Sunday, April 22, 2018

Carolina General Aviation says goodbye to Horace Williams Airport (KIGX) with final flying event

With a little over a month remaining until the closure of Horace Williams Airport, Carolina General Aviation hosted its second flying event Sunday.

Experiencing unusually high levels of traffic, Horace Williams Airport was filled with both passengers and planes. Carolina General Aviation brought in about 24 people for an aerial tour of the University.

Everyone was divided into groups that took off at different times, with the flight generally lasting for about twenty minutes. Founder and Vice President of Carolina General Aviation Daniel Schwartz and President of Carolina General Aviation Sevryn Schaller were the two pilots taking students on aerial tours.

During the pre-flight check, the pilots gave a brief description of the different parts of the plane. They then turned on the engine and propeller, and the plane taxied toward the runway.

The winds were slow, the clouds were few and the sun was shining bright as the planes rushed toward the sky.

Sophomore member of Carolina General Aviation Shannon Grant flew more than once Sunday and encouraged all those who have never flown general aviation before to grasp the opportunity if it comes their way. 

She also said that general aviation is more about experiencing the flight, while commercial aviation is focused on getting from one place to another.

“I would never have flown in my life probably if I hadn’t been in this club or it hadn’t existed,” Grant said.

Students had the opportunity to fly the plane for a short time, but there was a small surprise waiting for them, which Grant said was her favorite part of the flight.

About 10 minutes into the flight, students had the opportunity to experience zero gravity. In Schwartz’s plane, he adjusted the controls and within seconds the forces of gravity weakened, letting people float like they were astronauts.

Scheduled to close in May, Schwartz advocated in favor of keeping Horace Williams Airport open to the transportation policy adviser to Rep. Tim Moore, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Schwartz was notified Friday that the General Assembly is probably not going to step in and prevent the closure of the airport.

The General Assembly prevented the closure of the airport in 2002 and for many this was seen as a means of last resort to keep the airport open again this year.

Schwartz said the club held the event to introduce students to general aviation, but also as an opportunity to say goodbye to the airport.

Schaller said even if the airport closes, Carolina General Aviation will continue at Raleigh Executive Jetport. Raleigh Executive Jetport is about a 35 minute drive, but is only a four minute flight to campus. He hopes the club will continue to grow and introduce more people to general aviation.

“But also it’s sort of like saying goodbye, you know what I mean, because we still have hope, but they’ve set a closure date and we’re doing our best to keep it from happening, but at this point … this may have been the last time that we ever take off at that airport,” Schaller said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Will a longer runway at Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW) help land more jobs?

FORT WORTH - The long-awaited extension of two runways at Alliance Airport is now complete, clearing the way for the north Fort Worth's privately-run cargo airfield to expand its services to include companies wishing to ship freight as far away as Europe.

The airport was already a major regional hub for FedEx and other companies.

But now, the extension of the runways to 11,000 feet makes it possible for Alliance Airport to accommodate any overseas expansion plans those companies have, and also attract new cargo firms — and jobs to north Fort Worth — said Tom Harris, president of Alliance Air Services.

"On a hot summer day when it's 98 degrees, an aircraft fully loaded with fuel and cargo takes longer to get off the ground," Harris said. "You need a longer runway to allow for that to happen. For a wide-body aircraft, with 11,000 feet, air freight airlines can now fly from Alliance non-stop to Europe, whereas before they would have had to fly somewhere along the East Coast, perhaps to Bangor, Maine to stop for fuel, which is something the airlines don't like to do."

The extension of runways 16R/34L and 16L/34R — which were previously 8,200 and 9,600 feet long, respectively — as well as Taxiway A at the north end of the airfield took more than two decades of planning and about $260 million worth of construction.

It required relocating several miles of Farm Road 156 to make room for the runways. A section of railroad main line track belonging to Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway also had to be relocated to make room for the airfield improvements.

Alliance Airport, which is billed as the world's first purely industrial airport, was developed by Hillwood and opened in 1989.

Hillwood chairman Ross Perot Jr. this week described the runway extension as "another major milestone for AllianceTexas.”

Alliance Airport is part of AllianceTexas, a 26,000-acre master-planned community that includes several miles of residential, retail and commercial development, much of it along the Interstate 35W corridor. It includes the Alliance Town Center and Circle T Ranch developments..

"With the completion of the extended runway, Fort Worth Alliance Airport is better positioned to serve the needs of our customers today and long into the future,” Perot said.

AllianceTexas has created 48,800 jobs, and has more than 2.6 million square feet of retail, restaurant, medical and entertainment space as well as single-family and high-end apartments. The development has generated more than $69 billion in economic impact for the North Texas region, Hillwood officials say.

Construction on the runway extension actually began in 2003, when the area north of the airfield was leveled and filled with more than 4 million cubic yards of dirt.

But the actual laying of new pavement began in 2015. The work was substantially completed last month.

The project involved the Federal Aviation Administration, Texas Department of Transportation, Tarrant County and Fort Worth. Virginia-based Lane Construction was the general contractor.

AllianceTexas is the nucleus of job and residential growth in north Fort Worth. In all, there are 488 companies and 48,800 jobs within the master-planned community's boundaries, officials said.

Companies use the airport for corporate general aviation and global logistics services, aviation manufacturing, maintenance, training and workforce development.

At times, especially during race weekends at nearby Texas Motor Speedway, it's not uncommon for hundreds of travelers to arrive and depart at Alliance Airport, through its general aviation and corporate services area. However, there are no immediate plans to offer regularly scheduled passenger service at Alliance Airport anytime soon, Harris said.

"I'm one of those guys who never says never, but it's just not something we're focused on," Harris said. "We are focused on all the other things out there, (including) general aviation, business aviation, helping our military."

Original article can be found here ➤

Plane spots brush fire in Bethany, Genesee County, New York

A pilot has called in an apparent brush fire in Bethany, near Ellicott Street Road and Paul Road, perhaps half-way to Bethany Center Road.

Law enforcement and Bethany fire chiefs are trying to confirm the location.

One small controlled burn was found in the area but the area is being checked further.

The plane was in contact with a tower in Monroe County, which relayed the information to Genesee County dispatch.

UPDATE 6:07 p.m.: A small controlled burn located at Route 63 and Clapsaddle.  Still investigating.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: Residents burning sticks in their backyard were told to put the fire out, which they did. The Bethany assignment is back in service.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 182P Skylane, C-FBNC: Incident occurred April 22, 2018 in Outaouais, Quebec, Canada

Lieut. Patrick Barbary of the Chelsea Fire Department said a pilot decided to land his plane on Highway 5 in western Quebec on April 22, 2018, because he feared his engine was about to fail.

A small plane was forced to make an emergency landing Sunday afternoon on Highway 5 in western Quebec.

The pilot landed at around 4 p.m. on a northbound stretch of the highway near Old Chelsea Road, about 15 kilometres northwest of downtown Ottawa, according to the Sûreté du Québec.

The provincial police force said no one was injured and the plane was not damaged. 

Traffic, however, was disrupted nearby as emergency crews rushed to the scene.

Lieut. Patrick Barbary of the Chelsea Fire Department told Radio-Canada the pilot decided to land because he feared his plane's engine was about to fail.

Barbary said that such a malfunction would be extremely rare.

By Sunday evening, the pilot was in the process of getting the plane towed away from the highway's shoulder.

Original article can be found here ➤

Bushby Mustang II, C-GVXW: Incident occurred April 22, 2018 in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

When police cars buzz by you on the highway, finding them minutes later next to an airplane is probably not high on your list of expectations.

And yet, that’s what Ryan Manseau spotted on his way on Hwy. 5 from Kamloops to Vancouver on Sunday.

“We were passed by a couple police cars just in Merrit,” Manseau said. 

“And then, about 10 minutes south of Merritt, we saw them again, parked next to an airplane.”

Manseau, who was driving the Coquihalla with a friend, said the officers had only just walked up to the plane. 

The plane didn’t seem to be in obvious distress, so it may have just run out of fuel or perhaps had an engine problem.

“That’s what we guessed. It obviously landed there — probably on the road since the median would be too rough to smoothly land. It probably landed on the highway and then pulled over.”

DriveBC said they had no information about the incident and the RCMP have not yet responded to a request for comment.

Original article can be found here ➤

KAMLOOPS — It was a bizarre sight for motorists travelling on the Coquihalla Highway Sunday afternoon, a small airplane landing in between the divided highway.

Debra Sharkey was driving from Vancouver to Kamloops when she witnessed the Mustang II flying low above the highway approximately 10 km south of Merritt. 

"I'm watching him come lower, and lower, and lower, and then as I was coming around a corner and coming into a long gradual declining straight stretch I'm seeing him landing in the meridian between the two highways," she said. 

Sharkey says she immediately slowed down, pulled over to the shoulder of the highway, and called out to the pilot. 

"Traffic was a little loud so I hollered at him and asked him if he was okay and he replied, 'yes, I'm fine.' He was proceeding to get out of his plane and get things together and I said, 'well, do you need a ride somewhere?' And he said, 'no, I've got my cellphone and I've got some service, I'll make a couple of calls, I'm all good, I'm not leaving my plane.'"

Sharkey adds she doesn't know what caused the pilot to bring the plane down on the highway, but it appeared to be in good shape. 

She later saw RCMP cruisers heading toward the sight where the plane landed. 

Merritt RCMP have yet to respond to a request for comment. 

Original article can be found here ➤

Aloha Airlines Flight 243: 30 years later — recalling terror in the skies

The catastrophic damage to the Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 named Queen Lili‘uokalani provides the backdrop as first responders work at the scene following the emergency landing of Flt. 243 at Kahului Airport on April 28, 1988. 

The deafening sound shattered the peace of a routine interisland flight from Hilo to Honolulu on April 28, 1988. To the terrified passengers, it sounded like an explosion. To Capt. Robert “Bob” Schornstheimer, it “sounded like really heavy canvas ripping rapidly.”

“It happened almost instantaneously,” Schornstheimer told The Maui News last week. “There was no warning.”

Twenty minutes into Aloha Airlines Flt. 243, an 18-foot section of the cabin’s roof had ripped off, creating explosive decompression at 24,000 feet and sucking 58-year-old flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing out of the plane.

As strong winds rushed through the cockpit, Schornstheimer looked behind him and caught a glimpse of blue sky, bloodied faces and jagged metal.

“It was actually almost like being in a dream at that point because it’s so unexpected your mind tries to protect you from what’s going on,” he said. “You’re just sort of dazed. I did turn right back around and put my oxygen mask on as I was trained to. I signaled to my co-pilot I was taking control of the airplane.”

Investigators, including National Transportation Safety Board member Joseph Nall (on ground, left), examine the Boeing 737 jet days after its emergency landing. Nall died in a plane crash in Venezuela in 1989. 

All Schornstheimer knew in that moment was that the plane was in deep trouble — and that he needed to do everything possible to get it to land safely.

For nearly 13 minutes, Schornstheimer and First Officer Madeline “Mimi” Tompkins worked to guide the badly damaged Boeing 737 and its 89 passengers to Kahului Airport. Those who watched the plane touch down — without breaking in two or catching on fire — would later describe it as a miracle. Sixty-five passengers and crew were injured; a three-day Coast Guard search was unable to locate Lansing or the roof of the aircraft.

This month marks 30 years since Schornstheimer and Tompkins successfully brought Flight 243 to safety. For those who experienced it, the details of that day remain as clear as if it happened yesterday.

“I can’t believe it even stayed together,” said Larry Miller, the 29-year-old assistant station manager for Aloha Airlines at the time. “The only thing holding that aircraft together were the floor beams. Everything else was gone. It should not have been able to land.”

After being broken in pieces, the Queen Lili‘uokalani waits for recycling in a temporary scrap pile along a sand road at the end of Mahalani Street in Wailuku. 

A turn for the worse

At 1:25 p.m. on a routine Thursday, Aloha Airlines Flight 243 departed Hilo for Honolulu, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. The first 20 minutes passed like any other flight. Passengers settled in to read, work or sleep. Flight attendants Lansing, Jane Sato-Tomita and Michelle Honda started the drink service. In the cockpit, an air traffic controller from the Federal Aviation Administration sat in the observer seat behind the pilots.

It was Schornstheimer’s last interisland flight of the day, and Tompkins was flying the plane as it leveled off at 24,000 feet.

Then, at 1:46 p.m., it happened — “an incredibly loud” ripping noise. Tompkins’ head was thrown back by the force of the wind. Schornstheimer turned around and saw that the cockpit door was gone.

“It was like a surreal experience, because I was looking through the doorway and at the bloodied faces of the passengers,” Schornstheimer said. And the top (of the plane) was missing, from the aft of the galley to the forward edge of the wings.”

In the very back row, 48-year-old astronomer Eric Becklin heard a “big bang” and saw a gaping hole above the first-class section of the plane.

Becklin’s first thought was “Oh s—! . . . This is it. I’m done.”

Hyperventilating and partially in shock, Becklin managed to calm himself by reading the instructions printed on his life vest.

“I remember thinking about things like, ‘I don’t have enough life insurance,’ “ Becklin said. “But there’s nothing I could do about that. And I tried to get some peace with the world, but there was too much noise and too much debris flying around, so that never happened.”

He thought there was “no way” the plane could land in the condition it was in.

“I was very concerned about the fact that the hole was growing all the time,” Becklin said. “There was crap just flying around, and then there was a whole section of people that were right below where the hole was opening up.”

Lansing, passengers would later report, had been immediately swept out of the cabin through a hole on the left side of the fuselage. Sato-Tomita was struck in the head by debris and knocked to the ground unconscious. Honda also was thrown to the floor and clung to the metal bars under the seats as passengers held her down.

Gripping the metal bars, Honda managed to crawl up the aisle amid powerful winds, helping people pull out their life vests, according to a 1988 Washington Post story. She tried to radio the cockpit but couldn’t get through. With the lines down between the cabin and the cockpit, neither side knew what had happened to the other.

Courage in the cockpit

In the cockpit, the roar of the wind drowned out the pilots’ voices. Schornstheimer he could not afford to panic; there were so many emergencies demanding his attention.

“I was just totally focused on having to make it,” he said. “I didn’t have time to dwell on what would happen if I didn’t.”

The pilots didn’t know it at the time, but the immediate pressure change had raised the floor, breaking five consecutive floor beams and snapping the cable to the left engine, which left the plane rocking from side to side.

Schornstheimer’s first move was to regain control of the aircraft, then start an emergency descent toward Maui. He reduced power on the one good engine and used the control wheel to straighten out the plane’s flight path.

Meanwhile, he abandoned any hopes of controlling the pressure. The hole was too big, he decided, and trying to fix the pressure would be “a waste of time, and actually kind of dangerous.”

“You always have to maintain the big picture, and the big picture is to fly the airplane, keep it under control and at the same time figure out what you’re going to do,” Schornstheimer said.

At 1:48 p.m., Tompkins got through to the Kahului Airport tower, according to the NTSB report.

“We’re just to the east of Makena,” Tompkins told the tower in a steady voice. “We are unpressurized. Declaring an emergency.”

She asked for equipment and assistance upon landing and gave the tower a warning — the aircraft might be landing without its nose gear.

The plane was coming in at 170 knots — just over 195 mph, or 50 mph faster than normal. But the pilots didn’t have much of a choice. Earlier, when Schornstheimer had tried to slow the plane, it “started shaking more violently,” he said. But the plane didn’t have enough power to circle around; the crew had to land it.

“We couldn’t have gone around and had the tower check our nose gear,” Schornstheimer said. “We had to land. There wasn’t any question about it.”

Miller watched the plane approach from the ramp.

“It looked like it was going to crash,” he said. “There was part of it missing. The whole top of the fuselage was gone. . . . I didn’t possibly think that this plane could land.”

At 1:58 p.m., with its nose gear lowered, the plane touched down on the tarmac of the Kahului Airport. The danger wasn’t quite over yet — Schornstheimer said the plane felt “springy, like being on the end of a diving board,” and he sensed it flexing as if it might break in two.

When it finally came to a stop, Schornstheimer “breathed a big sigh of relief,” he said. “And I think my co-pilot did, too.”

‘Her life was the airline’

As aircraft rescue firefighters arrived on the scene, a makeshift triage was set up next to the aircraft.

Miller said the first person he spoke to was Honda.

“We were trying to verify the headcount,” said Miller, the Aloha Airlines station manager. “We came up one short.”

Honda realized Lansing was missing. Miller took the coordinates around where the accident had occurred and instructed that they be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Maui had only a handful of ambulances at the time, so Miller remembered tour companies offering their vehicles to carry the injured to the hospital.

“We were shuttling more than one person in the ambulance at a time,” Miller said. “We did what we had to do to get people to the hospital.”

Seven passengers and one crew member had been injured seriously; 57 passengers had minor injuries, according to the NTSB report.

To reinforce just how fragile the plane was, Schornstheimer pointed out that workers had to prop up the middle of the plane while towing it off the runway. As the plane was towed away, it started to rain.

It looked “like the plane was bleeding,” said Miller, who climbed aboard the aircraft later that day to examine the damage.

“It felt like I was walking on a giant sponge with a cardboard floor, because you could feel all the wires and everything underneath,” Miller said.

Nothing but “floor beams and the man upstairs” held it together, Miller said.

A three-day search by air and sea turned up no trace of Lansing or the fuselage. A 37-year veteran of Aloha Airlines, Lansing was remembered by co-workers and passengers for her enduring aloha spirit and service to customers.

“Clarabelle Lansing was the nicest old-timer there that knew her customers, her regulars,” Miller said. “She called them by first name. She called me by first name. That was something to me. She was total Aloha customer service. She was the textbook model of a good stewardess.”

And, he recalled, “She always had a garden of flowers in her hair, not one or two.”

Schornstheimer had flown with Lansing many times, and while they weren’t that close, he knew she’d formed friendships with the longtime passengers.

“Her life was the airline,” Schornstheimer said.

He added that Lansing was one of the “most strict flight attendants with the cabin crew.” She always stressed that flight attendants should go back to their stations once their duties were complete.

Honda later told The Washington Post that Lansing’s adherence to the rules might’ve been what saved Honda’s life.

Cracks in the system

Ten months after Flight 243, the cargo door tore off a Boeing 747 traveling from Honolulu to Sydney, Australia. Nine passengers were ejected from the plane and lost at sea.

The tragedies of United Airlines Flight 811 and Aloha Airlines Flight 243 “really got the FAA focused on older airplanes,” said Peter Forman, a local aviation analyst, author and former commercial pilot.

Flight 243’s explosive decompression was caused by a crack that had spread along the upper row of rivets holding together two panels of the fuselage.

A passenger on the flight later told investigators that she had seen a crack in the fuselage but did not report it.

According to the NTSB report, the first officer on duty before Tompkins had checked the plane’s exterior and maintenance logs that morning and spotted nothing unusual.

At the time, federal regulations didn’t require exterior inspections between flights, and none took place in Hilo.

The NTSB determined that the accident was a “failure of the Aloha Airlines maintenance program” to detect disbonding and fatigue damage.

At the time of the incident, the 19-year-old aircraft had totaled 89,680 flight cycles (takeoffs and landings) — second highest in the worldwide B-737 fleet.

Aloha’s inspection schedule fell within Boeing recommendations. However, neither airline, manufacturer nor federal government fully took into account the stress of frequent interisland flights, according to the FAA’s webpage on lessons learned from aviation accidents.

“An interisland plane that’s going up and down has many more pressurization cycles than a plane flying to the Mainland and back,” Forman explained. “The FAA learned a lot in terms of what is potentially going to be causing these problems.”

After Flight 243, Aloha scrapped the aircraft, named Queen Lili’uokalani, and two other aging jets. The FAA ordered inspections of older Boeing 737s, particularly those that used a certain type of bonding process found to be more susceptible to corrosion.

Boeing had abandoned the “cold bond” process in 1972, three years after the airplane of Flight 243 was built. The NTSB faulted the FAA and Boeing for not adjusting maintenance practices after discovering problems with cold bonding.

“I think the main point was that the FAA communicated with the airlines what the rules were for inspections and maximum life for certain components,” Forman said. “I think so much of the good that came of it was regulatory.”

‘Changed forever’

Schornstheimer said nothing he’d ever trained for compared to what he and Tompkins experienced that day.

However, eight years in the Air Force — much of it spent as an instructor pilot — helped him “a great deal.” Schornstheimer also spent eight months as an air traffic controller at the Kaneohe Marine Base before joining Aloha in 1977.

At the time of the accident, the 42-year-old Schornstheimer had logged 8,500 flight hours, according to the NTSB report. Because his flights were often short hops between islands, that meant he likely had the experience of more than 15,000 landings. Tompkins, 37, had joined Aloha in 1979 and had flown a total of 8,000 hours, according to the report.

“Most of what I did in the air was done, to be honest with you, by memory,” Schornstheimer said. “It was all done from experience and recollection, and determining what was most important at the time. My co-pilot said she felt well prepared because she was due to start formal captain upgrade training and had been doing a lot of studying on her own.”

Schornstheimer flew back to Honolulu after the accident but “didn’t go home for over a week because we were told the press would be all over.”

The captain was barely sleeping in between all the flashbacks, Lansing’s memorial service, interviews with the NTSB and a trip to Washington, D.C., to receive an award alongside Tompkins at a pilots’ union ceremony.

At the time, Aloha didn’t really have a program in place to help pilots deal with trauma, he said.

“One of the dangers for people that do go through an event of this magnitude, they’re changed forever, really,” said Schornstheimer, who settled a lawsuit with Boeing in 1991 over the emotional stress he suffered after the accident.

Tompkins went on to become a captain and would later fly for Hawaiian Airlines. Her own struggles with the aftereffects of Flight 243 would lead her to help the Air Line Pilots Association develop a critical incident response program, which aided pilots dealing with trauma.

She received the association’s 2010 Pilot Assistance Award for her efforts.

“I think that became her legacy, in a way, from this whole thing,” Schornstheimer said.

The two pilots and Honda also participated in the 1990 television docudrama “Miracle Landing,” based on Flight 243.

Schornstheimer said he’s “thankful for being able to make it, and thankful for the people at the Fire Department, and also the hospital and nurses and doctors that took care of our passengers.”

He retired from Aloha in 2005, three years before the airline folded.

“You really never totally get over it,” said Schornstheimer, now 72. “I didn’t sleep really well last night just knowing this interview was coming up. . . . They say the best thing to do was talk about it a lot, but I didn’t do that much.”

He said what’s really helped him reduce stress is music. He picked up the upright bass and even played in a band, though he admits he’s probably a better pilot than he is a musician.

Becklin, meanwhile, flew home to Oahu the day after the accident and had to decide whether he still wanted to travel to Washington, D.C., that weekend to deliver data from Mauna Kea.

“I was told that the best way to overcome the whole thing was to just get on a plane. That’s what I did,” said Becklin, who at 78 now works for NASA aboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, the world’s largest airborne observatory.

Miller, now the assistant airport superintendent for the Maui District, said that he “never flew on April 28 until last year.” Under his desk, he keeps a box of NTSB and FAA documents on Flight 243.

“The heroic actions that Capt. Schornstheimer took by landing that aircraft in the conditions that it was (in), was just as miraculous — or more — than Sully’s Hudson landing,” said Miller, now 59.

“No matter who the people were, I never forget how they came together,” he said. “I guess it’s normal in traumas. But it was rare for us. It was the first time for us in Maui. Never had it since. Never hope to have it again.”

Original article can be found here ➤

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: MAUI, HI
Accident Number: DCA88MA054
Date & Time: 04/28/1988, 1346 HDT
Registration: N73711
Aircraft: BOEING 737-297
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event:
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 7 Serious, 57 Minor, 30 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air Carrier - Scheduled


The Safety Board's full report on this investigation is provided as Aviation Accident Report number AAR-89/03. To obtain a copy of this report, or to view the executive summary online, please see the Web site at 


Probable Cause and Findings

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


Phase of Operation: CRUISE - NORMAL



Factual Information 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 42, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Seatbelt, Shoulder harness
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Valid Medical--no waivers/lim.
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/25/1987
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  8500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6700 hours (Total, this make and model), 107 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 41 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BOEING
Registration: N73711
Model/Series: 737-297 737-297
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Transport
Serial Number: 20209
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/25/1988, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 100000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Fan
Airframe Total Time: 35496 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: P&W
Engine Model/Series: JT8D-9A
Registered Owner: ALOHA AIRLINES, INC.
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Flag carrier (121)
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code: TSAA 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 0 ft msl
Observation Time: 0000
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 16°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility: 20 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 18 knots, 60°
Visibility (RVR): 0 ft
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 0 Miles
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: HILO, HI (ITO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: HONOLULU, HI (HNL)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1325 HDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 4 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 7 Serious, 57 Minor, 26 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: In-Flight
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 7 Serious, 57 Minor, 30 None
Latitude, Longitude:

Oro Valley, Arizona, police second local law enforcement agency in area using drones

Oro Valley Police Department Lt. John Teachout flies the new DJI Matrice 200 commercial-grade quadcopter at the OVPD station on April 17, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona.  It is one of three new drones in service in the department.

The Oro Valley Police Department has become the second local law enforcement agency in the Southern Arizona region to begin regularly using drones.

The idea came from the 2017 Oro Valley Music Festival in September where the Sahuarita Police Department, first in Arizona to purchase drones in late 2016, agreed to provide their drones for the event. It allowed the Oro Valley officers to better adjust for crowd management, move personnel around and watch for problems.

“In doing this we realized that we needed to tighten up a few things,” said Lt. John Teachout, who oversees the Oro Valley police drone program. “We moved folks around, we moved some of our resources around and we could also make sure people weren’t entering the venue from areas that weren’t authorized.”

Days after the festival, a gunman opened fire on 20,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people including Christiana Duarte, a recent University of Arizona graduate.

The department took notice and purchased three drones from Chinese drone manufacturer DJI. Two of the drones each cost $1,000 and the third, a Matrice 200 Series drone, cost $5,000 and can be equipped with different camera systems and can be flown in bad weather.

The department’s first used a new drone to search for an elderly female with dementia who strayed from home in January. She was later found by a patrol officer. A drone also assisted in taking aerial photographs of a crime scene.

Drones can now also map the scenes of vehicle collisions to help investigators determine what happened, which allows roads to be reopened in a more rapid fashion, Teachout said.

While the unmanned aircraft are not a replacement for helicopters or other large aircraft needed for major incidents, smaller incidents can now be handled in a cost effective and safer manner with a drone.

According to DJI, the company specifically makes some of its drones for use by police agencies. “Small UAVs that can fit in any police vehicle give law enforcement teams broad situational awareness, allowing them to formulate an appropriate response in even complex and testing environments,” the company’s website said.

The department has seven officers who can fly the drones and who are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The department conducts ongoing training with officers to assure they remain skilled at flying the drones.

Community outreach is an important part in using the drones, Teachout said, and the plane is not to operate them surreptitiously.

“We’re well aware of the constitutional limitations as it relates to the Fourth Amendment and we tell the public what these things are intended to do, it’s not to go peering into people’s back yards out of curiosity, it’s purpose driven,” he said.

Teachout said the department follows guidelines from the International Association of Chiefs of Police on how the drones should be operated during police incidents.

One of the association’s guidelines directly addresses privacy. It said if the department believes the aircraft will collect evidence of criminal wrongdoing but also intrude upon a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, the agency should secure a search warrant first.

“We think that these tools, while new, are going to be a more efficient way for your police department to provide better and more expedient service to our community in a cost effective manner,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Beech A23A, N3680Q: Accident occurred January 16, 2016 near Riley Creek Airport (12TN), Kingston, Roane County, Tennessee


The private pilot performed maintenance on the airplane about 2 weeks before the accident, which included replacing the fuel tank cap O-rings and draining the fuel from the left tank and putting it in the right fuel tank in order to clear debris from the left tank sump valve. Following that work, the pilot believed that the airplane's right fuel tank contained about 28 gallons of fuel and the left fuel tank contained about 1.5 gallons. On the morning of the accident flight, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane but could not recall if he visually verified the fuel quantity in each tank. After flying around the local area for about an hour with the fuel selector positioned to the right fuel tank, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot performed a forced landing, during which the airplane was substantially damaged.

The pilot reported that he kept the fuel selector positioned to the right fuel tank for the entirety of the flight and did not select the left fuel tank after the loss of engine power because he believed it only contained 1.5 gallons of fuel. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed that the fuel selector was in the right fuel tank position, both fuel tanks were intact, and the right fuel tank was empty. The left tank contained about 7 gallons of fuel. A cursory postaccident examination of the engine found no evidence of any mechanical deficiencies. Given that the pilot used the right fuel tank for the entirety of the flight and that the right fuel tank was found intact and empty after the accident, it is likely that the loss of engine power was the result of fuel starvation.

Probable Cause and Findings

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

 The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and fuel planning and his improper in-flight fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. 



Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

Personnel issues
Preflight inspection - Pilot (Cause)
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Kingston, TN
Accident Number: ERA16LA090
Date & Time: 01/16/2016, 1110 EST
Registration: N3680Q
Aircraft: BEECH A23
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 16, 2016, at 1110 central standard time, a Beech A23, N3680Q, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near the Riley Creek Airport (12TN), Kingston, Tennessee. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the 12TN at 1015.

According to the pilot, two weeks prior to the accident, he replaced the O-rings on the fuel caps and drained all of the fuel out of the left fuel tank in order to clear any debris from the left wing sump valve. He then poured all of the drained fuel into the right wing tank, which brought the right fuel quantity to approximately 28 gallons. He then poured the remaining fuel, which was approximately 1.5 gallons, into the left fuel tank and then sampled the fuel from both tanks for water and other contamination. He then tied down the airplane and placed a tarp over it.

On the day of the accident, the pilot returned to the airport and did not recall if he verified the fuel levels prior to his flight. He climbed into the cockpit and conducted a preflight inspection prior to starting the engine. Once the engine was started, he taxied around the ramp area to clean the mud and debris from the tires while warming up the engine. He took off and flew around for approximately 45 minutes before returning to the airport. After landing he taxied around the airport a few more times before departing again. He said that he was flying for about 10 minutes when he decided to return to the airport. As he flew over the airport to see the direction of the wind, the engine stopped. He attempted to troubleshoot the situation and made an unsuccessful attempt to restart the engine but did not move the fuel selector from the right fuel tank for the left fuel tank as he believed it only contained 1 to 1.5 gallons of fuel. The pilot performed an emergency off-field landing.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane's left wing was broken away from the wing root. The empennage separated from the main cabin and the firewall was buckled. During the examination of the airplane it was noted that the fuel tanks were not breached. Further inspection revealed that the fuel selector was on the right fuel tank. The right fuel tank did not contain any fuel. Examination of the left fuel tank reveal that it had approximately 7 gallons of fuel after draining. A cursory examination was conducted on the engine and valve train continuity was established. The magnetos were checked, and they produced spark to all the spark plugs. Fuel flow was confirmed to the fuel flow divider and fuel injectors. An engine run was attempted but was unsuccessful. During a telephone call with the FAA inspector, the pilot mentioned that he felt that the fuel may have been stolen out of his airplane prior to the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, 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: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/19/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/05/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 115.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 73.9 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N3680Q
Model/Series: A23 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: M-1052
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/17/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2385 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 5 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1482 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-346 SERIES
Registered Owner: Prameros Logistics International llc
Rated Power: 165 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Not Reported
Observation Facility, Elevation: MMI, 874 ft msl
Observation Time: 1515 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 3°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / 1°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3100 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 280°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Kingston, TN (12TN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Kingston, TN (12TN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Riley Creek (12TN)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 750 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.823611, -84.538889 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA090 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 16, 2016 in Kingston, TN
Aircraft: BEECH A23, registration: N3680Q
Injuries: 1 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 January 16, 2016, at 1110 central standard time, a Beech A23, N3680Q, was substantially damaged by a collision with a tree during a forced landing near the Riley Creek Airport (12TN), Kingston, Tennessee. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported near the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the 12TN at 1015.

According to the pilot, the day before the accident, he said that he drained the left fuel tank in order to clear any debris from the left wing sump valve. He said that he poured all of the drained fuel into the right wing tank which brought the quantity to approximately 28 gallons in the right tank. He poured approximately 1.5 gallons into the left fuel tank and then sumped both tanks for water and contamination. The following day when the pilot returned to the airport, conducted a pre-flight, started the engine, taxied around the ramp area to clean the mud and debris from the tires while warming up the engine. He took off and flew around the local area for approximately 45 minutes before returning to the airport. After landing he taxied around the airport a few more times before departing again. He said that he was flying for about 10 minutes when he decided to return to the airport. As he flew over the airport to see the direction of the wind, the engine stopped. An unsuccessful attempted was made to restart the engine, and the pilot performed an emergency off field landing.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplanes left wing was broken away from the wing root. The empennage separated from the main cabin and the firewall was buckled. The airplane was recovered from the accident site and retained for further examination.