Sunday, August 19, 2018

Ravenna, Ohio, pilot disappeared without a trace

Commercial pilot Neil Huntzinger (1900-1954) was a schoolbook salesman in Ohio.


Neil Huntzinger was an expert pilot. For decades, he traveled North America, Central America and South America for profit and adventure.

Then one morning, he pointed the nose of his airplane toward the horizon and vanished into thin air, leaving a mystery that has never been solved.

Huntzinger, an Iowa native, was a schoolbook salesman for the Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. of New York City. He was a regular visitor to Akron Public Schools, one of the many districts that dotted his Ohio territory.

During one sales trip to Portage County, he met Margaret Hubbell, the principal of Brimfield High School. Huntzinger swept her off her feet and lifted her into the clouds.

“Our honeymoon was spent on an airplane ferry trip,” his wife later reminisced.

Huntzinger, who had flown since 1929, had a commercial pilot’s license and supplemented his income by delivering small aircraft to customers. Married in 1946, the newlyweds spent that summer ferrying airplanes from the West Coast to the East Coast and down to Mexico and back.

The couple bought a home on Sandy Lake Road in Ravenna and enjoyed years of whirlwind trips in their private plane.

In August 1954, Huntzinger was hired to pick up a Super Piper Cub in Lock Haven, Pa., and fly it to South America. The airplane, which had been equipped as a crop duster, was bound for a customer in Bogota, Colombia.

The 53-year-old pilot snapped a few photos, waved goodbye to his wife and flew off into the unknown.

The last time that Margaret Huntzinger heard from her husband was Aug. 17 in Mexico. He had made it safely to Veracruz, a port city on the Gulf of Mexico, and planned to fly out the next morning to the Pacific Coast.

Neil Huntzinger took off at 6:45 a.m. Aug. 18 for a planned six-hour flight over the mountainous jungle to Tapachula in the Mexican state of Chiapas along the border with Guatemala. He had enough fuel for an all-day trip, though, and could have traveled 1,600 miles without stopping. He had made two previous trips and knew the route.

“He was in a big hurry to get back home because he’d been granted an extra week or two of summer vacation by his employers, the Crowell-Collier book publishing firm,” his wife later recalled. “Usually a careful pilot, it could be that, just this once, he decided not to bother with the lengthy customs at the Guatemalan border.”

In a bureaucratic error, Huntzinger’s flight plan was not forwarded to Tapachula, so the airport wasn’t on the lookout for him and didn’t notice that his plane didn’t arrive. When Margaret Huntzinger didn’t hear from her husband for several days, she began to worry.

She contacted her cousin Oliver P. Bolton, a U.S. congressman from Cleveland who published the Lake County News Herald and Dover Daily Reporter, and he arranged for the U.S. Air Force Rescue Squadron in Ellington, Texas, to conduct a search from Veracruz to Tapachula.

Unfortunately, the trail had gone cold in the 10 days that elapsed since Huntzinger was last seen. Bolton sent dispatches to all Central American nations and wired a cable to the Panama Canal Zone. No one reported seeing the missing airplane.

Margaret Huntzinger printed hundreds of posters in Spanish and distributed them in Mexico and Central America with the aid of the U.S. State Department. A $500 reward — about $4,600 today — was offered for information leading to the pilot.

She next turned to Ravenna High School Principal Wayne E. Watters, 43, the couple’s good friend who spoke fluent Spanish. Watters requested a leave of absence from the Ravenna school board to search for Huntzinger that summer. He was gone for nearly a month.

“Even though weather maps that day said the weather was good, a sudden cloud condition or shower may have caused him to lose his way,” Watters told the Beacon Journal. “The only instrument he had aboard was a compass.

“He could have been injured in a crash and be lying in some remote Indian village with a broken leg unable to persuade the Indians to get him out to safety.”

Watters spent three weeks crisscrossing the jungle with Mexican pilots. Natives about 60 miles north of the Oaxaca town of Ixtepec had reported hearing a plane in distress. A farmer south of the Veracruz town of Jesus Carranza had also heard a sputtering craft.

The rescue party searched a 100-mile radius of Ixtepec. Watters’ heart sank when they spied the twisted wreckage of an airplane in the jungle. When researchers reached the desolate locale, though, it turned out to be debris from a Mexican plane that had crashed years earlier.

Watters returned home after the fruitless mission. Col. Alfonso Gondarilla of the Mexican air force continued the search, periodically sending notes to Ravenna with the words: “No word of airplane.”

Weeks passed, then months. In March 1955, the Beacon Journal interviewed the pilot’s wife, who believed that her husband was still alive.

“You can’t rule out anything,” she said.

“The rainy season is over down there and still no trace of his plane has been found in the 75-mile area of jungle where he would most likely have crashed,” she told reporter Helen Waterhouse. “Now I’m beginning to put more credence in another theory.

“My hope is he may be in a Central American jail somewhere. Since all the trouble recently in Costa Rica, and the Communist situation in Guatemala, Neil’s plane could have been a prize they wanted.

“They might have imprisoned him in one of those countries after taking his plane.”

Months turned into years. The search ended and Neil Huntzinger was declared dead.

Watters theorized that his friend may have suffered a fatal heart attack or become otherwise incapacitated while flying over the mountains.

“If his plane came down in jungle growth, the trees could close over it, swallowing it from sight forever, perhaps,” he said.

Margaret Huntzinger was 86 when she died in Toledo in 1987. Wayne Watters retired to North Carolina and died in 1999 at age 88.

They went to their graves not knowing what happened to their husband and friend.

Nearly 65 years after Neil Huntzinger vanished, the jungle has not given up its secret.

Story and photo gallery: https://www.ohio.com

Aerodynamic Stall/Spin: Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar, C-GRRS; fatal accident occurred July 30, 2018 at Greenville Municipal Airport (3B1), Piscataquis County, Maine

Aircraft Wreckage in Field. 

Aircraft Wreckage Front View. 

Aircraft Wreckage Front View. 

Right Side View of Aircraft Wreckage. 

Right Rear View of Aircraft Wreckage. 

Rear View of Airplane. 

Rear View of Aircraft Wreckage.

Damaged exterior of EDM. 

 Damaged Shadin Fuel Flow indicator. 

 Shadin Fuel Flow indicator, powered up. 


 On August 16, 2018 an examination was performed on two Turbo Controller units that were installed on an twin engine aircraft involved in an accident. The Turbo Controllers were inspected for external damage and function. Case Number ERA18FA206.

Left Hand Turbo Controller 

 Right Hand Turbo Controller

NTSB Radar Data Plots.  



 

Joe Robertson, Anita Robertson and Laura Robertson 



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

Additional Participating Entities: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine
Lycoming; Chandler, Arizona
Hartzell Propeller Inc; Piqua, Ohio
 
Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms 
 
https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/C-GRRS


Location: Greenville, ME
Accident Number: ERA18FA206
Date & Time: 07/30/2018, 1044 EDT
Registration: C-GRRS
Aircraft: Piper PA60
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Non-U.S., Non-Commercial 

On July 30, 2018, about 1044 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Piper PA-60-602P, Canadian registration C-GRRS, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while attempting to land at Greenville Airport (3B1), Greenville, Maine. The foreign-certificated pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under Canadian Aviation Regulations as a recreational flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at 3B1 at the time of the accident, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight, which departed Pembroke Airport (CYTA), Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, about 0905, and was destined for Charlottetown Airport (CYYG), Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada.

According to the CYTA airport manager, the pilot had been a regular customer at the airport for several years. The pilot flew the accident airplane into CYTA 3 days before the accident and purchased 117 gallons of 100LL fuel. The airport manager, who personally fueled the airplane that day, said that he topped off the wing tanks first, followed by the center tank. He did not fuel the auxiliary tank. The manager said that each of the fuel caps felt tight and he made sure they were properly fitted back onto each tank. The airplane was then placed in a hangar until the morning of the accident.

A review of air traffic control communications revealed that, after departure, the airplane climbed and leveled off at 23,000 ft mean sea level (msl) and the pilot contacted the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center at 1019:39. About 13 minutes later, the pilot told the controller, "...we're losing altitude trying to figure out what's going on." The controller then began to vector the airplane toward 3B1, which was about 17 miles southeast. At 1033, the controller asked the pilot, "...are you producing power right now or have you lost power." The pilot responded, "I think I've lost power..." The controller asked the pilot if he could make Greenville Airport, and the pilot responded, "Ah I think so."

The controller continued to vector the pilot to 3B1 and declared an emergency on his behalf. At 1040:41, the pilot reported that he had the airport in sight and was going to join the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 14. Radar data indicated that the airplane was at an altitude of about 4,600 ft msl at this time. The airplane continued to descend as it turned onto the base and final legs of the traffic pattern for runway 14. At 1043:32, said the pilot transmitted, without a call sign, "I gotta turn around and ahh we're a little high obviously." About this time, the airplane was on a short final for runway 14 at an altitude of about 1,800 ft msl (about 400 ft above ground level). The airplane then entered a left turn to the northwest and was over the airport when radar contact was lost at 1043:48.

A witness was standing on the airport's apron near the terminal building between runway 14 and 21 when he first saw the airplane approaching the airport from the south. The witness said the airplane was "low." It flew over the center of the airport and made what appeared to be a left downwind entry for runway 21. There was no smoke trailing the airplane and the landing gear was retracted. The witness said both propellers were turning, but he could not tell how fast they were turning or if one was turning faster than the other. He was standing next to active construction equipment at the time, which prevented him from fully hearing the engines. When the airplane reached the approach end of runway 21, it began a "shallow" left turn. The nose of the airplane was "high" and the airplane was "going so slow." He said, "It was like it almost stopped in the air" before the left wing suddenly dropped and the airplane dove toward the ground and disappeared behind an embankment. The witness saw a debris cloud and knew that the airplane had crashed.

A second witness, who was a commercial pilot, was standing in front of a hangar on the southeast side of runway 3/21 when he saw the airplane approaching the airport from the west. Instead of landing on runway 14, the airplane continued to fly over the center of the airport. The witness said that the airplane flew directly over him as it made a left turn and flew parallel to runway 3/21. He stated that both propellers were turning, and the engines were producing power; however, he could not estimate an engine speed. He said the airplane was not gliding because it maintained its altitude. The witness could not recall if the landing gear or flaps were extended but recalled that the belly of the airplane was painted black. When the airplane approached the end of the runway, it began a "shallow" left turn and was flying "really slow." The bank angle continued to increase to a point where he could see the entire top of the airplane. The airplane then pitched up and appeared to momentarily "stop" before the left wing "stalled" and the nose pitched down toward the ground. The witness did not hear any increase in engine noise before the impact. He also said that he did not believe the pilot was trying to land on runway 21 because he was positioned "way too close" to the runway. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 58, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  590.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 136 hours (Total, this make and model), 29.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The pilot held a Canadian private pilot certificate for single- and multi-engine land airplane and instrument airplane. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that, as of July 27, 2018, he had a total of 590.3 hours of flight experience, of which 155.2 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. The pilot logged about 136 hours total in the accident airplane and about 82.6 of those hours were as pilot-in-command. In the 90 days before the accident, the pilot logged a total of 29.2 flight hours, with 13.4 hours in the previous 30 days; all of which was in the accident airplane. The pilot held a Transport Canada Category 3 medical certificate, which was issued on September 13, 2017, with no limitations.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: C-GRRS
Model/Series: PA60 602P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1982
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number:60-8265026 
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/09/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5999 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 21 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4856.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TSI-540-U2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 350 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane was manufactured in 1982 and was equipped with two six-cylinder Lycoming TIO-540-U2A engines each rated at 350 horsepower at 2,500 rpm. The airplane's engines and propellers had been modified with a Machen conversion under supplemental type certificate (STC) SA1658NM.

A review of the airplane's Journey Log revealed that the last annual inspection was performed on May 9, 2018, at an airframe total time since new of 4,856.1 hours. The airplane had accrued 21.1 hours since the annual inspection. The left engine had 196.8 hours total time since overhaul (TTSO) and the right engine had 169 hours TTSO. The left and right propellers each had 92.2 hours TTSO.

The last logged entry in the Journey Log was on July 27, 2018, 3 days before the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 3B1, 1401 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1056 EDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pembroke, ON (CYTA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Charlottetown, PE (CYYG)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 0905 EDT
Type of Airspace:Unknown 

The 1056 weather conditions reported at 3B1 included wind from 310° at 8 knots variable between 260° and 360°, clear skies, temperature 23°C, dew point 14°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inHg.

Airport Information

Airport: Greenville Muni (3B1)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1401 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 45.000000, -69.000000 (est) 

The airplane came to rest in field about 100 yards from the approach end of runway 21 on a magnetic heading of 220°. All major components of the airframe were accounted for at the site and there was no post-impact fire. The wreckage was contained to where it impacted the ground. The nose and forward fuselage area were compressed aft from impact; both engines were partially buried in the ground, and the empennage was compressed and twisted to the left. The tail section appeared undamaged and was twisted to the left. Both wings remained attached to the airframe at the wing root and sustained impact damage.

Both wing fuel tanks were breached, but the fuel finger screens in both tanks were absent of debris. The center fuel tank (bladder-type) was breached, and the auxiliary fuel tank remained in the airplane but was breached. According to first responders, about 20 gallons of fuel was recovered from the site. The vegetation forward of the wreckage displayed fuel blighting. The fuel selector handles were impact damaged and their position could not be determined. Continuity of the fuel system from the wings to the center fuel tank was established. The center sump was filled with 100LL fuel and the screen was absent of debris. The Nos. 1 and 4 fuel shutoff valves were in the "Open" position, and the Nos. 2 and 3 cross-feed valves were in the "Closed" position.

The left and right fuel boost pumps were located and the main fuel line to each pump was separated from impact. Fuel was observed draining from each pump. Each pump was tested on a 24-volt battery and both pumps were functional. The left and right main fuel tank filters were removed and disassembled. Both were absent of debris.

The flight controls were heavily fractured, but control continuity was established for the elevator and rudder to mid-fuselage. Both flight control wheels were broken off from impact; but the control column and linkages for the control yoke and rudder pedals were observed in the cockpit area. Both left and right seat rudder pedals, and the outboard rudder pedal for the right seat remained attached to their respective linkages. The right seat inboard rudder pedal had separated. Continuity to mid-cabin was established for the left- and right-wing flaps and ailerons. The left flap actuator appeared fully extended, and the right flap actuator was near the fully-retracted position.
The rudder trim was neutral, and the elevator trim was consistent with one-quarter nose-up trim. The landing gear selector handle in the cockpit was impact damaged but appeared to be in the retracted position. The left main gear remained attached to the left wing and the right main gear had separated. The nose wheel was under the fuselage and the tire had separated.

The cockpit area sustained extensive impact damage, with more of the damage occurring to the left (pilot) side area. The throttle levers were positioned between mid- and full power and bent to the left. Both propeller levels were full forward. Both mixture control handles were full forward and bent to the right. The flap selector handle was in the fully extended position.

The left engine remained attached to the airframe by the engine mount and sustained moderate impact damage. Visual examination of the engine revealed no obvious evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction or fire.

The propeller was removed to facilitate the examination. The top spark plugs and the vacuum pump were removed, and the crankshaft was rotated by hand via the vacuum pump drive spline. The crankshaft rotated freely, and compression and valve train continuity were established to each cylinder and to the accessory section. The combustion chamber of each cylinder was examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope; no anomalies were observed. The bottom spark plugs were removed and examined along with the top spark plugs. Each plug, except the No.2 top plug, which was oil-soaked, was gray in color consistent with normal wear as per the Champion Check-a-Plug chart.

The propeller governor was partially displaced from the mounting pad due to impact. The pitch control rod remained securely attached at the control arm and the drive rotated freely. The gasket screen was absent of contamination.

The left and right magnetos, along with their respective ignition harnesses (which were impact damaged), remained attached to the engine. The magneto-to-engine timing check found both magnetos beyond manufacturers limits; however, the magneto flanges (under each clamp) were displaced during impact. The magnetos and their damaged harnesses were removed and produced spark at each distributor tower when manually rotated.

All engine compartment fuel lines were found in place and secure at their respective fittings. Fuel was found during the removal of various fuel system components.

The fuel injection servo remained securely attached at the mounting pad of the plenum. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached at their respective control arm of the servo. The serrated engagement at each control arm was securely mated and secured by the locking nut. The plug on the side of the injector body was secure with the safety wire in place. The servo fuel inlet screen was free of contamination. The fuel injection servo and induction system were examined and observed to be free of obstruction.

The Shadin fuel flow transducer was examined. The transducer fuel lines remained attached at the inlet and outlet. The transducer was observed to flow when air was applied, and the vane could be heard spinning.

The fuel injection servo was disassembled. The ball/stem valve and internal diaphragms remained intact. There were no visible contaminants within the fuel cavities and passages of the servo.

The fuel flow divider remained secure at the mounting bracket situated at the top of the engine. The fuel lines remained secure at each flow divider fitting and fuel injector at each cylinder. The flow divider was disassembled. Fuel was found within the flow divider. There was no evidence of internal mechanical malfunction or obstruction to fuel flow. The diaphragm was intact and undamaged.

The fuel injection nozzles remained secure at each cylinder with the respective fuel line attached. The nozzles were removed and examined. The nozzles remained free of visible contamination or obstruction to flow.

The fuel pump was securely attached to the engine at the mounting pad. The fuel lines remained secure at their respective fittings. The fuel pump was removed for examination. The drive remained intact and rotated without binding.

The starter was securely attached at the mounting pad, with the electrical connection secure at the post.

The alternator was separated from the engine and destroyed.

The vacuum pump was disassembled, and the rotor/vane assembly was intact and undamaged.

The oil filter and suction screen were removed from the engine and disassembled. The oil filter and screen were absent of debris.

The turbocharger system components remained secure at their respective mountings. The turbocharger compressor and turbine impellers remained intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of foreign object ingestion. The turbine impeller was free to hand rotate. Each exhaust system clamp and pipe were secure at each cylinder location. The tail pipe remained secure at the turbocharger flange. The exhaust bypass valve (wastegate) remained secure at each turbocharger.

The wastegate linkage and cross bar remained intact and secure. The wastegate butterfly valve remained intact and undamaged.

The turbocharger and exhaust system components exhibited gas path coloration consistent with normal operation and were free of oil residue.

The turbo system control (oil pressure) and pressure sensing (manifold) lines remained secure at their respective components throughout the turbocharger system.

The compressor inlet and discharge scat tubes remained securely clamped at each turbocharger and airbox. The alternate air doors remained in the closed/off positions on each side of the induction system. The induction system remained free of visible obstruction to flow.

The manifold pressure relief valve remained intact and securely attached to the firewall mounted airbox. The valve seat remained undamaged and seated.

The mesh air filter within the airbox remained intact and free of visible contaminates. The automatic alternate air door remained intact and functioning.

The sonic nozzle and attaching hoses remained secure.

The slope controller was functionally tested at Machen, Inc., under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The controller functioned normally but was adjusted to a slightly higher setting that would have resulted in the engine producing more power versus less.

The right engine remained attached to the airframe by the engine mount and sustained extensive impact damage. The No. 2 cylinder head had been liberated from the engine. The alternator and starter were displaced. Visual examination of the engine revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction or fire.

The propeller was removed to facilitate the examination. The top spark plugs and the vacuum pump were removed, and the crankshaft was rotated by hand via the vacuum pump drive-spline. The crankshaft rotated freely, and compression and valve train continuity were established to each cylinder. Continuity was also established to the accessory section. The combustion chamber of each cylinder was examined through the spark plug holes utilizing a lighted borescope; no anomalies were noted. The bottom spark plugs were oil-soaked due to engine positioning post-impact.

The propeller governor was partially displaced from the mounting pad due to impact. The pitch control rod remained securely attached at the control arm and the drive rotated freely. The gasket screen was absent of contamination.

The left and right magnetos, along with their respective ignition harnesses, remained attached to the engine. The magneto to engine timing check was normal. The magnetos were removed and produced spark at each ignition lead when manually rotated.

All engine compartment fuel lines were found to be in place and secure at their respective fitting of each fuel system component. Fuel was found during the removal of various fuel system components.

The fuel injection servo remained securely attached at the mounting pad of the plenum. The throttle/mixture controls were found securely attached at their respective servo control arm. The servo fuel inlet screen was found properly installed and free of contamination. The fuel injection servo and induction system were free of obstruction.

The Shadin fuel flow transducer was examined. The transducer fuel lines remained attached at the inlet and outlet. The transducer was observed to free flow when air was applied, and the vane could be heard spinning.

The fuel flow divider remained secure at the mounting bracket situated at the top of the engine. The fuel lines remained secure at each flow divider fitting and fuel injector at each cylinder. Fuel was found within the flow divider. There was no evidence of internal mechanical malfunction or obstruction to fuel flow. The diaphragm was intact and undamaged.

The fuel injection nozzles remained secure at each cylinder with the respective fuel line attached. The nozzles were free of visible contamination or obstruction to flow.

The fuel pump was securely attached to the engine at the mounting pad. The fuel lines remained secure at their respective fittings. The fuel pump drive remained intact and rotated without binding.

The fuel injection nozzles remained secure at each cylinder with the respective fuel line attached. The No. 2 cylinder nozzle assembly and attached hose were liberated from the cylinder head during the impact with terrain. The nozzles remained free of visible contamination or obstruction to flow.

The starter and alternator were displaced from the engine and were destroyed. The vacuum pump was disassembled, and the rotor/vane assembly was intact and undamaged.

The oil filter and suction screen were removed from the engine and disassembled. The oil filter and screen were absent of debris.

The turbocharger system components remained secure at their respective mountings. The turbocharger compressor and turbine impellers remained intact and undamaged. There was no evidence of foreign object ingestion. The turbine impeller was free to hand rotate. Each exhaust system clamp and pipe were secure at each cylinder location. The tail pipe remained secure at the turbocharger flange. The exhaust bypass valve (wastegate) remained secure at each turbocharger. The wastegate linkage and cross bar remained intact and secure. The wastegate butterfly valve remained intact and undamaged.

The turbocharger turbine shroud casting exhibited pitting and missing material. The turbine impeller appeared undamaged and unaffected.

The turbocharger and exhaust system components exhibited gas path coloration consistent with normal operation and remained free of oil residue.

The turbo system control (oil pressure) and pressure sensing (manifold) lines remained secure at their respective components throughout the turbocharger system.

The compressor inlet scat tubes remained securely clamped at each turbocharger and airbox. The left turbocharger compressor discharge scat tube remained securely attached at the firewall-mounted airbox. The right turbocharger compressor discharge scat tube was displaced from the firewall mounted airbox due to impact. The alternate air doors remained in the closed/off positions on each side of the induction system. The induction system remained free of visible obstruction to flow.

The manifold pressure relief valve remained intact and securely attached to the firewall-mounted airbox, but the cover/housing was impact damaged. The valve seat remained undamaged and seated.

The sonic tube port at the airbox had been disabled utilizing a block-off plate.

The mesh air filter within the airbox remained intact and free of visible contaminants. The automatic alternate air door remained intact and functioning.

The slope controller was functionally tested at Machen, Inc., under the supervision of the FAA. The controller functioned normally.

Each engine was equipped with a Hartzell three-bladed propeller. Both propellers remained attached to their engine crankshaft mounting flanges during the impact sequence. Both propeller spinner domes were crushed, torn and partially formed around the hub area. Both propeller assemblies displayed packed dirt in the spinner and around the hub components.

Examination of the left propeller revealed that the left hydraulic unit separated from the hub unit and was crushed but remained attached to the propeller assembly via the pitch change rod. The pitch change rod was cut by a hacksaw to remove the feathering spring danger and facilitate propeller removal from the engine. One of the counterweights was also removed to facilitate cutting the pitch change rod. The left and right propeller blades had similar damage; two blades were bent aft and twisted towards low pitch. The bending on the third blade was slightly forward and twisting was unremarkable. The propeller mounting flange and hardware appeared intact. The blades appeared to be at a low pitch angle.

There was distinguishable chordwise/rotational scoring on the cambered side of the blade near the leading edges. There was also leading-edge gouging with material deformation toward low pitch. All three pitch change knobs were fractured, and the associated preload plates had damage indicating forceful rotation towards low pitch.

Examination of the right propeller revealed two blades were bent aft and twisted towards low pitch. The bending and twisting on the third blade appeared unremarkable. The hydraulic unit separated from the hub unit threads and the cylinder was buckled/bent to one side. The R2 blade retention pocket was fractured in a helical path direction suggesting rotation. The propeller mounting flange and hardware appeared intact. The blades appeared to be at a low pitch angle.

There was distinguishable chordwise/rotational scoring on the cambered side of the blade near the leading edges. There was also leading-edge gouging with material deformation towards low pitch. Two of the three pitch change knobs were fractured, and the associated preload plates had damage indicating forceful rotation toward low pitch. The low pitch stops also displayed an impact mark indicating the pitch change mechanism was forced in the low pitch direction during impact.

All propeller components were accounted for at the point of impact with terrain. There were no discrepancies noted that would prevent or degrade normal propeller operation prior to impact. All damage was consistent with high impact forces.

The damage observed to both propellers indicated power symmetry at the time of impact. Chordwise/rotational scoring on the cambered side of the blade and leading-edge gouging were consistent with rotation at the time of impact and suggested a low/idle power condition. Internal impact marks indicated that the propeller blade angle was in the low range of normal operation during the impact sequence and was forcefully rotated towards low pitch.

No mechanical discrepancies were noted with either engine or their respective propeller system that would have precluded normal operation at the time of impact.

The airplane was equipped with a JPI EDM-760 engine data monitor and a Shadin Fuel Flow Indicator. The Shadin unit sustained extensive impact damage. The non-volatile memory device was removed and installed in a laboratory surrogate indicator. Upon applying power, only error messages were displayed.

The JPI EDM-760 sustained extensive impact damage but contained data from the accident flight. The duration of the recording was about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The unit recorded time with the first data sample based on the unit's internal clock, which was set and updated by the operator. The time on this unit appeared to be EDT and was about 12 minutes ahead from the actual time of the accident. The downloaded parameters included battery voltage, engine exhaust gas temperature (EGT), and cylinder head temperature (CHT) for both engines. There were no parameters for fuel pressure or fuel flow. A review of the recorded data revealed that, about 1030, there was a jump followed by a decrease in EGT and CHT temperatures for both engines. The temperatures decreased for about 9 minutes, during which time the right engine EGT data spiked twice. Both engine's EGT and CHT temperatures returned to normal, consistent with both engines producing power, for the remaining 5 minutes of flight before the data ended about 1044.

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Augusta, Maine, on July 31, 2018. The cause of death was determined to be "extensive blunt force trauma."


Toxicological testing performed by the FAA's Forensic Sciences Laboratory was negative for ethanol and drugs.


Location: Greenville, ME
Accident Number: ERA18FA206
Date & Time: 07/30/2018, 1055 EDT
Registration: C-GRRS
Aircraft: Piper PA60
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Non-U.S., Non-Commercial 

On July 30, 2018, about 1055 eastern daylight time, a Canadian registered Piper PA-60-602P, C-GRRS, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while on approach to land at the Greenville Municipal Airport (3B1), Greenville, Maine. The private pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under Canadian Aviation Regulations as a recreational flight. An instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed the Pembroke Airport (CYTA), Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, about 0905, and was destined for the Charlottetown Airport (CYYG), Prince Edward Island, Canada. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the of the accident.

According to the Pembroke Airport manager, the pilot flew to Pembroke on July 27, 2018, and purchased 117 gallons of 100 low lead fuel. The airport manager, who personally fueled the airplane that day, said he topped-off both wing tanks and the center tank with fuel. He did not fuel the auxiliary fuel tank. The airplane was then placed in a hangar until the morning of July 30, 2018, when the pilot departed for CYYG.

A preliminary review of air traffic control (ATC) communications revealed that after the pilot departed, he climbed and leveled the airplane at 23,000 ft mean sea level (msl). About 90 minutes into the flight, the airplane began to descend, and the pilot reported a loss of power to ATC. The pilot was vectored to 3B1. He told ATC he had the airport in sight and intended to make a left downwind entry for runway 14.

A witness was standing on the airport's apron near the terminal building between runway 21 and 14 when he first observed the airplane approaching the airport from the south. The airplane was flying directly toward where he was standing. The witness said the airplane was "low" and about 400 ft above the ground. It flew over the center of the airport and made what appeared to be a left downwind entry for runway 21. There was no smoke trailing the airplane and the landing gear was retracted. The witness said both propellers were turning, but he could not tell how fast they were turning or if one was turning faster than the other. He was standing next to active construction equipment which prevented him from fully hearing the engines. When the airplane reached the approach end of runway 21, it began a "shallow" left turn. The nose of the airplane was "high" and the airplane was "going so slow." He said, "It was like it almost stopped in the air" right before the left wing suddenly dropped and the nose of the airplane dove toward the ground and disappeared behind an embankment. The witness saw a debris cloud and knew the airplane crashed.

A second witness, who was a pilot, was standing in front of a hangar on the southeast side runway 3/21 when he first observed the airplane approaching the airport from the west. It was "low" and about 500-600 ft above the ground. Instead of landing, the airplane continued to fly over the center of the airport. The witness said the airplane flew directly over him as it made a left turn and flew parallel of runway 3/21. He said both propellers were turning, and the engines were producing power; however, he could not estimate an engine speed. The witness could not recall if the gear or flaps were extended, but recalled the belly of the airplane was painted black. When the airplane flew past the approach end of runway 21, it began a "shallow" left turn and was flying "really slow." The bank angle continued to increase to a point where he could see the entire top of the airplane. The airplane then pitched up and it appeared to momentarily "stop" right before the left wing "stalled" and the nose pitched down toward the ground. The witness did not hear any increase in engine rpm prior to impact. He also said that he did not believe the pilot was trying to land on runway 21 because he was positioned too close to the runway.

The airplane came to rest in a field about 300 ft from the approach end of runway 21 on a magnetic heading of 220°. All major components of the airframe were accounted for at the site and there was no postimpact fire. The wreckage was contained to where it impacted the ground. The nose and forward fuselage area were compressed inward from impact; both engines were partially buried in the ground (neither propeller was feathered), and the empennage was compressed and twisted to the left. The tail section appeared undamaged and was twisted to the left. Both wings remained attached to the airframe at the wing root and sustained impact damage. The wing fuel tanks were breached. The center fuel tank (bladder-type) was breached, and the auxiliary fuel tank remained in the airplane but was breached. According to first responders, about 20 gallons of fuel was cleaned up at the site. The green vegetation forward of where the wreckage came to rest was discolored brown.

The airplane wreckage was retained for further examination.

The pilot, age 58, held a Canadian private pilot certificate for single and multi-engine land airplane, and instrument airplane. A review of the pilot's logbook revealed that as of July 27, 2018, he had a total of 590.3 flight hours, of which, 155.2 hours were in multi-engine airplanes. The pilot logged about 136 hours total in the accident airplane and about 82.6 of those hours were as pilot-in-command.

At 1056, weather at the Greenville Municipal Airport was reported as wind from 310° at 8 knots, variable between 260° and 360°, sky clear, temperature 23° C, dew point 14°, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: C-GRRS
Model/Series: PA60 602P
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: 3B1, 1401 ft msl
Observation Time: 1056 EDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Pembroke, ON (CYTA)
Destination: Charlottetown, PE (CYYG)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 45.000000, -69.000000 (est)

Delta Air Lines, Boeing 737-900: Incident occurred August 18, 2018 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (KSTL) Missouri

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -  A flight out of Lambert Airport to Atlanta was delayed Saturday morning after a small flock of birds got tangled in the plane’s engine just after takeoff.

Delta spokesperson Lisa Hellerstedt said the pilot of Delta Flight 1080 decided to turn around shortly after the flight’s takeoff at 7:20 a.m. as a precaution. The plane returned to the gate just past 7:30 where 140 passengers exited the aircraft. 

No one was hurt in the incident and no other flights were impacted.

All passengers were put on a flight to the same destination or otherwise accommodated.

The company released the following statement:

Delta flight 1080 returned to St. Louis Lambert International Airport shortly after encountering birds on ascent. The flight landed safely without incident and taxied to the gate for maintenance evaluation. We apologize for the delay to our customers as safety is always our top priority.

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

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A Delta Air Lines aircraft leaving St. Louis for Atlanta had to turn around early Saturday after striking a flock of birds.

Flight 1080 took off at 7:21 a.m., but returned to the gate at St. Louis Lambert International Airport by 7:37 a.m. after striking several birds, Delta said in a statement.

There were about 140 passengers on the Boeing 737 aircraft. They were put on alternative flights, Delta said.

From January 2010 through April of this year there were 504 bird strikes at Lambert, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.

Lambert has an active bird mitigation program in attempt to prevent these strikes, said airport spokesman Jeff Lea.

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

Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II, N81441: Incident occurred August 19, 2018 at Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR), Fairfield County, Connecticut

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley

Aircraft missing a wheel, landed causing damage to aircraft.

Arrow Aviation LLC

http://registry.faa.gov/N81441

Date: 19-AUG-18
Time: 15:59:00Z
Regis#: N81441
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 28 161
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: DANBURY
State: CONNECTICUT





A plane made an emergency landing at Danbury Airport Sunday.

Police say a four-seat Piper Warrior plane had a problem with its landing gear while in the air. Two people were on board.

The aircraft made several flybys to allow the tower to check for damage and for emergency crews to prepare on the ground.

No one was injured during the landing.

The plane was towed from the runway.

Story and video ➤ http://connecticut.news12.com




DANBURY — A plane touched down safely at Danbury Airport on Sunday, despite a problem with its landing gear.

James Gagliardo, spokesman for the fire department, said the issue with aircraft’s left-side landing gear was discovered as the pilot was practicing landing on the runway.

Danbury firefighters and Emergency Medical Services were called to the airport around 11:30 a.m. and stood by as the four-seat Piper Warrior tried to land.

The pilot then successfully touched down gently and came to a full stop on the runway, according to a release from the fire department. Neither the pilot or passenger were injured, while the plane suffered little damage.

“Between the airport air traffic controller, the skilled pilot, and the joint response of the Danbury Fire, Police, EMS and Airport Administrators this couldn't have turned out any better,” Mike Safranek, airport assistant administrator, said in the release.

Fire units helped jack the aircraft and replace the gear, so the plane could be towed from the runway.

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