Tuesday, March 15, 2022

6 service pups catch private flight to Tampa Bay





CLEARWATER, Florida — Puppies in training are now reporting for duty.

Volunteer pilots delivered the adorable pups on a private flight from California to the Tampa Bay area to become service dogs with Canine Companions. 

Canine Companions provides free service dogs to people with disabilities. 

Normally, the company relies on commercial airlines to transport the young fur friends to their volunteer puppy raisers across the country, however, since the COVID-19 pandemic, it's become increasingly difficult to make for a smooth delivery.

I mean, we're talking "precious cargo" here.

Now, Canine Companions looks to private pilots for help and they have assisted in more ways than the company thought was possible. 

Jim and Vikki Stewart, the two pilots who brought the puppies over, donated their personal plane and fuel for this journey across the country, Canine Companions says.

They touched down with the gang of rascals at around 5:15 p.m., all intact. Now, the puppies are ready to train to become service dogs to help those who really need them. 

More than 650 deaths: Take a look at the timeline of North Carolina plane crashes since 1983

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck speaks with reporters in Carteret County in February. Authorities say four teenagers and four adults returning from a hunting trip were onboard a small plane that crashed off the coast of North Carolina on February 13, 2022.
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Last month, eight people died when a small plane crashed into the ocean off the North Carolina coast near Beaufort.

The pilot and passengers — included four high school students — were returning from a weekend hunting trip, the Observer reported. An air traffic controller at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point was the first to report a possible crash on February 13, when he saw an aircraft “behaving erratically on radar” just before it vanished completely, Coast Guard officials said.

Just days later, a Charlotte pilot died in a plane crash involving a fiery collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 85 in Davidson County. 

Those nine people joined a sad tally of 654 people who died in plane crashes in North Carolina since 1983, according to a National Transportation Safety Board database.

The database lists records of 328 fatal plane crashes in North Carolina since 1983, including two commercial airline crashes in Charlotte: a 2003 Air Midwest crash with 21 deaths and a 1994 USAir crash with 37 people killed.

The majority of fatal plane crashes in North Carolina involved crashes in small planes. Of the 328 fatal plane crashes recorded in NC since 1983, just eight resulted in more than five deaths.

In addition to the two commercial crashes in Charlotte, the database shows six small planes have crashed in the city since 1983:

▪ A December 2006 crash with four deaths 
▪ A June 1999 crash with four deaths 
▪ A December 1997 crash with one death
▪ A June 1985 crash with with two deaths 
▪ A November 1983 crash with one death

PLANE CRASHES IN NORTH CAROLINA 

Here’s a timeline of some other crashes recorded in North Carolina since 1983:

January 9, 1983: This crash in Cherry Point is the earliest recorded fatal plane crash in North Carolina in the National Transportation Safety Board database. Seven people died. 

The incident involved a mid-air crash between two aircrafts at about 9,500 feet — an Air Force fighter jet and a small plane flying from Nassau, Bahamas.

In total, 35 people died in plane crashes in North Carolina that year, according to the database. 

February 2, 1988: This crash in Cary broke the previous 1983 record (seven deaths) for reported deaths in a single N.C. plane crash. Twelve people died. 

That plane, a Air Virginia flight, crashed into a reservoir shortly after taking off at Raleigh Durham International Airport. 

In all, 35 people died in plane crashes in the state that year. 

August 8, 1990: Two people — a father and his son — died in a crash in Huntersville. The small plane crashed into the tops of trees after a slow and shallow takeoff from a private grass airstrip, according to the safety board.

An Observer story from 1990 described the pilot as an experienced, careful flier. Witnesses told the paper the engine was still running after the crash before two explosions blew the aircraft apart.

In total, 16 people died in plane crashes in North Carolina in 1990.

April 25, 1991: One person died in a plane crash in Kure Beach and another person was seriously injured, according to the database. 

The pilot’s judgment was impaired by alcohol and the pilot misjudged the altitude of the plane over the water, according to the safety board. 

Alcohol was cited as a factor in two other crashes in the safety board’s database: one in 1997 in Southern Pines and one in 1990 in Troy.

In total, 21 people died in plane crashes in the state in 1991. And there were 15 fatal plane crashes that year in N.C., the highest number of fatal crashes recorded in a single year in the database. 

1994: This year was by far the deadliest for North Carolina plane crashes in the database, with 71 deaths. 

That includes the July 2, 1994 USAir flight 1016 crash that resulted in the deaths of 37 people.

The captain, first officers, three flight attendants and 15 passengers survived that crash after the plane collided with trees and a private residence near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

All occupants of the house were away at the time of the accident, the Observer reported at the time.

Also that year, 15 people died in an American Eagle crash in Morrisville — the third deadliest crash recorded in the safety board database. 

May 5, 1999: Two people died in a crash near Kannapolis in a home-built amphibious aircraft. 

One witness reported seeing the airplane land on Kannapolis Lake for about 30 minutes before taking off again, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. He saw the airplane stall and spin in the air and heard the crash soon after losing sight of the plane.

The pilot was under the impairment of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, according to the safety board. 

In total, 10 people died in plane crashes in North Carolina in 1999. 

2003: This was the second deadliest year for North Carolina plane crashes recorded in the database, with 37 total deaths. 

That includes the Air Midwest crash of flight 5481 that killed 21 people. The plane crashed soon after takeoff at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Two flight crew members and 19 passengers were killed, and one person on the ground was injured. The plane was destroyed by the impact and a fire following the crash.

December 12, 2007: One person died in a crash of an amateur-built small plane in Huntersville. 

The pilot purchased the plane about six months before the crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The board determined the probable cause of the accident was an inadvertent opening of the plane canopy — the enclosure over the cockpit — during takeoff. 

According to the investigation, the canopy opened during takeoff and a piece of fabric flew out of the cockpit and into the plane’s wooden propeller. The plane crashed into trees and the ground. 

In 2007, a total of 13 people died in plane crashes in North Carolina.

May 25, 2011: Four people died in a crash in Murphy after the pilot reported a fire on board while flying at 9,000 feet, according to the database. 

There were no further recorded radio transmissions from the pilot. The plane crashed into a wooded area and some witnesses reported hearing an explosion. 

A total of 14 people died in plane crashes in the state in 2011, according to the database.

October 20, 2019: Two people were killed in a crash near Raleigh during a private nighttime flight. 

The plane was flying to Raleigh Durham International Airport, but the pilot was having difficulty with his instruments and trouble seeing the airport’s runway at night.

The pilot did not have sufficient flight and night takeoff experience to fly alone with passengers, according to the safety board. The plane crashed in a state park just over a mile away from the runway.

In all, 20 people died in plane crashes in North Carolina in 2019, the highest total of plane crash deaths since the record number of deaths in 2003.

More plane crash data is available online at the National Transportation Safety Board website.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.charlotteobserver.com

Eurocopter AS350 BA, N99676: Accident occurred March 15, 2022 in Valdez, Alaska

National Transportation Safety Board accident number: ANC22LA023 

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

Rotorcraft conducting heli-ski ops making an approach towards the skiers and impacted the snow and rolled. 

Alpine Air Alaska LLC


Date: 15-MAR-22
Time: 00:00:00Z
Regis#: N99676
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: AS350
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: OTHER
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: ALPINE AIR ALASKA
City: VALDEZ
State: ALASKA

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Won't Revive Parachute System Patent

“The obviousness inquiry does not require that the prior art combination is the ‘preferred, or the most desirable’ configuration.” – CAFC


On March 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) obviousness determination and its denial of patent owner Hoyt Fleming’s motion to amend the asserted claims of the U.S. Patent No. RE47,474.

Cirrus Design Corp. petitioned for inter partes review of multiple claims, including claims 135-139, of the ’474 patent. During the proceeding, Fleming moved to amend, seeking to replace the asserted claims with proposed substitute claims. The Board concluded that claims 137-139 were unpatentable as obvious over the combination of Cirrus Design’s Pilot Operation Handbook for the SR22, Revision A7, (Oct. 10, 2003) (POH) and U.S. Patent No. 6,460,810 (James).

The Board further found that Fleming’s proposed amended claims did not meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for patentability because they lacked written description support and thus constituted new matter.

On appeal, Fleming argued the Board erred in determining that the asserted claims are unpatentable and in denying his motion to amend.

The ’474 Patent

The ’474 patent describes ballistic parachute systems on aircraft, where the “ballistic parachutes use a rocket to quickly deploy a parachute, slowing the fall of a crashing aircraft” and potentially saving lives. Unsurprisingly, this ballistic parachute is most successful under conditions “when it can become fully inflated and functional[,]” such as a higher aircraft altitude upon deployment.

Specifically, the specification discloses that “that it is preferred to reach key operating parameters—like certain speed, altitude, and pitch—before (or, if time requires, while) deploying a ballistic parachute.” The ’474 patent is directed to “intelligent ballistic parachute systems” which is “capable of performing pre-activation and post-activation actions[,]” intended to help the aircraft reach desired operating parameters for deploying a ballistic parachute without the direct involvement of a pilot. Such actions include: (1) increase altitude; (2) fly at a level attitude; (3) reduce speed; and (4) enable or disable “reefing control.”

Additionally, the specification discloses that, “upon receiving a parachute activation request from an ‘activation interface,’ ‘one or more processors’ determine whether a pre-activation action must be performed before deploying the parachute.” If so, the processors command performance of the pre-activation action. The processors may also command performance of a post-activation action. The written description also includes an “intelligence override interface,” which “allows an aircraft occupant to manually by-pass the processor-controlled operations to immediately deploy the parachute, for example by pulling a pull-handle or pressing a button.”

Specifically, the representative Claim 137 of the ’474 patent teaches that upon the receipt of the whole-aircraft ballistic parachute deployment request, the autopilot is commanded to “increase aircraft pitch.” Claims 138 and 139 are identical except the autopilot is commanded to “reduce aircraft roll” and to “change the attitude of the aircraft,” respectively.

Obviousness

In its final written decision, the PTAB determined that claims 137–139 of the ’474 patent would have been obvious over a combination of POH and James.

Prior Art

POH is a pilot’s operating handbook which describes the operation of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS), a ballistic parachute system installed on the Cirrus SR22 airplane. POH includes certain factors pilots should consider before activating the system and deploying the parachute. For example, POH suggests the parachute should be activated from a “wings-level, upright attitude” and the chances of successful deployment increase with altitude.

James discloses that in response to a request to deploy a parachute, an aircraft may automatically initiate shut down procedures, including deploying a parachute. It teaches the use of an autopilot to take certain actions in an emergency situation, including, for example, “shutting off all engines, terminating all flight functions, [and] deploying an emergency recovery parachute.”

Obvious to Combine  

On appeal, Fleming made two arguments. First, he challenged the Board’s obviousness determination, “arguing that none of the prior art discloses commanding an aircraft’s autopilot to increase pitch, reduce roll, or change attitude based on the aircraft’s receipt of a parachute deployment request, as required by claims 137–139.”

The CAFC agreed with the PTAB’s obviousness determination. While the Board acknowledged that neither references specifically teach this element, the Board nevertheless found that “a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to program James’ autopilot in view of POH so that upon the receipt of a parachute deployment request, James’ autopilot would seek to ensure safety by following POH’s guidance for safe parachute deployment, including changing the aircraft’s pitch, reducing aircraft roll, and/or achieving a level of attitude as needed. Thus, the CAFC added, the proposed combination of these references discloses the disputed claim limitation.

The Board also recognized it was well known that “aircraft autopilots are programmable to perform certain actions, for example increasing aircraft pitch and deploying a parachute.” In addition, James discloses that upon receiving a signal, “an aircraft may automatically initiate shut down procedures, including deploying an emergency parachute” and can perform certain flight maneuvers on an aircraft.

The Board explained that POH emphasizes that “these standard autopilot maneuvers—slowing aircraft speed, maintaining a steady attitude, and changing aircraft pitch—should preferably be completed before deploying an emergency parachute.”

Lastly, the CAFC explained that “it is appropriate to consider the knowledge, creativity, and common sense of a skilled artisan in an obviousness determination.” While the Supreme Court has cautioned against the misuse of these considerations, it has continued to approach the obviousness inquiry with the flexibility required by KSR. Thus, the CAFC found that the Board’s conclusion is the “result of a faithful application of our law on obviousness.”

Teaching Away

Second, Fleming argued that the prior art teaches away from the claimed invention in the ’474 patent and that the combination of POH and James would be unsafe. Specifically, Fleming argued that “the prior art cautioned that autopilots should not be used in certain emergency situations where a ballistic parachute may be needed[,]” such as upon takeoff and landing or when the aircraft is below a certain altitude.

But the Board found, and the CAFC agreed, that the prior art did not teach away. The CAFC said that “a reasonable fact-finder could nonetheless conclude that the prior art does not suggest to the skilled artisan that an autopilot should never be used in any emergency situation for any aircraft.” For example, James discloses that the continuous use of an autopilot is of particular benefit for unmanned aerial vehicles. POH discloses that the use of the ballistic parachute system would be appropriate in the event of pilot incapacitation, suggesting use of an autopilot to deploy the ballistic parachute system.

Fleming also argued on appeal that a skilled artisan would have been dissuaded from making the proposed combination because “using James’s autopilot would be unsafe in many emergency situations.” However, the CAFC sided with the Board’s reasoning that “the obviousness inquiry does not require that the prior art combination is the ‘preferred, or the most desirable’ configuration.” Because the prior art cautioned pilots not to use an autopilot in some emergency situations does not mean that the skilled artisan would have been dissuaded from doing so in all emergency situations.

Lack of Written Description and Indefiniteness

Fleming challenged the Board’s denial of his motion to amend after concluding that the claims lacked sufficient written description and were indefinite.

The proposed amended claims require that the aircraft use at least a portion of the distributed processing system to select one of two procedures. The claims further require that the aircraft may activate—again using at least a portion of the distributed processing system and based on an occupant pulling the pull handle—the selected procedure. In other words, the proposed amended claims require that the aircraft itself be capable of automatically performing certain functions.

After reviewing Fleming’s citations to the written description, the Board found, and the CAFC agreed, that the cited portions did not disclose the limitations of the proposed amended claims and these claims lacked written description support and were thus unpatentable as indefinite. Thus, the CAFC held that the Board did not abuse its discretion in denying Fleming’s motion to amend.

Original article can be found here ➤  https://www.ipwatchdog.com

Loss of Visual Reference: Aviat A-1B Husky, N166WW; fatal accident occurred March 06, 2021 in Berwyn, Custer County, Nebraska

Keith Walker
July 02, 1946 - March 06, 2021
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Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board
  
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Berwyn, Nebraska
Accident Number: CEN21FA150
Date and Time: March 6, 2021, 06:10 Local Registration: N166WW
Aircraft: Aviat A-1B
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of visual reference
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On March 6, 2021, about 0610 central standard time, an Aviat A-1B airplane, N166WW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Berwyn, Nebraska. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The purpose of the flight was to fly from the pilot’s private runway to Holyoke, Colorado for an annual inspection. About 0555, primary radar first picked up the airplane about 1/2 mile south of the private runway. The airplane track proceeded generally west-southwest for about 11 miles when it made a left turn toward the south at a speed of about 88 knots. The track then made right 360-degree turn; during which, the speed of the airplane increased to about 114 knots. Followed by a tighter 360-degree turn at 49 knots and decreasing. The track then zig zagged at an average of 30 knots until 0609 when the track terminated about 1,000 ft from the accident site.

A GPS was recovered from the accident site; however, the unit and memory card exhibited extensive impact damage and data was unable to be extracted. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 74, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: BasicMed With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 26, 2020
Occupational Pilot: UNK
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2395 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2395 hours (Total, this make and model)

The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate on May 26, 1969. The pilot flew the accident airplane regularly over his land and pastures; and was used to maneuvering at low altitudes. It was not abnormal for him to takeoff before sunrise, especially if he needed to get somewhere and return in the same day.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Aviat 
Registration: N166WW
Model/Series: A-1B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2006 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2372
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats:
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1D6
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 200 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: BBW, 2546 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 05:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 325°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Mason City, NE (PVT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Holyoke, CO (HEQ) 
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 05:55 Local
Type of Airspace:

At the time of the accident the moon was 22.97 degrees above the horizon in third quarter phase. Its illumination was 45.1% of the moon’s full potential. There were no high-altitude cloud layers. Dawn started at 0636 and sunrise was at 0704.

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.1965,-99.4836

The airplane impacted a field perpendicular to a gully in a very rural area; the debris field was about 300 ft long. The first identified point of impact was a long narrow area of disturbed dirt with the right wingtip nearby. Next were two slash marks consistent with propeller blade slices; followed by a large area of disturbed dirt with propeller blade fragments. The main wreckage came to rest at the bottom of the gully; the last major piece of debris was the engine.

The airframe came to rest in a ball and exhibited extensive thermal damage. The fabric was completely gone and only the frame remained. Flight control continuity was mostly established throughout the airframe. The rudder controls were untraceable within the cockpit area; they were in an area of melted material. Both composite propeller blades were fracture separated at the blade root, and one blade was also fractured midspan. Both blades exhibited chordwise scratching on the face and chamber sides.

The engine was found fracture separated from the airframe; it exhibited extensive thermal damage and there were no visual signs of catastrophic anomalies. The firewall was removed, and the engine was attached to an engine hoist for further examination. The spark plugs were removed and consistent with normal operations. The fuel flow divider was disassembled, and fuel residue was present. The fuel servo remained attached, but the engine controls were fracture separated consistent with impact damage. The valve covers were removed, and the valves were unremarkable. The crankshaft was rotated by the propeller hub and continuity was established to the accessory section. Thumb compression was established on all cylinders and the valves moved accordingly. The engine was borescoped; the cylinder walls, piston heads, and valves displayed normal operating signatures. Spark was obtained on the right magneto; the left magneto was unable to be rotated and exhibited heavy thermal damage. The ignition harness was unable to be functionally tested due to damage consistent with impact.

Medical and Pathological Information

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed forensic toxicology on specimens from the pilot with positive results for Diltiazem and Warfarin in the liver and muscle. 

Diltiazem is a prescription blood pressure medication that may also be used to treat fast heart rates associated with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm. Warfarin is a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots in patients with previous ischemic stroke, atrial fibrillation, or other forms of blood clots. Neither are generally considered impairing. 

Controlled Flight Into Object: Cessna A188B AGtruck, N4912Q; fatal accident occurred April 13, 2021 in Pineview, Wilcox County, Georgia

Nicholas Ryan Frost
January 27, 1995 - April 13, 2021 (age 26)
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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; Atlanta, Georgia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas  

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Pineview, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA21FA184
Date and Time: April 13, 2021, 08:52 Local 
Registration: N4912Q
Aircraft: Cessna A188 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Aerial application

On April 13, 2021, about 0852 eastern daylight time, a Cessna A188B, N4912Q, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Pineview, Georgia. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight.

The airplane was based at a private airstrip in Unadilla, Georgia. According to the operator, the airplane departed Unadilla about 0705 with about 2 hours 30 minutes of fuel onboard. The pilot was spraying for mosquitos when the airplane collided with powerlines. At the time, he had two more residences to spray before returning to the airstrip.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 26, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 27, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 8, 2021
Flight Time: 4511 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model), 3284 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4912Q
Model/Series: A188 B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted (Special) 
Serial Number: 18802647T
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 23, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 23 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7554 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 300 Horsepower
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MCN, 354 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 35 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 08:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 350°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Unadilla, GA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pineview, GA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 07:05 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.104723,-83.563501

The wreckage was located inverted, about 8 miles southeast of the departure airstrip, in a field near powerlines. The powerlines were about 50 ft above ground level and damage to the powerlines and landing gear were consistent with both main landing gear contacting the powerlines in a west-to-east direction. Both main landing gear separated during impact with the powerlines, and the propeller and
lower engine cowling also exhibited damage from contact with the powerlines. The powerlines were approximately 1.25 inches thick, consisting of a steel core with aluminum wires twisted around the core.

Flight control continuity was established to the ailerons, elevator, and rudder. All flight control surfaces remained attached to the structure. The manual flap handle was in an extended position. The pilot’s seat was fitted with a three-point safety harness. The webbings remained intact and were cut by first responders. The buckle remained fastened.

The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller, which remained attached to the crankshaft; suction and compression were observed on all cylinders and no internal binding was observed. One propeller blade was bent forward 180° at midspan and then bent aft at the tip. The other blade was twisted. Both blades exhibited leading edge polishing/grinding along the outboard one-third of each blade.

Additional Information

Data downloaded from an onboard GPS revealed that the airplane was on a northeasterly track toward the powerlines. The last position recorded was at 0852:43, about 3/4-mile southwest of the accident site, indicating a groundspeed of 116 mph and a GPS altitude of 327 ft. The elevation at the accident site was 315 ft mean sea level.

Review of the Atlanta VFR Sectional chart revealed that the powerlines were depicted on the chart. Solar calculations for the location and time of accident revealed that the sun was approximately 23° above the horizon and 50° to the right of the airplane track.

Medical and Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Georgia Division of Forensic Sciences. The cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma.

Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA’s Forensic Sciences Laboratory. The results were negative for alcohol and other drugs.

Aircraft Designs Stallion, N262KT: Incident occurred March 13, 2022 near Ridgeland-Claude Dean Airport (3J1), Jasper County, South Carolina

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

Aircraft departed, experienced engine issues and made a forced landing in a briar patch.  

Martin Aviation Services LLC


Date: 13-MAR-22
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N262KT
Aircraft Make: AIRCRAFT DESIGNS
Aircraft Model: STALLION
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: RIDGELAND
State: SOUTH CAROLINA

American Champion 7GCAA, N36251: Incident occurred March 07, 2022 at Bellingham International Airport (KBLI), Whatcom County, Washington

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Aircraft lost control and collided into a hangar under unknown circumstances.


Date: 07-MAR-22
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N36251
Aircraft Make: BELLANCA
Aircraft Model: 7GCAA
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91
City: BELLINGHAM
State: WASHINGTON

Pazmany PL-4A, N18PJ: Incident occurred March 14, 2022 near Palatka Municipal Airport (28J), Putnam County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aircraft experienced a broken throttle cable and made a forced landing in a retention pond. 


Date: 14-MAR-22
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N18PJ
Aircraft: Pazmany PL-4A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
City: PALATKA
State: FLORIDA



Putnam County Sheriff's Office - 

AIRCRAFT DOWN - PILOT RESCUED BY US NAVY

A single-engine aircraft was on approach to the Palatka Airport when the pilot sent an emergency signal and radioed a mayday.

A US Navy MH-60 Seahawk was in the area and responded to the scene. 

The Navy flight crew located the downed plane and had the pilot loaded on a rescue basket upon the arrival of Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies. 

The Navy kindly gave the pilot a lift back to the airport.

GO NAVY - Semper Fortis (always courageous)

Media Inquiries:
COL Joseph Wells (386)937-3334


PUTNAM COUNTY, Florida — A pilot was rescued by a US Navy helicopter Monday after crashing a single-engine aircraft into a body of water in Putnam County.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Office says the single engine aircraft was on approach to the Palatka Airport when the pilot sent an emergency signal and radioed a mayday sometime around 5 p.m.

A US Navy MH-60 Seahawk was in the area and responded to the scene, deputies say.

The Navy flight crew located the downed plane and had the pilot loaded on a rescue basket upon the arrival of Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies.

The Navy kindly gave the pilot a lift back to the airport, deputies say.

PCSO Colonel Joseph Wells said the pilot is in good condition and did not suffer from significant injuries.

A report from the Florida Highway Patrol says the pilot, an 81-year-old man from Crescent City, was experiencing engine problems when he crashed into a retention pond. 

This retention pond is located inside the Georgia-Pacific paper mill’s property, in a body of water off Bardin Road, says PCSO.

PCSO said, this was “the best possible scenario” in a situation like this because it would have been much more difficult for them to rescue the pilot in time had it not been for the Navy’s help.