Monday, January 11, 2021

Does the aviation department need to complete a new master plan before extending Aurora State Airport (KUAO) runway?

Director Betty Stansbury says department could proceed with runway extension; however, the Federal Aviation Administration says further planning is needed for the project



Oregon Department of Aviation (ODA) Director Betty Stansbury said a long-disputed project to extend an Aurora Airport runway could proceed before an update of the Aurora Airport Master Plan. However, the ODA will need to conduct further planning before the Federal Aviation Administration would provide grant funding for the project.

The Wilsonville government has disputed the legitimacy of the 2012 master plan update, as well as the aforementioned runway extension project, since the plan was said to have passed in 2011 (the city contends it was never formally adopted by the Oregon Aviation Board), and the city has long advocated for a new process to begin.

Most recently, Wilsonville City Council approved an appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals of a recent Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision that dismissed its case, which centered on the validity of the 2012 plan, on jurisdictional grounds.

The a recent ODA notice, which was originally drafted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), says that a project to add a run-up area at the airport can't be completed until further planning is done, and that the FAA and ODA are working on the scope of a master plan update that would include the run-up area and 1,000-foot runway extension, which the ODA and airport proponents have said would improve safety for pilots.

"If these projects are considered justified and foreseeable, they would be subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act," the notice reads.

FAA Regional Public Affairs Office Allen Kenitzer said via email that the next master plan update is anticipated to begin in 2021 and that the ODA would be eligible to receive grant funding to conduct the process.

The FAA, though, has recommended, not required, that the ODA update its master plan. And Stansbury said it would be up to her department as well as the Oregon Aviation Board to decide when that process will take place.

"Master plans are updated roughly every 10 years. Some may wait 15-20 years. It's up to that airport owner how often they want to do a master plan update," she said.

The Wilsonville government has contended that the runway extension project, which some fear would lead to encroachment of rural land and larger and noiser jets flying into the airport, was illegally added to the 2012 plan, but Stansbury said the project could go forward before the update because the existing plan is valid.

"The LUBA decision affirmed what we believed (which) is that the department and (Oregon Aviation) board complied with state law," she said.

Wilsonville City Attorney Barbara Jacobson said based on conversations with an FAA attorney and her interpretation of a recent notice published by the ODA and drafted by the FAA that it's clear the FAA wants the master plan update to come before the runway extension. She rhetorically asked why the FAA would require further planning for a small run-up area project (in the notice) and then approve construction for a much larger runway extension project.

Jacobson also noted that Stansbury once said the 2012 master plan had not been formally adopted before reversing her stance.

Kenitzer simply wrote that "further planning is necessary for a runway extension project at the Aurora State Airport to be demonstrated as eligible and justified."

Regardless, grant funding is likely vital to the project's chance of completion. Stansbury said the ODA relies mostly on FAA grant funding for such projects and that an environmental assessment would need to be completed before land acquisition and construction could take place. The ODA previously applied for a $37 million grant from the FAA to complete the extension but that application was unsuccessful.

"We would have to seek federal funding. We are a state agency that doesn't receive state funding. We exist off aviation fuel tax and a little bit of money from leases at airports. Aviation fuel tax has declined significantly over the last nine months," Stansbury said.

Kenitzer wrote that master plan age is a relevant part of determining which projects receive funding.

"Regardless of the age of the master plan, all projects need to be justified and eligible to receive FAA funding. Typically, the master plan identifies projects in a short, medium and long-term development plan and projects that are contained in the short term (1-5 years after the master plan) have a higher degree of confidence to be justified and eligible to receive funding, but this is not always the case," he wrote.

Stansbury also said the Court of Appeals ruling could inform the upcoming master planning process, including when it would take place.

"There's always room for improvement and we will consider the findings in the LUBA case and Court of Appeals to see if we can improve the process this time around," she said.

Whenever the master plan update occurs, which she said hasn't been decided, Stansbury said it will include a reevaluation of the need for the runway extension.

Navion A, N91646: Incident occurred January 10, 2021 in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; East Michigan

Aircraft landed gear up.


Date: 10-JAN-21
Time: 23:36:00Z
Regis#: N91646
Aircraft Make: NAVION
Aircraft Model: A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: YPSILANTI
State: MICHIGAN

Mitsubishi MU-300, N442EA: Incident occurred January 09, 2021 at Henderson Executive Airport (KHND), Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Aircraft made a hard landing and left wing impacted the ground. 

Walid George Haddad Aziz


Date: 09-JAN-21
Time: 02:15:00Z
Regis#: N442EA
Aircraft Make: MITSUBISHI
Aircraft Model: MU300
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: LAS VEGAS
State: NEVADA

Air Tractor AT-502, N4540C: Accident occurred January 09, 2021 in Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma

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; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Skyler Blue LLC


Location: Cushing, OK
Accident Number: CEN21LA110
Date & Time: January 9, 2021, 15:00 Local
Registration: N4540C
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR INC AT-502
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: AIR TRACTOR INC 
Registration: N4540C
Model/Series: AT-502 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCUH, 916 ft msl 
Observation Time: 15:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /-2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 30°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.33 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Cushing, OK
Destination: Cushing, OK

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.939235,-96.820585 

Robinson R44 II, N322SH: Accident occurred January 09, 2021 in Albany, Shackelford County, Texas





















AIRCRAFT: 2012 Robinson R44 Raven II N322SH, s/n: 13391

Current Total Time: 254.75

Last Inspection for Import/100 hour/ Annual at 184 hours TT in November 2020.                
ENGINE: Lycoming, IO-540-AE1A5, s/n: L-35089-48E, ETT 254.75             

EQUIPMENT:  Radio KY196.  The transponder has been removed and is NOT included with the salvage.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On 01/09/21, N322SH made an emergency landing after engine failure.  The right skid hit a small mound of dirt and broke.  This threw N322SH slightly forward on the nose but the aircraft did not roll over.

DAMAGE:  The damage includes but may not be limited to the following:

Tail boom and rotor

Tail boom linkages

Main rotor blades suffered contact with trees and tail boom.

Tail rotor blades suffered strike with the ground.

Both skids and possible deformation at hull attachments points

Main rotor

Front windshield

Front nose cowling

This was an in motion accident, but the aircraft may not have been making power when it came to rest. Unknown status: Engine, and transmission and all other components of the main rotor ( with the exception of the main rotor)

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Albany, TX (T23).  It is currently stored outside but will be moved inside. 

REMARKS:  

The interior of the aircraft has been completely removed in order to inspect all floor panels (per Robinson request). hey will be stored inside aircraft but not installed. The sides inspection panels and back section are removed for inspection and cannot be re installed due to damage to landing gear.

The aircraft is not ADSB compliant.

Insurer reserves the right to reject any and all bids. 

Salvage is as is/where is. 

The posting information is the best to our knowledge.   

An inspection of the salvage is highly recommended. 

LOGS ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO BE ACCURATE OR COMPLETE.

WARRANTY:  There is no warranty, express or implied for the information provided herein or the condition, useability, workability, operability or marketability of the aircraft salvage.  All times are approximate and the logbooks and aircraft should be inspected by each bidder BEFORE BIDDING.  Failure of the bidder to view the salvage or wreckage, or confirm any information provided is NOT grounds for a claim or withdrawal of bid after bid closing date.)  

HOURS estimated from logbooks or other information - not guaranteed or warranted

Read more here:  http://www.avclaims.com
 

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

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 
  
S2 Helicopter Services LLC
Location: Albany, TX
Accident Number: CEN21LA109
Date & Time: January 9, 2021, 10:10 Local
Registration: N322SH
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R44 II
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Other work use

On January 9, 2021, about 1010 central standard time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N322SH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Albany, Texas. The pilot and two passengers were not injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 hog hunting flight.

The pilot reported that it was the third flight of the day and the helicopter took off uneventfully. About 120 ft above the ground, the engine sputtered temporarily before it lost complete power. The pilot performed an autorotation to a field. During the descent, the helicopter impacted trees and landed hard right skid low. Subsequently, the main rotor blade contacted, and separated, the tail boom.

The helicopter has been recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: ROBINSON HELICOPTER
Registration: N322SH
Model/Series: R44 II 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built: No
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GZN,1711 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:20 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 150°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.34 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Albany, TX 
Destination: Albany, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.729096,-99.271909 (est)

Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N8102P: Incident occurred January 10, 2021 at Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport (KRUT), Rutland County, Vermont

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aircraft landed gear up. 


Date: 10-JAN-21
Time: 19:45:00Z
Regis#: N8102P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: RUTLAND
State: VERMONT



RUTLAND, Vermont (WCAX) - Authorities say a small plane landed at the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport on Sunday without its wheels down.

The two people on board the plane were not injured.

Clarendon Fire and Rutland City Fire crews were on the scene Sunday afternoon. Crews said they stayed for about four hours while the plane was lifted back onto its wheels.

According to the aircraft’s registration, the Piper PA-24-250 Comanche is owned by someone in Turner Falls, Massachusetts.

Dillingham Airfield (PHDH) Still Set to Close in June



With unemployment in Hawaii at some of the highest levels in the country, a group of local business owners are pushing back on a state plan to end commercial operations at Oahu’s Dillingham Airfield.

Sandwiched between the craggy Waianae Mountains and a sandy stretch of beach in Mokuleia, single engine planes constantly take off and land on a two mile strip of tarmac. 

Most planes flying in and out of Dillingham Airfield ferry planeloads of skydivers aloft. Others tow large, sightseeing gliders and occasionally smaller, ultralight craft also take off.

The first runway at Dillingham was built by the U.S. Army in 1941. It was home to P-40 fighter planes that responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor later that year.

After the war, the newly created State of Hawaii signed a series of leases with the Army, allowing private operators to fly out of Dillingham.

“The conditions and the environment around Dillingham are actually really unique and perfect for the operations that are there,” says Melissa McCaffrey with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a group representing private aviation interests at Dillingham.

McCaffrey says the consistent weather and natural beauty of Mokuleia have made the airfield an ideal home for tourism-focused businesses like skydiving and glider tours.

However that is set to change later this summer. The State Department of Transportation plans to end its lease with the Army in June, meaning those businesses would likely have to close. 

“It would be a massive disruption to everything that’s established there, 130 jobs and 11 businesses on the field,” McCaffrey explains.

Howard Green with the North Shore Chamber of Commerce told HPR that closing Dillingham would have a ripple effect on the entire local economy of the North Shore.

“All of those people that come to the North Shore as customers go to the restaurants in Haleiwa and go to the shops in Haleiwa,” Green explained in a phone interview.

“So it does have a significant impact to our community.”

The Department of Transportation declined to be interviewed for this story. In announcing the decision last year, Director Jade Butay said operating the airfield was no longer in the best interests of the State, citing concerns over ownership of the facility and funding issues. 

Multiple aviation accidents in the past two years have resulted in the deaths of 13 people, although a Department of Transportation employee told HPR on background that the deaths were not the reason for the decision to terminate the lease.

Lawmakers representing the area strongly support keeping the facility open, including newly inaugurated Congressman Kai Kahele.

“Totally opposed to the closure of Dillingham Airfield,” Kahele said shortly after being elected in November.

The former State Senator, who is also a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii Air National Guard, said facilities like Dillingham provide an avenue for local kids to explore a career in aviation.

“Closing Dillingham will result in the closure of small businesses and a lack of opportunity to promote and pursue general aviation in Hawaii.”

 State lawmakers representing the North Shore say they are exploring options with the Governor and Department of Transportation going into this year’s legislative session, but would not discuss those plans.

One possibility is for the Army to find a private manager to take over the lease. However, military officials have indicated that they want to work with a government agency, rather than a private company.

The creation of an independent entity to manage Hawaii’s airports has been discussed in the State Legislature for years. That is an idea that may satisfy all parties’ concerns, but has previously failed to gain traction.

If Dillingham does close, the businesses there could opt to relocate. But Melissa McCaffrey says other similar airfields, like Kalaeloa in West Oahu, are not suitable due to the crowded airspace and legal restrictions around the Honolulu Airport.

“It’s not only unfeasible, it’s unsafe. There just really isn’t a way that those operations can relocate,” McCaffrey said.

With local unemployment still sky high there will be strong political incentive to find a solution.

Gov. Ivey announces Alabama airports contribute $4.9 billion annually to state, local economies


MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Aeronautics Bureau released the summary findings of the 2020 Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study.

According to the study, Alabama’s system of 80 public airports are economic engines for their local communities and significant contributors to the overall state economy.

“Our airports are a key asset for Alabama, providing critically important access for Alabamians, as well as our visitors. The 80 airports across our state also grow businesses, industries, and they create well-paying jobs,” Governor Ivey said. “Alabama airports generate over $4.9 billion in state economic activity each year, support 44,399 jobs and $1.9 billion in payroll. Additionally, these airports generate almost $268 million in tax revenues to support local communities. We can be proud of our airport system in Alabama and the daily contributions they make to improve the quality of our lives and grow our economy.”

The study shows that flights to and from Alabama’s public airports reach every state in the United States, as well as 23 countries. Together, commercial and general aviation flights bring over 1.7 million visitors annually to the state and serve as a vital link to national and world economies.

Airports enhance the daily lives of people in Alabama by supporting first responders, creating well-paying jobs, assisting the military and providing recreational opportunities, among many others. Most recently, these airports have provided a vital role in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines to local communities.

“Aviation is a thriving industry in our state and an important part of our economic health,” Governor Ivey added.

The state’s aviation industry rankings place Alabama third in general aviation percentage growth, eighth in airport operations percentage growth and 11th in air cargo tonnage percentage growth.

The ALDOT study analyzed five economic activity categories for each airport, including economic activity generated by general aviation visitor spending, commercial aviation visitor spending, investment for capital improvements, airport business tenants and airport management.

Complete details of the study results will be available on February 15th. More information about the study can be found by visiting www.aldot-airport-study.com.

Aircraft sales company moves maintenance operations to Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport (KSGH)


A company that buys and sells aircraft will be moving its maintenance operation to the Springfield–Beckley Municipal Airport with plans to further expand its presence there.

Lone Mountain Aircraft has shifted the maintenance side of its business to Springfield. The company has clients across the state and the United States as well as in several other countries. It will be leasing two hangars at the Springfield airport for now and will have six employees working out of there.

The company has invested in the renovation of two aircraft hangars at the Springfield airport and starting this month were working on five aircraft at that location.

The company primarily works on light general aviation airplanes.

Lone Mountain’s President Mark Rogers said the move to Springfield will triple their hangar space needed for an increase demand in aircraft maintenance. Previously, the company’s maintenance division was based out of the Lebanon-Warren County Airport.

Rogers said the additional space and longer runways at the Springfield airport will allow them to increase the number of aircraft being worked on as well as allow for future company growth.

He said that could mean investing in additional hangar space as well as adding to its workforce in Springfield, with the latter slated to happen as early as this year.

“There has been an increase in market share and the general aviation fleet is growing. It is a growing field and we are also growing within that field,” Rogers said.

“Our aircraft sales business saw a record year in 2020 and that in turn drives a lot of our maintenance request,” he added.

The company has been working on a general growth plan, especially expanding its maintenance facilities, for about a year, Rogers said.

Springfield commissioners authorized the city manager last week to enter into a Joint Development Agreement and Hangar Rental Agreement with Lone Mountain Aircraft.

Tom Franzen, the Director of Economic Development for the City of Springfield, said that the city’s part would be to invest $50,000 into renovating the hangars to be used by Lone Mountain.

Rogers said that his company will be investing more than that in the renovation project, which he says is about 80% completed.

Franzen said that Lone Mountain’s move adds to an already healthy mix of businesses operating out of the airport. He said the city has invested in infrastructure at the airport in an effort to boost and attract economic development.

The airport’s manager Seth Timmerman said “We look forward to the increase in air traffic and job growth to the Springfield-Clark County area.”

By the numbers

$50,000 - amount of money the City of Springfield will be investing into two hangars used by Lone Mountain Aircraft

5- number of aircraft Lone Mountain is currently working on at the Springfield–Beckley Municipal Airport

6- number of employees Lone Mountain has moved to the Springfield–Beckley Municipal Airport

Kolb Firestar KXP, Unregistered: Fatal accident occurred January 11, 2021 near Downstown Airport (28N), Franklin Township, Gloucester County

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; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Location: Vineland, NJ 
Accident Number: ERA21LA102
Date & Time: January 11, 2021, 12:30 Local
Registration: UNREG
Aircraft: Kolb Firestar
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 11, 2021, at 1230 eastern standard time, an unregistered Kolb Firestar KXP was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Vineland, New Jersey. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to a witness, he and the accident pilot flew (in separate airplanes) from the witness’ residence to Vineland-Downstown Airport (28N), Vineland, New Jersey, about 7 miles away. After landing, the accident pilot told the witness that he wanted to fly over a friend’s house in the local area. The accident pilot boarded the airplane, took off from runway 20, and flew a traffic pattern around the airport. The airplane remained in view the entire flight. The airplane turned from a base leg to final at an altitude of 400-500 ft, and “seemed to be at normal cruising speed of 80 mph.” While on final, the airplane appeared to be “significantly” to the right of the runway 20 extended centerline, with the wings straight and level. The airplane began a gradual descent, followed by a “steep 45° nose down pitch into the trees.” The airplane appeared to be at “cruising speed” and did not appear to stall. The engine was “operating normally and no indication of sputtering or engine failure of any kind”.

The witness reported that he and the pilot had also flown the two airplanes on the previous day, and the witness had flown the accident airplane 3-4 times in the previous 6 months. The witness believed that the pilot had a total of 3-4 flight hours of experience in the accident airplane. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate, his most recent 3rd class medical certificate was issued February 4, 2004. At that time, he reported 300 hours of total flight experience. No pilot logbooks were available for review.

The accident airplane had two seats, a 50 HP engine with a 10-gallon fuel capacity, and an empty weight of 325 lbs. The airplane did not meet the requirements to be operated as an ultralight aircraft consistent with Title 14 CFR Part 103.1. No maintenance logbooks for the airplane were available for review.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site by an FAA inspector revealed the airplane came to rest in a near-vertical nose down attitude in a wooded area. All major components were present and within a 60 ft diameter area. Both wings were damaged and separated from the fuselage. The ailerons remained attached to the wings. The tailboom was fractured just aft of the cockpit. The control cables
to the rudder and aileron remained intact and were continuous from the cockpit controls to their respective control surfaces. The engine was separated from the fuselage and located 10 ft from the main wreckage. Both carburetors were separated from the engine. The fuel shutoff valves for both fuel tanks were open. Fuel was leaking from both tanks, and each tank contained about 2 gallons of green colored fuel. When the fuel bulb was squeezed, fuel flowed from the carburetor supply fuel lines.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kolb
Registration: UNREG
Model/Series: Firestar KXP 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
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: MIV,85 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11.3 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /-6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.27 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Vineland, NJ
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.546802,-74.962885

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.

Gerard "Jerry" Asselta died January 11, in the tragic crash of his ultralight aircraft. Born March 8, 1956, Jerry was a lifelong resident of Vineland.  He is the son of the late Anthony J. and Mary (Gergenti) Asselta.  He is survived his brother Anthony J. Asselta III, of Pennsylvania.  In recent years Jerry connected and built relationships with his biological family getting to know his father Anthony Corradetti of Camden and his mother Louise Broome, both now deceased.  He is survived by his biological sister, Maribeth Stuffo of Ocean City and brothers Robert and Michael Corradetti of Philadelphia and New York, respectively. Jerry was predeceased by the love of his life Heather.

Though Jerry never married or had children of his own, family was extremely important to him.  His smile and affable nature were always present at gatherings of the extended and extensive Asselta clan. For several years Jerry hosted large family gatherings of that family, reuniting his many cousins and bridging six generations.  He brought together the biological and adoptive sides of his family. He was "cuz" to many, by blood or circumstance and that meant a great deal to him.

Jerry attended Vineland High School and was a member of the class of 1975.  After high school Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  After his discharge Jerry developed his skills as a plumber and in the 1980's founded Asselta Mechanical Services which he continued to operate at the time of his death.

Jerry, enjoyed working on his property, developing a peaceful landscape with gardens and a pond, where he hosted the family reunions.  But more so he was an adventurer and a thrill seeker.  He enjoyed sailing, jet skiing and flying.  

Due to COVID-19 restrictions everyone must wear a mask and social distance.

A graveside service and entombment will be held Thursday at 2:30 pm from Sacred Heart Cemetery, 741 E Walnut Rd, Vineland.  

ARRANGEMENTS are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ  08360

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to: Maryville Rehabilitation 1173 E. Landis Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360 or Crossings Church 131 Morton Avenue, Millville, NJ 08332.

To send online condolences please visit our website at www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com

Franklin Township Police Department

Press release

On Monday, January 11, 2021 at 12:54 PM Franklin Township Police was dispatched to the area of Tuckahoe Road and Harding Highway for a report of a downed aircraft.  Police arrived on scene and located a single engine, ultralight aircraft that had crashed into a wooded area approximately 1/4 of a mile north of the intersection.  Police were able to locate the pilot underneath the aircraft, however he was pronounced deceased on scene.  The aircraft was reported to have taken off in the area of Union Road at a private residence in Vineland, New Jersey.  The pilot was identified as 64 year old Gerard Asselta of Vineland.  Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft in the area of Downstown Airport before crashing into the wooded area, however it is unknown if the aircraft was trying to land at the airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation and the cause of the crash is pending the outcome of that investigation.  Assisting at the scene was the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, Forest Grove Fire Department, and New Jersey Forest Fire Service.  Any additional questions can be referred to Lt Matthew DeCesari of the Franklin Township Police Department by contacting 856-694-1415 ext 212.
 
Gerard Asselta


The man killed in an ultralight aircraft crash in South Jersey on Monday afternoon was a licensed pilot, according to federal records.

Friends and relatives are remembering Gerard Asselta as a hard worker who maintained a positive outlook on life.

Asselta, 64, of Vineland, died when his single-engine craft crashed in a wooded area of Franklin Township, Gloucester County, near Tuckahoe Road and Route 40, just a short distance from Downstown Airport.

Investigators said Asselta took off from a friend’s property on Union Road in neighboring Vineland and was only aloft for a short time before the crash occurred shortly before 1 p.m.

“We believe he was just up for a flight around the area,” said Franklin Township Police Lt. Matt DeCesari. “There were witnesses who saw him flying in the area. We’re not sure if he was having trouble and was trying to get to the airport. We don’t know.”

The pilot had no communication with others indicating he was having problems with the aircraft.

Asselta had recently purchased the aircraft.

“It sounds like it was only the first or second time he had it out,” DeCesari said.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector was out at the scene on Tuesday morning, DeCesari noted, adding that the agency is still trying to determine the make of the aircraft.

The FAA doesn’t investigate ultralight crashes, but needs to ensure the vehicle definitely was an ultralight and not an airplane, an official said.

News helicopter footage showed crumpled debris from the yellow craft pinned between trees.

Although a pilot’s license is not required to fly an ultralight, Asselta is a licensed pilot, according to the FAA database. His private pilot certificate was issued in 2000.

Former state senator Nick Asselta, who is a cousin, recalled Gerard as a successful businessman — he owned his own plumbing and HVAC business — and a positive person.

“He was a likable guy. He always had a smile and good things to say. The glass was always half full, not half empty,” Asselta said.

“No job was ever too small for him. He could always solve it.”

A friend and former neighbor shared a similar view.

“He would do just about anything for his friends,” said Dave Petway. “He kept in touch with a lot of his old friends that he grew up with.”

Asselta was generally willing to take on a variety of projects, Petway said.

“He loved to stay busy. He didn’t like sitting still.”

Petway recalled several years ago when Asselta was hired to move a house.

“We went there, a couple of friends, and we cut the top off the house and got it all set up and had it moved … then put the house back together. That was a very fun job.”

That major undertaking highlighted Asselta’s approach to many challenges, Petway said.

“If someone told him that it was impossible, Jerry would show them it’s possible.”

      



STATE OF NEW JERSEY v. GERARD ASSELTA 

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
APPELLATE DIVISION
DOCKET NO. A-0
STATE OF NEW JERSEY,
Plaintiff-Appellant/
Cross-Respondent,
v.
GERARD ASSELTA,
Defendant-Respondent/
Cross-Appellant.
September 5, 2014 
Argued January 28, 2014 Decided 
Before Judges Reisner, Alvarez and Carroll.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cumberland County, Indictment No. 10-03-0022.
G. Harrison Walters, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for appellant/cross-respondent (Jennifer Webb-McRae, Cumberland County Prosecutor, attorney; Mr. Walters, of counsel and on the briefs).
Mario A. Iavicoli argued the cause for respondent/cross-appellant.