Saturday, August 22, 2020

Unknown or Undetermined: Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N3504A; fatal accident occurred June 26, 2019 in Pescadero, California

Image of final radar data points.

Surveillance camera location.


Hugo Mar

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 Jose, 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/N3504A

Location: Pescadero, CA
Accident Number: WPR19FAMS1
Date & Time: 06/26/2019, 2102 PDT
Registration:N3504A
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation -

On June 26, 2019, about 2037 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N3504A, departed Watsonville, California, for an unknown destination. Since that time, neither the airplane nor the person presumed to be the pilot has been located. The airplane is presumed to have been destroyed by impact in the Pacific Ocean, and the pilot is presumed to have received fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ground-based radar tracking data for June 26 revealed a series of transponder code 1200 returns from an aircraft that appeared to have departed from Watsonville Municipal airport (WVI) starting at 2038:34. The first radar data return indicated an altitude of 200 ft mean sea level (msl), and the track was consistent with a departure from runway 20. The airplane flew a course to the southwest in a constant climb until it reached an indicated altitude of 4,500 ft. At that point, it was about 5 nautical miles (nm) offshore, which was about 8 nm from WVI. The airplane then began a turn to the west-northwest and climbed to a maximum altitude of 4,900 ft msl. It continued about 10 nm in that direction, during which it descended to an altitude of about 1,000 ft msl. The airplane then turned northwest and began to fly parallel to the coastline about 3 nm offshore. That track extended about 16 nm, and the latter portion was flown at altitudes that varied between 700 and 400 ft msl. The airplane turned to the west, then entered a left descending circle about 1 nm in diameter. The final radar return was recorded at 2102:18, near the completion of the circle.

That evening, a group of campers were at a campground about 30 miles west-northwest of WVI, about 1 mile inland from and with a direct view of the Pacific Ocean. They reported that, about 2100, while facing approximately west, they observed a "blinking white and green light," which they perceived to be a helicopter, flying roughly northbound over the ocean. They then saw it descend "straight down" to the water and observed a "large splash." They reported the event to local law enforcement, and two San Mateo County Sheriff's Office (SMCSO) officers responded to the campsite within the hour. The SMCSO communicated with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and other agencies that evening and determined that no aircraft had been reported as being in distress or missing. About 2300, the USCG advised SMCSO that the "circumstances did not meet the criteria to initiate a search," and that the USCG would not be responding to the event.

The following day, a Santa Cruz Flying Club (SCFC) pilot who had scheduled the accident airplane for that day discovered that the airplane was not in its tiedown location and could not be located at the airport. SCFC used a self-dispatch system for its pilots and airplanes. Follow-up investigation by the SCFC president was unable to account for the airplane and one of the SCFC member pilots. The next day, the SCFC president notified the Watsonville Police Department and WVI management that the airplane was missing. Review of WVI surveillance video depicted an airplane similar in appearance to the accident airplane taxiing across a ramp at nightfall on June 26. The airplane registration number was not discernible in the image, and no further images of that airplane were captured. The SCFC president reported that this operation of the airplane was not scheduled or authorized.

The last radar return was located about 31 nm northwest of WVI, about 3.2 miles off the California coast at a transponder-indicated altitude of 0 ft and about 3.8 miles southwest of the land-based eyewitnesses. In response to the radar data findings, additional land and ocean searches were conducted on June 29 and 30. The USCG conducted a search in the region of the final radar return. No wreckage or other indications of the airplane were observed. A ramp check of Half Moon Bay Airport (HAF), Half Moon Bay, California, the next-closest airport to the final radar return, did not locate the airplane. A search of WVI located the pilot's vehicle with his mobile telephone inside. Law enforcement personnel did not locate the pilot at his residence, and communications with the pilot's next-of-kin also failed to locate him.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age:63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:11/09/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 300 hours (Total, all aircraft)

The pilot's personal flight records were not recovered.

The SCFC president reported that the pilot's most recent flight review was completed on July 10, 2017, and that the pilot then flew solo twice in SCFC airplanes, in July and October of 2017. The October 2017 flight was the pilot's last contact with SCFC until he returned in May 2019 in order to regain his flight currency. The pilot flew an SCFC airplane with an SCFC flight instructor twice, on May 29 and June 7, 2019. The instructor did not sign the pilot off to fly SCFC airplanes solo, and the pilot had scheduled several more sessions with SCFC airplanes. However, he did not conduct any additional flights in SCFC airplanes until the accident flight.

In his written statement to the NTSB, the instructor who flew with the pilot in 2019 did not cite any concerns about the pilot's behavior or attitude.

According to his FAA medical certificate applications, the pilot had at least three prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, but was granted an eligibility letter to obtain an FAA medical certificate by the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division (AMCD) in June 2004; the letter required the continued abstinence from alcohol. The pilot had a family history of bipolar disease and major depression. In 2007, the AMCD determined that the pilot had no substance abuse or dependence, but he was found by AMCD to have "Adjustment Disorders with Depressed Mood." AMCD granted an eligibility letter on 05/24/2007, but that issuance did not require any FAA follow-up action with or by the pilot.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration:N3504A
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:2005
Amateur Built:No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S8857
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats:4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/24/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6275 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: IO360
Registered Owner: Gryphon Aire LLC
Rated Power:
Operator: Gryphon Aire LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown
Condition of Light:Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: WVI, 163 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2035 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 135°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Unknown
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Pescadero, CA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination:
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2035 PDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown

The 2100 WVI automated weather observation included wind from 320° at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, an overcast ceiling at 700 ft agl, temperature 14°C, dew point 13°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.

Local sunset occurred at 2030, and twilight ended at 2101.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:Unknown
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:Unknown
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 37.113333, -122.408056 (est)

Communications

The WVI common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) that was used for pilot self-reporting communications was not recorded by the airport. A review of a commercially available recording of the WVI CTAF for the relevant time period did not reveal any communications from any aircraft identified as N3504A. There were no known communications between the missing airplane and any air traffic control facilities during the accident flight.

Cessna 150L, N11513: Accident occurred August 18, 2020 in Quillayute, Clallam County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Washington

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


https://registry.faa.gov/N11513

Location: Quillayute, WA
Accident Number: WPR20LA279
Date & Time: 08/18/2020, 2330 PDT
Registration: N11513
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Unknown 

On August 18, 2020, about 2330 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N11513, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Quillayute, Washington. The student pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as an unauthorized flight.

The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provided requested technical assistance to the Sheriff's Office, and any material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the Sheriff's Office. The NTSB does not plan to issue an investigative report or open a public docket. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration:N11513 
Model/Series:150 L 
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: KUIL, 205 ft msl
Observation Time: 0653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Port Townsend, WA (0S9)
Destination: Quillayute, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  47.898611, -124.608889 (est)






A 59-year-old Richland man is said to be in critical condition after allegedly stealing and airplane from the Jefferson County Airport in Port Townsend, Washington, then crashing it in the woods near the tiny town of La Push.

Jefferson County Deputies reported on Tuesday a suspicious man tried to rent a Cessna 150L from the airport, but could not show proof of a valid pilot's license. Then later that night, around 10:30PM the owner of the plane reported it had been stolen. According to GPS security equipment on the plane, it was located airborne about 20 miles north of Hoquiam, Washington. Then, the GPS transmissions stopped.

About that same time, a resident near LaPush, Washington, reported a possible plane crash in the forest. Search and rescue crews were not able to locate any wreckage, but Wednesday morning Sheriff's crews were aided by a US Navy helicopter crew located the downed plane with pilot still on board in critical condition.

The man, identified as Richard R. Jordal of Richland, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is still listed as critical.

Sources say security camera footage saw a suspect, presumably Jordal, breaking into an office and stealing a log book and some keys before the plane went missing. Jefferson County officials say Jordal did not have a pilot license/certification or insurance, he only had a student pilot license.

Officials say he made it about 100 miles from where the plane was originally stolen. No word on what kind of charges he will be facing.

https://newstalk870.am







LA PUSH, Wash. — A Cessna 150L was reportedly stolen from Jefferson County Airport Tuesday night before crashing into the Olympic National Park late Tuesday night.

The pilot was taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

Investigators said the plane took off around 9 p.m. Tuesday from Bremerton and crashed between 10 and 10:30 p.m. in a heavily forested area of Olympic National Park.

People at the Jefferson County Airport were shaken to hear the news, saying the small airport is a place that runs on trust.

On surveillance video, a man is seen taking keys to the rental plane out of the office at Tailspin Tommy’s.

“He asked me if I would be willing to fly him down to Astoria. And it was something I didn't feel comfortable with. His ways of communication set off red flags for me,” said Todd Hansen, who has a few planes at the airport.

Hansen then suggested the suspect rent a plane.

“He agreed to do that, then continued to ask me if I would fly him down there. And I continued to do what I could at that point to divert and move away from the situation,” Hansen said.

The surveillance system at the airport did not pick up the suspect getting into the plane.

Deputies said he spent $10 on fuel with a credit card and then left a rental car with California plates behind.

The plane stopped at the Bremerton airport for nearly an hour, and then its GPS tracker turned off north of Hoquiam.

At 10:46 p.m., the sheriff's office received a call from law enforcement in Clallam Harbor County to assist with a plane crash near La Push and the Quileute Indian Reservation.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office confirmed a person of interest was found in the stolen plane unconscious with a head injury. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

The suspect has been identified as a 59-year-old man from Richland, Washington.

The FBI will likely be involved with the investigation. Since the suspect only had a student certificate, the FAA could get involved with the investigation, too.

https://www.king5.com

Loss of Control in Flight: Beechcraft 58 Baron, N4614S; fatal accident occurred June 28, 2019 near Hiawatha Municipal Airport (K87), Brown County, Kansas


Bruce Leo Lutz

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Aircraft Engines; Mobile, Alabama 

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/N4614S

Location: Hiawatha, KS
Accident Number: CEN19FA189
Date & Time: 06/28/2019, 1715 CDT
Registration: N4614S
Aircraft: Beechcraft 58
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On June 28, 2019, about 1715 central daylight time, a Beechcraft BE-58 airplane, N4614S, impacted terrain during an approach to the Hiawatha Municipal Airport (K87), Hiawatha, Kansas. The pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 cross-country personal flight.

The pilot was not in contact with air traffic control during the cross-country flight from Augusta Municipal Airport (3AU), Augusta, Kansas. Review of radar information revealed that the airplane proceeded in a northeast direction from the origin airport toward K87the destination; however, the flight track stopped about 3/4-mile northeast of K87 and the final minutes of the flight were not captured.

A witness reported that the airplane approached the airport from the south and then proceeded north-northeast as if to enter the traffic pattern. He added that the airplane appeared to climb and then started a left turn. Just after starting the turn, the airplane flipped inverted, the nose dropped, and the airplane descended from view behind terrain. The witness saw smoke and called 911.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 67, 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:Yes 
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1498.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 318.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 1351.7 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

The pilot last medical certificate was issued on March 09, 2017, with no limitations. The pilot's second-class medical certificate expired on March 31, 2019, but he had completed the BasicMed flight medical. The pilot's BasicMed course date was April 16, 2019, and the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) was completed on April 12, 2019. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beechcraft
Registration:N4614S 
Model/Series:58 
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Year of Manufacture:1975 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number:TH-684 
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/10/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3591.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFNB
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: Augusta, KS (3AU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hiawatha, KS (K87)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1623 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Hiawatha Municipal Airport (K87)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1130 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3400 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 39.887778, -95.517222 

The airplane wreckage was located in a corn field about 1-mile northeast of K87. The airplane impacted terrain on its bottom fuselage and came to rest upright on a 171° heading. A post-crash fire consumed a majority of the cabin and the inboard section of the wings. The wreckage was confined to one area, and all major components were accounted for on-site.

Figure 1: Wreckage

Flight control continuity was limited through the center section of the fuselage due to fire damage, however, the connection at each of the respective flight control surfaces was confirmed.

The cockpit/instrument panel was impact and fire damaged. The landing gear handle appeared to be in the down/landing gear extended position. A review of the landing gear actuator position corroborated the landing gear was in the down position. The right flap actuator was partially extended, which corresponded to a flap's 15° extended position.

The left and right engines remained attached to their respective airframe locations, and both engines had impact and fire damage. The right 3-bladed propeller separated from the engine crankshaft flange and was located underneath the airplane. The left 3-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine; neither propeller was in the feathered position

Both engines were rotated by hand, and thumb compression and suction were noted on each cylinder. The valve covers were removed and continuity through the valve train to the accessory section was observed. The left engine's left magneto produced spark at each terminal; the engine's right magneto was fire damaged and would not rotate. The right engine's left magneto produced spark at each terminal. The right magneto was fire damaged and did not produce spark at the terminals; however, spark was observed at the magneto points.

Each engine's fuel system, including the fuel manifold, fuel pump, fuel nozzles, and fuel screen were field examined, and no pre-impact abnormalities were noted. The top set of sparkplugs were removed from both engines, and normal combustion and wear signatures were observed.

Though the examination was limited by thermal and impact damage, no pre-impact abnormalities were observed during the airframe or engines examinations that would have precluded normal operations. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Frontier Forensics Midwest Morgue of Kansas City, Kansas, under the authority of the Brown County Coroner's Office, conducted an autopsy on the pilot. The cause of death was due to blunt traumatic injuries and severe burns.

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, conducted toxicological testing. The specimens were not tested for cyanide. The tests were negative for ethanol and tested drugs.





Aeronca 11AC Chief, N86002: Accident occurred August 22, 2020 in Nebo, McDowell County, North Carolina

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N86002

Location: Nebo, NC
Accident Number: ERA20LA295
Date & Time: 08/22/2020, 1735 EDT
Registration: N86002
Aircraft: Aeronca 11AC
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On August 22, 2020, about 1735 eastern daylight time, N86602, an Aeronca 11AC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Nebo, North Carolina. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that the engine began to run rough and he could smell a strong odor of fuel in the cockpit. He applied carburetor heat and pumped the throttle several times, but to no avail. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and made a forced landing to a highway, during which time the engine lost total power. After the airplane touched down on the highway it impacted a guardrail resulting in substantial damage to the airframe.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aeronca
Registration: N86002
Model/Series: 11AC No Series
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: MRN, 1269 ft msl
Observation Time: 1735 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Departure Point: Statesville, NC (SVH)
Destination: Clinton, MO (GLY)

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: 35.663611, -81.888056 (est)



A small airplane experiencing engine trouble pulled off an emergency landing over the weekend on an unexpected tarmac — and a driver’s dash cam caught it all on video.

The Aeronca 11AC Chief touched down on Interstate 40 in Western North Carolina near mile marker 90 just after 5:30 p.m. Saturday, McDowell County Emergency Management said in a Facebook post. No one was injured.

“Prior to the emergency landing, McDowell County 911 received multiple calls reporting an airplane in distress,” the post states.

Footage from a driver’s dash cam shows the plane swooping in from overhead and hovering above the interstate for a few seconds before its wheels bounce on the pavement. The plane then hits a guardrail, pitching the nose forward.

The pilot is seen exiting almost immediately as other drivers stop their cars and run to help.

“This was quite unbelievable to be driving along and an airplane plops down out of nowhere,” the driver wrote in a Facebook post sharing the video. “The camera sees the plane before I do, I’m pretty tall and cam is in top of window.”

The Nebo Fire Department, Marion Fire Department, McDowell EMS, N.C. Highway Patrol and the McDowell Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene, emergency management officials said.

Only the pilot was onboard and “exited the aircraft on his own behalf,” according to officials.

The Aeronca 11AC Chief was experiencing engine trouble before it landed on the interstate and struck a guardrail near Nebo, North Carolina, according to a preliminary report filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.


https://www.charlotteobserver.com




BURKE COUNTY, North Carolina (WBTV) - A pilot escaped without injury after he crashed his small plane onto I-40 in McDowell County on Saturday.

The crash happened near Exit 90.

The plane, fortunately, didn’t crash into any traffic on the interstate.

The pilot told WBTV that he lost engine power, saw I-40 and attempted to land.

He said swirling winds caused him to stall and bounce onto and over the guardrail.

The plane was destroyed.

Highway patrol is investigating the crash.

Officials have not said if any charges will be filed.

https://www.wbtv.com

McDowell County 911 / Emergency Management
At 5:38 p.m. a small airplane made an emergency landing on I-40 EB near mile marker 90. Prior to the emergency landing, McDowell County 911 received multiple calls reporting an airplane in distress. Emergency personnel from Nebo Fire Department, Marion Fire Department, McDowell EMS, NCSHP, and the McDowell Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. The pilot exited the aircraft on his own behalf and was not injured. Expect travel delays in the area. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.

AgustaWestland AW139, N32CC: Fatal accident occurred July 04, 2019 in Big Grand Cay, Bahamas

David Jude
Geoffrey Painter

Killed in the July 4, 2019, crash off of Big Grand Cay in the Bahamas were Christopher Cline; his daughter, Kameron, 22; Brittney Searson, 21; Delaney Wykle, 23; Jillian Clark, 22; and pilots David Jude and Geoffrey Painter.

As two pilots prepared to land in the Bahamas in July 2019 on an emergency run to fly two sick newly graduated college students, two of their friends and the pilots’ billionaire boss to Fort Lauderdale, one remarked to the other: “I haven’t flown this thing in over a month until today.”

The co-pilot retorted “Bloody #,” a recently released National Transportation Safety Board transcript from the cockpit reveals. The transcript uses ”#” to replace expletives.

When the pilot, Jupiter resident David Jude, responds that the helicopter has been in “the # shop,” co-pilot Geoffrey Painter replies: “Has it? What’s been wrong with it?”

Jude’s answer would in retrospect prove unnerving: “Every # thing,” he said.

The pilots landed in the pre-dawn hours of July 4 on coal magnate Christopher Cline’s private Big Grand Cay in the Bahamas and soon set off on their medical run with five more passengers.

Within minutes, the 15-passenger Agusta SpA AW139 crashed, killing all seven onboard.

More than a year after the July 4, 2019, crash new details of the tragedy have emerged in National Transportation Safety Board reports released on Aug. 17.

Cline, 60, the self-made West Virginia coal billionaire whose homes included a mansion in northern Palm Beach County, had gathered with family members and their friends for a celebration of his July 5th birthday on his island in Abaco.

The chopper, piloted by Jude, 57, with co-pilot Painter, 52, went down in the ocean about one minute after taking off, records show. Their last utterance came at 1:53 a.m., nine seconds before the transcript stopped.

Besides Cline and the two pilots, on board were Cline’s daughter Kameron, 22; Brittney Searson, 21, her best friend and classmate at The Benjamin School in Palm Beach Gardens and at Louisiana State University, where they had graduated just two months earlier; Delaney Wykle, 23, a childhood friend of Kameron’s; and Jillian Clark, 22, another recent LSU graduate and fellow sorority member of Kameron’s.

About 15 to 20 family members and friends had been arriving on the island by helicopter, fishing yacht and seaplane, according to a witness statement given to investigators by Robert Hogan, Cline’s property manager on Big Grand Cay and his friend for 38 years.

People were playing chess, riding Sea-doos and playing music. They had dinner, and Hogan said he was present with everyone until 11 p.m.

Shortly after, Hogan said he was informed by a host that Kameron Cline and a friend had become ill. Hogan described the young women as “groggy and unresponsive,” and told investigators he was not sure of the cause.

Hogan said he also learned that Jude, one of Cline’s regular corporate pilots, was flying to the island to transport the two ill women, along with Cline and the other two passengers, to the United States for emergency medical attention.

The flight plan shows the helicopter having arrived from Walter’s Cay Airport in the Bahamas, and bound for Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, where U.S. Customs was still open at that hour.

It landed on a helipad on Big Grand Cay between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m. and remained on the ground with the engines running, Hogan said. The passengers boarded and the two sick young women had to be helped onto the plane and strapped in.

Cline even brought a puppy dog with them.

‘Warning terrain. Warning terrain’

The chopper lifted off, turned right, climbed three to four stories high, and accelerated with its nose down over the west end of the island for the 30-40 minute flight to Fort Lauderdale, where authorities were alerted to have two ambulances waiting for Kameron and her friend.

According to Hogan and another witness, George Russell, who was on a dock with six other people, the takeoff appeared normal. But he told investigators that he then saw the chopper’s “lights moving funny, the lights went out, and he heard an impact.”

The cockpit voice recorder shows the pilot and co-pilot in discussion over routine pre-flight steps until Painter says at 1:52:30 a.m. “Alright airspeed coming up. No, it’s not coming up. So push that nose forward. Get some airspeed.

Within seconds the sounds of an electronic voice and a warning tone filled the cockpit.

Jude asks at 1:52:56, “How high are you and three seconds later answers his own question, “Three-hundred feet.”

Painter says, “We’re not” and Jude replies “That’s what it says over here.”

An electronic voice repeats “Warning terrain. Warning terrain.”

“Yeah, we were diving,” Painter says at 1:53:05.

Eight seconds later, he adds: “There was a fatal accident in the UK and this is exactly what happened there.”

Jude asks “Give us a heading” three times.

And then the human voices stop. The electronic voice keeps repeating “Warning terrain. Warning terrain.”

At 1:53:22, there’s the sound of an impulsive noise.

The electronic voice says “Bank angle. Bank angle.” And finally “Rotor low,” before recording stops at 1:53:28.

Something was amiss

Hogan said he went to bed that night, and arose at 6 the next morning and began his day as usual.

He said he began to realize something was amiss when he learned that the helicopter never made it back to the hangar where it was stationed at Palm Beach International Airport. Jude was supposed to fly Cline’s other son, Logan, to the island that day.

Hogan began calling the U.S. Coast Guard, hospitals and anyone else he could think of to see if anyone had heard from Cline. No one had. He asked the Coast Guard to begin a search.

Later that day, he learned that people on the island had heard a strange sound, like a thud, around the time the helicopter took off.

By early afternoon, a search team, including Cline’s chef and party planner, boarded a fishing boat and headed into the ocean where witnesses said they heard the strange sound.

They spotted the wreckage, the chopper’s wheels still extended, in an oily spot in the water. A diver spotted the bodies, still strapped to their seats.

They were removed from the wreckage and brought to shore where Hogan said he identified them.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com









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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration Office of Accident Investigation; Washington, District of Columbia
Leonardo Helicopters; Cascina Costa
Pratt & Whitney Canada; Longueuil, Quebec 
Air Accident Investigation Department; Nassau New Providence
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Ontario 
European Aviation Safety Agency; Cologne 
Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo

Aviation Accident Preliminary 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/N32CC

Location: Big Grand Cay, Bahamas
Accident Number: ERA19FA210
Date & Time: 07/04/2019, 0154 EDT
Registration: N32CC
Aircraft: Agusta AW139
Injuries: 7 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 4, 2019, about 0154 eastern daylight time, an Agusta AW139, N32CC, owned and operated by Challenger Management LLC, was substantially damaged when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean near Big Grand Cay, Abaco, Bahamas. The commercial pilot, airline transport pilot rated copilot, and five passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for a flight from Walker's Cay Airport (MYAW), Walker's Cay, Bahamas, to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The flight departed from a concrete pad at Big Grand Cay, which was located about 5 nautical miles (nm) southeast from MYAW, about 1 minute prior to the accident.

The purpose of the accident flight was to transport two of the passengers to FLL for medical treatment.

The helicopter departed from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Florida, about 0057, and a witness reported that it landed on the concrete pad at Big Grand Cay between 0130 and 0145. After landing, the helicopter remained on the ground with the engines operating, while the passengers boarded. During the subsequent takeoff to the east, the witness reported that the helicopter climbed to about 30 to 40 ft and accelerated while in a nose-down attitude. He did not notice anything unusual while he observed the helicopter depart.

Another witness, who was located about 1.6 nm southwest of the accident site reported seeing the helicopter lift off and climb to between 40 and 50 ft above ground level; then shortly thereafter, he noted blue and white lights spinning to the left at a rate of about 1 to 2 seconds between rotations while descending. He estimated that the helicopter rotated to the left three to four times. He then heard a "whoosh whoosh whoosh" sound, and lost sight of the helicopter, which was followed by the sound of an impact. The witness reported what he had heard to the "caregiver" of Big Grand Cay. The witness went out on his boat about 0205 and used spotlights to search the area where he thought the helicopter had crashed but was unable to locate it.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert notice for the overdue flight about 1521. The helicopter was subsequently located by local residents sometime between 1600 and 1700, in about 16 ft of water about 1.2 nm north-northeast of the departure point.

The helicopter was found inverted and the tailboom was separated from the aft fuselage and was recovered in multiple pieces. All five main rotor blades were separated but recovered. The tail rotor assembly, which was also separated was subsequently recovered. All four tail rotor blades were separated, and one tail rotor blade was not recovered. The recovered wreckage was retained for further examination, to include examination of the airframe, engines, flight controls, seats and restraints.

The helicopter was equipped with a multi-purpose flight recorder, an enhanced ground proximity warning system and several additional components capable of storing non-volatile memory, which were retained for evaluation and data download.

The accident investigation was initially under the jurisdiction of the Air Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the Bahamas. On July 6, 2019, in accordance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the AAID requested delegation of the accident investigation to the NTSB, which the NTSB accepted on July 8, 2019. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Agusta
Registration: N32CC
Model/Series: AW139 No Series
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Challenger Management LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: MYGF, 8 ft msl
Observation Time: 2000 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 46 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 25°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 160°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Big Grand Cay, FN

Destination: Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 5 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 7 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 27.238056, -78.304444

















Employees oversee the arrival of the bodies of four women and three men at the airport in Nassau, Bahamas.