Sunday, July 26, 2020

Hard Landing: Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N82912; accident occurred August 18, 2017 at Avenger Field Airport (KSWW), Sweetwater, Nolan County, Texas













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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) / Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) / Wildlife Services; Cedar City, Utah

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N82912 

Location: Sweetwater, TX
Accident Number:CEN17LA324 
Date & Time: 08/18/2017, 1145 CDT
Registration: N82912
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Public Aircraft

On August 18, 2017, about 1145 central daylight time, a Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N82912, was substantially damaged while landing at Avenger Field Airport (SWW), Sweetwater, Texas. The commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a public aircraft.

The pilot reported that he chose to land on runway 17 at SWW because the automated weather observing system at the airport indicated the surface wind was 9 knots from the south-southwest. The pilot stated that he intended to make a wheel landing with the flaps fully extended. He stated that he felt a "little bump" shortly after the airplane touched down on the right main landing gear (MLG), and the airplane began to swerve left. The pilot reported that he was unable to regain directional control with full right rudder and right brake inputs. The airplane continued to swerve left and departed the left runway edge where the right MLG collapsed after it entered soft terrain. The airplane came to rest on a north heading. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, both main wing spars, and the right elevator.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the wreckage identified several fractured MLG components, which were subsequently submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for additional examination.

The left-side MLG hydrasorb shock unit was intact with its external shock cord rings wrapped around its tee flanges. The left MLG brace tube was bent and fractured near where it attached to the left hydrasorb shock unit. Adjacent to the fracture surface, the brace tube exhibited local thinning or necking. The tube fracture surface exhibited either a cup-shaped morphology, or a flat orientation angled at about 45° relative to the tube direction. The observed fracture features and tube damage were consistent with tensile overstress. There was no evidence of preexisting cracks or damage to the left MLG brace tube or its associated hydrasorb shock unit.

The right-side MLG brace tube had buckled and was partially fractured about 5.75 inches from the fitting hole. The fracture surface exhibited a general rough texture with a dull luster, which was consistent with tensile overstress. Additionally, the opposite end of the right MLG brace tube had buckled inward toward the partial fracture. The observed brace tube damage was consistent with bending overstress.

The right-side MLG hydrasorb shock unit exhibited a fracture of its internal piston shaft. The piston shaft had bent downward adjacent to the fracture surface. One side of the fracture exhibited a generally flat surface on one half before it transitioned to a 45° shear lip. Additional examination of the fracture with a scanning electron microscope revealed dimple rupture in a slanted orientation. The observed fracture features and damage to the internal piston shaft were consistent with bending overstress. There was no evidence of preexisting cracks or damage to the internal piston shaft. The chemical composition, microstructure, and measured material hardness were consistent with a martensitic precipitation-hardened stainless-steel alloy.

Pilot Information

Certificate:Commercial
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/07/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/04/2017
Flight Time:  10245 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10163 hours (Total, this make and model), 10070 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 58 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 36 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N82912
Model/Series: PA 18-150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-7709195
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/05/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 46 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10623.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-C4P
Registered Owner: USDA-APHIS-WS
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: USDA-APHIS-WS
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SWW, 2380 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1135 CDT
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 20°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Winston Field, TX (SNK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Sweetwater, TX (SWW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1120 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Avenger Field Airport (SWW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2380 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5840 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

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: 32.471667, -100.469167








Loss of Control on Ground: Aero Commander 690, N9175N; accident occurred November 30, 2016 at Scottsdale Airport (KSDL), Maricopa County, Arizona











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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 

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


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

http://registry.faa.gov/N9175N

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Accident Number: WPR17LA030
Date & Time: 11/30/2016, 1730 MST
Registration: N9175N
Aircraft: AERO COMMANDER 690
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

On November 30, 2016, about 1730 mountain standard time, an Aero Commander 690, N9175N, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Scottsdale Airport (SDL), Scottsdale, Arizona. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 maintenance relocation flight.

The pilot reported that after a normal landing on runway 21 he began easing the power levers into reverse and applying light braking action to slow the speed. While reaching for the condition levers to bring the propellers back to low RPM, the airplane "darted to the right." The pilot applied left braking and adjusted the engines to low RPM settings to compensate for the veer. Despite his actions, the airplane continued to veer towards the right side of the runway and was approaching the A11 exit sign. The pilot reported that he could have either gotten more aggressive with the corrective actions, and hope to avoid striking the sign, or allow the airplane to exit the runway on what he thought was a hard smooth surface. The pilot chose to exit the runway surface which was the runway safety area (RSA). Once the airplane entered the RSA, the landing gear sunk deep into the rocks which quickly slowed the airplane to a stop.

Security cameras captured the airplane during landing. The airplane touched down near the 1,000 ft runway distance markers and about 1,300 ft further, exited near taxiway A11. The airplane traveled about 50 ft into the RSA, creating deep troughs through the rock layer, and came to a stop about 2,500 ft from the approach end of runway 1.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed impact damage to the left side of the fuselage. The impact damage consisted of multiple holes and dents in the fuselage cabin passenger area and window areas. A rock about 2 inches in length was found imbedded in the fuselage and could not be removed during the examination. Several rocks penetrated the passenger area, one impacting the right side window from the inside. The propeller blades had gouging on the leading edges from the midsections to the tips. The right landing gear brake rotor showed light gouging on the braking surface.

The flight control system was examined, and all flight controls moved freely with unobstructed movement. The steering system was operated with the activation of the hydraulic system and the nose landing gear tire was positioned over a grease plate. Actuation of the brakes produced normal steering operation. No evidence of any mechanical malfunctions or failures were revealed that would have precluded normal operation.

The RSA rock layer consisted of about 3-inch sized smoothed river rock. The depth of the rock layer varied from 4-inches to 12-inches deep through the area of the accident site.
Accident Site and Runway Tire Marks

According to the FAA, RSAs are not designed with a particular aircraft in mind. RSA's are designed to provide all aircraft types with the space and time needed to safely come to a stop while avoiding fixed obstacles on the airport that may damage the aircraft and potentially injure or kill the occupants. RSAs are designed to support the aircraft without sinking into the soil and causing an abrupt halt. RSAs can be made of many materials, including rocks. These rocks should be no larger than four inches in size. RSAs, like any other landing/runway ground surface, are not designed for contact by any part of the aircraft other than the landing gear. The design of an RSA does not take into consideration contact by propellers, engines, wings, etc. RSAs around the country have proven to be effective at mitigating damage, injury, and death when runway excursions and overruns occur.

According to the Department of Transportation Advisory Circular (AC 150/5300-13A)- An RSA is defined as a surface surrounding the runway prepared or suitable for reducing the risk of damage to aircraft in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway. Also, FAA Order 5200.8, defines that RSA is intended to provide a measure of safety in the event of an aircraft's excursion from the runway by significantly reducing the extent of personal injury and aircraft damage during overruns, undershoots and veer-offs. SDL RSA design and specification drawings show a crushed aggregate depth of 4 inches. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/11/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  4654 hours (Total, all aircraft), 322 hours (Total, this make and model), 4654 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AERO COMMANDER
Registration: N9175N
Model/Series: 690 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11071
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.:10251 lbs 
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Honeywell
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TPE 331-5
Registered Owner: AIR WEST INC
Rated Power: 715 hp
Operator: AIR WEST INC
Operating Certificate(s) Held:  On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSDL, 1473 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 43°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SAFFORD, AZ (SAD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: SCOTTSDALE, AZ (SDL)
Type of Clearance: VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1700 MST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: SCOTTSDALE (SDL)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1510 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8249 ft / 100 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: 33.613611, -111.921389 (est)

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N716RL: Fatal accident occurred July 25, 2020 near Stinson Municipal Airport (KSSF), San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N716RL

Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: CEN20LA305
Date & Time:07/25/2020, 0930 CDT
Registration: N716RL
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business

On July 25, 2020, about 0930 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28 airplane, N716RL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near San Antonio, Texas. A passenger was fatally injured, and the pilot and another passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aviation discovery flight.

According to preliminary information, the airplane was observed departing runway 14 but with a shallower than normal climb profile. The airplane "wobbled" and then descended into terrain. A post-impact fire ensued.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N716RL
Model/Series: PA28 140
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:No
Operator: Robert Cole Perguson
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSSF, 571 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 23 knots, 50°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 2800 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: San Antonio, TX (SSF)
Destination: San Antonio, TX (SSF)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 29.331389, -98.464167 (est)

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



Robert “Cole” Perguson, 28, a resident of Converse, TX, succumbed to his injuries at Brooke Army Medical Center on August 11th, 2020.  He was born February 6th, 1992, in Laguna Beach, CA, to Robert “Robbie” and Julie Perguson.

After graduating from San Clemente High School in 2010, he moved to Santa Barbara to go to college before enlisting to serve in the United States Marine Corps in 2012. While in the Marines, he met the love of his life, and their journey began. In 2014, Cole married Katarina in Phoenix, AZ, before moving to Hawaii, where they welcomed their daughter, Violet Rosemary. Less than a year later, he was honorably discharged from the military and moved his family to San Antonio, to start his real estate business before discovering his true passion and became a pilot. Cole loved to travel, hike, bike, and lived life to the fullest and always had his family there beside him along for the ride.

Cole will be forever remembered by his wife and best friend Katarina, their precious daughter Violet, his mother Julie, his brother Bryton (Donna), and his Grandma Annie. He will also be forever remembered by his extended family and dear friends, Ben and Jeff, and so many others. He is predeceased by his father, Robert “Robbie” Perguson and his grandparents; Albert and Violet Grills and Robert “Bob” and Danita Perguson.  The Memorial service will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, Texas, on August 21st, 2020, at 9:30 am.


A former student filed an FAA complaint against Robert Perguson and Valkyrie Aviation.

Flight instructor Robert Perguson (left) died weeks after his Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee crashed shortly after taking off from Stinson Municipal Airport. 


SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio pilot who was among three killed after his plane crashed near Stinson Municipal Airport in San Antonio this summer had twice been sanctioned by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) months before the fatal crash, according to records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

In both instances, however, FAA investigators allowed Robert Perguson to continue flying and operating his flight school, records show.

Perguson, 28, and passenger Zachary Collins, 33, died last month after both spent nearly three weeks at a San Antonio military burn center. The third person in Perguson’s Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, 55-year-old Simon Willett, died at The scene of the July 25 crash in the 9400 block of Espada Road.

Willett’s widow, Emelie Willett, told KSAT last month that her husband and Collins were taking part in a discovery flight with Perguson to help determine if they wanted to pursue flying lessons.

“They said the engine was having issues keeping altitude, and the second (possible cause of the crash) could have been an overweight issue,” said Emelie Willett, referring to what investigators told her shortly after the crash. The plane crashed shortly after taking off.

A preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provided few details about what may have contributed to the accident.

The August 21 report states that the airplane climbed out “shallower than normal” and “wobbled” before descending into the ground and catching fire.

It could be another year or longer before the NTSB releases its full report and determines an official cause of the crash.

Photos provided by the San Antonio Fire Department’s Public Information Office showed the heavily charred wreckage in the backyard of a home south of Stinson.

Prior FAA complaints

Perguson, who, according to public records, had opened Valkyrie Aviation last year and built up a fleet of four training airplanes, was the subject of at least two separate complaints made to the FAA.

One of the complaints, filed last year by a flight instructor based at Bulverde Airpark, accused Perguson of taxiing his plane on the runway there as the instructor and a student were on final approach to land.

“He decided to go ahead and ignore my calls and take the runway and back taxi, which caused me to have to do a go-around,” said instructor Matt Harris, who added that he and Perguson had just spoken to one another via flight radio.

“As soon as I saw him pull out, I didn’t have enough room or enough time to land,” said Harris, who described adding power to his plane in order to avoid colliding with Perguson’s aircraft.

In April, an FAA official confirmed via email to Harris that its San Antonio Flight Standards District Office had completed its investigation of the incident and determined “a violation of an order, regulation or standard” related to Perguson’s operation of an aircraft had taken place.

The email stated that appropriate action was taken, but did not specify what that action was.

Harris said the flight school that employs him also briefly employed Perguson, before deciding it was not a good fit.

“We weren’t satisfied with the quality he was doing, so we found it best to part ways with him,” said Harris, who added that Perguson’s tenure lasted about two weeks.

Harris, and a former student of Perguson’s, who asked that he not be identified in this story, said Perguson was providing spin training to beginner students in a plane that was not rated for that type of maneuver.

A second, wider-reaching complaint was filed with the FAA against Perguson in November.

In that complaint, filed by a former student of his, Perguson was accused of training the woman to be a certified flight instructor (CFI) even though he had not held his own CFI certificate at least two years, a federal requirement.

The complaint also stated that Perguson told the instructor to train other students, even though she was not properly rated to do so.

In one text message reviewed by the Defenders, Perguson told the woman last September, “I need you to fly with (redacted) I need him proficient he’s very rusty can you teach him how to fly again?”

The student eventually responded via text message that she was not comfortable flying with the other person.

The former student concluded her complaint by stating that Perguson’s “standard of excellence and adherence to the rules is questionable. Please look into this flight school’s operations before we have a mishap.”

FAA investigators substantiated the portions of her complaint related to Perguson providing CFI training prior to having his own flight instructor certificate longer than 24 calendar months.

As the student pointed out, Perguson’s infraction meant the CFI training she received from him could not be counted toward her certificate.

FAA investigators could not substantiate portions of her complaint that Perguson told her to train other students, records show.

FAA officials opted to give Perguson “compliance actions” instead of revoking or temporarily suspending his certificates, an agency spokesperson confirmed.

These compliance actions typically include administrative sanctions such as counseling or a warning letter, a spokesperson for the FAA’s Southwest Region, which includes Texas, confirmed via email late last month.

According to the FAA’s website, its compliance program focuses on non-enforcement methods to correct unintentional infractions or noncompliance with the rules and does not officially constitute an FAA violation.

FAA officials, however, did not provide the specific compliance actions given to Perguson following his two cases.

What other former students say

Court records show at the time of his death, Perguson was a defendant in three pending lawsuits filed in Bexar County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4.

One of the suits involved a landlord-tenant dispute in which Perguson was accused of not returning a man’s security deposit after he had moved out of Perguson’s property.

The two other suits, however, involve allegations that Perguson accepted funds from students at his flight school then failed to return those funds after not providing promised training.

The plaintiff in one case, who asked that he not be identified, said he used a bonus from an airline that had hired him along with a credit card advance to pay Perguson for multi-engine aircraft training only to later find out that Perguson did not have a multi-engine aircraft in his fleet.

The suit claims the former student was able to recover a portion of his payments but was still owed more than $4,000 from Perguson.

The former student also filed a theft complaint with the San Antonio Police Department against Perguson in August 2019 but was told it was a civil matter.

Reached by telephone last month, the man told the Defenders he also witnessed Perguson install an instrument landing antenna on one of his planes even though he was not a certified aircraft mechanic permitted to do that type of work.

The third lawsuit, filed by the same woman who reported Perguson to the FAA in November, accused him of breaching their contract for flight training and asked the court to award her more than $9,700.

Records show in June 2019 she also filed a theft report with SAPD against Perguson.

The former student also filed consumer complaints against Perguson with the Federal Trade Commission and the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Reached by telephone in recent weeks, six other former students told the Defenders they previously expressed concerns, many of them when contacted by the FAA, about Perguson’s flying and aircraft maintenance habits.

Multiple students, who asked that they not be identified since they are still pursuing flying lessons locally, said Perguson would put water in the fuel tanks of his planes during preflight checks, even though pilots typically do the opposite, removing water and other contaminants prior to flying.

Another student said she suffered from severe stress after flying with Perguson and that after she provided FAA investigators information about her experiences with him, they informed her that he had not filled out her flight logbook properly.

The woman said she changed flight schools early this year.

Another student said he repeatedly witnessed Perguson perform work on his planes even though he was not certified to do so.

Another former student said while he was flying back from Austin with Perguson, the instructor flew too close to a home and was later informed by air traffic controllers that he had violated Class C airspace.

The students criticized the FAA for not only refusing to ground Perguson, but for failing to release what sanctions he was given after the two investigations were completed.

Two former students reached by the Defenders said they had positive experiences flying with Perguson.

Valkyrie Aviation was still in operation when the Defenders stopped by for comment last month.

An instructor working with students promised to pass along our request for comment to management, but so far, the Defenders have not heard back.


The Cessna 150 parked at Stinson Municipal Airport is registered to Robert Perguson.


One of the school’s airplanes, a Cessna 150, was parked on the ramp at Stinson as recently as last week.

Emelie Willett, who sat down with KSAT for an interview early last month, declined a request for a follow-up interview and referred our questions to a San Antonio attorney retained by the family.

Reached by telephone, the attorney said they had also engaged the services of a prominent Austin-based attorney who is well versed in aviation law and litigation.

“Unsafe pilots are one thing, but to be an unsafe instructor and teaching that to students that are inexperienced and are trying to learn how to fly the plane, they shouldn’t be flying with people that are that unsafe and putting them in a dangerous situation,” said Harris, the flight instructor. “Someone that has that much disregard for safety shouldn’t be flying, period.”


https://www.ksat.com



Robert “Cole” Perguson, 28, a resident of Converse, Texas, succumbed to his injuries at Brooke Army Medical Center on August 11th, 2020.

He was born February 6th, 1992, in Laguna Beach, CA, to Robert “Robbie” and Julie Perguson.

After graduating from San Clemente High School in 2010, he moved to Santa Barbara to go to college before enlisting to serve in the United States Marine Corps in 2012. While in the Marines, he met the love of his life, and their journey began. In 2014, Cole married Katarina in Phoenix, AZ, before moving to Hawaii, where they welcomed their daughter, Violet Rosemary. Less than a year later, he was honorably discharged from the military and moved his family to San Antonio, to start his real estate business before discovering his true passion and became a pilot. Cole loved to travel, hike, bike, and lived life to the fullest and always had his family there beside him along for the ride.

Cole will be forever remembered by his wife and best friend Katarina, their precious daughter Violet, his mother Julie, his brother Bryton (Donna), and his Grandma Annie. He will also be forever remembered by his extended family and dear friends, Ben and Jeff, and so many others. He is predeceased by his father, Robert “Robbie” Perguson and his grandparents; Albert and Violet Grills and Robert “Bob” and Danita Perguson.

The Memorial service will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, 1520 Harry Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, Texas, on Friday, August 21st, 2020, at 9:30 am.

https://www.tributearchive.com


Robert “Cole” Perguson

San Antonio – The widow of a veteran who died in a South Side plane crash is remembering the love of her life as a kind and gentle man. That man, Simon David Willett, 55, was killed after the plane he was flying in crash landed in someone’s backyard.

Emelie Willett, his wife, said he genuinely had a good soul.

She said he was born in Birmingham, England and moved to Hawaii when he was 6-years-old. From there, he went to school, joined the Air Force, and after seven years of service, worked for the VA for 32-plus years.

“He would drop everything to be anywhere someone needed him to be,” Emelie Willett said. “He was an amazing man. It was funny because he tried to be stern but his demeanor was always to make people laugh. He was a mentor and had so many people who admired him. He was a loving person.”

Simon Willett was a goofy character.

“He was Star Wars freak and a Sci-Fi buff and a big Dr. Who fan,” Emelie Willett said. “People just saw a light in him that they just wanted to follow... He wanted to be Vader. It was so funny. He would actually walk down the halls in hospitals with a black cape on, every so often with his suit on, just to make somebody smile.”

She said he also loved everything to do with flying.

“He had the spirit of a child,” Emelie Willett said. “Him and his best friend were into Flight Sim. There was nothing about airplanes that they did not love. They were like 12-year-old boys when they got together or got online and started playing Flight Sim. He knew everything about planes. Every type of plane you could imagine.”

Emelie said Simon was actually taking steps to get his pilot’s license when the crash happened.

“This was supposed to be a discovery flight where he wanted to see if that instructor was the right one to help him earn his pilot’s license,” Emelie Willett said. “I can’t be mad because it was his passion and that is the one thing he alway encouraged in me was to do whatever I wanted to do and loved to do and that is the one thing I would never stop him from doing.”

She said the crash was so bad, she had to provide dental records to the medical examiner so they could identify him.

“Everything was burned,” Emelie Willett said. “There was nothing there to recognize. The FAA took over the investigation and I did get a call from a couple of investigators. They gave me preliminary details but couldn’t confirm them just yet. They did tell me it was one of two things that happened. They said that the engine was having issues keeping altitude and the second could have possibly been an overweight issue. My husband’s best friend is like a 6′4 big guy and my husband wasn’t a tiny man either. I told them, by all means, I don’t want to hold anyone responsible. I would just like to know why.”

She said she was at work when she got the devastating call.

“I was at work at my early shift Saturday morning and I knew what he was getting up to do that morning,” Emelie Willett said. “I was training someone at work and I was driving when I answered the phone. I hear this officer say, ‘This is officer so and so. Is this Emelie Willett?’ I said, ‘Hold that thought. I am driving and I need to pull over.’ I had a feeling where this was going. As soon as he said there has been an accident, I knew he did not walk away from this. In my heart I already knew it. Even if I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I knew,” she said through tears.

Emelie said they told her to go to the Brooke Army Medical Center because that was where they were taking the bodies.

“In every part of my being, I thought my husband was one of those bodies,” Emelie Willett said. “I spent half the day in misery there thinking my husband was one of the men on the bed suffering, not knowing he was the one who passed away.”

After realizing her husband was gone, Emelie said she had several emotions.

“You know, you got through so many different things,” Emelie Willett said. “Anger, thankfulness because I know he would not have had a quality of life if he was suffering on a bed.”

She said his best friend, who is one of the survivors of the plane crash, is still in the hospital.

“His family has been staying in touch with me,” Emelie said. “He has been in an induced coma and on dialysis so his kidneys don’t go into shock so the rest of him can heal. Today he got his third surgery to get rid of the burned flesh. Next week, if he still holds stable, they will start doing skin grafts... If anything, my husband would gladly give his life over and over again to make sure he walks out of that hospital so he can spend the rest of his life with his family.”

Emelie, who like Simon, had failed marriages in the past, said Simon showed her what true love really was.

“You are capable of having a relationship with an individual and want to actually go home to somebody and he was my sanctuary,” Emelie said. “This place was his sanctuary and he was my sanctuary. Five and a half years of marriage and we only had one argument. We had so many plans. He was able to retire on his birthday in May. We were going to be traveling. We had our passports and he wanted me to go to Hawaii to see where grew up. He wanted me to go Birmingham, England. We had so many plans and I just thought I had more time.”

Emelie said she is ready to get back to work so she can take her mind off of this loss.

“He made life beautiful and if I don’t at least carry on, I would be doing little justice to what he gave me when he was alive,” Emelie said. “He was about the little details. Everywhere I look, he is in all the little details and he will always be.”

She is now raising money for funeral expenses. To honor him, she said she plans to have a memorial and a lantern release on the Medina Lake starting at 6 p.m.

“I plan to have him cremated and since he loved Hawaii so much, I am thinking about taking his ashes there to release them. I would just encourage everyone to enjoy your life, love who you love and don’t hold any grudges. Love with all of your heart because you never know.”


https://www.ksat.com






San Antonio – A couple riding their bikes early Saturday morning are urging people to be prepared to help others, no matter how helpless a situation may be. This call to action comes after a plane crashed on the South Side, killing one and injuring two others.

“We were riding our bikes crossing over 410 South when we see smoke,” said Veronica Salas. “I said, ‘It is a fire!’ He (Michael Urdiales) thought it was a just a plane throwing out smoke but I told him it was a fire.”

The couple decided to get closer to the scene and when they did, they saw the unexpected.

“There was this big guy and he was like, ‘I am burning!’ I looked over and there is another gentlemen sitting on the ground,” Salas said. “They were both blistered up and they both didn’t have any hair. Their hands were crazy. It was all just a traumatic scene. It was like a scary movie because you had these burned people and then you see this fire. The guy is like, ‘Just give me some water!’ So I got my water bottle and I am squeezing as much water out and I tell everybody else standing there to ‘get water please!’”

Urdiales said he didn’t know what could have possibly happened to have caused the injuries he was looking at.

“When we were riding, we didn’t hear anything,” Urdiales said. “We didn’t hear a bang or feel an explosion or nothing, so when I saw the men, I thought they were barbecuing and had accidentally put too much gas in the grill or something.”

The two soon learned that a plane had crashed and there was still another man inside of it.

“It was actually one of the victims who told me there was another man still inside the plane,” said Michael Urdiales, Salas’s boyfriend. “He was bleeding all over his face because he had a head injury but he was able to tell me where the plane was, which was in someone’s backyard.”

Urdiales said he was confused because so many people standing around were not trying to save the man.

“Someone said it in Spanish and was saying the plane was popping and that they thought it was going to explode,” Urdiales said. “I am guessing that is why nobody was back there trying to help. By that time, I didn’t know what I could do to help but I was going to at least try. If there was a possibility of saving him, I was going to try my best.”

He said when he found the plane, it was unrecognizable.

“The wreckage was so bad that it was a miracle the two other men made it out of it,” Urdiales said. “You couldn’t even tell it was plane. All you could see was the tail, so I am trying to vision this plane and I am like, ‘Where the heck could this guy be at?’ I am like, ‘I don’t know where the third person could be in this wreckage,’ and I finally see him and he is like laying on his back. His hand was up and it was melting.”

Urdiales said the heat was so extreme, he couldn’t get near the plane to remove the man’s body from the flames.

“It was a terrible situation to come up on when you finally realize he was gone. I was like, ‘Man, I was just too late to help him,’” Urdiales said. “That is the worst part. You are helpless. Once I saw him it was too late to help him. He was engulfed in fire. The fire was really, really intense.”

They said they believe the crash had happened seven to 10 minutes before they arrived.

“It was a surreal moment the fact that we were just a couple of cyclists who pulled over and saw all of this,” Salas said. “People were parked along the street. They were just parked there looking. We don’t know how long the fire could have been going but what breaks my heart is that no one went back there to help him. We feel like we didn’t do anything because by the time we got there, it was too late.”

Salas said it was a very emotional experience for her.

“Seeing him like that,” Salas said through tears. “He was somebody’s dad, somebody’s husband. He was somebody, you know, and I just hope that as bad as it was and as bad as he died that his soul is somewhere good because what I saw wasn’t good.”

They said first responders soon arrived on scene. They said they hope if another devastating incident such as this were to happen again, more people would step in to help as they did.

“I was just dumbfounded by the number of people who were just standing around not doing anything,” Urdiales said.

“That could have been your family member,” Salas said. “I couldn’t imagine if we could have been there earlier, could someone have helped them sooner. I would just encourage people to help. Be a human and pull over and help instead of looking. That is what you do. I didn’t want to see all that but I did because I wanted to help and that is what being a human being is. Don’t hold back. Help people the best you can do. Even if it seems small, sometimes simply asking them how can you help is helping people.”

https://www.ksat.com




SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the victim of a fatal plane crash that happened last weekend on the South Side.

The victim killed in the crash has been identified as Simon Willett, 56, according to the ME’s Office. Two others were hospitalized with severe burns following the incident.

The crash happened July 25th, at 9:10 a.m. in the 9400 block of Espada Road, near Stinson Municipal Airport.


The Federal Aviation Administration and police said the Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee attempted to take off from San Antonio Stinson field and soon crash-landed behind a residence in a backyard area.