Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mosquito XE: Accident occurred May 02, 2018 in Iron Station, Lincolnton, North Carolina

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

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

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

Location: Iron Station, NC
Accident Number: GAA18CA250
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1000 EDT
Registration: N725JC
Aircraft: MICHAEL R ALEXANDER MOSQUITO XE
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The noncertificated pilot reported that, while practicing hovering the helicopter in his yard, the experimental amateur-built helicopter struck a tree with the tail rotor. He added that, the next thing he knew the helicopter developed "a huge vibration suddenly and [he] had no heading control". Subsequently, the helicopter impacted the ground.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation. The helicopter was destroyed by a post-crash fire.

The pilot reported in the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report form (6120.1) that he should have taken more dual instruction, and he should have chosen a more open area for hover practice. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: None
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MICHAEL R ALEXANDER
Registration: N725JC
Model/Series: MOSQUITO XE NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: MXE 1123110B
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/03/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 612 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 350 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Intec
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 800
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 95 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: KIPJ, 875 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1355 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 322°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.32 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Iron Station, NC
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Iron Station, NC
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 35.440000, -81.120000 (est)



LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - An Iron Station man is lucky to be alive after his helicopter crashed and caught fire right on his front lawn.

Back in October, Timothy Kniess' wife won the lottery a hundred thousand dollars on a scratch off ticket.

Luck was definitely on their side again today when he was able to escape the crash with just a few scratches.

Neighbors weren’t surprised by the crash. They say they watched Kniess attempt to fly his Mosquito XE helicopter for weeks, just waiting for it all to go wrong.

"Is today the day? I came home and the neighborhood was blocked off and today was the day, it went down,” said neighbor John Aubery. 

North Carolina State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies responded to the crash Wednesday morning, finding the helicopter on fire and Kniess watching his helicopter melt away.

"He was able to crawl away from the crash before it was engulfed in flames,” said NCSHP Trooper Jeffrey Swagger.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Kniess was attempting to hover when the helicopter's tail rotor got caught on a tree branch and the aircraft flew out of control.

"Man bought a helicopter, he woke up one day and said ‘today's the day, I identify as a pilot, bought a helicopter.’ Hell I can't tell a man what to do in his own property,” Aubery said. 

The FAA says investigators will be looking into the pilot's certification. State Highway Patrol tells FOX 46 Kniess wasn't experienced and we couldn't find any certifications under his name.

"Oh I knew it was going down. you don't see someone bouncing a helicopter around their yard like that, oh man this guy isn't going to make it,” said Aubery.

Many just can't believe Kniess' luck.

"The pilot was very fortunate that he didn't receive more injuries than he did,” Trooper Swagger said.

"God was watching out for him, that's all I can say,” said Aubery.

The National Transportation Safety Board will continue with the investigation and determine if any citations will be issued.


Story and video ➤  http://www.fox46charlotte.com


Timothy Kniess, left, was able to crawl away after his helicopter crashed on the front yard of his home.  


A man who hit the lottery last year had a double dose of luck on Wednesday when he was able to crawl away after crashing a helicopter on the front yard of his home.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration said Timothy Kniess, 56, was trying to hover when the helicopter's tail rotor got caught on a tree branch and the aircraft crashed at his home in Iron Station, located about 25 miles northwest of Charlotte.

"He was able to crawl away from the crash before it was engulfed in flames,” said North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey Swagger told FOX46.

Kniess suffered some minor scrapes but no serious injuries.

Swagger added that Kniess was "very fortunate" to not have received more serious injuries from the incident.

The 56-year-old was in the news last October when he won $100,000 on a scratch-off ticket after having his wife scratch the ticket, The Gaston Gazette reported at the time.

At the time, he said he planned to purchase a workshop with his winnings but neighbors said Wednesday he recently purchased the  Mosquito XE helicopter.

"Man bought a helicopter, he woke up one day and said ‘today's the day, I identify as a pilot, bought a helicopter.’ Hell I can't tell a man what to do in his own property,” neighbor John Aubery told FOX46.

The FAA said that investigators will be looking into the pilot's certification. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol told FOX 46 that Kniess wasn't experienced, and could not find any certifications under his name.

The National Transportation Safety Board will continue with the investigation, and determine if any citations will be issued. Neighbors said they couldn't believe Kniess' extended luck.

"God was watching out for him, that's all I can say,” Aubery said.

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

Cargolux Airlines International, Boeing 747: Incident occurred May 02, 2018 at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (KDFW), Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Dallas, Texas

Flight 774: While taxiing damaged taxiway lights.

Date: 02-MAY-18
Time: 22:50:00Z
Regis#: UNK
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: B747
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: CARGO
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: CARGOLUX
Flight Number: 774
City: DALLAS
State: TEXAS

Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, N30521: Incident occurred May 02, 2018 at Hampton Roads Executive Airport (KPVG), Norfolk, Virginia

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia

Aircraft struck a deer on landing, taxied to ramp without incident.

Tradewind Aviation International LLC

http://registry.faa.gov/N30521

Date: 03-MAY-18
Time: 06:35:00Z
Regis#: N30521
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: 44 180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: NORFOLK
State: VIRGINIA

Piper PA-32RT-300T Turbo Lance II, N24BA: Incident occurred September 26, 2018 and Incident occurred May 02, 2018 at Malad City Airport (KMLD), Oneida County, Idaho

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

September 26, 2018: Went through a fence during aborted takeoff.

Biz Flyers LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N24BA

Date: 26-SEP-18
Time: 22:50:00Z
Regis#: N24BA
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 32RT 300T
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: MALAD CITY
State: IDAHO

May 02, 2018:  Aircraft landed and nose gear collapsed.

Date: 02-MAY-18

Time: 16:15:00Z
Regis#: N24BA
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: 32RT 300T
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: MALAD CITY
State: IDAHO

Beech 95-55, N467T: Incident occurred May 02, 2018 at Concord Municipal Airport (KCON), Merrimack County, New Hampshire

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aircraft experienced a prop strike on landing.

http://registry.faa.gov/N467T

Date: 02-MAY-18
Time: 18:35:00Z
Regis#: N467T
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 95 55
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CONCORD
State: NEW HAMPSHIRE

Sportsman GS-2, N3ZY: Incident occurred May 02, 2018 in Winnemucca, Humboldt County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aircraft landed on a highway.

http://registry.faa.gov/N3ZY

Date: 03-MAY-18
Time: 02:30:00Z
Regis#: N3ZY
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: SPORTSMAN GS 2
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: WINNEMUCCA
State: NEVADA

Lancair ES, N33KT: Accident occurred May 02, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aircraft crash landed on a dirt road.

http://registry.faa.gov/N33KT

Date: 02-MAY-18
Time: 15:05:00Z
Regis#: N33KT
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: LANCAIR ES
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: ALBUQUERQUE
State: NEW MEXICO

Southwest Airlines, Boeing 737-700, N713SW: Incident occurred May 02, 2018 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (KCLE), Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Emergency landing due to possible cracked passenger window. Landed without further incident.

Southwest Airlines Company: http://registry.faa.gov/N713SW

Date: 02-MAY-18
Time: 14:41:00Z
Regis#: N713SW
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737 7H4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: EMERGENCY DESCENT (EMG)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Flight Number: 9001
City: CLEVELAND
State: OHIO




(Reuters) - A Newark, New Jersey-bound Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) flight made an emergency landing in Cleveland on Wednesday after a window pane cracked in flight, airline officials and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

No one was injured in the incident, which came two weeks after an engine on a Southwest 737 ripped apart in flight and shattered a window, killing a female passenger in the first U.S. airline passenger fatality since 2009.

The cause of Wednesday’s crack in one of the window’s multiple panes was not immediately known.

The flight, Southwest 957, was traveling to Newark Liberty International Airport from Chicago Midway International Airport with 76 passengers on board. The crew diverted the Boeing Company 737-700 to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport at about 11 a.m. EDT to inspect a layer of a windowpane, said Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish.

“The aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance review,” Parrish said.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro, who confirmed no one was hurt, said the organization was investigating the incident.

Wednesday’s incident is damaging more to Southwest’s public perception than evidence of any systemic issue, Teal Group Fleet analyst Richard Aboulafia said. The airline said in its first- quarter earnings report it is bracing for a decline in bookings following the April engine blowout.

“It’s unfortunate only from an optics and image standpoint,” Aboulafia said. “Windows are made by window manufacturers. Nothing to do with technology that’s unique to the 737 or to Southwest.”

The FAA on Tuesday ordered additional inspections of fan blades in hundreds of additional engines similar to the one that failed in the deadly Southwest accident on April 17.

Southwest has said it planned to complete ultrasonic inspections on all fan blades on the some 700 planes in its fleet with the CFM56-7B engines, the model involved in last month’s blowout, over the next two weeks, meeting the FAA’s August deadline by mid-May. The CFM engine is made by a joint venture of General Electric Company and France’s Safran.

Southwest said it has not found any cracks on fan blades inspected since the accident.

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

United Hires Former White House Press Chief in Bid to Revamp Image: United wants to escape from a reputation for poor service, as well as a series of high-profile incidents



The Wall Street Journal
By Doug Cameron
May 3, 2018 6:00 a.m. ET


United Airlines said Thursday it had tapped former White House press chief Josh Earnest to head its communications team, part of the effort to improve the fortunes of a carrier damaged by everything from growth plans to the death of a dog in an overhead bin.

Mr. Earnest, a former press secretary under President Barack Obama, has been hired as a senior vice president at parent United Continental Holdings Inc. to oversee communications for a carrier that is become a touchstone for the fortunes of the broader U.S. airline industry.

United, the nation’s third-largest carrier by traffic, in January unveiled an ambitious expansion plan that rattled investors across the industry, sending the stock down in recent weeks despite strong financial results.

Chicago-based United is aiming to escape from a reputation for poor service borne out by industry surveys, as well as a series of high-profile incidents.

Mr. Earnest, who arrives with a long record in politics but no direct corporate experience, is due to join United later in May as the wider issues of passenger rights and industry safety gain traction among lawmakers.

One of the longest serving aides to President Obama, and press secretary from 2014, he developed a reputation for good relationships with the media and a tenacious defender of Mr. Obama’s image and reputation, sparring over stories he disliked, according to reporters who covered him.

He replaces Jim Olson, who joined from Starbucks Corp. and departed after two years last December.

“Cutting through the noise of the modern media environment is a challenge, especially in the highly competitive airline industry,” United said in a statement.

The airline has been battered by controversy over an incident last year when Chicago airport police forcibly removed a passenger from one of its jets. A series of controversial incidents involving pets on planes and the failure to meet cost-cutting and growth targets have also weighed on the stock.

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

Lancair 360, N92WL: Accident occurred May 02, 2018 near West Woodward Airport (KWWR), Oklahoma

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N92WL

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Woodward, OK
Accident Number: CEN18LA156
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1620 CDT
Registration: N92WL
Aircraft: LAMINAR Lancair 360
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 2, 2018, about 1620 central daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Laminar Lancair 360 airplane, N92WL, experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight and impacted terrain during a forced landing to a field about 1/2 mile from the Woodward Municipal Airport (WWR), Woodward, Oklahoma. The pilot and one passenger were not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned by an individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, which was operated on an instrument flight plan. The flight departed the Lee Summit Municipal Airport (LXT), Lee's Summit, Missouri, about 1416, and was en route to the Dalhart Municipal Airport, Dalhart, Texas.

At 1555, the surface weather observation at WRR was wind 160° at 23 knots, gusting to 32 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds 4,700 ft, scattered clouds 5,500 ft, scattered clouds 6,500 ft; temperature 27° C; dew point 15° C; and altimeter 29.78 inches of mercury. Lightning observed distant to northeast, south, and west. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LAMINAR
Registration: N92WL
Model/Series: Lancair 360
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: WWR, 2189 ft msl
Observation Time: 1555 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 15°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4700 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 23 knots/ 32 knots, 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.78 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Lee Summit, MO (LXT)
Destination: Dalhart, TX (DHT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.443611, -99.515000 (est)




Two men flying an experimental aircraft from Missouri to Arizona forced landed their plane in the field just north of the Woodward Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

The men, Pilot Mark Johnson of Cypress, Texas and passenger Matthew Lafe of Prescott, Arizona were piloting the experimental Lancair 360 back to Arizona after purchasing the aircraft in Missouri, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Steve Nightengale.

At 10,000 feet, the pilot told Nightengale that the aircraft suffered a complete engine failure and they had too much headwind from nearby storms so they tried to make it back to Woodward's airport, where they hoped to make a controlled landing.

However, the aircraft lost altitude and they were forced to put the aircraft dopwn in the field just north of the Woodward Regional Airport.

Called to the scene were law enforcement, firefighters and ambulance service. The two men on the plane appeared to be in good condition upon setting the plane down in the grass.

The investigation is being headed by Trooper Roy Anderson of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's aircraft incident investigation unit.

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

Robinson R22 Mariner, operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight, N923SM: Accident occurred May 02, 2018 in Panama City, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Vestavia Hills, Alabama

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


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


http://registry.faa.govN923SM


Location: Panama City, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA140
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1000 CDT
Registration: N923SM
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Flight control sys malf/fail
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On May 2, 2018, about 1000 central daylight time, a Robinson R-22 Mariner helicopter, N923SM, operated by N923SM LLC., was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Panama City Beach, Florida. The commercial pilot received minor injuries. The flight was operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Perry-Foley Airport (40J) Perry, Florida at 0830, that was destined for Destin Executive Airport (DTS), Destin, Florida.

The pilot reported that about 90 minutes after departing 40J, while in cruise flight at 80 kts and 800 ft mean sea level (msl), the helicopter slowly started losing airspeed; he pushed the cyclic forward, but the airspeed kept decreasing and the helicopter was beginning to lose altitude. He continued to push the cyclic forward until it hit the stop and then realized he had no cyclic authority. The pilot stated there was no forward airspeed and the helicopter continued to descend until it impacted the water with nearly zero forward airspeed and little flare. The helicopter floated briefly until waves struck the side of it and it turned inverted.

Prior to the flight, the pilot was conducting a preflight inspection, which included removal and storage of the blade tie down ropes and associated "socks" that cover the rotor blade tips. During this procedure, the pilot removed the tie down ropes and thought he placed them under the left cockpit seat storage container. In addition, the flight was conducted with the doors off; they were not installed on the helicopter.

A coworker and fellow pilot was flying in formation with the accident helicopter about 700 ft msl. He was at the 5 o'clock position of the accident helicopter at the same altitude when he noticed that the helicopter slowed from about 80 knots to 30 knots in about 15 seconds. He reported that "I felt something wrong and flew to his 10 o'clock position to see what was happening to him." The pilot further reported that the helicopter was descending in a reverse gliding attitude and struck the water with the tail boom first, before rolling upside down.

Witnesses on the ground from the United States Coast Guard and salvage company stated that the tie down ropes used for the rotor blades were found wrapped around the rotor head assembly, swash plate and pitch control rods. The ropes remained in place when the Coast Guard and recovery team arrived prior to the recovery operation taking place.

According to the pilot and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter as well as a flight instructor certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter. The pilot reported 467.7 total hours of flight experience and 467.7 of those hours where in the accident helicopter make and model. In the previous 90 and 30 days, the pilot reported about 50 hours and 20 hours respectively.

According to the FAA airworthiness and the helicopter's maintenance records, the two-seat, semi-rigid single-main-rotor, single-engine helicopter, serial number 1923M, was manufactured in 1991 and was issued a standard airworthiness certificate. The helicopter was equipped with floats and powered by a 160-horsepower Lycoming O-320-B2C series engine, which had 4,988.6 hours total time. As of the most recent annual inspection completed on December 28, 2017, the airframe had 6,988.7 hours total time. The current airframe and engine logbooks were on the helicopter at the time of the accident and were lost.

Examination of the helicopter by an FAA inspector revealed that the main rotor blades were deformed, the fuselage was substantially damaged, and the tail boom was partially separated. In addition, a tiedown rope and blade sock used to secure the helicopter rotor blades on the ground was found tightly wrapped around the swash plate and pitch change links of the main rotor.

At 0953, the weather recorded at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Panama City (ECP), Florida, about 12 miles north of the accident site included no clouds or restriction to visibility, wind from 140° true at 9 knots, and visibility 10 statute miles. The temperature was 20°C, and the dew point was 18°C. The altimeter setting was 30.27 inches of mercury. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/08/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/08/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 467.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 467.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 369.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROBINSON
Registration: N923SM
Model/Series: R22 MARINER
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1991
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 1923M
Landing Gear Type: Float; Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/28/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6988.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2C
Registered Owner: N923SM LLC
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: N923SM LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ECP, 68 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0953 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 320°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: PERRY, FL (40J)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: DESTIN, FL (DTS)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0830 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 30.173889, -85.807500 (est)

Location: Panama City, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA140
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1000 CDT
Registration: N923SM
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On May 2, 2018, about 1000 central standard time, a Robinson R-22 Mariner helicopter, N923SM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to water near Panama City, Florida. The commercial pilot received minor injuries. The flight was operated in accordance with Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Perry-Foley Airport (40J), Perry, Florida at 0830, and was destined for Destin Executive Airport (DTS), Destin, Florida.

The pilot reported that 90 minutes after departing 40J, while in cruise flight at 80 knots and 800 ft mean sea level (msl), the helicopter slowly started losing airspeed; he pushed the cyclic forward, but the airspeed kept decreasing and the helicopter was beginning to lose altitude. He continued to push the cyclic forward until it hit the stop and realized he had no cyclic authority. The pilot stated there was no forward airspeed and the helicopter continued to descend until it impacted the water. The helicopter floated briefly until it was struck by waves and rolled inverted.

A pilot flying in formation with the accident helicopter noticed that the helicopter slowed from about 80 knots to 30 knots in about 15 seconds. The pilot further reported that the helicopter was descending in a reverse gliding attitude and struck the water with the tail boom first, before rolling upside down.

Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the main rotor blades were deformed, the fuselage was structurally damaged, and the tail boom was partially separated. In addition, a tiedown rope and blade sock used to secure the helicopter blades on the ground was found tightly wrapped around the swash plate and pitch change links of the main rotor.

The two-seat, semi-rigid single-main-rotor, single-engine helicopter, was manufactured in 1991 and was issued a standard airworthiness certificate. The helicopter was equipped with floats and was powered by a 160-horsepower Lycoming O-320-B2C series engine.

At 0953, the weather recorded at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Panama City (ECP) Florida, included no clouds or restriction to visibility, wind from 140° at 9 knots, and visibility 10 statute miles. The temperature was 20°C, and the dew point was 18°C. The altimeter setting was 30.27 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: ROBINSON
Registration: N923SM
Model/Series: R22 MARINER
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: N923SM LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KECP, 68 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 140°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: PERRY, FL (40J)
Destination: DESTIN, FL (DTS) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:



PANAMA CITY BEACH — The pilot of a Robinson R22 helicopter that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico near Carillon Beach Resort made it to shore safe and uninjured Wednesday morning, though the same could not be said for his aircraft.

Witnesses reported seeing the R22, a light, single-bladed helicopter about 28 feet long, flying with another, larger helicopter moments before the crash. Shauna Rutt, who was laying on the beach with her mother, remembered seeing the larger helicopter flying up and down the beach the day before. Helicopters are a common sight in the area, ferrying tourists out for spectacular views of the Gulf.

When the R22 began to lose altitude, she didn’t think anything of it. The aircraft had buoys on its skids allowing it to float and for a moment she thought the pilot was attempting a water landing.

“At first I thought, ’This is really cool, a landing right in front of us,” she said.

Then, she noticed the propellers were barely spinning. The helicopter took a nose dive into the Gulf and for several heart-stopping moments was submerged.




Less than a minute later, the helicopter popped back up to the surface with the pilot - the lone occupant - clinging to the buoy. Rutt said he climbed onto the helicopter, floating belly-up between the first and second sandbars, and waited for a rescue.

The crash triggered a massive emergency response, with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Fish and Wildlife, US Coast Guard, Panama City Beach Police Department, Panama City Beach and Surf and even several lifeguards answering the call. Numerous first responders jumped on paddleboards and made their way out to the pilot, who made it back on shore with “just a little salt water ingestion,” according to BCSO Lt. Chad King.

Chriss and Monika Morrisson, who live nearby, ran down to the beach expecting the worst. They stood together on the white sand, nervously watching the Coast Guard vessel keeping an eye on the overturned helicopter.

“I am just so happy he walked away from it,” Chriss Morrison remarked.

After the excitement died down, the wreck attracted quite a crowd, with about two dozen bystanders out on the water line watching the upturned helicopter bob in the surf, a buoy emblazoned with “Boatpix.com” sticking up in the air.

With the help of its two buoys and a decent wind, the wreck floated about a half mile west down the beach before drifting in far enough to get stuck on the first sandbar while emergency crews waited for the Federal Aviation Administration to respond and begin its investigation. At one point, the helicopter’s door was pushed open, the pilot’s belongings drifting away into the Gulf.




According to the FAA, the downed R22 Mariner was a commercial helicopter built in 1991 and was most recently registered in 2014. Also according to the FAA, an aircraft’s owner is responsible for removing an aircraft from a crash site. The FAA will be investigating the crash, and the National Transportation Safety Board will issue a probable cause.

When the R22 emerged from the Gulf later in the afternoon and was flipped right-side up, it was clear the crash could have been much worse. All of the glass had shattered in the impact, the snapped propeller hung at an awkward angle like a broken arm, and the tail lay several feet away, completely severed.

The name of the pilot has not yet been released. Efforts to reach Boatpix.com were unsuccessful, but a website for the company says they operate out of West Palm Beach, shooting photos of boats, primarily at events, which they then sell back to the owners. Helicopters operated by the company, many of them the same R22 model or the slightly larger R44 model, have been involved in several accidents, including one near Oaks Island Pier in Brunswick County, North Carolina in 2012 and over Lake Travis in Austin, Texas in May 2008. 

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N4153R, registered to IHAF Flying Mission LLC and operated by the private pilot: Fatal accident occurred May 02, 2018 near Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey
Lycoming; Dallas, Texas
Piper; Wichita, Kansas

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N4153R

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: West Milford, NJ
Accident Number: ERA18FA138
Date & Time: 05/02/2018, 1410 EDT
Registration: N4153R
Aircraft: PIPER PA32
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 2, 2018, about 1410 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4153R, was destroyed when it impacted terrain at the Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, New Jersey. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight to Orange County Airport (MGJ), Montgomery, New York. The airplane was registered to IHAF Flying Mission LLC and operated by the private pilot. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A flight instructor located at 4N1, who was also a friend of the pilot stated that he talked with the pilot just before the accident. He stated that the pilot told him that he was having problems with the airplane's engine, and thought it was either the magnetos or the spark plugs. The pilot stated he was going to taxi to the end of the runway and perform an engine run-up. If the engine run-up was successful, he was going to take a short flight to MGJ and then return.

A witness, located 1 mile north of the airport, heard the airplane takeoff and then heard the airplane's engine sputter, then shut off. He then heard the sound of a crash and called 911.

The wreckage was consumed by a postcrash fire and located in a wooded area, about 1,100 ft to the left side of the departure end of runway 24. Tree branches were observed broken descending about a 12° angle and extending approximately 50 ft on a magnetic heading of 110° to the main wreckage. The main wreckage came to rest upright. The instrument panel was consumed by fire and no readable instruments were recovered. Both wings separated from the fuselage and were located about 30 ft behind the fuselage. The wings exhibited minor fire damage. 100LL aviation fuel was found in both wing tanks. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the scene. Control cable continuity was confirmed through breaks, that were consistent with overload separations, to the respective controls.

The engine remained attached to the airframe. The accessories on the rear of the engine were consumed by fire. The propeller blades were both bent aft at mid-blade. Thumb compression was established on all cylinders and a lighted boroscope was used to examine all pistons and valves with no anomalies noted.

The six seat, low-wing, tricycle gear airplane, serial number 32-40468, was manufactured in 1968. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540-K1A5, 300-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-bladed Hartzell propeller. Family members stated that the maintenance logbooks were carried on the airplane in the luggage compartment. The luggage compartment was consumed by fire and all documents were destroyed.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He held a third-class medical certificate, issued April 27, 2016. At the time of the medical examination, the pilot reported 625 total hours of flight experience. The pilot's logbook was consumed by fire.

The recorded weather at Sussex Airport, located 13 miles northwest, at 1353, was: wind from 220° at 10 knots, gusting to 21 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear sky; temperature 30° C; dew point 6° C; altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury.

The airframe and engine were retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N4153R
Model/Series: PA32 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KFWN, 421 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 21 knots, 220°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: West Milford, NJ (4N1)
Destination: MONTGOMERY, NY (MGJ)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 41.121389, -74.350833 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


The Rev. Andrew Topp is seen with his Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six. He was killed when the plane crashed  May 2, 2018 in West Milford. 



A pilot killed when his plane went down in West Milford was remembered Thursday as a minister, husband, father of six and humanitarian.

The Rev. Andrew Topp, 59, who was a pastor for more than 20 years at the First Reformed Church of Boonton, had hopped into his single-engine Piper PA-32 to take it for a test run to the Oranges in preparation for a May 13 trip to Haiti to do missionary work, according to Topp's daughter, Erica Fischer-Kaslander, who lives in Haledon.

Topp, who always had a passion for flying and had spoken about it since his father was in the Air Force, obtained his pilot's license about 15 to 18 years ago, Fischer-Kaslander said. His desire to get the license was motivated by the humanitarian work he did with his non-profit, International Humanitarian Aid Foundation Inc., which he founded in 2007.

His missionary work brought him to almost every country in the world, his daughter said, and he found that having a small plane to deliver supplies quicker was a benefit.

"He was able to reach these remote areas with his plane that larger non-profits couldn't," she said.

Although he had owned different planes over the years, the plane he was flying was the only one he owned currently. On the National Transportation Safety Board aircraft identification system, the tail number on Topp's plane, which is shown in a photo his daughter shared with the New Jersey Herald, was registered to his non-profit.

Fischer-Kaslander said her father had replaced the engine on his plane about three months ago.

Nick Stefano, of Wantage, was friends with Topp when the two were teenagers living across the street from one another in North Haledon.

"He was part of my childhood. It's so hard to think he's not there anymore that I can't talk to him," Stefano said.

The two eventually graduated from high school and went their separate ways, but they always stayed in touch.

"We were talking just a couple weeks ago, and he told me to stop by his church (in Boonton)," Stefano said, adding that Topp shoveled Stefano's mother's driveway in North Haledon a little while back.

Stefano was planning on taking Topp up on his offer and wanted to get into missionary work and animal rescue with him.

Topp was a self-proclaimed animal lover, according to Stefano, and often worked to help rescue animals from high-kill shelters and from natural disasters.

Topp worked closely with Home for Good Dog Rescue, a non-profit in Berkeley Heights, and helped fly supplies to Texas and returned with dozens of dogs after the state was slammed by Hurricane Harvey.

"If your dog arrived in New Jersey by rescue flight, chances are he or she was flown by Andy, as he had spent two years flying more than 300 Home for Good dogs safely home," the group said in a Facebook post Thursday.

Upset that he wasn't able to see his friend one last time, Stefano only had positive memories to share of his childhood friend.

"He was a great man. It's devastating," Stefano said, adding that the world has "certainly lost a great person."

Officials said that Topp's plane went down around 2:38 p.m. Wednesday in a wooded area near the former Jungle Habitat property, which is administered by Ringwood State Park.

The Federal Aviation Administration indicated the airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from runway 24 at the Greenwood Lake Airport.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Just a few years ago, tragedy struck the Topp family when Topp's brother, Bob, died in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky at the age of 60.

Topp, who stored his plane at Greenwood Lake Airport, also organized trips to help aid victims of natural disasters, built orphanages, was a member of Gift of Life and Rotary International District 7490.

"We organized a trip for him to fly to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help assist during Hurricane Maria (in 2017)," Fischer-Kaslander said, adding that she recalls he had to wait out the storm in Florida and ended up flying around the hurricane to reach his destination.

She never flew with him, but would often help him on the ground with organizing supplies.

"We were a great team. I served as his right hand, and my experience working with him actually led me into a career in social work," Fischer-Kaslander admitted.

"My passion, I owe it all to my father," she said. "He was an inspiration."

Although the reality of the crash and the loss of her father was still very raw on Thursday, Fischer-Kaslander said that she intends to carry on her father's legacy and continue with his work.

For more details on Topp's International Humanitarian Aid Foundation, visit http://pastorandy.us.

http://www.njherald.com


Home for Good Dog Rescue co-founder Richard Errico with the Rev. Andrew Topp.

WEST MILFORD — A plane crash near Greenwood Lake Airport on Wednesday afternoon killed the pilot and set a portion of state parkland at the former Jungle Habitat theme park ablaze, police said.

The plane, a single-engine Piper PA-32, crashed in the nearby woods at about 2:30 p.m. after taking off from Greenwood Lake Airport, said a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. A statement from the state Department of Environmental Protection said the pilot, the lone occupant, died during the crash. His name was not released.

The entrance to the thickly forested former safari theme park was blocked off by local authorities at about 3 p.m. A helicopter was also seen in the area dropping water in an attempt to douse the spreading fire.

Eyewitness reports of smoke to the east of Morsetown Road dovetail with reports from the FAA that the pilot took off in a southwesterly direction before crashing in the state parkland adjacent to the airport.

Steve Woodward, a local flight instructor, said he has been flying out of the airport for five years. At 3,471 feet, the runway would probably seem small to someone who has flown only out of Morristown Airport. However, compared with many local airports, such as Lincoln Park and Andover, it is relatively roomy, he said.

“It’s high in elevation and it’s a little windy, but I’ve been flying for close to 35 years and I’ve been into much trickier airports than Greenwood Lake,” Woodward said. “When it’s windy it can be a little tricky, but I would never call it dangerous.”

Tim Wagner, the manager of Greenwood Lake Airport and a township councilman, had no comment. The airport was closed Wednesday afternoon. Strong wind gusts were reported.

Michael Donovan, a spokesman for Orange and Rockland Utilities, said that when the plane came down it apparently took some power lines along with it. The company subsequently cut power to the circuit, putting roughly 950 customers out of power, the company's outage map showed.

Power was restored by 5 p.m. except for the lights at a nearby ballfield, Donovan said. At that time the FAA closed off the area to the utility employees, so they will return Thursday to finish repairs, Donovan said. 

Mike Venezia, a 30-year resident, said he knew something was wrong when the power went off.

“The power went down and I knew something was going down. It’s really sad. It really is,” he said of the fatal crash.

West Milford police Lt. James DeVore said local officers responded to the crash but turned over the investigation to the State Park Police.

State DEP officials said the New Jersey State Park Police, Bureau of Emergency Response and New Jersey Forest Fire Service responded and remained on the scene, assisted by local police and fire personnel. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be leading the investigation into the crash, officials said.

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






WEST MILFORD, New Jersey (WABC) --  Authorities say one person was killed in a small plane crash in Passaic County on Wednesday afternoon.

The single-engine private plane took off from Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford before it went down in a wooded area around 3 p.m.

The victim has not yet been identified.

The crash caused a small brush fire that the Forest Fire Service was working to get under control.

The cause of the crash is not yet known. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤ http://abc7ny.com