Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Cessna 172B Skyhawk, N8157X: Incident occurred September 02, 2020 in Corona, Riverside County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Aircraft made an emergency landing on a road due to engine issues.

https://registry.faa.gov/N8157X

Date: 02-SEP-20
Time: 17:40:00Z
Regis#: N8157X
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: CORONA
State: CALIFORNIA




Piper PA-20-135 Pacer, N7323K: Fatal accident occurred August 31, 2020 in Luray, Virginia

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Washington, District of Columbia

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

https://registry.faa.gov/N7323K

Location: Luray, VA
Accident Number: ERA20LA305
Date & Time: 08/31/2020, 1900 EDT
Registration: N7323K
Aircraft: Piper PA 20-135
Injuries:1 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 31, 2020, about 1900 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-20-135 airplane, N7323K, was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain near Luray, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a fixed-base operator (FBO) employee at Maryland Airport (2W5), Indian Head, Maryland who had discussions with the accident pilot, the pilot had arrived a day or two prior to the accident and stayed in the local area. The pilot was reportedly on a "tour of the 48" lower United States and several weeks ago he departed from California for the cross-country trip. On the afternoon of the accident, the pilot discussed with the FBO employee and other pilots at the airport, that he planned to depart for Eastern WV Regional Airport/Shepherd Field (MRB), Martinsburg, West Virginia.

The FBO employee reported that the pilot had been "waiting for the weather to clear" and he was looking at "storms" on his iPad along the route. The pilot was also reportedly concerned with the terrain and cloud ceilings along the route; his "biggest concern was [cloud] ceilings." The FBO employee reported that he and other pilots at the airport advised the pilot that he should not depart along the route, and when the FBO employee closed the FBO office and left the airport at 1800, the pilot had not departed.

According to Leidos Flight Service, there was no record that the pilot received a weather briefing on the day of the accident.

Review of preliminary Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) radar track data revealed that the accident airplane departed runway 20 at 2W5 at 1819. Figure 1 shows the airplane's complete flight track overlaid on a visual flight rules sectional chart. The red line depicts the airplane's westbound flight track.

Figure 1: Overview of the complete flight track

At 1858:00 the airplane was flying westbound at an altitude of 4,500 ft mean sea level (msl) over the Shenandoah National Park with mountainous terrain that ranged in elevation from about 3,000 to 4,000 ft. About 15 seconds later the airplane began a descending and rapidly accelerating, left spiral turn that became increasingly tighter in radius. At 1859:32 the final recorded position indicated the airplane was headed 276°, at 3,400 ft msl, at 134 knots groundspeed, and was about ¼ nautical mile east of where the main wreckage came to rest. Figure 2 shows roughly the final three minutes of the flight track. The magenta line represents the flight track and the white arrows denote the direction of travel.


Figure 2: Overview of the final three minutes of the flight track and a marking of the main wreckage

The wreckage was located by hikers who were hiking off the Buck Hollow Trail in the Shenandoah National Park about 1100, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020. The pilot was not in communication with air traffic control at the time of the accident and no emergency locator signal was received from the airplane.

According to FAA airman records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He did not hold an instrument rating. The pilot was issued an FAA third-class medical certificate July 18, 2018 where he reported a total of 4 hours of flight time.

According to a FAA inspector who traveled to the accident site, the main wreckage was located at the bottom of a steep ravine in heavily wooded terrain and scattered in a southerly direction. The elevation of the accident site was 2,300 feet. The cockpit, wings, and fuselage were heavily fragmented and were not easily identifiable to their original structures. The propeller had separated from its hub and was found in the debris field; it displayed significant s-bending, leading edge gouging, and chordwise scratching. There was no evidence of fire. The rudder remained attached to the vertical stabilizer and the left and right elevators remained attached to the horizontal stabilizer. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

Luray Caverns Airport (LUA), Luray, Virginia, was located about 9 miles west of the accident site, in a valley on the western side of the ridge relative to where the accident site was located. The 1855 recorded weather observation there included an overcast ceiling at 2,300 ft above ground level, visibility 7 statute miles, moderate rain, wind 360° at 4 knots, temperature was 19° C, dew point 19° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.01 inches of mercury. An AIRMET Sierra was in effect at the time of the accident for the route of flight warning of instrument flight rule conditions, precipitation, mist, and mountain obscuration. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7323K
Model/Series: PA 20-135 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LUA, 902 ft msl
Observation Time: 1855 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 19°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2300 ft agl
Visibility:  7 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Indian Head, MD (2W5)
Destination: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  38.640556, -78.307222

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.

Nicholas Hellewell, 35, of San Luis Obispo, California, died in a plane crash in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, according to park officials.


Photo posted by the pilot appears to show that the airplane was lacking an attitude indicator. While not legally required for VFR flight, it would definitely be recommended cross country flying that could take you into marginal conditions like the pilot experienced. The aircraft also appears to lack any navigation aid other than an iPad running Foreflight with a Stratux ADS-B receiver.


Other photos posted from an earlier flight on August 23rd show the pilot skirting around some rather marginal weather conditions.







Nicolas Hellewell


The pilot kept a travel log of his journey on his Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CRAZYNICKSLO


Wreckage from a fatal plane crash site in Shenandoah National Park.

Nicholas Hellewell, 35, of San Luis Obispo, California, was the pilot who died in a small plane crash this week in a Rappahannock County section of Shenandoah National Park, officials announced Friday.

He was on a cross-country flying trip that started earlier this summer, according to his public Facebook page detailing daily flights with photos.

“For those that know me this crazy adventure should be of no surprise to you,” Hellewell posted June 25. “This summer I will be taking off on a cross country flying trip and trying to land at as many airports and states as possible. I’m sure I will be posting many photos along the way. Since all the family weddings and acro (dance) festivals have been canceled what better way to see all my friends and family than to fly.”

The single-engine, four-seater Piper PA-20-135 he was piloting crashed about 7 p.m. Monday, about a half-mile from Skyline Drive in the Buck Hollow Trail area, according to National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson.

The aircraft left from Maryland Airport in Indian Head, Md., he said. The airport is about 100 miles east of the crash site.

Hikers discovered the plane wreckage in a heavily wooded area about 11 a.m. Wednesday, and reported it to park officials, Knudson said. The pilot did not file a flight plan providing information about his intended destination or flight track, he said.

Hellewell’s plane, however, was outfitted with ADS-B Flight Tracking, Knudson said. The equipment sends out a signal every second with information on location and speed, according to the NTSB spokesman.

The wreck site is secluded and highly fragmented, Knudson said. “We may have to recover the wreckage by helicopter and that may take a little time to do,” he said Friday.

The weather was inclement at the time of the crash, rainy and cloudy, Knudson said. NTSB will release a preliminary report on the crash in about two weeks, but the final investigation could take up to two years.

Remaining closed to maintain a secure crash site and minimize disturbance during the investigation are: Buck Hollow Trail, including parking areas on U.S. Route 211 and Meadow Spring on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5, and the Buck Ridge Trail.

These areas will remain closed until the investigation is complete and the wreckage is removed from the scene, which will likely be early next week, according to a park release.

Nearby Hazel Mountain Trail and Meadow Spring Trail (which leads to the Appalachian Trail and the summit of Mary’s Rock) are not closed, but there will be no access to these trails from the Meadow Spring parking area.

Virginia State Police, Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are assisting at the scene.

Hellewell’s final Facebook post talked about the latest leg of his trip: “Captains log star date 25656.37 made it safely into the DC SFRA (Special Flight Rules Area) without getting intercepted by the Air Force. 25 mile bike ride to downtown to finally get a tour of the monuments capital and White House. Finished off the evening with amazing beer friends and camping at the airport.”

Condolences were shared on social media including on Portland Acro on Facebook: “Nicholas Hellwell died yesterday piloting his plane over Virginia. Acro was such a passion for him. Many of you knew him from the countless festivals he attended in his crazy American flag attire. He pioneered the San Luis Obispo acro community and freely shared his knowledge.”

A family statement posted Thursday by Justin Costa stated: “It is with heavy hearts that we are writing the last Captains Log Star Date ... for Nicolas Hellewell. Nicolas was on an adventure of a lifetime travelling the U.S. in his Piper PA-20 plane. On Tuesday, September 2, he died in a plane crash in Virginia. He made many stops along the way with family and friends. Please treasure the time you spent with him. He will be missed!”


https://fredericksburg.com

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) told the Rappahannock News on Friday that the crash of a small plane just west of Sperryville — its wreckage and deceased pilot not stumbled up by hikers of the Buck Hollow Trail until late Wednesday morning — occurred at 7 p.m. Monday evening, August 31st.

Before taking off on what would be his last-ever flight, the pilot — identified late Friday as 35-year old Nicolas Hellewell from San Luis Obispo, California — posted on his Facebook account:



Hours before his final flight, the 35-year-old pilot from California posted this photo of his airplane just outside Washington, D.C.

“[M]ade it safely into the DC . . . without getting intercepted by the Air Force. 25 mile bike ride to downtown to finally get a tour of the monuments capital and White House. Finished off the evening with amazing beer friends and camping at the airport.”


Hellewell posted dozens of photos of his Washington, D.C. tour, including one of his airplane when it was parked near the airport tarmac, a tent where he slept pitched next to it. There are also numerous pictures of his recent visit to New York City and other stops in the United States from what appears to be a cross-country tour by the pilot.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson provided the Rapp News with the following timeline of the small plane’s flight path based on its ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) technology — where an aircraft’s position is determined via satellite navigation, sending out a “ping” every second:


The propeller of the doomed airplane where it came to rest near Buck Hollow Trail.   -National Park Service

• The Piper PA-20 took off from “Maryland Airport” at Indian Head in Charles County, Md., just south of the nation’s capital, “heading westbound” with Hellewell the only occupant onboard.

• The pilot filed “no flight plan,” thus his immediate destination that evening remains unknown.

• Hellewell was flying under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), when weather conditions are supposed to be clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.

• Weather at the time of the crash was “overcast and rainy.”

• The “very precise” radar track route of the plane ends at approximately 7 p.m. when the Piper went down into a thick canopy of trees within the Rappahannock County portion of Shenandoah National Park, just over Buck Hollow Ridge west of Sperryville.

• The location of the crash is “in a ravine” less than a mile below Skyline Drive (the National Park Service would not allow a reporter for the Rappahannock News access to the crash site).

• The plane upon impact was “highly fragmented.”

• There was “no post-crash fire.”

Knudson said the NTSB will issue a preliminary report on the crash within a few weeks, with detailed information including a likely cause of the crash in 12 to 24 months.

On Wednesday at 11:14 a.m., according to a press release, the Shenandoah National Park Communications Center received a report that the wreckage of a Piper PA-20 plane had been discovered approximately three-quarters of a mile down the Buck Hollow Trail from Skyline Drive.

As of late Friday afternoon the following trails and parking areas remain closed in order to keep the site of the plane crash secure and minimize disturbance while the area is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration. These areas will remain closed until the investigation is complete and the wreckage is removed from the scene which will likely be early next week.  
The Buck Hollow Trail (including the parking areas on Highway 211 and the Meadow Spring parking area on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5) 

The Buck Ridge Trail  

Although the Hazel Mountain Trail and the Meadow Spring Trail (which leads to the Appalachian Trail and the summit of Mary’s Rock) are not closed, there will be no access to these trails from the Meadow Spring parking area. 


https://www.insidenova.com


Several red trail closure signs posted on September 3rd at the Buck Hollow trailhead near Sperryville. 

A pilot died after a small plane crashed southwest of Sperryville within the Rappahannock County limits of Shenandoah National Park, park officials said Thursday.

The pilot's name has not been released, pending notification of next of kin, and it's not clear when the crash occurred.

Park officials said they received notification Wednesday at 11:14 a.m. that wreckage of of a plane crash had been discovered about three-quarters of a mile down the Buck Hollow Trail from Skyline Drive, just above Sperryville.

“The body of an adult male was found in the wreckage,” the park confirmed in Thursday's news release.

The Buck Hollow Trail, including the parking areas on Highway 211 west of Sperryville, the Meadow Springs parking area on Skyline Drive at mile 33.5, and the Buck Ridge Trail, are all closed until further notice while an investigation takes place and the wreckage is removed from the scene.  

The Virginia State Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are assisting with the incident. 

The FAA said the plane was a Piper PA-20-135 Pacer. The National Transportation Safety Board was not traveling to the scene, the agency said.

The pilot was believed to be the only person on the plane.

Shenandoah National Park officials Thursday afternoon declined to grant the Rappahannock News access to the crash site in the Rappahannock County portion of Shenandoah National Park above Sperryville.

“It’s the scene of an investigation and they don't want anyone to enter the area while the investigation is going on,” park spokeswoman Sally Hurlbert explained after the park’s interim superintendent had originally sought to allow a reporter access to the crash site, where the pilot of the Piper PA-20-135 Pacer died.

The park did not say when the crash might have taken place or whether the wreckage was discovered by a hiker or somebody heard the plane go down. It’s also not known if the still unidentified pilot issued a mayday before the plane crashed into a thickly forested area adjacent to the Buck Hollow Trail.

Due to the heavy foliage the crash site was not visible from the Skyline Drive.

Hurlbert had stated earlier today that “the crash investigation is being conducted by the NTSB. You will have to reach out to them to get access to the site.” However, Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, told this newspaper that his agency did not travel to the site to assist in the investigation because of COVID-19 concerns.

According to the park, Virginia State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are also assisting with the incident.

https://www.insidenova.com



Heli-tours generate noise complaints, but business good


JACKSON, Wyoming — Melody Ranch resident Mike May was readying for dinner on a Saturday in late July when a red helicopter came in hot overhead.

It was about 7:30 p.m., he recalled. Any tranquility in the moment was temporarily lost.

“We were just sitting down and this helicopter buzzes us,” May told the News&Guide. “That’s what got my Irish all up.”

Days later, May wrote to the Federal Aviation Administration and Jackson Hole Airport, lodging a formal complaint about the low-flying aircraft. His presumption was that the uninvited chopper clatter was the doing of Tony Chambers, whose scenic flight business, Wind River Air, began operations this summer after a months-long community debate dominated by opposition — including opposition from Grand Teton National Park and the airport itself.

“To Tony’s credit, he got my letter, he called and said that it wasn’t him,” May recalled. “That seemed to be an interesting tale, but I’ll take the guy at his word for a little bit.”

Flight logs provided by Jackson Hole Airport show that Wind River Air’s Robinson R-44 helicopter was in the air on July 25, the same evening of May’s disrupted dinner. Voluntarily, Chambers equipped his airship with an ADS-B transponder that records flight tracks when he has line of sight to the airport control tower. The device recorded a flight between 7:35 and 8:43 p.m. that day.

May’s complaint was not the first fielded by Jackson Hole Airport this summer.

“It is interesting, the number of calls we’ve gotten,” Airport Director Jim Elwood told his board of directors during an Aug. 19 meeting. “Almost any helicopter in the sky is being identified as being Wind River Air.

“We’ve been able to track down most every one of those inquiries,” he said, “and been able to show it wasn’t Wind River Air that’s making that flight.”

Elwood clarified his statements in an interview and explained that out of eight helicopter-related complaints that had filtered in to the airport, six had nothing to do with Wind River Air. Most were related to cheatgrass spraying, he said, and a couple were found to be search-and-rescue operations.

Elwood told his board the extent of Wind River Air’s overall aerial activities was not a “great deal.” The fledgling business, which started amid a pandemic, was recorded launching eight commercial flights in the month of June and 15 in July, he said.

But from Chambers’ seat, business has been “great.”

“It started off slow because of COVID and was slowly gaining speed throughout the summer,” the Hoback resident said. “It’s been busy.”

Before talking with the News&Guide Tuesday, he had been in the air for much of the day on commercial tours.

Much of the consumer interest stems from simple internet searches, he said.

“Google,” Chambers said. “Google rules the world.”

Type “Jackson Hole scenic helicopter” into the world’s most popular search engine and the first entry to come up is Wind River Air’s website. Next on the list is its fixed-wing scenic tour competitor, Fly Jackson Hole.

Once at the website, tourists and other customers see that a seat in Chambers’ red Robinson R-44 chopper costs $6 a person for each minute, with 30-minute ($180 per person), 45-minute ($270) and hourlong ($360) tour options.

The consumer interest in Chambers’ business is a departure from past efforts to operate helicopter aerial tours over Jackson Hole.

In the early 2000s San Diego-based Vortex Aviation began taking sightseers aloft, based at the airport, which is leased from Grand Teton National Park. Vortex’s owner, Gary Kauffman, prevailed after a protracted community fight, but when he started operating sign-wielding protesters greeted his clients. The business fizzled and flew back to San Diego after half a season or so.

In an opinion piece published in the News&Guide last winter, longtime Jackson Hole Airport board member Jerry Blann suggested that continued community opposition could be similarly effective at deterring Wind River Air.

“Scenic tours will not be flown in Jackson Hole if the public doesn’t support them,” Blann wrote, “and they are therefore not economically viable.”

Chambers was awarded an operating agreement with Jackson Hole Airport in April, following a board meeting that featured airport staff reading 366 public comments into the record for over six hours. Some 96% of letter writers opposed the business.

Chambers made some voluntary commitments at the time, including signing onto an air tour management plan that would be vetted by federal and state land and wildlife management agencies. That process is still in the works, but it has already resulted in some changes — Chambers avoids the Sleeping Indian, for example, because it’s a popular hiking route.

Another voluntary commitment Chambers signed was equipping his helicopter with the ADS-B transponder, so that the airport could track where he’s flying. Through three months of doing business, flight paths logged by that device have mostly been incomplete. The helicopter’s northernmost locations have not been recorded, partly because the technology requires line of sight to the airport tower, Elwood said.

“The second piece to that is it’s a small aircraft, so its image is not as strong,” the airport director said. “We’re trying to fine-tune some of the sensitivity.”

What the flight paths do show is that in July Chambers’ R-44 typically flew south into the National Elk Refuge or it headed straight to the east side of Grand Teton National Park while overflying places like Blacktail Butte and the Gros Ventre River. About at the point the R-44 hits Ditch Creek the flight paths stop recording.

But Chambers said his usual route is typically north to Buffalo Valley and then follows a big loop there or over the Gros Ventre River area.

“We’re always staying east of the Snake River,” he said, “and are nowhere over near the Tetons.”

The flight maps show that Chambers has also steered clear of some populated parts of the valley, like Jackson and Kelly. Based on his flight paths, however, he is frequently overflying subdivisions in South Park and near the airport while ferrying in from where the helicopter is stored in either Pinedale or Alpine.

When Chambers has learned of complaints, he’s reached out.

“I’ve called everyone who’s complained,” he said. “I want to say there’s been five or six total.”

https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com

A jet pack at Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX)? Maybe. Jet packs are very real

It sounds like something out of a movie:  An American Airlines pilot calls the control tower at Los Angeles International Airport to warn that his plane just flew past someone in midair — a person wearing a jet pack.

But the pilot really did give that warning Sunday night, and it wasn’t laughed off. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

After all, jet packs are not confined to the realm of science fiction. There are a handful of companies around the world that make devices that power a single person up into the air.

Former Swiss Air Force pilot Yves Rossy has created a type of winged jet pack, which typically requires him to be hoisted into the sky by a helicopter or balloon; he can take off from there. Another company, Zapata, has made something like a flying skateboard, which gives off a Marty McFly vibe.

JetPack Aviation Corp., based in Van Nuys, says it’s the only one to have developed a jet pack that can be worn like a backpack. The technology is real: Chief Executive David Mayman demonstrated it five years ago by flying around the Statue of Liberty, and his company has created five of them.

So it’s not out of the question that someone could have been soaring above the airport last weekend, giving pilots a scare.

Mayman was quick to say that if a jet pack was involved, it wasn’t one of his. JetPack Aviation keeps its five packs locked down, he said, and they’re not for sale. The company does offer flying lessons at $4,950 a pop, but he said students are attached to a wire and can’t stray too far.

None of the company’s competitors sell their products to consumers either, Mayman said.

The weekend incident “got us all wondering whether there’s been someone working in skunkworks on this,” he said, using a term for a secret project. Or maybe, he mused, the airline pilot saw some kind of electric-powered drone with a mannequin attached.

The fact remains: It’s very difficult to get access to a jet pack. If you accomplish that, though, it’s not hard to get permission to fly it.

The Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t issue licenses specifically for operating the devices. A jet pack could be operated as an ultralight vehicle — meaning it would not be registered with the FAA and its operator wouldn’t need a pilot license — if it meets weight, fuel capacity and speed requirements.

But it still wouldn’t be allowed to surprise officials by freewheeling over California’s biggest airport at night. Without FAA approval, ultralight vehicles can fly only during the day and are barred from flying over densely populated areas or in controlled airspace.

Jet packs that don’t meet the ultralight requirements could be issued a special experimental certificate, which would require a class of pilot certificate specific to the aircraft and have its own set of flight restrictions, the FAA said.

“If you want to do something that’s a thrill-seeking thing, then yes, you can fly one,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of the Vertical Flight Society, a nonprofit professional organization.

To be clear, they’re not well suited to becoming a common form of transportation anytime soon.

For one, they’re too loud and don’t have enough endurance, Hirschberg said.

For another, they’re too expensive. If JetPack Aviation were willing to sell its jet packs to individuals, it would charge at least $300,000 each, Mayman said.

Besides, selling to the general public would create liability concerns.

“It’s so easy for someone to misuse one of these aircraft,” Mayman said. He doesn’t want to be on the hook if, say, a flier were to plow into a car or building.

Mayman said that he isn’t interested in selling his products to anyone but governments or government agencies, and that his company’s focus is on search-and-rescue applications.

Four years ago, JetPack Aviation had a jet pack research and development contract with the U.S. military, but it did not end up selling any of the devices. Now under a different U.S. military research and development contract, the company is working on its Speeder aircraft, which it describes as a flying motorcycle that can be piloted by a human or flown as a drone.

Inventors have long dreamed of creating jet packs that would rocket individuals through the air.

In the 1950s, a Bell Aerosystems engineer named Wendell Moore developed a rocket belt that could strap onto a person’s back and fly them a short distance. Though the U.S. military seriously considered the device in the 1960s for use by soldiers, the rocket belt’s range of just a few seconds was deemed too short, according to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

In 2018, an engineering competition sponsored by Boeing Co. and other groups asked inventors to build a quiet, personal flying device that could carry a person for 20 miles. But instead of quiet jet packs, contest submissions were more like air motorcycles.

If quiet is the priority, there are ways to fly that don’t even involve motors, propellers or combustion.

In 1982, a North Hollywood truck driver named Larry Walters tied 42 helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and floated up 16,000 feet in the air. He surprised at least two airline pilots, one of whom radioed the FAA. (Walters was fined $1,500.) To return to earth, Walters used a pellet gun to pop the balloons.

https://www.latimes.com

Alarmed pilot tells Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX) tower: ‘We just passed a guy in a jet pack’; Federal Bureau of Investigation now investigating

The FBI has launched an investigation after an American Airlines pilot said he saw what appeared to be a man flying with a jet pack Sunday night near Los Angeles International Airport.

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,” the first American Airlines pilot states in a call to the control tower.

“American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?” the tower operator answers.

“Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude,” the pilot responds.

“We just saw the guy pass us by in the jet pack,” a second pilot from Jet Blue Airways then tells the tower, which warned another pilot about the sighting.

“Only in L.A.,” the air traffic controller says at one point.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Tuesday that agents at LAX were investigating after the pilot reported the incident to the control tower.

“The FBI is aware of the reports by pilots on Sunday and is working to determine what occurred,” the agency said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration also confirmed receiving the report. “Two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack as they were on their final approach to LAX around 6:35 p.m. Sunday,” spokesman Ian Gregor told City News Service. “The FAA alerted local law enforcement to the reports and is looking into these reports.”

https://www.latimes.com

Titan T-51 Mustang, N153JW: Fatal accident occurred September 02, 2020 near Van Aire Airport (CO12), Brighton, Adams County, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


Location: Brighton, CO
Accident Number: CEN20LA375
Date & Time: 09/02/2020, 1213 MDT
Registration: N153JW
Aircraft: Titan Mustang T-51
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 2, 2020, at 1213 mountain daylight time, a Titan Mustang T-51 airplane, N153JW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Brighton, Colorado. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data indicated that the pilot departed at 1157 and proceeded about 10 miles east before returning to the airport. The pilot appeared to execute a takeoff and landing before entering a right-hand traffic pattern. After completing a second takeoff and landing, the pilot again entered a right traffic pattern. However, as the turn continued, the airplane entered a gradual descent. The final ADS-B data point was located about 1/2-mile northwest of the runway. The associated altitude was approximately 100 ft above ground level.

A postrecovery examination of the airframe and engine is pending.

Figure 1 -- Accident Flight Overview

Figure 2 -- Takeoff and Departure

Figure 3 -- Return to Airport/Takeoff and Landing

Figure 4 -- Final Flight Segment 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Titan
Registration: N153JW
Model/Series: Mustang T-51
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: DEN
Observation Time: 1153 MDT
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 8000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Brighton, CO (CO12)
Destination: Brighton, CO (CO12) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 39.994722, -104.713889 (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.



Piper PA-28-181, N28011: Incident occurred September 01, 2020 at Gila Bend Municipal Airport (E63), Maricopa County, Arizona

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

Aircraft lost control on landing and veered off runway.

Piper Aircraft Inc

https://registry.faa.gov/N28011

Date: 01-SEP-20
Time: 18:40:00Z
Regis#: N28011
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: GILA BEND
State: ARIZONA

Thorp T-18 Tiger, N33TB: Accident occurred September 01, 2020 at Venice Municipal Airport (KVNC), Sarasota County, Florida

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

Aircraft was being hand-propped and lurched forward running over the pilot and into a hangar.


https://registry.faa.gov/N33TB


Date: 01-SEP-20

Time: 18:35:00Z
Regis#: N33TB
Aircraft Make: THORP
Aircraft Model: T18
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: STANDING (STD)
Operation: 91
City: VENICE
State: FLORIDA

VENICE, Florida (WWSB) - The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into an accident involving a small plane at the Venice Municipal Airport.

According to airport officials, a pilot working on a plane was attempting to hand prop a single-engine plane to start the aircraft. The man was in front of the plane when the propeller grazed him in the head and struck his wrist and hip. As of Wednesday morning, the man is still in Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are on-site investigating. A preliminary report is expected to be released shortly.

Airport officials say that the pilot called them today and thanked them for help, but would not elaborate on the extent of his injuries.


https://www.mysuncoast.com

VENICE, Florida - A man was taken to the hospital after a plane propeller grazed his head at the Venice Municipal Airport Tuesday afternoon.

According to a Venice city official, a pilot who is a tenant at the airport was trying to hand prop a single-engine plane. While the plane was starting up, another man was in front of the plane. The plane's propeller grazed the unlucky man's head and hit in in the wrist and hip, according to the city official.

According to the Venice Fire Department, the man suffered severe cuts but his injuries are not life-threatening.

An airport director told the city official that once the plane started up, it traveled across the taxilane and hit a hangar, then came to rest.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

https://www.abcactionnews.com

Eurocopter EC-130-B4, N139HN: Incident occurred September 01, 2020 in Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky

Rotorcraft landed in a field due to an engine issue.

TVPX Aircraft Solutions Inc Trustee

https://registry.faa.gov/N139HN

Date: 01-SEP-20
Time: 02:23:00Z
Regis#: N139HN
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: EC130
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: AMBULANCE
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Aircraft Operator: AIR METHODS
City: WINCHESTER
State: KENTUCKY

Cirrus SR20, N630SF: Incident occurred September 01, 2020 at Wilmington International Airport (KILM), North Carolina

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

Aircraft veered off runway during landing damaging nose wheel.

RJ5 Aviation LLC

https://registry.faa.gov/N630SF

Date: 01-SEP-20
Time: 17:30:00Z
Regis#: N630SF
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR20
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: WILMINGTON
State: NORTH CAROLINA

Stinson 108-3 Voyager, N909C: Accident occurred September 01, 2020 in Coleman, Midland County, Michigan

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan
 
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

https://registry.faa.gov/N909C


Location: Coleman, MI
Accident Number: CEN20LA377
Date & Time: 09/01/2020, 1515 EDT
Registration: N909C
Aircraft: Stinson 108-3
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On September 1, 2020, at 1515 eastern daylight time, a Stinson 108-3, N909C, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Coleman, Michigan. The private pilot was uninjured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that the airplane had been flying for about 45 minutes before it experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot then performed a forced landing to a soybean field, where it rolled for about 180 ft and nosed over resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot stated that the generator and magneto drive gear failed. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Stinson
Registration: N909C
Model/Series: 108-3
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Remus, MI (53W)
Destination: Remus, MI (53W)

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: 43.756667, -84.585833 (est)

A  Beal City man was piloting a small plane when he had engine trouble and made an emergency landing in the area of Shaffer and Lewis roads in Midland County.  The plane came to a stop upside down in a field, but the pilot was not injured.


MIDLAND COUNTY, Michigan - A 70-year-old man had to make an emergency landing in a Midland County farm field after an engine failed on his airplane.

Troopers with the Michigan State Police Tri-City Post were dispatched around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 1st, to the area of Shaffer and Lewis roads in Warren Township, just outside of Coleman, for a report of an airplane crash.

The pilot, a 70-year-old Beal City man, told police the Stinson 108-3 Voyager engine failed when he was flying at approximately 1,000 feet.

He attempted to restart the engine multiple times after it failed.

When those efforts were not successful, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in a soybean field.

The privately-owned plane flipped onto its top during the emergency landing, police said.

The pilot was the only person on the plane. He was not injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified about the crash and will work to determine the cause of the engine failure.

The incident remains under investigation.

https://www.mlive.com

Law enforcement agencies in Midland County responded to two separate plane crashes on Tuesday, one of which resulted in the death of a passenger.

According to a press release, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a plane that had crash-landed in a Mills Township farm field at about 12:45 p.m. The field is located to the east of North Sturgeon Road north of East Shaffer Road, the release states.

There were two people onboard the plane at the time of the crash: pilot/co-owner William Granger, 64, of Lake City, and his wife Dorothy Granger, 64.

William Granger was transported to the MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland by EMS in critical condition. Dorothy Granger was pronounced dead at the scene.

The initial investigation revealed the aircraft -- a Piper PA 24-250 Comanche -- was flying in a northwesterly direction when it started to have engine trouble, the release states. While coming in for an emergency landing in the field, the plane struck a large grass-covered mound of dirt before coming to a rest.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Mills Fire Rescue, Larkin Fire Rescue, MidMichigan EMS and medical examiner, Dr. Dennis Wagner.

The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Michigan State Police troopers from the Tri-City Post responded to a separate crash near Coleman about an hour earlier. At about 11:30 a.m., troopers were dispatched to the area of Shaffer Road and Lewis Road for a report of an airplane crash, according to a press release from Sgt. Joseph Rowley of the Tri-City Post in Freeland.

The pilot, a 70-year-old Beal City man, told deputies the plane's engine quit when he was flying at about 1,000 feet. After several attempts to restart the engine failed, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in a soybean field, the release states.

During the landing, the privately-owned four-seat aircraft flipped onto its top. The pilot was the only person in the plane, and was uninjured.

There is no additional information at this time, the release stated, and the investigation is now in the hands of the FAA, which will work to determine the cause of the engine failure.

https://www.ourmidland.com