Saturday, August 17, 2019

Nieuport II Replica, N112GV: Accident occurred August 17, 2019 in Talladega County, Alabama

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Alabama and Northwest Florida

Aircraft crashed into trees.

Date: 17-AUG-19
Time: 17:42:00Z
Regis#: N112GV
Aircraft Model: NIEUPORT II
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

Talladega County, Alabama (WBRC) - A single engine plane crashed in Talladega County Saturday afternoon, on Stemley Road between Stemley Bridge Road and Joe Gamble Road.

The pilot was flying from Bessemer, Alabama, to Talladega when the crashed occurred.

According to Alabama Law Enforcement officials, the pilot survived and was able to walk away with no injuries.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

Original article can be found here ➤

One man survived a plane crash in Talladega today with only minor injuries.

The crash happened at about 12:30 pm outside the entrance of Lincoln Harbor condos, next to the Coosa River.

The pilot was the only occupant of the Nieuport II Replica aircraft.

He was traveling from Bessemer to Talladega and experienced fuel issues, according to the Lincoln Fire Captain.

The pilot purposely flew into trees to avoid hitting the condos.

An official report will come from the Federal Aviation Administration after their crash investigation is complete.

Story and video ➤

Cessna T303 Crusader, N303TL: Fatal accident occurred August 17, 2019 in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York -and- Accident occurred February 04, 2018 at Walter J. Koladza Airport (KGBR), Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey

Aircraft crashed into a house under unknown circumstances.

Date: 17-AUG-19
Time: 20:10:00Z
Regis#: N303TL
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: T303
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

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

Woodmere resident Francisco “Frank” Knipping-Diaz was one of two people who died in the crash of his Cessna T303 Crusader that struck a house in Dutchess County on August 17th. Knipping was considered a prominent Dominican lawyer with the Upper Manhattan law firm of Knipping-Diaz & Associates Inc. He earned his law degree from Touro College in Central Islip and a bachelor’s from Queens College.

Wil Bocker (left) and Gerald Bocker pose for a photo together.

Molly succumbed to her injures. 

Buow and Charlie
Buow was found safe and Charlie remains missing as of Tuesday.

Gerard Bocker loved his community.

Wil Bocker called his dad "a social butterfly."

Around Union Vale, Gerar would often check in with fellow residents, and would chat with parents at his children's sporting events. 

And, the 61-year-old loved his family, a tight-knit group that remained close even when separated by distance. He was a source of support for his two daughters and his son in their careers, Wil said, and also their hobbies.

"No matter where we went to school, my dad always had a presence," Wil, 24, said. "He had such good conversations with people and that's what we've heard time and again as people have reached out, talking about my dad's personality."

Gerard was killed Saturday when a plane crashed into the Bockers' Union Vale home. The pilot of the plane, identified by police as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, a 61-year-old Woodmere man, was also killed. Hannah Bocker, Gerard's 21-year-old daughter, sustained life-threatening injuries.

The crash remains under investigation by state police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. None of the organizations responded to Journal inquiries Monday.

Hannah remained in critical condition Monday, Wil told the Journal. The family is hopeful. And his older sister, 30-year-old Sarah Bocker, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, is doing well.

“We’ve regrouped as a family and we are at Westchester Medical Center," Wil said.

Gerard worked for Verizon for more than 30 years and retired from the company about five years ago, Wil said. Since then, he's worked part-time as a town employee. 

"He loved working with people," Wil said. 

A fundraising page was set up on Facebook to support Bocker's family. More than $68,000 was raised by 3 p.m. Monday. Those in the community said the Bocker family were good neighbors.   

A tight-knit family

This week, Hannah's summer internship with the United States Army Corps of Engineers out of Hopewell Junction is ending. She was scheduled to head back to start her junior year at SUNY Buffalo on Aug. 25, Wil said.

"She's an intricate kid," Wil said, describing his younger sister. "She loves puzzles, being out with the puppies, brain games and reading. She reads more than anybody I know. She loves spending time with the family, we are a pretty outdoorsy type family. We love doing yard work and working on the house, stuff like that."

Each year on the first week of December, the Bockers would go Christmas tree shopping. That, Wil said Monday, is his favorite family tradition.

"It was one of the few times I remember growing up that we were all able to do something together," Wil said. "We'd go up to Pleasant Valley and go pick out a Christmas tree together. We'd come home and set it all up and decorate everything."

Wil said he moved to California a year ago this week to pursue a job in the wine business. He said although the separation was obviously difficult, that it brought his family together even closer. 

"It was even stronger after I left because we have that connection," Wil said. "We all love each other very deeply. We were lucky to have the family that we did."

The crash

Just after 4 p.m. Saturday, a Cessna T303 Crusader struck the south side of the Bockers' two-story South Smith Street Road home, and the structure burst into flames. Gerard, Hannah and Sarah were home at the time.

The Bockers have lived in the home for more than 30 years, neighbors said Sunday. Bill and Judy Keating were among several neighbors who said they rushed to the property upon hearing the collision and seeing towering flames.

Bill Keating said he saw six men, who were neighbors in the area, pulling out two men from the house. It took about half an hour before an ambulance would arrive, he said. 

Hannah, he said, had been "blown out the picture window and landed in a small kiddie pool that they had for their dogs.” Men, he said, helped Sarah out of the house. Barrie Bocker, Gerard's wife and the family's mother, arrived at the house after the incident, the Keatings said.

Two passengers on the plane, identified by police as Eduardo Tio, 50 of Woodmere, Nassau County, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, 52 of the Dominican Republic, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The plane headed from Orange County Airport in Montgomery to Sky Acres Airport in LaGrangeville to refuel, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash. From Sky Acres Airport, located less than a mile from the crash, the plane was headed for Republic Airport in East Farmingdale, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Journal inquiries to Sky Acres Airport were declined on Monday. Republic Airport directed any inquiries to the state Department of Transportation. Calls to Orange County Airport went unanswered.

How to help the family

On Sunday, neighbors and friends helped search for the family's pets, including four cats and three dogs. One dog, Buoy, was found safe. Another, Molly, was found wounded and died.

Wil said his family is extremely grateful for all the donations that have poured in to the family in the wake of the tragedy. 

"Everything that people are doing, the community, we are still looking for one puppy," said Wil, who was searching on Monday for a puppy named Charlie, noting he would expect him to be in surrounding area. "If people can keep an eye out for him, that would be excellent."

He added the money will go toward medical bills and getting the family back on their feet and into a home. Wil said his parents bought their home in 1986, the same year they were married. 

"I want it to be known that we, as a family, are extremely flabbergasted by how generous everyone is being, whether they are contributing money, clothes, their time to help search for the dogs," Bocker said. "Obviously we can use any help we can get at this point and time."

Story and video ➤

New York State Police Capt. Paul DeQuarto speaks at a news conference Saturday on the Cessna T303 Crusader crash in Dutchess County, New York.

Major Richard L. Mazzone
Troop K Commander


Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police have tentatively identified those involved in Saturday's plane crash at 235 South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale.

The aircraft pilot was tentatively identified as Francisco Knipping-Diaz, age 61, of Woodmere, NY, who died at scene.  His two passengers were identified as Eduardo Tio, age 50, also of Woodmere, NY, and Teoflio Antonio Diaz Pratt, age 52, of the Dominican Republic, both of whom sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

At the time of the crash, the home at 235 South Smith Road was occupied by Gerard Bocker, age 61, who has been tentatively identified pending confirmation at autopsy.  Also present in the home was Hannah Bocker, age 21, who was critically injured, and Sarah Bocker, age 30, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries.  

The New York State Police, NTSB, and FAA continue to investigate the cause of the crash. 

Union Vale, New York – August 18, 2019, the New York State Police investigating the fatal plane crash on South Smith Road in the town of Union Vale on August 17, 2019, confirm there have been two fatalities, and four injured individuals. 

The aircraft pilot and one occupant of the residence were unfortunately found deceased.  Two additional occupants of the aircraft sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.  One resident of the house struck by the aircraft sustained life-threatening injuries, and the third resident present sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

The New York State Police and fire officials will hold a press briefing on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the Union Vale Fire House, 3373 Route 82, Verbank, NY,  regarding the place crash that occurred earlier today on South Smtih Road in LaGrange, New York.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Bradley, Connecticut

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Great Barrington, MA
Accident Number: GAA18CA134
Date & Time: 02/04/2018, 1655 EST
Registration: N303TL
Aircraft: CESSNA T303
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, while taxiing onto the snow-covered runway for departure, he was unable to see the runway markings. He added that he decided to cancel the flight and return to the ramp, but when the airplane exited the runway, it went down an embankment.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to see the taxiway when returning to the ramp from the snow-covered runway, which resulted in the airplane rolling down an embankment.


Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snow/slush/ice covered surface - Effect on personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/05/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1427 hours (Total, all aircraft), 223 hours (Total, this make and model), 1205 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N303TL
Model/Series: T303 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1984
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: T30300286
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/07/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2650 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-520-AE3B
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPSF, 1194 ft msl
Observation Time: 2149 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 20°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 1000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 40°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Snow; Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: FARMINGDALE, NY (FRG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Great Barrington, MA (GBR)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1215 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Snow
Airport Elevation: 739 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Snow
Runway Used: 11
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2579 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 42.184444, -73.406667 (est)

Aerotek Pitts S-2B, N600DF: Fatal accident occurred August 16, 2019 near Lakefront Airport (KNEW), Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Drug Fighter LLC 

Date: 16-AUG-19
Time: 20:04:00Z
Regis#: N600DF
Aircraft Make: PITTS
Aircraft Model: S2B
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

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

NTSB Releases Information on New Orleans Fatal Plane Crash Investigation


​WASHINGTON (Aug. 17, 2019) — The National Transportation Safety Board released the following factual information Saturday about the agency’s investigation of Friday’s fatal plane crash in New Orleans:

An NTSB senior air safety investigator from Denver arrived at the accident site Saturday to begin the on-scene phase of the investigation.

At about 3:06 p.m. CDT, Aug. 16, an Aerotek Pitts S-2B (registration N600DF) crashed shortly after taking off from New Orleans’ Lakefront Airport.  Both occupants, the commercial-rated pilot and the passenger, were fatally injured.

Shortly after take-off, the pilot radioed the controller in the Lakefront Airport tower and indicated that he was having problems, which were not specified.  The controller gave the pilot a clearance to return to the airport.

Witnesses reported observing the airplane appeared to have engine problems shortly after take-off.  According to witnesses the airplane then pitched down and struck the ground.

Much of the wreckage was consumed in a post-crash fire.

Activities planned for Saturday include:

Documenting the accident site.
Examination of fueling records and obtaining a fuel sample from the fueler, actions that are in keeping with standard investigative practices.
Interviewing witnesses and airport personnel.
Recovery of the wreckage, which will be transported to a secure location in Baton Rouge.

Future activities, which are all standard investigative practices for fatal aviation crashes, include:

A detailed examination of the wreckage and engine.
An examination of the airplane’s maintenance and repair history.
Interviews with family members and colleagues of the pilot to determine if there was anything in the 72 hours prior to the crash that could have affected the pilot’s ability to safety operate the airplane.
Examination of the pilot’s medical background, sleep and rest cycle, FAA pilot certificates and ratings and recency of flight experience.

The NTSB will publish a preliminary report within the next few weeks on its website ( detailing  the factual information developed at that early stage of the investigation.  The preliminary report will not contain any analysis or causal factors. A determination of probable cause will be issued at the conclusion of the investigation, which is expected to be completed in 12-24 months.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Lycoming Engines are parties to the NTSB’s investigation.

Witnesses to the crash or those with information relevant to the investigation are urged to contact the NTSB by email at

Contact: NTSB Media Relations
490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
Peter Knudson
(202) 314-6100

Nancy Parker and Franklin J.P. Augustus

NEW ORLEANS — Two New Orleans community members, both dedicated to making the city a better place, lost their lives in a plane crash Friday afternoon.

WVUE FOX 8 announced Friday evening that Nancy Parker, their long-time news anchor and a fixture in New Orleans reporting, was one of the passengers who passed away in a crash south of the New Orleans Lakefront Airport around 3:05 p.m. Friday. 

Parker was the sole passenger. She was creating a special report to honor the career and work of the plane's pilot, 69-year-old Franklin Augustus, who also died in the crash. 

Besides being a stunt pilot and avid flyer, Augustus was a longtime community activist, a U.S. Army veteran (Military Police), the president of the Lake Charles Tuskegee Airmen Chapter and a New Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office reserve deputy. 

30 years ago, Augustus described himself the "world's only black civilian air-show acrobatic pilot" in a 1988 Times-Picayune article that touched on the color barrier in New Orleans. 

"I want to let the young people know that if I can make it, anybody can," he said in the article.

Though he was not a Tuskegee Airman himself, Augustus used his platform with the organization to encourage other young black children to become pilots, creating a youth aviation program in conjunction with the City of New Orleans, Youth Eagles program and Civil Air Patrol.

According to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. officials, Augustus received an award for his "unselfish acts" at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) during a major storm. 

Augustus also headed The Drug Fighter organization, which works to turn children away from crime and gang violence in New Orleans. As part of his work, Augustus dressed up as the superhero "The Drug Fighter" and gave inspirational talks to children in the city and exposed them to flying while helping develop their math and computer skills. 

He was a licensed pilot who had been flying since he was 19. 

"Franklin J.P. Augustus will be greatly missed by the National Office of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., the Lake Charles Chapter, and the City of New Orleans for his lasting contributions to our organization and his community," Tuskegee officials said in a statement. 

On Friday night, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell released a statement confirming both the deaths of both Parker and Augustus. 

Cantrell called Parker "an invaluable member of our community" and Augustus an accomplished pilot who "even dress[ed] as a costumed superhero of his own creation: ‘The Drug Fighter,' to deliver a message of hope, and to help combat substance abuse.”

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman released a statement on his passing, saying he was a strong mentor for anyone interesting in flying. 

“The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is deeply saddened to learn about the death of OPSO Special Reserve Deputy Franklin J.P.  Augustus and broadcast journalist Nancy Parker in yesterday’s plane crash.

“Mr. Augustus was an active member of the Special Reserve Deputy Unit.  He regularly accompanied the Sheriff on school visits, presenting himself in costume as The Drug Fighter.

“When he was not delivering his anti-drug message, Mr. Augustus was promoting his love of flying as well as mentoring anyone with an interest in aviation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Augustus family as well as the Parker family. I’m sorry for your loss.”

A woman who identified herself as the niece of Augustus said her..."My uncle Frank was a devoted pilot, who love flying since I was born and before then. He will be missed for sure." 

Story and video ➤

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (WVUE) - A longtime air show pilot with decades of experience was at the controls of an stunt plane when it tragically crashed in New Orleans East Friday afternoon (Aug. 18), fatally injuring him and his passenger -- FOX 8′s Nancy Parker.

Nancy was working with Franklin Augustus to tell his impressive story.

“I’m a professional air show pilot,” Augustus told Nancy before the crash.

But the 69-year-old was more than just that, he was a ground-breaker and proud to be one of the few African Americans doing what he did.

“We have a shortage of minorities in the pilot seat,” he said.

Augustus fell in love with flying 50 years ago, when he was still in high school.

“I started right here at Lakefront Airport when I was a kid," Augustus recalled. “I snuck out to the airport because a guy came from Delta Airlines and told us about working for Delta, but he never told us about being a pilot.”

Augustus trained at a private flight school while in the military. Then, he returned to Lakefront to get his instructor rating and become an airshow pilot. The plane he was flying Friday was a Pitts B Series -- one that was certified as aerobatic.

“We can go upside down, loops and rows and we can tumble through the sky. We can do many things with this plane,” he said.

Augustus was taking Nancy for a ride, so she could help him write a message in the sky.

But, he didn’t just send messages in the sky. He frequently visited schools, church groups and hospitals.

“I created a superhero called drug fighter. He is the person who is the link between aviation and education and he gets those kids excited because list kids listen to superheroes. Me, I don’t matter much, but superheroes rock,” Augustus said.

Friends of the longtime pilot said he was kind, generous, helped others anyway he could and loved to fly. And, they said he was dedicated to spending his time bringing that love of flying to others, to help them in anyway he could.

Augustus was also a representative for Louisiana’s chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, as well as an active member of the special reserve deputy unit for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Marlin Gusmin released the following statement regarding Augustus’ death:

“The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is deeply saddened to learn about the death of OPSO Special Reserve Deputy Franklin J.P. Augustus and broadcast journalist Nancy Parker in yesterday’s plane crash.

Mr. Augustus was an active member of the Special Reserve Deputy Unit. He regularly accompanied the Sheriff on school visits, presenting himself in costume as The Drug Fighter. When he was not delivering his anti-drug message, Mr. Augustus was promoting his love of flying as well as mentoring anyone with an interest in aviation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Augustus family as well as the Parker family. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, also released a statement on Augustus, calling him “a trailblazing pilot.”

“Franklin dedicated his life to his craft and truly left a profound mark on our community. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers extend to his family. We are all better for Nancy and Franklin. They both will be deeply missed by all.”

As did Congressman Cedric Richmond:

“Today we mourn the tragic loss of two fixtures in our community,” Richmond’s statement read. “We also mourn the loss of Pilot Franklin J.P. Augustus, a member of the Young Eagles program and Civil Air Patrol, who educated our youth about the joys of flying. Our condolences go out to Nancy’s husband Glen, and the Parker and Augustus families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Story and video ➤

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana  (WVUE) - Investigators say the plane involved in a fatal crash in New Orleans East appeared to have engine problems before it crashed Friday afternoon (Aug. 16), according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The investigation is still underway, but an NTSB news release reported the pilot -- Franklin J.P. Augustus -- radioed back to the controller at the Lake Front Airport, shortly after takeoff. Augustus said he was having “problems,” NTSB said, but did not go into details. The controller gave Augustus permission to return to the airport.

As the plane was turning back, a witnesses said it “pitched down" and crashed into the ground. According to the NTSB, witnesses said shortly after takeoff, the airplane appeared to have engine problems.

The plane caught fire when it crashed, and NTSB said much of the wreckage was consumed by the flames.

Neither Augustus or his passenger, FOX 8′s Nancy Parker, survived the crash.

A senior air safety investigator from Denver arrived in New Orleans Saturday to investigate the crash. NTSB said they will publish a preliminary report of their findings within the next few weeks, but do not anticipate having any analytical information or a determined cause. A probable cause report could take up to two years, NTSB said.

Original article can be found here ➤

Franklin Augustus, the veteran stunt pilot who died Friday in a plane crash along with FOX 8 anchor Nancy Parker, radioed the controller at Lakefront Airport shortly after takeoff to say he was having problems, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement Saturday.

According to NTSB — the federal agency responsible for investigating the crash — the controller gave Augustus a clearance to return to the airport, but at about 3:06 p.m., his Aerotek Pitts S-2B went down near the 7300 block of Jourdan Road in New Orleans East. Both Augustus and Parker died in the crash.

NTSB reported witnesses said the plane “appeared to have engine problems shortly after takeoff,” with the plane then pitching down and hitting the ground.

Exactly what problems Augustus had weren’t specified, according to NTSB, and a clearer picture as to why the small plane went down won’t come anytime soon.

That’s because Saturday was the first full day of an investigation that could take up to two years, NTSB said.

An air safety investigator from the agency arrived at the accident scene Saturday, as part of an investigative team that includes several technical experts and representatives from the FAA.

A preliminary report will go out in the next few weeks, NTSB said, though that report won’t identify the likely cause.

Original article can be found here ➤

Veteran New Orleans television anchorwoman Nancy Parker died in an airplane crash near Lakefront Airport Friday that also killed a veteran stunt pilot and flight instructor.

Parker, an award-winning journalist at WVUE Fox 8 who covered South Louisiana for more than two decades, was killed while working on a feature story about pilot Franklin J.P. Augustus, according to multiple sources. Augustus was an acrobatic air show pilot and New Orleans-based member of a group that honored the Tuskegee Airmen, and had taken Parker up in his aerobatic plane.

Fox 8 anchor Lee Zurik announced Parker’s death during a break in programming. Choking back tears, Zurik said his colleague was on the plane “doing what she loved, telling a story.”

The plane went down in an empty field in the 7300 block of Jourdan Road Friday afternoon and erupted in fire, according to Collin Arnold, the Director of New Orleans’ Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. First responders extinguished the blaze quickly, he said, but they were not able to rescue the two people on board.

Dozens of emergency officials were picking their way around the crash site and the remnants of the plane through the afternoon.

Police kept reporters at a distance. But it was evident that little recognizable from the aircraft remained except a bent and charred metal frame, which had come to rest along a chain link fence on the edge of a field by the Industrial Canal, less than a mile from the runways of the Lakefront Airport.

Parker was at the airport flying in Augustus’s propeller-driven airplane, which according to media reports he used as one of the world’s few African-American stunt pilots.

Gerald Herbert, a photographer with a hangar at the airport, spoke with Augustus earlier Friday. The pilot told Herbert he was being interviewed for Parker’s story and would be flying later that day, over the airport’s designated practice area.

As of Friday evening, officials were still piecing together the details of what led to the crash. Arnold said officials would be "protecting and securing" the area, per the request of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is sending investigators from its Baton Rouge office. An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to arrive Saturday to begin an investigation.

Arnold could not confirm the status of the flight or what may have led to the crash.

"That will all be a part of the investigation," he said. "It's just a very tragic day."

Parker, 53, started as a television journalist at WTVM in Columbus, Georgia, before moving on to Montgomery, Alabama, Baton Rouge and finally New Orleans. She won multiple honors for her reporting, including five Emmy Awards.

FOX 8 Vice President and General Manager Tim Ingram called Parker “a joy to work with” who through thousands of stories made a difference in the lives the people she reported on.

“Today we lost a wonderful journalist and remarkable friend, the New Orleans television community lost a true treasure, but beyond that, her family lost a wife, a mother and daughter,” Ingram said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Augustus, a veteran pilot, described himself several decades ago as “the world’s only black civilian air-show acrobatic pilot.”

According to news reports on his career, he began flying at 19, and was hooked on stunt flying after taking classes on advanced flight instruction in the late 1970s.

Augustus performed in air shows and also served as a flight instructor. He was president of the Lake Charles Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., which honors the famous African-American pilots from World War II.

The crash is the second deadly incident involving a small plane in New Orleans in recent years.

In 2016, a small Cessna 172 with a pilot and two sightseeing passengers on board crashed into Lake Pontchartrain near Lakefront Airport. The pilot and one passenger aboard drowned as the airplane sank into the lake, but a passing boat rescued one passenger.

Original article can be found here ➤

Friday, August 16, 2019

Flight Design CT2K, N433CT: Accident occurred August 16, 2019 in Hooper, Whitman County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane

Aircraft crashed in a field. 

Date: 16-AUG-19
Time: 18:02:00Z
Regis#: N433CT
Aircraft Make: FLIGHT DESIGN
Aircraft Model: CT2K
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

A single-engine plane crashed near the community of Hooper in Whitman County, Washington, Friday, leaving both the pilot and passenger injured.

The crash occurred around 10:30 a.m. Friday in an open field close to Hammer Grade Road.

The plane is believed to have run out of gas or to have had mechanical problems, according to a statement from the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office.

Both the people in the plane are believed to be from Kahlotus, Washington, according to the statement.

The passenger was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho, according to the Sheriff’s office.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting a join investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

COLFAX, Washington  – The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office and local emergency crews from the Lacrosse area responded to a report of a single engine plane crash around 10:30 a.m. on Friday Morning. 

The crash occurred in western Whitman County near the town of Hooper, Washington. 

Initial reports indicate the pilot attempted to land in an open field near Hammer Grade Road when his aircraft is believed to have run out of fuel or had mechanical difficulties. 

Both the pilot and his passenger sustained injuries during the crash and the passenger was flown via Med Star to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho.

Both the pilot and the passenger are believed to be from the Kahlotus, Washington, area.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified and will be conducting a joint investigation into the cause of this accident.

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