides daily flights to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, both on a twin-engine Cessna that seats nine.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Cape Air a two-year contract in December. The federal agency chooses Decatur’s airline because its air service is subsidized through the Essential Air Service program. 

Aimee Coverstone and her 6-year-old granddaughter, Kylie, were on the first flight. The Decatur residents had never flown out of Decatur Airport before Wednesday, and had not been following the Essential Air Service decision closely.

When the plane touched down in St. Louis, Aimee Coverstone said the experience was quick and easy and she complimented the Cape Air staff.

“It was a much smaller aircraft than I thought, but the flight was fine,” Aimee Coverstone said.

With a thumbs up and a smile, Kylie Coverstone agreed.

The Department of Transportation chose Cape Air over SkyWest, the Utah-based airline preferred by the Decatur Park District and several key business leaders — especially Archer Daniels Midland Co. The department had said the jet service would cost $700,000 more to subsidize.

Air Choice One has been the airport's commercial air carrier since late 2009, but the park board did not support its bid to continue.

Story and photo gallery:   http://herald-review.com

Allegiant, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (KVPS) announce new base, new routes, new jobs



VALPARAISO — The fastest-growing airport in the Southeast is ready to expand again, thanks to another major growth spurt by Allegiant Air.

Okaloosa County officials joined Allegiant employees at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport on Tuesday to celebrate the airline’s official announcement that it will establish a two-aircraft, year-round base at VPS, add five seasonal routes and provide more than 65 new high-paying jobs.

“More routes mean more visitors, and more visitors mean more economic spending,” Thayne Klingler, Allegiant Air’s director of airport affairs, said at the celebration.

The Las Vegas-based airline’s service at VPS began with six routes in 2016 and jumped to 16 cities last year. The company’s latest growth, which includes some $50 million in investment at VPS, is anticipated to bring $418 million in tourism revenue to the region over the next five years.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, County Commissioner Carolyn Ketchel commended county Airports Director Tracy Stage for bringing more growth to VPS during his tenure than at any other time in the airport’s history. Stage has served as the director since early 2016 and has worked for the county since 2006.

Last October the County Commission approved giving $1 million worth of bed tax-funded incentives to help Allegiant expand its operations. The airline reportedly will also receive up to $475,000 in matching funds from Visit Florida’s Air Team Florida program.

Allegiant’s announcement on its expansion “is a great reminder of how our tourism industry supports Florida business and communities and creates new opportunities for our families,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a video that was aired at Tuesday’s event. 

Ketchel, who serves as the liaison between the commission and the Airports Department, praised the new jobs that Allegiant will provide as well as its low-cost flights to new destinations.

“We continue to grow,” Ketchel said of the county. “We have been discovered.”

Allegiant immediately plans to start hiring pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians and ground personnel for its expanded service at VPS. Applications are available at allegiant.com/careers.

The new positions “are expected to offer average salaries more than double the area’s average wage,” Allegiant officials said in a press release.

The average annual wage in Okaloosa County in 2016 was $42,156, according to the most recent data available from the county’s Economic Development Council.



Allegiant’s new routes will operate twice weekly. They are:

• Bentonville, Arkansas, via Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) — begins June 6 with fares starting at $68.

• Concord, North Carolina, via Concord Regional Airport (USA) — begins June 7 with fares starting at $46.

• Lexington, Kentucky, via Blue Grass Airport (LEX) — begins June 7 with fares starting at $62.

• Evansville, Indiana, via Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) — begins June 8 with fares starting at $61.

• Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, via Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) — begins June 8 with fares starting at $46.

Any flights that bring more visitors to the area will benefit the local economy, county Tourist Development Council Chairman Bruce Craul said before Tuesday’s ceremony. Allegiant officials said their new flights will bring almost 25,000 additional visitors to the area annually.

Allegiant’s rapid growth has helped spur some of its competitors to boost their service, Ketchel said. For example, she noted how American Airlines plans to offer nonstop flights between VPS and Washington D.C.’s Ronald Reagan National Airport in May.

“Competition is a good thing,” Ketchel said. “It’s the American way.”

Story, video and photo gallery ➤ http://www.nwfdailynews.com

Delta Air Lines Violates International Law On Aircraft Incident, Accident – Accident Investigation Bureau Commissioner

Delta Air Lines Inc, Airbus A330-200, N858NW, Flight DL-55
http://registry.faa.gov/N858NW 


Almost 20 hours after the fire incident involving one of the two engines of Delta Air Lines mid-air, the airline has yet to report the serious incident to Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), which is saddled with the responsibility of investigating such magnitude of the incident.


Rather, Delta Air Lines filed in a report to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in United States of America, notifying the board of the incident.


The action of the American carrier did not however go down well with the Commissioner of AIB, Engr. Akin Olateru who insisted that the airline has violated the recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), which stipulates that the state of occurrence must be carried along in such an incident.


Olateru in an interview with journalists at the Lagos airport, said that as at 3pm today, no official of the airline had contacted the agency on the incident.


He explained that the inability of the airline to inform AIB had prevented it from notifying ICAO as required by the law.


He said: “Everything we do here is in accordance with ICAO Annex 13. Unfortunately, up until 3 pm, this afternoon, Delta Air Lines has refused to notify AIB in accordance with the law of our country. But, they notified the US NTSB but they refused at 3 pm today, there is still no notification from Delta Air Lines as to this serious incident."


“We have an obligation to notify ICAO on this serious incident, but unfortunately, we cannot fulfill that obligation because we are still waiting for Delta to give us information as to this serious incident. This is a serious incident and by law, we are investigating it.


“There is what they call the country of occurrence and Nigeria is a country of occurrence of this incident. Yes, it is a US carrier, US operator, US registered aircraft, but there are certain state protocols, which have to be respected that give right of investigation to the country of occurrence except for the country of occurrence decides to cede that investigation to the country of the operator or any other country.”


He lamented that since the aircraft returned to Nigeria on an emergency, its investigators were still unable to go near the aircraft, saying that information received from NTSB indicated that Delta would arrive Nigeria today with two of its investigators to carry out an investigation on the aircraft.


“But in this case, we are able, equipped to investigate this serious incident and we will investigate it but for the sake of clarity, am disappointed in Delta. It is one of the world’s biggest airlines in the world for not respecting our own nation and laws of the land."


“It is totally unacceptable, and we condemn it in totality and I believe the way I see it, we are being undermined, which is not acceptable. ICAO law governs all the activities of air transport business. They know that we must be notified. Our websites are there; they can download the form, they can download the App. We wrote to Delta Air Lines in October last year notifying them that we have AIB App, which they just need to download on their phone and send us notification."


“It is a very simple process. Nothing can be simpler than this, but unfortunately, as of 3 pm today, they refused to notify the authorized agency by law of the land to investigate this kind of serious incident,” he added.


According to him, rather for the crew to report to AIB as required by the law, they attempted to leave Nigeria without notification until they were prevented from doing so.


Olateru was however silent on the cause of the incident but said this would be revealed by the investigation.


However, Delta Air Lines has flown in another aircraft from its base at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the United States to airlift the passengers who were affected by the Tuesday’s incident.


The aircraft, an Airbus arrived the international wing of the Lagos airport at 3 pm on Wednesday.


The airline said that the passengers would depart on Wednesday night.


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


Delta Airlines engine fire: A serious incident, says Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Wednesday classified the fire that engulfed a Delta Airlines Airbus 330 – 200 aircraft as a very serious incident and has handed over its investigation to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

The regulator in a statement by its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said the classification is in line with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

According to Adurogboye, the Delta Airlines aircraft with registration number N858NW with 219 passengers on board took off from the Lagos Airport about 9.51 pm Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) on Tuesday February 13, 2018 when the crew noticed abnormal engine conditions in one of the two engines.

He said the pilot in command consequently made an air return after declaring emergency at 9.51 pm UTC .

The statement reads: ”A Delta Air Lines aircraft which departed Lagos for New York has aborted its flight over fire warnings.

The Delta Air Lines Flight DAL55 Airbus A330-200 with registration N858NW took off at 2151 utc on Tuesday- February 13, 2018 when the crew noticed abnormal engine condition in one of its two engines.

“Consequently, the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) made an air return after declaring emergency at 2159 utc. All emergency services were provided to assist in the passengers’ evacuation and to contain the fire.

“Some of the passengers who sustained injuries were rushed down to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja for prompt medical attention.

“In line with safety standards, the international Runway (18R) was promptly closed to traffic while the domestic Runway (18L/36R) was opened to other flights for emergency operations.

“However, at time 0020UTC (1:20 am Local Time), the international Runway (18R) was reopened to traffic after the aircraft was evacuated from the Runway and a Runway sweeping and inspection conducted.

“This incident was classified as serious incident in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) classification, and investigation was handed over to Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

“The flight has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 14, 2018 and affected passengers are already being checked in for departure.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) wishes to commend the prompt response of Airport Safety Services and other stakeholders.

“NCAA wishes to reassure the travelling public, airlines and other aviation stakeholders of her continued commitment to Aviation safety and security.“

Original article can be found here ➤ http://thenationonlineng.net

Higher wages, fuel prices turn up cost pressure on airlines

BERLIN (Reuters) - With inflation paramount in investors' minds at a time of rising wages and oil prices, the line separating winners and losers in the global airline industry this year looks likely to be drawn on how well they manage costs, especially on the labor side.

Industry body IATA in December flagged higher spending on labor and fuel - which make up about half of airlines' operating expenses - as their members' biggest challenge in 2018, especially after several years of record profits.

Labor costs surpassed fuel as global airlines' biggest single expense in 2016, at 22 percent of costs against just under 21 percent for fuel. That is expected to jump this year to 30.9 percent versus 20.5 percent for fuel.

Back in 2013, when oil prices were much higher than now, fuel was 33 percent of expenses against 18 percent for labor.

Staff costs are typically higher in North America and Europe than in Asia, where fuel remains the biggest expense.

The crux of the issue is that amid signs of a global shortage of workers generally, in some regions there's also a scarcity of qualified pilots at a time of expanding fleets.

"As airlines have been making profit, the workforce has got market power, so that is pushing up the cost of labor," IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said in an interview.

Overall, unit costs - the measure of how much it costs an airline to operate each kilometer and seat flown - will rise 4.3 percent this year versus 1.7 percent in 2017, IATA forecasts.

In the highest profile example of the pressures, budget carrier Ryanair was compelled last year by pilot shortages to cancel thousands of flights, and in December recognized trade unions for the first time.

The battle that forced Ryanair's hand could put wage pressures on other European budget carriers such as Wizz , industry experts say.

The bigger carriers feel it too.

At Air France , 10 unions representing pilots, cabin and ground staff have called for a strike on Feb. 22 to push a demand for a 6 percent pay rise.

"After three years of strong profitability improvements in the sector, we believe personnel and suppliers are asking for wage/price increases and thus keeping non-fuel costs under control will remain a challenge for the sector," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Ruxandra Haradau-Doser wrote.

The wage issue has even extended to the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East trade and financial hub where labor disputes are rare and unions and industrial action are banned.

The region's largest airline, Dubai-based Emirates, is facing calls from cabin crew to improve conditions and benefits. Employees say management is considering their requests.

Last week, brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux cut its rating on German flagship carrier Lufthansa - already on its lists of stocks to avoid and least preferred in the sector - to "reduce" from "hold".

In the United States, investors are worried that the three largest carriers - American , Delta and United - are heading for a price war just as higher costs from pay increases agreed last year start to bite.

CONSOLIDATION

Lufthansa, British Airways parent IAG and Air France-KLM are all expected to report improved 2017 profits when they publish results over the next few weeks.

All airlines will need to look at areas where they can save, however.

"The most successful airline managements are the ones that have been very cost-focused every day - not just on staff costs but on aircraft costs, airport charges, distribution costs and so on," said aviation consultant John Strickland.

The success of Ryanair, which boasts of having the lowest costs in Europe, is partly down to hard negotiating with manufacturers and airports to get good deals on orders and fees, those in the industry say.

Strickland said that while pilot costs would rise, Ryanair was unique in having much lower overall costs than rivals.

"If they can continue to keep other items such as airport and aircraft costs down, then they will still be in a very strong position."

Lufthansa has been taking a tougher stance lately both with staff and airports.

Unlike in previous negotiations for its main brand in Germany, Lufthansa stayed firm during a series of pilot strikes from 2014 to 2016 and has now struck a deal to cut its cockpit staff costs by 15 percent, while an increase in ground staff's wages will be partly linked to company profits.

Last year, it also put pressure on Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport by moving planes to Munich. It predicts unit costs will fall by 1-2 percent this year.

Analysts at Barclays say while such measures should help Lufthansa, the rate of improvement is not sustainable and progress still needs to be made at budget unit Eurowings, which earns less than half the margin of its nearest peer.

"There is a significant amount more work for the company to do on its cost base," they wrote in a note.

Along with strong travel demand thanks to robust economies and low oil prices last year, European airlines have also benefited from some consolidation following the insolvencies of Air Berlin and Monarch, which helped lead to higher ticket prices.

In addition, many European carriers hedged on jet fuel - unlike their U.S. counterparts who got burned making the wrong bets when the oil price starting tumbling in mid-2014 - meaning the impact of higher fuel prices will come through for European airlines later than U.S. ones.

EasyJet's revenue per seat rose 6.6 percent at constant currencies in the quarter to end-December, the no-frills airline said, citing the struggles of rivals including Air Berlin, Monarch, Ryanair and Alitalia. It forecast a rise of 5-9 percent for the six months to March.

"Airlines need to be careful they don't lock themselves into cost structures that are too high for weaker economic conditions," IATA'S Pearce warned. "At the moment, they're not doing that but it's always a risk."

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

Council discusses plan for Roanoke Municipal Airport (7A5)

The Roanoke City Council held a workshop prior to its regular meeting Monday to discuss the Roanoke Municipal Airport.

Mayor Mike Fisher returned after missing several meetings to deal with health issues.

Jennifer Hunt Harp and Ryan Reed of Garver Engineers gave a presentation along with Frank Farmer and John C. Eagerton IV of the Aeronautics Bureau of the Alabama Department of Transportation. Eagerton is chief of the Aeronautics Bureau and Farmer is aeronautics manager. Harp is project manager.

Garver Engineers works with the city on improvements and updates to the airport.

Reed said a report talks about the current role for small aircraft and how the area can be spruced up and updated--some things are too close to the runway. There is a 10-step approach to development, which will probably take more than ten years. They were there to discuss the first year. The airport is partially federally subsidized and has $600,000 available.

Harp said they are trying to improve safety of the airport and encouraging growth with things such as selling fuel. The airport is constrained on four sides by property. In the future they would like to acquire some of the land and relocate the road so they could extend the runway.

Reed said the small building--a hospitality area for incoming pilots--needs to be moved several yards down the road.

Councilwoman Tammi T. Holley asked if it would take all the accrued $600,000 and was told it would cost an estimated $635,000. Reed said there would be a local match from the city of about $32,000. He added this is the first step in a multi-year project--with a long-term approach. There would continue to be a charge for use of the hangars.

City clerk Pat Truitt said they had gotten estimates for putting a heli-place (formerly called a heli-pad) there. Harp said they would like to incorporate the heli-place into the design.

Councilman Mack Arthur Bell asked if larger airplanes could land and Reed said no because of the adjacent property.

Eagerton said they were there to meet with the council to have a brief discussion about what council members envision the airport to be. He asked if the council ever envisions buying the property at the end of the runways to extend the runway and what does the council see as the airport's role--using it as a help to economic development? He said there are not a lot of airports in the vicinity of Roanoke's airport.

Original article ➤ http://www.therandolphleader.com

Airbus names Safran exec as head of helicopter unit

BERLIN, February 14 (Reuters) - Airbus Group said on Wednesday it has appointed Bruno Even as head of its helicopter division, effective from April 1.

Even, 49, was CEO of the helicopter engines business at Safran, and succeeds Guillaume Faury, who is moving to become president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus Helicopters has suffered from a slowdown in orders in recent years due to a downturn in the oil and gas sector, one of its main customers, and expects deliveries in 2018 to be roughly on a par with last year.

Even will also have to redefine the X6 heavy helicopter, which has suffered technological challenges and which Faury said last month would likely turn out differently than originally envisaged.

Airbus Group is due to report its 2017 results on Thursday.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://in.reuters.com

WestJet Encore, Bombardier Q400: Incident occurred February 14, 2018 at Prince George Airport (YXS), British Columbia, Canada

MONTREAL, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A WestJet Airlines Ltd plane that was headed to Vancouver early on Wednesday was diverted to the Canadian town of Prince George in the province of British Columbia after a warning from a fire detector, a spokeswoman said.

WestJet Encore Flight 3205, carrying 44 passengers and 4 crew aboard a Bombardier Q400 prop plane, landed safely at Prince George, airline spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said by email.

“All guests, crew and baggage have been offloaded and a preliminary inspection indicates at this time that no fire was present,” she wrote.

The plane had departed from Fort St. John in British Columbia.

Eric Collard, a spokesman for Canada’s Transportation Safety Board, said the agency was “gathering information” about the incident.

Stewart said WestJet was arranging aircraft from Calgary, Alberta to retrieve the passengers and expected that “everyone will be on their way this morning.”

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

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Passengers aboard a scheduled WestJet Encore flight from Fort St. John, B.C., to Vancouver had an unexpected stopover when their plane was diverted to Prince George.

WestJet says in a statement that flight 3205 had taken off from North Peace Regional Airport Wednesday morning for a flight to Vancouver when a fire detection warning light activated.

As a precaution the pilots declared an emergency and the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, carrying 44 passengers and 4 crew, landed without incident in Prince George.

Everyone aboard got out safely and all the luggage was removed from the plane.

WestJet says a preliminary inspection of the aircraft revealed no sign of fire.

The company says another aircraft was brought in from Calgary to take the passengers to their final destination.

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

MountainSky Aerial: Sky’s the limit for drone technology

Mike Nevins, owner of MountainSky Aerial, prepares his UAV for flight. The business is the 12th for Nevins, a serial entrepreneur who also worked for the Grand Junction Police Department.


Mike Nevins has worked on the cutting edge of technology before — he began his career at the beginning of the revolution in personal computing, in fact.

Nonetheless, Nevins admits he has no idea where the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles will lead or what the future holds for an industry for which the sky is literally the limit. “I don’t have enough imagination to figure how they’re going to use these things.”

For now, Nevins prefers to focus on what he does know, and that’s the varied services his UAV and his business, MountainSky Aerial, offers. That’s plenty — from taking aerial photographs and videos to assessing and monitoring crops and golf courses.

Working with FarmSolutions, an agricultural technology company, Nevins turns data into information and recommendations about irrigation, fertilizer and other management issues that help growers increase yields and decreases costs. “Then it becomes a value proposition,” he says.

MountainSky Aerial is the 12th business for Nevins, a serial entrepreneur who also worked for 10 years for the Grand Junction Police Department. Nevins previously operated a computer forensic investigations firm, computer software security business and outdoor kitchen company, among other ventures.

Nevins says launching MountainSky Aerial offered another chance to put his technical background to work — along with scratching an entreprenurial itch. “I’v always loved starting something from scratch and making it do something.”

His research also revealed a potential business opportunity — particularly for an area with an abundance of agricultural production that ranges from food crops to orchards to vineyards. “The more I dug, the more excited I got,” Nevin says.

MountainSky Aerial serves four markets, Nevins says, in providing photographs and videos to market real estate and monitoring progress on construction sites. Using an infrared camera enables the firm to also serve agricultural producers and golf courses.

Plants reflect infrared light to varying degrees that depend on how vigorously they’re growing, Nevins says. That makes it possible to detect plants that aren’t receiving enough water or fertilizer or experience stress from insects or weeds. The same thing holds true for the turf on golf courses.

Nevins plots a flight for his UAV over a construction site, field or golf course that compiles information in the best way. Since his UAV connects with global positioning system satellites to accurately determine its position, the device completes the flight autonomously. After the flight, computer software stitches together the data to create two-dimensional maps and even render three-dimensional images, he says.

Working with FarmSolutions, Nevins says he can produce reports that assess a field, orchard, vineyard or golf course and recommend actions — usually within a day

Farmers and golf course managers can use that information to address a problem, he says — applying additional fertilizer or repairing a broken sprinkler head, for example. Aerial imagery also can be used to assess crop damage in filing claims for insurance. “We’re providing an end-to-end solution.”

The ultimate goal, he says, is to supply information that helps customers increase earnings and reduce costs. “We make it usable to them so they can make more money.”

Given the increasing use of UAVs — and increasing diversity of what they’re used for — Nevins says the ramifications of the technology could prove profound But like the services his business provides, he believes the technology also will prove beneficial.

For more information about MountainSky Aerial, visit the website at www.mountainskyaerial.com.

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

Piper PA-16 Clipper, N5726H: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT), Maricopa County, Arizona

Analysis

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the touchdown, a wind gust struck the airplane from the right. Subsequently, the airplane veered to the right and the left landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

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

The automated weather observation system located on the accident airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 180° at 9 knots. The pilot landed on runway 7L.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control while landing in crosswind conditions.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation
Tailwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing gear collapse

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N5726H

Location: Phoenix, AZ
Accident Number: GAA18CA130
Date & Time: 02/13/2018, 1440 MST
Registration: N5726H
Aircraft: PIPER PA 16
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during the touchdown, a gust of wind struck the airplane from the right. Subsequently, the airplane veered to the right and the left gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

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

The automated weather observation system located on the accident airport reported, that about the time of the accident the wind was from 180° at 9 knots. The pilot landed on runway 7L. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/01/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/04/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 24000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2.2 hours (Total, this make and model), 23500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N5726H
Model/Series: PA 16 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1949
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 16-338
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1650 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2135 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDVT, 1455 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 129°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 5°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 180°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SEDONA, AZ (SEZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1310 MST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: PHOENIX DEER VALLEY (DVT)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1478 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 07L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

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:  33.688333, -112.082500 (est)

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N97PG: Incidents occurred February 13, 2018 -and- March 13, 2016 at Palm Beach County Glades Airport (KPHK), Pahokee, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami

Aircraft landed gear up.

http://registry.faa.gov/N97PG

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 16:00:00Z
Regis#: N97PG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28R 201
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: PAHOKEE
State: FLORIDA

March 13, 2016:  Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 13-MAR-16
Time: 15:15:00Z
Regis#: N97PG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Miami FSDO-19
City: PAHOKEE
State: Florida

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9562H: Accident occurred February 08, 2018 in Miami, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami

L&W Aircraft Investments LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N9562H


NTSB Identification: GAA18CA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 08, 2018 in Miami, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N9562H

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft landed in a field.

Date: 08-FEB-18
Time: 05:50:00Z
Regis#: N9562H
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172M
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
City: MIAMI
State: FLORIDA

Cessna 177RG, N2043Q: Incident occurred February 13, 2018 at Indianapolis International Airport (KIND), Marion County, Indiana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis

Aircraft landed partial gear up.

http://registry.faa.gov/N2043Q

Date: 14-FEB-18
Time: 02:41:00Z
Regis#: N2043Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 177RG
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: INDIANAPOLIS
State: INDIANA

Schweizer 269D, N471RA, registered to C. Aaron LLC and operated by the private pilot: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Stockbridge, Ingham County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N471RA

Location: Stockbridge, MI
Accident Number: CEN18LA106
Date & Time: 02/13/2018, 1415 EST
Registration: N471RA
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 269D
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 13, 2018, about 1415 mountain standard time, a Schweizer 269D helicopter, N471RA, collided with snow-covered terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude shortly after takeoff from a private residence located near Stockbridge, Michigan. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries, and the helicopter sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to C. Aaron LLC, and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The personal flight had the intended destination of Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (ARB), Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: SCHWEIZER
Registration: N471RA
Model/Series: 269D NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: C. Aaron LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TEW, 920 ft msl
Observation Time: 1415 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 150°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.5 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Stockbridge, MI (PVT)
Destination: Ann Arbor Muni, MI (ARB) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  42.450000, -84.263056 (est)

Beechcraft B300 Super King Air 350, N350BS, Standridge Color Corporation: Incident occurred February 13, 2018 at Donaldson Field Airport (KGYH), Greenville County, South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Carolina

Aircraft landed with landing gear retracted.

Standridge Color Corporation: http://registry.faa.gov/N350BS

Date: 13-FEB-18
Time: 22:15:00Z
Regis#: N350BS
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: B300
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: GREENVILLE
State: SOUTH CAROLINA

Robinson R22 Beta, N843SH: Accident occurred February 13, 2018 in Wadsworth, Matagorda County, Texas

Analysis

The pilot of the helicopter reported that he was taking a passenger up for a "hog hunt" flight. He added that he lifted off the ground, about 40 to 50 ft, and the passenger's gun became lodged in the cyclic control. He instructed the passenger to move his gun multiple times, but the passenger "seized up and panicked." The helicopter impacted the ground, and the fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.

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

The pilot reported that it was the second hunt with the passenger and that he had provided a safety briefing before the accident flight. He added that, during the safety briefing, he discussed gun safety, when and where to shoot, and instructions on avoiding areas with the flight controls.

He added that, as a safety recommendation, he will conduct a more thorough safety briefing, including an on-ground, engine-off cockpit simulation and a lesson on firearm safety. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The passenger's gun becoming lodged in the flight controls during takeoff and his failure to remove it, which resulted in impact with terrain.

Findings

Aircraft
Control column section - Unintentional use/operation (Cause)

Personnel issues
Lack of action - Passenger (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N843SH

Location: Wadsworth, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA129
Date & Time: 02/13/2018, 1030 CST
Registration: N843SH
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

The pilot of the helicopter reported that he was taking a passenger up for a "hog hunt" flight. He added that he lifted off the ground, about 40 to 50 ft., and the passenger's gun became lodged in the cyclic control. He instructed the passenger to move his gun multiple times, but the passenger "seized up and panicked". The helicopter impacted the ground and the fuselage and empennage sustained substantial damage.

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

The pilot reported that it was the second hunt with the passenger and that he had given a safety briefing prior to the accident flight. He added that, during the safety brief, he discussed gun safety, when and where to shoot, and instructions on avoid areas with the flight controls.

He added that, as a safety recommendation, he will conduct a more thorough safety briefing, including an on ground, engine off cockpit simulation, and a lesson on firearm safety. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 23, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/15/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 307.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 306.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 284.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 58.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 29.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N843SH
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 3820
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/07/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1370 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4142.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-360-J2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 136 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBYY, 45 ft msl
Observation Time: 1615 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 17°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 8°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 1000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 10°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.42 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wadsworth, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wadsworth, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0840 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  28.781667, -95.930278 (est)