Saturday, January 09, 2021

Mitsubishi MU-2B-26A, N2RA: Incident occurred January 08, 2021 at Carson City Airport (KCXP), Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on landing.

Flying MU2 LLC


Date: 08-JAN-21
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N2RA
Aircraft Make: MITSUBISHI
Aircraft Model: MU2B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: CARSON CITY
State: NEVADA
 

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: No injuries are reported and responders were released from the scene. Responders on scene stated this was not an aircraft crash but rather a "skid out."

UPDATE 3:17 p.m.: All first responders are now on scene at the airport.

Carson City first responders were called to the Carson City Airport on Friday just after 3:10 p.m. due to a "hard landing."

No flames could be seen at the time from the twin-engine plane.

Wind gusts of up to 29 mph were reported on Friday afternoon by the weather service.

Lehigh Carbon Community College receives $1 million donation from former pilot

Nevin Earl Remaley

Lehigh Carbon Community College has received a $1 million donation from Nevin Earl Remaley, a former airline pilot originally from Lehighton, which will provide scholarships to students in the aviation program at the college. In addition, in honor of this generous contribution, the Technology Center on the Schnecksville campus will be named the Nevin Earl Remaley Technology Center. A dedication and naming ceremony will be held at a later date.

Remaley died in June 2020 at the age of 94. He attended Lehighton Area High School and before graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended the Naval School of Electronics and was an electrician on a landing craft tanker. He served during World War II, fighting in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He received an honorary discharge in 1946.

Remaley earned his bachelor’s degree in corporate accounting and business administration from the Allentown Business School, then worked for a New York brokerage firm, where he sold stocks and securities on Wall Street. He became hooked on flying after flying a trainer Piper Cub out of the Lehighton Airport. He went on to become a commercial airline pilot for Allegheny Airlines and US Airways and retired as a captain after 25 years.

“Mr. Remaley had a passion for flying and wanted to ensure that others had the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said LCCC President Dr. Ann D. Bieber. “The college is honored to be able to carry on this legacy for a man who lived a long and fruitful life. LCCC students will benefit greatly from his generosity.”

“It all started when Jake Arner, owner of Arner’s Flying Service in Lehighton, gave Mr. Remaley a chance to fly over the Lehigh Valley,” said close friend and trustee John E. Hofkes. “From that point on Mr. Remaley said he was hooked on flying. He said, ‘I owe my flying career to Mr. Arner and the GI Bill.’ His lifelong dream was that one day he would be able to pay it forward by helping future aviators learn how to fly through the Nevin Earl Remaley Aviation Scholarship Fund.”

The Nevin Earl Remaley Aviation Scholarship will benefit students who are working on their pilot’s license, offsetting the high cost of flight fees, and will honor Remaley’s passion for flying. Students who are residents of Pennsylvania will receive preference.

For information on the scholarship, contact Silvia Vargas, executive director of the LCCC Foundation, at smaldonadovargas@lccc.edu.


Nevin Earl Remaley served our country with the US Navy during WWII and later worked for US Airlines as a pilot and was very grateful to the Arner family (Lehighton) for aviation instruction. Nevin stated that mandatory retirement from aviation piloting was the worst day of his life.

Fuel Related: Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N6872P; accident occurred January 03, 2019 near Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport (KWBW), Luzerne County, Pennsylvania








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; Allentown, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 
Accident Number: ERA19LA085
Date & Time: January 3, 2019, 16:00 Local 
Registration: N6872P
Aircraft: Piper PA24 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The pilot, who was an airframe and powerplant mechanic, and the flight instructor both reported that, after turning onto the base leg at the end of the instructional flight, the pilot extended the landing gear in preparation to land; however, the gear did not fully extend, and the engine stopped producing power. The pilots made a forced landing to a soccer field short of the runway, during which the airplane struck a ditch and sustained substantial damage to the airframe. A postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no obvious preimpact mechanical anomalies with the landing gear system or the engine. However, the pilot later stated that he had opened the engine cowling after the forced landing and saw the mixture cable was caught in the nose gear assembly. The pilot said he then unsnagged the cable, so it was not immediately obvious to investigators. He said that the mixture cable had gotten caught on the nosewheel assembly when it was trying to extend, which had caused the mixture control arm on the carburetor to move to the lean position.

The pilot had performed maintenance on the landing gear a few weeks before the accident. He used plastic tie-wraps to ensure the throttle/mixture/carburetor heat cables were positioned away from the nose gear, which does not have a protected well on this make/model airplane. He then flew the airplane and placed it back in his hangar until the accident flight. The pilot said there were a lot of mice in his hangar, and he thought a mouse got up in the engine and chewed off the plastic tie-wraps, which allowed the mixture cable to come loose. However, there was no evidence to support this theory.

A review of the airplane's Illustrated Parts Catalogue showed the mixture, throttle, and carburetor heat cables routed and secured away from the nose landing gear via metal clamps. Additional research of the Federal Aviation Administration Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs) revealed only one reported instance in which the mixture control cable got caught in the nose landing gear on this make/model airplane. The December 2003 report stated that, due to the mixture control cable not being properly secured or routed, it encountered the nose gear assembly during extension and fuel to the engine was shut off. The mechanic who submitted the SDR corrected the situation by properly routing and securing the mixture control cable. 

Given the available evidence, the mixture control cable in the accident airplane was not properly installed/secured. As a result, the cable caught on the nose landing gear assembly when the landing gear were extended and subsequently pulled the mixture control arm on the carburetor, thus shutting off fuel to the engine.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot/mechanic's improper installation and securing of the mixture control cable, which led to a simultaneous loss of total engine power and failure of the nose landing gear to fully extend when the cable caught on the nose landing gear assembly.

Findings

Aircraft (general) - Failure
Aircraft Fuel control/carburetor - Incorrect service/maintenance
Personnel issues Installation - Pilot
Aircraft Gear extension and retract sys - Failure

Factual Information

On January 3, 2019, at 1600 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-24-250, N6872P, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a field while on approach to the Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport (WBW), Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot and the flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Bradford County Airport (N27), Towanda, Pennsylvania, about 1540.

The pilot stated that he had to extend the downwind leg of the traffic pattern due to a departing aircraft. He turned on to the base leg at an altitude of 1,000 ft above ground level (agl) and extended the landing gear, but the gear did not fully extend, and the gear-handle was "stuck." The pilot removed the access door for the emergency landing gear extension handle, but he could not get it to release. At this point, the flight instructor said, "You better put power in", but there was no response from the engine and the tachometer read "0." The airplane was unable to reach the runway and the pilot made a forced landing to a soccer field. The airplane struck a ditch, resulting in substantial damage to the airframe. All three propeller blades were also damaged.

The flight instructor stated the pilot extended the landing gear on the base leg of the traffic pattern, but it extended mid-way and stopped. The pilot then said, "the engine quit." The flight instructor told the pilot to retract the gear, but the gear would not retract. The pilot tried the emergency landing gear extension handle but the handle would not move. The flight instructor also noted that the mixture control was "jammed up sideways" in the full rich position and could not be moved. Due to their low altitude (500 ft above ground level), they were unable to land at the airport and made a forced landing to a soccer field. The flight instructor said the landing was smooth until the airplane struck a drainage ditch.

A postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no obvious pre mishap mechanical issues with the landing gear system or the engine; however, the pilot subsequently admitted that after the examination was completed that he knew what caused the simultaneous loss of engine power and the landing gear malfunction. He said the mixture cable got caught on the nose wheel assembly when it was trying to extend, which caused the mixture control on the carburetor to move to the lean position. The pilot said that after the forced landing, and against the advice of his flight instructor, he opened the engine cowling and saw the mixture cable caught in the nose gear structure and unsnagged the cable so it was not immediately obvious to investigators.

The pilot, who was also an airframe and powerplant mechanic, performed maintenance on the landing gear a few weeks before the accident. He retracted the gear 10-12 times and it worked "flawlessly." The pilot said he used plastic tie-wraps to make sure the throttle/mixture/carburetor heat cables were positioned away from the nose-gear, which does not have a protected well on this make/model airplane. He last flew the airplane on December 27, 2018. After he landed, he placed the airplane in his hangar and did not install covers over the landing gear to prevent mice from getting into the engine compartment. The pilot said there were a lot of mice in his hangar and he thought a mouse got up in the engine and chewed off the plastic tie wraps allowing the mixture cable to come loose. Prior to the flight he did not check inside the engine compartment for any rodent damage.

A review of the Piper PA-24-250 Illustrated Parts Catalogue, pages 2G13-2G15, show the mixture, throttle and carburetor heat cables routed and secured away from the nose landing gear via metal clamps. Additional research of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs), revealed only one reported instance where the mixture control cable got caught in the nose landing gear on this make/model airplane. The report was made in December 2003 and stated, "Mixture control cable secured and/or routed incorrectly when mixture control cable was replaced and/or lubed. when the cable came in contact with nose gear extension during final approach to runway. The nose gear assembly caught the mixture control cable somewhere between the firewall and carburetor pulling the mixture control cable down, shutting off the mixture at the carburetor with enough force to break the stop on the mixture control arm of the carburetor. Corrected by routing mixture control cable correctly and performing gear retraction checking operation."

At 1554, the weather conditions reported at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (AVP), Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, located about 6 miles southeast of the accident site, was wind from 010° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, overcast clouds 3,600 ft, temperature 2°C, dew point -3°, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft maintenance event
Approach-VFR pattern base Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Approach-VFR pattern base Fuel related (Defining event)
Emergency descent Fuel related
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 20, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 497 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor; Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: April 13, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 5550 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6872P
Model/Series: PA24 250 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1960 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-2007
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2899 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-540 SERIES
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 250 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: AVP,961 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:54 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3600 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 10° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Towanda, PA (N27)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wilkes-Barre, PA (WBW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:40 Local 
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley WBW 
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 543 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry;Vegetation
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing; Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41,-75(est)




Newly-acquired Air Force Research Laboratory test aircraft to aid personnel recovery research



WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- A small aircraft that is poised to make a big impact on military personnel recovery made a brief stop in the Dayton area on its way to St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where it will be used to test the Air Force Research Laboratory-developed Low Altitude Sensing Helmet system.

The CubCrafters XCub aircraft was ferried from Yakima, Washington, to Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport near Dayton, on its journey to the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s contracted research flight test organization facility, December 21. The aircraft was recently purchased by AFRL to advance the initial “Lysander” flying experiment, which will demonstrate the Low Altitude Sensing Helmet system, known as LASH.

LASH, a portable kit developed within the AFRL 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate, contains specialized equipment including a flight helmet, a thermal camera, night vision goggles and various other components. The kit can quickly and easily be installed onto nearly any general aviation aircraft to equip pilots for low-level, low-speed, nighttime flight – something that is essential for personnel recovery and other “featherweight airlift” special missions, according to Dr. Darrel G. Hopper, 711th Human Performance Wing project lead.

“The Air Force’s CODE (Combat Operations in Denied Environment) program determined that these types of missions could not be executed effectively by the large aircraft that we have been using over the last 20 years in areas where we have air dominance,” Hopper said. “Project Lysander was conceived as a method of rescuing isolated personnel in both heavily defended and undefended airspace. A critical element of the project was determined to be a carry-on kit that could allow such operations.” He explained that the LASH system kit was designed to fill this need and provide pilots with sensory situational awareness required to fly safely, at night, at extremely low altitudes and slow airspeeds.

Hopper explained that LASH came about after the Air Combat Command and the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation office at AFRL asked the 711th Human Performance Wing’s Airman Systems Directorate to lead this research effort.

“They called on us based on our expertise in this type of work,” Hopper explained. “Our directorate has decades of experience in researching, developing and fielding helmet- and cockpit-mounted displays and other wearable vision aids for combat pilots, aircrews and special operations warriors.”

After careful study of mission requirements and aircraft capabilities, AFRL researchers designed the LASH kit using a number of mostly commercial-off-the-shelf components. The kit was packaged into a compact, easy-to-transport, one-person carrying system that could be easily fitted temporarily to virtually any small aircraft without additional modification.

Hopper said the CubCrafters XCub was identified by ACC as the safest and most capable commercial-off-the-shelf aircraft for the initial flying experiment to test the LASH System kit.

“If we can demonstrate that the XCub can be flown safely at night at low speed and low altitude using the LASH night vision aids, then we can expand LASH system kit use to other types of short takeoff and landing general aviation aircraft.”

After the aircraft reaches the flight test organization in Maryland, it will first be used to fit-test the LASH system. AFRL researchers and contractor partners will next refine the installation and de-installation process as well as baseline-test metrics, and develop the associated test cards, while flying without the kit. The first flights with the LASH system are scheduled for early spring 2021. If flight tests are successful and program objectives are achieved, the LASH system could be on track for technology transfer and possible deployment as early as 2022.

“This system offers the potential to greatly expand our capability to perform necessary personnel recovery and related missions,” Hopper said. “The acquisition and delivery of this test vehicle is a critical milestone in getting the LASH technology and featherweight airlift capability into the hands of the warfighter.”

Hopper added that after the XCub test aircraft has completed its role in this project, AFRL will be able to use it as a test asset for future research projects as well.

Do emails show who wanted to axe the Charlotte County Airport Authority?


Privatizing the Punta Gorda Airport may be off the table, but suspicions linger over who was trying to get rid of the Airport Authority.

Some county officials see the recent release of City Council emails as a smoking gun, but one of the people that the gun is pointed at claims no involvement.

“I have never spoken to Mayor (Lynne) Matthews or the city manager about the Charlotte County Airport Authority,” Rep. Michael Grant told The Daily Sun in an email.

How about the airport authority consultant, Andrew Vasey? Late last year, Vasey joined former Airport Commissioner Pam Seay in campaigning to turn airport operations over to a private group that would pay hundreds of millions of dollars over 40 years to the county for the privilege.

“I spoke to Mr. Vasey and let him know I was disappointed that the Charlotte County Airport Authority wouldn’t even look at the proposals to determine whether or not any such deal would be in the best interest of the residents of Charlotte County. What he did after that, I do not know,” Grant said.

In November, the Airport Authority voted 3-2 to end discussion of a public-private partnership, even with investors waiting in the wings. Grant’s daughter, Vanessa Oliver, who was recently elected to the Airport Authority, voted for the authority to consider privatization proposals during her first meeting.

The main reason for the 3-2 vote was that the airport is doing so well, even in the midst of the pandemic, that changing management seemed like a bad idea. At issue is the fact that the airport by law can’t spend its excess funds outside of the airport. The public-private plan was a way to spend the income anywhere in the county, including on reviving Allegiant Airlines’ stalled Sunseeker resort construction.

Even Allegiant however, said they were not interested, and their vote counts more than anyone’s. They have effective veto power. Allegiant did not put that in writing, however, until after the City Council, on Dec. 2, agreed without a vote to petition the state legislature about the airport. The request was to wrest control of the airport from the five-person authority.

It was an unadvertised decision made with little debate. City council members have said they only agreed to hear a presentation on airport privatization from Vasey. But the request to change the airport ownership legislation was drafted immediately. The pitch would go to county’s legislative delegation, which includes Grant.

This was the pitch, that was rescinded a few days later:

“Knowing the quality and value of work that has occurred for the Public Private Partnership proposal, and knowing the value that the city of Punta Gorda could derive from such a long term partnership, the city of Punta Gorda seeks the delegation’s assistance in becoming the principal partner in the PPP in order to further evaluate and potentially execute the agreement arising from ownership of the Punta Gorda Airport.”

“This isn’t just listening to a presentation,” said County Commissioner Joe Tiseo to the Metropolitan Planning Organization in December. “This is requesting that ownership position. That can only be done legislatively.”

Contacted by The Daily Sun this week, Tiseo said he believes the emails that recently were released show that Grant was an instigator.

“He’s implicated by (Vice Mayor) Debbie Carey and the Mayor (Lynn Matthews) by name,” Tiseo said.

Grant’s name appears to come up once in the emails.

“Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. we will be meeting to discuss Mike Grant’s request that we listen to details about privatizing the airport,” Vice Mayor Debbie Carey said in a Dec. 8 email to six people not on the council.

Matthews’ statements came at a Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting in December.

“There was a discussion that took place between the gentleman that did the presentation to the Airport Authority (Vasey) and Michael Grant’s office, and Michael Grant’s office had requested that they communicate to us that they would like us to consider getting involved at some level ... We were asked to include that in our legislative agenda so it could be on the record that we want a seat at the table, so to speak,” she said.

Speaking this week, Matthews told The Daily Sun that everything was communicated through the city manager, Greg Murray. Murray’s office has said he has no comment. Vasey has also not returned calls for comment.

The man who requested the emails is Airport Authority lawyer Darrol Carr, who did not return calls for comment or for information on emails from Vasey.

Airport Authority Commissioner Rob Hancik said he has not seen any emails. Even though the issue has been tabled, Hancik said he would like to get to the bottom of things.

“I want to find out what all went on with this thing,” he said.

Tiseo asked: “Why does Michael Grant want to see the Airport Authority dissolved?”

Landing Gear Not Configured: Boeing 727-200, N720CK; accident occurred January 28, 2019 at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (KTCL), Alabama

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Accident Number: DCA19LA070
Date & Time: January 27, 2019, 22:05 Local 
Registration: N720CK
Aircraft: Boeing 727 200
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured 
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 121: Air carrier - Non-scheduled

Analysis

The flight from LRD to the TCL area was normal, with no weather or operational issues.

As the flight was on final approach, with the power near idle, the captain called for flaps 15 and gear down. A red status light for the nose gear illuminated indicating it was not down and locked. All flight crewmembers reported they saw the light.

The flight engineer recommended recycling the gear lever, and the First Officer recommended a go around to troubleshoot. The Captain declined and continued the approach. He did not call for or conduct any checklists for abnormal gear operation.

The airplane landed long, and upon derotation, the forward fuselage contacted the runway with the nose gear retracted, resulting in substantial damage. The airplane came to rest with less than 500 feet of pavement remaining.

The aircraft operation manual notes that attempting to extend gear while simultaneously operating flaps at idle power may result in unreliable gear operation. A crew operating the accident airplane two days prior reported having a gear issue under those conditions. Recycling the gear lever cleared the problem.

It is likely that if the crew had conducted a go-around and completed the abnormal checklists and/or cycled the gear, the nose gear would have extended. Had it not extended, a go-around would have allowed for a more stabilized approach and landing with more runway available.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
the captain's decision to continue the landing with an unsafe gear indication.

Findings

Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Aircraft Gear extension and retract sys - Malfunction

Factual Information

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On January 28, 2019, at 20:08 central standard time (CST), Kalitta Charters II, LLC flight 720, a Boeing 727-2B6, N720CK, landed with the nose gear retracted on runway 4 at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The airplane was substantially damaged and there were no injuries to the three flight crew and one non-revenue company mechanic onboard. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 as a cargo flight from Laredo International Airport (LRD), Laredo, Texas. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.

The flight departed LRD at 18:26 CST on an IFR flight plan. There were no irregularities or operational issues reported during the takeoff and enroute portion of the flight. According to the flight crew, the captain was the pilot flying when the accident occurred.

At 19:58, the Birmingham Approach air traffic controller advised the crew that the wind at TCL was from 200 degrees at 4 knots. The crew acknowledged and advised that they would use runway 4. The controller instructed them to report the airport in sight. At 20:01, the crew reported the airport in sight, and the controller cleared them for the visual approach. There was no communication regarding any difficulty with the airplane.

According to the flight crew, about 12 miles from the airport the captain called for flaps 15 and gear down. After the gear was selected down, the CVR recorded the first officer stating, "yeah it's down, but [unintelligble] the lights [unintelligble]"

The crew reported that they noted a red warning light for the nose gear position, and heard the audible gear warning horn. The CVR recorded the captain queried, "what horn was that?" and the first officer (FO) responded, "[unintelligible] gear warning horn."

The flight engineer (FE) stated that he recommended that they recycle the gear, the captain declined. The FO stated that he recommended that they go around to troubleshoot, the captain declined. The CVR recorded multiple automated "sink rate, pull up" warnings and the captain responded, "yeah, yeah, I got it." The FO then queried, "you gonna go around?", and the captain responded, "ah I'm gonna go… I got, it, I got it."

The captain reportedly stated that the airplane had a history of a microswitch issue, and pressed on the gear handle and light. As the power was reduced to idle, the gear warning horn and the GPWS audible alerts sounded. The captain stated in an interview that he asked for the gear to be recycled, and also that he smelled smoke and did not want to delay. Neither the FO, FE, or non-revenue mechanic, reported these items, nor were any of these items audible on the CVR.

The captain continued the approach and after landing, upon derotation, the forward fuselage contacted the runway and the airplane quickly slid to a stop with the nose gear retracted. After the airplane came to a stop, the captain stated, "it wasn't down," and the FO made a radio call to tower. About five seconds later the FO stated, "shoulda gone around," and the captain responded, "yeah, shoulda."

INJURIES TO PERSONS

None.

DAMAGE TO AIRCRAFT

Skin and stringers in the vicinity of the nose gear well were substantially damaged, the nose gear assembly required replacement. The forward pressure bulkhead was damaged in the vicinity of the forward accessory compartment.

OTHER DAMAGE

There was minor damage to runway pavement.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The Captain, age 60, reported 23,700 total time, including 6,800 in the B727. He held an ATP certificate for airplane multiengine land and commercial certificate for airplane single engine land. He had an FAA first class medical dated 10/23/2018 with a restriction for corrective lenses. He held type ratings for the Boeing 727, 737, 757, and 767. He also holds a flight engineer certificate and private pilot (foreign based) certificate.

He was hired by Kalitta Charters II, LLC on 9/30/2017. His last simulator proficiency check was on 9/22/2018. In the 90 days preceding the accident, he flew 104 hours and 6 hours in the preceding 30 days. He was hired as a captain with previous flying experience in the Boeing 727. He reported to the company that his logbook was destroyed in a natural disaster so his total times prior to employment with Kalitta Charters II, LLC are estimates.

The first officer, age 46, held an ATP certificate with airplane multiengine land and a commercial certificate for airplane single engine land. He also held a Commercial certificate with ratings for rotorcraft- helicopter and instrument helicopter. He held a First Class Medical dated 10/30/2018 with no restrictions. He held type ratings for the Boeing 727 and Cessna Citation (CE-500).

He was hired by Kalitta Charters II, LLC on 7/11/2018 and completed his line operating experience on 11/13/2018. His last simulator consolidation check was on 12-01-2018. His total flight time for all aircraft is 1,850 hours with 105 hours in the Boeing 727. He had a total of 810 hours airplane multiengine time.

The Flight Engineer, age 60, held a Flight Engineer certificate with a turbojet powered rating and an A&P certificate. He was hired by Kalitta Charters II, LLC on 12/02/2013. He logged 315 hours as a flight engineer in the past 12 months

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The accident airplane was a Boeing 727-2B6, serial number 21298, manufactured in 1977. It was equipped with three Pratt & Whitney JT8D-15 engines. The aircraft had a maximum gross weight of 194,800 lbs. The weight at the time of the landing accident was 145,049 lbs. The aircraft's last continuous airworthiness inspection was 1/20/2019 and the total airframe hours were 57,932.

The nose landing gear was removed, replaced and signed off 2/12/2010. The nose landing gear actuator was replaced on 4/08/2017 after a discrepancy was reported that the nose gear would not extend and had to be cycled up and down.

The nose gear operates via System A hydraulic pressure. When the landing gear lever on the flight deck is placed into the down position, a cable drives the landing gear selector valve in the main wheel well. Hydraulic fluid is then ported to the pressure side of the nose gear lock actuator and nose gear extend/retract actuator. A transfer cylinder mounted on the aft bulkhead of the wheel well momentarily equalizes hydraulic pressure on the nose gear actuator at the start of each extension cycle to relieve the nose gear of the actuator force until the uplock is released. During the neutral force period the lock actuator unlocks the gear and starts the drag brace folding.

According to the Kalitta Charters II, LLC Boeing 727 Aircraft Operations Manual Vol. II Ch. 20, Landing Gear:

"The nose gear transfer cylinder assists in unlocking the nose gear during normal gear extension and requires full System A hydraulic pressure for normal operation. Simultaneous operation of the landing gear and flaps will cause a large volume demand on the system and with engines at or near idle RPM, hydraulic pump volume output may not be sufficient to maintain normal system pressure of 2800-3100 psi. With this condition the nose gear transfer cylinder may not operate properly to assist in unlocking the nose gear and noisy or unreliable nose gear operation may result."

One day prior to the accident, a different flight crew experienced an indication that the nose landing gear failed to extend. This flight was also landing at TCL, and the crew reported they were high and fast, and that power was near idle, and flaps were in transit when the gear was selected down. After extending the landing gear, the crew received a red warning light for the nose gear. The green nose gear down and lock light was not illuminated. The crew requested delaying vectors and referenced the abnormal checklist for landing gear indications. They attempted to swap out the green down and lock bulb with another bulb but still did not receive the light. The gear was cycled, the red unsafe indication extinguished, and they then received a green down and lock indication for the nose wheel. The event was not written up in the maintenance logbook. The Captain said he felt he may have induced the problem since he operated the landing gear and flaps simultaneously with the thrust near idle. The captain of that flight said he informed the accident captain of the gear indication issues.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

Night visual conditions prevailed. Wind was reported from 200 degrees at 4 knots.

COMMUNICATIONS

There were no communications difficulties with the accident flight.

AERODROME INFORMATION

Tuscaloosa Regional Airport (TCL), was located about 3 miles northwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama at an elevation of 170 feet mean sea level (msl). The airport has an FAA Air Traffic Control Tower which operates from 0700-2200 local time daily. The runway, 4/22 had an asphalt surface 6,499 feet long and 150 feet wide. There were no reported abnormalities with the airport or facilities.

FLIGHT RECORDERS

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was an L-3 FA2100-2010, designed to record a minimum of 2 hours of audio in solid state memory. The CVR was undamaged and the audio information was extracted from the recorder normally, without difficulty. The event was captured near the beginning of the two hour recording on channels 1 and 2. While the recording in general was good, the combined channel only contained radio reception and radio calls and no HOT microphone information. The CAM channel did pick up inter-cockpit speech, but at a much lower level than radio reception that was consistent with cockpit speaker audio.

The flight data recorder was downloaded at the NTSB recorders laboratory. The data quality was poor. There were no landing gear parameters. Pressure altitude and airspeed parameters were obviously erroneous values.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

A witness mark consistent with the lower forward fuselage contact with the runway began on runway 4 approximately abeam taxiway A2, and ended at the stopping point of the airplane approximately abeam taxiway A1, with 458 feet of runway remaining.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The flight crew underwent post-accident drug and alcohol testing, results were negative.

ORGANIZATIONAL AND MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

Kalitta Charters II, LLC operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121 cargo airline based in Ypsilanti, Michigan conducting just-in-time cargo service for the automotive industry. They operated a fleet of 5 B727 aircraft (as well as 9 other airplanes). They employed 69 pilots of which there were 30 Captains and 39 First Officers.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BOEING
Registration: N720CK
Model/Series: 727
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Kalitta Charters II LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Supplemental 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: TCL
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 220°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Laredo, TX (LRD)
Destination: Tuscaloosa, AL (KTCL)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 4 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 33.220001,-87.61

Hughes 500D (369D), N8612F: Accident occurred January 09, 2021 in Winthrop, Okanogan County, Washington

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: 
Principal Avionics Inspector
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington


Location: Winthrop, WA 
Accident Number: WPR21LA084
Date & Time: January 9, 2021, 12:30 Local 
Registration: N8612F
Aircraft: Hughes 369D
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Hughes 
Registration: N8612F
Model/Series: 369D
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Rotorcraft external load (133), Commuter air carrier (135), Agricultural aircraft (137)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: S52
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 2.2°C /-6.7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Unknown / 3000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.32 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Darrington, WA (1S2)
Destination: Winthrop, WA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 48.47372,-120.17966 (est)


WINTHROP, Washington — The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a two-passenger helicopter went down near an ice rink and hotel in Winthrop on Saturday. There were no injuries.

“We heard of a big kind of a thud-thud-thud. It was obvious that something had gone wrong,” said a witness, who did not want to be identified.

Kids had just been skating on the outdoor ice rink.

“I was unlacing my daughter's skates when it happened,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said around 12:30 p.m. the Hughes 369D helicopter hit a snowbank while it was attempting to land. The agency is investigating.

“The tail of it had come off, and a couple of propellers that come off and the windows were broken and debris, scattered pieces of fiberglass," the witness said.

It’s unclear why the helicopter ended up near the ice rink and hotel.

“It seemed kind of like an odd spot for it to land. But we figured the pilot knew what he was doing,” he said.

Crews began preparing to move the helicopter around 7 p.m.

“The fact that nobody got hurt, I think is a real blessing,” the witness said.

Highline Helicopters out of Darrington is listed as the owner of the helicopter. They did not comment when contacted.



WINTHROP, Washington - Okanogan County Fire District 6 says a helicopter toppled after landing on a snow bank in Winthrop on Saturday. Fire officials say the wreck happened near an ice rink.

Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley says mechanical problems forced the helicopter to descend onto the ground. Authorities say pilot and the passenger were not hurt; there were no fuel leaks.

The aircraft was owned by Highline Helicopters out of Darrington, Washington. Hawley says the aircraft was putting tracking collars on deer. The helicopter may have been contracted by Fish and Wildlife to put tracking collars on mule deer as part of a migration study.

The Federal Aviation Administration has secured the area and is investigating the crash. 


OKANOGAN COUNTY, Washington — A helicopter crashed near the ice rink in Winthrop, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management.

There were two occupants in the helicopter when it crashed, however no injuries were reported, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley. 

The NTSB was notified to investigate Hawley said. The FAA will also be alerted to investigate the pilot, Hawley said. 

The helicopter is owned by Hi Line Helicopters out of Darrington, Washington. 

The Okanogan County Sheriff's Office and Winthrop Marshals Office both responded to the scene. 

Citizens are asked to avoid the area to allow first responders to handle the incident. 

The crash was first reported around 1:13 p.m., according to the Okanogan County Emergency Management Facebook page. 


WINTHROP, Washington — Two people survived a helicopter crash near the Winthrop Rink without any injuries on Saturday.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office and Winthrop Marshall’s Office both responded to the parking lot of a hotel next to the rink, where the helicopter went down around shortly after 12:30 p.m.

Initially, law enforcement reported minor injuries from those involved in the crash. The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed no one was injured. The helicopter was owned by HiLine Helicopters.

People are being asked to avoid the area. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Coles County Memorial Airport (KMTO) earns a perfect score on Federal Aviation Administration Part 139 Inspection

MATTOON — Coles County Airport Authority is pleased to announce it has earned a perfect score for the second consecutive year on its Federal Aviation Administration Part 139 Inspection.

The Part 139 Inspection is an annual event performed by the FAA Great Lakes Region Airport Certification and Safety Office. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the inspection was completed virtually. Typically, the inspection would be performed onsite by the safety officer over the course of a week.

In October, Manager Andrew Fearn and Administrative Assistant Billie Little began uploading hundreds of documents to Safety Officer Kenneth Taira. Those documents covered several areas of the Part 139 Airport Certification including wildlife hazard training, aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) training records, airport operations area (AOA) driver training, the airport emergency plan, airfield inspections, and the fixed-base operator (FBO) fuel and safety training records. 

"There are many aspects of safety and standards that compose the Part 139 Airport Certification, we at Coles County Memorial Airport work diligently to assure that we keep the airport safe for the flying community. It is a daily commitment that I, my assistant, and Maintenance Supervisor Benjamin Baker strive for. We could not do this alone. We have the commitment from our FBO, Coles County Aviation and our Mattoon City Fire Department to be thankful for as well. We are pleased to have the confirmation of our commitment recognized by the FAA review," Fearn said.

An in-person inspection of the airfield will be scheduled by the FAA as soon as restrictions have been lifted and travel is allowed.

Incident occurred January 04, 2021 at Central Wyoming Regional Airport (KRIW), Riverton, Wyoming

RIVERTON, Wyoming (WNE) — No one was injured Monday after an aircraft landed without hydraulics at Central Wyoming Regional Airport.

Airport manager Paul Griffin said he was notified just before 7 p.m. Monday that a Key Lime Air pilot headed to Riverton needed fire and ambulance crews to stand by due to a hydraulics failure on his aircraft.

Griffin described the Swearingen Metroliner cargo plane as the “flying cigar” that carries mail to and from Riverton twice a day.

The hydraulic malfunction meant the pilot – who was the only person on board – had to manually lower his landing gear using a pump and a jack handle, Griffin said, but it also impacted his ability to steer the plane. “

It’s kind of like losing power steering on a car,” Griffin explained. To compensate for the lack of hydraulic steering assistance, Griffin said air traffic controllers helped guide the pilot toward the runway on a path that avoided “tight turns.”

Meanwhile, local police, firefighters, and ambulance crews gathered at the airport in preparation for the landing.

“We had everybody stationed waiting for him (when) he was about 10 minutes out,” Griffin said.

Fortunately, the emergency response was only precautionary: Griffin said the pilot executed a “beautiful landing,” rolling about three-quarters of the way down the runway before coming to a stop.

Boeing’s Legal, Business Challenges Persist After Settlement

Plane maker faces civil lawsuits tied to fatal MAX crashes and pandemic-driven decline in orders


The Wall Street Journal 
By Andrew Tangel and Andy Pasztor
Updated January 9, 2021 12:26 pm ET

Boeing Co.’s $2.5 billion agreement to end a criminal investigation by the Justice Department into the 737 MAX debacle resolves one of its highest-profile problems, but the plane maker still faces other legal and business challenges.

Federal Aviation Administration officials have said Boeing faces potential civil penalties stemming from its alleged lack of candor in its dealings with regulators before and after two MAX crashes that claimed 346 lives.

Ever since those crashes, Boeing has touted the overall safety of its 737 family of single-aisle jets. An older model of the jet, a 737-500, carrying 62 people crashed into the Java Sea Saturday. The cause of the accident was unknown. Boeing said it was monitoring the situation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which is also investigating the MAX saga, has proceeded more slowly than the Justice Department, people familiar with the matter said. An SEC spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

While the company’s criminal settlement covered Boeing’s responsibility for the actions of two Boeing pilots involved in government approval of pilot training for the MAX, those former employees are still under criminal investigation.

The documents filed in the settlement Thursday provide the most authoritative picture yet of what the pilots did and how Boeing benefited from their actions. If they are prosecuted, there could be more embarrassing revelations about the plane’s development. According to the Justice Department, the two aviators conspired to deceive the FAA for their benefit and Boeing’s.

Lawyers for the aviators have said their clients did nothing wrong. Boeing declined to comment further Friday. The Justice Department deal limits what Boeing can say publicly about the settlement.

Families of victims are pursuing lawsuits against the plane maker. Chicago attorney Robert Clifford, who has conducted depositions of current and former Boeing employees in a lawsuit filed by families of victims of the March 2019 MAX crash in Ethiopia, called the settlement an insult.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer David Calhoun said Thursday in a memo to employees that wrongdoing detailed in the Justice Department’s settlement didn’t reflect Boeing’s broader culture. Boeing has pledged to revamp internal compliance systems as well.

Boeing has other challenges ahead. The coronavirus pandemic imploded Boeing’s business outlook by sapping travel demand and making it tough for airlines to pay for planes awaiting delivery. The downturn has resulted in a wave of deferred or canceled aircraft orders.

Production rates and delivery delays with the MAX and 787 Dreamliner remain major challenges for Boeing’s commercial jet business. The FAA is reviewing the Dreamliner manufacturing lapses, including debris from the assembly line left inside planes and fuselage sections that don’t fit together precisely as required.

Boeing has widened inspections and fixes to undelivered Dreamliners. The slowdown in production and deliveries prevents Boeing from getting much-needed cash because customers pay much of a plane’s purchase price when they take delivery.

Boeing delivered an estimated 157 passenger jets in 2020, according to figures provided by the aviation-data firm Ascend by Cirium, a fifth of the commercial aircraft it delivered in 2018. The MAX, which regulators grounded in March 2019, was cleared again for delivery and passenger flights in November.

Boeing is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings later this month. The company said it booked nearly $744 million in additional charges in the quarter related to the settlement.

The settlement requires Boeing to pay a nearly $244 million fine, at the lower end of potential penalties under government guidelines. Prosecutors gave Boeing credit for its eventual cooperation in the probe and internal changes it made to avoid future wrongdoing.

The deal also requires Boeing to pay $500 million to crash victims’ families and $1.8 billion to airlines that lost money when regulators grounded the aircraft for nearly two years. Boeing said it had previously set aside the money to compensate customers.

Some lawmakers criticized the deal. House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat whose panel conducted its own investigation into the MAX crashes, said “senior management and the Boeing board were not held to account.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said the settlement “does nothing to change the rotten corporate culture that allowed Boeing to mislead and deceive regulators.”

A Justice Department spokesman declined Friday to comment on the lawmakers’ criticism. David Burns, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s criminal division, said Thursday that the resolution was a strong punishment for Boeing.

“Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor,” Mr. Burns said.

The FAA declined to comment on the settlement.

Boeing has reached a series of criminal and civil settlements stemming from illegal business activities and safety violations over the past three decades. In each of those cases, Boeing’s top management pledged to improve internal ethics rules and compliance with federal contracting and safety mandates.

In 2015, the FAA imposed a $12 million civil settlement on Boeing, in which the company acknowledged regulatory lapses and promised strong action to prevent a repeat. The missteps ranged from delays in fuel-tank safety upgrades to failures to police defective parts.

Nine years earlier, prosecutors determined that the company illegally acquired Lockheed Martin Corp. rocket documents and used them to help win a competition for launching military satellites. Boeing paid $615 million as part of a settlement with the Justice Department but didn’t receive criminal charges.

The settlement also covered Boeing’s illegal recruitment of a senior Air Force procurement official while she had authority over billions of dollars in other Boeing contracts. The official also championed Boeing efforts to skirt normal procurement procedures in offering to provide refueling tankers to the Air Force. The uproar resulted in the firing of Boeing’s chief financial officer and the resignation of the company’s chairman at the time. Prosecutors didn’t charge any senior leaders, and Boeing promised to overhaul its internal ethics programs and set up outside oversight of compliance activities.

In 1989, Boeing was one of the companies convicted in a string of criminal cases for illegally obtaining confidential Pentagon planning and budget documents that were off-limits to contractors. Prosecutors determined Boeing, which agreed to pay $5.2 million, had maintained a secret cache of such documents at a facility in Washington state.

—Dave Michaels contributed to this article.

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N2438S: Incident occurred January 09, 2021 at Sky Acres Airport (44N), Millbrook, Dutchess County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Teterboro, New Jersey 

Aircraft veered off end of runway on landing.

Mid Island Air Service Inc 


Date: 09-JAN-21
Time: 14:51:00Z
Regis#: N2438S
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172R
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: MILLBROOK
State: NEW YORK
   

LAGRANGEVILLE, New York – Three passengers escaped injury when a small plane they were in skidded off of the runway Saturday morning.

First responders were dispatched to Sky Acres Airport at 9:06 am for a report of a plane off the runway.  Firefighters from Union Vale and LaGrange responded to the scene.  The passengers, a family of three from Long Island, were evaluated and all refused medical attention.

Sources say that the pilot was attempting to land the plane and used the wrong runway approach.  The plane was subjected to strong crosswinds and skidded off of the runway.

This is the second plane crash in the vicinity of the airport in recent weeks.

Unknown or Undetermined: Bell 407, N407SF; fatal accident occurred January 29, 2019 in Zaleski, Vinton County, Ohio

34-year-old pilot Jennifer Topper, flight nurses Bradley Hayes, 48, and Rachel Cunningham, 33.











Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration; Washington, District of Columbia
Rolls Royce Engines; Indianapolis, Indiana
Viking Aviation LLC; Little Rock, Arkansas
Woodward Inc; Clarita, California 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Zaleski, Ohio 
Accident Number: CEN19FA072
Date & Time: January 29, 2019, 06:50 Local
Registration: N191SF
Aircraft: Bell 407 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Medical emergency)

Analysis

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The NTSB's full report is available at
http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/AccidentReports.aspx

The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-20/01

On January 29, 2019, about 0650 eastern standard time, a single-engine, turbine-powered Bell 407 helicopter, N191SF, being operated as a helicopter air ambulance (HAA) flight, collided with forested terrain about 4 miles northeast of Zaleski, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic died, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Viking Aviation, LLC, doing business as Survival Flight Inc., under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Company flight-following procedures were in effect for the visual flight rules (VFR) flight, which departed Mount Carmel Hospital, Grove City, Ohio, about 0628 and was destined for Holzer Meigs Emergency Department, Pomeroy, Ohio, about 69 nautical miles southeast, to pick up a patient. Night visual meteorological conditions existed at the departure location, but available weather information indicated that snow showers and areas of instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) existed along the route of flight.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The NTSB determines that the probable cause of this accident was Survival Flight's inadequate management of safety, which normalized pilots' and operations control specialists' noncompliance with risk analysis procedures and resulted in the initiation of the flight without a comprehensive preflight weather evaluation, leading to the pilot's inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions, failure to maintain altitude, and subsequent collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration's inadequate oversight of the operator's risk management program and failure to require Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 operators to establish safety management system programs.

Findings

Personnel issues Weather planning - Pilot
Organizational issues Safety - Operator
Organizational issues Standard operating practices - Operator
Organizational issues Adequacy of policy/proc - Operator
Organizational issues Oversight of operation - FAA/Regulator
Organizational issues Operational procedures - FAA/Regulator
Organizational issues Adequacy of safety program - Operator
Organizational issues Adherence to safety program - Operator
Environmental issues Snow - Not specified
Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Pilot
Environmental issues (general) - Not specified

Factual Information

The NTSB's full report is available at
http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Pages/AccidentReports.aspx

The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-20/01

On January 29, 2019, about 0650 eastern standard time, a single-engine, turbine-powered Bell 407 helicopter, N191SF, being operated as a helicopter air ambulance (HAA) flight, collided with forested terrain about 4 miles northeast of Zaleski, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot, flight nurse, and flight paramedic died, and the helicopter was destroyed. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Viking Aviation LLC doing business as Survival Flight Inc, under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. Company flight-following procedures were in effect for the visual flight rules (VFR) flight, which departed Mount Carmel Hospital, Grove City, Ohio, about 0628 and was destined for Holzer Meigs Emergency Department, Pomeroy, Ohio, about 69 nautical miles southeast, to pick up a patient. Night visual meteorological conditions existed at the departure location, but available weather information indicated that snow showers and areas of instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) existed along the route of flight.

History of Flight

Enroute VFR encounter with IMC
Enroute Unknown or undetermined (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 34, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter; Instrument helicopter 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 18, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 27, 2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1855 hours (Total, all aircraft), 83 hours (Total, this make and model), 1787 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell 
Registration: N191SF
Model/Series: 407 No Series 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1996
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 53006
Landing Gear Type: N/A; Skid 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5501 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Turbo shaft
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rolls-Royce
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 250-C47B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Does Business As: Survival Flight Inc Operator Designator Code: KVHG

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Unknown 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KUNI,765 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 151°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2700 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 280° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -6°C / -10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Grove City, OH 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Pomeroy, OH
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 06:28 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.323333,-82.309448