Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Air force pilots descend on Steamboat for ‘fini-flight’

Lt. Colonel Alex Winn (third from left), and Major Eddie Ballew (third from right), were among U.S. Air Force personnel based at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs who flew to Steamboat Springs Airport in three Cirrus SR20 single-engine prop planes, now designated T-53 trainers. The fliers brushed up on mountain flying while treating Winn and Ballew to a "fini-flight," as they go off to other assignments, Winn in F-16 fighter jets and Ballew in KC135 Stratotankers.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A trio of U.S. Air Force Cirrus SR20 single-engine prop planes touched down at Steamboat Springs Airport at 11 a.m. May 9 after a 90-minute flight from their base in Colorado Springs.

If the sleek and fast Cirrus doesn't fit your expectations for what military aircrafts look like, it's because these planes are among two dozen prop planes based at the Air Force Academy where the planes are deemed ideal to introduce the cadets to flying.

With the cadets all in final exams this week, it was an ideal time for the more senior personnel to take a mountain flying orientation trip to Steamboat Springs Airport/Bob Adams Field. It was also an opportunity for a "fini-flight," or final flight, an Air Force tradition that grants personnel, who are being reassigned or retiring, a flight of their choice to mark the change.

In this case, Lt. Colonel Alex Winn (call sign Splash) and Major Eddie Ballew (call sign Mogli) were being treated to a fini-flight because they are going on to assignments. Winn will return to flying F16 fighter jets. And Ballew will return to flying the KC135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueling aircraft.

The crew left the airport and headed straight to Creekside Café for lunch — Winn's choice. He is familiar with Steamboat because he and his wife are looking for a home here.

The Air Force chose the Cirrus aircraft in 2011 and designated them as T-53A trainers to replace a fleet of pilot trainers, the Diamond Aircraft DA 20, an aircraft which is still used elsewhere by the Air Force. The new aircrafts were delivered with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, airbag seat belts, an integrated roll cage in the fuselage and up-to-date avionics. 

Most first-year, or fourth class, cadets at the Air Force Academy are exposed to airmanship through four glider flights. By their third year, about 50 percent of cadets are enrolled in a soaring course with the chance to pilot and solo in a sailplane.

First-class cadets have the opportunity to get involved in the Academy's power flight program, where military instructors provide a basic introduction to Air Force pilot training in the T53s. Based on proficiency, 50 percent of those involved will solo.

Original article ➤

Cessna P210N Centurion, N210BG: Accident occurred May 09, 2018 at Nevada County Airport (KGOO), Grass Valley, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA271
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 09, 2018 in Grass Valley, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA P210, registration: N210BG

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft landed and went off the runway.

Date: 09-MAY-18
Time: 18:20:00Z
Regis#: N210BG
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: P210N
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

May 9, 2018 – Fire units responded for a reported “aircraft accident” at the Nevada County Airport. At scene, crews found a single prop aircraft that had skidded of the runway and came to a stop in brush at the west end of the runway.

The two occupants were out of the aircraft and denied any injury.

Due to leaking fuel, several absorbent pads were placed and environmental health notified.

Crews remained at scene approximately 2 1/2 hours for a crane to arrive and remove the aircraft.

Battalion 1, E-5482 and E-86 were assisted by CAL FIRE, Sierra Nevada Ambulance and Nevada County Environmental Health Department. All units were released at 3:00 pm.

Original article can be found here ➤

Federal Aviation Administration safety oversight of American, Allegiant airlines under review

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. watchdog will examine how well the Federal Aviation Administration handled maintenance oversight at American Airlines and Allegiant Air, a budget carrier whose safety standards have come under scrutiny.

The review by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general announced on Wednesday follows a CBS “60 Minutes” report that questioned Allegiant’s safety standards and the FAA’s oversight of the airline. U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida called for an investigation after the report.

“The traveling public deserves to know the whole story when it comes to the FAA’s oversight of airline maintenance,” Nelson said in a statement. “I expect the inspector general to leave no stone unturned.”

American Airlines said it would work with the inspector general.

“American Airlines was shocked to learn of the Office of Inspector General’s review and we stand by our strong safety record,” spokesman Ross Feinstein said in a statement. “Our team is working to understand why we are part of its review.”

The Transportation Department in a memo said it had launched the audit after finding that the FAA had moved from “emphasizing enforcement actions to working with carriers to address the root causes for noncompliance of safety regulations.”

The department said it also found significant discrepancies in the relationships and information-sharing practices between airlines and their FAA oversight offices.

“Our objectives now are to assess FAA’s processes for investigating allegations of improper maintenance practices at two carriers, Allegiant Airlines and American Airlines,” the memo read.

Allegiant Air in a statement said it follows federal safety mandates and welcomes the audit.

“We welcome any analysis of our operation and safety culture, at any time. It will show what we know to be true, that Allegiant operates at the highest level of safety, in strict adherence with all FAA regulations and guidelines,” spokeswoman Hilarie Grey said.

The FAA said it will work with the inspector general. After the “60 Minutes” report the FAA said: “The FAA has zero tolerance for intentional, reckless behavior, flagrant violations, or refusal to cooperate in corrective action by air carriers. When warranted, the agency routinely takes legal enforcement action against violators.” 

Original article can be found here ➤

A Closer Look at Million Air's Extensive Expansion at Westchester County Airport (KHPN)

Million Air CEO Roger Woolsey discusses the expansion of his company’s KHPN facility and what it means for Westchester county. 

In May 2016, the Westchester County Board of Legislators approved a 30-year lease with Million Air, a fixed-base operator (FBO) that provides charter, management, and sales services out of Westchester County Airport (HPN). Once completed, the project will include a 20,000 sq. ft. terminal and 50,000 sq. ft. hangar devoted exclusively to corporate and private flights. The state-of-the-art terminal will include conference rooms, a gated entrance, a coffee stand, and even a golf simulator. Below, Million Air CEO Roger Woolsey discusses the project in greater detail.

Million Air has a presence in four continents. Why was Westchester County Airport chosen as the site of one of its latest projects?

Westchester County Airport is home to and serves many of the county’s most influential and community-contributing citizens and corporations. The airport infrastructure that services these clients, and the community as a whole, is underdeveloped and in need of updating and improvements. The fact that Westchester County Airport is one of the nation’s top corporate airports, and our desire and ability to operate a world-class business-aviation center, created the perfect opportunity for us and Westchester.

Can you explain Million Air’s role in the expansion at HPN?

Million Air is converting an aviation-services lease into a true welcome center at the airport. We believe our product is far more than simply selling gas from an airport building: It’s to design and build a facility that delivers a first impression that promotes Westchester on the world stage. A mile of concrete takes a car one mile, but a mile of runway opens up the world. We have very important companies and visitors who fly into Westchester daily, and we want those guests to fall in love with our community from the moment they land. We also need to help our local businesses uphold our community’s reputation by providing their “home base of operations” with a strong first impression. The construction will be elegant and quaint, the staff handpicked, and it will exude the best of the best in customer service.

Roger Woolsey, CEO, Million Air

In October 2016, you broke ground on an $88 million lodge-style hangar and terminal facility at HPN. What’s the status of that?

The new hangar was completed in February and is open for business. The new lodge-style FBO is scheduled for completion by December.

Whom will the new facility cater to?

Several audiences: the local business owners who own and utilize the efficiencies only private aviation can provide and corporate travelers who visit Westchester for business.

What does this project mean for your company, for private aviation companies, and for users in Westchester?

The goal is to build the finest FBO in the US, one that will uphold the reputation and stature that Westchester was built on. The facility design promotes the local architecture, while the services will rival a five-star resort. Local users will have a home for their aviation assets and flight departments that is second to none. These departments create jobs and support local business to compete and flourish in the global economy, which strengthens the local economy.

What kind of response did Million Air receive from the county regarding these plans?

Most everyone has been very enthusiastic. We worked hard to educate those who did not understand our business model and how we would reduce environmental concerns, but once we were able to show the facts, we’ve had near-unanimous support.

How will Million Air impact the airport’s overall environmental footprint?

We are actually improving the environmental footprint through several strategies. Some involve de-icing, building materials, and air-traffic reductions. We are very excited to be part of a permanent and material contributor to improving the environmental footprint for Westchester County.

Original article ➤

Farr Air: Saskatchewan Crop Dusting Company A Part Of New Provincial Aerial Firefighting Program

Justin, Jody and Jeff Farr stand with one of their aircraft.

Farr Air's fleet of Thrush 510P's can carry 500 gallons of water or foam, and may be put to good use this dry summer. 

Wildfires in the southeast may see a quicker response from the air by a local aerial application company, thanks to a provincial government initiative to contract 6 such operators to provide assistance this fire season.

Farr Air's headquarters is in Weyburn, and they have bases in Estevan, Carlyle, and other communities around the region. While a normal day consists of skimming several feet above the crops, Owner Jeff Farr is among the 26 pilots so far trained to do the same over an inferno.

"We have five aircraft, and they are all capable of assisting in that. Most of our pilots have taken the training, some of them still have to do that, but we've got enough on staff here that we can assist for the 2018 season."

"I think it's a great opportunity to help the fire departments in saving people and property from more damage. I'm just glad to be able to assist in it. We're glad to be a part of the communities and able to offer that support service," he said.

Farr Air's fleet consists of 3 turbine Thrush 510P's each capable of carrying 500 gallons, a radial Thrush S-R2 holding 350 gallons, and a Weatherly 620B that holds 250 gallons.

"We will only be dropping water and foam, we're not certified to drop retardant. That's what they're usually using in British Columbia or areas where they've got that type of fires. Our aircraft are pretty limited to just using water and foam for what we can drop here," Farr explained.

He noted that the maneuvers in the air will be similar to those used in aerial application, but coordination with everyone else battling the blaze will be important, which was stressed in the training he received at the beginning of February in Prince Albert.

"The biggest thing is the communications with the emergency services crews on the ground to make sure that we're on the same wavelength and we both understand where we're supposed to be putting the water when we drop it. It's not bad, once you go through it and you learn the terminology. They were great, they put on a great seminar, and there's going to be recurrent training going on with them as time goes on. We'll get it more fine tuned, and it should run pretty smooth."

One of the major areas of appeal for the smaller aircraft doing the job is the faster response time and quicker access to the scene.

"There was a grass fire three miles from the airport the other day, and if we were called out, we could have been on that in half an hour and dropped water on it. Whereas, with those big planes up north, it'd take half the day to get them down here."

While crop duster pilots often have the convenience and skill set to land on a grid road to fill the tank, Farr's units will still use actual runways.

"The nice thing is that we can work off of smaller airports. There's some grass runways around that you can't put the big aircraft on, and we've got some grass strips that we work Ag off of here too that we could utilize for these types of operations."

"We're looking forward to being able to be part of this program and see it grow as time goes on," he concluded.

Original article ➤

Chennault International Airport (KCWF) runway project underway

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -  Chennault International Airport is getting a much needed upgrade to its main runway.

Construction crews are repairing the runway, which hasn't seen major work done since 1986 when the airport reopened.

The runway is 10,700 feet long, 200 feet wide and 17 inches thick, handling some of the largest aircraft's in the world.

John McMullen, Chennault's Director of Maintenance construction, said they chose to give the runway a facelift to accommodate new and upcoming tenants.

"The first question a prospective tenant will ask is what is the condition of your runway," McMullen said. "We're able to accommodate any size plane and when the president decides he wants to land here, they want to know the condition of the airfield."

Work on the runway will include runway reconstruction, lighting improvements and a blast pad.

The project is expected to cost $7.2 Million, with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Louisiana Department of Transportation funding most of the work.

McMullen said once the project is done in late August, it could bring a boost in the local economy, with more jobs available in aircraft maintenance.

Recently, Chennault was named the "Louisiana Airport of the Year" by the Federal Aviation Administration, mainly due to developing a plan to improve the main runway without sacrificing service.

Story and video ➤

Planes Are Aging, But U.S. Air Travel Has A Strong Safety Record

Recent high profile emergency landings notwithstanding, crashes and fatalities are still extremely rare among U.S. licensed commercial airlines

On Sunday, the third airline flight in as many weeks diverted because of a broken window. This time, a JetBlue flight from Puerto Rico to Florida made an emergency landing. Two previous incidents involved Southwest Airlines 737s.

James Simmons says that aging fleets could be responsible for the recent incidents. Simmons is professor of aviation and aerospace science at Metropolitan State University in Denver. He says the average age of a Southwest Airlines 737 is 10 years old.

Federal Aviation Administration regulations require individual parts to be serviced or changed out, based on number of hours in operation, but there are no FAA regulations about the maximum lifespan of an older airplane or engine.

Despite the recent Southwest Airlines disaster in which one passenger was killed, Simmons says that air travel in the U.S. is safer than ever.

“That fatality, tragic as it was,” he says, “was the first passenger death since 2009, in all the licensed airlines in the United States.”

He says that’s a remarkable safety record.

“Southwest operates about 4,000 flights a day, with a fleet of over 700 airplanes,” Simmons says. “In a fleet that large, with as many take offs and landings as they do, they use their airplanes pretty hard. But I have no qualms about flying on Southwest.”

Story and audio ➤

Boeing, Airbus to Lose Billions in Orders From Trump’s Iran Sanctions: Boeing and Airbus signed more than $40 billion in combined deals after sanctions were lifted in 2016. These orders now stand to be voided.

The Wall Street Journal
By Robert Wall in London and
Nicolas Parasie in Dubai
May 9, 2018 10:51 a.m. ET

The world’s largest plane makers were the biggest and earliest beneficiaries of the Obama administration’s detente with Iran. President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the deal could leave them the first and hardest hit.

Boeing Company, the world’s largest plane maker, and European rival Airbus SE signed more than $40 billion in combined plane deals with Iranian carriers after the U.S. and five other world powers lifted sanctions in return for Tehran agreeing to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Those orders stand to be voided after the White House said it would rescind licenses for plane exports to Iran, following President Trump’s decision Tuesday to pull the U.S. out of what he called a “one sided” nuclear deal.

The fortunes of Boeing and Airbus are closely linked to far bigger markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia, but Iran has long presented an attractive growth market, because of the country’s old fleet of planes and large population eager to travel. Iranian officials have suggested the country could need 400 planes or more over the next decade, making it potentially one of the world’s biggest airplane growth markets.

Iranian airlines that were stuck with some of the world’s oldest fleets after years of being blocked from buying new planes were looking to introduce new western jets to revive their fortunes.

Airbus had delivered three of its 100 planes ordered by Iran Air before the U.S. decision—those planes combined are valued at around $600 million at list price. No Boeing planes have gone to Iran under contracts announced with Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines after the lifting of sanctions by the Obama administration in 2016.

Airbus, which is subject to U.S. rules because its planes use American-made components, said it was evaluating next steps and would comply with U.S. sanctions and export control regulations. Boeing had no comment.

Turboprop maker ATR, a joint venture between Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo SpA, said it had delivered eight of 20 planes Iran Air ordered for delivery between last year and this under a contract valued at around $536 million. A further 12 planes in various stages of production are now in limbo. ATR wouldn’t comment on what may happen to the planes.

Though the deals carried multibillion-dollar price tags before industry standard discounts, analysts see minimal impacts on Airbus and Boeing from the U.S. decision. Both manufacturers have backlogs of orders assuring production for several years from other airlines.

“The total number of orders affected represents just 2% of the companies’ combined order backlogs,” Bernstein Research said in a note.

Airbus shares were about 1% lower Wednesday in Europe, trading just shy of their all-time high. Boeing shares closed 0.6% lower Tuesday and were up slightly in early New York trade Wednesday.

Iranian carriers, which have limited options to go elsewhere for new planes, are seen as the biggest losers.

 Washington’s action “will slow down Iran’s vital re-equipage and fleet upgrade,” said Andrew Charlton, managing director of Aviation Advocacy, a Geneva-based consultancy.

Iranian carriers haven’t said how they will react. Options to source planes from other makers are limited, though, because U.S. parts are incorporated by Brazilian, Canadian, Russian and Chinese plane makers. Plus, none of those manufacturers offer the full range of planes Iranian carriers seek.

The U.S. government said that after a period for companies to wind down dealings with Iran that ends Aug. 6, commercial plane licenses will formally be revoked. It said it would still consider permitting the sale of plane parts to assure flight safety.

Concern over the future of the nuclear deal had already weighed on airlines doing business flying to Iran. Demand for lucrative business travel softened as concerns increased that President Trump would walk away from the accord, according to airline officials.

Air France-KLM SA, one of Europe’s biggest airlines, announced in May it would curtail service to Tehran because of “weak economic performance.” The flights, operated by the Franco-Dutch carriers Joon operation, will only serve the Iranian capital in the summer months and be suspended for about five months starting in late October.

Etihad Airways, the flag carrier for Abu Dhabi, suspended flights to Tehran in January amid poor profitability.

Emirates Airline Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the carrier would react to demand changes, without signaling if the airline, the world’s largest by international traffic, would adjust its flights to Iran.

Car makers and oil companies, such as Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, are among other businesses that courted deals in Iran. Shell said it was assessing the impact of the executive order. Total declined to comment after the announcement.

Original article can be found here ➤

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N2432H: Accident occurred May 07, 2018 in Goose Bay, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA269
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 07, 2018 in Goose Bay, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150, registration: N2432H

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft ground looped on landing.

Date: 07-MAY-18
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N2432H
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 18 150
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Air Tractor AT-802A, N4170S: Accident occurred May 04, 2018 in Weona, Poinsett County, Arkansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas

5-GS Aviation LLC:

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA265
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Friday, May 04, 2018 in Weona, AR
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT 802, registration: N4170S

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft struck a pole.

Date: 04-MAY-18
Time: 20:20:00Z
Regis#: N4170S
Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR
Aircraft Model: AT 802A
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No

Hughes 369D, N514PA: Incident occurred May 08, 2018 in Wainiha, Hawaii

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii

Rotorcraft while enroute landed in a tree.

Airborne Aviation LLC:

Date: 08-MAY-18
Time: 21:50:00Z
Regis#: N514PA
Aircraft Make: HUGHES
Aircraft Model: 369D
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 133

Cessna 525A CitationJet CJ2, N333BD: Incident occurred April 24, 2018 at Clark Regional Airport (KJVY), Jeffersonville, Indiana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana

Aircraft struck a deer on landing roll.

Joseph Holdings LLC:

Date: 24-APR-18
Time: 00:30:00Z
Regis#: N333BD
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 525A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Nieuport 17 Replica, N315BD: Accident occurred May 08, 2018 at Las Cruces International Airport (KLRU), Doña Ana County, New Mexico

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

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA266
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 08, 2018 in Las Cruces, NM
Aircraft: DIVEN ROBERT NIEUPORT 17, registration: N315BD

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft veered off runway on departure and rolled over.

Date: 08-MAY-18
Time: 14:47:00Z
Regis#: N315BD
Aircraft Model: NIEUPORT 17
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Piper PA-15 Vagabond, N4534H: Accident occurred May 05, 2018 at Oswego County Airport (KFZY), Fulton, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA268
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 05, 2018 in Fulton, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA 15, registration: N4534H

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft landed and ground looped.

Date: 05-MAY-18
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N4534H
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 15
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N377ES: Accident occurred May 08, 2018 at Clermont County Airport (I69), Batavia, Ohio

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

Eastern Cincinnati Aviation Inc

NTSB Identification: GAA18CA276
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 08, 2018 in Batavia, OH
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N377ES

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft experienced a hard landing, porpoised and skidded off the runway into a ditch.

Date: 08-MAY-18
Time: 20:20:00Z
Regis#: N377ES
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172R
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: OHIO

Piper PA-34-200 Seneca, N4833T: Accident occurred May 08, 2018 at Georgetown Municipal Airport (KGTU), Williamson County, Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aircraft on landing experienced a gear collapse.

Dirty Side Down Aviation LLC:

Date: 08-MAY-18
Time: 21:50:00Z
Regis#: N4833T
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 34 200
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: OTHER
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

West Wind Aviation: Crash airline OK'd to fly

The airline that operated the plane that crashed in northern Saskatchewan in December with 25 people on board has been cleared to resume flying passengers.

Transport Canada suspended West Wind Aviation air operator certificate after the December 13 crash near Fond Du Lac over concerns about how it was following safety rules and dispatching aircraft.

Nine people were seriously injured and one 19-year old man, Arson Fern Jr., later died in hospital.

Transport Canada says the Saskatoon-based company has addressed its concerns and it will closely monitor the airline to ensure it follows safety regulations.

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

Pat Campling Jr., president and CEO of West Wind Aviation, says the company is grateful for the patience and understanding of its customers during a challenging time.

"We look forward to resuming air service to communities across Canada," he said Tuesday in a release. "Our renewed management team and our entire organization have an unwavering commitment to safe operations... We are ready to fly."

Last month, the Transportation Safety Board said there was still ice on the plane when it took off.

The board said the plane stayed at the Fond du Lac airport to take on new passengers and cargo, but it was not de-iced before taking off again. Investigators are trying to determine why that didn't happen and whether there was adequate equipment at the airport.

Survivors of the plane crash have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the airline was negligent, used a runway that was too short for the size and weight of the plane and did not have proper deicing equipment.

None of those allegations has been proven in court.

The safety board said it's important not to draw conclusions about the cause of the crash until the investigation is complete. Investigators have determined the plane was not overweight.

Original article can be found here ➤

Cessna 182Q, N812KT: Accident occurred September 04, 2010 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Accident Number: ERA10LA466
Date & Time: 09/04/2010, 1336 EDT
Registration: N812KT
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel contamination
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


On the morning of the accident, an annual inspection had been completed on the airplane. After picking up the airplane from his maintenance provider, the pilot preflighted the airplane and then departed.  The takeoff and climb were uneventful; however, during the cruise portion of the flight, a total loss of engine power occurred. The pilot initiated an emergency descent and landed the airplane in a field that was used for sporting events. During the landing roll, the nose landing gear wheel dug into the ground, and the airplane nosed over. Examination of the fuel system revealed the presence of water in the fuel selector valve and the electric fuel boost pump discharge line. The pilot advised that the last time that he had added fuel to the airplane was 16 days before the accident flight. When he would park the airplane in the hangar at his home airport, he would not top off the fuel tanks, and the airplane would sit with approximately 30 gallons of fuel in the tanks. When asked if he had drained the sumps of the airplane during the preflight inspection prior to the accident flight, he advised that he did not because he was in a hurry.

Probable Cause and Findings

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

A total loss of power due to water contamination in the fuel. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection.


Fuel - Fluid condition (Cause)

Personnel issues
Preflight inspection - Pilot (Factor)

Factual Information


On September 4, 2010, about 1336 eastern daylight time a Cessna 182Q, N812KT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The certificated private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed for the personal flight, which departed Fredrick Municipal Airport (FDK), Fredrick Maryland, destined for Dare County Regional Airport (MQI), Manteo, North Carolina, conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91

According to the pilot, the airplane had completed an "owner assisted" annual inspection on the morning of the accident flight. During the annual inspection the No. 3 cylinder head had been replaced. Prior to departure from FDK, the airframe and powerplant mechanic who had conducted the annual had "runup" the airplane and no anomalies were noted and he released the airplane to the owner at approximately 1130.

The pilot departed FDK for MQI at approximately 1201. He did not "top off" the fuel prior to his departure as he had checked the "usable fuel on his "FS-450 fuel scan," and noted that he had 40 gallons and that his flight to MQI would only require 27 gallons. Once he had climbed up to 8,000 feet above mean sea level (msl), and entered cruise flight, he alternated his power setting between 2100 to 2450 rpm every 20 to 30 minutes to break in the new cylinder.

During the flight, the pilot also closely monitoring the cylinder head temperature and exhaust gas temperature of the No. 3 cylinder and ran it at richer fuel/air mixture than he normally did. After approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes of flight (26 minutes from MQI) however, the "engine stopped." He checked to see that both magnetos were "on" and declared an emergency with air traffic control. He attempted to glide in for a landing at Oceana Naval Air Station (NTU), Virginia Beach, Virginia, but realized that he had a headwind and could not make it to NTU. He then spotted a "sports field" off his left side and decided to land there. He turned off the fuel, the magnetos, and master switch. Upon touchdown, the nose wheel dug into the ground and the airplane nosed over, substantially damaging the airplane.


According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine-land, and instrument airplane.  He reported a total flight time of 1,347 flight hours, with 1,337 hours in single-engine airplanes, and 912 hours in the accident airplane make and model.  His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on September 23, 2008.


The accident airplane was a four seat, high wing airplane of conventional construction with fixed tricycle landing gear. According to FAA records it was manufactured in 1978. It had been modified from its original configuration under an FAA approved supplemental type certificate with a high lift canard and the installation of a Continental 260 horsepower IO-470-F engine.

According to maintenance records, the most recent annual inspection was completed on the day of the accident.  At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 1,033.9 total hours of operation.


A weather observation taken 26 minutes after the accident, at NTU, included:  winds from 220 degrees at 6 knots, gusting to 17 knots, visibility 10 miles, scattered clouds at 7,500 feet, temperature 28 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.79 inches of mercury.


The airplane was not equipped with nor was it required to be equipped with a flight data recorder. It was equipped however with an electronic data monitoring system and global positioning system both of which contained non volatile memory and had captured data from the accident flight.

Examination of the data recorded during the accident flight indicated that the airplane had been in cruise when a reduction in engine rpm occurred at 13:24:12.

Prior to the reduction of engine rpm, oil pressure, oil temperature, manifold pressure, and exhaust gas temperature indicated a steady state condition with no anomalies noted. 


Examination of the accident site by FAA inspectors revealed three 300 foot long ruts  which corresponded to the width of the landing gear of the airplane, and which led up to the location where the airplane had come to rest in an inverted position.

Airplane Examination

Examination of the airplane revealed that it was substantially damaged. The top of the vertical stabilizer was crushed. The aft fuselage exhibited multiple deformations and crush and compression damage, and was bent approximately 10 degrees down and to the right of the centerline of the airplane. The right wing exhibited wrinkling of the upper surface, and the right lift strut was bent. The nose landing gear assembly was collapsed rearward, the spinner was crushed, the lower cowling was bent and crushed, and one propeller blade was bent aft. The right canard was also bent aft, and the right wheel pant was broken and separated from its mounting location.

Engine Examination

Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunction. Both magnetos were functional and the spark plugs which appeared clean and gapped correctly would fire when the drive train was rotated by hand. Drive train continuity was confirmed and thumb compression was present on all cylinders. Oil was also present in the galleries and rocker boxes.

Fuel System Examination

Examination of the fuel system by NTSB investigators revealed that the fuel system would hold a total of 92 gallons of aviation fuel. The cap seals had been replaced in 2001 and were clean and in like new condition. The electric boost pump, and engine driven fuel pump were both functional.

Further examination revealed however, the presence of a clear liquid in the fuel selector valve, and in the fuel discharge line from the electric fuel pump. Approximately 16 fluid ounces of this clear liquid was recovered. When the clear liquid was applied to a coupon containing water finding paste the paste changed color indicating the presence of water.


Manufacturer's Guidance

According to the manufacturer's Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements, Section 10 (Fuel System Contamination), regarding proper preflight of the fuel system, a full preflight inspection was recommended before each flight. Inspection procedures for the fuel system must include checking the quantity of fuel on level ground, checking the security of the fuel filler caps, and draining the fuel tank sumps, fuel reservoir(s) fuel line drain(s), fuel selector drains, and fuel strainer(s). To ensure that no unsampled fuel remains in the airplane an adequate sample of fuel from the fuel strainer must be taken with the fuel selector valve placed in each of its positions (Both, Left, Right, etc.). Some Cessna airplanes are equipped with a fuel reservoir(s) and its drain plug or quick drain. The fuel reservoir(s) on most single engine airplanes are located near the fuel system low point where water will accumulate. Therefore, the fuel reservoir(s) must be drained routinely during each preflight inspection. The condition of the fuel filler cap seals, pawls, and springs should also be periodically checked for evidence of wear and/or deterioration which indicates a need for replacement. The fuel cap adapters and seals should also be checked to insure that the sealing surfaces are clean and not rusted or pitted. Deformed pawls may affect the sealing capabilities of the seals and/or cause them to be exposed to detrimental weather elements. Precaution should be taken to prevent water entry into fuel tanks, due to damaged filler caps and every effort made to check and remove all water throughout the fuel system. Umbrella caps also will assist in preventing water entry into the fuel tank through the fuel filter.

The manufacturer also advised that it is the pilot's responsibility to ensure that the airplane was properly serviced before each flight with the correct type of fuel. The pilot must take the time to inspect the airplane thoroughly, making sure all of the fuel filler caps are installed and secured properly after visually checking the fuel quantity with the airplane on level ground. During the check of the fuel tanks, they should observe the color and odor of the fuel while draining a generous sample from each sump and drain point into a transparent container and check for presence of water, dirt, rust, or other contaminants.

Additionally, the manufacturer's guidance regarding proper sampling from quick drains advised that the fuel system sumps and drains should always be drained and checked for contaminants after each refueling, and during each preflight inspection. At least a cupful of fuel should be drained into a clear container to check for solid and/or liquid contaminants, and proper fuel grade. If contamination was observed, to take further samples at all drain points until the fuel is clear of contaminants; then to gently rock the wings and, if possible lower the tail to move additional contaminants to the sampling points. Repeated samples should then be taken from all of the drain points until all of the contamination has been removed. If excessive sampling was required, then the airplane should be completely defueled, drained, and cleaned, and an attempt made to discover where or how the contamination originated before the airplane flies again.

FAA Guidance

According to FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-10-40R1, Aircraft Fuel System; Water contamination of Fuel Tank Systems on Cessna Single Engine Airplanes; Water may enter the fuel system via any penetration in the wing fuel tank, or may come out of solution. In addition to the precautions that were published in the manufacturer's Pilot Safety and Warning Supplements (which were also referenced in the SAIB), the SAIB also cautioned pilots to take precautions to preclude water migration in the fuel tank system from an internal source (free water coming out of solution) by keeping the fuel tanks full when the airplane is not operated regularly, and by keeping the fuel tanks full between flights.

Pilot Interview

On October 19, 2010, the pilot was re-interviewed by the NTSB. During the interview the pilot stated that the last time he had refueled prior to the accident flight was on August 20. 2010, at MQI. The airplane usually had about 30 gallons of gas in it. He would not top it off prior to parking it at FDK.  He had done one of those "wing rock things" a couple of weeks before and that the last time he remembered sumping the airplane he had used his "small sump" tool and did not use his "large one". He also stated that he did not sump the airplane before he took off on the accident flight as he was "in a hurry".

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Fuel contamination (Defining event)

Loss of engine power (total)

Off-field or emergency landing

Landing-landing roll
Nose over/nose down 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Seatbelt, Shoulder harness
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/23/2008
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/10/2009
Flight Time:  1347 hours (Total, all aircraft), 912 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N812KT
Model/Series: 182Q
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18266016
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/04/2010, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2950 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1034 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-470-F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 260 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: NTU, 23 ft msl
Observation Time: 1356 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 195°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7500 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 13°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots/ 17 knots, 220°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.79 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fredrick, VA (FDK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Manteo, NC (MQI)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1201 EDT
Type of Airspace: 

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: 36.875833, -76.028056 (est)

VIRGINIA BEACH -  A Maryland pilot failed to adequately inspect his fuel system prior to a flight that ended with his Cessna overturned on an athletic field at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach in 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled.

The probable cause of the crash landing was a loss of power due to water contamination in the fuel, according to the report on the NTSB website.

The pilot, who didn't suffer serious injuries, was on his way to Manteo, N.C. After he picked up the Cessna 182Q following its annual inspection, he "preflighted" the plane and had a smooth takeoff and climb, the report says.

As the aircraft cruised southward, it lost power, and it flipped over when the pilot landed it on the school's field.

The pilot told investigators he fueled the plane 16 days before the crash. The report says he was in a hurry and did not drain the sumps of the airplane during his preflight inspection that day.

Original article can be found here ➤

VIRGINIA BEACH -  The pilot of a single-engine airplane who was on his way to Dare County made an emergency landing and overturned on a baseball field at Cape Henry Collegiate School on Saturday.

"Apparently, he was trying to make it to Oceana and decided to put it down on the field," said Battalion Chief Kenneth Pravetz of the Fire Department.

The Cessna, registered to an Ellicott City, Md., man, came down about 1:45 p.m. in the athletic field at the school in the 1300 block of Mill Dam Road. Cape Henry Collegiate is next to First Colonial High School.

The pilot was flying from Bethesda, Md. Pravetz said the pilot told firefighters he was not hurt and was checked on the scene.

Pravetz said the name of the pilot had not been released as of 7 p.m. Saturday, and the pilot was not a local. State police are investigating and the pilot is not being charged, Pravetz said.

Anthony Checchio, 25, said he was playing tennis at First Colonial High when he saw the plane flying "extremely low."

"It really didn't have a sound," he said. "It just came out of nowhere."

Original article can be found here ➤