Thursday, January 10, 2019

Missouri Rips Air Ambulance Companies For Charging 'Jaw-Dropping' Fees To Patients In Emergencies

One patient was billed more than $100,000 after being transferred out of state for treatment of encephalitis.

Another got a bill for $25,000 after being kicked by a horse, which caused a traumatic eye injury requiring hospital treatment.

A third was socked with a bill for more than $24,000 after a trip to a nearby hospital following a motor vehicle accident.

Those bills for helicopter air ambulances, which provide emergency services for critically ill patients, were among examples cited in a report released Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.

The report found that air ambulance companies billed Missourians nearly $26 million for services in 2017 – leaving patients on the hook for $12.4 million after coinsurance, copays and deductibles.

“That’s kind of a jaw dropper to us in terms of how much we’re talking about,” said Angela Nelson, director of market regulation at the insurance department and head of the team that produced the report.

“On average it was about $20,000 per individual,” Nelson said. “That’s an incredible amount of money for most Missouri families.”

Nelson’s team was unable to say how much of the $12.4 million in unpaid bills was collected from patients.

"However, these data indicate that the problem is widespread and impactful on Missourians," the report stated. 

Among the report's key findings:


Many air ambulance services are not “in-network” providers, meaning insurers aren’t in a position to negotiate to keep their prices down.  

Medicare reimbursement rates for air ambulance services range between $3,368 and $6,404 and Medicaid reimbursements average $2,253. In contrast, private health insurers were billed an average of $41,321, of which they paid an average amount of $23,087.

Many air ambulance companies “have adopted fairly aggressive collection strategies, such as placing liens on homes or garnishing wages.” Nelson’s team found 184 Missouri court records since 2012 involving lawsuits by air ambulance companies. The majority were collection actions.



In Missouri, 13 air ambulance services operate out of 36 bases, according to the report. That puts most areas in the state within 20 minutes of a base.

The largest company is Air Evac, with 13 bases scattered throughout the state. The company was responsible for 3,570 transports in 2017, about a third of all air ambulance transports that year.

Other companies include those affiliated with hospitals such as Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.

Air Evac’s spokesperson was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. Matt Daugherty, a spokesman for another large air ambulance company, LifeFlight Eagle, said its CEO was unavailable today but forwarded a position statement by the Association of Critical Air Transport, a group made up of air and ground ambulance providers.

Acknowledging reports of patients receiving exorbitant bills, the group said it was “very concerned about the lack of consumer protections for patients who often lack the basic information to make meaningful choices about their transport, care and service charges.”

The group went on to say that it supports federal legislation to enhance consumer protections for air ambulance patients and to amend the Airline Deregulation Act so that states can regulate air ambulance prices, which the act currently prohibits.

Prices have doubled nationwide


A report in 2017 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that median prices charged for helicopter air ambulance services in the United States doubled between 2010 and 2014, from $15,000 to $30,000 per transport. Meanwhile, the consumer price index increased by only 8.5 percent.

Because of insufficient data, however, the GAO was unable to say to what extent patients were dinged by “balance billing." That's the difference, billed to the patient,  betwen the provider's overall charge and the insurer's payment. 

“This idea of hospitals, doctors, air transport providers getting to dictate price that they don't negotiate is unique in health care,” said Dr. Kevin A. Schulman, a professor of medicine at Stanford University.

Schulman co-authored an op-ed piece on Wednesday in STAT, a health news website, about air ambulance pricing, which the authors described as “staggering” and “outrageous.”   

“In every other market, you go to the auto mechanic, say, and they say it’s $20 for an oil change and if we have to do anything else, we're going to have to call you and get you to approve the price,” Schulman told KCUR in a phone interview.

“In contract law, if you provide a service and you don't negotiate a price, you're entitled to compensation for your service. But the compensation you're entitled to is called the market price and the issue in health care is that there is no market price because there are no prices.”



High fixed costs


Air ambulance companies say their prices are dictated by their high fixed costs and the need to offset low reimbursement rates from Medicare and Medicaid. The GAO reported that officials of one company said operating a single air ambulance helicopter requires a staff of 13 – four pilots, four nurses, four paramedics and a mechanic – in order to maintain round-the-clock readiness and the ability to deploy at any time.

On the other hand, as the GAO report notes, air ambulance providers are not subject to the price competition that typically occurs in competitive markets because patients have no say in how and by whom they’re transported and can’t avoid out-of-network providers.

Schulman said consumers shouldn’t be held responsible for what he said was an overinvestment in air ambulance supply.

“If they made a bad choice as managers in terms of how much capacity they wanted to bring on the market, consumers shouldn't have to bear the brunt,” Schulman said.   

NPR in September cited the case of Dr. Naveed Kahn, a radiologist, whom Air Evac billed $56,603 for a 108-mile trip to a Fort Worth, Texas, hospital after the all-terrain vehicle he was driving toppled and landed on his left arm. His insurer paid $11,972 after initially refusing to pay anything; Khan was billed for the remaining $44,621.

NPR noted that the industry is dominated by a handful of companies, mostly owned by private equity firms, that have expanded dramatically. As a result, too many air ambulances sit idle too much of the time.

“I’m not that old, but we didn’t have 13 air ambulance providers when I went to medical school,” Schulman said, referring to the number of companies operating in Missouri.

“And so the fact that people potentially over-invested in capacity because they could charge very high prices and there was no market discipline is not the patient’s fault.”

Nelson, of the Missouri insurance department, said her agency is limited in what it can do to bring prices down other than respond to consumer complaints. Since 2013, it has received 128 complaints or questions about air ambulance services, she said, and in 23 cases the department helped them recover a total of $560,000.

“We do work in an advocacy role on behalf of those consumers to see if there’s any assistance that we can provide,” Nelson said. “Even if ultimately we don't have the authority to order an air ambulance transport company to take the amount paid and walk away.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.kcur.org

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cubcrafters CC11-160, N1951B: Accident occurred March 18, 2018 in Marysville, Yuba County, California



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

Additional Participating Entity:

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

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N1951B


Location: Browns Valley, CA
Accident Number: WPR18LA107
Date & Time: 03/18/2018, 0830 PDT
Registration: N1951B
Aircraft: CUBCRAFTERS INC CC11-160
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis

The private pilot reported that he was maneuvering at an altitude of about 500 ft over an unpopulated area and studying the river when the airplane must have gone below 500 ft and hit something. A fire started, and the airplane subsequently crashed in the river and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The pilot reported that he was later told that he hit a power line.

The river runs generally east to west. The power lines were about 200 ft tall, ran across the river generally north and south, and extended about 1 mile. The wreckage was located about 2,000 ft east of the power lines in about 3 ft of water. Power line company personnel reported that six power lines were found separated.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot likely was not vigilant in monitoring the environment for obstructions and did not maintain a sufficient altitude to avoid the power lines.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to adequately monitor the environment and maintain a sufficient altitude to avoid power lines.  

Findings

Aircraft
Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on operation
Water - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information 

On March 18, 2018, about 0830 Pacific daylight time, a Cubcrafters CC11-160 airplane, N1951B, crashed in a river following a wire strike near Browns Valley, California. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The airplane was registered to Plane Fun LLC., Roseville, California, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the Lincoln Regional Airport (LHM), Lincoln, California at 0800.

The pilot reported that he was maneuvering about 500 ft over the unpopulated area and studying the river when the airplane must have lost altitude and hit something. A fire broke out and the airplane subsequently crashed in the river. The pilot reported that he was later told that he hit a power line.

A witness located on the rivers shore, near the accident site, reported that he observed a yellow airplane maneuvering at a height a little higher than a telephone pole. The airplane circled his location a few times before he lost sight of it behind a pile of dredger tailings. He then heard what he described as an explosion. When he reacquired the airplane, he noticed that there were flames coming out of the right side of the fuselage. He again lost sight of the airplane just before it impacted the river.

The river runs generally east to west. The height of the powerlines was about 200 ft and run across the river generally north and south and extend approximately 1 mile. The wreckage was located approximately 2,000 ft east of the powerlines, in about 3 ft of water.

The powerline company sent a representative to assess the damage to the power lines. The representative reported that six power lines were separated, and 16 residences were without power.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Fire/smoke (non-impact)




Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 66, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/25/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/05/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 937 hours (Total, all aircraft), 101 hours (Total, this make and model), 816 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CUBCRAFTERS INC
Registration: N1951B
Model/Series: CC11-160 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2016
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: CC11-00406
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/21/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 135 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Titan
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: OX-340CC-B3J3
Registered Owner: PLANE FUN LLC
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: PLANE FUN LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan


Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBAB, 113 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1558 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 191°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LINCOLN, CA (LHM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LINCOLN, CA (LHM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  39.219722, -121.411389 (est)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Luscombe Silvaire 8A: Accident occurred January 05, 2019 at Casa Grande Municipal Airport (KCGZ), Pinal County, Arizona

CASA GRANDE — An aircraft crash-landed Saturday afternoon at Casa Grande Municipal Airport, injuring the pilot and a passenger, authorities said.

Dave Reffner, the airport's manager, said a Luscombe 8A bounced while landing on the runway and the pilot lost control.

The two-seat, single-engine aircraft ended up in the northwest area of the airport.

The male pilot and a female passenger were both injured. The woman was flown to a trauma center in the Phoenix area and the man was treated by paramedics at the scene, according to the Casa Grande Fire Department.

The Fire Department was called out to the airport at 1:30 p.m. The aircraft did not catch fire, but firefighters did help to contain fuel that was leaking from it.

Reffner said the airport was briefly closed Saturday afternoon while the incident was being investigated. He reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration.

This is the second accident reported at the airport within the last couple months. A man had to be flown to a Phoenix hospital after his plane crashed on the night of November 27th.

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

Fuel Exhaustion: Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N9673W, accident occurred January 27, 2018 near Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (KMMK), New Haven County, Connecticut



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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Windsor Locks, Connecticut 

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9673W



Location: Meriden, CT
Accident Number: ERA18LA071
Date & Time: 01/27/2018, 1615 EST
Registration: N9673W
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The airline transport pilot reported that he performed a preflight inspection before the cross-country flight and determined that 36 gallons of fuel were on board. His preflight fuel planning showed that he would land at his destination with 6 gallons of fuel remaining. While en route, he intentionally exhausted the fuel in the right tank. He switched to the left tank and continued the flight. His passenger later suggested that they stop for fuel, but he was confident in his fuel calculations and did not want to pay a higher price for fuel, so he continued the flight. About 2.5 miles north of his destination, the engine lost total power. He chose to perform a forced landing in a nearby pond. During the forced landing attempt, the airplane landed short of the pond and collided with a fence, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings and the airframe.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that only a residual amount of fuel remained in each wing tank. The tanks were not compromised, and no evidence of fuel leaks or stains was noted on the airframe. Although the pilot noted a previous issue with the gascolator, postaccident examination of the gascolator revealed that it was in an airworthy condition with no evidence of obstructions, leaks, or stains. It is likely that the pilot did not perform adequate preflight fuel planning, and his decision not to stop for fuel led to fuel exhaustion and the total loss of engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate preflight fuel planning and his improper in-flight decision-making, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome


Factual Information

On January 27, 2018, about 1615 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N9673W, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while approaching Meriden Markham Municipal Airport (MMK), Meriden, Connecticut. The airline transport pilot and one passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for flight that originated at Oxford County Regional Airport (81B), Oxford, Maine about 1330.

The pilot reported that he performed the preflight inspection at 81B and determined that there were 36 gallons of fuel on board prior to departure. Earlier that day, his passenger flew the airplane from MMK to 81B and reportedly departed MMK with full tanks, or 50 gallons of fuel on board. The airplane was not refueled at 81B. For the flight from 81B to MMK, his flight planning showed that he would land with 6 gallons of fuel on board.

Just prior to passing Worcester, Massachusetts, while on the right tank, the fuel gauge began to "flicker," then the engine "faltered." He intentionally exhausted the right tank fuel supply to maximize his available fuel. He switched to the left tank and the flight continued. Approaching the Hartford, Connecticut area, his passenger suggested that they stop for fuel, but he was confident in his fuel calculations and did not want to pay a higher price for fuel there, so he continued. About 2.5 miles north of MMK, the fuel pressure gauge "faltered" and the engine subsequently lost power. He looked for a place to land and realized that a nearby pond would be the best option. During the forced landing attempt, the airplane collided with a fence and came to a stop on dry land.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane came to rest on an embankment after colliding with a chain link fence. Both wings and the lower, forward fuselage was structurally damaged. The nose gear snapped off during the impact sequence and was found under the airframe. The left and right wing fuel tanks were not compromised. The airplane was moved to a level position and no visible fuel was observed in either fuel tank. During the subsequent recovery of the wreckage, about 1/2 gallon of fuel was recovered from both tanks. No fuel stains were observed on the exterior surfaces of the airframe.

The pilot reported on the NTSB Form 6120.1, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, that there was no mechanical malfunction or failure prior to the accident. In a subsequent correspondence with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that there was a leak at the gascolator found on November 17, 2017. The gascolator gasket had slipped out of place, resulting in the leak. He found the gascolator components to be in good condition and he reassembled the unit. The airplane was then flown at least 10 hours without any observed leaks prior to the accident flight.

On March 26, 2018, the gascolator was removed from the wreckage and examined by a NTSB investigator. The unit was intact, and no evidence of obstructions, leaks or fuel staining was found.



Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/02/2016
Flight Time:  16650 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 16000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 29 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9673W
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-23137
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/28/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2150 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2575 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: MMK, 103 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 30°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 180°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Oxford, ME (81B)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Meriden, CT (MMK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Meriden Markham Muni (MMK)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 103 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  41.520000, -72.820000 (est)

Bellanca 17-30A Viking, N8849V: Fatal accident occurred January 07, 2019 in Soddy-Daisy, Hamilton County, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N8849V

Location: Soddy-Daisy, TN
Accident Number: ERA19LA080
Date & Time: 01/07/2019, 1334 EST
Registration: N8849V
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A Viking
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 7, 2019, about 1334 eastern standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N5624S, was substantially damaged when it impacted Lake Chickamaugua, while maneuvering near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the commercial pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight that originated from Dallas Bay Sky Park (1A0), Chattanooga, Tennessee, about 1330.

A witness stated that he was in his study at his residence, watching the accident airplane fly over the lake. He noted that the airplane appeared to do a tight U-turn at a low altitude, about two or three treetop lengths above the water, which he initially thought might have been aerobatics. The airplane then spiraled straight down counterclockwise and impacted the lake. The witness then contacted emergency services and assisted local responders in finding the wreckage.

The airframe was recovered from the lake and retained for further examination; however, the engine and propeller were not recovered. Additionally, a GoPro camera was mounted on the right horizontal stabilizer and data from the camera was forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Division, Washington, DC, for examination.

The four-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane, was manufactured in 1971. It was powered by a Continental IO-520, 300-hp engine equipped with a constant speed propeller. Review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 1, 2018. At that time, the airframe and engine had accrued 2,156 total hours since new.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate, with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, helicopter, instrument airplane and instrument helicopter. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration second-class medical certificate was issued on February 1, 2018. At that time, the pilot reported a total flight experience of 3,800 hours.

Lovell Field (CHA), Chattanooga, Tennessee was located about 19 miles southwest of the accident site. The recorded weather at CHA, at 1353, was: wind from 180° at 11 knots; visibility 10 miles; scattered clouds at 5,000 ft; broken ceiling at 25,000 ft; temperature 4° C; dew point -14° C; altimeter 30.41 inches of mercury. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bellanca
Registration: N8849V
Model/Series: 1730 A
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: CHA, 682 ft msl
Observation Time: 1353 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / -14°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.41 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chattanooga, TN (1A0)
Destination: Chattanooga, TN (1A0)

Wreckage and Impact Information


Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 35.328611, -85.055556

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

 Frank Davey and Lynda Marinello

Private contractors on Friday recover the wreckage of a Bellanca 17-30A Viking that crashed in Chickamauga Lake on January 7th, 2019.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division


Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Public Relations Division

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Matt Lea and John Scruggs, one of 10 divers on the department's forensic dive team, talk about challenges and equipment being used to search on Chickamauga Lake for a missing pilot and parts of his plane following a crash on Monday.

This underwater remotely-operated vehicle is among equipment being used in the search for a missing pilot and his plane after a crash Monday on Chickamauga Lake.


John Scruggs, one of 10 divers on the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office forensic dive team, describes how dry suits work that are being used by divers in the search for a missing pilot and his plane on Chickamauga Lake.



Hamilton County Sheriff's Office forensic divers wearing dry suits don helmets like this to enables them to breathe, stay as warm as possible and talk to others while conducting searches under water.



Frank William Davey

DECEMBER 26, 1951 ~ JANUARY 10, 2019 (AGE 67)

Capt. Frank William Davey, 67, of Soddy Daisy, died January 7, 2019 while piloting his private plane. Frank was born December 26, 1951 in Nashville, the son of the late William Norman Davey and Ellen Schoen Bergan. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Linda Ellen Wittkamper. He is survived by his adoring wife of 48 years, Janet Vickery Davey, a precious daughter, Laura (Tony) Willingham, a beloved son, William Stuart (Elizabeth) Davey, grandchildren, Emma Cate Willingham, Garrett Sharp Willingham, Benjamin William Davey and Caroline Elizabeth Davey as well as a host of nephews, extended family and friends.

Frank was a 1970 graduate of Tyner High School, a 1974 graduate of University of North Carolina ~ Chapel Hill, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree on an ROTC scholarship. He then went on to complete a Master’s in education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and an MBA from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. In 1974, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and proceeded to flight school in Pensacola, Florida where he obtained his gold Naval Aviator wings in 1976. He was stationed primarily in MCAS Tustin, CA where he flew the CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter and also spent time in Japan and Korea. He flew as a test pilot at Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation flying aerospace helicopters in Grand Prairie, TX and also served the FAA as an air traffic controller, serving at the DFW and ATL centers before retiring. 

Frank taught school at Notre Dame High School for most of his teaching career but also at Sale Creek High School and Sequatchie County High School and several branches of Chattanooga State as an adjunct professor. He was very involved in youth sports where he coached soccer and baseball. He also served as an official for TSSAA in football, volleyball and for nearly 25 years as a baseball umpire.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 4-8pm at Lane Funeral Home ~ Ashland Terrace. Also from 11am-12pm, January 16, 2019 with Funeral Service to follow at Hixson Presbyterian Church with Rev. Robert Johnson and Rev. Steve Boon officiating. Procession will follow for a 1:30 interment at Chattanooga National Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, TN 37415. www.lanefh.com





Lynda Marie Vartan Marinello

Chattanooga, TN - Lynda Marie Vartan Marinello of Chattanooga, TN., formerly of East Rutherford and Carlstadt, NJ passed away suddenly on January 7, 2019. She was born October 2, 1963 in Kearny, NJ. Lynda was a graduate of Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford and Farleigh Dickenson University in Rutherford where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Bachelors of Arts in History. She devoted her life to teaching and mentoring youths of all ages in both New Jersey and Tennessee. While teaching at Notre Dame High School in Tennessee she received the Heart of Notre Dame Award. She is survived by her husband Chris, son Christopher and daughter Dr. Alaina Marinello. Also survived by her parents Richard and Virginia Vartan, her sister Paula (Mark) Presto, nephews Nicholas and Anthony and niece Jenna, sister Michelle (Ron) Novis, nephew David and her beloved dog Samson. She was a beautiful person both inside and out. She will be missed by all who knew and love her. Cremation was at Lanes Funeral in Chattanooga, TN. There will be a memorial mass Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Church, Home Avenue, Rutherford, NJ.

Loss of Engine Power (Total): S.O.C.A.T.A. MS893E Rallye Commodore 180, N353RA, accident occurred January 11, 2018 near Wadsworth Municipal Airport (3G3), Medina County, Ohio


Roger Keene, 73, of Richfield talks with media after a forced landing. The plane lost power a mile or so outside the airport so Keene chose the safest place he could find to land. Keene was the only one in the plane and walked away uninjured. "I was lucky," he said.


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


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


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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N353RA




Location: Wadsworth, OH
Accident Number: CEN18LA073
Date & Time: 01/11/2018, 1130 EST
Registration: N353RA
Aircraft: S.O.C.A.T.A. MS893E
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Ferry 

Analysis 

The private pilot was ferrying the airplane, which he had not flown for more than 1 year and had an expired annual inspection, to a new hangar. While on final approach during the short flight, the engine lost total power. After unsuccessful attempts to restore engine power, the pilot made a forced landing and struck trees, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings.

Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preimpact malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of the engine or fuel system. The carburetor heat control was found in the off position at the accident site. The pilot reported that, although his normal habit pattern was to apply carburetor heat on downwind, he may not have on the accident flight. Nearby weather conditions were conducive to the formation of serious carburetor icing at descent power about the time of the engine power loss. Thus, it is likely that the pilot’s failure to apply carburetor heat allowed carburetor ice to accumulate during the descent, which resulted in a loss of engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to apply carburetor heat during the approach, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to carburetor icing. 

Findings

Aircraft
Intake anti-ice, deice - Not used/operated (Cause)

Personnel issues
Lack of action - Pilot (Cause)
Identification/recognition - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on equipment (Cause)
Tree(s) - Contributed to outcome


Factual Information

On January 11, 2018, about 1130 eastern standard time, a S.O.C.A.T.A. MS893E airplane, N353RA, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at Wadsworth Municipal Airport (3G3), Wadsworth, Ohio. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a ferry flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which departed without a flight plan from Reader-Botsford Airport (67D), Wellington, Ohio, about 1120.

The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to ferry the airplane, which had an expired annual inspection, to a new hangar. During the approach to 3G3, the pilot noticed a loss of engine power. Following unsuccessful attempts to restore engine power, the pilot executed a forced landing, during which the airplane impacted trees and damaged both wings.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed the carburetor heat control was in the off position. The left fuel tank contained nine gallons of fuel and the right fuel tank contained seven gallons of fuel. The fuel contained no contaminants and no obstructions were found in the fuel lines. The engine was rotated by hand utilizing the propeller and compression was observed at all cylinders, with normal valve train and crankshaft continuity. Both magnetos were rotated by hand and produced spark at all leads. The engine fuel pump was actuated and exhibited normal suction and compression of fuel. The carburetor filter was free of contaminants and no anomalies were noted with the carburetor. Examination of the engine and fuel system revealed no preimpact anomalies that would have precluded operation of the engine.

The pilot stated that although his normal habit pattern was to activate the carburetor heat control while on downwind, this action may not have occurred on the accident flight and he thought the power loss might have been caused by carburetor icing. He had not flown the airplane for more than a year.

The recorded temperature and dew point data from a nearby weather station were plotted on a carburetor icing chart. The charted data showed that the weather was conducive to serious icing at descent power near the time of the engine power loss. 

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final
Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)

Emergency descent
Off-field or emergency landing

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Roger Keene walks around at the scene where he force landed his plane in a yard on Concord Place on January 11, 2018. Keene was on his way from the airport in Wellington to store his plane at Wadsworth Municipal Airport.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 73, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/01/2017
Flight Time:  910 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 910 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: S.O.C.A.T.A.
Registration: N353RA
Model/Series: MS893E
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 13180
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/01/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2315 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 601 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O&VO-360 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: KAKR, 1101 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1154 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 81°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:  12 knots / 20 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: WELLINGTON, OH (67D)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wadsworth, OH (3G3)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1120 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: WADSWORTH MUNI (3G3)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 973 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3529 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  41.003056, -81.756389 (est)


Roger Keene stands at the scene where he force landed his plane in a yard on Concord Place in Wadsworth. 


Roger Keene (left) works with state troopers in a yard on Concord Place after force landing his plane in Wadsworth. 

Roger Keene walks past debris after a forced landing in a yard on Concord Place in Wadsworth.