Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Van's RV-6, N69HF: Fatal accident occurred December 08, 2020 in Hitchcock, Galveston County, Texas

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; Houston, Texas 

Location: Hitchcock, TX 
Accident Number: CEN21LA080
Date & Time: December 8, 2020, 15:40 Local
Registration: N69HF
Aircraft: Vans RV6 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 8, 2020, about 1540 central standard time, a Vans RV-6 airplane, N69HF, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident in Hitchcock, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

Witnesses observed the pilot conduct maintenance on the airplane in front of his hangar at Scholes International Airport (GLS), Galveston, Texas. The ramp area where the airplane was located was on the north end of the airport between two rows of hangars. About 1415 one witness heard the airplane’s engine start and went outside to observe the airplane. The witness saw the pilot in the cockpit of the airplane with the canopy closed. He heard the power increase on the airplane’s engine and observed the airplane takeoff to the west from the ramp area. He said the airplane became airborne as it entered the grassy area between the taxiway and Rwy 18/36 and it bounced, pitched, and yawed erratically as it accelerated.

A pilot, who was in his airplane on the parallel taxiway near the hangar area, observed the airplane “shoot out” of the ramp area about 200 yards in front of him and become airborne as it entered the grass.

He indicated the pilot appeared to be having trouble controlling the airplane. He did not hear the pilot of the airplane make any radio calls on ground or tower frequencies.

Additional witnesses observed the airplane fly at a low altitude above a residential area about 6 miles west of GLS. They said the airplane flew north to south 200-300 ft above the ground and made a turn to the west towards the accident location, which was about 4 miles northwest of their location. They also reported the engine sounded normal. Residential security cameras also captured video of the airplane as it made that pass at 1538. The engine can be heard at a high power setting in the videos.

A witness near the accident scene reported she heard a loud noise and her house began to shake. She looked out her window and observed an airplane fly low near her house. She described the airplane as out of control as it went down, wobbling and moving unusually before it hit the ground. She said the airplane traveled more horizontally than vertically as it descended. She said the noise sounded like an engine and it was constant before the airplane impacted the ground. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans
Registration: N69HF
Model/Series: RV6
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KGLS,9 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:52 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 190°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.342925,-95.004477 (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. 

Austin Stahl

Austin Stahl, a 50-year-old Galveston native, was killed Tuesday in a plane crash near North Railroad and Mike avenues in Hitchcock, according to the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The National Transportation Safety Board still is investigating the crash, but initial reports indicate it began with a mishap on the ground at Scholes International Airport in Galveston.

The Van's RV-6 was unoccupied and running when it began to move forward while maintenance work was being performed, according to a brief statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot jumped into the plane, apparently in effort to stop it, but the aircraft rolled over its chocks, ground equipment meant to prevent it from moving, and became airborne, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Stahl was an experienced pilot and the only passenger on the plane, said Mike Shahan, director of Scholes International Airport.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — One person was killed Tuesday afternoon when a small plane crashed in a residential area of Galveston County, according to authorities.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an unoccupied single-engine plane began to move forward while maintenance work was being performed on the aircraft at Scholes International Airport in Galveston, which is about a 14-mile drive from the airport.

A pilot jumped in the plane but the FAA says it rolled over chocks and became airborne. The plane went down in a residential area near the intersection of South Railroad and Mike Avenue, in Hitchcock, at about 2 p.m.

The pilot has now been identified as 50-year-old Austin Stahl, of Galveston. 

There were no other passengers on the plane and no other injuries were reported.

The plane went down near railroad tracks.

Nicole Sumlin is a nurse who lives near the crash site. She said she saw the plane flying very low before nose-diving into the ground right in front of her house.

"As I looked, the plane just nose-dived right in front of my house and the wreckage just flew everywhere," she said.

She said she called 911 and immediately put on her mask to see if she would be able to administer CPR to any survivors.

She said when she approached the crash site, the wreckage was too bad and there were no signs of life, so she backed off and waited for first responders to arrive.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- The person killed in a small plane crash in Galveston County was working on the aircraft at Scholes International Airport when it began to roll away Tuesday, the FAA disclosed.

The person jumped into the plane before it rolled over wheel chocks and became airborne before crashing almost 14 miles away in a residential area in Hitchcock, according to a preliminary investigation. The crash site was located near South Railroad and Mike avenues.

The Federal Aviation Administration added the Van's RV-6 was unoccupied when it began to move at about 2 p.m.

As of Wednesday, the pilot's identity remains unknown.

There were no other deaths or injuries reported on the ground. It's also not known why the plane rolled away.

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

One person was killed in a plane crash near North Railroad and Mike avenues in Hitchcock about 3:50 p.m Tuesday.

The crash occurred shortly after Galveston police began looking for an airplane that had wobbled off the runway at Scholes International Airport in Galveston, officials said.

Hitchcock resident Nicole Sumlin saw the out-of-control plane from her window at home. It nosedived into a field near the railroad track on Mike and Hitchcock avenues, she said.

Sumlin, a nurse, called Hitchcock police and then went out to see whether she could assist but saw the pilot was dead, she said.

Scholes International Airport earlier in the day had called Galveston police about a small plane that had what officials described as an abnormal takeoff, said Doug Balli, assistant Galveston chief of police.

Galveston police were dispatched to search for the plane, which later crashed in Hitchcock.

Scholes International Airport officials told police the plane appeared to be unstable when it was lifting off the runway, Balli said.

The Hitchcock police department Tuesday evening had not identified the person killed in the crash.

It was unclear Wednesday how many people were aboard the plane, officials said.

Missing Aircraft: An inside look at the team that finds them

‘You’re hoping you get there soon enough’

Mark Young, commander of the National Radar Analysis Team, part of the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol.

An airplane headed to Amarillo, Texas, went missing in 2015 after leaving Flagstaff, Arizona. Its radar track shows that it unexpectedly flew north, eventually crashing in San Juan County, Colorado. 

Mark Young, commander of the National Radar Analysis Team, said his team locates 95% of missing planes within an hour or two using a number of data sources, including cellphones, ground radar and satellite imagery.

If you ever see Mark Young rush into a coffee shop and pull out his computer, odds are he is setting up to track a missing aircraft as part of a national recovery or rescue attempt.

Young is commander of the nation’s only aircraft search and rescue radar team – a group of volunteer data hounds who can find a missing plane within minutes.

The National Radar Analysis Team, part of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, was formally established as a national squadron in 2008. It is responsible for locating downed planes anywhere in the United States, and it uses everything from radar to cellphone and satellite data to get the job done.

“We used to do missions for 10 days, two weeks, maybe find the aircraft, maybe not,” Young said. “That was a common thing. Now ... 95% of them we resolve within an hour or two.”

The Civil Air Patrol has been responding to aircraft search and rescue missions since its creation in the 1940s.

A missing plane incident in 1997 changed the game. An Air Force pilot unexpectedly broke away from an aircraft training mission, flew into the Colorado Rockies with four 500-pound bombs on board, and was never heard from again.

In that case, the Air Force searched for weeks before turning to a new radar mapping program that laid radar data over a topographic map. The software quickly produced a location, showing the Air Force the value of the new mapping technique, Young said.

“That was the inception of the team, and then it grew from there,” he said.

The 12-member NRAT team is made up of volunteer programmers and analysts working remotely around the country, five of whom are located in Colorado. Typically, the team conducts about three search and rescue aircraft missions each week.

Members are responsible for locating missing aircraft in the United States, but they have also helped find missing aircraft abroad. For example, when the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing over the South China Sea in 2014 with 239 people on board, the radar team joined the search.

Roller-coaster response

When the team receives a call, “it takes us a few minutes to get to a computer, find a coffee shop or whatever, and get logged in,” Young said. In about 95% of its missions, the team can find an aircraft’s position to within 100 yards, he said.

That process generally takes about 10 minutes.

The team draws data from automatic surveillance systems on planes, military data, satellites, private companies and even aviation enthusiasts with their own radar receivers. The system compiles about 3GB of nationwide data each hour.

The response is “a roller coaster of emotions,” Young said.

Once members find the site, they can typically tell whether it was a survivable crash. They notify the local agencies, which can typically arrive at the scene within an hour or two, depending on the location and survivability.

“And then we wait,” Young said. “We’re kind of on pins and needles. ... You’re hoping somebody’s alive and you get there soon enough.”

The team’s speed makes the difference for response, said Jeff Sparhawk, president of Colorado Search and Rescue. When La Plata County Search and Rescue needs assistance finding a downed plane, it contacts the Colorado SAR to connect with the radar team.

“They definitely are on top of things. I’ve never seen it, but my understanding is their radar analysis is kind of groundbreaking stuff, at least when it was first developed,” Sparhawk said. “It really can make a difference in terms of how fast we get to a downed aircraft.”

Not only does the data help with response speed, but it has helped locate missing planes that would have otherwise remained mysteries.

In 2015, a plane headed from Flagstaff, Arizona, to Amarillo, Texas, veered off its flight path. Because of radar data, the team realized the pilot had flown north, over Farmington and Durango, and crashed in San Juan County, Colorado.

“Before we had this radar data available to us, we would have flown, I don’t know how many sorties looking for that guy and never found him because he wasn’t in the area,” Young said. “This has completely changed search and rescue.”

Volunteer effort

Like most search and rescue operations, the radar team relies on volunteers.

Most NRAT members have jobs in aviation fields, some with the Federal Aviation Administration or the Air Force. Some are retired.

“There’s a long history for the radar team in Colorado. They have made quite a difference over the years here,” Sparhawk said. “Their team works so well with all of the other teams, that collaboration is a big piece of what allows (operations) to work so smoothly.”

Young, a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, has been involved in search and rescue operations for four decades, even receiving a congressional public service tribute in 2018.

He was a responder with the radar team when famed pilot Steve Fossett, a record-setting aviator, went missing in 2007 while flying between Nevada and California.

“Unfortunately, there was not very good radar coverage. We spent a good three to four weeks trying to find a track,” Young said. “He was found a year later by some kids who actually found some $100 bills flying in the air. ... They were coming out of his wallet.”

When he’s not responding to missions, he is hiking around the Four Corners placing receivers on mountains and rooftops to access automatic surveillance data from planes.

For his day job, he is a medevac helicopter pilot – in 2009, he set eight world records, including a high-altitude landing at Pikes Peak. Recently, he was a security guard for then-candidate Lauren Boebert, who was elected to Congress in November.

“It’s very rewarding once we do find a plane, if we find it quickly and save a life,” Young said. “There’s a lot of dedication from our members for that reason.”

Group working to restore Ford aircraft

Jody Brausch with his Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche. Brausch, an investment advisor, has a commercial pilot's license and has flown Fort Tri-Motors.

A 1929 Ford Tri-Motor takes shape in a hangar at Liberty Aviation Museum near Port Clinton.

A view of the tail of a Ford Tri-Motor undergoing restoration at Liberty Aviation Museum.

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Year by year, rivet by rivet, the ghost of a romantic old aircraft is being turned into a working airplane.

Volunteers with the Tri-Motor Heritage Foundation of Port Clinton have labored since 2004 to restore a vintage Ford Tri-Motor aircraft. They are appealing for tax-deductible donations and volunteers to help them finish the job. 

While other planes have been restored by professionals, the project being carried out in a hangar at Liberty Aviation Museum is unique. It's among the few projects done mostly by amateurs and volunteers, said Jody Brausch, a Huron resident who is president of the group.

“This is the largest amateur-built aircraft restoration in history,” Brausch said. 

Aviation buffs have a soft spot for the Ford Tri-Motor, the legendary Tin Goose built by Henry Ford.

It’s the plane that helped launch the airline industry, serving as a passenger plane for early versions of United and TWA. Passengers in Columbus, Ohio, boarded it for flights of Transcontinental Air Transport, a 1929 air-rail venture largely run by aviation hero Charles Lindbergh that promised to speed passengers from New York to LA in just 48 hours. 

Admiral Byrd flew a Tri-Motor for his historic flight over the South Pole. And Island Airlines for decades flew the plane from Port Clinton to the Lake Erie islands. 

The plane the Heritage Foundation is working to restore rolled off Ford’s assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan, in April 1929, Brausch said. It was flown to Mexico City, where it became the first aircraft operated by Aeromexico, Mexico’s national airline.

In 1931 or so, it was sold to Pan American Airways, run by aviation legend Juan Trippe. 

“We have his signature on our logbooks,” Brausch said.

Pan Am flew the plane from Key West to Havana, Cuba, from 1931 to 1933 before it was sold to a Cuban airline in Havana. 

It then changed hands again and came to Ohio, where it was flown by Island Airways from 1946 to 1952 from Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay and other island stops. 

Johnson’s Flying Service in Missoula, Montana, bought it in 1952, using it to transport smokejumpers, firefighters who parachute into remote areas to battle wildfires.

In 1953, however, the plane ground looped on a mountain airstrip, touching its wing the ground during a takeoff or landing. 

“They left it there in the forest in a mangled heap,” Brausch said. 

Maurice Hovious, an aircraft repair and restoration specialist, bought salvage rights for the wreck, loaded it on a truck, and brought it back to Kalamazoo, Mich., Brausch said. 

Hovious agreed to let a group in Port Clinton restore the plane, and in 2004, restoration work began in a hangar at Erie-Ottawa International Airport. In 2012, Liberty Aviation Museum began providing hangar space for the project.

Liberty Aviation Museum’s collection of aircraft includes a historic Tri-Motor that’s still flying, the “City of Port Clinton.” The plane originally was named the “City of Wichita” and was part of Transcontinental Air Transport, the airline that began operations in 1929 and eventually evolved into TWA. 

“Steel Rails and Silver Wings,” a history of TAT by aviation historian Robert Serling, explains that many aircraft in the original TAT fleet were named after the cities the airline serviced, such as Wichita, Kansas. The fleet also included two “City of Columbus” aircraft, named after Columbus, Ohio. 

Brausch, who has a business background, came on board the restoration project in 2008 and helped the group obtain 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

“So far, we’re about 80 percent complete,” Brausch estimates, with the plane about three years away from being able to fly again.

About $1.7 million has been raised so far and about another $350,000 to $400,000 is needed to finish work. 

Tax-deductible donations may be made at restoretheford.org. There are opportunities to purchase a memorial brick for an outdoor walkway at Liberty Aviation Museum, and to sponsor a seat in the finished aircraft, with a brass placard to be permanently attached.

Volunteers also are needed, particularly ones with technical skills. 

“We would love to have volunteers who have a background in metalworking, more specifically aluminum, more specifically riveting,” Brausch said. Help is welcomed from retired metal workers, airframe mechanics and retired power plant mechanics, although all volunteers will be given work to do.

The restoration group has a core group of about a dozen enthusiasts, while about 35 people have come and gone, Brausch said.

They’d like to wrap up their work and complete the job of having a flyable aircraft.

“It’s been 12 years of my life,” Brausch said. 

Cessna 172I Skyhawk, N46017: Accident occurred December 08, 2020 at Dillon Airport (KDLN), Beaverhead County, Montana

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; Helena, Montana

Martineau Aircraft Inc


Location: Dillon, MT
Accident Number: WPR21LA067
Date & Time: December 8, 2020, 10:10 Local 
Registration: N46017
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N46017
Model/Series: 172 I 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDLN,5222 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C /-11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 18 knots / , 220°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Bozeman, MT (BZN)
Destination: Dillon, MT (DLN)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 45.264859,-112.55151 (est)

DILLON — The pilot injured in a Tuesday morning plane crash was transported to a Missoula hospital for treatment.

Beaverhead Sheriff Paul Craft identified the injured pilot as 23-year-old Matthew Dixon Jr. of Bozeman.

The pilot crashed a Cessna 172I Skyhawk while attempting a landing at the airport about 9 a.m. The pilot was transported to Barrett Hospital and HealthCare in Dillon that morning.

Federal Aviation Administration records indicate Dixon was certified as a student pilot in August.


DILLON, Montana — A pilot is hospitalized Tuesday morning after crashing his plane at the Dillon Airport.

Beaverhead Sheriff Paul Craft said a man flying a small Cessna crashed while attempting a landing at the airport about 9 a.m. The pilot was transported to Barrett Hospital and HealthCare in Dillon, but his condition has not been released.

“He was alive and talking to us,” said Craft, who was at the crash scene. “He was taking to the EMTs and medical professionals up there, so I know he was somewhat alert and conscious.”

The plane was coming from Gallatin County before crashing at the airport located about three miles northeast of Dillon. The identity of the pilot has not been released.

The incident remains under investigation.

Learjet 45, N254FS: Incident occurred December 08, 2020 at Waco Regional Airport (KACT), McLennan County, Texas

S&S Aviation Management LLC


An airplane with reported landing gear problems landed safely at Waco Regional Airport Tuesday morning.

Waco fire and ems units were dispatched to the airport about 8:00 a.m. when the report came in that the pilot was having difficulty confirming the gear was properly down.

The plane was a privately owned Learjet 45 and carried eight people at the time of the incident

City of Waco spokesman Larry Holze said the plane had taken off from the McGregor airport with the pilot getting an indication that the nose landing gear had not retracted properly.

There was then apparently some concern that it might not fully go back down in the normal landing position.

During a fly by it was determined that the landing gear did not fully deploy and was at a 45-degree angle.

Because fire equipment was available at Waco Regional the plane went there, dumped fuel, then managed to land without further mishap.

Ag aviators seek expanded role in fighting fires

Suppose California had a squadron of agricultural-aviation planes that could scramble to assist with firefighting efforts at a moment's notice.

Rob Scherzinger, who chairs the California Agricultural Aviation Association, doesn't need to imagine. As a record wildfire season ravaged California, he said several dozen such pilots and aircraft sat idle.

"While California was burning, there was 37 air tankers sitting on the ground, carded and ready to go, that could have been used," Scherzinger said.

Cal Fire rarely calls on single-engine air tankers to fight fires, and Scherzinger said agricultural pilots could help.

Single-engine air tankers, or SEATS for short, are the same type of planes as those commonly seen applying seeds, fertilizer or crop-protection materials to fields.

Issac Sanchez, a Cal Fire battalion chief and spokesman, said there is no ban in place on single-engine aircraft fighting fires. Decisions as to what planes to call in are made by supervisors on the front line, he added.

"If the incident commander or the air tactical group supervisor puts a request in or has a need for an aircraft, based off of what his fire is doing or where they expect their fire to be, they place a resource order for a specific aircraft type. In this case, they would have to specifically request a SEAT in order to have them show up on their incidents," Sanchez said.

Cal Fire incident commanders will typically order twin-engine S-2T air tankers, he said, because "those resources are readily available and they meet the needs of the incident at that given moment." The planes have one pilot and can carry 1,200 gallons of retardant, according to Cal Fire figures.

"Generally speaking," he added, "any resource is ordered based off of availability and, of course, the need of the incident."

Mike Schoenau, who operates an agricultural-aviation services company in Tulare County, said single-engine air tankers are in service elsewhere in the West—"all the neighboring states," he said, as well as Alaska, Colorado, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Texas. In fact, Scherzinger and Schoenau said, they can be called on to fight fires on U.S. Forest Service land in California.

"The Forest Service had single-engine air tankers at a base up at Quincy this summer," Schoenau said. "The Bureau of Land Management also contracts single-engine air tankers that they can have at several bases."

Cal Fire did call on single-engine planes at one point during the summer, he added, but only for a short time, with the planes and pilots released within a week.

Robert Spiegel, a California Farm Bureau policy advocate, said Cal Fire has seen budget augmentations for surge capacity, but said there are underused resources that could help.

"Why are these aviators, which are arguably in short supply, not able to utilize their aircraft for firefighting services?" Spiegel asked, noting the wide variety of businesses and know-how in rural California capable of helping.

"I think what deserves a discussion is: How do you expand capacity for these activities to exist?" Spiegel said. "How can California businesses, California pilots, California contractors—how can all of those entities involved in providing services that can benefit the fire-suppression as well as land-management components be brought to the best use?"

2020 brought record-setting wildfires to a state that has seen more than its share of them in recent times, he noted.

"The rural communities are the ones that have the resources, have the businesses there and are the ones being devastated by these fires," Spiegel said. "Why not try to utilize them? They are familiar with the area, familiar with the people to be able to do the work on the landscape, to protect their own communities as well in tandem with the professionals that we have working for Cal Fire."

Schoenau said there's no lack of agricultural planes.

"One of the great things about the state of California is that you've got agricultural aircraft positioned from as far north as Willows in the north valley, all the way down as far south as Bakersfield in the south valley," he said. "Inclusive of other valleys in the state, you can't hardly draw a circle that would be a 25- or 50-mile radius where you couldn't locate two or three airplanes."

He gave an example of a fire near Highway 99 in Madera County, in which a nearby agricultural-aviation operator was able to load his planes with water and send them out to keep the fire in check until the fire department could extinguish it.

"That's the kind of public-private partnership we're talking about, where these agricultural pilots with their aircraft that are already available could jump in and meet the need," Schoenau said.

Federal contracts for single-engine tanker support require the pilots to be trained and certified by the Office of Aviation Services, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"The basic training requirement is that they have 200 hours of low-level agricultural experience," Schoenau said; by that standard, he added, almost every agricultural-aviation pilot in the state would qualify. To earn their firefighting certification, pilots need to know how to navigate hilly or mountainous terrain, and take a course in Sacramento.

Scherzinger and Schoenau also said larger tankers can only operate from certain airfields, whereas single-engine air tankers can operate from smaller airports, provided their runways are long enough—allowing a wider variety of bases to be used.

"This time of year, we get the Santa Ana winds," Schoenau said. "They could have those assets deployed down there ready to go, and very typically these single-engine air tankers are parked with the load already on board. So the response time is literally minutes."

That fast response is key, Scherzinger said.

"The quicker you can get a resource onto a fire, the smaller it's going to be," he said. "If you can get it within a certain period of time, you have a lot better chance of containing the fire when it's a baby fire."

Incident occurred December 08, 2020 at Bradley International Airport (KBDL), Windsor Locks, Connecticut

WINDSOR LOCKS, Connecticut — An Air National Guard C-130 Hercules transport plane made an emergency landing at Bradley International Airport on Tuesday.

The plane, with eight people on board, had problems with one of the aircraft’s four engines, said Capt. Dave Pytlik, a spokesman for the Connecticut National Guard.

The plane landed safely at 3:54 p.m., Pytlik said.

No injuries were reported.

According to dispatch reports, the crew told first responders one of the engines was shut off in flight because of a fuel leak.

There was no smoke or fire when the aircraft landed, reports said.

The plane was on a training flight, Pytlik said.

In October, Air National Guard crews had to cut short two separate flights after both C-130 Hercules transport planes developed mechanical issues, officials said.

In both cases, both crews landed safely back at Bradley International Airport

One of the air crews found smoke in the cockpit during a training flight, and returned the large transport plane to the airport. The previous day, another C-130 developed a “mechanical issue with one of the four engines,” while the crew was wrapping up a scheduled training flight, the guard said.

The aircraft and crews are assigned to the 103rd Airlift Wing of the Connecticut Air National Guard, based in East Granby.

The Hercules model of C-130 are some of the oldest in the Air Force’s C-130 fleet. The model first entered service in the 1970s.

Terry Tripp lands Bombardier Global 5000 at Mountain Empire Airport (KMKJ), Virginia

Brian Burkett, airport manager (left) greets Terry Tripp who piloted the biggest jet ever to land at Mountain Empire Airport.

Terry Tripp grew up in Marion and learned to fly at Mountain Empire Airport. This past week, he was finally able to return to that same airport in the biggest jet ever to land there.

Tripp said he lived in Marion from age 2 and graduated from Marion Senior High School in 1975. He developed an interest in radio-controlled airplanes and flying and began taking lessons from John Greear at Mountain Empire Airport.

Tripp flew his first solo flight in 1982 and this year he marked 25 years with his current employer, NetJets, Inc., returning to Marion for the first time piloting a jet. He lives in Canton, Ga., with his wife, Marsha, a nurse, and their two children, Davis, 17, and Lauren, 15.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to get in here,” Tripp said on Sunday after landing a Bombardier Global 5000. It seats 13 and there were two pilots for the flight, the captain and first officer, and a flight attendant. The jet has a 12-hour range of 5,000 nautical miles and can climb to an altitude of 51,000 feet. It is 96 feet long with a 94-foot wingspan.

Tripp said he worked as a Pepsi route salesman while he took flying lessons. He flew for American Eagle in 1989 and U.S. Air Express, and did aerial photography out of Toledo, Ohio.

He has five different type ratings (different models) in jets and over 16,000 hours TT (total time) since lesson one when he first began to fly.

His favorite part about flying, Tripp said, is “Seeing the world. Seeing what was created, from above.”

The places he’s flown include Europe, Asia, South America, New Zealand, China, Indonesia and the Canary Islands. Tripp has been back for class reunions, but Sunday was the first time, he said, that he’d been able to return home at the controls of a plane.

At 63, Tripp said he plans to continue flying as long as he can keep his medical permission up to date and perhaps retire in five to seven years.

“I’m blessed and pleased with where I am,” he said.

Captain Tripp flies for NetJets Inc., an American company owned by Berkshire Hathaway that sells part ownership or shares of private business jets. NetJets was founded in 1964 as Executive Jet Aviation. It was the first private business jet charter and aircraft management company.

“History was made today [Sunday] as we had the largest jet ever to land at Mountain Empire Airport since the airport was established in 1958...a Global 5000!” said Brian Burkett, airport manager, of the visit. “We’ve had a SAAB 2000, Fokker 27, DC-6, and C-54 in before but they’re all propeller driven.”

Folks commenting on Facebook postings by Mountain Empire Airport (KMKJ) were awed by the sight of the big jet and video of its landing and takeoff.

“Saw that coming in for landing on the way home from Dip Dog. Wow! It was formidable. What an awesome sight. A proud moment for us all!” posted Charlie Teresa Martin.


“Short field take off! Powerful airplane! Good pilot …” posted Art Ramey.

“This was pretty amazing. We were on the interstate while it was landing and got a video of it,” posted Crystal Fisher Brown.

“I couldn’t believe the lift that thing has. I got to see it take off from our farm and it was impressive how fast it climbed,” posted Chris Robertson.

“Those Globals are eye candy!” said Tim Sommers.

“Y’all got some cool stuff visiting your little airport, military, Osprey, and this,” commented Jim Robertson.

Mountain Empire Airport is a general aviation facility serving the towns of Marion and Wytheville, Smyth and Wythe counties as well as the greater region of southwestern Virginia.

Fuel Exhaustion: Beechcraft B60 Duke, N50JR; Accident occurred January 29, 2020 near Edwards Lucian Wells Ranch Airport (TX31), Big Spring, Howard County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

7X Oilfield Services Inc

Location: Big Spring, Texas 
Accident Number: CEN20TA071
Date & Time: January 29, 2020, 17:10 Local 
Registration: N50JR
Aircraft: Beech 60 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Factual Information

On January 29, 2020, about 1710 central standard time, a Beechcraft BE60 airplane, N50JR, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident about ½ mile southwest of Edwards Lucian Wells Ranch Airport (TX31), Big Spring, Texas. The commercial pilot and sole occupant received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, before departing Abilene Regional Airport (KABI), Abilene, Texas for Odessa Airport (KODO), Odessa, Texas, he asked the fixed base operator (FBO) to add 20 gallons of 100LL aviation gasoline to both fuel tanks. Fuel receipts and statements from FBO personnel confirm that the fuel requested was added to the airplane.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) archived air traffic control (ATC) communications revealed that after departing KABI, the pilot climbed to a cruising altitude of 10,500 ft. At 1656, the pilot advised ATC of left engine issues and indicated they may have to land at Big Spring, Texas (KBPG). At 1659, the pilot confirmed that he intended to land at KBPG. At 1700, the pilot informed ATC that the right engine was running and the left engine was shut down. He stated that he was able to maintain altitude and wished to continue to KODO. About one minute later, the pilot, once again, advised ATC that he would continue to KODO and would not need assistance upon arrival. Shortly thereafter, the pilot requested a heading for KBPG and stated that the right engine had failed.

At 1703, ATC asked the pilot if he would make it to the airport, to which he replied that he may not, but was trying. After being offered an alternate airport by ATC, the pilot stated that he preferred KBPG and reported the airport in sight. At 1704, the pilot called ATC and told them the engine was failing and he saw a different airport that he would attempt a landing at. About 1705, the pilot notified ATC that he was over the airport and would try to land. About a minute later, the pilot stated that he was entering the traffic pattern for the runway and was going to be able to make it. About 1707, the pilot stated that he was on left downwind for the airport and was 90% sure he could make the airport. About two minutes later, another airplane on the same frequency told ATC that he was hearing the broadcast of an emergency locator transmitter and heard a transmission, "I'm going to crash." 

The wreckage was located about 10 minutes later 200 to 300 yards before the threshold of runway 02. The airplane came to rest upright and sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The pilot later reported to the NTSB that about 10 miles east of KBPG, both engines lost power due to a "lack of fuel flow." Following the loss of engine power, he looked for a place to land and saw TX31 that appeared to be within gliding distance. He overflew the airport and turned onto final for the north runway. On short final, he lowered the landing gear and "the plane quit flying, the airspeed went to nothing and the plane landed short of the runway."

When the FAA aviation safety inspector arrived on scene, they attempted to drain fuel from the fuel tanks. They were able to drain "a couple tablespoons" of fuel from the left tank, but were unable to drain the right tank due to the terrain and the position of the airplane. There was no blue discoloration present on either of the wings or engine nacelles and neither fuel tank was breached. The battery remained connected, and when power was applied to the electrical system, both fuel quantity gauges indicated empty.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 72,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 17, 2018
Occupational Pilot: UNK
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: May 1, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 25000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7 hours (Total, this make and model), 21000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N50JR
Model/Series: 60 B60
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: P-303
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 1, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 6000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: TIO540
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 380
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: 
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Abilene, TX (ABI) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Odessa, TX (ODO)
Type of Clearance:  Traffic advisory; VFR flight following
Departure Time: 18:22 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class E; Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2505 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 2
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5200 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing

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: 32.059722,-101.58583(est)

Piper PA-44-180T Turbo Seminole, N83750: Incident occurred December 06, 2020 at Mount Vernon Outland Airport (KMVN), Jefferson County, Illinois

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aircraft landed and nose gear collapsed incurring a propeller strike. 

Airgo Inc

Date: 06-DEC-20
Time: 03:15:00Z
Regis#: N83750
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA44
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Mt. Vernon Professional Fire Fighters
At approximately 1945 hrs, MVFD was notified of an inbound aircraft emergency that was diverting from Centralia Airport to Mt. Vernon Outland Airport for an emergency landing with three (3) personnel on board. 

The Piper PA-44-180T Turbo Seminole indicated that the nose landing gear had not fully deployed. 

MVFD crash rescue 14 along with three (3) other engines, a tender from JFPD, Littons ambulance, MVPD and JCSO responded. 

After a low level fly over, it was determined that the front landing gear was not fully deployed. 

Thanks to the skill of the pilot on board, the plane was able to successfully complete an emergency landing, sliding to a stop on the runway with no injuries. 

MVFD ARFF personnel were at the aircraft within seconds of it coming to a stop to assist passengers and secure the plane. 

Incidents like this truly show that the MVFD is an all hazards fire department. 

Special thanks to Jefferson Fire Protection District #1, Litton Ambulance Service, Inc, Air-Evac 35 and 28 as well as Waltonville Fire Protection District and Kell Fire Protection District for providing station coverage.

Mooney M20M Bravo, N381KH: Accident occurred June 28, 2021 and Incident occurred December 05, 2020

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; Boise, Idaho

Phoenix Fire Protection LLC

Location: Nampa, ID
Accident Number: WPR21LA256
Date & Time: June 28, 2021, 10:50 Local 
Registration: N381KH
Aircraft: Mooney M20 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney 
Registration: N381KH
Model/Series: M20 M 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KMAN,2537 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Redmond, OR (RDM)
Destination: Nampa, ID

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 43.581341,-116.52306 

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

December 05, 2020: Aircraft blew a tire and veered off the runway striking a runway light and taxiway sign at Boise Airport (KBOI), Ada County, Idaho.

Phoenix Fire Protection LLC

Date: 05-DEC-20
Time: 20:32:00Z
Regis#: N381KH
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20M Bravo
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
State: IDAHO