Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Boeing Looked for Flaws in Its Dreamliner and Couldn’t Stop Finding Them

Under pressure from the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane maker increased scrutiny of its manufacturing; ‘What happens when you take a microscope to anything?’

Boeing 737 MAX 8, Ethiopian Airlines, ET-AVJ
March 10, 2019


The Wall Street Journal
By Andrew Tangel
April 27, 2022 9:54 am ET


For years, Boeing Co. and the Federal Aviation Administration handled 787 Dreamliner deliveries as though the perfect was the enemy of the good.

The FAA allowed the plane maker to deliver the wide-body jets with some minor flaws, so long as there was no immediate threat to safety. The expectation was that Boeing would fix such defects after the planes began carrying passengers, according to government officials and current and former Boeing executives.

That approach doesn’t fly anymore. Two deadly crashes of a different Boeing airplane, the 737 MAX, ushered in a new era of intense scrutiny of everything rolling out of Boeing’s factories.

The result has been a string of Dreamliner delays that have become headaches for both Boeing and the airlines waiting for delivery of scores of 787s worth more than $25 billion. Production snafus have popped up one after the other. Some of the latest involve titanium parts, glue and fasteners, people familiar with the matter said.

On Wednesday morning, Boeing said it had submitted a plan to the FAA for resolving production problems, a key step in restarting Dreamliner deliveries. Those could resume this summer if regulators approve the proposal, people familiar with the matter said.

The FAA will no longer haggle over whether Boeing can deliver 787s that diverge from agency-approved designs and federal regulations. “Before, we’d work it out,” said one government official familiar with the FAA’s Dreamliner work. Now, this official said, “We’re not negotiating.”

Amid the scrutiny, Boeing employees found defects on their own and began taking a harder look at how the company produced Dreamliners. They found more problems.

In 2019, they detected gaps between sections of the Dreamliner’s fuselage that were slightly wider than specified in the FAA-approved designs. The gaps, about the width of a piece of paper, were wider than the manufacturing tolerance of 0.005 of an inch allowed under the approved design.

“What happens when you take a microscope to anything?” said John Plueger, chief executive of Air Lease Corp., a major buyer of Boeing aircraft that it leases to airlines. “You find more stuff.”

What previously might have been deemed minor issues are now garnering significant attention. “There is some risk of the pendulum swinging too far the other way,” Mr. Plueger said.

It isn’t that Boeing suddenly stopped making Dreamliners properly. It found previously unknown production problems that in many cases had introduced minor defects in planes already flying. Those led to more discoveries, which fueled more questions from regulators.

The halt to deliveries has frustrated some of Boeing’s most important customers, including American Airlines Group Inc.and United Airlines Holdings Inc. The twin-aisle jets, whose models can carry between about 250 and 340 passengers, are popular with airlines, which often use them on long-haul international routes that wouldn’t otherwise be profitable with larger aircraft. The Dreamliner made its debut in 2011 and has had an excellent safety record.

The plane maker is counting on eventual Dreamliner deliveries this year to catch up with demand and generate cash to help it pay down its debt. Now that Boeing has submitted its paperwork to the FAA, it hopes to get a green light to resume deliveries within seven to 11 weeks, people familiar with the matter said. The FAA said Wednesday that safety drives the pace of the agency’s reviews.

During a call with analysts on Wednesday, Chief Executive David Calhoun declined to speculate about when the FAA might approve Dreamliner deliveries, but expressed confidence in the quality of Boeing’s submission to regulators. “It’s been a long, hard run, but I feel really good about where we are,” he said.

Mr. Calhoun has said he is giving Boeing engineers time to fix the Dreamliner’s problems and retool its production system. He has said Boeing would follow the same playbook as it did with the 737 MAX, which regulators grounded for nearly two years to fix problems related to software, hardware and training.

“We have to have exactly the same objective with the ’87,” Mr. Calhoun said at a meeting with executives in October. “If we get there—and we will—it will pay for itself.”

A Boeing spokesman said the company was completing thorough inspections of the 787 production line and supply chain to ensure they conform to Boeing’s specifications. The company declined to make Mr. Calhoun available for comment.

In February, the FAA further tightened its oversight of the Dreamliner. It said its inspectors would check each jet individually, rather than let the plane maker perform routine final safety signoffs, as the FAA had permitted it to do for years.

That same month, then-FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, who stepped down on March 31, said about Boeing: “They’ve got to produce the quality on their production line that we’re looking for and that they’ve committed to.”

In the years leading up to the 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019, Boeing enjoyed more sway over regulatory matters. The FAA delegated an increasing number of tasks to a group of Boeing employees authorized to work on the agency’s behalf.

The 737 MAX accidents, which claimed 346 lives, exposed problems with the FAA’s oversight of Boeing. A U.S. House committee’s investigation documented cases in which senior FAA managers overruled the agency’s front-line experts in favor of Boeing, on safety matters related to lightning protection and rudder cables. The FAA has said its managers were also aviation experts.



Congress overhauled how regulators certify new aircraft designs and oversee employees of manufacturers working on the agency’s behalf. The agency now has more power to choose which Boeing employees represent the FAA’s interests, and there are new protections for them from undue pressure by company managers.

“The good old days got us to where we are today,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D., Wash.), who represents much of Boeing’s workforce in the Seattle area and is chairman of the House Transportation Committee’s aviation subcommittee. “We have a certification reform bill because of the good old days, which were pretty bad for 346 people and family.”

The problems Boeing employees found initially were minor by themselves: improper-size shims in the minute gaps they had found between sections of the fuselage, and areas where the fuselage skin wasn’t sufficiently smooth.

But the imperfections could add up to a more serious problem with the plane’s structural integrity, according to industry and government officials. Undetected flaws can result in premature aging that airlines don’t know to check for and repair, the officials said.

After finding the Dreamliner defects, Boeing has run stress tests to determine whether the structure of any 787s with such defects in airlines’ fleets could easily withstand extreme flying conditions. In August 2020, Boeing teams identified eight in-service Dreamliners that didn’t meet “limit load requirements,” and recommended airlines ground them for immediate fixes.

Nearly all of the rest of Boeing’s analyses since then have found Dreamliners have more than enough built-in protection despite the imperfections. The flaws can be inspected and fixed, if needed, during routine maintenance.

As Boeing’s factory churned out more planes, Boeing employees kept looking for additional flaws. The company halted Dreamliner deliveries in October 2020 after it found more flaws and widened inspections. The process was initiated by Boeing, which reported the findings to the FAA, according to people familiar with the matter.

Boeing also pushed its global network of suppliers to examine the 787 parts they produce. Suppliers found more problems. They alerted Boeing of “notices of escape,” factory jargon for defects. That meant more parts to fix, such as titanium pieces that were weaker than they should be. And it meant more planes to examine, both undelivered new jets and ones in service for years.

Delays snowballed. Company projections for when it could deliver Dreamliners came and went. Customers grew frustrated.

American Airlines said it would reduce its summer 2022 flying schedule because its new Dreamliners wouldn’t arrive in time. “We don’t have as many airplanes as we want,” then-CEO Doug Parker said at an industry conference March 15. “We’re not happy about that.” Mr. Parker, who remains chairman, retired as CEO on March 31.

Boeing lost 47 firm orders for Dreamliners last year, leaving it with 411 deliveries to fulfill at the end of 2021, according to a securities filing.

Mr. Plueger, the Air Lease CEO, said he has repeatedly conveyed a message to senior Boeing executives in the Seattle area, where its commercial jetliner arm is based. “You just have to be a reliable partner and you have to get through this,” he recalled telling them.

Boeing has said it would book $5.5 billion in costs related to the Dreamliner problems.

After the 737 MAX crashes, Boeing reorganized its engineering department. Part of the aim was to reduce the influence of cost and schedule on design and safety matters.

Federal lawmakers strengthened protections for employees in Boeing’s Organization Designation Authorization, or ODA, unit, who are empowered to work on the FAA’s behalf. The agency now wants to use Boeing’s ODA unit as an additional layer of scrutiny: in-house experts who are more familiar than the FAA’s staff with the Dreamliner.

It was an ODA member who flagged a quality-control problem with the Dreamliner cockpit windows, according to people familiar with the matter. Boeing drew up new specifications for the window supplier, PPG Industries Inc., a Pittsburgh company, the people said. The retooling resulted in delays for new windows. Boeing at one point was running so low on windows that it harvested spares from undelivered Dreamliners for jets already in service, they said.

The Boeing spokesman said the company was working to ensure cockpit windows meet all specifications. PPG declined to comment.

Mr. Calhoun, at the October meeting with executives, said Boeing needs to continue improving its manufacturing culture. “Our quality people don’t feel like they’re being listened to,” Mr. Calhoun said. “That has to change.”

Senior FAA officials have been broadly pleased with Boeing’s improvements but not with their pace, according to people familiar with the matter. Agency officials have at times complained to the plane maker’s executives that lower-level Boeing employees who work with the FAA haven’t seemed to be getting the message, those people said. In February, Mr. Dickson said Boeing overall had “really improved the discipline within their engineering organization.”

If Boeing manages to resume Dreamliner deliveries this summer, the freeze will have lasted about as long as the grounding of its 737 MAX.

--Micah Maidenberg contributed to this article.



Cessna 172N Skyhawk 100 , N5254J: Incident occurred April 25, 2022 near Gardner Municipal Airport (KGDM), Worcester County, Massachusetts

Worcester NAA Flying Club


   


TEMPLETON, Massachusetts  (CBS) – A plane may have been shot while landing at Gardner Municipal Airport in Templeton Monday afternoon. A student pilot and the instructor on the Cessna 172M heard the plane get hit.

Dominic Scalera of the Worcester Flying Club owns a share of the single engine Cessna. He showed WBZ-TV a bullet hole in the left wing, a shot that also pierced the plane’s fuel tank.

“It’s insane,” Scalera said. “It’s extremely scary and disturbing that someone would shoot at an airplane randomly in the sky.”

It was just after noon when a student pilot with the Worcester Flying Club was practicing his takeoffs and landings with an instructor onboard.

“They heard a loud pop, and while they were trying to figure out what the pop was, he told me they could eventually smell fuel,” said Chris Kosak of the Worcester Flying Club.

They landed quickly and then took video of fuel dripping from the plane. But it wasn’t until they spotted the hole and mechanics removed and inspected the fuel tank that they found a .22 caliber bullet and realized someone had shot the aircraft on landing approach.

State Police swarmed the airfield, securing the plane and retrieving the bullet before scouring the woods surrounding the airport, including a nearby sandlot where teens are known to target shoot.

State Police say troopers could not definitively say the tank rupture was from a gunshot.

The student pilot told WBZ he’d rather not talk about the incident.

“I’m sure he’s looking to get back up in the air again, we just have to get his plane fixed,” Kosak said.

That student pilot is very close to earning his solo wings, but he’ll certainly remember this flight.

On Tuesday, the FAA and State Police suspended their involvement in the investigation. Templeton Police are now leading the investigation.

 






GARDNER, Massachusetts — The Federal Aviation Administration said Massachusetts officials are investigating a report that a small plane was struck by a gunshot while landing on Monday.

State police said the plane, identified by the FAA as a single-engine Cessna 172, was approaching the Gardner Municipal Airport around midday Monday.

The pilot told state police the plane was damaged while landing at the airport. The plane’s fuel tank was ruptured and was leaking fuel.

The FAA said the pilot of a single-engine Cessna 172 reported a bullet hole in the gas tank.

The co-owner of the plane, Dominic Scalera, told WCVB he found one bullet in the fuel tank. He said the bullet appeared to go through the wing of the plane, into the fuel tank.

Scalera said a student pilot and instructor were approximately 500 feet in the air when the pilot heard a noise.

The maintenance crew said a bullet went through three pieces of metal and punctured the gas tank.

Troopers at the scene said they could not definitively confirm that the damage was caused by a gunshot without additional resources.

It's unclear whether someone with a gun just happened to hit the plane or if someone was aiming at it.

"Whoever did this is an idiot," Scalera said. "It's pretty simple. You do not, if you know gun safety at all, you do not shoot at an animal unless you have a license and are going to eat it and you do not randomly shoot a gun you shoot at a target. That is the safe way to handle a gun and this is not safe."

The Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services and Ballistics team was assisting Templeton Police in the investigation, police said.

Beech B200 Super King Air, N905SH: Incident occurred April 27, 2022 at Hector International Airport (KFAR), Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota 

Aircraft struck a bird on departure, returned to airport and post flight inspection revealed a dent in the leading edge of wing.

Sanford Medical Center

https://registry.faa.gov/N905SH 

Date: 27-APR-22
Time: 16:30:00Z
Regis#: N905SH
Aircraft Make: RAYTHEON
Aircraft Model: B200
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: AMBULANCE
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Aircraft Operator: SANFORD MEDICAL CENTER
City: FARGO
State: NORTH DAKOTA

FARGO (KVRR) – No one was injured when a Sanford AirMed fixed wing air ambulance collided with a bird in Fargo.

Sanford AirMed Director Tim Meyer says the airplane was departing Hector International Airport Wednesday morning when the collision happened.

“Due to the fast response of the pilot, the plane landed safely,” Meyer said.  “There was one patient onboard and they were transported safely. There were no injuries resulting from the incident.”

Meyer says the airplane, which is based in Dickinson, sustained minor damage.

CLT Gyrobee, N396GN: Accident occurred April 23, 2022 at Hendersonville Airport (0A7), Henderson County, North Carolina

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Charlotte, North Carolina

Gyroplane landed, left landing gear collapsed and rolled on its side.  


Date: 23-APR-22
Time: 21:41:00Z
Regis#: N396GN
Aircraft Make: TAGGART
Aircraft Model: CLT GYROBEE
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: HENDERSONVILLE
State: NORTH CAROLINA

Cirrus SR22 G3 GTS Turbo, N276CP: Incident occurred April 23, 2022 at Branson Airport (KBBG), Taney County, Missouri

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Aircraft landed and veered off runway into the grass striking a runway light. 


Date: 23-APR-22
Time: 22:41:00Z
Regis#: N276CP
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: BRANSON
State: MISSOURI

Piper PA-28R-201T, N47418: Incident occurred April 24, 2022 at Tipton Airport (KFME), Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Aircraft reported smoke in the cockpit after takeoff and returned landing gear up.  


Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 18:18:00Z
Regis#: N47418
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28R
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: FORT MEADE
State: MARYLAND

Titan T-51D Mustang, N151CM: Accident occurred April 24, 2022 and Incident occurred July 18, 2021

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

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

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


Location: Perry, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA22LA200
Date and Time: April 24, 2022, 12:24 Local
Registration: N151CM
Aircraft: Titan T51
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 24, 2022, at 1224 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Titan T-51D, N151CM, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Perry, Florida. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A review of preliminary Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane departed Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida at 1118. At 1218, the airplane was about 5 nautical miles (nm) west of the Perry-Foley Airport (FPY), heading northwest at an altitude of about 2,300 ft, when it made a 270° left turn and descended to about 2,000 ft. About 1 minute later, it made another 270° turn to the left, descended to about 1,400 ft, and headed southeast toward FPY. The airplane continued to descend, and at 1223 was about 1.25 nm from FPY at an altitude of 250 ft, when it turned right and headed south. The tracking data ended about 15 seconds later as the airplane was over a wooded area about 500 ft north of the accident site. The pilot reported to first responders that the engine had lost fuel pressure and subsequently stopped.

Post-accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane struck trees before it crossed over a road and came to rest inverted. The left wing was fracture separated about 1/3 of the span from the root and found in the debris path about 100 ft from the main wreckage. The right wing leading edge was crushed aft and torn along most of its span. The
outboard half of the left horizontal stabilizer and elevator were crushed aft. The landing gear was retracted. All four propeller blades were fracture separated at the hub.

The airplane was retained for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Titan 
Registration: N151CM
Model/Series: T51 D 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TLH,68 ft msl
Observation Time: 12:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 43 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3900 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Lakeland, FL (LAL) 
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 30.080331,-83.60677

April 24, 2022:  Aircraft crashed into a field for unknown reasons in Perry, Taylor County, Florida. 

Date: 24-APR-22
Time: 17:05:00Z
Regis#: N151CM
Aircraft Make: TITAN
Aircraft Model: T-51D
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: SERIOUS
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: PERRY
State: FLORIDA

April 24, 2022


PERRY, Florida (WCTV) — Deputies with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office remain on the scene of a plane crash that left a pilot injured Sunday.

Investigators say the plane went down Sunday afternoon south of Perry in the area of Houck Road, just east of Highway 19. The sheriff’s office says the pilot was taken to a hospital in Tallahassee for treatment of their injuries. Deputies are preserving the area for investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Pictures from the scene show one piece of the aircraft in the grass just off the shoulder of the road. The main fuselage is in an area of brush and small trees farther off the road.

The plane was a Titan T-51D Mustang experimental kit built. The sheriff’s office says the pilot lost the engine after the fuel pressure dropped.

“He started trying to glide down to make a safe landing but was descending quicker than he anticipated,” TCSO says.

It’s not clear where the flight originated or where the plane was headed. The crash site is less than four miles south of the Perry-Foley airport.


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

July 18, 2021:  Aircraft right main gear collapsed during landing, veered off runway, left main gear collapsed and came to rest in a drainage ditch at Eagle Lake Airport (KELA), Colorado County, Texas.


Date: 18-JUL-21
Time: 00:40:00Z
Regis#: N151CM
Aircraft Make: TITAN AIRCRAFT
Aircraft Model: T-51D
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: EAGLE LAKE
State: TEXAS

Canadair Regional Jet CRJ-900, N954LR: Incident occurred April 23, 2022 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (KPHX), Maricopa County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aircraft was repositioning and struck N920FJ.

Mesa Airlines Inc


Date: 23-APR-22
Time: 15:00:00Z
Regis#: N954LR
Aircraft Make: BOMBARDIER
Aircraft Model: CL-600-2D24
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: COMMERCIAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 121
Aircraft Operator: MESA AIRLINES
City: PHOENIX
State: ARIZONA

Cessna 172I Skyhawk, N35571: Incident occurred April 22, 2022 and Accident occurred January 19, 2012

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

April 22, 2022:  Aircraft attempted to land, overshot the runway, rolled down a slope, nosed over and flipped at Clearview Airpark  (2W2), Westminster, Maryland.

Clearview Flying Club Inc 


Date: 22-APR-22
Time: 22:00:00Z
Regis#: N35571
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: WESTMINSTER
State: MARYLAND

January 19, 2012










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; Nashville, Tennessee 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Springfield, Tennessee
Accident Number: ERA12LA148
Date and Time: January 19, 2012, 14:55 
Local Registration: N35571
Aircraft: Cessna 172I 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot was flying the airplane on the second leg of a visual flight rules cross-country trip, which he flew at an altitude of 3,500 feet in order to remain below an overcast ceiling. Approaching the destination airport, the pilot began a cruise descent and, about 10 miles from the airport, began configuring the airplane for landing. The pilot reduced engine power to about 1,500 rpm, set the mixture
to full rich, but did not activate the carburetor heat. The engine then lost power, and the pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the nose landing gear struck a ditch. Responders noted that fuel was recovered from the airplane following the accident; the engine was run after the accident with no anomalies noted. The temperature and dew point reported on the surface at an airport located about 21 nautical miles from the accident site were conducive to carburetor icing at both glide and cruise power settings.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not apply carburetor heat during approach to landing, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.

Findings

Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Environmental issues Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on equipment
Aircraft (general) - Not used/operated

Factual Information

On January 19, 2012, about 1455 central standard time, a Cessna 172I, N35571, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Springfield, Tennessee. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Vermilion Regional Airport (DNV), Danville, Illinois about 1215, and was destined for John C. Tune Airport (JWN), Nashville, Tennessee. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a written statement submitted by the pilot, he departed from Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, Wisconsin and stopped at DNV to service the airplane with fuel. After departing from DNV, the pilot climbed the airplane to 3,500 feet in order to remain below a low ceiling of clouds.Several miles north of Springfield, Tennessee, the pilot listened to the JWN automated weather observation and began a cruise descent. About 10 nautical miles north of JWN, and while descending through 2,100 feet, the pilot began to configure the airplane for landing.

The pilot reduced engine power to about 1,500 rpm and set the fuel mixture to full rich, but did not activate the carburetor heat. The engine then "suddenly acted as though it were starved for fuel." With rising terrain ahead, and only being about 800 feet above the ground, the pilot "pumped" the throttle, began searching for a suitable forced landing area, and activated the emergency locator transmitter. As the pilot approached the intended landing field from the east, he realized that the airplane was high and fast, so flew north and circled back in order to set up for a landing to the southwest. The pilot subsequently landed the airplane on the downward slope of the field at an airspeed around 60 knots.  During the rollout, the nose landing gear struck a ditch and the airplane nosed over.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage following the accident and reported that the airplane had incurred substantial damage during the accident, including damage to the nose landing gear and firewall. The inspector also noted that when he arrived at the accident scene, about 1.5 hours after the accident occurred, a strong odor of aviation gasoline was present. First responders reported recovering about 5 gallons of fuel that had drained from the airplane, and a local airframe and powerplant mechanic who prepared the airplane for recovery by removing the wings from the fuselage reported that each wing contained an "ample" quantity of fuel. The mechanic also noted normal function of the gascolator and the presence of fuel within it.

After being recovered from the accident scene, the airplane was examined under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. About 2 ounces of fuel were drained from the carburetor drain plug. Since the wings of the airplane had been removed to facilitate transport following the accident, an alternate fuel source was plumbed to the fuel line fitting at the right wing root. The right fuel tank was subsequently selected in the cockpit, and fuel flowed to the gascolator and carburetor. During a test run, the engine started immediately and without hesitation. The engine was then operated at various power settings between idle and 2,500 rpm for about 5 minutes, with no anomalies noted.

The weather conditions reported at Nashville International Airport (BNA), Nashville, Tennessee, elevation 599 feet, located about 21 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, at 1453, included winds from 200 degrees at 10 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 15,000 feet, scattered clouds at 25,000 feet, temperature 10 degrees Celsius (C), dewpoint minus 04 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of mercury.

According to FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE-09-35, Carburetor Icing Prevention, dated June 30, 2009, "Pilots should be aware that carburetor icing doesn't just occur in freezing conditions, it can occur at temperatures well above freezing temperatures when there is visible moisture or high humidity. Icing can occur in the carburetor at temperatures above freezing because vaporization of fuel, combined with the expansion of air as it flows through the carburetor, (Venturi Effect) causes sudden cooling, sometimes by a significant amount within a fraction of a second." The SAIB provided a diagram which showed the probability of carburetor icing for various temperature and relative humidity conditions. Applying the surface temperature and dewpoint reported at BNA about the time of the accident to the diagram showed that "Icing (glide and cruise power)" conditions prevailed. Among the recommendations in the SAIB to pilots was that pilots should, "Use carburetor heat on approach and descent when operating at low power settings, or in conditions where carburetor icing is probable."

History of Flight

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 67,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Glider Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 16, 2011
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 19, 2010
Flight Time: 3200 hours (Total, all aircraft), 450 hours (Total, this make and model), 3050 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 22 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N35571
Model/Series: 172I 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 17256842
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: January 17, 2012 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2754 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E2D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 150 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: BNA,599 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 160°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 15000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 200° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Danville, IL (DNV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Nashville, TN (JWN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 12:15 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: 36.433612,-86.898056(est)

Cirrus SR22 GTS Xi, N973SD: Incident occurred April 26, 2022 in Mansfield, Richland County, Ohio

 


Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aircraft experienced engine issues and landed in a field. 

Cloud9 Aviation LLC


Date: 26-APR-22
Time: 15:10:00Z
Regis#: N973SD
Aircraft Make: CIRRUS
Aircraft Model: SR22
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91
City: NORTH FAIRFIELD
State: OHIO

Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow II, N6878J: Incident occurred April 25, 2022 at White Airport (6OK0), Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aircraft landed gear up. 


Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 16:55:00Z
Regis#: N6878J
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28R
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: KINGFISHER
State: OKLAHOMA

Piper PA-24, N6121P: Accident occurred April 25, 2022 at Cherry Ridge Airport (N30), Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania

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; Allentown, Pennsylvania

https://registry.faa.gov/N6121P

Location: Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Accident Number: ERA22LA208
Date and Time: April 25, 2022, 10:06 Local 
Registration: N6121P
Aircraft: Piper PA-24 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N6121P
Model/Series: PA-24 NO SERIES
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: KMSV,1403 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C /-3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Wind
Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 130°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 2400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Honesdale, PA
Destination: Montgomery, NY (MGJ)

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: 41.519512,-75.252538 (est)

Aircraft back taxiing to turn around and veered off runway down a berm into a swamp.  

Date: 25-APR-22
Time: 14:10:00Z
Regis#: N6121P
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA24
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91
City: HONESDALE
State: PENNSYLVANIA

Aviat A-1 Husky, N92AR: Incident occurred April 26, 2022 at Wharton Regional Airport (KARM), Texas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aircraft landed and during taxi a weld broke in the landing gear.  


Date: 27-APR-22
Time: 01:05:00Z
Regis#: N92AR
Aircraft Make: AVIAT
Aircraft Model: A-1
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91
City: WHARTON
State: TEXAS

Horry County, South Carolina: Lawsuit against a helicopter tour company was dismissed. What happens next? The company's lease expires next year

Horry County Government’s decade-long struggle with a Myrtle Beach area helicopter tour business may be resolved next year, but county officials fear they could still face a lengthy and expensive legal fight, according to public records.

The county sued Helicopter Adventures in July, asking the court to force the company to cease operations on or before January 1, 2024. That’s when a county ordinance requires that all local helicopter tour companies be working out of public airports. Helicopter Adventures is located on land leased from Burroughs & Chapin Co. across U.S. 17 Bypass from Broadway at the Beach near 21st Avenue North. That property is not part of an airport.

“The public gain in this case is the elimination of a significant safety concern and a source of noise pollution, as well as eradicating the disruptive effects of HA’s operations on the use and enjoyment of numerous nearby properties, including many residences in the community,” the county’s July 30 complaint stated.

But on Friday a judge dismissed the county’s case, noting that the county lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because the deadline in its ordinance has not arrived and the company’s lease would not end until August 2023.

“As such, any alleged violation by Defendants of Ordinance 15- 16 is contingent, hypothetical, and abstract,” Judge J. Cordell Maddox Jr.’s order stated. “There are no facts on the record indicating that Defendants’ violation of Ordinance 15-16 is imminent, and because the Ordinance is not yet legally binding, Plaintiff has suffered no invasion of a legally protected interest sufficient to constitute an injury in fact.”

Helicopter Adventures owner Freddie Rick declined to comment on the ruling.

Rick has been fighting to keep his company operating almost since it first opened.

During the summer of 2010 — before Helicopter Adventures began flying — Rick searched for a Grand Strand site that was zoned for helicopter tours, according to court records. He first approached the airports in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, but neither one would allow this type of business. Helicopter sightseeing companies were not specifically mentioned in any of the county’s zoning district provisions.

Rick sought approval from both the county and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before making financial commitments to the business, according to court records.

In 2011, the county’s zoning administrator wrote to an engineer hired by Rick’s firm informing him that a helicopter tour facility would be allowed under the county’s amusement/commercial zoning, which the 21st Avenue North site had held for at least a decade. All other county permits and plans were approved.

But once Helicopter Adventures opened in 2012, the company became a source of frequent complaints from neighbors, who objected to the helicopters’ noise and worried about the safety of the tours.

A group of residents even challenged the decision of the county’s zoning administrator. When their complaint reached the county’s zoning board, the panel voted 4-3 in favor of the residents. But Rick appealed the decision and prevailed in court. A judge ruled that the county’s zoning did not exclude tour facilities such as Helicopter Adventures — the judge said the business fell under “sight-seeing depots” in the zoning code — and the S.C. Court of Appeals upheld the ruling in 2015.

The controversy prompted county leaders to pass an ordinance in 2016 requiring that all heliports/helipads operate at public airports. In order to give Helicopter Adventures time to adjust to the new standards, the county set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2024, for the company to relocate and conform with the rules.

On Dec. 9, 2019, the county sent Rick a letter informing him that he would need to shut down his business by the deadline or move the operation to an airport.

But Rick informed the county last spring that he intended to continue operating at his current location unless the county provided him space for his business at Myrtle Beach International Airport, according to the county’s lawsuit. The county also asserted that Burroughs & Chapin Co. intended to renew its lease with Helicopter Adventures at the 21st Avenue North location or enter into a new agreement with the company once the current lease expires.

However, in a court filing requesting that the county’s lawsuit be dismissed, Rick’s attorneys wrote that there are no plans to extend the lease.

A representative for Burroughs & Chapin Co. said the company doesn’t comment on tenant leases.

Before Friday’s decision, county officials had urged the court to issue a ruling in their favor ahead of the ordinance deadline.

In court records, county officials stressed that they have no duty to find Rick an alternative location for his business and Horry County Council gave him more than seven years to recoup his investment at his current location, “more than triple the amortization periods that have been upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court.”

The county wanted the court to declare that Helicopter Adventures would be a public nuisance if it operates past the ordinance’s deadline.

“The County is entitled to a declaratory judgment now — and need not wait for the opposing parties to file an eleventh-hour challenge to the ordinance,” the county said in a response to Rick’s motion to dismiss. “Absent a declaration now, the HA Defendants could wait until the eleventh hour … to file an action for injunctive relief to challenge the validity of the Ordinance. They could argue that the ordinance is preempted, unconstitutional, etc., and urge the Court to issue a temporary injunction to prevent the Ordinance from being enforced until these important issues can be resolved, which could take years to occur.”

The county also wanted a judge to declare its ordinance valid ahead of the deadline because it risks monetary damages if a court later determines its ordinance is invalid.

“The County is seeking to avoid a last-minute lawsuit and the potential risk of millions of dollars in economic damages (ultimately payable by the citizens of Horry County) by obtaining a timely declaration of rights,” the county said in its opposition to the motion for dismissal.

When asked about last week's ruling, county spokeswoman Kelly Moore declined to comment. County officials typically don’t discuss pending litigation.

San Diego, California: Day 2 - Homeowners’ attorney says ‘Federal Aviation Administration had nothing to do with’ palm tree removal

Marc Applebaum, Attorney For Homeowners




SAN DIEGO, California (KUSI) – Ocean Beach residents are still in shock after city crews cut down the iconic palm trees that lined their streets.

Apparently, there’s still more cutting to get to.

The city can still potentially chop down about 10 other palm trees.

A lawsuit is still pending against the city of San Diego to save the trees.

The city put up some signage on Sunday and then first thing on Monday morning before business hours, crews were out in Ocean Beach with chainsaws, chopping trees down.

A spokesperson for the city sent KUSI a statement saying that the city removed five palm trees yesterday along Newport Avenue per the directions of the FAA and the San Diego Airport Authority.

The statement also went on to say that the removed trees presented an urgent threat to flight plans in aviation operations that impact public safety and the economic health of San Diego.

Residents that live along Newport Avenue, where the trees are being chopped down, have not been buying that excuse.

KUSI’s Dan Plante was live from the tree chopping site with more details and testimonies from angry residents.

Watch Video:  https://www.kusi.com