Monday, March 11, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Beech C23 Sundowner 180, N66710, accident occurred November 25, 2018 at Porterville Municipal Airport (KPTV), Tulare County, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fresno, 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/N66710

Location: Porterville, CA
Accident Number: GAA19CA073
Date & Time: 11/25/2018, 1320 PST
Registration: N66710
Aircraft: Beech C23
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, during the landing flare the airplane touched down on the main gear and ballooned a few feet off the ground. Subsequently, the airplane porpoised, the nose wheel collapsed, and the airplane came to rest nose down on the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, 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: 03/07/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/22/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 242 hours (Total, all aircraft), 220 hours (Total, this make and model), 132 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N66710
Model/Series: C23
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1983
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: M-2387
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/20/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6109 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4K
Registered Owner: Donald Uttenreither, Rickey Cooksey
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Fractional Ownership 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPTV, 442 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2156 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 177°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Porterville, CA (PTV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Porterville, CA (PTV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1250 PST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: PORTERVILLE MUNI (PTV)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 443 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 30
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5960 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  36.030000, -119.063056 (est)

Piper 46-350P Malibu Mirage, N88VZ: Accident occurred November 18, 2018 at Grant County Airport (W99), Petersburg, West Virginia

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charleston, West Virginia


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


https://registry.faa.gov/N88VZ


Location: Petersburg, WV
Accident Number: ERA19LA086
Date & Time: 11/18/2018, 1245 EST
Registration: N88VZ
Aircraft: Piper PA46
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 18, 2018, about 1245 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-46-350P, N88VZ, registered to and operated by Centex Flyers LLC, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion at the Grant County Airport (W99), Petersburg, West Virginia. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight that originated about 0845 from Llano Municipal Airport, Llano, Texas, and was destined for W99.

The pilot stated that with a calm wind, he entered an extended right base leg of the airport traffic pattern for runway 13, where he lowered the flaps to 10° and extending the landing gear. He then extended the flaps to 20° and turned onto final approach while maintaining 103 knots indicated airspeed. He called aloud "three green" on final approach, and did not recall if he lowered the flaps to 36 degrees, which he typically would do. The main landing gears touched down smoothly in the landing zone, and he then felt the airplane slide, similar to being on an ice patch. He did not recall if the nose landing gear was on the runway before or at time of slide. He immediately applied rudder input to maintain directional control, but as the airplane started to veer to the left, he moved the power lever into beta to slow the airplane.

The pilot further stated that up to this point, he had not deployed beta as there was adequate runway remaining to stop. Within a short time, he was unable to keep airplane on the runway with rudder input. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, impacted a small berm, and the nose landing gear to collapsed. The airplane came to rest upright nearly 90° from the path it had departed the runway. The passengers evacuated the airplane while the pilot shut down the engine and secured the airplane. He then walked the runway and did not see any ice, but did see solid rubber transfer on the runway from the nose landing gear.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N88VZ
Model/Series: PA46 350P
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: W99, 963 ft msl
Observation Time: 1255 EST
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Llano, TX (AQO)
Destination: Petersburg, WV (W99)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  38.995556, -79.145833 (est)

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, N111TA: Accident occurred November 17, 2018 at Little Tobesofkee Creek Ranch Airport (GA86), Barnesville, Georgia

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

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/N111TA




Location: Barnesville, GA
Accident Number: ERA19LA052
Date & Time: 11/17/2018, 1112 EST
Registration: N111TA
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On November 17, 2018, about 1112 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-180, N111TA, was substantially damaged after a collision with trees and terrain at Little Tobesofkee Creek Ranch Airport (GA86), Barnesville, Georgia. The flight instructor and student pilot incurred minor injuries, and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was operated by Clear Blue Sky Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight to Macon Downtown Airport (MCN), Macon, Georgia. The instructional flight that originating at the time of the accident.

The flight instructor reported that runway 35 was selected for the takeoff due to the prevailing wind out of the north at 7 to 8 kts. The student was at the controls for the takeoff. The takeoff was initiated and acceleration seemed normal, considering the runway upslope and 3,000 ft-long turf surface. The airspeed reached 65 kts and was increasing at the predesignated decision point, which was about 60% of the runway length. After takeoff, the airplane banked to the left unexpectedly. The instructor did not recall the stall warning light illuminating. The student called out a lack of responsiveness from the flight controls and the flight instructor simultaneously took the controls. The pilots realized that the airplane would not clear trees at the departure end of the runway, so the flight instructor elected to land the airplane straight ahead and aim it between the trees. The airplane touched down about 200 ft from the trees and continued until it struck several small trees and one large tree. The airplane came to a stop, the engine was secured, and the pilots and passengers egressed the airplane and were met by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The airplane crashed in a wooded area to the north of the airport boundary. Structural damage occurred to the wings and fuselage. There was no fire.

The wreckage was recovered to a salvage facility where a more detailed examination was performed. The fuselage was generally intact. Both wings were cut off near the wing roots by recovery personnel. The right wing exhibited leading edge crushing signatures from contact with trees. The aileron cables were cut by recovery personnel. The aileron cables were otherwise connected to the ailerons and the ailerons were connected to the attachment points on the wings. Aileron cable continuity was established from the cut ends at the wing roots to the control yokes. Elevator and rudder continuity were confirmed from the control surfaces to the cockpit controls. The vertical stabilizer, rudder, and stabilator were undamaged.

The engine remained attached to the firewall. The metal, fixed pitch propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The engine crankshaft was turned through manually by turning the propeller. Internal engine continuity was confirmed. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders. Valve action was normal on all cylinders. The engine contained oil. Both spark plugs were removed from each cylinder. They were normal in color and wear when compared to a Champion inspection chart. The carburetor was intact. The venturi and floats were in place and undamaged. The gascolator was drained and it contained about 1 oz of clean, blue-colored fuel. Both magnetos produced a visible spark at all leads when rotated.

The stall warning light operated normally when tested. The airplane was not equipped with a stall warning horn.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Private
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/09/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/27/2017
Flight Time:  5300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 600 hours (Total, this make and model), 5000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   12 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12 hours (Total, this make and model), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N111TA
Model/Series: PA28 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 28-3746
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 3 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5400 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KOPN, 796 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1115 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Barnesville, GA (GA86)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Macon, GA (MAC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1112 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Little Tobesofkee (GA86)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 755 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: In-Flight and On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.980000, -84.100000 (est)

Cessna 152, N45941: Incident occurred March 09, 2019 in Pueblo, Colorado

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

Landed in a field.

G&M Aircraft Inc

https://registry.faa.gov/N45941

Date: 09-MAR-19
Time: 05:30:00Z
Regis#: N45941
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 152
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: PUEBLO
State: COLORADO

Globe GC-1B Swift, N3887K: Incident occurred March 08 in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; NW Florida

Gear collapsed.

MISU LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N3887K

Date: 08-MAR-19
Time: 19:06:00Z
Regis#: N3887K
Aircraft Make: GLOBE
Aircraft Model: GC 1B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: OTHER
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: PENSACOLA
State: FLORIDA

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche: Incident occurred March 09, 2019 at Sebring Regional Airport (KSEF), Highlands County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Gear collapsed.

Date: 09-MAR-19
Time: 03:40:00Z
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA 24 250
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: SEBRING
State: FLORIDA

Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R, owned and operated by the pilot as a flight test under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N45MJ: Accident occurred March 08, 2019 at Leesburg International Airport (KLEE), Lake 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; Orlando, Florida

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N45MJ

Location: Orlando, FL

Accident Number: ERA19LA125
Date & Time: 03/08/2019, 1000 EST
Registration: N45MJ
Aircraft: Piper PA31
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test 

On March 8, 2019, about 1000 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-31-325, N45MJ, sustained substantial damage after a landing gear collapse while taxiing at the Leesburg International Airport (LEE), Leesburg, Florida. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot as a flight test under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to the pilot, he dropped off his airplane at a maintenance facility for an annual inspection. It was suggested by maintenance personnel that an inner landing gear door kit be installed (STC SA00555DE) during the annual inspection. After the door kit installation was completed, numerous test flights were conducted and none of them were acceptable. During the landing gear extension, two green landing lights appeared as expected, but the third light (right main landing gear) was very slow to illuminate. Adjustments were made after each flight, and on the last flight while taxiing back to the ramp after landing the right landing gear collapsed.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed buckling of the right inboard wing.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N45MJ
Model/Series: PA31 325
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None  

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: LEE, 75 ft msl
Observation Time: 1029 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Orlando, FL (LEE)
Destination: Orlando, FL (LEE)

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:  28.822778, -81.808333 (est)

Fuel Related: Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N8566D; accident occurred March 08, 2019 in Rushville, Rheridan County, Nebraska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

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/N8566D

Location: Rushville, NE
Accident Number: GAA19CA160
Date & Time: 03/08/2019, 1145 MST
Registration: N8566D
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that during flight, the engine lost partial power. He applied the carb heat and adjusted the mixture, but the engine did not respond. The engine continued to lose power and the pilot force landed on rough terrain. During landing the right wing struck the ground.

Additionally, the pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had, "checked for carb ice sooner."

He reported that the temperature about the time of the accident was 30° F, and that the dew point was 34° F.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar.

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

According to the FAA Carburetor Ice Probability Chart, a serious icing probability existed at cruise or climb power.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
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: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/25/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/29/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 598 hours (Total, all aircraft), 123 hours (Total, this make and model), 598 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 61 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N8566D
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1957
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-6220
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/06/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6645 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: Stockmans Service & Supply Llc
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Stateline Auto Service
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGRN, 3562 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site: 35°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Rushville, NE (9V5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Rushville, NE (9V5)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1045 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

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:  42.459167, -102.501111 (est)

Cessna 172K Skyhawk, N7367G: Accident occurred March 09, 2019 at South Jersey Regional Airport (KVAY), Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entity:

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

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N7367G


Location: Mount Holly, NJ
Accident Number: ERA19LA194
Date & Time: 03/09/2019, 1805 EST
Registration: N7367G
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 9, 2019, at 1805 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172, N7367G, sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion while landing at the South Jersey Regional Airport (VAY), Mount Holly, New Jersey. The private pilot and the passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The departure location and time are unknown.

The pilot stated that the flight was uneventful until landing. During landing rollout, when he started to apply the brakes, his seat back collapsed, and he lost site of the runway. The pilot said that when he was able to sit back up, he saw the airplane had veered off the left side of the runway and had struck a segmented circle.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the landing gear box structure was substantially damaged. The pilot's seat back was found disconnected on the left-hand side of the seat base assembly attach point. The bolt head that attached the seat back to the seat base had sheared off from the seat back assembly.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single and multiengine, and instrument airplane. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single-engine land. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on July 10, 2017. At that time, he reported a total of 12,000 flight hours.

At 1754, the weather reported at VAY was wind from 120° at 6 knots gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7367G
Model/Series: 172 K
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: VAY, 52 ft msl
Observation Time: 1754 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / 16 knots, 120°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point:
Destination: Mount Holly, NJ (VAY)

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:  39.000000, -74.000000 (est)

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N20364: Incident occurred March 09, 2019 in Jacksonville, Onslow County, North Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

Landed in a field.

Tradewind Aviation Aircraft Inc

https://registry.faa.gov/N20364

Date: 09-MAR-19
Time: 22:08:00Z
Regis#: N20364
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172M
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: JACKSONVILLE
State: NORTH CAROLINA

Beech C90A King Air, N8156Z: Incident occurred March 09, 2019 at Grand Forks International Airport (KGFK), North Dakota

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Veered off the runway into the grass.

Southwind Aviation LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N8156Z

Date: 09-MAR-19
Time: 17:00:00Z
Regis#: N8156Z
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: C90A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: GRAND FORKS
State: NORTH DAKOTA

Steen Skybolt, CP-X3109: Fatal accident occurred July 13, 2019 in Enconada, Bolivia

NTSB Identification: GAA19WA442
14 CFR Non-U.S., Non-Commercial
Accident occurred Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Enconada, Bolivia
Aircraft: STEEN Skybolt, registration:
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.


The government of Bolivia has notified the NTSB of an accident involving an amateur-built STEEN Skybolt airplane that occurred on July 13, 2019. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the government of Bolivia's investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13.


All investigative information will be released by the government of Bolivia.





Un avioneta en la que iban dos ocupantes cayó la tarde de este sábado. Información preliminar brindada por la empresa que alquilaba el garaje a la nave señala que el accidente se produjo en el sector de La Enconada, a 25 kilómetros de la ciudad de Santa Cruz.


Una comisión se encuentra en el lugar investigando el hecho y por el momento se desconocen las circunstancias exactas en las que se produjo el accidente. 


Los fallecidos fueron identificados como Guillermo Ávila Menacho, de 33 años de edad, y Leonardo Henrique Rauber Silva, de 24 
años

https://www.eldeber.com.bo

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-22-150, N522DN; accident occurred March 07, 2019 at Richard I. Bong Airport (KSUW), Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N522DN

Location: Superior, WI
Accident Number: GAA19CA157
Date & Time: 03/07/2019, 1745 CST
Registration: N522DN
Aircraft: Piper PA22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, during landing on a snow- and ice-covered runway, he was unable to maintain directional control, so he attempted a go around. However, the airplane impacted a snowbank on the right side of the runway and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/01/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/15/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 840 hours (Total, all aircraft), 153 hours (Total, this make and model), 785 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 81 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 58 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N522DN
Model/Series: PA22 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 226587
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/12/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3441 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-B2B
Registered Owner: Bulldog Aviation Llc
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: Bulldog Aviation Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSUW, 674 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2335 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 173°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -6°C / -17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Superior, WI (SUW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Superior, WI (SUW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: RICHARD I BONG (SUW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Ice; Snow
Airport Elevation: 674 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Ice; Snow
Runway Used: 22
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5100 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

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: 46.695000, -92.095000 (est)

Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing 737-8 MAX, ET-AVJ: Fatal accident occurred March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

NTSB Identification: DCA19RA101 
14 CFR Non-U.S., Commercial
Accident occurred Sunday, March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration:
Injuries: 157 Fatal.

The foreign authority was the source of this information.

The government of Ethiopia has notified the NTSB of an accident involving a BOEING 737 that occurred on March 10, 2019. The NTSB has appointed a U.S. Accredited Representative to assist the government of Ethiopia's investigation under the provisions of ICAO Annex 13 as the State of Manufacturer of the airplane.


United States, Ethiopian Investigators Tussle Over 737 MAX Crash Probe

Tension over access to and interpretation of data comes ahead of a preliminary report on what happened to the Boeing plane

By Andy Pasztor and Gabriele Steinhauser
March 31, 2019 7:09 p.m. ET

Tension is simmering between U.S. and Ethiopian officials as investigators prepare to release in the coming days an interim report about the Boeing Co. 737 MAX jetliner that nose-dived after takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, according to people from both countries.

U.S. investigators, according to people familiar with their thinking, have privately complained that Ethiopian authorities have been slow to provide data retrieved from the black-box recorders of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board.

American air-safety officials also have described what they view as an aloof attitude among the Ethiopians toward other investigators and say the Ethiopians have provided often limited access to relevant crash information, these people said.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian transport minister didn’t respond to requests for comment Sunday. Ethiopians involved in the probe, for their part, have chafed at what they see as American efforts to exert control over the preliminary report, according to other people familiar with the investigation.

The behind-the-scenes maneuvering, according to people from both countries, has impeded but not prevented the international investigators from working together.

The preliminary crash report, according to people briefed on the details, is expected to say that data analyzed so far indicates the Ethiopian accident bears important similarities to the crash of a Lion Air 737 MAX plane that went down in Indonesia less than five months earlier, including activation of an automated stall-prevention system and related features.

Boeing is in the process of rolling out a software fix and enhanced training related to the automated feature, called MCAS.

Publicly, U.S. officials have expressed satisfaction with the sharing of information. Last Wednesday, Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading U.S. participation in the probe, told a Senate subcommittee his experts have gotten the data they need.

On Sunday, a Boeing spokesman said: “We have great respect for the Ethiopian government. As a party to the investigation, we’re following all international protocols and conduct all our work through” the U.S. safety board.

From the outset, though, Ethiopian officials have kept tight control of the probe, carefully guarding the recorder data and pushing back at what they view as efforts by Boeing investigators to influence and speed up release of the preliminary report on the crash, according to people familiar with the matter. 

The Boeing spokesman said it was “absolutely not true” that the company’s investigators are trying to influence or speed up the preliminary report.

Safety experts have also tussled over the interpretation of certain data and their presentation in the report, according to people from both countries.

Ethiopian officials asked the French aviation accident investigation bureau BEA, which downloaded data from the black boxes, to permanently delete that information from its servers once it had been transmitted to Ethiopian authorities. The BEA has confirmed complying with the request.

Frequently, probes of airline crashes that occur outside the U.S. in which American investigators play a role prompt friction and outright disagreements between U.S. government and industry experts and local investigators leading the probes.

In the case of Ethiopia, the tension is exacerbated by the country’s limited staff and experience investigating major airliner crashes, according to industry and safety experts tracking the probe.

Officials in Addis Ababa, for their part, are still smarting from the results of an investigation into the deadly 2010 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane shortly after takeoff from Beirut. That probe, led by Lebanese authorities, found that the airline’s pilots failed to respond adequately to stormy weather during the aircraft’s ascent. Ethiopia at the time disagreed with the findings of the investigation, attributing the crash to bad weather.

“With this investigation, we are the ones who are in charge,” the chief of Ethiopia’s civil aviation authority, Col. Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw, said in a March 20 interview.

Another potential point of friction, according to some people familiar with the details, is the role played by experts from state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, which also faces scrutiny in the probe. The airline’s engineers have been providing technical support to officials from Ethiopia’s transport ministry.

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

Captain Yared Getachew, a veteran with 8,000 flight hours, fought to climb and correct the Boeing jet’s glide path.


First Officer Ahmednur Mohamed, seen here on his brother’s phone, radioed the control tower to report a ‘flight-control problem.’


The Final Minutes of Ethiopian Airlines’ Doomed Boeing 737 MAX

New details paint a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew

The Wall Street Journal 
By Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Yonathan Menkir Kassa
March 29, 2019 12:18 p.m. ET

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—It took less than six minutes to deepen one of the gravest crises in the history of Boeing Co.

At 8:37 a.m. on March 10, Captain Yared Getachew and First Officer Ahmed Nur Mohammed were accelerating an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX along runway 07R of Addis Ababa’s highland airport.

The flight conditions were perfect—warm and cloudless—at 8:38 as the jet lifted above the hills to commence the one hour and 40 minute shuttle to Nairobi.

Something almost immediately went wrong. At 8:39, as the jet reached an altitude of 8,100 feet above sea level, just 450 feet above ground, its nose began to pitch down.

Mr. Mohammed radioed the control tower, his crackling voice reporting a “flight-control problem.” The tower operators asked for details as Mr. Getachew, a veteran with 8,000 flight hours, fought to climb and correct the glide path. By 8:40, the oscillation became a wild bounce, then a dive.

“Pitch up, pitch up!” one pilot said to the other, as the Boeing jet accelerated toward the ground. The radio went dead.

At 8:44, the airliner crashed into a field just 30 miles from the runway. All 157 people on board were killed instantly.

This reconstruction of the final moments of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302, described in new detail by people close to the crash investigation, airline executives and pilots, paints a picture of a catastrophic failure that quickly overwhelmed the flight crew.

It appears to support a preliminary conclusion reached by Ethiopian officials and international investigators, who believe an automated flight-control feature activated before the plane nose-dived into the ground, according to people familiar with the matter.

This emerging consensus—relayed during a high-level briefing at the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday and reported soon after by The Wall Street Journal—represents the first findings based on data retrieved from the flight’s black boxes. It is the strongest indication yet that Boeing’s misfiring system was at the heart of both the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month and a Lion Air flight in Indonesia, which crashed less than five months earlier. Both doomed jets were Boeing 737 MAXs. The two disasters claimed 346 lives. A report from Ethiopian authorities is expected within days.

The Justice Department and other U.S. federal agencies are investigating whether Boeing provided incomplete or misleading information to regulators and airline customers about the 737 MAX aircraft to get the jetliner certified as safe to fly. The focus on disclosures is part of a broader investigation into how the plane was developed and certified.

Pilots flying the 737 MAX around the world were alerted to the stall-prevention system only after the Lion Air crash, and saw almost no mention of it in manuals, according to the pilots and industry officials. Most didn’t have visible cockpit warnings that would have alerted pilots to a malfunctioning sensor, and they had no access to simulators that could replicate the kinds of problems that doomed Lion Air Flight 610.

In that crash, the stall-prevention system, based on erroneous sensor information, repeatedly pushed the plane’s nose down and, according to a preliminary report, the pilot battled the flight controls while facing a cacophony of alarms before losing control and plunging into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

Boeing said it is updating the MCAS software and making safety alerts that had been optional a standard feature. The fix has been undergoing flight trials since Feb. 7, Boeing said, before the Ethiopian airliner crashed.

Ethiopian Airlines—Africa’s largest carrier—is fighting to defend its record. Across this vast nation of 105 million people, the state-owned airline has in recent years become emblematic of, and indispensable to, Ethiopia’s ascent from one of the world’s poorest countries to a regional powerhouse. The closely linked fates of carrier and country are now under the spotlight, raising the stakes for the airline to effectively manage the fallout of the accident.

Minutes after the plane crashed, Ethiopian Airlines’ chief executive officer felt a buzz in his pocket. Tewolde Gebremariam was attending Sunday service with his family at the Medhane-Alem Cathedral close to the airport when his phone rang.

It was the number for the airport’s “collaborative decision-making system,” a task force of airline, air-traffic control and airport officials who work together to ensure flight traffic is managed efficiently.

“We’ve lost ET302 from the radar,” the voice on the other end of the line said in Amharic, Ethiopia’s national language.

By the time Mr. Gebremariam reached the airport, it was becoming clear the plane had crashed.

“Right there, immediately,” Mr. Gebremariam thought of the Lion Air crash, he said in an interview. “The similarities were very striking. The impact, both were brand-new airplanes, both were MAX, and [they both crashed] in a short time, quickly after takeoff.”

As two air force helicopters prepared to lift off to search for ET302, pilots on the airport runway were getting restless.

Lazarus Kuol was in line for departure, preparing to take off on his single-engine turboprop aircraft on a medevac flight to the southwestern city of Jinka. He was due to collect two Chinese patients and bring them back to Addis Ababa for treatment.

The waiting pilots, listening to the control tower’s shared frequency, heard the operators discuss an emergency and order all aircraft to remain grounded, while two incoming planes were told to delay landing. The tower had lost contact with ET302. Maybe it was a communication problem, Mr. Kuol thought, or maybe they made an emergency landing on the flat farmlands southeast of the capital.

The minutes passed with no word from the missing aircraft or the search-and-rescue mission, and Mr. Kuol began to fear the worst.

He was given clearance to take off at 9:50, the second aircraft to depart Bole International Airport after ET302 went missing, and began to listen to the exchange between two radio frequencies, “Addis Center,” the main control-tower, and “Harar Meda,” the air force base.

“We can’t see it in the lowland,” said one of the two air force helicopter pilots dispatched to search for ET302. “We’ll climb on the highlands to look.”

In fact, the helicopters were circling over the crash site without realizing. The dive had been so fast and so steep that the aircraft had bored a crater into the ground and fractured into thousands of pieces. It was hardly visible from air.

“When I went to the site, the plane was completely below ground,” said Mr. Gebremariam, the CEO. He took off in another helicopter as soon as the crash site had been identified. “At that time, we knew there were no survivors.”

He notified the country’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who first tweeted about the crash in Amharic at 10:48 a.m. local, just over two hours after the doomed flight had taken off.

At 10:50 a.m., the news broke abruptly into the quiet Sunday mornings of the families of the 157 on board, and the rest of the world.

“The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Government and people of Ethiopia, would like to express [its] deepest condolences to the families of those that have lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning,” a tweet from his official account said.

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

Ethiopian Airlines Chief Executive Tewolde Gebremariam said he immediately thought of the previous Lion Air crash after his airline’s jet went down. 


Boeing Company needed the redesign of its crucial 737 jetliner to go swiftly and smoothly, so it pursued a path that reduced regulatory scrutiny and accommodated its biggest customer by requiring as little new training for pilots as possible.

Many pilots now say Boeing’s choices for the 737 MAX left them in the dark about a new feature whose malfunctioning has been implicated in one deadly crash and is under scrutiny for a possible role in a second—disasters that claimed 346 lives.

Pilots flying the 737 MAX, which entered service in 2017, received no training on a new stall-prevention system and saw almost no mention of it in manuals, according to the pilots and industry officials. Most would get no visible cockpit warnings when a sensor used to trigger the system malfunctioned, and they had no access to simulators that could replicate the kinds of problems believed to have downed Lion Air Flight 610 in October.

Following the second crash, in Ethiopia this month, a picture is emerging that suggests Boeing, as it hurried to get the plane on the market, put too much faith in its design and engineering, particularly of the automated stall-prevention system that was supposed to make the plane safer, according to interviews with safety experts, industry officials, former Boeing employees and former regulators.

Many questions remain about Boeing’s handling of the redesign and what went wrong. The Justice Department and other federal agencies are investigating whether Boeing provided incomplete or misleading information to get the airliner certified as safe to fly.

Ethiopian investigators have yet to detail their preliminary findings, although authorities have cited similarities between both crashes. Ethiopian Airlines’ chief executive has said the stall-prevention system, called MCAS, appears to have played a role.

The first of what is expected to be a series of congressional hearings looking at the decisions of both Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration began on Wednesday.

Boeing has said it would overhaul the flight-control system and make safety alerts that had been optional a standard feature. The fix has been undergoing flight trials since Feb. 7, Boeing said, before the Ethiopian airliner crashed.

A Boeing official said Wednesday the software change didn’t mean the original MCAS design was inadequate, but that the company “found a way to make it more robust.” He also said Boeing was conducting reviews of other MAX flight-control systems but hadn’t uncovered any potential problems.

There are indications that Boeing was aware that some 737 MAX models in the air lacked all the possible safety features available.

On Nov. 27, about a month after the first crash, Boeing executive Mike Sinnett told American Airlines ’ pilot union that their pilots wouldn’t experience the sort of problems that doomed the Lion Air flight, according to Dan Carey, union president. That's because American paid for an additional cockpit warning light that would have alerted them to the problem, while Lion Air and most other airlines didn’t.

Cockpit indicators

“This wouldn’t have happened to you guys,” Mr. Carey recalled Mr. Sinnett saying during the meeting. The cockpit indicators would have directed pilots to have the potential problem checked out on the ground. A Boeing spokesman said Mr. Sinnett didn’t recall making that statement, and was unavailable for an interview.

The Boeing spokesman said the company followed “established and accepted assumptions and processes” in designing and certifying the new stall-prevention system. He said Boeing “determined that a pilot would be able to counteract erroneous system input” by following established procedures for which pilots have received training previously.

Boeing said the FAA considered the system’s final design during its certification of the aircraft and concluded that it met all regulatory requirements.

One senior Boeing official said the company had decided against disclosing details about the system that it felt would inundate the average pilot with too much information—and significantly more technical data—than he or she needed or could realistically digest.

Troubled Jet

Boeing’s 737 MAX jetliner entered service in 2017.

It is Boeing’s biggest crisis in years. The 737 has been the centerpiece of Boeing’s business for decades, and the MAX was intended to carry that on. Now the entire 737 MAX fleet is grounded. Industry executives and former regulators say it could take years for the company to rebuild trust among airlines, pilots and foreign regulators. The fallout could affect the way the FAA monitors the development and approval of new aircraft essential for airlines to meet soaring global demand for air travel.

Boeing needed the MAX to offer a fuel-efficient option for customers to avoid losing market share to chief rival Airbus SE . Boeing didn’t even wait for its board of directors to approve the design before offering it to American Airlines, which was on the cusp of buying planes from Airbus. Boeing’s board didn’t formally sign off on the MAX until a month later.

“Design, development and certification was consistent with our approach to previous new and derivative airplane designs,” Boeing said.

New Demands for an Old Plane

Competition from rival Airbus spurred Boeing to add new engines to its workhorse 737 rather than create a new single-aisle jet.




Boeing engineers realized the MAX needed engineering changes from the existing 737s to accommodate its larger, fuel-efficient engines. The engines made the new plane tougher to fly in certain conditions than the 737s already in service, according to people familiar with the plane’s development. To help pilots manage that, Boeing decided to add the MCAS stall-prevention system.

In the Lion Air crash, the stall-prevention system, based on erroneous sensor information, repeatedly pushed the plane’s nose down. According to a preliminary accident probe, the pilot battled the flight controls while facing a cacophony of alarms before losing control and plunging into the Java Sea.

Some former Boeing engineers, safety experts and pilots said that while the system was conceived to enhance safety, the design fell short.

How MCAS Works

The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was installed in the new Boeing 737 MAX to compensate for the extra pitch up produced by its larger engines at elevated angle-of-attack (AOA).




Minimizing changes

Throughout the MAX’s development, Boeing was intent on minimizing design changes that could require extra pilot training, said Rick Ludtke, a former Boeing engineer who worked on 737 MAX cockpit features but not the MCAS system. Extra training could have added costs for airlines introducing the MAX into service.

The company had promised Southwest Airlines Co. , the plane’s biggest customer, to keep pilot training to a minimum so the new jet could seamlessly slot into the carrier’s fleet of older 737s, according to regulators and industry officials.

Mr. Ludtke recalled midlevel managers telling subordinates that Boeing had committed to pay the airline $1 million per plane if its design ended up requiring pilots to spend additional simulator time. “We had never, ever seen commitments like that before,” he said.

Southwest, which has ordered 280 MAX aircraft, declined to comment on the issue, as did Boeing. A Southwest spokeswoman has said the airline developed its 737 MAX training based on Boeing’s information and was a recipient of, not a driver of, the training mandates.

It was difficult for Boeing to figure out what changes it could make without triggering the need for more training, Mr. Ludtke said, in part because of the FAA’s approval process.

According to Mr. Ludtke and a U.S. government official, the agency would evaluate the entire plane only after it was complete, and wouldn’t give step-by-step guidance on what would or wouldn’t lead to additional training demands. That added pressure on Boeing’s engineers to keep changes to a minimum, he said.

The FAA has said that the 737 MAX was approved as part of the agency’s standard certification process.

The MAX planes entered service before the first flight simulators were even ready for use by airlines, according to airline executives, and the few that have now been introduced can’t replicate the malfunction the Lion Air crew faced. The simulators are set to be enhanced to allow pilots to practice dealing with such failures, though the upgrade could be months away.

Following the Lion Air crash, Boeing said that pilots are routinely trained to respond to erroneous automated nose-down pushes regardless of the cause and turn off related systems. The company has told pilot groups and others that the system behaves similarly to the ones in an earlier generation of 737s. It said it discussed the MCAS system’s functions at several airline conferences in recent years and wrote manuals to include information it believed pilots needed to operate the aircraft safely.

Numerous pilots and safety experts interviewed by The Wall Street Journal said that in practice, amid the chaos of an aircraft lurching into a steep dive with emergency warnings blaring, it is unrealistic to expect pilots to recognize what is happening and respond almost instantaneously.

Bryan Lesko, an airline pilot who wrote an article last year for his union’s magazine about the 737 MAX, repeatedly asked Boeing officials if there were any major new systems. The answer was no, according to a person who recently discussed the matter with him. The union declined to make Mr. Lesko available for comment.

Since the stall-prevention system emerged as a potential factor in the Lion Air crash, industry and government officials around the world have learned that the system can in certain situations push the plane’s nose down repeatedly, undercutting the pilot’s ability to regain control manually.

A software overhaul Boeing is set to distribute to airlines in the coming weeks will address that problem.

An earlier design decision by Boeing engineers was intended to make the stall-prevention system simple. It relied on data from a single sensor, rather than two, to measure the angle of the plane’s nose, Boeing said.

Safety experts, pilots and some former Boeing engineers say it is rare for aircraft to rely on just one sensor for almost any system whose failure could cause a crash. A sensor malfunction was implicated in the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, when an iced-up airspeed sensor triggered a series of events that caused the plane to plunge into the Atlantic.

“If your airplane needs such a Band-Aid, then it is incumbent on you to make sure it’s a good Band-Aid,” said Frank McCormick, a former Boeing flight-controls engineer who became a consultant to regulators and manufacturers before retiring.

The Boeing spokesman said the plane maker’s analysis determined that a pilot would be able to address the flight-control system misfiring with switches to counteract it or turn it off. “Single sources of data are considered acceptable in such cases by our industry, and additional changes to the system were not deemed warranted,” he said.

An FAA-sponsored panel of international safety experts years ago concluded that crew training tended to stress that computers typically handle unusual situations more smoothly and effectively than the pilots. “There is a natural reluctance to turn [systems] off, because it’s not clear what else is being turned off,” said Ray Valeika, a retired senior maintenance and engineering official at Delta Air Lines Inc.

Boeing is changing its approach to provide pilots with information about the sensors that measure the angle of a plane’s nose.

Boeing has long argued that such angle-of-attack information wasn’t necessary for crews to safely operate aircraft, and that other data such as altitude and airspeed were more relevant. Over the years, a few carriers, such as American Airlines and Delta, have pushed Boeing to provide its pilots additional angle-of-attack information, according to an airline official.

In the wake of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air crashes, Boeing now is making the alerts standard on the MAX, rather than as a paid option.

The promised software fixes for the 737 MAX amount to reversal of key Boeing design decisions in developing the plane. With the new software in place, the stall-prevention system will rely on data from two sensors, not one, and won’t activate if the data from those angle-of-attack sensors doesn’t match.

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


Officials believe a suspect automated flight-control system activated before a Boeing Company737 MAX nose-dived into the ground in Ethiopia, according to people briefed on investigators’ preliminary conclusion from data captured by the doomed flight’s black boxes.

The emerging consensus among investigators, one of these people said, was relayed during a high-level briefing at the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday, and is the strongest indication yet that the same automated system, called MCAS, misfired in both the Ethiopian Airlines flight earlier this month and a Lion Air flight in Indonesia, which crashed less than five months earlier. The two crashes claimed 346 lives.

The preliminary finding from the “black box” recorders of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 is subject to revisions, according to the people briefed on the matter. U.S. government air-safety experts have been analyzing details gathered from Ethiopian investigators for the past few days, according to one of the people. A preliminary report from Ethiopian authorities is expected within days.

Investigators have been homing in on the MCAS as a potential cause in both of the recent crashes. Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges previously said earlier readings from black-box data showed “clear similarities were noted” between both fatal flights.

Earlier this week, federal transportation officials during hearings defended the government’s response to the two crashes, even as questions grew about how the jet was certified for commercial use. Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told a Senate panel that there had been no flight tests of the 737 MAX to gauge how pilots would react in the event that a malfunctioning sensor triggered the automated system.

In the Lion Air crash, the new stall-prevention system, based on erroneous sensor information, repeatedly pushed the plane’s nose down and, according to the preliminary report, the pilot battled the flight controls while facing a cacophony of alarms before losing control and plunging into the Java Sea.

Boeing on Wednesday outlined its planned overhaul of the MCAS system to make it less aggressive and more controllable by pilots. The changes include an added layer of protection: Instead of relying on a single sensor indicating the angle of the plane’s nose, MCAS will rely on data from both of the plane’s sensors. As part of the fix, the FAA also will mandate certain cockpit alerts about incorrect sensor data.

While Boeing has noted investigators haven’t reached final conclusions about what caused either crash, Mike Sinnett, vice president of product strategy, said Wednesday the plane maker had “complete confidence that the changes we’re making would address any of these accidents.”

Roddy Guthrie, the 737 fleet captain for American Airlines Group Inc., said that with the MCAS fix, “They’ve put some checks and balances in the system now that will make the system much better.”

However, Boeing’s 737 MAX will remain grounded around the world until the FAA and other aviation regulators certify the software fix and crews are trained on the revised system. That process could stretch for months in some countries, regulators and safety officials have said.

The fallout for customers from the MAX grounding has continued to spread. TUI AG, one of Europe’s biggest MAX owners, on Friday cut its earnings outlook to cover costs from the grounding. The airline, which has 15 MAX aircraft parked, expects a €200 million ($225 million) hit if the fleet remains idled until mid-July. It could face another €100 million impact if it needs to rent replacement planes through September. Shares in the travel group fell more than 10%.

Indonesian flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia on Thursday reiterated plans to walk away from an order for 49 MAX planes, though the company committed to sticking with Boeing as a supplier.

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



Federal investigators are looking into whether Boeing Co. provided incomplete or misleading information about the 737 MAX aircraft to U.S. air-safety regulators and customers, people familiar with the matter said.

The focus on disclosures to regulators, which hasn’t been previously reported, is part of a broader investigation into how the jetliner was developed and certified, some of these people said.

The criminal investigation, which is in early stages, began last year, weeks after a 737 MAX operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, according to one of these people. The same model plane, flown by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed less than five months later.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s office are working in tandem under the direction of federal prosecutors, the people familiar with the matter said. The agents involved are from offices in Seattle, Chicago and elsewhere, these people added. Boeing is based in Chicago but manufactures the 737 MAX at its facility in Renton, Wash., near Seattle.

Boeing hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing.

“The 737 MAX was certified in accordance with the identical FAA requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives,” Boeing said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said previously the 737 MAX, which entered service in 2017, was approved to carry passengers as part of the agency’s “standard certification process.” It said its safety-review procedures “are well established and have consistently produced safe aircraft.”

The agency is conducting its own inquiry into how the jet model was certified and whether various agency offices properly oversaw technical analyses prepared by Boeing and submitted to the FAA, according to a person familiar with the details. A Senate Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday is expected to kick off what is likely to be a series of congressional hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill exploring these and other matters.

The Transportation Department said earlier this week its inspector general is conducting a separate administrative audit to determine precisely what actions the FAA took in approving the safety of the jet.

Some of the investigators’ questions have related to information and safety reports Boeing provided to the FAA during the agency’s certification of the aircraft, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Other subjects the investigators have asked about include the aircraft’s design, how training was devised, disclosures in pilot manuals, and whether safety was compromised in favor of business concerns, people familiar with the matter said.

Investigators have asked FAA officials about Boeing’s disclosures related to a stall-prevention system in the MAX and what was disclosed to airlines and pilots, one of these people said. The FAA offices involved with certifying the plane and approving training requirements have been told by the inspector general’s office to retain all electronic documents and email related to the 737 MAX, The Wall Street Journal has previously reported.

The Journal also previously reported that the Justice Department’s criminal division issued a grand jury subpoena to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development. The broad demand for documents sought information about the aircraft, including correspondence such as email.

A prosecutor in the department’s fraud section was listed as a contact in the March 11 subpoena. Senior prosecutors in the fraud section have notched experience in major cases in recent years involving automobile giant Volkswagen AG and air bag maker Takata Corp., both manufacturers accused of misleading regulators and consumers.

The document-retention directive applies to internal FAA communications, as well as electronic communications between Boeing and the agency, people familiar with the matter said.

Agents with the FBI and DOT inspector general’s office are looking into whether there were potential irregularities in the FAA’s safety-review process for the aircraft, some of these people said.

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