Thursday, April 26, 2018

Yakovlev Yak 52, N2YK, registered to and operated by Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum Inc: Accident occurred April 26, 2018 near Portland-Hillsboro Airport (KHIO), Washington County, Oregon

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

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

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N2YK

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Hillsboro, OR
Accident Number: WPR18LA127
Date & Time: 04/26/2018, 1620 PDT
Registration: N2YK
Aircraft: YAKOVLEV YAK 52
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry

On April 26, 2018, about 1620 Pacific daylight time, a Yakolev Yak52, N2YK, sustained substantial damage during an off-airport landing following a reported loss of engine power about 3 miles south of the Portland-Hillsboro Airport (HIO), Hillsboro, Oregon.  The airline transport pilot and pilot rated passenger sustained serious injuries.  The airplane was registered to and operated by Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum Inc. under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a ferry flight.  Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight, which originated from Hobby Field (77S), Creswell, Oregon, about 1530, with an intended destination of Scappoose Industrial Airpark (SPB), Scappoose, Oregon.

According to a pilot, who was flying in formation with the accident airplane, the flight was uneventful until west of Salem, Oregon, when the pilot of the accident airplane reported that the engine was misfiring.  The flight continued north, and as they were about 10 miles south of McMinnville Airport (MMV), McMinnville, Oregon, the pilot of the accident airplane informed the pilot that he might need to declare an emergency, however, did not specify the nature of the problem.  

The pilot stated that the flight continued north, despite his transmission to the accident pilot to land at MMV, with no response.  After the flight progressed north of MMV, the pilot observed the accident airplane descend to an altitude of about 150 feet above ground level while on a heading towards HIO.  The pilot stated that the accident airplane remained at that altitude for several minutes until it descended into tree covered terrain about 3 miles southwest of HIO.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuselage and left wing were structurally damaged.  The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: YAKOVLEV
Registration: N2YK
Model/Series: YAK 52 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: CLASSIC AIRCRAFT AVIATION MUSEUM INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HIO, 208 ft msl
Observation Time: 1553
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point: Creswell, OR (77S)
Destination: Scappoose, OR (SPB) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 45.515556, -123.014444



Portland, OR -- The conditions of the pilot and passenger who survived a plane crash into an orchard outside Hillsboro are improving, according to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

A nursing supervisor told FOX 12 that 73-year-old Gary Hagstrom has been downgraded from "critical condition" to "serious condition." The other man who survived, 88-year-old Gennaro Avolio, is now in "fair condition."

Witnesses said the engine wasn't running and the plane hit a tree before going down.

The two men were pulled by firefighters from the YAK 52 Thursday afternoon. The Washington County Sheriff said the plane was having engine trouble before it crashed.

Sam Peck first heard of his stepfather's crash when one of Hagstrom's friends called him, concerned the plane he was flying might have gone down. Then Peck got a call from the hospital – confirming the devastating news.

"I was shaken up," Peck said. "It was so scary."

Since then, it's been an emotional roller-coaster for the family. They now feel grateful it seems the worst is behind them, and Hagstrom should make a full recovery.

"(The doctors) said he's very lucky to be alive and his guardian angels are working overtime," Peck said.

Peck said Hagstrom is on a ventilator, and although the family hasn't yet been able to speak him, his stepfather seems to be in good spirits. Still, the road to recovery will be a long one.

"He has two cracked vertebrae -- up in the chest area -- a couple cracked ribs, broken sternum, bump on the head from hitting the canopy a couple times, and a broken femur ball socket," Peck said.

Peck said Hagstrom was flying the World War II era Yak 52 as a favor for its owner. The plane belongs to the Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum in Hillsboro.

Hagstrom and Avolio planned to fly it from Creswell to Scappoose, until they had engine trouble, and rerouted – hoping to get to the Hillsboro Airport.

"He was trying to make that field (beyond the orchard), but the gravity got the better of him," Peck said. "It was because of his flight hours that he was just able to guide it in as best as he could."

And Hagstrom is no novice pilot.

Peck estimates his stepfather has about 50 years experience flying: he was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War and then flew many years for American Airlines.

"I know he's a darn good pilot," Peck said, adding that his stepfather's skill likely saved both men's lives.

And although Hagstrom had never flown the Yak 52, Peck said he was familiar with the Russian plane, and even has a similar one sitting in his hanger.

The CJ-6 now waiting for him at home.

"He's stubborn, so he'll try to get back in the air as soon as he can," Peck said.

Peck said he believes his stepfather would have completed a full safety check before takeoff.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigation the cause of the crash.




HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) - Two men were seriously hurt after a plane they were flying came crashing down just outside Hillsboro Thursday afternoon.

The men, ages 73 and 88, were pulled from the wreckage and rushed to local hospitals, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said. One of the men was transported in a helicopter and the other in an ambulance. 

Both are in serious condition, according to deputies.

The crash occurred in an orchard in the 1000 block of Southwest 331st Avenue.

Workers at the Hillsboro Airport warned Washington County dispatchers that the single-engine Yak-52 aircraft was experiencing engine trouble, the sheriff’s office said.

Washington County and Cornelius deputies responded to the crash scene, climbed into the wreckage and administered first aid to the two men until emergency medical crews arrived.

James Wart, a man who witnessed the crash, said he was working at a nearby fruit stand when he heard the plane coming down. Once the plane came into his line of vision, he says he knew something was seriously wrong. 

"He had it level and stable, but he had no power, so there was nothing he could do," Wart said. “Came over the top of us and did a turn and went over and hit the fir trees and spun into the ground.”

Another neighbor, Joe Van Dyke, also saw the crash.

“It was coming down, looked like it was going to crash, and it hit the fir trees over there and ripped half the wing off and went into the fruit orchard -- my neighbor’s fruit orchard.”

Van Dyke said he and his son-in-law jumped into an ATV to go help. 

At first, they thought the pilot might be dead.

"He had blood coming out his nose and he was cut up pretty bad and was just kind of limped over the front of the fuselage, and the back guy was actually moving and talking," Van Dyke said.

Records show the plane is owned by the Classic Aircraft Aviation Museum in Hillsboro.

It’s not clear where the pilot was headed before the crash.

No other injuries were reported. The sheriff’s office says no property damage was reported.

Other agencies on scene Thursday included Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating. 


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



UPDATE: Two men were extricated and transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

Two men were hospitalized Thursday afternoon, April 26, after a small aircraft of which they were the sole occupants crashed in between Hillsboro and Cornelius.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the single-engine plane went down at 4:20 p.m. Thursday. Cassandra Ulven, a spokeswoman for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, said the two occupants were alive and conscious, with firefighters working to free them. Deputies also assisted in providing medical attention, the Sheriff's Office stated.

Deputy Jeff Talbot said at 5 p.m. that both occupants had been extricated. One was transported by ground ambulance and the other was transported by LifeFlight air ambulance, Talbot said. Their injuries were characterized as serious.

The men are 73 and 88. Their relationship was not immediately clear.

The plane crashed near the intersection of Southwest Tualatin Valley Highway and 331st Avenue, according to Ulven.

The craft was identified as a Yakovlev Yak-52, a type of high-performance single-propeller plane originally built as a Soviet Air Force trainer.



According to Bruce Montgomery, a spokesman for Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, it was a challenge for emergency responders to access the site because of difficult terrain. The plane landed in a filbert orchard, Montgomery said.

The cause of the crash is not yet clear. Montgomery said witnesses reported it came in from the west and the engine may not have been running. An investigation is underway.

Traffic control at the Hillsboro Airport received notice from the plane's pilot that he was declaring a state of emergency, according to an audio recording released Thursday evening. The Washington County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers were notified by the airport that the aircraft was experiencing engine trouble about two minutes prior to the crash at 4:20 p.m.

James Wart, who said he witnessed the crash, said the plane's wing struck the treetops and it passed directly over a powerline.

"There was no engine," Wart said. "He couldn't have been doing more than 20 mph. It was nice and smooth. That was the amazing part, was how controlled the landing was until he hit the tree."

Wart praised the plane's pilot for maintaining control.

"He's a good pilot," said Wart, who was working at a nearby berry stand off Tualatin Valley Highway when he saw the crash. "Any landing you can walk away from is good."

No injuries or damage were reported on the ground, the Washington County Sheriff's Office stated.

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue took the lead in responding to the crash, with other emergency agencies — including the Washington County Sheriff's Office and TVF&R — also on the scene.

The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

Two men were seriously injured Thursday afternoon after the small passenger plane they were aboard crashed into an orchard outside of Hillsboro, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The crash was reported around 4:20 p.m. in an orchard at Duyck Family Farms Produce near TV Highway and SW 331st Avenue. The plane was approaching the Hillsboro Airport when it experienced engine trouble, the sheriff's office said.

Responding deputies rendered first aid to the two men inside the single-engine Yakovlev Yak-52 plane until medics arrived.

Crews worked to get them out of the plane. One person was taken to the hospital in a Life Flight helicopter. The other was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

The sheriff's office said the men are 73 and 88 years old. They were both in serious condition Thursday night.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the crash.

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

Beccaria Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania

BECCARIA TOWNSHIP - A reported plane crash along Tyrone Pike in Beccaria Township, Clearfield County, has been confirmed as a false alarm by 911 dispatch officials.

Crews responded to the area after dispatch received reports of a small plane crash around 2 p.m.

The initial reports said a small plane crashed and was on fire.

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

Beccaria Township, Clearfield County, Pa - Update:

Emergency crews say no plane crash was found and the scene is clear. 

A false report was called in. 

Emergency crews are responding to reports of a plane crash in Beccaria Township, Clearfield County. 

They were called out after 2:00 Thursday afternoon. 

No word yet on how many were injured or where the plane was heading. 

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

New Flight Charters: Private Jet Charter Company New Flight Charters Announces First Quarter Increase of 17.5% Year-Over-Year

Air Charter Demand Shifts Toward Larger Aircraft, Charters of Midsize through Heavy Jets Climb 41 percent.



DENVER, April 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- New Flight Charters, a nationwide leader in on-demand private jet charters, announced a 17.5% year-over-year increase for the first quarter of 2018.  Its growth trend continues; for the 2017 calendar year the company previously announced a 12.5% year-over-year increase.

New Flight Charters more than doubled the charter industry's growth trend for the first quarter, an 8% increase year-over-year according to TraqPak data released by Argus International.

A strong move to larger aircraft was reported, with a 41% climb in midsize, super-midsize and heavy jet charters as a group, while light jet charters and turboprop charters descended 16% and 23% respectively.  New Flight Charters fliers choose their specific aircraft from an array of options for each flight, sourced per their own preferences and guaranteed for best price in the market.

This furthers a trend toward larger aircraft that was seen in 2017 (+16%).

The company attributes the increase in part to better pricing options with the growth of floating fleet aircraft availability - currently 316 aircraft from 27 operators are available to New Flight Charters' clients.  Floating fleet aircraft can be quoted point-to-point without having to revolve around a certain base and incur that additional cost, thus are typically better than traditional charter quotes, jet cards and memberships.

Celebrating its 14th anniversary and named as an Inc.5000 fastest growing U.S. company four different years, New Flight Charter has averaged 13.5% annual growth since 2004.

"We are seeing growth on several fronts, but most important to us is our client return rate which reflects the level of service.  With on-demand charters flight by flight, each one must be on point," commented New Flight Charters' president Rick Colson.  "The people are the most important part of any business, and that's particularly so with custom on-demand charter.  The largest number of compliments we receive are about our people."

The company continues to see growth also from its specific initiatives in Colorado and Jackson Hole, Wyoming where it is headquartered.

Jackson Hole Jet Charter is the company's local resource for private charter information and flying to and from Jackson Hole and the northern Rockies.  Featured are Jackson Hole Specials, regional empty legs, and a regional charter aircraft listing with access to aircraft transient at Jackson Hole Airport.

Jet Charter Colorado, launched in 2016, is the only complete Colorado resource and has all 123 charter aircraft based in the state from 36 FAA certified operators, along with floating fleet aircraft available to or from Colorado with point to point pricing, and available empty legs.  The most popular locales for charter arrivals and departures in the state during 2017 were the Denver-Centennial, Aspen, Eagle-Vail and Rocky Mountain Metro airports.

About New Flight Charters

Since 2004 charter aircraft owner and leading U.S. private jet charter brokerage New Flight Charters has arranged private domestic and international flights with top-rated operator aircraft along with industry leading jet charter pricing, industry floating fleets and empty legs list, and a perfect safety history.  Extensive client reviews and industry ratings are available on the New Flight Charters website.  As a registered U.S. government contractor with an A+ rating by the BBB, and named to the Inc.5000 fastest growing list four consecutive years, the company handles 1,400 customized flights annually nationwide and serves a wide variety of clientele including Fortune 500 companies, government heads of state, presidential campaigns, entertainment icons, private families and entrepreneurs.

For charter quotes or information nationwide, call (800) 732-1653.  For Colorado charter information and quotes, call (303) 729-1444.  For charter information to or from Jackson Hole, WY call (307) 734-7751.

Contact:
NFC Media Relations
pr@newflightcharters.com

SOURCE New Flight Charters

Related Links

http://www.newflightcharters.com

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

Amendment would let NetJets pilots fly until they’re 70



NetJets pilots who hope to keep working well into their 60s may be in luck, after a federal proposal to mandate an age-65 retirement age was revised to age 70.

Rep. Bob Gibbs, a Republican from Ashland, this week introduced a compromise age-70 retirement mandate with bipartisan support, as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill in Congress. Because of its narrow definition of what pilots are affected, it essentially covers only pilots flying for NetJets. It would have a yearlong phase-in period.

The proposed amendment is one of more than 240 that have been introduced to the long-simmering legislation.

Since 2009, pilots for commercial airlines have had an Federal Aviation Administration-mandated retirement age of 65. Before then, retirement was required at 60.

Pilots for private jet operators such as NetJets have not been subject to the age-based retirement date. However, they are required to undergo twice-yearly medical exams and tests of fitness and competency to fly.

NetJets has been interested in establishing imposing a retirement age on its pilots, and had previously backed a proposal to apply the age-65 rule for commercial pilots on pilots for NetJets.

“The lack of a pilot age restriction for large private air carriers is a growing concern in aviation safety,” NetJets spokeswoman Kristyn Wilson said in a statement.

“NetJets supports an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that would impose an age restriction ... that is similar to the restriction that currently exists for commercial airlines.”

“Such a restriction in an important safety measure for private carriers whose flight operations are comparable in size and complexity to their commercial counterparts,” NetJets said in the statement. “We hold passenger safety as our highest priority and we look forward to working with Congress on this common-sense regulation that will make air travel safer for everyone.”

Those opposed to the age 65 retirement requirement gained support last week from the AARP, which sent a letter to leaders of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee decrying a mandated retirement age.

“AARP has long opposed mandatory retirement. Using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots,” said Luke Russell, a spokesman for AARP Ohio, in a statement.

Based in Columbus, NetJets is the world’s largest private jet operator. It originated the “fractional” concept of jet ownership, in which owners buy a timeshare-like share of a private plane, then pay NetJets to maintain and operate the aircraft.

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots union had not taken an official position previously, but, according to industry publication Aviation Industry News, the union has given its backing to the age-70 proposal.

The NetJets union told the publication that the proposal would affect about 75 pilots. A union representative declined further comment to The Dispatch.

The retirement-age issue had created some friction within the union ranks, particularly with those at or near age 65. The issue has been discussed on aviation message boards and has been followed by industry publications, with some suggesting that the age-65 mandate was more about cost savings than safety, because older pilots are generally the highest-paid.

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

Appeals court dismisses Clayton County, Georgia, lawsuit in Hartsfield fuel tax battle

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit by Clayton County to uphold airport fuel tax collections that the Federal Aviation Administration says the south metro community is not entitled to.

Clayton County and its school district split $18 million annually from fuel taxes levied on the Atlanta-owned Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which is located in Clayton. But the Federal Aviation Administration last year indicated it could begin enforcing a policy it upheld in a 2014 decision prohibiting the use of taxes collected at an airport for any purpose other than for the airport.

The court on Tuesday ruled that it did not have jurisdiction in the case because the Federal Aviation Administration had not yet enacted the policy, making it difficult to judge something that hadn’t happened.

“In the end, Petitioners’ lawsuit is both too late and too early,” the court wrote in its opinion. “It comes too late to challenge the Federal Aviation Administration policy clarification issued in 2014, and it comes too early to challenge an Federal Aviation Administration enforcement action that may never happen. Because the Letter is not final agency action, we dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.”

Because the court did not take a side, the decision leaves the door open to Clayton and the Federal Aviation Administration to continue further discussions on the matter, Clayton officials said.

“I’m disappointed, but optimistic because our fight continues,” said Ricky L. Clark, city manager for the city of Jonesboro.

In arguments before the 11th Circuit in early March, Clayton called the Federal Aviation Administration move “arbitrary and capricious” and said the federal agency had not taken into account that while Hartsfield is located in Clayton, the county has no access to it as a revenue source outside of the fuel tax.

The loss of the tax, which Clayton has collected for two decades, would fail to compensate the county for Hartsfield-related burdens, such as air quality, noise and public safety costs.

Clayton’s fight with the Federal Aviation Administration is different from the battle that heated up earlier this year between Delta Air Lines and state legislature over a sales tax exemption on jet fuel.

Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said county leaders will huddle together to determine next steps. While he hopes the county will win in the long run, he was disappointed that court did not pick a side. That’s in part because had the county lost in court, Gov. Nathan Deal has set aside $27 million to compensate Clayton while it finds another funding source over three years.

“I wish they would have made a decision, but they didn’t.” Turner said. “I hope it won’t be a long, drawn-out process because we really need to move on so we can get to some other things.”

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

Federal Aviation Administration ties supervisor bonuses to employee engagement improvements

For executives at the Federal Aviation Administration, employee engagement is all about the money.

Federal Aviation Administration senior leaders’ performance plans and bonuses are tied, in part, to how they approach and improve their employees’ morale, mission results and their overall leadership.

“Each executive is assigned four-to-seven goals that are in the business plan and they have to meet those goals to receive an incentive at the end of each year. Every executive in the Federal Aviation Administration is required to have as part of their business plan goals employee engagement so every executive in the agency is committed to maintaining or improving employee engagement and if they don’t, they have a financial impact at the end of the year,” said Gwen Defilippi, the deputy assistant administrator for human resource management at the Federal Aviation Administration, on the Courageous HR program. “That causes everyone to get motivated around it.”

Defilippi said by tying financial rewards to employee engagement and the oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration business council, the administration’s scores have increased over the last four years. In 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration employee engagement score on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) rose to 68 percent from 62 percent in 2014.

The Office of Personnel Management reported in October that overall employee engagement topped 67 percent in 2017, a 2 percent bump over last year’s score of 65.

Now the Federal Aviation Administration is a bit different than most agencies with its employees coming under Title 49 of the U.S. Code and are able to design their own compensation structure, while most federal employees fall under Title 5.

But Defilippi said based on her experience at other agencies, she believes Title 5 employees also could have their performance goals tied to their incentives.

“I had struggled hard in other agencies to try to figure out how to bring the organizational achievement with the individual accomplishment. As I looked at the way the Federal Aviation Administration did it, I thought this could really have a lot of application in the Title 5 world as well in that the Title 5 world for executives is rewarding their leaders based on the leadership competencies, the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) that OPM designed, published and have been in place for many years,” she said. “One of those is results driven, and really effectively what the Federal Aviation Administration has done is they just put structure around that results-driven objective in that every year they design goals to drive the agency forward.”

One of the big differences for Defilippi in the Title 49 world as compared to the Title 5 world is how the objectives are focused. She said in other agencies most of the time performance objectives are focused on the individual person and what they will accomplish. But the Federal Aviation Administration is requiring at least 40 percent of a manager’s plan to relate to cross-agency goals.

“That really drives teamwork toward the mission goals of the agency, which I think is kind of neat as well,” she said. “The fact we do have alignment helps us with our employee engagement because when people have clarity of mission, it’s easier to see how you fit into the organization, why what you do matters and how people are being held accountable so that’s certainly one of the areas we focus on with employee engagement conversations.”

At the same time, Defilippi said the Federal Aviation Administration requires each component to have a specific plan to improve employee engagement.

“The plans they make to improve engagement are often posted in shared areas so that every employee in the organization has the ability to go in and see what the strategies are and monitor the progress on those,” she said. “It really is fairly transparent in the Federal Aviation Administration on what the objectives are, how an organization is trying to accomplish them and whether they are meeting their goals or having to revise their plans because reality hit.”

Part of the way Defilippi’s office helps components with their strategies is by bringing in successful executives and national labor partners to share best practices during an agencywide training conference. At the conference, the managers break up into smaller groups to design action plans they can take back to their offices.

“The reality is employee engagement is a local thing, it’s the boss and the subordinate. It’s not really something you can’t really mandate across the board. In the end, engagement really happens where the subordinate and the supervisor sit down in the specific location, it’s the relationship they are building, it’s about how they are being recognized and rewarded, and what kind of communication they have,” she said. “Each line of business or staff office has an employee engagement champion, who is helping the executive team in that organization make sure employee engagement stays front and center. They are helping to design the engagement, keep us on track to execute the plan, communicating with employees and things like that.”

While a lot of the employee engagement effort is focused on the supervisors and managers, Defilippi said the employees’ input on how to improve engagement also is playing a big role.

Federal Aviation Administration uses IdeaHub to request ideas to help improve the operations of the agency or improve engagement. More recently, the administration took those suggestions and created a “Shark Tank” competition where employees presented their ideas to the leadership team, who voted to implement the best ones.

“We’ve been hosting a working group with representatives from across the agency about what we could do differently to reward and recognize our employees. Part of this is to getting some standardization across the agency so one organization is not offering something that another is ignoring,” Defilippi said. “At the end of that, all of those ideas were brought to the leadership team in a ‘Shark Tank’ like way and I think that kind of methodology makes it a little more fun to bring forward the proposals for the people who are receiving it as well as for the people who are putting forward their ideas.”

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

Norwegian Air’s Disruptive Days Look Numbered: The latest company to champion low-cost trans-Atlantic flights either needs to rein in its ambition or sell out



The Wall Street Journal
By Stephen Wilmot
April 26, 2018 10:20 a.m. ET

Cheap trans-Atlantic flights may become harder to come by, whether or not Norwegian Air Shuttle gets taken over.

Norwegian shares took flight Thursday after the company said, alongside its first-quarter results, that it had “received several inquiries” following IAG’s expression of interest.

The parent company of British Airways announced earlier in April that it had bought a 4.6% stake in the trans-Atlantic disrupter, with a view to exploring an offer. Norwegian has established a steering committee and hired advisers to review the situation.

Norwegian also said it would sell up to 140 aircraft. Although this figure amounts to the vast majority of its current fleet, the company expects to take delivery of a further 60 aircraft in 2019 and 2020 and will likely lease back enough of the planes it sells not to disrupt operations. Crucially, however, disposals release cash.

The airline has grown rapidly by piling on debt to buy new jets and offering cheap trans-Atlantic flights. But now it desperately needs to shore up its balance sheet. Even after a roughly $165 million private placement in March, Norwegian finished the first quarter with just $260 million of equity, supporting total assets of $6.3 billion. If equity falls below roughly $190 million, the company is in breach of its bond covenants.

Selling planes eases the pain, but the only long-term cure is to improve margins. Rising fuel prices are a headwind. The company’s first-quarter unit costs fell 2% on the year, but only because of the weak dollar: At constant currencies, they would have risen. Norwegian’s focus on new, fuel-efficient planes should eventually put it at a competitive advantage if fuel costs continue to rise—but only if it survives the short-term margin squeeze.

Little wonder vultures are circling. German flag-carrier Lufthansa and low-cost leader Ryanair also have the heft to contemplate buying Norwegian, even if IAG is probably the most natural acquirer, given its experience with Iberia and Aer Lingus, and holding company structure.

One question concerns antitrust scrutiny: Adding Norwegian’s base at London Gatwick Airport to IAG’s home at Heathrow could be seen as an attempt to quell competition on the busy and lucrative London-New York route.

However this plays out, Norwegian looks set to be a less disruptive force.

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

Learjet 45, N45YF: Incident occurred April 25, 2018 near University of Illinois-Willard Airport (KCMI), Champaign County, Illinois

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aircraft experienced a bird strike.

Learjet Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N45YF

Date: 26-APR-18
Time: 03:15:00Z
Regis#: N45YF
Aircraft Make: LEARJET
Aircraft Model: 45
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: CHAMPAIGN
State: ILLINOIS

North Wing Sport X2-N, N366DN: Accident occurred April 25, 2018 in Pahrump, Nye County, Nevada and Accident occurred April 30, 2017 in Boulder City, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

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


http://registry.faa.gov/N366DN


Location: Pahrump, NV
Accident Number: ANC18LA033
Date & Time: 04/25/2018, 1015 PDT
Registration: N366DN
Aircraft: NORTH WING UUM INC SPORT X2-N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 25, 2018, about 1015 Pacific daylight time, a North Wing UUM Inc Sport X2-N, weight-shift control, special light sport airplane, N366DN, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control during landing at Calvada Meadows Airport (K74P), Pahrump, Nevada. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules flight when the accident occurred. The sport pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed K74P for a local flight in the traffic pattern.

According to a witness, during a previous landing attempt, the airplane descended toward the runway at a steep angle and failed to flare prior to touching down hard. Following the ground contact, he heard the engine advance and the airplane went around while attempting to gain control of the airplane. The pilot then made four subsequent approaches to the runway, without touching down. On the fifth approach, the airplane appeared to overshoot the runway and then landed hard, bouncing about 30-50ft before touching down again and departing the left side of the runway, coming to rest inverted.

The pilot stated on NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, that on the landing attempt immediately preceding the accident, he hit hard on the runway and became airborne again. He increased the throttle to gain altitude to go around and re-attempt the landing. As he gained altitude, he realized the airplane was difficult to control and when he made a left turn to enter a downwind leg of the traffic pattern "the aircraft went into a violent left turn."

After several more landing attempts, the pilot was getting physically fatigued from fighting to maintain control and decided to make a full-stop landing. After touching down on the runway, he felt the airplane accelerate before it began to cartwheel and departed the left side of the runway.

The airplane was designed in such a way that the throttle is controlled by the pilot through the use of a foot pedal.

A post-accident examination by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, revealed substantial damage to the wing and a broken engine mount sway bar. Upon further examination it was discovered that the brakes had been removed and the brake lines were capped. No mechanical malfunction or anomaly was discovered that could have led to the sudden acceleration reported by the pilot.

The closest official weather observation station to the accident site was McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Las Vegas, Nevada. At 0956, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 070° at 5 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; few clouds at 25,000ft; temperature 79° F; dew point 25° F; and altimeter 30.07 inches of mercury. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/24/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 30 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 14 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: NORTH WING UUM INC
Registration: N366DN
Model/Series: SPORT X2-N NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: LS7003
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/27/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1060 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 685 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: FITZGERALD MARTIN L
Rated Power: 65 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: KLAS, 2180 ft msl
Observation Time: 1656 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 42 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 106°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / -4°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 70°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pahrump, NV (74P)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pahrump, NV (74P)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: CALVADA MEADOWS (74P)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2726 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4081 ft / 48 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Go Around; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage:Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  36.271944, -115.995278 (est)


Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Boulder City, NV
Accident Number: GAA17CA250
Date & Time: 04/30/2017, 0800 PDT
Registration: N366DN
Aircraft: NORTH WING UUM INC SPORT X2-N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis 

The student pilot of the weight-shift-control aircraft reported that, while practicing touch-and-go landings on a dried lake bed, the flight instructor was controlling the throttle inputs, and she "controlled the wing." She added that, just before the accident, she observed three dust devils to the east and that, during a final pass near the north end of the lake bed, they came upon "strong localized turbulence." The aircraft impacted the ground and rolled to the left.

The flight instructor reported that, during the turbulence encounter "about 4-6 ft" above the ground, the "wing stalled," which resulted in a "hard nose wheel landing."

The weight-shift-control aircraft sustained substantial damage to both wings.

The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the weigh-shift-control aircraft that would have precluded normal operation.

The flight instructor reported that the wind was light and variable and that the temperature was 70°F at the accident location. A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located about 6 miles northeast of the accident site reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was calm, and the temperature was 64°F. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's exceedance of the weight-shift-control aircraft's critical angle of attack and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action and failure to maintain the proper airspeed after encountering localized turbulence during approach, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Findings

Aircraft
Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Cause)
Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)
Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Aircraft control - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Monitoring other person - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Monitoring other person - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Dust devil/whirlwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Turbulence encounter
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial; Sport Pilot
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Sport Pilot
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/01/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 415 hours (Total, all aircraft), 393 hours (Total, this make and model), 415 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 56 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 23 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 61, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
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:  (Estimated) 10 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: NORTH WING UUM INC
Registration: N366DN
Model/Series: SPORT X2-N NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Weight-Shift
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: LS7003
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/25/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1060 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 652 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582 UL
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 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: KBVU, 2202 ft msl
Observation Time: 1455 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 40°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / -9°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:  BOULDER CITY, NV (BVU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: BOULDER CITY, NV (BVU)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0655 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.866667, -114.943889 (est)

LAS VEGAS - A plane flipped over after landing near Boulder City on Sunday, according to Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The incident happened on the El Dorado Dry Lake Bed around 7:30 a.m. 

Two people were in the plane when it flipped, but it is unknown if they were injured at this time, Gregor said. 

The plane is a North Wing Sport X-2 with tail number N366DN.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the crash.

Original article can be found here: http://www.lasvegasnow.com