Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Rans S-12XL Airaile, N124LP: Incident occurred April 23, 2022 and Accident occurred December 19, 2015

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  San Juan, Puerto Rico

April 23, 2022:  Aircraft experienced engine issues, crashed in a wooded and mountainous area, landing gear collapsed and flipped over. 


Date: 23-APR-22
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N124LP
Aircraft Make: RANS
Aircraft Model: S-12XL
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
ISABELA, PUERTO RICO

 
December 19, 2015










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;  San Juan, Puerto Rico
 
Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Guanica, Puerto Rico
Accident Number: ERA16LA076
Date and Time: December 19, 2015, 11:20 Local
Registration: N124LP
Aircraft: PORRATA LUIS G RANS S 12XL 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The sport pilot was conducting a cross-country flight in the light sport airplane when, after about one hour of flight, the engine first experienced a partial loss of power, followed shortly thereafter by a total loss of power. The pilot twice unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine using the emergency checklist before performing a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The engine was manufactured about 10 years before the accident and maintenance logs indicated that it had not been overhauled since that time. Examination of the engine revealed that connecting rod bearing material was distributed throughout the power take off (PTO) section of the engine.
Furthermore, corrosion was noted on the PTO connecting rod and connecting rod bearing. Although the engine had not yet reached the manufacturer's recommended 300 flight hour time limit for overhaul, it had exceeded the recommended 5-year calendar time limit for overhaul by 5 years. It is likely that a piece of the failed bearing became lodged in the rotary valve disc, which prevented the disc from rotating, and subsequently blocked the air and fuel to the engine, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. Had the engine been overhauled, the corrosion likely would have been discovered and the inflight loss of power prevented.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot/owner's failure to maintain the engine in accordance with manufacturer guidance, which resulted in the undetected corrosion of the power takeoff bearing, subsequent bearing failure, and a total loss of engine power.

Findings

Aircraft (general) - Not serviced/maintained
Personnel issues Scheduled/routine maintenance - Pilot

Factual Information

On December 19, 2015, about 1120 Atlantic standard time, an experimental amateur-built Rans S-12XL, N124LP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Guanica, Puerto Rico. The sport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Dr. Hermenegildo Ortiz Quinones Airport (X63), Humacao, Puerto Rico, about 1015, and was destined for Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport (TJMZ), Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight and engine run-up with no anomalies noted. He flew the airplane for about an hour before the engine "sounded weird," then began to lose power, until it lost power completely. The pilot unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine two times using the emergency checklist prior to preforming a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the fuselage.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the airplane was manufactured in 2009 and registered the pilot in May 2015. It was equipped with a Rotax 582 series engine that was manufactured in 2005. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on September 26, 2015, and at that time, the airplane had accumulated 213 hours of total time.

According to the manufacturer's guidance, a general overhaul of the engine was "to be carried out every five years or every 300 hours, whichever comes first." There were no entries in the maintenance logs that indicated an engine overhaul had taken place. According to the checklist from the maintenance manual, which was the checklist that the mechanic initialed as items accomplished, item 38 "General overhaul of engine" was marked as "N/A." A manufacturer representative indicated that an overhaul consisted of at least a complete engine teardown, the replacement of all bearings, seals, gaskets, crankshaft, and piston rings.

An examination of the engine revealed that there was fuel noted in the fuel tanks, fuel pump, fuel filter, and both carburetors. One spark plug was removed from each cylinder and thumb compression was obtained from all cylinders. However, when the propeller was rotated by hand, a metal scraping sound was heard. The engine oil was drained and metal particles were noted in the oil. The tachometer in the cockpit indicated 228 total hours of time.

The engine was further examined and the power take off intake had several pieces of bearing material, and one piece specifically that was contacting the rotary valve disc, which was making the scraping noise. In addition, the bearing material was noted in the combustion chamber and exhaust sections of the power take off side of the engine. The cylinder head of the power take off side was removed and revealed damage to the piston head. Next, the power take off cylinder was removed. Corrosion and damage was noted on the connecting rod and the fractured connecting rod bearing.

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot 
Age: 36,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: Sport pilot Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 6, 2014
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 4, 2015
Flight Time: 88 hours (Total, all aircraft), 53 hours (Total, this make and model), 57 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PORRATA LUIS G 
Registration: N124LP
Model/Series: RANS S 12XL NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 06061007
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 26, 2015 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 975 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 15 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 213 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: ROTAX
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 65 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: TJMZ,38 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:45 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 321°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 4000 ft AGL
Visibility 6 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4000 ft AGL 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 270° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: In the vicinity - Showers - Rain
Departure Point: HUMACAO, PR (X63)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: MAYAGUEZ, PR (MAZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:15 Local
Type of Airspace:

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: 17.989721,-66.925552 (est)

Taylorcraft BC12-D, N64518: Accidents occurred April 20, 2022 and May 04, 2014 in Wasilla, Alaska

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

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Location: Wasilla, Alaska 
Accident Number: ANC22LA032
Date and Time: April 20, 2022, 10:00 Local 
Registration: N64518
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12-D 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Taylorcraft
Registration: N64518
Model/Series: BC12-D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: PAWS,354 ft msl 
Observation Time: 10:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C /-12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 70°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Wasilla, AK (T66)
Destination: Wasilla (6AK8)

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: 61.616632,-149.67087 

April 20, 2022:  Aircraft nosed over on landing. 

Date: 20-APR-22
Time: 18:30:00Z
Regis#: N64518
Aircraft Make: TAYLORCRAFT
Aircraft Model: BC12
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: WASILLA
State: ALASKA


May 04, 2014


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; Anchorage, Alaska

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Accident Number: ANC14CA027
Date and Time: May 4, 2014, 15:00 Local 
Registration: N64518
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12 D 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Turbulence encounter 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot was departing from a private grass airstrip in his tailwheel equipped airplane. He stated that there was a slight breeze out of the north. As the airplane climbed above the tree line he encountered a rotor and downdraft and was unable to continue climbing. He elected to set the airplane in an area of trees, resulting in substantial damage to the wing lift struts. The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident Reporting Form 6120.1, he also stated that he had just started flying from the airstrip, and was not familiar with the local conditions. After the accident, he learned that there is often a wind shift/rotor that occurs near the tree line at the midfield point of the airstrip.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inadequate weather evaluation, which resulted in a turbulence encounter at low altitude and collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of knowledge of local wind conditions.

Findings

Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Personnel issues Knowledge of meteorologic cond - Pilot
Environmental issues Terrain induced turbulence - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Aircraft - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb Turbulence encounter (Defining event)
Initial climb Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
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: March 5, 2014
Occupational Pilot: UNK
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: July 18, 2013
Flight Time: 373.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 289.7 hours (Total, this make and model), 299.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Taylorcraft 
Registration: N64518
Model/Series: BC12-D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 6913
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: May 1, 2014 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 0 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1454 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O200-A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 100 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: PAWS,354 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 22:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 123°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 230° Turbulence Severity
Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 29.85 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wasilla, AK (6AK8) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ANCHORAGE, AK (LHD)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: TULAKES 6AK8
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 350 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Soft
Runway Used: 36 IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1200 ft / 100 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: 61.613609,-149.673049(est)

Maule MX-7-180A, N4278B: Accident occurred April 25, 2022 at Tampa Executive Airport (KVDF), Hillsborough County, Florida

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

Aircraft landed with a crosswind, ground looped and went into a ditch.  

Tampa Maule LLC 


Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 15:20:00Z
Regis#: N4278B
Aircraft Make: MAULE
Aircraft Model: MX7
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: TAMPA
State: FLORIDA

Kitfox Model III, N12GM: Incident occurred April 25, 2022 at Dewitt Field/Old Town Municipal Airport (KOLD), Penobscot County, Maine

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aircraft landed, lost control and veered off runway striking the Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI).


Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 14:00:00Z
Regis#: N12GM
Aircraft Make: KITFOX
Aircraft Model: MODELL III
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: OLD TOWN
State: MAINE

Cessna R182 Skylane RG, N1834R: Incident occurred April 24, 2022 at Francis S. Gabreski Airport (KFOK), Westhampton Beach, Suffolk County, New York

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

Aircraft landed, encountered a gust of wind and went off runway into the grass.


Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 15:57:00Z
Regis#: N1834R
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: R182
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: WESTHAMPTON BEACH
State: NEW YORK

Piper PA-28-161, N47560: Accident occurred April 25, 2022 at Charleston Executive Airport (KJZI), South Carolina

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

Aircraft struck a large bird during departure roll and aborted takeoff. 

MS Aviation LLC


Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 15:45:00Z
Regis#: N47560
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: CHARLESTON
State: SOUTH CAROLINA

Piper PA-32-300, N9583C: Accident occurred April 25, 2022 in Fountain Inn, South Carolina





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; Columbia, South Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

https://registry.faa.gov/N9583C

Location: Fountain Inn, South Carolina
Accident Number: ERA22LA202
Date and Time: April 25, 2022, 10:00 Local 
Registration: N9583C
Aircraft: Piper PA32 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N9583C
Model/Series: PA32 300 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: KGYH,955 ft msl 
Observation Time: 09:47 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / , 250°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Liberty, SC (LQK) 
Destination: Fountain Inn, SC

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: 34.723519,-82.099243 

Aircraft attempted to land with a tailwind and the pilot forced the landing which resulted in unspecified damage.  

Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 16:18:00Z
Regis#: N9583C
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA32
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: FOUNTAIN INN
State: SOUTH CAROLINA

Bell 429 GlobalRanger, N507TJ: Fatal accident occurred April 26, 2022 in Elba, Genesee County, New York

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

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York
Federal Aviation Administration Accident Investigation & Prevention; Haslet, Texas
Transportation Safety Board of Canada; Gatineau, Québec, Canada
Mercy Flight Inc; Buffalo, New York
Bell Helicopters; Québec, Canada
Pratt and Whitney Canada; Québec

Mercy Flight Inc


Location: Elba, New York 
Accident Number: ERA22FA207
Date and Time: April 26, 2022, 13:00 Local
Registration: N507TJ
Aircraft: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA 429
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On April 26, 2022, at 1300 eastern daylight time, a Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, 429, N507TJ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Elba, New York. The instructor pilot and company pilot were fatally injured. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

A representative of the operator, Mercy Flight Inc., stated that the instructional flight was a flight review being conducted by the helicopter manufacturer’s flight instructor with multiple flight reviews planned throughout the day; the accident flight was the second flight of the day.

Preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the flight departed Genesee County Airport (GVQ) Batavia, New York about 1110 and performed multiple maneuvers in the immediate vicinity of the airport before departing to the east.

About 20 minutes later, the helicopter returned to the airport and performed additional maneuvers in the airport traffic pattern for about 30 minutes before again departing the traffic pattern. Shortly after, the helicopter climbed to 2,600 ft mean sea level (msl) at 70 knots while on a track of 069° magnetic. Over the next 40 seconds, the helicopter descended to 1,900 ft msl at 94 knots as it entered a right turn, completing an oval ground track as it climbed and leveled at 2,450 ft msl and 55 knots for several seconds, before descending to 1,975 ft msl (1,227 ft above ground level) while maintaining between 20 and 13 knots.

Several eyewitnesses observed and heard the helicopter flying overhead before to the accident. One stated that he observed the helicopter “almost stationary” after it flew over, and then as it started to fly away, he heard a loud “bang”, and the helicopter began to descend out of control. An additional witness stated that the helicopter was hovering before it “fell apart” with the fuselage falling separately and another witness stated she did not see the helicopter but heard what sounded like an engine making a “whooshing” sound, then “three loud and rapid cracks” in succession. She further stated that she heard the helicopter impact the ground and heard the rotor blades striking the ground rapidly.

The helicopter fuselage containing the cockpit, engine, transmission, and rotor assembly struck electrical distribution wires as it impacted the terrain at an elevation of about 1,220 ft msl. The helicopter came to rest on its left side and a small post-crash fire developed but was quickly extinguished by first responders. The wreckage path was about 1,900 ft long and oriented in a direction of 250°. The tail boom, containing the tail rotor, drive shaft, vertical fin and horizontal stabilizer remained largely intact and was discovered about 390 ft from the main wreckage, on a heading of about 075°. A section of the tail boom and carbon fiber tail rotor shaft was discovered 1,620 ft and 072° from the main wreckage; it exhibited an angled fracture line consistent with main rotor blade contact.

All four main rotor blades were separated from the main rotor head and discovered within 550 ft northwest of the main wreckage. The span of all four blades were recovered. The cyclic and collective push-pull tubes were traced to their respective control inputs and actuators. Fractures in the system were consistent with overload. Control continuity was confirmed for both collective and cyclic controls.

The main rotor drive system gear box remained partially attached to the airframe with both left and right longitudinal pitch restraints separated from their respective stops. Both input driveshafts could be manually rotated counterclockwise in the freewheeling direction but could not be manually rotated in the clockwise direction, likely due to impact damage.

The tail rotor input controls were physically actuated confirming control continuity. The tail rotor drive shaft remained connected to the main gearbox but was fractured about midway to blower. 

Both engines were located within the main wreckage. Examination revealed damage consistent with impact damage. The engine switches in the cockpit located in the center below the glare-shield exhibited minor deformation. The No. 1 engine switch was undamaged and functioned smoothly. It was discovered in the “OFF” position. The No. 2 engine switch was slightly bent and was discovered in the “ON” position.

Multiple electronic recording devices were removed from the wreckage and retained for download of the non-volatile memory. The remaining wreckage was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA
Registration: N507TJ
Model/Series: 429 NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand air taxi (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ROC,540 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 290°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Batavia, NY (CVQ)
Destination: Elba, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 43.063838,-78.139356

Rotorcraft crashed under unknown circumstances.

Date: 26-APR-22
Time: 14:00:00Z
Regis#: N507TJ
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 429
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 Fatal 
Pax: 1 Fatal 
Activity: OTHER
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Operator: MERCY FLIGHT
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: DESTROYED
City: ELBA
State: NEW YORK

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

James Sauer
~

**UPDATE** Important information regarding tomorrow's (May 2nd) Funeral of James Sauer, Mercy Flight Pilot:

At the request of the family and in response to many inquiries, they have asked that the route from the funeral home to the church be publicized so that those who wish may line up along the route to pay their respects to Jim. The route is as follows:

- At approximately 11:45 A.M. leave Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, 735 East Avenue, Hilton, New York

- Take East Avenue into Hilton Village - left on Route 259

- Route 259 (15 miles) – left on Bowen Road

- (.7 miles) turn right on Stottle Road

- (450 Feet) Turn left on Stryker Road

- (.7 miles) Turn left on Scottsville-Chili Road to the Open Door Baptist Church

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR FIRE DEPARTMENTS, EMS AGENCIES, AND POLICE DEPARTMENTS REGARDING FUNERAL SERVICES FOR MERCY FLIGHT PILOT, JAMES SAUER

WHAT:    Funeral Services for James Sauer, Mercy Flight pilot, who lost his life while on a training exercise Tuesday 4/26

WHERE:  Open Door Baptist Church, 350 Chili Scottsville Road, Churchville, New York at 1:00 P.M.

WHEN:  Monday, May 2, 2022

HOW:  All fire departments, EMS agencies, and police departments are asked to arrive at the church no later than 11:30 A.M. in Class A uniform (preferred) or department uniform. Please, no heavy apparatus due to space constraints. Chief’s vehicles are acceptable. Car-pooling is encouraged. 

All agencies/departments are asked to RSVP their attendance, via text, to Thomas LaBelle at 716.444.9266 with their agency or department name and number attending.

Thank you.




ELBA, New York (WKBW) — 7 News has learned that the FAA issued a report on Tuesday, the same day of the deadly helicopter crash in Elba, stating that parts of certain Bell Model 429 helicopters were considered in "unsafe condition." That's the same model that crashed Tuesday killing experienced pilots, James Sauer and Stewart Dietrich.

The report, or Airworthiness Directive (AD) states:

"This AD was prompted by a report of a worn pitch link, and the FAA's determination that all TR pitch link assemblies are affected by the unsafe condition. This AD continues to require the actions specified in AD 2019-11-05, and revises the applicability and requires inspections of certain other TR pitch link assemblies. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products."

On Friday the FAA told 7 News:

"The Airworthiness Directive [federalregister.gov] involves bearings and other components in the tail rotor linkage that were showing unusual wear. It instructs operators to inspect the bearing and associated linkage, and to replace the parts if necessary."

"As part of the ongoing accident investigation, the NTSB will determine whether this inspection was completed on the accident aircraft."

On Wednesday NTSB Air Safety Investigator, Aaron McCarter said the helicopter's tail boom, which contains the tail rotor, was found 300 feet away from the main wreckage. The tail rotor keeps the helicopter's nose pointed in the right direction.
The AD also said failure to address the issues cited, could lead to loss of control.

The NTSB said a preliminary report on the investigation will be released on Friday, May 6. A final report could take up to a year.

McCarter said most of the work gets done when the on-scene portion is over. The remnants will be moved to Delaware to be further investigated by the NTSB. He said the helicopter departed Batavia around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, and around 1 p.m. is when several witnesses saw it hovering at 2,000 feet above ground, before it crashed.

McCarter said there was no black box, but data analysis will help investigators learn more.

Sauer and Dietrich, were both 60-years-old. Dietrich was a Bell pilot from Prosper, Texas.

Sauer was a well known first responder who served in the United States Army. His obituary states he had "multiple deployments including Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Restore Hope, Desert Storm and others."

Sauer also served as a police officer in the Rochester and Holley Police Departments. He also served as a volunteer firefighter, along with the New York State Department, and the New York Army National Guard, where he was a pilot for 40 years. He joined Mercy Flight recently to be a pilot.

Sauer was a loved husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather to six grandchildren. Multiple friends and colleagues told 7 News that Sauer was "the best," and was dedicated to his community.

Sauer's funeral service will be held on Monday, May 2, at 1 p.m. at the Open Door Baptist Church, 350 Scottsville-Chili Road, Churchville.

Donations can be made in memory of James to the Open Door Baptist Church.



Aaron McCarter
Air Safety Investigator · National Transportation Safety Board
~


The Mercy Flight helicopter that crashed Tuesday in a field in rural Genesee County, killing two seasoned pilots, was traveling at an altitude of about 2,000 feet when, according to witnesses, there was a "large boom and they saw the helicopter fall from the sky," a National Transportation Safety Board investigator said Wednesday.

The tail separated from the main body of the helicopter and was found about 300 feet away from the main wreckage, which would indicate the aircraft was falling apart before it hit the ground.

Two people aboard a Mercy Flight helicopter died in a crash about 1 p.m. in Elba in Genesee County, state police said.

Multiple investigations are underway into the crash of the medical air ambulance that was on a routine training exercise when it fell to the ground in the Town of Elba.

It is far too early to determine a cause, but NTSB Investigator Aaron McCarter said some information has already come to light:

The helicopter, a Bell 429, a model commonly used for medical transportation, was on a training exercise Tuesday morning.

The aircraft took off from Genesee County Airport at about 11:15 a.m. The crash was reported at about 1 p.m.

Preliminary satellite data showed the helicopter was flying at about 2,000 feet most of the time it was in the air.

The aircraft was doing "pattern work," doing rectangles and other patterns, McCarter said, which would be typical for a training exercise.

They do not yet know who was flying the rotorcraft.

The wreckage was spread out over 2,000 feet on the ground.

"The main portion was fairly intact, although severely damaged," McCarter said.

There was a small fire burning when first responders arrived. That was quickly extinguished.

Both of the pilots were deceased when they were found, McCarter said.

The two pilots on board were previously identified as James E. Sauer, 60, of Churchville, and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas. Sauer was a Mercy Flight pilot, and Dietrick was an employee and pilot with Bell Helicopter.

No other people were on board and no one on the ground was hurt.

McCarter said the investigations were just starting. In addition to the NTSB, officials with the Federal Aviation Authority and representatives from Bell Helicopter were on scene to help.

He said the NTSB would be on the scene for three to five days to document the wreckage, talk to witnesses and to retrieve data from the helicopter's data recorder. The aircraft doesn't have a "black box," but the data recorders often have information that can be helpful in a crash investigation.

"The on-scene part is a very small part of the investigation," McCarter said. "Most of the work happens behind the scene."

He said investigators will remove the wreckage and reconstruct the helicopter in a hangar to try to literally piece together what happened. He said to expect a preliminary report in 10 days, and then a full report in about 12 months.

The investigation will focus on three parts, McCarter said. "The human, the machine and the environment."

McCarter pointed out that both of the pilots had a lot of professional flying experience.

"But what was their familiarity with the machine?" he asked.

He said investigators would look at the weather, but all indications are that conditions were mild. The National Weather Service said it was overcast with temperatures in the upper 40s, with winds of about 13 mph.

They will also look at possible problems with the aircraft itself, which would include physically examining the pieces and also researching maintenance.

McCarter said that the tail, which was found separated from the main wreckage, is a critical part of a helicopter.

"If it loses a tail rotor, that's what keeps the nose pointed in the correct direction," he said.

The tail rotor keeps the fuselage from spinning in the opposite direction of the main rotor, McCarter added.

"A helicopter has a lot of moving parts," he said.

State Police escorted journalists to the crash site Wednesday afternoon. Most of the helicopter was on the ground close to Norton Road. The tail was about 300 feet away in a farm field.  

Tuesday's crash is the third Bell 429 helicopter accident to occur in New York State in the last seven months, and the second in Genesee County. It is the second fatal helicopter accident in the U.S. in the last year involving a Bell 429, after a Duke Energy worker died in April 2021. According to the United States Helicopter Safety Team website, there were 35 fatal helicopter accidents in the U.S. in 2021 and 32 in 2020.

Ron Goldman, an attorney with Los Angeles-based Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, who has been involved in multiple lawsuits involving helicopter crashes, said that a day after a crash is always too early to jump to conclusions.

But, he said, it stood out to him that the two people aboard the helicopter were both "really experienced pilots."

"It's hard to swallow that there's pilot error in this case," Goldman said. "... You have two experienced pilots doing recurrent training. Unless somebody did something that is off the charts, there shouldn't be an accident here. But we don't know what happened. One has to be suspicious of some kind of mechanical failure in an event like this."

Goldman is not involved in the Elba accident, but was speaking as an expert on helicopter incidents. He is currently representing the family of Buffalo businessman Mark Croce, who died in a helicopter crash in Pennsylvania in 2020.

He said that the wreckage site would provide many clues to what happened.

"If they found stuff that's more than X number of yards away, then you have to start worrying: Was there a break up mid-flight? Does it look like a break up caused by stressors on the way down?" Goldman said.

"Every one of these pieces is a puzzle, and the pieces of the puzzle have to be brought together," he said.



Elba, New York — New York State Police released the identities of the two men killed when a Mercy Flight helicopter crashed during a training exercise Tuesday in the town of Elba, Genesee County.

Both of the victims died at the scene.

They have been identified as Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer, 60, of Churchville and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60. He was a Bell Helicopter Flight instructor pilot from Prosper, Texas.

Sauer was a retired New York State Police civilian pilot and spent 40 years as a pilot with the New York State Army National Guard.

Sauer took his final flight as an Army aviator in August 2020. 13WHAM met him and his family at the Rochester Airport when he touched down.

In a statement sent out by the Mercy Flight Executive Vice President Scott Wooton said, “Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations in order to allow time for our employees to process the event, and to ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation. The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational and will refer any requests to other area resources who are standing by to assist.”

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy," said Margaret Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s President in a statement sent out Tuesday evening.

"This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support expressed by many.”

Mercy Flight Central's Senior Director of Development Jasmine DiSalvo sent a statement to 13WHAM about the incident earlier Tuesday afternoon.

"Mercy Flight Central has been made aware of a helicopter crash in Western New York. At this time, all Mercy Flight Central aircraft and personnel are accounted for. Our thoughts are with all those involved."

Batavia State Troopers responded to the crash near Norton Road at about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The training flight took off from Batavia Airport, according to Major Eugene Staniszewski, Troop E Commander.

The cause of the accident has not been determined. FAA, NTSB, Bell Helicopter and Underwriter Accident Investigation teams are responding to the scene.



ELBA, New York — New York State Police are investigating a deadly crash in Genesee County involving a Mercy Flight helicopter.

Troopers say the crash happened in the Town of Elba near Norton Road around 1 p.m. Two people were in the helicopter at the time of the crash. Both were killed.

The victims have been identified as Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer, 60, Churchville, New York and Bell Helicopter Flight instructor/pilot Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas.

Mercy flight said Sauer is a retired NYS Police Pilot, who began working with Mercy Flight in October 2020.

Mercy Flight released this statement:

At approximately 1:00 p.m EST today, the Mercy Flight Communications Center was notified that aMercy Flight helicopter had sustained an accident in the area of Elba, NY in Genesee County during Mercy Flight’s annual Bell Helicopter factory training. 

Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer and a Bell Helicopter Flight instructor perished in the accident.  Mr. Sauer, a retired NYS Police Pilot, began working with Mercy  Flight in October 2020. 

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy.  This is a very dark day for the  Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern, and support expressed by many,” said Margaret  Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s  President.  

“Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations in order to allow time for our employees to process the event, and to ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation. The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational and will refer any requests to other area resources who are standing by to assist,” states Scott Wooton,  Mercy Flight’s Executive Vice  President.   

The cause of the accident has not been determined. FAA, NTSB, Bell  Helicopter and Underwriter  Accident Investigation teams are responding to the scene. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

According to New York State Major Eugene Staniszewski the helicopter had taken off for a training mission from the Batavia airport before the crash happened. It's unclear at this time why the helicopter crashed.

Staniszewski says New York State Police are working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

"At this point it's very preliminary where we're at with this investigation. We cannot confirm anything as to why the helicopter went down," Staniszewski said.

The crash happened 3.1 miles from the airport where the helicopter was based near Batavia and there was downed power lines near the wreckage but NYSP does not believe that was the cause of the crash but may have been wrapped in the helicopter as it went down.

The helicopter was a town-engine Bell 429 and which is the model type for most of the fleet for Mercy Flight, they updated their fleet within the last decade.

Kaleida Health issued this statement following the accident: 

“We are aware of the tragic accident involving a Mercy Flight helicopter that crashed today in the Town of Elba in Genesee County. Our hospital transport teams were not impacted by the crash. 

At this time, we understand that Mercy Flight services are grounded. Patient transports to our facilities will continue by ground as usual.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Mercy Flight team and their loved ones. Kaleida Health will remain focused on supporting our partners at Mercy Flight as this investigation unfolds.”









A Mercy Flight helicopter crashed Tuesday afternoon in Elba, Genesee County, killing two people on board, according to New York State Police.

Troopers confirmed that the medical helicopter on a training flight at the time, crashed near Norton Road, between Edgerton and Ford roads, around 1 p.m.  

"At this point we don't know why the helicopter went down," Major Eugene Staniszewski said at an afternoon news conference near the crash site.

The two pilots on board — James E. Sauer, 60, of Churchville, a Mercy Flight pilot and a retired New York State Police civilian pilot and Bell Helicopter employee and flight instructor Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas — were both pronounced dead at the scene, according to State Police. Their bodies were transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office.

Sauer started working for Mercy Flight in October 2020, according to the Mercy Flight.

The marked Mercy Flight Bell 429 helicopter took off from the Genesee County Airport in Batavia and later crashed in Elba for an unknown reason. Staniszewski said he did not know the flight plan or where the helicopter was heading when its flight path abruptly ended.

He also said that while the aircraft may have collided with power lines as crashed, the wires did not appear to be what caused the crash.

Troopers are interviewing several people who witnessed the crash and neighbors on the road, he said. 

Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations to allow employees to process the event, and also to "ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation," Mercy Flight's executive vice-president Scott Wooton said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational, Wooton said, and will refer requests to other agencies who are ready to assist.

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy," Margaret Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s President said in a statement released Tuesday evening. "This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family. We are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support expressed by many."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were both called to the scene to investigate. Genesee County sheriff's deputies and firefighters from Batavia and Elba also responded the the emergency call.

Elba is about 25 miles west of Rochester.

Mercy Flight EMS is a not-for-profit medical transport service that services western New York, including the Rochester region, as well as parts of northwestern Pennsylvania and Canada. 

The Buffalo-based service has numerous flight bases around western New York. According to the Mercy Flight website, its flight headquarters is in Batavia, Genesee County. Staniszewski said the involved helicopter was from the Batavia Mercy Flight base.

Investigations on fatal aviation crashes typically take months to complete. Staniszewski said that he expected authorities would be on scene Tuesday and into Wednesday.

de Havilland Dash 8-400, N403QX: Incident occurred April 25, 2022 near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Washington

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

Aircraft struck a flock of birds damaging panel above first officers window. 

Horizon Air

BCC Equipment Leasing Corp


Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N403QX
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: DHC-8-402
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: HORIZON AIRLINES
Flight Number: QXE2553
City: SEATTLE
State: WASHINGTON

San Diego, California: Palm trees removed, City and Federal Aviation Administration says it's a flight path threat











SAN DIEGO, California (KGTV) — "You are doing this! You are doing this!"

Monday morning, screaming Ocean Beach residents gave one final plea as they saw there beloved palm trees on Newport Avenue get taken down.

"It was shocking because they weren't the tallest trees, they are five that weren't diseased," said Tim Johnson, a resident on Newport Avenue.

The City of San Diego says they removed five palm trees because they were told by the Airport Authority and FAA the tall palms were in urgent threat to flight path and aviation operations.

However, residents like Johnson aren't buying it, "Well, can you imagine a 727 or a 747 was hovering above this palm tree up here right here? They are not even close."

Tim Johnson has lived on the Ocean Beach street for 40 years. Johnson says he has never seen a plane fly over the palm trees, so he's just stumped as to why they had to be removed.

"They are all that way, they are all North of Newport Avenue," jokingly Johnson says. "I have this theory that maybe these five palm trees were maybe some weird traingulation device that somehow effects the airport…I mean that's about as logical of an explanation as I can come up with because there's no other one."

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA) provided one. They confirmed that in October, the FAA believed the five palm trees were an "adverse effect upon the navigable airspace at the Airport".

The City of San Diego even provided data of the evaluations done by the FAA and SDCRAA that showcased the palm trees they are monitoring in the area.

The orange highlights on page one, shows the trees they removed. All of the other trees are palm trees approaching heights that may be deemed a risk and may need to be removed in the future.

But the graph does not explain what exactly qualifies a tree for removal.

A City Spokesperson told ABC 10News that they did not know what the qualifications were for removal, but were following directives mandated by the FAA to remove the trees. The SDCRAA says the five trees needed to be removed because of their height.

They furthered telling ABC10News that the "On page 1 of the PDF, the column "FAA Surface Intersection Elevation (MSL)" outlines 270 (feet) and 276.48 (feet) which is the numbers in feet the trees cannot penetrate."

However if you look at the graph, you can see that there are other trees that exceed that height, and are higher than the ones removed. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority says they are monitoring other palm trees in the area, that may be removed at a later date.

"We are waiting for them to sneak back in here, put the signs back in here and put the signs back up," said Tracy Van De Walker.

Tracy, a resident of 15 years on Newport Avenue, has now lost the tree that has been up for over a century outside of her home. She says that she will be ready next time.

She is in the process of filing a restraining order, and there is a lawsuit that has been a year in the making, that will be heard in court this summer.

"We are not done fighting," shares Tracy. "And again there's a temporary restraining going in and I will probably next time fall under a tree and get arrested."