Thursday, April 19, 2018

Carlsbad-based airline Cal Jet abruptly cancels more flights



CARLSBAD, Calif. (KGTV) - For the second time this year, Carlsbad-based airline, Cal Jet, has abruptly canceled all scheduled flights and stopped booking new flights indefinitely. 

Kelly Skemps was scheduled to fly from McClellan-Palomar airport to Las Vegas on Friday for her brother’s 50th birthday. But Thursday morning she got a call and a text alerting her that her flight had been canceled.

“I was shocked,” said Skemps, who admits she was initially excited for the airline to be open.

“I thought it was going to be perfect,” she said.

Cal Jet bills itself as an easy and competitively-priced flight option from North County to Las Vegas.

But this is the second time the small airline has inconvenienced customers by cancelling flights and blocking out their schedule.

In February, Cal Jet went dark for nearly two weeks. CEO George Wozniak said the company they lease the plane from, Elite Air, needed it to fly NCAA basketball players.

When they finally resumed operations in March, Wozniak told 10News, “we feel very confident going forward that we have the extra crew and airplanes necessary to fulfill that travel mission for these people.”

Cal Jet did not respond to a request for comment after the latest round of cancellations, though a customer service representative attributed the problems to a lack of “aircraft and crew availability.”

Skemps said she now plans on driving to Las Vegas instead. While she was given a full refund, the whole ordeal has made her skeptical to try Cal Jet again.

“I really want to use the airline. I want to use the local airport. But I’ve been burned now and I’ve lost the trust.”

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

Incident occurred April 19, 2018 at Greenbrier Valley Airport (KLWB), Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia



GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -  This morning a small aircraft made an emergency landing at Greenbrier Valley Airport in Greenbrier County.

The plane made the emergency landing due to ice on the wings.

The Greenbrier Valley Airport manager Stephen Snyder says that emergency response crews were on standby once the call was made. Both passengers aboard the plane are now safe on the ground.

Story and video ➤ http://www.wvva.com

Pittsford, Vermont, honors responders to plane crash

Cessna 172G Skyhawk, N4676L, registered to Anne Kristine II Inc and operated by the pilot: Fatal accident occurred November 22, 2017 in Pittsford, Rutland County, Vermont

Pittsford Police Lt. William Pratico shows a plaque awarded to the town Police Department by the Select Board at a ceremony thanking those who responded to a fatal plane crash last November. At right is Officer Antje Schermerhorn. 

The scene of the fatal plane crash in Pittsford two days after the incident took place on November 22, 2017.

Pittsford Police Lt. William Pratico, left, listens as Dan Baker, center, thanks local emergency personnel who responded to his father’s fatal plane crash in November. At right is Pittsford Police Chief Mike Warfle. A ceremony was held Wednesday night at the Pittsford town Offices where plaques were awarded to first responders by the Select Board. 


PITTSFORD — On the night last November that Norman Baker’s aircraft disappeared somewhere in the autumn fog over Pittsford, a police officer drove his son around as they tried to find clues about what happened to the missing pilot and his single-engine Cessna.

“It was Officer Antje. I drove around with her all night long and it was the night before Thanksgiving,” Dan Baker said Thursday, referring to Pittsford Police Officer Antje Schermerhorn, one of several police officers, firefighters and emergency responders who worked the night before Thanksgiving to find the senior Baker.

On Wednesday, the town of Pittsford honored the dozens of Pittsford emergency responders who worked to find Norman Baker, an 89-year-old pilot from Windsor, Massachusetts, who was flying to meet his children in Vermont for the holiday before his plane disappeared on its way to Middlebury State Airport.

The Select Board presented plaques to the Police Department, the Fire Department and Pittsford First Response, praising them for their work the night of Nov. 22, 2017.

Baker and his wrecked plane were found the next morning.

The elder Baker was an adventurer of some renown: The Boston Globe and The New York Times wrote profiles about the man who, among other adventures, was the celestial navigator for the famed Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who made trans-Atlantic crossings in boats made of papyrus reeds.

But nobody knew that on Nov. 22 except his family; the Pittsford first responders only knew someone’s father was missing.

“In recognition of excellent police officer performance, above and beyond the call of duty,” read the commendation, listing Lt. William Pratico, Officers Stephane Goulet and Schermerhorn, as well as Officer Jerry Tift and Officer Tim Cornell.

“Pittsford Assistant Fire Chief William Hemple led several of his colleagues in responding to news of a missing man and an overdue aircraft,” read the fire department’s commendation.

Robert Foley and colleagues of Pittsford First Response went “above and beyond the call of duty,” that night, “always remaining prepared to provide medical attention to anyone in need” and later helped with the removal of the pilot’s body, according to the commendation.

Town Manager John Haverstock said Wednesday’s event was “a very moving opportunity for the town to once again thank the police, fire and rescue people.”

He said Dan Baker attended the ceremony at the Pittsford town office.

Pratico said Pittsford emergency personnel went into action the night before Thanksgiving after a resident on Sugar Hollow Road reported seeing a plane flying very low, perhaps with engine trouble.

After contacting various airports and aviation authorities, none of which reported anyone missing, local police, firefighters, and Vermont State Police went out into the general area and looked and looked and looked.

“We exhausted all our means,” Pratico said, adding there was no doubt a plane was missing, as other residents reported hearing the low-flying aircraft.

The Civil Air Patrol did a flyover, but couldn’t pick up any signals, Pratico said. And police learned it wasn’t unusual for pilots to fly low “under the fog to see where they were going.”

He said no one heard a crash.

The next morning, one Pittsford resident who had heard the plane searches and read some of the notices, went out on his own property and quickly found Baker and the remains of the plane.

“I think he saw a piece of debris in a tree that drew his attention and he walked right over to it,” Pratico said.

Baker’s plane had crashed into a heavily wooded ridgeline and broke apart.

Pratico and Dan Baker said the National Transportation Safety Board still has not concluded its investigation into the fatal crash. The younger Baker said it likely will be several more months before the investigation was completed.

“We’ve been in touch with them and it’s still ongoing,” he said.

Dan Baker said he has his own theory on why his father, an experienced pilot who had flown to the Middlebury airport close to 20 times in recent years, crashed. In fact, his father had flown to the Middlebury airport just two weeks earlier to meet his newest twin granddaughters, said Baker, a Starksboro resident.

He doesn’t believe his father ran out of fuel. He said he believes his father had lost consciousness and in his last moments steered his plane away from Route 7 and homes “and made sure no one else was injured.”

His father had long planned for emergencies, he said, and would have put his plane down on Route 7, or one of the many open fields in the area.

Dan Baker, a professor of community development and applied economics at the University of Vermont, said his father was an extremely skilled pilot, once landing the two of them in his single-engine plane at Boston’s Logan Airport so his son could make a connection.

He praised the work of the Pittsford officers and volunteers who helped him and his family.

“When they found my dad, they allowed me to be a witness for my family,” he said.

“I couldn’t have been more impressed and grateful for their dedication and their skill,” he said. “They were pretty wonderful folks.”

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

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4676L

Location: Pittsford, VT
Accident Number: CEN18FA037
Date & Time: 11/22/2017, 1700 EST
Registration: N4676L
Aircraft: CESSNA 172G
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 22, 2017, about 1700 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172G, N4676L, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Pittsford, Vermont. The pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to Anne Kristine II, Inc., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Weather conditions at the site are to be determined. The flight was not on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Pittsfield Municipal Airport (PSF), Pittsfield, Massachusetts at an unconfirmed time and the Middlebury State Airport (6B0), Middlebury, Vermont, was the intended destination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N4676L
Model/Series: 172G G
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:  No 
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:  Unknown
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: RUT, 787 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / 0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 310°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: PITTSFIELD, MA (PSF)
Destination: MIDDLEBURY, VT (6B0)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 43.755556, -73.040000

Code 1 Aviation: Company repairs L-39's at the Chicago Rockford International Airport (KRFD)



ROCKFORD - The Chicago Rockford International Airport is a busy place, but there's a lot happening there you may night know about.

Fighter jets come and go at the airport all the time. It's not a military base, and they aren't active Air Force planes. They're retired trainers, and they're the focus of Rockford's Code 1 Aviation.

Nathan Jones started the business in 2012. "I don't think there's a company in the country, or even the world, that does what we do at the level that we do it," he said.

What Code 1 Aviation does is work on jets called L-39's. They're originally from Czechoslovakia. From the mid 90's to the early 2000's, many of the aircraft were imported into the United States. There are about 250 or so flying in the U.S.

Many owners bring their planes to Code 1 for maintenance. 

"We're re-engineering the airplane. We're putting in new avionics. We're designing wet wing fuel tanks to use in the airplane to extend the range for the airplanes," Jones said. "We take an engine off from a corporate aircraft here in the United States, modify it for installation into the L39, and do that installation, which has been very popular."

Nathan will be the first to tell you that he can't do the work alone. There's a lot of manufacturing work that goes on. Code 1 has its own machine and paint shops.

"Right after high school, I went and got my private pilot's license, thinking I was going to be a corporate pilot or an airline pilot, that's the route I thought I wanted to go," said Restoration Specialist Chris Koks. "Then, I found Code 1 Aviation and it changed all my ideas. There's a lot of different avenues. There's paint, there's wiring, avionics, fabrication, and then what I'm doing, the restoration side."

Code 1's first home was in Lakeland, Florida in April 2012. By June, there was a DeKalb location. In November of 2012, the company moved to the Rockford airport. They moved into their current building in 2016.

"We have grown in leaps and bounds," office manager, Carolyn Reynolds, said. "Our customer base has grown. Our staff has grown. When we first began, I think we had five employees."

Now there's about 30 employees in three locations. Many of them come from Rock Valley College's Aviation Maintenance Program.

"I would say half of our staff has probably gone through that class," Jones said. "And that's a great lead in. And we hire a lot of guys that come over, part-time, while they're going to school."

Kos said, "Even though we're primarily only working on L-39s, we can jump from one L39 to another. And something's gonna be a little different. We're gonna have to re-think it, re-imagine it. That's what makes it fun."

In case you were wondering, a nice L-39 plane will set you back anywhere from $200-$400,000.

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

Windy days ground East Texas planes



RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -  A flag blown nearly straight out or leaves in motion seems to be the norm in East Texas right now.

With the spring comes the wind, although in East Texas the wind has been around longer than just the spring. That has posed a challenge on some days for light aircraft pilots. On gusty days, smaller airports look like ghost towns.

“Wind’s your friend and can be your enemy too,” said David Dancer.

Dancer is a pilot and keeps his plane at the Rusk County Airport. He stays on top of the weather, especially when he wants to fly.

“Landings in a cross wind can be an issue. And if you’re close to being on the ground it can blow you physically off the runway,” Dancer said.

And that’s why Rusk County Airport Manager Ron Franks says small plane traffic is nearly nonexistent on gusty days.

“You don’t know what Mother Nature is going to do to you right before you touch down. You could be sliding sideways very quickly,” Franks stated.

Franks has been a pilot for decades and flew for the military.

“Most of the time landing a small aircraft is not dangerous, but that can put an element of danger in that’s not supposed to be there,” Franks commented.

Experienced pilots who teach flying think it’s better to keep their feet on the ground on windy days.

“And people are trying to learn to fly out here and it’s very frustrating for them because the instructor doesn’t want to take them up,” Franks said.

“They can’t get training lessons in because the wind has been so high. And in general ever since last fall the weather has really not been good for training,” Dancer said.

Many East Texas airports only have one runway so if there’s a crosswind pilots may have to land elsewhere.

“If you’re flying to a smaller airport there’s usually an airport nearby that’s got a cross runway somewhere,” Dancer said.

But Dancer says diverting is pretty rare.

“If the first time you come in you catch that gust well, OK let’s try it again,” Dancer explained.

And they both say if there’s any doubt about the landing, they just blow off the flight.

The recent wind has caused a slow down in fuel sales at smaller airports. Franks says heavier commercial aircraft are not affected by crosswinds that could flip a smaller private plane.

Story and video ➤ http://www.kltv.com

Experimental, amateur-built Loomis Xenon 4 gyroplane, N912XV, owned and operated by the pilot: Accident occurred April 17, 2017 near Knoxville Municipal Airport (KOXV), Marion County, Iowa


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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Ankeny, Iowa

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


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


http://registry.faa.gov/N912XV


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Knoxville, IA
Accident Number: CEN17LA156
Date & Time: 04/17/2017, 1341 CDT
Registration: N912XV
Aircraft: LOOMIS Xenon 4
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 17, 2017, about 1341 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Loomis Xenon 4 gyroplane, N912XV, sustained substantial damage after takeoff from the Knoxville Municipal Airport (OXV), Knoxville, Iowa. The gyroplane climbed to about 500 ft above ground level when it experienced a partial loss of power, and during the forced landing, hit a powerline and landed in a ditch. The sport pilot and pilot rated passenger were not injured. The gyroplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which was not on a flight plan. The flight was departing OXV on a local flight.

The pilot reported that on the day of the accident, he and his son had flown from Knoxville, Iowa, to Newton, Iowa, and back. The flight was about 1-hour long. After they landed, he checked the fuel and it showed 10 gallons remaining. He was about to refuel the gyroplane when the accident passenger came over to the aircraft and talked about getting a ride. Since the pilot's brother had already offered to give the passenger a ride, the pilot offered to go for a 10-minute flight. He stated that the passenger weighed about 220 lbs and he weighed 165 lbs. With 10 gallons of fuel on board, he stated that they were within the weight and balance limits of the aircraft.

The pilot taxied to the end of the runway and did a full-length departure. He stated that the taxi, runup, takeoff, and climb to 500 ft above ground level (agl) were normal. The engine was running fine. He had planned to climb to 1,000 ft agl, circle around, and come back to the airport. However, while continuing to climb through about 500 ft agl, the gyroplane stopped climbing and started to descend. He didn't remember hearing any change to the sound of the engine and he thought the engine was still running, but he was aware that the gyroplane wasn't climbing anymore. He checked the altimeter and confirmed that they were in a descent. He started to turn back to the airport but realized he couldn't make it back and tried to land in a field. He saw that he would not clear the powerlines, so he turned sharply, but the gyroplane hit the powerline and crashed on the side of the ditch. He turned the engine and fuel off and he and the passenger climbed out the aircraft. A small grass fire had started in the ditch by the fallen powerline about 20 yards from the gyroplane and it was quickly extinguished; it did not affect the gyroplane wreckage.

The pilot rated passenger reported that the takeoff was uneventful. He stated that during the initial climb, he heard a change in the sound of the engine, like a decrease in engine RPMs. The pilot told him that they were losing power as he was attempting to troubleshoot the problem. The pilot turned to an open field to the right side of the gyroplane but was unable to avoid hitting the powerline. He reported that it was about 10 to 15 seconds from the time of the loss of power until impact. The accident site was located about 800 ft south of the departure end of runway 15.

The gyroplane wreckage was transported back to the airport. The next day Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors examined the aircraft. The engine appeared to be operational, so they decided to try start the engine. It started without hesitation and it was run at idle power, but only for a brief time, since the propeller was broken, and it created a lot of vibration.

The Xenon 4 Executive model gyroplane was a one-piece monocoque structure made of carbon composite with a fixed tricycle landing gear arrangement. It was a two-seat gyroplane with a maximum takeoff weight of 1,234 lbs. The kit was manufactured by Celier Aviation and it was registered as an experimental, amateur-built gyroplane in the United States. The engine was a turbocharged 135-horsepower Rotax 912 ULST that was modified by Celier Aviation from the 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS engine. Two metal tail booms exited the rear of the fuselage and had vertical stabilizers and rudders mounted to each boom. A horizontal stabilizer and elevator were mounted between the vertical stabilizers. The control surfaces were also of composite construction. A metal mast was affixed to the fuselage structure, on which the control head with the lifting rotor was mounted. The two-blade rotor had a metal structure with blades made from drawn aluminum.

The brother of the accident pilot stated that the dealer for the gyroplane was in Dubuque, Iowa, which was about 100 miles from his home. He stated that he built and assembled the gyroplane from the manufactured kit, and that it took about four, 12-hour days to complete building the gyroplane. He stated that the maximum takeoff weight of the gyroplane was 1,320 lbs. The gyrocopter was issued a special airworthiness certificate on February 16, 2016. He stated that the kit manufacturer provided the owners a Rotax 912 ULS maintenance manual for the engine, but they did not provide a maintenance manual for the modified, turbocharged Rotax 912 ULST engine. The pilot's operator manual for the gyroplane did not provide any information concerning the operation of the turbocharger. The aircraft logbook did not indicate that an annual condition inspection had been performed before the accident occurred.


Figure 1 View of the Celier Aviation Modified Rotax 912 ULST Engine


The brother of the pilot stated that the gyroplane operated flawlessly until they started having carburetor problems with flooding. The engine logbook entry dated January 1, 2017, indicated that the gyroplane's hour meter read 266.2 hours. The logbook entry indicated that the carburetors' floats were changed, and new floats were installed. An aviation mechanic familiar with Rotax engines installed the new carburetor floats. The mechanic synchronized the carburetors and it seemed to fix the flooding problem. The mechanic was a trained Rotax mechanic, but he was unfamiliar with the modified turbocharger installation and did not know how to maintain or repair it.

The brother of the pilot stated that the gyroplane continued to have problems developing full power. He stated that the engine would develop about 3,500 RPMs instead of developing full power at 5,200 to 5,300 RPMs. The dealer suggested he try removing the orifice (manifold pressure probe) and clean it of any oil, grease or debris. He removed the orifice and cleaned it. However, there was no index on the orifice, so he reinstalled it in the same position as best as he could determine. By trial and error, he would loosen the lock nut on the orifice and turn it 1/16-inch one way or the other until the engine developed full power at 5,300 RPMs. He stated that the engine would develop full power for a while and then it would revert to only producing about 3,500 RPMs. Then he would readjust the orifice until he got it to produce full power again. He stated that he repeated this process about 5 or 6 times, and the gyroplane was flown about 30 more hours. He compared the engine problem to when a "choke" lever is pulled when an engine is operating - it loses power and can't develop enough power for operation.


Figure 2 Manifold Pressure Probe


The pilot wrote in his pilot's logbook on April 7, 2017, "Not running right – missed at high RPM." The pilot did not fly that day and entered 0 hours flown in his logbook. The brother of the pilot reported that he changed the orientation of the manifold pressure probe again until it produced full power. He reported that the gyroplane operated 7.9 hours without any anomalies before the accident occurred on April 17th.

The brother of the pilot reported that he was not sure what the TURBO knob located on the center pedestal controlled or what its function was. He said he turned it occasionally, but it didn't make any difference in the turbo boost. He said it would make a change to the turbo manifold pressure gauge of about 1/10th degree. He said that when the engine developed 5,300 RPMs at full power, the manifold pressure gauge would indicate about 40" Hg. When in cruise flight, the gauge would indicate 10 – 15" Hg. The accident pilot also stated that he did not know what the function of the TURBO knob was, and that he would not move it.

The dealer for the experimental Xenon 4 reported that the gyroplane met the "51%" rule for an experimental, amateur-built gyroplane. He stated that the aircraft's rotor is test flown to ensure proper balance and tracking of the rotor head. It was then disassembled and shipped with the rest of the gyroplane kit to the United States. The owner/builder then built and assembled the gyroplane which complied with the "51%" rule.

The dealer reported that the manifold pressure probe is located on the aluminum tube that is between the intercooler and the airbox. It senses the turbocharged air pressure and provides vacuum to the top of the carburetors' diaphragm which then schedules fuel for the carburetors. The greater the turbocharged air pressure, more fuel is required. He stated that the position of the orifice is critical and it's a very sensitive adjustment. If it moves or becomes obstructed in any way, then the pressure schedule to the carburetors is adversely affected and the engine fails to produce the required power. He stated that the Turbo adjustment knob on the center pedestal is for adding boost power. The knob is connected to the wastegate via a transparent plastic hose. It bleeds off turbo vacuum pressure which overcomes the turbo springs, allowing for more boost power. He stated that kit manufacturer did not provide operating or maintenance manuals for the gyroplane. There were no procedures provided about how to operate or maintain the turbocharged Rotax 912 ULST. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Gyroplane
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 121 hours (Total, all aircraft), 121 hours (Total, this make and model), 121 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 44, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/16/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LOOMIS
Registration: N912XV
Model/Series: Xenon 4
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: CAM14M2E02AA023
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/11/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 300 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 912 ULS-T
Registered Owner: LOOMIS DWIGHT M
Rated Power: 135 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: PEA, 885 ft msl
Observation Time: 1335 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 60°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 3°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 290°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Knoxville, IA (OXV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Knoxville, IA (OXV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1336 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Knoxville Municipal (OXV)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Concrete
Airport Elevation: 928 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

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:  41.326389, -93.092500



NTSB Identification: CEN17LA156 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 17, 2017 in Knoxville, IA
Aircraft: LOOMIS Xenon 4, registration: N912XV
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 17, 2017, about 1341 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Loomis Xenon 4 gyroplane, N912XV, sustained substantial damage after takeoff from the Knoxville Municipal Airport (OXV), Knoxville, Iowa. The gyroplane climbed to about 500 ft above ground level when it experienced a loss of power, and during the forced landing, it hit a powerline and landed in a ditch. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The gyroplane was owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which was not on a flight plan. The flight was departing OXV on a local flight.

At 1255, the surface weather observation at the Pella Municipal Airport (PEA), Pella, Iowa, located 10 nm northeast of OXV was: wind 270 at 6 knots; sky clear; 10 miles visibility; temperature 21 degrees C; dew point 3 degrees C; altimeter 30.16 inches of mercury.

Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, N3280M: Fatal accident occurred April 08, 2017 at Orlando Sanford International Airport (KSFB), Orange County, Florida

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

Analysis 

The accident flight was the airplane's first flight after undergoing restoration over the course of 2 years. Although the mechanic who had worked on the airplane with the pilot wanted the pilot to do a high-speed taxi test before flight, the pilot wanted to "hurry up" and test fly the airplane as he had a friend visiting and wanted to take him flying in the airplane.

During the takeoff, witnesses observed the airplane pitch up into a nose-high attitude just after liftoff, stall, and descend in a nose-down attitude to ground impact. Examination of the wreckage revealed crush damage to the nose and the leading edges of the wings that was consistent with a nearly vertical nose-down flight path at the time of impact. Further examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane's elevator control cables were misrigged, such that they were attached to the incorrect (opposite) locations on the upper and lower ends of the elevator control horn, resulting in a reversal of elevator control inputs. If the pilot had checked the elevator for correct motion during the preflight inspection and before takeoff check, he likely would have discovered that it was misrigged, and the accident would have been avoided. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: 

The incorrect rigging of the elevator control cables, which resulted in a reversal of elevator control inputs applied by the pilot during the takeoff, an excessive nose-high pitch, and subsequent aerodynamic stall after takeoff. Also causal was the inadequate postmaintenance inspection and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and before takeoff check, which failed to detect the misrigging. 

Findings

Aircraft
Elevator control system - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)

Personnel issues
Installation - Other/unknown (Cause)
Post maintenance inspection - Pilot (Cause)
Preflight inspection - Pilot (Cause)
Use of checklist - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event
Preflight or dispatch event

Takeoff
Flight control sys malf/fail (Defining event)
Aerodynamic stall/spin

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)


Thomas Michael Camman
August 29, 1961 - April 8, 2017 

Thomas was employed by Spirit Airlines as a commercial pilot and held a BA in Airport Management from Memphis State University. He was a member of the following clubs/organizations, Quiet Birdman, Young Eagles, AOPA, Beechcraft, Heritage Museum, EAA and the Bonanza Society. Thomas enjoyed flying his planes, sailing, golfing, model trains and spending time with family and friends. 


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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N3280M

This picture was taken before the fatal accident.


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Sanford, FL
Accident Number: ERA17FA148
Date & Time: 04/08/2017, 1256 EDT
Registration: N3280M
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Flight control sys malf/fail
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 8, 2017, about 1256 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N3280M, was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire after takeoff from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and 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 local personal flight.

According to air traffic control audio information, the pilot received a takeoff clearance for runway 27L for closed traffic, which the pilot acknowledged. There were no further communications with the pilot.

Multiple witnesses stated that the airplane accelerated normally, lifted off, and immediately pitched up to a near vertical attitude. One witness stated, "it was like someone took the control yoke full aft." The witnesses reported that the airplane reached an altitude of about 100 ft, stalled, rolled to the right, and descended in a nose-down attitude to impact on the right side of runway 27L. A postimpact fire ensued that was extinguished by aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel on the airport. A witness recorded the flight on his mobile telephone. The video showed the airplane's takeoff roll, rotation, and initial climb and ended as the airplane pitched up to a nose-high attitude.

A mechanic who worked on the airplane with the pilot reported that the accident flight was the first flight following a 2-year restoration that included replacement of the wing and fuselage fabric, flight control cables, and electrical wiring. The mechanic stated that he was hesitant for the pilot to fly the airplane on the day of the accident. He wanted the pilot to do a high-speed taxi test first to check the tension on the cables and trim. The pilot stated he wanted to "hurry up and test fly it" as he had a friend visiting and wanted to take him flying in the airplane. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  25000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model) 

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with airplane single- and multi-engine land ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, airplane multi-engine, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class airman medical certificate was issued on February 7, 2017, with the limitation, "must wear corrective lenses. " On the application form for this medical certificate, the pilot reported 25,000 total hours of flight experience and 400 hours in the previous 6 months. According to the pilot's logbooks, he had about 150 total flight hours in the accident airplane. 


This picture was taken before the fatal accident.


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3280M
Model/Series: PA 12 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-2136
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/25/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1735.57 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 115 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  None 

The three-seat, high-wing, tail-wheel-equipped, fabric-covered airplane, serial number 12-2136, was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a 115-horsepower Lycoming O-235-C1C engine, and equipped with a two-bladed, fixed pitch Sensenich propeller. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on March 25, 2017, at which time the airplane had 1,735.57 total flight hours. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SFB, 55 ft msl
Observation Time: 1253 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 292°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sanford, FL (SFB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Sanford, FL (SFB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1255 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class C

At 1253, the recorded weather at SFB included wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 22°C, dew point -3°C, and altimeter 30.11 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: ORLANDO SANFORD INTL (SFB)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 54 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6647 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  28.770000, -81.218889 

The airplane came to rest inverted on a heading of about 170° magnetic in a grass area about 9 ft north of the north side of runway 27L, adjacent to the 1,000-ft markers. The nose of the airplane was crushed aft. The propeller remained attached to the engine, and it was located adjacent to a linear ground crater consistent with the dimensions of the propeller.

The empennage, fuselage, cockpit, and wings were consumed by postimpact fire. The engine exhibited significant thermal damage, and several of its accessories had separated during the impact sequence. The engine crankshaft was manually rotated, and continuity of the valve train was established from the crankshaft flange to the rear accessory section. Thumb compression was obtained on all four cylinders.

All flight control surfaces (ailerons, flaps, rudder, elevators, and trimmable horizontal stabilizer) remained attached to their respective attach points. The left and right aileron cables were continuous from the control stick to their respective bellcranks. The rudder cables were continuous from the foot pedals to the rudder bellcrank.

The elevator control cables were continuous from the upper and lower attach points on the elevator control horn to the forward and rear control sticks. Manipulation of the elevator control cables revealed that a nose-up input on either control stick resulted in a nose-down deflection of the elevator (instead of the proper nose-up deflection) and vice versa. Further examination revealed that the elevator cables were attached to the incorrect (opposite) attach points on the elevator control horn, which resulted in the reversal of elevator control inputs. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Office of the Medical Examiner, Leesburg, Florida, performed an autopsy of the pilot. The cause of death was listed as thermal and blunt force injuries.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological testing. The results were negative for alcohol and drugs. 

Additional Information

During preflight inspection of a PA-12 (before engine start), a pilot can see the elevator's corresponding movements when the control stick is manipulated (either when standing by the open cockpit door or when seated in the front seat); likewise, a pilot standing on the ground and manipulating the elevator by hand can look forward and see the corresponding control stick movement. During a before takeoff check of the PA-12, a pilot can view the elevator from the pilot seat by turning around and looking back.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued Safety Alerts SA-041, "Pilots: Perform Advanced Preflight after Maintenance," and SA-042, "Mechanics: Prevent Misrigging Mistakes," in March 2015. That same month, the NTSB also released a Video Safety Alert, "Airplane Misrigging: Lessons Learned from a Close Call." The NTSB Safety Alerts and video, which inform general aviation pilots and mechanics about the circumstances of these types of accidents and provide information to help prevent such accidents, can be accessed from the NTSB's web site at www.ntsb.gov. 






NTSB Identification: ERA17FA148 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 08, 2017 in Sanford, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12, registration: N3280M
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 April 8, 2017, about 1256 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N3280M, was destroyed by impact and a postcrash fire after takeoff from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to review of preliminary air traffic control communications, the pilot received a takeoff clearance for runway 27L to remain in the airport traffic pattern, which he acknowledged. There were no further communications with the pilot.

A witness to the accident recorded the flight on his cellular telephone. He provided the video, and gave a statement to airport police, which was consistent with the content of the video. According to the witness, the "airplane accelerated normally for takeoff, pitched up, and continued to pitch up into a full stall, rolled to the right and nosed in on right side of 27L." He stated a postimpact fire ensued and was extinguished by aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel.

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane single and multiengine land ratings. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration first-class medical certificate was issued on February 7, 2017, with the limitation, "must wear corrective lenses. " The pilot reported 25,000 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The three-seat, high-wing, tail-wheeled, fabric-covered airplane was manufactured in 1947. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235-C1C engine, rated at 115 horsepower, that was equipped with a Sensenich two-bladed, fixed pitch propeller.

The accident flight was the first flight following a 2-year restoration of the airplane that included replacement of the wing and fuselage fabric, flight control cables, and electrical wiring.

The airplane came to rest inverted, oriented on magnetic heading of about 170°, in the grass about 9 ft north of runway 27L, adjacent to the 1,000 ft markers. 

The nose of the airplane was crushed aft.

The propeller was attached to the engine, which was located adjacent to a linear ground crater.

The empennage, fuselage, cockpit, and wings were consumed by postimpact fire.

The engine exhibited significant thermal damage, and several of its accessories were separated. 

The engine crankshaft was rotated by hand and continuity of the valve train was established from the crankshaft flange to the rear gears. Thumb compression was obtained on all four cylinders.

All flight control surfaces (ailerons, flaps, rudder, elevators, and trimmable horizontal stabilizer) were attached to their respective attach points. 

The left and right aileron cables were continuous from the control stick to their respective bell cranks. 

The rudder cables were continuous from the foot pedals to the rudder bell crank.

The elevator control cables were found attached to the upper and lower ends of the elevator control horn in the tail of the airplane.

Elevator control cable continuity was established from the control horn to the forward and rear control sticks.

Manipulation of the elevator control cables revealed that a nose-up control stick input resulted in a nose-down deflection of the elevator and vice versa. 

Further examination revealed that the elevator control cables were improperly rigged, such that they were attached to the incorrect (opposite) locations on the upper and lower elevator control horn.