Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lawsuit: Injuries from plane’s aborted landing ruin North Carolina family’s ‘last big vacation’

A North Carolina family had planned a “once-in-a-lifetime” vacation to Las Vegas, Hawaii and Los Angeles in what they expected to be their “last big vacation” together.

But their plans went sideways when their American Airlines flight attempted to land in Las Vegas, according to a lawsuit filed July 6 in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. The four family members are now suing the airline for more than $100,000. The lawsuit alleges that the turbulent landing forced them to seek medical help and cancel much of their trip.

Roger Brunton and Dawn Rippy-Brunton of Cleveland County took off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on June 5, 2019, for a trip with her parents, Diane and Harold Lee Rippy Jr., who live in Gaston County. They expected this to be their last major trip together because of the Rippys’ age, according to the lawsuit.

The family and their attorney, Matthew Myers of Charlotte, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

William Starr of Charlotte, an attorney for American Airlines, did not respond to the Observer’s requests for comment.

Instead of lightly landing on the Las Vegas runway, the plane ricocheted off the tarmac and careened back into the air, the family alleges in its lawsuit.

“The aircraft then suddenly and violently rolled to the left, rolled back to the right, and started to roll left again before aborting the landing and climbing back into the sky,” the family recounted in the lawsuit.

The two couples had seat belts fastened at the time, but the plane’s violent movements hurled them around the cabin, causing the injuries, according to the lawsuit.

The aircraft ultimately made a safe landing, at which point the four family members sought medical care. The family was forced to cancel many of their planned activities because of their injuries, according to the lawsuit.

None of their injuries are detailed in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of American Airlines and demands more than $25,000 for the “pain and suffering” each of the four endured. It also accuses the pilots of acting recklessly and being seduced by a “’get there at all costs’ mentality.”

Zenith CH750 Cruzer, N9667Z: Accident occurred July 17, 2021 in Blossom, Lamar County, Texas

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

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
Location: Blossom, TX
Accident Number: CEN21LA326
Date & Time: July 17, 2021, 16:30 Local 
Registration: N9667Z
Aircraft: GARY JAMES LAIL ZENITH CH 750 CRUZER
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 17, 2021, about 1630 central daylight time, a Zenith CH 750 airplane, N9667Z, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Blossom, Texas. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated that the airplane departed a nearby private grass strip when it experienced a rudder control malfunction. The pilot tried to land back at the grass strip but departed the runway and onto a road. During the runway excursion, the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest upright. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

A postaccident examination of the flight controls revealed that a rubber cable end was loose from its swage.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GARY JAMES LAIL
Registration: N9667Z
Model/Series: ZENITH CH 750 CRUZER 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: KPRX,547 ft msl
Observation Time: 16:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C /22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.650126,-95.382786

BLOSSOM, Texas - Two Blossom residents were taken to Paris Regional Medical Center after their experimental plane crashed shortly after takeoff from a private air strip in Blossom on Saturday.

At about 4 p.m. Saturday, department of public safety troopers were called to investigate the crash. Preliminary investigation revealed that an experimental plane crashed shortly after takeoff from a private air strip. The aircraft landed on Patriot Drive in Blossom.

The pilot, Earl Unruh, 66, and passenger Lenita Unruh, 62, both of Blossom, were transported to Paris Regional Medical Center via Paris EMS with non-life threatening injuries sustained in the crash, according to information provided by Trooper Mark Tackett.

Incident occurred July 17, 2021 at Northeast Florida Regional Airport (KSGJ), St. Johns County, Florida

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Florida — No injuries were reported after a plane had difficulty landing Saturday morning at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened just north of St. Augustine around 10:08 a.m.

For unknown reasons, the landing gear failed to deploy, FHP said.

During the incident, the aircraft slid down the runway and came to rest without any further incident. 

No passengers were on board and the pilot was not injured during the incident.

Brad Weinhofer: Charges filed against man accused of driving onto runway at Lehigh Valley International Airport (KABE)



HANOVER TWP., Pennsylvania - The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority is releasing the list of charges being filed against the man they say drove onto a runway.

Brad Weinhofer, 34 of Northampton was arrested after he allegedly drove a vehicle onto a runway at Lehigh Valley International Airport Friday afternoon. 

According to airport officials, Weinhofer somehow breached a security fence and wound up on a runway within 150 feet from an Allegiant airplane as it was taking off. Fortunately, officials say that plane was able to take off without issue and no one was hurt.

Officials say Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority police quickly took the suspect into custody.

The runway remained closed for about 20 minutes.

Weinhofer is being charged with risking a catastrophe, a charge that could bring up to seven years in prison if convicted. He is also charged with reckless endangerment, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief.

According to court documents, Weinhofer was unable to post $50,000 bail. The airport authority says the investigation ongoing. There's still no word on how the suspect was able to allegedly break into the airport or why.

The airport authority has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration to determine how to go about the investigation. We reached out to the FAA and officials there provided no comment, other than to say more information about the incident will come from the airport and local law enforcement.

Sterlin Love: Arrested for jumping fence at Centennial Airport (KAPA), trying to steal jet to go to Hawaii

The helicopter in the picture is DPD Eagle One not Air One.

 Sterlin Love


ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — A man is facing charges after investigators say he jumped the fence at Centennial Airport and tried to steal a jet. 

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says a man breached the secure perimeter on the south side of the airport in Englewood Wednesday around 1:15 p.m. He was near Runway 35 where a Gulfstream jet was taxiing, and the office says he attempted to get onto the jet, but the crew would not let him in. According to the sheriff's office, he wanted to steal a jet to fly to Hawaii.

A Denver Police Department helicopter happened to be at the airport at the time and watched him until deputies arrived.

The suspect, identified as Sterlin Love, 30, of Colorado Springs, was taken into custody. He faces charges of first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft and second-degree criminal trespass, according to the sheriff’s office.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said, in part, “We’ve all been at the point where we needed a vacation, but this took it a little far… note to self… video games are not real… stealing a jet will not go well.

”Love's bond is $10,000, and he remains in custody at this time. If he doesn't post bond, he will be in court Tuesday.

https://www.thedenverchannel.com

Beechcraft V35B Bonanza, N112TW: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2021 near Angwin Airport-Parrett Field (2O3), Napa County, California

Robert Nicholas and his daughter, Shauna Waite

Shauna and James Waite 


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 traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California 

Location: Angwin, CA 
Accident Number: WPR21FA273
Date & Time: July 16, 2021, 08:40 Local
Registration: N112TW
Aircraft: Beech V35 
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 16, 2021, at 0840 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft V35B, N112TW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Angwin, California. The two pilots and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal crosscountry flight.

Radar data identified the airplane departing French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta/Temecula, California, about 0550. The pilot had flight following from Air Traffic Control (ATC), until they were about 10 miles from Angwin Airport-Parrett Field (2O3), Angwin, California, whereupon flight following was terminated. The radar track identified the accident airplane as it entered a left downwind for runway 16. The radar track showed a wide left base turn to final which overshot the final approach. The radar track then showed the airplane reacquire runway heading and land.

Witnesses located at 2O3 reported that the accident airplane made an approach to land on runway 16. After touchdown, the airplane bounced several times before the pilot initiated a go-around. The airplane cleared the first tree line at the departure end of the runway. One witness reported that after clearing the first set of trees, the airplane began to pitch up, the left wing dipped down, and then the nose dropped toward the ground. The witness lost site of the airplane but saw smoke shortly after and called 911.

Video footage obtained from 2O3, identified the accident airplane liftoff near the departure end of runway 16. The landing gear remained extended as the airplane flew out of camera view.

Witnesses near the accident site reported hearing the airplane. They looked up right before the airplane struck a tree then impacted the ground coming to rest in a vineyard.

Examination of the accident site (see Figure 1) revealed that the departure end of runway 16 was about a halfmile from the first identified point of contact (FIPC); a 50 ft tree. The airport was not visible from the wreckage site. The FIPC contained a portion of wing skin in the tree and on the ground, a few feet from the FIPC, was the left aileron. The main wreckage came to rest downslope in a vineyard about 500 ft from the FIPC. The left-wing tip tank was identified 150 ft west of the main wreckage. 


All four corners of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airframe came to rest on a westerly heading with the engine separated from the firewall. The 3-bladed propeller along with its spinner and hub separated from the engine crankshaft and was located uphill and adjacent to the engine. Flight control continuity was established from the tail to the cockpit and right wing. The left wing was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire.

The three propeller blades exhibited s-bending, gouging the length of the blades, and chordwise scratching. The tips of the propeller blades exhibited gouging, with one blade missing a portion of its tip.

The crankshaft was manually rotated. Compression was obtained in all cylinders. Gear and valve train continuity was established.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N112TW
Model/Series: V35
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: KSTS,114 ft msl 
Observation Time: 07:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Temecula, CA (F70)
Destination: Angwin, CA (2O3)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.565647,-122.43043 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Mooney M-20J, N4474H: Fatal accident occurred July 15, 2021 and Incident occurred January 26, 2021

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 traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Alameda, California  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California
Lycoming

Location: Dinsmore, CA
Accident Number: WPR21FA272
Date & Time: July 15, 2021, 11:54 Local 
Registration: N4474H
Aircraft: Mooney M20J 
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 15, 2021, at 1154 Pacific daylight time, a Mooney M20J airplane, N4474H, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Dinsmore, California. The pilot, the pilot-rated passenger and two other passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

Review of radar data revealed that the flight originated from Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL), Fullerton, California at 0700. According to a family member, the pilot and the pilot-rated passenger departed for Perris Valley Airport (L65), Perris, California to pick up two rear passengers who were interested in purchasing a land parcel in Humboldt County, California. About 0730, the flight departed L65 northwest bound and climbed to a cruise altitude between 6,500 and 7,000 ft above ground level. Ground speed averaged about 130-140 kts for the first half of the flight, slowly increasing to between 140-160 kts later. Track data was lost about 1110 about 4-5 nm southeast of Dinsmore Airport (D63), Dinsmore, California.

A witness, located 0.25 miles east from the departure end of runway 09 at D63, observed the accident airplane circling the area around the airport twice before it landed on runway 27 (witness reported winds from the west). He then observed the airplane taxi down runway 09 before it had made a complete stop mid-runway and three individuals disembarked. When all three individuals boarded the airplane again, the pilot taxied towards the arrival end of runway 09. The airplane accelerated down the runway 09; the pilot rotated just short of the displaced threshold and according to the witness, barely cleared the fence. The rotation was not smooth, and it appeared as the pilot suddenly pulled the nose up (“jerked it”).

A video from a security camera located 300 ft east of the departure end of runway 09 revealed that the airplane took off towards the east. The wreckage was located about 1,600 ft beyond the departure end of runway 09 on a heading of 126°. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane’s right wing impacted a tall redwood tree. Upon impact, the right wing separated and fell on the ground underneath the tree. The airplane came to rest inverted about 120 ft and, on the heading of 170°, from the first point of impact.

The wreckage was secured for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N4474H
Model/Series: M20J
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: KFOT,391 ft msl 
Observation Time: 11:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 300°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Perris, CA (L65)
Destination: Dinsmore, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: Unknown
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.492028,-123.59822 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

The decedents have been identified as:

Henry Punt, age 69, of Los Angeles County;
Steve Sanz, age 63, of Orange County;
Jacquie Ann Figg, age 56, of San Bernardino County;
Kenneth John Malinowski, age 62, of Sacramento County.
 
Henry Punt


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Long Beach, California

January 26, 2021: Aircraft aborted takeoff and struck a runway light at Fullerton Municipal Airport (KFUL), Orange County, California.


Date: 26-JAN-21
Time: 19:55:00Z
Regis#: N4474H
Aircraft Make: MOONEY
Aircraft Model: M20J
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: FULLERTON
State: CALIFORNIA

JA-18, N907JA: Incident occurred July 16, 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aircraft experienced engine problems and landed in two feet of marshy water near a river. 


Date: 16-JUL-21
Time: 07:45:00Z
Regis#: N907JA
Aircraft Make: EXPERIMENTAL
Aircraft Model: JA-18
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EMERGENCY DESCENT (EMG)
Operation: 91
City: ANCHORAGE
State: ALASKA

Cessna 170B, N2583C: Accident occurred July 11, 2021 in Rampart, Alaska

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; Fairbanks, Alaska


Location: Rampart, AK
Accident Number: ANC21LA059
Date & Time: July 11, 2021, 12:30 Local
Registration: N2583C
Aircraft: Cessna 170
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 11, 2021, about 1230 Alaska daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N2583C, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Rampart, Alaska. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that while enroute, he was flying through the mountains and the engine began to “run rough.” He looked for an emergency landing area and observed a “flat” spot, which he set up to land at. During the landing to the off-airport site, the main landing gear touched down and the terrain “immediately sucked [the airplane] in”. The pilot classified the terrain as very soft and full of moss and bumps. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. The pilot was able to egress from the airplane without further incident.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left-wing and empennage. The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors C-145 engine. The airplane has been recovered and is pending an examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N2583C
Model/Series: 170B
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: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility:
Altimeter Setting: 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Bettles, AK (BTT)
Destination: Birchwood, AK (BCV)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 65.413046,-150.04006 (est)

Van's RV-6A, N468AC: Accident occurred July 15, 2021 at Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), California

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; Riverside, California


Location: Riverside, CA 
Accident Number: WPR21LA271
Date & Time: July 15, 2021, 09:54 Local 
Registration: N468AC
Aircraft: Vans RV6 
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 15, 2021, at 0954 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-6, N468AC, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Riverside, California. The two pilots onboard were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that while on short final approach for runway 27, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain short of the runway and came to rest inverted.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident site and reported that the airplane was inverted facing toward the north and was 150 yards from the threshold of runway 27. Fuel was observed running out of the lower cowling near the quick drain. The first identified point of impact was 60 ft east of the airplane’s final resting spot.

The airplane was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans 
Registration: N468AC
Model/Series: RV6 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: RAL,819 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -3.3°C /-10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.951889,-117.44511 (est)



RIVERSIDE – (INT) – Two persons escaped serious injury Thursday when their single-engine airplane crash-landed at the Riverside Municipal Airport.

Fourteen firefighters responded to the east end of Runway 27 where the small plane came to rest, but there was no fire.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Tony Perna said the aircraft flipped over coming to rest short of the runway in a field near Hillcrest Avenue but on airport property.

Photos showed the plane had extensive damage.

There was no immediate details on how the pilot and passenger got out of the aircraft. Their identities were not released.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N679DC: Incident occurred July 15, 2021 at Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV), San Jose, Santa Clara County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Jose, California

Aircraft landed Runway 31R and veered into the grass and taxiway before stopping. 

Lab Aviation LLC


Date: 15-JUL-21
Time: 19:50:00Z
Regis#: N679DC
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: SAN JOSE
State: CALIFORNIA