Saturday, March 2, 2019

Aircraft Structural Failure: Gefa-Flug AS-105-GD, G-SUNA, accident occurred June 15, 2017 in Hartford, Wisconsin



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

Additional Participating Entity:

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

Aviation Accident Factual 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




Location: Hartford, WI
Accident Number: CEN17FA231
Date & Time: 06/15/2017, 1115 CDT
Registration: G-SUNA
Aircraft: GEFA-FLUG GMBH AS-105-GD
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Aircraft structural failure
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Other Work Use 

Analysis 

The commercial pilot stated that, before the 2nd aerial advertising flight of the day in the airship, he checked the wind conditions and determined that, although the wind was still within flight parameters, it would be increasing, which would make "flying more challenging." After 15 minutes of flight time, the pilot returned to land because the wind was stronger than forecasted. As the airship approached the runway the pilot released the drop line and attempted to open the Plexiglass panel that is used for venting and descent control. However, the panel jammed closed. Shortly thereafter, the airship encountered a thermal that caused the airship to rise. The airship leveled around 500 ft above ground level, at which time the pilot heard a "loud air explosion," which violently shook the airship. He looked up at the envelope and noted a panel of fabric located aft of his sitting position and near the top of the envelope was missing. Within seconds he heard up to four more air explosions. The pilot stated that the envelope began to sag, and the forward speed of the airship resulted in the nose of the airship collapsing in and around the burners, which ignited the fabric. The pilot shut off the fuel to the burners, secured his five-point harness, and braced for impact as the airship descended. After impact, the pilot was able to get out of the gondola and crawl a short distance before the ground crew arrived and pulled him away from the wreckage.

The maximum wind for takeoff listed in the flight manual as 12 knots; the wind velocity reported 15 miles from the accident site at the time of the accident was 10 knots gusting to 15 knots; 1 hour earlier the wind velocity was 7 knots. The flight manual also stated that the airship must not be operated when thermals are present. Given the increase in wind velocity and the thermal activity, it is likely that a localized area of high pressure developed in the crown of the envelope that exceeded the strength capability of the envelope, resulting an overpressurization and the subsequent explosive failure of the balloon fabric. It is also likely that the jammed Plexiglass panel used for venting prevented the pilot from relieving pressure in the envelope as the airship climbed.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The overpressurization failure of the airship envelope as a result of the airship's encounter with gusty wind conditions and thermal activity. Contributing to the accident was the jammed Plexiglass venting panel.

Findings

Aircraft
Standard practices/structures - Failure (Cause)
Standard practices/structures - Malfunction (Factor)

Environmental issues
High wind - Effect on equipment (Cause)
Thermal lifting - Effect on equipment (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach
Aircraft structural failure (Defining event)
Fire/smoke (non-impact)

Uncontrolled descent

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

On June 15, 2017, at 1115 central daylight time, a Gefa-Flug AS-105-GD thermal airship, United Kingdom registration G-SUNA, collided with the terrain in Hartford, Wisconsin, following an inflight envelope panel failure. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the thermal airship was destroyed. The airship was registered to and operated by AirSign LTD, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local flight departed from the Erin Aero Airport (WN75) at 1100 and was returning to the airport when the accident occurred.

The purpose of the flight was to provide aerial advertising for the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament. The accident occurred on the second flight of the day. The first flight of the day originated about 0830 and lasted 2 hours. After the first flight, the airship was fueled in preparation for the second flight. Three of the four propane tanks onboard were empty, so they were off-loaded and replaced with two full propane tanks. The pilot reported he checked the wind condition again and determined that although it was still within his flight parameters the wind would be increasing, which would make "flying more challenging." He had a goal to fly three hours that day, so he departed for the second flight, climbing to 1,000 ft. He stated the airship's no-wind forward speed is about 15 knots, and he didn't like flying in wind higher than 10 knots because it limited the airship's forward speed too much. The forward speed during the 15-minute flight was 4 to 6 knots, so he decided to land.

The pilot radioed the ground crew that he was returning because the wind was stronger than forecasted. He descended and released the 100 ft-long drop-line when he was about 150 ft above the ground (agl). He reported the line hung up on itself and did not extend the full length. The pilot reported that the Plexiglass slide panel in the gondola jammed, which had happened before, so he was not able to vent hot air from the envelope. The airship then encountered a thermal and it began to rise. The pilot thought that the increase in altitude would give him time to untangle the drop-line and unjam the Plexiglas panel. The airship leveled around 500 ft agl, at which time the pilot heard a "loud air explosion" which violently shook the airship. He looked up through the Plexiglass panel and a panel of fabric, located aft of his sitting position and the top of the envelope, was missing. Within seconds he heard up to four more air explosions but was unable to see any other missing or damaged panels as they were out of his sight range. The pilot reported the envelope began to sag and the forward speed of the airship resulted in the nose of the airship collapsing in and around the burners, which ignited the fabric. The pilot shut off the fuel to the burners and he secured his 5-point harness and tried to protect himself as best he could since he had no control over the airship as it descended on fire. After contacting the terrain, the pilot was able to get out of the gondola and crawled a short distance before the ground crew arrived and pulled him away from the wreckage.

Numerous witnesses reported seeing the airship descending for the landing, then rising before the envelope collapsed, and the airship then descending rapidly while on fire.


Pilot Trevor Thompson 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Balloon
Restraint Used: 5-point
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: 08/17/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/30/2016
Flight Time: 634.6 hours (Total, all aircraft), 316.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 607.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

The pilot held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land, multi-engine land, instrument and lighter-than-air ratings. He held a FAA issued second-class airman medical certificated dated August 17, 2016. There are no FAA pilot certificates for thermal airships.

In addition, the pilot held a commercial pilot license issued by the United Kingdom (UK) Civil Aviation Authority. The license included ratings for hot air balloons, Gp A hot air airships pressurized (up to 160,000 CuFt/4550Cu/m volume), free balloons hot air filled, and free balloons hot air Group A.

The pilot reported having made 117 airship flights for a total flight time of 316.7 hours. 


Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GEFA-FLUG GMBH
Registration: G-SUNA
Model/Series: AS-105-GD
Aircraft Category: Blimp
Year of Manufacture: 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: 0010
Landing Gear Type: None
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/22/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1984 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 325 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: 582UL
Registered Owner: AIRSIGN LTD
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: AIRSIGN LTD
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airship and gondola were manufactured by the Gefa Flug GMBH in Germany, in 2004, and Gefa Flug GMBH is no longer in business. The current type certificate holder and manufacturer is Cameron Balloons Ltd. in Bristol, UK. The airship had a UK Certificate of Airworthiness issued on July 30, 2015.

The operator stated that they maintained the UK registration on the airship, because the United States does not have a certification category for thermal airships. If they had registered it in the United States, it would have been issued an experimental airworthiness certificate and they would not have been able to use it for hire. The most recent UK Airworthiness Review Certificate was issued on September 21, 2017.

The airship was maintained by a FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR). Work done on the envelope would be reviewed and signed off by a repairman on behalf of the British Balloon and Airship Club. The repairman reported he either had to see the repair or have proof that the repair was correct before signing off on the repair. The last entry in the envelope and engine/gondola logbooks was an annual inspection on September 22, 2016. The owner of the airship stated there was a tear in the bottom of the envelope earlier in the year which was repaired by the DAR. There was no record of the repair in the logbook and the repairman in the UK stated he was not aware of the tear or repair. This area of the envelope was destroyed in the fire.

The envelope was constructed from a coated nylon fabric with rip-stop load tapes along the entire length of the envelope. The envelope is an enclosed structure except for the keel opening above the pilot's seat which can be opened and closed using the sliding Plexiglas panel on the roof of the gondola and the pressure relief valves. The envelope forms an empennage with both vertical and horizontal fins. The vertical fin (rudder) can be deflected up to 45° in each direction. The airship was equipped with a rudder assist system. The gondola was connected to the envelope by four carabineer clips, one on each corner of the gondola, and snap hooks that were sewn into the envelope and hook. The envelope contained a manually operated rip panel in the empennage and two pressure relief valves at each end of the gondola. The pressure relief valves have elastic cords that stretched under pressure to allow air to escape if the envelope pressure is too great.

The gondola had a stainless-steel tubular frame. The front of the gondola was covered with a Plexiglass windscreen. The gondola had a 4-place tandem seating configuration. The pilot flies the airship from the front right seat. In the case of the accident airship, the two rear seats could not be occupied because the pilot normally carried four propane tanks, two of which restricted the rear seats. The roof of the gondola contained the Plexiglass panel that the pilot can slide to control the temperature within the envelope. The double burner was mounted on top of the frame above the sliding Plexiglass panel. The pusher engine was mounted on the rear of the gondola frame.

Engine power was provided by a liquid cooled Rotax 582 engine linked to a high-thrust, low-noise carbon fiber propeller. A fabric scoop behind the propeller directed airflow to pressurize the envelope and to provide oxygen to the burners.

The burner system was a V-configuration consisting of two burners which were fueled by liquid propane.




Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: UES, 911 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1045 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 155°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.83 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hartford, WI (WN75)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hartford, WI (WN75)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

The pilot reported that he checked the weather conditions on the morning of the accident using multiple websites including Intellicast, BlastValve, and Ryan Carlton; and by releasing weather balloons. He determined that the wind condition was not favorable for flight, but the wind speed was forecasted to decrease, so he delayed the flight. About 0800, he determined that the wind condition was favorable. He confirmed the decreased wind by releasing another weather balloon, using the websites previously mentioned, and ForeFlight.

The Waukesha County Airport (UES) was the closest official weather station, located 15 miles southeast of the accident site, and was equipped with an Automated Weather Observing Station (AWOS).

At 104515, UES AWOS reported wind from 270° at 7 knots.

At 1145, UES AWOS reported wind from 300° at 10 knots gusting to 15 knots.

The airship flight manual states:
The max. wind speed on takeoff site shall not exceed 12 knots for an experienced pilot and, as recommended, 8 knots for an inexperienced pilot.

WARNING: Flights in thermal or thundery conditions are not permitted. 

Airport Information

Airport: Erin Aero Airport (WN75)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1000 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 43.243333, -88.368611 

The gondola came to rest on its left side in a hay field. The tubular steel structure, firewall, burners, engine, and propeller were intact, but burned. The Plexiglass and aluminum structures were destroyed by the fire. The steel cables that attach the gondola to the envelope remained attached at the gondola. All three of the propane tanks exploded in the postimpact fire.

The aft end of the envelope remained intact with the forward end of the envelope having been destroyed by fire. The remaining envelope was laid out for examination. The rudder lines were located attached to the rudder surface. The forward portion of both rudder lines were destroyed. There were several tears in the envelope along hoop tapes (LB) 9, 10, and 11, and between gores 29 and 3 and 6. The location of the tears were near the crown of the envelope just forward of the gondola. Most of the tears were along seam lines except for one which ran down the gore 30 fabric between LB 9 and 11 The area surrounding the torn sections of fabric was destroyed by the fire.

Tests And Research

The torn section of the envelope was examined at Cameron Balloons USA on July 5, 2017. A 24-inch square of the envelope from gore 1 between LB 10 and LB 11 was cut out for grab and tear tests. This piece of fabric was then cut into 12 pieces. The test results were above the minimum allowable for the fabric. It is unknown how the exposure to the fire affected the integrity of the fabric. The stitching along the hoops tapes and patches appeared to have been done in an acceptable manner.





Pilot Trevor Thompson 

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA231 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 15, 2017 in Erin, WI
Aircraft: GEFA-FLUG GMBH AS-105-GD, registration: G-SUNA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On June 15, 2017, at 1115 central daylight time, a Gefa-Flug AS-105-GD thermal airship, United Kingdom registration G-SUNA, collided with the terrain in Erin, Wisconsin, following an inflight envelope panel failure. The commercial pilot was seriously injured, and the thermal airship was destroyed. The airship was registered to and operated by AirSign LTD, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight. Visual flight rules conditions existed near the accident site at the time of the accident, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local flight departed from the Erin Aero Airport (WN75) at 1100, and was returning to the airport when the accident occurred.


The accident occurred on the second flight of the day. Prior to takeoff on the accident flight, the airship was fueled and two of the propane tanks were swapped out with full tanks. The airship departed for the aerial advertising flight and shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed the ground crew that he was returning because the wind was too strong.


Following the accident, the pilot reported to law enforcement, that he was at an altitude of about 1,000 ft above ground level (agl) when he decided to return to land. He was approaching the airstrip and at an altitude of about 200 ft (agl), he encountered a thermal which increased his altitude to 500 ft. He vented the envelope to descend and heard an envelope panel tear. Seconds later, he heard another panel tear. The pilot turned off the fuel to the burners and vented the envelope, but the front section of the envelope collapsed around the burners and caught fire. The airship descended in a nose-down attitude until it impacted the terrain.

Birdstrike: Robinson R22 Beta, N8319T, accident occurred December 28, 2018 near Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD), Alameda County, California


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


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


https://registry.faa.gov/N8319T

Location: Hayward, CA
Accident Number: WPR19CA052
Date & Time: 12/28/2018, 1045 PST
Registration: N8319T
Aircraft: Robinson R22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Birdstrike
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The flight instructor reported that the student pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings at the airport. The student took off from spot C (taxiway Z), flying a right traffic pattern with the intent to land on taxiway A. As the helicopter was making a right crosswind turn over a golf course at an altitude of about 300 ft above ground level, a large bird flew out of the trees and struck the tail rotor. The flight instructor took over control as the helicopter began to yaw and he subsequently initiated an auto rotation to the golf course. As a result of a hard landing, the tailboom and fuselage were substantially damaged.

The flight instructor reported no mechanical anomalies with the helicopter that would have precluded normal operation.

Bird remains were found on the golf course and were identified as a Turkey Vulture. The average weight of the species is 4 pounds. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 37, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/17/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/13/2017
Flight Time:  1116 hours (Total, all aircraft), 900 hours (Total, this make and model), 999 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 164 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 59 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 52, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  17.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 17.7 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Robinson
Registration: N8319T
Model/Series: R22 BETA
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1994
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2488
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/30/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1369 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 35 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 13508 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT:
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2C
Registered Owner: Spitzer Helicopter Llc
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: KHWD, 52 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1054 PST
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hayward, CA (KHWD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hayward, CA (KHWD)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1043 PST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Hayward Executive (KHWD)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 52 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Soft
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.663889, -122.128056 (est)

Van's RV-6, operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, N711KJ: Front Range Airport (KFTG), Watkins, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


Bald Eagle Aviation LLC


https://registry.faa.gov/N711KJ


Location: Watkins, CO
Accident Number: CEN19LA048
Date & Time: 12/25/2018, 0954 MST
Registration: N711KJ
Aircraft: Vans RV 6
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 25, 2018, about 0947 mountain standard time, a Vans RV-6 experimental amateur-built airplane, N711JK, owned by a private individual caught fire in the traffic pattern at Front Range Airport (FTG) Watkins, Colorado. The pilot was not injured and the airplane was destroyed by fire shortly after landing. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated at FTG.

The pilot reported he'd been performing touch and go traffic patterns on runway 26 at FTG. While on takeoff from his second touch and go, he smelled a strange odor and noticed a flame on the floor near his rudder pedals. The FTG Air Traffic Control Tower controller approved the pilot for whatever maneuver the pilot needed to do to get the airplane safely on the ground. The pilot was about 200-300 ft. above the runway and immediately reduced power and put the airplane back down on the runway. He exited the runway at taxiway Alpha 4, stopped, shut the engine down by pulling the mixture to full lean, turned off the fuel valve, fuel boost pump, and electrical power switches, and exited the airplane. The fire propagated and consumed the airplane. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N711KJ
Model/Series: RV 6 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: James D. Taylor
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: In-Flight and On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.740000, -104.330000 (est)

Eurocopter-Kawasaki EC-145, BK-117C-2, N145SM: Accident occurred December 24, 2018 in Strum, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin

US Bank NA

https://registry.faa.gov/N145SM
  
NTSB Identification: CEN19CA075
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, December 24, 2018 in Strum, WI
Aircraft: Eurocopter Deutschland BK117, registration: N145SM

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

Piper PA-28-140, registered to TRC Holdings LLC and operated as a local instructional flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N15321: Accident occurred December 22, 2018 at John Wayne-Orange County Airport (KSNA), Santa Ana, 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; Long Beach, California

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N15321

Location: Santa Ana, CA
Accident Number: WPR19LA050
Date & Time: 12/22/2018, 1622 PST
Registration: N15321
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On December 22, 2018, at 1622 Pacific standard time a Piper PA28-140, N15321, lost engine power during takeoff from John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California. The student pilot and flight instructor were not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to TRC Holdings LLC., and operated as a local instructional flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The flight instructor stated that the student pilot was flying the airplane during takeoff from runway 20L. After they reached about 250 ft above ground level, the engine lost all power. The instructor took the control of the airplane, and began to look for a landing site, however all streets were full of cars. He declared an emergency and initiated a return to the airport, with the intension of landing on runway 2R. The instructor stated that just prior to landing, the airplane encountered a strong wind shear, and they landed hard on an intersecting taxiway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, and the forward fuselage during the impact sequence. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N15321
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: TRC Holdings
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSNA, 56 ft msl
Observation Time: 0037 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 21000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 230°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  5 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Santa Ana, CA (KSNA)
Destination: Santa Ana, CA (KSNA)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.675278, -117.868889 (est)

CSA SportCruiser, N564SC: Fatal accident occurred December 22, 2018 in Naples, Collier County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida 

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N564SC


Location: Naples, FL
Accident Number: ERA19LA091
Date & Time: 12/22/2018, 1330 EST
Registration: N564SC
Aircraft: Czech Sport SPORTCRUISER
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On December 22, 2018, around 1330 eastern standard time, a Czech Sport Sportcruiser, N564SC, was substantially damaged after it impacted trees following a bird strike near Naples, Florida. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and the pilot-rated-passenger sustained minor injuries. The private pilot succumbed to his injuries on January 23, 2019. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Naples Municipal Airport (APF), Naples, Florida, around 1315. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot-rated-passenger, after fueling the airplane to 20 gallons, he and the pilot departed the airport. They proceeded to climb to 2,500 ft above ground level, and about 25 miles east of APF, the airplane struck a large bird. The engine continued to operate for about 2 minutes, until the "low fuel" warning indicator illuminated, and then the engine stopped producing power. The pilot declared an emergency and elected to perform a forced landing to road. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a road sign and several large trees, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

An examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuselage and wings were impact damaged during the accident sequence. Examination of the nose wheel faring on the underside of the engine cowling revealed evidence of a bird strike. The propeller separated from the engine, however, the blades were not damaged. Examination of the carburetor revealed that the butterfly valve operated without anomaly, however, fuel was leaking from the assembly.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Czech Sport
Registration: N564SC
Model/Series: SPORTCRUISER No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Jrs Flying Club LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: APF, 9 ft msl
Observation Time: 1353 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3800 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 30°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Naples, FL (APF)
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  26.166944, -81.516111 (est)

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

Nose Over: Cessna A185F, N93018, accident occurred December 22, 2018 at Big Lake Airport (PAGQ), Alaska

https://registry.faa.gov/N93018

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


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

Location: Big Lake, AK
Accident Number: ANC19CA009
Date & Time: 12/22/2018, 1830 AKS
Registration: N93018
Aircraft: Cessna A185
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

According to the pilot, upon returning from a short sightseeing flight in his tailwheel-equipped airplane, the landing and taxi lights would not illuminate. Due to the dark night conditions and the inoperable landing and taxi lights, the pilot elected to land on a roadway rather than the short ice-covered private airstrip that had been used for departure. Unbeknownst to the pilot, a snow berm had been placed in the roadway. During the landing roll the airplane struck the snow berm and nosed over, substantially damaging the wings, horizontal stabilizer and rudder. The pilot reported that a postaccident examination revealed that the factory connection for the landing and taxi lights had failed at the 4-pin connector.

The pilot reported no other mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation other than the inoperable landing and taxi lights.

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that the accident may have been prevented if the flight had been limited to daylight operations.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 66, 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 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/25/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time: 1190 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N93018
Model/Series: A185 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18503161
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/20/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3940.4 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: IYS
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1856 AST
Direction from Accident Site:  
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.63 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Big Lake, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Big Lake, AK
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  AKS
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  61.537500, -149.850278 (est)

Cessna 172M, N254RA: Accident occurred December 21, 2018 near Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Texas

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

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


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


https://registry.faa.gov/N254RA

Location: Abilene, TX
Accident Number: CEN19LA070
Date & Time: 12/21/2018, 1145 CST
Registration: N254RA
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation 

On December 21, 2018, about 1145 central standard time, a Cessna 172M, N254RA, registered and operated by Reynolds Aviation, Beach City, Texas, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a tower wire about 10 miles south of the Abilene Regional Airport (AB), Abilene, Texas. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The pipeline aerial observation flight was being conducted under the provisions of Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated about 1000 from the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (TPL), Temple, Texas, and was enroute to the Winston Field Airport (SNK), Snyder, Texas.

The pilot stated that he was conducting an aerial pipeline inspection. He stated that he was looking down in the cockpit, writing down pipeline observation information. At the same time, he felt a pull to the left. The airplane struck a tower wire. The pilot stated that he did not see the tower wires. The pilot was able to control the airplane, immediately declared an emergency, and landed the airplane at ABI, which was about 10 miles north of the wire strike. Inspection of the airplane revealed a 4-foot section of the left wing was torn off the airplane, just outboard of the left aileron.
Figure 1. Overhead Image of Pipeline Route and Tower/Wire Locations

The pilot stated in NTSB Form 6120, that many pipeline patrol operations have an observer on board in addition to the pilot, one writing down information, and one looking outside the airplane. He also stated that he could have waited to write down information after passing the tower area.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/18/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/20/2018
Flight Time:  2919 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2419 hours (Total, this make and model), 2860 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 179 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 48 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N254RA
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: 17265910
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/09/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 60 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2734 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: Reynolds Darryl G
Rated Power: 150 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: , 1751 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1117 CST
Direction from Accident Site: 150°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Temple, TX (TPL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Snyder, TX (SNK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 CST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Abilene Regional Airport (ABI)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1791 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Precautionary Landing

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:  32.260000, -99.566389