Saturday, January 19, 2019

Progress 2019: Fremont Municipal Airport (KFET) necessary to community



You don’t have to tell Brian Newton that an airport is important to a community.

“Businesses might not locate or stay here without an airport,” Fremont’s city administrator said.

And businesses mean jobs and money for the community.

That’s one reason why plans are in the works to build a new terminal and aircraft parking apron and, hopefully, add more aircraft hangars at Fremont Municipal Airport, which is on the west side of town.

A 2018 terminal area master plan for the airport lists a variety of plants, stores and offices that now use the facility.

Those businesses include: HyVee Food Store; Costco; Walmart; Menards; Taylor & Martin; ADM; 3M; Fremont Beef; and Oil Gear.

The airport’s importance to the community was outlined in a 2017 presentation to the Fremont City Council by Bob Crain, project manager of aviation services for Burns McDonnell in Kansas City, Missouri, made the presentation.

The presentation contained the following information:

• More than 50 aircraft are based at the airport.

• Each year, the airport has 22,300 operations (aircraft take-offs or landings), according to statistics from FlightAware, a company that tracks pilots’ flight plans.

• Of these operations, 12,200 are by local-area aircraft and 10,200 from visitors. The average stay for out-of-town aircraft is 6.5 hours.

• Visitors — many of whom come to Fremont on business — come from coast to coast to the airport.

Various businesses have aircraft at the airport.

“We have numerous businesses that maintain aircraft out there and those aircraft are an essential part of their business operation,” Newton said.

Newton cites Taylor & Martin, which conducts auctions of semi-trailer trucks and large equipment across the country.

“They load up staff and fly to these auctions every week,” Newton said. “Without an airport in Fremont, we’d be hard-pressed to probably keep that type of business here. Because if we didn’t have an airport, they’d likely locate their employees where they were close to an airport, simply because their business is so intricately tied to the airport.”



Costco poultry plant personnel uses the airport.

“We see more, smaller jets landing at our airport, because of business conducted in Fremont than we ever have,” Newton said.

Helicopters, including one used by a medical business, are kept at the airport. The helicopter used by Methodist Fremont Health lands and refuels at the airport.

“They’re purchasing fuel and we’re getting sales tax and revenues from the fuel that would be going elsewhere if we didn’t have an airport,” Newton said.

The airport, itself, provides jobs.

Fremont Aviation began operation here in 1994 and provides maintenance, private pilot and instrument instruction and Christmas light rides. It employs two mechanics, a secretary, two instructors, a commercial pilot and three line personnel, states data provided by Jim Kjeldgaard, the fixed based operator. Newton also said they conduct annual inspections and repairs.

The airport has other uses.

Crop dusters come every summer and set up operations here, moving out again in the fall, Newton said.

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) leases an older building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every summer, cadets from across the nation come here for training.

In addition, the Rotary Fly-in Breakfast and July Fourth fireworks show are held here.

The area of the airport is about 320 acres. Newton said the city owns the ground on which the airport sits. What’s not used for airport purposes is leased out for crop production.

Newton said the city does snow removal, mowing and maintenance on buildings at the airport, along with administration and paperwork.

The airport generates revenue from various sources. In 2017, the airport received $163,658 in revenue. Revenue sources were: hangar, pad rent and water: $83,850; rent of about 250 farm acres, $55,669; fee from FBO, $18,486; fuel flow fee, $5,005 and interest income, $648.

In 2017, the airport’s expenditures exceeded revenue.

Newton noted that the airport operated at a loss in 2017 with total expenditures at $186,120.

“We spent $53,647 for consulting and engineering for the apron and terminal,” he said. “We spent more money on hangar repairs than we had in previous years.”

Repairs and maintenance at the airport totaled $37,297.

The airport had a gain in 2016, however, when it had $146,252 in revenues and $105,912 in expenditures.

Preliminary figures from the city for 2018 also indicate the airport had a gain last year with $137,501 in revenue and $120,481 in expenditures.

The airport, itself, has a decades-old history. In 1940, John Siems accepted the job of manager of the airport’s fixed base operator. His and his father built a two-stall hangar on an 80-acre stubble field, where the present airport stands.

Construction of a brick hangar started in 1941, states information provided via Fremont Aviation.

Bricks for the hangar came from a Fremont schoolhouse that had been torn down. The hangar part of the building was once the office and shop area. The front of the hangar was built as apartments for pilots in training programs and now houses the CAP.

Bulk hangars were added in the 1950s and 1960s.

The addition of T-shaped hangars came in the 1980s and 1990s. The advantage of T-hangars is that more planes can be fit in a certain amount of space, because of the units’ shape. The airport also has some 50 by 50 foot and 50 by 60 foot hangars.

In the airport’s early years, runways were grass strips.

A runway and a taxiway were paved in 1947. The runway was extended to 5,500 feet in 1995 to provide more safety and accommodate growing corporate traffic.

In 2010, the runway was extended to 6,350 feet.

The current terminal was built in 1962, the Burns McDonnell report said. The facility needs new heating and air conditioning systems and other upgrades.

It lacks Americans with Disabilities (ADA)-complaint access and amenities.

The new terminal, set to be situated southwest of the current one, will be closer to the runway.

That location would let staff in the terminal better monitor the runway and be able to see incoming planes, said Dave Goedeken, Fremont’s director of public works.

The new terminal would be on the northeast side of the new parking apron.

Newton said the current apron is worn out and needs to be expanded to accommodate more activity and larger planes.

The new parking apron will encompass an area of approximately 6,000 square yards. The apron will fit up to 10 smaller or four larger aircraft.

Plans are to extend Taxiway B to connect the existing terminal area.

Newton said there currently are no plans to expand the airport other than the terminal and apron.

The existing runway will stay the same length in the foreseeable future, but at some point, a parallel concrete taxiway will be extended, Goedeken said.

Future plans include adding and centrally locating aircraft hangars in the new terminal/apron area.

“Right now, we kind of have them scattered to the west. We’ve got some to the south and around the (current) terminal,” Goedeken said. “The future plan of growth would be more to try to fill in that area around the proposed terminal with hangars.”

Newton said there is a demand for more hangars and during an Airport Advisory Committee meeting in December, Kjeldgaard confirmed that all the hangars at the airport are full.

“We’re constantly getting people asking if we’ve got any hangars,” Kjeldgaard said.

During the meeting, Eric Johnson, a committee member, talked about the Revolving Hangar Loan Program. This is an interest-free loan from the Nebraska Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics. Johnson said the city would apply for the funds.

The state’s aeronautics commission, which meets quarterly, would review the application and make an award based on available funds.

Johnson added that federal money couldn’t be used for the hangars, because all those funds are going toward the apron and terminal.

Newton stressed the advantages of being able to get federal dollars for projects.

“We’re fortunate that airports across the United States get federal funding from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” Newton said. “If you plan it correctly, you can leverage those FAA funds with local funds and you can — not only maintain — but improve your airport.”

Anna Lannin explained how the federal funding works. Lannin is planning and programming division manager of the Nebraska Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics.

Lannin said Fremont is licensed by the state as to operate as a public use facility and is classified as a regional airport.

“We are planning to update the system plan soon and the airport categories will be reviewed and redefined at that time,” Lannin said.

She did note that it’s difficult for a regional airport, which not only supports its local community but the regional community around it. It’s also not easy because of competition from larger airports and the economics of flying an airplane.

There are 80 public use airports, 21 of which were classified in 2002 as regional airports.

“In Nebraska, there are 73 airports eligible to receive federal funding and most have received and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant,” Lannin said.

Federal funds are received by the state and dispersed to the airport sponsors to reimburse them for eligible expenses for projects with the AIP grant.

Work continues to make airport improvements and those involved hope plans will take off soon.

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

Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, owned and operated by Positive Rate Gear Up LLC, N29099: Fatal accident occurred February 20, 2016 in Setauket Harbor, Suffolk County, New York

Missing was Gerson Salmon-Negron, 23, of Queens, New York. About 2 months later, on April 11, 2016, his body was discovered on a beach in Setauket Harbor, New York. The student pilot, Austrico Ramirez, 25, of the Bronx; his flight instructor, Nelson Gomez, 36, of Queens; and Salmon-Negron’s friend Wady Perez, 25, of Queens were rescued by Suffolk police officers, taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, treated and released. 


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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

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/N29099 


An Instagram picture believed to be taken shortly before the plane went down.

Analysis 

The student pilot and flight instructor were conducting an instructional cross-country flight with two passengers on board. They were returning to their home airport at night; the flight instructor estimated that there was a headwind of 30-40 knots and the airplane's groundspeed was about 81 knots during the cruise portion of the flight. Just before crossing a large ocean inlet, the flight instructor suggested that they divert for fuel on the other side of the inlet. Shortly thereafter, the engine "sputtered." The flight instructor then turned on the electric fuel pump and instructed the student pilot to switch the fuel selector to the left fuel tank and to maintain 2,000 ft msl. Once the fuel selector had been selected to the left fuel tank, the engine stopped sputtering. The flight instructor informed air traffic control that he wanted to divert to a nearby airport. They continued to fly for another 2-3 minutes when the engine sputtered again and lost total power. The instructor then took control of the airplane from the student pilot and advised the tower controller at the diversion airport that he was declaring an emergency. The flight instructor then made a 180° turn and headed for the shoreline. As the airplane descended, he was unable to see the shoreline due to the darkness and decided to ditch the airplane as close as he could to the beach.

Upon touching down, the flight instructor opened the cabin door and instructed everyone to exit the airplane. The student pilot handed the instructor a life vest. The two passengers jumped into the water and started swimming for shore. Neither the student pilot nor the passengers were wearing life vests.

About 3 minutes after the ditching, the airplane was located by a helicopter. The flight instructor, student, and one passenger were rescued. A search by the police department and the US Coast Guard could not locate the remaining passenger. About 2 months later, the missing passenger's body was discovered on a beach. The autopsy listed the cause of death as drowning.

Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact failure or malfunction of the engine or airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Examination of the fuel system revealed that the system was essentially devoid of fuel. The flight instructor estimated that 40 gallons of fuel were onboard before departure on the first leg of the flight; the student estimated 36 gallons were onboard. Before they departed from their home airport, the student pilot asked the flight instructor if he wanted to refuel, and the flight instructor advised him that they had plenty of fuel. The student again asked about refueling during the return flight, but the instructor stated the fuel looked good.

There was no evidence that the flight instructor had obtained an official weather briefing before the initial or return leg of the flight. On the first leg of the flight, the instructor recognized that the winds aloft increased their groundspeed, allowing them to arrive at their destination sooner, but on the second leg of the flight, those same winds significantly increased their flying time. The instructor should have accounted for the effect of wind on the flight's duration.

Review of the POH indicated that, at a 65% power setting, with full fuel tanks (48 gallons usable), endurance would be about 5.3 hours, and at a 65% power setting, with 40 gallons of fuel, endurance would be about 4.4 hours. Examination of aircraft rental and fueling records revealed that the airplane had been operated for 5.1 hours since it was last refueled. Thus it is likely that the flight instructor did not conduct adequate preflight fuel planning; had they done so and had they accounted for the wind, they would have recognized there was insufficient fuel to complete the flight and maintain the required 45 minutes of reserve fuel.

Probable Cause and Findings

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

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Weather planning - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Fuel planning - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Preflight or dispatch event

Enroute
Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Emergency descent
Off-field or emergency landing

Landing
Ditching

Location: Port Jefferson, NY
Accident Number: ERA16LA109
Date & Time: 02/20/2016, 2305 EST
Registration: N29099
Aircraft: PIPER PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On February 20, 2016, at 2305 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N29099, was substantially damaged during a ditching in Setauket Harbor about 1.5 nautical miles northwest of Port Jefferson, New York. The flight instructor, student, and one passenger received minor injuries, and one passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was owned and operated by Positive Rate Gear Up, LLC, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT), Fitchburg, Massachusetts, about 2040 and was destined for Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to the flight instructor, the first leg of the instructional flight departed FRG about 1430; he believed that about 40 gallons of fuel was onboard before departing from FRG. According to the student pilot, the pilot of the previous flight told him that the left-wing fuel tank was full, and the right-wing fuel tank was half full (about 36 gallons total). The student stated that he asked the flight instructor if he wanted to refuel, and the flight instructor advised him that they had plenty of fuel. After takeoff from FRG, they flew to FIT at 2,000 to 2,500 feet above mean sea level (msl). The airplane encountered a strong tailwind and arrived in about 45 minutes. They spent some time in the Fitchburg area, then returned to FIT for the return flight.

After takeoff, they departed the airport traffic area to the southwest on a direct heading for FRG and climbed to 4,500 ft msl because of turbulence at lower levels. The flight instructor estimated that the airplane had a headwind of 30-40 knots, and the airplane's groundspeed was about 81 knots during the cruise portion of the flight. He stated that there was no indication of any malfunction of the airplane. During this time, the student pilot asked the flight instructor about the fuel quantity, stating "does the fuel look good to you?" The flight instructor replied "yes." Just before passing Bridgeport, Connecticut, the flight instructor advised the student pilot that they should change their destination to Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) to refuel. As the airplane passed over the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Bridgeport, Connecticut, they turned the airplane southbound, started a slow descent, and crossed Long Island Sound. Upon reaching the area of Port Jefferson, New York, they leveled the airplane about 2,000 ft msl; the engine then "sputtered." The flight instructor immediately turned on the electric fuel pump and instructed the student to switch the fuel selector to the left fuel tank. Once the fuel selector had been selected to the left fuel tank, the engine stopped sputtering.

The flight instructor informed air traffic control that he wanted to divert ISP, which, at the time, was 10 nautical miles south of their location. About 2-3 minutes later, the engine sputtered again and then lost power. The instructor then took control of the airplane from the student pilot and advised the tower controller at ISP that he was declaring an emergency and was going to attempt to land on the north shore of Long Island. The tower controller immediately notified emergency responders. A Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) helicopter was airborne at the time and immediately proceeded toward the last known location of airplane.

The instructor then made a 180° turn to the right and headed for the shoreline since he believed this was the most suitable place for landing and knew from experience that the area along the shore was normally clear of obstacles and houses. As the airplane descended, the instructor was unable to see the shoreline due to the darkness and decided to ditch the airplane as close as he could to the shoreline, judging his distance from the shore by using the lights from the houses. He then held the airplane off the water for as long as possible to keep from touching down on the water with excessive airspeed and risk nosing over (the airplane was equipped with fixed landing gear).

Upon touchdown, the flight instructor opened the cabin door and instructed everyone to exit the airplane, grab the life vest that was in the baggage compartment of the airplane, and hold on to him. The student pilot then handed the instructor the life vest. One of the passengers then jumped into the water and started swimming for shore. The second passenger also jumped into the water. The student pilot was the last to egress from the airplane. Neither the student pilot nor the passengers were wearing life vests.

About 3 minutes later, the airplane was located by the SCPD helicopter. Patrol officers from SCPD also responded to the shoreline and, after locating several kayaks behind a residence, made their way onto the water. They heard screams for help, paddled out toward the spotlight from the helicopter, rescued one of the passengers, and then, with the assistance of an SCPD marine patrol boat, the flight instructor. The student pilot was rescued by a patrol officer who entered the water on foot and threw a life ring to him and then pulled him to shore.

A search by SCPD and the US Coast Guard for the missing passenger was conducted but he was not found. About 2 months later, on April 11, 2016, his body was discovered on a beach in Setauket Harbor, New York. 




Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 36, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/12/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/20/2015
Flight Time:  2800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1400 hours (Total, this make and model), 2500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:  None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   20 hours (Total, all aircraft), 19 hours (Total, this make and model), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2015. He reported 2,800 total hours of flight experience, of which 1,400 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The student pilot reported that he had accrued 20 total hours of flight experience, 19 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N29099
Model/Series: PA28 181
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-7990437
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/12/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 83 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5173.97 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4M
Registered Owner: POSITIVE RATE GEAR UP LLC
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: POSITIVE RATE GEAR UP LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The accident airplane was a four-seat, low-wing monoplane of conventional metal construction. It was equipped with fixed tricycle-type landing gear and was powered by a four-cylinder, direct-drive, horizontally opposed engine rated at 180 horsepower at 2700 rpm.

The basic airframe, except for a tubular steel engine mount, steel landing gear struts, and other miscellaneous steel parts, was of aluminum alloy construction. The wing tips, engine cowling, and tail surfaces were of fiberglass or ABS thermoplastic.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. The airplane's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on January 12, 2016, at 5,091 total hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 5,173.97 total hours of flight time.

Fuel Information

The airplane's fuel was stored in two 25-gallon tanks (24-gallons usable). According to the Piper PA-28-181 Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), during the preflight inspection, the fuel quantity gauges were to be checked, the fuel tank sumps and fuel strainer were to be drained, and the fuel quantity was to be visually checked by opening the fuel tank caps and looking inside each of the fuel tanks. An aftermarket checklist was found in the airplane. Although the checklist was not specified for use in a Piper PA-28-181, it was similar to the published POH's preflight inspection regarding fuel.

Review of the POH also indicated that:

- At a power setting of 75%, the engine would consume fuel at a rate of 10.5 gallons per hour (gph).

- At a power setting of 65%, the engine would consume fuel at a rate of 9.0 gph.

- At a power setting of 55%, the engine would consume fuel at a rate of 7.8 gph.

At a 65% power setting, with full fuel tanks, endurance would be about 5.3 hours, and at a 65% power setting, with 40 gallons of fuel, endurance would be about 4.4 hours. Examination of aircraft rental and fueling records revealed that the airplane had been operated for 5.1 hours since it was last refueled.

When asked if they had leaned the mixture during the flight, the student pilot advised that he had only seen the flight instructor lean the mixture during taxi on the ground at FRG and FIT. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KISP, 84 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1056 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 185°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fitchburg, MA (FIT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Farmingdale, NY (FRG)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory
Departure Time: 2040 EST
Type of Airspace: Class C 

About 9 minutes before the accident (2256), the recorded weather at ISP, which was 11 miles from the accident site, included: wind 220° at 10 knots, 10 miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 7°C, dew point 3°C, and an altimeter setting of 29.82 inches of mercury.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 2200 EST depicted surface winds from the south-southwest at 10 to 20 knots, with no significant weather reported in the vicinity of the accident site.

The Upton (OKX) Long Island 1900 sounding depicted a surface-based temperature inversion with a top near 2,000 feet. As a result of light surface winds and an increasing wind component with altitude, a moderate risk of low-level wind shear existed in the lowest 1,000 ft, and predominately light-to-moderate turbulence was predicted below 3,000 ft, and light turbulence through 10,000 ft.

An airplane descending into Providence, Rhode Island, at 2344 provided an in-situ measurement of the low-level winds. The airplane's track into the airport was from the southwest, parallel to Long Island Sound, and along the accident airplane's general route of flight. The airplane detected a surface-based temperature inversion to about 2,500 ft with westerly winds of 58 knots at that level. Another limited report from an airplane descending into LaGuardia reported a low-level wind maximum of 52 knots at 1,800 feet.

The winds aloft forecast current at the time of departure for stations near the route of flight indicated:

General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS), Boston, Massachusetts:

- 3,000 ft: 270° at 34 kts
- 6,000 ft: 260° at 38 kts

Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut:

- 3,000 ft: 280° at 26 kts
- 6,000 ft: 270° at 36 kts

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, New York:

- 3,000 ft: 270° at 40 kts
- 6,000 ft: 280° at 40 kts

According to the United States Naval Observatory, sunset occurred at 1732 and the end of civil twilight occurred at 1800. At the time of the accident, the moon was located at an azimuth of 187° and an altitude of 62° above the horizon, and the phase of the moon a waxing gibbous with 97% of the visible disk illuminated.

A query to Lockheed Martin Flight Services (LMFS) found that there was no record that the pilot or instructor obtained a weather briefing either through the Direct User Access Terminal Service or LMFS. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.961111, -73.084444 (est) 

After the ditching, the airplane remained afloat for about 5 minutes before it sank nose first to the bottom of the bay and came to rest on its landing gear, about 100 ft northwest of Buoy S8. Charted water depth in the area was between 1 ft and 3.5 ft; however, the airplane ditched just after high tide so an additional 5 ft of water was present. Only 1 ft of the vertical stabilizer was visible above the water's surface after the airplane sank.

Airplane Examination

Examination of the airplane after recovery revealed substantial damage due to salt water immersion, a broken engine mount, damage to the right wing inboard leading edge, damage to the bottom of the inboard right wing, and damage to the aft fuselage structure just forward of the stabilator.

The pitot tube was clear, and the stall vane moved freely. Flight control continuity was established from the flight controls in the cockpit to the ailerons, stabilator, and rudder. The stabilator trim was neutral. The wing flaps were in the fully extended (40°) position. Both wing flaps exhibited impact damage, and the right wing flap actuating linkage was fractured.

Visual examination of the fuel tanks through the filler ports revealed that only a small amount of liquid with the odor of seawater was visible in the fuel tanks. About 4 gallons of a semi-opaque liquid was drained from both fuel tanks. When the liquid was tested with water-finding paste, the paste turned pink indicating the presence of water. The outlet screens from each tank were free of blockages.

The throttle was full forward, the mixture was full rich, the carburetor heat control was in the "OFF" position, and the primer was in and locked. The fuel selector was in the left fuel tank position.

The master switch, fuel pump switch, landing light switch, navigation lights switch, anti-collision lights switch, and radio master switch were all in the "ON" position.

All the seats were in place and secure, and the seatbelts were in place, unbuckled, and secure at their attachment points. Both front shoulder straps were hanging loose and were not attached to the lap belts.

Propeller and Engine Examination

The propeller was a one-piece alloy forging and remained attached to the front of the engine crankshaft; it displayed light leading-edge erosion and no evidence of S-bending.

Drive train continuity was established from the front to the back of the engine, and thumb compression was present on all four cylinders. Internal examination of the cylinders using a borescope did not reveal any anomalies of the cylinders, piston heads, or valves.

Both magnetos were found secure to their respective mounts. The magnetos were removed and disassembled. Internal examination of the magnetos revealed no evidence of any preimpact anomalies; corrosion consistent with salt water immersion was present on the internal case and gear region.

The spark plugs and ignition harness were removed and examined. The massive electrode plugs indicated a worn-out service life. The fine wire plugs indicated a normal service life when compared to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug Card (AV-27). The ignition harness exhibited some damage to the outer overbraid near the magneto caps and near the spark plug leads.

The starter, alternator, and vacuum pump remained attached to their mounting locations.

The engine oil system was intact. The engine contained oil in the galleries and rocker box covers. The oil suction screen was removed and a liquid consistent with diesel fuel (which had been added after recovery to help stop corrosion due to the salt water), oil, and salt water drained from the oil sump. The oil suction screen contained a piece of material that was consistent with a disposable paper rag. It was lodged within the suction screen and covered about 25% of the length of the screen. The oil filter was removed and drained, and no metal was found. The oil cooler was impact-broken from its mount; however, it had not been breached and all attached hoses remained secure to the inlet and outlet ports of the oil cooler.

The engine's fuel system remained intact. The fuel strainer was devoid of fuel. The carburetor was found secure on its mount. The carburetor float bowl was drained through the drain plug into a container, and the liquid was primarily water with a faint odor consistent with 100LL aviation fuel. The engine-driven diaphragm pump provided suction and compression at the inlet and outlet ports of the pump. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Suffolk County Office of the Medical Examiner, Suffolk County, New York, performed an autopsy and toxicological testing of the deceased passenger. The autopsy listed the cause of death as drowning; the toxicological specimens were negative for any drugs of abuse. 

Organizational And Management Information

Positive Rate Gear Up, LLC, was a flying club based at FRG. The club's primary goal was to provide its members with basic general aviation airplanes. The club's airplanes were available for both training and leisure purposes. The fleet consisted of several Piper PA-28 models, a PA-34-200, and two Cessna 172s. The club offered discovery flights, primary flight training, and advanced flight training, including private pilot, instrument pilot, commercial pilot, flight instructor, instrument ratings, and multi-engine ratings.

Additional Information

Fuel Requirements in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) Conditions

According to 14 CFR 91.151, no person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed, to fly an additional 30 minutes during the day and an additional 45 minutes at night.

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA109 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, February 20, 2016 in Port Jefferson, NY
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N29099
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 3 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 20, 2016, at 2305 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181; N29099, owned and operated by Positive Rate Gear Up LLC, was substantially damaged during a ditching in the Setauket Harbor about 1.5 nautical miles northwest of Port Jefferson, New York. The flight instructor, student, and one passenger, received minor injuries, and one passenger is missing and presumed to be fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, which departed from the Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT), Fitchburg, Massachusetts, destined for Republic Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York.

According to the flight instructor, this was the second leg of an instructional flight that had departed FRG about 1430 for FIT. After spending some time in the Fitchburg area at a university, a restaurant, and a local Walmart, they returned to the airport and departed at approximately 2040 for FRG.

After takeoff, they departed the airport traffic area to the southwest and climbed to 4,500 feet above mean sea level (msl) on a direct heading for FRG. The flight instructor estimated that he had a headwind of 30-40 knots, and his groundspeed was approximately 81 knots during the cruise portion of the flight. He stated that there was no indication of any malfunction of the airplane. As the airplane passed over the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport (BDR), Bridgeport, Connecticut, they turned southbound and crossed Long Island Sound at that point as there was less water to fly over in this location. They started a slow descent also as they passed over BDR, and upon reaching the area of Port Jefferson, New York, leveled off around 2,000 feet msl. the engine then "sputtered." The flight instructor immediately turned on the electric fuel pump and instructed his student to switch the fuel selector to the left fuel tank and to maintain 2,000 feet msl. Once the fuel selector had been selected to the left fuel tank, the engine stopped sputtering.

The pilot informed air traffic control that he they wanted to divert to ISP, which at the time was only 10 nautical miles south of them. They continued to fly for another 2-3 minutes when the engine sputtered again and then lost power. He then took control of the airplane from the student pilot and advised the tower controller at ISP that he was declaring an emergency. The flight instructor then made a 180 degree turn to the right, and headed for the shoreline since he believed this was the best suitable place for landing, and knew from experience that the area along the shore was normally clear of obstacles and houses. As they descended, he was unable to see the shoreline due to the darkness and decided to ditch the airplane as close as he could to the shoreline, judging his distance from the shore by using the lights from the houses. He then held the airplane off the water for as long as possible to keep from touching down on the water with excessive airspeed and risk nosing over as the airplane was equipped with fixed landing gear.

Upon touching down, the flight instructor opened the cabin door and instructed everyone to exit the airplane, and to grab the life vest that was located in the baggage compartment of the airplane and to hold on to him. The student pilot then handed him the life vest. One of the passengers then jumped into the water and started swimming for shore. The second passenger then also jumped into the water. The student pilot was the last to egress from the airplane. Neither the student pilot nor the passengers were wearing life vests.

After the pilot reported the engine failure to ISP and that they were going to attempt to land on the north shore of Long Island, the tower controller immediately notified emergency responders. A Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) Helicopter was airborne at the time, and was provided with radar vectors, and immediately proceeded toward the last known location of airplane. Approximately 3 minutes later, the airplane was located by the SCPD helicopter.

Patrol Officers from SCPD also responded to the shoreline and after locating several kayaks behind a residence, made their way onto the water and after hearing screams for help, paddled out towards the spotlight from the helicopter, rescued one of the passengers, and then with the assistance of an SCPD Marine Patrol boat, the flight instructor. The student pilot was also rescued by a Patrol Officer who entered the water on foot and threw a life ring to him and then pulled him to shore. A search by SCPD, and the United States Coast Guard for the missing passenger was also initiated, and at the time of this preliminary report, the missing passenger has not been located.

After the ditching, the airplane remained afloat for about 5 minutes before it sank nose first to the bottom of the bay, and came to rest on its landing gear, about 100 feet northwest of Buoy S8. Charted water depth in the area was between 1 and 3.5 feet however, the airplane ditched just after high tide so there was an additional 5 feet of water. Only 1 foot of the vertical stabilizer was visible above the water's surface at the time.

Examination of the airplane after recovery revealed that, it was substantially damaged due to salt water immersion, a broken engine mount, and damage to the aft fuselage structure just forward of the stabilator. Flight control continuity was able to be established from the flight controls in the cockpit to the ailerons, stabilator, and rudder. The stabilator trim was neutral. The wing flaps were in the fully extended (40-degree) position. Both wing flaps also exhibited impact damage, and the right wing flap's actuating linkage was fractured. The throttle was full forward, the mixture was full rich, the carburetor heat control was in the "OFF" position, and the primer was in and locked. The fuel selector was in the left fuel tank position.

Examination of the engine revealed that, it contained oil in the galleries and rocker box covers. Drive train continuity was also able to be established, and thumb compression was present for all four cylinders. Internal examination of the cylinders also did not reveal any anomalies of the cylinders, piston heads, or valves. Internal examination of the magnetos also did not reveal any preimpact anomalies.

Examination of the fuel system did not reveal evidence of fuel in either the left or right fuel tanks, nor in the fuel strainer, or carburetor float bowl. Examination of aircraft rental and fueling records also revealed that the airplane had been operated for 5.1 hours since it was last refueled.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, and instrument airplane. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first-class medical certificate was issued November 12, 2015. He reported 2,800 total hours of flight time, of which 1,400 were in the accident airplane make and model.

The student pilot reported that he had accrued 20 total hours of flight time, 19 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.

According to FAA and maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. The airplane's most recent 100 hour inspection was completed on January 12, 2016. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 5,173.97 total hours of flight time.

Low-flying military plane startles downtown Nashville



A huge military airplane buzzed low over downtown Nashville on Friday, startling the city and its workers in high-rise buildings downtown.

Tennessee Gov.-elect Bill Lee says the plane was making a flyover practice run for his inauguration Saturday, even though the flyover was canceled because the event will be indoors. Lee says it was ultimately the military's decision to make the practice run.

Lee's inauguration Saturday has been moved inside due to weather.

The Tennessee Air National Guard tells WSMV-TV that it canceled Saturday's flyover when the inauguration was moved indoors, but continued with the C-17 military plane exercise Friday.

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

Meet the crew responsible for deicing planes



This monster of a storm is impacting travel on the ground and in the air. But for the flights still taking off, crews are busy working to keep the planes unfrozen. 

Snow is all over the ground, but it's not sticking to the planes thanks to people like Justin Higgins line service technician.

"We're deicing the planes to make sure they get out safely," Higgins said.

Federal Aviation Association regulations require planes to be clear of ice and snow before take off. The technicians are spraying the planes with a chemical solution.

"It's a mixture of antifreeze and hot water to melt the ice and the spray is the anti-icing solution glycol on to the wings," Higgins said.

The solution is nearly 200 degrees and it freezes somewhere around -20 degrees. This process helps to make sure pilots can use the plane’s engine correctly. Colby Habermacer says the team comes in before the crack of dawn from October to April to de-ice dozens of planes every day.

"There will be parts where you're outside in a bucket for an hour or two at a time but hopefully we get time to hop in the car to warm up," Habermacer said.

The crew faces several challenges while doing the job.

"Extreme wind makes it very difficult, especially in the spring the fluid isn't able to reach the plane, low visibility and heavy snow," Habermacer said.

Despite the hurdles, the crews always do the job because lives and flights depend on it.

"Planes wouldn't be able to take off without this job," Habermacer said. "So we do the best we can to work diligently and as carefully as possible so these flights can take off safely."

Depending on the weather, the crews also put a syrupy green solution on the windows so they stay clear throughout the flight. If you're scheduled to fly out sometime Saturday night or throughout the day Saturday, make sure you check the cancellations and delays.

Story and video ➤ https://www.whec.com

Rep. Joe Neguse introduces helicopter safety legislation inspired by Frisco Flight For Life crash

Flight For Life paramedic Tim Baldwin prepares for a flight on Sunday, July 2, at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco. Newly introduced helicopter safety legislation will incentivize manufacturers to retrofit older helicopters with hardened fuel tanks.

This week, 2nd Congressional District Rep. Joe Neguse, alongside Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) introduced the Safe Helicopters Now Act in Congress. The legislation will provide helicopter manufacturers with a tax credit for retrofitting existing emergency helicopters with safer fuel systems.

"Emergency helicopters and the people who pilot them are on the front lines of some of the toughest times for Americans," Neguse said in a press release. "I introduced this bill to ensure that emergency workers in Colorado and across the country can safely accomplish the tremendous tasks set before them and feel secure while keeping the rest of us safe."

The bill was written with help from Karen Mahany, widow of Patrick Mahany, the Flight for Life pilot who was killed in a helicopter crash in Frisco back in 2015. The crash resulted in a fire that claimed Mahany's life and severely injured the two flight nurses on board. Following the incident, the National Transportation Security Board recommended that crash-resistant fuel systems be a requirement for all civil rotorcraft.

"This legislation is so critical. It is something the industry needs and wants," said Dave Respher, one of the nurses who survived the Frisco crash with horrific injuries. "What is out there right now in helicopters is ancient in safety and technology. There haven't been any significant safety improvements since the 1960's."

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

Stinson 108-1 Voyager, registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight, N97969: Accident occurred January 19, 2019 in Keshena, Menominee County, Wisconsin

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N97969


Location: Keshena, WI
Accident Number: CEN19LA060
Date & Time: 01/19/2019, 1130 CST
Registration: N97969
Aircraft: Stinson 108
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On January 19, 2019, about 1130 central standard time, a Stinson 108-1 airplane, N97969, impacted trees and a road while executing a forced landing near Keshena, Wisconsin. The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries and two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ), Waupaca, Wisconsin, about 1100.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the personal flight was to travel to Ford Airport (IMT), Iron Mountain, Michigan. While in cruise flight, the engine sustained a momentary and substantial loss of rpm. The pilot applied the mixture to the full rich position, activated the carburetor heat, and switched to the right fuel tank. The engine recovered and the pilot left the carburetor heat on for about 3 minutes and then slowly turned it off. About two minutes after the carburetor heat was turned off, the engine ceased producing power. The pilot reported that once the engine stopped, it did not "windmill."

The pilot activated the starter and it did not engage. The pilot observed an asphalt road surrounded by trees on both sides to execute a forced landing. During the landing, the airplane impacted the trees and bounced on the road, coming to rest upside down on a snow-covered embankment. The occupants were able to egress without further incident.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and the empennage. The airplane was removed from the accident site and transported to a secure location.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Stinson
Registration: N97969
Model/Series: 108 1
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: KEZS, 814 ft msl
Observation Time: 1735 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -9°C / -16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 20°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Waupaca, WI (PCZ)
Destination: Iron Mountain Kingsford, MI (IMT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  44.883611, -88.632500 (est)


On Saturday morning the Menominee County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the area of County Highway M approximately one quarter mile east of State Highway 55 for a report of a single-engine plane crash.

Officials say the investigation revealed the pilot and crew departed from the Waupaca area and were heading to Iron Mountain, Michigan.

There were four occupants onboard who sustained no life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash.

The pilot and one back seat passenger were transported to medical facilities for their injuries.

The investigation remains ongoing.

Original article ➤ https://www.wearegreenbay.com