Two Indian fighter pilots die in Mirage crash

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:07


Two Indian Air Force pilots were killed Friday when their French-built Mirage 2000 aircraft crashed minutes after take-off.

The single-engine jet fighter aircraft manufactured by Dassault Aviation was on a test flight after an upgrade carried out by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). 

“Both occupants sustained fatal injuries… Investigation into the cause of accident is being ordered,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

Local media reports said the pilots tried to eject but were caught in flames as the plane exploded at the HAL airport in the southern city of Bangalore. No one was hurt on the ground.

India had signed a $2.4 billion deal with France in 2011 to upgrade 51 Mirage 2000 fighters, which were purchased in the mid-1980s, with new electronic warfare systems and radar.

Last week, the Economic Times daily said the upgrade of the multi-role aircraft had been hit by production delays on part of HAL.

Crashes involving fighter planes are not uncommon in India which is in the midst of upgrading its Soviet-era military.

Most of the accidents involve the MiGs that India bought decades ago from the Soviet Union, earning it the unflattering “flying coffin” tag.

Last July, the pilot of an MiG-21 jet died after the fighter jet crashed in northern Himachal Pradesh state.

India is investing billions of dollars in modernising its air force as fears grow over increasing cooperation between its arch-rival Pakistan and China.

New Delhi has signed a contract to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale fighters from France for $8.8 billion. The jets are expected to be delivered later this year.

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Plane out of El Paso crashes outside Houston, one person dead

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

KATY, Texas – UPDATE: ABC-7 has confirmed with the Texas Department of the Safety the plane had departed from El Paso. According to DPS, the plane was on it’s way from El Paso to Houston.

ABC-7 is working to find our more information on the crash and the victim.

Stay with ABC-7 for more updates.

Original story: Authorities with the Texas Department of Safety said one person is dead following a small plane crash in Katy. According to ABC News, authories said they believe the plane had departed from El Paso.

The plane was found in a wooded area near a neighborhood, according to ABC News.

DPS responded to reports of a low-flying plane Thursday night. Authorites said the plane clipped a power line. The pilot then tried to “nose up” to avoid the power line, but hit it and went nose down.

“So the whole front fuselage is in the ground, so the NTSB and FAA are en route here,” said Sgt. Richard Standifer.

The Cy-Fair Fire Department said there are no survivors, and the person killed is possibly the pilot.

Officials said the accident caused the power in a nearby neighborhood to go out.

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Emergency landing in Church Hill for rescue helicopter

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:03


CHURCH HILL — A Ballad One medevac helicopter made an emergency landing in Hawkins County Thursday morning.

The helicopter was reportedly responding to a medical emergency in Hancock County shortly before 11 a.m. when pilots encountered snow and activated the de-icer, after which they detected smoke, according to Church Hill Fire Chief David Wood. No one was injured in the incident.

Wood told the Times News he was informed by the pilot that their protocol is to land anytime they see or smell smoke.

At 10:49 a.m., the helicopter landed in a field adjacent to Highway 11-W across from Pal’s in Church Hill.

“We checked it and didn’t see anything, but he (the pilot) thought it might be something to do with the de-icing on it,” Wood said. “When they were flying, they got into a little snow. He said that intake above the motor on the top is where that de-icer is located. I didn’t see anything leaking.”

Wood said the flight crew shut off the motor and opened the doors after landing. A mechanic was supposed to be en route Thursday afternoon to determine if the helicopter could be flown back out or would have to be towed.

Wood added, “Good thing no one was hurt, and they followed protocol and set that thing down and got out of it.”

The helicopter is owned and maintained by PHI Air Medical.

On Thursday afternoon, the company issued the following statement to the Times News: “This morning, while responding to an emergency call, our crew made a safe, uneventful precautionary landing. This was out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with our established aviation procedures. All personnel are safe and there is no damage to the helicopter. Our maintenance experts are on scene thoroughly inspecting the aircraft to ensure its return to service.”

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Missing Alaska plane presumed to have crashed, bodies sought

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 08:01

By Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An air ambulance with three people aboard that vanished in Alaska was presumed to have crashed and the owners said Thursday that they will look for the bodies of the crew.

After an air and sea search of hundreds of square miles, the Coast Guard announced it was suspending the search for the twin-engine King Air 200, which went missing Tuesday while heading to the tiny community of Kake to pick up a patient.

“This was an extensive search effort in some very challenging conditions,” said Coast Guard Capt. Stephen White in a statement. “Suspending a search for any reason is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make.”

A wing part and other aircraft debris were found near the plane’s last known position.

The Coast Guard couldn’t confirm whether it came from the missing plane.

However, Guardian Flight, the medical flight company that owns the plane, announced late Thursday that it will try to recover the bodies of the missing: pilot Patrick Coyle, 63; flight nurse Stacie Rae Morse, 30, and 43-year-old Margaret Langston, the flight paramedic.

All were based in Juneau.

“Our hearts are heavy, and we respectfully offer our deepest thoughts and prayers to our lost employees and their families,” Randy Lyman, a company vice president, said in a statement.

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Shutdown May Have Impaired Federal Investigations Into Plane and Highway Crashes

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 07:59

By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Thomas Fuller

Whenever there is a plane or major highway crash, federal investigators descend immediately to the scene to collect evidence. Their goal is to find the accident’s cause so that future tragedies can be prevented. 

But during the 35-day government shutdown, the National Transportation Safety Board furloughed all but a handful of its 400 staff members. And investigations into at least 18 fatal accidents in the United States that normally would have meant sending experts to the scene were not begun, according to the agency.

Only now are investigators who returned to work this week beginning to examine the accidents, which led to at least 32 deaths. And some experts fear that crucial evidence has been lost.

“Trying to go back after the fact and reconstruct all the facts, elements and circumstances will be very difficult, or impossible,” said Greg Feith, a former senior air safety investigator at the agency who is now a private consultant.

Most of the accidents were crashes of small planes, like one that plunged into Chickamauga Lake, Tenn., on Jan. 7, killing the pilot, Frank Davey, and sole passenger, Lynda Marinello.

Ms. Marinello’s husband, Chris, a pilot for 20 years, said he feared that once the safety board was finally able to examine the wreckage, it would default to a finding of “pilot error” because evidence supporting other causes might have been spoiled with no one from the agency there to safeguard it.

In an interview, Mr. Marinello said that Mr. Davey was a good pilot, and that three cameras were recovered from the wreckage that could yield clear evidence of what brought the plane down. But he worries the information on the cameras may be badly degraded.

“If the N.T.S.B. guys would have been on the scene, they would have understood the importance of getting those SIM cards to Washington or to some facility that had the ability to get the data,” he said. He says he has asked but has not been told where the cards are, or whether they are locked with other wreckage in storage.

While safety board members are appointed by the president, it is an independent federal agency. The potential impairment of so many investigations has prompted some air-safety experts to question why the agency did not keep more investigators working in the United States, even as some were taken off furlough to help with crashes in other countries.

Those included the October crash of Lion Air Flight 610, a Boeing 737 that plunged into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 on board.

“Who made the decision that the board is going to perform some of its functions, but not others?” asked Jim Hall, who was chairman of the safety board during the 1990s, when he said he kept investigators working during government shutdowns.

Mr. Hall added, “The fact of the matter is that if you are not able to respond, you have weakened the investigation.”

Just how much has been lost is not clear. The safety board declined to characterize which investigations had been most impaired by passage of time and spoilage of evidence. 

A spokesman, Christopher O’Neil, said the agency “closely followed” guidance from the federal Office of Personnel Management during the shutdown.

Under the law, Mr. O’Neil said in an email, staff members “could only be recalled to investigate an accident if their work was necessary to prevent imminent loss of life or significant property damage.”

He said agency officials assessed every accident reported during the shutdown. Only two — the failure in late December of a United States-manufactured engine on a South Korean airliner, and the continuing inquiry into the Lion Air crash — met the threshold for recalling furloughed investigators.

But the agency concedes that investigators may never visit some accident sites, and opportunities to learn things that could prevent tragedies have been missed.

Seven people died in a car accident near Gainesville, Fla., this month. Federal accident investigators were not sent to the crash site because of the shutdown.

“Important evidence was lost that we would normally examine following an accident,” Mr. O’Neil said in a statement. That, he added, “potentially could prevent determination of probable cause.”

Another accident not investigated during the shutdown was a fiery multivehicle highway crash in Florida on Jan. 3 that killed five children headed to Walt Disney World, and two others. An eight-member team is being dispatched, the agency said on Wednesday.

In addition, the agency did not gather evidence needed to determine whether investigations were warranted in five other highway, railroad and pipeline accidents that left eight more people dead.

Federal investigators returning to their jobs in many cases will have to rely on information collected by local law enforcement, whose evidence gathering may not be as precise or granular.

And a lot is simply lost, too, by not being able to see the disaster firsthand, and how wreckage was strewn about.

Examples of important but highly perishable evidence include the distance between propeller marks in the snow or mud — which help estimate an aircraft’s speed at impact — or chunks of ice shaped like a leading edge, which tell investigators that ice may have been on a wing.

By now, Mr. Feith said, at many crash sites the wreckage will have been hoisted onto trucks, often after being cut into pieces, and shipped to storage facilities.

There, agency investigators will sift through the pieces, not always knowing which fractures and fatigue happened before the crash, which were caused by the crash, and which were caused by moving the wreckage afterward.

“They may not be able to decipher what is an artifact of the accident, versus what is an artifact of the post-accident recovery,” Mr. Feith said.

Moreover, another key evidence collection — requests for air traffic control data normally made quickly after a crash — may not be possible in some cases. “A lot of that information is lost in the abyss,” he said.

The significance of getting investigators to accident sites speedily is underscored by how the safety agency organizes its inquiries: A “Go Team” of rotating experts fly immediately to the most significant crash sites. They are on call 24 hours a day, with a bag of audio recorders, cameras, flashlights, screwdrivers, wrenches or other tools at the ready.

“The importance of being on site as soon as possible is why the agency is structured the way it is,” said Mr. Hall, the former agency chairman.

It is not only the physical evidence that fades or breaks down, he added.

“Individuals’ memories further away from the event can be less than certain than what might have been, had they been interviewed as soon as the event occurred,” he said.

The shutdown also may have slowed some investigations by the Federal Aviation Administration — including an inquiry into a Jan. 21 near miss above a heavily populated neighborhood of Oakland, Calif.

During the mishap, which has not been previously reported but was confirmed by the F.A.A., two single-engine planes came within 100 to 200 feet of each other, the two pilots said in interviews. The Oakland control tower mistakenly instructed them to fly at the same altitude even as they flew toward each other, the pilots said.

“I was shocked by how close he was,” one pilot, Isaac Reynolds, said of the other aircraft. “We very easily could have hit each other.”

An F.A.A. spokesman, Ian Gregor, said the Oakland control tower filed a report about the near miss on the day it occurred, and that it was investigated the next day.

But Mr. Reynolds said he was never contacted. And the other pilot, who requested to remain anonymous because he did not want his family to know about the near miss, said when he called the airport to report the incident after landing, he was told the investigation would be slower because of the shutdown.

“They said things were slower than usual because the person who would investigate was on furlough,” the pilot said. “I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but I do think that shutdowns matter. Whether or not this contributed or not it’s hard to say, specifically. But it’s certainly not helping safety.”

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 07:57

62 Years ago today: On 1 February 1957 a Northeast Douglas DC-6 crashed on Rikers Island following takeoff from New York-LGA, killing 20 out of 101 occupants.

Date: Friday 1 February 1957 Time: 18:02 Type: Douglas DC-6A Operator: Northeast Airlines Registration: N34954 C/n / msn: 44678/543 First flight: 1955 Total airframe hrs: 8317 Engines:Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB17 Crew: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6 Passengers: Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 95 Total: Fatalities: 20 / Occupants: 101 Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair Location: Rikers Island, NY (   United States of America) Phase: Initial climb (ICL) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America Destination airport: Miami International Airport, FL (MIA/KMIA), United States of America Flightnumber: 823

Northeast Flight 823 to Miami (MIA) was scheduled to depart from New York-La Guardia (LGA) at 14:45. Snowfall delayed the departure.
Carrying 95 passengers and 6 crewmembers, the gross weight of the aircraft was 98575 pounds, 265 pounds below maximum weight. The crew started the takeoff roll on runway 04 at 18:01. Except for some sliding of the nose wheel at low speed, the takeoff roll was normal. A positive rate of climb was established and the gear was retracted, flaps raised and METO power set. The crew went on instruments immediately after gear retraction and the captain monitored airspeed, rate of climb and direction. the aircraft was to climb on runway heading, but started turning to the left. This was not noticed by the crew. While over Rikers Island on a 285deg heading, the DC-6 first struck small trees. The left wingtip touched the ground; the right wingtip 150 feet beyond. The plane then skidded 1500 feet. Impact occurred about 60 seconds after the start of takeoff.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The failure of the captain to: 1) properly observe and interpret his flight instruments, and 2) maintain control of his aircraft.”

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Today is Thursday the 31st of January, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:50

The 3rd and final day of the 2019 ARFF Leadership Conference.  

Another great conference put together by the ARFF Working Group, as always! Next stop, the Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Safe travels to everyone heading back home from Jacksonville!

Here are the news stories for today…

Everyone be safe out there!


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Unmanned Plane Crashes At Modesto Airport

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:38

MODESTO (CBS13) – A small unmanned plane crashed at Modesto Airport Wednesday afternoon.

A pair of pilots were reportedly working on the electrical system of a single-engine Beech V35B, manipulating the propeller, but said it wouldn’t start. When the pilots walked away, the propeller suddenly engaged on its own and taxied away, hitting a car and a fence.

The pilots told police the plane took off at speeds around 40 miles per hour. The plane was moving toward the busy Mitchell Road after it clipped the parked car.

“If it was to get over that [grass] and get onto Mitchell, we would really have had a problem on our hands trying to stop that plane with nobody inside it,” said Sgt. Mark Phillips with the Modesto Police Department.

Phillips said it was a good thing the plane hit the vehicle because it changed direction, diverting the plane from a hanger that was occupied at the time of the incident. Two structures were damaged by the plane, but no one was hurt in the crash.

The building belongs to DC Air, which is owned by Dan Costa of 5-11 Tactical. He was apparently inside at the time of the crash along with numerous other people.

The plane is registered to Doncam Consulting, LLC in Modesto, according to the FAA database. The FAA went to the scene to investigate the crash and wrapped up their investigation Wednesday afternoon. There is no official word on what caused the plane to take off.

The plane suffered extensive damage in the incident.

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Search for missing Air Tindi plane heads into the night

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:33

By Sarah Pruys and Ollie Williams

Rescuers searching for a downed Air Tindi aircraft were wading through deep snow in a bid to reach its possible location as night fell on Wednesday.

The plane, a King Air 200, and its two pilots disappeared between 9am and 9:30am on Wednesday morning. The aircraft has still not been definitively located.

Search and rescue teams are trying to reach a “site of interest” – which may or may not be the plane – detected earlier in the afternoon near Behchokǫ̀ by the crew of a Hercules aircraft.

Officials at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, say they cannot be sure the site actually contains the missing aircraft until those teams reach it and report back.

Technicians have parachuted in to the vicinity of the site and are equipped with overnight arctic kits to help them stay warm and safe as they cover the remaining ground.

As of 9:30pm on Wednesday, neither Air Tindi nor the Trenton command centre had any new information regarding the plane or its crew.

The next update is not now expected until first light on Thursday.

“The CC-130 Hercules is overhead and the search and rescue technicians are still moving towards the site, but the snow is reported to be very deep,” said Jennifer Jones, a Royal Canadian Air Force spokesperson speaking on behalf of the Trenton command centre.

Jones said Canadian Rangers trying to reach the site from Behchokǫ̀ were also being held up by snow.

“They will keep moving towards the suspected site under illumination from the CC-130 overhead, but we likely won’t have another update until the morning,” she said.

Flights suspended

The King Air 200 had been heading from Yellowknife to Whatì – which is north-west of Behchokǫ̀ – with no passengers on board when it lost contact.

All Air Tindi flights remain suspended. The airline will discuss later on Wednesday whether other services will be able to resume on Thursday.

“We’re concerned about the pilots very much and are trying to make sure all of our people are being kept informed,” Al Martin, the president of Air Tindi, said earlier.

What exactly happened to the aircraft is unclear. Conditions in the area were poor on Wednesday, with temperatures below -20C and blowing snow affecting visibility.

The airline said the Transportation Safety Board and the local community government had been notified, as had the pilots’ next of kin.

This is the first significant incident involving an Air Tindi flight since November 2014, when all on board survived an emergency landing on Great Slave Lake performed by an Air Tindi plane heading from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson.

Three years earlier, a pilot and a passenger were killed when an Air Tindi flight came down 200 km east of Yellowknife.

Search for missing Air Tindi plane heads into the night

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A MESSAGE FROM THE FDNY re: Firefighting Operations (The Secret List)

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:31


Check out this important video from the FDNY about Firefighting Operations. This is a “must see” video for every Firefighter at every department.


Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 1-40-2019-1800 hours

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FAA Issues InFO on Portable Fire Extinguisher Inspection Requirements

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:28

Last December, the FAA issued an Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin that reminds aircraft owners, operators, air agencies, suppliers, distributors, and maintenance technicians that hand-held/portable fire extinguishers have the potential to leak, and should be inspected per the proper prescribing guidance. The FAA also recommends operators be familiar with any record-keeping requirements for hand-held/portable fire extinguishers. For more details, see InFO 18013 at:

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:26

19 Years ago today: On 31 January 2000 an Alaska Airlines MD-83 lost control and crashed near Anacapa Island, CA, USA; killing all 88 occupants.

Date: Monday 31 January 2000 Time: 16:20 Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) Operator: Alaska Airlines Registration: N963AS C/n / msn: 53077/1995 First flight: 1992 Total airframe hrs: 26584 Cycles: 14315 Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 Crew: Fatalities: 5 / Occupants: 5 Passengers: Fatalities: 83 / Occupants: 83 Total: Fatalities: 88 / Occupants: 88 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 4,5 km (2.8 mls) N off Anacapa Island, CA (   United States of America) Phase: En route (ENR) Nature: International Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Puerto Vallarta-Gustavo D. Ordaz Airport (PVR/MMPR), Mexico Destination airport: San Francisco International Airport, CA (SFO/KSFO), United States of America Flightnumber: AS261

Alaska Airlines Flight 261 departed Puerto Vallarta at about 14:30 PST for a flight to San Francisco and Seattle. En route to San Francisco a FL310 a problem arose with the stabilizer trim. At 16:10 the crew radioed Los Angeles ARTCC that they were having control problems and that they were descending through FL260. At 16:11 Los Angeles ARTCC asked the condition of the flight and were told that they were troubleshooting a jammed stabilizer. The crew requested, and were granted, a FL200-FL250 block altitude clearance. At 16:15 the crew were handed off to Los Angeles sector control. The Alaska Airlines crew reported problems maintaining their altitude and told their intentions to divert to Los Angeles International Airport. They were cleared to do so at 16:16. The crew then requested permission to descend to FL100 over water to change their aircraft configuration . Los Angeles cleared them to FL170. Last message from Flight 261 was when they requested another block altitude. The request was granted at 16:17, without a readback from the crew. During the descent the crew was also talking to Alaska Airlines maintenance personnel in Seattle and Los Angeles to troubleshoot their stabilizer trim problems. As the crew attempted to diagnose or correct the problem the out-of-trim condition became worse, causing a tendency for the plane to pitch nose-down. When preparing the plane for landing control was lost and the MD-83 was seen ‘tumbling, spinning, nose down, continuous roll, corkscrewing and inverted’. The aircraft crashed off Point Mugu in 650 feet deep water

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “A loss of airplane pitch control resulting from the in-flight failure of the horizontal stabilizer trim system jackscrew assembly’s acme nut threads. The thread failure was caused by excessive wear resulting from Alaska Airlines’ insufficient lubrication of the jackscrew assembly.
Contributing to the accident were Alaska Airlines’ extended lubrication interval and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval of that extension, which increased the likelihood that a missed or inadequate lubrication would result in excessive wear of the acme nut threads, and Alaska Airlines’ extended end play check interval and the FAA’s approval of that extension, which allowed the excessive wear of the acme nut threads to progress to failure without the opportunity for detection. Also contributing to the accident was the absence on the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 of a fail-safe mechanism to prevent the catastrophic effects of total acme nut thread loss.”

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Today is Wednesday the 30th of January, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:00

Day two of the ARFF Leadership Conference here in Jacksonville.

Still amazes me how this organization puts together these professional conferences and how they provide such great networking opportunities!

Now to the news stories for today…

Be safe out there!


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Crews respond to emergency plane landing south of Bismarck

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:10

BISMARCK, N.D. – UPDATE: Around noon on Tuesday, the Central Dakota Communications Center received notice of a small Cirrus SR22 plane that made an emergency landing nine miles south of Bismarck near the McLean Bottoms Gun Range.

The pilot notified air traffic control that he was having an oil pressure issue.

The two people on board are safe.

Cirrus SR22 planes do have parachutes that can be deployed allowing the plane to come down slower, however it was not deployed in this instance.

The Bismarck Rural Fire Department, Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department, and Metro Area Ambulance are on scene.

According to the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department they are sending a snowmobile unit to the scene.

The registered owner of the plane is Dakota Skies Aviation LLC. The plane was certified airworthy in 2004.

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Search underway for missing ambulance aircraft in Southeast Alaska

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:09

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – An aircraft with Guardian Flight air ambulance service is missing and a search is now underway, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The flight was en route from Anchorage to Kake Tuesday evening, but did not arrive as scheduled.

The Coast Guard says its watchstanders in Juneau received notification from Sitka Flight Services that a Guardian Flight King Air 200 medical life flight was expected to land in Kake at 6:19 p.m., but the aircraft never landed.

Coast Guard officials say there are three people on board, and search crews are looking in an area about 20 miles west of Kake.

The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa is conducting the search near the last known position of the aircraft. Good Samaritan vessels are also searching the area, along with a Coast Guard helicopter based in Sitka.

“Coast Guard crews are diligently searching for the missing aircraft and individuals,” said Lt j.g. Colin McClelland, Coast Guard Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We appreciate the assistance of the good Samaritan vessels and we hope we locate the aircraft and people soon.”

In a written statement Tuesday night, Randy Lyman, Senior Vice President of Operations for the company wrote “The Guardian Flight family is devastated to report that a company aircraft flying from Anchorage to Kake, Alaska has been reported missing”.

The company said three Guardian Flight employees, a pilot, nurse, and paramedic, were aboard the twin-engine plane.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow employees and their families during this very trying time” wrote Lyman, who added that Guardian Flight has initiated a stand down of the company’s entire fleet until further information is available.

Guardian Flight also said it will be cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration during the investigation.

The Coast Guard said weather in the area was reported as light rain with overcast skies, 10 miles visibility, 7 mph winds and an air temperature of 36 degrees.

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:07

45 Years ago today: On 30 January 1974 a PanAm Boeing 707 crashed following a windshear encounter while approaching Pago Pago, American Samoa; killing 97 out of 101 occupants.

Date: Wednesday 30 January 1974 Time: 23:41 AST Type: Boeing 707-321B Operator: Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) Registration: N454PA C/n / msn: 19376/661 First flight: 1967 Total airframe hrs: 21625 Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B Crew: Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10 Passengers: Fatalities: 87 / Occupants: 91 Total: Fatalities: 97 / Occupants: 101 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 1,2 km (0.8 mls) SW of Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) (   American Samoa) Crash site elevation: 34 m (112 feet) amsl Phase: Approach (APR) Nature: International Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Auckland International Airport (AKL/NZAA), New Zealand Destination airport: Pago Pago International Airport (PPG/NSTU), American Samoa Flightnumber: PA806

On January 30, 1974, Pan Am Flight 806, Boeing 707-321B “Clipper Radiant”, operated as a scheduled flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to Los Angeles, California. En route stops included Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Honolulu, Hawaii. Flight 806 departed Auckland at 20:14. It was cleared to Pago Pago on an IFR flight plan.
At 23:11, Flight 806 contacted Pago Pago Approach Control and reported its position 160 miles south of the Pago Pago airport. Approach control responded, “Clipper eight zero six, roger, and Pago weather, estimated ceiling one thousand six hundred broken, four thousand broken, the visibility – correction, one thousand overcast. The visibility one zero, light rain shower, temperature seven eight, wind three five zero degrees, one five, and altimeter’s two nine eight five.”
At 23:13, Pago Pago Approach Control cleared the flight to the Pago Pago VORTAC. Flight 806 reported leaving FL330 three minutes later and leaving FL200 at 23:24. Pago Pago Approach Control cleared the flight at 23:24: “Clipper eight zero six, you’re cleared-for the ILS DME runway five approach – via the two zero mile arc south-southwest. Report the arc, and leaving five thousand.” At 23:3, the flight requested the direction and velocity of the Pago Pago winds and was told that they were 360 degrees variable from 020 degrees at 10 to 15 knots.
At 23:34, the flight reported out of 5,500 feet and that they had intercepted the 226 degree radial of the Pago Pago VOR. The approach controller responded, “Eight oh six, right. Understand inbound on the localizer. Report about three out. No other reported traffic. Winds zero one zero degrees at one five gusting two zero.”
At 23:38, approach control said, “Clipper eight oh six, appears that we’ve had power failure at the airport. ” The first officer replied, “Eight oh six, we’re still getting your VOR, the ILS and the lights are showing.”
Approach control then asked, “See the runway lights?” The flight responded, “That’s Charlie.” The approach controller then said, ” …we have a bad rain shower here. I can’t see them from my position here.” “We’re five DME now and they still look bright,” the first officer responded. Approach Control replied, “´kay, no other reported traffic. The wind is zero three zero degrees at two zero, gusting two five. Advise clear of the runway.” At 23:39:41, the flight replied, “Eight zero six, wilco.” This was the last radio transmission from the flight.
On the flight deck the windshield wipers were turned on and the flaps were set at the 50° position, which completed the checklists for landing. At 23:40:22, the first officer stated, “You’re a little high.” The radio altimeter warning tone then sounded twice and the first officer said “You’re at minimums.”
He reported the field in sight and said that they were at 140 kts. At 23:40:42, the aircraft crashed into trees at an elevation of 113 feet, and about 3,865 feet short of the runway threshold. The first impact with the ground was about 236 feet farther along the crash path. The aircraft continued through the jungle vegetation, struck a 3-foot-high lava rock wall, and stopped about 3,090 feet from the runway threshold.

Of the 101 occupants of the aircraft, 9 passengers and 1 crewmember survived the crash and fire. One passenger died the next day; the crewmember and three passengers died 3 days after the accident. One passenger died of his injuries 9 days after the accident

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The flight crew’s late recognition, and failure to correct in a timely manner, an excessive descent rate which developed as a result of the aircraft’s penetration through destabilizing wind changes. The winds consisted of horizontal and vertical components produced by a heavy rainstorm and influenced by uneven terrain close to the aircraft’s approach path. The captain’s recognition was hampered by restricted visibility, the illusory effects of a “black hole” approach, inadequate monitoring of flight instruments, and the failure of the crew to call out descent rate during the last 15 seconds of flight.”

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Today is Tuesday the 29th of January, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:53

Day 1 of the 2019 ARFF Leadership Conference and it’s great to see a mix of new and old faces in attendance. It’s going to be a great week here in Jacksonville!

Here are the stories for today…

Be safe out there!


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No injuries reported in cargo plane crash at Tuscaloosa airport

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:42

by Emma Simmons

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No injuries have been reported in a cargo plane crash at the Tuscaloosa airport Monday evening, the city council tells ABC 33/40’s Elizabeth Lane.

A Kalitta Charters 727 plane with four crew on board hauling Mercdes-Benz parts crashed at 8:08 p.m. The crash occurred due nose gear failure, officials say.

Tuscaloosa Fire responded to the scene to extinguish a fire, which took just a few minutes. The plane had 33,000 pounds of fuel on board.

The airport will be closed until crews can move the crashed plane from the runway.

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Plane Crash At Petaluma Airport: Pilot, Instructor Escape Injury

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:40

Petaluma police and fire personnel responded to find the student pilot and flight instructor outside the plane, police said.

By Maggie Avants

PETALUMA, CA — A flight instructor and his student pilot escaped injury Monday when their small plane crashed at the Petaluma Municipal Airport, according to the Petaluma Police Department. The crash involving a four-seat Cessna happened at about 11 a.m. on the eastern runway, police said.

Petaluma fire and police personnel responded to the plane crash and found the student pilot and the flight instructor outside the aircraft and uninjured, police Sgt. Nick McGowan said in a news release.

“During the investigation, it was determined the landing equipment was not engaged when landing the aircraft,” McGowan said.

The aircraft landed on its belly and slid approximately 685 feet down the asphalt runway prior to coming to a stop, according to police.

The student pilot, a Santa Rosa woman, and the flight instructor, a Cloverdale man, left the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport on Monday to practice landing.

They did not experience any problems in the air but it appeared the student pilot neglected to engage the landing gear when they reached the Petaluma airport, McGowan said.

The crash damaged the front propeller and the underbelly of the Cessna, the sergeant said.

The incident has been referred to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration for investigation, police said.

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NTSB Resumes Normal Operations

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:37

WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2019) — Employees of the National Transportation Safety Board returned to work Monday, resuming normal operations and developing plans to address the work that could not be accomplished during the partial shutdown of government.

Of the 397 agency staff, 367 employees were furloughed, 26 employees were excepted, and four investigators were recalled and worked without pay to support investigations of three international aviation accidents.

As of Jan. 25, 2019, impacts of the partial shutdown for the NTSB include:

  • Twenty-two accidents in which the NTSB did not dispatch investigators, including:
    • 15 aviation accidents resulting in 21 fatalities
    • Three marine accidents
    • Two railroad accidents resulting in two fatalities
    • Two highway accidents resulting in 7 fatalities, 15 injuries
    • These 22 accidents now require investigative action.
  • Six accidents in which the NTSB did not gather evidence to determine if an investigation was warranted, including
    • Two pipeline accidents (one diesel fuel, one natural gas)
    • Three highway accidents resulting in eight fatalities
    • One railroad accident resulting in one fatality
  • During the partial shutdown work stopped on:
    • 1,815 ongoing general aviation and limited aviation safety investigations
    • 33 ongoing rail, pipeline, and hazardous materials investigations
    • 44 ongoing marine investigations
    • 21 ongoing highway investigations
  • Within the Office of Research and Engineering, work stopped on:
    • 63 medical cases
    • 63 cases in the Materials Laboratory Division
    • 451 cases in the Vehicle Recorders Division
    • 54 cases in the Vehicle Performance Division
  • Postponement of the launch of the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, which has been rescheduled to Feb. 4.
  • Postponement of a board meeting to determine the probable cause of the March 2017 runway excursion in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Cancellation of 22 external meetings or presentations
  • More than 180 media inquiries went unanswered

The 22 accidents in which the NTSB did not launch investigators, but would have if not for the partial shutdown, may not result in investigators physically visiting the accident sites, and, it is possible that perishable evidence may have been lost, which potentially could prevent determination of probable cause.

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