Monday, January 18, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna U206G Stationair, N756DJ; accident occurred July 10, 2020 in Nenana, Alaska




Aviation Accident Factual 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; Fairbanks, Alaska

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Bik Air LLC


Location:Nenana, AK 
Accident Number: WPR20CA232
Date & Time: 07/10/2020, 1700 AKD
Registration: N756DJ
Aircraft: CESSNA U206
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that he was performing a soft field takeoff at a private dirt airstrip with a right crosswind. During the takeoff roll, staying on the left side of the airstrip to clear a known dip, the nosewheel lifted off the ground quickly as expected, however he now had no turning ability. The pilot utilized right rudder input to compensate for the cross wind, but the ground speed was too low and he did not have enough rudder authority to keep the left wing from impacting a parked bulldozer on the side of the airstrip. The airplane's left wing was substantially damaged.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 37, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/03/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/30/2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 395 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 53 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N756DJ
Model/Series: U206 G
Aircraft Category:Airplane 
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: U20604005
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 633 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520
Registered Owner: BIK AIR LLC
Rated Power: 285
Operator: BIK AIR LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PANN, 362 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 37 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 AKD
Direction from Accident Site: 306°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 5 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:90°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Nenana, AK (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fairbanks, AK (AK7)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:1500 AKD 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: PVT (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 2000 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough
Runway Used: 360
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 64.138056, -147.986667 (est)

Loss of Control in Flight: Quickie Q200, N85BJ; accident occurred July 11, 2020 at Preston Airport (U10), Franklin County, Idaho






Aviation Accident Factual 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; Salt Lake City

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Preston, ID
Accident Number:WPR20CA221 
Date & Time: 07/11/2020, 1155 MDT
Registration: N85BJ
Aircraft: QUICKIE Q2
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during the takeoff roll, about two-thirds of the way down the runway at rotation speed of 70 mph, the airplane was not lifting off as normal. At 75 mph nothing was changing so the pilot attempted to place the airplane into ground effect, "something I learned to do in other types but not this plane." The pilot recalled that he added "too much forward stick" and the airplane porpoised, ascended and rolled to the right. The pilot leveled the wings, however, the airplane descended and collided with terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings, canard, and the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot further reported that he did not accomplish any performance planning for the atmospheric conditions before the flight. At the time of the accident, the density altitude was calculated at 6,977ft.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/09/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:06/28/2020 
Flight Time: (Estimated) 178.1 hours (Total, all aircraft), 5 hours (Total, this make and model), 66.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 35.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: QUICKIE
Registration: N85BJ
Model/Series:Q2 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Amateur Built:Yes 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number:2438 
Landing Gear Type:Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/18/2020, Continuous Airworthiness
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1060 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Revmaster
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 2100D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 75 hp
Operator:On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLGU, 4454 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 19 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1751 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 172°
Lowest Cloud Condition:Clear 
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:360° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Nampa, ID (MAN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Rock Springs, WY (RKS)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0700 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: PRESTON (U10)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4728 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 3457 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.106944, -111.912500 (est)

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Rans S-6ES Coyote II, N644RS; accident occurred July 12, 2020 in Richland, Benton County, Washington







Aviation Accident Factual 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; Spokane, Washington

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


 Location: Richland, WA Accident Number: WPR20CA218
Date & Time: 07/12/2020, 1140 PDT
Registration: N644RS
Aircraft: RANS S6
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, while maneuvering at low altitude on the leeward side of a ridge to follow elk, he encountered a downdraft and the airplane slightly pitched up and the airspeed decreased. The pilot lowered the nose attitude, applied full engine power, and turned away from the hill, however the airplane's descent rate continued to increase. Near the ground, the pilot tried to flare in ground effect but the descent rate did not slow as expected and the airplane landed hard, bending the left main landing gear under the airplane and substantially damaging the left wing when it struck the ground.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Private
Age: 48, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied:Left 
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Sport Pilot
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Waiver Time Limited Special
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/19/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/04/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1950 hours (Total, all aircraft), 129 hours (Total, this make and model), 1872 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 84 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: RANS
Registration: N644RS
Model/Series: S6 ES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 12021475
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/04/2020, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 53 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 129 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Suzuki
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: G13BB
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 90 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRLD, 394 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1135 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 118°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 210°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 46.410278, -119.585556 (est)

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N9559D; accident occurred July 12, 2020 at Buchanan Field Airport (KCCR), Concord, California







Aviation Accident Factual 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;  Alameda, California 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Christiansen Aviation Inc

Pacific States Aviation Inc


Location: Concord, CA
Accident Number: WPR20CA219
Date & Time: 07/12/2020, 1200 PDT
Registration: N9559D
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

The solo student pilot reported that, during landing, the airplane floated and drifted left of runway centerline. The pilot did not feel that he could make a safe landing and decided to go-around. Full power was added and shortly there after, the airplane struck a taxiway sign. The pilot continued the climb and maneuvered the airplane in the airport traffic pattern and landed without further incident. The left horizontal stabilizer was substantially damaged.

The student pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 27, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/02/2017
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/30/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 247 hours (Total, all aircraft), 247 hours (Total, this make and model), 128 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9559D
Model/Series: 172 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17280488
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/17/2020, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 79 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9199.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: Christiansen Aviation Inc
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: Pacific States Aviation, Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCCR, 39 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1153 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 141°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 330°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Concord, CA (CCR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Destination: Concord, CA (CCR)
Type of Clearance:None 
Departure Time: PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Buchanan Field (CCR)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 25 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 01R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2770 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.989722, -122.056944 (est)

Loss of Lift: Kitfox Sport, N702KS; accident occurred July 12, 2020 in Rand, Jackson County, Colorado





Aviation Accident Factual 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; Denver, Colorado

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Rand, CO
Accident Number: CEN20CA277
Date & Time: 07/12/2020, 0830 MDT
Registration: N702KS
Aircraft: Kitfox KITFOX SPORT
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that during the flight he noticed the oil pressure gauge fluctuating and executed a precautionary landing to a road to examine the engine. He stated that after landing, he performed a walk around inspection of the airplane, which included looking for leaks and checking the oil level and security of the oil cap. Finding no anomalies, he proceeded to take off from the road. During takeoff and while the airplane was gaining airspeed in ground effect, the departure path went over a terrain depression and into a down sloping bowl; the airplane encountered a sudden sink/down flow of air and lost about 10-15 ft of altitude. The pilot attempted to turn toward lower terrain while maintaining airspeed but the sink/down flow of air continued and so he maneuvered to land the airplane in a meadow. Unable to reach the meadow, he turned the airplane into sloping terrain to minimize the impact energy. During the impact, the airplane sustained damage to both wings, the fuselage, and empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions, and noted that the fluctuating oil pressure gauge was likely due to the sending unit location on the engine and associated vibration or a loose ground connection.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/29/2019
Flight Time: 475 hours (Total, all aircraft), 375 hours (Total, this make and model), 385 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kitfox
Registration: N702KS
Model/Series: KITFOX SPORT No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: SPO204001
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/14/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 783 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 912ULS
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: 33V, 8154 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1535 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 340°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 160°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.39 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Granby, CO (GNB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Walden, CO (33V)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0730 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.543333, -106.193889

4 open court cases underline disputes in Middletown-Start Skydiving relationship

In the past few years, tensions have grown between the city of Middletown and Start Skydiving regarding the operation at Middletown Regional Airport.

More recently, those have resulted in filings by the city and the family-owned skydiving business in both state and federal court to resolve issues after lengthy negotiations failed to produce agreements.

There are four lawsuits that have been filed over the past few months between the city and Start Skydiving.

Open meetings lawsuit

John P. Hart III, a co-owner of Start Skydiving, filed a civil complaint on December 28 in Butler County Common Pleas Court against the city of Middletown and Council members Talbott Moon, Monica Nenni, Joe Mulligan and Ami Vittori alleging that Middletown City Council illegally went into executive session on Nov. 13, December 1 and December 15, 2020 to consider the lease of public property.

Mayor Nicole Condrey was not listed as a defendant as she abstained during the vote to go into executive session and did not participate in the discussion. She is limited by an Ohio Ethics Commission Advisory Opinion due to her past employment and current affiliation with Team Fastrax, a skydiving team also operated by the Hart family.

He is seeking, among other things, for actions from the sessions to be invalidated, an injunction against the city from entering executive session to consider leases of public property and an injunction directing full meeting minutes be prepared from those three executive sessions.

His father and fellow co-owner, John P. Hart II, successfully filed a similar lawsuit June 23 over claims that the city Airport Commission failed to promptly prepare meeting minutes for six meetings in 2019 and 2020. He also alleged a recommendation was not properly voted on before being sent to City Council.

The city and Hart reached a negotiated settlement on that previous lawsuit.

Middletown complaint and eviction notice

On January 7, Middletown filed a civil complaint against Start Skydiving and Selection Management Systems, Inc., for declaratory judgment and other relief in Butler County Common Pleas Court. In addition, it also filed an eviction notice for Start to vacate the office space in Hangar 1707 which is used for the airport manager and Fixed-Base Operator.

Start Skydiving was given access to the space when it served as the airport manager and the fixed-base operator. However, Start has not served in either capacity for more than a year,

City officials allowed Start to remain in that space as productive conversations happened between Start Skydiving and the city toward resolution of real estate and operational issues among them.

Federal lawsuit filed by Start Skydiving

Start Skydiving filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati late last year against the city, Matt Eisenbraun, assistant economic development director who oversees the airport, and Dan Dickten, former airport manager.

Start said that “this case is about the ongoing vindictive, corrupt, and deceitful attempts by the City and its key personnel to kick Start out of the airport and to harm its business, despite Start’s 20-year lease at the airport which runs through 2029.”

Start alleged city personnel hacked into Start’s online financial database to spy on Start and steal its business data in violation of Start’s civil rights under federal law, spread false and defamatory statements about Start’s operations and made up claims of unsafe operations by Start that were not true. The company also raised claims about ongoing lease issues with the city.

Criminal complaint against past, present city employees

Three current or former Middletown employees were charged with last month following a criminal investigation by police.

Middletown police were contacted September 15 by John Hart II of Start Skydiving, who alleged hacking, corporate economic espionage and illegal recordings by city employees at the Middletown Regional Airport.

The investigation was completed December 8 and was reviewed by an outside prosecutor for charges. Hart II signed the complaint December 22.

Those charged include:

Eisenbraun for failure to report a crime, a second-degree misdemeanor. He remains an active city employee.

Dickten for unauthorized use of property and obstruction of justice, both fourth-degree misdemeanors. He was also charged with two counts of aggravated menacing, both first-degree misdemeanors. This incident is unrelated to the investigation, but Dickten is alleged to have menaced an airport tenant and his wife on July 31. He retired from the city in August.

Ashley Schulte, for complicity to unauthorized use of property. Schulte, who formerly worked for Start Skydiving, allegedly gave Dickten her account access information to Start’s computer system. Schulte now works for Safe Skies Aviation, the interim fixed-base operator at the airport. She also filed a separate federal lawsuit against the city for unpaid wages and an EEOC complaint against Dickten.



Angelina County Airport (KLFK) receives stimulus funds



The Angelina County Airport will receive stimulus funds from the federal government as a part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

The government allocated $2 billion in funds to eligible U.S. airports to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus disease.

"This new grant program will provide much-needed economic relief to airports around the country as they address the COVID-19 public health emergency," outgoing U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said. She resigned following the breach of the U.S. Capitol.

Non-primary commercial service and general aviation airports will share $45 million based on their airport categories. The Angelina County Airport is a regional airport, and last year it received $69,000 from the CARES Act. The exact amount it will receive this year has not yet been determined.

Airport manager Gary Letney said 2020 ended up being a surprisingly great year when everything was said and done. The cafe had the best year it ever had in 2019, and at the start of 2020, it was going strong.

In March, the county shut down because of COVID-19, and everything came to a halt. However, sales came back to even when they opened back up in June, Letney said.

Since then, sales have gone to about 10% above normal.

Fuel sales were similar. In 2019, they had their best year since 1998. Then sales were matching in the beginning of 2020 until the pandemic hit, when they went to about 80% down.

However, they rose to about even sales in June, and increased to about 10% above normal with a record month in October and a record day in November, Letney said.

"It was very surprising," he said. "That's actually not what's happening at all airports. Everybody is saying they're down, they're down, they're down. When we talk to the fuel suppliers, they're real surprised we're running as good as we are. So we're looking for a good year."

However, the airport is full. A plane occupies every hangar, so they need to push for growth, Letney said. They have a grant being put in currently for taxiways to be built.

Letney said they should end 2020 in the black $20,000-$30,000.

"2021 is starting out about how 2020 ended. The cafe is looking good. Fuel sales are looking how they were," Letney said. "We're running about the same numbers, so everything's looking good."

Outreach meetings to explain proposed Turners Falls (0B5) expansion



MONTAGUE, Massachusetts  — Two community outreach meetings this week aim to provide information and address questions about a potential expansion of the Turners Falls Municipal Airport in advance of a February Special Town Meeting, where residents will be asked to support the necessary funding.

The virtual meetings are planned for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. They can be accessed through the meeting calendar at montague-ma.gov.
 
Eyeing a purchase of a neighboring 10 acres that Airport Manager Bryan Camden has said would ensure the airport’s financial future, the Turners Falls Municipal Airport plans to request a short-term loan from the town of Montague of about $45,000 to support the purchase. The full purchase price is expected to be about $1.5 million, but would be mostly covered by grants for public airports.

Town Meeting approval is required for the loan. A Special Town Meeting, to be held virtually, is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 25.

While the airport issue is expected to generate discussion, that might be difficult to accommodate during a virtual Town Meeting, Camden said. The informational sessions are intended to address some questions ahead of time. Each will start with a presentation lasting about 20 minutes, and then will have 30 to 40 minutes for discussion and questions.

“We really want to make sure the information is addressed properly and any questions are answered,” Camden said. “This is not a land grab for the airport. This is essentially going to fund the future of the airport.”
 
One key issue will probably be the rationale for acquiring the land, rather than allowing some private business to buy it, Camden said.

In past meetings, Camden and the Montague Selectboard have discussed how owning the land — which is currently owned by Pioneer Aviation, and includes a flight school, maintenance facility and a fueling station — would not only guarantee that those facilities remain available to customers, but would also turn them into sources of revenue for the airport.

Another issue will probably be whether the restructuring of the airport and the town’s loan will impact town finances or taxpayers, Camden believes. He said the airport should be able to repay the money borrowed from the town by the fall of 2021.

“The expectation that this is going to cost the taxpayer something will need to be discussed,” Camden said, “just to clarify that it won’t.”

Skystar Kitfox Series 5 Vixen, N153PR: No sign of plane stolen from Cottonwood Airport (P52), Yavapai County, Arizona

https://registry.faa.gov/N153PR



COTTONWOOD – Police are still on the lookout for a red and white airplane plucked from the Cottonwood Airport on New Year’s Eve. 

Just before midnight, thieves forced their way into the Cottonwood Airport and stole an airplane that was inside a box trailer, according to Cottonwood police.

“The trailer and plane have not been recovered,” Cottonwood police said Thursday.

“There was not much video surveillance at the airport. I was told the city purchased additional cameras to expand the areas that are monitored up there,” Cottonwood Det. Matthew Strickland said.

“The subjects entered the airport and stole a box trailer which contained an airplane. These subjects also stole airplane parts while inside,” police said. “The total loss is estimated between $70,000 - $80,000,” police said at the time.

“Subjects were able to gain entry into the Cottonwood Airport by disabling and forcing the main gate open,” police added.

The airport is surrounded by security fencing and signage.

“Federal agencies have been notified/utilized. As for the intended use of the stolen plane and parts, we can only speculate as to why it was stolen and for what purposes,” said Strickland.

He pointed out that the thieves took the time to steal compatible propellers for the plane. The photo on the plane provided by the police has the airplane number N153PR on the wing.

The Flight Safety Foundation Safety Network website, which put out an incident notice for the stolen plane, said it was a Skystar Kitfox Series 5 Vixen and is owned by a private pilot.

Anyone with information should contact the Cottonwood Police Department at (928) 649-1397. Yavapai Silent is offering an award of up to $450 for information leading to an arrest at 1-800-932—3232 or www.yavapaisw.com.



Cessna 177A Cardinal, N30309: Accident occurred July 12, 2020 in Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky

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; Louisville, Kentucky


Location: Falmouth, KY 
Accident Number: ERA20LA245
Date & Time: July 12, 2020, 12:23 Local
Registration: N30309
Aircraft: Cessna 177
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 12, 2020, about 1223 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177A, N30309, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Falmouth, Kentucky. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that he was repositioning the airplane to the new owner, and as part of his preflight inspection he used a wooden stick that he found in the airplane that was marked with lines and annotated with "5" to determine the fuel level in each fuel tank. Based on the readings, he thought that each fuel tank had about 12.5 gallons of fuel, which was more than enough for the intended flight. After engine start he taxied to the runway where he performed an engine run-up with no discrepancies noted. According to ADS-B data the flight departed at 1128, and proceeded in an east-northeast direction, then a northeast direction. About 40 to 45 minutes into the flight, while flying at 3,000 ft mean sea level, he noticed a slight drop of engine rpm which he thought was carburetor ice. He applied carburetor heat which restored the engine rpm, and about 3 to 4 minutes later, he noted the engine rpm had "quite a bit more rpm decrease, and the engine then quit." He maintained best glide airspeed, and checked the ignition, mixture, and verified the fuel selector was on the both position. He began looking for a place to land and noted there were rolling hills with trees around him. He selected a cow pasture and flew a short right base leg where he extended the flaps. In anticipation of the forced landing he turned off the master switch, cracked open his door, and touched down on downsloping terrain of the pasture. Due to bumpy terrain the airplane bounced. He flared, and then touched down on upsloping terrain. While slowing, the airplane nosed over.

Postaccident examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no evidence of fuel leakage. The wings were removed and the fuselage was uprighted. No fuel was noted in either wing fuel tank. About 2 ounces and 4 ounces of blue colored fuel consistent with 100 low lead were drained from the carburetor float bowl and airframe fuel strainer, respectively. No water contamination was noted. The airplane was recovered for operational testing of the engine assembly. Five days after the accident the Federal Aviation Administration inspector revisited the accident site and there was no appreciable browning of vegetation beneath the resting position of either wing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N30309
Model/Series: 177 A 
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: FGX, 913 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2900 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
None Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Elizabethtown, KY (EKX)
Destination: Batavia, OH (I69)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.641666,-84.197776 (est)

HIGH POINT CONFIDENTIAL: Pilot’s plane was hit by ... a train?!




HIGH POINT, North Carolina - As a stunt pilot, John Lohr probably thrilled spectators with a variety of aerobatic maneuvers, from dizzying loops, rolls and spins to breathtaking vertical climbs and terrifying freefalls. It’s possible he even flew his plane upside-down.

But the High Point man’s most amazing trick may have been the time his small plane was hit by a speeding passenger train … and he lived to tell the tale.

The year was 1931, and Lohr was a 23-year-old aviator who performed with a small barnstorming operation called the Carolina Flying Circus. On this particular day, though — Sept. 19, 1931 — Lohr wasn’t showing off for a crowd of spectators. He was just trying to get home in one piece.

Piloting an Eaglerock, a three-seat biplane owned by his brother, Lohr was flying from Tennessee to Charlotte when engine trouble forced him to make an emergency landing. After repairing the engine, he flew on to Charlotte and inspected the engine again before the final leg of his journey home to High Point that afternoon, which he would make with a passenger he picked up in Charlotte. All seemed well.

It wasn’t.

When Lohr reached an altitude of about 3,500 feet, the engine faltered again. The small plane went into a violent tailspin over Harrisburg, about 16 miles north of Charlotte.

At that moment, a piece of the right wing snapped, essentially guaranteeing the young pilot had no shot at coming out of the tailspin. The plane plummeted at full speed, nose first, “hitting the ground so forcibly that the motor was buried about 18 inches deep in the hard earth,” The Charlotte Observer reported.

In the frantic, blurry seconds before impact, Lohr remembers catching a fleeting glimpse of the railroad track the plane was about to slam into.

“When the plane struck the ground,” he would say later, “I immediately lost consciousness.”

Good thing, too, because if he’d been conscious, Lohr would’ve seen Southern Railway passenger train No. 34 — no more than a hundred yards down the track — barreling toward him.

The only saving grace was that the plane had come to rest primarily on the southbound track, and the train was on the northbound track, about 10 feet away. Still, the locomotive slammed into the tail of the plane, breaking it in two and throwing it about 50 yards. Meanwhile, the train never stopped — newspaper accounts indicate the engineer didn’t even know he’d hit anything.

Talk about a hit-and-run.

Of course, as The Observer reported, things could’ve been much worse: “If the ship had landed 10 feet from where it did, the northbound train would have torn the plane to shreds and mangled the bodies of its occupants.”

Both men said they had expected to die from the plane crash alone — never mind getting slammed by a train, too — so they considered themselves lucky to be alive.

Lohr’s passenger, a Mount Tabor man, got the worst of it, suffering a spinal injury, a severe gash in his forehead, and a fractured left arm. The spinal injury was expected to keep him hospitalized for several weeks. Meanwhile, Lohr suffered only a few bruised ribs and a host of cuts and bruises, and he was only hospitalized a few days.

“When my time comes, then I must go,” Lohr told a reporter. “But fortunately, the Lord spared me.”

Because of the unusual nature of the crash — a plane being hit by a train — the story made newspapers across the country, including prominent papers such as the New York Daily News, which published a photo of the wreckage with the headline, “Something Brand New In Wrecks — Train Hits An Airplane!”

Ironically, Lohr’s crash didn’t damage his enthusiasm for flying at all. Only two weeks later, the Carolina Flying Circus had a show scheduled in Asheboro, and he was expected to participate. Nearly 50 years after that, when Lohr died in 1979, his family had a drawing of an airplane engraved on his tombstone.

And confidentially, if you’re wondering how Lohr got to heaven, we’d be willing to bet God sent a plane for him.