On December 11, David McKee was flying himself and three other passengers from Maryland to Charleston, South Carolina when he was faced with a dilemma no pilot ever wants to face. Just east of Fayetteville, North Carolina at an altitude of 8,000 feet, the plane’s engine gave out.
McKee immediately turned the Beechcraft A36 plane to the right, bearing toward an airport. He worked to restart the engine but couldn’t get it to start back up.
Initially, McKee thought he’d be able to glide the plane down to the airport, which wasn’t too far away. That thought soon changed, however, and he radioed down to the control tower at Fayetteville Regional Airport looking for an alternative place to land the small plane.
Airport officials intimated that McKee might be able to land in a nearby field. As the plane slowed and got closer to the ground, the pilot remembers seeing tree tops before the Beechcraft A36 crash-landed in a wooded area a few seconds later.
One of the passengers sustained serious injuries in the Beechcraft A36 crash. McKee and the others aboard the plane sustained minor injuries. Erica Hoffman, one of the injured passengers, credited McKee by saying his ability to skillfully fly the plane through such a crisis kept them alive.
On Monday, the NTSB released its preliminary report on the crash. In it, investigators say that an examination of the Beechcraft A36 engine showed metal fragments in the oil pan, as well as internal issues consistent with heat damage.
While it is still too early to say whether engine failure was the leading cause of the Beechcraft A36 crash, the NTSB report is worrisome. A failure to the engine is by far one of the worst aircraft defects that can occur. In many cases when an engine stalls or gives out for any reason while in flight, the result is usually a very serious accident.
Even with a highly skilled pilot at the controls, there often isn’t much that can be done to avoid a disaster after engine failure. Lots of credit should be given David McKee for being able to bring the Beechcraft A36 plane down without anyone sustaining more serious, life-altering injuries. This aviation accident, however, is the exception to the rule-engine failure usually costs lives.
December 15, 2015
Two members of an air ambulance flight team were killed and a third was injured on Tuesday evening when a medical helicopter crashed outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Authorities say the medical helicopter-an Airbus AS 350 B3-was heading to Globe, Arizona from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport when the crash occurred. No patients were onboard at the time.
The deceased have been identified as 51-year-old David Schneider, of Gilbert, and 38-year-old Chad Frary, of Mesa. Schneider was piloting the medical helicopter and Frary was a flight nurse. The third flight crew member, flight paramedic Derek Boehm, was taken to an area hospital. All three men worked for Native Air, which is owned and operated by Air Methods.
According to AZ Central, the Native Air helicopter was reported missing at around 6:00 p.m. local time. A search team was able to find the downed medical helicopter about 20 miles outside of Apache Junction at around 8:30 p.m. Officials were surprised to find that Boehm had survived the crash.
At this time, officials are uncertain what caused the medical helicopter to crash. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be handling the investigation, with a preliminary report expected to be released within the next week.
December 10, 2015
Small Plane Crashes in Utah and Iowa Leave at Least Three Dead
At least three people died on Thursday after two small planes crashed in Iowa and Utah.
The first crash was reported north of Council Bluffs, Iowa just before noon. Local officials say the small plane-a Piper PA-46-went down shortly after taking off from Eppley Airfield. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the plane, radioed to air traffic controllers that the Piper PA-46 plane was experiencing some engine problems. The plane was turning around, heading back to the airport, but could not make it.
According to Seattle PI, the small plane ended up striking a power line before crashing on Interstate 29 near mile marker 58. No cars were struck in the crash, and no injuries were reported on the ground. Photos of the crash show the plane laying upside down, with its front end crumpled.
Law enforcement officials were forced to close all lanes of I-29 in order to begin an investigation. Later, traffic was restricted to one lane in each direction.
At this time, officials are not releasing the name of the deceased pilot, pending notification of next of kin. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be investigating today’s crash in Iowa. A preliminary report is expected in the next two or three days, with a final report expected in about a year.
In the other plane crash reported today, authorities say at least two people and possibly more were killed when a small plane went down in a remote area, not far from the city of Hurricane, Utah. People in the area called 911 at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon to report that a plane was flying very low before it crashed between Sullivan Knoll and Floratech Road.
It took emergency responders some time to find the plane, as it crashed in an elevated area. No word has been given on the identities of the deceased, nor have officials given any possible causes for the fatal plane crash in Hurricane. An investigation is ongoing.
December 1, 2015
Investigators from Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee released new findings on Tuesday surrounding the cause of the fatal AirAsia Flight 8501 plane crash last year. The Airbus A320 plane was traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore when it crashed into the sea off the coast of Borneo Island on December 28, 2014, killing all 162 people aboard. Officials today issued findings from the crash investigation, reporting that the AirAsia plane experienced mechanical problems to which the pilots responded inappropriately.
This circuit breaker reset caused the autopilot and auto-thrust systems to disengage, and the pilots were unable to maintain control of the aircraft.
The Wall Street Journal reports that other airlines and Airbus have acknowledged safety issues concerning midair circuit breaker resets on Airbus A320’s since the AirAsia Flight 8501 plane crash. Resetting circuit breakers midair isn’t part of any authorized training program from Airbus, and many safety experts consider it to be dangerous since it can cause an unpredictable outcome.
While pilots face more automated cockpits, concerns over their ability to manually recover from dangerous situations have grown as other accidents have occurred, like the 2009 Air France Airbus A330 plane crash. Flight crew members on the Air France plane failed to recognize the jet was in a high-altitude stall after some of their automatic flight controls failed. The pilots couldn’t recover and all 228 people on board perished. Airbus began revising their training policies for pilots last year, stressing the need for better manual flight skills.
November 19, 2015
A small 1971 Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashed on its approach to the Danbury Municipal Airport on Thursday evening, killing both people onboard. The Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to release the identities of the remains of the two fatalities, however, Eric Horsa of Connecticut has identified the two victims as his father, 76-year-old Val Horsa and his stepmother, 66-year-old Taew Robinson. Horsa was piloting the plane at the time of the crash.
According to the News Times, Val Horsa and Taew Robinson had owned Bangkok Restaurant in Danbury, Connecticut since 1966. Robinson, originally from Thailand, was the main chef at the restaurant. Horsa said his father was a great guy loved by everyone and called his stepmother a wonderful woman who treated him like her own son.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report on the North Salem plane crash, which said the couple was traveling back home from a trip to Mississippi when the small plane crashed. According to the NTSB report, the plane’s altitude fluctuated before the crash. At one point, the aircraft dropped to 1,500 feet, then rose back up to 2,400 feet before vanishing from radar. Debris from the small plane crash later surfaced in the Titicus Reservoir in North Salem.
Officials are still investigating.
November 4, 2015
James Townsend, the pilot of a Piper PA-32 plane that crashed on October 26, died at Broward Health Medical Center. Emergency crews took Townsend to the hospital with serious injuries after the plane crashed about 16 miles away from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. He died of his injuries today, over a week after the crash.
Kathleen Bergen, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman, said Townsend’s Piper PA-32 plane went down at around 12:45 p.m. in the Everglades by U.S. Highway 27. Local 10 News reported that its Sky 10 helicopter spotted the downed plane and landed to offer assistance. News engineer Juan Rodriguez, who was the first at the scene, remembers that Townsend was trapped in the cockpit, complaining about the pain in his leg and asking for water.
Emergency crews arrived a short time later, and the Jaws of Life were used to extract Townsend from the wreckage. The injured pilot was then airlifted to an area hospital. Robert Spohrer and Steven Browning, two Jacksonville lawyers aboard the Piper PA-32 plane, were able to walk away from the crash with minor injuries.
Townsend, Spohrer and Browning were traveling from Jacksonville to Fort Lauderdale when something went wrong and the plane dropped from an altitude of 7,000 feet to 3,000 feet. Spohrer feared the plane would explode after the wings crumbled and the engine detached on impact. He credits Townsend with their survival saying he did “an outstanding job” given the circumstances.
The plane crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
October 30, 2015
Actor Harrison Ford appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday night where he described what memories remained from his harrowing plane crash on March 5 of this year.
Ford remembers the plane coming to a stop after takeoff and the instructions from air traffic control. The tower wanted him to take the normal route back to the airport, but he knew he wasn’t going to make it, so he refused.
The World War II-era airplane crashed just after takeoff from the Santa Monica Airport. The single-engine Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR reached 1,100 feet when it experienced engine failure and Ford tried to return to the airport. According to news from USA Today, the airplane missed the runway by 800 feet, struck a tree and crash landed in a golf course.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report detailing the cause of the plane crash in August. The report determined the accident was caused by a mechanical issue, specifically a problem with the carburetor main metering jet. The part likely came loose and rotated 90 degrees. This allowed an increased fuel flow through the main metering orifice, which likely produced an extremely rich fuel-to-air ratio, resulting in the loss of engine power.
No maintenance personnel have checked that piece of equipment since the Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR’s restoration 17 years ago. The NTSB report cites a lack of “carburetor maintenance instructions” as a contributing factor since no requirements for regular maintenance exists.
Ford, who received his pilot’s license in the 1990’s, suffered serious injuries in the plane crash. The NTSB report said the plane’s shoulder harnesses were improperly installed and likely contributed to the severity of his injuries. The actor spent several weeks recuperating in the hospital with a head injury.
This is the third plane crash for the experienced pilot. Ford’s six-passenger plane had a difficult landing in the summer of 2000 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also crash-landed while practicing an emergency landing with a flight instructor in October 1999.
October 29, 2015
A tragic plane crash has members of the Russellville community mourning the loss of four people. All three passengers and the pilot perished on Thursday morning after the small plane they were in crashed shortly after takeoff, according to Sheriff Shane Jones from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.
The aircraft-a Beechcraft Bonanza A-36-left Russellville Regional Airport and crashed roughly 15 minutes after takeoff in a resident’s yard off Van Horn Road on Crow Mountain.
According to news from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the pilot, Phillip Cowger, died in the fatal plane crash, along with his three passengers. Dental records identified them as Robert Harris, Wesley Harris and Julie Harris Lefevre. Pope County Sheriff’s Office reported no ground injuries.
Cowger was flying the three Harris family siblings to Knoxville, Tennessee for a family member’s funeral. A resident of the property where the crash occurred said there was noticeable fog the morning of the crash. According to the Aviation Weather Center’s METAR data, visibility in the area had dropped from four miles to about a half of a mile.
The National Board of Safety Transportation (NTSB) will continue to investigate the cause of the Pope County plane crash.
October 26, 2015
Officials believe there are no survivors from the Lancair single-engine plane crash that landed in the Mississippi Sound on Monday. The Coast Guard has shifted its search for the three people onboard from a search and rescue mission to search and recovery.
The plane departed Million Air Terminal at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport for South Carolina before it lost contact with air traffic control around 12:30 p.m. and disappeared.
The three people missing from the Lancair plane crash include passengers Dexter Brewer, Gerald Miletello and pilot Ron Gregory.
According to Mississippi Department of Marine Resources member, Melissa Scallan, the Coast Guard will continue the search, but the agency doesn’t expect to find any survivors.
Deputy Commander for the Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Capt. Brandon Lechthaler, stated in a news release that terminating a search and rescue mission is a difficult decision. The agency’s goal in every mission is to always try and safely return survivors to their loved ones.
Emergency crews recovered part of the tail from the Lancair single-engine plane on Tuesday from an Ocean Springs beach. But the Coast Guard and other response crews have searched roughly 3,500 square miles without finding a trace of the wreckage.
Pam Miletello, wife of Gerald Miletello, pleaded with the public and anyone with a boat to help find her husband and the other two missing men. Her hope is to bring them home.
Information from Connor O’Brien with the Ruston Regional Airport confirmed that Gregory made a stop in Ruston, Louisiana to pick up Miletello before leaving for Pascagoula, Mississippi. According to the News Star, the plane then made a stop at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport to refuel. The last known location of the Lancair plane was approximately 3.5 miles south of Pascagoula.
October 15, 2015
A plane crash in Idaho has killed a 43-year-old Oklahoma man and injured his 14-year-old daughter. The fatal plane crash was reported Thursday night in an isolated area near the Palisades Reservoir.
Edmond, Oklahoma resident Travis Hamilton died on impact while his daughter was able to crawl out of the wreckage. Local officials say the unidentified young girl was in good condition when a Life Flight helicopter airlifted her to a nearby hospital.
According to KFOR, Hamilton was flying a brand new two-seater Aviat Husky plane registered in July.
Friends say Hamilton was an excellent career pilot and had flown an Aviat Husky plane many times. The 43-year-old dealt with aircraft on a daily basis and made his living buying and selling planes for people and businesses.
Hamilton has been described by those who knew him well as a great father and a man who loved his friends and family. His funeral will take place at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond on Saturday.
The National Transportation and Safety Bureau (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the fatal plane crash near Palisades Reservoir.
October 10, 2015
An aviation accident killed two people early Saturday evening after a Beech 35 Bonanza plane crashed into a South Lake Tahoe, California home. No one on the ground was hurt.
The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Lake Tahoe Airport, starting a fire on the side of a house on the 1600 block of Tionontati Street. Authorities say the single engine Beech 35 Bonanza plane crashed around 5:36 p.m.
Bystanders tried to pull two people out of the burning plane, but were unable to because of the flames and intense heat. Fire from the plane crash started to spread but firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread to other homes on Tionontati Street.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the remains of the deceased have been removed from the wreckage, though officials still haven’t identified the bodies. It will likely take another day or two to identify the victims, as their injuries were so severe. El Dorado County Sheriff’s Coroner Supervisor Sgt. Dan Johnson said they are trying to use dental records to identify the victims from Saturday’s aviation accident.
The South Lake Tahoe plane crash is still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
October 5, 2015
Two flight instructors from Southern Utah University’s Professional Pilots Program were killed on Monday afternoon when the small plane they were in crashed not far from Cedar City Regional Airport. The two male flight instructors, who have not yet been identified, were roughly six miles southwest of the airport when the Cessna 152 crashed at around 1:00 p.m. local time.
A spokesperson for SUU said the men crashed in Lake Quichapa, a dry lake that would be a desirable location for an emergency landing. Residents who live near the lake called 911 immediately after the plane went down. They would tell news outlets that the plane impacted hard with the ground. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene of the small plane crash.
While the names of the deceased have not yet been released, it has been reported that the men in the Cessna 152 held jobs at SUU’s Professional Pilots Program. One was a chief fixed-wing flight instructor and the other a junior flight instructor. The men took off from Cedar City sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and were likely returning to the airport when the crash occurred.
According to KSL, the junior flight instructor had only been on the job for a matter of days and was making a routine “checkout flight” with the senior instructor before he could take on flight students of his own. The senior instructor was a very experienced pilot with over 6,000 hours of flight training and experience.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent officials out to Utah to investigate Monday’s fatal crash.
October 2, 2015
Four Notre Dame Fans Killed in South Carolina Plane Crash
Four men lost their lives on Friday afternoon when the small plane they were in crashed in South Carolina. The fatal plane crash happened at around 3:10 p.m. local time on the shore of Lake Hartwell, a remote area near the Georgia-South Carolina border.
The four aboard the Piper PA-32 plane were Notre Dame football fans on their way to watch the team take on Clemson University in a game on Saturday. The deceased have been identified as 71-year-old pilot Charlie Smith, his son, 44-year-old co-pilot Scott Smith, 51-year-old Scott Bibler and 54-year-old Tony Elliott. All four men were from Warsaw, Indiana.
According to WSBT, Charlie Smith was flying with instruments at the time of the fatal plane crash, which means weather conditions were cloudy. At this time, however, officials are not able to comment on what role weather played in Friday’s crash, if any.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be investigating the fatal crash. Officials have said the plane wreckage remains in place and recovery likely won’t begin until sometime next week. The crash recovery process may include searching a nearby lake for pieces of wreckage or debris. A preliminary report on the crash should be issued within the next couple of weeks.
On Saturday, Clemson University took time before the game to honor the four men who lost their lives in the crash.
September 16, 2015
Floatplane Crash in Southern Alaska Kills Three, Others Injured
Three people aboard a DeHavilland DHC-3T Turbine Otter floatplane were killed and seven other people were injured Tuesday morning when the aircraft crashed in a remote part of southern Alaska. The fatal floatplane crash was reported at around 6:30 a.m. local time in Iliamna.
According to Alaska State Troopers, the DHC-3T departed from Iliamna Airport with 10 passengers and crashed into a stand of trees near East Wind Lake shortly after take off. The plane was scheduled to take passengers on a fishing excursion.
In the aftermath of the floatplane crash, those who live in the area grabbed flashlights and drove their cars out to the crash site to offer help in the early morning hours. When Alaska Troopers reached the crash site, they found debris scattered over a somewhat small area.
According to KTUU, three people died at the scene. The deceased have been identified as Tony W. Degroot, 80, of Hanford, California; James P. Fletcher, 70, of Clovis, California; and James Specter, 69, of Shavertown, Pennsylvania.
Five of the seven passengers who survived the floatplane crash had to be taken away from the scene in stretchers. They were later airlifted to hospitals in Anchorage.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the plane is owned by Rainbow King Lodge, an Iliamna-based fishing lodge. Employees from Rainbow King Lodge have not commented on the crash.
At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. The NTSB is heading an investigation into Tuesday morning’s fatal floatplane crash in southern Alaska.
September 11, 2015
A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed in Canada on Wednesday, killing two men. The helicopter was spotted by search teams early in the evening on Friday in a heavily wooded area near Foleyet, Ontario. An intensive ground search was conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police from Foleyet, among others.
The Robinson R44 belonged to Apex International Inc., an Ontario-based company “dedicated to agricultural spraying and crop protection,” according to the company website. Pilot Jeremie Belanger, 24, of Kapuskasing and 41-year-old passenger Ken Mielke of Kitchener were doing aerial spraying, working under contract with a northern forestry company, when the fatal helicopter crash occurred.
The Robinson R44 was declared missing on Wednesday when Belanger and Mielke failed to return to Apex International’s headquarters in Wingham. According to Chris Vankoughnett, who is Apex Helicopters’ chief pilot and operations manager, he notified the air force search and rescue base about the overdue Robinson R44 when it became apparent Belanger and Mielke weren’t returning.
Vankoughnett told The Timmons Press that the Robinson R44 was on a non-scheduled flight from a timber camp to Horwood Lake and was supposed to make a return trip. The R44, unfortunately, never made the return trip.
Officials found two bodies at the crash site on Friday evening. While Belanger and Mielke have not yet been officially identified, Apex International has confirmed that both men were aboard the Robinson R44. A post-mortem will confirm the identities of both men.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the Robinson R44 to crash. An investigation is underway.
September 8, 2015
Ten people lost their lives across the country in three different plane crashes over the long Labor Day weekend. The fatal plane crashes happened in North Carolina, Colorado and Oregon.
The deadliest of the three small plane crashes happened late Sunday afternoon outside of Silverton, Colorado. Five people aboard a twin-engine Cessna 310 were killed when the plane crashed in the San Juan Mountains.
According to National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson, it remains unclear whether the Cessna was the same plane that was reported missing between Barstow, California and Amarillo, Texas. Officials said the last contact with the small plane occurred near Telluride, which is some 10 miles from Silverton.
The five victims aboard the plane have not been identified, pending notification of next of kin. The bodies of four of the victims were removed from the crash site on Monday. At this time, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane crash. An investigation into the Colorado crash is underway.
On Monday morning, a plane crash in Forsyth County, North Carolina killed three people. The crash was reported at around 12:15 p.m. local time at the Vulcan quarry near Highway 66 and Highway 311.
According to CNN, the plane had contacted a local airport about making an emergency landing. Officials have said the pilot seemed to be “disoriented,” looking for a Greensboro airport. Air traffic controllers tried to navigate the plane to the airport, but were unsuccessful. Shortly after the pilot made contact with controllers, the Beechcraft A-36 was seen flying low when it crashed and immediately burst into flames.
No word has been given on the identities of the deceased, but officials from the city of Sunbury, Pennsylvania have said the victims were Michael Apfelbaum, his wife and father in-law. The cause of the North Carolina crash remains under investigation.
Less than an hour after the North Carolina crash, a third small plane crashed in Oregon, killing a 35-year-old pilot and his 83-year-old passenger. The fatal plane crash happened near an airport in Creswell, Oregon at around 10:00 a.m. local time (1:00 p.m. ET).
Authorities said the pilot contacted air traffic controllers shortly after taking off, saying he was experiencing problems with the plane and was on his way back to the airport. Unfortunately, the Luscombe 8A plane wasn’t able to make it back. Officials rushed out to the crash site only to find the aircraft engulfed in flames. There was nothing that could be done to save Milo Skinner, 35, or his grandfather, 83-year-old Hal Skinner. It is unclear which man was flying the plane when it went down.
August 25, 2015
A Robinson R44 helicopter went down in northeast Oklahoma on Tuesday morning. Authorities say the helicopter crash happened near 4490 and 370 Roads in Ketchum. The pilot was the only person aboard the helicopter. He was somehow able to walk away from the crash even though the Robinson R44 helicopter was badly damaged.
News outlets have reported little on the crash as information is still coming in. However, the pilot did tell a local news affiliate that he thought mechanical failure brought the Robinson R44 helicopter down. He specifically mentioned an issue with the gear box being a possibility, though the official cause of the crash won’t be known for some time.
The crash marks another for Robinson, which has a history of mechanical issues. An investigation is underway.
July 27, 2015
A single-engine Beechcraft plane crash in the Wisconsin town of Alden, left four people dead on Monday evening. Officials said the plane crashed and immediately burst into flames in a field at around 5:30 p.m. The small plane had just taken off from New Richmond Regional Airport roughly 10 minutes prior to the fatal crash.
According to the local news media, officials have identified the victims as 44-year-old pilot Daniel Ortner, 47-year-old Eric Larson, 47, and his two sons, Michael, 20, and Matthew, 18. All of those on board were from the Hudson area.
Witnesses in the area told news reporters that they heard the plane before they saw it spiraling toward the ground. The Fire Department sent a team out to the crash site to put out the ensuing fire. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could be done to save the victims.
According to a news report from CBS Minnesota, the younger Larsons had just recently graduated from Hudson High School. Michael worked with his father at Xcel Energy. Matthew hoped to someday work alongside his father and older brother, though he also expressed an interest in becoming a firefighter.
The cause of Monday’s small plane crash is not currently known. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a team to investigate.
July 21, 2015
Bard Lefevre, 22, and Chad Burton, 64, were both active in the Afton area of Star Valley, Wyoming.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him mad,” a family friend of Chad Burton’s told a local news affiliate. If he wasn’t running his concrete business, Burton enjoyed making others smile by taking them flying. He and Lefevre were both on the community airport board, where they were both staunch aviation advocates.
Lefevre was advancing well in the process of earning his pilot’s license. His father had just purchased a plane and was also in the process of taking flying lessons in the company of his two sons.
On Tuesday, both Burton and Lefevre boarded an Aeronca 7BCM plane to fly over a church gathering and drop candy for the congregation. But something went wrong mid-flight, and the plane impacted with the ground near a group of houses roughly a half a mile away from the church event. According to a news report from the Casper Star Tribune, those at the event likely saw the events leading up to the tragic plane crash.
At this time, officials are not speculating on what may have caused the small plane crash. News reports have indicated that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have sent officials out to investigate the crash.
July 19, 2015
Pilot Keith Davis knew in his last moments that he wasn’t going to be able to land his small plane at the airport in Riverside, California. But as the aircraft descended into a neighborhood short of the airport, witnesses on the ground said the pilot made every effort to avoid houses and a greater tragedy.
On Sunday, Davis crash-landed his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza plane on the 400 block of Adams Street. According to local news affiliates, many on the ground saw the plane hit a curb and a chainlink fence before erupting in flames. Davis, a 52-year-old Claremont man, was killed in the crash. He was the only one aboard the plane.
While news of this fatal crash is tragic, the pilot’s skills should be lauded, as no one on the ground was injured and no homes were damaged in the small plane crash.
According to news from the Riverside Press Enterprise, Davis departed from Brackett Field Airport in La Verne at around 4:19 p.m. Roughly 40 minutes into the flight, the pilot told the control tower at Riverside Municipal Airport that his plane was having engine issues. He stated his intention to land at Riverside, but in his final transmission, said he didn’t think he was going to make it.
After the crash neighbors rushed out of their nearby houses to try and help, but there was nothing that could be done.
Sunday’s plane crash remains under investigation.
July 17, 2015
Alabama native Fariah Peterson, 45, had a passion for flying. When Fariah and her sister were on the bus as little kids, they would pretend they were flying, with Fariah acting as the pilot and her sister as the co-pilot.
Peterson pursued a career in finance, going to Auburn University as a finance major, then later Kennesaw State University where she got her Master’s degree in finance.
But when an opportunity came for her to attend flight school, she jumped at the chance to realize her dream of flying. Her dream brought her to Alaska, where she served as a pilot for Wings of Alaska, a chartered airline based in Juneau.
On Friday, July 17, Peterson was piloting a Cessna 207 plane for Wings of Alaska, a charter airline based in Juneau. The 45-year-old pilot was transporting four passengers from Juneau to Hoonah (Wings of Alaska Flight 202) in the afternoon. Not long after the plane departed, the Juneau Police Department received a 911 call from a person who claimed to have just been in a plane crash. Law enforcement confirmed with Wings of Alaska that the caller’s name matched the passenger manifest for Peterson’s flight.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was sent out on a search and rescue mission to find the crash victims after receiving an emergency beacon alert. According to news reports, Coast Guard officials were able to locate the passengers at around 4:00 p.m. on a mountainside near Point Howard.
The news media has identified the four crash victims as Humberto Hernandez-Aponte, 57 and his wife Sandra Herrera Lopez, 60, both of Juneau, Jose Vazquez, 15, of Puerto Rico and Ernestine Hanlon-Abel, 64, of Hoonah. All were transported to Juneau for treatment.
Officials had to postpone the search for Peterson’s body until Saturday, when weather conditions were more favorable. “She would have given her life to save her passengers,” her sister told the news desk at KTVA.
At this time, officials have not commented on what might have caused Friday’s crash. According to the latest news, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has since recovered the plane wreckage and has moved it to a secure location for further evaluation.
July 5, 2015
It’s been a week since a fatal plane crash in Plainville, Massachusetts claimed the lives of Joseph Richard Kalister, an Athens, Tennessee, doctor; his wife Betty Kalister and their teenage daughter Nicole Kalister. The small plane crash occurred at around 5:45 p.m. on June 28. The Kalisters were on their way to Northeastern University where Nicole was scheduled to attend orientation.
Joseph Kalister was an experienced pilot who had been flying since his days in the military. According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Kalister reported engine trouble to air traffic controllers prior to the crash, saying he was gliding without power to the engines. ATC told the pilot to look for a highway to land on, suggesting that Interstate 495 might be an option. Kalister said he was going to try to make it there, but with the loss of the engines, he couldn’t.
The Beechcraft BE36 ended up crashing into a home with four people inside, killing the Kalisters. The family inside the home was able to escape as the upstairs portion of the house became engulfed in flames.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has been investigating the crash for a week now, has already discovered some starting details about what went wrong with Kalister’s plane. Doug Brazy of the NTSB told reporters last week that investigators found a hole in the engine’s crankcase, though at this time he would not speculate on what caused it. He added that the engine will be further examined at its manufacturer’s lab.
While it is too early to say for certain what caused this crash, mechanical and maintenance issues have been the cause of countless fatal plane crashes. If you or someone you know has been killed or injured in a small plane crash, consider speaking with an aviation attorney to discuss your options. If a mechanical defect contributed to a plane or helicopter crash, those responsible for allowing the faulty product on the market should be held accountable for their negligence.
Get in touch with an experienced aviation attorney at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman today to discuss your case.
June 22, 2015
A small plane crash just outside of Cuyama, California has claimed the life of Oscar-winning composer James Horner. He was 61 years old.
The fatal plane crash was reported at around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. Authorities say the single engine S312 Tucano plane crashed under unknown circumstances near Quatal Canyon in Los Padres National Forest, roughly 60 miles outside of Santa Barbara.
The impact caused a fire, which spread to vegetation surrounding the impact zone. Horner was the only person aboard the small plane.
Authorities did not publicly identify Horner as the fatality in the immediate aftermath of the plane crash, but his longtime assistant Sylvia Patrycja confirmed on social media that Horner was the sole person aboard the S312 Tucano. Friends were shocked to learn of the composer’s death, as many remembered him as an avid, experienced pilot who loved to fly.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a team out to investigate the plane crash. At this time, officials are uncertain what went wrong in the moments prior to Monday morning’s crash. The agency is expected to release a preliminary report on the crash within the next week. A final report could take up to a year to complete.
James Horner, who has scored over 75 films in his career, is perhaps best-known for his collaboration with director James Cameron. The two worked together on box office behemoths Alien, Titanic and Avatar. Horner was signed on to compose the scores to the next three Avatar films. Cameron told the BBC that Horner’s music “affected the heart because his heart was so big, it infused every cue with deep emotional resonance…”
Horner is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters.
June 12, 2015
Four members of a Provo, Utah family were killed early Friday morning when the small plane they were in crashed shortly after taking off from a private runway near the town of Huggins, Missouri. The fatal plane crash was reported at around 7:00 a.m.
Witnesses told the media that they saw the Beechcraft A-36 plane enter a steep climb to about 100 feet before going into a stall. That’s when the aircraft plummeted from the sky and crashed at the end of the runway.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol have identified the deceased as 43-year-old pilot Charles “Mark” Openshaw; his 43-year-old wife Amy Openshaw; and their two children,15-year-old Tanner and 12-year-old Ellie. The couple’s 5-year-old son survived the crash and was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield with serious injuries.
The family was flying back home to Provo after visiting Mark’s parents-Linda and Doc Openshaw-who live in Huggins. Roy Burgess, a family friend that lives next to Linda and Doc told Fox 13 that he, Linda, Openshaw’s sister and her child were waving at the plane as it departed from the grassy airstrip. “I never did see it get above the trees,” said Burgess, who added that the Openshaws are very well-known in the rural Missouri community.
Back home in Provo, friends and associates of the Openshaws expressed their sadness over the tragedy. Mark Openshaw was elected to the Utah Board of Education in 2008 and 2012. Board chairman David Crandall said in a statement that Openshaw was “deeply passionate about Utah’s pubic schools,” adding that the family deaths represent a significant loss to the community. His wife served as a PTA president in their community.
Multiple sources have said that Mark was an experienced pilot. At this point, authorities are uncertain what circumstances caused Friday morning’s small plane crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have sent officials out to Huggins to investigate.
June 2, 2015
Two small plane crashes within the last 24 hours have left two people dead. On Monday, a Piper PA22 airplane crashed shortly after departing from an airport in Livermore, California, killing the pilot.
Authorities say 75-year-old Pleasanton resident Michael Seal lost his life in the crash, which happened at around 9:00 p.m. He was the only person aboard the small plane.
According to NBC Bay Area, Seal told air traffic controllers that he was experiencing control problems just three minutes before the plane ended up crashing and bursting into flames near the intersection of North Livermore Avenue and Hartford Avenue. Witnesses said they thought the pilot was attempting aerial maneuvers prior to the crash. Unfortunately, what they saw were not tricks, just the pilot trying to keep the plane from going down.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has sent a team to investigate the crash. So far, they have not been able to release any information about the plane, as it was badly burned.
On Tuesday morning, a Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 plane went down in Siler City, North Carolina, killing a 69-year-old flight instructor. Barbara Harris Para, 69, and her husband, pilot Frederick Calvin Para, 72, were attempting to land a Siler City Municipal Airport at around 8:00 a.m. when something went wrong.
WRAL reports that the Paras were attempting to land for the second time when the small plane crashed in the woods adjacent to the runway. Officials say the aircraft turned during the second landing attempt, which caused it to lose power.
When emergency responders arrived at the scene, both Fred and Barbara were conscious and alert. Both were taken to UNC Hospitals where Barbara was later pronounced dead. Fred is currently listed in stable condition as of Tuesday evening.
Many in the local aviation community describe the Paras as experienced pilots. Barbara was a member of several aviation groups and had previously worked for the FAA as an air traffic controller.
At this time, it is unknown what caused Tuesday’s crash. The FAA will investigate.
May 18, 2015
Small Plane Crash in Southwest Virginia Claims the Lives of Mansfield, Ohio Couple
The family of a Mansfield, Ohio couple got some bad news on Tuesday when the wreckage of a small plane was discovered in a remote part of Smyth County, Virginia. The 1965 Beechcraft Baron 55 airplane with tail number N5816S had been missing since Monday. A Virginia State Police helicopter spotted the wreckage Tuesday afternoon. When search teams finally reached the downed plane, they found no survivors.
George Fonseca and Pamela Ihrig Fonseca departed from Daytona Beach, Florida on Monday morning and were heading back home to Mansfield. When the couple reached southwest Virginia, something went terribly wrong. At around 12:40 p.m., air traffic controllers lost contact small plane.
Authorities say weather in the area was rough at the time and other pilots reported having trouble flying. Based on radar information, it appears that the Fonsecas were attempting to avoid weather pockets and may have been trying to reach Mountain Empire Airport in Smyth County.
Local authorities have speculated that the plane must have encountered a low ceiling and crashed into Flat Rock-a steep mountain east of Saltville. At this time, officials are uncertain who was at the controls when the plane went down. According to WDBJ 7, both George and Pamela were seasoned pilots who took flying very seriously.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a regional official out to Virginia to recover the aircraft and begin an investigation.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a small plane crash, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with an aviation attorney. Most aviation accidents have multiple causes and can pose challenging litigation issues. In order to get the best results, it is vital that you hire an experienced aviation attorney who understands these challenges.
The law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman has been representing aviation accident victims for over 40 years, working ceaselessly to hold negligent individuals, corporations and policy makers accountable for the devastation suffered by victims and their families. To learn more about filing a claim resulting from a small plane crash, contact an aviation attorney at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman today for a free consultation.
May 16, 2015
A family of four lost their lives on Saturday afternoon in a plane crash outside of San Antonio. The small plane crash was reported at around 12:30 p.m. near the back parking lot of Strutty’s Feed and Pet Supply in Bulverde.
Authorities say the family departed from Kestrel Air Park in a Piper PA-24 Comanche on what was supposed to be a local flight when they immediately encountered trouble. Witnesses told law enforcement officials that the plane pitched down and impacted with a hill, only less than a mile away from Kestrel Air Park, where it immediately burst into flames. Emergency responders arrived at the scene to find the plane destroyed. No one aboard survived the crash.
The victims have been identified as 38-year-old pilot Michael “Scott” Galloway; his wife, Heather Louise Galloway, 32; and their children, 10-year-old Clayton, and 8-year-old Cheyenne Elizabeth.
According to the KENS 5, Galloway went to pilot school at night while working full time in order to earn his license. Those who knew him best said that Galloway had been an aviation enthusiast from a young age. He spent nine months in Afghanistan working as a military plane mechanic and had just recently purchased his own plane, which he and his family would use frequently to go on vacations.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Ed Malinowski said the plane crash investigation will focus on the wreckage, Galloway’s flying background and the aircraft’s background. Malinowski has already asked for maintenance records and pilot logbooks.
The NTSB is scheduled to release a preliminary report in the coming days, however, a final report on the crash will not be completed for at least six months.
If you have been the victim of an aviation accident, please contact the plane crash lawyers at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman. For over 40 years, our firm has assisted countless victims of plane crashes, securing successful resolutions in various types of crashes, from small plane accidents to mass disasters. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
May 11, 2015
Memorial Service Held for Victims of Fatal Atlanta Plane Crash
A memorial service for the victims of last week’s horrific plane crash in Atlanta was held today at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville, North Carolina. Pilot Greg Byrd of Asheville, his two sons Christopher and Philip Byrd, and Christopher’s fiancee Jackie Kulzer of Atlanta were killed on Friday morning when the small plane they were in crashed on Interstate 285.
Kulzer and the Byrds were flying to Oxford, Mississippi to see Greg’s youngest son graduate from the University of Mississippi. The four departed from DeKalb’s Peachtree Airport and, according to reports, something went wrong almost immediately after the plane left the ground. The cockpit voice recorder captured Greg Byrd’s last phrase: “We’re gonna go down.”
Authorities are still uncertain what caused the crash, but numerous witnesses have come forward saying they saw the Piper PA-32 laboring right before it went down on the interstate and immediately burst into flames. Don McGhee, a 48-year-old motorist who was driving in the area when the plane went down, told CBS News that it looked like the pilot was struggling to keep the nose of the plane up. McGhee said the plane would edge up a little, then just drop.
In the end, the plane grazed the hood of a tractor trailer on I-285 before it slammed into the median wall. Onlookers could do nothing to try and save the victims as a fire erupted immediately after impact. Authorities said it was a ‘miracle’ that no other cars were hit and no one on the ground was injured in the tragedy.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board have arrived in Atlanta to begin their investigation. NTSB investigator Eric Alleyne told the media that he expects to issue a preliminary report on the crash sometime this week, but added that a final report could take up to a year to complete.
May 7, 2015
The pilot of a single engine plane that crashed over the weekend has been identified. Investigators say 46-year-old Linda Bauman of Belvedere, Tennessee was flying a small plane in rural Lincoln County, Alabama on Sunday afternoon when something went wrong.
Bauman’s Cessna 182 ended up crashing at around 2:00 p.m. on a farm near Highway 50 in the town of Mulberry. Her body and the crashed plane would not be discovered until Monday, as the property owners had been out of town on Sunday.
According to the Huntsville Times, authorities found a debris field that indicates Bauman struck a tree before crashing into a pond on the property. A cow on the farm was also killed in the crash.
In other aviation news this week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a cockpit audio recording from a small plane that crashed in Kentucky earlier this year, killing four of the five people onboard. The story of the ill-fated flight gained national attention when it was reported that the lone survivor of the crash-7-year-old Sailor Gutzler-walked in the dead of night, through blistering January cold to one of the only occupied homes in the area.
“I’ve got problems,” said 48-year-old pilot Marty Gutzler to air traffic controllers. Gutzler confirmed that his engines were not producing any power, and he had no idea why. Controllers helped him find the nearest airport, and Gutzler continued on that heading with audio between him and controllers cutting in and out. The audio finally cut out and Gutzler’s plane disappeared from radar.
In the end, the Piper PA-34 crashed in a heavily wooded area, killing Gutzler, his wife, their nine-year-old daughter and their 14-year-old niece. Somehow, Sailor Gutzler survived and trekked through the woods injured and bleeding before reaching the only occupied home in the area.
The Daily News reports that the official cause of the Kentucky crash has not yet been determined. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are still investigating.
April 29, 2015
Two Men in Black Forest Plane Crash Lucky to be Alive
“Extremely lucky,” is what El Paso County sheriff’s deputy Robert Stone said when asked how two men aboard a small plane that crashed in Black Forest, Colorado were able to walk away from the incident without sustaining serious injuries.
Witnesses dialed 911 on Wednesday evening at around 6:30 p.m. when they saw the small plane spiraling down into a gully roughly 500 yards away from a home near Shoup Road. According to KKTV 11 News, the plane was at an altitude of around 4,500 feet when it began to experience problems. By the time the aircraft spiraled down into the gully, authorities say it was at a total loss.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene to find the tail of the small plane broken off, the wings completely bent out of shape and the engine separated from the body of the aircraft. Stone told the media that he was surprised to find 35-year-old pilot Matt Tanner and 18-year-old passenger Issac Brumm with only minor injuries.
According to Tanner, he had rented the plane for the day and was in the midst of demonstrating a stall when the aircraft went into a spin and began to plummet toward the ground. He added that in his experience he has dealt with this type of spin thousands of times before, but when he moved to recover, the airplane simply wouldn’t respond. When the plane was seconds away from crashing, Tanner said his family and his faith carried him through what must have been a harrowing ordeal.
At this time, officials have not issued any information on what may have caused Wednesday evening’s crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will dispatch a team to investigate.
April 22, 2015
SkyWest Airlines Flight Forced to Make an Emergency Landing in Buffalo After Multiple Passengers Lose Consciousness
Three people lost consciousness on Wednesday during a SkyWest Airlines flight from Chicago, Illinois to Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The the pilots of the Embraer E170 plane were forced to divert to Buffalo, New York, where they made a successful emergency landing at around 11:40 a.m.
A spokesperson for SkyWest Airlines initially said only one person lost consciousness aboard Flight 5622, but that report soon changed to three. One passenger reportedly received medical attention before being released. As many as 15 others, including two children, were evaluated at the airport, but none required further medical attention.
The pilots of SkyWest Flight 5622 (operating as United Express) began a steep descent to land in Buffalo out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the airline. Data from FlightAware shows that the plane actually dropped 7,000 feet per minute at one point.
Passengers aboard the flight told news outlets they were descending so fast that they didn’t know what was going to happen. Passenger Larry Johnson, a Danbury, Connecticut resident, said he started playing movie scenarios in his head, wondering if the plane was going to have to land in the ocean. Another passenger, who is a registered nurse, assisted the first passenger who lost consciousness. Mary Cunningham, a nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, said she administered oxygen for the victim, who “came right back,” says Cunningham. Later, others seated in the same section of the plane began to mysteriously lose consciousness.
According to Yahoo! News, the airline is still unsure what caused passengers to lose consciousness. Some had speculated that passengers had passed out due to cabin pressure issues, but that was later disproved by airline maintenance staff. Another report indicated that a cabin door may have opened, causing the change in pressure, but this theory was also disproved.
For now, the incident remains a mystery. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is gathering information on the inflight emergency in order to determine whether or not the agency will launch an investigation.
April 13, 2015
Eight people lost their lives over the weekend in fatal plane crashes in Florida and Idaho. On Friday afternoon, a Cessna T210M crashed and caught fire in remote wilderness roughly 30 miles outside of Challis, Idaho. All four people aboard the small plane perished in the crash.
Among the deceased was 70-year-old pilot John H. Short of Park City, Utah. Short was a longtime executive in the health care industry and the owner of Diamond-D Ranch, a bed and breakfast in the Frank Church Wilderness. Also killed in the crash was 34-year-old Russell “Rusty” T. Cheney, 46-year-old Andrew D. Tyson and 39-year-old Aaron “A.J.” Linnell, all of whom were engineers from Teton County, Idaho.
Authorities say Short was flying the men to Diamond-D Ranch to assess a possible job installation. The plane departed from Loon Creek Airstrip at around 1:00 p.m. Shortly after takeoff, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received an emergency locator transmission being emitted from the aircraft. According to KSL, the plane crashed and caught fire at the north end of the airstrip. When employees from Diamond D found the wreckage, the fuselage of the plane was completely burned away, leaving nothing but the tail section and wings.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the plane to go down.
On Sunday, four other people were killed when a small plane crashed near the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida.
At around 4:30 p.m., the pilot of the Piper PA-31 plane declared an emergency during approach to the airport. Witnesses say the plane was flying low and sounded strange before it entered into a nosedive and crashed in a nature reserve near the airport. According to NBC Miami, the plane exploded on impact, killing all four inside.
The names of the deceased have not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the Fort Lauderdale crash.
March 30, 2015
Two Dead, One Seriously Injured After Helicopter Crashes During Controlled Burn in Mississippi
Two people have died and one person was airlifted to a nearby hospital on Monday after a Bell 206L-1 helicopter crashed near Saucier, Mississippi. The chopper went down at around 3:00 p.m. local time near the intersection of Martha Redmond Road and Airey Tower Road.
The three occupants of the helicopter were reportedly contract specialists monitoring a controlled burn of roughly 800 acres in the DeSoto National Forest. An eye witness said the helicopter was circling the fire when something went wrong. Earnest Richardson Junior said the helicopter sounded “a little maybe in distress” and it looked as if the pilot was trying to land.
Others in the area said they didn’t hear the crash but thought the helicopter’s engine may have malfunctioned. Howard Kaufman, who lives in the area and is a mechanic, said he heard the engine “spitting and sputtering.” Kaufman told WLOX News that he thought the pilot would have to make an emergency landing, but didn’t expect the crash to unfold the way it did.
Officials with the Forest Service said they lost radio contact with the helicopter just before 3:00 p.m. and immediately dispatched an ambulance to the area. A LifeFlight medevac helicopter arrived at the scene shortly thereafter.
Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say they will not release the identities of the deceased until autopsies, which are scheduled for Tuesday morning, are complete.
The third person aboard the helicopter suffered severe injuries and was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.
Authorities are uncertain what caused the crash at this time. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have been dispatched to the area to investigate. A preliminary report should be released in a week.
March 15, 2015
Marine Killed in Civilian Aviation Accident, United Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Chicago
The identity of a Marine killed in a civilian aviation accident has been identified. The Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona say 23-year-old Lance Cpl. Anthony T. DuBeau was killed on Friday when his vehicle was struck by a civilian plane that crash-landed on a military base runway.
Officials say DuBeau was critically injured after a T-59 Hawk crash-landed on the runway at Air Station Yuma. He was later pronounced dead of his injuries. According to the Marine Times, DuBeau was a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin and enlisted in the Marine Corps in April 2013. The 23-year-old was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron at Air Station Yuma, where his daily duties consisted of inspecting the airfield.
The pilot and passenger of the T-59 Hawk were taken to an area hospital, where they were treated and later released.
A full investigation is underway.
On Sunday, a United Airlines flight landed on a runway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport without the use of its front landing gear. According to ABC 7, no one aboard Go Jet Flight 3465 (operated by United Airlines) was injured in the incident. The flight originated in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Jim Petzing, a passenger aboard the flight, told the media that the pilot announced that the plane would land without the use of its front wheels as the aircraft approached Chicago. Petzing said babies were crying, and a woman seated in front of him became sick to her stomach as the plane landed on two wheels.
“I was worried that we’d, you know, flip over,” Petzing said. Thankfully, the pilots were able to land the plane with its nose tipped downward, dragging along the runway. Once safely on the ground, passengers were able to evacuate through the main doors where emergency officials were standing by.
New York, New York – March 5, 2015
Delta Plane Skids off Runway at LaGuardia Airport Crashing into a Fence
Delta Flight 1086 skidded off Runway 13 Thursday morning after landing at LaGuardia airport. Amid a wintry mix of snow and sleet, the plane crashed into a fence, causing dozens of injuries.
The commercial jet attempted to land around 11:00 a.m. at the New York airport after traveling from Atlanta, Georgia. Among the 127 passengers and five crew members aboard the MD-88 plane was Giants tight end, Larry Donnell. FDNY officials reported two dozen people sustained minor injuries and three of them were hospitalized.
Photos and video recorded by passengers recount the aftermath of their terrifying experience and show them exiting the plane that was only inches away from the freezing waters of Flushing Bay. A minor fuel leak in the left wing was also reported, but fire crews were able to quickly stop it.
According to NBC 4 New York, meteorologists observed freezing fog around the time of the accident near LaGuardia airport as being a possible contributor in the crash. In a statement from Patrick Foye, Port Authority’s Executive Director, Runway 13 had been plowed soon before the plane attempted to land. Two planes that arrived prior to Delta Flight 1086 also reported good braking ability.
Audio logs described by NBC detail conditions on the ground approximately 30 minutes prior to the flight’s scheduled arrival. Air traffic controllers asked ground crews about conditions on the runway who reported about a quarter inch of snow and untreated runways.
Almost 900 flights were canceled after all incoming and outgoing trips were suspended due to the airplane accident. Air traffic resumed at around 2:00 p.m. after one of the runways reopened.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the incident.
March 5, 2015
Harrison Ford Seriously Injured After Los Angeles Plane Crash
Actor Harrison Ford was taken to an area hospital with serious head trauma on Thursday after crash landing his plane on a golf course in Mar Vista, California. Ford was reportedly flying a WWII era training plane when he had to attempt an emergency landing at Penmar Golf Course.
Witnesses say the 72-year-old star of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars had just taken off from Santa Monica Airport when something went wrong. The plane appeared to lose power, then Ford attempted to turn back to the airport only to be forced to crash land the plane near the eighth hole at Penmar.
A golf course employee, who saw emergency personnel working on Ford, said the actor had blood covering his face. His injuries were initially listed as critical, but reports then changed to serious after it was revealed he sustained facial lacerations and possible fractures.
An official from the Los Angeles County Fire Department confirmed that Ford was the only person aboard the plane. The same spokesman said it appears that mechanical failure was the cause of the accident.
Ford is an avid aviator with experience flying both planes and helicopters. In 1999, he was involved in a serious helicopter crash in Santa Clara, California. The Bell helicopter he was in experienced a mechanical failure during a training exercise. Ford and an aviation professional were able to walk away from the crash, and both continued to fly. In 2000, Ford was forced to make a crash landing in Montana after encountering strong winds.
Federal records show that at least 11 planes have crashed either approaching or taking off from Santa Monica Airport since 1989. Some local residents have lobbied to shut the airport down, citing a shoddy safety record, though many local pilots say there is nothing wrong with it.
According to the Globe and Mail, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending an investigator to the scene of the crash. A preliminary report should be released within a week.
February 8, 2015
Plane Crashes in Maryland and South Dakota Leave Two Injured
Two people sustained injuries in a Maryland plane crash over the weekend, and a bizarre plane crash in South Dakota left a couple happy to be alive.
On Sunday, a Grumman American AA-1 plane with two men aboard went down immediately after taking off from Tipton Airport in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the crash roughly an hour after receiving the 2:00 p.m. call from a neighborhood resident who reported seeing heavy smoke coming from the woods. Officials found the wrecked aircraft upside-down and crumpled near a tree with both men trapped inside.
Pilot Jeffry P. Barnett of Glen Burnie was pulled from the plane in stable condition. His 82-year-old passenger, Thomas L. Cline of Silver Spring had to be airlifted to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he remains in critical condition.
According to CBS News Baltimore, authorities are uncertain what caused the plane to go down. An investigation is ongoing.
On Friday, a couple traveling from Wyoming to Wisconsin were forced to make an emergency landing with the help of an Apple device. The unidentified pair were flying in a Piper PA 24-250 Comanche when the plane experienced a serious electrical malfunction. All of the plane’s onboard computers were out of commission, which meant there was no way to deploy the landing gear.
The only thing the pair could do was monitor altitude and land speed. Undaunted, they pulled out an iPad and navigated their way to the nearest airport, some 80 miles away in Rapid City, South Dakota.
The two made it to the Rapid City Regional Airport, where they were able to set the plane down on its belly and slide down the runway with sparks flying everywhere. Incredibly, neither sustained injuries in the emergency landing.
According to the NY Daily News, a Rapid City Fire official was quoted as saying the unidentified pilot “had to be super good” in order to make that landing with such a massive malfunction.
February 4, 2015
Dramatic Video Footage Captures Taiwan Airliner Clipping a Highway Before Crashing Into a River
A TransAsia Airways plane with 58 people aboard crashed into a river in Taipei, Taiwan on Wednesday. The death toll is currently listed at 23, but 20 people remained unaccounted for in the partially submerged fuselage. Emergency personnel were able to rescue 15 injured victims from the wreckage.
The fatal crash was reported at around noon in a shallow section of the Keelung River. TransAsia Airways Flight 235 departed from Sungshan Airport at 11:53 a.m. bound for the Kinmen Islands. Authorities say the TransAsia pilot issued a mayday call to air traffic controllers shortly after take off.
In dramatic video footage captured by a motorist on a highway bridge, the ATR 72 plane narrowly misses a high rise building before turning it’s wings vertical and scraping the road, clipping a passing car in the process. The fuselage barely clears the bridge and continues off the right side of the screen, falling into the Keelung River.
One Taipei Fire Department official told the media they are “not optimistic” about finding any survivors among the missing victims, adding that they are likely still in the fuselage or were pulled down river. Many in the local media have speculated that the pilot steered the plane’s wings vertically so as not to clip a building, though the aviation authority of Taiwan has not confirmed this theory. Investigators say weather conditions at the time of the crash were favorable, and the plane was a new model with less than a year’s worth of use.
More than half of the victims were from China. Many families of the TransAsia 235 victims are expected to arrive in the area on Thursday.
The plane, an ATR 72-600, is a popular turboprop favored by Asian airliners for short-hop flights. Last July, another TransAsia flight operating the same model plane crashed in the Taiwan-controlled Penghu islands during the end of a typhoon. The July 23, 2014 crash killed 48 people.
January 26, 2015
Investigators Looking for Answers in Monday’s Fatal Plane Crashes in Washington and Wisconsin
Two people were killed and two others were injured on Monday in two separate plane crashes in Washington and Wisconsin.
Bad weather appears to be a factor in the Wisconsin crash that killed one person and left two others with injuries. Authorities say a four-seater Cessna 182 was having problems with icing at around 10:45 a.m. local time and was losing altitude when the pilot contacted the Minneapolis Air Control Center, declaring his intention to land on a road in the town of Hoard. As the pilot attempted to land the plane, it’s wing clipped a tree, causing it to swing into a ditch and hit several other trees.
According to NBC Chicago, 56-year-old passenger Martin Siegwart was killed in the crash. Pilot Mark Siegwart, 27, of Hammond, Wisconsin and 41-year-old passenger Nathan Smoot of North Pole, Alaska were taken to area hospitals in stable condition. The elder Siegwart was the pilot’s father, authorities say. The three men were flying the recently purchased Cessna on a trip to Alaska.
The Hoard, Wisconsin crash is currently under investigation by officials at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Monday’s other plane crash occurred near Seabeck, Washington. At around 1:00 p.m., local officials got calls from several people who witnessed a plane fall from the sky into Hood Canal. The Coast Guard dispatched a search and rescue team to the area described by callers but could only find the pilot’s driver’s license and other identifying material. Hours later, debris believed to be from the plane was found in nearby Guillemot Cove, according to the Kitsap Sun.
The pilot’s name has been withheld from media reports, pending notification of next of kin. Search teams will continue looking for the aircraft on Tuesday.
At this time, investigators are puzzled as to what caused the crash. Weather conditions at the time of the crash were clear with winds at 12 to 15 miles per hour. An investigation is ongoing.
January 23, 2015
Two Marines Killed in Southern California Helicopter Crash
Two Marine Corps officers were killed on Friday when the helicopter they were flying crashed during a training exercise in Southern California. Captain Elizabeth Kealey and First Lieutenant Adam Satterfield were conducting routine flight operations at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed at around 4:40 p.m. Captain Kealey and First Lieutenant Satterfield sustained fatal injuries in the crash. They were the only two Marines onboard the chopper. Lieutenant Colonel James M. Isaacs, their commanding officer, said the fallen were both outstanding officers and talented pilots.
Captain Kealey, a 32-year-old Indiana, Pennsylvania native, was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 2005. She was twice deployed with the 13th Marine Expedition Unit, once in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In a career just shy of 10 years, she was awarded the Air Medal with three Strike/Flight awards as well as the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. She was serving as a weapons training instructor and helicopter pilot.
First Lieutenant Adam Satterfield of Oldham, Kentucky was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 2011. The 25-year-old served as support for training operations in Southern California. According to Military News, both officers were based out of Camp Pendleton.
Marine Corps officials will be investigating Friday’s crash.
Lakeland, Florida – January 22, 2015
Two Dead After Small Plane Crashes into Lakeland Warehouse
A flight instructor and student were killed on Thursday morning when their small plane crashed near Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida. The fatal plane crash was reported just before 10:00 a.m. at the Key Safety Systems warehouse off Allen K. Breed Highway.
Witnesses looked on in horror as the Piper Apache A23 plane spiraled to the ground, then crashed into the chemical storage warehouse and exploded. Luckily, no one was in the warehouse at the time of the crash.
A 911 caller alerted emergency crews to the accident, saying that the warehouse was on fire with heavy smoke continuing to build. Due to the chemicals in the warehouse, fire officials were forced to stay back from the crash site, not able to attempt any rescue. A spokeswoman for the Lakeland Fire Department said on Thursday that it’s unknown whether the two victims had been killed as a result of the impact or the post-crash fire.
According to 10 News, the warehouse is located roughly a half mile from any Key Safety Systems workers and two miles from the nearest residential neighborhood. With the wind blowing in a safe direction, no one had to be evacuated as a result of the chemical fire.
The deceased have been identified as 62-year-old flight instructor Terry Lee Butt of Winter Haven and 41-year-old student Gregory Todd Geng of Hudson. Butt was engaged to be married and Geng leaves behind a wife and two children.
Both men attended Tailwheels Etc. Flight School based out of Linder Regional Airport. The company issued a statement on the crash saying they have no further information as to the cause, adding that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are in the midst of an investigation. A preliminary report is expected within the next couple weeks.
January 11, 2015
Plane Crashes in Utah and California Over the Weekend Leave Two Dead
Robert LaVon Moody and Albert Enrique Behar lost their lives within a few hours of each other this weekend in small plane crashes. Both men were experienced pilots who shared a passion for flying.
Behar departed from Van Nuys Airport in southern California just before 1:20 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The single engine Lancair plane he was flying crashed at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue moments after takeoff. Witnesses say the plane narrowly missed an SUV at the intersection and came to rest without sparking a fire. Behar also managed to avoid hitting any structures. Emergency responders pronounced the 47-year-old scientist dead at the scene.
According to the Los Angeles Times, weather conditions at the time of the crash were clear, leaving many scratching their heads as to how Friday’s crash could have happened. A friend at Van Nuys Airport described Behar as “very knowledgable, competent and thorough.”
Alberto Enrique Behar spent his career developing robots to work in harsh conditions like deep seas and atop active volcanoes. He also worked on two missions to Mars; all this when he wasn’t pursuing his passion of flying planes and helicopters.
Less than 12 hours after the Van Nuys crash, a small plane piloted by Dr. Robert LaVon Moody went down in the Great Salt Lake. Moody departed from South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan on a solo flying trip, something he often did, according to his family. At approximately 12:45 a.m., officials from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a possible downed plane. Moody’s family also called authorities when his plane did not return as scheduled. Hours later, the Division of State Parks and Recreation sent boats out to the lake in search of the downed plane. Moody’s body was recovered a short time later.
Dr. Robert LaVon Moody owned Biorestoration Medical Clinic and Spa in Tooele County.According to Fox 13, he is survived by his wife and children.
At this time both crashes in southern California and Utah are under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Hickory, North Carolina – January 6, 2015
Four Injured in Hickory Plane Crash
Four people were injured late Tuesday afternoon when a small plane went down only a few yards away from a home in Hickory, North Carolina. Officials arrived at the scene shortly after the Beech BE-35 plane went down at around 5:15 p.m. in the Long View neighborhood.
The small plane and its four occupants departed from Hickory Regional Airport and immediately experienced trouble. According to NBC Charlotte, the plane lost power seconds after leaving the ground and crashed less than a mile away from the airport in the front yard of a home.
Neighborhood resident Cody Good didn’t see the crash, but he felt it. Good said his house shook when the aircraft hit the ground. When he looked outside and saw what had happened, he sprinted toward the wreckage to see if he could help. One by one, Good helped the victims pull themselves out of the downed plane while first responders arrived.
The pilot of the plane, who has not yet been identified, sustained head trauma and was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The three other victims were taken to area hospitals with broken bones. No one on the ground was injured. Local residents are amazed the crash wasn’t worse. Lisa Frazier, who lives near the site of the crash, told the media that she was amazed the victims were able to walk away.
News of the North Carolina crash comes on the same day the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its preliminary report on a Colorado plane crash on December 30 that killed pilot Daniel Steitz. According to the report, Steitz was taking off from Centennial Airport when he told air traffic controllers he had lost an engine and planned to circle back to the airport. Witnesses in the area said the Cessna 404’s engine was struggling just before the plane hit several trees and crashed near a home. Steitz was the only person on the plane at the time.
9 News reports that a full NTSB report may not be ready for months.