Saturday, April 30, 2022

Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian, N72WY: Accident occurred April 30, 2022 at Pueblo Memorial Airport (KPUB), Pueblo County, Colorado

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aircraft crashed on departure.

St Christopher Aviation LLC

Date: 30-APR-22
Time: 16:52:00Z
Regis#: N72WY
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA46
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Pueblo Police Department - 

On April 30, 2022 at approximately 1053 am, a single-engine aircraft carrying only the pilot, crashed at the Pueblo Memorial Airport.

The plane was trying to takeoff but was unable to sustain flight.

The pilot aborted the takeoff which caused the plane to go into a nosedive and crash into the ground. 

The pilot suffered only minor injuries.

Pelican delays San Diego flight with airfield standoff

SAN DIEGO, California (KSWB) — A pelican plopped down in front of an airliner on the taxiway at San Diego International Airport Thursday, prompting a brief standoff that ended with the bird flying off unharmed.

The unusual encounter happened around 1:30 p.m. as a Horizon Air E-175 tried to taxi to the runway for departure. The outbound plane, headed for Everett, Washington, came to a halt when the pilots noticed a feathered obstacle.

“Sir, you’re not going to believe this but we are unable (to proceed) because of a pelican sitting here on the taxiway,” a pilot tells air traffic control in audio recorded by the crew on FOX 5’s newsgathering helicopter. “And he’s not moving.”

The pilot reasoned the bird might be hurt. The standoff continued for a few minutes, with the pilot checking back in at one point.

“Tower, did you say you were sending airport ops to get the pelican?” the aviator asked, perhaps a touch sheepishly. The tower assured him that help was on the way.

A short time later, an airport SUV drove right up to the pelican, video from SkyFOX showed. The SUV stopped just short of the bird, which at first appeared unperturbed. The SUV slowly rolled farther, closing in on the bird, which suddenly spread its wings and flew off without further incident.

“It was not injured; however I was told it was a bit reluctant to leave,” airport spokesperson Sabrina LoPiccolo later told FOX 5 by email. “A member of our airside operations team responded to the taxiway to encourage the pelican to move which it eventually did. There was a bit of a plane backup, but everything is back to normal.”

Just another day in San Diego.

Barrows LSA, N1908A: Fatal accident occurred April 30, 2022 in Kalispell, Flathead County, Montana

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 Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana 

Location: Kalispell, Montana
Accident Number: WPR22FA169
Date and Time: April 30, 2022, 08:04 Local
Registration: N1908A
Aircraft: Bearhawk Barrows LSA
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 30, 2022, about 0804 mountain daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Bearhawk LSA, N1908A, sustained substantial damaged when it was involved in an accident near Kalispell, Montana. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot planned to fly to Eureka Airport (88M) for breakfast with a group of friends flying in two other airplanes. They departed Kalispell City Airport (S27) at 0759, and the accident airplane was the last in trail.

The other pilots in the group stated that the takeoff was uneventful, with clear skies, good visibility, and no significant weather. They did not see the accident airplane after takeoff but were tracking it on their ADS-B receivers until a few minutes later when it disappeared.

Preliminary ADS-B data indicated that after departing from runway 31, the accident airplane climbed on runway heading for about 4 minutes to 4,900 ft msl, at a ground speed of about 88 knots. It then levelled off and accelerated to about 115 knots. One minute later, the data abruptly ended, with the airplane still travelling on the same track.

The first identified piece of wreckage consisted of the right wing and outboard section of its lift strut, which came to rest on a road, about 350 ft northwest of the last ADS-B target. The inboard section of the strut was located about 100 ft northwest of the wing, and the rest of the airplane was located another 850 ft northwest, in a flat grass field, at an elevation of about 3,090 ft. The right wing sustained crush damage and abrasions along the length of its root rib, consistent with ground impact after separation. A deep indentation that appeared to match the dimensions of the main landing gear tire was present on the underside of the leading edge, just forward of the lift strut fitting.

The main wreckage came to rest in a nose down attitude in a grass field. The airframe sustained extensive crush damage and fragmentation through to the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer. The left wing remained partially attached to the airframe by its lift strut, and the forward spar end cap. 

The bolts that connected both the forward and aft wing spar end caps and the lower strut remained in place and attached to their respective steel fittings and weldments on both sides of the airframe.

Multiple witnesses heard a loud bang, and observed a wing falling to the ground, however no person came forward as a witness to the initial breakup event. A north-facing security camera, located on a building about 650 ft from the main wreckage, captured the airplane about one second before impact. It was in a direct nose-down attitude and spinning to the right. The right wing was missing, but the left wing and empennage were still attached.

The airplane was composed of a fabric-covered tubular steel airframe, and an aluminum wing. It was built by the pilot from plans, with construction completed, and its airworthiness certificate issued, in June 2018. Maintenance records indicated that the last condition inspection was completed by the pilot on June 3, 2021, and the last entry, on February 5, 2022, was for an engine oil change. At that time, the Hobbs-hour meter read 242 hours.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bearhawk
Registration: N1908A
Model/Series: Bearhawk LSA 
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: KGPI, 2963 ft msl 
Observation Time: 08:00 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 20°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Kalispell (S27) 
Destination: Eureka, MT (88M)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 48.285913,-114.40329 

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 30-APR-22
Time: 14:05:00Z
Regis#: N1908A
Aircraft Model: BEARHAWK
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 2
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 1 fatal
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
Aircraft Missing: No

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

The right wing of the Barrows LSA that crashed in the West Valley on April 30. A preliminary report released by the NTSB indicated the wing separated from the plane prior to impact.

A surveillance camera captured the kit-built plane — missing a wing — hurtling toward the ground immediately prior to the April 30 crash in the West Valley that killed two Flathead County residents.

A preliminary report into the crash released by the National Transportation Safety Board last week referenced the camera footage, taken from a nearby building, summarized witness accounts and offered an examination of the wreckage. While multiple people saw the body of the aircraft and its right wing hit the ground separately, no one saw the Bearhawk plane come apart, the document said.

The report offers the most comprehensive view yet of the crash that killed Joe Angle, 63, of Kalispell and Kimberly Hebert, 61, of Hungry Horse. Local authorities released the victims’ identities on May 19.

The plane was one of three aircraft headed that morning from Kalispell City Airport to Eureka Airport for a breakfast trip, departing about 8:04 a.m., according to the report. The pilots of the other planes reported clear skies and good weather.

They were tracking the Bearhawk on their automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) devices when it vanished, but did not see the crash, the report said.

According to ADS-B data, the Bearhawk climbed to about 4,900 feet above mean sea level after takeoff, flying at a speed of roughly 88 knots. It leveled off and accelerated to 115 knots before data from the plane “abruptly ended,” the report said.

People on the ground heard a loud bang, according to the document, and several saw a wing fall out of the sky. The rest of the aircraft came to a rest about 850 feet away from where the wing landed.

The video taken, which captured the final second before the crash, showed the Bearhawk descending nose down and spinning to the right. The aircraft suffered “extensive crush damage and fragmentation through to the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer,” the report said. Investigators found the left wing still attached to the main body by its lift strut and forward spar end cap.

According to the FAA, Angle owned the plane, a popular model among enthusiasts. Bearhawks are typically built from a set of plans, with buyers able to purchase components from the company or find their own parts. The NTSB report listed Angle as the builder.

FAA records indicate that the Bearhawk was deregistered at the time of the crash, the registration having been canceled in June 2021. A review of Angle’s certifications shows that he last earned medical approval to fly in 1997. Third class medical certificates must be renewed every two years for pilots over the age of 40.

Kimberly Hebert

Kimberly Hebert, 61, of Hungry Horse died unexpectedly on April 30, 2022. Her family and the local community are shocked and deeply saddened by her passing.

Kimberly was born on Aug. 25, 1960, to Donald and Virginia Ewbank in La Jolla, California. She spent her youth surfing, horseback riding, and running track for Mesa Verde High School. Kimberly obtained her real estate license at 18 years old, and her appraisal license shortly afterward. In 1992 Kimberly moved her husband and two small children to the Flathead Valley so that they could have a safe and wonder-filled childhood.

Since then, Kimberly served the Flathead Valley for over 35 years. While her expertise was as a Realtor and appraiser, Kimberly was a woman of endless skills and talents that were demonstrated in her many volunteer, work, and other professional opportunities she explored. Throughout everything she did, she never had clients or employers, but soon to be friends. Years later, you would often see her playing racquetball, hiking or rafting with people who had started out as clients. This was because she was genuine, compassionate, and always put their best interests before her own.

Kimberly always took pride in her community and was eager to find new ways to give back and get involved. Back in the days of “Big Mountain,'' she enjoyed volunteering on the ski hill and teaching ski lessons. She was also always passionate about the theater. She gave time to the O’Shaughnessy Center and believed that the arts are important aspects of our community. When she wasn’t working/volunteering, she enjoyed skiing, hiking, traveling, learning, spending time with her family, and making everyone smile. Over the decades she played pivotal roles in our local school boards, youth athletics, church communities, local boards and chambers, hiking groups and so many other wonderful causes.

Kimberly is survived by her son Casey Hebert (32), daughter Kassandra Buckley (29), grandson Cormac Buckley (1.5), and expectant granddaughter.

It is impossible to convey the amazing life of friendships, experiences and contributions that Kimberly made here in the Flathead Valley. But to boil it down, she loved her family and community above all else.

Anyone who knew Kimberly knew that she was incredibly kindhearted and brought a ray of sunshine with her wherever she went. She had an immense passion for her work and was always a source of positivity. Kimberly’s family and friends will miss her more than words can say. She would go out of her way to put a smile on a stranger’s face or lift up a friend in need. She spread sunshine wherever she went and, without her, we will all have to work a little harder at spreading sunshine around the community. She wouldn’t want to just be “remembered,” she would want for her memory to live on through acts of love and kindness every day.

There will be a memorial service held in her honor at 10 a.m. at Christ Lutheran Church on May 28. Those who wish to send flowers or other acts of kindness, please send them to Christ Lutheran Church in Whitefish on May 28. If you cannot attend, but wish to share a story about her or contribute in another way, please send a note to her email

Millions of Bees Bound for Alaska Are Rerouted and Die in Atlanta

A shipment of five million honeybees was diverted to Atlanta and left out on a hot tarmac. Local beekeepers tried to come to the rescue, but very few survived.

When Sarah McElrea arrived at the Anchorage airport last Friday to pick up the 800 pounds of honeybees she was having shipped from Sacramento, she got the first sense of a disaster in the making: The bees — some five million of them — were in Atlanta, not Anchorage.

The 200 crates of bees were the first of two shipments coming in from Sacramento designated for more than 300 beekeepers in Alaska and to provide much needed pollination services for apple orchards and nurseries, she said in an interview.

Previous honeybee shipments had made their way to Alaska aboard Delta Air Lines flights from Sacramento to Seattle and then on to Anchorage, a route Ms. McElrea has used many times. But this shipment, the airline told her, did not fit aboard the Seattle-bound flight and instead had been rerouted through the Delta hub in Atlanta. The bees would complete their circuitous, cross-country journey to Anchorage on Saturday.

A beekeeper examines a package of mostly dead bees at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Sunday evening. 

Ms. McElrea was worried, considering that shipping bees comes with certain complications: The bees must be fed along the way (generally sugar water), and they must be kept cool. Her concerns were well-placed — millions of the bees would die.

Since the handling of the bee shipment, Delta has “engaged the appropriate internal teams to take immediate action to ensure events of this nature do not occur in the future,” Catherine Morrow, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email.

Another spokeswoman, Catherine Salm, told Alaska Public Media, “We have been in contact with the customer directly to apologize for the unfortunate situation.”

Honeybees are not native to Alaska. Ms. McElrea sells many of the bees she imports to local backyard beekeepers but also helps with pollination services.

Beekeepers checking to see if a queen in one of the packages of bees had survived.

Commercial migratory pollination has become essential to agriculture in many regions, as pesticides have decimated the world’s native pollinators, Jimmy Gatt, a certified beekeeper and president of the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association, said in an interview on Thursday.

“Pollinated crops such as blueberries, cranberries, oranges, almonds, watermelons — too many to list — depend on these commercial beekeepers,” he added. “That is the primary importance of honeybees in our culture.”

Some of Ms. McElrea’s customers, especially apple orchards and nurseries, depend on the bee shipment to pollinate their crops and have an abundant spring and fall harvest.

“People don’t grasp just how dependent we as a species are on honeybees for pollination,” Ms. McElrea said. “And this is just such a waste, an absolute tragedy.”

Ms. McElrea asked Delta, the only airline that can ship her bees, to put the bees in a cooler while in Atlanta, which it did.

On Saturday morning, the airline told Ms. McElrea that the aircraft that was to transport the bees was unable to secure the crates, and that the shipment would have to wait another day, given a single direct flight from Atlanta to Anchorage daily.

Some of the bees survived.  However, the number is not known.

On Sunday, Ms. McElrea got another distressing call. She was told the bees had been removed from the cooler and put on the tarmac because some might have been escaping from the crates. It was 83 degrees in Atlanta that day, too hot for the bees to be outside. Putting the bees outside also attracted native bees in the area, making it hard to get near the packages.

She would need to come and get the bees or they’d be left outside.

“I’m in Alaska, and they’re dying in the East Coast,” Ms. McElrea said. She was frantically looking for a solution when it occurred her to call the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association’s swarm hotline — the number to call when seeing a swarm of bees on the move. The swarm commander, Dave Marshall, connected her with Edward Morgan, a member.

Mr. Morgan, who says he always gets the “bee odd job,” drove to the airport armed with beehives, bee vacuums and food for the bees. “I didn’t know what to expect,” he said in an interview Wednesday. But by the time he got to the airport Sunday afternoon, about 25 percent of Ms. McElrea’s honeybees had already died of heat and starvation, Mr. Morgan said.

He realized that the containers had been placed upside down, making it impossible for the bees to reach their food. After talking with a few other beekeepers in Georgia, Mr. Morgan concluded that the best course would be to gather up the few remaining bees and give them away.

Mr. Gatt, who did not go to the airport, and Mr. Morgan sent emails and posted notices to members of the Georgia Beekeepers Association and the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association: There are free bees at the airport, please come and get them.

About 25 people showed up, Mr. Morgan said. For hours, they broke through the packages to see if any of the bees could be salvaged. But piles of thousands, then millions, of their lifeless bodies kept growing, as the beekeepers examined the packages.

“It’s devastating to see that many dead,” Julia Mahood, a Georgia Master Beekeeper, told WABE, an Atlanta radio station. “Just clumps of dead bees that had no chance because they were left outside with no food.”

Ellen Ausley shines a flashlight into one of two cargo boxes of bees. 

It is hard to know how many bees survived since not all the packages were thoroughly examined, and some of the bees that found a home have been struggling to stay alive in the following week, both Mr. Morgan and Mr. Gatt said.

“I thought I was going to go help this woman get her bees on a plane,” Mr. Morgan said. “But it turned into something totally different. The bee community came together. Everybody was trying to make sure that these bees got a home.”

Ms. McElrea is now waiting for a replacement and plans to file a claim with Delta to get reimbursed for the $48,000 loss because livestock travel is not covered by insurance.

“The worst part about it for me is how they suffered, and there was not a single thing I could do about it,” said Ms. McElrea, who said that she has gotten less than eight hours of sleep since the episode.

To avoid another tragedy, Ms. McElrea and her husband are planning to fly to Seattle, then drive to Sacramento with some vans to pick up the replacements. The McElreas will drive the bees to Seattle and then fly with them to Alaska.