Saturday, August 28, 2021

Thorp T-18, N78DW: Accident occurred August 28, 2021 near Boerne Stage Field Airport (5C1), 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; San Antonio, Texas


Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: CEN21LA390
Date & Time: August 28, 2021, 15:37 Local 
Registration: N78DW
Aircraft: MANTOOTH THORP T-18 
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 28, 2021, about 1537 central daylight time, a Mantooth Thorp T-18 experimental airplane, N78DW, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near San Antonio, Texas. The pilot and passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he was planning on conducting a short cross-country flight with his passenger. Before takeoff, he fueled the airplane with 10-15 gallons of fuel and added one quart of oil to the engine. He performed an engine run-up and departed runway 17. The takeoff and initial climb were normal, and as he turned the airplane on downwind to depart the traffic pattern, the engine began running rough. The pilot attempted to regain engine power by moving the engine mixture, but no change in engine performance was noted. Unable to maintain altitude, he performed a forced landing into trees. The airplane impacted trees, nosed down, and came to rest on its nose.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The airplane was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MANTOOTH 
Registration: N78DW
Model/Series: THORP T-18 
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: KSAT,789 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:51 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: San Antonio, TX (5C1)
Destination: Fredricksburg, TX (T82)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.404569,-98.483959 (est)

BOERNE, Texas - Two people are injured following a plane crash.

No one expects a plane to land in their neighbor's yard. Even fewer would expect a plane to land in their own yard. Yet, that was the scene Saturday afternoon when a plane crashed between two homes in Boerne.

Sometime before 4:00 p.m. on Aug 28, a small plane tumbled down to a field between two houses at Bridlewood Trail near Boerne Stage Road. The plane was most likely trying to reach the Boerne Stage Airfield only less than a mile away.

While two people were reported injured, the damage does not appear to be life-threatening.




BOERNE, Texas – Two people are recovering in the hospital following a small plane crash near Boerne Stage Field Airport, according to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane crashed just before 3 p.m. behind a home off of Boerne Stage Road and Bridlewood Trail.

It’s unclear what led to the crash, but deputies said a man and a woman were injured from the impact.

A family that lives near the crash site said they helped rescue the pair inside of the aircraft when it crashed.

Officials said their injuries are not life-threatening, but they were taken to an area hospital for further treatment.

No property damage was reported, aside from the wrecked aircraft, according to the BCSO.

Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and the Leon Springs Fire Department are still working the scene.

Further details are limited at this time. We’ll bring more updates as they become available.




SAN ANTONIO — Two people were injured when a small plane they were traveling in crashed along Bridlewood Trail near the Boerne Stage Field Airport Saturday afternoon, Bexar County authorities confirmed to KENS 5.

The area is residential, but there was no property damage to homes in the area, Bexar County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Johnny Garcia said. 

The two individuals were taken to a local hospital and are expected to be OK; Leon Springs Fire officials say they were the only passengers onboard. 

Authorities added the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to take over the investigation. 

It's still unclear what caused the plane to go down, but Leon Springs FD said the pilot "reported a mechanical failure" immediately beforehand. 

Incident occurred August 27, 2021 in Idleyld Park, Douglas County, Oregon

IDLEYLD PARK, Oregon — A helicopter crashed near Idleyld Park Friday morning in Douglas County, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

The sheriff's office stated the crash resulted in minor injuries.

According to a Roseburg Forest Products official, the helicopter landed on RFP property, but is not owned by RFP.

"The pilot had some kind of issue while in flight and set down on property owned by Roseburg Forest Products," the RFP official said in an email to our newsroom.

Douglas County Sheriff's Office says more information to come later.

In Memoriam: Joseph K. Russell

Joseph K. Russell
September 10, 1930 - August 24, 2021
~


Joseph K. “Joe” Russell, age 90, of Kankakee, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at his home.

Joe was born September 10, 1930 in Chicago, the son of Joseph & Camille Kvitek Russell.

He married Iola Lehnig on October 31, 1980 in Kankakee.

Joe was a pilot, crop duster, and flight instructor.

He was a member of the VFW. Joe was a quiet birdman. He had a lifetime pass to airshows in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He loved airplanes and was an excellent carpenter.

Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Korea.

Surviving are his wife, Iola Russell of Kankakee; two sons, Joseph & Connie Russell of Park City, UT and Christopher Russell of Texas; four step-sons, Carlo & Tracy Armenise of Las Vegas, NV, Samuel & Barbara Armenise of Fall Brook, CA, Patrick & Linda Armenise of Menifee, CA, and William Armenise of Fort Worth, TX; one brother, Robert & Roberta Russell of Beaverville; one grandson, Joseph “Tray” Russell; four step-grandchildren, Cassandra Armenise, Kristina Holfler, Tony Armenise, and Jason Armenise; nine step-great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents; one son, Michael Russell; and one step-son, Michael Armenise.

Visitation will be held from 12:00 Noon – 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at Clancy-Gernon-Hertz Funeral Home in Kankakee. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 30, 2021, also at the funeral home.

Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Beaverville.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Church in Beaverville.

In Memoriam: Captain Eugene "Gene" J. Schumacher

Eugene J. Schumacher
1937 - 2021


An Eagle Flies West
06/04/1937 - 08/24/2021

Captain Eugene "Gene" J. Schumacher (Retired USAir) Flew West as he joined the LORD on August 24, 2021. He passed peacefully at home and was cared for by his loving wife Maureen, in Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Springfield, Minnesota to John Charles and Elvera Marie (Schunk) Schumacher on June 4, 1937. Gene was an only child and worked the family farm with his parents. He attended both the one room school house through 8th grade, then one year at St. Raphael Catholic School and the last two at Springfield High School. He graduated from Springfield High in 1955 and was a member of the Future Farmers of America and was active in the agricultural field.

Gene always had an interest in Aviation and at 10 years old, while at the Brown County Fair, there was a pilot giving airplanes rides. His Father John and he took a ride in the Ercoupe. That was the spark and Gene was destined to be a lifelong aviator. He took flying lessons from his mentor Aurie Lowinske at the original grass strip airport in Springfield, MN, while continuing farming and eventually took a summer job at the canning plant for Del Monte. His desire for aviation never faltered, as he worked at the airport for flight time and on September 17, 1957 at 17 he completed his first Solo Flight in a Vagabond aircraft in Springfield. That same day he began an apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic with Leo Beck, fellow aviator/mechanic. He eventually completed his academics and graduated from technical school with an A&P Mechanic Certificate and went on to achieve his Inspector Authorization as an Aircraft Mechanic. He continued his aviation training through his private, commercial, instrument, multiengine Flight Instructor; Airplane Single and Multi-engine Instrument Airplane certificates and eventually Airline Transport Pilot and Remote Pilot for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones). During his training he was guided by Aurie to become an agricultural pilot (crop duster). He worked on aircraft, flew everything he could get his hands on; worked various positions with Vercoa Air Service, Inc., Danville Illinois and Britt Airways.

On June 29, 1960 Gene responded to the call of duty for his nation and enlisted in the Army National Guard at Redwood Falls, Minnesota. He qualified as a Sharpshooter and an Expert in Field Artillery and received the Sharpshooter Badge w/bar Carbine and Expert Badge w/bar Field Artillery and his military occupational specialty was Asst. Gunner. He served for four (4) years and received his Honorable Discharge on June 28, 1964.

Gene continued his passion for flying and with over 6,000 flight hours, including Agricultural, Charter, and Instructor time, he accepted his first airline position as Co-pilot at Lake Central Airlines on the DC-3. Lake Central Airlines later merged with Allegheny and then that carrier merged with Mohawk, and in 1979 became USAir. Gene was qualified on several aircraft types; the DC-3, Nord 262, Convair 580, DC-9, Boeing - 727, Fokker 100, Boeing - 757/767. He held various positions as First Officer, Captain, IOE Captain, Chief Pilot USAir Boston Base and spent a great length of his aviation career flying out of the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. He retired as an International Captain for USAir in 1992, at the age of 55.In the following six months he was recalled to service with USAir Flight Simulator Contract Training, located in Moon Township. While there, Gene trained pilots from around the world. He traveled to train pilots in Finland and Ghana Africa. He was instrumental in assisting with the original Ghana Airlines Pilot
training both in the United States and also, the in aircraft training and testing, in the DC-9 in Ghana, Africa. In 1996 Gene became the owner of Stensin Aviation located at the Beaver County Airport in Chippewa, PA, which he subsequently changed the name to Pro Flight Center, Inc., and, provided flight training, charter, maintenance, and fuel services. His school provided training through all Flight Instructor Certification as well as Seaplane Ratings, Helicopter Ratings, Tailwheel and Aerobatic training. Students and pilots had the opportunity to complete a two or four year degree program through Beaver County Community College and through Utah Valley State College which in now Utah Valley University. The school was FAA approved 141, 135, 145 and 61. Gene was one of the rare aviators to have his FAA approval as a Training Center Evaluator (TCE part 142) for the DC-9 and the Boeing -727, utilizing USAir Simulators under dry lease. His 142 program provided both ground and simulator training and certification.

On March 14, 2008 Gene was the recipient of both the Master Pilot and Master Mechanic Awards for Recognition of Fifty Years of Dedicated Service in Aviation Safety from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This provides a standing testament to his lifelong mindset of safety first and his loyalty to his chosen profession as an aviator. His name is listed for both achievements at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. There are scores of individuals who came through Pro Flight Center's door, whose own successful careers are a living testament of the quality of training that was provided by Gene's knowledge and generosity as a mentor, boss, pilot and friend. He met his wife Maureen in 1996 and they were together for the past 25 years. Dedicated to each other, aviation and family, their faith in God and love for America. He attended St. Matthew Catholic Parish in Gahanna, Ohio and was a member of the Knights of Columbus (3rd degree), he supported both the AOPA and EAA over the years and was a member of the USAirways Soaring Eagles.

Gene is preceded in passing by his parents; John and Elvera Schumacher.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife and aviator Maureen Schumacher; his Loving Family; first wife Kathryn (Kay) Schumacher, mother of his three children of Arlington, MN; sons Randy (Rhonda) Schumacher of Glencoe, MN and Kevin (Karla) Schumacher of Prior Lake, MN; daughter Julie (Mike) Scharping of Arlington, MN; seven grandchildren; Cody, Logan, Seth, Brett, Alicia, Makinsey and Tate; four great-grandchildren; Crosby, Blakely, Braelynn and Miller; many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and loving colleagues; mother- in Law Isabella Casasanta of Moon Township, PA; brother in law Donald Casasanta of Moon Township, PA and niece Hannah Casasanta of Moon Township,PA.

Gene's family will welcome guests at two events -

COLUMBUS: Visitation will take place on Sunday, August 29, from 1pm-5pm at SCHOEDINGER NORTHEAST, 1051 East Johnstown Road, Gahanna 43230, with a prayer service to follow at 5:30pm.

PENNSYLVANIA: Gene's family will also receive friends on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 from 3pm-7pm at R.D. Copeland Funeral Home, 981 Brodhead Rd, Moon Township, PA 15108. Gene's family will welcome friends on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 10am at Copeland Funeral Home to be followed by a 10:30 prayer service. Services will conclude with Interment and an Honor Guard at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Coraopolis, PA, 100 Resurrection Rd, Coraopolis, PA 15108, immediately after the prayer service.

Gene's family would like to ask that any pilot in attendance come in uniform.

The Schumacher family would like to extend grateful thanks to Gene's visiting physicians, his private visit nurses, and Grace Hospice for all of the kindness and care.

Flowers are welcome however, In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Gene's memory to Wounded Warriors Project in Memory of Gene - https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate or St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memory of Gene - www.stjude.org .

A webcast of the Committal service and Honor Guard will be available through Zoom at this link shortly before the service begins:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86281157737?pwd=aEtFa05GejRvNHNQckJNb0RpSE5udz09
(Meeting ID: 862 8115 7737 // Passcode: 729638)

Mean Gene? Report Citing Verbal Abuse by Burlington International Airport (KBTV) Director Is No Surprise to Some

The City of Burlington concluded its investigation into aviation director Gene Richards late last month with a damning report. Penned by a third-party investigator, the report says Richards regularly used profanity and "physically intimidating behavior" against Burlington International Airport employees and called them "useless and ungrateful to their face." The verbal abuse was so damaging, the report says, that many employees have left or are considering leaving. 

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, who hired Richards in 2012, expressed surprise at the report's findings and said he'd never witnessed such behavior. He's now calling on the department head to step down, though Richards has refused.

"I didn't think the Gene Richards that I knew would conduct himself this way," Weinberger said, days after he had made the city's report public. "It was not what I expected of Gene."

But to others who worked with Richards, the report's findings aren't a surprise. In recent interviews with Seven Days, two South Burlington city councilors recalled being on the receiving end of Richards' temper, and an airport employee who'd worked there 10 years said he recently left his job to escape Richards' toxic leadership.

Their experiences lend credence to the city's position ahead of what the mayor's spokesperson says is an unprecedented termination hearing scheduled for Thursday, September 9, when Richards will publicly fight for his job. His fate rests on a vote of the city council: According to rules in the city's charter, eight councilors, or two-thirds of the 12-member body, must agree to fire him.

Richards' attorney, Rich Cassidy, has asked the city to postpone the hearing because he says the process has been rushed. Councilors can decide at the scheduled hearing whether to heed his request.

Richards, who has been on leave since late June, said he thinks the allegations were levied by disgruntled employees who were passed over for promotions or who otherwise held a grudge. He said after nine years leading BTV — during which he shored up the airport's finances and shepherded several infrastructure projects — he deserves another chance.

But his boss, and 34 unionized workers who signed a petition calling for Richards' firing, disagree.

"To me, it's very clear that there's no way for Gene to return in the role that he was in," Weinberger said. "It's sad. It's unfortunate. But I think it's the reality that his actions have brought upon us."

The city's wide-ranging investigation started in early June, when members of AFSCME Local 1343, the union that represents airport staff, filed a grievance about Richards' behavior toward employees. Weeks later, a Federal Aviation Administration worker reported that Richards had been fueling up his personal vehicle at the airport's gas pumps.

The city placed Richards on leave and hired workplace investigator Anita Tinney, who interviewed 11 witnesses, including former and current airport staff and other city employees, and reviewed 1,500 pages of documents. After a two-month probe, she concluded that while Richards made some questionable decisions — including to hire a distant relative and rent a home the airport had acquired to a city employee — none of them expressly violated city policy. His treatment of subordinates, however, did.

While the airport is owned and operated by the City of Burlington, it's located in South Burlington, meaning officials in both cities must collaborate on certain issues. South Burlington City Councilor Meaghan Emery said that in December 2015, Richards invited her to the airport to discuss noise from planes, including the F-35s that were to be based there. When he walked out of his office, though, he started laying into her.

"Without even saying hello, he — with just a very loud voice — yells at me and says, 'Stop being so negative' and 'How dare you come in here and demand to see us!'" Emery told Seven Days in a recent interview. "I just sat there with my jaw on the floor."

Emery later learned that Richards had emailed her to cancel the meeting, just 10 minutes before it was to start. At the following airport commission meeting, then-council chair Pat Nowak publicly apologized for Emery's behavior, prompting Emery to defend herself in a written statement. The dispute is documented in meeting minutes from both the commission and the council.

Emery assumed that Richards' behavior was purely political — she was an outspoken critic of the jets, and he supported basing them at BTV. But after reading about employees' experiences, she said, she realized that his outbursts were part of a pattern.

"He clearly worked to put the airport in a better place, but the cost of business should not be this fear," Emery said. "I know what I felt when he did it to me. You felt just like a storm had passed over. I was shaken by it. And that should not be tolerated."

Emery said she relayed the conversation to then-South Burlington city manager Kevin Dorn, who did not respond to an interview request.

One of her fellow councilors, Thomas Chittenden, said he, too, discussed airport noise with Richards. On one such phone call, Chittenden said, Richards quickly became "very curt, very dismissive and very angry" and "even used some curse words."

"From what I see and what I know about this, the mayor is right to ask to terminate Gene Richards," said Chittenden, who remains a councilor and is now also a state senator.

South Burlington City Council chair Helen Riehle, who serves on the airport commission, said she only once saw Richards "get hot under the collar," during a public meeting about airport noise some years ago — but not to the extreme described by her council colleagues. Riehle said she's conflicted over whether Richards should stay or go. He's improved the airport, won federal grants and attracted new airline service routes, but if the allegations are true, Riehle said, "you can't run an organization with that [as] such a piece of the culture or environment."

Burlington Airport Commissioner Jeff Munger, who recently stepped down as chair, wouldn't comment on the Richards report, nor would Bill Keogh, a longtime Burlington resident and politician who now chairs the commission. Representatives from AFSCME Local 1343 said members would not speak publicly until after this week's hearing, and most of the dozen former employees Seven Days contacted declined an interview or didn't respond to requests for comment.

Stephen Gragg, who spent close to 10 years working at BTV, was the exception. An operations specialist who ensured that the airport complied with aviation regulations, Gragg said he planned on spending his career in Burlington but became disillusioned as he watched Richards drive out good employees, including a manager whom Gragg highly respected. Gragg, who served as union steward before he quit in February, said employees regularly recorded conversations with Richards because they didn't trust him to keep his word. Gragg would not say whether he has any such recordings.

"Everything in that report was just the surface," Gragg said.

For his part, Richards said he doesn't remember yelling at Emery but acknowledged that they frequently disagreed. "A lot of interactions with Meaghan are challenging," he said. "She says things that aren't always necessarily the truth."

Richards was less inclined to discuss Gragg, only saying he "worked hard" with Gragg and "every other employee." Richards also disputed how the report characterized him as a power-wielding "big dog," unwilling to listen.

"When I go to bed at night, I try to think of what I can do better," he said. "When somebody is not happy with me, I'm like a Labrador, not a Doberman. I really believe in trying to get it right. I believe this process didn't have any of that in it. This is like, You're wrong, because they said you did this."

Richards' attorney has also raised concerns about the investigation. On Monday, Cassidy sent city attorneys a letter alleging that the city is withholding "exculpatory material" from his client, including Richards' personnel file, the AFSCME petition and documents reviewed by Tinney. Cassidy said he filed a public records request for the documents, which the city said it would supply "on a rolling basis up to and through September 13" — after Richards' termination hearing. The report that was released to the media and to Richards' team in late August was only Tinney's summary; the full, 13-page report, with redactions, was provided to Richards on September 2.

Cassidy has asked the city to delay the proceedings until Richards can review the evidence against him. The attorney has also suggested that the hearing's format — each side will have just 15 minutes to make their case — is unfair and has asked for a four-hour hearing to be scheduled at a later date.

Several people who know Richards have come to his defense. Ronald Bazman, a retired air traffic controller for the FAA, said he never saw Richards treat employees poorly in the more than three years he worked in Burlington. Bazman called Richards a firm and passionate leader, a "doer" whose tough decisions probably upset the rank and file. He questioned why Richards' alleged conduct wasn't brought forward sooner if it was so commonplace.

"The story is somehow being embellished," Bazman said. "It was always my experience with Gene that he was doing the right thing for the right reasons."

Erin Desautels gave a similar testimonial. Her business, Accelerate Vermont, has been based at the airport for six years. In that time, Desautels said, she never once witnessed Richards denigrate anyone or display anger. "It feels like a character assassination," Desautels said, calling the report "vague and unspecific."

"This whole thing is just incredibly troubling to me," she said.

Ranjit "Buddy" Singh has worked for Richards for nearly 30 years, first at a bank and now as a broker for Richards' side business, Spruce Mortgage. Singh said he's had a handful of "heated discussions" with Richards but that he's always emerged a better employee and person for it. Singh, who called Richards a role model, broke into tears recalling how Richards supported him when his mother died in April 2020.

"That's the type of leadership I want out of my manager, out of my boss. That's the person he is," Singh said. "He is a very good man, and he cares so much for the people around him, the organization he works for, and that's the thing that's upsetting."

Singh lamented that Richards isn't being given a second chance. Richards, too, has said he's hurt that Weinberger, who served with him on the airport commission before becoming mayor in 2012, wants to fire him instead of help him become a better leader. "If I'm so bad, why isn't he coaching me?" Richards asked.

Weinberger, however, has little patience for those questions.

"Department heads shouldn't need me to tell them it's wrong to humiliate their employees in front of their peers," he said. "To me, it's one of a number of indications ... that [Richards is] not really taking full responsibility or accountability for his actions."




Mayor Miro Weinberger on Friday evening announced his initiation of the process, per City Charter, to terminate the appointment of Burlington International Airport Aviation Director Gene Richards, following findings by an independent investigator that he mistreated City employees and violated city practice regarding the use of City property.

In June 2021, a Federal Aviation Administration employee reported the repeated use of a gasoline facility at the airport by an individual in a private vehicle. Human Resources Director Kerin Durfee and Chief Administrative Officer Katherine Schad immediately initiated an investigation, and through clear documentation, established that Mr. Richards was the subject of the FAA employee’s report. Mayor Weinberger then authorized Director Durfee and CAO Schad to place Mr. Richards on paid administrative leave on June 30, 2021. The investigation quickly confirmed that Mr. Richards had used the gasoline facility to fuel his personal vehicle 59 times in a six-month period, without any documentation of what fuel or travel was for the purpose of work.  

During preliminary interviews, airport employees further alleged that Mr. Richards mistreated his colleagues and committed additional instances of misuse of City property. The City contracted an independent investigator to ensure a fair, focused and careful examination of each allegation.  

The investigator found that, while not an explicit violation of City policy, Mr. Richards’ use of the gasoline facility without approval violated City practices regarding City property and created an appearance of misuse of City property. More significantly, the report found widespread corroboration by current and former City employees that Mr. Richards violated City policy by regularly engaging in behavior that employees find humiliating and offensive, including yelling, screaming, name-calling, and using profanity. 

The investigation found all other allegations of misuse of City resources for personal use by Mr. Richards to be unsubstantiated. 

The Mayor has told Mr. Richards he no longer has confidence in his ability to run the airport and asked him to resign. Mr. Richards has declined. Therefore, Mayor Weinberger has suspended Mr. Richards without pay, effective today, and will call a special meeting of the City Council on the evening of September 9 to conduct a termination hearing, per this section of the City Charter: 

Chapter 5, § 3-129. Appointing body or person has power to remove: 

“Additionally, the City Council may, on the initiative of the Mayor, by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of its entire number, remove at any time at its pleasure any City officer or department head it should determine is no longer effectively serving the City, and all City officers and department heads shall take and hold office subject to this authority.” 

Mr. Nic Longo will continue to serve as Acting Director of Aviation.  

Mayor Weinberger made the following statement:  

“The mistreatment of City employees documented in this investigation is unacceptable and Mr. Richards can no longer serve the City in a leadership role, despite his many past accomplishments. 

The work of the City is important, hard, and often stressful, and regardless of the challenges we confront I expect all employees to treat their colleagues with respect, fairness, and professionalism while they carry out their duties. I believe that Department Heads, in particular, must lead by example in order for us to achieve our best performance for the people of Burlington. Regrettably, Mr. Richards did not maintain this high standard of service I require from City leadership. 

I appreciate the members of the Airport team who raised concerns. I hope my colleagues see in these events the deep commitment of this administration to its employees. I will continue to prioritize our shared values of collaboration, belonging, and respect across all areas of work the City team endeavors to do together.” 

Source: Burlington, VT – Office of Mayor Miro Weinberger 8.27.2021

 


BURLINGTON, Vermont (WCAX) - Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger is calling for Airport Director Gene Richards to resign.

Richards was placed on administrative leave at the end of June, following a complaint to human resources and a city investigation.

The Mayor says that Richards misused airport gas to fill his own vehicle and yelled and swore at airport employees.

WCAX News learned that the Mayor met with Richards and asked him to leave, but Richards refused to resign.

The Mayor released a statement saying, “the mistreatment of city employees documented in this investigation is unacceptable and Mr. Richards can no longer serve the city in a leadership role.”

The mayor suspended Richards without pay and calls for a termination hearing before the city council.

Richards tells WCAX News, that he is “very disappointed in the Mayor’s recommendation and saddened by his direction.” Richards disputes that he misused fuel and points to the investigation that says there is insufficient evidence of that. Richards says his personal car is his airport car and had the authority to use the fuel card. Richards also questions the investigation process and claims there was a lack of transparency that he was kept in the dark about the allegations.

He says his record quote is the success of the Burlington airport. Richards says the only thing he’s guilty of is running a tight ship and holding employees accountable when they needed to be. Whether he keeps running the airport will likely be determined at the city council meeting on September 9th.

All in Jets LLC doing business as JetReady: Owner of Jet Charter Company Settles False Claims Act Allegations Regarding Misappropriation of Payment Protection Program Loan

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 27, 2021


Miami, Florida – Seth A. Bernstein, the owner of jet charter company All in Jets LLC dba JetReady, located in Florida, has agreed to pay $287,055 to settle allegations that he misappropriated Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds for his personal expenses.  JetReady is a jet charter operator with its principal place of business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The United States alleged that Bernstein, on behalf of JetReady, applied for and received a PPP loan totaling $1,173,382 in April 2020.  Within a day of receiving the loan proceeds, Bernstein allegedly diverted $98,929 of the funds to pay for personal, non-company related expenses.  JetReady has since filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York.

“The Paycheck Protection Program was enacted over a year ago to help small businesses and their employees financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida. “Since this and other programs under the CARES Act were initiated, our Office has prioritized investigating and bringing to justice those who illegally seek to benefit from the global health crisis and the programs put in place to help those in need.”

“Paycheck Protection Program loans were intended to provide critical relief to small businesses so that they could retain employees and keep their doors open,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will ensure that those who misused these taxpayer-funded loans and denied other eligible businesses access to such assistance are held accountable.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to provide a lifeline to the nation’s small businesses and its employees” said Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware of the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG). “OIG will aggressively investigate allegations of wrongdoing in SBA’s pandemic response programs.  I want to thank the Department of Justice for its dedication to achieving this settlement.”

“The result in this case is the product of enhanced efforts by federal agencies, such as the Small Business Administration working with Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement agencies, to detect Paycheck Protection Program abuses, pursue individuals and companies that engage in such abuses and protect the integrity of the PPP program,” said SBA General Counsel Peggy Delinois Hamilton.

Congress enacted the PPP on March 29, 2020, as part of the CARES Act, to provide emergency financial support to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The CARES Act authorized billions in loans to small businesses struggling to pay employees and other business expenses.  Under the PPP, eligible businesses could obtain loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).  Businesses were required to spend loan proceeds for employee compensation, rent or mortgage, and other specified expenses and, depending on their use of the loan proceeds, could qualify for loan forgiveness, up to the full amount of the loan.

Today’s civil settlement includes the resolution of claims brought under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Victoria Hablitzel, a former JetReady employee.  Under those provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. Ms. Hablitzel will receive $57,411.  The case is captioned U.S. ex rel. Hablitzel v. All in Jets, LLC and Seth A. Bernstein, No. 20-cv-61410 (S.D. Fla.).

The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, with assistance from the SBA’s Office of General Counsel and OIG.

This matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney James A. Weinkle of the Southern District of Florida and Trial Attorney Jonathan Gold of the Civil Division.

On May 17, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

Federal Aviation Administration to Review Boeing Employee Reports of Pressure Over Safety Issues

Regulator faults aerospace giant after surveyed employees reported interference and transparency issues on safety matters



The Wall Street Journal 
By Andrew Tangel
Updated Aug. 23, 2021 11:49 pm ET

The Federal Aviation Administration is launching a broad review of how Boeing Co. employees handle safety matters on the agency’s behalf after some company engineers said they face undue pressure, according to an agency letter and people familiar with the matter.

An FAA survey conducted this year found 35% of a small sample of certain Boeing employees reported problems including pressure and hurdles to transparency, according to an Aug. 19 agency letter to Boeing. Some surveyed employees, who are part of a group empowered by the agency to assist its work, said they encountered difficulties in being transparent with regulators, according to the letter, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. aviation regulators have long relied on aerospace-company employees to act on their behalf for performing certain tasks, such as signing off on certain safety assessments or approving aircraft for delivery. The problems cited by Boeing employees in the survey “indicate the environment does not support independence” of those who are empowered to act on the agency’s behalf, according to the letter, which was signed by Ian Won, acting manager of the FAA’s Boeing oversight office in the Seattle area.

A Boeing spokeswoman said the company takes “these matters with the utmost seriousness” and is working to bolster the independence of its employees who work on the FAA’s behalf.

“We have consistently reinforced with our team that delegated authority is a privilege and that we must work every day to be trusted with the responsibility,” she said. Boeing has directed that its FAA delegates “must be accorded the same respect and deference that is shown to our regulator.”

The Chicago-based aerospace giant has faced setbacks in recent years related to engineering and quality issues with various commercial, military and space programs.

Problems cited by the August letter are similar to some identified by a 2016 internal Boeing survey, which was highlighted by a Congressional investigation into two fatal crashes of the plane maker’s 737 MAX jets in late 2018 and early 2019. The crashes, which took 346 lives, led Boeing to revamp how it handles engineering matters and prompted U.S. lawmakers to require changes to how regulators certify aircraft are safe.

The recent FAA survey was conducted between May and July this year, according to the letter. It involved 32 employees out of approximately 1,400 Boeing staff who work on the FAA’s behalf, according to people familiar with the matter. The letter said the “concerns require an objective review and further fact finding,” potentially including an anonymous, independent survey of all members of what is formally known as Boeing’s Organization Designation Authorization unit. The Boeing spokeswoman said the company was working with the FAA to follow its guidance.

The two-page letter came with excerpts from interviews with Boeing employees. The employees, who were quoted anonymously, told the FAA that the pressure they felt wasn’t necessarily overt and could also come from the engineering ranks pushing to stay on schedule.

“I feel undue pressure but I stand up to it,” one Boeing employee was quoted by the letter as saying.

The FAA letter said that “Boeing’s company culture appears to hamper” its FAA-empowered employees “from communicating openly with the FAA.” The letter cited one Boeing employee who told the agency: “I am very aware that my bringing up issues is not appreciated.”

The increased scrutiny comes as the FAA prepares to study the company’s culture, as required by a new federal law requiring changes to how the U.S. certifies airplanes for commercial service. Those changes came in the wake of the MAX crashes, and after U.S. lawmakers criticized the FAA and its oversight of Boeing throughout the aircraft’s development.

Before the legislation became law, an investigation by the U.S. House Transportation Committee released the 2016 internal Boeing survey that showed roughly one in three employees who responded felt “potential undue pressure” from managers across various commercial planes.

The Boeing spokeswoman said the company has worked hard to “build a culture of open communication, trust, transparency and respect.”

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N12790: Incident occurred August 27, 2021 in Lorraine, Jefferson County, New York



https://registry.faa.gov/N12790


TOWN OF LORRAINE, New York (WWNY) - A small plane made an emergency landing in southern Jefferson County late Friday afternoon.

The call came in at around 5:20 p.m. that the pilot of the Cessna 172M needed to make the emergency landing due to what officials claimed was an engine problem.

Two people were aboard the plane, which they landed safely. No one was injured.

Fire crews and other first responders made their way to a field on Route 189 in the town of Lorraine, though they weren’t there long. Bob Simpson of the Adams Fire Department says his crews returned to the station shortly after 5:20 p.m.

A mechanic came by to check the plane out and shortly after 6 p.m., the plane was seen taxiing along the field.

Officials say an emergency landing in the area is a rare call to have.

“I mean, that’s not something that happens with any kind of regularity. I mean, I’ve been here for over 50 years, and I don’t ever remember one here,” said Simpson.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane’s registered owner is a Chan Chui Sam of the Town of Brownville.

Dave Tripp: National airspace also critical infrastructure

As an air traffic controller, constituent, and member of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in North Dakota, I’d like to thank Senator John Hoeven for his vote in support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill that recently passed in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Hoeven understands the importance of investing in physical infrastructure in North Dakota and throughout the United States. Our National Airspace System (NAS) is a critical component of our infrastructure: It moves people and cargo safer and more efficiently than any other airspace in the world.

To ensure that America’s NAS remains the gold standard, this bill contains funding to repair or replace air traffic control facilities and equipment across the country. For years, there has been an urgent need to make these improvements. Some air traffic facilities have long exceeded their lifespan while many others suffer from major physical infrastructure issues. For example, Bismarck Air Traffic Control Tower is 48 years old and in need of significant repairs and maybe even complete replacement.

Additionally, infrastructure investments are vital to the safe integration of new technologies, including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). The University of North Dakota’s School of Aerospace Sciences is a national leader in UAS education and research. UND Aerospace and their partners utilizes Red River AFB for UAS testing and research. The bipartisan infrastructure bill will help support infrastructure and technology necessary for maintaining North Dakota’s standing in aviation.

Improvements to our aging facilities will result in more jobs for the American people and deliver benefits to our economy and the flying public alike.

Thank you, again, Senator Hoeven, for your vote in support of the infrastructure bill and investing in North Dakota’s aviation infrastructure and workforce.

Dave Tripp, Bismarck

Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six, N3862W: Accident occurred August 28, 2021 near Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (KSPA), South Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Aircraft crashed due to unknown reasons. 

MMF Aircraft LLC 


Date: 28-AUG-21
Time: 16:40:00Z
Regis#: N3862W
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: SPARTANBURG
State: SOUTH CAROLINA


Authorities are investigating the cause of a small plane crash in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Spartanburg Saturday that injured three occupants who were on a training flight when engine trouble occurred.

The Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six crash happened at about 12:40 p.m. Saturday in a wooded area behind a home in the 300 block of St. James Drive, according to a police report.

Spartanburg Fire Assistant Chief of Operations Brad Hall said several neighbors called 911 to report the crash. All three occupants in the plane were transported to Spartanburg Medical Center.

Hall said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the cause of the crash.

"The plane salvage company should be there today to remove the plane," Hall said Monday. "They will do further investigation on the plane once it is recovered."

Police said the occupants were student pilot Roy Griffin Jr., and back seat passenger Deneen Griffin, his wife. Instructor pilot Margo Anderson was also in the plane. 

The only patient in the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Monday was Deneen Griffin, who was in good condition, according to an SRHS spokesperson.

Police said the Piper PA-32-260 Cherokee Six plane was resting nose down with its tail suspended in tree branches.

Roy Griffin Jr. was injured but walking around, and his wife Deneen and Anderson were lying on the ground minutes after the crash, police said.

Griffin told police they were doing a training flight from Spartanburg Downtown Airport to North Carolina and back, and were almost back to the Downtown Airport when the engine "began to sputter."

Griffin said Anderson tried to take over, but they ended up on the trees, according to the police report.

Witness describes scene

Kristen Fike said she was with her family at nearby Parkwood Pool when they saw the plane crash.

"The plane was flying low over us," Fike said Monday over Facebook messenger. "We were showing the kids, look at the plane. The next thing we know, it kind of clipped the tree and went into the woods right behind us."

Fike said she and a friend drove to the scene. She described what she saw.

"When we got there all three people were out of the plane," Fike said. "She (Deneen) was on the ground yelling about her back hurting and her husband was on the phone with their children telling them to pray for her. The pilot (Anderson) was turning off everything in the plane because she could smell the fuel and didn't want anything else to happen."

Before paramedics arrived to transport the occupants to the hospital, Fike said she overheard some of the conversation at the scene. The Griffins are members of her church and friends with her parents, she said.

"They said they were flying around for about two hours and noticed something was wrong, so they started heading back to the airport. That's when they crashed. I think they were trying to land in an area without houses.

"They were definitely lucky that nothing worse happened," she said. "God had a hand on them that day."

Hall said small plane crashes in Spartanburg are "unusual."

"That's kind of unusual to have a plane crash in a neighborhood," Hall said Monday.







Wildlife Encounter (Non-bird): Beech C90A King Air, N982SB; accident occurred August 30, 2020 at Rohnerville Airport (KFOT), Fortuna, Humboldt County, California




Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket

Cal-Ore Life Flight LLC


Location: Fortuna, California
Accident Number: WPR20CA312
Date & Time: August 30, 2020, 22:00 Local 
Registration: N982SB
Aircraft: Beechcraft C90A 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Wildlife encounter (non-bird)
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi & commuter - Non-scheduled - Air Medical (Unspecified)

Analysis

The pilot of a multi-engine airplane reported that, during the night landing, a deer ran across the runway and struck the left engine. The pilot subsequently taxied the airplane to the ramp without further incident. The left engine mount was substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A collision with a deer while landing at night.

Findings

Environmental issues Animal(s)/bird(s) - Effect on equipment
Environmental issues Dark - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Wildlife encounter (non-bird) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 3, 2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 9, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 15000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1000 hours (Total, this make and model), 7500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 73 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 39 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beechcraft 
Registration: N982SB
Model/Series: C90A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: LJ-1518
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 4, 2020 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10160 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Turbo prop
Airframe Total Time: 3868.3 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: C126 installed 
Engine Model/Series: PT6A-135A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 750 Horsepower
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFOT,391 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 05:15 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 303°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 8 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Crescent City, CA (CEC) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Fortuna, CA (FOT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 02:14 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: ROHNERVILLE FOT 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 392 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 11 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4005 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Straight-in

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: 40.55389,-124.13277(est)

Zenith Zodiac CH-601 XL, N354DM: Accident occurred August 29, 2020 at Punta Gorda Airport (KPGD), Charlotte County, Florida








Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: PUNTA GORDA, Florida
Accident Number: ERA20CA303
Date & Time: August 29, 2020, 12:20 Local
Registration: N354DM
Aircraft: Zenith CH601
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot was also the owner/builder of the experimental airplane. He reported that the accident flight was the second flight since he completed assembly of the airplane. During takeoff, about 20 ft above ground level, the cockpit canopy “flew” forward to the full up position. The airplane immediately entered a nose-down attitude and touched back down on the runway with the propeller striking the runway. The airplane then bounced, touched down again, and skidded off the left side of the runway. The nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest upright in a grass area off the left side of the runway. The forward portion of the airplane’s fuselage was substantially damaged.

The pilot further stated that the canopy latch for the airplane make and model was known to unlatch in flight, so he installed a secondary latch system when he assembled the airplane. The secondary latch system consisted of a latch and catch mechanism that could only be secured from inside the cockpit. He added that the latches had to align perfectly to work. The pilot further noted that the airframe kit manufacturer offered a modification to the canopy latching system, but the pilot had not installed it.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
An inadvertent opening of the airplane’s canopy on takeoff, which resulted in a loss of control and runway excursion.

Findings

Aircraft Passenger/crew doors - Not specified
Aircraft Pitch control - Attain/maintain not possible

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Ground handling event
Takeoff Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Takeoff Loss of control in flight
Takeoff Abnormal runway contact
Takeoff Runway excursion
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
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: September 11, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 7, 2019
Flight Time: 262 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9 hours (Total, this make and model), 174 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Zenith
Registration: N354DM
Model/Series: CH601 XL
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 6092
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 1, 2020
Condition Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Honda
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: Viking 130
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 130 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PGD,25 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:17 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2700 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 25°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: PUNTA GORDA, FL (PGD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: PUNTA GORDA, FL (PGD) 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 12:20 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Punta Gorda PGD
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 25 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 22 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7193 ft / 150 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 26.918888,-81.990837(est)

Abnormal Runway Contact: Tecnam P-92 Echo Super, N508TE: Accident occurred August 28, 2020 at Charlottesville–Albemarle Airport (KCHO), Albemarle County, Virginia

View of the collapsed nose landing gear.

View of the fractured engine mount.



Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Heart of Virginia Aviation Inc


Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Accident Number: ERA20CA304
Date & Time: August 28, 2020, 15:50 Local 
Registration: N508TE
Aircraft: Tecnam P92 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The solo student pilot reported that during a cross-country flight, he entered the traffic pattern at his first destination, and while on final approach he needed to add power to correct the airplane’s low approach. During the touchdown he reported that the “nose wheel dropped hard and bounced twice and damaged the front nose wheel and the prop.” Subsequently, the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane skidded to a stop on the runway. The airplane’s engine mount sustained substantial damage. Review of airport security video showed that the airplane touched down and bounced three times. On the third touchdown, the airplane did not become airborne again and stopped shortly after. The student pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard, bounced landing and a nose landing gear collapse.

Findings

Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Incorrect use/operation
Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Landing gear collapse

Student pilot Information

Certificate: Student 
Age: 25,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 1, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 44 hours (Total, all aircraft), 44 hours (Total, this make and model), 5.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6.4 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Tecnam
Registration: N508TE
Model/Series: P92 EA 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2007 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Special light-sport (Special)
Serial Number: 1110
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 22, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2448 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C91A installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: 912ULS
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 98 Horsepower
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CHO,640 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 180° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Richmond/Ashland, VA (OFP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Charlottesville, VA (CHO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 14:45 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Charlottesville-Albemarle CHO 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 640 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6801 ft / 150 ft VFR
Approach/Landing: Stop and go; Traffic pattern

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:38.13972,-78.452224(est)

RAF 2000, N9012R: Accident occurred August 07, 2021 at Chambers County Airport (T00), Anahuac, Texas

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

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

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


Location: Anahuac, TX 
Accident Number: CEN21LA363
Date & Time: August 7, 2021, 11:15 Local 
Registration: UNREGISTERED 
Aircraft: Rotary RAF2000
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Flight test

On August 7, 2021, about 1115 central daylight time, an unregistered Rotary Air Force RAF 2000 gyroplane, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Anahuac, Texas. The pilot was uninjured, and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 test flight.

The pilot stated that he was completing a test flight after a new trim system was installed. After departure, about 50 ft above ground level, he actuated the trim switch and did not notice an immediate response. Suddenly the nose pitched up, then pitched down as the gyroplane rapidly descended toward the ground. The tailwheel and rotor blades struck the ground and the gyroplane rolled onto its right side. The pilot stated that a trim limit switch had not been installed.

Figure 1 shows the gyroplane on its right side in a field. The fuselage, empennage, and rotor blades sustained substantial damage.



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rotary 
Registration: UNREG
Model/Series: RAF2000 STD
Aircraft Category: Gyroplane
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: KBMT,33 ft msl 
Observation Time: 11:10 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 30 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C /24°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Anahuac, TX 
Destination: Anahuac, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.763259,-94.660782 (est)



CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Two people aboard a small gyrocopter sustained minor injuries when it crashed while leaving the Chambers County Airport on Saturday, according to the sheriff's office.

The aircraft was about 40 to 50 feet in the air when something went wrong and crashed on airport grounds, according to Sheriff Brian C. Hawthorne.

Hawthorne said the crash happened on a grassy area.

The sheriff later identified the pilot as 76-year-old Danny Whitten and the co-pilot as 65-year-old Anthony Thomas.

Firefighters and EMS crews were also called to the scene.

No other details regarding the occupants' condition were released.