ARFF (Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting)

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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Shocking moment a military plane falls from the sky in Peru and crushes an SUV sending residents running for safety but miraculously the pilot and co-pilot SURVIVE

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:36


This is the astonishing moment a military plane falls from the sky and crushes an SUV in Lima, Peru. 

Amazingly the pilot and co-pilot were pulled to safety and survived.

A surveillance camera shows a couple of residents walking next to a building before the Peruvian Air Force aircraft barreled through a row of wires dangling from street poles.

Captains Julio Pinedo Centurión and Juan Carlos Valdivia Rodríguez  were rescued from the wrecked plane by four firefighting units before the injured servicemen were taken to the Peruvian Air Force Central Hospital on Monday morning.

According to Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, the pilot, Pinedo Centurión, suffered severe bruises.

The sudden impact crushed an SUV on the quiet street in the coastal town of Surco, a district in the Peruvian capital city of Lima.

A woman, who was standing just a couple feet away from were the plane finally rested on its belly, could be seen on the video running for safety while another man could just cover his head. 

Residents rushed out of nearby homes and businesses to help the injured pilots who were stuck inside the tiny plane.

The accident occurred just eight blocks away from the Las Palmas Air Force Base.

Military officials said the military officers were conducting a routine instructional flight and were returning to the base when the accident happened.

Investigators are still determining what made the plane malfunction.

The post Shocking moment a military plane falls from the sky in Peru and crushes an SUV sending residents running for safety but miraculously the pilot and co-pilot SURVIVE appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Plane Crashes at Mankato Airport; No Injuries Reported

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:31

(MANKATO, Minn) – A twin-engine airplane has crashed at the Mankato Regional Airport after a failed takeoff attempt.

Mankato’s Director of Public Works Jeff Johnson says no injuries were reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration and The National Transportation Safety Board will begin an investigation Wednesday morning and release more information for the public when it becomes available.

Johnson says regular airport operations will continue once the airplane is cleared from the runway.

—-KEYC News 12

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ARFF Working Group - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:29

By Collins Parker

LAFAYETTE, Georgia (WDEF) – LaFayette crews battled a fire Monday morning at Barwick airport. 

Chief Stacey Meeks says they got the call at 11:40 AM.

When LaFayette firefighters got on the scene, they saw heavy black smoke coming from the hangar operated by Gann Aviation.

Inside, they found one of the planes on fire.

The Chief says there were five other planes inside the building, loaded with fuel.

The firefighters kept the flames from spreading to those planes, but they did suffer extensive smoke damage.

Chief Meeks says it seems to have started with “an electrical issue and was in the hanger for routine avionics maintenance.”

The airport caters to local fliers and corporate planes.

It is next to the golf course south of LaFayette.


Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 07:27

23 Years ago today: On 6 February 1996 a Birgenair Boeing 757 crashed while into the sea after takeoff from Puerto Plata, Dom.Rep., killing all 189 occupants.

Date: Tuesday 6 February 1996 Time: 23:47 Type: Boeing 757-225 Operating for: Alas Nacionales Leased from: Birgenair Registration: TC-GEN C/n / msn: 22206/31 First flight: 1985 Total airframe hrs: 29269 Cycles: 13499 Engines:Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4 Crew: Fatalities: 13 / Occupants: 13 Passengers: Fatalities: 176 / Occupants: 176 Total: Fatalities: 189 / Occupants: 189 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 26 km (16.3 mls) NE off Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (   Atlantic Ocean) Phase: En route (ENR) Nature: Int’l Non Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Puerto Plata-La Union International Airport (POP/MDPP), Dominican Republic Destination airport: Gander Airport, NL (YQX/CYQX), Canada Flightnumber: ALW301

Flight ALW 301 departed Puerto Plata for a charter flight to Frankfurt via Gander and Berlin at 23:42 LT. At 80 knots on takeoff the captain found out that his air speed indicator (ASI) wasn’t working properly. The co-pilot’s indicator seemed to work fine. While climbing through 4700 feet the captain’s ASI read 350 knots (real speed was about 220 kts); this resulted in an autopilot/autothrottle reaction to increase the pitch-up attitude and a power reduction in order to lower the airspeed. At that time the crew got ‘Rudder ratio’ and ‘Mach airspeed’ advisory warnings. Both pilots got confused when the co-pilot stated that his ASI read 200 knots decreasing while getting an excessive speed-warning, followed by a stick shaker warning. This led the pilots to believe that both ASIs were unreliable.
Finally realizing that they were losing speed and altitude they disconnected the autopilot. The autopilot, fed by the captain’s faulty ASI, had reduced the speed close to the stall speed. Full thrust was then applied. At 23:47:17 an aural GPWS warning sounded. Eight seconds later the aircraft struck the ocean.
The incorrect ASI readings were probably caused by the obstruction of the pitot system by mud and/or debris from a small insect that was introduced in the pitot tube during the time the aircraft was on the ground. The aircraft was not flown for 20 days before the crash and was returned for service without a verification of the pitot-static system as recommended by Boeing

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The crew’s failure to recognize the activation of the stick shaker as a warning of imminent entrance to the stall, and the failure of the crew to execute the procedures for recovery from the onset of loss of control.”

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Today is Tuesday the 5th of February, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 08:01

Here are the stories for today.

Of note, Chief Goldfeder, via his “Secret List”, passes on the news of a firefighter suicide in Wisconsin. Sadly, firefighter (all first responders) behavioral health is a much discussed and known issue these days. Included in his article are multiple links to articles and resources providing valuable information on this topic. Take a read!

Be safe out there!



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Plane fell apart in air before deadly crash into Yorba Linda home

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:43


The Cessna plane had flown about 10 miles, reaching an altitude as high as 7,800 feet, when witnesses saw it coming through the clouds in one piece, authorities said. Moments later, its tail came off. Then its wings.

The plane plummeted rapidly into a Yorba Linda home Sunday afternoon, setting it on fire and killing four people inside along with the pilot. Debris was strewn across four blocks of the residential neighborhood, among as many as 16 homes.

On Monday, investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board combed through the wreckage and collected pieces of aircraft to transport to a Phoenix storage facility, where they will be examined.

So far, they know the 1981 twin-engine plane took off from Fullerton Municipal Airport about 1:35 p.m., made a left turn and flew for about 10 minutes. By 1:45 p.m., it had crashed into the house in 19000 block of Crestknoll Drive.

Officials have asked witnesses to come forward and provide any video footage of the scene, and to report any pieces of wreckage they may find.

“The challenge will be collecting all the pieces,” NTSB investigator Maja Smith said.

At one residence, a piece of the plane’s engine knocked down a pillar on the front porch and torpedoed through a first-floor window, flying through two rooms before landing in a bathroom. Fragments of exhaust pipe crashed through a second-floor window of the home and melted into the carpet. A propeller thumped onto the driveway.

Investigators identified the pilot as 75-year-old Antonio Pastini, a retired Chicago police officer.

According to records, Pastini previously owned a restaurant, Kim Lee’s Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, in Gardnerville, Nev., south of Carson City. Officials are gathering information about Pastini’s flight experience, medical records and the plane’s maintenance schedules.

FAA records show Pastini has carried a commercial pilot’s license and been a ground instructor since at least June 2008. He took his last medical exam for flying in 2017, according to records.

Records do not identify the owner of the aircraft and note that its registration with the FAA was pending. A spokesman said that’s because the agency was waiting for additional documentation related to the aircraft’s sale.

Julia Ackley, a Torrance resident and one of Pastini’s daughters, told The Times that her father was a veteran pilot who regularly flew to Southern California to visit her family from Oregon or Nevada, where he was a restaurant and business owner. Battling back tears as she comforted her child, she said the family is overcome with grief.

The two women and two men killed on the ground have not been identified. Authorities said the bodies are badly burned, so DNA testing and dental records will be requested to identify them. Two other people suffered moderate burns, and a firefighter suffered a minor ankle injury in the aftermath.

On Monday afternoon, the neighborhood was still reeling from the disaster.

Lisa Dang strolled past police tape to return to the charred scene. She surveyed the damage, comparing it to “a scene in the movies,” and cupped her face in her hands.

“Wow, we [are] so lucky,” she said.

Dang was visiting her older sister for Lunar New Year on Sunday when the plane crashed into her sister’s neighbor’s home. Dang and her family had just eaten a meal of sticky rice cake and duck when they heard a horrific boom.

“We ran out of the house, yelling, not having time to grab anything except the baby, not knowing what was going on,” Dang said.

Firefighters, she said, saved her sister’s home.

“In minutes, the other house was gone but we are grateful ours is still here,” Dang said.

Times staff writer Alejandra Reyes-Velarde contributed to this report.

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The Chief Never Expected This Phone Call (The Secret List)

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:41


Platteville (Wisconsin) Fire Chief Ryan Simmons got a phone call he wasn’t expecting-and he was shook after the call. One of his Firefighters, Firefighter Tim Ebert had committed suicide.

Tim was a student at UW-Platteville. So, between being a student working part time and being a members of the Platteville Fire Department (since fall 2017), he was busy. Firefighter Ebert was from Saint Germain and was also a member of the Saint German FD as well.

According to Chief Simmons, Ebert was always smiling and always willing to help people. “From what everyone knows of Tim and our experiences of him, we definitely would not have suspected anything from him. He didn’t seem depressed or anything. He usually had a smile on his face. He was a happy-go-lucky guy and wanted to help others.”

Chief Simmons said he doesn’t know what may have led Ebert to take his own life last week, but said that it doesn’t really matter. Chief Simmons emphasized that what matters is that it happened. He wants to focus on his memory and how to prevent this from happening in the future. “Do we talk about it enough? We probably don’t. We just all think we are rough, tough firefighters and everything just bounces off our skin, but it doesn’t.”

Services for Ebert will be held at the United Church of Christ in Saint Germain on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 1500 Hours.


Firefighter Behavioral Health is a much discussed and known issue these days. Please check out the below resources for additional, valuable information.  

SUICIDE HOTLINE USA: 1 (800) 273-8255


SUICIDE HOTLINES WORLDWIDE List_of_suicide_crisis_lines

Please also take time to review these links and resources -and have the info on hand. 

=IAFF: behavioralhealth

=NVFC programs/share-the-load- program/

=ROSECRANCE FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM: http://www. abuse/florian-firefighter- paramedic-police-military- treatment-center/

=NFFF: https://www. 08/prevent-firefighter- suicides/

=FIREFIGHTER PERSONAL SURVIVAL: http:// category/personal-survival/



=CORDICO FIREFIGHTER WELLNESS: https://www.cordico. com/firefighter-wellness- programs/



=FIREFIGHTER SUICIDE-RISING TIDE:  https://www.fireengineering. com/articles/2018/08/ firefighter-behavioral-health- and-suicide-a-rising-tide.html

=ESTABLISHING A SUICIDE PREVENTION PROGRAM-FIRE ENGINEERING: http://www.fireengineering. com/articles/2014/07/ implementing-a-suicide- prevention-program.html

=FF SILENT KILLER-FIRE ENGINEERING: http://www.fireengineering. com/articles/print/volume-165/ issue-12/features/ firefighters-silent-killer- suicide.html


=THE WARNING SIGNS-FIREHOUSE: safety-health/health-fitness/ article/21004990/firefighter- suicide-risk-factors-warning- signs

=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (A FIRE CHIEF/DAD’S PERSPECTIVE) safety/ar/firefighting_not_ without_warning/  (Fire Chief Magazine Article)

=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: USA TODAY: story/news/2018/04/11/ officers-firefighters- suicides-study/503735002/

=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE: (ABC NEWS) MindMoodNews/firefighter-ptsd- suicide/story?id=14466320(ABC  News Article on Firefighter Suicide)

=FF SUICIDE ARTICLE-FIREHOUSE: 10732817/chicago-firefighter- suicide-report-seeks-answers

Our condolences to all those affected by the loss of Firefighter Tim Ebert.

Take Care. Be Careful Pass it On.


The Secret List 2/4/2019-2117 Hours 

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NTSB Issues 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:38

Agency calls for implementation of 46 NTSB safety recommendations in 2 years

​The National Transportation Safety Board announced its 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, during an event held at the National Press Club, Monday.

First issued in 1990, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements serves as the agency’s primary advocacy tool to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce property damage resulting from transportation accidents.

The 10 items on the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements are:

Eliminate Distractions

End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment

Ensure the Safe Shipment of Hazardous Materials

Fully Implement Positive Train Control

Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes

Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations

Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in All New Highway Vehicles

Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents

Require Medical Fitness – Screen for and Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Strengthen Occupant Protection

“The 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public.

“Sumwalt issued a call to action during Monday’s event saying, “We at the NTSB can speak on these issues. We board members can testify by invitation to legislatures and to Congress, but we have no power of our own to act. We are counting on industry, advocates, and government to act on our recommendations.  We are counting on the help of the broader safety community to implement these recommendations.”

There are 267 open NTSB safety recommendations associated with the 10 Most Wanted List items and the NTSB is focused on seeing 46 of those implemented within the next two years. The majority of these recommendations, roughly two-thirds of the 267, seek critical safety improvements by means other than regulation. Of the 46 safety recommendations the NTSB wants implemented in the next two years, 20 seek regulatory action to improve transportation safety.

At any given time, the NTSB is managing around 1,200 open safety recommendations and while all have the potential to save lives and reduce injuries by preventing accidents, the NTSB cannot effectively communicate about each of them. The NTSB’s Most Wanted List provides the NTSB’s advocacy team and other agency communicators a roadmap to focus on a select number of recommendations. In 2017 the NTSB went from an annual list to a biennial process, to give our advocacy team, their partners, and our safety recommendation recipients more time to move toward implementation of the recommendations associated with the list.

An archive of the livestream of Monday’s event is available on the NTSB’s YouTube Channel at as is a video about the 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List at

To learn more about the items on the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements or the NTSB safety recommendations associated with the list, visit

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O’Hare bumps Atlanta into second place as nation’s busiest airport

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:36

Marni Pyke

O’Hare International Airport left its Atlanta rival in the dust last year as busiest hub in the U.S. after four years at No. 2.

O’Hare handled 903,747 flights in 2018 compared to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 895,502, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday. Hartsfield-Jackson had the most flights in 2017.

The Chicago airport also surged past its 2017 self by 4 percent. That year, it handled 867,049 flights.

It’s the first time since 2007 that total operations at O’Hare topped 900,000, the FAA said.

Globally, O’Hare comes in second for number of connecting flights it provides, Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Jamie Rhee said. The global champ is the United Kingdom’s Heathrow Airport.

“Our greatest strength is our position right in middle of the country that allows us to serve a lot of different markets,” Rhee said.

The airport is positioned to grow with a new runway set to open in 2020 followed by a runway extension in 2021. “We’re almost finished with modernizing the airfield and getting a modern parallel runway system,” Rhee said.

With the airfield project wrapping up, the city is now focusing on picking an architecture firm to design its Global Terminal, which will replace Terminal 2 and handle international flights.

That project will also enable an entrance and facility on the western side of the airport with connections to other terminals, a development long sought by the surrounding suburbs.

Currently, the aviation department is focusing on plans for the first stage of western access — a parking lot to accommodate airport employees who will enter using an express road being built by the Illinois tollway, Rhee said.

The busiest day at O’Hare was June 27, followed by June 14 and July 19.

Midway International Airport hosted 243,322 flights, a drop of 3.2 percent compared to 2017.

The number of passengers at O’Hare also grew in 2018 with 83.4 million traveling through the airport, a 4.5 percent jump from 2017.

Aviation expert Joseph Schwieterman said major expansions by American and United are partly responsible for O’Hare’s growth spurt.

“These carriers took a great deal of risk by adding so many new flights but are now reaping the benefits due to very strong consumer demand,” Schwieterman, a DePaul University professor, said in a December interview

“The boom in air travel across the country has benefited O’Hare more than other major hubs, including Atlanta, which is good news for travelers throughout our region.”

O’Hare last held the title in 2014.

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:34

59 Years ago today: On 5 February 1960 a Lloyd Aerro Boliviano DC-4 crashed near Laguna da Huanacota, Bolivia, killing all 59 occupants.

Date: Friday 5 February 1960 Time: 07:20 Type: Douglas DC-4 Operator: Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano – LAB Registration: CP-609 C/n / msn: 10510 First flight: 1945 Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4 Passengers: Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55 Total: Fatalities: 59 / Occupants: 59 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 15 km (9.4 mls) S of Cochabamba-J Wilsterman Airport (CBB) (   Bolivia) Crash site elevation: 2752 m (9029 feet) amsl Phase: En route (ENR) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Cochabamba-J Wilsterman Airport (CBB/SLCB), Bolivia Destination airport: La Paz-El Alto Airport (LPB/SLLP), Bolivia

The DC-4 crashed shortly after takeoff into Laguna Huañacota, a mountain lagoon. Reportedly one engine had caught fire. A two-year old girl survived the impact but died on the way to a hospital.

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Today is Monday the 4th of February, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 09:20

We start the new week with these stories…

Be safe out there!


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