Atlanta, GA A clip from a local news article: .
…neighbors said Tuesday night that the sound of airplanes is constant due to the neighborhood’s proximity to the airport. But this time, something sounded different, almost like a missile, Kevin Crapp said. “It looked like it was coming straight for our house, and at the last minute, dipped its wings over and it banked really hard right,” Crapp said. “It landed a couple hundred yards away from our house, and I thought it hit a neighbor’s house.”
The aircraft registration lists Mallen Industries, with an address in Hilton Head Island, SC, though the online listing shows they are in Norcross, GA and manufacture specialized fabrics (including woven fiberglass and steel). UPDATE, 12/24/13: Details about the two victims are found in these articles: [link1], [link2]. The passenger was 23-yr-old Brittany McAuley, an Emory University graduate originally from New York.The pilot was 67-yr-old Peter Mallen, who had founded the high-tech textile company (Mallen Industries); he was a prominent community leader who had served as president of his local synagogue from 2004-2006.
Grand Mesa, CO Details of the flight and the crash victims are presented in a news article by Paul Shockley, posted by the Grand Junction Sentinel. The flight was believed to have departed around 11AM, then crashed two hours later. Rescuers believe it nose-dived after collecting ice. [article]
Nashville, TN Other records indicate the aircraft was registered as C-GRJH, to Windsor Flying Club (in Ontario, across from Detroit), that a club member had rented the plane for a flight to Pelee Island (southern Ontario, a customs point for U.S. flights). Nobody is yet confirming whether customs or FAA handled the flight, which crashed hours later, nearly 400 miles south of Windsor. [article] UPDATE, 11-6-13: NTSB’s preliminary report indicates no flight plan was filed and no record of communications with ATC. Impact was on Runway 2C, and a 450-ft long debris field ended east of the runway. Troubling indication of extremely porous U.S. airspace security; i.e., this sophisticated stealth aircraft (?!?) made it 400-miles into the U.S., through numerous ATC airspaces (center, approach control, tower) then crashed at a major airport and not one controller noticed? [ABC news article]
Julian, CA The official weather observations at Palm Springs and Ramona (20-miles west of Julian) suggest very marginal flight conditions, with a high probability of windshear and heavy rain squalls. Look at the tree/snag standing in front of the left side of the tail section … and behind the wing. Suggests this crash came to rest out of a flat spin with little forward motion. Notice also the distribution of debris at the base of the tallest tree; possible initial impact point? Here are a few of the encoded weather observations at Julian, in the hour prior to the accident (assumed at around 6:15PM on the 9th, which is at 0115Z on the tenth):
|KRNM 100057Z 25012G18KT 3SM +RA BR SCT010 BKN015 OVC038 12/10 A2975 AO2 P0002|
|SPECI KRNM 100055Z 25014G18KT 2SM RA BR BKN010 BKN022 OVC040 12/10 A2975 AO2 VIS 3/4V5 P0001|
|METAR KRNM 100053Z 25011G17KT 1 1/2SM -RA BR SCT010 BKN016 OVC034 12/10 A2975 AO2 SLP069 P0022 T01170100|
|SPECI KRNM 100046Z 26010KT 1SM +RA BR SCT010 BKN018 OVC035 11/10 A2975 AO2 P0018|
|SPECI KRNM 100043Z 27012KT 1 1/2SM +RA BR SCT010 SCT020 OVC035 12/10 A2975 AO2 P001|
Gulf of Mexico
Santa Monica, CA News articles indicate the jet was registered to a builder, Mark Benjamin, whose father had started Morley Builders in 1947.
Bolingbrook, IL The pilot was Narayan Venguswamy. He was a surgeon for 27 years at Georgetown Community Hospital in Kentucky, and was known to colleagues as Dr. Vengu, according to hospital spokeswoman Wesley. “He was an extraordinary physician, outstanding surgeon, who was passionate about the practice of medicine,” she said. Venguswamy’s wife Jay had worked in his office and was a “very passionate, sweet individual” who loved photography, according to Wesley. The couple had two adult children, she said. [article]
Scappoose, OR Sport Copter Inc. is a second generation family business that manufactures gyroplane kits. It is based at the Scappoose Airport. At the time of this accident, the Vortex kit listed online costs $26,995 (price without engine, prop or options). Because this is a kit, the company offers “Factory Builder Assistance” (estimated 120 hours to complete) @ $85.00 USD per hour … “to assist new owners in constructing their kit.” The online sales info also notes that they offer “Flight Training (estimated 7-17 hours) @ $150.00 USD per hour, in addition to purchase of VORTEX.” It appears likely that many of the gyrocopter operations at Scappoose are related to kit construction and flight training for new owners of these kits.
Danville, VA The official time for sunset at nearby Greensboro, NC was 7:49PM, and there was no moon. The runway construction project meant the approach end of Runway 20 was roughly 4,500′ south of the localizer antenna. If the pilot did in fact impact the ILS localizer antenna, NTSB will be investigating why the pilot was so low, so far from the landing surface, when he crashed. It will also be interesting to learn if haze or weather might have reduced visibility, contributing to the accident; it likely was not, as the METAR shows visibility ten miles, clear, and temp/dew 26/21 celsius. UPDATE 9/27/13: The NTSB’s Preliminary Report established that the point of impact was at the glideslope antenna (39′ above the ground). To the left is a clip from the 2009 Airport Layout Plan. The blue box identifies the instrument runway markers at 1,000′ down Runway 2; the thin red ellipse shows the location of the glideslope antenna, 250′ to the left of the runway centerline. It must have been terrifying for the flight instructor, watching his student fly so erratically during his solo flights.
Anchorage, AK The licensed commercial pilot worked as a Cessna C206 pilot. He was flying his personal plane and approaching Merrill Field for a landing on its main east-west runway Saturday afternoon when an air traffic controller told him to go around, said the NTSB investigator, Josh Cawthra. Cawthra said he was told the landing was aborted because of traffic on the runway, but he said that information was unconfirmed. A spokesman for FAA said Sunday he did not have any information about the air traffic controller’s instructions. “In most cases, this becomes part of the investigation, and the FAA does not discuss it while the investigation is ongoing,” said the spokesman, Allen Kenitzer. Cawthra said he expects to learn more after reviewing the ATC transmissions. [article link]
Birmingham, AL NTSB reports they must wait for the debris to cool down, thus will be delayed in their analysis of the data recorders. In the meantime, nothing is being said about what the controller in the tower saw, and what is on the official ATC audio tapes. Or, if FAA’s radar system generated alerts for the controller, due to the low altitude a mile north of the runway, when the flight clipped trees next to Treadwell Road. This accident occurred at 4:49AM, thus there is a high potential that a contributing factor will be fatigue by the pilots and/or the controller … just as happened at Lexington in August 2006, when 49 died after two pilots and a controller failed to notice that a Comair regional jet was taking off from the wrong runway. A former NTSB chair is saying pilot fatigue rules need to apply to cargo operators (they don’t, at least not yet).
New Haven, CT An article in the Daily Astorian reports the pilot was Bill Henningsgaard, son of a former mayor of the town in northwest Oregon. The trip was believed to be to allow the pilot’s son to visit colleges. Flightaware shows the flight was off Teterboro (KTEB) at around 10:44AM, with a route of flight and descent indicating a northbound approach, straight-in to Runway 02. The Flightaware map shows a large area of weather to the north, covering most of Connecticut, but nothing at or south of the New Haven Airport (KHVN). The METAR weather reported at the airport a half hour prior to the accident was visibility 10 miles, ceiling 900′ overcast, with light rain/fog/mist. A SPECI at 11:26AM was done by contract ATC; it showed visibility 9, ceiling 900′ overcast, with light rain, and south winds at 14mph gusting to 22mph. The METAR a half hour after was visibility 5, ceiling 900′ broken, with light rain/fog/mist. UPDATE, 8/13/13: There are conflicting reports that the crash happened on the first or second approach. In both cases, the pilot flew an instrument approach northbound, but then had to circle the airport to land Runway 20, flying southbound. The ‘minimums’ for circling are such that the pilot had to be able to see the airport while flying no lower than 800′ altitude. At the time of the accident, the ceiling (cloud layer), as indicated by the encoded weather observations below, was ‘variable’ between 600′ and 1,100′. The encoding also notes a rain shower began at 1518Z (encoded: RAB18). This suggests the pilot had to circle right at the base of the clouds, likely through rain showers; it also suggests, he may have been drawn into ‘busting minimums’ by flying at a lower altitude. At some point NTSB will confirm his altitude while circling, and if the crash was on the first or second landing attempt.
The accident was at 11:18AM, and here are the official weather observations from 9:53AM through 12:53PM:
|KHVN 091653Z 18015KT 5SM BR BKN009 OVC017 24/23 A2983 AO2 RAE1554 CIG 007V012 SLP101 T02440228|
|KHVN 091553Z 17014KT 5SM -RA BR BKN009 OVC037 24/23 A2986 AO2 RAB18 SLP112 P0003 T02390228|
|…this is the special weather observation at time 1526Z, just after the accident… KHVN 091526Z 17012G19KT 9SM -RA OVC009 24/23 A2988 AO2 RAB18 CIG 006V011 P0000|
|KHVN 091453Z 17012KT 10SM OVC009 24/23 A2990 AO2 RAB42E52 CIG 007V014 SLP123 P0000 60002 T02390228 56020|
|KHVN 091353Z 16012KT 10SM BKN009 OVC012 24/23 A2991 AO2 RAE41 SLP126 P0000 T02390228|
Excerpt from a news article: “A Beechcraft BE55 Baron with three persons on board crashed near a residential subdivision. The aircraft was attempting to return to the Conway-Horry County Airport when the accident occurred. The aircraft was destroyed. The FAA will release the aircraft registration information after local authorities release the IDs and conditions of the persons on board. The NTSB will determine probable cause of the accident and will release all updates,” said Kathleen Bergen, PIO with the FAA.
Red Bluff, CA
Wilson Lake, KS
Noxen, PA The Washington Post article listed the pilot as David Jenny, age 30, and the passengers as family members from Virginia and Maryland, ages 58, 29, 27 and 3. Jenny is noted to have recently formed a company to provide helicopter leasing and sightseeing services, according to Maryland tax records. Another Washington Post article, from 2011, described extensively Jenny’s work as a bounty hunter for a bail bonding service in Fairfax, VA. Additionally, there is a long history of fatal helicopter crashes showing a much higher probability of accidents at night-time, even more so if there is no moon and/or there are weather problems. The moon was set to rise at 11:05PM, thus the sky was totally dark at the time of this crash. UPDATE, 8/1/13: — An article with further details, and a photo showing NTSB’s Tim Monville at a press briefing. It is reported that thunderstorms had passed through at about the time of the accident. UPDATE, 8/17/13: — NTSB released their preliminary report. The pilot had entered IMC but had no certification, lost control, and crashed onto wooded land leased to an energy complany. Newspapers report that the first lawsuit has been filed, by the mother of the 3-yr-old passenger. The lawsuit focuses on the company that leased the helicopter to the pilot, asserting that they were negligent.
Birdseye, UT The plane ended up nearly inverted, in a ditch.
San Luis Obispo, CA The aircraft was reportedly recently purchased in Napa by a businessman in San Luis Obispo. The mayday call would have been handled by a contract air traffic controller, and the airport averages 230 operations per day.
Pontiac, MI The pilot was scheduled to attend the Naval Academy next week.
A detailed news article at MyFoxTwinCities.
Baton Rouge, LA
Manchester, KY An in-depth article by Greg Kocher, Morgan Eads and Valarie Honeycutt Spears, at the Lexington Herald-Leader. Definitive information is clearly needed from NTSB, as even the best news articles show conflicting information. A local security guard says there was fog, and a neighbor next to the landing site said the flight sounded unusual, like it was circling around (vs. the normal straight-in-and-land sound). But, a police responder reported no fog. Also, it is thus far claimed no powerlines were cut, yet the area was reported to be without power from around the time of the accident until mid-afternoon the next day. The tail section of the helicopter was reportedly separated and landed in a patch of poison oak in nearby forest.
Ephratah, NY Angel Flight Northeast is described as a nonprofit providing flight services, started in 1996. The organization posted a fact sheet the day after the accident. The accident aircraft was N31743, registered to Campbell Associates at Curtiss Aero Inc. (based in Danbury, CT), and had flown numerous other Angel Flight missions in the past two months. AirCrashed lists an 8/10/99 hard-landing incident at Chatham, MA, involving pilot John Campbell. The NTSB Full Narrative of that 1999 incident notes Mr. Campbell had just obtained his multi-engine rating the day before. The NTSB investigation of the 2013 Angel Flight accident will certainly explore aircraft ownership, experience of the pilot (who has not yet been identified), whether or not the pilot and aircraft were fully donated or compensated (did Angel Flight pay for gas, pilot time, etc?), and other details. One key area of concern is that FAA has a responsibility to regulate these flights, so as to ensure public safety. It is critical that the ‘volunteer’ and ‘nonprofit’ aspect of this and other services must not obstruct effective safety oversight.
Witnesses in the town of 700 included the owner of an ice cream shop: “We looked up and saw the plane flipping in the air. Then it fell apart,” she said. “Parts and pieces of it were flying through the sky, and a body fell out.” They called 911 as they parked their car and ran to the crash site in the rain to see if they could rescue anyone. “Airplane parts were all over the place,” she said. “They were picking them up all over last night.”
UPDATE, 5-28-13: news reports indicate the main portion of the plane was lifted from the pond today. Victims are 70-yr-old pilot John Campbell, and 58-yr-old Evelyn Amerosa. Still missing (presumably the body seen falling from the Piper while it was breaking up in flight) is Frank Amerosa. News indicates Mr. Amerosa, a 64-yr-old retired trucker, was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago, and he and his wife were returning from a visit to the Boston area. UPDATE, 8-15-13: a news article reports the remains of the missing passenger were found near an ice cream cart, on 6/12/13, and confirmed via 6/13/13 autopsy to be Frank Amerosa. NTSB is continuing to investigate but has disclosed that they believe the aircraft broke up in flight, trailing debris over more than a mile. [NTSB Preliminary Report]
An article at ChicoER.com explained the accident, and identified the fatality as Willie Valdez Suarez, of Houston. The nose-up attitude of the taxiing cropduster required the pilot to zigzag to see ahead. Mr. Suarez likely was not aware of the presence of the cropduster, due to a hearing impairment reported by relatives. He was struck by the propeller and died at the scene. The aircraft is registered to Williams Ag Service. An online search shows the same cropduster was involved in an accident on 5/12/1994, when it crashed on takeoff with a load of 2,800 pounds of the herbicide LONDAX, 800 pounds over the load limit. In that incident, investigators noted it was the 39th flight that day.
Fredericksburg, TX The NTSB Preliminary Report confirmed this accident was weather related. The couple were flying to Fredericksburg as part of a planned celebration of their wedding anniversary. The pilot was communicating with ATC (Houston Center) and obtained a VOR-DME-A approach clearance. ATC had also issued hazardous weather information, and ATC twice advised the pilot that he was 300′ below the assigned altitude. The pilot cancelled IFR when he was roughly 14-miles from the airport. The reported weather was 1.5-mile visibility in heavy drizzle and a calm wind, with a broken layer at 800′ and overcast at 1,300′.
Suffolk, VA A Baltimore Sun news article describes the crash victims as devout church members. The younger crash victim reportedly left a wife and ten children. A GANews article indicates the accident may have been weather related. The Virginia Festival of Flight had few arrivals by air due to low ceilings and gusty wind conditions. It also notes that the accident site was near the Festival airport.
Germantown, NY One news article noted that the pilot was listed on airnav.com and by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as the manager and owner of the Copake Lake Seaplane Base and B Flat Farm Airport in Copake, NY.
Malabar, FL News stories indicate the pilot was from Maine, with a second home in Florida.
Port St. Lucie, FL The male pilot, age 62, was the only casualty.
Collinsville, OK WIBW.com posted a 4-7-13 article, identifying one of the passengers as the 38-yr-old Director of Development at the Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine. As of this writing, it is not clear how many actual victims; online articles claim one to three fatalities. UPDATE, 4-11-13: although FAA’s ASIAS report lists three fatalities, the official story reported by News9.com is two fatalities: a 71-yr-old retired ob-gyn pilot, and a 40-yr-old KSU administrator. Witnesses report seeing parts separate from the aircraft, and the wing appearing to be folded. NTSB reported finding one part a full mile away from the primary crash site.
KCBD in Lubbock posted a 4/1/13 article by Alex Zielinski and Tiffany Pelt, noting the passenger was an avid flying enthusiast, and describing the pilot as a generous mentor-figure. This glider model is a 2-seat trainer, originated around 1960, from Germany. The closing paragraphs discuss the 2004 accident in England, the British Gliding Association mandate, and the intent of NTSB to include that history in their accident investigation. If NTSB is aggressively promoting GA safety, they will likely issue a new safety recommendation later this year, calling for FAA to mandate regular inspections; it will be interesting to see how long it takes to finalize the inspection mandate. [(wiki) K7 glider]*[4-2-2013]
Zephyrhills, FL Local news article by Elizabeth Berman (Tribune) notes that a business co-owner says there have been ten or twelve deaths in the twenty years the business has been open. The article includes links to articles on the last two, in 2012 and in 2010. It has not yet been publicized whether the chutes opened or not. [4-8-13 NOTE: the original post included a photo of the parking lot at SkyDiveCity, as copied from the Tribune article; that photo is no longer available online]
South Bend, IN An AP news article, updated on 3/18, confirms the two fatalities were 58-yr-old Wes Caves (owner of the jet and of the associated business, Digicut Systems) and 60-yr-old Steven Davis. Davis was the starting quarterback who helped lead the Oklahoma University football team to two national championships in the early 1970s. A Huffington Post article notes the pilot reported mechanical problems, aborted two attempted landings, then circled, stalled and crashed into the houses to the southwest of the airport. The Premier Jet looks large in the photographs, but is actually a smaller corporate jet, with a maximum weight under 12,500 pounds and seating up to 8 adults (1- or 2-pilots included). [AP article]*[3-18-13 HuffPo article]*[3-19-13 WNDU article]
Woodinville, WA KOMOnews.com has photos and a video news story, “Plane crash aftermath: ‘It really came home, how fleeting life can be’.” [link to local article]
New Smyrna Beach, FL One of the larger fragments left after the aircraft disintegrated. The pilot, Paul Rooy, was president of the local airport Friends group, which advocated for the airport against a long history of noise complaints. He was ATP rated and an instructor, who also had written books, notably about experiences flying in the Amazon region. The aircraft was registered to Royalair Aviation Inc., out of Daytona Beach. This airport has lots of imported flight instruction, as well as nearby active aerobatic boxes (e.g., Leffler). Cause of the accident unknown. [link to local article]
Acton, CA The website for Crossbow says they are based in Valencia, CA, and were formed 18-years ago. [link to website] UPDATE, 6-2-13: An LATimes news article lists the victims as pilot David Gibbs (age 59), crew member Darren Rydstrom (age 45) and cast member Michael Donatelli (age 45). The pilot had a lengthy enforcement history including a 30-day FAA license suspension related to a 2002 incident, and a 45-day FAA suspension after another pilot deviation in 2007.
Tucson, AZ An unusually violent crash. Normally, the fuselage gets dinged and maybe the wings separate, but here the fuselage is inverted and twisted. [local news]
Pellston, MI The pilot was identified as 26-year-old Jeffrey Salles of Terrytown, La.; the aircraft was a cargo service under Martinaire, based in TX. [local news]
Dover, DE Weather was 400′ ceiling and 4-miles visibility. Pilot was a 55-yr-old doctor; he was unable to complete a GPS RY35 approach, then attempted three other approaches to other airports before crashing 2-miles north of Dover AFB. Records show he had a total 589 hours of flight experience. [1-30-13]
Palmetto, FL This accident not in NTSB database, as of 2-15-13. As of 12-16-13, the ASN-wiki link and the news link still work, but the accident is STILL not included within the NTSB database. [ASN-wiki]*[news article]