Saturday, January 15, 2022

Boeing 757-200, N547US: Incident occurred January 15, 2022 at Los Angeles International Airport (KLAX), California

Delta Air Lines 

LOS ANGELES, California — A Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Maui was forced to turn around Saturday morning and make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport due to a mechanical issue.

The plane landed safely but had to be towed off the runway at LAX. Authorities said there it was an hydraulic failure.

Flight 362 was scheduled to leave LAX at 8:05 a.m., landing in Maui at 11:57 a m., according to the airline's website.

"They're towing it (Boeing 757) off the runway," said Charles Pannunzio, senior public information officer at Los Angeles World Airports.

No injuries were reported.

City accepting bids on six acres near Worcester Regional Airport

WORCESTER, Massachusetts - A six-acre parcel of land near the Worcester Regional Airport is up for sale and the City of Worcester is accepting bids for the property until next week.

A request for proposals for the land at 146 Goddard Memorial Drive was released in early December and must be submitted by January 19 at 10 a.m.

The land is across the way from the TJ Maxx distribution center and near the Worcester State University satellite parking lot.

The goal of the city is to sell the property to help expand the tax base and hopefully create jobs in the future. 

Since the land is near the airport, development on the property may be limited due to Federal Aviation Administration height restrictions.

'Go Bengals': Pilot gives team shoutout on mic during flight out of Las Vegas

 Dale Demoss

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) - A local pilot shared his love for the Bengals during one of his flights.

"If you are a Las Vegas Raiders fan, I got some insider information," pilot Dale Demoss announced. "My Cincinnati Bengals will defeat the Raiders by six points Saturday. I won't be putting any money on that because if you know the Bengals' playoff history, you understand. But not the last 'Go Bengals!"

Demoss lives in Alexandria and flies for United Airlines. The video was taken leaving Las Vegas Thursday. Now, he's back in town and going to the game Saturday.

If you were wondering if Demoss got any grief for his comment he said, "I got them to destination 20 minutes early with a good landing, so it was all positive and well-received."

Illegal Bushmeat Confiscated From Travelers At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say they have confiscated bushmeat multiple times since December at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

CBP said officers seized over 100 pounds in the last week of December from U.S. citizens returning from Liberia. The trend “could have deadly effects and lead to another outbreak of disease,” a release said.

The passengers declared “fish” on their written and verbal declarations, but upon further inspection, officers found fish and bushmeat in the same package.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says bushmeat is raw or minimally processed meat which comes from wild animals such as monkeys, cane rats, bats, and other nonhuman primates. The meat, which is often smoked, dried, or salted, poses a risk of human infection and the spread of Ebola virus.

Last week, agriculture specialists stopped a passenger returning from Liberia and asked if he had any bushmeat. The passenger said he had “parts of a monkey” but it was “two primate arms and primate rib material,” according to Area Port Director-Minnesota Augustine Moore.

The agriculture department says the fine for bringing bushmeat into the country is $250,000. The confiscated bushmeat was destroyed.

X-Cell Aviation: New partnerships make it easier to learn to fly at Evansville, Indiana, flight school

EVANSVILLE, Indiana (WFIE) - For those who have dreams of soaring through the clouds, X-Cell Aviation may be able to help. The flight training center located in Evansville has some new partnerships as well to make it even easier.

Whether in an old-fashioned World War II fighter, or something with a little more muscle, some people love to fly.

“Freedom, it’s all I can say, it’s freedom. I call it the last freedom we have,” Jason Fuller, owner and flight instructor at X-Cell Aviation said. “You go, you take off, that airspace up there, it’s yours.”

This is why for 21 years, X-Cell Aviation has been helping people in the Tri-State take flight.

“My graduation thing for people is if I’ll put my kid with you, then I’ve done my job,” Fuller said.

This teaching is now more accessible. X-Cell recently partnered with Jeff Air Services and Indiana Wesleyan University, meaning prospective students can use financial aid, scholarships and money from college savings accounts to pay for a degree in aviation.

These financial options are only available when paying for an accredited program, so this opens the door to more people looking for a degree, something they say is in high demand.

“Aviation career is booming right now. There’s no end in sight to the booming, to the continually increasing pay scale that goes in,” Fuller said. “The fact that there’s so many job openings, if you are a certified commercial pilot, you pretty much can write your own ticket on where you want to go.”

X-Cell officials say most universities take two to four years for an aviation degree, but this program only takes about one year, and students may have the option for work as a pilot all while finishing their degree. Potential students in the Tri-State are already taking notice.

“Now that there’s such a pilot shortage, and the shortage is getting even worse, I feel like it’s a much better opportunity easier to get my foot in the door so to speak, to be a pilot,” potential student Ray Phillips said.

For more information on these programs and what it could take for you to become a pilot, visit the X-Cell Aviation website, or the program page on Indiana Wesleyan University’s website.

John Lindsey: Air density crucial for aviation safety

By John Lindsey

I purchased a Tempest weather station and installed it on my roof. This ingenious instrument doesn't have any moving parts, such as a tipping bucket rain gauge or the rotating cups of a standard anemometer. It is wireless, and I was able to install it and have it upload weather information on the internet in less than one hour.

The accuracy of temperature, rainfall, wind and barometric pressure was dead-on when I compared the Tempest readings to local weather data from another weather station on my roof and other nearby sources. I was intrigued to find that one of the readings that it produces is air density.

You see, air density is crucial for aviation safety, and here is why.

Last summer, while waiting on an aircraft to fly from Dallas, Texas, to San Luis Obispo on a sweltering and humid afternoon, the flight attendant asked for seven volunteers to get off the flight. The pilots determined that the density was too low to safely take off with a full load of passengers and the fuel needed to reach the Central Coast safely.

Years ago, when I was in the Navy, the officer in charge of our Navy SH-2F Seasprite helicopter crew, Lt. Cmdr. Chuck Taylor, briefed us before we flew off the back of frigates and destroyers, and the subject of air density was often discussed.

Helicopters fly by chopping the air; the denser the sky, the more efficient the rotors become and the less power they need from their jet engines.

If we ever had an unexpected loss of energy from even one of the two engines that supplied power to the helicopter's rotors during periods of low air density, the consequences would have been tragic. The highest amount of energy required from the helicopter's engines occurs at takeoff, landing and especially in a hover.

During landings, particularly at night, pilots often struggled to put the helicopter in a stable hover over the flight deck as it pitched and rolled with the ever-changing seas. At times like that, we would move left and right, forward and backward, in an attempt to center the helicopter's main landing gear over a frightfully tiny flight deck safety circle that was painted white on a deck coated with thick and crusty black nonskid material.

If the helicopter's landing gear was too far forward of the white circle, you ran the risk of the main rotors striking the ship's hangar. If you were too far back from the oval, the rear landing wheel on the helicopter's tail pylon could end up in the flight deck safety net hanging over the water. At times like this, we all thought about the loss of an engine.

Even if you did an emergency jettison of the helicopter's sonobuoys (they would shoot out the side of the aircraft like a Gatling gun), external fuel tanks, torpedoes and other equipment that would literally shed hundreds of pounds of weight from the helicopter in a split second, you may still not have enough power to safely land on board the ship when the air was less dense.

These thoughts of doubt would circle back to fundamental physics and chemistry that we learned in school. The four factors that most affect air density are: altitude, atmospheric pressure, air temperature and humidity. Generally, the higher your altitude, the less dense the air will become. Because of changing weather conditions, atmospheric pressure fluctuates continuously. Increasing air pressure raises air density.

On the other hand, increasing the air temperature will decrease its density. Think about a hot air balloon: Heat the air inside with a propane torch and it becomes less dense. Because it's less dense, the balloon rises through the colder and denser atmosphere that surrounds it.

It may seem counterintuitive, but humid air is lighter or less dense than dry air. Most of the water in the atmosphere is in the form of a gas or water vapor. Water vapor weighs less than nitrogen or oxygen.

If you remember the periodic table from school, it is arranged by atomic number. The weight of an individual atom is represented by its atomic weight; the chemical element with the lowest density is hydrogen. The atomic weight of hydrogen (H) is 1; oxygen (O) is 16. Consequently, a water molecule (H2O) has a molecular weight of 18 (1 + 1 + 16). Free nitrogen (N2) has a molecular weight of 28, and an oxygen molecule (O2) has an atomic weight of 32. Therefore, a water molecule is lighter than either a nitrogen or an oxygen molecule, according to a U.S. Navy training manual.

Avogadro's law states that "equal volumes of all gases, at the same temperature and pressure, have the same number of molecules."

This means as heavier molecules of N2 and 02 are displaced by lighter H2O molecules, the air becomes less dense, and helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft will require more power to stay aloft. By the way, nitrogen and oxygen on average make up about 99% of the air we breathe. Water vapor can range anywhere from less than 1% to as much as 5% of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface or troposphere.

It is no wonder that on that hot and humid afternoon in Dallas, the pilots asked for volunteers to get off the bird to make the flight safe.

In Memoriam: Glenn Lewis Wimbish

Glenn Lewis Wimbish
November 26, 1946 ~ January 12, 2022 (age 75)

Glenn Lewis Wimbish,75, passed away at the Durham VA Hospital in Durham, NC on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 He was born in Alamance County on November 26, 1946 and was the son of George Edmond Wimbish and Mary Johnson Wimbish who are both deceased. He was the husband of Carolyn Clapp Wimbish who survives.

Shortly after graduating Gibsonville High School, Glenn was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968. He was a Vietnam Veteran and was decorated with the purple heart and bronze star medals. After returning home from the service, Glenn married and began working for Shoffner Industries. He became a licensed general contractor and soon began his own construction company in Burlington. Glenn had a passion for airplanes and soon became a pilot. Unable to afford an airplane of his own, he joined the Western Flying Club where he fell in love with their Beechcraft Bonanza. Several years later he had the good fortune to purchase his own Bonanza and always looked for an opportunity to fly. He was an animal lover, especially to any cat that might cross his path. He loved the outdoors and always enjoyed the aviation fly ins that allowed camping on the air field. The annual formation flight “Bonanza to Oshkosh” was one of Glenn’s favorite events. He was a lifelong member of the American Bonanza Society, a founding member of the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, TN and an active member of the local chapter of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans).

In addition to his wife, he is also survived by his two sons Chuck and Matt Wimbish of Burlington; sisters, Virginia (Jenny) Andrews of Gibsonville and Vicki Coble Russell (Larry) pf Pleasant Garden; brother, George E. Wimbish, Jr. (Judi) of Florida; step brothers, James Wimbish (Sharon) of California, Tommy Wimbish (Sandra) of Burlington and Jack Burgart (Joyce) of Eden.  

He was preceded in death by two brothers Donnie and Roger Wimbish; step sisters, Mary Kathleen Howell and Frances Autwell; step brothers, Romie, Barney, Clarence, John and Teddy Wimbish.

Glenn’s family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone for all your prayers and condolences.

The funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Lowe Funeral Home Chapel with the burial to follow at Alamance Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family will receive friends from 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM Wednesday at the funeral home prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to Beechcraft Heritage Museum, PO Box 550., Tullahoma, TN 37388 or DAV (Disabled American Veterans)  You may send condolences to

Flight Design CTLS, N992SA: Accident occurred January 15, 2022 at Hana Airport (PHHN), East Maui, Hawaii

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu, Hawaii 

Aircraft crashed under under unknown circumstances.

Date: 15-JAN-22
Time: 19:50:00Z
Regis#: N992SA
Aircraft Make: FLIGHT DESIGN
Aircraft Model: CTLS
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
City: HANA

Two people have reportedly survived a small plane crash in East Maui at the Hāna Airport.

The incident was reported at 9:57 a.m. on Saturday, January 15, 2022, approximately 100 yards west of the Hāna Airport runway in heavy foliage.

Two men onboard, ages 61 and 70, were transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for further evaluation. One was transported via Medevac, and the other by ground ambulance, according to MFD reports.

“Initial assessments indicate neither victim sustained any life-threatening injuries,” according to the Maui Fire Department.

Engine 7 personnel arrived on scene and located the crash site. It was confirmed that two individuals were aboard a small privately owned aircraft.

Fire officials say one man was able to walk away from the wreckage. Engine 7 personnel utilized vehicle extrication equipment to free the second individual from entrapment within the plane.

Rescue 10 on Air 1 arrived on scene to “short-haul” the second man to awaiting Medics on the runway at Hāna Airport.

HONOLULU - Officials are investigating after a plane with two people onboard crashed after take off on Maui.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Flight Design CTLS crashed after departing from Runway 26 at the around 9:50 a.m.

Maui fire officials said the plane was found in foliage about 100 yards west of the Hana Airport runway.

Authorities said one person was able to get out of the plane while the other passenger, who was trapped, had to be extricated and was transported by Air 1. One of the victims is around 70 years old.

MFD said both victims were taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for further evaluation — one by medevac and the other by ground ambulance.

Officials said neither victim sustained any life-threatening injuries.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Powerplant System/Component Malfunction/Failure: Piper PA-32R-300 Cherokee Lance, N8892E; accident occurred January 13, 2019 near Lenawee County Airport (KADG), Adrian, Michigan

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; Belleville, Michigan

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Northern Aviation Ltd

Location: Adrian, Michigan 
Accident Number: CEN19LA066
Date and Time: January 13, 2019, 17:46 Local
Registration: N8892E
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-300 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot was performing a flight with an inspection authorization (IA) rated mechanic, who had performed a recent annual inspection of the airplane. During approach to the airport, the engine lost total power. The airplane impacted a fence and terrain short of the runway and sustained substantial damage. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft gear bolt fractured. Metallurgical examination of the bolt revealed features consistent with fatigue cracking that initiated at multiple sites near the bottom of a thread root. These smaller cracks coalesced and propagated inward through more than half the crack section of the bolt. The bolt began to cycle under reverse bending, which initiated fatigue cracking at multiple sites along the thread root on the opposite side.

The airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic who performed a recent overhaul of the engine stated that the engine was the first of the "big" Lycoming engines that he had overhauled. The A&P mechanic stated that he did not like using the Lycoming manuals because they were hard to follow. He mentioned several times that he had contacted Lycoming to request assistance, and they worked with him in providing the necessary documentation needed for the work he was doing. The A&P mechanic stated that he did not torque the crankshaft gear bolt to the engine manufacturer's specifications. The engine overhaul was signed off by the A&P mechanic, and he stated that the IA mechanic just removed and reinstalled the engine onto the airplane. Regulatory requirements state a certificated mechanic may not supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of, or approve and return to service, any aircraft or appliance, or part thereof, for which he is rated unless he has satisfactorily performed the work concerned at an earlier date.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The airframe and powerplant mechanic's lack of experience in the overhaul of the engine model and the improper torque of the crankshaft gear bolt, which resulted in fatigue failure of the bolt and a total loss of engine power during an approach for landing.


Personnel issues Total experience w/ equipment - Maintenance personnel
Personnel issues Repair - Maintenance personnel
Aircraft Recip engine power section - Fatigue/wear/corrosion
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

On January 13, 2019, at 1746 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-300, N8892E, experienced a total loss of engine power during a visual approach to runway 5 at Lenawee County Airport (ADG), Adrian, Michigan. The airplane impacted a fence and terrain short of runway 5 and sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and an airplane mechanic received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Northern Aviation Ltd and operated by the pilot under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a maintenance test flight. The flight was not operating on a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight originated from ADG at 1630.

The pilot did not complete the Narrative History of Flight section of his National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report, Form 6120.1. The pilot provided a statement to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) East Michigan Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and in that statement he stated that the flight departed with the airplane mechanic with inspection authorization (IA), who signed off the airplane last annual inspection, for a post annual inspection flight. They flew north between Jackson and Lansing, Michigan, and then proceeded southwest to Coldwater, Michigan, and then Hillsdale, Michigan. They returned for an approach and landing to ADG on runway 5 with engine power set to 14 inches of manifold pressure, landing gear extended, and flaps extended. On short final for runway 5, the "engine shutoff," and there was "no sputter - it acted as if someone shutoff the key."

Post-accident examination of the engine (Lycoming IO-540-K1G5D, serial number L-13642-48A) revealed that the crankshaft gear bolt, part number 13S19649, was fractured through. A logbook entry dated August 24, 2013, at a tachometer time of 3,399.87 hours and a time since overhaul of 0 hours, stated that the engine was disassembled, and an AN8-14 bolt was installed. The illustrated parts catalog and mandatory service bulletin 475C for the engine specified an AN8-14A bolt. The tachometer time at the time of the accident was about 3,466 hours.

Following the accident, Federal Aviation Administration inspectors from the East Michigan Flight Standards District Office interviewed the airframe and power plant mechanic (AP) that last overhauled the airplane engine. During the interview, the AP stated he is the owner of a tool and die shop that also does manufacturing of various parts for the auto industry. He spends about 25% of his working time in his hangar performing aircraft repair. He stated that he is most comfortable working on old, small, fabric covered aircraft. The AP stated that he was the one that overhauled the engine on N8892E and the IA just removed and re-installed the engine onto the airplane. The AP also stated that this was the first of the "big" Lycoming engines that he had overhauled. The AP told inspectors that he does not like using the Lycoming manuals, as they are hard to follow. The AP mentioned several times that he had contacted Lycoming to request assistance, and they worked with him in providing the necessary documentation needed for the work he was doing. The AP stated that he did not torque the crankshaft gear bolt to the engine manufacturer's specifications.

The engine overhaul was signed off by the AP.

Part 65.81 General privileges and limitations, stated: 

(a) A certificated mechanic may perform or supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance or alteration of an aircraft or appliance, or a part thereof, for which he is rated (but excluding major repairs to, and major alterations of, propellers, and any repair to, or alteration of, instruments), and may perform additional duties in accordance with §§ 65.85, 65.87, and 65.95. However, he may not supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of, or approve and return to service, any aircraft or appliance, or part thereof, for which he is rated unless he has satisfactorily performed the work concerned at an earlier date. If he has not so performed that work at an earlier date, he may show his ability to do it by performing it to the satisfaction of the Administrator or under the direct supervision of a certificated and appropriately rated mechanic, or a certificated repairman, who has had previous experience in the specific operation concerned.

(b) A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless he understands the current instructions of the manufacturer, and the maintenance manuals, for the specific operation concerned.

A National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory post-accident examination of the bolt revealed, that according to the dimensions for both AN8-14 and AN8-14A bolts, the grip length total length should be 1.59375 inches, the grip length should be 0.8125 inches, the threaded length should be a minimum 0.781 inches, and the diameter should be 0.500 inches in diameter. The (A) designation on the bolt part number indicates there should be no drilled hole in the shank. The fractured bolt measurements were consistent with the above dimensions and contained no drilled hole in the shank. Therefore, the bolt was consistent with an AN8-14A.

The bolt revealed that it had fractured 1.038 inches below the bolt head. Examination using visual and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) found features consistent with fatigue crack propagation and subsequent overstress. There were two smaller thumbnail cracks present on opposite 180° sides of the fracture surface. The thumbnail crack feature of the larger crack was located near the bottom of a thread root.

The smaller thumbnail crack exhibited crack arrest marks and ratchet marks, consistent with crack initiation at the thread root and propagation inward. The larger fatigue crack in the initial thumbnail area showed fatigue striations, consistent with fatigue crack propagation. This region also exhibited fatigue striations. The smaller opposite thumbnail crack also exhibited fatigue striations. In both thumbnail cracks, the striations were oriented consistent with the propagation from the outside surface inward. The small middle region exhibited dimple rupture, which had features consistent with subsequent overstress. Both fatigue cracks exhibited multiple crack initiation sites. There were no features consistent with material or mechanical defects, such as corrosion pits, pores, and voids.

The bolt features were consistent with fatigue cracking that initiated at multiple sites near the bottom of a thread root. These smaller cracked coalesced and propagated inward through more than half the crack section of the bolt. The bolt began to cycle under reverse bending, which initiated fatigue cracking at multiple sites along the thread root on the opposite side. Once both cracks had propagated inward to the extent present on the fracture surfaces, the remaining cross section of the bolt fractured from overstress.

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft maintenance event
Approach-VFR pattern final Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern final Loss of engine power (total)
Emergency descent Loss of engine power (total)
Landing 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: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 12, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 28, 2018
Flight Time: 1224 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1143 hours (Total, this make and model), 1051 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N8892E
Model/Series: PA-32R-300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 32R-7680185
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 8, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1G5D
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ADG,798 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 230°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -2°C / -11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Adrian, MI (ADG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Adrian, MI (ADG)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 16:30 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Lenawee County Airport ADG
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 798 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 5
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5001 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 41.867778,-84.077224(est)

Controlled Flight into Terrain/Object (CFIT): Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG, N736YU; fatal accident occurred January 11, 2020 in Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana

David Gregory Healow

Rusty Jungels

Raymond Rumbold

Mikel Peterson 


Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Marginal Aviation LLC

Location: Billings, Montana
Accident Number: WPR20FA063
Date and Time: January 11, 2020, 18:01 Local 
Registration: N736YU
Aircraft: Cessna TR182 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 4 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 11, 2020, at 1801 mountain standard time, a Cessna TR182 airplane, N736YU, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Billings, Montana. The pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight.

The pilot’s wife reported that her husband planned to fly about 1630 and was expected to return to his home about 1730. According to Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, following its departure from Billings Logan International Airport (BIL), Billings, Montana, the airplane landed at Big Horn County Airport (00U), Hardin, Montana about 1715 and subsequently departed about 1740. Flight data retrieved from a multi-function display (MFD) on the airplane showed that the airplane began an immediate climb after it departed 00U and established its cruise altitude, about 4,796 ft msl at 1747:43 and maintained a similar altitude and a height above terrain (between 1,400 and 2,100 ft agl) for the remainder of the flight.

According to ADS-B data, the airplane then flew a straight track northwest towards Roundup, Montana (about 269° magnetic) until about 1753:53 when the airplane made a slight left turn to 257° and continued along this heading for the remainder of the recording. MFD data showed rising terrain about 40 seconds before the airplane crashed. The airplane was at an altitude of 4,954 ft msl (35 ft agl) when the data ended at 1801:22 about 1/2 nautical mile from the airplane’s initial impact point. The pilot’s wife contacted local law enforcement about 2000 when he did not return home.

According to the participants who flew with the accident pilot, he normally flew about 1,000 ft agl level over terrain and would use the autopilot “altitude hold” function for many flights. They also observed that he did not fly with a Federal Aviation Administration sectional chart as he relied mostly on the map on his MFD for terrain and chart information. 

According to the accident pilot’s business partner, based on a photograph taken by one of the rear seat passengers that had been sent to her during the accident flight, the accident pilot was in the right seat of the airplane during the accident flight. According to those who flew with the pilot, during these flights he would allow his passengers to fly the airplane from the left seat if they chose to and they would typically fly anywhere between 4,000 and 5,000 ft msl to destinations south, east, and north of the airport.

A passenger who flew with the accident pilot about one week prior to the accident reported that they flew to 00U, but then flew south and circled a landmark before returning to BIL. During the flight, they maintained an altitude of about 1,000 ft agl and used the autopilot for one leg of the flight. A review of other flight data retrieved from the MFD showed that the pilot typically flew at altitudes between about 1,000 and 2,000 ft agl during these flights.

The MFD flight data also showed that the pilot completed a leg from 00U to Roundup Airport (RPX), Roundup, Montana, several days before the accident. This track showed the airplane depart 00U about 1653 and flew a similar course as the accident flight. During cruise flight, the airplane passed within 0.3 nautical mile of the 185-ft radio tower that it impacted on the day of the accident. This part of the flight occurred at 1716 during cruise flight at an altitude of 4,680 ft msl (580 ft agl). The flight landed at RPX about 15 minutes later.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 7, 2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 13800 hours (Total, all aircraft)

The co-owner of the accident airplane, who knew the accident pilot for 47 years, stated that the pilot started flying in 1972, that he did most of his flying and flight instructing in Billings, and was familiar with the area.

According to the pilot’s wife, the pilot was well rested on the day of the accident and did not exhibit any abnormal behavior that day or in the days that preceded the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N736YU
Model/Series: TR182 No Series 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: R18200792
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 3, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3101.6 Hrs 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming Engines
ELT: Installed 
Engine Model/Series: O-540-L3C5D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 235 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The airplane was equipped with an Aspen Evolution primary flight display (PFD and a Garmin GTN750 MFD. The Aspen Evolution was installed in front of the left seat occupant and drew barometric altitude information from its own internal air data computer, displaying that information on a digital tape on the right side of the display. The barometric altitude was adjustable by altimeter setting, which was displayed below the altitude tape. According to the Aspen installation manual, the altitude tape display should be within 40 ft of the calibrated test altitude. The altimeter setting at the time of the accident could not be determined as the Aspen unit did not record data. An Aspen MFD was located next to the PFD that was mounted to the instrument panel in front of the left seat occupant. Likewise, this unit did not record data.

The GTN750 was a touchscreen MFD mounted on the center instrument panel that was equipped with an obstacle range option and topography overlay available on the unit’s map page. According to a representative of the MFD manufacturer, the GPS altitude or “GSL” altitude, which is computed by satellite geometry, would have been displayed in the top left corner of the MFD’s map page. According to the Garmin pilot’s guide, the obstacle range could display unlighted obstacles below 1,000 ft agl. A representative from Garmin stated that the obstacle range would not have displayed obstructions below 200 ft agl.

The GTN750 also recorded pressure altitude and barometric altitude that was taken from the Aspen air data computer. The last data point recorded showed the barometric altitude was 4,954 ft msl and the GPS altitude was 4,747 ft GSL about the time of the accident. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: 3662 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 27 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 12000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 16000 ft AGL 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 14 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 240° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.65 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hardin, MT (00U)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Roundup, MT (RPX) 
Type of Clearance: VFR flight following
Departure Time: 17:40 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 3 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 46.232498,-108.36555

The airplane wreckage was located in mountainous terrain at an elevation of about 4,252 ft msl. All major sections of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The initial impact point was marked by several bent cross members and a broken guy wire about 65 ft high (4,809 ft msl) on an about 185-ft-tall radio tower, which was located on a peak with a field elevation of about 4,744 ft msl. Several sections of the outboard left wing (not shown in figure 1) were located about 100 ft north of the tower, and two pieces displayed longitudinal signatures consistent with impacting a wire. The remaining section of the left wing was found in the debris path about 350 ft from the main wreckage. Several airframe and engine fragments were distributed along the energy path, which was oriented on a heading of about 295º. The main wreckage was found about 1,450 ft northwest of the initial impact point in a coulee and included the right wing, fuselage, empennage, and engine. A 5-ft intermediate ground scar was located about 250 ft beyond the main wreckage.

The left wing was fragmented, and some sections were found near the tower. The control cables to the rudder, aileron, and elevator were recovered but exhibited multiple overload failures. The flap motor actuator measured 0.1 inch, consistent with a retracted flap position.

The engine crankshaft could only be partially rotated due to damage sustained during the impact. The ignition system displayed signatures consistent with normal operation and wear. Internal inspection of the case did not reveal any indications of oil starvation. The cylinder combustion chambers remained mechanically undamaged, and there was no evidence of foreign object ingestion or detonation.

Additional Information


According to FAA Advisory Circular 70/7460-1L, under Chapter 2.1 “Structures to be Marked or Lighted”: 

“Any temporary or permanent structure, including all appurtenances, that exceeds an overall height of 200 feet above ground level or exceeds any obstruction standard contained in 14 CFR Part 77 should be marked and/or lighted. However, an FAA aeronautical study may reveal that the absence of marking and/or lightning will not impair aviation safety. Conversely, the object may present such an
extraordinary hazard potential that higher standards may be recommended for increased conspicuity to ensure aviation safety.”

The excerpt continues to describe FAA action on structures that are less than 200 ft agl: “The FAA may also recommend marking and/or lighting a structure that does not exceed 200 ft above ground level or 14 CFR Part 77 standards because of its particular location.”

An FAA sectional chart valid from September 12, 2019, to March 26, 2020, did not list the tower as an obstacle. The FAA sectional chart legend lists the lowest obstruction marked on the sectional chart as “above 200 ft agl.” The maximum elevation figure for the sector of the sectional chart where the accident occurred was 5,100 ft msl.

Regulations for Obstructions and Minimum Safe Altitudes

According to 14 CFR 97.17, which contains the obstruction standards for navigable airspace:

“An existing object…would be an obstruction to air navigation if it is of greater height than any of the following heights or surfaces… (2) A height that is 200 ft AGL or above the established airport elevation…”

Title 14 CFR 91.119 provides the general minimum safe altitudes for operating an aircraft. According to the regulation:

“Except when necessary for takeoff and landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes… (c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicles, or structure.”