Friday, March 23, 2018

Despite signs, speed limits not enforced by aircraft along Interstate 81 in Southwest Virginia

BRISTOL, Va. — Travel along Interstate 81 in Southwest Virginia, and you’ll see signs that read “Speed limit enforced by aircraft.”

It’s not true.

The General Assembly approved aerial speed enforcement in 2000 under Gov. Jim Gilmore, but a lack of funding and staffing within the Virginia State Police forced the agency to stop using the program years ago.

But the big, black signs — 425 of them across the state — remain.

"As effective as aerial speed enforcement can be for speed enforcement and traffic safety on highways across the state, it is cost and resource intensive,” said Corinne Geller, spokeswoman for the State Police. “VSP has not conducted aerial speed enforcement for over five years.”

The program used Cessna planes, which cost more than $150 an hour to operate, according to Geller. Factor in other costs, including pilots, training, computer software and at least three to four cars and troopers on the ground, and the program became too costly, she said.

The signs are legally required to stay up because the VSP’s aerial enforcement program is still on the books and could possibly be reinstated if funding became available. Geller said.

It would take more money to remove the signs and put them back up, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. It costs the state agency next to nothing to properly maintain a sign for at least the next 25 years.

Whether you live in the Mountain Empire or are just traveling through, the large signs get the attention of motorists.

Vernon Roswell, 70, of Arlington, Virginia, was taking a break at the welcome center along I-81 in Abingdon, Virginia, earlier this week. He said he never understood how planes catch speeders.

“I’ve seen the signs on the interstate, but have never seen a plane, a single plane in the sky,” Roswell said. “It makes you wonder what kind of technology is being used for the program.”

Roswell isn’t the only one taken aback by the signs.

Several years ago, Callie Counts, 26, of Bristol, Virginia, said she remembers seeing the planes in the area of exits 13 and 14. But she said she’s confused by them now.

“I always remember seeing the planes around that area and wondered why they were flying around,” Counts said. “The signs posted certainly don’t deter anyone from slowing down.”

VSP’s aerial speed enforcement planes use VASCAR, which stands for Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder, according to Geller. The system computes the speed from two fixed variables and the time it takes a vehicle to travel that distance.

Aerial speed enforcement can only be conducted on stretches of highway where painted lines exist. Geller said the white lines have been properly measured and certified for the program.

In Southwest Virginia, those white lines used by the VASCAR software are located on I-81 at the 19-mile marker and the 27-28 mile markers in Washington County, according to Geller.

“It’s not a scare tactic to stop speeders,” Geller said. “As you enter Virginia, you’ll see signs advising you of all speed enforcement measures authorized for use by law enforcement.”

Virginia isn’t the only state that has discontinued its aerial enforcement program. While Tennessee doesn’t have a program in place, neighboring Maryland ended its program in 2012.

One possibility that has been discussed: Could drones be used to make the aerial operation cheaper?

While Virginia changed its law in 2015 to allow law enforcement to use drones, the Federal Aviation Administration still requires a waiver to use them to monitor traffic conditions, according to the FAA’s website.

But VSP has no plans to use drones, according to Geller.

“Drones would be impossible,” Geller said. “State Police policy on aerial speed enforcement requires the certified VASCAR trooper to be in the aircraft and maintain — from overhead — constant visual contact with the speed vehicle. The trooper maintains that visual in order to make certain the trooper on the ground stops and cites the correct violator.”

Even though air enforcement isn’t being used across the state, VSP said it’s important for drivers to realize that there are just as many troopers in cars who are watching for speeders.

“We recognize that the best deterrence to speeding and other illegal driving actions is having a blue and gray patrol car in every motorist’s rear-view mirror,” said Capt. R.P. Chappell Jr., division commander for the Virginia State Police Wytheville Division. “The public benefits from our troopers having a variety of enforcement methods and equipment available to them to effectively enhance and impact traffic safety on Virginia’s highways.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Sheppard Air Force Base gets iconic plane for maintenance training

Col. Fred Foote, group commander of the 129th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard, talks about flying the final flight of an MC-130P cargo plane from California to Sheppard Air Force Base.

A massive Lockheed MC-130P cargo plane landed at Sheppard Air Force Base Wednesday afternoon, touching down with only three of its four powerful turbo prop engines running.

One had been turned off during the last leg of the journey from California to Texas due to low oil pressure.

The plane is being retired from its mission with the 129th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard based at Moffett Federal Airfield.

It made its final flight to become a training tool for aircraft maintainers and mechanics in the 982nd Maintenance Training Squadron at SAFB.

"The C-130, in general, is kind of like a utility truck for the Air Force," said Col. Fred Foote, a member of the flight crew. "It can get into extremely small dirt strips, take off and land in areas where no other airplane can."

The workhorse military transports were developed in the mid 1950s and have been adapted to more than 40 variations, including cargo, troop transport, gunships, refueling, aerial firefighting, and search and rescue.

The versatile C-130 Hercules is known for its reliability and is the longest continually-produced military aircraft. The updated Lockheed-Martin C-130J Super Hercules is currently being produced.

"Just the reliability in general, it's my favorite airplane the military has ever developed and I'm excited that a new generation, the J-model, of the same exact airplane, can continue on as long as I'm alive," Foote said.

Original article ➤

Rolls-Royce says Trent 7000 engines not affected by turbine blade issues

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Rolls-Royce said its Trent 7000 engines which power the Airbus A330neo jet are not affected by the issues with the Trent 1000 engine, some of which have needed unscheduled maintenance as the turbine blades have worn out more quickly than expected.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Friday that the Trent 7000 shared the durability issues on its turbine blades which have plagued the sister engine, the Trent 1000.

Those issues have meant some of the engine’s host planes, Boeing 787s, have had to go in for repairs.

“Both the Trent 1000 TEN and Trent 7000 have had new turbine blades within their design from the start,” Rolls said in an emailed statement.

Rolls-Royce said earlier this month that it would take a hit of about 340 million pounds ($480 million) which would cover the cost of carrying out repairs on primarily the Trent 1000 engine which is installed on the 787.

Airbus declined to comment.

Rolls said earlier this month that its Trent 1000s had issues with another part of the engine, the compressor, and Rolls said that it was possible that this issue could also affect the Trent 7000, but on a very small scale.

The company has said it will have a new design for the compressor next year and that that could mean a small number of Trent 7000s need that fix. The Trent 7000 is due to enter service later this year.

“It is, however, possible that a population of early Trent 1000 TEN and Trent 7000 engines may benefit from pro-active maintenance ...,” a spokesman for Rolls said in an emailed statement. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Fairchild Funk M-62C F-23A, N1131Z: Incident occurred March 23, 2018 in Columbia, Maury County, Tennessee

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville

Aircraft made hard landing into a field.

Date: 23-MAR-18
Time: 21:14:00Z
Regis#: N1131Z
Aircraft Model: M62C F23A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Crews responded after a World War II type aircraft made a hard landing in Columbia Friday afternoon.

Officials said the Fairchild Funk M-62C F-23A landed in a pasture near Iron Bridge Road.

News 2 has learned the pilot, who was the only person on-board at the time, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate.

Additional information was not immediately released.

Original article can be found here ➤

Authorities responded to the scene of a plane's "hard landing" in Maury County on Friday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported that a Fairchild Funk M-62C F-23A "made a hard landing in a pasture" near Iron Bridge Road in Columbia.

Only the pilot was on board.

According to dispatchers, the pilot was able to exit the plane uninjured. No other injuries were reported on the ground, nor were any surrounding buildings damaged, according to dispatchers.

An FAA registry indicates the plane is owned by a man in Lebanon.

The Maury County Sheriff's Office said deputies were among those responding.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the hard landing, which it's classifying as an "incident," and not a crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

A vintage aircraft flying from Smyrna to Texas crashed off of Iron Bridge Road in Columbia around 4 p.m. Friday.

The pilot was uninjured. He landed in a field around 75 yards from a house near the road east of Columbia.

Maury County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Johns said the plane developed engine problem.

Original article ➤

Alaska Seaplanes announces flight to Whitehorse

A new plane means a new destination for Alaska Seaplanes travelers.

Alaska Seaplanes General Manager Carl Ramseth announced Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon territory will be Seaplanes’ 13th destination, and first international one, during the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Wharf Ballroom Thursday.

Making all of this happen was the purchase of the Pilatus PC-12. The plane was purchased in August 2017 and after some modifications landed in Juneau in November.

“I am very excited,” Ramseth said. “It is an amazing airplane.”

The announcement drew a standing ovation and many thanks from those in attendance.

Ramseth described a trip the plane recently traveled. He said the plane was able to fly above the weather going from Ketchikan to Valdez in two hours for the 667-mile trip. The Whitehorse trip will take approximately 45 minutes for the 169-mile trip, Ramseth said. Ramseth added the flight will also act as time-traveling machine because of the time difference.

“People will actually arrive in Juneau before their flight left Whitehorse,” Ramseth joked. “When people are flying back from Whitehorse to Juneau, they can leave at 4 (p.m.) and get back into Juneau at 3:45 (p.m.)”

Carl Ramseth, General Manager of Alaska Seaplanes

The plan for traveling to Whitehorse has been a topic at Alaska Seaplanes for two and half years, Ramseth said. Initially there were thoughts of using a caravan plane. While a caravan plane is fully capable of making the trip, having a fully-pressurized plane like the Pilatus provides a higher-quality trip.

Besides being fully-pressurized, Ramseth said the Pilatus PC-12 can travel 300 mph, climb 2,000 feet-per-minute and flies at altitude.

The plane holds nine passengers and can hold approximately 2,700 to 2,800 pounds. The addition of this route will allow Seaplanes to add to its already packed schedule. Ramseth said 70,000 passengers flew last year with a daily peak of 100 flights-per-day during its 360 days of operation. The current schedule will have trips to and from Whitehorse three days out of the week, but that can change.

“We are pretty confident there will be more demand than that,” Ramseth said.

Right now, pilots are being trained to fly the aircraft and the first flights will most likely happen sometime in May, Ramseth said.

“We just want to have our ducks in a row before,” Ramseth said.

A price has not yet been determined for the flight, but Ramseth said it should hover around Seaplanes’ other price points. A roundtrip flight from Juneau to Haines is priced at $125 a person per flight, according to the Alaska Seaplanes website. There will be different taxes associated with flying internationally.

The contract with Whitehorse is three years and while there are no other plans of flying to any other new destinations on the horizon, Ramseth said he hopes this will be the beginning.

“We definitely want to take a flying season in and figure out what works best for us and for our passengers,” he said. “We want to focus on the communities we have right now. This is a good place to start.”

City Manager Rorie Watt said in a phone interview that this really opens up traveling out of Juneau.

“I think it is a big deal to have another option out of town,” Watt said. “Whitehorse has summer service to Europe. I am really excited for Seaplanes. I think this is a really interesting move and there will be a lot of follow-up activity. I think Juneau should be very excited.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Faulty Piaggio Plane Motor Caused $1.9M Crash, Insurer Says

Case Information 

Case Title

QBE Insurance Corporation v. Piaggio America, Inc. et al

Case Number



Florida Southern

Nature of Suit

Airplane Product Liability


Donald M. Middlebrooks

Date Filed

March 23, 2018


Piaggio & C. SpA
QBE Insurance Group

Government Agencies
Federal Aviation Administration

The case is QBE Insurance Corp. vs. Piaggio America Inc. et al., case number 9:18-cv-80374 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Law360 (March 23, 2018, 4:43 PM EDT) -- An aircraft owner's insurer hit aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace and its American subsidiary with a suit on Friday in Florida federal court alleging that Piaggio designed a defective plane motor that caused a 2016 crash and cost the insurer $1.9 million. 

The insurer, QBE Insurance Corp., alleged that a defect in a Piaggio Avanti II airplane’s electrical motor that was powering its hydraulic system caused the plane’s landing gear to malfunction when arriving at California’s San Jose Airport in March of 2016, resulting in a property damage settlement worth $1.9 million that the insurer paid.

"The crash ... and the resulting damages to plaintiff were caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the Piaggio defendants," the insurer said.

In 2009, Piaggio designed and installed into an aircraft the motor that allegedly failed during the 2016 crash, the suit said. Piaggio America Inc. then sold the aircraft with the motor to an unnamed purchaser in the United States, who subsequently bought an aviation insurance policy from QBE, according to the complaint.

After the crash, QBE was on the hook for repair costs and expenses related to the retrieval, transportation, storage and loss of use of the airplane, the suit said.

QBE is arguing that Piaggio caused the crash by negligently designing and manufacturing a faulty motor. The insurer noted the Federal Aviation Administration evaluated the motor in 2013 as part of an inspection that is required to be conducted after every 600 hours of flight time, according to the complaint.

The crash occurred just 350 hours of flight time after the most recent inspection, the insurer said.

"As a direct and proximate result of the defects and premature failure of the drive motor, the aircraft owner suffered damages and losses, including, without limitation, substantial physical damage to its airplane and costs for retrieval, transportation, storage, repairs and loss of use of the airplane following the crash," the complaint said, noting that QBE paid those costs.

QBE Insurance is alleging strict liability and negligence and seeking damages.

A representative for Piaggio and counsel for QBE didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

QBE is represented by William G. Burd.

Counsel information for Piaggio was not immediately available on Friday.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piaggio P-180 Avanti, N871AT, Monolithic Power Systems, Inc

Incident occurred March 24, 2016 at San Jose International Airport (KSJC), Santa Clara County, California Aircraft gear collapsed on landing.

Date: 24-MAR-16 
Time:  19:00:00Z
Regis#:  N871AT
Aircraft Make:  PIAGGIO
Aircraft Model:  P180
Event Type:  Incident
Highest Injury:  None
Damage:  Minor
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
City:  SAN JOSE 
State:  California

Way We Were: Pioneers in aviation

There is little doubt that R.T. Freng's heroic actions on the evening of March 11, 1929 saved the life of K.A. Kennedy. Freng, with the assistance of a couple local men, pulled Kennedy from the burning wreckage of the Boeing Air Transport B-40 biplane they were flying after crashing on a snow-covered hillside above Woodside Avenue in old town Park City. Freng's training and experience as a pilot had prepared him well for just such an emergency.

On July 24, 1919, 19-year old Norwegian immigrant Ragnar Torkil Freng, enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Service as a flying cadet at Post Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was discharged as a second lieutenant two years later, taking his acquired flying expertise into the fledgling aviation business. He is credited with flying the first commercial passenger plane in aviation history in 1922. In 1925 the United States Forest Service appointed Freng as the first forest fire patrol pilot for eastern Washington, northern Idaho and western Montana.

The Boeing Air Transport Company (BAT) was founded in 1927 when the federal government began contracting airmail business to private companies. R.T. Freng joined BAT and was one of the first to fly the original airmail route between Oakland and Chicago.

Airmail service saved one day over regularly-scheduled trains, which, to some people, such as bankers, was important. K.A. Kennedy, as the Vice President of General Mortgage Company of Oakland, California, was experienced in the details of the mortgage loan business. He engaged in the business of lending money on improved real estate in northern California. K.A. Kennedy was en route to Europe on business, flying as a passenger on the airmail transport plane Freng was piloting on March 11, 1929.

Kennedy, knocked unconscious in the crash, was rescued, along with Freng, from the burning wreckage by Percy Williams, Klyde Peterson, Jack Mitchell, and Ernest Lange. He suffered only a broken foot, treated at the Miners Hospital.

Six months later, the Boeing School of Aeronautics opened with K.A. Kennedy as manager and director of the school's extension and research department. In 1931 Boeing Air Transport and several other companies combined to form United Airlines. As the general traffic manager of United, Kennedy was involved in the purchase and organization of the airline's transcontinental flights in 1933. R.T. Freng was United's Chief of Flying.

Freng pioneered the technique of instrument landings. Seven years to the day after the Park City crash, he made the first successful instrument landing by autopilot. He is said to have made more instrument landings than any other pilot in the world. He logged 24,000 hours of commercial flights and served 25 years as pilot for United before dying of cancer on July 9, 1952.

K.A. Kennedy was named division traffic manager of Pan American Airways in May 1935. On July 29, 1938, his Hawaii Clipper disappeared after leaving Guam for Manila. Kennedy and fourteen others on board were never heard from again.

Original article can be found here ➤

Robert R. Gray Jr: One-legged unlicensed pilot, who blamed plane crash on prosthetic limb, sent to jail

Piper PA-28-180, N2814T: Accident occurred July 22, 2017 at Umphlett Airstrip (VG37), Whaleyville, Suffolk, Virginia

Robert R. Gray Jr.

A one-legged airplane enthusiast from Suffolk who crashed a plane after authorities had repeatedly warned him not to fly was sentenced Friday to two weeks in jail.

Robert R. Gray Jr., 55, pleaded guilty in December to flying without a license.

According to court documents, Gray, who uses a scooter, has spent about 40 years around airplanes but has never secured an airman’s license. That is in part because his prosthetic leg and other medical problems disqualify him from holding one.

The U.S. Department of Transportation launched an investigation of Gray in October 2016, after receiving a tip he was flying without a license, the documents said. Gray denied the allegations.

Federal investigators spoke with him again in June to inquire about another incident. Gray acknowledged flying without a license that time, but claimed he was with a licensed instructor, documents said. The Federal Aviation Administration let him off with a warning.

The next month, the crash happened. According to the documents, Gray was trying to land a 1972 Piper aircraft at Umphlett Airstrip in Suffolk when it pulled to the right, hit a bump, did a 180-degree turn and struck several small trees. The plane, which Gray had recently sold, was left his a damaged right wing, landing gear and nose cone.

Gray – who was uninjured – initially told police he had not been flying the aircraft and that the real pilot was missing, according to court documents.

Police started searching for the missing pilot when Gray confessed he was lying.

A few days later, Gray told an FAA safety inspector he had no feeling on his right side, documents said. He suggested his prosthetic leg became stuck on the brake, causing it to spin out.

Prosecutors asked Friday for Gray to be sentenced to 1½ years in prison, in part because he was warned not to fly.

"By making this choice with his these physical limitations, the defendant endangered everyone around him in the air and on the ground," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Kosky said in court documents. "He could have easily killed himself or a number of other people by making this reckless choice."

Defense attorney Robert Rigney countered that house arrest was more appropriate given his client's various medical problems, which include diabetes, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He said Gray will "inevitably" have to have his left leg amputated at some point.

U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis said he would have given Gray probation if this had been an isolated incident.

But it wasn't. The judge said he was concerned Gray would again crawl into a plane and try to fly, despite his "significant medical issues."

"Once you are up in that airplane, you are a very significant risk," Davis said. "The need to incarcerate ... outweighs the cost to the public."

Original article can be found here ➤

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:


According to the pilot, the airplane touched down on the approach end of the grass airstrip. During the landing roll, he did not realize that his "right foot was resting against the right toe brake." The airplane exited the right side of the airstrip and struck trees.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right-wing spar and horizontal stabilizer.

The pilot did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration pilot certificate.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadvertent brake application during the landing roll, which resulted in a loss of directional control.


Brake - Unintentional use/operation (Cause)
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Qualification/certification - Pilot

Environmental issues
Tree(s) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Location: Whaleyville, VA
Accident Number: GAA17CA430
Date & Time: 07/22/2017, 2036 EDT
Registration: N2814T
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot, he touched down on the approach end of the grass airstrip.

During the landing roll, he did not realize that, his "right foot was resting against the right toe brake." The airplane exited the right side of the airstrip and struck trees.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right-wing spar and the horizontal stabilizer.

The pilot did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration pilot certificate.

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

Robert R. Gray Jr.

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None 
Last FAA Medical Exam: None
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: None
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 225 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model), 50 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N2814T
Model/Series: PA 28-180 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7205226
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/09/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4716 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O&VO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSFQ, 72 ft msl
Observation Time: 1215 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 17°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 24°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 240°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Suffolk, VA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Suffolk, VA (SAME)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2036
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 75 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft; Wet
Runway Used: 19
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2550 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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: 36.589444, -76.638056 (est)

Inspect engines of all jets, not just A320neo: Bombay High Court to Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to state the steps it is taking to ensure safety of not only all A320neo using the controversial Pratt & Whitney engines but also aircraft using other engines.

A bench of Justices Naresh Patil and Girish Kulkarni heard a PIL for grounding all A320neo of IndiGo and GoAir airlines. In February, the European Air Safety Authority had directed A320neo fitted with two PW1100 engines with serial numbers “450 and beyond” to be grounded while those with only one such engine to fly.

The DGCA’s advocate, Advait Sethna, said it has grounded seven IndiGo and two GoAir aircraft with PW1100 engines with serial number “450 onwards”. The judges said that “grounding doesn’t mean the issue is over” and that the DGCA must find out the outcome of EASA’s investigations. Also as aviation regulator, the DGCA must inspect engines manufactured by others.

Sethna informed the court that no deficit is found in PW1100 engines with “pre-450” serial numbers which are airworthy and certified by P&W. The judges questioned whether it is the DGCA’s “own technical assessment” or it is relying on “manufacturer’s certification”.

“If EASA or FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) says pre-450 are safe at least there is some sanctity,” said Justice Kulkarni.

Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas, appearing for IndiGo, said it is “replacing affected engines with better and new engines”. The judges said the anxiety is regarding “pre-450 engines”.

“You (DGCA) cannot allow panic situation in the country. The Government of India has to be in touch with the people. It is answerable,” said Justice Patil. Dwarkadas admitted that “there is a fear psychosis because we are not communicating right”. He said that recently a passenger complained of a burning smell and asked if it was the engine but it was from a packet of nachos.

The judges said the DGCA must assure passengers of safety and not neglect any incident. “Issue clarification, advisory so that passengers feel confident. What you say they would believe. It would possibly be a tyre burst,” said Justice Patil. The bench said that ”more efforts are required to be taken” and has sought replies of DGCA and both airlines on April 3.

Original article ➤

Learjet 31A, N164AL: Incident occurred March 22, 2018 in Juneau, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Juneau

Aircraft hit wing tip on landing.

Corsair Two LLC:

Date: 23-MAR-18
Time: 03:55:00Z
Regis#: N164AL
Aircraft Make: LEARJET
Aircraft Model: LR-31A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Piper PA-28-181, N4135D: Incident occurred March 22, 2018 at Montgomery Field Airport (KMYF), San Diego, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego

Aircraft landed long, ran off the end of the runway, got back on the taxiway then struck a sign.

Christiansen Aviation Inc:

Date: 22-MAR-18
Time: 15:44:00Z
Regis#: N4135D
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA-28A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Cessna 172RG Cutlass RG, N700AG: Incident occurred March 22, 2018 at Brooksville–Tampa Bay Regional Airport (KBKV), Hernando County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Aircraft was performing touch and goes when the nose wheel collapsed.

American Aviation Inc:

Date: 22-MAR-18
Time: 14:15:00Z
Regis#: N700AG
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Piper J3C-65, N70539: Incident occurred March 22, 2018 in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa

Aircraft nosed over on landing.

M7838Bravo LLC:

Date: 22-MAR-18
Time: 13:22:00Z
Regis#: N70539
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: J3 CUB
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Cessna 310R, N372WP, owned and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred March 22, 2018 at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (KMKC), Kansas City, Missouri

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

Location: Kansas City, MO
Accident Number: CEN18LA128
Date & Time: 03/22/2018, 1800 CDT
Registration: N372WP
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 22, 2018, about 1800 central daylight time, a Cessna 310R airplane, N372WP, sustained substantial damage when the right landing gear collapsed during landing roll at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC), Kansas City, Missouri. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 on a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight departed from the Shreveport Downtown Airport, (DTN), Shreveport, Louisiana, with MKC as the destination airport.

The pilot reported that the landing gear warning lights were all green during the approach and the landing was normal. During landing rollout, the right landing gear collapsed. A witness who observed the landing stated that the landing appeared normal and was not a hard landing. The examination of the runway revealed that the landing gear collapsed about 200 feet after touchdown. The airplane skidded for about 1,200 to 1,500 feet and veered of the side of the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

The airplane's landing gear parts that were broken during the accident will be shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board's Materials Laboratory for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N372WP
Model/Series: 310R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MKC, 756 ft msl
Observation Time: 1654 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 120°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Shreveport, LA (DTN)
Destination: Kansas City, MO (MKC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.123056, -94.592778

Accident occurred March 21, 2018 in Beggs, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City

Aircraft crashed into a field after losing power on departure.

Date: 21-MAR-18
Time: 22:45:00Z
Regis#: N2265K
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA-18
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91