Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Central Illinois Regional Airport (KBMI) Earns A Perfect FAA Part 139 Inspection

Despite an unusual year for airport operations during a global pandemic, the Central Illinois Regional Airport recently received a perfect Part 139 inspection from the Federal Aviation Administration. It is the eighth time in the last 10 years the airport has received a perfect inspection. The inspection is administered by a representative of the FAA Great Lakes Region – Airport Certification and Safety Office, which reviews all airport operations areas.

“The Bloomington Normal Airport Authority’s ongoing attention to the highest level of safety and compliance standards on our airfield has never wavered, even with the challenges of a public health crisis severely impacting the aviation industry., “ said Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority Chairman Jay Allen. “This positive review by the FAA further demonstrates the Airport Authority’s commitment to our responsibilities as part of our nation’s critical transportation infrastructure.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s inspection was completed virtually on November 23rd, 2020. The inspection started a month ago with Airport Operations staff preparing numerous records related to airport safety and operations. The review included records associated with Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting operations, Wildlife Management, Fueling safety operations, daily inspections of the airfield, equipment, and personnel training records. These responsibilities are conducted by BMI Operations and Maintenance, as well as the City of Bloomington Fire Department.

Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal hosts flights on American, Allegiant, Delta and Frontier with service to major hubs, nonstops to the Orlando and Tampa Bay area and seasonal service to Denver. Corporate, general aviation and FedEx Express cargo activities also operate daily. Located on Rt. 9 East in Bloomington with free parking and convenient access, CIRA serves air travelers throughout the central Illinois region

Concerns about Lead in Aviation Fuel Raised at Hanscom Field (KBED) Advisory Commission

A Concord resident has asked the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission if it can take steps to have the environmental impact of lead emissions from aircraft fuel investigated, especially with regard to the many children, schools and daycares in close proximity to the airfield. He also mentioned that many people now work at home because of the pandemic.

“I’m just aghast that there is any lead included in any fuel that is allowed at a civilian airport in the center of multiple residential communities,” Michael Gresty said at the November 17th  meeting about the aviation gas (avgas) Massport allows its FBO (Fixed Base Operator) tenants to sell at Hanscom Field.  Avgas fuels the thousands of piston-engine aircraft flight operations that take place at the airfield each month.

Thomas Hirsch, HFAC member representing the Hanscom Pilots Association, and Bedford resident, explained that aviation fuel is regulated by certification, so that certain types of aircraft are required to use particular types of fuel.  Jet fuel is unleaded, but most of the piston-engine aircraft in use at Hanscom are required to use avgas with some lead in order for the engines to operate properly.  Hirsch noted, “Some engines over the years have been certified to run with unleaded auto gas.  There’s some controversy about that.”

Gresty persisted, “I still take the position that there’s absolutely no reason that Hanscom should be supplying any fuel with lead in it in a residential community like this when autos, trucks and so on have not been allowed to use gas lead-based fuels since the 1970s.  This is having a severe impact potentially for the health of the community.  And simply not making that fuel available to the airport would solve the problem.”

Hirsch protested, “Well, it would also eliminate all piston-engine airplanes that are currently at the airport.”

“Great – two birds with one stone!” Gresty commented, referring to the main topic of discussion earlier in the evening during the HFAC meeting:  noisy, repetitive practice flights over communities by local flight school aircraft.

According to the Massport flight operations data for 2020 to date, practice flights in small piston-engine aircraft operated by local flight schools make up 29,919 of the total 81,268 flight operations at Hanscom Field so far this year. Pre-pandemic numbers for 2019 were 44,607 practice flights by small piston-engine aircraft out of 128,681 total flight operations by all types of aircraft.

“How can the lives and safety of children be measured against any profits or closing down operations?” Concord resident Irina Mladenova asked Commission members and Massport representatives, mentioning that she has two young children and her family is planning to have their garden soil tested next week. They are also considering a blood test for their three-year-old child.

Another local resident, Rachel Bandi, expressed her concern that leaded avgas emissions from Hanscom Field aircraft could pollute Gaining Ground, a nonprofit organic farm within the historic Thoreau Birthplace Farm near the airfield where “large amounts of food is being planted and grown and eaten.”  Gaining Ground’s fresh vegetables and fruit are all donated to hunger relief organizations.

When HFAC members were reminded that Bedford also has community gardens in close proximity to the airfield (just off Hartwell Road, located about a quarter-mile from the airfield, and very nearly under the flight approach for Runway 5/23), HFAC and Bedford Select Board member Emily Mitchell volunteered to check if the Town has any soil lead level data on record for the gardens.

HFAC Chair Christopher Eliot of Lincoln noted that meeting attendee Gary Keller had posted a comment for the meeting claiming up to 75% of general aviation aircraft can use unleaded fuel.

Gresty added, “I think the point here is with the general availability of unleaded fuel, there’s absolutely no reason that Hanscom should provide any leaded fuel.  And if pilots don’t like it, they can go somewhere else … Because essentially, they’re raining lead on the surrounding community.  That’s what it amounts to.  And they’re constantly doing that, in violation of any respect for the community or thought about the environmental impact on children.”

Chair Eliot observed that the issues raised will generate a complicated discussion that he did not want to cut short during this meeting.  Instead, he planned to add the issue to the December HFAC agenda for further consideration.

Eliot also asked if information available on the number of gallons of aviation fuel sold each year at Hanscom Field can be provided for the December meeting.

Hirsch suggested Massport can easily provide that information since it collects a fuel flowage fee from the FBO sales and then shares some of that revenue with surrounding towns.

HFAC’s next virtual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. People who would like to participate in that meeting will find the HFAC agendas and Zoom login information on the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission website hosted by the Town of Lincoln at https://www.lincolntown.org/AgendaCenter/Hanscom-Field-Airport-Commission-58.  Citizens may also register on the Lincoln website to be added to a list of subscribers who receive advance email notice of HFAC meetings and agendas.

Eurocopter EC135 P2+, N814LN: Accident occurred November 18, 2020 in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia

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

Aircraft struck a bird damaging windscreen and rotor blade. 

Air Methods Corporation


Date: 18-NOV-20
Time: 16:58:00Z
Regis#: N814LN
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: EC135
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: AMBULANCE
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Aircraft Operator: AIR METHODS
City: GAINESVILLE
State: GEORGIA

Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, N5854U: November 30, 2020 at Joslin Field - Magic Valley Regional Airport (KTWF), Twin Falls, Idaho

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Aircraft landed and gear collapsed incurring a propeller strike. 

Magic Valley Aero Club Inc


Date: 30-NOV-20
Time: 20:50:00Z
Regis#: N5854U
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: TWIN FALLS
State: IDAHO

Boeing 737-800, N804SY: Incident occurred November 30, 2020 at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (KMSP), Minnesota

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aircraft struck a bird in #2 engine. 


Date: 30-NOV-20
Time: 04:21:00Z
Regis#: N804SY
Aircraft Make: BOEING
Aircraft Model: 737
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES
Flight Number: SCX370
City: MINNEAPOLIS
State: MINNESOTA

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N53587: Accident occurred November 27, 2020 at Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County Airport (KTTA), North Carolina

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

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

Chapel Hill Flying Club Inc dba


Location: Sanford, NC
Accident Number: ERA21LA057
Date & Time: November 27, 2020, Local 
Registration: N53587
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N53587
Model/Series: 172 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

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:
Departure Point: 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.582439,-79.101338 

Cirrus SR20, N502DT: Incident occurred November 30, 2020 at Bolinder Field-Tooele Valley Airport (KTVY), Tooele County, Utah

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aircraft nose gear collapsed on landing.

SCEEE LLC


Date: 30-NOV-20
Time: 23:11:00Z
Regis#: N502DT
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR20
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: TOOELE
State: UTAH

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, N9879T: Fatal accident occurred November 30, 2020 in Franklin, Izard County, Arkansas


This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Little Rock, Arkansas 
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, FL
 

Location: Franklin, AR 
Accident Number: CEN21LA070
Date & Time: November 30, 2020, 12:13 Local
Registration: N9879T
Aircraft: Piper PA38
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted
Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On November 30, 2020, at 1213 central standard time, a Piper PA-38-112 airplane, N9879T, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Franklin, Arkansas. The certificated flight instructor and the private pilot being instructed were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data was obtained for the accident flight. The airplane departed the Country Air Estates Airport (1AR9), Lonoke, Arkansas, at 0931, flew to the Carlisle Municipal Airport (4M3), Carlisle, Arkansas, and arrived at 0946. The airplane remained at 4M3 for about 16 minutes before it departed at 1002. The airplane then traveled about 100 nm north-northwest, turned to a northeast heading and overflew the Marion County Regional Airport (FLP), Flippin, Arkansas, and the Baxter County Airport (BPK), Mountain Home, Arkansas, before it turned eastbound.

The airplane did not land at FLP, and due to a gap in the ADS-B data it could not be determined if the airplane landed at BPK. After the airplane passed BPK, it turned to the east. The flight contacted the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and obtained an instrument flight rules clearance (IFR) from BPK to the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (ARG), Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. ARG was about 76 nm east of BPK. During the portion of the flight from BPK to ARG, air traffic control initially established radar contact and voice communication with the flight. When the airplane was about 60 nm west of ARG, radar contact was lost and voice communication became intermittent and were eventually lost.

FIGURE 1. Map showing the airplane’s ADS-B track (red), the relative positions of airports, the straight-line course from BPK to ARG (white), and the accident location.

The airplane did not follow a straight-line course between BPK and ARG, it first deviated 2.8 nm north of the straight-line course before it turned toward the south. The airplane then deviated to the south of the straight-line course by as much as 4.5 nm. During the final 5-1/2 minutes of the flight, the airplane made 3-3/4 complete left turns of varying radius, followed by 1-1/4 complete right turns before the end of the recorded ADS-B data. The accident site was located about 0.2 nm south southeast of the last ADS-B position, 4.7 nm south of the straightline course, and about 35 nm from BPK.

FIGURE 2. Map showing the final 7.5 minutes of the accident flight path (red), with the last recorded ADS-B position, the accident location, and the straight-line course from BPK to ARG (white).

The airplane impacted trees and terrain. The debris path was about 230 ft long and oriented on a magnetic heading of 320°. The airplane was severely fragmented, and the main portion of the wreckage came to rest about 160 ft from the initial tree impact point. The airplane’s engine was located about 230 ft from the initial impact point. There was no fire. Examination of the wreckage by Federal Aviation Administration inspectors and an investigator from Piper Aircraft revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N9879T
Model/Series: PA38 112 Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BVX 
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 19 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Carlisle, AR (4M3)
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 36.178333,-91.771539

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.



IZARD COUNTY, Arkansas- Two men were killed in a plane crash in Izard County on Monday night.

Izard County officials said 70-year-old David Rottman of Lonoke County and 44-year-old Lucas Parker of Conway were both killed.

The plane was found near franklin, about 75 yards north of California Drive.

“I was devastated,” said Donald Warren, Friends of both victims.

News of the fatal plane crash in Izard County shook a Central Arkansas pastor who knew both victims.

“I knew both of them to be excellent and outstanding men and men of faith,” said Warren.

Donald Warren knew David Rottman for two years and Lucas Parker for more than five years.

“I know that Luke was an extremely safe pilot and I know that Dave was an extremely confident instructor,” said Warren

Warren said Rottman was a flight instructor who owned and operated Arkansas Pilot Development.

He also said Parker was an experienced pilot close to finishing his next level of training.

“I had spoken with Luke Sunday evening and he was telling me about his progress in his instrument training which is the next level after private pilot training and he was making great strides toward completing his instrument rating,” said Warren.

Warren said Rottman was his flight instructor too and they fly together several times a month so he was shocked when he found out about the crash.

“You prepare for loss. Luke was a minister and I’m a pastor as well and we know this is part of the process. There’s also that part of you that never really expects it to be someone so close without any preparation,” said Warren.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the crash.

Loss of Control in Flight: Comp Air 6, N12LF; accident occurred July 14, 2020 at Central Jersey Regional Airport (47N), Manville, Somerset County, New Jersey







Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allentown

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Manville, New Jersey 
Accident Number: ERA20CA252
Date & Time: July 14, 2020, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N12LF
Aircraft: FURLONG CA-6 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight 
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The private pilot had just flown his tailwheel equipped airplane into the airport to purchase fuel, where the flight was uneventful. After purchasing fuel, the pilot performed another flight control check and initiated the takeoff. During the takeoff roll, as the tail came off the ground, the airplane began to pull to the left. The pilot continued with the takeoff but as the airplane climbed to about 40 ft above the ground, it continued to pull left despite right rudder and aileron input. The pilot was unable to stop the turn and attempted to land the airplane. The airplane struck a chain link fence adjacent to airport property and flipped over resulting in
substantial damage to both wings, right horizontal stabilizer and elevator, vertical stabilizer and rudder. A post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) maintenance inspector confirmed flight control continuity between the cockpit controls and all primary flight controls, including the rudder. Further inspection revealed that the right rudder pedals were displaced full right; however, impact damage of the rudder precluded the ability to conclusively verify proper system operation. The pilot reported that he had no previous operational or mechanical issues with the rudder prior to the accident.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of directional control on takeoff for undetermined reasons.

Findings

Aircraft Heading/course - Attain/maintain not possible
Not determined (general) - Unknown/Not determined
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Ability to respond/compensate

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 22, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 19, 2019
Flight Time: 455 hours (Total, all aircraft), 48.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 8.5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: FURLONG 
Registration: N12LF
Model/Series: CA-6 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility; Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 001
Landing Gear Type: 
Tailwheel Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 15, 2020 
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2490 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-CIA
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 260 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LDJ,22 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 320° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Manville, NJ (47N) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Erwinna, PA (9N1) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 17:00 Local 
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Central Jersey Rgnl 47N 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 85 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: 25 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3507 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing; Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.524444,-74.598335(est)









Santa Paula Airport (KSZP) has been flying high for 90 years

Two 1940s vintage Piper J-3 Cubs in flight over Santa Paula and the Santa Clara River Valley. The planes were flying out of Santa Paula Airport, the biggest private airport in the tri-county region. 
(Photo courtesy of Evan Byrne)


Ninety years and three months ago, the Santa Paula Chronicle newspaper celebrated the opening of an airport, just a few years after a 25-year old American, Charles Lindbergh, crossed the Atlantic.

In 1930, air travel was just beginning—only 6,000 Americans had flown on a commercial jet—but rancher Ralph Dickenson wanted the Santa Paula community involved in the new private airport. Speaking to a crowd at the Lion’s Club, he encouraged members to take part in aviation.

“Patronize the field, take air rides, take instructions, and we will put the project over,” he said.

Nearly a century later, Santa Paula Airport (KSZP) has made good on many of Dickenson’s wishes. The airport began with 19 investors, $19,000 and 4 parcels of land along the Santa Clara River. It was born in hard times—months after the the stock market crash of 1929 and the St. Francis Dam collapse, which killed hundreds of residents of the river valley—but it has persevered, even in the time of COVID-19.

Santa Paula Airport is one of 14,556 private airports in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which regulates airports through the Federal Aviation Administration. The number of private airports is up 40% since 1980, while the number of public and private airports that are open to the public has hovered around 5,000.

World War I and II veterans no longer walk the grounds at Santa Paula Airport and “beach taxis” don’t take off for a day of sunbathing at Rincon, but the airport has sustained its business model, remaining privately owned by an association of shareholders, while open to the general public.

Over the years, the grounds and amenities have grown, offering 24-hour self-fueling, a flight school, a bar and restaurant, a helipad and multiple hangars. Some pilots even live in the hangars with their planes parked downstairs and their apartments above.

At 4 p.m., the sun starts its descent on the Hangar Bar & Grille, overlooking the 2,600-foot tarmac. The hangar doors are raised as mechanics scoot under the wings of a single-engine Bellanca Citabria, carting dollies and tools. Instructors and students pace to and from the entrance of the CP Aviation flight school.

This time of year, strangers’ voices can be heard on the radio waves when the National Park Service and Alaska State Troopers enroll in the Emergency Maneuver Training, one of CP Aviation’s well known programs, started in 1987 by Rich Stole. The course teaches pilots what to do in distress, especially if engine failure occurs.

That once happened to CP Aviation owner and master instructor Judy Phelps. Thanks to EMT training, when the engine failed she glided into a river bed unharmed.

Phelps met her husband, Clay Phelps, while waitressing at the restaurant and attending flight school. They now run CP Aviation together. They started with six planes, and over the course of their 26-year marriage, the operation grew to 21 planes and 12 instructors.

“My husband is one hell of a mechanic, so the airplanes are in tip-top shape,” said Judy Phelps, who flies in the Wings Over Camarillo Airshow. “He keeps everything running and we’re known for having nice, clean airplanes.”

Judy Phelps is also highly regarded for her teaching, something she found by accident.

“When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher and never went to college,” she said. “Teaching people to learn how to fly is so rewarding. I just had a young 16-year old kid solo an airplane before he got his driver
licence.”

Planes can take off and land as often as every two minutes. At Santa Paula Airport, everyone relies on radio and sight to determine when it’s safe to go. There is no air traffic control tower doling out commands.

Flights happen between sunrise and sunset. With no lights, the runway is dark not long after sundown. Few flight schools offer this kind of experience for people working towards the 40 hours of a private pilot license. And while the airline industry’s struggles sometimes discourage young pilots from pursuing their dreams of flying commercially, that means Phelps gets to hold on to instructors for longer before they enter the recruitment pipeline.

Phelps says the school is at the perfect size and business is where they want it to be, in spite of a six-week shutdown during
the pandemic.

“We’re at the point where we don’t want to grow anymore, just manage what we have and do what we do,” she said.

Commercial pilot and hangar owner David Byrne knows the fluctuations of his industry better than anyone. Byrne began flying at Santa Paula in the 1980s, taking aeronautics classes at CP Aviation. During the week, Byrne flies Boeing 737s in and out of Los Angeles International Airport, where he’s been a United Airlines commercial pilot for over three decades.

After September 11th, 2001, when flights were grounded and crews furloughed, he decided to start an aerial photography business, Focal Flight, to serve a customer base of surveyors, construction and title companies in the Tri-Counties and beyond.

“Someone who ran a GIS company came to me with a color infrared camera
and asked, ‘Can I get this in the air?’” he said.

Fifteen years later, he and son, Evan Byrne, who passed his pilot’s license checkride at CP Aviation, earn around $250,000 a year in revenue and work with 10 regular clients.

Operating out of Santa Paula Airport offers different business conditions for a pilot used to spending hours waiting on the runway.

“As weird as it sounds, no control tower makes it so much easier than at a larger airport where the control tower makes everything take longer,” David Byrne said.

Two weeks ago, father and son returned from Lubbock, Texas, where they shot 132,000 acres in six hours. Normally, they take photos anywhere from 1,000 to 18,000 feet.

Santa Paula Airport, said Evan Byrne, is “a unique airport with an extremely high percentage of antique and experimental airplanes. Being an uncontrolled airport, you can come and go as you please. All of us take safety and awareness very seriously.”

Over the years, the easements along the airport have multiplied, making room for a museum, mechanic shops, lofts, and the next generation of aviators, proving that Ralph Dickenson’s dream remains alive and well.

Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III, N2699Y: Incident occurred November 30, 2020 at Tuscaloosa National Airport (KTCL), Alabama

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

Aircraft hydroplaned off the side of the runway on landing.

McNeely Charter Service Inc


Date: 30-NOV-20
Time: 01:58:00Z
Regis#: MDS269
Aircraft Make: SWEARINGEN
Aircraft Model: SW4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: MCNEELY CHARTER SERVICES
City: TUSCALOOSA
State: ALABAMA

A crash at the Tuscaloosa Airport yesterday resulted in damages to the runway and a delay in production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance.

Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa Traffic Reporter "Captain" Ray Allen said a plane carrying parts for Mercedes Benz US International was scheduled to arrive in Tuscaloosa yesterday afternoon. The plane was coming in with a very low ceiling and ran off the runway. No one was injured in the accident; however, the aircraft sustained heavy damage.

Allen also says that production at the Mercedes Benz US International plant was delayed for approximately eight (8) hours as a result of the accident.

No further details are available at this time.

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna A185E Skywagon 185, N2231T; accident occurred July 15, 2020 at Fulton County Airport (KRCR), Rochester, Indiana



Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Rochester, Indiana
Accident Number: CEN20CA285
Date & Time: July 15, 2020, 16:40 Local
Registration: N2231T
Aircraft: Cessna A185
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 60,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
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: BasicMed Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 6, 2019
Flight Time: 2112 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1144 hours (Total, this make and model), 2017 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Certificate: Age:
Airplane Rating(s):
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N2231T
Model/Series: A185 E 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 185-1383
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 13, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5539 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO520D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility 6 miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None /
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Towanda, PA (N27)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Rochester, IN (RCR)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 13:30
Local Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: FULTON COUNTY RCR
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 789 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 11 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5001 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

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: 41.065555,-86.181663(est)