ARFF (Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting)

Female pilot and her passenger have to be cut out of a single-engine plane after it crashed in California while attempting to land at an airport, leaving them in ‘serious condition’

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:14
  • Female pilot and male passenger were ‘seriously injured’ in crash on Saturday
  • Authorities said the incident happened around 10.40am during a landing  
  • Firefighters had to cut off right wing to pull pilot and passenger from fuselage
  • Victims were airlifted to a local hospital; their identities haven’t been released 
  • It wasn’t immediately know what caused the crash; the NTSB will investigate


Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries after a small plane crashed into a field at Monterey Bay Academy Airport. 

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine Bellanca Citabria crashed around 10.40am Saturday while attempting to land at the airport.

Firefighters had to cut off the right wing of the plane in order to pull the female pilot and her male passenger from the fuselage.

Harris said the plane’s nose and left side were damaged when it ended on the runway next to a farm field.

Battalion Chief Mike Harris with CalFire’s Santa Cruz unit said the pilot and passenger were airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries.

Their identities have not been released.

FAA records show that the plane, with tail number N11666, is registered in Aptos, California.

The plane is believed to belong to Eva Twardokens, a former Olympic skier.

Twardokens is an avid aviator who shared a photo of the same plane parked at the Watsonville Municipal Airport on her Instagram page last month.

The light, single-engine Citabria plane entered production in the United States in 1964. 

When it was introduced, it was the only airplane being commercially produced in the US which was certified for aerobatics.

Videos on Twardokens’ Instagram page show her performing aerobatics in what is believed to be the same plane that crashed on Saturday.

It wasn’t immediately know what caused the crash.

The National Transportation and Safety Board are investigating the incident.

The post Female pilot and her passenger have to be cut out of a single-engine plane after it crashed in California while attempting to land at an airport, leaving them in ‘serious condition’ appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Single-engine plane slides off ice runway at Alton Bay

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:11

By DOUG ALDEN New Hampshire Union Leader

ALTON — A single-engine plane was damaged Sunday after sliding off the ice runway and striking a snowbank on Alton Bay.

The pilot and two passengers on the plane were not injured in the rough landing at the frozen air strip around 11:45 a.m. Sunday, said Paul LaRochelle, ice runway manager at Alton Bay Seaplane Base.

“The snowbank was just hard enough that it broke the nose gear,” LaRochelle said.

The propeller was also damaged by the snowbank, LaRochelle said. The plane will remain grounded until repairs can be completed.

The single-engine Piper was coming from Connecticut and the pilot, who was unfamiliar with the air strip on Lake Winnipesaukee, may have been going too fast when he landed with a tailwind, LaRochelle said.

LaRochelle said the conditions Sunday morning were good overall, although there was no snow on the ice, which made landing a little more tricky than usual.

“Most of them come in and they have no issues whatsoever. This was someone who had never been here before,” LaRochelle said.

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Plane makes emergency landing on Route 3

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:09

CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A plane made an emergency landing on Route 3 Sunday afternoon.

According to the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office, the plane landed at 4:05 p.m. on Route 3.

Sheriff units arrived at Germanna Highway and Yellow Bottom Road when the plane made it’s emergency landing.

According to Virginia State Police, their preliminary investigation revealed that the plane suffered engine failure after taking off from Warrenton Airport.

The aircraft made an emergency landing on Route 3 and then struck a utility pole. The impact also caused the aircraft to strike a fence.

The pilot, 47-year-old Hyunju V. Ko, was not injured in the crash.

There were also two juveniles in the plane, but they weren’t injured.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Search suspended for captain of downed cargo plane

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:08


After rescuing one crew member on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Saturday afternoon for the captain of a downed cargo airplane, which crashed about 13 miles east of Bay Harbor Islands after departing from the Bahamas.

Captain Robert Hopkins, 68, was identified as the missing crew member Saturday evening by Conquest Air Cargo, the Miami Lakes-based company that owns the airplane. The Coast Guard searched for about 21 hours in an area of 364 square nautical miles before calling the search off.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Captain Robert Hopkins at this difficult time,” Conquest Air Cargo said in a statement. “This is a tremendous loss for our company; Captain Hopkins’ selfless leadership was and will always remain an example for us all.”

The Coast Guard rescued one crew member from the wreckage off the coast of the Bay Harbor Islands on Friday afternoon. Dramatic helicopter rescue, captured on local TV footage, showed rescuers hoisting crew member Rolland Silva, 28, out of the water.

The 64-year-old Convair 131-B aircraft took off from Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on Conquest Air Flight 504, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a statement to the Miami Herald, the company said the airplane declared an emergency and attempted a water landing when it crashed 13 miles offshore about 12:15 p.m. Television footage showed the aircraft upside down in the water and with parts detached.

The fixed-wing, multi-engine aircraft was returning from a cargo delivery in Nassau, the company said. It is certified with the FAA.

“Our concern is with our flight crew and we will continue to coordinate with the relevant authorities,” Conquest Air Cargo said.

The Coast Guard sent a rescue helicopter and a 45-foot boat to the scene. The helicopter crew transferred the rescued passenger to emergency medical services at Air Station Miami. His condition is unknown.

“Preliminary indication is that two people were on board,” the FAA said in a statement.

Conquest Air Inc., which registered to do business in Florida in 2002, is a cargo airline providing daily trips to Nassau and regular service to the Caribbean. It has an office at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

Responding agencies include the Coast Guard, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade police. Commercial salvage crews also assisted. Miami-Dade police notified the Miami Coast Guard station of a possible downed two-engine Cessna plane with two people reportedly aboard, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Coast Guard Chief Crystal Kneen confirmed that a crew was responding to the crash site Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, when the search was halted, the Coast Guard’s Capt. Megan Dean said in a statement:

“Suspending a search is never an easy decision and a lot of factors are considered and calculated before we make that decision. We have been in regular contact with the family members throughout our search efforts and extend our sympathies for what we know is a very difficult time for them,” said Dean, commander of Coast Guard Sector Miami.

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One killed in Mount Diablo plane crash

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:06


MOUNT DIABLO — A small plane crashed into a hillside in Mount Diablo State Park overnight Friday, killing the pilot, authorities said.

The pilot is believed to have been the only person aboard the single-engine Mooney M20 that crashed 2 miles southwest of the Mount Diablo summit, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The crash happened “at an unknown time Friday night,” Gregor said, and the plane caught fire after it crashed.

A spokeswoman for California State Parks said one person was killed and no other injuries were reported in the crash.

The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District was called to Mount Diablo State Park at 2:41 p.m. Saturday for a report of a plane crash, but a dispatcher said the call was canceled when crews were on the way to the scene.

The pilot was flying from Hayward to Lincoln, northeast of Sacramento, and was reported overdue by a family member on Saturday, Gregor said.

Authorities have not released any information about what may have caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation into the crash, along with the FAA, Gregor said.

One killed in Mount Diablo plane crash

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Small plane crashes behind Indian River County Jail

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:05

By: WPTV Webteam

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — A small plane has crashed behind the Indian River County Jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The agency tweeted a photo of the aircraft, with the tail number N9219J, in a grassy area.

The Sheriff’s Office said the plane crashed by the jail Friday, just to the south of a retention pond.

The pilot was trying to land on a jail access road because he couldn’t make it to the airport, the agency said. He landed in a grassy area, then the plane hit a ditch and turned around.

No one was hurt.

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Elderly man killed after being struck by gyrocopter’s blades

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:03


Johannesburg – A man was killed when he was hit by a gyrocopter making an emergency landing at the Vaal Marina in Vereeniging on Sunday, paramedics said.

Netcare 911 paramedics responded just after noon to reports of an aircraft crash on the shore of the Vaal Marina next to the R54 in Gauteng, Netcare 911 spokesman Shawn Herbst said.

“Reports from the scene indicate that a gyrocopter collided with an elderly male believed to be in his 70s while trying to perform an emergency landing. The patient was assessed on [the] scene by a Netcare 911 emergency care practitioner and found to have no signs of life and declared deceased on the scene.”

The circumstances leading up to the incident were unknown, but police were on the scene and had secured the area for South African Civil Aviation Authority investigators, Herbst said.

In another statement, ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said the man was killed by a gyrocopter at the Vaal Marina in Vereeniging.

“Paramedics from ER24, Midvaal fire, and other EMS arrived on the scene where they found an elderly man [who] was apparently killed by a gyrocopter. Sadly, due to his extensive injuries, there was nothing that could be done for him and he was declared dead on the scene.

“It is understood from bystanders that members of a family scattered ashes of a loved one from the gyrocopter when it allegedly made an emergency landing on the bank. Other members were standing on the bank at the time. The elderly man was apparently struck by its blades as it made the emergency landing,” Vermaak said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:00

41 Years ago today: On 11 February 1978 a Pacific Western Boeing 737 crashed during a go-around at Cranbrook, killing 42 out of 49 occupants.

Date: Saturday 11 February 1978 Time: ca 12:55 Type: Boeing 737-275 Operator: Pacific Western Airlines Registration: C-FPWC C/n / msn: 20142/253 First flight: 1970-04-24 (7 years 10 months) Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5 Passengers: Fatalities: 38 / Occupants: 44 Total: Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 49 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC) (   Canada) Crash site elevation: 939 m (3081 feet) amsl Phase: Landing (LDG) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Calgary International Airport, AB (YYC/CYYC), Canada Destination airport: Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC/CYXC), Canada Flightnumber: 314

Pacific Western flight 314 was a scheduled service from Edmonton, AB (YEG) to Castlegar Airport, BC (YCG) with stops at Calgary, AB (YYC) and Cranbrook (YXC). The flight departed Calgary at 12:32 in the afternoon. The Boeing 737-200 climbed to FL200 which was reached at 12:38. Calgary ATC then reported to the Cranbrook Aeradio station that flight 314 was underway with an ETA of 13:05. At Cranbrook it was snowing with visibility reported as 3/4 of a mile. A radio equipped snow removal vehicle was sweeping the runway at the time. The Aeradio operator at Cranbrook alerted the driver of the vehicle about the incoming aircraft and gave him the ETA of 13:05; they both expected the flight would report by the “Skookum Beacon” on a straight-in approach to runway 16, thus giving the vehicle operator about seven minutes to get off the runway. At 12:46, while descending out of FL180, flight 314 contacted Cranbrook Aeradio. One minute later the crew were advised that snow removal was in progress. No further transmissions were received from the flight by Aeradio. The aircraft passed the Skookum beacon inbound on a straight-in instrument approach, and flew the ILS for runway 16 to touchdown. The aircraft touched down at 12:55 some 800 feet from the threshold and reverse thrust was selected. Suddenly the crew noticed a snow plough on the runway. A go-around was initiated immediately. However one of the thrust-reversers didn’t fully re-stow because hydraulic power was automatically cut off at lift-off.
The aircraft became airborne prior to the 2000 foot mark, and flew down the runway at a height of 50 to 70 feet, flying over the snow plough. The left engine thrust reverser doors then deployed and the crew rapidly selected the flaps up from 40deg to 15deg. The airplane climbed to 300-400 feet, banked steeply to the left, lost height and side-slipped into the ground to the left of the runway. The aircraft broke up and caught fire

Probable Cause:

1. The estimated time of arrival of the aircraft at Cranbrook, calculated by Calgary ATC, and used by Aeradio for advisory purposes was considerably in error and resulted in a traffic conftict between the arriving aircraft and a vehicle working on the runway.
2. The flight crew did not report by the Skookum beacon on final approach, as was the normal practice at Cranbrook, thereby allowing the incorrect ETA to remain undetected.
3. Regulatory provisions concerning mandatory pilot position reporting during instrument approaches were inadequate.
4. The interfaces between the organizations providing Air Traffic Services, Telecommunications (Aeradio) and Airports Services were not well enough developed to provide a reliable fail-safe flight information service.
5. The pilots lost control of the aircraft consequent upon the left engine thrust reverser deploying in flight when the aircraft was at low speed, and in a high drag configuration.
6. The FAA design standards under which the Boeing 737 was constructed did not adequatety provide for the possibility of an aborted landing after touchdown and thrust reverser initiation.
7. The lack of a suitable national system of incident reporting, investigation, and follow-up corrective action allowed operational problems to remain uncorrected.
8. Rescue efforts at the accident scene were hampered due to lack of a fire fighting vehicle capable of negotiating deep snow and shortage of trained rescue personnel.

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Today is Friday the 8th of February, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:15

We close this week with these stories…

I just discovered the first article this morning. It pertains to GPS jamming in specific areas of the U.S. Keep an eye on DEVS systems, and if your department operates an aviation SAR unit, ensure your pilots are aware of this issue!

Have a good weekend and be safe out there!


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ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:08


By Dan Namowitz

GPS air navigation may be unreliable or unavailable in a vast swath of airspace in the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean during a military exercise involving GPS jamming between Feb. 6 and 10. 

GPS-based services including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), the Ground Based Augmentation System, and the Wide Area Augmentation System could also be lost in a radius extending several hundred miles from the offshore operation’s center, the FAA said. 

AOPA has pressed officials to address well documented flight-safety concerns raised by the large-scale national security exercises in which GPS signals are degraded to test defense systems and preparedness. Official responsiveness has languished, however, and AOPA considers the February event’s scope “unacceptably widespread and potentially hazardous,” said Rune Duke, AOPA senior director of airspace, air traffic and aviation security.

The FAA posted a flight advisory that gives the schedule of the tests that could degrade GPS from the Caribbean and Florida north to Pennsylvania, and as far west as eastern Louisiana, while a strike force is conducting a training operation off the Georgia coast. Notices to airmen have been issued for airspace in eight of the FAA’s Air Route Traffic Control Centers.

AOPA estimates that more than 2,000 airports—home bases to more than 28,600 aircraft—are located within the area’s lowest airspace contour.

Advocating for safety

AOPA has been working on multiple fronts to place greater focus on the safety of civil aviation during the proliferation of GPS-interference testing events. The tests, mostly staged in western states, have resulted in a growing number of pilot complaints—a problem expected to magnify as more general aviation pilots transition to GPS-based navigation. The number of jamming events and their locations are increasing.

The issue has struggled for traction with the FAA. A safety panel held in September 2018 ended with the FAA deadlocked on a path forward. In November 2018, AOPA reported on instances of aircraft losing GPS navigation signals during testing—and in several cases, veering off course. Instances have been documented in which air traffic control temporarily lost the tracks of ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft.

In a vivid example of direct hazard to aircraft control in April 2016, an Embraer Phenom 300 business jet entered a Dutch roll and an emergency descent after its yaw damper disengaged; the aircraft’s dual attitude and heading reference systems had reacted differently to the GPS signal outage. This issue was subsequently corrected for this aircraft.

AOPA is aware of hundreds of reports of interference to aircraft during events for which notams were issued, and the FAA has collected many more in the last year. In one example that came to AOPA’s attention, an aircraft lost navigation capability and did not regain it until after landing. During a GPS-interference event in Alaska, an aircraft departed an airport under IFR and lost GPS on the initial climb. Other reports have highlighted aircraft veering off course and heading toward active military airspace. The wide range of reports makes clear that interference affects aircraft differently, and recovery may not occur immediately after the aircraft exits the jammed area.

Pilot concern is mounting. In a January 2019 AOPA survey, more than 64 percent of 1,239 pilots who responded noted concern about the impact of interference on their use of GPS and ADS-B.  (In some cases, pilots who reported experiencing signal degradation said ATC had been unaware the jamming was occurring.)

Meanwhile, the aviation community awaits the FAA’s response to 25 recommendations presented in March 2018 by an RTCA working group, co-chaired by AOPA, and approved by the RTCA tactical operations committee. The recommendations range from improving the preflight resources available to pilots to clarifying FAA guidance on reporting GPS anomalies.

“AOPA is very concerned that government officials have not addressed the known safety issues,” Duke said. “The interference events are important to the military and our national defense, and the FAA must assure that flight safety is not compromised. We have worked collaboratively with industry, the FAA, and the Department of Defense to find solutions, but we have yet to see action.”

‘Stop buzzer’

Pilots who encounter hazardous interruption of GPS navigation or who have flight-control issues should be aware that they can say the phrase “Stop buzzer” to air traffic control, which initiates the process of interrupting the testing to restore navigation signal reception, Duke said.

During previous GPS-interference events, pilots declared emergencies, but the jamming continued because ATC did not understand that the emergency was related to the GPS interference. According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, “stop buzzer” is a term used by ATC to request suspension of “electronic attack activity.” Pilots should only use the phrase when communicating with ATC, or over the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz, if a safety-of-flight issue is encountered during a known GPS interference event. Using this unique phrase when experiencing an unsafe condition related to GPS interference will ensure that ATC and the military react appropriately by stopping the jamming, Duke said.

“Pilots should only say ‘stop buzzer’ when something unsafe is occurring that warrants declaring an emergency. They should make sure ATC knows that the emergency is GPS-related and that halting the GPS interference will resolve the emergency,” he said.

The FAA encouraged pilots to report GPS anomalies in accordance with Aeronautical Information Manualparagraphs 1-1-13 and 5-3-3. AOPA encourages pilots to document any effects of GPS-interference testing on their aircraft by filing a report using the FAA’s GPS Anomaly Reporting Form.


Terrified passenger tells how flight was forced to make emergency landing after cabin filled with smoke

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:05

The FlyBe plane from Manchester to Luxembourg was diverted to Birmingham Airport

By Damon Wilkinson & Katy Hallam

A plane was forced to make an emergency landing after the cabin filled with smoke.

Terrified passengers on the Flybe flight from Manchester to Luxembourg say they saw a bright flash from one of its engines shortly before the plane, a propeller-driven Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, was diverted to Birmingham.

It landed ‘awkwardly’ on one engine on Thursday afternoon, CoventryLive reports.

Mo Millward, who was onboard the flight which was carrying 40 passengers, tweeted from the plane saying how those on board had been ‘panicking’ as they ‘didn’t know what was wrong’.

She said they ‘shut an engine down’.

The fire brigade then checked the plane for any damage, later tweeted that the brigade had ‘found something leaking’.

Other passengers praised the pilot and crew on board for their response.

Flight tracking website showed the flight circled over Stafford at about 2.30pm and then circled over Lichfield and Wolverhampton about 15 minutes later before landing at Birmingham at about 3pm.

A spokesman for Flybe said the safety of its passengers was first priority.

A statement issued by the company said: “Flybe can confirm that flight BE1265 from Manchester – Luxembourg diverted to Birmingham following a technical fault with one of the aircraft’s engines.

“The fault caused an oil leak which led to a small amount of smoke to be visible in the cabin.

“The pilot and crew took the recommended action and landed the aeroplane safely at Birmingham airport.

“There was no adverse reaction in the cabin and the crew’s actions have been praised by passengers who were on board.

“All 40 passengers disembarked as normal when the aircraft arrived on stand and have been re-accommodated on alternative aircraft to complete their travel to Luxembourg.

“Flybe wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and crew for maintaining calm throughout and apologises for any inconvenience caused.

“The safety of passengers and crew is Flybe’s number one priority.”

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Divers Discover Bodies In Aircraft Recovered From The Ocean In Northeast FL

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:02

Plane Had Gone Down December 20th With Two People On Board

A plane that went down in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeast Florida coast December 20th has been recovered by local authorities.

The wreckage of the PA-46 Malibu located by side-scan sonar in about 40 feet of water off Little Talbot Island just north of Jacksonville. It was floated to the surface by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office divers and towed to a Coast Guard station on the St. Johns River Wednesday. Two bodies were found in the wreckage of the airplane.

Television station WJXT reported at the time of the accident that Peter Renzulli, 51, of Bridgewater, and his 18-year-old son Daniel were traveling from Orlando to New Jersey where they lived when the accident occurred in December. Peter Renzulli had just completed 30 hours of advanced instruction in the Malibu, and was returning home. The Coast Guard and other agencies conducted a search for the aircraft, but it was suspended after about 56 hours in which some 1,400 square miles were searched.

Aviation attorney Ed Booth told WJXT this week that he believes Renzulli disregarded a forecast of bad weather on his route of flight, and had limited experience in the airplane. Booth said the return flight from Orlando to New Jersey was reportedly his first flight without an instructor on board.

The NTSB has not yet released a preliminary report on the accident, in part due to the partial government shutdown.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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Discovery of German WWII bombs shuts down Rome airport

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:00

The stunning discovery of three Nazi bombs have forced one of Italy’s busiest airports to close, with army experts called in to deal with the 150kg of explosives.

By Lauren McMah

Rome’s Ciampino international airport has been temporarily shut down after maintenance work uncovered large German bombs from WWII.

The operator of the airport said the three bombs, which have a combined weight of 150kg, were found on Thursday morning local time during maintenance work on the airport tarmac.

The discovery prompted the airport, which is Rome’s secondary international airport, to be evacuated with all flights suspended as army experts were called in to diffuse and safely remove the bombs.

Some confused passengers said they were initially not told the reason for the evacuation but witnesses said there was no panic.

“I was eating my lunch inside the main building when the restaurant manager said everyone had to leave,” Donato Eramo, a rescue helicopter technician at the airport, told The Local.

“People just left their food and went outside. There was no panic.

“Our helicopters are grounded too. We can’t go out for rescue.”

Some flights to Ciampino would be diverted to Rome’s larger Fiumicino Airport. The airport has since reopened.

A map posted on Twitter by Desk Aeronautico, which is a source of government news used by Italian pilots, shows the area of the airport that was affected.

Rome was bombed more than 1100 times by Allies forces in 1943 and again by Nazi forces as they retreated in 1944, ABC News reported citing an article in the journal of the American Military Institute.

It’s the second time in a year WWII-era bombs have caused a scare in Italy.

In March last year, about 23,000 people were evacuated in the central Italian town of Fano after the discovery of a British-made bomb officials feared might accidentally explode.

Authorities safely removed the one-metre-long device which weighed a whopping 225kg.

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:58

30 Years ago today: On 8 February 1989 an Independent Air Boeing 707 crashed into Pico Alto, Azores, killing all 144 occupants.

Date: Wednesday 8 February 1989 Time: 14:08 Type: Boeing 707-331B Operator: Independent Air Registration: N7231T C/n / msn: 19572/687 First flight: 1968 Total airframe hrs: 44755 Cycles: 12589 Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B (HK) Crew: Fatalities: 7 / Occupants: 7 Passengers: Fatalities: 137 / Occupants: 137 Total: Fatalities: 144 / Occupants: 144 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 7 km (4.4 mls) E of Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores (SMA) (   Portugal) Crash site elevation: 547 m (1795 feet) amsl Phase: Approach (APR) Nature: Int’l Non Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Bergamo-Orio Al Serio Airport (BGY/LIME), Italy Destination airport: Santa Maria-Vila do Porto Airport, Azores (SMA/LPAZ), Portugal Flightnumber: 1851

Independent Air flight IDN1851, a Boeing 707, departed Bergamo, Italy (BGY) at 10:04 UTC for a flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) via Santa Maria, Azores (SMA).
At 13:56:47 Santa Maria Tower cleared the flight to descend to 3000 feet for a runway 19 ILS approach: “Independent Air one eight five one roger reclear to three thousand feet on QNH one zero two seven and runway will be one niner.” In that transmission, the trainee controller had transmitted an incorrect QNH that was 9 hPa too high. The actual QNH was 1018.7 hPa.
After a brief pause the message resumed at 13:56:59: “expect ILS approach runway one niner report reaching three thousand.” This transmission was not recorded on the voice recorder of Flight 1851, probably because the first officer keyed his mike and read back: “We’re recleared to 2,000 feet and ah … .” The first officer paused from 13:57:02 to 13:57:04, then unkeyed the mike momentarily. This transmission was not recorded on the ATS tapes.
In the cockpit, the first officer questioned aloud the QNH value, but the captain agreed that the first officer had correctly understood the controller.
After being cleared for the ILS approach the crew failed to accomplish an approach briefing, which would have included a review of the approach plate and minimum safe altitude. If the approach plate had been properly studied, they would have noticed that the minimum safe altitude was 3,000 feet and not 2,000 feet, as it had been understood, and they would have noticed the existence and elevation of Pico Alto.
At 14:06, the flight was 7.5 nm from the point of impact, and beginning to level at 2,000 feet (610 meters) in light turbulence at 250 KIAS. At 14:07, the flight was over Santa Barbara and entering clouds at approximately 700 feet (213 meters) AGL in heavy turbulence at 223 KIAS. At 14:07:52, the captain said, “Can’t keep this SOB thing straight up and down”. At approximately 14:08, the radio altimeter began to whine, followed by the GPWS alarm as the aircraft began to climb because of turbulence, but there was no reaction on the part of the flight crew. At 14:08:12, the aircraft was level when it impacted a mountain ridge of Pico Alto. It collided with a rock wall on the side of a road at the mountain top at an altitude of approximately 1,795 feet (547 meters) AMSL

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The Board of Inquiry understands that the accident was due to the non-observance by the crew of established operating procedures, which led to the deliberate descent of the aircraft to 2000ft in violation the minimum sector altitude of 3000ft, published in the appropriate aeronautical charts and cleared by the Santa Maria Aerodrome Control Tower.
Other factors:
1) Transmission by the Santa Maria Aerodrome Control Tower of a QNH value 9 hPa higher than the actual value, which put the aircraft at an actual altitude 240ft below that indicated on board.;
2) Deficient communications technique on the part of the co-pilot, who started reading back the Tower’s clearance to descend to 3000ft before the Tower completed its transmission, causing a communications overlap.;
3) Violation by the Aerodrome Control Tower of established procedures by not requiring a complete read back of the descent clearance.;
4) Non-adherence by the crew to the operating procedures published in the appropriate company manuals, namely with respect to cockpit discipline, approach briefing , repeating aloud descent clearances, and informal conversations in the cockpit below 10000ft.;
5) General crew apathy in dealing with the mistakes they made relating tot the minimum sector altitude, which was known by at least one of the crew members, and to the ground proximity alarms.;
6) Non-adherence to standard phraseology both by the crew and by Air Traffic Control in some of the air-ground communications.;
7) Limited experience of the crew, especially the co-pilot, in international flights.;
8) Deficient crew training, namely concerning the GPWS as it did not include emergency manoeuvres to avoid collision into terrain.;
9) Use of a route which was not authorized in the AIP Portugal.;
10) The operational flight plan, whose final destination was not the SMA beacon, was not developed in accordance with the AIP Portugal.”

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Today is Thursday the 7th of February, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:58

Here are the stories for today…

Of note, take a look at the story of a Texas firefighter with job related cancer is being sued by Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool.

Be safe out there!


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Pilot, passenger hurt in plane crash at Aurora Airport

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:52

by KATU Staff

AURORA, Ore. – A pilot and passenger suffered some minor injuries Wednesday when their plane went down at the Aurora Airport.

Initial reports state the pilot was trying to land the Piper Malibu Mirage aircraft at about 3:30 p.m. when they struck a radio antenna, sending the plane to the ground.

Deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene to investigate. They are coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot and passenger’s names will be withheld until the investigation is complete.

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Five people hospitalised after flight makes emergency landing in Shannon

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:50

By Patrick Flynn

A holiday jet has made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport this evening after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit over the Atlantic.

Five people were taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

It is understood they include four cabin crew members and a passenger who were reported to be suffering from smoke inhalation.

Condor flight DE-2116 was travelling from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun in Mexico with 337 passengers and crew on board.

The flight was about two hours west of Ireland when the crew issued a May-Day radio distress call and made a U-turn.

It is understood the crew reported they had detected smoke in the cockpit and requested clearance to turn around and divert to Shannon.

On the ground, airport authorities implemented Shannon Airport’s emergency plan which also involved alerting the National Ambulance Service, local authority fire service and An Garda.

Three units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service were dispatched to the airport from Shannon Town.

Additional units from Ennis were also mobilised to the airport. The National Ambulance Service sent a number of resources including ambulances and advanced paramedic response vehicles.

The flight landed safely at 7.13pm and was pursued along the runway by crash crews.

The aircraft taxied to the apron close to the terminal building where fire crews used thermal imaging cameras to search for hotspots in the fuselage.

A further inspection was carried out internally however it’s understood that no evidence of fire was found.

The passengers are expected to be taken to local hotels overnight while the aircraft will remain grounded while engineers work to establish the origin of the smoke.

The flight is expected to resume tomorrow.

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Texas city’s insurer files lawsuit against firefighter with cancer

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:48

Unbeknownst to the city of Mission, a lawsuit was filed on its behalf against a firefighter who was awarded workers’ compensation after being diagnosed with cancer

By Molly Smith
The Monitor

MISSION, Texas — Unbeknownst to the city of Mission, the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool filed a lawsuit on its behalf against a city firefighter who was awarded workers’ compensation after being diagnosed with cancer.

The Jan. 25 lawsuit, which was served to firefighter Homer Salinas on Jan. 29, asks a district judge to review the Texas Department of Insurance’s decision to award Salinas workers’ compensation to cover his kidney cancer treatment. That compensation would be covered by the TML risk pool, the city’s insurance carrier, and amounts to more than $50,000.

Salinas, who first joined the Mission Fire Department in 2002, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in 2017.

The city’s insurer initially denied Salinas’ claim for workers’ compensation, prompting him to appeal. Last October, an administrative law judge for the Texas Department of Insurance ruled in Salinas’ favor, that his cancer was sustained on the job. The department’s appeals panel subsequently upheld the ruling in December.

In a news release Friday, which was sent shortly after the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters called the lawsuit “a cynical, gutless attack on Homer” in a news release of its own, the city said it was not notified in advance of the insurer’s intention to file the lawsuit on behalf of Mission.

The TML risk pool has discretion to sue in the city’s name as part of an inter-local agreement between the municipality and the insurer.

“ I have always been a pro employee person and my position has always been that we need to back up Homer,” Mayor Armando O’Caña said in the release. “I don’t understand how TMLIRP could file this lawsuit and make us a joint party, but we will continue to stand by our firefighter.”

The city’s news release noted the lawsuit is not seeking repayment of any benefits Salinas has already received, adding the mayor and city council “are exploring all options available to rectify the situation.”

The Mission City Commission will hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the lawsuit with interim City Attorney Randy Perez.

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 05:47

53 Years ago today: On 7 February 1966 an Indian Airlines Fokker F-27 crashed in Banihall Pass, killing all 37 occupants.

Date: Monday 7 February 1966 Time: ca 11:55 Type: Fokker F-27 Friendship 200 Operating for: Indian Airlines Leased from: Schreiner Airways Registration: PH-SAB C/n / msn: 10271 First flight: 1965 Total airframe hrs: 1930 Cycles: 1280 Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4 Passengers: Fatalities: 33 / Occupants: 33 Total: Fatalities: 37 / Occupants: 37 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: Banihall Pass (   India) Crash site elevation: 3768 m (12362 feet) amsl Phase: En route (ENR) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Srinagar Airport (SXR/VISR), India Destination airport: Jammu-Satwari Airport (IXJ/VIJU), India

At 11:27 hours local time, the F-27 took off from Srinagar (SXR) for the return journey to Delhi-Palam Airport (DEL) with en route stops at Amritsar (ATQ) and Jammu (IXJ). The flight was cleared to climb VMC. A few seconds later, the Commander reported that he had climbed to 7500 ft and was turning to starboard. Srinagar Control requested a call while passing 8000 ft and the request was complied with. The controller then requested a call when passing 15 miles. No message, however, was received and at 11:40 controller asked for the position of the aircraft. The crew replied: “Will be crossing Banihal 2 to 3 minutes.”
Erroneous navigation took the captain to a point 12 miles west of his normal route. At this spot, the configuration of the mountain range has a deceptive similarity with the Banihal Pass, and has, because of this similarity, come to be known as “False Banihal”. The hills near “False Banihal” are several thousand feet higher than the true Banihal. The pilot must have realized his error and his wrong position too late when he saw the high mountain in front of him on emerging from the clouds. He attempted to climb but the aircraft hit the hill about 300 ft below the summit, at 12364 ft asl. It broke into two main pieces which fell on either side of a big rock, while several smaller pieces were broken off and scattered over a considerable area on the hillside. Some portions of the fuselage were found nearly 3000 ft below the point of impact

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The cause of the accident was undoubtedly a navigational error. The Court was at first tempted to accept the hypothesis that the error was committed deliberately by Capt. Duggal because he wanted to take a short cut over the hill to Udampur, instead of going first to Banihal and then turning slightly right to the prescribed route to Udampur. Some support was lent to this hypothesis by the general assessment of Capt. Duggal’s character as being hasty and casual and disinclined to pay heed to detail. But after giving greater consideration, it seems to the Court that this hypothesis cannot be accepted and that the navigational error was not intentional.
The configuration of the hill at a spot 12miles west of the Banihal Pass does not snow that the aircraft would have had a clear passage at an altitude of 12000ft because there are hills which are 14000ft high as shown by the contour lines on the map. Also Duggal did reply to the call 0610 hours GMT when he said that he would be crossing Banihal in two or three minted. It seems to the Court, therefore, that when flying through clouds at an altitude insufficient to ensure safety, Duggal found himself at a spot which resembled in its appearance the Banihal Pass. He must have steered an incorrect heading on leaving the airfield. Changes in cloud formation and decreasing visibility did not permit a full and clear view of the mountain range which lay across the route. So, when he was near the point where it crashed, he thought that he was going to cross Banihal and sent this message to the airport. In point of fact, he was 12 miles off his track and crashed at a point 12364ft above sea level.
A more careful and cautious pilot would, in the circumstances, have made sure of his direction and position by a reference to the Srinagar Airport where, in addition to the VOR, an Automatic Direction Finding facility is available.”

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